Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Daily Show: AmeriFam

Samantha Bee gives a struggling American family all the advantages of corporatehood, with a huge can of “You’re welcome.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

AmeriFam, posted with vodpod


Super Pacs and the Future of American Democracy

For a time Political Action Committees (PACs) served as the fundraising arms of groups and organizations interested in financing political campaigns around the country.  Federal and state laws limited political contributions by many groups and individuals to very specific amounts and required extensive reporting of contributions to a variety of regulatory bodies.  The regulation of campaign contributions through the years has invariably been a reaction to scandals which lead to reforms that are intended to rein in abuses in campaign financing and electioneering by those involved.

Recent changes in the legal landscape are already proving that money will play a bigger role in future elections than probably ever before.  Corporations (and by implication organized labor unions) are now free to contribute unlimited funds to support candidates and issues.  Although direct contributions to candidates and their campaigns are still limited, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has removed all limits on political spending that is not directly controlled or coordinated by candidates.  Super Pacs are born.  Independent political organizations and funds can now be formed with the sole purpose of supporting and defeating candidates.  Corporations can now donate as much money as they want directly into the political process.  Whether they did or not prior to Citizens United we may never know.  But the impact on future elections is expected to be profound.  David Goldstein predicts that the 2012 elections for Congress and the White House will be the most costly in the history of the United States.

This is all happening at a time when the economic outlook for the United States is bleak.  The average citizen is struggling to make every penny count.  Corporate America, on the other hand, is enjoying better profits, huge cash reserves, and very little incentive to share their wealth with working and non-working Americans.  What do you think?  Will American voters find themselves squeezed out of the political process as corporations open their pocketbooks for elections but not jobs?  How will this impact my donation of $25.00 to my favorite candidate?


Video Glossary: Suffrage

MPSL VLog: Circumstantial Evidence and the Death Penalty

A man was put to death in Georgia for killing a police officer. When the death penalty is legal, why do so many people around the world protest this particular man’s death? Professor Gaffaney explains.

Timeline: Israel and Palestine

UN 1947 partition plan for Palestine

Image via Wikipedia


1300-931: Israelite tribes defeat the Canaanites within the territory of Palestine (the region between Egypt, Syria and Arabia). The kingdom of Israel is established.

931: The kingdom splits into the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah).

721: Northern Kingdom falls to Assyria.

587: Southern Kingdom falls to Babylon

539: Babylonian Empire falls to the Persian Empire.

331: Persian Empire falls to Alexander the Great. Following his death, the land is subject to rule by Egypt and Syria.

63-61: Romans conquer Jerusalem and Jews live under Roman rule.


476: The Roman Empire falls

638: Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula conquer Jerusalem.

1099: European Crusaders conquer Jerusalem.

1187: Muslims under Saladin reclaim Jerusalem.

1517: Ottoman Empire conquers all of Palestine.

1914: World War I begins. Ottoman Empire enters the war on the side of Germany.

1918: World War I ends, bringing defeat of the Ottoman Empire.

1920: League of Nations divides lands of Ottoman Empire.

1939-1945: The Holocaust takes place during World War II. Jewish migration into Palestine increases.

1947: UN General Assembly passes Resolution 181, which would partition Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. The Jewish state receives 56% of the land leaving the Arab state 44%.

1948: Israel declares statehood on May 14. Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia declare war on Israel.

1949-1950: At war’s end, Israel holds 78% of the territory of Palestine.

1964: Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is established with the aim of destroying Israel.

1967: Six-Day War. Israel conquers Gaza Strip, West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Sinai, and Golan Heights. UN Security Council passes Resolution 242 calling for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories.

1973: Egypt and Syria attack Israel, beginning Yom Kippur War. Israel pushes back both armies.

1981: Israel annexes the Golan Heights.

2002: Israel decides to build a Security Fence to reduce suicide bombings from Palestinian terrorists.

2004: International court of Justice (ICJ) rules that the Israeli Security Fence violates international law and must be torn down as it is built on occupied territory. Israel announces that it will ignore the ruling.

2005: Israeli evacuates its Gaza settlements and four West Bank settlements.

2006: The terrorist organization Hamas wins an upset victory in Palestinian Legislative Council elections. A UN study declares the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip “intolerable”, with an estimated 80% of the population living in poverty.

2008: Israel invades the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip in response to rocket attacks by Palestinian militant groups.

2011: Palestine Authority moves a resolution in UN for recognition of Palestine statehood.


Weekly Quiz: Test Yourself on this Week’s Events

The weekly quiz is now live in Mypoliscilab. Good luck!

Weekly Poll: Your Opinion on the Economy and Taxes

President Obama submitted his jobs plan to Congress on September 12. Although Republican leaders gesture to support some of the President’s proposals, they insist on not allowing any new tax revenue. What do you think?