Monthly Archives: December 2011

MPSL VLog: Caucus Here Often?

Iowa holds the first caucus before the presidential election. Does this mean Iowans get a disproportionate say in who will be the Republican nominee? And how do the values of Iowan voters shape the national election? Professor Gaffaney explains.


Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

At the risk of offending some lone or few or many I would like to personally forward the following greeting.  May the new year find you and keep you well.  May opportunities abound and may charity flourish.  Let peace and goodwill light the way and may the darkness in our lives be banished to a distant corner.  Happy Holidays.  Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year!

This message is brought to you via a privately funded and publicly distributed media not directly accountable to or funded by any tax-payer dollars.  As such it is private sector communication that does not violate any government prohibition on excessive entanglement between church and state.  The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause is safe.  To all of those who believe the magic, mystery, and spirit of the season is in peril:  Love your children, extend a hand to your neighbor, and worship as only your heart compels you in this great land of ours.


An Invented People!?

English: Former Speaker of the House Newt Ging...

Recently, Newt Gingrich referred to Palestinians as an “invented” people with no apparent right to their own state since they are “part of the Arab community.” The Palestinian people having no right to their own state simply because they happen to be Arab is an oversimplification of an extremely delicate and complex issue. Technically, most nations within the Middle East, if not the world, are “invented.” Moreover, using Newt Gingrich’s own logic, the American people are also an “invented” people with no apparent right to their own state. I would presume the Native-America population would agree.

Speaker Gingrich is regarded as an extremely intelligent and knowledgeable person. Accordingly, his comment concerning the legitimacy of the Palestinian people is most likely one of political calculation and not error. We have to remember that Newt Gingrich is competing in a GOP presidential primary. Thus, he is deliberately conflating race with nationality in a flagrant attempt to pander to Jewish and evangelical voters. Pandering is the political act of expressing views merely for the purpose of drawing support from a group of voters within the American electorate. Unfortunately, while pandering is a political necessity, it often results in the formation of horrible policy. For a comprehensive timeline concerning Israel and Palestine click here.


MPSL VLog: Santa Claus vs. Establishment Caluse

Every year, religious holiday traditions clash with government’s duty to refrain from preferring religious observation over the secular. But right before an election year, can Christmas be a campaign issue? (Or, how very merry is Perry?) Professor Gaffaney explains.

Video Glossary: Speaker of the House

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 Cost of Iraq War

U.S. mission in Iraq officially ended on December 15 with all combat troops leaving the country, about 4,500 U.S. soldiers dead, over 30,000 wounded, and about $900 billion spent; some wonder if it was worth the cost. What do you think?