Monday, September 13, 2010

Current Events Watch- State Powers

Find three to five examples in the news that illustrate a power of the National Government, such as sending troops abroad or regulating immigration. Do the same for powers reserved to the States, such as establishing and regulating public schools. How do these State and national powers affect you and your community?


  1. 1. President Obama has decided to raise taxes on wealthier people and continue to cut taxes on everyone else. The Senate, especially the Republicans in Senate, plan on blocking the decision. I believe this decision should be made at a local level, because incomes usually vary with location. This would not affect Belmont too much.

    2.The recently appointed Medicare Chief, Dr. Donald Berwick, has decided that the rationing of health care won't be the answer to the issue. This kind of decision can only be made on a Federal level, an entire country has to have health care reform, not just certain states. He believes in "Patient-centered care". Locally, in a place like Silicon Valley, this opens more markets for affordable medical research.

    3.Senator Arlen Specter recently decided to push the legalization of stem cell research. This decision had to be made on a federal level, or else most conservative states would never fully legalize stem cell research. ONce again, in a place like Silicon Valley, legalized stem cell research would open a new research market, employing many people.

    4. Obama recently acclaimed a newly opened advanced battery factory. It will be manufacturing batteries for hybrids and electric cars. PLants like this need federal support, the environment cannot depend local backwards governments jeopardizing these scientific developments. Locally, this would mean more hybrid and electric cars.

  2. !.Despite recent accusations that the Rwandan Army committed a possible genocide in the Congo in the 1990s, meetings between Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Congolese President Joseph Kabila are fueling rumors of a new troop deployment there.

    2.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced today that he will offer the controversial DREAM Act as an amendment to a major defense bill expected to receive a Senate vote next week.

    “This amendment will ensure that millions of children who grow up as Americans will be able to get the education they need to contribute to our economy,” Reid in a statement.

    3.San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro has been selected as one of four members of an official Presidential Delegation that will travel to Mexico for the country’s 200th anniversary of its independence from Spain.

    How They Affect Me
    California's Legislature last month passed two bills that would establish a statewide health insurance exchange to comply with the federal health reform law


  3. 1. Army National Guard troops are deploying to Kuwait. There people are being sent there to act as security. The National Guard has been preparing for the past year for this mission. This doesn't really effect our community. (

    2. In Pennsylvania City people have been threatening the Supreme Court after their ruling in the immigration chase. This can effect our community because when people immigrate without papers they can take jobs that some people may need and our taxes go to them when they have to go to the hospital or something. We shouldn't have to pay for them when they are not legal citizens. (

    3. Government is now trying to help kids get to school by regulating cars to drive kids to school to ensure they are in class to receive their education. This can help our community to get kids to school to make sure they are getting the education they need to succeed. (

  4. Three examples in the news that represent illustrate the power of the National Government is Obama his "Educate to Innovate" program which was made to improve "science, technology, engineering and math education." Also, government officials "have begun halting some deportations, putting into effect a policy that prioritizes arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes or that present a national security threat."
    They will let the people go and not put anything on their records. Lastly, "the president has tentatively decided to send four combat brigades plus thousands more support troops."
    For powers reserved to the States, the governor of CA, Arnold Schwarzenegger, tours the gas line blast in San Bruno. This incident is something our state has to take care of. Also, demanding better public safety. For example in Fresno, " city council meeting Tuesday night, urging city council members to give the police department the resources it needs." And lastly, public education. In California, we have billions of federal dollars to help fund for our public schools, but overtime that money will run out. "by next August – and when that happens, the state’s education institutions could find themselves falling into an even deeper financial abyss than they are in now."
    This effects me because without the National Government, there would be absolutely no control over anything and the issues we have to face now would be even worse. The National Government puts a control on immigration and sending troops to Afghan to protect our country. The power reserved to our State focuses on issues that occur within California such as Public Education Funding. Without these powers, we wouldn't be able to fund our public schools at all.

  5. 1.A fourteen year old girl got suspended from her middle school because her nose ring violates the Johnston County School system's dress code in North Carolina. This girl is fighting over her First Amendment right to express her religion. She got suspended twice already because of her nose ring and if she goes back to school next week she will get a referral to go to another school. Despite her religion and being suspended several times the state hasn't done anything.

    2. Gay marriage is a state right because it is legal in some states but some California residents are trying to fight it. The federal government can't really control it so states try to make things fair by changing what you are allowed to do and what you are not allowed to do.

    3.Marijuana is a state issue that the federal government doesn't approve of but California needs money. California's constitution allows people to start their propositions. This proposition if passed will change state rights against the feds.

  6. 1) States have the power to make taxes. For example, there are sales taxes on all goods you buy. “The majority of US states assess a sales tax for many goods and services. Some sales tax laws exempt certain items. For example, California doesn't assess a sales tax for most food items, but snacks are taxed. The average sales tax in American states is generally between 5-7%.”

    2) President Obama said in March, that he would be sending 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. “In an unannounced move, the White House has also authorized -- and the Pentagon is deploying -- at least 13,000 troops beyond that number, according to defense officials.”

    3)”An Arizona federal court today blocked the most controversial sections of the state's new immigration law, including requiring law enforcement officers to check immigration status while enforcing other laws. The court, in effect, said it's Congress' job -- not the states' -- to make immigration policy.”

  7. On May 25th, 2010, Obama sends 1,200 troops to the country's border with Mexico. "The deployment will mark the second time in less than five years that troops have been sent to the southwest border." President Obama was also asking for another 500 million dollars to help support the border security efforts, but some say it's not enough.

    On May 28th,2010, the 2009 Guam International Agreement would finally be implemented, and that, "Japan would pay $7 billion towards the cost of relocating 8,000 Marines and 9,000 of their family members from Futenma to Guam by 2014, while also constructing a “Futenma Replacement Facility” in the vicinity of Henoko, by the shores of the Oura Bay in Northern Okinawa."

    In the case of McDonald v. Chicago, the supreme court had to make a decision based on whether the City of Chicago can disarm its citizens by forbidding them from owning handguns, or whether gun ownership is a “privilege” of citizenship protected by the U.S. Constitution. In this process, it as shown that the courts need to play a stronger role in the protection of the basic rights of the people.

    On March 23rd, 2010, President Obama signed a legislation to overhaul the nation's health care system and guarantee access to medical insurance for many Americans. "The landmark bill signed by Mr. Obama will provide coverage to an estimated 30 million people who currently lack it."

    In the 2010, Illinois senate elections included Kirk, Giannoulias, and Jones were the the candidates. In the beginning Kirk and Giannoulias were already in a close battle for the spot, with supporters already guaranteeing their spot and being loyal.

    Every one of these regulations have an affect on my life even if it's the littlest thing. By Obama, sending troops away, it affects my life because i have distant family serving and family is family. The U.S.- Japan agreement seems like we are building a bond because the Americans are helping them to be reconstructed and it's good so that we will not go to war with them. There are situations where the government should intervene and when they shouldn't, but with matters such as guns, there should be an intervention because guns are very dangerous and communities should be kept as safe as possible. Health care improvements is really helpful to the Americans who didn't have health care before this legislation, it will provide a healthier environment for all. The senate elections will help with having good representatives to the people in Illinois and having good agreements made within al the states to do what they think is best for the people.

  8. Three examples that illustrate the power of national government is the President Obama is advancing in trade agreements with US trade partners including S. Korea. This will, as Obama hopes, double the U.S. exports which will hopefully lower unemployment and help businesses in our community.Obama is also pushing to pass the DREAM bill which allow immigrants attending college to become legal residents. There are many illegal residents in California or green card holders here and it would be easier on them if they could become legal residents. In addition, Obama is also organizing a pullout of troops in Iraq. This will be a tremendous relief to those in our community with sons, brothers, and spouses fighting in Iraq and our federal funds can be put to use elsewhere.

    In state news, California state schools will get $200 million in stimulus funds from the state. This will greatly affect current and prospective college students like me. Also Governor Schwarzenegger visits the gas explosion site in San Bruno and pledged an open investigation and commended the firefighters. This greatly affects our Bay Area community as this tragic incident happened here and everyone would like to know why this disaster happened and how it can be prevented so we can be safe. Lastly, Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman launched new advertisements targeting independent audiences, who are the deciding factor in winning the election to become governor in November. This will affect all California residents because we will finally be getting a new governor and we would like to see our debt problems solved.

  9. 1. Obama is tasking Harvard Law School Professor, Elizabeth Warren, with starting a consumer protection agency. This new agency will have "vast powers to enforce regulations covering mortgages, credit cards and other financial products". This allows a safer environment for our community to purchase things without have to worry about problems such as identity theft.(

    2. Obama is currently promising that he will push the DREAM Act, which will allow " thousands of young people who attend college or join the military to become legal U.S. residents". This will allow many young adults in our state, who have worked very hard for our country to achieve citizenship and therefore contribute more positively to our society. (;_ylt=AtWulJ9x7zVwPmuNN1vODSQNJ_wE;_ylu=X3oDMTJndWcyZjM3BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwOTE2L3VzX29iYW1hX2ltbWlncmF0aW9uBHBvcwM4BHNlYwN5bl9zdWJjYXRfbGlzdARzbGsDbGF3bWFrZXJzc2F5)

    3. Obama has once again reassured Hispanics that he has not forgotten about the immigration reform, though he has not actually made progress in his promise to change U.S. policy. Arizona, a neighboring state of ours has already enacted a very harsh policy towards immigration already. This also sends a message towards the immigrants residing here in our state, as we have a very large population (accounted for officially and unaccounted for) of immigrants.

    The national government is trying its best to fix the bigger problems in our country which in terms will help each state, therefore my community progress along better and hopefully get rid of several issues currently be discussed.

  10. Three examples that basically explain the powers of the National government are:
    1. Obama wishes to raise taxes on the rich people in order to be able to lower down the taxes on the poor. This can lead to a big problem, for example my mom and dad whose income looks good on paper but in turn actually have no money in their pockets whatsoever.
    2. The Dream Act, which was proposed to the Senate on March 26, 2009 is a bill in which requires an Immigrant to go to school of a higher degree or serve in the military for two years to gain permanent residency. Failure to do so would result in a reverse back into the immigration status prior to the permanent residency. This seems to be fair, but it seems as if our nations population is getting out of hand.
    3. "By removing most troops from Iraq over the next 18 months, Obama will free up forces to fight in Afghanistan and relieve stress on Marine and Army forces that have been repeatedly deployed. There are about 142,000 troops in Iraq." In August 2010, Obama used his power to withdrawl the troops from Iraq. While doing so, he said he hopes to remove all troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. But, at the same time in doing so, he is also adding troops in the war in Afghanistan. The National Government has all the rights in order to wage war, but when does it cross the line? The states have basically no say in what to do.

    The States also have their own laws.
    1. When proposition 8 was turned down and Gay marriage laws were still banned, people immediately ran for a appeal to the Court. But, "The state has until Sept. 11 to challenge Walker's ruling. Both Brown and Schwarzenegger have said they don't plan an appeal." The state has the power to do as it pleases in this case, and the rest of the state has no say in what to do. This affects many people out there as they try and become married, but are unable to due to the laws in which the state has set.
    2. Proposition 19: Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010. This proposition is only for this state as it is a battle for the war on drugs. Many state officers believe that marijuana should be legalized as John A. Russo explains, "...I am more than prepared to get over this battle and start redirecting those resources away from marijuana and go after more serious drugs. We have plenty of work to do out there.” The state still battles over the situation as the prohibition of marijuana only supports the black market out in the streets. This is a state propostition as the National government does not need to be involved in such a small matter that the state can handle itself. This proposition will not affect me in any way, but only make our police enforcement stronger in the fight against more serious drugs out there in the black market. It will also put an end to certain violence.

    Sources Cited:

  11. 1. Obama has a decision to make on where he stands of the Gulf Coast Restoration. If he decides "that 80% of the fines BP is to pay for fouling the Gulf Coast should go to the affected states for a program of...Gulf Coast restoration. Otherwise, the money would just get dumped into the federal budget."( The federal budget it used to help community sevices sometimes so it can effect us majorly if he decides to not use the money for the Gulf Coast Restoration.

    2. The increased talks of cannabis legalization and how it would help give the community more money. Although it might increase drug use and it might seem that the government is saying doing drugs is ok. But the government could put high taxes on it and make a mighty big profit off it. " Research into possible medical uses of Cannabis is enjoying a renaissance. In recent years, studies have shown potential for treating nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, alcohol abuse, collagen-induced arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bipolar disorder, depression, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, sickle-cell disease, sleep apnea, Alzheimer's disease and anorexia nervosa."( Like this quote shows there are many other uses that could be helpful to mankind.

    3. UN meeting to talk about nuclear power. The United States continues to support expanded and reliable access to fuel supplies -- working through the commercial marketplace -- for peaceful nuclear programs.( The resources we use effect us in the future so the UN is trying to make a peaceful and useful way to use them.

    The national government has many problems on their hands and trying to make it so the solution is best for the community. In future will help the big issue so we may progress further into the greater good.

  12. 1. Guns are now being debated for being legal on campuses in texas. Should it be the states job to manage gun control, or should it be a federal responsibility? Though i do not support gun ownership, i think issues such as this should be up to the states. Though we are the united states of america, each state is different, therefor each situation is different. Smaller countries generally have less problems, because there are less conflicting opinions.;_ylt=Atw8zA8.C8J6bA4IAd1JMQRvzwcF;_ylu=X3oDMTJoMGtmZW5tBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwOTI5L3VzX3V0X2d1bm1hbgRwb3MDNQRzZWMDeW5fYXJ0aWNsZV9zdW1tYXJ5X2xpc3QEc2xrA3RleGFuc2RlYmF0ZQ--

    2. Firefly stemcells may help repair damaged hearts. The title of this article is very misleading. These arent stemcells of fireflys, they are stemcells injected with a glowing gene. But this does bring up the issue of stemcells. Its been debated for years on whether or not its "ethical". Should it be legal, and is it up to the state or the country to decide? Well, stemcell research and therapy really effects most if not all of us. I'm sure we all know at least one person who could benefit from stemcells, so it effects our community. Some people dont believe in it ethically, but people have different opinions in different states. However, i think this should be more of a federal decision, because scientists who work with this are not always in the same state, and legality issues of different states research centers would cause a lot of confusing conflict.
    3. Students in LA struggle from budget cuts. So who should decide school budgets? Well obviously the states. Studies across america are so vastly different, unifying them would take out any form of personal touch. However, many students who graduate from high school choose to go to college out of state, and would the different school systems of different states effect them academically? Well, thats why issues like this arent just black and white, or state or federal. There should be federal issued standards, but a lot of state budget control.

  13. Powers of National Government:
    Print money, Declare war, establish army and navy, enter treaties with foreign govt, establish post offices and issue postage, make laws necessary to enforce constitution.

    Powers of State Government:
    Conduct elections, provide for public health and safety, setting legal drinking and smoking ages.

    National Government:
    There is a war that has been started in the past years with the U.S., Iraq, and Afghanistan.

    More money has been printing lately and we have received new dollar bills.

    Our army and navy seem to be involved in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan so they are trying to recruit more kids to join the army and navy.

    State Government:
    We recently had elections to elect governors, and vote on some props.

    San Carlos is getting a sheriffs office so that they can protect the people of San Carlos and keep them safe.

    The legal age to drink is 21 and 18 to smoke. This law has been established a long time ago by all of the states because of thorough study.

    How They Affect Me:
    I am affected by all of these changes because both parts of government make laws that affect my life and they affect how i live my life. If the state government decided i didn't need to be safe then that would affect me a great deal because chaos would erupt all around me. If the national government decided that there should be a draft, then i could be forced to join one of the armed forces.

  14. 1.One power of the National Govt. is Obama and his staff gets to decide when to pull out troops from the Middle East which affects a lot of people in this country because many of them have been waiting for years to see their fathers, brothers, mothers etc. This also affects the troops themselves because their lives are being kept in danger for a longer amount of time.

    2.Another power of the National Government is Obama’s "Educate to Innovate" program which was made to improve "science, technology, engineering and math education." I think this is a good thing because in order to keep our country as one of the top countries in the world we must plan for the future and make sure our youth is properly educated for when they are running the country on their own. This would affect me because maybe in the future when I’m taking a math or science class the class will have more equipment or better teachers.

    3.Marijuana is a state issue that the federal government doesn't approve of but California has a lot of problems with illegal marijuana and keeps sending thousands of people to jail for something that is used as a medicine so it would make sense that California have its own laws on something that affects it much more than most other states. This would have a big affect on not only Belmont but pretty much every city in California.