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Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in Kendra Bennett's LiveJournal:

    Thursday, November 18th, 2004
    9:57 am
    Impact of $$ on Elections
    I know that the election norm is he who raises the most money, wins the election. The idea of the government being for sale to the highest bidder just scares me. Do we really think that was what the framers intended our elections to be? Couldn't the millions of dollars being spent by the different sides be put to a better use than a campaign? We hear so much about the financial crises that our country is facing like Social Security, education and health care, but our parties and interest groups are willing to spend insane amounts of money to get someone in office. Once in office, their agendas are crippled by the inability to come up with funds to support government programs. Whats the point of getting someone in office if once there, he cannot do anything?
    Wednesday, October 27th, 2004
    12:51 pm
    How many more campaigns can we take?
    I was watching the election coverage on CNN this morning, listening to a reporter talking about how 6 weeks ago she could not imagine the presidential campaing getting any uglier than it currently was and how it has of course, gotten worse with time. That got me to thinking about how much more of these kind of elections the public is going to be willing to take before they say enough. I am always hearing people talk about how sick they are of the mud slinging and the name calling. What is it going to take to change the election system? Is it possible to run a clean, issue-driven campaign?
    The Josh Penry/Terry Coons race has been incredibly civil. There has been no mud slinging between the two candidates and they are able to discuss differences of opinions on issues, not on whether one is a true vietnam war hero or the other is a war pusher. What is so different about this race that allows them to keep it clean and to stick to the issues? Could this kind of campaign ever be the norm and could it ever be applied to the national level?
    I truely hope so and applaud the two candidates for a well-fought, clean race.
    Kendra
    Tuesday, October 19th, 2004
    5:15 pm
    Elizabeth Edwards
    Yesterday, Elizabeth Edwards held a town hall meeting at Mesa State. I was amazed and disappointed that the college did not do more to get the word out to students that this was going to occur. The only reason that I knew about it was because I happend to stop by the school. There were very few Mesa students in attendance and I am guessing that number was so low becuase they did not know about it.
    It is not very often that Grand Junction has a political candidate or his family stop by to talk with us. I have heard many people complaining about Colorado being ignored by the candidates, even though it is considered a swing state. We had the wife of a candidate here and the college/ASG did nothing to let us know about it!
    Kendra
    5:05 pm
    Elizabeth Edwards
    Yesterday, Elizabeth Edwards held a town hall meeting at Mesa State. I was amazed and disappointed that the college did not do more to get the word out to students that this was going to occur. The only reason that I knew about it was because I happend to stop by the school. There were very few Mesa students in attendance and I am guessing that number was so low becuase they did not know about it.
    It is not very often that Grand Junction has a political candidate or his family stop by to talk with us. I have heard many people complaining about Colorado being ignored by the candidates, even though it is considered a swing state. We had the wife of a candidate here and the college/ASG did nothing to let us know about it!
    Wednesday, October 13th, 2004
    8:13 am
    Hargrove
    In reading Hargrove's theory of the Presidency, I have been impressed that he is incorporating many different scholar's theories into his own. In reading the previous works, it seemed like other than Neustadt's, they do not recognize any other theories out there. Hargrove has acknowledged Neustadt, Skowonek, Slessinger (Senior and Jr.) as well as many other notable works. I think this makes his arguement stronger because he is able to draw on the positive aspects of their arguements without having to accept it fully. He is also able to incorporate their strengths into his arguement.
    Maybe it is just me, but Hargrove's arguement does not seem to be so carved into stone as the other works. He leaves room for change and expansion in his work. Neustadt had a very strong arguement but it was on the basis that the President had to have to ability to persuade if he wanted to be successful. That was his arguement, pretty cut and dry.
    Kendra
    Thursday, September 30th, 2004
    9:29 pm
    The Debate
    I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the Presidential debate tonight. I was impressed with the amount of info that was actually debated. Athough, there was some mudslinging still happening, it felt like they were more interested in talking about substance.
    One of the reporters on ABC made a comment after the debate about President Bush seeming mad during the debate. That also struck me. It looked like the president had trouble keeping his cool. He also seemed to have trouble articulating his thoughts in a timely fashion.
    Although I admit I am a firm Kerry supporter and would vote for him more likely no matter what the outcome of the debate, I do wish that Kerry would get to the point more when addressing his policies.
    I was impressed by both men tonight in their ability to ge their message of differences across.
    Kendra
    Saturday, September 25th, 2004
    5:35 pm
    Kennedy and the Ideas of Lowi
    I think that Lowi's idea of the President spending the majority of his time trying to to make the people think that he is successful really applies to the Kennedy administration in regards to civil rights.
    Kennedy was given the presidential nomination by liberal democrats under the platform that civil rights would improve. According to Skowronek, "In the months before the inauguration Kennedy had decided to keep civil rights off his legislative agenda," but he also had his mind set on serving 2 terms in office so he could not just turn his back on the civil rights movement.
    Kennedy's approach to civil rights seemed to be to make little steps in favor of civil rights, i.e bringing minorities into powerful positions of the government, but also pleasing the anti-segretation public. He tried to make the civil rights activists think he was being successful by passing some beneficial legislation but also appealing to the Southern states.
    The only time Kennedy took a strong stand for or against civil rights was after he let a situation in Alabama play itself out to the point the public was in an outcry. At that point, he took a strong stand against segregation, which made him look successful to the public.
    Kendra
    Wednesday, September 15th, 2004
    9:31 pm
    Presidential Reputation
    While reading the Neustadt book, I was amazed about President Eisenhower's reputation change. Neustadt writes, " He changed is reputation by consistently opposing what he once had urged equivocally." Neustadt also goes on to talk about Eisenhower's public opinion polling being up in the 50's and even as high as the 60's.
    We look at how our system is today, where Senator Kerry is being bombarded with allegations of flip flopping sides on issues and having to defend his voting practices and it amazes me that not so long ago, this was common practice for our President, and the majority of the public still gave him a strong job approval rating.
    If any modern President were to change his mind on issues like Eisenhower did, not only would his opposing party have a field day with him, but his own party would lose all faith in him.
    Kendra Bennett
    Friday, September 10th, 2004
    3:09 pm
    Anniversary of 9/11
    With the third anniversary of 9/11 being tomorrow and thinking about all of the changes that have come since, I am left feeling a little resentful towards the Patriot Act and fearful of the government having the power given to them by that act.

    What right does the government have to monitor their citizen's reading choices and if they dont like the chosen reading material put them on a terrorist watch list? If someone has family in Iraq and calls them frequently, does the government have the right to tap their phones to make sure they are not terrorists? These seem like gross violations of abuses of power. But because of the Patriot Act, they are all legal.

    I know that after 9/11 the entire country was rocked to their core and that everyone wanted to feel safe again. The idea of the government being able to monitor threats foreign and domestic sounded great to us all. The Patriot Act gave our government those needed tools. But now that things have calmed down, the Act feels more like "Big Brother" making sure we do/read/say what we are supposed to.

    If the Supreme Court were to shoot the Patriot Act down for being unconstitutional, I know that I would not loose any sleep over it and would not feel any less safe.
    Kendra Bennett
    Monday, August 30th, 2004
    1:29 pm
    The legislature
    In reading through Alexander Hamilton's Federalist No. 70, the phrase "In the legislature, promptitude of decision is oftener an evil than a benefit. The differences of opinion and the jarrings of parties...serve to check the excess in the majority" got me thinking about our current system. I am very much in agreement that we need a system of checks and balances and that our President should not have unlimited power, but has too much power been given to congress and senate? With all of the special interest groups and very distinct party lines between our elected officials, has that taken away from their ability to get anything done to serve the people?
    I would have to say yes. I know that our representatives are looking out for the interest of the people, but they are also looking out for their own interests. If they want to get elected again, they cant upset their big business supporters and if it comes down to a vote that would hurt that relationship, do we trust them to do what is right for their people?
    It just feels like our senate and congress are just doing enough to get by in order to upset the least amount of people and that the American public is getting the short end of the deal.
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