Major Current Political Topics
Lagniappe Studies Unlimited - Fall, 2006
Jim Bolner, Sr. - Seminar Leader

The seminar will focus on the following major current political topics:

1. The War in Iraq
    The Neoconservatives and American Imperialism
    Chronology of Events
    Going to War: the WMD Issue
    The Conduct of the War
    Getting Out of Iraq

2. Immigration
    Immigration History, Policy, and Law
    Immigration Issues:
        --Safe and Secure Borders
        --National Security
        --Guest Workers
        --Paths to Citizenship

3. Religion and Politics
    The Constitutional Background
    The Current Constitutional Controversies
        -- "Establishment of Religion"
        -- "Free Exercise"
        -- "Wall of Separation"
     Sectarianism and Politics
        -- Tax Exemptions for Church Property
        -- Prayers in Public School
        -- Religious Monuments in Public Places
        --The Pledge of Allegiance
        -- The Chaplains and the Coin
        -- Faith-Based Initiatives

4. Budgets and Deficit Problems (Presentation by Nancy Sidener)

5. The Bush Administration and Presidential Powers
    Constitutional and Statutory Elements
    The Military Tribunals Issues
    The Warrantless Searches and Seizures Issues

6. Responses to Katrina and Rita
    FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security
    The Corps of Engineers
    State and Local Problems
    The Search for a Plan

    Summing Up



Hurricane Katrina News (Yahoo!)

The Road Home (LA State Government)

"Better Storm Defenses Eyed
(Palm Beach Post, November 20, 2005)

Cost of Rita to be 17 Billion (Marine Link, August, 2006)

Cost of Katrina and Rita (Congressional Budget Office)

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

The Bush Administration on Immigration Reform

The House Bill on Immigration Reform

The Senate Bill on Immigration Reform

Walter Russel Mead, God's Country? [Foreign Affairs, September/October, 2006]

Joel Garreau, 300 Million and Counting: The United States reaches a demographic milestone, thanks largely to immigration [Smithsonian Magazine, October, 2006]

U.S. Census Bureau, 300 Million

Mark Mazzeti,  "Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat," New York Times, September 24, 2006

Seymour Hersh, "The Iran Plans: Would President Bush Go To War to Stop Tehran Grom Getting the Bomb?," The New Yorker, April 17, 2006

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004)

Rasul v. Bush (2004)

ACLU v. National Security Agency (August 17, 2006)  [U.S. District Court declares Bush secret wiretapping program unconstitutional]

ACLU v. National Security Agency (Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit grants a stay to the District Court ruling  

The Detainee Interrogation and Military Tribunal Act of 2006

Hamdam v. Rumsfeld (June 29, 2006) [U.S. Supreme Court invalidates Bush special military commissions to try terrorism suspects]
Wikipedia's Account of the Case

News Article on the National Security Surveillance Act of 2006  (September 22, 2006)

Richard Lamm, "I Have a Plan to Destroy America,"  (June, 2005)

Lewis Lapham, "The Case for Impeachment," (2006)