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United States

Yearbook 2007

USA. In early January, the new congress rallied, both chambers of which were dominated by Democrats after the November election. The President of the House of Representatives was elected Nancy Pelosi, who thus became the highest ranking woman to date in the country's history.

2007 United StatesAlthough the Democrats 'electoral victory was largely due to dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq, President George W. Bush decided in January to expand troops' presence in Iraq by more than 20,000 soldiers. The Democrats and some Republicans protested loudly and the House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution criticizing the decision.

Later, both chambers of Congress decided to set up a troop retreat as a condition for granting a request for additional war grants from the president. According to the proposal, the majority of all soldiers would be home by the summer of 2008. Bush did not want to accept any timetable for a withdrawal and stopped as expected with a veto.

According to CountryAAH, a new school massacre shook the country in April, when a 23-year-old student shot dead 32 people at the University of Virginia Tech before taking his own life. The perpetrator had had mental problems.

It was troublesome for the government when Vice President Dick Cheney's former Chief of Staff Lewis Libby was convicted for the perpetration and aggravation of criminal investigation. He was believed to have lied to a federal prosecution jury in connection with a vexing tantrum about revealing a CIA agent's identity. Libby was sentenced in June to 2.5 years in prison and $ 250,000 in fines and community service. President Bush later transformed the sentence so that Libby escaped prison but not the other parts of the sentence.

Bush also suffered a stinging defeat when Congress in June voted down a new immigration law that he had strongly advocated. Many Republicans opposed his president on the issue. The law would have meant stricter border protection but also a chance for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants to obtain a residence permit.

Another setback for Bush came in August when his influential adviser Karl Rove announced that he would step down. Rove, sometimes called "Bush's brain," was considered to have played a crucial role behind the victories in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.

Shortly afterwards, controversial Minister of Justice Alberto Gonzales also resigned. Bush had defended Gonzales in the final, which, however, became a political burden. At the beginning of the year, it was revealed that he had agreed to eight federal prosecutors being fired in 2006 for not being considered sufficiently loyal to President Bush. Gonzales tangled in his own statements in congressional hearings, but was eventually forced to admit that he knew the dismissals. Gonzales was also strongly questioned for calling international law prohibition of torture-like interrogation methods "outrageous". In congressional hearings, Gonzales denied that he knew that the federal police FBI violated civil rights in the pursuit of terrorists. It later emerged that the Ministry of Justice has given a clear sign for the use of torture.

For new Justice Minister, Bush appointed former Judge Michael Mukasey. The Senate approved the nomination by an unusually tight margin. Mukasey was also criticized for slipping into the question of interrogation methods; he considered, for example. not that abusive drinking was considered torture.

In September, Bush halted a bill that would give poor children better access to health care. He thus opposed many of his party mates; the proposal had been adopted by a large majority in both chambers of Congress. Bush vetoed the proposal, his third veto during the year, and the fourth during his entire presidency. In addition to the veto against Iraq's troop retreat schedule, Bush had twice blocked proposals to allow public funding for stem cell research.

Violent fires ravaged California during a week in October when nearly one million people were forced to leave their homes. About ten people were killed and large areas were destroyed.

During the year, the starting field cleared for the presidential election in 2008. The electoral movement was in full swing already early in the year, despite the fact that the first primary elections were not expected until the beginning of the election year. Eight men sought the nomination for Republicans, and seven men and one woman sought to become the Democrats candidate. The New York senator and former presidential wife Hillary Clinton led widely in national opinion polls among Democrats and also had the largest campaign fund. Barack Obama, Illinois senator, was the most serious challenger. Among Republicans, New York's former mayor Rudy Giuliani had the greatest support in national polls. Four other Republicans were among those considered to have a chance of getting the party's nomination.

2007 United States

The United States is a federation of states. The states have their own political system and separate responsibilities. The federal states have formally the same system as the federation. The local "president" - who is also elected by a separate, general election - holds the title of governor, and the state assemblies - except for Nebraska, which has one chamber - are divided in a similar way to Congress, with the Senate and a House of Representatives.

A wide range of cases - not least crime, local business, development plans, etc. - are being adopted and implemented at the state level. The governors of the central industrial states also have some national influence, and this also applies to some extent to the mayors of big cities - especially in cities like New York and Chicago.

But central federal authorities are becoming increasingly important. Not least because of their right to regulate all communication and trade between the states. In many important areas, the various federal ministries and directorates have extensive powers to set rules and thresholds that also apply locally.

However, enforcing these rules is a difficult and under-prioritized task, and ensuring that key decisions are implemented. Various profit interests go towards sabotaging such rules. The United States today therefore has good rules in many areas - which just do not work effectively.

The parties

The party system in the United States has never been particularly strong, and today it is in many ways collapsing as a basis for elections and voter appeal. It is not least commercial television that has contributed to this development. It is appealing to superficially accept the man - or the few women - who are posing, and the marketing is directed by PR firms and other media specialists.

Parties in the United States have traditionally primarily been electoral machines that gather around the task of getting their candidates elected. Although there are major differences between the two major parties - the Democrats and the Republicans - both in terms of historical background, social recruitment and in a number of political cases, none of them are consecutive national parties, as we know it from Europe. There are major political differences between the state parties and between the parties' candidates in the northwest states and those in the southern states. A Republican senator from the Northwest is much more "leftist" in his view - on both foreign and domestic policy issues - than a Democratic senator from the southern states.

Still, the center of gravity of the Republican Party is undoubtedly politically to the right, and Republican candidates receive relatively more support from big finances and leading business circles. Democrats' electoral base is to a much greater extent the working class and the liberal sections of the middle class, and the party's policy is more actively reform-oriented - e.g. when it comes to social care. Yet there are currently only minimal differences in the policies of the two parties.

Choice and participation

The turnout is generally low and it is declining. The lowest turnout was in 1942, when only 32.5% took part in the House of Representatives election. In 1978, the percentage was second lowest, 37%. It was even lower than in the 1974 election, which was largely marked by the aftermath and rejection of politicians following the Watergate scandal. Participation in the presidential election has been somewhat higher, but it was also low in 1976 (54%). Jimmy Carter was elected president with a vote of only 28% of those who had the right to vote in the United States.

It is estimated today that the United States has about 270 million residents. The weakness of the censuses is that they do not include the most resource-poor in North American society. In 1970, it was estimated that statistics had "lost" about 2.5% of those actually in the country and 7.7% of blacks.

The large and composed population has been created through a series of immigrations and migrations westward. Since the 1960's, a new migration is taking place in the United States. It goes south and southwest, away from the pollution, overpopulation and crisis conditions of the old metropolitan areas - or the so-called metropolitan areas. 288 metropolitan areas count in official North American statistics. The migration is towards a better climate and newer industry. Not least the large relatively new electronics industries in Texas, Arizona and California.

The move is a fundamental element of North American society and can help explain the low political participation in the United States. Another element is the strong social concentration that characterizes the US political leadership team and the experts associated with the state administration.

 

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