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A Guide To The '08 Presidential Election
& Where The Candidates Stand On The Issues
Community FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) 
6th-Jan-2008 05:25 pm
Have a question you think should be part of the FAQ? Comment to this post and let us know!

Community FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. All these different political terms confuse me. Whip, caucus, filibuster, line-item veto, quorum - it's all confusing! Is there a place I can find quick definitions and explainations of these things?
    ANSWER

  2. How does a bill become a law?
    ANSWER

  3. I'm a bit rusty on how government works in general. Is there a community post that will help me learn the fundamentals?
    ANSWER

  4. I'm interested in becoming a guest blogger for this community. How do I go about that?
    ANSWER

  5. Is there a community reference guide for the candidates that offers individual profiles, links to campaign sites, where they stand on the issues, etc?
    ANSWER

  6. What are the qualifications, benefits, and powers of the President?
    ANSWER

  7. Is there a post about The Constitution?
    ANSWER

  8. Is there a post that offers a breakdown of the budget?
    ANSWER

  9. What is an open thread?
    ANSWER

  10. I keep hearing about the millions of dollars the candidates get in fundraising. Are there limits to these sorts of things and how is all of that regulated?
    ANSWER




1. All these different political terms confuse me. Whip, caucus, filibuster, line-item veto, quorum - it's all confusing! Is there a place I can find quick definitions and explainations of these things?
I have compiled a glossary of political terms just for you, dear reader.

Related post: [link]
Related tags: glossary of political terms, political terms, government 101

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2. How does a bill become a law?
Quick summary:
  1. Legislation is Introduced - Any member can introduce a piece of legislation.
  2. Committee Action - The bill is referred to the appropriate committee by the Speaker of the House or the presiding officer in the Senate.
  3. Floor Action - Legislation is placed on the Calendar.
  4. Conference Committee - Members from each house form a conference committee and meet to work out the differences.
  5. The President - the bill is sent to the President for review.
  6. The bill becomes a law - once a bill is signed by the President or his veto is overridden by both houses it becomes a law and is assigned an official number.
See the post for a more detailed explanation.

Related post: [link]
Related tags: how a bill becomes a law, government 101

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3. I'm a bit rusty on how government works in general. Is there a community post that will help me learn the fundamentals?
Yes indeed, it's in the post called GOVERNMENT 101: Introduction

Related post: [link]
Related tags: introduction to government 101, government 101

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4. I'm interested in becoming a guest blogger for this community. How do I go about that?
First, ask. We're always open to having members guest blog, but there are a few rules and guidelines about that sort of thing. First, the subject(s) you wish to write about, and the content of your writing. We are open to exchanging information in a nonpartisan, unbiased way, but discourage campaigning within this community. Second, pick an issue you wish to write about, and we'll go from there. Third, write your posts in the proper format using the code set up for you. That's about it! Send me a message if you are interested in being a guestblogger.

Related post: [link]
Related tags: guestbloggers, guestblogging, posting format

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5. Is there a community reference guide for the candidates that offers individual profiles, links to campaign sites, where they stand on the issues, etc?
Yes, and in two places. The Candidate Profiles, Finances, Trackers, Issues are all compiled in a single post and as a permanent section of the sidebar on the main community page.

Related post: [link]
Related tags: candidate profiles, issues, trackers, campaign finance, 2008 presidential candidates

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6. What are the qualifications, benefits, and powers of the President?
Qualifications:
  • Must be a natural-born citizen of the United States (can be born abroad of parents who are American citizens).
  • Must be 35 years of age.
  • Must be a resident of the United States for at least 14 years (but not necessarily the 14 years preceding the election).
Benefits:
  • A nice house
  • A salary of $400,000 per year (taxable)
  • Travel expenses of $100,000 per year (tax-free)
  • Pension, on retirement, cabinet member's salary (taxable)
  • Staff support on leaving the presidency
  • A place in the country - Camp David
  • A personal airplane - Air Force One
  • A fine chef
The Powers of the President:

According to Article II of the Constitution the President has the following powers:
  • Serve as commander in chief of the armed forces
  • Commission officer of the armed forces
  • Grant reprieves and pardons for federal offenses (except impeachment)
  • Convene Congress in special sessions
  • Receive ambassadors
  • Take care that the laws be faithfully executed
  • Wield the "executive power"
  • Appoint officials to lesser offices
Powers of the President That Are Shared with the Senate
  • Make treaties
  • Appoint ambassadors, judges, and high officials
Powers of the President That are Shared with Congress as a Whole
  • Approve legislation
More resource info can be found in the post linked below.

Related post: [link]
Related tags: the president, government 101

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7. Is there a post about The Constitution?
Yes - see link below.

Related post: [link]
Related tags: the constitution, government 101

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8. Is there a post that offers a breakdown of the budget?
Yes - and then some. See link below.

Related post: [link]
Related tag: the budget, government 101

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9. What is an open thread?
An Open Thread is a thread of comments to a post whose topic is open for definition by those posting to it. Common to blogs with large readerships that visit to exchange views, as opposed to focus exclusively on posts from the blogger.

Related post: [link]
Related tag: what is an open thread?

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10. I keep hearing about the millions of dollars the candidates get in fundraising. Are there limits to these sorts of things and how is all of that regulated?
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 is a bill that bans "soft money" contributions to national political parties; but permits up to$10,000 in soft money contributions to state and local parties. "Soft money" is the unlimited contributions to the national political parties for "party-building" activities. The bill will also stop issue ads from targeting specific candidates. Restrictions will be placed on outside groups running so called "issue ads" that tout or critizes a candidate's position on an issue, but refrain from explicitly telling viewers to vote for or against that candidate. Additionally, the bill would raise the individual contribution limit from $1,000 to $2,000 per election for House and Senate candidates, both of which would be indexed for inflation. The "Millionaire's Amendment" to this bill, will increase the contribution limits for candidates facing a wealthy opponent who intends to make large expenditures from personal funds.

Related post: [link]
Related tag: campaign finance

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Comments 
7th-Jan-2008 01:50 am (UTC)
I thank you muchly!

I think that's a good idea - that should be part of an upcoming open thread, that way members can post links to their favorites.
7th-Jan-2008 02:20 am (UTC)
Here's another...

http://www.politicalcompass.org/index

Wow...this one was an eye opener. I didn't realize how liberal I was...

It shows the current political persons in the US elections, and those of 2004. It also shows parties/candidates from other areas of the world.
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