With the first 2012 presidential primaries and caucuses less than nine months away, three issues are stoking political fires this week: immigration, abortion and presidential birthplaces.
Immigration and abortion have long been front and center in political debate, but theÂ "birther" issue emerged in the 2008 election, as opponents of President Barack Obama questioned whether he was born in Hawaii. The Constitution stipulates that a president must be a U.S. citizen by birth.
Stoking that debate, Arizona's Legislature on Thursday night passed a bill requiring presidential candidates to prove they meet the birth requirement before their names can be placed on the state's ballot. Thursday's vote was 40-16 in the state House. The bill goes to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer for her signature.
TheÂ "birther" allegations against Obama have been repeatedly discredited in investigations by CNN and other organizations.
The bill's author, GOP state Rep. Carl Seel, says it's not about Obama. "It's about future elections and maintaining the integrity of the Constitution," he says.[cnn-videoÂ url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2011/04/14/explain.it.to.me.birthers.cnn"%5D
Across the country in Georgia this week, state lawmakers did what their brethren in Arizona did earlier -Â passed a tough immigration law.
The bill passed by the Republican-dominated Georgia House and Senate authorizes law enforcement to question suspects in certain criminal investigations about their immigration status. It also authorizes long prison terms for those who use fake documents to get a job and punishes people who transport illegal immigrants during the commission of a crime.
Earlier this week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of AppealsÂ affirmed a district court ruling that blocked certain provisions of the Arizona immigration law.
In a statement, Brewer said the appeals court action "does harm to the safety and well-being of Arizonans who suffer the negative effects of illegal immigration."
It's a little more than a year to the first GOP presidential debate of 2012, and CNN.com contributor Ruben Navarette Jr. says Republican presidential candidates will need to figure out a way to address the immigration issue without alienating Hispanics, who make up 16% of the population.
Along with being at the center of the immigration debate, Arizona is also one of six states that have made changes to abortion laws in 2011, according to the Guttmacher Institute. An unprecedented number of bills aimed at restricting abortions are going before state legislatures across the country this year.
"It's pretty much an all-out, anti-abortion free-for-all out there," said Elizabeth Nash, public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute.
A spokesman for NARAL Pro-Choice America says that 374 anti-abortion bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year, 200 more than last year.
The rise in anti-abortion measures shows the Christian Right is back, writes CNN.com religion editor Dan Gilgoff.
"At a moment when the Republican PartyÂ has reclaimed power in the House, has taken control of mostÂ state legislatures, and is set to begin the process of choosing its next presidential nominee, the Christian RightÂ isÂ playing an increasingly influential role in the party," Gilgoff writes.
So as the debates rage, CNN contributor LZ Granderson is asking us to know what we're talking about before we go to the polls in 2012 to vote for the folks who are writing these laws on immigration, abortion and other issues. He is suggesting we might find a tool in immigration regulations to make sure none of us is too "ignorant" to vote. Use the U.S. Naturalization Test given to applicants for U.S. citizenship as part of the voter registration process, he says.
"There simply needs to be more required of us as responsible voters than being born 18 years ago," Granderson says.
The 'Birthers' clearly have a valid point if in the same universe GOD was indeed created for the benefit of women and not their subjugation.
Boycott Arizona the place not to vacation.
President Obama' mother was a United States of America Citizen and so is he.
The birthers are the last of a dying breed. Ignorant racist(the high IQ ones excluded) are the last of the pre-historic brain theory. Man being the meanest,dumbest creature on the planet causes his own demise(future headline).the smart mean ones will let their mother take the hit! So the religious right, Look around slloooowly.abortions, why not!has your pulse dropped yet? France has twice as many brats born before they have one with a BRAIN defect as we(USA) do.take a Deeeep breath! Why? Several reasons! If the parents of an unborn child knows what the future holds, guess what! The pioneers of your cult struggled to survive. Sorry, crickets are a natural phenomenon, but the unspoken rumor will never die(sorry) that like china, the future working class was chosen.males only of course because healthy females could be FERTILIZED. Why else have litters, except for the 10% rule.disabled children WERE exterminated.trauma over-ridden by a monetary goal (10%) and reversal of quilt.the Mormons in power DON'T want to pay for medicaid,medicare,social security, they call it SOCIALISM. But to save face they will hand out humanitarian supplies. Two faced demagogues that try to hide. fu
The moral majority is soo narrow minded and uneducated that their voting habits are in reality harming the very segment of society that they profess to care about. True ignorance blinded by religious insanity and coaxed on by republicen two faced criminals that hide the true reason for their actions. The end result of their actions do not match the words.Republicans are masters of smoke and mirrors.the recent influx of republicans shows a rapid downhill civil rights erosion in progress.America you have a problem and the problem is yourself! President Obama, even though I have been slightly perturbed at a few issues I will still quard your back. Loyalty is an issue like honesty is. I believe you are at least better than the enemy!!!!
Get rid of 15,000,000 Illegal Aliens and let America live again. We'd save over $1,000,000,000,000.00 a year. Money that can be spent on Americans. Arrest all Employers of illegals. Throw them in jail for their first offense. In Prison for the second. Then hang them for Treason on the third.
Sounds like you should be hanged (remember – treat others as you would want to be treated), but that would be a waste of rope.
i LOVE PLANNED PARENTHOOD! ITS A WOMANS RIGHT GET OVER IT
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President OBAMA is a hero to us all, we need him now.
America was founded by "whigs." "Whig" was a term of derision applied by the "elite" king/pope "tories" to anyone rejecting "monarchy, the popery of government" as Thomas Paine put it, and historically specifically, rule by a Roman Catholic monarch (Viz. Halleck & Macaulay).
America's whig Creed (the three mottoes on the Great Seal), and culture received G-d's blessing, heightening the "Ĺ“conomic gradient" between what, in explicit covenant was founded as the New Israel prophesied by Isaiah a new nation ruled by Truth and Justice into which all nations of the world would flow; and the slums, brothels, pedophile priests and ruling false elite of the Latin American branch of the Roman â€ťplantation aristocracyâ€™sâ€ť feudal â€ślatifundium,â€ť whose French Indochinese branch Rome's American Fifth Column (after winning the â€śCivilâ€ť war and assassinating President Lincoln – and Meriwether Lewis) successfully assassinated President Kennedy to send 58,000 of us to die fighting a Jeffersonian whig named Ho Chi Minh...after equally successfully financing the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust from the Roman Catholic collection plates in America, through Vatican banker Rockefellerâ€™s â€śfrontâ€ť Knight of Malta Prescott Bush.
The same Roman false elite has determined that illegal immigration from Latin America, â€śfreeingâ€ť the â€śslavesâ€ť rendered excess by the encroachments of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions there, and thereby diminishing restiveness in a transparently corrupt and oppressive popish society, will â€śkill two birds with one stoneâ€ť: ease pressure for revolution in Latin America where Rome is strongest, and replenish their pedophile priest depleted coffers in America while finally succeeding overthrowing America where they failed when attacking Charleston and at Bloody Marsh.
Obama was clearly the superior choice in the last election, but having gulled us in â€śAudacity of Hopeâ€™sâ€ť allusion to the nearly universal awareness of Bushâ€™s and Cheneyâ€™s having committed 9/11 (Viz. â€śThe New Pearl Harbor,â€ť Griffin, Ph.D.), and with a Rockefeller backing him from the start, is it little wonder he now, as in Arizona, wishes to denigrate Georgiaâ€™s effort to repel an organized invasion for conquest of America whose openly published marching orders are catalogued at the Library of Congress?
The US Conference of Roman Catholic Bishopsâ€™ â€śNational Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministryâ€ť can be purchased on Amazon, it is no less compelling than the policy of the German Roman Catholic Bishops at Fuldaâ€™s removing â€śthe Churchâ€™sâ€ť prohibition against voting for the Nazi Party to ensure Hitlerâ€™s electoral â€śsuccess,â€ť nor with â€śDivini Redemptorisâ€™â€ť triggering Kristallnacht and the Shoah.
â€śTheyâ€ť know what â€śtheyâ€ť are doing. Our Founder Thomas Jefferson was no slouch when he identified â€śthemâ€ť as â€śthe real Anti-Christ,â€ť â€śan engine for enslaving mankind.â€ť