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H. Ross Perot

-Ran on the independent ticket for the 1992 Presidential election
-Harped incessantly on the problem of the federal deficit and made a boast of the fact that he had never held any public office
-Reflected pervasive economic unease and the virulence of the throw-the-bums-out national mood
-Earned 20 percent of the popular vote
-Won no electoral votes but 19.7 million popular votes

Oklahoma City Bombing

-Huge explosion that destroyed a federal office building in 1995
-Took 168 lives
-In retribution for a 1993 standoff between federal agents and a fundamentalist sect known as the Branch Davidians, which ended killing many Branch Davidians
-Brought to light a lurid and secretive underground of paramilitary private "militias" composed of alienated citizens armed to the teeth and ultrasuspicious of all government

Contract with America

-Republicans' offer to voters that promised an all-out assault on budget deficits and radical reductions in welfare programs
-Succeeded fabulously as Republicans won control of both chambers of federal Congress for the first time in forty years in the 1994 congressional elections

Welfare Reform Bill

-Clinton compelled into signing this in 1996
-Made deep cuts in welfare grants and required the able-bodied welfare recipients to find employment
-Tightly restricted welfare benefits for legal and illegal immigrants alike, reflecting a rising anti-immigrant sentiment
-Led to Democratic outrage with Clinton's "betrayal"

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

-Created in 1993 a free trade zone encompassing Mexico, Canada, and the United States
-Clinton reversed his stand in the 1992 election campaign and bucked the opposition of protectionists in his own party

9/11

-Terrorists commandeered three planes and flew two into the New York City's World Trade Centers and one into the Pentagon
-A fourth was forced down in a field in PA by the passengers
-Resulted in 189 deaths in the Pentagon, 44 in the field in Pennsylvania, and 3000+ in the WTCs
-Americans responded with a burst of patriotism and grief, expressing their sorrow and solidarity

Al Qaeda / Bin Laden

-"The Base" in Arabic
-Shadowy terrorist network that organized 9/11 and was associated with earlier attacks on American embassies in East Africa and on the USS Cole in Yemen
-The leader harbored venomous resentment towards the US for its growing military presence in the Middle East and its support for Israel in the face of Palestinian nationalism
-We killed the leader on May 2, 2011--- GO AMERICA!!!

USA Patriot Act

-Passed by Congress in response to 9/11
-Permitted extensive telephone and e-mail surveillance and authorized the detention and deterioration of immigrants suspected of terrorism

Department of Homeland Security

-New Cabinet level created by Congress just over a year after 9/11
-Designed to protect the nation's borders and ferret out potential attackers

Guantanamo Detention Camp

-American military base in Cuba
-Taliban fighters were sent here in legal limbo and demoralizing isolation
-Spurred debates on whether the terrorist threat fully warranted such drastic encroachments on America's venerable tradition of protecting civil liberties

"Axis of Evil"

-Group of "American enemies" that gravely menaced American security
-Iraq, Iran, North Korea were on it
-Iran and NK were pursuing nuclear weapons programs
-Bush wanted to start a war with Iraq, which he accused of oppressing its own people, developing nuclear, chemical, and biological WMDs, and supporting terrorist organizations

No Child Left Behind Act of 2002

-Mandated sanctions against schools that failed to meet federal performance standards
-Part of Bush's campaign for Presidency in 2004, along with:
-Proclaiming his tax cuts had spurred economic growth
-Playing to cultural conservatives in opposing stem cell research and calling for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage
-Promoting himself as a stalwart leader in wartime

Hurricane Katrina

-Devastated New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast in late August 2005
-Flooded 80% of NO
-Caused over 1300 deaths and $150 billion in damages
-Bush's most tragic and avoidable misstep came in his botched response to this disaster

Nancy Pelosi

-First woman to be Speaker of the House
-Promised a new era of reform, openness, and a check on the Bush administration during the congressional elections of 2006

Barack Obama

-Black 46 year old running for President in 2008
-Appealed to both the crusading spirit of the civil rights era of old and the newer ethos of tolerance that came more easily to the young
-Capitalized on an army of smartly managed volunteers, a record of early opposition to the war in Iraq, and an astonishing gift for eloquence that he used to advocate a "post-partisan" politics appealing to voters weary of the divisive partisanship of the Bush years
-Picked foreign-policy savvy Joe Biden as his VP to strengthen his national security credentials
-First black President of the US, President #44

John McCain

-Republican candidate for Presidency in 2008
-Supported bipartisan legislation on such issues as normalizing relations with N. Vietnam, campaign finance, and immigration reform
-Launched his political career as a Vietnam P.o.W.
-Picked Sarah Palin as his VP to rally the conservative and Christian Evangelical wing of his party

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