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Rescooped by Kate Banks from AP U.S. Government & Politics
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Due by 4/11-Obama going it alone, pressing ahead on reforms for federal contractors with executive orders

Due by 4/11-Obama going it alone, pressing ahead on reforms for federal contractors with executive orders | APGOPO | Scoop.it
President pushing contractor changes with executive orders, moving without help from Congress

Via Kelly Grossman
Kate Banks's insight:
1.) President Obama increased the federal minimum wage in order to decrease the pay gap between genders, and try to stimulate the economy. 2.) The executive branch doesn't have much control over the economy, so thats a limitation. They have to rely on Congress to expand this minimum wage raise in order for this to really improve the economy. 3.) Some people say he is overstepping his boundaries and not cooperating with an already complicated congressional relationship. 4.) Some people say that raising minimum wage will negatively affect companies because they will have to pay more for products and workers, without an increase in profit. 5) Accepting same-sex marriages and passing LGBT anti-descrimination orders are some things the federal government has yet to act on. 6.) The Obama administration thinks that if he supports the LGBT community by establishing more rights for them, then he will lose support. They are hoping he won't have to make a decision on that topic. 
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Shelby Mench's curator insight, April 15, 2014 2:39 PM

1.)    Why has President Obama chosen to enact an executive order regarding pay of federal employees?

President Obama has chosen to enact an executive order regarding the pay of federal employees because he has not been able to get the support that he needs from Congress.

2.)    What are the limitations on Obama’s executive order and executive orders in general?

However there are certain limitations on Obama’s executive order and executive orders in general such as the fact that they can be put into a trial for legality and it can create a division with congress when Obama really needs them to back him!

3.)    What criticism is being levied against presidents’ use of executive orders? What is the criticism of this specific executive order?

There is criticism that is being levied against the president’s use of executive orders such as the point that Obama needs to put forward a better effort to work with congress and to step back and review the stress he is placing on other companies financially.

4.)    What policy area has the White House chosen not to address with executive orders?

There is the policy of gay rights which The White House has chosen not to address using executive orders.

5.)    Why might the Obama administration be hesitant to address this area?

The Obama administration might be hesitant to address the area because Obama does not want to lose any of the public’s support! He is hoping that the Senate will pass a bill and will be able to protect all Americans rather than just a few.

Courtney OConnor's curator insight, April 15, 2014 6:57 PM

I was absent Wednesday-Friday with no access to computer/ internet.

 

President Obama has chosen to enact an executive order due to complications compromising with Congress. This executive order would prevent contractors from retaliating against employees discussing their pay as well as require the Labor Department to require contractors to provide data regarding pay based on race and gender. His limitations are that his order may be challenged and deemed unlawful by Congress. There is criticism that President Obama may be stepping out of line by not agreeing with Congress about this decision, and that he's using his power too far. Also, Federal Contractors believe that releasing this data would call for an increase in lawsuits and the creation of a two tier system. The White House has not chosen to deal with the agenda that would protect gays and lesbians working for these Federal Contractors. He might be hesitant to address this issue due to the growing support of protection of gays and lesbians in Congress as it is and further provocation to Congress would be harmful for his administration.

Katie Nissen's curator insight, April 17, 2014 5:40 AM

President Barack Obama chosen to put in place an executive order so he can control more of the economy by keeping federal contractors from hurting employees who would like a raise. His executive order was denied by congress. The order might be considered unlawful. Republicans know that he is using his power to much and needs to be working with congress. People know that his executive order will give a burden to companies and hurt their inflow of money. The white house has not said anything about protecting gays and lesbians working from federal contractors. The white house’s goal is to spread protection to all Americans. 

Rescooped by Kate Banks from AP U.S. Government & Politics
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Due by 3/28 -- Gerrymandering: the recipe for dysfunctional government?

Video on msnbc.com: The age-old practice of politicians re-drawing Congressional districts to find friendly voters, or, gerrymandering, has allowed members of the House of Representatives from both sides of the aisle to stay in power regardless of...


Via Teresa Herrin, Kelly Grossman
Kate Banks's insight:

1. What is gerrymandering and how did it get its name?

Gerrymandering is the re-drawing of congressional districts to allow members of Congress to stay in power because of the districts they see-over, which just so happen to agree with their political views.


2. What are some of the characteristics of redrawn districts?

Redrawn districts aren't compact in shape, and often quite abstract-looking.

3. When are House seats reapportioned?

House seats are reapportioned every two years.

4. What is a potential solution to gerrymandering provided in the video?

Maps based on geography and population could prevent gerrymandering taking place.

5. What implications would this have for an incumbents’ future reelection?

Since the incumbents are the ones who are gerrymandering, of course they're going to be able to stay in power no matter what the people think, because they specifically picked who would vote for them.

6. Are there any similarities that can be drawn between potential outcomes with the Electoral College and gerrymandering? If so, describe.

I can only see the outcome of the two practices to be done away with. While the electoral college was established to basically protect people from their own stupidity, information is spread more easily now, and while people may still be stupid, at least they're educated. Theoretically. Gerrymandering is a corrupt practice, and seeing all of those ridiculous districts, I'm honestly baffled that the practice isn't already dead.

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Mason Paul Lyman's curator insight, April 2, 2014 9:41 PM

1. The House redraws the congressional districts every 10 years on the census in an attempr to make the districts lend their support to whoever the current party majority is.

2. Gerrymandering allows incumbents to get reelected multiple times. 

3. Have a computerized, neutral program that would create districts based on geography and demography. A program such as this would make it more difficult for incumbents to get reelected.

4. Yes, there are. One party could earn more votes than another but still lose the election.

5. No because it is an unhonorable way to earn the respective benefits.

Jessica Markle's curator insight, April 12, 2014 2:09 PM

gerymandering is the act of redrawing a district and its has gotten its name from Albridge Garry who redrew a district in the beginning of our country in order for him to win a vote. The redrawing of the districts almost guarantees a win in voting because it allows the politicians to choose their voters. In the video, suggested possible solutions to gerrymandering would be to redraw district lines according to geography, demographics, and population density but it would cause a disruption in the current system and would make it very difficult for a representative to be reelected to a district that doesn't have the same advantages. Gerrymandering can be compared to the electoral college because these systems don't work in the favor of the public, or the majority vote because with the representatives picking the districts containing people they know will vote for them along with the electoral college being able to override the public vote, it has caused question in the democratic system of the United States.

Lauren Sargent's curator insight, April 17, 2014 9:47 PM

The term gerrymandering comes from an 1810 law that was created by Elbridge Gerry, Governor of Massachusetts, which repositioned and defined congressional districts based on population changes. After the law was passed, newspaper articles came out with pictures of the re-drawn districts in concerning shapes, such as a salamander. They linked the two words “salamander” and “Gerry” and called it gerrymandering. As time has gone on, gerrymandering has been manipulated by both the Republican and Democratic parties by them re-drawing districts specifically to change the possible outcome of their “political cartoon” if you will. House seats are being re-apportioned every presidential election year. The video suggested that these means of politics have made it so that “the politicians are choosing their voters, rather than the voters choosing their politicians”. This is causing major distrust in candidates and decrease in voter participation. Gerrymandering has been beneficial to incumbents because they change their districts to work in favor of their election. Both the Electoral College and gerrymandering can be seen as unfair or corrupt government practices because they can sometimes both not accurately depict the peoples' votes by changing their districts. With the Electoral College, they could win a majority of the electoral votes, but not the majority vote. With gerrymandering, a politician would be elected just because of the re-drawn, manipulated districts, which is ridiculous. 

Rescooped by Kate Banks from AP U.S. Government & Politics
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Due by 2/24: Americans' Satisfaction With Economy Sours Most Since 2001

Due by 2/24: Americans' Satisfaction With Economy Sours Most Since 2001 | APGOPO | Scoop.it
More Americans today are satisfied with where the nation stands on acceptance of gays and lesbians, federal taxes, and healthcare availability than were satisfied in 2001. But Americans' satisfaction with the economy has declined.

Via Kelly Grossman
Kate Banks's insight:

1. The only historical event I think would've affected us to this level is the terrorist attack from 9/11, since the poll took place before that in 2001. That probably explains the gained confidence in military support.

2. The Democrats'  and Republicans' levels of satisfaction are what I expected. Rebublicans tend to take a different views on gun control laws for instance,  and gay and lesbian rights. With a liberal president in the White House, that means there are probably more people with liberal views in the nation, which further explain that satisfaction with social aspects.

3. The people are obviously not happy with the economy at all, with the record low, and healthcare is still up in the air about what people think about the Affordable Healthcare Plan. So, I foresee some changes regarding these.

4. It shouldn't make much difference overall because they took a random sample from cell phone and land lines across the 50 states. Theoretically, the error should be pretty small if at all.

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Hannah Larson's curator insight, February 25, 2014 9:17 AM

1. The historical events of the period have greatly affected the results of this poll. 9/11 and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan have changed American approval of our standing in the world and our foreign affairs for the worse. The end of the dot com boom and the beginning of the 2008-2009 recession significantly alterered people's views of the economy. They now disapprove of the state of the economy significantly  more than in the past.

2. For the most part these results coincide with democratic and republican views. Republicans show more approval of the state of the environment and gun policy while Democrats show more approval of social policies such as the legalization of gay marriage and Social Security and Welfare programs. I found it interesting that the two parties' approval of many issues such as quality of public education and quality of medical care are almost the same. Republicans show less concern for the environment and they do not support stricter gun laws, so these approval ratings make sense. Democrats endorse more support of scoial issuessuch as gay marriage and more government sponsored programs for the people to use. Their support of gay marriage and socil securoty and welfare makes sense. I believe both parties share the same approval or dissaproval on some issues because most people are moderate but call themselves a democrat or republican. Most take a republican view on most things and a democratic on others or vice versa.

3. Democrats will more likely favor policies such as the affordable health care act and support social welfare programs.Republicans will favor policies that involve less government control such as tax cuts and less strict gun laws.

4. This means that the data taken could be a lot closer than what is seen. Issues where the ratings seperated by 8% could lead to actual results of the same approval rating. This completely changes the readers' view on data taken over energy policies and federal taxes. Some of the data is so close that when the percentage error is taken into acoount, democrats may have more approval of an issue than republicans or vice versa. This can be seen in data taken for control of crime, quality of medical care, and race relations.

Jorge Lopez0408's curator insight, April 10, 2014 1:14 PM
Kelly Grossman's insight:

Rescoop to your own page and write a reflection on the reading in which you answer the following questions  - by class time on Monday, 2/24!

1. The article explains why Gallup chose a 13-year comparison. Do the historical events of this period explain the changes in public opinion? Why or why not? Yes it does since the change of ideas and problems to change first. The the shift in problems for others have shifted from governmental taxation to Gay and Lesbian rights of marriage.

2. Examine the chart comparing Democrats' and Republicans' levels of satisfaction. Do these results coincide with your expectations (based on the textbooks' depiction of American liberalism and conservatism)? Why or why not? Yes they do since the republicans have their own likes and dislikes and vice-versa, for the democrats. The changes and laws placed that are new will effect the mind shifts of the people of the certain party that would affect their future.

3. Based on these results, which public policy changes are likely to be supported by each party? The Military and terrorist defensive increased by both parties to lessen the fear of their lives. The future and safety of the country is their first priority.

4. The sampling error for this poll is +/- 4%. What does this mean, and how might it impact your interpretation of the data presented? It isn't too much of a sampling error that affects the data by the error. The 4% doesn't effect much of the side i believe in as i see the data well built in how the percentage of the both parties was taken.

Jessica Markle's curator insight, April 15, 2014 12:04 AM

Yes, because ever since the economic downturn and 9/11 Americans have altered their views towards the economy and has lost confidence in the government and its policies.

Yes, because Democrats seem to be more for liberalism while Republicans are concerned lean towards conservatism.

Republicans would strengthen the economy, set immigration laws, and limit health care while Democrats would set strict gun regulations and preserve the economy.

It means that there is a possibility of a small percent error. However, it has no impact on the major interpretation of each side for each topic.

Rescooped by Kate Banks from AP U.S. Government & Politics
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Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General | APGOPO | Scoop.it
The White House is considering putting off a Senate vote on Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, who has come under criticism from the National Rifle Association, or withdrawing the nomination altogether.

Via Kelly Grossman
Kate Banks's insight:

1. The NRA is doing its best to make sure that he doesn't get the position as surgeon general. They are actually appealing to more democrats than usual to vote against him, since he wants bans on assault weapons, mandatory safety training, and a limit on ammo purchasing.

2. The Senators could lose their seats, since a bunch of their own elections are coming up. The greatest concern is getting enough support from the candidate's own democratic party to win.

3. The White House is relying on the floor vote for his confirmation, and pushing back voting until after midterm elections, to gain as much support as possible from the democrats.

4. The White House needs to figure out who to target to vote, because they can't lose more than 6 democratic votes in order for him to gain the position, since Republicans won't really support him. The NRA threatens that the Democratic senators who represent states where the NRA is a main power, will lose power and satisfaction, ultimately costing them their jobs.

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luke jester's curator insight, April 11, 2014 6:14 PM

1. They  sent out a "grass roots alert" to millions of people so they would tell their senators to not vote for the President's nominee . They don't like the fact that the nominee is extremely against guns.

2. democrats may lose control of the Senate because Senators are voting differently then they normally would because of the NRA .

3. The President chooses the positions of people.

4. they could hold Obama's vote for surgeon general or take out the nomination from the position. they need balance nominees in order to have support from both parties.

Jessica Markle's curator insight, April 11, 2014 9:28 PM

The NRA is influencing members of congress by personally emailing the voters and trying to rally members against the Surgeon General because they don't agree with his views on gun control and many other issues. The senators reelection is at stake and if they vote with gun control, they will lose the support of the NRA. From this incident, the White House should definitely learn to choose a more fitting person to represent, one that preferably agrees with the policies of the NRA.The white house learned to approach nominations differently in order to recieve better feedback

Lauren Sargent's curator insight, April 14, 2014 10:38 PM
The NRA is concerned about the appointment of nominee Murthy because he is actively against guns. They are going directly to citizens addressing them about the nominee and asking their opinion and going to senate, trying to get the nominee removed. The NRA are concerned that if the nominee is appointed, the gun-bans in the nation will go up, decreasing their value.The Senate is trying to maintain democratic leadership by listening to their constituents which, in states such as Alaska, Louisiana, and Arkansas, are opposed to gun-banning, which puts them against the nominee.The White House try to choose candidates who will help keep a mostly equal view on arguments and won’t anger any interest groups, such as the NRA, so there won’t be a lack of executive control or support.The White House should consider what is really good for the nation and what candidates are right for the job, rather than trying to please everyone. It is impossible, especially in politics, to please everyone, so they should try to think about what the candidate can offer to the executive process and what they can possibly change. The White House learned that they tend to overestimate democratic support and lean more toward their constituents than the rest of the nation.
Rescooped by Kate Banks from AP Government and Politics
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Does your vote count? The Electoral College explained - Christina Greer - YouTube

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/does-your-vote-count-the-electoral-college-explained-christina-greer You vote, but then what? Discover how your i...

Via Justin Fogarty
Kate Banks's insight:

The electoral college was created because initially, taking the people's popular vote wouldn't have been too wise. The fathers of the Consitution didn't think people were smart enough to vote wisely for one, but they couldnt have just government officials vote either because they were they elite, and it wouldn't be fair to The People. With the electoral college, the people elect other people to help represent how they might vote.

Safe states are states that are always Republican or Democrat, pretty assuredly. Texas, for instance, always votes Republican. Swing states have the reputation of going either way, so the nominees for office have to concentrate on winning these states over to win the election.

If that happens, the House of Representatives takes a vote.

In 2000, although Al Gore won the popular vote, Bush won the election because of the electoral college votes. This really didn't make the nation happy, since everybody knew the majority voted for Al Gore, he just couldn't win because of the delegates. Florida even demanded an immediate recount. It didn't do the election system much justice.

It's sort of ridiculous that the Unites States is dominated by two parties, and third parties never hardly even have a chance at making a mark, much less winning an election. The world is not black and white, and I believe pluralism would help the people best decide on who they believe should run the country based on a broader view of topics.

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