1. What are the reasons OMB Deputy Director Brian Deese gives for the rapid rate of decline in the deficit (debt-GDP ratio)?
The main reason he gives for the reduction of the debt GPD ratio is the reduction in healthcare costs.
2. According to Mr. Deese, how would the president's proposed budget for 2015 affect future deficits? Explain.
The president's budget plan calls for extreme healthcare control which will make the nation's spending self sufficient. He wants to reduce it below the projected rate.
3. How does the president’s budget try to build on Congress’s effort to compromise in the allocation of discretionary spending? Provide a description of at least one component of this initiative.
He wants to improve the early education spending, which is a worthwhile investment to America to improve the economy. They're trying to put discretionary spending into investments in education and infrastructure, etc and military spending.
4. Knowing that you do not have all of the pertinent information to make a fully-informed decision, what do you see as the pros and cons of this budget proposal?
Pros: the economy should blossom and expand a great deal due to this investment spending.
Cons: the video says none, but it sounds like they're cutting some heslthcare, which doesn't sound like a Democratic thing to do.
Why has President Obama chosen to enact an executive order regarding pay of federal employees?What are the limitations on Obama’s executive order and executive orders in general?
He believes that passing an executive order like this one will spur change in the economy. He also believes that the equal pay bills will not get passed, especially for women. Executive orders do not require Congressional approval, but are in themselves very flimsy because it can't be funded on its own without congressional support.
What criticism is being levied against presidents’ use of executive orders? What is the criticism of this specific executive order?
Obama's critics believe that he is using executive order too much and is not trying to "play nice" with Congress and get actual laws passed. Critics also feel that this kind of order will cause production costs to rise too much and will cause the economy to be worse off than it is. Critics also feel that since this increase of minimum wage for government workers would cause a higher sense of unfairness and also lead to the rise of prices. This is hard to say since it only affects government workers. Obama feels it will.indirectly raise minimum wage overall, but his critcs don't feel that way.
What policy area has the White House chosen not to address with executive orders? Why might the Obama administration be hesitant to address this area?
The white house avoids the bill on gay rights. This is because it's a touchy subject. If they act either way, there will be riots. This is similar to a number of events that ended up being pivotal later on in history. For example, many presidents had an opinion on slavery, but no one dared to support or deny it, because it would've caused a certain crazy event... like the civil war. Addressing this issue would cause more trouble than the white house wants.
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...
1. Who redraws congressional districts, when, and with what purpose(s) in mind?
Both Democrats and Republicans gerrymander. This is done by the majority party to ensure their candidates stay in office. Even though these redistricting policies are mostly controlled by the majority party, the minority party can do it too. However, it is less common. Politicians do this when they feel an election will be close and they would lose their majority.
2. How does gerrymandering impact incumbency in the House of Representatives?
Gerrymandering is used to keep members in office, so this greatly increases the number of incumbents in office. It allows politicians to pick their voters, so the incumbents win by large margins, even though overall, Congress is not highly approved of.
3. What potential solution to gerrymandering is provided in the video? What implications would this have for an incumbents’ future reelection?
Some mathematicians have suggested algorithms that create districts based on population size and density alone, as to avoid Gerrymandering. This way, there would already be a system in place that is autonomous from governmental intervention.
4. Are there any similarities that can be drawn between potential outcomes with the Electoral College and gerrymandering? If so, describe. Yes there are similarities, between the two institutions. For starters, the minority party voters in each district get hurt by this as well in the electoral college. However, in the electoral college, a state can "change sides", while gerrymandering ensures that a district never changes color.
5. Does the fact that gerrymandering sometimes benefits Democrats and sometimes benefits Republicans make it justified?
No it does not, because it's basically grouping like minded voters together regardless of geography. No party should be benefited ever, under any circumstance because who is in Congress should reflect the will of the people, not what the politicians want. This low approval rating proves that this system is wrong in all areas.
1. Based on this article, what would you say that the media is looking for in an ideal candidate for 2016? Is it the same for both parties? The media is looking for press worthy actions, whether they be positive or negative. The candidates whos names we know are at the top of the primaries, so chances are, if you're a household name, that increases your chances. An ideal candidte is one that is socially popular in a good way, and is not too extreme. The republicans are looking for someone more moderate since the democrats are strong right now, and the democrats are looking for the next big thing, (like to make history with a woman president), so they can afford to go a little extreme.
2. To what extent is Sabato focused on the issues (platform) of the candidates? Honestly, not that much. He really only views the labels that come with the platform, (i.e. too libertarian). He focuses on the social aspect of each candidate, such as media stunts, or likeability from previous elections. His pros and cons always involve skills or labels, such as "dynamic speaker" or "poor presidential campaign history."
3. Sabato refers to the “permanent presidential campaign.” What does this mean, and what are the implications for government? He means that every politician who wants to be president is always campaigning, even if they're not literally campaigning. Presidential wannabes are always vying for positive media attention, or controlled negative attention. Like I said earlier, if you're a household name, your chances are better. This means that candidates do things to reflect well on themselves and aren't always the best for the people.
4. Do you think that there is an advantage to being identified as an early leader in the presidential race? Why or why not? No there isn't. Think about it, if you're playing king of the hill and you're the first one to control the hill, that just means you have to work longer and harder to hold it. If Clinton holds such a strong lead now, that puts her in the spotlight. That means she'll likely have to use political gimmicks to hold the spotlight, for two years. That's a lot of time. Being in the spotlight early just gives you lots of time to mess up and fall from grace. The people won't remember who held the early lead, they care about who grabs their attention before stepping into the booth.
Texas remains a Republican-leaning state because its white residents are becoming increasingly Republican and its large Hispanic population, though solidly Democratic, is less so than Hispanics nationally.
1. Why are Democrats hopeful of a party realignment in Texas? How is this related to the concept of minority majority?
Democrats are hopeful of a party realignment in Texas because the majority of Texans are minorities now, and enough of the minorities vote Democratic. This is an example of a minority majority because white Texans usually vote Republican and there is a high enough percentage of minorities in Texas to turn it blue if other conditions are met.
2. What are the trends in party identification within the state of Texas?
White Texans usually vote Republican. Hispanics and African Americans usually vote Democratic. However, the percentage of hispanics who support the Republican party is slowly on the rise.
3. Why does Gallup suggest that the current situation is unlikely to result in party realignment in the near future? How is this related to the concept of political participation?
While the numbers are high enough to turn cause a party realignment, there just simply aren't enough minorities registered to vote. This shows political participation because the effects of segregation and discrimination are still being felt in some areas. Hispanics statistically are less literate than white people, especially in the earlier generations of American hispanics. However, I think the literacy rate and in turn the political participation will rise over time. The same goes for African Americans. This is merely a representation of a slowly changing ethnic dominance, nothing more.
4. What steps were taken to ensure a low sampling error in this poll?
Samples were weighted to account for selection probability, phone call polls were double checked. The results were also adjusted for national distribution of age, gender, race, education, and population density.
1. Who/what has been consistently favored in Roberts court decisions? Cite evidence to support your answer.
One group that has been favored recently is the conservatives. When Obamacare was approved, Chief Justice Roberts put in a section that allowed a state to opt out of it. Also, big business has been favored. They recently made it to where it's harder to sue an employer for discrimination or unsafe work condition.
2. What is precedent and in what ways has the Roberts court largely made rulings based on precedent?
Precedent is where a court makes a decision based on past decisions by the court. Justice is in line with precedents in certain ways such as his refusal to make a decision on gay rights, just as others have done. He breaks precedents according to Justice Scalia by moving towards limiting campaign finance.
3. Why does the Obama administration have an overall poor record in defending their interest in the Supreme Court? What strategy(ies) might the President pursue to see greater success in the Court?
The Solicitor General has only won 39% of his cases while they usually win 70%. This is largely because there is a conservative majority in the court and Obama is trying to pass liberal laws. The way he can get more cases won is by wording the laws in a conservative or neutral manner.
4. Which Justice is considered the “swing vote” on the court and why?
Justice Anthony Kennedy is the swing vote because he sides with the majority 83% of the time, which would indicate his vote was the deciding factor. Also, excluding him, there are four conservatives and four liberals on the court.
5. Is there discernible bias in the way this article was written? Why, or why not?
Yes there is a bias in the article because the author uses phrases like "victory for the liberals today can be a pain tomorrow" and also, the author ridicules Scalia for disagreeing with Roberts. If Roberts is a conservative then it's likely that the author is too. The author frequently refers to the liberals in a negative way as well as the laws that the democrats push, so I think there's bias there.
1. How is an interest group (the NRA) exercising its influence on this appointment? What are the NRA’s specific concerns with this nominee?
Since the NRA is such a large interest group, they exercise their influence by threatening to stop backing candidates who support the resident's nomination. The NRA is concerned that this surgeon General will make legislation favoring gun con control, even though this office generally has nothing to do with gun control. The NRA doesn't want to take chances since his opinions are strong towards gun control.
2. What is at stake for Senators, and where is the concern greatest?
The stake for individual senators is re-election, like always. Since a lot of people value the NRA's opinion, the NRA can support or refuse to support any one candidate and it'll have a significant impact on their re-election, especially in the Republican south. Also, the resident's of each district put pressure on their representatives as a result of an NRA email. This shows the power of individual interest groups.
3. How does the President/White House play a role in the confirmation process?
The president appoints upper members such as supreme court judges, and the surgeon General. The Senate then confirms or denies these appointments and there is no appeals process. The president can push for and debate his candidate, but that's it.
4. What strategies could the White House pursue in relation to this appointment? What did the White House learn from recent nominations that were not confirmed? The white house needs a new strategy after Obama's last appointment was denied. They are going to talk with democratic leaders and try and persuade them to vote with them. They need more time for this, so they want to push the vote back to midterm elections. Or they want to give the appointee time to withdraw. The effectiveness of this all depends on the success of democrats to overcome pressure from the NRA and their supporters; this applies specifically to democrats in Republican states.
All about the Electoral College. This original video from Disney Educational Productions tackles one of the most interesting elements of U.S. presidential el...
Jacob Collins's insight:
1. What is the constitutional basis for the electoral college system and why was it put in place?
The basis for the system was to allow everyone's vote to matter in an election. The founding fathers wanted to allow everyone to.vote but they feared that popular vote would give advantage to the larger states because they would just vote for their buddy. It also helps protect the smaller states .because the electoral college helps their votes count more and candidates don't overlook them.
2. What is the common strategy to get 270 votes and what role do "safe" and "swing" states play?
Many candidates try to get the larger states, while focusing on the swing states that could vote either way. Candidates don't campaign much in safe states because they don't need to convince them of anything. A candidate may, as a strategy, campaign heavily in another opponent's safe state, but most often candidates focus on swing states.
3. How is the president chosen if none of the candidates get a majority of the electoral votes?
The decision then goes the House of Representatives, who vote on the president from the top 3 candidates.
4. Why did the 2000 election reenergize the critique of the electoral college?
Bush won the election by a narrow margin in electoral votes, but Gore had the popular vote. This angered the public because more of the public wanted Gore to win, but he lost because he didn't hold the majority in the right states.
5. Are you satisfied the system?
Yes I am, but it needs tweaks. If does make each state important, but it makes some more important than others. It does discourage non dominant parties from voting, so there should be a sort of gradulated plurality system, like if you win 30% of the popular vote, you get 25% of the electoral votes or something like that, to encourage voting and more accurately reflect the demographic of each state.
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.
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 because events such as this define public opinion. For example, 9/11 affected Americans views on national security. The involvement in such events has changed American's views on certain events, especially forein affairs.
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, because Rebublicans support things such as less immigration, and a more present military, while democrats do not. The polls reflect democrats satisfaction with this decrease in military size and increase in immigration, while showing republicans are not.
3. Based on these results, which public policy changes are likely to be supported by each party? Healthcare would be widely supported democrats, since they favor things like that. Republicans would favor tax cuts for the wealthy size since they support more control in that area. Republicans are also dissatisfied with the decreasing military presence in the middle east. Democrats would want to distance the US from the North Korean affair.
4. The sampling error for this poll is +/- 4%. What does this mean, and how might it impact your interpretation of the data presented? This accounts for any sampling error that might have occurred. For most of the polls, the difference between democrat and republican satisfaction ratings is within that margin so that's the difference between one group having the lead in satisfaction.
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