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Obama going it alone, pressing ahead on reforms for federal contractors with executive orders - DUE 4/11!

Obama going it alone, pressing ahead on reforms for federal contractors with executive orders - DUE 4/11! | Zack's almighty RHS GOPO | Scoop.it
President pushing contractor changes with executive orders, moving without help from Congress

Via Christine Thompson
Zachary Smart's insight:

1. President Obama has chosen to enact an executive order regarding the pay of federal employees because he can not get it passed through Congress, and wishes to close the gender gap and discriminatory pay.

2. The limitations of Obama's order and Executive orders in general are that the Supreme Court could declare them unconstitutional and that it only affects Federal employees unless state governments decide to follow the same trend.

3. There is criticism that President Obama is pushing the limit of his executive power, and that if he chose to put forth bills that both parties could agree on, legislation might be passed. 

4. Criticism specific to this order: Many believe that this order could promote wage-related lawsuits against companies that are contracted by the federal government, and that it makes information more available to others. 

5. The White House has chosen not to address anti-discrimination on gays/lesbians. 

6. They might be hesitant to address this area because there could be potential out-lash, and the possibility of a drop in the support from the people. 

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Ivan Dominguez's curator insight, April 14, 2014 9:02 AM

Obama is enacting an executive order to raise the pay for federal employees,and so women get paid equally as men. The order needs to get approved by the senate,and Obama is lacking congressional support. The limitations are that the president is limited to feral government contacts and has to be approved by congress. The major criticism is that the executive order will affect the basic cost of a product because they have to find a way to pay those employees, and overall the result will be inflation. The White House decided to not include an executive order on gay right issues because the Obama doesn’t want to interfere if Congress may give support in new legislation because that as that may make Congress give due to redundancy

Alex Speed's curator insight, April 16, 2014 11:54 AM

1.) Obama was forced to use an executive order because he does not have the support of congress, however he can pass legislation that will have the same effect by using an executive order. However,the limit of using an executive order is that it does not effect all US citizens.

2.) The general population is skeptical of executive orders because they do not require congressional approval, which seems like a manipulation of government. This specific order faces scrutiny for its potential with lawsuits on private companies 

3.) The Obama administration has chosen not to enact orders that will effect sexual discrimination because that is congress's situation. Obama doesn't want to create sort of bias in congress that will negatively impact this legislation

Taig Lyons's curator insight, April 17, 2014 9:59 AM

 

Why has President Obama chosen to enact an executive order regarding pay of federal employees?
The president can have an impact over the part of the economy he directly controls. This move looks good and can have an impact with federal contractors in the broader economy.

What are the limitations on Obama’s executive order and executive orders in general?
Executive orders apply pretty much only to sectors the president has direct control over, like the bureaucracy and the military.

What criticism is being levied against presidents’ use of executive orders? What is the criticism of this specific executive order?
The criticism is that the order will effect very few people and that it's really just an example more than anything. There's no pressure for non-federal contractors to follow suit.

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 has not made an executive order regarding the protection of gays and lesbians in the federal bureaucracy, because it hopes to get a law passed that would cover this topic nationwide.

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Gerrymandering: the recipe for dysfunctional government? - DUE 3/28

1Video 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, Christine Thompson
Zachary Smart's insight:

1.  The majority party redraws the congressional districts every ten years based off of the national census. The purpose in mind is to gain more members of the same party in their districts in the hopes/belief that this will get themselves reelected.

2. Gerrymandering impacts incumbency by that it allows for a congressman to be reelected constantly, leading to this person becoming incumbent for several years.

3. A potential solution to gerrymandering would be to use algorithms to define district lines based off of population and party denomination. This could make it to where incumbents are not reelected another time.

4. There are many similarities between the potential outcomes of the electoral college and gerrymandering, such as how the people don't really decided on what goes on.

5. No, because it is constantly abused and makes it unfair for individuals of another party.  

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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. 

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Americans' Satisfaction With Economy Sours Most Since 2001 - DUE 2/24!

Americans' Satisfaction With Economy Sours Most Since 2001 - DUE 2/24! | Zack's almighty RHS GOPO | 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 Christine Thompson
Zachary Smart's insight:

1. Yes, because of 9/11 and the fall in economic growth, most people began to lose the positive thoughts of the government. However, many continued to remain content with the social change.

2. Yes, because the democrats remained happy with the current situation, yet the republicans continued to fight for their policies to be enacted.

3. Republicans, being conservative, would support policies for immigration and abortion rights. Democrats, being liberal, would support policies for healthcare and military spending.

4. This sampling error would mean that there is a small difference in the ideas of both parties, and a 95% confidence level in the polls. With it being a small error, it would not change any interpretation I had. 

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Anna Fisher's curator insight, February 24, 2014 1:41 PM

1. The historical events do change the opinions of the people, specifically 9/11, because it makes people lose trust in the government. The people are much less satisfied with the world affairs.

2. They do coincide with my expectations, because liberal/conservative usually go with republican and democratic ideas. Liberals believe that the state shouldn't play such a big role, while conservative believes in more strict law.

3. Republicans believe that the environment is doing pretty well, while the Democrats disagree. Democrats think that health care is doing great, while Republicans differ. The key points that Republicans and Democrats believe in, they disagree on.

4. This is the margin of error, so the people interviewed are fairly confident in their answer. Smaller the margin of error, the more reliable the poll. 

Sean Kelly's curator insight, February 24, 2014 11:34 PM

1. The terror attacks and the dot-com boom changes do explain the changes in public opinion because the relative feelings of safety and economic immunity, i.e. no one will mess with the US, are gone.

2. These results do coincide because the Democrats liberal views fit in with the government doing more to intervene with certain policies, and the conservative Republican views fit into the idea of Conservatives limiting government controls across all fronts, and their "return to the good times" attitude.

3. The Democrats would be more likely to support gun control and penal system reform, while the Republicans would enjoy a cut on the higher income bracket taxes and the loss of gun control laws.

4. The 4% error potential means that the sampling is most likely within 4% of the general popluations overall view. This means the data is not exactly precise, but does give a good ball park idea to work in for the numbers.

Mason Paul Lyman's curator insight, March 3, 2014 4:32 PM

1. For the most part, yes, due to the war in the Middle East, however, not all social factors would be.

 

2. Yes. Democrats are more satisfied with liberal issues, and Republican favor conservative issues.

 

3. Democrats would probably push for more concern for global warming and tighter gun laws, as democrats are generally liberal. Republicans would probably push for less government intervention, as republicans are generally conservative.

 

4. The results could be shifted +/- 4%, which is relatively small. It puts into mind the thought that much of our information in corrupt.

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Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General | Zack's almighty RHS GOPO | 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 Christine Thompson
Zachary Smart's insight:

1.An interest group like the NRA is using its power to influence the appointment of the Attorney General because he opposes guns, therefor he is for gun regulation.

2. Senators who vote for Murphy are more likely to not be reelected in the states where the NRA holds power. This makes it to where their approval rating drops, and to where their constituents are likely to vote against them.

3. The White House/President has the ability to delay an appointment or remove the candidate from the process entirely. The Senate must approve/vote for the appointee, so the president and the senate have a tight relationship.

4. The president must have more support from the democratic senators over republicans if he is to have his appointment approved. The president recently found out that he has to make a compromise between both parties of the house.

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Lauren Smith's curator insight, April 7, 2014 8:09 AM

1. The NRA is strongly opposed to the appointment of Dr. Murthy because he supports gun control. The NRA has increased their influence in the political campaigns by hiring many field strategists to support their stance on gun control in many competitive states.This also puts democrats from conservative states in a bad spot if their state is unhappy with the president and his nominee.

 

 2.the NRA has stated that they will "score any confirmation vote for Dr. Murthy,"meaning that any senator that votes for him will get bad ratings from the NRA. This could make the campaign difference in states that are strongly allied with the NRA. 

 

3. The Presidents role in the confirmation process is to appoint someone for a official position. The president must have the majority support from their party in  order for the appointee to get the position.

 

4. Strategies that the White House can pursue in relation to this appointment are to appeal to the population for gun control for support, negotiate with the NRA into not affecting the senators who vote for Dr. Murthy, and educating  Congress about why the president thinks Dr. Murthy is a good candidate for this position.  What the White House has learned from recent nominations that have failed is that any nominee with conflicting personal values or with ties to a negative subject in their political history will not be supported by the party or appointed. 

Sam Johnson's curator insight, April 7, 2014 9:59 AM

The NRA is exercising it's influence by basicaly telling democratic Senators in Conservative States if you support Obama's nomination, you will loose our support. The loss of the NRA's support could keep those democrats from being reelected. The White House could offer a compromise to get Murthy approved. For example they could offer to consider a ballanced budget bill in exchange for supporting Murthy.

Jordan Nguyen's curator insight, April 8, 2014 1:24 AM

1. The NRA is using it's influence in order to persuade the senators to disapprove of the appointment made by President Obama. With ties between the senate democrats and the White House already wearing thin, and the majority of the Democratic senators up for election, the senators are put in a tough situation.The nominee 'Dr. Murthy, who has voiced support for various gun control measures like an assault weapons ban, mandatory safety training and ammunition sales limits" which is upsetting to the NRA.

2. The senators have reached the beginning of the midterm election season and need to get reelected in order to climb to greater power. The NRA having so much influence to certain politics will have a major affect of campaigners who have already decided to approve of the appointment of Dr. Murthy. 

3. The President is the individual who nominates whomever to get appointed by the senate. Through confirmation the President may have a  "guestimate" at who will approve the appointment. 

4. The White House with its' influence may try to use that as bargain in rebuttal to the NRA which is threatening the Senators.  Dr. Murthy will probably be appointed but the completion of the official appointment itself will have to wait until after midterm elections. 

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Disney Educational Productions: The Electoral College - YouTube

All about the Electoral College. This original video from Disney Educational Productions tackles one of the most interesting elements of U.S. presidential el...
Zachary Smart's insight:

1. The constitutional basis for the electoral college is that every state gets an equal vote in for the presidential election. This was put into place because the founding fathers did not want to put the power of elector into the people's hands. They would vote for the local runner instead of anyone outside his or her normal people. 

2. The common strategy to getting 270 electoral votes is to focus on the larger states and states where they often switch between political parties. These are known as "swing" states, where debates determine whether or not the people will vote for a democratic or republican electorate or not. "Safe" states are where the population is strictly one party or the other, meaning that the presidential candidate belonging to that party does not have to worry about it. 

3. When a candidate does not receive the majority of the electoral votes, it goes to Congress. The House of Representatives then votes within itself until a majority is reached, with the winning candidate being elected President.

4. The 2000 election re-energized the critique of the electoral college because President Bush won the popular vote by little over 2000 votes. This caused many to demand a recount of the ballet, leading to controversy. This led to the electoral votes being put into a pending state, making it to where the president was not elected for a couple of months. 

5. I am not currently satisfied with the electoral system. It is unfair for the people vote for who they want as president, but not really get their vote in.  I could understand if there was a limit to the number of votes in the larger states, but elsewhere it seems to be unfair. 

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Texan Hispanics Tilt Democratic, but State Likely to Stay Red - DUE 2/20

Texan Hispanics Tilt Democratic, but State Likely to Stay Red - DUE 2/20 | Zack's almighty RHS GOPO | Scoop.it
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.

Via Christine Thompson
Zachary Smart's insight:

1. Democrats are hopeful because the population of Texas is 46% Hispanic, and it continues to rise due to an increasing Minority Majority.

2. Out of the Hispanic Texans, 27% of them are republican, while 56% of them are democratic. In the White population, 61% are republican, while 26% are democratic.

3. It's unlikely to happen because white Texans are not being swayed at all by the Democrats, which stops its advance throughout the state. Only with every person that is a democrat, and voting, will the Democrats gain sway.

4. Random sampling with a quota of 50% cellphone respondents and another 50% of land-line respondents is done. The cellphone numbers are done entirely through a random number generator, while the land-lines are chosen randomly through a list. 

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Holland Coleman's curator insight, February 20, 2014 11:28 PM

1. Democrats are hopeful of a party realignment in Texas because of the state's growing Hispanic population--Hispanics are consistently left-leaning--which represents an influx of blue voters that could tip the scales of the state. Soon, the state's white cititzens will make up less than half of the population, and the state will have a minority majority.

 

2. The party identification trend in Texas is that any given demographic will be more right-leaning than nationally. For instance, even though Hispanics in Texas still lean left, the margin by which Hispanic blue voters outweigh Hispanic red voters is much smaller. 

 

3. Despite any meteoric rise in Texas' Hispanic population, this demographic is unlikely to exercise its newfound political clout because Hispanic voters are much less likely to participate in elections than other demographics. The real challenge for Democrats therefore is not to win over the Hispanic population--they already lean left--but to get them to register and vote.

 

4. The study was a random survey conducted by telephone. Respondents were found using random-dialing methods in an even geographical spread. 50% of respondents were reached by landline, and the other 50% of respondents were reached by cell phone, to control for demographic trends regarding phone use. 

Lauren Smith's curator insight, February 21, 2014 12:22 AM

1. Democrats are hopeful for a party realignment in Texas because Texas is predominantly a Republican state, yet this poll suggests that the democrats are pulling more weight in Texas than before. If Texas were to become a more democratic state, then the Democrats would have a larger advantage in the number of voters and influence. The population of Hispanics in Texas is increasing in Texas and, along with African Americans in the state, are voting more democratic. However, the majority of Texans are white and vote republican. This shows that the minority majority struggle that the minorities are beginning to surpass the number of majority people in Texas. 

2. The trends in party identification in Texas are that the white Texans vote mostly republican, while the minorities vote more democratic. The Hispanic Texans were mostly republican in 2008 during the time of Obama's election, but now they have tended to follow the national trend to vote more democratic.  

3. Gallup suggests that the current situation of small percentages of Hispanic adult registered voters will unlikely cause a realignment of Texas to a democratic state. This is related to political participation in that there is a low percentage of Hispanic Texans who are actually registered to vote. This causes the Hispanic democrats to be poorly represented in the state.  Therefore the republicans who vote will keep Texas a more republican state.

4. Steps that were taken by Gallup to reduce sampling error were to conduct recent telephone interviews (in Spanish as well if needed to communicate to the respondent) with a random sample that included over 178,000 adults in all 50 states and in D.C., the interviews were 50% on cell phones and 50% on land lines, and there were weighted samples based on unequal selection probability and national demographics. 

Jordan Nguyen's curator insight, February 23, 2014 5:04 PM

1. If Texas has a party realignment it could be a huge change to the republican-democrat ratio. Texas is the largest republican majority state.  The minority Hispanic population as a cumulative has become the larger majority. The population is under the democratic influence more than anything else. 

2. The larger white majority will identify republican. The rest of the population will identify as democratic. 

3. Even though the minority is slowly becoming a majority the minority Hispanic population does not yet build the larger portion of population.The smaller Minority groups that makeup a majority combined are least likely to vote as well. This hinders the democratic party because there is no political participation.

4. There are several different groups looked at and not a single controlled specific type targeted, but the idea that the poll only targets people in Texas and divides them by race is not helping low sampling error.