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Rescooped by Alaina Johnson from AP U.S. Government & Politics!

Due by 4/25--Here's What You Need to Know About the President's 2015 Budget

Due by 4/25--Here's What You Need to Know About the President's 2015 Budget | Alaina's BHS Gopo |
Here's how President Obama's budget would grow our economy and expand #OpportunityForAll →

Via Kelly Grossman
Alaina Johnson's insight:

1. The decrease in the cost of healthcare due to Obama's medicare and medicaid making health care cheaper and more accessible has greatly decreased the deficit.

2. The proposed 2015 budget would continue to decrease the deficit because cheap healthcare would allow for more money to be invested into the economy in things like infrastructure and education which would eventually pay off.

3. The President is willing to compromise with congress in allowing a large portion of the money to go toward defense spending which is generally a Republican supported issue which shows that he is willing to compromise with the Republican-dominated Congress. The President would like to use an allocated portion of this budget to go toward education. He is really advocating an improvement in preschool and early education.

4. Obviously a huge pro to this budget is lowering the deficit which is something both parties want. The President's focus on early childhood education is also a pro because that sets the foundation for future growth and developement which can ensure a promising future for the country. A con is that the preschool education initiative could be a risky one, it may or may not pay off. Congress is already hesitant to pass anything proposed by the President so a risky proposal is even less likely to be passed by Congress.

Miranda Rae Garcia's curator insight, April 28, 2014 6:53 PM

1.) We are experiencing a historic reduction in the rate of growth of healthcare costs, and that is why there is a rapid rate of decline in the deficit. 2.) The president's proposed budget would put us on the green part of his graph It would lower future deficits. 3.) Discretionary spending is the money that congress is supposed to allocate and approve where it goes. The president tries to build off of this effort while showing how he would invest in the future and things that would help the economy grow. The president tries to build off of this effort because it provides some stability for economy. One component of this initiative would be early learning, and adding slots for children around the country. 4.) Pros of this budget proposal would be helping early learning and using money to find a cure for cancer and things like that. A con would be spending all of that money and then there not being a positive outcome.

Katie Nissen's curator insight, April 29, 2014 8:00 PM

1. due to the rate of reduction in healthcare costs

2.  Lower deficits because of policies of health care costs will allow the economy to grow

3. it set limits allowing stability for his budget. He uses that to invest in things that could potentially allow the economy to grow. Early learning which is education would allows for new opportunities

4. Some pros are the ability for the both sides come together to decide on  the economy, unfortunately the President could invest in the wrong programs which will waste resources. 

Brooklyn Ward's curator insight, September 25, 2015 7:55 AM

1.The reason for the decline in the deficit is the lower spending by the public on healthcare.

2.By continuing to add more constraints on healthcare cost, the deficit  will continue to decrease.

3.The President is making compromises with congress (mostly republicans) by setting aside half the discretionary fund for military spending.

4. Pros: more money will be invested in two things government should be funding: schools and the military

Cons: the question of can they really close all the loopholes in the tax codes, and then there's the issue that the government funded healthcare doubled in cost this past year (even when the congressional budget office estimated it would decrease by nearly 30%) and the cost is estimated to nearly double again by 2016 reaching almost $120 billion.

Rescooped by Alaina Johnson from AP U.S. Government & Politics!

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

Video on 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
Alaina Johnson's insight:

 gerrymandering is the act of redrawing congressional districts in order to gain a favorable majority for a specific party in order to gain as many seats as possible in the houses. it got it's name from founding father Albridge Gerry who drew a contorted district in order to win his election in 1812. The newly drawn districts are often very contorted and form very unconventional shapes. They do not look like what one would imagine a district to look like.  House seats are reapportioned every presidential election year.Many propose that there be regulations put into place for congressional redistricting in order to reform the corrupt system. gerrymandering is very effective in reelecting incumbents because districts can be redrawn in order to favor a particular party or candidate which could mean easy reelection. 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. In the case of the electoral college, a candidate could win a majority of electoral votes without winning the majority of the popular vote. In the case of gerrymandering, a representative could be elected simply as a result of a skewed, gerrymandered district and the way it was redrawn.

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 Alaina Johnson from AP U.S. Government & Politics!

Due by 3/6: Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball » 2016 presidential ratings update: Nothing but questions on the Republican side

Due by 3/6: Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball » 2016 presidential ratings update: Nothing but questions on the Republican side | Alaina's BHS Gopo |

Via Kelly Grossman
Alaina Johnson's insight:

1. They seem to be looking for a candidate who has a good political record thus far with impressive policy records. They also seem to be looking for someone who is well-known nationally in order to gain support. They also stress that funding is a huge part of being a promising candidate as funds are extremely lucrative in gaining a nomination. It does seem to generally be the same for both parties. They both want a well-known candidate with a good policy record.

2. He actually does not seem to be too concerned with their platforms probably because they are likely to change as they gain/lose public support. He seems to be more concerned with their track records as politicians and their financial support.

3. The permanent presidential campaign refers to the candidate constantly having to rely on political consultants and the media to protect their approval ratings and public image. The public has become increasingly dependent on the media and coverage of candidates in forming their opinions of them. This could possibly make the candidate over-concerned with public image and less concerned with actually governing which could create major problems.

4.I think that there is an advantage in being initially identified as an early leader in elections because it gives the public time to warm up to them and become familiar with their policies. At the same time however, it could also be a disadvantage like the article states in reference to Hillary Clinton that the public could grow tired of you.

Jorge Lopez0408's curator insight, April 4, 2014 10:12 AM

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 conservitave side is the new side that has been wanting to be used and hired for the new seat of the White House. The conservitive side is wanted for the both parties to maybe have a chance to help control the economy.

2. To what extent is Sabato focused on the issues (platform) of the candidates? What the disadvantages and advantages are for the runnign canidates for the points they they will attack and what they will focu on.

3. Sabato refers to the “permanent presidential campaign.” What does this mean, and what are the implications for government? The permanent campaign is the non stop of action being attacked. The new canidates will keep running for their own worries and ideas, not 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? Yes, the earlier you come out, the earlier your ideas spread to the people about your campaign run.

Jessica Markle's curator insight, April 14, 2014 11:56 PM

The media is looking for  both a woman candidate to run for the Democraticparty and someone fresh who has not been in the spotlight. because of this they have been keeping their eye on Hilary Clinton. However for the Republican Party, the media is looking for a clear-cut candidate as they let the scandals fall as they may. Sabato is not very interested on the party platforms of candidates, but rather their popularity and faults. He is making broad assumptions of each possible candidate and listing the general pros and cons of each.Sabato describes the permanency of campaigns by acknowledging that campaigning is a continuous process. He seems to imply that it is a good thing, and it allows voters to be more informed and aware of possible candidates.It is not an advantage to be identified early as a leader in the presidential race because this puts the candidate in the media spotlight. It also creates boredom in voters as they tire of constantly seeing information on a particular candidate.           

Lauren Sargent's curator insight, April 17, 2014 10:16 PM
So far, the media seems to be looking for candidates with successful political record, is liked by the public and their party, and isn’t too harsh on their views but also isn’t too loose. These credentials seem to be the same for both parties. They as well want a candidate with a good political record and popularity vote.Sabato is less concerned with their political platforms, because they can easily be changed, and more with their political experience and records and financial capabilities.Sabato’s reference to the “permanent presidential campaign” means that candidates now are more concerned with their media coverage and appearances when campaigning themselves. The government itself has become increasingly concerned with the media and its perception of what happens in the government and with running candidates. This causes some candidates to change their political platforms to fit what they think the media will want, which has caused some of them to become less popular.I think that there is an advantage to being known as an “early leader” in the presidential race because the leaders are the ones who other candidates will form their candidacies around. Other candidates will sway their opinions and fit what they think fits to the media and what the media wants rather than what they believe. This would not be as big of a problem for early runners because they start out on top because of their political ideologies and then gain media support, not the other way around.
Rescooped by Alaina Johnson from AP U.S. Government & Politics!

Due by 2/20: Texan Hispanics Tilt Democratic, but State Likely to Stay Red

Due by 2/20: Texan Hispanics Tilt Democratic, but State Likely to Stay Red | Alaina's BHS Gopo |
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 Kelly Grossman
Alaina Johnson's insight:

1.There is an increasing number of hispanics that have identified themselves as democratic which means that they have the potential to make Texas a blue state instead of their long history of a red state. This is related to minority majority in that the increasing number of Hispanic immigrants to Texas will soon make them the majority population in the state and the white people the minority.

2.Throughout Texas' history the population has overwhelmingly voted republican. It is one of the few guarunteed red states. However, recently the population of Texas has been divided to about 61% republican and 48% Democratic which is the closest it has been in years. This can be attributed to the rising number of Hispanic immigrants to Texas.

3. Hispanics make up only 38% of the Texas popultion so their vote alone cannot swing any election. Also, the voting rate among Hispanics is not high. Therefore, the state will not switch to democratic any time soon. This relates to politcal participation because the hispanic's political participation is so low that their vote alone does not change anything.

4. They surveyed about 180,000 people over the phone across the United States at random. It is also weighted to match the national demographics of race, gender, age, ethnicity, education, etc. to ensure that it was a fair poll that represented the entire population.

Shelby Payton Salkar's comment, March 27, 2014 10:22 AM
1. Democrats are looking forward that with an increase in Hispanic pop. the state may have enough Democratic votes to turn the state blue. Generally speaking, Hispanics are Democratic. As more minorities flock to America, whites are becoming a minority and may lose their typical Republican hold in Texas.<br>2. Whites are very Republican, while their Hispanic friends are mostly Democratic. In terms of the rest of the country, however, the Hispanics in Texas have more Republicans than elsewhere.
Shelby Payton Salkar's comment, March 27, 2014 10:29 AM
3 Gallup believes that Texas will not experience political realignment, the reason being Texas Hispanics are more likely not to vote. Although they hold opinions, but their lack of hands on political participation prevents Texas from being a blue state.<br> <br>4. The poll has a 1% error because the pollers checked to see if half of the surveys over cell and the other half over landline calls and then the surveyed at random..then there is the spanish polling,
Jessica Markle's curator insight, April 15, 2014 12:15 AM

The Democrats are slowly taking over texas because the minorities in texas are growing in numbers and the majority of the minorities fully support the Democrats. Though Texas is mostly Republican,  Democrats are hoping this population change will change texas into a Democratic state.  Keeping that in mind, many Hispanics are not registering to vote and because of that the minorities aren't necessarily able to vote and represent themselves when the majority votes more than the minority. This is a prime example of how participation can change the outcome of an election. The data from this article was taken by random phone call surveys by an equal number in each group asked

Rescooped by Alaina Johnson from AP U.S. Government & Politics!

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General | Alaina's BHS Gopo |
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
Alaina Johnson's insight:

1. The NRA is concerned that the President's appoinment for Surgeon General will pose a threat to the pro-gun interest group because the nominee is radically against guns. Because the NRA wants to control the legislation on guns, they are putting pressure on democratic senators from gun-heavy states to reject the nominee.

2. They want to remain in democratic control of the senate. If they go against the NRA they may lose their control over the senate because the NRA will lobby gun-heavy states to reject their democratic senators. This is of most concern in states like Alaska, Arkansas, and Louisianna with democratic representatives in the senate who come from states largely in favor of guns.

3. They choose someone who will help them maintain party control over congress without angering specific interest groups who have lobbying powers over congress (like the NRA). They try to pick a candidate to get enough support so they do not lose their executive control over congress.

4. The White House should really try to play-down Dr. Murthy's anti-gun background just for the sake of him being elected. That is obviously not playing into his favor with NRA members and Republicans. The White House could also formulate some sort of compromise with the senate members and NRA in order to ellect the surgeon general without NRA conflict. Since the White House has had recent nominees struck down by congress they should know more than anyone to pick generally moderate candidates so as not to upset the Republicans and interest groups. Picking strongly liberal democratic candidates only hurts their chances of gaining republican votes.

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.
Scooped by Alaina Johnson!

Does your vote count? The Electoral College explained - Christina Greer - YouTube

View full lesson: You vote, but then what? Discover how your i...
Alaina Johnson's insight:

1. The electoral college system is put in place to be a sort of compromise between Congress picking the President and the people picking the President. In the Constitution, it specifies how many electors each state is entitles to.

2. The common strategy in elections is to win the larger safe states because they have a lot of electoral votes and they are basically guarunteed votes to a certain candidate. It is also extremely vital to win Swing States like Ohio and Florida because historically they have gone both ways. Their electoral votes can make or break an election for a candidate.

3.  If neither of the candidates receive the majority of the popular vote then the new House of Representatives is required to go into session immediately to vote for President. In this case, the House of Representatives chooses from the three candidates who received the most electoral votes. Each state delegation has a single vote.

4. In the 2000 election Democratic candidate Gore recieved the majority of the popular vote but Republican candidate Bush received the majority of the electoral college vote so he was elected president. This angered many people who felt that their vote did not matter because of the electoral college system.

5. I personally think the popular vote should be more important than the electoral college vote because the whole purpose of a democracy is rule by the people. If up to 49% of the peoples' votes are not even being counted that seems a little unjust.

Haden Hickman's curator insight, March 19, 2014 11:30 PM

1) The electoral college system is there in order to kind of compromise between Congress electing the President and the people electing the President. How many electors each state is entitled to is in the Constitution.

2) The most common strategy in American elections is to win the large safe states because they have a large amount of electoral votes. It is also important to win Swing States like FL on OH because they often go red or blue. Their electoral votes can guarantee or crush an election for a candidate.

3)  If neither candidate receives the majority of the popular vote then the new House of Representatives will to go into session to vote. In this case, the House chose from the three candidates who received the most electoral votes. Each state delegation has a single vote.

4) In the 2000 election Democratic candidate Gore received the majority of the popular vote but Bush received the majority of the electoral college vote so he was elected president. This angered many people who felt that their vote did not matter because of the electoral college system.

5) I think that the popular vote should carry more weight than the electoral college, because it currently feels to me that my vote does not matter if it can simply be overridden.

Rescooped by Alaina Johnson from AP U.S. Government & Politics!

Due by 2/24: Americans' Satisfaction With Economy Sours Most Since 2001

Due by 2/24: Americans' Satisfaction With Economy Sours Most Since 2001 | Alaina's BHS Gopo |
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
Alaina Johnson's insight:

1. Since January of 2001 the terrorist attack on 9/11 happened with a huge war into Afghanistan and Iraq following it so obviously that influenced a lot of the public opinion on security, military, etc. People are now more confident in the countries military capabilities but less satisfied with the state of foreign affairs.  Also the article refers to the "dot-com" era taking place in this 13 year gap which could also influence a lot of things as far as how much information is now available to the public via the internet.

2.Yes it does because the democrats are more satisfied with the current status of gay and lesbian recognition which coincides with their belief in policies to promote equality. The Republicans are more satisfied than the democrats in the aid to homeless and less fortunate category because it is the democrats who generally believe in helping the less fortunate through government intervention. Also, democrats are a lot more satisfied with healthcare which reflects the Obama administration's efforts with the Affordable Care Act.

3. The Republicans will likely continue to rally against gun control and affordable healthcare and continue to push anti-abortion legislature based on the results of this study. Also, democrats will likely try to do something about the quality of the environment as it is the category with the most visible difference in opinion with the democrats being highly unsatisfied. They will also likely continue to push homosexual equality based on these poll results.

4. Since this poll can not accurately represent every single person in the entire country there is a sampling error, which means that this data is estimated from a sample of our population. The sampling error is relatively small at only 4% which means this data can be trusted pretty well as a fairly accurate representation.

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.