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Rescooped by Helen Richardson from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"

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

Here's What You Need to Know About the President's 2015 Budget - DUE 4/25 | Helen Richardson's AP POGO | Scoop.it
Here's how President Obama's budget would grow our economy and expand #OpportunityForAll → http://go.wh.gov/ctxpdE

Via Christine Thompson
Helen Richardson's insight:

1) Brian Deese claims that a severe reduction in healthcare costs has been the primary contributor to the rapid decline in the GDP deficit. The average growth rate of health costs is the lowest it has been in the last fifty years.

2) According to Mr. Deese the president's proposed budget will increase job and private sector growth. He believes this budget will not impact the deficit at all if Congress and the president close tax loopholes in the tax code.

3) The president's budget proposes half defense spending (which the President's party does not love) and half non-defense spending. Deese makes sure to point out the bipartisan aspect of the promise zones initiative which is providing money and support to areas in the United States that are currently and have been historically depressed.

4) Though the executive branch has mentioned some bipartisan initiatives in the budget, this will not go over well in the House, where the budget drawing in Congress begins. The government spending is still heavily biased towards liberal wants. A pro of this plan is the emphasis on spending money on people who need the support and apprenticeships. So often federal funds only are received by those who do not actually need the money, but the Early Learning Centers and Promise Zones are areas with scarce funds. Republicans are unlikely to like this bill much, but it is possible to pass several initiatives on the proposal because it is an election year. Constituents want funds flowing into their districts so that may be an incentive for a conservative to vote for these programs.

Cole Hagar's curator insight, April 28, 2014 1:40 PM


1. OMB Deputy Director Brian Deese says that the reason for the rapid rate of decline in the deficit is due to healthcare being nationalized and constant job creation.

2. According to Mr. Deese, the proposed budget deficits will continue to fall through 2024 due to the President’s plans and policies that he thinks will do away with waste.

3. The President is distributing the discretionary funding by empowering in things such as research projects that will ultimately benefit our economy in the long run. His initiative is already paid for taking into consideration the deficits.

4. The cons include the nationalization of healthcare which hurts almost everyone except the people without healthcare. The pro is the investment in our future investments which will ultimately help the economy in the long run.

Lauren Smith's curator insight, April 29, 2014 11:50 PM

1. The rapid rate of decline in the deficit is due to a historic reduction in the rate of growth in health care costs. 

2. The President's budget for 2015 will affect future deficits by decreasing the deficit more each year. 

3. The President's budget is trying to build on Congress's effort to compromise in the allocation of discretionary policy by bringing the democrats and republicans to work together to agree on a budget that has set limits for discretionary spending. The President's proposal shows how he'd build on this compromise process and invest in potential resources that would strengthen the economy. 

4. Pros of the proposal:

The deficit would decrease while the opportunities for Americans would increase. it promotes more efficient government management, and with the help of American Opportunity Tax Credit 11.5 million families can pay for their children to go to college.

Cons of the proposal:

It will take years to see the solid changes in the deficit to take effect in the economy and the plan will need bipartisan party support to work, and right now the majority of the government is divided. 

Tanner Roan's curator insight, April 30, 2014 7:50 PM

1. The rapid decrease of the deficit comes from the lowered cost of things like healthcare.

2. According to Mr. Deese, the deficit would begin to fall to around 1.6% as long as they keep decreasing the costs of things like healthcare.

3. The new budget is proposing to focus more on infrastructure and early education, but even then no one program is getting special attention budget wise. a component is the increase of funding for preschool education.

4. The idea of splitting the budget to help in so man ways sounds like a good plan to help support growth in the nation, but at the same time it seems to be very idealistic about what it will actually be able to accomplish. when spreading the budget out over so many fields, it can be easy to overestimate the impact it will actually have on the nation.

Rescooped by Helen Richardson from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"

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! | Helen Richardson's AP POGO | Scoop.it
President pushing contractor changes with executive orders, moving without help from Congress

Via Christine Thompson
Helen Richardson's insight:

1) President Obama has chosen to enact an executive order about pay of workers of federal contractors because he cannot persuade Congress to pass equal pay legislation. The limitations of his executive order are that he can only impact the economy through the federal government and its contracting, and that executive orders can be overturned through congressional lawmaking or through the court system.

2) Republicans in particular believe that executive orders push the president's power too far (though it is unclear whether they believe that while one of their own is in office) and that the president should work more with Congress. Companies complain the president is burdening them by increasing their costs. Federal contractors worry that wage-related lawsuits will spring up because of the release of new disparity data. The Human Rights Campaign has criticized the president for failing to address gay and lesbian rights in the workplace.

3) The White House has chosen not to address discrimination in the workplace based on sexual affiliation, perhaps because the issue is so distasteful to older voters. Election midterms are this year, so the Democratic Party needs to appear moderate. Though most Americans support gay and lesbian rights, the people who do so are unlikely to vote in the elections for senators and representatives since the predominant voters are senior citizens.

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.

Rescooped by Helen Richardson from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"

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

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, Christine Thompson
Helen Richardson's insight:

1) The party with the most power in the state legislature redraws the state congressional districts to try to create as many districts as possible whose citizens will vote for the party's candidates. These districts are redrawn every ten years after the census.

2) Gerrymandering makes districts heavily biased towards one party. This means that even if the incumbant is not popular with his or her constituents, they are most likely to be reelected because the other party is unable to muster enough support.

3) Mathematicians have proposed using geography, a fancy computer algorithm, and population numbers to create congressional districts every ten years. This could mean that incumbants could be cut out of their districts based on this algorithm. Also incumbants would have to have larger campaigns because there would be more competition for seats if the districts were not drawn based on party.

4) There are several similarities between the electoral college and gerrymandering. Both can lead to the party with the most popular votes not receiving the most representation. Also thrid parties are disadvantaged and less likely to win seats with these systems.

5) No, because many people do not identify as Democrats or Republicans which means that they do not get representation based on these biased systems. Also cheating because other people are cheating is not ethical.

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 Helen Richardson from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"

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

Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball » 2016 presidential ratings update: Nothing but questions on the Republican side | Helen Richardson's AP POGO | Scoop.it

Via Christine Thompson
Helen Richardson's insight:

1) The media is looking for someone who is younger, holds to party values, garners support in historically difficult areas for the party, has the support of most of the people within his or her party, and has the fewest amount of scandals. For Democrats it is different because some of the candidates have the ability to make history as the first women president which makes them more likely to be popular. For both parties the media believes that being moderate is a disadvantage.

2) To a very small extent Sabato is focused on the platform of the presidential hopefuls. If the hopeful has crossed part lines recently than Sabato says that is a disadvantage and if the candidate is moderate in a few areas those are mentioned. Diverging from the party platform is so unusual that it is unknown the exact effect moderate policies will have on the electorate. Also the safest way to win primaries is to have either an entirely liberal or conservative agenda because the parties decide the candidates.

3) As soon as one president is elected others begin to plan to run for president in three years. Everyone who has ever been involved in presidential races is watched by the media for slip-ups or other indications of weakness. Because the presidency is the highest elected office in the country, every legislator has their eyes on that position. People begin gathering funds years before the elections so that they will have more support (hypothetically) than their competitors. This means that government officials are constantly concerned with how they look to their constituents and not necessarily concerned with doing the right thing for the nation. Also governing officials are pressured into more campaigning functions and socials because the race never ends until retirement. Representing the community comes second to ensuring a brighter future for themselves.

4) I think it is a disadvantage to be seen as an early leader in the presidential race. I read a Time Magazine article about the mistakes of the 2012 campaign year. Generally the people with more mistakes had less support at the end than the people with little missed cues and errors. The longer the candidate is in the public eye, the more disturbing information can  be uncovered about the person and his or her family. The opposing party has more time to create inflammatory ads about the candidate. After the 2012 campaign new independent political espionage organizations have formed. These organizations are created to dig up dirt on a particular party. The longer a candidate is in the limelight, the more information can be unearthed and given to the opposing party by these groups.

Sean Kelly's curator insight, March 6, 2014 10:19 PM

1. The media is, overall, looking for a candidate that is somehow associated with government, and not associated with the government at large. The candidate needs connections, but not popular connections - they need to have a name of themselves without latching on to anyone elses name. They also are looking for a good personality, and an appeal to both sides of the political parties. This is true for Democrats and Repbulicans, except for tiny details - mainly Democrats need to have a steady, but not heavy, tone of liberalism while the Repbulicans need to tone down their conservatism.

2. Sabato does not mention party platforms for the candidates, except with Brian Schweitzer when his conseravtism on guns and the environment are listed as disadvantages.

3. the "permanent presidential campaign" refers to the tendency of government officials to always be vying for the presidential slot in the closest election year. There is always consideration for who would be the next president.

4. I would say it would be a disadvantage to be labeled as an early leader - people like the idea of an underdog story, of someone who has taken a rise to power. To be labeled as an early leader would be to be put as an "obvious choice," and so would be to be put in a bad light with the public as they feel their opinion is being downtrodded by that specific candidate.

Christine Thompson's comment, March 18, 2014 4:10 PM
I noticed that some people have the same/very similar wording on the "permanent presidency" question. Please do not "borrow" another student's work... and please be careful of plagiarism.
Lauren Smith's curator insight, March 19, 2014 6:44 AM

1. The media is looking for someone who is nationally known and has political experience, supported by some poplitical group, and they must be dynamic in speeches and campains. In addition, the canditate should have beliefs that are well alligned with their political party and have fundraising resources.

2. Sabato is focused more on the basic qualities of the politicians and has pointed out positive and negitive aspects for each potential candidate. He is not focused on each potential candidate's entire political platform yet because the point of his article is to introduce the candidates as potential, not certain, runners.

3. When Sabato refers to  the "permanent presidential campaign" he is refering to the presidential campaign in 2016 where the candidates for each party are surely running for president. These are the people that have decided to run and are no longer potential candidates.

4. I do not think there is an advantage in being identified as an early leader in the presidential race because the media can draw negitive attention to the candidate before they can defend or explain themselves. It doesn't matter who is the leader at the beginning of the race, it only matters who is the leader at the end of it. Therefore, it would be pointless to take any lead before the presidential race has begun because no one cares about that yet.

Rescooped by Helen Richardson from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"

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 | Helen Richardson's AP POGO | 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
Helen Richardson's insight:

1) Democrats are hopeful that as Texas becomes more of a minority majority state, the polls will reflect this demographic shift with more Democrat wins. Minorities generally vote for the Democratic Party and so a majority of minorities would mean power would lean towards the Democratic Party. However, because Texas is an abnormal state, minorities are more likely to vote Republican, it will be harder for the Democratic Party to swing the state.

2) The trends in party alignment in Texas are Non-Hispanic Whites are identifying increasingly as Republican, African Americans remain predominantly Democrat affiliated, and Hispanics are also increasingly classifying themselves as Republican, despite most Hispanics identifying as Democrats.

3) Gallop suggests that Texas is unlikely to swing Democrat soon because less than half of eligible Hispanic voters are registered. Low political participation from a group leaning Democratic does not bode well for the Democrats, especially since the group with low voter turnout is the one expected to change Texas to a blue state. Also, the inclination for Latinos to vote Democratic is much less pronounced in Texas than in the United States as a whole. Given this, it is imperative that more Hispanics vote if the Democrats want to win because there is less of a gap between the two parties.

4) The Gallop poll was done through telephone interviews. For primarily Spanish speaking participants there were interviews conducted in Spanish. The phones called were landline phones and cell phones. Over 170,000 people, eighteen and older, were sampled from all fifty states. The cell numbers chosen were randomly dialed. The results were compiled so that there were fifty percent cell phone interviews and fifty percent landline interviews. In homes the person taking the survey was chosen through which person had the closest birthday. Each survey is weighted a certain way so that all the respondents have the gender, ethnic, education, and age percentages of the United States population. The numbers to calculate those percentages were taken from the most current federal surveys and the census. Also all of these interviews were conducted in two days, making error through peer pressure or prior knowledge unlikely.

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. 

Rescooped by Helen Richardson from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"

Roberts Pulls Supreme Court to the Right Step by Step - DUE 4/18!

Roberts Pulls Supreme Court to the Right Step by Step - DUE 4/18! | Helen Richardson's AP POGO | Scoop.it
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. may work slowly, but he has a long-term strategy for putting his mark on the Supreme Court.

Via Christine Thompson
Helen Richardson's insight:

1) In general, business and conservatism has been favored in Roberts Supreme Court decisions. It is harder to sue employers accused of discrimination in the workplace as well as pharmaceutical companies have become more protected.

2) Precedent is following the previous rulings that have taken place over the years in previous cases. The court is currently following precedent because they are mainly reaffirming their prior decisions and rejected new interpretations of the Constitution.

3) The Obama Administration has a poor record because the Supreme Court has a majority of conservative judges and only four liberal judges. To garner a better track record the administration should focus on convincing Justice Kennedy to join their side of the case because he is the person most often in majority opinions and the person who wishes most to create a legacy.

4) Justice Kennedy is considered the swing vote because he is in the majority decision over eighty percent of the time. He is older, and is focused on building a legacy and less so on partisanship.

5) The article does not appear to have a discernible political bias, but the journalist does appear very sure that Chief Justice Roberts is running the court. The fact that the court has a conservative majority is downplayed in this article. The author uses both liberal and conservative statements in the article but only to reinforce the statements of the court's leanings. There are no sources cited about Justice Robert's overwhelming influence.

Anna Fisher's curator insight, April 21, 2014 11:56 PM

1. The opposite party has been favored in Robert's court conditions. "He took pains to note that eight members of the court, including its four liberals, had already agreed that “things have changed in the South” and that the voting law seemed at odds with principles of federalism and “equal sovereignty” among the states."

2. "In the last term, the court issued 73 signed decisions in argued cases, in line with recent terms and about half the number the court routinely issued two decades ago. Justice Kennedy was in the majority 83 percent of the time in divided cases, trailed by Chief Justice Roberts at 73 percent. Justice Scalia brought up the rear, at 58 percent." So, Chief Robert's precedent would be Justice Kennedy and the majority does not typically rule in Robert's court.

3. “Obama’s poor overall record,” Professor Winkler added, “is largely due to philosophical differences with the court’s conservative majority.” The way this could be fixed is through compromise in parties, maybe not being too liberal and considering some of the conservative ideas. 

4. Justice Salina is considered the swing vote. Salina said that the majority needs to respect the President and the views of this. People still needs the power to govern themselves.

5. No, this article is factual and simply allows the reader to make their own opinion on the matter. 

Stephanie Shirley's curator insight, April 23, 2014 12:35 AM

1.The Roberts Court has a very conservative record that has been beneficial for business interests and detrimental to consumers and employees. They  cut back on class action lawsuits and favored arbitration. 

2. Precedent is making a decision based on prior decisions. In business cases, the court largely reaffirmed its prior decisions.
3. Obama's poor record is due to philosophical differences with the Supreme Court Justices. One strategy that the President could pursue to see greater success in the Court would be to compromise on issues and try to get legislation passed that is more bipartisan. 4. Justice Kennedy is considered the "swing vote" on the court because in some cases he votes liberal and in some he votes conservative. There are four liberals and four conservatives on the Court. 5. Yes, because it describes Chief Justice Roberts and his accomplishments in a positive way. "His patient and methodical approach has allowed him to establish a robustly conservative record."  
Ivan Dominguez's curator insight, April 24, 2014 12:41 AM

Roberts strongly supports conservative parties and decisions; “seven justices, including two liberals, agreed to sign an opinion that over time could restrict race-conscious admissions plans at colleges and universities.” This court has been the most pro-business in the past few years. A precedent is citing a previous case in order to successfully win a similar one. And Roberts court looks at all precedents set before any case is tried. The Obama administration has an overall poor record in defending their interests in the Supreme Court because the philosophical ideal differences within the administrations is very high. Justice Anthony Kennedy is most often the swing vote of the court. He typically goes back and forth between the conservatives and liberals. This article seems biased in favor of liberal stand points, but also gives credit to the Chief Justice  Roberts.

Rescooped by Helen Richardson from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General | Helen Richardson's AP POGO | 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
Helen Richardson's insight:

1) The NRA is emailing citizens, encouraging citizens to write to their senators, sending letters to senators, and is threatening to re-rank senators based on the vote to approve Dr. Murthy. The NRA is concerned that this nominee is a supporter of gun regulation and will try to impact gun regulation while in office as Surgeon General. Previously Dr. Murthy has expressed that he supports mandatory safety training, ammunition sales limits, and the removal of limits not allowing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to fund anti-gun research.

2) Senators have been threatened by the NRA that they may be blacklisted by the organization. Some senators are up for reelection this year, so this is larger concern for senators from areas with large percentages of gun-owners. The Democrat Senators from Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Montana are at risk most because their election is already going to be tough and their constituents do not support gun regulation.

3) The President/White House appoint the nominees for Senate approval. Also the White House tries to help that person get the support of the Senate through compromise and buying votes.

4) The Obama Administration should call in all the Democrat senators for lunch to discuss the nominee and garner votes. Also the White House should personally invite moderate Republicans to luncheons and dinners or call them to convince the majority to approve Dr. Murthy. Delaying the vote will help too. The White House should learn that only moderates will be able to pass in the Senate. Also the Obama Administration should vet the nominees more thoroughly before sending the men and women to the Senate.

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. 

Zachary Smart's curator insight, April 8, 2014 11:52 PM

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.

Scooped by Helen Richardson

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...
Helen Richardson's insight:

1) The constitutional basis for the electoral college comes from Article II Section 1 Clause 2. This was put into place because the Constitutional Convention Delegates were afraid of placing so much power in the common mans' hands. The delegates decided that representatives from states were more likely to be educated and know what was best for the people of the state.

2) The common strategy to get 270 is to campaign hard in states with a lot of representation that are swing states and those that are safe states for the party. Also most presidential candidates spend more time in swing states than any other to try to get support. Safe states for the opposing party generally do not receive any attention.

3) When none of the candidates reach 270 the House of Representatives is charged to elect the president from the three presidential candidates that receive the most electoral votes.

4) In the 2000 election the popular vote was not depicted in the electoral college. Many Al Gore supporters were angry that the will of the majority was not displayed in the electoral college. Soon other people became concerned even if they did not support Gore because the electoral college system seems distinctly undemocratic and very elitist.

5) I am not satisfied with the current system. I would prefer that the electoral college was disposed of because the only time it is helpful is on election night, before the vote actually occurs. Also if United States citizens want to still use the electoral college, we should at least hold the vote after people's districts close because otherwise people are reporting news that is unofficial and possibly could change. The president is announced before being officially elected to office. I can see this system easily backfiring. There is a month in between the election and the electoral college currently; this means there is time for the proclaimed presidential-elect to make a mess and destroy electors' beliefs in him or her. I disagree with the fact that the majority will not necessarily win the election as well.

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Rescooped by Helen Richardson from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"

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

Americans' Satisfaction With Economy Sours Most Since 2001 - DUE 2/24! | Helen Richardson's AP POGO | 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
Helen Richardson's insight:

1. Many of the historical events that occured from 2001 to 2014 explain the changes of opinion while some do not. Events such as the American involvement in wars with the said purpose to rid terrorism seems to have boosted confidence in both the military and our security in general. Obamacare has boosted affordable medical care. The Supreme Court ruling striking down DOMA and the trend to accept LGBT people has boosted the public opinion of how they are perceived. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq seem to have shown the people that the United States is not the superpower it once was which upsets older people. Americams have suffered through a long recession and so people are very unhappy with the economy. There has not been a significant environmental bill or law passed in these years, and several natural disasters make people question the health of the environment. Besides the Affordable Care Act, big legislation benefiting homeless and poverty-stricken families have not passed (also the rampant government shutdowns have lessened aid) so people do not believe those issues have been addressed. However, people appear to be happier with the immigration into the United States even though illegal immigration still is continuing and the issue is an emotional one. Also people are more happy about federal taxes even through the taxes have been raised. People seem to believe that race relations are less of a problem despite the huge impact that the Supreme Court Case featuring George Zimmerman had on minority and white households. Also, when Barack Obama was elected (and even this week) many racist comments were made about his background. Despite the fact that little energy policy has been passed besides the hydraulic fracking legislation, people feel better about the energy policies of the USA. This is especially concerning seeing as the energy bill passed under Bush has led to disease ridden areas and unsafe drinking water. No gun legislation has passed at all, we have endured many instances of gun violence in the last couple of years, and public opinion of gun laws has increased. Obama's administration has started several programs for public education, including preschool for disadvantaged children, our graduation rate has increased, and people are still unsatisfied with the system.

2. Most of the percentages make sense based on the book, but there are some anomalies. The book says that Democrats are in favor of affirmative action and generally have more minority support than conservatives. Minority groups usually are the groups that are still concerned about race relations. However, in this poll more Republicans were concerned about race relations. A reason for this may be the fact that the United States currently has a minority president, but it is still unusual that more Democrats felt good about race relations.

3. Public policy to change the education system would be supported by both parties along with new policies aimed to get homeless off the street and more Americans out of poverty. Tax reform, energy reform, laws limiting government surveillance, economic reform, and bills addressing abortion would be welcomed by both parties.

4. The sampling error of +/- 4% means that this poll needs to be taken with a grain of salt. This is a large percent error to be comparing this data with data from previous years. Because ten of the questions elicited responses within 8% of each other in the 2001 to 2014 poll the answers could be very skewed. There are only 17 questions in the year comparison so over half of the findings are suspect. The poll showing Republican versus Democrat responses is less unreliable because only seven questions had percentages within 8% of one another. Although this poll seems better, there are twenty questions so 35% of the poll's results are possibly unreliable for the whole population of the United States.

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.