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Rescooped by Jacob Collins 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 | Jacob's Essential Facts of Life | Scoop.it
Here's how President Obama's budget would grow our economy and expand #OpportunityForAll → http://go.wh.gov/ctxpdE

Via Christine Thompson
Jacob Collins's insight:

1. What are the reasons OMB Deputy Director Brian Deese gives for the rapid rate of decline in the deficit (debt-GDP ratio)?

The main reason he gives for the reduction of the debt GPD ratio is the reduction in healthcare costs.

2. According to Mr. Deese, how would the president's proposed budget for 2015 affect future deficits? Explain.

The president's budget plan calls for extreme healthcare control which will make the nation's spending self sufficient. He wants to reduce it below the projected rate.

3. How does the president’s budget try to build on Congress’s effort to compromise in the allocation of discretionary spending? Provide a description of at least one component of this initiative.

He wants to improve the early education spending, which is a worthwhile investment to America to improve the economy. They're trying to put discretionary spending into investments in education and infrastructure, etc and military spending.

4. Knowing that you do not have all of the pertinent information to make a fully-informed decision, what do you see as the pros and cons of this budget proposal?

Pros: the economy should blossom and expand a great deal due to this investment spending. 

Cons: the video says none, but it sounds like they're cutting some heslthcare, which doesn't sound like a Democratic thing to do.

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 Jacob Collins 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! | Jacob's Essential Facts of Life | Scoop.it
President pushing contractor changes with executive orders, moving without help from Congress

Via Christine Thompson
Jacob Collins's insight:

Why has President Obama chosen to enact an executive order regarding pay of federal employees?What are the limitations on Obama’s executive order and executive orders in general?

He believes that passing an executive order like this one will spur change in the economy. He also believes that the equal pay bills will not get passed, especially for women. Executive orders do not require Congressional approval, but are in themselves very flimsy because it can't be funded on its own without congressional support. 

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

Obama's critics believe that he is using executive order too much and is not trying to "play nice" with Congress and get actual laws passed. Critics also feel that this kind of order will cause production costs to rise too much and will cause the economy to be worse off than it is. Critics also feel that since this increase of minimum wage for government workers would cause a higher sense of unfairness and also lead to the rise of prices. This is hard to say since it only affects government workers. Obama feels it will.indirectly raise minimum wage overall, but his critcs don't feel that way. 

What policy area has the White House chosen not to address with executive orders? Why might the Obama administration be hesitant to address this area?

The white house avoids the bill on gay rights. This is because it's a touchy subject. If they act either way, there will be riots. This is similar to a number of events that ended up being pivotal later on in history. For example, many presidents had an opinion on slavery, but no one dared to support or deny it, because it would've caused a certain crazy event... like the civil war. Addressing this issue would cause more trouble than the white house wants.

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 Jacob Collins 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
Jacob Collins's insight:

1.    Who redraws congressional districts, when, and with what purpose(s) in mind? 

Both Democrats and Republicans gerrymander. This is done by the majority party to ensure their candidates stay in office. Even though these redistricting policies are mostly controlled by the majority party, the minority party can do it too. However, it is less common. Politicians do this when they feel an election will be close and they would lose their majority.


2. How does gerrymandering impact incumbency in the House of Representatives? 

Gerrymandering is used to keep members in office, so this greatly increases the number of incumbents in office. It allows politicians to pick their voters, so the incumbents win by large margins, even though overall, Congress is not highly approved of.


3.    What potential solution to gerrymandering is provided in the video? What implications would this have for an incumbents’ future reelection?

Some mathematicians have suggested algorithms that create districts based on population size and density alone, as to avoid Gerrymandering. This way, there would already be a system in place that is autonomous from governmental intervention.


4.    Are there any similarities that can be drawn between potential outcomes with the Electoral College and gerrymandering? If so, describe. Yes there are similarities, between the two institutions. For starters, the minority party voters in each district get hurt by this as well in the electoral college. However, in the electoral college, a state can "change sides",  while gerrymandering ensures that a district never changes color. 


5. Does the fact that gerrymandering sometimes benefits Democrats and sometimes benefits Republicans make it justified?

No it does not, because it's basically grouping like minded voters together regardless of geography. No party should be benefited ever, under any circumstance because who is in Congress should reflect the will of the people, not what the politicians want. This low approval rating proves that this system is wrong in all areas.

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 Jacob Collins 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 | Jacob's Essential Facts of Life | Scoop.it

Via Christine Thompson
Jacob Collins's insight:

1. Based on this article, what would you say that the media is looking for in an ideal candidate for 2016? Is it the same for both parties? The media is looking for press worthy actions, whether they be positive or negative. The candidates whos names we know are at the top of the primaries, so chances are, if you're a household name, that increases your chances. An ideal candidte is one that is socially popular in a good way, and is not too extreme. The republicans are looking for someone more moderate since the democrats are strong right now, and the democrats are looking for the next big thing, (like to make history with a woman president), so they can afford to go a little extreme.


2. To what extent is Sabato focused on the issues (platform) of the candidates? Honestly, not that much. He really only views the labels that come with the platform, (i.e. too libertarian). He focuses on the social aspect of each candidate, such as media stunts, or likeability from previous elections. His pros and cons always involve skills or labels, such as "dynamic speaker" or "poor presidential campaign history."


3. Sabato refers to the “permanent presidential campaign.” What does this mean, and what are the implications for government? He means that every politician who wants to be president is always campaigning, even if they're not literally campaigning. Presidential wannabes are always vying for positive media attention, or controlled negative attention. Like I said earlier, if you're a household name, your chances are better. This means that candidates do things to reflect well on themselves and aren't always the best for the people.


4. Do you think that there is an advantage to being identified as an early leader in the presidential race? Why or why not? No there isn't. Think about it, if you're playing king of the hill and you're the first one to control the hill, that just means you have to work longer and harder to hold it. If Clinton holds such a strong lead now, that puts her in the spotlight. That means she'll likely have to use political gimmicks to hold the spotlight, for two years. That's a lot of time. Being in the spotlight early just gives you lots of time to mess up and fall from grace. The people won't remember who held the early lead, they care about who grabs their attention before stepping into the booth.

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 Jacob Collins 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 | Jacob's Essential Facts of Life | 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
Jacob Collins's insight:

1. Why are Democrats hopeful of a party realignment in Texas? How is this related to the concept of minority majority?

Democrats are hopeful of a party realignment in Texas because the majority of Texans are minorities now, and enough of the minorities vote Democratic. This is an example of a minority majority because white Texans usually vote Republican and there is a high enough percentage of minorities in Texas to turn it blue if other conditions are met.


2. What are the trends in party identification within the state of Texas?

White Texans usually vote Republican. Hispanics and African Americans usually vote Democratic. However, the percentage of hispanics who support the Republican party is slowly on the rise.


3. Why does Gallup suggest that the current situation is unlikely to result in party realignment in the near future? How is this related to the concept of political participation?

While the numbers are high enough to turn cause  a party realignment, there just simply aren't enough minorities registered to vote. This shows political participation because the effects of segregation and discrimination are still being felt in some areas. Hispanics statistically are less literate than white people, especially in the earlier generations of American hispanics. However, I think the literacy rate and in turn the political participation will rise over time. The same goes for African Americans. This is merely a representation of a slowly changing ethnic dominance, nothing more.


4. What steps were taken to ensure a low sampling error in this poll?

Samples were weighted to account for selection probability, phone call polls were double checked. The results were also adjusted for national distribution of age, gender, race, education, and population density.

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 Jacob Collins 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! | Jacob's Essential Facts of Life | 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
Jacob Collins's insight:

1. Who/what has been consistently favored in Roberts court decisions? Cite evidence to support your answer.

One group that has been favored recently is the conservatives. When Obamacare was approved, Chief Justice Roberts put in a section that allowed a state to opt out of it. Also, big business has been favored. They recently made it to where it's harder to sue an employer for discrimination or unsafe work condition.


2. What is precedent and in what ways has the Roberts court largely made rulings based on precedent?

Precedent is where a court makes a decision based on past decisions by the court. Justice is in line with precedents in certain ways such as his refusal to make a decision on gay rights, just as others have done. He breaks precedents according to Justice Scalia by moving towards limiting campaign finance.


3. Why does the Obama administration have an overall poor record in defending their interest in the Supreme Court? What strategy(ies) might the President pursue to see greater success in the Court?

The Solicitor General has only won 39% of his cases while they usually win 70%. This is largely because there is a conservative majority in the court and Obama is trying to pass liberal laws. The way he can get more cases won is by wording the laws in a conservative or neutral manner.


4. Which Justice is considered the “swing vote” on the court and why?

Justice Anthony Kennedy is the swing vote because he sides with the majority 83% of the time, which would indicate his vote was the deciding factor. Also, excluding him, there are four conservatives and four liberals on the court.


5. Is there discernible bias in the way this article was written? Why, or why not?

Yes there is a bias in the article because the author uses phrases like "victory for the liberals  today can be a pain tomorrow" and also, the author ridicules Scalia for disagreeing with Roberts. If Roberts is a conservative then it's likely that the author is too. The author frequently refers to the liberals in a negative way as well as the laws that the democrats push, so I think there's bias there.

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 Jacob Collins from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General | Jacob's Essential Facts of Life | 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
Jacob Collins's insight:

1. How is an interest group (the NRA) exercising its influence on this appointment? What are the NRA’s specific concerns with this nominee?

Since the NRA is such a large interest group, they exercise their influence by threatening to stop backing candidates who support the resident's nomination. The NRA is concerned that this surgeon General will make legislation favoring gun con control, even though this office generally has nothing to do with gun control. The NRA doesn't want to take chances since his opinions are strong towards gun control.


2. What is at stake for Senators, and where is the concern greatest?

The stake for individual senators is re-election, like always. Since a lot of people value the NRA's opinion, the NRA can support or refuse to support any one candidate and it'll have a significant impact on their re-election, especially in the Republican south. Also, the resident's of each district put pressure on their representatives as a result of an NRA email. This shows the power of individual interest groups.


3. How does the President/White House play a role in the confirmation process?

The president appoints upper members such as supreme court judges, and the surgeon General. The Senate then confirms or denies these appointments and there is no appeals process. The president can push for and debate his candidate, but that's it. 


4. What strategies could the White House pursue in relation to this appointment? What did the White House learn from recent nominations that were not confirmed? The white house needs a new strategy after Obama's last appointment was denied. They are going to talk with democratic leaders and try and persuade them to vote with them. They need more time for this, so they want to push the vote back to midterm elections. Or they want to give the appointee time to withdraw. The effectiveness of this all depends on the success of democrats to overcome pressure from the NRA and their supporters; this applies specifically to democrats in Republican states.

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 Jacob Collins

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...
Jacob Collins's insight:

1. What is the constitutional basis for the electoral college system and why was it put in place?

The basis for the system was to allow everyone's vote to matter in an election. The founding fathers wanted to allow everyone to.vote but they feared that popular vote would give advantage to the larger states because they would just vote for their buddy. It also helps protect the smaller states .because the electoral college helps their votes count more and candidates don't overlook them.


2. What is the common strategy to get 270 votes and what role do "safe" and "swing" states play? 

Many candidates try to get the larger states, while focusing on the swing states that could vote either way. Candidates don't campaign much in safe states because they don't need to convince them of anything. A candidate may, as a strategy, campaign heavily in another opponent's safe state, but most often candidates focus on swing states.


3. How is the president chosen if none of the candidates get a majority of the electoral votes?

The decision then goes the House of Representatives, who vote on the president from the top 3 candidates.


4. Why did the 2000 election reenergize the critique of the electoral college? 

Bush won the election by a narrow margin in electoral votes, but Gore had the popular vote. This angered the public because more of the public wanted Gore to win, but he lost because he didn't hold the majority in the right states.


5. Are you satisfied the system? 

Yes I am, but it needs tweaks. If does make each state important, but it makes some more important than others. It does discourage non dominant parties from voting, so there should be a sort of gradulated plurality system, like if you win 30% of the popular vote, you get 25% of the electoral votes or something like that, to encourage voting and more accurately reflect the demographic of each state.

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Rescooped by Jacob Collins 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! | Jacob's Essential Facts of Life | 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
Jacob Collins's insight:

1. The article explains why Gallup chose a 13-year comparison. Do the historical events of this period explain the changes in public opinion? Why or why not? Yes because events such as this define public opinion. For example, 9/11 affected Americans views on national security. The involvement in such events has changed American's views on certain events, especially forein affairs.


2. Examine the chart comparing Democrats' and Republicans' levels of satisfaction. Do these results coincide with your expectations (based on the textbooks' depiction of American liberalism and conservatism)? Why or why not? Yes they do, because Rebublicans support things such as less immigration, and a more present military, while democrats do not. The polls reflect democrats satisfaction with this decrease in military size and increase in immigration, while showing republicans are not.


3. Based on these results, which public policy changes are likely to be supported by each party? Healthcare would be widely supported democrats, since they favor things like that. Republicans would favor tax cuts for the wealthy size since they support more control in that area. Republicans are also dissatisfied with the decreasing military presence in the middle east. Democrats would want to distance the US from the North Korean affair.


4. The sampling error for this poll is +/- 4%. What does this mean, and how might it impact your interpretation of the data presented? This accounts for any sampling error that might have occurred. For most of the polls, the difference between democrat and republican satisfaction ratings is within that margin so that's the difference between one group having the lead in satisfaction.

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.