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Rescooped by Patrick Webb Byars 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! | Patrick's RHS POGO |
President pushing contractor changes with executive orders, moving without help from Congress

Via Christine Thompson
Patrick Webb Byars's insight:

Patrick's Insight:

1) Obama has chosen to enact this executive order to keep federal employees from being struck due to discussion of their pay. Obama feels it necessary to give a little more protection to the employees from federal contractors. The order also targets equality for different races and genders when concerning pay checks. His limitations on the order is that it is anything but harmony with Congress. In general, these orders can be determined, or deemed, unlawful by the Supreme Court and the President cannot issue orders that are totally against congressional intent. 


2) The use of executive orders is criticized because it is not how legislation, or laws, should be enacted. The president should work with Congress instead of avoid them and pass laws that they would not sign anyways. The criticism of his specific orders are that it gives more restrictions to some contractors but not all of them. Likewise, it is unfair to the contractors that work with the government because they have no say on the bill and therefore cannot fight against it, even though it is an executive order anyways. 


3) The gay rights issue is the area of policy in which Obama wishes to avoid using executive orders on. He wishes to seek a House and Senate decision on the bill to officially destroy the discrimination of gay Americans. He wants it not be something he has to use executive power on, but rather use the legislative process to ensure acceptance of the equality. 

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 Patrick Webb Byars from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"!

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

Video on The age-old practice of politicians re-drawing Congressional districts to find friendly voters, or, gerrymandering, has allowed members of the House of Representatives from both sides of the aisle to stay in power regardless of...

Via Teresa Herrin, Kelly Grossman, Christine Thompson
Patrick Webb Byars's insight:

1. The majority party in the House of Representatives are in charge of redrawing the districts. They redraw the districts when they wish to choose their voters in the upcoming elections. The purpose is to take politics out of the question and to put their own votes into their own hands. 

2.  Gerrymandering helps incumbency of the party with the redrawing capability because it allows them to gain votes for their reelection the next term. 


3.   The solution stated in the video was to leave the redrawing of Congressional districts up to mathematical algorithms that will fairly distribute the regions and to eliminate gerrymandering. This implies that incumbents will have to rely on the people's opinions as opposed to deciding who votes for them and who doesn't, therefore making it more fair.  


4.    . Yes, the whole point of gerrymandering is to gain majority votes in as many congressional districts for a party as possible. In the video, it uses the 2010 example when Republicans won majority in the House and they intern got 33 more members in the house.. 


5. No, it still takes the power away from the people's decisions on politicians which makes it less effective as a government. The people are supposed to have say in government and gerrymandering partly negates that quality of the US political system.  

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 Patrick Webb Byars 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 | Patrick's RHS POGO |

Via Christine Thompson
Patrick Webb Byars's insight:

1. The media is looking for a candidate that will support their ideals with their campaigning and, more importantly, their social life and actions away from their 'desks.' The media is very interested in the integrity of these officials, such as their family life, heritage, influences, scandals, outside relatives and friends, etc. 

2. The extent is to their experience in running and how the candidate will act in the campaigns and under pressure. It is his point to only focus on the part of the candidate that will be shown to the public; the candidate will be shown through media and campaigning. 


3. I feel like, in my opinion, it means the campaign that will stick through this election and the next, implying another run for office for the winner in 2016. The implications is that the government, depending on the outcome of this election, will have long lasting results as an effect. 


4. I believe there is an advantage; being labeled as an early leader in the presidential race sets not only the demeanor of the election in favor of labeled person(s), but also in how it greatly influences the public. The public will be influenced, because of the label given to the candidate, as he/she is a confident individual and puts the words of "I respect her/him," into their mouths as they are viewing the campaigns. 

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 Patrick Webb Byars 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 | Patrick's RHS POGO |
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
Patrick Webb Byars's insight:

1. The Hispanic population in Texas are appealed more to the Democratic party; therefore, the democrats are hopeful of this re-alignment of Texas from Republican to democrat. This relates to minority majority because the minority, in this case the Hispanic, influences the political party alignment of a given state due to its overwhelming presence.  


2. Hispanics are leaning more towards Democratic views while white Texans are more Republican in views. 

3. The likely re-alignment is a result of the large Hispanic population in Texas makes up most of the Democratic votes and is leaning to have more presence than the republican voters. This correlates to political participation because the Hispanics are the least represented in polls because most are not registered to vote. This correlates poorly to participating in voting.


4.  First they are conducted to ensure equal coverage of Hispanic community in respect to race, gender, age, education, region, phone vs. land-line, and the population surrounding area. 

Next, they try to get even coverage of cell vs. land-line phone surveys. And try to appeal to the Hispanic speakers by speaking Spanish and vice versa for English-speaking immigrants. 

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 Patrick Webb Byars from AP Government and Politics - Assigned "Scoops"!

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General

Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General | Patrick's RHS POGO |
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
Patrick Webb Byars's insight:

1. The NRA is using its influence on Senators and the Democratic party but swaying and lobbying on the issue of the Surgeon Generals Nomination. The NRA are concerned about the new gun restrictions that Dr. Murphy sees as necessary protection such as: restricted ammunition sales, restricted assault rifle sales, and diminishing ownership of guns for the public. 


2. The Senators are influenced because the NRA is a vastly supported interest group and in a close race, can mean winning or losing a reelection for office. The concern is greatest when the NRA stated that they will support those who do not vote for the nomination of Dr. Murphy.


3. The President is allowed a nomination for the Surgeon General position and the White House votes on whether the nomination should be accepted or not. 


4. The White House could pursue actions of influencing people, Senators, to support the nomination with a greater benefit to influence their reelection. The White House learned that with each nomination, more Democrats are switching to nominate against the President's say and support and if more drop then there is no hope for the President to get his nominations passed and confirmed. 

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 Patrick Webb Byars!

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

View full lesson: You vote, but then what? Discover how your i...
Patrick Webb Byars's insight:

1. The basis of the Electoral College was to create a resolution between giving full power of the presidential election to the people or the federal government. The Electoral College was created at first because the Founding Fathers did not believe that the general population should have absolute power due to low knowledge for politics in the early times of America. 


2. The common strategy for a presidential candidate is to win popular vote in the big key electoral states such as Texas, California, and New York. While, however, keeping the smaller, less populated states close at hand so that the candidate can best pursue the goal of getting to 270 electoral votes. "Swing" and "safe" states play a key role in helping the candidate control he/she's focus on which states are more important. For example, a candidate in the Democratic state might not worry about a safe state as he/she would a swing state that they could swing in their favor. 


3. When neither candidate receives 270 votes, the House of Representatives is called on to elect the president. Each of the state's House delegates get to submit one vote for either candidate. 


4. The 2000 election struck criticism because Al Gore won the popular vote, but George Bush won the electoral vote and was elected. This hit criticism because the majority of the American population voted otherwise. It also unearthed that the larger states have too much influence in the electoral college. 


5. I personally do not have an opinion on the electoral college issue due to my age and my position on politics. However, both sides are understandable. To criticize the electoral system, it does sway in favor of the government instead of the people and larger states have too much of an advantage, especially if they are safe states as opposed to swing. On the other hand, to support the system, the electorate system takes power out of the Americans who may vote unknowingly of policies and ideals of the candidate for which they are voting in favor off. It lessens the power of band wagon and retrospective voting. 

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Rescooped by Patrick Webb Byars 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! | Patrick's RHS POGO |
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
Patrick Webb Byars's insight:

1. Yes they do explain the public opinion due to 9/11 and the wars in the middle east we are involved in have decreased public satisfaction with the government. 


2. They do coincide expectations of liberalism and conservatism. The republicans are against more spending away from the central government and more towards the military. Whereas the democrats are not. (Just one example)


3. Democrats would be supportive of environmental projects whereas Republicans would not be as supportive. A policy restricting immigration would be supportive by Republicans but not by Democrats. 


4.  It means that there is a 4% spread of how accurate this poll is in its percentages and data. This could affect my interpretation because those 4 points could have been the gap between majority and minority or greater and lesser. 

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.