AP Government and Politics
Course Syllabus/Cover Sheet
The game of politics-- love it, hate it? Either way, we have the opportunity to be learning AP Government in the wake of the highs and lows associated with both Obama and George W. Bush. In addition, we've witnessed/are witnessing a historic policy fight (health care), a struggle which gave rise to the Tea Party and its frustration with big government (taxes, spending, federal intrusion). It's been a decade of political volatility-- both parties enjoying inertia, advantage... and then seeing it slip away. I've always loved competition and the dynamic nature of politics, our current hyper-partisanship and dysfunction, is simply a by-product. The ideological tug-of-war and the upcoming presidential election should allow us to better connect with and understand governmental institutions (as College Board requires come May). Yes, it's a fascinating time to be looking at and learning the pendulum that is American politics. With each unit, we will consider many questions and angles and, hopefully, become more analytic with our viewpoints. By the end of the semester you should have a real sense for political structure and political reality here in the
The U.S. Constitution (federalism/separation of power) will serve as the lens by which we consider many a question: Who can pray in a high school locker room? Can government restrict the sale of handguns in any way? Can police shift through one’s garbage? Can/should government track my phone calls, e-mail, or purchases? Is the death penalty cruel and unusual? (… and so on). Obviously, the courts and individual citizens may view things differently (see gay marriage or the legalization of marijuana debates). These questions are all outgrowths of the structure of our government, its many institutions, and, of course, history. Discussing these questions and exploring what scholars (and the pundit class) consider the strengths and weaknesses of our system should prove fun.
The College Board does not care how you vote (it's a non-partisan curriculum and test), just that you understand the structure of our government and how the political process works. The Course Description book is available on-line and you should skim-and-scan it. The exam (the morning of Tues, May 10th - am) will consist of 60 multiple choice questions and four free response questions. All of what we do, will be focused in the direction of doing well on the test. Because this is a semester class, review sessions next spring will be a must.
I assume all of you are familiar with the various do’s and don’ts of classroom behavior. I’ll expect the same. Remember, it’s your ability to speak freely and listen to one another that will greatly determine the effectiveness of the class. A few expectations:
* Be on time (tardies will eat your daily work and participation grade)-- “the cottage” is no excuse.
* Be prepared (for class) and work hard (in and out of class)-- you will be required to have a notebook and 3-ring for this class. The notebook will house notes and serve as a valuable review tool. The notebook may be collected and checked sometime during the semester.
* Don’t talk when someone else has the floor—it’s rude!! (listening is a skill, one that's evaporating...).
*This is an AP course, so don’t make me quote one of my favorite high school social studies teachers, who was fond of saying, “Damn it, young people, you don’t read!”
We will travel fast, so pocket good habits and establish the necessary windows of time in which to study;
and keep up— (I recommend the Cornell Method for your notes-- you may wish to do this on-line).
“Discipline yourself and others won’t have to.” -- John Wooden
How the Course will be Taught
The course will include the following: class discussion/debate, lecture, video clips, individual readings, small and large project efforts, group work and analysis, a paper or two, and a variety of other methods-- by any means necessary, really. Hopefully, it will provide enough of a blend that we can stay fresh, energized and crush the test come May.
Subject Matter and Outline
I. Theory, Underpinnings, and the Constitution
III. Political Behavior
IV. Parties and Electioneering
V. Congress and Public Policy
VI. the Executive Branch and Foreign Policy
VII. The Judiciary (Civil Rights and Civil Liberties)
Your grade will be based on a percentage generated from the total number of points.
Points will be allocated in the following manner:
Tests – You will be given a test in conjunction with each unit, and all tests will be cumulative. The format will mirror that of the AP exam and you will grade them using the AP grading technique (rubric/scoring guidelines). In addition, you will take a full practice exam for a final (60 MC, 4 FRQ).
-- Test corrections (15 points every unit for people who get less than an 'A')
Writing Assignments – You will be expected to write in conjunction with this class—welcome and enjoy it. The emphasis will be on clarity and succinctness, just like on the AP exam.
Special Projects – You will be completing a few projects—individually, in groups, and perhaps as a class. Hopefully, these things will be enjoyable and won’t cause too much pain. In any case, they will be best explained when the time comes.
Daily Work - Anything that’s completed in class or for class will factor into this grade. Don’t expect too much in the way of daily homework (you won’t be busy-worked). Everything else, especially the reading, should keep you plenty busy. (I reserve the right to check notebooks).
The Reader – You will be compiling a “Reader.” The Reader will be a collection of articles (two to three per unit) that speak to/relate to our units and topics. I have an example on hand (it will help reinforce themes).
Participation – This is the purely subjective portion of your grade. Much of what we do will involve dialogue and discussion, and I would like to see you all involved. Your contributions, effort and involvement relative to your personality is what I will attempt to measure.
LATE WORK/EXTRA CREDIT – No late work will be accepted, unless it’s an excused absence. Also, no extra credit, which is simply a clever way of saying “instead of credit” and it doesn't happen with any regularity in the college classroom.
ADDITIONAL INFO: It's important that you work to develop a "news habit." Read newspapers and magazine publications [Time,
**Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll update grades weekly on Infinite Campus.
-- optional summer assignment will be due after Labor Day weekend (??).
January - the Constitution and Federalism
February - Political Behavior
March - the Branches of Government
April - Everything and Anything-- collective discussion, etc...
Monday nights (7:30 pm-to-8:30/45 pm)
March I (time division/approach, resources, Units I and II - Constitutional Underpinnings/Federalism), March II (political behavior), March III (Congress and Public Policy); April I (Executive Branch and the Bureaucracy), April II (the Courts, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties), April III (Everything goes within the lenses of the Constitution...)
** it's time to begin incremental review-- AP Exam (5/10); (**pick up 'a practice test' the week of May 2nd)... (look at tvpoliticaljunkies.webs.com - U.S. portion-- and hit the College Board for free response questions and scoring guidelines)!! A good series of 'windows of study' prior to the exam is necessary...
Unit I (Gov and Politics - the big picture!!) - week of 3/9 and week of 3/16
Unit II (the Constitution and Founding Era) - week of 3/23
Unit III - (Federalism) - week of 3/30
Unit IV - (Political Behavior) week of 4/6
Unit V - (Congress and Public Policy) week of 4/13
Unit VI - (Executive Branch and the Bureaucracy) week of 4/20
Unit VII - (the Courts, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties) week of 4/27
and, again, look at everything that last week with the Constitution as the 'driving force'-- 5/2...-to-test day!
OUR POLITICAL ROOTS AND THE CONSTITUTION--
What's your strongest political memory-- why? notecards; talkin' politics (competition!! --the dynamic, non-static quality of politics)-- website look (syllabus, etc.)-- homework.; mention the Course Description book; Links-- pitch Real Clear Politics, 538, and the Center for Politics; review and Qs...
Summer stories (top three, etc);discuss the 'social contract'/Locke assignment; political roots (discussion-- who/what have we encountered? in what context? -- significance??-- five-to-seven words...; KBAT/website; Lasswell's definition of politics (who gets what, when and how... involves competition and/or cooperation)
Do you have a favorite Founder-- yes, no? Favorite story, image from the independence era? Joseph Ellis (video clip)... w/ questions.
W/Th: Ellis (Qs???); expressed v implied power-- solidify; sovereignty/(state sovereignty principle...later-to-Federalism); (political roots-- Cornell building...); receive notecards; quick Notes; [practice Mult Choice: 'the wisdom of crowds'-- Course description book]; 2015 FRQs-- plug scoring guidelines!! ...practice.
LD: Sabato's re-write 23 changes/proposals... (fishbowl discussion); Patterson and political theory
Weekend talk shows-to- 'faction' (passionate group of folks) and "If men were angels" (Fed 10 and Fed 51 handout)-- FRQ look [formal v informal (powers and evolution] and FRQ development; the Constitution - essential reference points...; websites for review-- explore links.
audio clip-- Seidman, G-town; Six Big Ideas in the Constitution (the National Archives)-- debate question and cartoon creation...
LD: Constitution USA w/ Peter Sagal... video clip; letter to the editor, or letter to Congressperson-- mail it.
notes/discussion; test prep (w/ ipads-- notecard construction...)
W/Th: Unit I Test; reading 'Federalism's Ups and Downs'
process essays; Federalism: today's fault lines... what do we think and why.
Lab Dash: researching 15 topics
share case studies-- what to do???; vclip-- the Bill of Rights and Federalism; Rock 'em, Sock 'em metaphor (w/ notebook art/rendering)... Rock 'em, Sock 'em round 1
W/Th: 'Rock 'em Sock 'em Federalism-- rounds 2 and 3..., reading (G. Will)/OPTIC ('money & mandates')/fiscal federalism; Barron-to-Gitlow (the SCOTUS and 'selective incorporation'); federalism and history/timeline, remembering state sovereignty and the 10th Amendment-to-the New Deal
COFFEEHOUSE FRIDAY: debate-to-weekend talk shows...; FRQ practice (topical anticipation)...; KBAT work; FRQ practice/ topical anticipation...
Scottish independence vote; Federalism haiku; notes; review for test!! (anticipate, scramble, etc); 'BAT work'
test prep/review: 'Oral Argument' format...
LD: Unit II Test; reading: the media landscape...
the political superquiz-- yes, no, maybe (reasonable, changes...??-- reword/refresh)
process exam/essays-- poll questions (for Fri); Coffeehouse questions...
LD: video (political literacy and focus groups); notes on public opinion...
Lab Effort: Messaging-- Creating a Presidential Candidate Brochure-- research and start (hand poll questions-- to be asked over the weekend; need 10)
tally poll; notes (media/media objectivity, etc); plotting effort-- spectrum, etc...
political parties (notes) v interest groups ('T chart' and two questions...); 'Vote 4 Me...' vs. notes (interest groups); AARP, NRA, NOW, NAACP, Sierra Club, Business Roundtable, AMA, etc; third parties (video link)
LD: 'Journeys w/ George'-- the 'Living Room Candidate' (homework...)
'ADM' on 'Frontline' (video clips); graphic organizers for the weekend
brochure share and 'debate scorecard' creation...
the campaign process (strategy w/ Atwater, Morris, Rove, Plough)-- handicapping Citizens United and how it might look w/ an FRQ
LD: FRQ scrum-- looking at 25 years-worth of FRQs
notes (the media); agenda setting/horserace coverage; self-selection/consolidation and the FCC (fairness doctrine??)-- Moyers; review/take-home exam...
"Congress" -- Ken Burns documentary; kick-off the unit...
Congress v its bad rap... (something new???); policy effort...
LD: process exam; measuring Congressional effectiveness assignment-- a qualitative effort; legislative envy: a look at 'Prime Minister's Questions'
writing/choosing a bill to submit to Congress... "Be it resolved that..."
day in the life, etc... working for constituents, w/ lobbyists/interest groups, w/in party structure; state and local activity/initiatives-- a better place to focus energy in a climate of division and partisan anger???; ...finish "Congress"
clip "Thank You for Smoking" (the congressional hearing...); notes (Congress); Dirksen Congressional Center and IU's Center for Congress (w/ ipads);notes (public policy); video Environmental issues, Welfare Reform, Education as public policy-- NCLB and Race to the Top, the Affordable Care Act, (the ADA, Gun Control; Gramm/Rudman, the "Shutdown", 'fiscal cliff,' and sequestration-- budget calculus, etc.)
LD: 'Sorting Hat' review effort... -- swimming bills through the RAPBABIE/Iron Triangle sequence(s)... discuss, consider costs/benefits, etc...; the presidency (... topics for papers - pick Fri)
test: (collective, via our entire chamber)/chapters read!; the Presidency KBAT-- job description; intro questions ('drafting' topics); video clip...
THE PRESIDENCY/the bureaucracy, foreign policy, economic policy:
Welcome to the West Wing (a walking tour... video clip/CSPAN); notes (organization/structure of staff)
the Bureaucracy-- scorecard and critique (growth of, etc)-- w/ notes; assign one-pager (due after Thanksgiving Break)...; yes, no, maybe questions (ask a parent, too).
LD: Foreign Policy-- "the Fog of War"... (guest lecture - Robert McNamara)
Paris attacks/response(s)??; foreign policy-- terms and case studies/examples
budget/economic policy (monetary v fiscal)...
counter-cyclical responses/stability; talking 'Presidential Leadership' w/ Bill Clinton and George W. Bush (test topics, etc); Thanksgiving practice exams, etc...
review: Presidential Power (Neustadt thesis and the Imperial Presidency) and 'Presidential Greatness'-- do we agree?? as review tool... Watson-like supercomputer w/ actor-- would that be an answer???...
test (part I); next KBAT (the Judiciary, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties); questions/preparing for the BCS rankings...
test (part II); the justices...
the JUDICIARY, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties:
LD: Civil Rights v Civil Liberties (define the difference); PBS's "The Supreme Court"-- Marbury v Madison!!; Landmark cases (+ prior exam exercise!!);
Stephen Breyer as guest lecturer... (organization and structure)-- Judiciary (notes)
Civil Liberties (the BCS rankings)-- the Bill of Rights baby!! (...revisiting selective incorporation)-- notes!
Civil Rights-- "Eyes on the Prize" (clips)-to-Eye on the Exam... (***14th Amendment; 24th Amendment)-- notes!
LD: oral argument clip (Bush v Gore); judicial activism v judicial restraint (stare decisis)-- a couple of case studies (& Scalia v Breyer... via CSPAN); KBAT prep...
The Exam as the guidepost-- power reviewing with butcher paper
Final (an AP Government and Politics exam!)
REVIEW/open forum-- process exam; talk post-exam: friday lunches, review nights, on-line aids, etc
Unit I: Political Theory and the Constitution
Chapters 1 and 2 (O’Connor/Sabato)
Natural law (& the Greeks) popular consent social contract theory (Locke)
The Hobbseian view republic monarchy (“divine right”)
democracy (direct/indirect) civil society oligarchy/aristocracy
demographics (transformation) libertarianism free market capitalism
Voltaire – free speech socialism the mercantile system
the “critical period” (& Shays) apathy communism
the 3/5s Compromise cynicism totalitarianism
The “living” Constitution federalism political ideology
strict v loose interpretation confederation popular sovereignty
majority rule conservative personal liberty
satire (& freedom of the press) liberal political culture
Articles of Confederation politics Common Sense
Humanism (church v state) separation of power the Beard thesis
The Preamble (“We the People”) checks & balances Federalists v Anti-Feds
Elastic Clause (“necessary/proper”) Full Faith & Credit enumerated v implied power
Articles I – VII (Constitution) ‘supremacy clause’ the Federalist Papers
Formal v informal amendment the Bill of Rights judicial review
Be Able To:
Unit II - Federalism
Dred Scott v Sandford (1857) enumerated power 14TH AMENDMENT
Webster v Reproductive Services (1989) federalism & slavery devolution
Planned Parenthood v Casey (1992) 16th Amendment preemption
irony of Bush v Gore (2000) full faith & credit creative federalism
the NGA & one other "Big 7" entities grants-in-aid coercive federalism
cooperative federalism & the New Deal fiscal federalism permissive federalism
Reagan and "new federalism" ex post facto law unitary gov't
categorical v block grants interstate compacts confederation
10th Amendment (reserved power!!) sovereign immunity Civil Rights Era
Garcia as apex of federal power intergovernmental lobby -- "
Rehnquist Court (inertia for the states) selective incorporation the Civil War
mandates: funded & unfunded... suffrage and the states -- a federalism fight!
Be Able To -
KBAT: Political Behavior and Elections (Chapters 11-16)
public opinion political parties (functions of) political socialization (factors)
Literary Digest poll “governmental” piece (party) “organizational” piece (party)
party in the electorate mainstream v electronic media party affiliation/political ideology
direct primary liberal v conservative age, regional notions, events
political knowledge & single issue voting/politics civil service laws (& patronage)
(participation levels) political consultants the “spoils system”
random sampling stratified sampling partisanship-- decreasing, increasing...
coalition building push polling tracking polls
exit polls margin of error unity (party)
linkage (and party, IGs, the M) accountability (and party) electioneering function
National Committee - loyal opposition/watchdog National Party Platform
National Convention Congressional party (discipline) coattail effect
significance/evolution PACs (Super PACs) and 527 groups “think tanks”
modern GOP v Plouff declining party loyalty party identification v unaffiliated (CO = #1)
organizational prowess! - myth or reality? two-party system
one-partyism 3rd partyism dualist theory
issue introduction spoiler function (Nader, etc) proportional representation
instant run-off voting ballot access states and voting law
voter registration electorate mandate
(retrospective voting v prospective voting) closed v open (blanket) primary
crossover voting raiding J blanket primary
nonpartisan primary runoff primary ballot initiative
referendum recall general election
primaries v caucuses regional primary front-loading
superdelegates uncommitted delegates abolition of the “unit rule”
electoral college electors realignment and “critical” elections
pros/cons Congressional District Plan secular realignment
redistricting …the electoral college scandal and spin efforts
gerrymandering incumbency incumbency advantage
midterm elections turnout (significance/meaning) electoral reform measures
McCain/Feingold who votes v who doesn’t campaign finance/contribution limits
Be able to:
- 1987/1990 Q1 (realigning elections); 1988 Q2 (differences between D and R parties/voting base); 1989 Q1, 1993 Q2 (power w/in public opinion and policy making); 1991 Q1 (voting and non-electoral participation—women, seniors, business, farmers; 1992 Q1 (voter characteristics: party affiliation, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, issue preferences); 1993Q4 (Newsweek poll and ?s); 1994 Q2 (women and political participation); 1994 Q4 (cartoon and ?s—primary coverage); 1995 Q2 (parties—and decline??); 1995 Q4 (Clinton’s ’92 coalition—election graphic, who and why); 1995 Q5 (reapportionment map and ?s); 1996 Q2, 1998 Q1 (changes in formal nomination procedures/conventions since ‘60); 1997 Q3 (popular v electoral vote and 3rd parties); 1998 Q4(elections and low turnout); 1999 Q1 (presidential election campaigns as “candidate centered”); 1999 Q2 (interest groups: AARP, AMA, NAACP, NAM); 2000 Q3 (map – regional voting patterns); 2000 Q4, 2005 Q4 (campaign finance reform); 2001 Q2 (incumbency advantage); 2002 Q4 (voter turnout- why an overall decline/mid-terms); 2003 Q2 (participation beyond voting); 2004 Q2, 2010 Q1 (interest groups and litigation, campaign contributions, grassroots lobbying/mass mobilization—Sierra Club, NRA); 2004 Q3 (cartoon and minor parties/ “wasted vote” idea); 2004 Q4 (decline in trust and confidence toward gov’t—why, cost of elections, etc.); 2006 Q1 (interest groups vs. political parties); 2008 Q1 (reapportionment and gerrymandering); 2009 Q2 (“linkage institutions,” and age, education and likelihood of voting); 2009 Q4 (table nightly news viewership); 2010 Q3 (composition of major parties w/ graph).
Reapportionment/Redistricting Gerrymandering Term limits
Franking privilege …'Congressional Immunity' Leadership (structure, etc)
Caucus - Party caucus or conference Speaker of the House vs. Senate Majority Leader
Whip(s) President pro tempore 'seniority' (H v Sen)
Committee system Standing committee sub-committee
Select committee Select/Joint committee Conference Committee
Oversight/Investigation Bills of attainder/ex post facto laws Impeachment
Enumerated Powers (Article I) Implied power (Elastic/Commerce Clauses) Trial and Removal...
Constituency Appropriation bill Quorum
Filibuster Cloture Field reps
Efficacy Incumbency/'Safe Seats' Closed vs. Open rule (House)
Senatorial courtesy Earmarks ...riders
Delegate Trustee 'Partisan'
Politico Senate (& Foreign Relations primacy...) Logrolling
“attentive” public Pocket veto Override
Public policy: distributive vs. redistributive policy iron triangle issue network
fiscal v monetary policy inflation/unemployment excise tax; tariff
deficit v debt progressive tax v flat mandates (funded?)
entitlements …means-testing public assistance/welfare
Social Security Medicare/Medicaid Policy = ‘RAPBABIE’
Congress/public opinion Rules Committee Ways and Means
Be Able To
KBAT: The President, the Bureaucracy, and Foreign Policy
“royal governor” State of the Union Address
22nd Amendment Senate confirmation of appointments
Qualifications (formal) treaty power
Impeachment (H of R) presidential staff
Executive privilege executive agreements
U.S. v Nixon veto power
Rules/line of succession line item veto
25th Amendment Clinton v NYC
Appointment power War Powers Act
Power to convene Congress pardon power
New Deal (& expansion) inherent power
Executive Office of the Presidency (Taftian v stewardship-TR)
Leadership (& the Neustadt thesis) the West Wing (advisors, etc)
Executive order legislation and BUDGET
the signing statement OMB
Bureaucracy implementation (& discretion)
Spoils system and patronage iron triangles
Pendleton Act issue networks
Civil service system/ “merit” inter-agency councils
Independent regulatory commission administrative discretion
Cabinet departments bureaucratic rule-making and regulations
Government corporations (2 or 3) administrative adjudication
Independent executive agencies Title IX
Independent regulatory commissions Bureaucratic agencies & accountability
(w/ examples) Hatch Act/Federal Employees
NGOs… Activities Act
Isolationism tariffs (MFN status)
Unilateralism the “American system” v free trade
Moralism Roosevelt Corollary
Pragmatism collective security
Embargo Act League of Nations
Monroe Doctrine IGOs… (w/ example)
Manifest destiny Bretton Woods & IMF/World Bank
The Marshall Plan Truman Doctrine & containment
NATO Cuban Missle Crisis
Détente Reagan Doctrine (support for…)
Human rights (Carter) Powell Doctrine
NAFTA/WTO terrorism & al-Qaeda
Bush Doctrine (pre-emption) WMDs
Dept. of State Dept. of Defense
CIA Joint Chiefs of Staff
National Security Council National Security Agency (NSA)
Dept. of Homeland Security 9/11 Commission
Military industrial complex news media and…
Be Able To –
The Judicial Branch, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
Original jurisdiction Appellate jurisdiction Senatorial courtesy
Judicial restraint Judicial activism Judicial review
Marbury v Madison writ of certiorari Federal District Courts
Circuit Court of Appeals 'justiciable' (real/adverse) Standing; vested interest
..to be “Borked” Selective incorporation Fourteenth Amendment
Freedom of speech Freedom of the press Freedom of assembly/petition
Freedom of religion gun rights slander v. libel
Obscenity preferred position doctrine Prior restraint
Rights of the accused Double jeopardy Unreasonable search and seizure
Probable cause Exclusionary rule Objective good faith
Inevitable discovery rule Cruel and unusual punishment implied right to privacy
Due process Jim Crow laws Poll tax
'Grandfather' clause Civil Rights Act ‘64 De facto segregation
De jure segregation Affirmative action 'failed' Equal Rights Amendment
Abortion (law/policy) amicus curie and, traditional briefs 'class action' suit
Concurring opinion Dissenting opinion Dred Scott ruling
In forma pauperis “litmus test” McCulloch v Maryland
Opinion of “the Court” Solicitor general stare decisis
Freedom riders MLK, Jr. Montgomery bus boycott
NAACP Nonviolent civil disobedience sit-ins
Plessey v Ferguson “separate but equal” reasonableness standard
Strict scrutiny standard Swann v Charolette-Mecklenburg Voting Rights Act ‘65
Bill of Rights Barron v Baltimore Clear-and-present danger principle
Commercial speech Establishment clause Exclusionary rule
Free-exercise clause Gitlow v New York Mapp v Ohio
Miranda v Arizona Patriot Act symbolic speech
Be Able To –
Civil Rights = protection by government; Civil Liberties = protection from government
What do you make of Mr. Light's lists? Do you agree? Where might your opinion/view differ? Bias here??
Of the past half-century--
1) Rebuilding Europe after WWII (the Marshall Plan)
2) Expanding the Right to Vote
3) Promoting Equal Access to Public Accommodations
4) Reducing Disease
5) Reducing workplace discrimination
6) Ensuring safe food and drinking water
7) strengthening the nation's highway system
8) increasing older Americans' access to health care
9) reducing the federal budget deficit (late '90s)
10) promoting financial security in retirement
11) improving water quality (pollution in lakes/rivers/aquifers)
12) supporting veterans' readjustment and training
13) promoting scientific and technological research
14) containing communism
15) improving air quality
16) enhancing workplace safety
17) strengthening the national defense
18) reducing hunger and improving nutrition
19) increasing access to post-secondary education
20) enhancing consumer protection
...the next half century:
1) increasing arms control and weapons proliferation (including terror networks)
2) increasing quality and access to health care
3) expanding the voter participation and preserving election integrity (free of the influence of money)
4) long-term solvency of entitlements (Social Security/Medicare)
5) reforming social safety net programs
6) protection of the environment and proper resource management
7) adequately dealing with growing demographic diversity
8) improving the nation's educational system
9) striking the appropriate balance between federal and state power
10) promoting governmental efficiency and streamlining bureaucracy
11) maintaining a military advantage/edge
12) building/re-working the nation's aging infrastructure
"All mankind... equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, and possessions."
- John Locke
Explain two ways expressed and implied power relate to natural rights and the social contract. Identify and discuss one specific feature of the Constitution that allows flexibility and balance.
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states." -- the 10th Amendment
Explain what the Gibbons v Ogden (1824) ruling did in terms of federal power and the commerce clause. Discuss the Rehnquist Court and its Lopez decision (1995) and what that meant in terms of power and/or states' rights.
Graph showing incumbency advantage in election results (nifty)
Using the graph shown above,
a) Describe and explain one trend and how it relates to incumbency.
b) Explain two ways that Buckley v Valeo (1976) and PACs have influenced campaign finance reform and the incumbency advantage.
c) Identity one trend in voter demographics and how it affects the reelection of incumbents. (how to tweak to get tight rubric response?)
Prior to 9/11, the FBI and CIA may have had all the resources and means to prevent 9/11. Identify which type of Congressional committee would consider this question/issue and what do we call that function or power within Congress. Name the cabinet entity created in the wake of the 9/11 Commission and explain how coordination and cooperation relates to the term 'bureaucratic pathology?'
"What did media ever do to you?"
"It destroyed the electoral process."
Hollywood's production "Wag the Dog" is a representation of how public approval of the cabinet and president is crucial. Identify two ways in which foreign policy affects approval ratings and discuss two historical or current situations that have greatly affected executive approval.
Though the Supreme Court mainly uses the Constitution when deciding cases, many historians argue they also, in some measure, take into account the thoughts and views of the public.
a. Explain one way the Court takes public opinion into consideration when establishing the law of the land and one way the Court is insulated from public opinion.
b. Identify the significance of Marbury v. Madison (1803) and the principle of judicial review, then consider Roe v. Wade (1973) and privacy. Discuss how each of these cases set a precedent for future rulings.
"12 days of Gov review..."
- 12 Fed Reserve districts
- 11 lobbyists lobbying
- 10 Amendments in the Bill of Rights
- 9 Supreme Court justices
- 8 battleground states
- 7 Articles in the Constitution
- 6 investigative subpoenas
- 5 White House staffers
- 4 budget briefings
- 3 branches of gov't
- 2 Houses of Congress
"- and a Constitution which blueprints it all..."