Thursday, December 12, 2013


Blogs should be current...
Today, Review essay prompts;
The information provided is REQUIRED to get full credit on in class essay quiz (in January)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Book Fair, grades, upcoming work

-Go to the Barnes and Noble Book Store Tomorrow, Dec 8.  Money is being raised for the SHS library, so make sure you mention it.  Free gift wrapping available!  Nothing says "I care about my family and I'm also smart enough to get all my Christmas shopping done and wrapped for free while I have a Latte" like buying books at Barnes and Noble.

Grades before Christmas Break:
Thursday Blog Check
the two essay prompts, in the post below. (40 pts).

-Note Check coming up; you will be assessed for all notes for 6,9,10.  15 points.

-Holiday political song coming up; 10 points.  4 verses and a chorus, including government policy, a branch, a person, related to current events.  Specifications to follow.

Grades before end of term (February 4)
-Unit 3 test, 50-60 points, chapters 8,7,11.
-4 more essays before break, rough drafts on blog (20 points)
-Essay quiz;  2 will be chosen. 20 points
-Note check: 7,8,11 10-15 points
-Writing / Publishing Assignments on Blog, 30 points.

Extra Credit Opportunity:  Award will based on your efforts, but usually can raise a grade by 2-3%.  Please don't ask for more than that.  Select a book with me, read book.  Analyze and assess book.  Approximately 750 words. If you want to do this, must select with me by mid January, and turn in on day grades are due.

Links to the assignments requirements are on the right, under assignments.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

ESSAY Prompts, 5 and 6

Create your draft response for this essay.

Essay 5
Different interest groups will choose different techniques to achieve their objectives based on their resources, characteristics, and goals.
a) describe each of the following techniques and explain why an interest group would choose each technique.
Campaign contributions
Grassroots Lobbying / mass mobilization.

b) Select one of the following groups and identify the primary technique it uses from the list in part (a). Explain why the group you selected would employ that technique over the other two techniques.
American Medical Association
Sierra Club

Essay 6

In the United States political system, there are several linkage institutions that can connect citizens to government Elections constitute one such institution. Because of low voter turnout, however, other linkage institutions can connect citizens to government.

a. Describe how each of the following is related to the likelihood of voting.



b. Identify one current government electoral requirement that decreases voter turnout. Explain how it decreases voter turnout.

c. Identify one linkage institution other than elections and explain two ways it connects citizens to government.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Chapter 8

The next Unit is Chapter 8, 11, 7.

Read Chapter 8;
First 5-6 pages.
Take Notes.
Here are some terms you should understand.

1. Define Party Competition
2. Define Political party
3. What do we mean by ‘party in the electorate’
4. Define the party as an organization?
5. Explain the party in government
6. Define Linkage institutions
7. Define Party image.
8. What are the tasks performed by the parties?
9. Define rational choice theory.
10. Discuss figure 8.1
11. What are the perceived differences between parties?
12. Define Party identification
13. Trends in party alliance?
14. Define Ticket splitting
15. Discuss Table 8.1
16. Read and answer the questions on page 244, in coherent unambiguous sentences.
17. How are parties organized?
18. What is a party machine?
19. What is patronage?
20. What is the center of local party organizations now?
21. Contrast PA and CA’s State party system.
22. Define closed primary
23. Define open primary
24. Define blanket primary
25. Define national convention
26. Define national committee
27. Define national chairperson
28. Define coalition
29. Promises by politicians. Discuss.
30. Define party eras.
31. Define critical election
32. Define party realignment. Example(s)
33. Discuss the 5 party eras.
34. Define New deal coalition
35. Define Party dealignment
36. Define party neutrality
37. Define Third parties
38. Define Winner-take-all system
39. Define Proportional representation
40. Define Coalition government
41. Define Responsible party model
42. What are the roles of third parties I npolitics?What are the conditions of parties under the ‘responsible party model?’
43. Role of Party and scope of government
44. Parties today?

Monday, December 2, 2013

senator wyden visit

Senator Wyden is coming to town.
Create a biographical outline of his background.
Find out what committees he's on; pick out an issue or two, do a little background research, and write down your results about his work/position on 1-3 issues.

Based on that, (and any general questions you have), write down a couple questions.

1-2 paragraphs


Background/Discussion on 1-2 issues
(2-3 paragraphs)  It would be great to research some of the bills he's sponsored, or his position on the issues. You can find these pretty easily on his website, under priorities.

Questions for the Senator?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Guest Speaker

Dec 5th (Thursday),
Sen. Ron Wyden (D), Oregon will be paying us a visit during 3rd period as Smith and Neil's classes combine.  At this point, I have not system in place to get more students in there from other classes, but I'll try.  Be chatting with your friends and family over turkey and leftovers about things you'd like to ask.

Possible Areas of interest might include getting elected, party dynamics, local state and national issues.  Go to his web page, find out what committees he's on, and look up issues related to that.

We'll ALL do some research and question design Monday/Tuesday, with an opportunity to come up with cool thoughtful questions that elicit developed response.

Should be cool-- Sadly, I don't know any way to make it an all AP thing-- but I'll see if there is a way to extend the group size.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I'm Just a Bill
Political Adds
Discussion Questions
Lecture / Discussion

Monday, November 11, 2013

Period 4 watergate

Bask in the awesomeness of your work. And look over it and get back to me if you see any issues.

Period 3 Watergate

Good job. A little bit of oddity on some posting; ask me to show you how, and what to post so that we have a link to your blog post. Impressive improvement over the year. Let's have it dialed in this week!

Period 1, Watergate

Great Work Period 1-- If you have a double post, let me know. I'm seeing some great finished content, and for those of you who are just finishing polishing it up, I appreciate that you submitted it. If you posted your whole 'blog address' instead of the post address, re-submit, and let me know. And take a look at your content and make any changes you see fit.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Phillippines

Here is the Link: Please make your Post today.  Feel free to edit until the weekend.

Part 1) How should the money be spent?  Identify critical areas for relief
Part 2) Support the idea that Charities are the most effective way to provide for relief.
Part 3) Research several Charities based on their expertise in the region, and cost efficiency (How much of each dollar goes to relief).
Part 4) Come up with a cool invention for something that could be used in the future for disaster relief.

Your assignment is to research how we as a community (class, school, bend) could best provide some help for the Philippines. With thousands dead, no power, and no shelter, my suggestion would to be to find the most effective, cheapest way to get clean potable water to them -- but any of the basic needs that you can identify, and creatively solve are good.  

There is no best answer.  But I'd love it if you could come up with a plan upon which could be useful down the road. I'm crowd sourcing this to you; hopefully one of you will find a good cheap way to minimize the effect of disease and death from poor water moving forward. To give you evidence of the need for this; following the Haiti earthquake, Cholera has been rampant. 8,000 have died from the cholera infection following the 2010 earthquake. Tropical disease is a real concern, and I welcome your thoughts and efforts.

This may end up being just a thought experiment, but we may come up with a best plan. Be diligent, thorough, and don't settle for finding one answer. Remember, whatever your thoughts are, make sure you are finding a solution for people with no shelter, no potable water, and in a tropical environment.


Thursday, November 7, 2013


Watergate Project:
Please find a general explanation to 'watergate' and read over it.  Wikipedia, PBS, etc.  Feel free to share links with each other.

Here is the publishing portion

Click HERE and find your assigned topic.

Create a well crafted post about the subject you've been assigned.  Historical information, and their role in the watergate break-in, scandal, etc.  Photos, Videos etc. are Nice.

Cite your sources. Must have at least one picture.  400-600 words is recommended length.  Include a link to the 'General Watergate' source you found as well.

Publish your blog post TODAY HERE .  Don't worry that it's not complete; you can edit it. 
Should be done by Tuesday, at the latest.

I will have the Timeline created over the weekend (Hopefully) and you can start reading your classmate's work.  I will include the 'uncovered' topics for the smaller class sections.

Chapter 10 discussion questions

How was your morning?

 Describe what initiatives and referendums are and what purpose they serve. Would you like to see more legislation subject to direct votes of the people or do you prefer to have the legislatures and Congress represent the people's interests more indirectly? Explain.

 Why does the text refer to GW Bush's first term as polarizing and how was this reflected in the 2004 election results?

 Describe who votes in the US and who stays home. Which groups have the highest turnout rates? Which have the lowest? Explain why you think some groups are more, and some less, likely to vote.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Some chapter 10 questions

1) Def legitimacy
2) Def referendum
3) Def initiative petition
a. Give 2 examples.

4) 1800 Election
a. nomination
b. tone
c. focus
d. troubling error

5) 1896 Election
a. Candidates
b. Issues
c. Campaign

6) 2004 What was GW Bush’s ‘great feat’
7) Role of US supreme court in 2000 election
8) What two key choices face every voter?
9) Suffrage? (specific amendments)
10) Enfranchisement and Voting?
11) Why not vote?
12) Rational voting theory
13) Def political efficacy
14) Define Civic duty 

15) 3 reasons for low US turnout
16) def voter registration
17) Voter registration differences from state to state.
18) Define Motor Votor Act
19) Who votes? What are the trends?
20) Explain Mandate theory of elections.
21) What are the 3 major elements of voters’ decisions
22) Evaluate table 10.2
23) Most important dimensions of candidate image?
24) What is policy voting?
25) 4 conditions for policy voting?
26) Obstacle to policy voting?
27) Define The electoral College
28) What was founder’s goal of elections?
29) How does each state’s election process work now?
30) Role of small states in elections?
31) Two tasks of elections, according to democratic theory?
32) Elections and policy as 2 way street?
33) How do policy differences affect elections?
34) Explain art of Ambiguity?
35) Explain how elections affect policy?
36) How does policy affect election?
37) Define retrospective voting
38) How has democracy affected the scope of government? 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

2 essays.

Publish.  Post. 
For the essays that were due today (assigned yesterday), and the essays today, read and comment on the essays of 3 other classmates.  Then make whatever changes you'd like to make to your essays.

The US Constitution has endured for more than 2 centuries as the framework of government. However, the meaning of the Constitution has been changed both by formal and informal methods.
a) identify 2 formal methods for adding amendments to the constitution
b) describe 2 informal methods that have been used to change the meaning of the Constitution. Provide one specific example for each informal method you described.
c) Explain why informal methods are used more often than the formal amendment process.

The framers of the United States Constitution created a federal system.
 a) Define federalism
 b) Explain how the following has been used to increase the power of the federal
 government relative to the states.
  • Categorical Grants
  • Federal mandates

 c) Explain how the following have been used to increase the power of the states relative to
 the federal government.
  • Block grants
  • Tenth amendment

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Outline today.  Work with classmate. Post on blog tonight.

 1) In The Federalist paper number 10, James Madison expressed concern over the possibility that both majority and minority factions would have too much power over government, and he presented ways of minimizing that danger. The United States Constitution established a democratic government but also contained several provisions that limited majority rule. Throughout the next two centuries, the role of majority rule in the United States government and politics continued to change.

a. Identify the part of the national government that was originally most closely tied to citizens and explain how it was tied to citizens.

b. Explain two ways the United States constitution limited majority rule.

c. Choose two of the following twentieth-century developments and explain how each moved the United States from a less democratic system to a more democratic system. (you will have to research either 17th amendment or expansion of suffrage)

       Primary elections
       The Seventeenth Amendment
       Expansion of suffrage

2) Citizens often choose to participate in the political process in ways other than voting.
(a)  Identify two forms of participation in the political process other than voting.
(b)  Explain two advantages of each form of participation you identified in (a). 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blog Address, Political Spectrum

Here is a link to share your blog address:

For the survey on 'political philosophy,' Go to this link.


Read and reflect about the "new american center."

Write a page or so, reflecting on your opinions from the survey you did yesterday, in comparison, or in contrast to this information.

Post on your blog, or turn in on Thursday.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

survey responses

And put your survey response here.

Chapter 9 stuff.

Describe  how the caucus and presidential primary differ from one another in selecting delegates to the national party nominating conventions.  Which do you think is a better method? Why?

Why are Iowa and /new Hampshire especially important to each party in the process of selecting national convention delegates? Should they have this sort of power? Explain?

Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the present primary and caucus system of selecting natinal convention delegates.  Would you favor a move to a different system, or prefer to keep the process as is?  Be specific, and explain?

Why are Iowa and New Hampshire especially important to each party in the process of selecting national convention delegates?  Should they have this sort of power?  Explain?

How have national party conventions changed over time?  What happens at the convention and what are the major functions of the convention today?

How has campaigning changed in the modern high – tech society?  Evaluate how technology has changed campaigning?  Are thse changes good or bad for American society?

*Describe the significance of money in in a modern presidential election campaign.  How does the government regulate the fund-rasiing and expenditures of presidential campaigns?  Is the government regulation adequate? Explain

Describe the current funding system for federal elections in the United States.  Assess the advantages and disadvantages of "full public financing of federal elections.  Who would benefit from such a policy?  Why?

Explain how a PAC works.  How are politial action committees regulated?  Evaluate the influence of PACs.

Here are some things you should understand (have in notes).

2) What does Anthony King argue of American politicians.
3) What are the 2 facets of campaigning?
4) Define nomination
5) Define campaign strategy
6) Def: national party convention
7) Def: caucus
8) Importance of caucuses (2 ex)
9) Why primaries?
10) What are presidential primaries?
11) What happened in 1968 Chicago?
12) What is the McGovern – Fraser Commission?
13) What is a superdelegate?
14) What is frontloading?
15) How are delegates allocated?
16) Role of money in Campaigns.
17) What is ‘mo’ and how do you get it?
18) 5 criticisms of primary and caucus system

19) What is a national primary
20) What is a regional primary
21) Describe trends in Convention coverage, and why.
22) Describe delegates
23) Define Party platform
24) How has media/tech changed the campaign?
25) What is direct mail
26) What factors determine media coverage?
27) Role of ads in campaigns?
28) How has media coverage changed?
29) Describe the process of organizing a campaign?
30) What is the mother’s milk of politics.
31) When did momentum for campaign finance reform begin?
32) Why did momentum for campaign finance reform begin?
33) What is the Federal Election Campaign Act?
34) What is the Federal Election Commission?
35) What is the Prsidential Election Campaign fund?
36) What is matching funds?
37) What is the role of public funding in the General elections?
38) Evaluate Fig. 9.3
39) What is full disclosure?
40) How are campaign contributions limited?
41) What is Buckley v. Valeo?
42) What is Soft Money?
43) What is McCain Feingold?
44) What are PAC’s?

45) Buckley v. Valeo and PAC’s
46) Why do candidate’s need pacs.
47) Criticism of PAC’s. Is it fair?
48) Criticism of Electyion cost?
49) Is there a correlation between money spent and election victory?
50) Spending enough is key.
51) Evaluate table 9.1
52) What is the Impact of Campaigns
53) Selective perceptions.
54) Evaluate passage dealing with Nominations and Campaigns.
55) Do Campaigns lead to an increase scope of government?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Government Survey.

For Wednesday, 1st 10 pages of chapter 9 done. Read notes taken.

Write down:  On a scale of one to 7, do you think of your self as liberal or conservative?


Write down the results.

Write down a short paragraph.
Were you surprised at your results?

If you did not collect the data for the first assignment, if you get one of your parents to take the FULL quiz, you can get the five points.  You will need to bring a note with their results.

We will create a plot of our classes results, and compare it to the rest of the respondents.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Here are some sample notes

Hey I took some notes for you-- to show you how I do it.
Are you getting all this?

Sample notes page from chapter 6 - 1
Sample notes page from chapter 6-2
Sample notes page from chapter 6-3

test corrections

Click Here

Test correction format:
For each one you got wrong

1) Single-issue groups have little sympathy for compromise.
page number correct answer on.

If you don't finish in one session, finish in two.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gov Homework, and reading questions.

Pick one of the two at the bottom (**), Copy the question to your blog, write a response, and then by friday, post a question or comment about a classmate's blog WHO chose the other question!!! Describe what is meant by  the “graying of America”?

What is meant by the term minority majority?  Describe the major minority groups identified in the text, including their relative size, political power and socioeconomic status?

What effect does the census have on the make-up of Congress?  What states showed the greatest gains in population in the last census?  How are they rewarded? Is this a fair system? Explain the rationale behind it and your opinion.?

Describe the major influences on one’s political socialization, and how this comes about.  From your own perspective, which influences do you think contributed most to your political attitude today?  Explain?

Explain how public opinion is measured.  What factors affect the accuracy of public opinion polls?

**Are public opinion polls a benefit or a curse to American politics?  What influence do they have on campaigns?  On governing?  What do critics point to as the key weaknesses of public opinion polls? Do you agree?  Explain?

**What is the effect of ideology on public opinion in America?  Do people really think in ideological terms?  Does the liberal conservative dimension adequately capture how Americans feel about political issues?

Describe President Reagan’s view on the scope of government in America. To what extent are these views reflected in American public opinion.?

To what extent does political participation reflect a bias in favor of the privileged?  Should this matter? Why?

Define protest and why it is employed in the political process.  What is civil disobedience?

Should it be tolerated in American politics or strictly curtailed?  How can civil disobedience be defended?  Explain.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Reading/Lecture Guide
For Next Class
Answer 1-18
1. Give examples of US unanimity after 9-11.
2. Describe US racial diversity.
3. Define public opinion.
4. Demography?
5. Census?
6. Weaknesses of census?
7. Describe first wave of immigration?
8. 2nd?
9. Third?
10. Political view of Miami Cubans?
11. How have immigrants fostered individualism?
12. Melting Pot
13. Minority Majority.
14. Describe Black Economic status?
15. Describe change in black political involvement?
16. Largest ethnic minority?
17. Describe status of Recent asian immigrants?
18. Which ethnic minority is in the worst position?
19. Describe the regional shift of population with time?
20. What is reapportionment?
21. What does ‘the graying of America mean?
22. What does graying of America mean for social security?
23. What is political socialization?
24. Sources of Informal socialization?
25. Describe relationship between parent’s political party affiliation and that of child?
26. What is the ‘new parent?’
27. Who watches TV news?
28. School as a political socialization agent?
29. Relationship between education and voting?
30. Describe relationship between aging and party attachment?
31. Who invented public opinion polling?
32. What is a sample? How large must it be?
33. Def. random sampling?
34. Sampling error?
35. Great example of polling error:
36. Random digit dialing?
37. Roll of Polls in American Democracy?
38. Criticism of polling?
39. Are polls really used to determine policy?
40. What is an exit poll?
41. Give an example of how wording affects outcome?
42. describe the different opinions Jefferson and Hamilton had about the ‘people’
43. Provide specific evidence of public knowledge about politics.
44. Demonstrate (w/ regard to George Bush (41)) how the media focuses on trivia, not substance.
45. What does it mean to say people lack cultural literacy?
46. What is the ‘paradox of politics’
47. Explain trends in ‘trust’ of governement.
48. Define political ideology.
49. Age and political ideology. Discuss
50. What is the role of enfranchisement and liberalization of policy?
51. What is the gender gap?
52. What is an ideologue?
53. What is a group benefit voter?
54. What are nature of the times voters?
55. What are no issue content groups.
56. List 5 ways Americans participate in politics?
57. Define political participation?
58. Define democracy?
59. Define protest?
60. Define civil disobedience?
61. Explain conventional participation?
62. Define unconventional participation?
63. Relate social0economic statue and participation

Monday, October 7, 2013

Test forms.

I will give you the paper test.  Click the appropriate link, and work away.  Please don't hit submit until you are done.  If you're worried, make an answer key



Chapter 3 review

1. US VS Lopez
2. Define Federalism
3. Unitary Gov
4. Intergovernmental Relations
5. Why is federalism important
6. Copy Table 3.1
7. Why are more layers important?
8. Role of federalism, and Judicial Power
9. How does state policy affect national policy
10. Copy table 3.2
11. Why was central power impossible in 1787?
12. Def. Supremacy Clause
13. Def. Tenth Amendment
14. US v. Darby
15. National League v. Usery
16. 11th Amendment
17. Why has fed power gained relative to states?
18. McCulluch v. Maryland
19. Implied Powers
20. Enumerated Powers
21. Implied Powers
22. Elastic Clause
23. Gibbons v. Ogden
24. Power over Commerce
25. Civil War
26. Brown v. Board
27. Full faith and Credit
28. (and same sex marriage).
29. Extradition
30. Privileges and immunities

Part 2.
1. Changes in Federalism over the past 200 years.
2. Define dual federalism
3. Cooperative federalism
4. How is the move from dual to cooperative federalism described (it's a metaphor).
5. What standard operating procedures does cooperative federalism involve.
6. How do highways demonstrate cooperative federalism
7. Explain shared costs
8. What are federal guidelines
9. Explain shared administration.
10. Explain table 3.3
11. Define fiscal federalism
12. Explain figure 3.1
13. Where do most federal grants go? Draw figure 3.2.
14. What are categorical grants.
15. What are project grants
16. What are formula grants
17. What are block grants.
18. (give 2 examples for each of the above).
19. What are the mandate blues (two ways it can be underfunded).
20. Why did the founders establish a federal system?
21. What are the advantages for democracy of federalism?
22. What are the disadvantages of federalism for democracy?
23. How are local interests able to thwart the national majority?
24. Explain figure 3.3
25. Explain 3.4
26. How many US Governments?
27. What is the role of Federalism and the scope of National Governement?

28. Explain figure 3.5