In case you were unsure how the Iran-Contra affair went about, here's a helpful summary.
ABOUT THIS BLOG
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.
There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Here's the full article...
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
A glimpse at Robert A. Taft:
A timeline of campaign finance reform.
A timeline of congressional reforms.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
And you thought Florida in 2000 was close...
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
You want polarization? Here's some polarization. Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina beats Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts.
Video and transcripts of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
The congressional oath of office dates from this era.
Background on the impeachment process.
There is an entire site on the Johnson impeachment.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The Olympic torch began its first-ever run throughThe North Koreans promised there will not be ANY protests during the torch relay. Oh thank goodness. I hear North Korean pro-democracy demonstrations are usually pretty wild. Now that is an ally you can rely on. on Monday, where the flame was assured of a trip free of the anti-Chinese protests that marked other legs of the relay.
When former President Bill Clinton called a Guam radio show on Thursday morning
to talk up his wife, it was described as a historic first. The same was said of Senator Barack Obama’s decision to open a campaign office in Hagatña, the territory’s capital.
With four delegates up for grabs in caucuses on May 3, Guam is a player in the Democratic primaries for the first time. Though island residents cannot vote in the general election, they can help choose a presidential nominee. In fact, Guamanians need not be registered voters to participate. While the caucuses are open only to registered Democrats, people can sign up on site...
See: Guam for Obama
See: Senator Clinton's Guam interview.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Finally, some good news for us Romney supporters.
So according to Sports Books, the Green Bay Packers have a better shot at winning the Super Bowl than Fred Thompson does of being veep. And this is the post-Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers era. Poor Freddy.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Congresswoman Sue Myrick knows what her constituents care about. In the midst of terrorism, a looming recession, and the Iraq War, Myrick speaks to the floor about the greatest injustice of all: at Wrestlemania, Shawn Michaels defeated Ric Flair and ended his career. After 36 years of being the limousine riding, jet flying, kissing stealing, wheeling dealing son of a gun, Mr. Flair retired. I can think of no one in the entire country more deserving of commendation than the Nature Boy.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Amid all of this BS, I enjoyed this little bit of irony: before launching into another segment on Obama's "elitist" attitudes, MSNBC News anchor Tamryn Hall announced a "Key Endorsement" for Obama from.... Dan Rooney. (for non sports fans, Dan Rooney is the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. If you knew that already, I apologize for my blatant elitism)
I enjoy a world where cable news feels that Pennsylvania voters are too sophisticated for Obama's remarks on economic frustrations, but they are simple enough that DAN ROONEY is a "Key Endorsement".
Maybe Obama should amend his remarks to say that when there is economic hardship, rural voters cling to things like religion, guns, and NFL team owners.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Some great moments may be missing (Bush's pretzel choke under the "Famous Gaffes" category), but entertaining to peruse nonetheless...
Monday, April 7, 2008
No one was injured in the incident, but the car - in which Vitter was a passenger - sped away from the scene with visible, but light damage following the wreck."
Congress had passed other bills for the relief of individuals. (Note, however, that P.L. 109-3 was technically a public law.)
Judicial nomination hearings can take dramatic turns:
And hearings can also involve discussion of legal principles:
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Video (2007 and 2008):
First three nights:
State of the Union
Many bills pass on the floor:
Many testify before Environmental and Public Works Committee
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
An article about Reynold's decision not to run again, and what that suggests about the state of the Republican party more generally (retirements, ethics, finances, etc):
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Congress "organizes" the executive:
- John Kerry has some questions for Sam Fox, nominee for Ambassador to Belgium, and donor to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Why do you think Bush pulled the nomination?
- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse uses Mukasey's confirmation hearing to make a point about waterboarding:
The removal power came dramatically into view when a controversy arose over the firing of US Attorneys:
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Statements of Administration Policy
Note how both President Clinton and President Bartlet used the Antiquities Act. In this case, as in others, have presidents overstepped their authority?As for the latter, shall see a classic video presentation of LBJ working his will on Congress. Here is an audio on the same topic. (And another.) Could you picture similar conversations with President Bush?
Democrat Bill Foster pulled off an upset against Republican Jim Oberweis in a special election for former Speaker Dennis Hastert's seat in the Illinois 14th district. Apparently nobody really saw this one coming: It's a historically safe Republican district and this is Foster's first elected office. (Previously, a physist.)
Here's an unfortunate money quote from one unnamed GOP aide:
“By itself, this would not be that big of a deal, but coupled with everything else it will just deflate the [House Republican] Conference...And symbolically, losing Hastert’s seat is like the toppling of the Saddam statue in Baghdad for Republicans.”
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Not surprisingly, the Democrats in general have more power. They are the majority right now after all. Interestingly there are a few Republicans high up on the power rankings. Mitch McConnell and John McCain are fairly powerful by this measure. Interestingly Clinton is slightly more powerful than John McCain who is slightly more powerful than Obama (again by this measure). Of course, all of them are less powerful than Diane Feinstein so California reigns supreme.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Roles for the other classes are at http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/dward/classes/congpres/simroles08.html
Senators with # do not serve in the real-world committee. We have added them for simulation purposes.
Homeland Security and Government Affairs
Susan M. Collins Ranking Member (ME) Ashley Green
Ted Stevens (AK) Haiyang Zhang
George V. Voinovich (OH) Ben Hough
Norm Coleman (MN) Max Davison
Tom Coburn (OK) Anthony Escandon
Richard G. Lugar Ranking Member (IN) Ryan Martin
Chuck Hagel (NE) Charles Sprague
Bob Corker (TN) Gregory Farnum, HMC
John E. Sununu (NH) Alexander WeberShapiro
Mitch McConnell (KY)# David Reitz
Lisa Murkowski (AK) Lina Cohen, PI
Jim DeMint (SC) Quirina Mitchell
Johnny Isakson (GA) Emma Lowry. SC
John McCain (AZ)# Patrick Atwater
Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions
Michael B. Enzi, Ranking Member (WY) Avram (Abe) Shimm
Judd Gregg (NH) Spencer MacColl
Lamar Alexander (TN) Edwin Hetz
Richard Burr (NC) Brandon Sanchez
Johnny Isakson (GA) Emily Phelps
Lisa Murkowski (AK) Sandy Russell
Orrin G. Hatch (UT) Matthew Lewis
Environment and Public Works
James M. Inhofe, Ranking Member (OK) Sean McGregor
Olympia Snowe (ME)# Allison Foote
David Vitter (LA) Sam Ross
John Barrasso (WY) Andrew Hess
Larry E. Craig (ID) Brendan Sasso
Monday, February 25, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
2. See video about a member of the House Democratic leadership:
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The convention is going to be a mess. I retract my previous optimistic statement about the Clinton campaign. They're going to fight tooth and nail.
In an interview [Trenton Mayor Doug] Palmer still sounded riled about a few things he had heard about. One of them, reported by the Associated Press, was a private conversation between Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), a Clinton supporter, and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), one of Obama's national campaign co-chairmen. Both
lawmakers are superdelegates. Jackson had asked Cleaver if he wanted to go down in history as someone who prevented an African American from occupying the White
House for the first time. Separately, Jackson told the AP that supporting Clinton in districts where Obama won overwhelmingly might place those politicians at risk of a primary challenge.
Monday, February 18, 2008
The Senators with # do not serve in the real-world committee. We have added them for simulation purposes.
Homeland Security and Government Affairs
Susan M. Collins Ranking Member (ME)
Ted Stevens (AK)
George V. Voinovich (OH)
Norm Coleman (MN)
Tom Coburn (OK)
*Pete V. Domenici (NM)
*John Warner (VA)
*John E. Sununu (NH)
Richard G. Lugar Ranking Member (IN)
Chuck Hagel (NE)
*Norm Coleman (MN)
Bob Corker (TN)
John E. Sununu (NH)
Mitch McConnell (KY)#
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Jim DeMint (SC)
Johnny Isakson (GA)
John McCain (AZ)#
Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions
Michael B. Enzi, Ranking Member (WY)
Judd Gregg (NH)
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Richard Burr (NC)
Johnny Isakson (GA)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Orrin G. Hatch (UT)
*Pat Roberts (KS)
*Wayne Allard (CO)
*Tom Coburn, M.D. (OK)
Environment and Public Works
James M. Inhofe, Ranking Member (OK)
Olympia Snowe (ME)#
David Vitter (LA)
John Barrasso (WY)
Larry E. Craig (ID)
*Lamar Alexander (TN)
*Christopher S. Bond (MO)
Sunday, February 17, 2008
The study found that Obama has sent more than $694,000 from either his campaign account or his political action committee to superdelegates -- the members of Congress, governors, and other party leaders who receive automatic votes at the Democratic National Convention.It looks like Obama might have learned more from his Senate experience than Clinton did. Perhaps she assumed the political insiders would default to the Clinton camp. Regardless, this should prevent superdelegates from voting for Clinton if she doesn't win the popular vote.
About 40 percent of the elected officials who have endorsed Obama have received campaign contributions from him, the center reports. Those superdelegates have received a total of $228,000 from him.
By contrast, Clinton sent out only $195,500 to superdelegates, and only 12 percent of her superdelegates received money from her for their campaigns, according to the report.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Following an angry partisan debate and a dramatic walkout by Republicans, the House on Thursday approved motions to begin criminal and civil contempt proceedings against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriett Miers for failing to comply with subpoenas issued by the House Judiciary Committee. The vote was 223-32 and came after House Republicans – yelling “Work, work, work” – marched out of the chamber en masse to protest the fact that the Democrats were focused on the contempt issue rather than on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act legislation the Senate passed earlier in the week.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
It's interesting that in the Senate, only 40 Republicans are able to shape the bill that they want because of the power of the filibuster. House Republicans don't have nearly that much control over legislation.
I bet the Republicans are glad they hadn't resorted to the "nuclear option" back when they were in the majority...
Also, Juliet Eilperin (who wrote Fight Club Politics) was apparently a contributor to the article.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
- The president's party tends to lose seats in midterm elections.
- Herrnson (p. 39) talks about the political impact of retirements. See the current list. See a partisan pattern?
- The Democratic campaign committees are doing better this year than in the recent past. Why?
- The Rose Institute has a Redistricting Hall of Shame.
- Also see overlay maps and a redistricting game.
- An example of what you have to face when you run for office.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Information on Lawmakers:
Monday, February 4, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Here she is, quizzing him on deployment readiness:
John McCain certainly commands a lot of respect from military commanders due to his experience and expertise, and that is evident in the clip Professor Pitney posted. When McCain speaks it reminds me of a father lecturing his children when they've been bad. Here, it doesn't seem like Hillary is as comfortable in that role as McCain is. But, Gen. Casey is not stupid; he realizes he is potentially speaking to his next boss, and is appropriately deferential.
Hillary doesn't make generals cry, but she can hold her own.
Some lawmakers, such as Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), post their daily schedules online.
John McCain, much in the news today, has a very assertive Hill style:
And Colbert has a unique take on Wexler's home style:
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
% Women 16% 16% 51%
% Black 09% 01% 13%
% Latino 06% 03% 14%
% Asian 01% 02% 05%
Mean Age 56 62 37.5
Median Household Income (2006): $48,201
Congressional salary: (2008): $169,300
Louisiana Democratic Congressman Charlie Melancon (meh-LAW-sawn) has an official site and a campaign site. See a 2006 campaign ad, below.
One major difference between the chambers is that few House members run for president, and seldom get far when they do (see Duncan Hunter and Dennis Kucinich). But a fairly large fraction of senators have gone for the White House:
Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 1996, 2000
Joseph Biden (D-DE) 1988, 2008
Sam Brownback (R-KS) 2008
Robert Byrd (D-WV) 1976
Hillary Clinton (D-NY) 2008
Christopher Dodd (D-CT) 2008
Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) 2000
Tom Harkin (D-IA) 1992
Orrin Hatch (R-UT) 2000
Edward Kennedy (D-MA) 1980
John Kerry (D-MA) 2004
Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) 2004
Richard Lugar (R-IN) 1996
John McCain (R-AZ) 2000, 2008
Barack Obama (D-IL) 2008
Arlen Specter (R-PA) 1996
Thursday, January 24, 2008
His well-timed endorsement coming just a day before the 1/25 release of "Rambo" (*insert shameless plug here*), Stallone says that McCain is a real-life version of the action hero. "(L)ike a rough action film, you need somebody who’s been in that to deal with it."
Stallone brings with him a long history of international diplomacy and foreign relations. For those of you lucky enough to recall 1985's Rocky IV, Rocky Balboa singlehandedly defeated the USSR and ended the Cold War after knocking out Soviet sensation Ivan Drago in Moscow.
This move counters Chuck Norris' steadfast support of Mike Huckabee. Fox News is already hyping an epic battle between Walker Texas Ranger and John Rambo. Analysts also expect that in the coming weeks we will see The Rock give his support to Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney will be backed by the cast of "Big Love."
But in all seriousness...what exactly is the appeal of celebrity backers? One has to wonder how much weight these endorsements will carry. Rambo and Walker aren't going to sway Super Tuesday one way or the other, yet their support routinely makes the front page on FoxNews and CNN and Norris even stood behind Huckabee at the post-Iowa press conference.
Part of this may be the gimmick, yet in today's TMZ-addicted world, it is entirely possible that actors do have some political pull. George Clooney is bound to win a few votes for Obama and Michael J Fox's ad campaign was key in McCaskill's win in the 2006 Missouri senatorial race. For voters who do not routinely read the papers or listen to talk radio, it is much easier to vote for a celebrity rather than a candidate's platform.
And this begs the question, which will make the bigger difference for McCain: the support of the Boston Globe or the support of Rocky Balboa?
The Washington Post reports:
Usually, the Rayburn Building is the kind of place reserved for all sorts of serious goings-on conducted by sober-looking folks in suits. The people who think they're running the country. Which is to say, it's not too often that you see the likes of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) donning a ZZ Top-esque beard and proclaiming "solidarity" with the people who really matter -- entertainment types.
- ► 2016 (128)
- ▼ May (7)
- For some international flavor...
- The 19th Century ... and the 20th
- Real Foreign Policy
- Guam Update!
- Congress and Foreign Policy
- Hill-Rod, The Barack, and "Hollywood" John McCain
- Congress and War
- Place your bets
- Depressed yet?
- Congress and Domestic Policy
- The Political Figure Four Leg Lock
- Approval ratings
- Pelosi fights for the farm bill
- Congress, Carter, and Hamas
- Congress and Economic Policy
- A "Key Endorsement"
- My favorite lobbyist
- Congress and Interest Groups
- Political Highlights
- My Hero... heh heh
- Congress and the Courts
- Misty Watercolor Memories...
- Simulation Stuff
- Congressional Oversight and Delegation
- Its getting interesting! (first few minutes goo...
- Hannity, Obama, Wright, and the Black Value System...
- HRC is not quite the straight talk express...
- A Mailing to Constituents
- The GOP: In Trouble? An article about Reynold's d...
- Congress and the Bureaucracy: Organization, Appoi...
- Congress and President Bartlet
- Congress and the President
- Republicans Lose Hastert's Seat
- Senate Power Rankings
- The Floor
- Jack and Hill what a great team
- Legislative Language
- Legislation and Legislative Research
- Simulation Roster
- I'm Just a Bill
- Doppelgangers and Rahm
- Party Leadership
- Party Influence Over Elections
- "Pledged" Delegates
- The Superdelegate Dilemma
- Parties in Congress
- Simulation Roles
- Obama, Clinton Shower Cash on Delegates
- Ads, Ads, Ads
- Strategy and Tactics
- Use of Campaign Funds
- Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) pitches to college students o...
- Rep. Tom Lantos Dead at 80
- Money, Money, Money
- Senate's Stimulus Measure Blocked
- Congressional Elections
- Links for the Writing Assignment
- John McCain's hill style
- Congressional Election Fundamentals