I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
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.

Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

For some international flavor...

Some countries just know how to do democracy right.  Carrying on the proud tradition of Sumner and Brooks, Taiwan has developed a reputation for literally hard-hitting floor sessions including food fights and slaps.

Even our Canadian friends take comfort in Taiwanese fighting during the darkest of their days: the NHL Lockout.

The 19th Century ... and the 20th

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.

Another impeachment:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Real Foreign Policy

From the Associate Press:
The Olympic torch began its first-ever run through North Korea on Monday, where the flame was assured of a trip free of the anti-Chinese protests that marked other legs of the relay.
The 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.

Guam Update!

From New York Times:
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

Congress and Foreign Policy

Except when American lives or interests are at stake, the public places a low priority on foreign policy.

Senate action on treaties

Pelosi in Syria:

Hill-Rod, The Barack, and "Hollywood" John McCain


The candidates take their battle to the ring to win hearts, minds, and of course that championship gold.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Place your bets

Political odds-makers have handicapped the GOP Vice Presidential nomination.

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

Depressed yet?

Just in case you weren't depressed already, linked is a summary of Pete Peterson's Running on Empty. 

Peterson is a former investment banker, former Secretary of Commerce, and former Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1992 he founded the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan group that advocates for the reduction of the federal deficit.

If nothing else, read the synopsis of Chapter 10, his "Letter to the Rising Generation": Your parents' generation did the best they could and if they made some mistakes, it was with the best of intentions. Do not judge them too harshly.


Congress and Domestic Policy

Let's look at Fantasy Congress.

More depressing budget numbers.

Opinion on social security reform.

The issue-attention cycle

The Political Figure Four Leg Lock

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

Approval ratings

Why does Congress have lower approval ratings than President Bush?

Pelosi fights for the farm bill

The Senate wants tax cuts, Pelosi wants to feed babies...

Congress, Carter, and Hamas

Article about the current event mentioned in class on Monday. Is Carter being appropriate by meeting with Hamas' leader? Is Congress' delegation being appropriate by condemning him?


Monday, April 14, 2008

Congress and Economic Policy

Here are a whole bunch of slides.

And a stage-setter for the discussion of the budget:

A "Key Endorsement"

Hillary, McCain, and the entire cable news juggernaut have been harping for days over the "condescending" remarks Obama made about small town America. I think the comments were pretty benign, but hey. They have to talk about something 24 hrs per day, so why not this?

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

My favorite lobbyist

How can anyone say 'no' to the star of "Elektra" and "13 Going on 30?" Save the polar bears, because Mrs. Affleck said so.

Congress and Interest Groups

Interest groups spend much more on lobbying activities than campaign contributions.

What is lobbying?

Frogs do it:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Political Highlights

Politico's "50 greatest political moments"


Some great moments may be missing (Bush's pretzel choke under the "Famous Gaffes" category), but entertaining to peruse nonetheless...

Monday, April 7, 2008

My Hero... heh heh

"A car carrying U.S. Sen. David Vitter ran into a No Parking sign in the Gonzales Police Department parking lot Monday morning as the senator was attempting to evade members of the media, including the Gonzales Weekly Citizen, following a Town Hall forum event at Gonzales City Hall.

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."


Clinton/Vitter '08!!!

Congress and the Courts

On March 21, Congress passed P.L. 109-3, which provided that either parent of Theresa Marie Schiavo would have standing to sue in federal court.

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:

Blog Archive