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.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Air Midterm

Relax. This “air midterm” does not count toward your grade; do not even turn it in. Instead, use it to appraise your own progress in the course. Try out this test, either in your head or on paper. If you flounder, then you should take more care with class sessions and assigned readings.

I. Identifications Write a short paragraph (not just a couple of words) explaining each item’s meaning and significance.

  • The Johnson Treatment
  • Senatorial courtesy
  • Quality candidates
  • Phonemarking
  • Ways and Means Committee
  • The legislative veto
  • CRS
  • Independent regulatory commissions
  • “Nuclear option”
  • Legislative Counsel
  • Grasstops lobbying

II Short answers. Each reply should take a brief paragraph.

  • Explain the differences among these terms: authorization, budget authority, and outlay.
  • How does the majority party control roll-call outcomes on the House floor?
  • How has party polarization affected lobbying?

III. Essays Each answer should take about 3-4 large bluebook pages or 4-5 small bluebook pages.

  • Explain the sources of the incumbency advantages in congressional elections. Compare and contrast the advantage in House and Senate elections. If the incumbency advantage is so strong, how did Democrats take control in 2006?
  • See this article. In light of the history of congressional-presidential relations, do you agree or disagree? Answer with reference to Fisher and other class materials.

Bonus identifications (1 point each). Very briefly identify the following:

  • Ray LaHood
  • Francis LaBelle
  • Celinda Lake
  • Rita Lavelle
  • Robert LaFollette

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