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

Friday, December 16, 2016

A sad reflection for the end of the 114th Congress...

Unsure if anyone is still looking at the blog, but find below a reflection on leaving Congress by Steve Israel:

"But I think the way Congress treats its departing members is a refreshing exercise in humility, and a surprising example that the institution can move fast — when it must."


Thursday, December 8, 2016

And the Semester Ends

Inherent limitations of Congress:
  • Except in simulation, legislation is usually slow. (And swift action is not necessarily smart action.)
  • In a body resting on geographic representation, parochialism is inevitable. (And it is often legitimate.) See Davidson 456-457.
  • A multi-member, bicameral institution will have a hard time planning. (And planning is overrated.)

  • The pressure to "go along" -- but we "should not be too hasty in condemning all compromise as bad morals."
  • The pressure to seek reelection -- but lawmakers "who go down to defeat in a vain defense of a single principle will not be on hand to fight for that or any other principle in the future."
  • The pressure to serve interest groups -- but "they are the articulate few whose views cannot be ignored and who constitute the greater part of our contacts with the public at large, whose opinions we cannot know..."

The Wealthiest Counties did not vote for Hillary Clinton, but the Poorest Counties did.

Breitbart recently published an article saying that, had it not been for the coastal elite in 52 counties, the election would have been a slam dunk for Donald Trump.

This narrative is false. While Trump tied with Hillary Clinton on voters who earned more than $250K/year or more, the idea that Trump won everything except for the Bougie coastal elites is flat-out wrong. I used the U.S. Census Bureau data from 2010 and county-level election data from November, and examined the fifty counties with the highest Median Household Income. 25 of them voted for Trump, and many of them by sizable margins. Here's a map I made with Microsoft Paint for more perspective:

In fact, only 16 of the named 52 counties made the cut from the original Breitbart article.

50 wealthiest counties:
--25 voted for Donald Trump
----Of these 25, 14 were in Southern or Midwestern states
----Some of these counties, like Sussex County, NJ voted for Donald Trump by more than 30 points
--9 voted for Hillary Clinton
----These were likely not included in the original Breitbart article because they were either close, like Queen Anne's County, MD or not on the coast, like Oakland County, MI
--16 are the "Coastal Elite" counties that Breitbart selects
----Of these 16, 8 are in Northern Virginia, and an additional 3 are in Maryland. The remaining 5 are split between California (3), New York (1), and Massachusetts (1)
------Of the 8 in Northern Virginia, 4 are independent cities with small size

By contrast, of the 50 poorest counties in America, 2/3 (33) voted for Hillary Clinton. This is especially poignant, given that Donald Trump won far more counties than Hillary Clinton. Of these 33 counties that voted for Hillary, 5 are Hispanic majority, 3 are Native American majority, and 25 are African-American majority. 16 of the 17 poorest counties that Donald Trump won are more than 75% white (Luna County, NM is actually Hispanic majority). Here's another map I made with MS Paint to outline where the poorest counties are and how they voted:

Breitbart is not the only publication to accuse HRC for going for the elite coastal vote. It is certainly true that the wealthiest counties are concentrated in super zip-heavy coasts surrounding DC and New York. Nevertheless, the idea that this election was America's poor and working class heartland vs. the coastal elites misunderstands both the distribution of wealth and politics in America.

Democrats? Nearly all-white top staff? Huh?

Senate Democrats' top staff ranks are lily-white:


Chuck Schumer, the Minority Leader-to-be, is considering various proposals for party rules to boost minority hiring. Among them is a mandate to interview diverse candidates for top staff positions, without a mandate to hire them. The Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus is pushing legislation to create a chief diversity officer for the whole Senate.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Simulation Video!

Summing Up I

Beating Cabinet nominees

In response to Ian's post:  Goldwater v. Carter  (Fisher, p. 265).

In response to Bruno's post -- Manu Raju and Ted Barrett report at CNN:
Democrats are worried that if Trump adds two Democrats to his Cabinet -- potentially North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin -- the balance of power in the chamber could tilt further to the GOP. So they are making the case to their colleagues to stay put.
If Manchin and Heitkamp were to leave for the Trump administration, the GOP would have a clear shot to pick up the open seats in 2018. In West Virginia, the Democratic governor, Earl Ray Tomblin, would fill the open seat until the next election in the red state. And in North Dakota, a special election would occur within 95 days of the vacancy, giving the GOP an immediate chance to grow their numbers in the first year under Trump.
In response to Caroline's question:
  • Technical corrections legislation
  • Scott Levy in the Straus reader (p. 36): "How does one discern a well-drafted bill from a poorly drafted one?  How does one distinguish a drafting error from a questionable policy decision?  To be honest, I do not know that we can."
  • Process issues -- Heather Caygle reports at Politico:
    SENATE TAKES A MULLIGAN— Turns out that in the Senate, you can pass a bill – and then take it right back. On Monday afternoon, the Senate easily cleared money-laundering legislation from Sens. Richard Shelby and Sherrod Brown and then almost as quickly, reversed its passage. Sources tell Huddle that the Democratic cloakroom had accidentally OK’d the hotline request that had included the terrorism financing measure and other items, without registering an objection that came from their own side. Hey, mistakes happen.
    So where did that objection come from? West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who along with three other Democrats from coal states has vowed to gum up the works on anything and everything in the Senate until legislation regarding health care and pensions for coal-miners gets addressed in the chamber. Confirming the hold, a Manchin spox emailed us: “We are going to object to everything going forward.”
  • Once in a while, Congress just repeals.  Case study:  Medicare catastrophic health insurance.

The Elusive Question of the Mandate

The Oath of Office:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
On January 12, 1991, House Speaker Tom Foley (D-WA) spoke about the impending Gulf War. This is what grownups look like:

RCP Trump Cabinet Tracker 


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Luring Red-State Democrats into the Cabinet

The Trump transition team is eyeing Joe Manchin for Secretary of Energy. This is likely an extension of the strategy behind picking Heidi Heitkamp for a Cabinet position.


EDIT: This seems less likely than appointing Heitkamp, as Earl Ray Tomblin, WV's governor, is a Democrat (as is Jim Justice, WV's governor-elect). Not the same strategic appeal as appointing Heitkamp, but the Trump transition team could still do it if they really wanted to emphasize coal.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Trump and the Power of Diplomatic Recognition: US and Taiwan

Well, we talked about this possibility in class but even then it was in relation to US-Cuba relations:  With a single phone call Trump has put into question the future of US-China/US-Taiwan diplomatic relations. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38191711 This is the BBC article, but CNN, ABC, FOX, Huffington Post, and many others have reported on the story.

While Trump did not officially recognize Taiwan, or even physically receive a foreign diplomat from the the government of Taiwan, the phone call still breaks decades of tradition in relation to our country's support of the "One-China" Policy. 

On a side-note, but possibly of political interest, it has been reported that Trump wants to build luxury hotels and resorts in Taiwan. http://shanghaiist.com/2016/11/18/trump_taiwan_expand.php.

Here are articles from the WSJ and the Hill on the subject that I think also give a good picture of the situation: 

Maybe this means nothing for the future of our foreign relations with China and is just a possible signal of Trump's political tactlessness, or maybe this is a reflection of Trump's anti-China rhetoric we saw on the campaign (in relation to outsourcing jobs and such).

Followup to Our Discussion of the War Power

Trump has said that he will nominate retired Marine General James Mattis to be Secretary of Defense. Congress must pass a special waiver for the nomination to go through.  The National Security Act of 1947 said that anyone “who has within ten years been on active duty as a commissioned officer in a Regular component of the armed services shall not be eligible asSecretary of Defense.”  In 2008, Congress reduced the period to seven years, but Mattis retired only three years ago.

Congress has waived the law once. From the 1950 CQ Almanac:
The House and Senate Sept. 15 gave final approval to a special bill (HR 9646) which would allow Gen. George C. Marshall to be appointed as Secretary of Defense. The President signed the bill Sept. 18 and submitted Marshall's appointment to the Senate for confirmation. The Senate confirmed Marshall Sept. 20 (see p. 355).
The bill set aside a provision in the National Security Act (Unification Act) of 1947 barring from the post of Secretary of Defense any person who had served as an officer in the Armed Forces during the past ten years. The exemption applies only to Marshall. The bill fixed Marshall's pay as his Army retirement pay plus the amount over that figure ordinarily paid a Cabinet member.
The bill passed, but of those GOP House members and senators who cast a yea or nay vote, a majority opposed the waiver.

In the Senate, Democrats supported the bill 37-1 while Republicans opposed it 10-20. 

In the House, Democrats supported the bill 192-5, while Republicans opposed it 27-100.

Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, "Mister Republican," explained:
The Secretary of Defense should be a civilian. No one even disputes the fact that this basic principle of the unification act [The National Security Act of 1947] is right ... General Marshall, like anyone who has served all his life in the Army, has certain definite views to which he is committed. Human nature being what it is, he must always be in the position of defending and justifying the policies he has supported in the past. An officer of one of the services, such as the Army, must inevitably be more interested in its operation than in that of the other two forces, such as the Navy and the Air Force. This is one of the reasons why the Secretary should be a civilian.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Graham, McCain unveil 'fix' to 9/11 Saudi law


"Passing any fix to the law during the lame duck session would require the unanimous consent of all 100 senators, a tall order considering Congress hopes to recess next week for the rest of the year."

How often does Congress pass "fixes" to laws? What are other examples of imperfect laws that were passed hurriedly and overwhelmingly, similar to JASTA?

Congress, the President, and the War Power

Prologue:  nuclear war

Steps in launching a nuclear war

(No, the 25th Amendment is not much of a remedy)

Hamilton in Federalist 8: "It is of the nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority."

Tocqueville, p. 126: "If the Union’s existence were constantly menaced, and if its great interests were continually interwoven with those of other powerful nations, one would see the prestige of the executive growing, because of what was expected from it and of what it did."

The Constitution:

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
 To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
To provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
Article II, section 2:
The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States;
CRS explains that a declaration of war has enormous legal consequences
[A] declaration of war automatically brings into effect a number of statutes that confer special powers on the President and the Executive Branch, especially concerning measures that have domestic effect. A declaration, for instance, activates statutes that empower the President to interdict all trade with the enemy, order manufacturing plants to produce armaments and seize them if they refuse, control transportation systems in order to give the military priority use, and command communications systems to give priority to the military. A declaration triggers the Alien Enemy Act, which gives the President substantial discretionary authority over nationals of an enemy state who are in the United States. It activates special authorities to use electronic surveillance for purposes of gathering foreign intelligence information without a court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It automatically extends enlistments in the armed forces until the end of the war, can make the Coast Guard part of the Navy, gives the President substantial discretion over the appointment and reappointment of commanders, and allows the military priority use of the natural resources on the public lands and the continental shelf. 
There have been 11 declarations of war.

Use of military force abroad (usually without a declaration of war)

The War Powers Resolution

Perspectives changes once a candidate becomes a president:

AUMF after 9/11

The Iraq War Resolution

President Obama's Libya letter

Senator Obama on War Powers: 

President Obama on war powers:

AUMF Today

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Power of the Purse (Or, You're Screwed)

In case you were worrying:
Constitutional Provisions

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.”
— U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 7, clause 1

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
-- U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 8, clause 12

“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”
— U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 9, clause 7

What follows would baffle a Martian.

Part 1: Authorization

Part 2: Appropriation
Part 3:  "The Budget Process" and key documents:

Part 4:  Mandatory Spending and Entitlements

Part 5:  Revenue Bills

Part 6:  The Debt Ceiling

Revenues -- Where the money comes from:

The tax system is more progressive than most people realize:  see graphs starting on page 31.

Tax expenditures

Outlays -- Where the money goes:

Outlays by function and superfunction

"Waste, fraud and abuse"  is an old gimmick

No, we cannot balance the budget by catching Social Security fraud: only 13 people aged 112 or older are getting checks.

Last Essay

Pick one:

1.  Choose an issue on which there could be a constitutional conflict between Congress and President Trump.  Examples include:  assertions of executive privilege, allegations of misconduct, the power of the purse,  executive agreements, and war powers -- among others.  Drawing on Trump's statements and activities, explain what he might do create a conflict.  What specific constitutional questions would arise?  In light of the upcoming composition of Congress, what would be the likely outcome?

2.  Propose a specific reform of the congressional budget process or the War Powers Resolution.  What is the problem that you are trying to solve?  How would the reform address it?  What are the chances for the enactment of such a reform?

3.  You are sitting in a secure undisclosed location with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.  "I hear you took a course on Congress," says Pelosi.  "If you're so smart and learned so much, tell us what we should do now," says Schumer.  Lay out a 2017 strategy for congressional Democrats.  In your answer, take careful account of the opportunities and limits of the minority party in each chamber.  Compare and contrast the current state of play with other situations in which the minority party has just undergone a shellacking by the party of an incoming president.
  • Essays should be typed, double-spaced, and no more than four pages long. I will not read past the fourth page. 
  • In addition to outside research, your essay should draw on class discussions and readings.
  • Cite your sources with endnotes in standard Turabian format. 
  • Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you. Return essays (as Word documents, not pdfs) to the Sakai dropbox by 11:59 PM, Friday, December 9. Papers will drop one gradepoint for one day’s lateness, a full letter grade after that.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tom Cotton added to SecDef Shortlist.....

Apparently Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) joined the SecDef shortlist yesterday. He actively served in the army from 2005 to 2010, and in the reserves from 2010-2013. As those in the simulation's Armed Services Committee can attest, his rhetoric is aggressive and he often votes against Rep. legislation because it is not harsh enough (ie: sim. Cotton voted against the bill to keep GITMO open but DID add an amendment to build more beds so the detainees can "rot in hell," something REAL Cotton said in a hearing [here]). Overall, not thrilled with his potential to make sound choices for our country's security. 

Washington Post: Key figures purged from Trump transition team

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What Can Congress Do Now? Investigations and Filibusters

Legislation:  Executive Branch Organization and Laws on Reporting 

  • The Constitution
  • Gerald R. Ford: "An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history."
  • House role
  • Senate role
Executive privilege and Fast and Furious


Friday, November 11, 2016

Look at me go!!!

Apparently yours truly is in the running for Secretary of Defense. See here

Don't worry Trump, omw back to support ya! 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Congressional Elections IV

Turnout apparently fell.  Dante Chinni and Aaron Zitner write at The Wall Street Journal:
In Detroit, Hillary Clinton’s winning margin was 90,000 votes smaller than President Barack Obama’s in 2012. In Flint, Mich., where a water crises drew visits by both presidential candidates, the Democratic 2012 winning margin of 57,000 votes was cut by two-thirds.
Turnout was down Tuesday, preliminary estimates show, but not uniformly. In urban areas that drive the Democratic tally in much of the industrial Midwest, there were signs African-American enthusiasm for Mr. Obama didn’t fully transfer to Mrs. Clinton.
In some of the smaller communities that powered Republican Donald Trump to victory, meanwhile, turnout appeared to rise. The number of votes cast statewide rose in Pennsylvania and Florida—formerly Democratic states that Mr. Trump won—as well as in Michigan, where he was maintaining a lead.

But nationwide, fewer voters went to the polls. Mr. Trump appeared to have won the election, in fact, with fewer votes than GOP nominee Mitt Romney drew in his losing 2012 race. Mr. Trump in preliminary totals had about 59.6 million votes, 1.6 million shy of his party’s total in the last election.
Paul Herrnson (p. 268): "Once an election is over, candidates and their campaign staffs have a chance to reflect.  Their main concern, naturally, is what caused the election to turn out as it did."
Two Parties, Four Postures (a look back from September 8)

Four Strategic Postures Since 2000 (House, by election year)

                                                Majority                      Minority

            Pres Party                    Dems 08                      GOP 06
                                                GOP 00, 02, 04           Dem 10,12,14
                                                GOP 16

            Out Party                    GOP 10,12,14             GOP 08
                                                Dem 06                       Dem 00, 02,04
                                                                                   Dem 16

The next midterm:

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Congressional Elections III

In the unlikely event of a deadlocked electoral college:

The House selects the president and the GOP has an edge.


Hamilton's actual words:
Mr. Jefferson, though too revolutionary in his notions, is yet a lover of liberty and will be desirous of something like orderly Government – Mr. Burr loves nothing but himself – thinks of nothing but his own aggrandizement – and will be content with nothing short of permanent power [struck: and] in his own hands – No compact, that he should make with any [struck: other] passion in his [struck: own] breast except [struck: his] Ambition, could be relied upon by himself – How then should we be able to rely upon any agreement with him?  Mr. Jefferson, I suspect will not dare much Mr. Burr will [inserted in margin: dare every thing in the sanguine hope of effecting every thing –]
Campaign Finance

The incumbency advantage


Monday, November 7, 2016

Comey and the Hatch Act

Another really interesting election-related article. The Hatch Act was enacted in 1939 to prevent federal employees for using their positions to interfere with or affect the result of elections. After Comey's "October Surprise," some are accusing him of violating the Act. However, punishment largely depends on proving intent/purpose, which is difficult. 

The whole article is here

Sunday, November 6, 2016

"The Art Of The Vote: Who Designs The Ballots We Cast?"

An article on NPR discusses the designing of ballots (with a nod towards the butterfly ballot we discussed Thursday) including the potential for federal standards. See the whole thing here.

FiveThirtyEight Race-by-race analysis


Really interesting article that categorizes the Senate races based on the likelihood of a Democratic win. It also examines how Clinton's coattails have shrunk over time.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Interested in making calls for Hillary?

Hello class!

If anyone is interested in making a few calls for Hillary this Sunday afternoon, I will be calling a GOTV list from Ohio. Text me/email me/message me if you want to be a part of this historic campaign--it's your last chance! If not, feel free to ignore this.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

When did established dues for incumbents officially start? Specifically, why did it start and who had the idea? Is it a written rule or an unwritten rule?

Todd Young the Obscure

The Republican nominee for Indiana's Senate race this year, Todd Young, seems to be dodging the spotlight in order to let the criticism of Evan Bayh pile up. 45% of Indiana, according to a Monmouth University poll, has no opinion of him.


Congressional Elections II

At The Atlantic, Ron Brownstein and Janie Boschma offer important data:

The strategic grid:

  • "Hard money" contribution limits

  • Outside spending

  • Data

  • Lee Drutman reported in 2014:
    A new report from Daniel Tokaji and Renata Strause at The Ohio State University’s Election Law @ Moritz is out today, and it provides an excellent overview. “The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections” is based on interviews with former members, campaign operatives and other staffers. It’s quite wide ranging, and worth reading in full.

    Legally, campaigns and independent groups like super PACs are prohibited from coordinating. After all, that’s what makes them “independent groups.” But as this report reveals, there is a delicate dance to coordination. And operatives have figured the moves.

    The primary move in the coordination two-step involves changing partners. As one operative said: “It’s all operatives moving
 back and forth between the parties
 and the groups and the campaigns 
– and it’s mostly people who can
 finish each other’s sentences.”
    Here’s former Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., calling the idea of independence “nonsense”:
    So this whole idea well, oh, they don’t coordinate, therefore it’s really independent is just nonsense. If you look at who makes up these organizations, on all sides, they’re loaded with political operatives. They know the way these campaigns are run, modern campaigns. They can see for themselves what’s up on the air. They can see the polling, a lot of it’s public. Some of it’s, you know not public but pretty much the same thing as what’s public. So they don’t need to talk to anybody in the campaign in order to know what to do.
    And here’s an anonymous campaign operative, saying more or less the same thing: “At the end of the day, it’s all just kind of a fiction – it’s just kind of a farce, the whole campaign finance non-coordination thing.”

    Sometimes the dance involves an outside group leading, and a candidate following. That is, candidates look to see what outside groups might be around and willing to step in, and then try to appeal to those outside groups. Here’s former Rep. Joe Walsh, D-Ill., explaining how the potential of outside groups stepping in shaped his campaign strategy:
    I think early on that summer you begin to hear of or learn of other outside groups or individuals or interests who may have an interest in helping. And, you know, again, ... it’s my downfall ... [I] can’t tell a lie. You factor that into how you’re going to run your campaign. You don’t for sure know that this big wealthy guy’s coming in but you’ve heard he is. You don’t exactly know how much he’s going to spend, but you look at what you have to do, what Duckworth’s going to do. And so a campaign factors it into your over – all game plan.
    Operatives also described the “b-roll” trick that Jon Stewart recently called attention to with his “McConnelling” segment. As Tokaji and Strause explain, “The most common signaling tactic we heard about in our interviews was the quiet release of 'b-roll,' high-resolution photographs, and targeted talking points, either available through a hidden link on the campaign’s website or through some other microsite or YouTube account.”

    Herrnson, p. 84:

    Why relatively little on TV?  Consider districts and DMAs

    Sunday, October 30, 2016

    Thursday, October 27, 2016

    Simulation Evaluation

    Peer evaluation: On Tuesday, November 1 (the Tuesday after simulation) please bring in a short memo in which you identify three or four participants who did a particularly good job. Give a couple of sentences to each person you name, explaining why she or he stood out. Give special attention to those who did their work behind the scenes. Please take some care with these memos. In addition to using them for evaluating the assignment, I save them so that I may quote them in letters of recommendation. Evaluations are anonymous: please bring in hardcopy and do not put your own name on the sheet.

    Writeup: In analyzing your role in the simulation, please cover these points:
    • How well did your positions and goals match those of your real-life counterpart?
    • What methods did you use? In the circumstance that you dealt with, would your counterpart have done the same?
    • What obstacles did you face?
    • What did you achieve?
    • How did the simulation both resemble and differ from the real world?
    • Overall, what did you learn?
    You may include  relevant supporting materials, such as: memoranda, bill drafts, or strategy notes. (Better yet, just refer to material that is already online, and provide the URLs.) Please be selective here: do not include everything, just the key items.
    • Essays should be double-spaced, and between 5 and 6 pages long. I will not read past the 6th page. (Supporting materials do not count against the page limit.) 
    • Submit the writeups as Word documents, not pdfs.
    • Cite outside sources with Turabian endnotes.
    • Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you.
    • Return essays to the class Sakai dropbox by 11:59 PM, Friday November 11. Your grade for the simulation will drop one gradepoint for one day's lateness, a full grade after that.  

    Friday, October 21, 2016

    Follow the Judiciary Dems on Twitter!

    Patrick Leahy: https://twitter.com/FakePatLeahy

    Chuck Schumer: https://twitter.com/chuckyschumer

    Amy Klobuchar: https://twitter.com/phonyklobuchar

    Armed Services Dems, comment below with your Twitter accounts.

    Judiciary Reps on Twitter

    Follow the Judiciary Republicans on Twitter:





    Please comment below with your party/committee twitter accounts.

    Thursday, October 20, 2016

    Appointments, Removals, Oversight

    PAS and non-PAS

    Confirmation hearings:
    Image result for giuliani d'amato crack

    The Senate seldom votes down Cabinet nominations.

    Legislation:  Executive Branch Organization and Laws on Reporting 

    Monday, October 17, 2016

    An Update on CA 49th

    Cook Political Report has moved Darrell Issa's district race to a "Toss-Up."

    "As it turns out, it's possible to be the wealthiest member of Congress and still run a very poor campaign."


    Thursday, October 13, 2016

    Congress and the President II: After Congress Passes a Bill

    We had not only failed to take into account the ability of the Senate to delay us and obstruct us, but we had much too cavalierly underrated the power of the President, even a President who had lost his legislative majority and was in a certain amount of trouble for other reasons. I am speaking of the power of the veto. Even if you pass something through both the House and the Senate, there is that presidential pen. How could we have forgotten that? For me especially it was inexcusable, because when I was Republican whip during the Bush Administration one of my duties had been precisely to help sustain presidential vetoes.
    Item Veto

    Fear, Loathing, and Turnout in Wisconsin 

    Ayotte sticks with Trump disavowal 

    Wednesday, October 12, 2016

    Simulation Schedule

    Monday, October 24, 2016

    6:30 PM - 7:00 PM  State of the Union & GOP response -- Kravis Center Lower Court 62
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM  Committee work -- Roberts South 103 and 105

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016

    6:30 PM - 9:00 PM  Committee hearings --Roberts South 103 and 105

    Wednesday, October 26, 2016

    6:30 PM - 9:00 PM  Committee markup -- Roberts South 103 and 105

    Thursday, October 27, 2016

    6:30 PM - 9:00 PM  Floor Session -- Roberts North 15

    Simulation roles

    Armed Services


    John McCain (AZ), chair..............Steph Wong
    Kelly Ayotte (NH)........................Brittany Woods
    Tom Cotton (AR)..........................Justine Gluck
    Joni Ernst (IA)..............................Caroline Sunshine
    Mike Lee (UT)..............................Kassidy Cuccia-Aguirre


    Jack Reed (RI), ranking................Caroline Peck
    Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)................Grant Newburger
    Joe Manchin (WV)........................Ian Descamps
    Claire McCaskill (MO),,,,.,,,,,.,,,,,,,,Joelle Leib



    Chuck Grassley (IA), chair............Daniel Ludlam
    Lindsey Graham (SC)....................Katherine DePalma
    Jeff Flake (AZ)...............................Martin Sicilian
    Ted Cruz (TX)................................Chandler Koon
    Mitch McConnell (KY), R leader.... Skip Wiltshire-Gordon


    Patrick Leahy (VT), ranking..........Bruno Youn
    Dianne Feinstein (CA)...................SEN LEAHY HAS THE PROXY
    Chuck Schumer (NY), D leader......Felipe Afanador
    Amy Klobuchar (MN)....................Lizzie Carrade

    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    Congress and the Presidency

    Article I and Article II

    Hamilton in Federalist 8: "It is of the nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority."

    Statements of Administration Policy
    1— Strongly Support Passage
    2— Support Passage
    3— Do not Object to Passage
    4— No Position on Passage
    5— Oppose
    6— Strongly Oppose
    7— Secretary’s veto Threat (single and multiple agency)
    8— Senior Advisor’s Veto Threat
    9— Presidential Veto Threat

    CQ on presidential success:

    Presidential approval

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