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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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

Can we discuss pocket vetoes?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Paul Ryan Turns Focus From Donald Trump to House Races, Roiling G.O.P.

Ryan's harsh words for Trump in the last week have made headlines and encouraged a number of liberals who feared that the Speaker's support for Trump would bring in a bulk of run-of-the-mill conservatives. He seems to be giving up on Trump and redirecting his focus to congressional races. Some Reps have criticized this as a premature capitulation in the presidential race. Perhaps focusing on congressional races is the best way to ensure that a Republican party emerges from the wreckage of this election-- no matter what the outcome.

My burning question is: has Ryan correctly read the situation (a Clinton win) and decided to cut losses by focusing on House races? or does he hate Trump (and what Trump is doing to the Republican party) enough to try to hurt his chances with mainline Reps by withdrawing his support? Perhaps the answer is "all of the above..."

Article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/us/politics/donald-trump-gop-hillary-clinton.html?action=click&contentCollection=Election%202016&region=Footer&module=WhatsNext&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&moduleDetail=undefined&pgtype=Multimedia

Friday, October 7, 2016

Republicans Respond to Trump's 2005 Tape

Jason Chaffetz: "I'm out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president. It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine."
Rince Priebus: "No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever."
Paul Ryan: "I am sickened by what I heard today."
Mitch McConnell: Trump should "apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape."
Kevin McCarthy: "There is absolutely no place for that sort of conduct or language in our society. Donald Trump must make a full and unqualified apology."
John McCain: "There are no excuses for Donald Trump's offensive and demeaning comments. ... He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences."
Jeb Bush: "As the grandfather of two precious girls, I find that no apology can excuse away Donald Trump's reprehensible comments degrading women."
John Kasich: "Make no mistake the comments were wrong and offensive. They are indefensible."
Mitt Romney: "Hitting on married women? Condoning Assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America's face to the world."
Dan Patrick: There's "absolutely no excuse to ever talk about women in such a crude and demeaning way."
Gary Herbert: "Donald Trump's statements are beyond offensive & despicable.”
John Huntsman: "The time has come for Governor Pence to lead the ticket."
Pat Toomey: "Donald Trump's comments were outrageous and unacceptable."
Kelly Ayotte: "Totally inappropriate and offensive."
Richard Burr: "Completely unacceptable."
Mark Kirk: "DJT is a malignant clown - unprepared and unfit to be president of the United States."
Jeff Flake: "America deserves far better than Donald Trump."
Tom Rath: "Go away. Go away. Go far far away......do not come back...ever."

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


South Park's Underpants Gnome explains the shutdown strategy:

CQ Party Unity Scores


Lobby Data

The VP Debate May Not be Important to Voters, but it's Important to Mike Pence

Two opinion pieces appeared in RollCall on Monday about Mike Pence and how this VP Debate plays into his bright future within the GOP. Piece 1 and Piece 2.

If the Presidential debates only influence a small percentage of voters, then the VP debate affects no one. These articles focus on the political potential for Pence in the upcoming debate and what that may mean for his future within the party. Honestly, I never thought too much about how the VP debates or even the VP position can be used as a political spring board for rising stars within the party, so these opinion pieces offer an interesting take on the down-the-road future for each of the parties. The first article, Pence and the Path to Power for the GOP, claims the Democratic party lacks a "deep and talented bench of future stars" and points the generational gap between most Democrat leaders and under-40 voters. Do y'all believe this assessment of the state of the Democratic party? Do you think Mike Pence and the others listed in the article make up a "deep and talented bench" that will strengthen their party in the coming years?

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