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Reminder. Senior Project Proposal and Plan is due today. Turn an electronic copy in to and a hard copy to the office. If it is not turned in today you will need to wait until the fall to propose a senior project . T-shirts: Who still owes money?. Why is this cartoon funny?.

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  • Senior Project Proposal and Plan is due today. Turn an electronic copy in to and a hard copy to the office. If it is not turned in today you will need to wait until the fall to propose a senior project.

  • T-shirts: Who still owes money?

Why is this cartoon funny

Why is this cartoon funny?

Why do we study history

Why do we study history?

“History is important. If you don't know history it's as if you were born yesterday. And if you were born yesterday, anybody up there in a position of power can tell you anything and you have no way of checking up on it.” --Howard Zinn

Don t know much about history

Don’t know much about history…

“The Constitution was written explicitly for one purpose: to restrain the federal government.” –Ron Paul, after the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8, 2008

Don t know much about history1

Don’t know much about history…

“And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.“ –Barack Obama, addressing a Joint Session of Congress, February 24, 2009

Don t know much about history2

Don’t know much about history…

“Barack Obama is facing a financial emergency on a grander scale. Yet his approach has been to engage in one of the biggest peacetime spending binges in American history.” –Mitt Romney, writing in a Union Leader op-ed, April 25, 2011

Don t know much about history3

Don’t know much about history…

“When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’” –Joe Biden, recounting the political fallout after the 1929 stock market crash to Katie Couric on Sept. 22, 2008

Don t know much about history4

Don’t know much about history…

“[Paul Revere] warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms, by ringing those bells and making sure, as he is riding his horse through town, to send those warning shots and bells, that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free.” –Sarah Palin, after touring Paul Revere’s house in Boston, June 2, 2011

Monday may 28

Monday, May 28

  • Objectives:

    • To gain a basic understanding of US politics

    • To examine where people get their political views

    • To introduce Book Chats and begin discussing author information

  • Due Today: Book/Author bio info

  • Homework: Read ¼ of book, Book Chat assignment (Friday), follow the news

  • Agenda: Politics 101 Lecture, Book Chats

The rules

The Rules

  • Respect

  • Trust no one

  • Keep an open mind

Political terms

Political Terms

  • What do these terms mean?

    • Right v. Left

    • Conservative v. Liberal

    • Republican (GOP) v. Democrat

    • Red v. Blue

How did we get here

How did we get here?

  • Origin of the Two-Party System

    • No parties originally

    • Federalist v. States rights

    • Jackson Democrats

    • Anti-slavery Republicans

  • Civil War

    • Republicans: Northern, pro-business, Blacks

    • Democrats: Southern, populist

How did we get here1

How did we get here?

  • 1896 Election

    • Modern campaigning

    • Campaign funding

  • New Deal

    • Coalition: Big city machines, poor and middle class, white South, intellectuals, labor unions, blacks

    • Democrats for life

How did we get here2

How did we get here?

  • Civil Rights

    • JFK and LBJ

    • Nixon’s Southern Strategy

  • Reagan

    • Falwell’s Moral Majority

    • Tax cuts





  • Small government

  • Personal responsibility

  • Low taxes

  • Higher defense spending

  • Fiscal conservatism

  • South/Midwest (+22/+10)

  • Suburban/Rural (+12/+28)

  • White Evangelical (+58)

  • Men (+14)

  • Seniors (+16)

  • Very Rich (+18)

  • Veterans (+24)

  • Big Business





  • Social safety net

  • Social justice

  • Higher taxes

  • Less defense spending

  • Urban (+32)

  • Coastal (+5)

  • Post-graduates (+4)

  • Minorities (+82/+32/+18)

  • Women (+2)

  • LGBT (+38

  • Youth (+16)

  • Labor

Money in politics

Money in Politics

  • Spiraling cost of campaigns

  • Lobbyists

  • Campaign Finance Reform

    • McCain-Feingold

  • Citizens United

  • Super-PACs

Who finances the senate

Who finances the Senate?

Who finances the house

Who finances the House?

Legislative branch

Legislative Branch

  • Senate

    • 2 Senators per state

    • Elected every 6 years

    • Needs a 60 vote super-majority to pass most bills

  • House of Representatives

    • By population

    • Elected every 2 years

    • Simple majority

112 th congress

112th Congress

  • House of Representatives:

    • Republicans – 240

    • Democrats – 193

  • Senate:

    • Republicans – 47

    • Democrats – 51

    • Independents – 2

How do you pass a bill

How do you pass a bill?

  • Both houses write a bill, then try to reconcile the two versions into one bill

  • Add amendments and riders

  • The bill comes up for a vote

  • If it passes both houses, it goes to the President

  • The President can either sign or veto

  • Congress can override a veto with a 2/3 majority

Congressional gridlock

Congressional Gridlock

“Least functional Congress” in history--Why?

  • Polarization

  • Being “for” something v. being “against” something

  • Politics as a zero-sum game

  • Increased use of the filibuster

The filibuster

The Filibuster

  • Votes in Senate require simple majority

  • Votes to end debate (invoke cloture) require super-majority (3/5)

  • Minority party uses this tactic to prevent majority from bringing legislation to a vote

  • Both parties have used it

Politics v policy

Politics v. Policy

  • Policy is what you want to do

  • Politics is how you get it done

Where do we get our political ideas

Where do we get our political ideas?

  • Parents

  • Religion

  • Teachers

  • Community

  • Media

Snapshot of sammamish

Snapshot of Sammamish

  • Median Age: 35

  • Households: 87% families, 50% kids under 18

  • Median Income: $134,000

  • Industry: Prof/Sci/Tech/Info

  • Education: 98% High School, 70% College +

  • Religion: 37% (50% nationally)

  • Race: 75% White, 17% Asian, 4% Hispanic

Where do you stand

Where do you stand?

Click the Political Compass Quiz link on the website and take the quiz:




  • Read the Rubric

  • Need to make a connection to current events for a 4

  • Russia ≠ USSR

  • Causes of policy should come before policy

  • Effects should address who was affected and how

  • Should get used to standard form of in-text citations

Book chats

Book Chats:

  • Who brought their book and biographical info?

  • Book Chats Assignments (on website)

  • Book Chats Presentations (on website)

  • Book Chats Discussion

    • Assign a note-taker (turn in on last discussion day)

    • Discuss the biographical info (look at the Author Biography section of the presentation for ideas)

    • Read silently when finished

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