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PS 21A: American Government

PS 21A: American Government

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PS 21A: American Government

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  1. PS 21A: American Government Midterm Review!

  2. Bring Blue Books and a Pen! • 35% of your grade

  3. Why Do We Need Government

  4. The Constitution: Design and Ratification • Ch. 2 • Federalist No. 10 by James Madison • Factions will destroy the union: a faction was a number of citizens, whether a majority or minority, who were united and activated "by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. • 2 ways to remove causes of factions: both impossible • Best way: to control its effects • a large society under a representative form of government than in a small society under a popular form of government. The proposed constitution would check the power of factions by balancing one against the other.

  5. Federalism and Separation of Powers • Ch. 3 • Federalist #51: how the structure of the proposed government makes liberty possible • Each branch should be independent – no one can elect members of other branches • Such powers can’t be equal • Citizens elect president, legislators and judges. • Judges should be free of political pressures • A society would thrive under competition of small groups

  6. Civil Liberties • Ch. 4 • Hellhole: • US holds tens of thousands of inmates in long-term solitary confinement • Harlow’s monkey experiment • Anderson’s experience • John McCain: POW in Vietnam War

  7. long-term isolation in prisons is that it provides discipline and prevents violence • In the past thirty years, the United States has quadrupled its incarceration rate but not its prison space. Work and education programs have been canceled, out of a belief that the pursuit of rehabilitation is pointless. • British example: • They reduced isolation and offered them opportunities for work, education, and special programming to increase social ties and skills.

  8. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties • Ch. 5 • Letter from a Birmingham Jail • The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, arguing that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws. • Supreme Error: North Carolina voter suppression laws • Don’t Worry about the VRA • Shelby v holder. Minority vote will be fine.

  9. Congress: The Logic of Representation • Ch. 11

  10. Congress: Organization and Decision-Making • Pork Barrel Politics • The Shutdown prophet • http://nymag.com/news/politics/nationalinterest/government-shutdown-2013-10/