The main advantage of the convention is that they provide an opportunity for candidates to define themselves in a positive way and for the party to heal itself after a decisive nomination battle.
2. The electoral college is the means by which presidents are actually elected.
To win a state's electoral votes, a candidate must have a plurality of votes in that state. Except in two states, the winner takes all.
3. In all but two states, if a candidate has a plurality of votes in a state the winner gets all of that state's electoral votes.
4. Soft money is money used to advance a particular political campaign in such a manner as to skirt the legal limits, such as advertising that does not name a candidate or party, but focuses on a particular issue tied to a particular campaign.
5. Approximately 930 million dollars.
6. The Federal Election Campaign Act is a piece of legislation aimed at regulating money spent in elections. It limits contributions for political action committees, individuals, and parties, bans corporate, union, and foreign ban.
7. Election campaigns are expensive because of the costs of media and advertising
8. Voter turnout is low because the American public has a low level of interest and knowledge in politics and government. Elections occur on weekdays and are often complicated, with multiple candidates and multiple issues. Furthermore, voter registration requirements discourage voting. In the 2000 election only 36% of eligible people voted.
9. The key differences between the House of Representatives and the Senate are: (1) the Senate represents the states by having two Senators from each state, while the House represents the people, with each state having a number of Representatives that is proportionate to its population; (2) the Senate oversees appointments, and can ratify treaties.
10. House: appropriations, budget, agriculture, judiciary. Senate: appropriations, budget, armed services, judiciary. Because one of Congress' most important powers is to investigate, the major function of committees in Congress is to break down investigations into manageable units.
The major duties of members of Congress include: representation, lawmaking, consensus building, overseeing the bureaucracy, policy clarification, and investigating.
Debates in the House can involve filibustering, which ties up legislation in the House. Filibusters can only by ended by cloture.
A vote by 60 people is required to end a filibuster in the Senate (cloture).
The function of the Speaker of the House is to preside over the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House is second in line for Presidential succession and presides over impeachment hearings. The Speaker is elected by the House, usually along party lines.
The function of the Senate Majority Leader is to manage and schedule the business of the Senate. The Senate Majority Leader is elected by the majority party.
Bills become a law by being approved in both parts of Congress, then sent to the President. The President can veto a bill, sign a bill, or take no action (depending on when the President declines to take action, the bill may or may not become law). A Presidential veto can be overruled.
Authorization means the giving of approval for an activity or expenditure, whereas appropriation means setting aside a certain amount of funds for a specific purpose.
Members of committees are still chosen mainly through the seniority system, however the threat of removal encourages committees to seek younger members.
Article II, Section 2 lists the Powers of the President. Those powers include: being commander in chief; granting reprieves and pardons; making treaties; appointing appoint ambassadors, judges, and other U.S. officers; and the power to fill all vacancies that occur during the Senate's recess.
In addition to the powers and duties listed in Article II, section 2 and 3, a President is expected to build coalitions, generate public support, manage the media, and unify the country in times of setbacks or tragedy.
The Executive Office of the President is made up of White House offices and agencies, which help implement Presidential policy and programs. The specific offices that make up the E.O.P. include: Council of Economic Advisors, Council on Environmental Quality, Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council, National Security Council, Office of Administration, Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, Office of Management and Budget, Office of National AIDS Policy, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Office of National Drug Control Policy, White House Military Office, USA Freedom Corp, Office of the United States Trade Representative, President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, and the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
The two Constitutional Amendments that effect the Presidency are: the 20th and 22nd amendments. The 20th Amendment dictates when a President takes office and when the Presidency ends. The 22nd Amendment limits a President to two elected terms of office.
Presidential popularity tends to decrease over time as reality fails to meet campaign expectations.
The trial court hears the facts in the case and determines the issues based on both law and facts. The appellate court is the intermediate level court. It hears a case when a party challenges a decision by the trial court. Because the trial court actually hears testimony, both the appellate and supreme courts give deference to the trial court's observations and findings of fact. The supreme court is the court of last resort. It hears appeals from the appellate level. However, the U.S. Supreme Court and most state supreme courts have discretionary jurisdiction; by refusing to hear an appeal, they implicitly affirm the lower court's decision.
Article III, sections 1 and 3 govern the federal courts.
The jurisdictional areas of the federal courts include: all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or Federal laws, controversies between citizens of different state, between a state and citizens of another state or foreign county. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in all cases where a state is a party and in all cases affecting public ministers. Otherwise, the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction.
Federal judges and justices are appointed to keep them insulted from popular influence, which would not be the case if they were elected.
Assumming that the Supreme Court lacks original jurisdiction, a case gets to the Supreme Court through a series of appeals. First, the case is heard in the appropriate trial court, appealed through the appellate court, and then to the Supreme Court. If four justices wish to hear a case, it is presented before the Supreme Court. Cases going through the state rather than Federal system have to exhaust their state remedies before seeking relief in the Federal system.
1. Public policy is governmental policy on public, especially economic issues. The formation of public policy involves: identification, formulation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation.
2. Fiscal policy is government policy that attempts to manage the economy by controlling taxing and spending.
3. Monetary policy is government policy that attempts to manage the economy by controlling the money supply and thus interest rates. This is done by controlling the money supply, interest rates, and credit.
4. The government controls and stabilizes the economy to prevent depressions.
The deficit is the difference between the amount of money the government needs to operate for a budget period and the amount of money it has. The national debt is the total amount of money that the government owes.
The two largest revenue and expenditure categories in the federal government operating budget are comprised of taxes and programs to help those in need. This is signficant because it represents a means of redistributing wealth between citizens of this country.
The New Deal was Franklin D. Roosevelt's "deal" with America to pull Americans out of the Great Depression. It created programs, such as the TVA, to help improve the quality of life for many Americans.
Entitlement programs are programs such as unemployment insurance, disaster relief, or disability payments that provide benefits to all eligible citizens. Means tested programs are programs such as Medicaid and welfare under which applicants must meet eligibility requirements based on need.
The purpose of the social security program is to provide those who are no longer able to work because of age or disability (or their dependents) with an income. It is financed by those workers making current social security payments.
10. The Great Society was created by Lyndon Johnson and was his method of waging a war on poverty and overcoming the racial divide in the country.
11. Medicare is a national health insurance program for the elderly and disabled. Medicaid is a federal program that provides medical benefits for low-income persons.
12. The major reasons for the increases in health care costs in the United States are malpractice insurance premiums and the aging population.
13. Approximately 40% of Americans are not covered by health insurance. This is significant because society bears the costs of treating these individuals.