US Government & AP Government Review Cram in 14 Minutes – Mr. Klaff



welcome to mr. Clapp comms review of government and politics brought to you by noble review concise review books the United States has a representative democracy where people are elected to serve the needs of the citizens this differs from a direct democracy where all the people have the same government in a republic majoritarianism occurs where actions reflect the opinions of the majority representatives can act in different ways one might be a trustee or a representative who makes political sittings based upon what they think is the common good maybe one's a delegate who represents only the constituents in what they want perhaps one's a politico or a combination of both oftentimes people are partisans and vote along with the party after the American Revolution the document that ruled the country was called the Articles of Confederation however the Articles were weak and gave most of the power to the States without an army the country couldn't put down shades a rebellion the time had come to make a strong constitution the Constitution was a bundle of compromises most important the great compromise provided for a bicameral legislature where one house would be based on population and one would have equal representation those who favored a strong federal government were called Federalists they were opposed by anti-federalists in support of ratification or approval of the Constitution the Federalist Papers were written in Federalist number 10 James Madison spoke about how to radical factions or groups out for their own agenda could be controlled in a large Republic ultimately the Constitution would be ratified after the promise of a bill of rights which would come out in 1791 let's open up the Constitution and see what's in there federalism is the division of powers between the federal government and the state Congress has the power to declare war tax regulate interstate commerce and establish a post office although Congress has a lot of power some powers are reserved for the states in the Tenth Amendment while the federal government can do big things issues such as marriage driving and education laws are reserved for the states some powers such as taxation and building roads are concurrent or shared powers the Constitution can grow over time Congress has the power to use the elastic clause this permits them to do anything they see is Necessary and Proper in other words through loose interpretation of the Constitution Congress can extend its power these powers are called implied powers like a layer cake dual federalism has distinct differences as to what is controlled by the state and federal governments cooperative federalism is like a marble cake where responsibility is blurred between local state and federal governments the government gives out grants and aids to States block grants or large sums of money used for general purposes a categorical grant gives money for specific purposes and sometimes has to be matched by the states an important type of grant is an entitlement these give income to families and individuals welfare Social Security and Medicare are all entitlements federal government issues mandates or orders to the states to do something before money is given out sometimes mandates are given without money and these are called unfunded mandates an example would be the Americans with Disabilities Act which made localities comply with handicapped accessible facilities let's take a look at the branches the legislative branch is made up by the house in the Senate since the house is based on population districts our reapportioned every 10 years after a census or detailed population count is taken some times state legislatures draw a weird squiggly lines to control more districts this is called gerrymandering however if states draw lines to crazy courts can step in as seen in Baker versus Carr the federal courts can force redrawing of lines the house is led by the Speaker of the House while the vice-president is supposed to preside over the Senate a president pro tempore does this in the VP's absence also important to know are majority and minority leaders and whips who lead the parties and round up votes most congressional work is done in committees or subcommittees standing committees are the permanent groups of Congress where most of the work gets done important committees to know are the Ways and Means Committee in the house which recommends how to raise money through taxes and tariffs it's important to note that all revenue or money bills start in the house the houses Rules Committee is the traffic cop of Congress and decides how bills come to the floor the Appropriations Committee determines how the government spends its money for a bill to be come along it has to be passed by each house of Congress and then signed by the president if the president doesn't like the bill it can be beaten Congress must then override this veto by a two-thirds vote unlike a governor who has a line-item veto where certain parts of a bill can be killed a President's veto kills the entire thing most bills never make it out of each house vetoes are not the norm and they are rarely overridden there are some techniques you need to know about log-rolling is where politicians promise to vote for each other's bills riders are irrelevant provisions tacked onto popular bills so they pass a Christmas tree bill has a lot of them pork-barrel legislation benefits only certain districts often public works projects such as bridges and roads earmarks are when a spending bill allocates money for something specific members of Congress can also take advantage of the franking privilege which permits them to use free stationery and postage to communicate with their constituents this usually turns into free campaigning in the Senate there's no limit on debate so if a minority party thinks they will lose a vote they can filibuster or speak as long as possible to delay a vote the Senate can end this filibuster with a vote for cloture government officials such as members of Congress are greatly influenced by special interest groups these are organizations that try to influence government and get support for their agenda although they can help politicians by giving information on technical issues they can also help thrust them into office or out of office interest groups can give money for election campaigns and file lawsuits to support their agenda the act of trying to persuade politicians to support an agenda is called lobbying specific interest groups to know include AARP afl-cio n-double-a-cp the Tea Party movement and the NRA today lobbyists must be registered and have to report their activities less direct is grassroots lobbying where the general public tries to pressure politicians that effect legislation beware of the Iron Triangle as the relationship between regulating agencies special interests and Congress can leave the average citizen wondering who is controlling the policy sometimes special interests team up with others and create issue networks which can affect policy as well when it comes to campaign financing individuals can give money to campaigns but so can PACs or political action committees after soft money or general dollars for political parties was restricted by the bipartisan campaign Reform Act super PACs or independent expenditures have been used to pump money into campaigns mostly in the form of commercials the Federal Election Commission determines how much money can legally be given by PACs and individuals let's talk about the executive branch to become the president one has to win the primary get nominated at a national convention and then when the electoral college some primaries are closed to registered party members still whoever wins the most delegates for the nominating convention will run in November to win a state's electoral votes one must get a plurality of the vote it's winner take on whoever gets a majority of the 538 votes or 270 becomes president note people do not vote for the president today we vote for the house in the Senate but we vote for elector who choose the president the president signs in vetoes Laws appoints officials grant pardons to forgive federal crimes and makes treaties that need to be ratified by the Senate the president can issue executive orders which have the weight of law the president is also commander-in-chief of the military though the War Powers Act states that the president needs congressional approval before lengthy overseas missions the president can also keep some information classified in what's called executive privilege however President Nixon showed that this privilege is not absolute build Nixon resolving before he could have been a president can be impeached by Congress if the presidency is vacant there's a succession that was set up by the 25th amendment and presidential succession act the 22nd amendment sets up a two-term limit and most presidents will become lame ducks before leaving office the president can't do everything and therefore has a set of advisers here's a look at the executive branch the White House staff is led by the chief of staff also there are cabinet Department cabinet members are appointed and must be approved by the Senate Secretary of State deals with Foreign Affairs the Attorney General looks over the rights of citizens also important to the secretary of the Treasury and defense the executive office of the president is another set of advisors which include the Office of Management and Budget which helps strap the yearly budget after the president proposes a budget Congress looks over it has budget resolutions comes up with a reconcile bill and then the president can sign appropriation bills this is all part of fiscal policy from monetary policy we have to look to the Federal Reserve having more job security there are also independent agencies and independent regulatory agencies which help enforce laws one of these is the Federal Reserve Board which controls monetary policy or central banking in the circulation of the dollar by raising and lowering interest rates and buying and selling government bonds and securities they can manipulate how people spend money and therefore how inflation occurs all of the agencies make up the vast bureaucracy of government workers the bureaucracy has increased in size since 1900 Eurocrats have discretion to help enforce policy without the backing of law they get their jobs based on the merit system where intelligence and competency is needed the Supreme Court is the head of the judicial branch that can use their power of judicial review used first by John Marshall in the case Marbury vs. Madison judicial review allows the High Court to decide if a law is constitutional or not though in rare instances cases can go directly to the Supreme Court with original jurisdiction most likely cases are appealed from the highest state and federal work on the rare occasions when the Supreme Court will hear a case they issue a writ of certiorari so lower courts can send up documents justices are appointed for life and are supposed to be free from political pressures sometimes they address social and political issues with their own personal views in what's called judicial activism sometimes they don't address such issues and they exercise judicial restraint the High Court uses stare decisis or the decisions of other cases to help guide them when the court makes a decision the rendering becomes law however they can be checked as the legislative branch can increase the size of the court new laws and amendments can go around their decisions also remember the President appoints them outside of the Supreme Court you need to know that there are civil and criminal cases that take place most criminal cases and in plea bargains class-action suits are cases that are brought by individuals representing others in addition you need to know that amicus curiae briefs come from people who believe they have information for a cases evaluation you need to know many Supreme Court decisions that expanded and limited rights the right to privacy was supported for roe v wade and Griswold versus Connecticut freedom of speech was limited in Schenck versus the US and Dennis versus u.s. the Warren court protected rights of the accused in Miranda Gideon and Mapp affirmative action racial quotas were denied in regions of the University of California versus Bakke limits to freedom of religion were decided in Reynolds versus the US and Oregon versus Smith while separation of church and state in a school were highlighted by angle versus bite alley lemon versus Kurtzman in Everson versus the Board of Education in terms of civil rights the Dred Scott decision said that slaves were not citizens Brown versus the Board of Education overturned Plessy versus Ferguson as separate but equal goes against equal citizenship stated in the 14th amendment the 14th amendment also has a due process clause which applies to the states the court has selectively incorporated some clauses of the Bill of Rights and cases does your segregation or segregation by law was found unconstitutional the fact or voluntary segregation still occurs today other civil rights and liberty laws to know include the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Voting Rights Act of 1965 Patriot Act Brady Bill Freedom of Information Act Don't Ask Don't Tell and Americans with Disabilities Act let's talk about political ideologies or sets of beliefs you should know the difference between a liberal and a conservative traditionally liberals are Democrats who believe in gun control universal health care government regulation higher taxes and entitlements same-sex marriage and are typically against the death penalty conservatives are traditionally Republicans who oppose liberals on those issues and they support free trade unless a fair people's ideologies are impacted by many issues there are sometimes third or minor parties which bring new issues into the forefront political socialization is the process in which ideology is passed on to the next generation parents have the greatest impact though not always true you do need to know some generalizations for your test women minorities labor unions and younger people tend to be more liberal the more educated one is the more likely they are to vote and be politically active some voters are cross pressured or have personal liberal and conservative views these voters can be independent and can sway elections it's important to know that many people don't vote and the United States is behind other countries and voter turnout people and the media attract public opinion polls people selected for polls are in a random sample polls can be on anything and often have a small sampling error of a few percent voters take what they learn in polls and go to the ballot box when you go to vote you might see an office group ballot which lists all the offices or a party column ballot where you can vote for a straight ticket of one political party obstacles to voting include apathy identification cards ballots not translated into every language and lack of trust in government the media can be quite influential as to how people vote people get their news in newspapers radio television and today on personal devices and the Internet the president can use the media to great advantage and could hold a national audience better than Congress can high-ranking politicians have a press secretary media serves as a watchdog looking to expose scandal and investigate stories that benefit the public will the media can impact elections and oftentimes public policy as well speaking of public policy it can come in many different forms Healthcare has been in the news lately as Obamacare looked to lower health care costs and make health insurance more affordable the law was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012 earlier Medicare and Medicaid expanded health care in the 1960s during Johnson's Great Society environmental policy is also key as global warming has become an issue the Clean Air Act of 1970 looked to decrease pollution related energy policy has been environmentally conscious as America tries to get off the foreign oil the United States's military policy has been historically neutral however after world or to the United States became more engaged in the Cold War and the war on terror thus between the media branches of government states interest groups and the citizens themselves the United States government experiences pluralism where many voices have a say in government you can get more details on United States history and government by subscribing to this channel for more review you can get free flash cards and review sheets at mr. Clapp comm we also invite you to check out noble review in both paperback and ebook formats best of luck on your tests

Maurice Vega

50 Responses

  1. Hi everyone, click the upper right corner to get links to flashcards and a review sheet! Best of luck!

  2. become a champion during the exam by jamming my song champion @ https://soundcloud.com/skeevyy/champion

  3. Thanks for this, man!
    I needed something to quickly recap the course.
    My teacher must've done a good job, you reminded me of almost everything we went over week by week!

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