Release or Not?

What percent of Americans think that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report should be released to the American public?

  1. How accurate was your incorrect prediction?

  2. How surprised are you by this data?

  3. What is the big story the data tell?

  4. What is one consequence of this?

  5. Explain whether you personally think the Mueller report should be released to the American public.

  6. In a democracy, one would think that if 84% of people supported a certain idea or policy that it would happen. Explain whether you personally think the Mueller report will be released to the American public.

  7. Describe the partisan impact on the results of the survey.

  8. Typically, Democrats and Republicans agree on almost nothing. Explain why Republicans and Democrats are mostly united in their opinion of the Mueller report being made public.

  9. What group of Americans is least supportive of the Mueller report being released to the American public?

  10. What group of Americans is most supportive of the Mueller report being released to the American public?

  11. What is the most persuasive argument you have heard for why the report should be released?

  12. What is the most persuasive argument you have heard for why the report should NOT be released?

  13. How has the Mueller investigation impacted your view of the American government and political system?

  14. What branch of government is the Department of Justice a part of?

  15. Who hires and fires the head of the Justice Department, the Attorney General?

  16. In what way is the Mueller investigation an example of checks and balances and in what way is it NOT an example?

  17. How has the Mueller investigation impacted your view of the Trump presidency and the office of the president?

  18. In recent years, many political observers have made the claim that the American presidency was becoming weaker. Based on your knowledge of the Mueller investigation and the American political system, how would you respond to that argument.

  19. In Federalist No. 70 (1788), Alexander Hamilton (The ten-dollar Founding Father without a father/Got a lot farther by workin’ a lot harder/
    By bein’ a lot smarter/By bein’ a self-starter/
    By fourteen, they placed him in charge of a trading charter)
    argues for a strong executive leader, as provided for by the Constitution, as opposed to the weak executive under the Articles of Confederation. Hamilton asserts, “energy in the executive is the leading character in the definition of good government.” What would someone like Hamilton who wanted a strong executive think about an investigation of the president?

  20. How do most Americans feel about the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation?*

  21. How do demographics impact Americans’ opinion on the Mueller investigation?*

Visual Extension

Learning Extension

The special counsel, Robert Mueller, was supposed to decide whether President Trump had committed a crime. Why did the attorney general, William Barr, do it instead? Listen to this Mueller Report episode of The Daily

Action Extension

Contact the Department of Justice and share your thoughts about whether the Mueller Report should be released.

Our World in Data Extension

Our Animals in Clothing Extension

animals-dressed-like-humans-zoo-porraits-yago-partal-109-57d65dbcb522f__880.jpg

National Emergency

AP US Government and Politics

What portion of Americans approve of Donald J. Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency to build a wall?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. Describe public opinion of the Trump Emergency Declaration?

  3. How do you think public opinion on the emergency declaration varies by party affiliation?*

  4. Why do you think the public feels that way about Trump’s national emergency Declaration funding a border wall?

  5. Who does the U.S. Constitution empower to fund things such as interstate highways, n.A.S.A., and border walls?

  6. Does Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution give the president the power to go against the Congress’ wishes and fund a border wall?

  7. President Trump’s power to declare a national emergency and build a wall comes from 33 U.S. Code § 2293 - Reprogramming during national emergencies and 10 U.S. Code § 2808 - Construction authority in the event of a declaration of war or national emergency. Based on your reading of these two short section of the U.S. Code, does Trump’s declaration of an emergency fall within the meaning of that code?

  8. You just made a claim about Trump’s power to declare a national emergency. What institution gets to make a claim about this which carries the rule of law?

  9. There are a number of things Congress could do to stop Trump. What is the most likely thing the Senate and House could do about Trump‘s declaration of a national emergency?

  10. The power of the purse (funding) is a Congressional power laid out in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. COnstitution. The Congress has repeatedly refused to fund a wall. By declaring a national emergency and funding a border wall, president Trump is taking away the funding from congress and giving it to himself. What does this action do to checks and balances?

  11. According to James Madison in Federalist No. 51, Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. Whose ambition is currently counteracting trump’s ambition?

  12. List the top three national emergencies that America faces:

  13. If you had to rank the border, in terms of national emergencies, how high would it rank?

  14. When Americans are asked to name the top national emergencies how high does the border wall rank?*

  15. Explain whether there is a connection between Trump taking such unpopular positions as declaring the border an emergency and his low public approval ratings?

  16. clearly, the president is taking a highly unpopular action. In your opinion, Explain whether this means that Trump is a strong or a weak leader.

  17. explain whether taking such a highly unpopular position makes Trump more of a trustee, delegate, or Politico.

  18. During two years of a Republican controlled Congress, POTUS Trump was not able to convince the legislature to fund his wall, Nor was he able to convince the public of the importance of the wall. Why do you think that is?

  19. President Trump is very good at convincing people of things they already believe in. He has been less successful at convincing people who don’t already agree with him. Explain whether successful presidents (or politicians) are able to convince people to change their minds. Support your argument with examples from american political history.

  20. The House and Senate have rejected the president’s requests for spending for the wall. Many Senators from his own party have publicaly opposed his national emergency declaration. Explain whether you believe the Congress will stop him?

  21. There are already a number of legal challenges to the national emergency Declaration (hear the list below). Where will these challenges ultimately end up and how do you think the SCOTUS will rule on this issue?

VISUAL Extension*

LEARNING EXTENSION

Action Extension

Contact your member of Congress and let them know what you think about Trump’s Declaration.

Our World In Data Extension

Impeaching to the Choir

What portion of the U.S. House does it take to impeach the president?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. List the branches of government involved in the impeachment process:

  3. List any other process that involves all the branches:

  4. A Goldilocks impeachment process would be just right. Explain whether you think that the impeachment process is too difficult, too easy, or just right?

  5. In Federalist No. 51, Madison wrote that the people are the best check on the government, “A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government;” But that since the people could be wrong, “experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” The government must be set up to stop tyranny. He wrote that, “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” Do you think that impeachment is a strong enough counteraction on the ambition of the presidency?

  6. Given the fact that the majority of the U.S. House is Democratic and the President is a Republican, do you think it is likely that the House will impeach the President?

  7. What portion of the U.S. Senate does it take to impeach a president?

  8. Given the fact that the majority of the Senate is Republican controlled and the President is a Republican, do you think it is likely that the Senate will convict the President in an impeachment trial?

  9. Explain whether you think President Trump should be impeached.

  10. Imagine that the House impeaches and the Senate convicts the President Trump. Imagine the President said he would not leave office. Who would enforce the Congress’ impeachment?

  11. Besides impeachment, is there any other way to remove a President from office?

  12. Only two U.S. presidents have ever been impeached. Why do you think the Framers made it so difficult to impeach a president?

  13. Right now, what portion of Americans want Trump to be impeached and how has that number changed over the Trump Administration?

  14. Explain any connection between the infographic above and federalism:

  15. Explain how the following factors would impact the likelihood of a president’s impeachment:

  • The President’s approval rating

  • Media coverage

  • The political party of the Supreme Court Chief Justice

  • Recent midterm election results

  • The partisan composition of the House and Senate

  • American involvement in a foreign war

  • The leadership of the House and Senate

  • Whether or not a president has committed an impeachable offense

Learning Extension

Check out this video on what percentage of Americans want Trump impeached. And check out these counteracting opinions, here’s an article Against Impeaching President Trump and an article for Impeaching President Trump.

Action Extension

Contact your member of Congress and share your opinion about Trump’s impeachment and then ask them their intention regarding impeaching the president? Share your exchange in class or online.

Fun With Data Extension

Never Forget

Never Forget

Infographic: Total of Ten Candidates Have Announced Presidential Bids  | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Shutdown the wall or the government?

WHat Percent of Americans think that, “President Trump should not compromise on the border wall even if it means a government shutdown.”?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does the data tell?

  3. Why do you think that is?

  4. Describe two consequences of this.

  5. How does party affiliation impact opinion on this issue?

  6. If you had to choose, “President Trump should compromise on the border wall to prevent gridlock,” or, “President Trump should not compromise on the border wall even if it means a government shutdown.” Which would you choose and why?

  7. Respond to this scenario: President Trump personally wants to shut down the government if that’s what it takes to build his wall, but after he reads the poll results above he decides that the people have spoken and he should not build his wall if it risks shutting down the government. Explain whether this action make him more of a trustee or a delegate.

  8. REspond to the following scenario. Trump builds his wall which adds billions of dollars to the national debt. What would a fiscal conservative say about this?

  9. Explain how shutting down the government in order to build the wAll is an example of checks and balances.

  10. What specific Constitutional presidential power allows the president to Build a Border wall?

  11. What specific Constitutional presidential power allows the president to shut down the government?

  12. What specific Constitutional Congressional power allows the congress to fund a Border wall?

  13. What specific Constitutional Congressional power allows the Congress to shut down the government?

  14. President Trump, Vice President Pence, Senate Leader Schumer, and (probable future) Speaker of the House Pelosi met in the White house to discuss the potential border wall funding impasse and government shutdown. At the meeting, Donald trump said, "I'll be the one to shut it down. I will take the mantle. And I will shut it (The Government) down for border security." IF the government is shut down who do you think will be blamed?

  15. Claim: after meeting with donald trump about the government shut down, Nancy Pelosi said, "This Trump shutdown, this temper tantrum he seems to want to throw, will not get him his wall," Based on what you know about American government and politics, explain whether you believe that she is correct.

  16. Describe How political party affiliation impact views on the border wall/government shutdown.

  17. In general, how do Americans think President trump is doing on immigration and border policy?*

  18. In general, how do YOu think President trump is doing on immigration and border policy?

Visual Extension

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Video Extension

Learning Extension

Scroll down to page 9 to read the full results of the poll.

Action Extension

Contact President Trump or (probable) Speaker of the House Pelosi, or Senate Majority Leader Schumer and let them know your opinion on this issue. Share your results in class or online.

Confirmation Bias Hearings

In his 1941 Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Justice-to-be Robert Houghwout Jackson was asked about to comment on three different political topics/issues. How many topics/issues was Justice Kagan asked to comment on in her 2010 confirmation hearing?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. how many topics and issues do you think Justice-to-be Kavanaugh will be asked in his confirmation hearing?

  3. Do you think that all these questions about all these topics actually make a difference in selecting good justices?

  4. What trend do you see in the data from the chart?

  5. Explain the cause of the trend you identified.

  6. Describe one consequence of this trend you identified in the data.

  7. Do we have a good system for picking justices-who serve un-elected for life?

  8. How democratic (with a little d) is this entire justice-confirmation process?

  9. What would the perfect number of topics/issues to ask a nominee be?

  10. If you could, how would you changed the confirmation process?

  11. How likely do you think it is that a single Democrat will vote for Kavanaugh or that a single Republican will vote against him?

  12. In what way is the current confirmation hearing an example of checks and balances?

  13. What would Federalist 51 have said about

  14. In 1987, at his failed confirmation hearings Robert Bork actually answered the questions he was asked in long and voluminous comments. He was NOT confirmed to the Supreme Court (fun fact, ushering in the nomination of quiet-Justice Kennedy, whose Supreme Court seat we are now filling). Robert Bork's failed nomination spawned the verb: to Bork, meaning to talk to much; to say too much about what you really believe; to reject someone who says too much.

  15. Have you ever been Borked?

  16. Will there be a new verb formed to be Kavanaugh? Make up your own definition:

  17. take another famous politician (Ryan, Trump, McConnell, Pelosi, Obama, Schumer) and make a verb out of their name. Write a sentence using their name as a verb and post it in the comments section below. The "best" sentence (by either a student or a teacher) will win a $10 Amazon gift card.*

Learning Extension

Read this 538 article about Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings.

Action Extension

Watch some of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, contact your U.S. Senator and tell them whether you think they should approve his nomination.

*Contest rules - I determine what "best" means! I will accept answers through Sunday, September 9th, 2018 by 8:32 pm.