Sunday, December 28, 2008

Watch CBS Videos Online
A Look Back at Obama
Above is the show that ran tonight on 60 Minutes. It is broken into three sections: the first looks back at him when he started to run and wasn't taken seriously by the a lot of people (remember he was 20 points down to Clinton in October 2007), the primaries, the victory and a look ahead. Go here to see the individual videos or above to see the entire presentation.

Student News on CNN
This page might prove helpful in your government class. Go there for daily updates for your classes. Up top is their year in review. There are also quizzes, lesson plans, maps, and information sheets on selected topics in the news.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Mini Government Movies by NBC
NBC News has created a free, educational website called iCue which is AMAZING. I will be showing a lot of these to my students as they are 2-3 minutes on almost every major point you will touch on this year. It is set up following the standard US government outline and then subdivided into 10-15 videos a page. You can use a link directly to a specific page (from your PowerPoint or blog) or e-mail yourself a specific video and get the link for that one (there is no other way to get it). I really think is great, but this is a step up as it is both better quality and nice and short. There is also a page on the 2008 election.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Presidents - PBS
This is a great feature (among others) on the PBS website. Get biographies of Roosevelt, Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan and H.W. Bush all on video from this site. You can download from this site for FREE until 1/20/09.

Electoral College
Lest we forget, Obama is not the president-elect until the electoral ballots are counted by the new Congress in January as this article points out. Click here to see a slide show which includes a close up of an actual ballot. Here is an earlier post on how the electoral college works as shown by a short video. (Photo from the New York Times)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Origins of the Economic Mess
Still trying to figure out the economic problems in the US. Go here for an in depth article on what went wrong and here for an interactive graphic (see above). Also go here for the first article in this series. Of course you can go to an earlier post we put here for some easy to understand videos.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Vote Smart
This is run by a bipartisan group of interns and volunteers, Project Vote Smart publishes the biographies, voting records, and other details about all presidential, congressional, gubernatorial, and state legislative candidates.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Looking at the Media
Two days ago the Washington Times ran a headline that said something like "Cloud Hangs over Obama" in reference to the Blagojevich arrest as opposed the Washington Post which referred only to the governor in its headline. It was a great way to show differences in the press. Here is another one called "Outfoxed" which is a look at the bias at Fox News (be careful it is filled with a lot of former employees being interviewed). By the way if anyone can suggest a film that looks at the other channels, I'd appreciate it if you would leave me a comment so I can put it/them up as well. Also click here for a Pew Research Center for an in depth report on how people get their news (from 2006) and a recent short piece on the same topic.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Open Secrets is your nonpartisan guide to money’s influence on U.S. elections and public policy. Whether you’re a voter, journalist, activist, student or interested citizen, use our free site to shine light on your government. Count cash and make change.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Politics of the Federal Courts
Click on the picture to the left and you will get a great graphic from the Washington Post which shows the number of US circuit court judges appointed by Dems & Repubs as well as the # appointed by Bush. Then click here for an article that argues that Bush may not have changed the Supreme Court as much as he wanted, but he has had a significant impact on the circuit court level. This article talks about how Obama will be able to create a "major shift"in the federal judiciary.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Key Supreme Court Decisions
This site is put together by Street Law (which has a great programs for teachers and many other useful resources especially if you teach Street Law) and has concise overviews of each key case (as well as the complete text) and even gives different reading levels. If you want to look at a broader range of cases is the place to go.

Friday, December 5, 2008

All Things Obama!
Here are several pages that will help you teach about the incoming administration. To begin with the above page from the NY Times lists both the cabinet as well as other key positions, tells is they are nominated or appointed and then gives gives information on each person. Here and here are updates (among many other places) on the incoming administration. This one, though, is my favorite as it lists every member of the transition team and says how much they gave to Obama's campaign and to Democrats in general. Finally here is an article on the $750 which he raised for the election.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ancillaries for Magruder's Government Text
In my perfect world, the kids would have laptops instead of textbooks and these items would be linked directly to the pages for easy use. Whether you use this textbook (one of the most used regular government ones in the US) or not, these links are very useful and are broken up by chapter.

Monday, December 1, 2008

44 Makes His Moves
Polico's site is a great site to follow the action (including a daily schedule of all of his activities) as Obama names his Cabinet, advisors, sets his policy goals into future legislation and more. The New York Times is another source that mirrors Politico's site, but also has a page such as this one which allows you to pull up cabinet and other top appointments with a drop down menu and quickly read about them. Also a lot of people are comparing Obama to Lincoln with his choices so far and if you wanted to go really in depth, the book that lays this out is here.