Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hope and Change and Other Presidents
Click on the picture above to see how many other president mentioned hope and change (and how many times) in their inaugural speeches.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sheeee's Back!
Did she ever go?! I am putting this up here because government students need to know that in deciding to run for president just two years ago, Obama was an exception. Sen. Edwards was speaking in Iowa in early 2005 and now Palin has her own website. She has not filed her papers yet, but has established the PAC in Arlington, VA which a lot of aspiring presidents do because there are no limits on collecting money in VA. More Above the picture is the an ad attacking Sen Harry Reid (D-NV) who is up for re-election in 2010. The ad was made by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (Picture from
Information on Every President
This site has presidential election results, cabinet members, notable events, internet biographies, historical documents, media resources for EVERY president. What more could you ask for in a presidential site!

Federalism Cartoon

VA Gubernatorial Race
Here is VA we have a governor's race as well as state legislative races (as does NJ). There is only one Republican running, Bob McDonnell, but Terry McAuliffe (of DNC fame), former state delegate Brian Moran (brother of US rep Jim Moran) and state senator Creigh Deeds (who interestingly holds the seat that Emily Couric - yes sister of Katie used to have before she died of cancer). While the Democratic primary isn't until June, we already have the first television ad out (see above).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bush, in Pictures

The New York Times and documentary filmmaker Errol Morris put together some pics of President Bush with insightful commentary.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Great Movie on the 2006-08 Campaign
Yes, I did write 06-08 because Obama didn't jump into the campaign until 24 months ago, although McCain was in long before then. Go here for a great four part video on the election that includes "the landscape, the campaign, the voters and a president chosen." You can also go here to see a great interactive graphic for many (and all of the targeted) states that shows exit polling for many demographic groups (gender, race - except for Hispanics, age, schooling, etc.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More on the Presidents
This site has very nice time lines, key achievements as well as pre and post presidential life for Hoover through Clinton.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Media

A cartoon on the media.

Social Security Cartoon

Great cartoon on Social Security

Budget Game
One of the more complicated concepts we teach is the budget. Here is a way to help the kids understand it and learn at the same time. It is up to date enough to include Obama's platform and the kids have to include 2/3s of it in their budget.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Executive Orders and Gitmo
Here is the signing of the closing of Gitmo one year from today. The video is interesting as Obama clearly has not read the executive order (what president really does) and even asks his counsel about another forthcoming one.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Voter Turnout Analysis

Interesting analysis from the Monkey Cage blog.

The Inaguration Speech
Above is Obama's speech on inaguration day. But if you want to read about the man who wrote much of the speech, go here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Approval Ratings of New Presidents
I hate to take three things in a row from here, but it is a great site and if you don't have it bookmarked, you should. We are just starting polling right now, so this is perfect for me. Click on the picture to get the full story behind the graphic.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

US Senators - Where do they come from?
This is one of the best new political sites of 2008. Here is a great overview of the previous office senators had before getting elected (see picture above). The linked article goes into some detail.
Another Way to Look at the Election
Click on the picture above to see a bigger form of it. It might be useful to show your students, esp. since the rural vote used to be more Democratic. Also it can be used to show the students that political scientists need to ask question such as "What is a suburb?" In this case does it include exoburbs (more Republican) or the inner suburbs (more Democratic) and also as a way to discuss how the landscape has changed over the year. For ex.m we needed Baker v. Carr since the legislatures were controlled by the rural members who were losing people to the cities or many localities on property (houses) when this tax base harkens back to when the majority of our people were more agrarian based and therefore it made sense to tax land (for that matter look at an inner suburb and if you see a lot of houses that are long and narrow, it's because localities used to tax the width of the front of the house - hence the narrowness).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Inaugural Tickets
Perhaps this is more for you than your students, but this has pictures of all the tickets to the inaugurations from 1925 to the present for the US Senate.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inaugural, State of the Union and Other Speeches
If you ever wanted your students to look at previous inagural speeches, go here. This site also has every state of the union address. Many teachers also have their students play State of the Union bingo. This site also has every press conference, proclamation, press release, executive order and much more.
Virginia's State Legislature
While this blog has a national audience, since I am writing it from VA, let me tell you about a blog site about our state legislature which is now in session through the end of February as well as other blog pages. It has links to a bunch of great articles as well as campaign pages (Dems have their primary in June) Also the best newspaper in the state for the legislature is the Richmond Times Dispatch. If you have a good site for your state legislature, please leave it in the comment section.

With the Obama Inaugural Coming, Here are Others
Above is the first part of Kennedy's speech and here is the second part. To see the videos of all other televised inaugural speeches, please go here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Highlights of the Clinton Hearing
Here are CNN's highlights of the hearings over the last two day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Little Fun About Last Year
You may or may not want to show this to your students, but it is extremely amusing and "Uncle Jay" is quite talented. If you do show it, there are a ton of great government issues in this short clip.

Inaugural Activities
Check back in a few days as I have lots of things coming for the new Congress and president. For now, go here and here for some activities you can do with your students surrounding the inauguration. (photo from CBS News)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Electoral College Back to 1789
This site has electoral college votes and maps back to the beginning.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Perhaps I am behind the times as I just found out about this site, Truthdig, as it has been nominated for a Weblog Award for best political coverage. To borrow from the wikipedia site citation, it "is a Web magazine that provides a mix of long-form articles, interviews, and blog-like commentary on current events (as well as cartoons and video), delivered from a progressive point-of-view. The site is built around major "digs" led by authorities in their fields, who write multi-faceted pieces about contemporary, often controversial, topics. Articles on Truthdig are open for comments, and the participants in the discussion tend to be somewhat left-leaning." What I like is that it gives more depth, and is referred to as a webmagazine.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Official Electoral College Count/Daschle Hearing
The bottom video is the official counting of the electoral college votes done in the House of Representatives. Go here to see a long version of Tom Daschle's hearing from today which includes both Senators Kennedy and Johnson back from considerable health concerns.

Swearing in of the 111th House
Above is Cheney calling in new senators (including Joe Biden (D-DE) who has yet to officially resign) and swearing them in. Here is video of Pelosi (D-CA) calling Bush to tell him about their swearing in process. Also today is the day the Congress will count the electoral votes.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Israel- Palestine Summary To Date
Go here to see the map above enlarged and also a very concise summary, day by day of what is going on the Middle East right now. (photo from New York Times). Also go here for an interactive summary of the problem since the inception of Israel. Finally if you go here, there are a number of links that will help you explain the situation. The site by Larry Farzanno is an amazing one if you also do US history.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cartoons of the Week and of the Year
This is a great site as it has a weekly update of cartoons as well as the best ones of 2008. Even more it has some of the newer type cartoons that move. Also go here weekly for the best of the week cartoons. I found this resource here on a site call Free Technology for Teachers which is an amazing resource for new technology ideas.