Monday, February 28, 2011

Gadhafi Interview

I assume this will be all over the Internet tomorrow, but here it is too.  Christine Amanpour just interviewed him and this is quite a good (and short) interview which includes references to the fact that no demonstrations are occurring and that the rebels are drug induced! 

Continual Update on the Middle East

If you want one central location to know about the recent changes in the Middle East, go here and you will see a map, current time, a paragraph on events in the last 24 hours and links to recent articles.  A great place to send your students or you if you need an easy update. 

Executive Orders

I love stuff like this in that an executive term is important (inherent power, loose constructionist, etc.), but few are  interesting to the students.  But, yesterday the White House announced that the president was freezing the approximately $30 billion of Libyan assets that is under US control.  Here is the wording of the executive order that will probably be numbered 13566.  Here are the other executive orders done by Obama and here are all of them from Hoover through Obama

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Could Constitutional classifications be changing? Can the executive branch make such a change? This letter from the AG to the Speaker of the House is a great tool for teaching Constitutional classifications (rational basis, heightened scrutiny and strict scrutiny), separation of powers, and political maneuvering. There are also a few noted court cases that may be worth exploring with your students (Romer v. Evans, Lawrence v. Texas, and Bowers v. Hardwick).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Unemployment vs. Disapproval of Presidents

I really like the Presidential Power site that fellow blogger Frank Franz (Panthers Fan) mentioned below.  It led me to an article with charts comparing unemployment and disapproval of presidents.  That led me to this article and charts on all presidents from Reagan through Obama.  The charts and article from Pew, of course, lend credence to the fact that Obama is in trouble for his re-election if he doesn't get unemployment down.  

Oil Price Hike Explanation

If, as I am, you are trying to connect the events in the Middle East to your government class, this is a great video to explain why the price of oil has been increasing by barrel (related to the events) as well as the gas stations (not related).  It is a great two minute video.  Here is an article which also explains what is going on.

Current Events Daily Quiz

The NYTimes has a daily 5 question quiz on the hot topics of the day which is part of their Learning Blog.  Thanks to my fellow county teacher, Jennie Lindner for the tip. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jimmy Carter on PBS

You can get the above video free on PBS on Jimmy Carter.  You can move the film to different parts that you want to show your students. Here is one on Reagan. 

Budget Shutdown?

Here is an article on what would happen if a continuing resolution is not passed by early March 4 on the current year's budget which is already five months old.  It is a good way to teach about CRs, the 1995-96 shutdown and even what is the difference between discretionary and non-discretionary spending.  By the way, the cover above (and here), I like to use as a way to show how Clinton "won" the shutdown and why we have not had one since. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Census Data

Here is all the census data you could want in a easy to understand format.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Peak at the Future

Kno is an educational tablet company that just might have the coolest laptop in the world which you can see in the above video.  Think if you connected to ipads together and you get Kno. You can drag things from one screen to the other, type (a la the ipad) on one screen, read on one side and use the Internet on the other, or even make it fold back on itself to have only one screen showing.  Take a look and imagine how your students could use it. 

Presidential Power Blog

I just ran across the Presidential Power Blog, which seems to be a pretty informative site.

Party ID and Spending priorities

The Monkey Cage Blog posted this graph on Party ID & Spending Priorities. Red are Republican responses, blue are Democratic responses.

Plagiarisma - A Plagiarism Checker

"Plagiarisma is a free tool that teachers and students can use to detect possible cases of plagiarism."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Five Years of No Arguing for Thomas

Clarence Thomas used to get a bad rap because he so rarely spoke in oral arguments.  As you can see on this graphic that shows all justices and in this article, he has not spoken in an oral argument in five years. His ideological soul mate, Justice Scalia, averages 25 questions per case. 

Monday, February 7, 2011


Here is a link to nine stories on redistricting in a bunch of different states and could provide you with lots of examples of what states need to think about when they are redrawing their lines.  The series is an occasional one from "The Fix" in the WashPost and will have more installments. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Justice Sotomayor Reflects on First Years on Court

"In her most candid and extensive public remarks since joining the court in 2009, Justice Sotomayor reflected on the advice she had received from colleagues, her discomfort with becoming a celebrity and the role public opinion plays in judicial decision making."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mitt Romney on Letterman

OK, call it an exclusive or sorts since this won't be on tv for another 50 minutes, but above is Romney (also below on The View) on tonight's Letterman doing the Top Ten List.  The 2012 is moving quickly. 

Using Google Docs w. Your Students

Part of my in-service today was on how to use Google Docs, Google Presentation (PowerPoint), to create collections (folders), how to upload and how to link to one's student presentation tool (ie Blackboard, Google Sites, Edublog, etc.).  The advantage of doing this is that once you have the link set up, you can just make the change within Google and will never have to re-upload the document or presentation again.

Romney On the View

If you follow this blog, you will have noticed that I believe the 2012 presidential campaign has long been started. Mitt Romney, who is fighting the fact that he used to be a pro-choice liberal Republican (universal health care in MA passed from his signature as governor) and he is Mormon which doesn't fly with conservatives.  At any rate, every once in a while I show the kids a part of the pres campaign and tomorrow I will show a small portion of the above clip, as well as the Pawlenty ad post and the post below which follows presidential candidates.