... Stuff you should know?
While not all about government, (but there is a lot) there is a lot of stuff that apparently I don't know that I need to know.
Start off with this one... All about Filibusters...
They have blogs... weekly article dumps... and free podcasts... about 45 minutes long, and you can use it to win at Trivial Pursuit.
I'll be the first to admit that when I studied PoliSci in college, I snoozed on State & Local. I was not all that excited about it... and I know this my kids get less, since I condense into one blase day at the end of the year. Mostly it's because there are less resources out there. State and Local info is underfunded and not tracked as much, but here are some attempts at gettin' cozy with the local yocals.
1. Open States: A fantastic resource from the brain trust @ Sunlight Foundation. You can look up legislation, local reps, how they vote, etc... all in one application. Which brings me to the next thought...
2. American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC): Do you remember the controversial Stand Your Ground Laws, passed by many states, including Florida? This was the state laws that were under scrutiny after Trayvon Martin's death. That law was brought to us by ALEC. They do a lot of sharing of information, laws, and initiatives with state bureaucrats and elected officials. It remains controversial to this day.
3. Convention of States: A non-profit run by Citizens for Self-Governance that is trying to get grassroots support to start a Convention and get some Amendments passed to deal with the ever expanding role of the federal government.
4. Municipal Leagues: When you discuss Home Rule versus Dillon's Rule, you can check in with your state's Municipal League. It's a little association of local governments and sharing of ideas. They vary in sophistication. An extension of this is the National League of Cities.
5. iCivic's lesson plan on Dillon's Rule vs Home Rule. A great intro that breaks it down into reasonable chunks. An additional resource: Try this VA State lesson plan.
6. Some great lessons, including simulations from this Colorado state website.
7. LOC has a page devoted to S&L resources.
Well, there you have it. There are resources out there, but what to do with them.
Certainly, you cover a lot of this when you talk about Article 1, 4, and 5... as well as the 10th Amendment.
Do you have a fun and creative assignment? Have a moment to share? Leave a comment and let's start a dialogue!
The return of Representative Francis Underwood.
February 1st, 2014.
You would think I am getting paid to talk this up, but sadly, I am not.
I have peers who swear by West Wing. I can see that there are plenty of really relevant scenes, but this show is completely engrossing, and topical, too! Incredibly topical... you have political pandering, intrigue, (illegal behavior), and maneuvering for a coup within Congressional leadership. It's great viewing.
I mean, this is one of Obama's favorite shows!
For instance, in episode seven, there is a great scene that can be shown in class detailing a Presidential Bill Signing, and the intrigue and pettiness that goes into it.
However, it is not for the classroom due to adult topics. So, figure out a way to put clips in without totally exposing yourself to risky business from your admins.
Anywho, free to watch the entire Season 1 now, and Season 2 on 2-1-14. I can't wait. I better have all my lessons up to date.
When folks mention Everett Dirksen, I automatically think of marigolds. Every spring, Dirksen made a speech in the senate expounding the virtues of the marigold, and an impassioned campaign to make the marigold the national flower.
It is as sprightly as the daffodil, as colorful as the rose, as resolute as the zinnia, as delicate as the chrysanthemum, as aggressive as the petunia, as ubiquitous as the violet, and as stately as the snapdragon. It beguiles the senses and and ennobles the spirit of man... Since it is native to America and nowhere else int he world, and common to every state in the union, I present the American marigold for designation as the national floral emblem of our country."
But I am totally not doing this former Senate Minority Leader any service, especially in noting that he was instrumental in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
But I digress. There is a great resource on teaching Congress for all us educators to use. They used to have workshops, but those have been suspended. However, the resources are up and ready for you to this day.
For instance, the Congressional Timeline lists 900 of the major pieces of legislation over the history of our nation in sequence with major historical happenings. What a great way to get context for particularly perplexing pieces of legislation.
If you want to highlight the informal bodies of power as well as leadership offices in Congress, you can check out their Anatomy of a Congressional Leadership Race resource, that discusses the debate over Republican leadership positions in the House in 1980. Chock full of primary resources, including tally sheets, interviews, and newspaper articles, this is a great way look at the political intrigue behind choosing leadership. Pretty topical, when considering the civil war between Boehner and Cantor.
I don't have Sirius XM radio, but many of you do. I am sure that many of you already know about this, but it looks like a good resource to follow on social media and occasional check in to find out what they have in terms of sound bites.
So, I am going to be putting P.O.T.U.S. on my newsfeed and see how it goes.
The folks over at Bankrupting America have a sweet little shop set up. For starters, I love the infographics. They're interesting, informative, and pretty to look at. This shop is bankrolled by Public Notice, a non-profit with conservative roots that is critical of both sides of the spectrum.
To keep up with their latest and greatest, I'm gonna like 'em on the old FB.
I found something to be thankful for from the Heritage Foundation.
I have been scouring the planet for all things academic on the Constitution that can help my own discourse, and this is pretty great. I like the academic essays and how they examine each clause of the Constitution with legislation, executive action, and judicial precedent. In a few incidents I have had to include anecdotes not covered, but it's all good.
Photo via Flickr/Ted Eytan