DVC Political Science 121 - Introduction to United States Government

Course Syllabus and Outline

Basic Essay Structure

How to Analyze the Logic of an Article, Essay, or Chapter

Grading Rubric for Research Essays

Essay Grading Codes for APA Research Essays

Setting Up APA Formatting for PC / MAC / Google Docs

Owl Purdue APA Citation Style

Annotated Film Bibliography

Procedure for Challenging Your Final Grade

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Lecture Outlines:

(August 27) Lecture / Discussion Page - Politics in a Changing Society

  • Politics in a Changing Society [Lecture Presentation]
  • Liberal Individualism and the Crisis of Citizenship - Bellah
  • Why Does the Air Stink? - Clawson
  • This Land is Your Land - Hightower
  • What is the American Dream? - Hochschild
  • The Market As Prison - Lindblom
  • (September 3) Lecture / Discussion Page - American Political Ideologies and Parties

  • American Political Ideologies and Parties [Lecture Presentation]
  • Why Americans Still Don't Vote - Piven / Cloward
  • Fascism Anyone? - Britt
  • The Political Compass
  • (September 10) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Founders and the Constitution

  • The Founders and the Constitution [Lecture Presentation]
  • How Would You Change the Constitution? - Carroll
  • The Dark Side of the Constitution - Dolbeare
  • The Constitution, the Supreme Court, and the Decline of American Democracy - Lazar
  • Some Truths Are Not Self-Evident - Zinn
  • (September 17) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Federal System: Structure and Dynamics

  • Federalism [Lecture Presentation]
  • States Rights: the Other Side of the Coin - Ochenski
  • American Exceptionalism and the Politics of Fragmentation - Cohen / Rogers
  • Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity - Jensen
  • (September 24) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Legislative Branch: Institutions and Processes

  • The Legislative Branch [Lecture Presentation]
  • Unequal Struggle - Berg
  • Democracy On Drugs - Common Cause
  • Congress: The Pocketing of Power - Parenti
  • How Corporations Run Congress: A Talk With Ryan Grim - Eskow
  • (October 1) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Executive Branch

  • The Executive Branch [Lecture Presentation]
  • Trump's Road to the White House - PBS Frontline
  • George Farah on Presidential Debates - Bill Moyers
  • The Limits of Presidential Power - Genovese
  • The Presidential Spectacle - Miroff
  • The President: Guardian of the System - Parenti
  • Our Imperial System: On How Not to Think About the American Presidency - Grover and Peschek
  • Presidential Dynasties - Phillips
  • (October 8) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Federal Judiciary

  • The Judicial Branch [Lecture Presentation]
  • Justice for Sale - Bill Moyers
  • The Supremely Political Court - Parenti
  • Justice for Sale - Caplan
  • Supreme Court Inc. - Rosen
  • Corporations, the Law, and Democracy - Swidorski
  • (October 15) Lecture / Discussion Page - Public Opinion and the Mass Media

  • Public Opinion and the Mass Media [Lecture Presentation]
  • Democracy and a Free Press - Croteau and Hoynes
  • News Content and Illusion: Four Information Biases That Matter - Bennett
  • Power of Majority Opinion in America Over Thought - De Tocqueville
  • Media Power Sources: TV Sets the Agenda - Howard
  • Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda - DiMaggio
  • It's the Media, Stupid - McChesney / Nichols
  • (October 24) Lecture / Discussion Page - Governmental Bureaucracy

  • The Bureaucracy [Lecture Presentation]
  • No Easy Answers: James Q. Wilson on Bureaucracy, Crime, and Community - Eggers and O'Leary
  • (October 29) Lecture / Discussion Page - Voting and Elections

  • Voting and Elections [Lecture Presentation]
  • After the Deluge: Electoral Reform in the Wake of the Election of 2000 - Guinier
  • Real Choices / New Voices - Amy
  • The Scandal of Voter Suppression in America - Cox
  • Finding the Lost Voters - Sifry
  • (November 5) Lecture / Discussion Page - Political Interest Groups

  • Interest Groups [Lecture Presentation]
  • Why Unions Matter - Bernard
  • Black America and the Dilemma of Patriotism - Gilmore
  • Reclaiming the Commons - Klein
  • (November 12) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Public Policy Process

  • Public Policy [Lecture Presentation]
  • Public Policymaking - Anderson
  • How Economic and Social Rights Disappeared - Peppe
  • Closing the Democracy Gap - Nader
  • (November 19) Lecture / Discussion Page - U.S. Economic Policy

  • Economic Policy [Lecture Presentation]
  • Doing It For Ourselves: Can Feminism Survive Class Polarization? - Ehrenreich
  • Interview with Pete Peterson on the Deficit - Charlie Rose
  • Class Inequality and Democracy - Krugman
  • (November 26) Lecture / Discussion Page - U.S. Foreign and Defense Policies

  • Foreign Policy [Lecture Presentation]
  • Wars of Terror - Chomsky
  • The Theology of American Empire - Chernus
  • The Logic of U.S. Intervention - Parenti
  • (December 3) Lecture / Discussion Page - Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

  • Civil Liberties and Rights [Lecture Presentation]
  • Neo-Patriarchy and the Anti-Homosexual Agenda - Snyder
  • Letter From a Birmingham Jail - King Jr.
  • Is Free Speech the Enemy of Democracy? - Sunstein
  • Research Projects and Examinations:

    Click Here To See A Perfect Research Paper

    Click Here To See A Perfect Research Paper

    Click Here To See A Perfect Research Paper

    Click Here To See A Perfect Research Paper

    Click Here To See A Perfect Journal Response

    Homework Questionaire - The Political Compass Website - Due: October 1, 2019

    1st Journal Responses - Due: October 22, 2019

  • For the first eight lectures, please respond to one of the questions from each lecture from the "Study and Discussion Question" section. Responses should be approximately one page in length (double-spaced)
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Politics and Society), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (American Political Parties and Ideologies), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Constitution), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Federalism), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Congress), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Executive), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Judicial), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Public Opinion / Mass Media), Choose One Question
  • The 2020 Presidential Election: Continuity or Change? - POLSC 121 Fall 2019 Research Project - Due: November 5, 2019

    Recent Books for the Research Paper:

    Click Here To See Titles

    Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Conservative / Republican)
  • The Political Compass
  • The Rise and Fall of American Political Parties: 1790 - 2000 - Silbey
  • Free Speech Requires Campaign Money - Smith
  • Dollars and Votes - Clawson
  • The Republican Party Home Page
  • Conservatives Against Trump - National Review Symposium
  • The View From 1787 - Cost
  • The Continuing Woes of the "Establishment" - Larison
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Liberal / Democrat)
  • The Political Compass
  • How the Little Guy Gets Crunched - Barlett and Steele
  • White Supremacists Are Infiltrating the GOP From the Ground Up - Rivers Pitt
  • The Presidential Spectacle - Miroff
  • The Democratic Party Home Page
  • Can Hillary Clinton Convince Voters They're Not Settling? - Brownstein
  • Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination - Editorial Board - The New York Times
  • Another Neocon Endorses Clinton, Calling Her '2016's Real Conservative' and 'the Candidate of the Status Quo' - Norton
  • Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright Scold Young Women Backing Bernie Sanders - Rappeport
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Critical / Radical / Third Party)
  • The Political Compass
  • Billionaires and American Politics - Wittner
  • Born on the 5th of July - Urie
  • 2020 Democratic Party Debates Encircle Sanders with Wall Street's Political Dogs - Haiphong
  • Vowing Not to 'Demonize' the Rich, Biden Tells Billionaires 'Nothing Would Fundamentally Change' If He Was Elected - Higgins
  • Elections and the Illusion of Political Control - Urie
  • The Democrats Can't Save Us - Pemberton
  • Now is Not the Time to Come to the Aid of the Party - Levine
  • Moderates Making Inevitable Pivot to Trump as the Money Rolls In at the Top - Floyd
  • The Time is Now: To Defeat Both Trump and Clintonian Neoliberalism - Taylor
  • Jill Stein, Green Party Presidential Candidate - Jill 2016
  • Spoiling for a Fight: Third Party Politics in America - Sifry
  • The Limits of Presidential Power - Genovese
  • Democracy for the Few - Parenti
  • Is That A Politician In Your Pocket? Washington on $2 Million a Day - Sifry and Watzman
  • Dynasties: How Their Wealth and Power Threaten Democracy - Phillips
  • Clinton and Trump, Fear and Fascism - Moser
  • A Debasing Spectacle: Behind and Beyond the Latest Quadrennial Carnival - Street
  • The (un)Democratic Primary: Why We Need a New Party of the 99% - Sawant
  • The Empire Files: Abby Martin Exposes What Hillary Clinton Really Represents - The Real News Network
  • Revolution Is In the Air - Hedges
  • How Sanders Could Lay the Foundation for a Third US Political Party - Gilbert
  • Is Bernie's Political Revolution the Real Thing or a Pathetic Joke? - Lindorff
  • Protesting Trump and Hillary Too - Kimberly
  • Robert Reich Sees the Future: Why America's Two-Party System May Collapse - Reich
  • The Rise of American Authoritarianism - Taub
  • Bernie Sanders' Phantom Movement - Hedges
  • Special Places in Hell: For Madeline, Hillary....and Bernie - Street
  • Overwhelming Majority of Americans Believe that Both Parties Are Too Corrupt to Change Anything - Washington's Blog
  • Hillary Clinton's Populist Charade - Webb
  • The Clintons $93 Million Romance with Wall Street: A Catastrophe for Working Families, African-Americans, and Latinos - Behan
  • VIDEO: Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein: The United States' Multi-Organ Failure - Abby Martin with Telesur
  • Why Did the Former Republican Gov. of New Mexico Join the Libertarian Party to Run for President? - Democracy Now!
  • Ordinary Americans Fought Big Money and Won in 2015 - Mason
  • When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party's Jill Stein - Street
  • Socialist Alternative
  • The Green Party
  • 2nd Journal Responses - Due: December 10, 2019

  • For the last seven lectures, please respond to one of the questions from each lecture from the "Study and Discussion Questions" section. Responses should be approximately one page in length (double-spaced)
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Federal Bureaucracy), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Voting and Elections), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Interest Groups), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Public Policy Process), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (US / Global Economic Policy), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (US Foreign / Defense Policy), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Civil Liberties / Civil Rights), Choose One Question
  • Final Exam - Study Guide - May 21, 2019 (Bring 882E Scantron)

    Readings, Documentaries, and Websites of Interest for Political Science 121 Students!

    UNCOUNTED: The True Story of the California Primary - Wake Up California!

    Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens - Gilens and Page

    The Crisis of Democracy - The Trilateral Commission (1973)

    The Powell Memo (also known as the Powell Manifesto) - Reclaim Democracy!

    A Century of War - RT Documentary

    The Collapse of the American Empire? - The Agenda with Steve Paikin

    Corruption is Legal in America - Represent.Us

    Unbreaking America: A NEW Short Film about Solving the Corruption Crisis - Represent.Us

    The Lie We Live [Smart Kid - A Nice Wake-Up Call] - Spencer Cathcart

    Understanding Marxism and Socialism with Richard Wolff

    War Is A Racket - Major General Smedley Butler

    Four Horsemen - Documentary (Great Stuff! Check This Out!)

    Empire Files: Peter Joseph & Abby Martin on Abolishing Capitalism

    Destroying the Myths of Market Fundamentalism - The Real News Network

    Tipping Point: The End of Oil - Documentary

    The Propaganda Multiplier:How Global News Agencies and Western Media Report on Geopolitics - Swiss Propaganda Research

    Capitalism Never Solves Its Crises; It Moves Them Around Geographically - RSAnimate

    Two American Families - Frontline Documentary

    Global Wealth Inequality: What You Never Knew You Never Knew - therules.org

    Wealth Inequality in America - therules.org

    Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us - Institute for Policy Studies

    Park Ave: Wealth, Poverty, and the American Dream - Documentary

    Shadows of Liberty - Documentary (Mass Media)

    Plutocracy in America - Brenner

    The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats - Stauber

    Consent Without Consent: Reflections on the Theory and Practice of Democracy - Chomsky

    Obamacare: A Deception - Roberts

    The Purchase of Our Republic - Falkson

    The Crisis of Civilization - Documentary

    Let Your Life Be A Friction That Stops The Machine - Class War Films

    Political Fraud - Class War Films

    Financial Crime - Class War Films

    Military Cancer - Class War Films

    Imperial Decay - Class War Films

    Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis - Documentary

    What Democracy? The Case for Abolishing the United States Senate - Rosenfeld

    Making Every Vote Count: The Case for Proportional Representation - Amy

    Ignoble Liars: Leo Strauss, George Bush, and the Philosophy of Mass Deception - Shorris

    Barack Hoover Obama: The Best and the Brightest Blow It Again - Baker

    The Great American Bubble Machine - Taibbi

    Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? - Taibbi

    Empire Under Obama: Counterinsurgency, Death Squads, and the Population as the Target - Marshall

    Smash the Control Machine - Otep Rocks!

    Rise Rebel Resist - Otep Rocks!

    The World is Coming to an End - Prince Ea

    The Final Word from My Two Favorite Comedians of All Time on "The Big Question"