DVC Political Science 121 - Introduction to United States Government

Course Syllabus and Outline

Spring Supplement: Online Instructions for Classes

Basic Essay Structure

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

Grading Rubric for Research Essays

Setting Up APA Formatting for Research Papers, 7th Edition

Owl Purdue APA Citation Style

Essay Grading Codes for APA Research Essays

How to Submit a Paper and Read Feedback Comments on Turnitin

Click Here to See a Perfect References Page

Annotated Film Bibliography

Procedure for Challenging Your Final Grade

Click Here to Download the Latest Version of Adobe Acrobat Reader

Lecture Outlines:

(January 26) Lecture / Discussion Page - Politics in a Changing Society

Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the January 26, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Politics in a Changing Society
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Biden's Victory Was Hardly a Win for "Democracy." It Was Another Win for the 1% - Koundzic
  • 5. Video Presentation: The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Biden
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • Politics in a Changing Society [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Liberal Individualism and the Crisis of Citizenship - Bellah
  • This Land is Your Land - Hightower
  • What is the American Dream? - Hochschild
  • The Market As Prison - Lindblom
  • (February 2) Lecture / Discussion Page - American Political Ideologies and Parties

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the February 2, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] American Political Ideologies and Parties
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: To Defeat Fascism, We Must Recognize It's a Failed Response to Capitalist Crisis - Robinson
  • 5. Video Presentation: Alt Right: Age of Rage
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • American Political Ideologies and Parties [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Why We Need a New Progressive Party and How We Can Create It - Rall
  • Fascism Anyone? - Britt
  • Fear vs. Fear - Hedges
  • The Political Compass
  • (February 9) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Founders and the Constitution

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the February 9, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] The Founders and the Constitution
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: How Would You Change the Constitution - Carroll
  • 5. Video Presentation: Edward Snowden
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • The Founders and the Constitution [Powerpoint Presentation]
  • America's Antiquated Constitution - Howell and Moe
  • 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
  • (February 16) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Federal System: Structure and Dynamics

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the February 16, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] The Federal System: Structure and Dynamics
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: American Exceptionalism and the Politics of Fragmentation - Cohen / Rogers
  • 5. Video Presentation: Federalism
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • Federalism [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • States Rights: the Other Side of the Coin - Ochenski
  • Quote of the Day: Nobody Cares About Federalism - Drum
  • Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity - Jensen
  • (February 23) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Legislative Branch: Institutions and Processes

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the February 23, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] The Legislative Branch: Institutions and Processes
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: License to Profit: Legalized Corruption in the US Congress - Johnson
  • 5. Video Presentation: How Money Corrupts Congress and a Plan to Stop It
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • The Legislative Branch [PowerPoint 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
  • (March 2) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Executive Branch

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the March 2, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] The Executive Branch
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Revolutionary Socialism and the Fight Against Wall Street's President - Peterson
  • 5. Video Presentation: The Corporate Coup d'Etat
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • The Executive Branch [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • George Farah on Presidential Debates - Bill Moyers
  • 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
  • The Limits of Presidential Power - Genovese
  • (March 9) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Federal Judiciary

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the March 9, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] The Federal Judiciary
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Justice for Sale - Caplan
  • 5. Video Presentation: Justice for Sale
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • The Judicial Branch [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • The Supremely Political Court - Parenti
  • How the 14th Amendment Made Corporations Into 'People' - Pruitt
  • Corporations, the Law, and Democracy - Swidorski
  • (March 16) Lecture / Discussion Page - Governmental Bureaucracy

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the March 16, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Governmental Bureaucracy
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Bullshit Jobs: How Our Modern Bureaucracy Created Them - Vitaud
  • 5. Video Presentation: David Graeber About Bullshit Jobs
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • The Bureaucracy [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Which is Worse - Government or Corporate Bureaucracy? - Hartmann
  • Bureaucracy - A Documentary by Dr Richard Cole
  • Growing Bureaucracy and Fraud in US Health Care - Geyman
  • No Easy Answers: James Q. Wilson on Bureaucracy, Crime, and Community - Eggers and O'Leary
  • (March 23) Lecture / Discussion Page - Public Opinion and the Mass Media

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the March 23, 2021 Class
  • 2a. Text Reading
  • 2b. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Public Opinion and the Mass Media
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Democracy and a Free Press - Croteau and Hoynes
  • 5. Video Presentation: Project Censored: The Movie
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • Public Opinion and the Mass Media [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Herman and Chomsky's 5 Filters on the Media - Al Jazeera
  • Shadows of Liberty - Documentary
  • News Content and Illusion: Four Information Biases That Matter - Bennett
  • Power of Majority Opinion in America Over Thought - De Tocqueville
  • Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda - DiMaggio
  • It's the Media, Stupid - McChesney / Nichols
  • (April 6) Lecture / Discussion Page - Voting and Elections

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the April 6, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Voting and Elections
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Voting for the Lesser of Two Evils: A Vicious Circle - Fayazmanesh
  • 5. Video Presentation: Whose Vote Counts, Explained
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • Voting and Elections [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • To Vote or Not to Vote? - Levine
  • After the Deluge: Electoral Reform in the Wake of the Election of 2000 - Guinier
  • Real Choices / New Voices - Amy
  • Finding the Lost Voters - Sifry
  • (April 13) Lecture / Discussion Page - Political Interest Groups

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the April 13, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Political Interest Groups
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: GOP Hawks Are Turning Out for Biden - Boehm
  • 5. Video Presentation: The War Party
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • Interest Groups [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Nothing Less Than a Revolution Can Save Us - Street
  • USA Continues Drive to Plutocracy, Role of Lobbyists, Dismantling of the State - Stanton
  • Why Unions Matter - Bernard
  • Reclaiming the Commons - Klein
  • (April 20) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Public Policy Process

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the April 20, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] The Public Policy Process
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: The Squad Is Growing: A New Crew of Left Challengers Is Bringing Movement Politics to Congress - Shure
  • 5. Video Presentation: Knock Down the House
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • Public Policy [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Public Health? Anyone? Twelve Ways to Avoid Talking About Capitalism - Gendrault
  • Public Policymaking - Anderson
  • How Economic and Social Rights Disappeared - Peppe
  • Closing the Democracy Gap - Nader
  • (April 27) Lecture / Discussion Page - U.S. Economic Policy

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the April 27, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] U.S. Economic Policy
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Can Progressives Save Biden From Disastrous Economic Policies? - Wolff
  • 5. Video Presentation: Abby Martin & Richard Wolff Discuss Socialism in 2019
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • Economic Policy [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Wall Street Wins -- Again - Prins
  • Doing It For Ourselves: Can Feminism Survive Class Polarization? - Ehrenreich
  • Interview with Pete Peterson on the Deficit - Charlie Rose
  • Class Inequality and Democracy - Krugman
  • (May 4) Lecture / Discussion Page - U.S. Foreign Policy

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the May 4, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] U.S. Foreign Policy
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Shrinking the Pentagon: Will the Biden Administration Dare Cut Military Spending?
  • 5. Video Presentation: Why We Fight
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • Foreign Policy [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Henry Kissinger Calls for a New Post-Covid World Order - Whitney
  • Wars of Terror - Chomsky
  • The Theology of American Empire - Chernus
  • The Power Principle - Documentary
  • In Whose Interest? - Documentary
  • The Logic of U.S. Intervention - Parenti
  • (May 11) Lecture / Discussion Page - Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the May 11, 2021 Class
  • 2a. Text Reading
  • 2b. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Superpredator: The Media Myth That Demonized a Generation of Black Youth - Bogert
  • 5. Video Presentation: 13TH
  • 6. Discussion Board Question and Peer Responses for Video Presentation
  • Civil Liberties and Rights [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • California Flags Alienated, Idealistic Kids of Color as Potential Violent Extremists - Garrison
  • 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 Research Paper

    Click Here To See A Perfect Journal Response

    Homework Questionaire - The Political Compass Website - Due: February 23, 2021

    Canvas Journal Responses - Due: Subject to Change. Check Canvas Assignments Page for Final Due Date

  • For each of these lectures, please respond to one of the questions from each lecture from the "Study and Discussion Question" section. Responses should be at least one page in length (double-spaced). Most importantly, these journal responses should not just SUMMARIZE the question, but ANALYZE and EVALUATE them!
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Politics and Society), Question 7 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (American Political Parties and Ideologies), Question 6 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Constitution), Question 4 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Federalism), Question 6 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Congress), Question 3 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Executive), Question 1 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Judicial), Question 9 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Federal Bureaucracy), Question 2 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Public Opinion / Mass Media), Question 5 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Voting and Elections), Question 7 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Interest Groups), Question 4 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (The Public Policy Process), Question 3 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (US Economic Policy), Question 8 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (US Foreign Policy), Question 2 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Civil Liberties / Civil Rights), Question 6 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • The 2020 Presidential Election: Continuity or Change? - POLSC 121 Spring 2021 Research Project - Due: April 20, 2021

    Recent Books for the Research Paper:

    Click Here To See Titles

    Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Conservative / Republican)
  • The Political Compass
  • 'What Happened to Unity?': Rush Limbaugh Says Biden 'Insulted' 75M Trump Voters in Speech - Soellner
  • Bernie Sanders: The Green Mountian Red - Smith
  • American Politics Change, But American Parties Endure - Mandelbaum
  • Trump's 2020 Vision - Antle III
  • (Book) The Rise and Fall of American Political Parties: 1790 - 2000 - Silbey
  • (Book) Free Speech Requires Campaign Money - Smith
  • (Book) Dollars and Votes - Clawson
  • The Republican Party Home Page
  • Conservatives Against Trump - National Review Symposium
  • The View From 1787 - Cost
  • CrossTalk BULLHORNS: Trump's War - RT
  • The Continuing Woes of the "Establishment" - Larison
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Liberal / Democrat)
  • The Political Compass
  • Biden Turns the Page On Trump in a Surprisingly Effective Inaugural Address - Harris
  • Inside Joe Biden's Agenda for His First 100 Days - Abramson and Bennett
  • An Open Letter to the Green Party for 2020 - Chomsky, et. al.
  • Imagine Yourself With Two Abusive Boyfriends... - Brown
  • 'They Let Him Get Away with Murder': Dems Tormented Over How to Stop Bernie - Korecki
  • Fake President - The Ralph Nader Radio Hour
  • How the Little Guy Gets Crunched - Barlett and Steele
  • White Supremacists Are Infiltrating the GOP From the Ground Up - Rivers Pitt
  • (Book) 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)
  • The Political Compass
  • The Two Faces of Joe Biden - Taibbi
  • Ralph Nader: Democrats Ushered in an Era of Corporate Fascism - Scheer
  • Ruling Class Joe and the Essence of American Politics - Street
  • The Trump/Biden Handoff: Business as Usual, as Usual - Knapp
  • Top 10 Executive Actions Biden Could Do But Won't - Camp
  • The Deep State's Stealthy, Subversive, Silent Coup to Ensure Nothing Changes - Whitehead
  • U.S. Ruling Class Wins Again - Mackler
  • Inauguration 2021: On the Edge of an Abyss - Kishore and North
  • Trump May Be On Trial, But the System That Produced Him Will Be Acquitted - Cook
  • Two Capitalist Parties Compete, Humanity Loses - Urie
  • Affluent Authoritarianism: New Evidence on Public Opinion and Policy - Ferguson
  • America After the Election: A Few Hard Truths About the Things That Won't Change - Whitehead
  • The US Dictatorship of (White) Capital and its Tools of Bamboozlement - Ford
  • The Surrendered Land: US Institutions Won't Fight for Democracy - Floyd
  • America's Two Right-Wing Parties Absurdly Keep Accusing Each Other Of Being Far-Left - Johnstone
  • President Trump versus Vice President Biden, a Disappointing Decision for American Voters - Davich
  • Class: The Little Word the Elites Want You to Forget - Hedges
  • Biden and the Democrats Have No Plan to Stop the Bleeding -- at Home or Abroad - Haiphong
  • Here They Come Again: The Kind of Neoliberal Democrats Who Prefer Trump to Sanders - Reed, Jr.
  • How Capitalism's Structural and Ideological Crisis Gives Rise to Neo-Fascism - The Real News Network
  • Neither Democrats Nor Republicans Will Admit the Problem Is Capitalism Itself - Wolff
  • Three Years into Trump's Presidency, What's Left of the American Left? - Harris
  • Billionaires and American Politics - Wittner
  • Born on the 5th of July - Urie
  • 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
  • (Book) The Limits of Presidential Power - Genovese
  • (Book) Democracy for the Few - Parenti
  • (Book) Is That A Politician In Your Pocket? Washington on $2 Million a Day - Sifry and Watzman
  • (Book) Dynasties: How Their Wealth and Power Threaten Democracy - Phillips
  • The Rise of American Authoritarianism - Taub
  • Overwhelming Majority of Americans Believe that Both Parties Are Too Corrupt to Change Anything - Washington's Blog
  • Ordinary Americans Fought Big Money and Won in 2015 - Mason
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Third Party)
  • Socialist Alternative
  • Why We Need a New Progressive Party and How We Can Create It - Rall
  • You Can Trust 'Left Liberals' to be Liberals First (and Left Last): A Reply to Chomsky & Friends' Open Letter - Rasmus
  • Bossing Grown Folks Around: The Open Letter to the Greens - Moser
  • Sorry Chomsky and Friends, the Green Party Isn't the Problem - Pemberton
  • Why the Green Party Isn't the Problem - Hoenig
  • (Book) Spoiling for a Fight: Third Party Politics in America - Sifry
  • Truth + Justice = Green Party's Trailblazing World Peace Platform - Smith
  • Final Exam - Study Guide - May 18, 2021 (Online Exam TBD)

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

    A Message From the Future II: "Years of Repair"

    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"