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Blah, Blah… Confirmation Hearings… Blah, Blah

Pundits across the political spectrum have debated whether the Senate should have proceeded with the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.  Liberals point to the refusal of Republicans to even consider President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, months before an election and the fact that no nominee has been considered so close to an election.  Republicans […]

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Turning a Page on Higher Education?

Before COVID-19, I occasionally would go to the library, check out a book, sit under the vaulted ceiling of its spacious reading room and get lost in the printed page. Even then, there was a “going-on-a-field-trip” quality to this experience; a respite from my daily routine during the school year. It may seem odd to […]

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With the Coronavirus, Where Government Stumbles, Litigation Will Step In

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has issued a demand: Any further coronavirus aid legislation must protect businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits. Democrats have balked, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying they “have no interest in diminishing protections for employees and customers.” Superficially, this standoff seems like another example of Washington’s toxic politics, where hope for any […]

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Why Asbestos Litigation Won’t Go Away: Because Asbestos Won’t Go Away

It is tempting to dismiss asbestos as a problem of the past. The height of its consumption was in the 1970s, and asbestos litigation began over a half century ago. Many of its leading manufacturers and mining companies are long gone. Yet asbestos litigation is back in the news. A trial court ordered Johnson & Johnson in July, 2018, […]

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Is American Democracy Broken? Perspectives and Debates

American democracy seems in crisis, as we face legislative gridlock, soaring deficits, negative campaigns awash in donations from anonymous sources, growing public distrust of government, and protest movements on the right and left on the political spectrum. This class provides an overview of competing views on contemporary American democracy and a fresh look at some […]

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Republicans want to reform disability insurance. Here’s why that’s hard. (By Thomas F. Burke and Jeb Barnes – Washington Post)

Republicans have been railing against big government for years, but for the past two decades they have all but ignored the growth of one of the nation’s biggest and costliest programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Read more here.

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Why Study Political Science? Answers for Homo Politicus and Homo Civicus

Why study political science? This question is deceptively complex. To answer it, we must first define political science and then consider the question from the perspective of two very different types of people, what Robert Dahl once called “homo politicus”—individuals who are naturally interested in politics or self-proclaimed “political junkies”—and “homo civicus”—individuals who are responsible […]

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Is U.S. Democracy Broken?: Perspectives and Debates – A New Course at Udemy

American democracy seems in crisis, as we face legislative gridlock, soaring deficits, negative campaigns awash in donations from anonymous sources, growing public distrust of government, and protest movements on the right and left on the political spectrum. This class provides an overview of competing views on contemporary American democracy and a fresh look at some […]

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How Much Do Mandates Matter for Obamacare?

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington recently heard arguments in the latest legal skirmish over President Obama’s sweeping healthcare reform. A central issue was the constitutionality of the law’s “individual mandate”: its requirement that citizens buy health insurance. The constitutionality of the individual mandate has dominated coverage of the implementation of healthcare reform, so […]

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Getting Bit by COBRA

Forgive me, but this may seem a bit random at first and then a bit wonky.  But there’s a point.  So, bear with me and I’ll try to be as brief as possible. I recently attended the Annual American Political Science Association Conference in Seattle.  One of the virtues of the Conference is that I […]

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