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ECLECTICIST: American Politics

Show Notes & Research

Introduction

Topic Overview

Off-topic

Talking Points

Glossary

Wrap Up

From the Show

Broadcast: 12th June, 2016

Last update: 7th June, 2016

Published: 18th June, 2016

Introduction

Topic Overview

American politics as seen from the UK, particularly during the ‘election season’ (a ‘season’ being a few years), is essentially one big sitcom...Palin, Bush, Gore, hanging chads, God, guns, gays, etc. Not a funny sitcom. There’s a kernel of truth to the BBC’s reporting, but it’s more often ‘Isn’t America dumb? Aren’t we wonderful?’ Living in the United States and seeing how the sausage is made, it’s more complicated than a one-note show with an obnoxious laugh track. America is a big country so you’re bound to have huge swaths of smart people along with equally huge numbers of ignoramuses. The latter is the low-hanging fruit, ripe for UK sensational headlines. That being said, Trump really exists.

Off-topic

What we’re not talking about

Talking Points

Each bullet is a talking point. Sub-bullets are topics that may or may not be covered. Usage: Read the bullet and sub-bullets then talk about some or all sub-bullets.

Glossary

Terminology specific to the topic

Wrap Up

From the Show

Notes, corrections and further references

Presidential election cycle (from usa.gov)

  1. Spring of the year before an election – Candidates announce their intentions to run.
  2. Summer of the year before an election through spring of the election year – Primary and caucus debates take place.
  3. January to June of election year – States and parties hold primaries and caucuses.
  4. July to early September – Parties hold nominating conventions to choose their candidates.
  5. September and October – Candidates participate in Presidential debates.
  6. Early November – Election Day
  7. December – Electors cast their votes in the Electoral College.
  8. Early January of the next calendar year – Congress counts the electoral votes.
  9. January 20 – Inauguration Day

US Constitution http://www.usconstitution.net/const.txt

Bill of Rights site http://billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/

Declaration of Independence http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

US Senate http://www.senate.gov/index.htm

US House of Representatives http://www.house.gov/

US Executive https://www.whitehouse.gov/

Federal Judiciary http://www.uscourts.gov/

Republican party web site https://www.gop.com/

Democratic party web site https://www.democrats.org/

Obameter - tracking Obamas election promises http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/

http://www.politifact.com/ 

PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida, as is PunditFact, a site devoted to fact-checking pundits. The PolitiFact state sites are run by news organizations that have partnered with the Times. The state sites and PunditFact follow the same principles as the national site.