What is Congress
* One of the three branches of government: Congress, President and Supreme Court
* Legislative branch of federal government where laws are made
* Based in building known as Capitol in Washington
* 535 members of Congress ??“ 100 in Senate and 435 in House of Representatives.
* Work carried out in these two chambers as well as committee rooms and offices. Make policy compared to most modern legislatures where are executive dominated.
* Work in Congress often seen to be slow and characterised by gridlock ??“ provides the ???limited government??™ and ???checks and balances??™ which Founding Fathers wanted. Intended negative bias built in.
How is Congress structured
* Bicameral ??“ made up of House of Representatives and Senate
* In lower house (House of Representatives) the states represented proportionally to population. Representatives for each state reappointed after 10 yearly census (2000,2010,2020). Some gain and some lose ??“ Florida rose from 25 to 27 in 2010 while New York fell from 29 to 27. Can be influenced by gerrymandering where parties alter boundaries for their own advantage.
* In upper house (Senate) states represented equally ??“ 2 members.
* Originally, House of Representatives were elected by people but Senate were indirectly elected by state governments.
* Changed in 1914 when, due to 17th Amendment, Senate was directly elected too.
How representative is the membership of Congress
* Congress elected every 2 years and members have to be at least 25 years old, a US citizen for 7 years and be resident in your state district
* Senators elected every 6 years (third every 2 on rotation system) and must be at least 30 years of age, a US citizen for 9 years and be resident in your state.
* Members of Congress tend to be middle-aged (Average 56 H of R and 63 in Senate) , highly educated (284 in H of R have degree and 75 in Senate), religious (approximately half) and from professional backgrounds. A typical Senator is the same but 7 years older.
* Problems that ???ordinary people??™ do not want to be representatives, need for high levels of education, need for large campaign war chests and perception that politics occupation for rich. * Women persistently underrepresented ??“ 79 currently in House of Representatives and 17 in Senate which means they make up 22% of Congress – is way below 51% of women in America so Congress does not ???look like America??™. Women under-represented in pool of recruitment.
* Is improving as were 75 in House of Representatives and 17 in Senate in 2010 and way up on 56 in House of Representatives and 9 in Senate in 2000.
* Women tend to come from Democrat party ??“ 54 of 79 in House of Representatives are currently Democrat and 12 of 17 in Senate. 1992 Democrats tried to focus on issue and declared ???the Year of the Woman??™ which double number of women. Also elected first female speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California and first woman chair, Louise Slaughter of New York.
* Between 2009 and 2011 women led three house committees down from four between 2007 and 2009; this figure is currently at just one – Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for Foreign Affairs.
* In 2012 23.6% of state legislators were women (down from 24.2% in 2008) and in only two states did women make up more than 35% of state legislators with Colorado highest at 40%. There are 5 states where women make up less than 15% of state legislators ??“ in South Caroline in 2012 they are just 10% women.
* PAC??™s helping to support women candidates such as Emily??™s List. * Representation by race is much better in House of Representatives than in the Senate because federal courts have allowed states to set up ???majority-minority districts??™ which represent an ethnic minority group. North Carolina??™s 12th Congressional District links small towns scattered for 100 miles. African-American Democrat Melvin Watt represents them.
* By 2003, all the 38 African-American Representatives were Democrats. In 2012 there are now 44 African-American Democrat Representatives. Between 2005 and 2008 Barack Obama only Africa-American in Senate and there are now 0.
* Still under represented as in 2012 in only 19 states did African-Americans make up more than 10% of the state legislature. Highest in Mississippi (29%), Alabama (25%) and Maryland (23%). * Currently 30 Hispanic members of House of Representatives and 2 Hispanic Senators (Mel Martinez for Flordia and Robert Menendez for New Jersey). Most Hispanic members come from California, Texas and Florida ??“ states with significant Hispanic population.
* 16.3% of population but only 7% represented in Congress.
* In 2008 Cao first Vietnamese American to be elected to Congress.
* Currently 9 Asian members of House of Representatives and 2 Senators.
What powers does Congress hold
* Laid down in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. Some powers explicit ??“ ???to coin money??™, others more vague ???to provide for common defence and general welfare of the United States??™.
* Some powers are exclusive to one house whilst others are concurrent and shared by both houses.
Powers of House of Representatives | Powers of Senate | Concurrent powers |
* Initiate money bills ??“ deciding how to spend money * Impeachment ??“ can accuse any member of executive and judicial branches. Most famously of Clinton. Used 19 times ??“ most recently for Judges Kent and Porteous in 2009/2010. * If Electoral College is deadlocked then House elects the President. Happened in 1800 and 1824. | * Confirms, by a simple majority, many appointments made by President ??“ e.g. judiciary and executive branch such as Supreme Court justices, cabinet secretaries. Rejected Bork for Supreme Court in 1987 and Tower as defence secretary in 1989. In 2006 Senate voted to confirm Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense. ???Senatorial courtesy??™ means presidents speaks to Senator in his party from a state when choosing someone for that state. * Power to ratify, by a two thirds majority, all treaties negotiated by the president. E.g SMART Treaty ratified in 2010 by 71 to 26 votes. Had previously rejected Treaty of Versailles 1919 and Salt II in 1979 * The Senate try cases of impeachment to determine whether guilty or not ??“ need 2/3rd majority. * If Electoral College is deadlocked ??“ must elect vice-President | * Power of the purse (taxation and spending power) to discuss after initiated in House of Representatives. * Co-equal in passage of legislation. All bills must pass through all stages in both houses and agree in same copy of bill. * Both houses must vote, by 2/3rd majority, to override the president??™s veto of a bill ??“ did in 2007 to override Bush??™s veto of Water Resources Development Bill (by 381-40 in H of R and 81-12 in Senate) and in 2008 of Farm Bill. * Can initiate constitutional amendments and must be approved by a two thirds majority in both houses before sent to states for ratification. * Must agree on declarations of war ??“ happened five times (last in 1941) * Confirm a newly appointed vice-president ??“ happened with Ford in 1973 and Rockefeller in 1974. |How do the two houses work internally
* House, chaired by the Speaker, operates in a more formal and procedural way with rules and limits on debate, as befits a chamber of 435 members.
* Senate, chaired by vice-President who can vote only to break a tied vote, has procedures that are more informal and less rule-bound. Tradition of unlimited debate which can lead to filibustering.
* Both are involved in committees and subcommittees, pork-barrelling or bringing home the bacon on spending bills, log-rolling (vote trading on bills), coalition building to gain a majority of votes, party and congressional caucuses.
* Relatively weak party ties, although there is some evidence that these are increasing. All Senators and Representatives try to avoid alienating strong lobbies who seek access to them and their decision making.
Which house of Congress is more powerful
* Senate seen as more powerful and prestigious than House. House members seek election to Senate (48 former members of House in Senate in 2009 but no ex-senators in House of Representatives). * Mainly because: * Senators represent an entire state rather than a Congressional district.
* Senators have a 6 year term rather than a two year term
* Senators are one of 100 rather than 435 so likely to have more influence.
* More likely to gain a leadership position as fewer people ??“ e.g. in 2003 Frist had taken 8 years to become majority leader in Senate whereas Pelosi took 20 years in House of Representatives.
* Senators are known state wide and nationwide whereas House members are not.
* Senate seen as launching pad for a presidential campaign ??“ Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Obama all members of Senate. In 2008 both parties nominated incumbent senators.
* Seen as recruitment pool for vice-presidential candidates ??“ four of last six including Joe Biden. Democrats nominated senator as vice-presidential candidate in 14 of last 15 elections.
* Senators enjoy significant exclusive powers as seen above * However: * Equal powers in passage of legislation
* Receive the same salary
Who are the leaders of Congress
* House Speaker (John Boehner replaced Nancy Pelosi)
* Elected by entire House membership at start of each Congress every two years ??“ therefore likely to be from majority party in the House at that time.
* Three of five speakers left job under unusual circumstances ??“ Jim Wright resigned 1989 after being threatened with impeachment for violation of House rules, Tom Foley in 1994 lost his seat in an election and Newt Gingrich resigned in 1998. More successful was Dennis Hastert who was much more low-key and served from 1999 to 2006.
* Power to act as presiding officer of House (chairman), to interpret and enforce the rules of the House and decide on points of order (what issues will be dealt with and when), to refer bills to standing committees to be looked at, to appoint select committee and conference committee chairs and to appoint the majority paper members of the House Rules Committee. Also, next in line for presidency after the vice-president but not likely as 25th Amendment made it compulsory to replace vice-president.
* When President and majority of Congress are different parties, like today, become a kind of ???leader of the opposition??™ figure and spokesperson of the party. Pelosi did this during last two years of Bush??™s second term and Boehner currently playing role. * Majority and minority leaders * In both House and Senate are majority and minority leaders ??“ elected by respective party groups every two years.
* In Senate currently Harry Reid Majority and Mitch McConnell Minority.
* In House of Representatives currently Eric Cantor Majority and Nancy Pelosi Minority.
* Act as chief spokeperson for party and day-to-day ???directors of operations??™ for house. Also, hold press briefings to talk about party??™s policy agenda and act as liaison between their house and White House
* Senate majority leader brings bills to debate on Senate floor
* House majority leader assists the Speaker.
* Roles can be used as a launching pad for presidential candidates ??“ e.g. Lyndon Johnson, Bob Dole and Dick Gephardt (House minority leader 1995 to 2003 before 2004 presidential nomination).
What are the roles of committees in Congress
* Woodrow Wilson, 1885, said ???The House sits to sanction the conclusions of its committees as rapidly as possible. It legislates in its committee rooms, not by the determinations of majorities, but by the specially-commissioned minorities (the committees)??¦Congress in its committee rooms is Congress at work??™
* In 110th Congress there were 223 permanent committees and sub-committees. Currently there are 21 permanent committees in the House of Representatives, 20 in the Senate, 4 joint committees with a wide number of more sub-committees.
Standing committees
* Permanent, policy-specialist committees. Most divided into sub-committees (E.g. Foreign Affair divided into: 1. Africa, Global Health and Human Rights 2. Asia and the Pacific 3. Europe and Eurasia 4. Middle East and South Asia 5. Oversight and Investigations 6. Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade 7. Western Hemisphere ??“ More examples attached).
* Typical House of Representatives made up of around 40-50 members.
* Typical Senate one made up of around 18 members. Divided in proportion to chamber as a whole. Therefore, currently Democrat majority but only small one. Down from a three seat majority between 2009 and 2010.
* House and Senate members seek assignments on committees that are closest to the interests of their district or state e.g. Both Senators Iowa on Agriculture Committee. Regularly reappointed to same committee.
* Some committees more prestigious than others e.g. Judiciary, Armed Services and Appropriations.
* Two main functions in House and Senate:
1. Conduct committee stage of bills in the legislative process by holding ???hearings??™ on the bill at which witnesses appear. Witnesses might be members of Congress, members from relevant departments or agencies, White House members, representatives from interest groups or professional bodies and also ordinary members of the public. Witnesses make prepared statements and then questioned. Short, non controversial bills attract short hearings but more controversial lead to more hearings. E.g. 1993 Healthcare Reform Bill began summer 1993 and took over a year. At conclusion of hearings, vote taken by committee on whether to pass the bill on to its second reading.
2. Conduct investigations within committee??™s policy area. Look into problems and whether legislation could be improved. Witnesses summoned and questions asked. E.g. 100th Congress ??“ House Agriculture Committee looked into technology in meat industry and House Foreign Affairs Committee looked into status of the war and political developments in Iraq.
* Third function in Senate to begin confirmation process of numerous presidential appointments ??“ particularly Senate??™s Judiciary (on judicial appointments) and Foreign Relations committees (on ambassadorial appointments). Or confirm appointments within own policy areas. Hearing held at which supporters and critics hear before vote taken. Vote not decisive but recommendation. However recommendations rarely overturned and close vote indicates problems ahead. e.g. Hilary Clinton voted 16 votes to 1 to be secretary of state and House appointed her 94 to 2.
* Standing committees have power to help parent chambers manage workloads but cannot legislate, force executive to accept or implement policies.
House Rules Committee
* One of standing committees of House of Representatives but different function.
* Responsible for prioritising bills coming from committee stage to the House floor for second readings.
* Sets out the rules of debate by stating whether any amendments can be made to bill.
* Membership smaller than other standing committees. In 2012 just 13 members and more skewed to majority party (nine Republicans and 4 Democrats) chaired by David Dreier.
Conference Committees
* Important because both houses equal power and bills pass through both houses at same time and this means version in each house likely to be different.
* Conference committee set up if differences can not be reconciled informally ??“ all temporary and set up to consider one specific bill.
* Members, known as ???conferees??™ are drawn from both houses with sole function to reconcile differences.
* Once has come up with an agreed version ??“ it must be agreed by a vote on the floor of each house. If doesn??™t pass committee may meet again with another compromise sent off. If this one is rejected sent back to standing committees that first considered it.
* Important as they draw up what become final version of the bill but can be refused by houses.
* Used less frequently as other ways used to resolve differences in version of bills.
Select Committees
* ???Special??™ or ???investigative??™ committees which are ad hoc and set up to investigate a particular issue.
* Set up when investigation does not fall into policy area of one committee or is likely to be time consuming. E.g. Senate select committee on CIA, House select committee on political assassinations, joint select committee on Iran-Contra affair and 9/11, House select committee on energy independence and global warming in 2007.
Who chairs the committees
* Always drawn from the majority party in the house e.g. currently Republican.
* Have powers to control committee??™s agenda, decide when will next week, control their budget, choose the membership, meetings and hearings, supervise committee staff, make requests to House Rules Committee for scheduling, report legislation to the floor of chamber and act as spokesperson for that committee to Congress, White House and Media.
* For many is the pinnacle of their congressional career. Seniority rule states will be member of majority party that has served on committee longest. Same for ???ranking minority members??™ ??“ longest serving of minority party.
* Some changes since 1970s as seen to just employ the old (nicknamed senility rule) so secret ballots to choose both roles. Still usually member with most service elected.
* Further reforms in 1995 with 6 year limit on committee and sub-committee chairs to prevent domination e.g. Whitten chaired Appropriations sub-committee on Agriculture for 43 years. Some disagree because means less experienced chairs rely on unelected committee staff more.
* 2009 91 year old Byrd resigned (as some said he was too old) to be replaced by 84 year old Inouye. Dingell removed as Chair of Energy and Commerce Committee after 54 years.
How are bills passed in Congress
* Can only be initiated by a member of Congress although most originates from presidential agenda and State of Union Address. However, he can??™t propose them in Houses ???President proposes, Congress disposes??™ ??“ they choose what they want to accept.
* To be successful all bills must pass through stages 1-5 and 7. Conference committee may be avoided if both houses pass bill or differences resolved amicably. If bills not completed in one congress must start process again at beginning of next Congress.
* Bills can be so significantly amended during the process that they become unrecognisable.
* Are circumstances where bills passed easily e.g. Patriot Act passed on wave of patriotism after 9/11 and gave more power to law enforcement agencies. 1. First Reading
* Introduction of bill. No debate or vote. In House bill placed in a tray on the clerk??™s desk. In Senate title of the bill read. Bills then numbered, printed, circulated and sent on to relevant standing committee.
* Massive number. Typical congress sees anything between 10,000 and 14,000 bills introduced with only 3-5% making it into law. 2. Committee Stage
* Hundreds of bills refereed to each committee so many are pigeon-holed and put to one side with no action taken, no hearings and no vote. 110th Congress passed 460 (3%) of 14,042 bills into law.
* Those with support from Congress, White House or interest groups are given hearings in full committee or sub-committee.
* Comes before House and Senate debate bill. Members regarded as policy specialists and have power to amend bills. Vile (1999) said they are the ???sieve through which all legislation is poured, and what comes out, and how it comes out, is largely in their hands??™.
* However, can slow process down as pork-barrelling occurs with numerous amendments or riders added to bill to benefit constituents or special interests.
* Once hearings completed, committee holds a mark-up session where they make changes they wish. Bills then reported and sent on to next stage.
* Report states main aims of the bill, amendments made, estimates cost of doing it and recommends future action taken by full chamber. 3. Timetabling
* Deal with legislative traffic jam as so many bills trying to get on to House and Senate floors.
* Senate uses ???unanimous consent agreements??™ where majority and minority leaders agree on order of bills.
* House uses House Rules Committee to prioritise bills.
* If Rules Committee fails to give chance to a popular bill then House members may resort to discharge petition where majority of House members required. If get majority then bill comes automatically to the House floor for debate. Used 2001-2 on the Shays-Meehan Campaign Finance Reform Bill. 4. Second Reading * First opportunity for full chambers to debate the bill.
* In House bills debated in the ???Committee of the Whole House??™ which uses rules of debate and allows as many members to take part as possible.
* In both houses, further amendments can be made. Votes taken on amendments and whole bill at end of debate. Simple majorities required to pass using ???voice vote??™ (saying aye or no for non-controversial bills) or by ???recorded vote??™ (where a record of each member??™s vote is made). In House done electronically whilst in Senate there is a roll-call vote for the 100 Senators. Both procedures take about 15 minutes.
* In Senate possibility of a filibuster. 1957 Thurmond conduct one against civil rights bill for over 24 hours. 1992 D??™Amato conducted one for 15 hours over tax break being removed for a New York typewriter manufacturer (he was New York Senator). Sometimes senators conduct filibuster together e.g. 2007 Republican Senators filibustered 2008 Defence Appropriations Bill which demanded Bush to withdraw American troops from Iraq. Democrats allowed to continue to show divisions in policy at time when many Americans supported policy. Filibuster can be ended if closure petition used ??“ needs 16 senators to sign and then be voted for by 3/5ths of entire Senate. 5. Third Reading * Final opportunity to debate the bill. If substantial amendments made at second reading or final vote was close then leads to another substantial debate a few weeks or months later.
* If few amendments or final vote heavily in favour then next reading immediate and very brief with vote at the end. 6. Conference committee
* Between 1993 and 1934 around 1/3rd of bills were sorted out using Conference committee.
* Today are frequently avoided with differences being resolved by majority party membership. In 110th Congress (2007-2008) only 10% bills used Conference committee.
* Decline began from 1995 when Republicans took control of Congress. Began to use more improvised and leadership-driven approach with one chamber asked to endorse legislation passed by another chamber with ???pingponging??™ between chambers. Bill offered on a take-it-or-leave-it basis to other chamber with bill being sent back and forth. Reduced possible input from minority party members and further increased partisanship. E.g. $700 billion bail out financial industry 2008 with pingponging going on for a long time
* Democrats continued trend when returned to majority in 2007. Number Conference committees declined from 62 in 1993-94 to just 10 in 2007-08.
* Many senior members against shift ??“ Republican senator Crapo believed pingponging meant ???we make mistakes??™ and created ???much less worthy product??™.
* Once bill is agreed by both houses bill sent to president. 7. Presidential action ??“ 4 options
a) Sign the bill into law. Does this with bills he fully supports and wants credit for. E.g. 2002 Bush signing Homeland Security Bill or Obama 2010 Healthcare Reform Bill. Bill-signing ceremony arranged.
b) ???Leave the bill on his desk??™. Does this for bills he has no opinion on or he would like to veto but knows it would be overridden. Become law without signature after ten days.
c) Use regular veto. Does this to bills he strongly opposes. Use threat of veto to bargain with Congress and get them to make changes. Must veto it within ten days and sent it back to house of origin with message explaining objections. Must veto the whole bill. Clinton used 36 occasions between 1993 and 2001(2 overridden ??“ Securities Bill 1995 and Military Construction Appropriations Bill 1998), Bush used 0 times between 2001 and 2005 and 11 times between 2005 and 2009 (4 overridden including Water Resources Development Bill 2007 ??“ highest override rate of any modern day president) and Obama has used it twice successfully.
* Congress can then make the changes the President requested and return bill (unlikely as against it to begin with), attempt to override the veto which requires a 2/3rd majority in both houses (hard to achieve but more likely if Congress against President) or do nothing and accept the president has won (this is the most likely option).
* In 220 years between 1789 and 2009 had been 1,495 veto and just 110 had been overridden. Presidents have 93% success rate. Largely because president only needs 34 supporters in Senate to win and President only challenges if change of success (if huge majority in both houses then no point)
* Carter had his veto overrided in 1980 despite having a large majority in Congress. Happened over Veterans Health Care Bill and Oil Import Fee Bill.
d) Pocket veto. If bill is awaiting president??™s action when Congress ends then the bill is lost. Clinton used once in 8 years (Consumer Bankruptcy Overhaul Bill in 2000), Bush used once (end National Defence Authorisation Bill) * In 1990s Clinton had ???line-item veto??™. Gave president power to veto sections or items of bills which signing remainder of bill into law. Enhance power of President over legislation. Line Item Veto Bill passed by H of R by 232 to 177 and Senate 69 to 31. However, Supreme Court declared law unconstitutional in 1998. Clinton had used the power 11 times to get rid of 82 items from bills.
What are the problems with the legislative process
* Carr (1974) ???Cards are stacked against action by Congress. Those who seek action in Congress face a far more difficult task than those who purpose is negative??™
* Difficult to get bills passed through Congress because process crowded.
* Process is complicated and Denenburg (1976) described as ???bastion of negation??™, ???legislative labyrinth??™ and had ???built-in negative bias??™.
* Need at some stages for super-majority votes ??“ 3/5th to stop filibuster and 2/3rd in both houses to override president??™s veto.
* Power in Congress is decentralised. Power resides with standing committees and particularly those who chair them. Party leaders have limited powers to influence Congress and decision making ??“ Bob Dole therefore described himself as ???majority pleader??™.
* Both houses posses equal power which makes it hard to override the wishes of the others.
* Houses may not be controlled by the same party (like today) so want different things and hard to pass laws over key issues.
* Congress may be from different parties from President who will find it hard to pass bills he wants or may veto them.
* Party discipline in Congress is weak so members do not toe the party line and harder to pass bills. Most members mindful of folds back home or special interests. Led to Clinton healthcare bill defeat in 1994 even though Congress Democrat.
* Complex process as log-rolling, exchange of votes and trading of favours by Representatives occurs.
* Congress blocks legislation of president more effectively than provides own alternative agenda. Pork-barrel in order to provide projects in their districts but don??™t have long term or national perspective.
What influences how members of Congress vote
* Members called to cast a large number of votes. House of Representatives cast 1,186 times in 2007. In 2008 they were asked to vote 66 times between the 5 and 8 of May. 112th Congress has so far held 1100 in House and 300 in Senate
* Votes take place on budgets, amendments to bills, second or third readings, bills from conference committees, constitutional amendments or, in the Senate, on treaties or appointments made by the President.
* Recorded votes taken by electronic device to cut down time to read out the names.
* Recent votes and results are shown here ??“ it is worth noting down the key examples
* Seen to be six main factors that influence voting behaviour
Political Party
* In general, members of Congress will vote with their party unless there are significant constituency pressures on them not to do so.
* Tends to be most important on contentious and ideological issues such as civil liberties, taxation, gun control, abortion or school prayers. As seen in recent arguments over Jobs Plan and taxation/economic reform. Leads to ???party votes??™. Party vote is a vote in which the majority of one party votes against the majority of the other.
* Since 1995 been a rise in partisanship as Republicans pushed ???Contract with America??™ policy items and Democrats voted to oppose them. Party votes in 1995 were 73% in House and 69% in Senate ??“ highest since 1910. Growing cohesion as more ideological politics. House majority leader, DeLay, was nicknamed ???The Hammer??™ for his iron discipline and skill in getting what Bush wanted after 2001.
* However, decreased in 2008 with only about 50% of party votes in each house.
* Increased recently due to controversial issues and division between President and Congress. E.g. on Budget Plan March 2012 in House – 228 of 241 Republicans voted in favour and 181 of 190 Democrats voting against it. Jobs Bill 238 of 240 Republicans voted in favour with 185 of 193 Republicans voting against it.
* In years immediately after party control changes in Congress (2007, 2010) there is a significant increased in partisanship. Explains partisanship in 1995 as Republicans gained control.
* Votes in the Senate to confirm the president??™s nominations can become partisan.
* Parties have few ???sticks??™ (punishments) or ???carrots??™ (rewards) to encourage party voting. No way of stopping them being elected and no way of giving them higher roles as executive separate. Also, party plays little role in them being elected as fund own campaigns and run own personalised beliefs to get elected. No clear manifestos they have to follow (Contract with America was rare occasion)
* Party voting also less predictable due to wide variety of opinions in each party ??“ conservative Democrats often vote Republican and moderate Republicans can vote Democrat. Is a geographic and regional influence to party voting ??“ most conservative House Democrats and Senate tend to come from South and most moderate Republicans from Northeast.
* Also, ideological groupings within party groupings, especially in House of Representatives. E.g. Blue Dog Democrats who are fiscally conservative Democrats from the South. Called Blue Dog because their ideas had been ???strangled??™ and ???choked??™ by Democrats whilst in power until 1995 but also named after painting which hung on offices of two found members. Influential in working towards reduction of federal debt and a balanced budget. Form significant voting bloc.
* Look up the other examples of the factions within the party that you did in the last unit.
Website above has clear rundown of most conservative and liberal members for your examples.
* Depends on representation model used ??“ mandate (can do what they want), delegate (must do exactly what state or district want) or most commonly used is trustee (put forward by Edmund Burke in the 1770s) where they try their best to please state but do have some independence based on mature and considered judgement and can vote for the good of the nation as a whole.
* Big focus on representing interests of constituents ??“ focus on these over national issues. Constitution says must be residents of state so have good idea what ???folks back home??™ are saying and have to live there due to ???locality rule??™. Typical House or Senate members have been born, raised and educated in the state. House members especially careful because face electors every two years.
* In Senate can compare how the two senators from each state vote ??“ might expect them to vote similarly. Categorised as twins (similar voting records) or odd couples (different parties or different voting patterns). Leahy and Sanders of Vermont most similar in 2008 and Reid and Ensign of Nevada most different (although different parties). Most different same party Senators are Biden and Carper from Delaware and Dole and Burr from North Carolina.
* When return back home House and Senate members hold party meetings, visit individual constituents, visit around state and district, appear on local radio phone in programmes, interview, address key groups and visit local schools, hospitals and businesses.
* Find out constituents views through phone, email, newspapers, visits, phonecalls, letters. Volume of written communication has increased ??“ 1996 members of Congress received 36 million letters and 11 million emails ??“ 90,000 communications per member. By 2004 18 million letters but 182 million emails. 2006 now 313 million emails. Continued increasing since then.
* However, through meetings at towns and communications they are likely to hear views of discontented ???what folks don??™t like from the folks who don??™t like it??™ ??“ not representative of constituency opinion. That is why trustee??™s as may need to balance other opinions and factors as well as national good in making decisions.
* If don??™t look after constituents can be fatal e.g. Gilchrest and Wynn (House members) both defeated in 2008 congressional elections because seen to be out of touch from voters ??“ accused of being too liberal and too conservative respectively. Senator Dole lost re-election bid for not visiting state enough ??“ her opponent produced television add saying she had spent 13 days in North Carolina whilst visiting 12 other states.
* Carney, House member in 2006, said ???no hesitation when I vote against the party view if it conflicts with the values of my district??™ and Rodriguez, whose state after redistributing became a lot more conservative, started voting differently and said ???it??™s a totally different ball game??™.
* Members of executive branch, including President and cabinet members, who have keen interest in passage of legislation affecting their policy areas.
* Members of administration (from departments, agencies and White House) keep in contact with members of Congress through phone calls and meetings. Also get involved through President and Office of Legislative Affairs.
* Any persuasion needs to be regular, reciprocal and bipartisan ??“ need to be willing to do favours in return to members from both parties.
* Lyndon Johnson famous for the ???Johnson treatment??™ he applied to Senators whilst Senate majority leader in 1950s ??“ very persuasive.
* However, some Senate and Congress members dislike being too attached to a President ??“ Republicans defeated in 2008 for being too close to Bush. Television ad said that Dole (who lost election in North Carolina) ???voted with Bush 92% of the time??™.
Pressure Groups
* Pressure groups make direct contact with members and their staff or attempt to generate public support favourable to their position. Make visits, phone calls, provide evidence to committees, organise rallies, demonstrations, petitions, fundraising and campaigning.
* Money raised to fund politicians who support their cause and seek to defeat those who do not.
* Significant pressure group activity in key areas: environment, abortion, gun control, healthcare and welfare reform e.g. National Rifle Association or American Association of Retired People
Colleagues and Staff
* Because of massive number of votes they do not know details of all of them ??“ rely on others to help them make a decision.
* Develop ???congressional caucuses??™ with coalitions of people who share same or similar ideology, ethnicity or regional interests e.g. black caucus and Hispanic caucus.
* Might turn to fellow members of same chamber and party who share philosophy and views.
* Some ???senior members??™ act as mentors to newer members and offer advice and suggestions.
* Might follow those of local states
* Members of relevant committees can help inform their decisions ??“ particularly chair committees or ranking minority members. Senior staff members provide guidance on what Congressman will want to support.
Personal beliefs
* May vote according to own personal beliefs ??“ particularly on controversial issues. E.g. will never vote to deny life of fellow human being (whether to do with capital punishment, war or abortion) or will never vote to subsidise any industry or group (regardless of who it is).
How can Congress check the powers of the Executive
* Congress has power to scrutinise and check activities of the executive branch of government. One of main functions as government so big and complex.
* Done through legislative process, Congress??™s control of the purse strings of government (Congressional Budget Office), the Senate??™s advice and consent powers, power to subpoena documents and testimony, hold individuals in contempt if they fail to comply with demands for information (and it is illegal to lie to Congress) and the impeachment process.
* Also done through standing committees and through huge number of congressional staff and resources. Can question members of the executive branch. Permanent specialist bodies.
* Oversight only really effective when Congress is not controlled by president??™s party. Only times when Senate reject presidential nomination has come when president??™s party has not controlled the Senate. E.g. Democrat Senate rejected Reagan??™s nomination of Bork. Same in 1989 when senate rejected Bush??™s nomination of Tower. Republican Senate rejected Clinton??™s nomination of Ronnie White.
* Also seen between relationship of Congress and Bush. Whilst Republican party controlled Congress for first six years there was little oversight. E.g. 1993 and 1994 Democrats controlled Congress during Clinton??™s first two years ??“ 135 hearings but Republican congress only 37 hearings in 2003 and 2004.
* This changed when Republicans lost control in both houses of Congress in 2006. President Bush now faced challenging committee chairs such as Leahy, Levin and Byrd and major committees on Oversight and Government reform and House Energy and Commerce Committee. More people forced out of job in 3 weeks after they took control than in previous 6 years ??“ 4 high profile forced out by relentless questioning. Also questioned administration??™s foreign policy on Iraq and Afghanistan. Held hearings into it. Democrats had fought back and Byrd said ???Congress is not a rubber stamp or a presidential lapdog, obedient and unquestioning. Oversight, oversight, oversight is among our most important responsibilities and oversight, oversight, oversight has been lacking for far too long???
* Carrying out now as Republican Congress questioning Obama and challenging his Healthcare Reform Bill and other decisions.
* However, some see congressional oversight as just trying to embarrass president when opposition are in power. Democrats tried to make Bush look incompetent.
* Also limited impact to change course of president and change policies.
How has Congress changed
* Changes because of Vietnam and Watergate and failures of presidential politics. Also realised that house needed putting in order to. Wanted to become more open, modern, better-equipped, democratic and accountable. * Changes to how to select committee chairs ??“ democratised by secret ballots. No one can chair more than one committee and those with more than twenty members have to have at least four sub-committees with these choosing their own chairs, have their own budgets and hire their own staff. Committee hearings are held in public unless members vote for a ???closed??™ hearing. Republicans placed a 6-year term limits on holding of committee chairs in both houses.
* Television used in chambers and committee rooms. Considerable implications for ???folk back home??™ allowing them to see and hear their House and Senate members.
* Increase in congressional staffing and congressional agencies. Tripled since 1961 and Congressional Research Service expanded and Congressional Budget Office set up in 1974.
* Congressional oversight of the executive branch become more assertive. Presidency-curbing legislation such as Case Act (1972), War Powers Act (1973) and Budget and Impoundment Control Act (1974). Committees carrying out further oversight too ??“ seen in Watergate and Nixon, Reagan and Iran-Contra affair and impeachment of Clinton. More challenging in Senate confirmation process.
* Tightening of the ethics rules of Congress. Total ban on members of Congress receiving gifts and fees for writing articles or making speeches.
How is Congress viewed by the Public
* Declined in public esteem.
* 2008 Gallup poll found only 14% of Americans approved of way Congress doing job ??“ an all time low.
* 79% of Republicans dissatisfied, 70% of Democrats and 76% of independents.
* Hold their own senators and representatives in much higher esteem that institution as a whole.
* Washington politicians regarded with scepticism ??“ in 6 of 7 elections between 1976 to 2000 winner was a former state governor and not a Washington insider. This changed in 2008 when both incumbent senators.
* Congress associated with gridlock and ???do-nothing??™ mentality with concerns only slowly resolved.
How similar or different is Congress to Parliament
Area | Congress | Parliament |
How are they elected | Fixed-term elections | Only House of Commons directly elected. No separate elections for the executive and legislature |
How is it structured | Bicameral ??“ House of Representatives and Senate | Bicameral ??“ House of Commons and House of Lords |
What determines how they work | Set out in Constitution and Amendments | Operates under uncodified constitution but follow rules laid down by constitutional statutes and conventions |
Is it representative | Almost entirely from two major parties and women and ethnic groups underrepresented | Contains many members from third parties and in House of Lords no allegiances. Still underrepresentation of women and ethnic groups. |
How easy is it to pass bills | Massive number of bills to decide between, lots of stages to pass through before voted on if chosen and then can be stopped passing by Congress or vetoed by President. | Apart from backbench rebellion can pass quickly, any opposition in House of Lords can be overcome using Parliament act or Salisbury Convention and Royal Assent automatic. |
Is there a separation of powers | Strict separation | No ??“ members executive also in legislature |
Which house holds more power | Both houses have equal legislative power but Senate more powerful and prestigious | House of Commons greater power over legislation |
How important are committees | Standing committees is of great importance | Vital role in passing of legislation and scrutinising bills and work done. |
What influences voting behaviour | Party only one of a number of important factors | Party usually most important factor as ???carrot??™ (promotions) and ???stick??™ (refusal to select as a candidate) available |
How much oversight do they have of the executive | Carried out through committees ??“ particularly when from opposite party to President | Done both in the chambers and in committees ??“ hampered by the executive??™s control of parliamentary procedures with majority in Commons and high levels party discipline. Question time is not effective and committees are weak in scrutiny of legislation as lack permanence and expertise. |

How Bingeing Became the New College Sport.

A. How Bingeing Became the New College Sport.
Barrett Seaman
Time; 8/29/2005, Vol. 166 Issue 9, p80-80
When I preview this article I feel that this will be of great importance as far as the reading and the knowledge or the writer. I feel that there will be experiences along with facts. I am excited about this reading as it pertained to me at a younger age. B. This article pertains to young adults in college and the habits along with reasons behind binge drinking. The main reason behind this is to influence reading to agree with the lowering of the legal drinking age and the benefits it would have in the long run. C. When I was a freshman at Buffalo state university at age 20, my buddies and I would play a game before going to parties to get a buzz beforehand. We had this contest called a Mad Dog Challenge or Big Dog Challenge. It was who could drink a six pack of beer the fastest. One rule was the non vomit rule, you could not throw up or your time is disqualified. The winners were the first guys who drank it in 15 minutes, I drank mine in 14:30, and next guy drank his in 10 minutes. The last guy tried to be a big shot, and downed his in 5 minutes. The 15 minute guy threw up and the 5 minute guy was giving him a bunch of crap. The 5 minute guy ended up driving to the part alone, drunk and flipped his car 4 times while taking out 5 trees. The police showed up and eventually the guy had to pay the city back for destroying their trees along with court stuff. The 15 minute guy told the 5 minute guy his time was disqualified because he flipped his car! I ended up throwing up for the first time I could remember, I could taste the turkey sandwich I ate earlier mixed with my stomach acid. I have experience with this issue and think that a lowered age would help matters for sure. I believe that driving while intoxicated could go down, Alcohol poisoning or even death could and would be decreased. D. This article could be summed up easily with examples given such as drinking in dorms or rooms prior to partying due to age restrictions of the legal drinking age. Because of this, many people including parents are good with lowering the legal drinking age to prevent accidents, alcohol poisoning, crime, and death. I agree with the statistics given along with the reasoning given in the article. Pre-gaming has been a tradition not only in college but for others under the legal drinking age outside of campuses as well. It may be time to reconsider this drinking age.Jeremy Shramek

How Billy Collins Uses Humour in His Poem Candle Hat and Another Reason Why I Don??™T Keep a Gun in the House

*How Billy Collins Uses Humour in His Poem Candle Hat and another Reason Why I Don??™t Keep A* Gun In The House
A characteristic of many of Billy Collins Poems is that he starts in reality and ends up on a flight of fancy. He uses humour in different ways, sometimes to emphasise underlining themes or sometimes just to make you smile. The two poems that I am comparing Candle Hat and Another Reason Why I Don??™t Keep A Gun In The House are similar in the fact that they are light hearted and that they both start in a situation of reality, one with a barking dog, one with a painting of Goya, then they both go lead to the authors daydream like wonderings which are often emphasised with humour.
Both Poems end up leaving the reality of the start and going off into the imagination, in both cases humour is used to make this transition, in the 1st poem Candle Hat uses a more restrained view ???youcan only wonder??™ clearly showing where the imagined bit of the poem begins, it does not make a funny statement but instead paints a funny scene in your imagination, of Goya walking around with his candle hat. In the second poem the humour marks the bit where the poem moves into fantasy ???I can see him now sitting in the orchestra??™ presenting another funny scene .Both poems go on with there humours scenes ???as if Beethoven had included a part for Barking Dog??™ and ???laughing like birthday cake.??™
However although on both of these poems the second half is more light hearted, they both have underlining themes, the fist a comment on classical music and the other on that artists are more than there paintings.
Both Poems end on a humours note, but they have a trailing off quality that make you wonder if they have ended at all ???illuminated in the blaze of his famous candle hat??™ and ???while the musicians listen in respectful silence??™ Bothleave you with a amusing scene in your head that emphasises the points that Billy Collins was trying to get across.

How Assertive Are You

How Assertive Are You
Defining effective communication and explaining why quality interpersonal relationships are important in the health care industry. Describing what a supportive relationship is as well as what a defensive relationship is and which one is more appropriate for the healthcare industry. Defining what assertive style is and explained its appropriateness in a health care work place. Using self assessment to expression my own communication style along with using it as an example for what others can do to self-assess their assertiveness so that the appropriate changes can be made in their style to promote a positive influence on their health care workplace.
How Assertive Are You
When we hear the word ???assertive??? what comes to mind Do you picture an individual barking orders at other, not taking no for an answer, or some one simply stating what they think, feel, want, or need in a way that is direct, honest, all while still being respectful of the people in which they are communicating with If you guess the later of those choices than you would be correct.
No matter where you work or the situation you are in; the outcome mostly depends on effective communication. Being able to effectively communicate what it is you want, think, or feel in a respectful manner to those around surprisingly is not something we are born with. Take for example if you are a patient in a hospital, being able to effectively communicate the problems you are having would be key to reaching a better well being. Instead of being the patient look at it from a doctors??™ point of view or the nursing staff. Having quality interpersonal relationships would be very important in insuring that the patients you are in charge of are receiving the quality of care needed to reach their goal of getting better.
One thing is for certain, you do not want to confuse having an assertive style with having an aggressive one. There is a distinctive difference between the two, when being aggressive there is no regard of the other individuals feelings when expressing what it is you want, think, or feel. In a health care atmosphere you have to be able to clearly and directly state what it is you want accomplished mainly for the safety of the patient. With that said there are a couple different ways to do this and some are more successful than others. For instances would you take a supportive relationship perspective or a defensive one
Let??™s examine them both, have you ever walked into a room, workplace, or business and immediately picked up a ???vibe??? whether it be good or bad Or notice how some groups are warm and friendly while others came across cold and distant This would be known as the ???climate???, each of us have the ability to pick up these cues that let us know how to properly communicate. Now think back to the question in the health care industry would a supportive or defensive relationship be more appropriate I would have to go with a supportive relationship being the more appropriate choice. The reason I would choose supportive is because in a supportive climate there is description, problem orientation, spontaneity, empathy, equality, and provisionalism. To whereas in a defensive relationship there is evaluation, control, strategy, neutrality, superiority, certainty. In the healthcare industry it just makes more sense to me to have a supportive relationship, one that is warm and friendly but able to achieve the goals that both the doctor and patient need and want.
It is always a good idea to assess yourself before you start assessing others. I myself have done just that and was pretty surprised by my own results. Although my results showed that I am, for the most part, an assertive style there are still some areas I need to identify and work on. By knowing where my weakness are I can start to improve in those lacking areas. I intend on re-assessing myself every so often to see if there is any improvement in those areas as well as making sure I do not cross the line into an aggressive style. For me personally, I would much rather work with someone who is assertive rather than aggressive since it makes for a more productive environment.
Communication in the workplace Ch. 6

Congenital Orthopedic Disease

Osteogenesis imperfecta
A 30 years old female patient who has a history of osteogenesis imperfecta was admitted with a fracture of left femoral shaft.
Solomon et al (2005: 77) states that fractures occur throughout life but severe deformity is uncommon. Old fractures are usually evident and there may be some bowing of the long bones.
She had an internal fixation by intermedullary nailing. Post- operatively management were prevention of pressure sore, monitor and relieve pain, hydration and electrolyte balance, prevention of DVT or PE by giving thrombolytic therapy e.g. clexane , teds stockings , early mobilization of physiotherapy , prevention of constipation and prevention of infection on wound site. After a week, patient has been discharged to home after clearance from Orthopaedic team and allied health staff e.g. physio and occupational therapists.
McRae and Esser (2008:324) In the adult, internal fixation by intermedullary nailing is the commonest method of treatment. The prime advantage this has to offer is that it generally permits early mobilization of the patient, thereby lessening the risks of pulmonary, circulatory, renal, joint and other complications, while promoting muscle activity, joint movements and functional recovery.
Impacts of this disorder to the patient is the involvement of the bones, ligaments, sclerae and skin. The most evident is having an extremely fragile or brittle bones. All people with Osteogenesis imperfecta have weak bones, which makes them susceptible to fractures. Because of the different types of this disorder, one of them affects the ligaments that causes to have loose joints and flat feet. Some types also lead to the development of poor teeth. One of the other symptoms especially for children is having a blue sclera in a milder type but becomes normal when they reach adult life.
Unfortunately, no cure has been developed yet to cure this disorder . But exact therapies has been suggested to alleviate pain and complications associated with osteogenesis imperfect. Some of them are encouraged to do low impact exercises like swimming to keep the muscles and bones strong. Another treatment are reconstructive surgeries to correct some deformities. Bracing might also be helpful to some people. In some critical cases, surgeries like placing metal bones in the long bones are being done to prevent any fractures or if it occurs then internal fixation by intermedullary nailing is performed.Reference:
Mcrae, R. and Esser, M., 2008 Practical fracture treatment. 5th edn. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Sydney.
Solomon, L., Warwick, D.,Nayagam, S.2005 Apley??™s Concise system of Orthopaedics and fractures. 3rd edn. Hodder Arnold, United Kingdom.

How Arthur Miller Effectively Illustrates the Strength of John Proctor, a Character in His Play, the Crucible

In the text, The Crucible, with the use of several different examples Arthur Miller represents the extent of his character, John Proctors strength.Arthur Miller begins the play with an example which immediately indicates the strength of John Proctor to the reader of the play, this early introduction implies how Proctors strength may prove to be a vital part of the play or a necessity in his character. In this example he states, “This predilection for minding other peoples business was time-honoured among the people of Salem, and it undoubtedly created many of the suspicions which were to feed the coming madness. It was also, in my opinion, one of the things that a John Proctor would rebel against, for the time of the armed camp had almost passed, and since the country was reasonably-although not wholly- safe, the old disciplines were beginning to rankle.” Clearly this means that although vain enjoyment in minding other peoples business was a fairly common practice in Salem at the time, John Proctor had the strength to oppose it. It also states that in its desire to modernize the theocratic society of Salem was having to watch some of its “old disciplines” disappear through the rebellion of such John Proctors. Miller continues this idea by saying “Simply it was this: for good purposes, even higher purposes, the people of Salem developed a theocracy, a combine of state and religious power whose function was to keep the community together, and to prevent any kind of disunity that might open it to destruction by material or ideological enemies.” This once again simply states the main aim of the society. Nowhere in the above explanation is it mentioned that these practices, which are set up in order to protect the people, may be opposed if found faulty, nor does it specifically mention anything about how, if an opposition were to arise how they may rebel in an orderly fashion. This strength, the one required to oppose a whole society and its foundation is also later brought up as a dominant character trait that John Proctor possesses. Again early in the text Arthur Miller indicates this strength. He says that the witch-hunt, which he also described earlier as “coming madness”, was “not, however, a mere repression. It was also, and as importantly, a long overdue opportunity for everyone so inclined to express their publicly his guilt and sins, under the cover of accusation against the victims.” This later proves to be a hint of a direct reference to John Proctor and his strength to confess to his own guilt and sins. As we read on, we see that Miller clearly in his introduction of John Proctor states the strength he projects to society and all those who know him, but were also introduced to another strength, strength that Proctor sees in himself. Proctor is described as a “farmer in his middle thirties.” Being the presumably average age of that time Proctor may be perceived to be muscular, this assumption is also lead to by his occupation which would obviously require a large amount of physical strength. Arthur Miller continues to say that, “He was the kind of man- powerful of body, even-tempered, and not easily led-who cannot refuse support to partisans without drawing their deepest resentment.” We now see that Proctor was not only strong physically but he was an important part of the society. As i said this, strength is now countered by another strength. Miller writes, “But as we shall see, the steady manner he displays does not spring from an untroubled soul. He is a sinner, a sinner not only against the moral fashion of the time, but against his own vision of decent conduct.” We see that although all we know of him till his introduction is his apparent strength and now we see a man who is, but cannot regard himself as being, strong. He is projecting strength which he does not believe in because he sees himself as a weak sinner. To sum Proctors introduction up Miller says “Proctor, respected and even feared in Salem, has come to regard himself as a kind of fraud.”Miller then carries on presenting a scene with Proctor and Abigail, a seventeen year old, “strikingly beautiful girl” who John had an affair with, to once again show the extent of Proctors strength. It is clear to see he visits her to find out about how the witchcraft truly began but it is also clear to see that not only is Proctor making light of the situation, but that he is doing it only in front of Abigail. When told how strong he is by Abigail, John Proctor replies with a short smile indicating that he knows what she is trying to do, which is tease him. This game that they seemed to be playing continued until Proctor turns to leave but this only lasts for a second as Abigail throws herself into his path, begging him to speak lovingly to her. He not only moves her away from his path but he says “I come to see what mischief your uncles brewin now. Put it out of mind, Abby.” This shows Proctors strength as we know that some weakness is shown in Proctor, who lives quite far away from the city and has travelled the distance to perhaps clarify something he heard but more likely to be to meet Abby. Going back to the line we see how determined he is to put his sins in the past in the way in which he moves Abigail from his path. We also see the tremendous amount of strength it takes for him to turn away from something or someone who he had grown so fond of and who uses her beauty as far as she possibly can to try to win Proctors heart. He refuses to give into this seduction because it will prove that there is a reason for him to feel guilty and will cause him to believe hes weaker than he thinks he is or wants to be.The Crucible

How Are You

essay scaffold: bruce dawewrite about how two of bruce dawes poem reflect significant australian experiences.mention your two chosen poems
e.g “Drifters”- outline how each poem reflects significant australian experiences.
– how means you need to outline techniques that dawe uses.paragraphs-topic sentence
– expand
– examples
– effect
– linkparagraph 1 topic sentence: about the first poem and how it reflects an australian experiencee.g drifters is a poem about the experiences of an australian family during the great depression, which affected australia in the 1950sexpand: a sentence on what you meant in your topic sentence. for this question, it is asking how, that is , what techniques are used.e.g. dawe has used symbolism to represent emotions that family go throughexamples and effects- you may mention several examples for each, explain their effect.for example, green tomatoes are used to represent that the family has not had time to settle in one place. similarily, the bright berries the mother holds are symbolic of her hope for her family to stay in one place, wheareas they become shriveled to symbolise her disappointmentlinklink your analysis back to the main idea, significant australian experiences.the feeling and experiences of this family reflect those of many australian families during the depression. dawe has drawn on his own childhood to repesent this era in australian history.paragraph 2follow the same format TEEELcontinue writing about drifters, bringing in different techniques and examplesparagraph 3-4

use the same format for your other chosen poem.

How Are Cultural Values Conveyed Through the Narrative Structure of Gilgamesh

How are cultural values conveyed through the narrative structure of Gilgamesh
???Gilgamesh??? is probably the oldest story ever recorded and is about Gilgamesh ??“ King of Uruk and his quest for invulnerability and immortality, but eventually leading to his ironic death. This is an epic tale and follows the structure of an epic hero cycle. Structured by events that are deemed quite stereotypical in modern storytelling, it still conveys universal themes that relate to people even now.
The epic hero (Gilgamesh) is boasted by the author to be someone to be respected and admired (e.g. ???Supreme over other kings, lordly in appearance???). This represents and highlights the heroic aspects of Gilgamesh and makes the audience think that he is a truly great character that is capable of completing any task and overcoming any obstacle. Alternatively, the audience can think that through all the boasting, the hero is really not that amazing, but is overhyped and egotistic. It is through the author??™s description of the epic hero that the audience becomes engaged or uninterested with the protagonist and creates an image of what the hero is like.
The hero comes across several obstacles that hinder him from finishing his quest (e.g. man-scorpion). This is not only to increase the length of the story, but to force the hero to prove himself worthy of being able to complete his quest. This conveys the troubles that everybody faces and represents the trial of being worthy to obtain the goal/reward at the end (eternal life).
The role of the divine plays an active role in the epic story of Gilgamesh as they seem to provide Gilgamesh with immense strength, knowledge and other characteristics that can be increased to that of more than any human is possible of attaining (e.g. ???Anu granted him the totality of knowledge of all??? [Anu being a god over the people of Uruk]). This presents the audience with the fact that the hero cannot embark his epic quest alone and cannot achieve his goals without assistance. In the case of the mythical epic tale of ???Gilgamesh???, Gilgamesh obtains his assistance from gods and obtains superhuman traits. Although claiming to be born 2/3 godly, it is within the structure of the epic story that requires him to entail help and this relates to the audience as everybody needs assistance at some point.
Gilgamesh, although an ancient tale, still conveys cultural values that are entertaining and relevant because of the structure of the narrative.

How Are Artists Practices Shaped by the Innovations of Other Artists Focus on Duchamps Legacy

Art practice is the process by which an artist creates pieces of art, allowing meaning to be conveyed in both an objective and aesthetic ways. Everyone goes through different events throughout their lives; artists naturally draw on the cultural and historical events that have impacted their past.
Artists will also develop a style of their own, drawing on influential peers for inspiration on technique, medium, beliefs and values. An individuals art practise changes and evolves; they need this personal growth and change so they can move forward. When looking for that next step they must gather and reinterpret ideas from other artists be it materials, movements or style.
As artists we look for new ways to challenge the world we know, but we do sometimes need a push in the next direction, for instance in his youth Pablo Picasso (1881 to 1973) the father of Cubism, was heavily influenced by Edouard Manet (1832 to 1883) the incidental creator of Post Expressionism. The piece of modernism ???Luncheon in the Park.??? Manet was inspired by modern technologies and the invention of flash photography and recreated the high contrast between the black and white lighting in photos in his paintings.
The uproar during the 1863 Salon exhibition showed that ???Luncheon??? did not fit the conventional look the salon was renowned for and also became a highlight of ???Salon Des Refuses ???exhibition (a number of artists who ganged together to revolt against the Salons judgement of what was and what wasn??™t considered art) Luncheon???depicted a female nude joining in on casual conversation with two men out in the open. The nude casually gazing at the viewer while the men talked as if nothing was out of the ordinary. While Manet??™s intention was not to shock but to experiment with light, he inevitably changed the course of modernism and modern art, as many following artists drew inspiration from his blatant rebellion and challenging of artistic morals and these followers became part of the impressionist movement. Their style of paintings intention was to depict what the eye actually saw not what the brain interpreted. Artists like Pisarro, Cezanne, Manet had paintings in the ???Salon Des Refuses??? art rejected by the powers that be of that time due to the new wave of practices of playing with light and colour to depict their subject matter.
It was the scandal behind the painting ???Luncheon??? that Picasso found inspirational as he saw the challenging of traditional conventions and ideas in the art world more satisfying as he needed to buck the system. Pablo Picasso was an artist in the twenty first century, who first dabbled with cubism in his painting ???Les Demoiselles D??™Avignon??? (1907) a work of fragmented forms , layered planes and angular abstraction., appearing to be seen from many angles like in funhouse mirrors. This painting was considered pivotal in his career as it was a completely new style and broke so many boundaries but was his answer to disaffecting from the naturalism or more conventional styles of that time. The five women in ??????Les Demoiselles D??™Avignon??? were prostitutes it shows he incorporated facets from other cultures the faces were derived from archaic Iberian stone heads Picasso had seen in the Louvre and native African tribal masks also. If you look at George Braque(1882-1962), Picasso??™s partner in this style from 1907 when Braque visited Picasso??™s studio and was confused and dismayed by the ugliness??™ and intensity of his painting ???Les Demoiselles D??™Avignon??? commenting that Picasso had been ???drinking turpentine and spitting fire???.
Later after in-depth conversation the two discovered several mutual muses and mediums like tribal art and experimentation of the audiences viewpoint of a piece, this led to a lifelong partnership of conspiratorial mirroring of each other latest practice The Pair later developed a new style that made possible the use of materials that had not been hither too appropriate within the art world, The use of real objects. Then led to other artists extending their range of materials, Synthetic cubism. Before his partnership with Picasso, Braque was distorting the conventional viewpoint of still life. His use of colour had nothing to do with the representation of reality, but to clearly represent the features of the surroundings and structure the focus of the piece. Picasso had an influence on so many of his peers from that era. Russian born Marc Chagall (1887 to 1985) shows the influence to his Surrealist paintings in ???Adam and Eve???1912 and ???I and the village??? 1911 they show abstracted representation and layered planes of geometric shapes. Both paintings pay homage to the cubist style with the use of basic, simple shapes, colours and lack of depth. Wassily Kandinsky (1866 to 1944) another Russian Surrealist Artist who shows similarities in his practise to Picasso, though his abstraction, lack of spatial depth and colour, Audiences for both the artist often missed the meaning behind their abstraction, Kandinsky was quoted saying??? abstract art places a new world, which on the surface has nothing to do with ??? reality ??? , next to the ???real??? world???. Or in other words, within the frame of his canvas he has created a reality, completely alien to the audience, and as the audience we have to clear our minds from what we know to allow ourselves to be transported through this portal to their (the artists) world.
Through this and the following decade European art had a influx of ??“isms being; Impressionism, post-impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism (both Synthetic and Analytical) and expressionism.
Although the artist belonging to each movement were different, they acknowledged and drew from each other, adapting ideas and techniques, but never mixed movements within exhibitions. It wasn??™t until war broke out that America tuned into the modernism of European art.
Much like the Critical rejection and Mocking of Manet, Futurist Marcel Duchamp??™s ???Nude Descending a Staircase??? (1912), A fairly mainstream cubist piece, where the audience see??™s the movement of the nude much like an slow motion film flattened. His art work has all the angular and flat planes of the cubist style, however this piece gave movement to static artwork,
Art practices had to also adapt as the world changed meaning , as the invention of newer media and technologies blossomed, so did new potential ideas, Picasso, s synthetic cubism gave Marcel Duchamp ideas that he took to a much more drastic level, from futurism to Dadaism, his anti-everything ???art??? movement., and brought to life the controversial ???ready-mades???, in 1913 Duchamp installed ???bicycle wheel??? into his studio, his point was to challenge the very notion of art and the ???unnecessary??? adoration it accumulated.
???My idea was to chose an object that wouldnt attract me, either by its beauty or by its ugliness. To find a point of indifference in my looking at it, you see???

Though his idea was not further developed until 1915. Duchamp then took his idea of the ready-mades to the extreme by entering ???fountain??? , an urinal simply tilted 90 degrees and inscribed with his pseudonym ???R.Mutt??? and that year entered it into the 1917 Armory Exhibition in New York, as Critics and the public saw it as making a joke at their expense, Duchamp resigned from the board of independent artist, in which his piece was so harshly judged, even though he entered it into the exhibition under an alias, in fear of such rejection. He later anonymously published in his American Dada Magazine the blind man that;
???Whether Mr Mutt made the fountain with his own hands or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view ??“ created a new thought for that object???
So, through out art history we can see a constant of, inspiration and production, rebellion and modification, of art practice as we constantly look to the past to change the future of our works. From Manet, to Cezanne, Picasso and Duchamp one inspires another and another in a different way. But as we, in modern society have absolutely no bars or boxes to remain in, no one to tell us what we can and can??™t do, what will become of our practice. How will we further and change art in the future How can we look to our peers when there is seemingly no longer any innovation or possible rebellion towards art in general


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|This file created |Aug 08 |[pic]One of the most famous people in ancient China was a wise philosopher named Confucius (circa 551-479 BC). He sometimes went by the names Kong Zi though he was born – Kong Qiu – styled Zhong Ni. He was born in the village of Zou in the country of Lu.
This chinese man was a well-known leader in philosophy and he also made many wise phrases and theories about the law, life, and the government. Philosophy is a kind of a system of ideas and thoughts that talk about the humans behavior, the rules that you should follow to make a successful life, and about the government.
In other words, its about thoughts and theories that teach other people lessons about principles, or rules, about life and it also teaches you a moral ( sort of like the morals that are at the end of a fable). Confucius is famous for his philosophy because he made many wise sayings in ancient China that helped many people learn about nature, the world, and the human behavior. He also helped the government and the emperor by teaching them lessons on how the emperor should rule his kingdom successfully.
Confucius was born in a poor family in the year 551 B.C., and he was born in the state of Lu. His original name was Kung Chiu. His father, commander of a district in Lu, died three years after Confucius was born, leaving the family in poverty; but Confucius nevertheless received a fine education. He was married at the age of 19 and had one son and two daughters.
He worked as a keeper of a market. Then he was a farm worker who took care of parks and farm animals. When he was 20, he worked for the governor of his district.
His mother died in 527 BC, and after a period of mourning he began his career as a teacher, usually traveling about and instructing the small body of disciples that had gathered around him. His fame as a man of learning and character and his reverence for Chinese ideals and customs soon spread through the principality of Lu.
Living as he did in the second half of the Zhou (Chou) dynasty (1027-256 BC), when feudalism degenerated in China and intrigue and vice were rampant, Confucius deplored the contemporary disorder and lack of moral standards. He came to believe that the only remedy was to convert people once more to the principles and precepts of the sages of antiquity. He therefore lectured to his pupils on the ancient classics.
Confucius taught in his school for many years. His theories and principles were spread throughout China by his disciples, and soon many people learned from his wise sayings.
One of his rules said,” If you governed your province well and treat your people kindly, you kingdom shall not lose any war. If you govern selfishly to your people, you kingdom will not only lose a war, but your people will break away from your kingdom.” He had also said a wise phrase called the golden rule that is still being used as a rule today. It said,”A man should practice what he preaches, but a man should also preach what he practices.”
One day, his students and he passed a grave where they saw a women weeping at a gravestone. She told Confucius that her husband, her husbands father, and her son were killed by a tiger. When Confucius asked her why she didnt leave such a fated spot, she answered that in this place there was no oppressive government.
Confucius said,”Remember this, my child. An oppressive government is fiercer and more feared than a tiger.” That meant that the government in the womans province did not rule the province well. So Confucius said that the government was more feared than a tiger. This was one of the many events he had to give a person a lesson.
He taught the great value of the power of example. Rulers, he said, can be great only if they themselves lead exemplary lives, and were they willing to be guided by moral principles, their states would inevitably become prosperous and happy.
Confucius had, however, no opportunity to put his theories to a public test until, at the age of 52, he was appointed magistrate of Chung-tu, and the next year minister of crime of the state of Lu. His administration was successful; reforms were introduced, justice was fairly dispensed, and crime was almost eliminated. So powerful did Lu become that the ruler of a neighboring state maneuvered to secure the ministers dismissal. Confucius left his office in 496 BC, traveling about and teaching, vainly hoping that some other prince would allow him to undertake measures of reform. In 484 BC, after a fruitless search for an ideal ruler, he returned for the last time to Lu.
Confucius was then abandoned from his province and he wandered about China for 13 years. When Confucius was 69 years old, he returned to Lu, his home state, and he died there 3 years after settling in Lu – 479 BC.
After Confucius died, he was buried in a grave in the city of ChuFu, Shandong. Today the site of his final resting place is the beautiful Kung Forest.
Yet, when the philosopher died, many people honored all of Confucius work by building temples in every city in China to honor Confucius. Since Confucius teachings and philosophy was so advanced, it was the education for China for 2,000 years. It is called Confucianism.
Confucius himself had a simple moral and political teaching: to love others; to honor ones parents; to do what is right instead of what is of advantage; to practice “reciprocity,” i.e. “dont do to others what you would not want yourself”; to rule by moral example (de) instead of by force and violence; and so forth. Confucius thought that a ruler who had to resort to force had already failed as a ruler. “Your job is to govern, not to kill”
Confucius did not put into writing the principles of his philosophy; these were handed down only through his disciples.
The Lun Yu (Analects), a work compiled by some of his disciples, is considered the most reliable source of information about his life and teachings. One of the historical works that he is said to have compiled and edited, the Chun Chiu (Spring and Autumn Annals), is an annalistic account of Chinese history in the state of Lu from 722 to 481 BC. In learning he wished to be known as a transmitter rather than as a creator, and he therefore revived the study of the ancient books. His own teachings, together with those of his main disciples, are found in the Shih Shu (Four Books) of Confucian literature, which became the textbooks of later Chinese generations.
– Encyclopedia Britannica
Confucius “Master Kung,” (551 BCE – 479 BCE) was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese thought and life. His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. These values gained prominence in China over other doctrines, such as Legalism or Taoism during the Han Dynasty. Confucius thoughts have been developed into a system of philosophy known as Confucianism. It was introduced to Europe by the Jesuit Matteo Ricci, who was the first to Latinise the name as “Confucius.”
His teachings may be found in the Analects of Confucius, a collection of “brief aphoristic fragments”, which was compiled many years after his death. Modern historians do not believe that any specific documents can be said to have been written by Confucius, but for nearly 2,000 years he was thought to be the editor or author of all the Five Classics such as the Classic of Rites (editor), and the Spring and Autumn Annals (author).
What seems a matter of tiny importance has been long commented on and shows another of the Confucian specificities that have to be underlined. When one knows that in his time horses were perhaps ten times more expensive than stablemen, one can understand that, by not asking about the horses, Confucius demonstrated his greatest priority: human beings. Thus, when one sees a little bit of the greater picture, according to many ancient or recent Eastern and Western commentators, Confucius teaching can be considered a noteworthy Chinese variant of humanism.
Confucius also heavily emphasized what he calls “rites and music,” referring to these social conventions as two poles to balance order and harmony. While rites, in short, show off social hierarchies, music unifies hearts in shared enjoyment. He added that rites are not only the way to arrange sacrificial tools, and music is not only the sound of stick on bell. Both are mutual communication between someones humanity and his social context, both feed social relationships, like the five prototypes: between father and son, husband and wife, prince and subject, elder and youngster, and between friends. Duties are always balanced and if a subject must obey his ruler, he also has to tell him when he is wrong.
Confucius teachings have been turned later into a corps de doctrine by his numerous disciples and followers. In the centuries after his death, Mencius and Xun Zi both wrote a prominent book on these, and with time a philosophy has been elaborated, which is known in the West as Confucianism.
Although Confucianism is often followed in a religious manner by the Chinese, argument continues over whether to refer to it as a religion because it makes little reference to theological or spiritual matters (God(s), the afterlife, etc.).
Confuciuss principles gained wide acceptance primarily because of their basis in common Chinese opinion. He championed strong familial loyalty, ancestor worship, and respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, and used the family as a basis for an ideal government. He expressed the well-known principle, “Do not to others what you do not want done to yourself” (the Golden Rule). He also looked nostalgically upon earlier days, and urged the Chinese, particularly the politicians, to model themselves on earlier examples – although whether or not older rulers had governed by Confucian standards is dubious.
Confucius political thought is based upon his ethical thought. He argues that the best government is one that rules through “rites” and peoples natural morality, rather than using bribery and force. He explained this in one of the most important analects:”If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame. If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of shame, and moreover will become good.” This “sense of shame” is somewhat an internalization of duty, where the punishment precedes the evil action, instead of following it in the form of laws as in Legalism.
While he supported the idea of the all-powerful Emperor, probably because of the chaotic state of China at his time, his philosophies contained a number of elements to limit the power of the rulers. He argued for according language with truth – thus honesty was of the most paramount importance. Even in facial expression, one sought always to achieve this. In discussing the relationship between a son and his father (or a subject and his king), he underlined the need to give due respect to superiors; this demanded that the inferior must give advice to his superior if the superior was considered to be taking the wrong course of action in a given situation.
This was built upon by his disciple Mencius to argue that if the king was not acting like a king, he would lose the Mandate of Heaven and be overthrown. Therefore, tyrannicide is justified because a tyrant is more a thief than a king (but attempted tyrannicide is not).
Confucius philosophical school was first continued by his direct disciples and by his grandson Zisi. Mencius and Xun Zi are his two great followers, one on each “side” of his philosophy, perhaps simply described as optimism and pessimism. They built upon and expanded his ethico-political system.
Soon after Confucius death, Qufu, his hometown, became a place of devotion and remembrance. It is still a major destination for cultural tourism, and many Chinese people visit his grave and the surrounding temples. In China, there are many temples where one can find representations of Buddha, Lao Zi and Confucius together. There are also many temples dedicated to him which have been used for Confucianist ceremonies.
Confucious: References and LinksFamous Saying
Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have.
They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
It is not possible for one to teach others who cannot teach his own family.
The superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.
He who merely knows right principles is not equal to him who loves them.
To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.
We dont know yet about life, how can we know about death
Mankind differs from the animals only by a little, and most people throw that away.
If you enjoy what you do, youll never work another day in your life.
The Master said, (the good man) does not grieve that other people do not recognize his merits. His only anxiety is lest he should fail to recognize theirs.