Margin Notes
Up Foundations Processes Institutions


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BERRYMAN 10-18-1924


US Government Margin Notes

Part #1   Foundations

The Context of US Politics

The US Constitution


Part #2   Processes

Political Socialization

Public Opinion

The Media

Interest Groups

Political Parties

Voting Behavior

Campaigns and Elections

Part #3   Institutions

The US Congress and Domestic and Economic Policy

The Presidency and Foreign Policy

The National Bureaucracy

The National Courts

Civil Liberties and Civil Rights




Need Help with Your Course? Try These Resources!

National Budget Process (PDF)

A Portrait of America That Still Haunts, Decades Later

Where the Racial Makeup of the US Shifted in the Last Decade

The American Abyss works on exposing the wealth gap.

Color of Change and Movement for Black Lives have crusaded for racial justice.

Republicans don't know anything about their party. That's very bad for American democracy.

Big Lie

Healing Our Divide (scroll down to this section)

US is polarizing faster than other democracies.

Why Are Republican Presidents So Bad for the Economy? GDP, jobs and other indicators have all risen faster under Democrats for nearly the past century.

Republican Presidential Primary Satire

Super PACs 2012

Super PACs 2016 (PDF)

Habeas Corpus: The Guantanamo Cases (Online Video, 25 min)

One of our oldest human rights, habeas corpus safeguards individual freedom by preventing unlawful or arbitrary imprisonment. This documentary examines habeas corpus and the separation of powers in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks as the Supreme Court tried to strike a balance between the president’s duty to protect the nation and the constitutional protection of civil liberties in four major Guantanamo Bay cases: Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Rasul v. Bush, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and Boumediene v. Bush.

Rights and Equal Protection Cases 1856-1948 (MP3 Audio Downloads, varying lengths)

Landmark United States Supreme Court decisions focusing on civil rights and equal protection between 1856 and 1948.

Downsizing the Federal Government

The Future of Social Security (Online Video, 92 min)

New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman and Maya MacGuineas, president, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and director, Fiscal Policy Program, New America Foundation, discuss and decipher the difficult issues facing America's largest public program, Social Security. The discussion is moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe columnist Tom Oliphant.

The Geography of US Elections (Online Videos, varying lengths)

Led by Martin Lewis, this map-intensive YouTube course explores the geography of US elections (both past and present) and challenges the suggestion that we are simply divided into a Red America and Blue America. It's really much more complicated than that. The course was first offered by Stanford's Continuing Studies program in 2008. (The original posts – "the course will last five weeks," "includes a debrief after the election," "begins in October," "a new lecture will be posted each Wednesday" and etc – are still online. Ignore those. The course ended 2 years ago but all materials were left for public use.)

Supreme Court Nominations Not Confirmed

Reasons include "Senate opposition to the nominating President, nominee's views, or incumbent Court; senatorial courtesy; perceived political unreliability of the nominee; perceived lack of ability; interest group opposition; and fear of altering the balance of the Court. These nominations have been the subject of extensive legal, historical and political science writing, a selected list of which is included in this report." A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report for Congress. Opens directly into a PDF file.

The Supreme Court: Home to America's Highest Court (Online Video, 85 min)

This video takes an unprecedented look into the Supreme Court, the role, traditions and history of the Court featuring interviews with all the sitting and retired Justices.

Law professor Lori Andrews on personal privacy rights, how they are being eroded by social networks and how personal information is often collected and sold in I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did (67 min)

What is the Electoral College? (video)

Do Political TV Ads Actually Work? (video)

The 12th Amendment and The Electoral College (video – 25 min)

Thomas Neale of the Congressional Research Service talks about the 12th amendment of the US Constitution and the creation of the electoral college.

Police Surveillance and Technology (video – 29 min)

ACLU attorney Catherine Crump talks about police use of cell-phone location tracking as a widely used means of surveillance.

Future of the US Postal Service (video – 31 min)

US Post Master General Patrick Donahoe talks about options for restructuring the US Postal Service (USPS), which has been losing $20 million per day of operation.

Negative Political Advertising (3-hour video)

Speakers talk about the impact of negative political advertising on the 2012 election, including the history of negative ads and how those ads affect people's views.

The Negative Consequences of Uncivil Political Discourse (PDF)

The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution (54-minute video)

Author Brion McClanahan on the US Constitution and his thoughts about the Founders original intentions, including current interpretations

Political Spin and Media Coverage (44-minute video)

A panel discussion about political spin and media coverage of campaigns and politics

Political Ads (45-minute video)

Kenneth Goldstein on the latest technologies in customized political advertising used by political parties and election campaigns

What Do You Believe? (PDF)

Who's in Charge? (PDF)


US Income Inequality Stats

US states ranked from most to least income inequality

This visualization re-imagines US Census data as a neighborhood of 100 homes and groups the households by income, 2020.

Median US household income per county, 2021

How wealth is divided in the US, 2022

US states ranked from most to least income inequality, 2018

This visualization re-imagines US Census data as a neighborhood of 100 homes and groups the households by income, 2020.

Median US household income by county 2021

How wealth is divided in the US, 2022

What it’s like to live on $2 a day in the United States (PDF)

Median US Household Income by State




Copyright 1996 Amy S Glenn
Last updated:   11/13/2023 0330

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