About the Blog

I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:

--To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
--To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
--To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges. This blog is on the open Internet, so post nothing that you would not want a potential employer to see.

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Secretary of Homeland Security

As we were all studying Kettl, Jeh C. Johnson was confirmed as the new Secretary of Homeland Security. He was previously general counsel for the DOD, where he had significant influence in national security policy.

Napolitano had a background focusing on immigration; Johnson's is on counterterrorism. He worked on drone policy and policy related to the detention of terrorists. He is also a strong proponent of the idea that the war against al Qaeda may not be over. Finally, he has criticized the secrecy of the Obama administration, particularly as it relates to drones.

Obama says, “As secretary of homeland security, Jeh will play a leading role in our efforts to protect the homeland against terrorist attacks, adapt to changing threats, stay prepared for natural disasters, strengthen our border security, and make our immigration system fairer.”

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Practice Final Exam

In preparing for the final exam, consider both the air midterm and the following practice exam. The questions on the final will be similar in form and content, though not identical.

I. Identifications. This section will ask you to write a brief paragraph explaining the meaning and significance of 12 out of 14 items from readings and class discussions (4 points each). Examples:
  • David Kessler
  • Medicaid
  • Negative liberty
  • The "Twenty Dollar Test"
  • Master Settlement Agreement
  • Generic vulnerabilities
  • Weighted Student Formula
  • Craft organization
  • "Connecting the dots" in intelligence
  • CPI
  • Synecdoche
  • Organizational cultures
  • Expressed v. ulterior motives
  • "Broken Windows"
II. Short answers. In this section, you will answer 2 out of 3 question on factual or analytical points from course material (6 points each). Each answer should take no more than half a page. Examples:
  • One view is that the poverty line is too high. Another is that it is too low. Another is that it is too high for some, too low for others.  Explain.
  • What caused the 2004-2005 flu vaccine shortage?
  • Tell how the FCC got into the smoking issue.
III. General Essays. In this section, answer 2 of 3 questions. Each answer should take 2-3 large bluebook pages or 3-4 small bluebook pages. Each is worth 20 points each.
  • Fritschler and Rudder write: "In policy space [meaning] all current policies contained in one space bumping up against one another, a change in one policy increasingly impinges on many other policies, again requiring adjustments in those policies." Explain. Why does this "bumping" happen? How does it affect the process of decisionmaking? Give specific examples from the books on smoking and homeland security.
  • Bardach advises policymakers to seek out "best practices." Stone would say that this process is far from straightforward.  Explain.
  • President Obama recently said, "this increasing inequality is most pronounced in our country, and it challenges the very essence of who we are as a people."  Explain the difficulty of defining and measuring inequality.
IV. Bonus questions (one point each) Very briefly identify the following:
  • Estes Kefauver
  • Simon Kuznets
  • C. Everett Koop
  • Paul Krugman
  • Sahil Kapur

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Is it House of Cards Season 2 Promo or just a Smoking Commercial?

The FCC should probably check this out...I think Frank Underwood must be working with the tobacco companies or something

Monday, December 9, 2013

Smoking, Litigation, Implementation

Master Settlement Agreement (MSA)

Tobacco wins a narrow, brief victory in the Supreme Court.

But now, the rest of the story:

The decision rested on statutory, not constitutional grounds, and so Congress could overturn it by passing another statute: H.R. 1256: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

[If you want to write a senior thesis on the subject, start here.]

Monday, December 2, 2013

Smoking and Bureaucracy


"The business schizophrenia toward government regulation..."  p. 23: USDA and Tobacco

Other agencies: FDA, FTC, FCC, Surgeon General

A question to JFK
Q. Mr. President, there is another health problem that seems to be causing growing concern here and abroad and I think this has largely been provoked by a series of independent scientific investigations, which have concluded that cigarette smoking and certain types of cancer and heart disease have a causal connection. I have two questions: do you and your health advisers agree or disagree with these findings, and secondly, what if anything should or can the federal Government do in the circumstances?

THE PRESIDENT. That matter is sensitive enough and the stock market is in sufficient difficulty [laughter] without my giving you an answer which is not based on complete information, which I don't have and, therefore, perhaps we could--I'd be glad to respond to that question in more detail next week.
Advisory Committee on Smoking & Health

Administrative policymaking

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Policy Goes to the Movies

Political Influence

The Distinguished Gentleman (1992) on money and politics


I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)

Dirty Harry (1971) -- the exclusionary rule

The Sopranos -- a bleak look at HUD


The Grapes of Wrath (1940)


Soylent Green (1973) -- ecology and aging

The Formula (1980) -- Hollywood looks at energy


The Insider -- more-or-less true story of tobacco litigation

Mad Men -- very first scene and last scene of most recent season-- the 2000s look at the 1960s