Category: Blog

December 12, 2012

by Donnajean Ward Landmark: The Inside Story of America’s New Health-Care Law and What It Means for Us All By The Staff of the Washington Post In about 200 clear and concise pages,…

December 6, 2012

by Raphael Bostic During a recent advisory board meeting for Self-Help/Center for Responsible Lending California, we had a lively discussion about where to draw the line determining what products should be…

November 29, 2012
November 21, 2012

by Donnajean Ward

Steven Spielberg’s latest film, “Lincoln” may sound like a biopic tracing the life of our 16th president from boyhood to assassination, but instead, it is a film about governance and policy implementation – specifically, the race to pass the 13th amendment to the Constitution which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. Director Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner (of “Angels in America” fame) dig deep into the minutiae of lawmaking, vote chasing, and diplomacy that went into the passage of the amendment and there is no lack of drama. Because the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order issued under the war powers act without the consent of Congress, Lincoln had serious doubt that it would survive legal challenges after the war ended –and he wanted the war to end and the union restored. Lincoln held out the 13th amendment to Congress as the straw to break the back of the Confederacy even while hiding the fact that surrender was in the works. So with the clock ticking, the race to pass the amendment was on and the film does a masterful job showing the complex, mundane, and suspect processes that get you to a 2/3 majority. Lincoln began his push for the 13th amendment soon after his re-election and you can’t help but think about President Obama’s re-election and the challenges he faces with his own recalcitrant congress. The Economist magazine sums up nicely the film and the lessons for our own newly re-elected president:

“Sometimes the mundane and messy bits of politics cannot be transcended and instead must be mastered. If Mr Obama missed this lesson during his first term in office, he can sit through it again in Steven Spielberg’s new movie “Lincoln.”

November 9, 2012

by David Gastwirth Swing voters took center stage at this week’s [Wed, October 31st – one week before the election] Road to the White House. Given the undivided attention being…

November 2, 2012
October 28, 2012
October 25, 2012

by Raphael Bostic For a while now, I have been reflecting on the important role that “the personal” plays in determining whether a governance arrangement is going to be effective. It…

October 19, 2012
October 12, 2012

This week’s Road to the White House focused on the role of K-12 education policy in this year’s presidential election. David Gatswirth was in attendance, and shares his thoughts with us.

October 11, 2012
October 5, 2012

by David Gastwirth This week’s Road to the White House examined the nature and function of negative advertising in the campaign.  This topic is particularly relevant and timely in light…

October 4, 2012

by Raphael Bostic In recent years, many have argued that government is in a state of crisis. There are big problems that are widely known – a crumbling infrastructure, flailing education…

September 28, 2012

This week’s Road to the White House – entitled “How the Millennial Generation is Shaping the 2012 Election” – featured Morley Winograd and Mike Hais, co-authors of Millennial Momentum: How a new generation is remaking America (2011: Rutgers University Press).  The discussion focused on the important role that Millennials – Americans born roughly from the early 1980s to the early 2000s – can and will play in American politics.  Some of the most convincing findings came from survey data about the policy preferences of this age cohort.  On nearly every issue – foreign policy, economic policy, and social policy – the views of the Millennials are closely aligned with the dominant positions of the Democrat Party.

September 19, 2012

by David Gastwirth The topic for this week’s Road to the White House – entitled “The War Between Policy & Politics” – featured Raphael Bostic, a USC professor of public…

September 12, 2012

Today’s Road to the White House focused on the key policy issues – such as healthcare and jobs – that will form the substantive backbone of this campaign. Of course, this assumes that the campaign will actually rise above the politics of personal destruction.

February 3, 2011

Ronald Reagan’s life, leadership and legacy were analyzed at USC by former members of the Reagan administration, journalists who covered the Reagan era, political scholars and historians at a conference…