Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Class #8

5:10-5:25 Topic: Environmentalism as religion and zealotry. “Trees are now grown as crops.”
5:25-5:30 Redid Seating Chart
5:29 Professor’s phone rings….on schedule.
5:30-5:33 Professor introduces overview of themes for the course. During eighth meeting of course.
5:33-5:37 Sidetrack onto environmental policy of Oakland. Explanation of the costs/benefits of clean water. Discussion as to why Professor likes black people and hates mollusks who have more political clout.
5:37-5:45 Professor discusses broad themes of the course, including characteristics of modern policymaking.
5:45-5:47 Pause to thank God for Al Gore and the Internet. Also condemns Kerry for being a bum who is totally dependent on his wife.
5:47-5:55 Paradoxes of slow vs. rapid action in gov’t. Decentralized power of the courts. Politics are fragmented. Oakland’s recent struggles, and whether legislation should be called “gridlocked” or “deadlocked.”
5:55-6:01 Professor tells story about splashing Mr. Clean in his eye. Point of story is unclear. Professor then talks about his desire to use older products. Point remains in doubt. Begin immigration discussion. Legislation used to be quick, now it’s slow. This is a paradox. Next several weeks will be spent discussing this. Quick overview of later in semester.
6:01-6:03 Professor asks a question. Correct answer given. Professor spends remaining 2 minutes arriving at the same conclusion.
6:06 Anecdote about Professor’s poor writing abilities. Professor pauses to dust off chair.
6:06-6:08 90’s politics is supposed to be partisan. Policymaking is centrist, though. How does this happen? Paradox. Begins to conclude overview when…
6:08-6:? Question sidetracks conversation. Homestead Act mentioned. Linked to immigration….somehow. Author loses focus.
6:12-6:16 Current topic is somehow teenage pregnancy and abortion. Move into intimacy and warmth of sex. Conversation has become extremely awkward. Onto AIDS. Conversation seems to be focusing on American Culture and sexual habits.
6:16-6:17 Minute of total silence.
6:17-6:20 How did immigration reform pass? To be discussed in coming weeks. Painfully irrelevant discussion on America’s influence on world affairs.
6:20-6:30 Conclusion: What are the politics of policymaking? How does legislation get passed?


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