For much of 2011 and 2012 public dissatisfaction with


For much of 2011 and 2012, public dissatisfaction with Congress rose to all time highs, with 70-80% expressing disapproval with how Congress does its job. Many commentators note that Americans are fed up with Washington "grid-lock" that makes government apparently unable to address important problems. Other observers believe that the national government is acting according to its design, based on separation of powers and checks and balances. 

Before writing your initial post, review the assigned resources. To easily access the resources from the Ashford University Library, please see the table located in the Course Materials section.

In your initial post of at least 200-250 words, analyze how the U.S. Constitution implements separation of powers and checks and balances. Briefly explain why the constitutional framers based the new government on these ideas. Evaluate how separation of powers and checks and balances are working out in practice, today, justifying your assessment with persuasive reasoning and examples. 

Fully respond to all parts of the question. Write in your own words. Support your position with APA citations to two or more of the assigned resources required for this discussion. Please be sure that you demonstrate understanding of these resources, integrate them into your argument, and cite them properly.

Resources for Week One Discussion - Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances
Before participating in this week's discussion "Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances," review these resources:
1. Read these chapters from the text, American Government:
a. Chapter 1 - American Politics and Founding Principles
b. Chapter 2 - The U.S. Constitution
2. Watch the following videos:
a. Checks and balances
C-SPAN. (1990, November 27). Checks and balances [Video]. Available from http://www.cspanvideo.org/program/Chec.

(This video (8 minutes) describes checks and balances and separation of powers in U.S. government.)
b. Built to Last
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) (2013, May 28). Episode IV - Built to last [Series episode].
Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/tpt/constitution-usa-petersagal/watch/built-to-last/
3. Read these articles found in the Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost) database in the Ashford University
Library:
a. Policy point -counterpoint: Is divided government good for the United States?
Franklin, D. R. (2011) Policy point-counterpoint: Is divided government good for the United States?
International Social Science Review, 86(3/4), 160-162.
(This brief article relates separation of powers and the contemporary problem of "divided government" or
"gridlock." It summarizes debates about gridlock's effects on public policy.)
b. Divided we fall: The case against divided government.
John, C. (2011). Divided we fall: The case against divided government. International Social Science
Review, 86(3/4), 166-174.
(This brief article relates separation of powers and the contemporary problem of "divided government" or
"gridlock." It summarizes debates about gridlock's effects on public policy.)
c. Divided we conquer: Why divided government is preferable to unified control.
McLennan, W. (2011). Divided we conquer: Why divided government is preferable to unified control.
International Social Science Review, 86(3/4), 162-166.
(This brief article defends divided government against claims that it weakens government's ability to
solve important problems.) 

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