One discussion we will have this week concerns the many "hats" a President must wear. Although, the Constitution is concise in detailing the powers and duties of the office, more and more demands have been placed upon our Commander in Chief. We will study both the powers and the roles this week that the office entails and ask the question, 'How powerful is the President?"
Click on the link below. Study one week of the President's agenda. To do this, click any week prior to the current one. The link is from last week, but you may choose any week you want. Then, come back here and comment on what a typical day in the life of a President really embodies. What roles is he playing throughout the week and what powers do those actions embody?
We will wrap up our unit on Congress this week with a test. In between that test will be the start of our unit on the President. To bridge those units, I wanted to find an article that illustrated the inter-branch workings of the federal government. After an exhaustive search, I settled on one issue with two articles. I the President's State of the Union Address, he called on Congress to raise the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour. In a midterm election cycle, people are lining up on both sides of this debate. Which side will you be on? I am providing you with two opinions on the subject. Keep an open mind until you read and process them both. Then come back and respond to the following:
1. What do you perceive is the best argument for raising the minimum wage?
2. What do you believe is the best argument in keeping the minimum at the current level or with only a marginal increase?
3. Which argument do you believe is the better of the two & why?
This week will study and actively participate in the legislative process. Writing bills is just the start of the arduous process that rarely sees a bill to fruition. I can hardly wait to see the outcomes for our class bills. One factor that often determines success in the legislative process is partisan support. Can the party leader keep his (or her) party in line? Or, are there too many fractures within the party? There are two articles below that illustrate this issue. Read at least one of them (or both if you choose) then come back here and respond to the following:
1. What seems to be the hardest part of being in a leadership role in Congress?
2. Does leadership really matter when it comes to voting? Does it matter more to a delegate or trustee member? Explain.
3. What do you perceive is needed to keep the party you read about together? Explain.
Hopefully we will settle into a normal week and dig into to the legislative process by the end of this week! One of the most difficult part of the unit on Congress is the vocabulary. Filibuster, cloture, gerrymandering, pigeonholing, pork barrel projects, earmarks, logrolling--OH MY! This week will will study earmarks and pork barrel projects in the budget. Here is what I would like you to do:
1. Go to the site below and choose a category to study.
2. Read one article under the category you choose.
3. Come back here and "report" what you learned about these wasteful projects:
A. What was the project?
B. Who was responsible for the project? (Name names!)
C. Who did the project help?
D. How much did the project cost?
4. Why do you think these projects pass in the first place?
Week 20: Apportionment and the Structure of Congress
Posted by Selina Jarvis at 2/2/2014 11:00:00 PM
We may actually get 2 discussions in this week on Congress...at least that is my plan. Last week I gave you an assignment on apportionment and redistricting. We will write an FRQ and take a quiz on this information this week. For those on the ball, this article may help. It will also be a good discussion point on "Who is in Congress?" when we look at the demographics of the members of our 113th Congress. Here is what I would like you to do this week:
1. Read the article below.
2. Analyze at least 2 facts in the data on apportionment. What surprised you? Why? If nothing surprised you, explain why!
3. How do you think the 2020 census will impact the federal government? Will that be a positive or negative change?
As we begin your final semester of high school, we do so with our most challenging chapter yet. For the next 3-4 weeks we will explore "the first branch" of our government, The Congress. The framers intended this to be the most powerful and dominant branch and in many ways, it still is. The primary function of Congress is to make laws for the US. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, in an election year like 2014, legislation is never easy. The divide between the GOP-controlled House and the Democratically-controlled Senate seems as wide as the ocean at times. The two parties are so polarized that every issue becomes a debate. Here is what I would like you to do this week. Read the article below. Then, respond to each of the following questions:
1. Do you think Congress is so polarized that it is "broken?" Why or why not? 2. Which side of the debate do you identify with most: the liberal ideology or conservative ideology? Why? 3. How do you think this fall's election will impact this session of Congress?
4. Will Congress be more or less successful than last year's session? Explain your answer.
Well, Happy New Year! I know you all are welcoming 2014, the year of your graduation. The coming week is going to be strenuous to say the least. We will cover 2 chapters, have your projects due and take a unit test all before the sun sets on Friday, January 10th! My carrot to you is twofold: This week's blog requires only your opinion and honesty AND you have no assignments due the week of exams. So, survive the coming week and take a well-deserved break. One more carrot I will dangle before you is the information on our May DC trip! Details and kick-off come the first day of the second semester. So hang in there and do the following for me this week:
1. What about the course is the most challenging for you? What do you suggest I do to help lessen the challenge without compromising the integrity, rigor, or required content of the course?
2. What has the course taught you about yourself?
3. What has the course taught you about your classmates?
4. Finally, what has the course taught you about your teacher? (Please be kind, but don't suck up!)
The very last day to post a comment for credit is midnight on Friday, January 10th. Next blog posted on January 19th and not due until Friday, January 24th.
Bob Dylan once said, "Money doesn't just talk, it swears." Money and politics have always left Americans a bit skeptical. No one wants to believe that someone else's vote counts more than theirs simply because that other person has money. The sad reality is that it does take MILLIONS of dollars to be President. The old adage that "Anyone can be President" is simply not true. This week you will be looking at the 2012 Presidential race and the money that was raised by the candidates. The site you will be exploring is maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics. Here is what I would like you to do once you go to the site via the link below:
1. Check out the money that was raised by the candidates. Comment on the amounts.
2. Click on the tab on the left called Congress, then pick two members to match. Look at all the categories in the comparison like the biggest donors. What did you learn from the comparisons?
3.When you are finished exploring the site, comment on your overall feelings about money and politics.
We will wrap up our unit on political participation this week and quickly move into our fractured unit on Influencing government. In this next unit we explore 4 forces that influence elections. The first force that influences elections is political parties. I came across this article today that illustrates this factor beautifully. The fact that it references our own state in this emerging story made me even more delighted that it matched our upcoming discussions. Now that most of you realize how "red" Currituck really is thanks to last week's blog, the article should really make sense. Here is what I would like you to do this week: