American Federal Government Discussion
Instructions: (MUST READ)
For this assignment, you are required to choose an essay topic (only one) by visiting the websites listed under the heading Chapter Options below.
Write one short essay (two or three paragraphs: minimum 9 sentences) on the article/topic you selected that includes the following:
explain why you decided to research that topic
how does it relate to the chapter(s) covered in this module
discuss whether you consider this site a good tool for learning about American politics.
Chapter 9: Congress
National Committee for Effective Congress provides a broad range of national and international political information. To learn what are the current predictions on electoral races at the U.S. Senate, visit http://www.ourcampaigns.com/SenateList.html or http://www.ourcampaigns.com/HouseList.html for information on electoral races in the House of Representatives.
Earmarks are the language that members of Congress insert into legislation that dedicates funds for specific uses, many whose broad benefits can be questioned. http://www.ascrs.org/legislative-and-regulatory/washington-watch-weekly tracks your representatives and the bills in Congress they introduce, providing estimates of their costs or savings when available.
The Library of Congress “Thomas” website is an excellent source of information on current legislation. To find about present bills at the 113th Congress go to http://thomas.loc.gov/home/LegislativeData.php?&n=BillText&c=113
Chapter 10: The Presidency
The War Powers Resolution was passed in 1973 to define and limit the president’s power during times of war. Read the full text of the resolution on this website: http://www.loc.gov/law/help/war-powers.php. You could also visit any of the links provided on related topics at the end of the resolution’s text. Watch – Optional Study Video
Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections provides Information on upcoming and past presidential elections. By visiting this site you can also experiment with the electoral college calculator to see how your state could affect the electoral outcome: http://www.uselectionatlas.org/
The first lady is an important resource for the president in his role as head of state. Read about current and past first ladies by visiting the following web-site: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about/first-ladies
Presidential attempts to increase executive power by influencing or diminishing the authority of other branches of government have been a source of political conflict during different administrations. To read about news on Congress, the White House and current political issues visit http://www.politico.com/.
Chapter 11: Bureaucracy
Project on Government Oversight is an independent, not-for-profit organization that seeks to make government more accountable by investigating corruption and misconduct. The group examines all types of government bureaucracies. Visit http://www.pogo.org/ to read the articles discussing some of the present issues under investigation.
The Department of Homeland Security was created after 9/11 to promote bureaucratic communication and domestic security. See what the department is doing to protect America from foreign threats by visiting: http://www.dhs.gov/topics
Suppose that a person was aware of some corruption that was occurring in the government agency in which she or he worked. What should a person in this situation do? Would it be plausible to be a whistle-blower? What are the possible implications for reporting corruption? Is it honest and ethical to engage in whistle-blowing? If this type of corruption was not reported, would ignore the situation to be indicative of honest and ethical behavior on the part of the person who was aware of the situation at hand? Explain. visit: https://www.whistleblowers.gov,
Chapter 12: The Federal Courts
The web-site for U.S. Supreme Court Media has a great search engine for finding information on landmark cases like Marbury v. Madison, Miranda v. Arizona, Roe v. Wade; and the most recent cases of Fisher v. The University of Texas, Shelby County v. Holder; and Hollingsworth v. Perry. To find information on any of these cases visit: http://www.oyez.org/
The U.S. court system consists of trial, appellate, and supreme courts. The U.S. Courts website provides a look at the different types of courts in the federal judiciary. To learn about the federal court system visit: http://www.uscourts.gov.