Second Week of Class

So, I taught my second class last night. We started going over the basics of Constitutional Law and the the structure of the US government. I liked some of the questions that were put forth:

  • What is a “conflict of laws?”
  • How come Bush does all these things that aren’t in the Constitution?
  • Why are there no social protections in the U.S. Constitution?
  • How does a bill become a law?

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Japan, whose constitution was written by the U.S. after WWII, has all these wonderful social welfare and social service protection in the constitution. The U.S. doesn’t have any, and it always keeps messing stuff up. We have an imperial president who pisses on the Constitution, and oftentimes, no one knows what law to use!

At least one thing is clear: bill

I’m Just A Bill

Boy: Whew! You sure gotta climb a lot of steps to get to this Capitol Building here in Washington. But I wonder who that sad little scrap of paper is?

I’m just a bill.
Yes, I’m only a bill.
And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it’s a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It’s a long, long wait
While I’m sitting in committee,
But I know I’ll be a law some day
At least I hope and pray that I will
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: Gee, Bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.

BILL: Well, I got this far. When I started I wasn’t even a bill, I was just an idea. Some folks back home decided they wanted a law passed, so they called their local Congressman, and he said, “You’re right, there oughta be a law.” Then he sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to Congress. And I became a bill, and I’ll remain a bill until they decide to make me a law.

I’m just a bill
Yes I’m only a bill,
And I got as far as Capitol Hill.
Well, now I’m stuck in committee
And I’ll sit here and wait
While a few key Congressmen discuss and debate
Whether they should let me be a law.
How I hope and pray that they will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy:Listen to those Congressmen arguing! Is all that discussion and debate about you.

BILL: Yeah, I’m one of the lucky ones. Most bills never even get this far. I hope they decide toreport on me favorably, otherwise I may die.

Boy: Die?

BILL: Yeah, die in committee. Ooh, but it looks like I’m gonna live! NOW I go to the House of Representatives, and they vote on me.

Boy: if they vote yes, what happens?

BILL: Then I go to the Senate and the whole thing starts all over again.

Boy: Oh no!

BILL: Oh yes!

I’m just a bill
Yes, I’m only a bill
And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill
Well, then I’m off to the White House
Where I’ll wait in a line
With a lot of other bills
For the president to sign
And if he signs me, then I’ll be a law.
HOW I hope and pray that he will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy:You mean even if the whole Congress says you should be a law, the president can still say no?

BILL: Yes, that’s called a veto. If the president vetoes me, I have to go back to Congress and they vote on me again, and by that time you’re so old …

Boy:By that time it’s very unlikely that you’ll become a law. It’s not easy to become a law, is it?

But how I hope and pray that I will,
But today I am still just a bill.

He signed you, Bill Now you’re a law!

Oh yes!!!

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