Alex Wong/Getty Images Americans are conditioned to believe that the Constitution created a system of checks and balances that preserves their rights and gives all equal standing in the law. But, if you follow politics long enough, there'll be headlines that make you wonder if a U.S. president can really do that thing you just read about. Take our quiz to learn what's within a president's rights. Start Quiz » You scored 0 out of 10 Question 1 of 10 True or false: It is completely legal for U.S. presidents to secretly record White House conversations. true Laws regarding secretly recording conversations (called "one-party consent") vary from state to state. However, the District of Columbia allows the practice, meaning the president can certainly record anything he wants … even if doing so comes back to haunt him. false The law isn't clear on this matter. Question 2 of 10 Since 1979, how many times has a U.S. president called a State of … [Read more...] about Quiz: Can a U.S. President Do That?
Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Jan. 4, 2019 in Washington, D.C. As of Jan. 12, 2019, the current government shutdown became the longest in U.S. history. Alex Wong/Getty Images So far, there's no end in sight to the current government shutdown that has resulted over President Donald Trump's demand that Congress provide $5.7 billion to build a 234-mile (377-kilometer) portion of his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. And despite his repeated claims that Mexico would pay for the wall, if he doesn't get what he wants, Trump has said that he may try a highly unorthodox move despite legislators' opposition — invoking the National Emergencies Act, a 1976 law that allows a president to take dozens of different actions without Congressional approval in the event of a crisis. "We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely," Trump said at a January 4 press conference, according to The Hill newspaper. "We can do … [Read more...] about Is a Border Wall Really Grounds for a National Emergency?
Trash has accumulated along the National Mall in D.C. because of the partial shutdown of the federal government. The shutdown has continued for more than two weeks as Congress and Trump disagree on funding for a border wall. Win McNamee/Staff/Getty Images No matter how long the current U.S. federal government shutdown lasts — or, in an optimistic view, how quickly it's over — people are going to be affected. They always are. They always have been. They, realistically speaking, always will be, every time the federal government throws a fiscal hissy fit. Some 800,000 U.S. federal workers have been feeling the pinch of Washington politics since the wheels of government ground to a halt Dec. 22, 2018, after Congress failed to pass a federal spending budget. The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) workers at the airport, the park rangers in the National Park Service (NPS), the docents in the Smithsonian, the prison guards, some FBI agents, the tax man at the IRS are … [Read more...] about The Ripple Effect of the U.S. Government Shutdown
The image of Uncle Sam has evolved throughout the years, but this is the guy we all know and love. Wikimedia Commons When white-haired Uncle Sam leans forwards, fixes a penetrating gaze upon you and points, there's nowhere to hide. He's a man with authority. Dressed in red, white and blue, he's got the full weight and power of the United States of America behind him. And he wants YOU! So, just who is this guy Uncle Sam? Where did he come from? Well, the most famous image of Uncle Sam, created in 1917, is the work of artist James Montgomery Flagg, a painter and illustrator who was asked to create propaganda posters during WW I. Flagg was inspired by a poster of British Minister of War, Lord Kitchener. Flagg, however, used his own face as a model, adding wrinkles and a beard. The poster was printed more than 4 million times in the last year of the war, but Uncle Sam had a life long before that. "The term 'Uncle Sam' was believed to have come into use during the War of 1812," says … [Read more...] about Uncle Sam: The Man, the Myth, the Legend
A U.S. Army soldier is seen from the Mexican side fortifying the U.S.-Mexico border wall with barbed wire on Nov. 26, 2018, in Mexicali, Mexico. Luis Boza/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images Whether you believe everyone should have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, American-style, or whether you believe Americans should guard their sovereignty with everything they've got — or, perhaps, you believe both; those views may not be mutually exclusive — we all can agree on this: The U.S.-Mexico border remains a flashpoint in American politics. There are troops there. A president vowing to close the border and defend the country with "lethal force" if necessary. A surge of immigrants wanting in. Tear gas, concertina wire, walls ... . This, too, is undeniable: The problem is not going away any time soon. The Immigrant Question A group of immigrants from Central America trying to get into the U.S. — some legally, some it is supposed by whatever means they … [Read more...] about Posse Comitatus: The 140-Year-Old Law That Affects U.S. Troops at the Border