The return of Representative Francis Underwood.
February 1st, 2014.
You would think I am getting paid to talk this up, but sadly, I am not.
I have peers who swear by West Wing. I can see that there are plenty of really relevant scenes, but this show is completely engrossing, and topical, too! Incredibly topical... you have political pandering, intrigue, (illegal behavior), and maneuvering for a coup within Congressional leadership. It's great viewing.
I mean, this is one of Obama's favorite shows!
For instance, in episode seven, there is a great scene that can be shown in class detailing a Presidential Bill Signing, and the intrigue and pettiness that goes into it.
However, it is not for the classroom due to adult topics. So, figure out a way to put clips in without totally exposing yourself to risky business from your admins.
Anywho, free to watch the entire Season 1 now, and Season 2 on 2-1-14. I can't wait. I better have all my lessons up to date.
When folks mention Everett Dirksen, I automatically think of marigolds. Every spring, Dirksen made a speech in the senate expounding the virtues of the marigold, and an impassioned campaign to make the marigold the national flower.
It is as sprightly as the daffodil, as colorful as the rose, as resolute as the zinnia, as delicate as the chrysanthemum, as aggressive as the petunia, as ubiquitous as the violet, and as stately as the snapdragon. It beguiles the senses and and ennobles the spirit of man... Since it is native to America and nowhere else int he world, and common to every state in the union, I present the American marigold for designation as the national floral emblem of our country."
But I am totally not doing this former Senate Minority Leader any service, especially in noting that he was instrumental in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
But I digress. There is a great resource on teaching Congress for all us educators to use. They used to have workshops, but those have been suspended. However, the resources are up and ready for you to this day.
For instance, the Congressional Timeline lists 900 of the major pieces of legislation over the history of our nation in sequence with major historical happenings. What a great way to get context for particularly perplexing pieces of legislation.
If you want to highlight the informal bodies of power as well as leadership offices in Congress, you can check out their Anatomy of a Congressional Leadership Race resource, that discusses the debate over Republican leadership positions in the House in 1980. Chock full of primary resources, including tally sheets, interviews, and newspaper articles, this is a great way look at the political intrigue behind choosing leadership. Pretty topical, when considering the civil war between Boehner and Cantor.
If it was made up purely of WASPs.
Okay, to be fair, it is the most multi-culti it's ever been. Here, take a gander.
And what would it look like if it were more reflective of the nation?
Although a joke about Boy George and Karma Chameleon is kind of, well. Ironic.
But, I got pretty excited for a minute. Oooo. Insider feel of the hallowed halls of D.C. I am on it.
Cloture club... a bit more expansive into the entire culture of the Hill... (I had a friend who was a staffer once. She said it was awesome. She got paid a non-liveable wage to work ten hour days doing things like re-typing documents the legnth of the King James Bible before lunch. But the after hours parties were to die for. Remember... that's heresay.)
But with cool, glitzy infographics... fun games like Ask a Staffer, Member of the Week, and Lady K Street... what's not to love? Enjoy. It's sinful.
Coolest thing I've found in a while.
Photo via Flickr/Ted Eytan