James Brown – Funky President (People It’s Bad)

If you haven’t heard this song before, you actually might have: it’s been sampled so many times. In 1974, Brown supposedly meant it for Gerald Ford, who had just replaced Richard Nixon.

The President of the USA, who must be native born, has a four-year term (that may be renewed once if re-elected), and a number of important roles. In short, the President is the head of state, and the head of the government.

In terms of lawmaking, the President can introduce legislation, through an ally in the legislature, but it has to get passed there. Then, the President gets to sign off on bills. The President has three options:

  1. Sign it into law and move on to something else;
  2. Not sign it into law (though it becomes law by default after ten days); and,
  3. Veto the bill, which means send it back to the legislature in the hopes it will be changed or die. If the bill is re-passed in the Congress by a 2/3 majority, in both chambers (the Senate and House of Representatives) then it becomes law no matter what the President says or thinks.

A US President has a bunch of symbolic functions, too, perhaps due to the role of the US as the heavyweight champion of the world: a superpower. The President is the de facto leader of “free” nations, the leader of the forces of peace and war, and he’s the leader of public opinion for the state, too. Interestingly, this gives the President much respect, even from detractors, because the President has this legitimacy.

The President is in charge of things like foreign affairs and the military. Here, though, the President is dependent on money for wars to come from Congress. The President can start a war, but can’t pay for it?

The President appoints a cabinet, like a secretary of state. These individuals may be the President’s confidantes and friends. It’s their role to advise the President. The President can also appoint federal judges, ambassadors, and senior civil servants in the bureaucracy, though this may require Senate approval.

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