Reader: A civics lesson courtesy of American politics 

How a bill becomes law:

1) Corporations write the bill.

2) Politicians meet in secret until everybody has made their own little deal on selling their vote.

3) Republicans vote on the bill without debate, and pass it.

4) Journalists and citizens comment.

5) The bill's actual cost is estimated.

6) The president declares victory.

7) Republicans rewrite Senate rules to eliminate the fillibuster.

8) Senate switchboard is overloaded with calls, and shuts down.

9) Republicans declare phone calls overwhelmingly support the bill.

10) The Senate votes to close debate on the bill after 12 minutes and votes to pass it.

11) The president forgets to bring a pen to signing ceremony, so draws his X on it with a borrowed lipstick.

12) Poor people die.

— Gina Douglas, Colorado Springs

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