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US Politics: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
US Politics - Forum Guidelines
Terms of use policies for the US Politics Forum at About.com
2016 Presidential Candidates
Find out who's on the short list of 2016 presidential candidates. Read bios of the possible 2016 presidential candidates. Learn about the political careers of the candidate who will succeed President Barack Obama in the White House.
Understanding The Watergate Scandal and How It...
The Watergate scandal occurred during the presidency of Richard Nixon; it resulted in the indictment of several of Nixon's advisors and his resignation on 9 August 1974.
First 10 Constitutional Amendments: What's in...
History of the Bill of Rights; first 10 amendments to the US Constitution.
How Does the U.S. Constitution Get Amended?
How to amend the Constitution of the United States.
What Caused The Great Depression?
Economists and historians are still debating the causes of the Great Depression. While we know what happened, we have only theories to explain the reason for the economic collapse. This overview will arm you with knowledge of the political events that may have helped cause the Great Depression.
What is a Super PAC?
Read the definition of a super PAC. Learn about the history of super PACs and the role they play in presidential politics. See how the controversial committees came into existence.
What Is The President's Cabinet?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The United States
The Grand Jury in the United States
The Grand Jury in the United States: an historical overview with details on selection, reponsibilities, secrecy, subpoena power, and indictments.
How Much Is A Billion? -- What Is A Billion In...
Context for understanding how much is a billion.: financial ruin time politicians one thousand million quintillion quadrillion
Party In Power - Congress and Presidency - A...
Table showing the party in power (balance of power) in each of the three branches of government, from 1945-2008.
Why Presidents Can Serve Only Two Terms
Find out why presidents can serve only two terms in office. Learn about the reasons behind the presidential term limit. See which amendment to the the U.S. Constitution allows president to serve only two terms.
Issue Summary: Abortion
This issue summary provides background about abortion in America, presents various points of view on the political aspects of abortion, and provides links to pro choice and pro life organizations.
What Is The Seniority System?
In Congress, the seniority system describes the practice of granting privileges to members of Congress (Senators and Representatives) who have served the longest.
How Many Gun Laws Did Obama Sign?
Find out how many gun laws were signed by President Barack Obama. See what the gun laws signed by Obama actually do. Learn about Obama's proposals for gun control.
What Is A Political Action Committee (PAC)?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Political parties
Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty (Capital...
After a 10-year moratorium, the United States re-instituted the death penalty in 1977. This article provides an overview of statistics, arguments pro-and-con, background of capital punishment. Page 2.
What Is The Fairness Doctrine?
The fairness doctrine was a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy. The FCC believed that broadcast licenses (required for both radio and terrestrial TV stations) were a form of public trust and, as such, licensees should provide balanced and fair coverage of controversial issues. The policy was a casualty of Reagan Administration deregulation.
List of When Presidential Candidates Made Their...
Find out when candidates for president in 2016 will begin announcing their campaigns. See when other presidential hopefuls have launched their campaigns. Learn how early candidates must begin their work to get elected.
Military Conscription, Recruiting and The Draft
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >World War I led
Are Illegal Immigrants Covered Under Obamacare?
Are illegal immigrants covered under Obamacare? Find out how undocumented immigrants can get free health care in the United States. Read about the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama's health care reform law.
Oaths of Office For Federal Officials
Details the oath of office for members of Congress. Page 4.
Filibuster and Cloture
Overview of Senate procedural Rule 22, filibuster and cloture .
When is President Obama's Last Day in Office?
Find out the date of President Barack Obama's last day as president. See when Obama's second term in the White House ends. Discover who could be running to replace him and when the next election is.
How a Supreme Court Nominee Joins the Bench
A step-by-step look at how new U.S. Supreme Court justices are chosen and nominated by the White House and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
How to Start a Super PAC
Find out how to start a super PAC. See what steps you need to take to begin raising and spending money on elections. Learn what to do with your own super PAC once you've created it.
The Difference Between Authorization and...
Describes the difference between authorization of a program and appropriations for a program.
What Is The Equal Time Rule?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The Museum of
What Does Sequestration Actually Mean?
Read a definition of sequestration. Find out how sequestration is used in the federal budget process. See examples of sequestration.
What Is An Earmark?
Earmarks are funds provided by the Congress for specific projects or programs in such a manner that the allocation (a) circumvents a merit-based or competitive allocation process; (b) applies to a very limited number of individuals or entities; or (c) otherwise curtails the ability of the Executive Branch to independently manage the agency budget
Barack Obama
When Barack Obama decided he wanted to run for the Illinois Senate in 1996, he ensured his candidacy by successfully challenging the nomination petitions of his four competitors. This article provides a timeline of Obama's political career.
US Senate
What powers are granted to the Senate by the US Constitution? Page 2.
How Are Senate Vacancies Filled?
What happens when a Senator dies in office or resigns? How is the replacement handled?
Entitlement Programs and Their Role in the...
Explains entitlement programs and their importance in the federal budget.
States Where Marijuana is Legal
See where marijuana is legal in the United States. See which states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Find out how federal laws and state laws are enforced.
The First Gay President
Find out why Barack Obama was called the first gay president. Learn who historians claim truly was the first gay president. Read about the controversy surrounding the sexuality of American presidents.
McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform
The McCain-Feingold Act, Public Law 107-155. is United States federal law that regulates the financing of political campaigns; chief sponsors were Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Russell Feingold (D-WI). The law became effective 6 November 2002.
The Health Care System In The U.S.
The nation's health care system is once again in the spotlight as part of President Obama's policy agenda. Growing numbers of Americans are uninsured; costs keep rising (annual growth rate, 6.7%); and the public is increasingly worried about the issue. The U.S. spends more money on health care than any other nation. By 2017, we will be spending about $13,000 per person, according to the annual projection by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
List of Obama Scandals and Controversies
Read of list of the scandals and controversies that occurred during President Barack Obama's administration. Find out the outcome of the Obama scandals and controversies. Learn about the impact the controversies had on Obama's agenda.
The Term Limit Debate
Learn about the debate over term limits for politicians. See what the pros and cons are of term limits for Congress and the president. Find out what happened to legislation that would have imposed term limits on politicians.
The Hatch Act
Passed in 1939, the Hatch Act restricts the political activity of executive branch employees of the federal government, District of Columbia government, and some state and local employees who work in connection with federally funded programs.
Blue Dog Democrat
Find out what a Blue Dog Democrat is. Read examples of Blue Dog Democrats in Congress. Learn how Blue Dog Democrats differ from ordinary Democrats.
How to Contact your U.S. Congressman and Senators
How to get in touch with your U.S. congressman.
Top 10 Classic Political Novels
Top 10 classic political novels, from 1984 to To Kill a Mockingbird.
Supreme Court Swing-Vote Cases
Many controversial issues have been decided by a 5-4 vote of the Supreme Court; the swing vote is the person who is vote number five.
Public Holidays In The United States
What are the nationwide public holidays in the United States and how is a holiday born?
List of Presidents With Beards
Read a complete list of American presidents with beards. Find out which presidents wore beards. See who were the first and most recent presidents to wear beards.
Why There are 435 Members of the House of...
Find out why there are 435 members of the House of Representatives. Learn about efforts to reduce the size of the U.S. Congress. See how the size of the House affects you.
Top 10 Political TV Shows
Use this gift guide to find the best political TV shows for the politico on your gift list.
113th Congress
Learn about the 113th Congress. Discover the political makeup of the 113th Congress. Find out how many women and minorities were members of the 113th Congress.
What Is GATT - General Agreement on Tariffs and...
What is the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade?
What Does It Mean To Be Partisan?
Definition of partisan. US Politics.
What Is The Emancipation Proclamation?
The Emancipation Proclamation consists of two executive orders issued by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. These orders did not end slavery; that happened on 18 December 1865 with the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
Why Aren't There Any Bearded Politicians?
Find out why there aren't many bearded politicians in the United States. See why modern politicians don't wear facial hair. Learn about some of the famous bearded politicians in U.S. history.
Can You Recall a Member of Congress?
Find out whether you can recall a member of Congress. See what the U.S Constitution says about recalling a member of Congress. Learn about past attempts to recall members of Congress.
Can One Vote Make a Difference?
Find out whether one vote can make a difference in American elections. Learn about the odds that presidential, congressional and legislative races can be decided by one vote. See which races in history have been decided by one vote.
Why Presidents Use All Those Pens to Sign Bills...
Here's why U.S. presidents use more than one pen to sign some bills into law. Find out which president started the tradition of using several pens to sign laws. See who used the most pens to sign a bill into law.
What Do Lobbyists Do?
Find out what lobbyists do. Read about their role in American politics. Learn about the rules and regulations covering lobbyists.
US Civil Rights Act - 1964 - Title 2
Text of the US Civil Rights Act - 1964 - Title 2.: opportunity definitions equal employment opportunity civil rights act 1964 community relations service restaurant cafeteria
What Does It Mean When Congress Adjourns?
: A Congressional session runs for one year, 3 January to sometime in December. There are two sessions
Who's Running for President in 2016
Learn about the 2016 presidential election. Find out when the 2016 president election is. See who's running in the 2016 presidential election.
US Civil Rights Act - 1964
Text of the US Civil Rights Act - 1964
10 Most Famous Political Quotes of All Time
Read a list of the most famous political quotes in U.S. history. Find out who uttered the most memorable political quotes. Learn the context of the most famous political quotes in America.
What Is The Fourth Estate?
The fourth estate is a term that references the press, positioning it as a fourth branch of government.
Nominating a Supreme Court Justice
Selecting, nominating and confirming a Supreme Court Justice is a multi-step process. The President nominates and the Senate confirms Supreme Court Justices.
Balanced Budget Amendment
The amendment would prohibit the federal government from spending more than it takes in, unless Congress specifically authorizes the additional spending.
How Much Is A Trillion? : What Is A Trillion In...
Context for understanding how much is a trillion.: jet planes financial ruin 1 000 bills time politicians one thousand million
How to Get a Job in Politics
Find out how to get a job in politics. Learn about the different types of jobs in politics. See how to get started in politics.
The Military Draft
Issues surrounding the all volunteer Army and the draft.
How Does The Electoral College Work?
Although we cast a ballot for a presidential nominee on election day (the first Tuesday in November),
Open Primary Definition
Find out what an open primary is in American politics. See how an open primary differs from other types of party nominating elections. Learn which states hold open primaries.
How Do Congressional Conference Committees Work?
A Congressional Conference Committee is composed of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and it is charged with resolving disagreements on a specific piece of legislation.
Hillary Clinton on the Issues
Find out where Hillary Clinton stands on the issues. See what likely 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said about the most important issues of the day. Learn how Hillary's position on some issues has changed over time.
How Social Media Has Changed Politics
Find out how social media has had changed American politics. See how political campaigns use Twitter and Facebook. Learn about the trouble some candidates have gotten into on social media networks.
US Cities Hit Most Often By Tropical Storms and...
More than three-quarters of the top 29 US cities hit by hurricanes are in Florida.
What Is The Coattail Effect?
: A "coattail" is "the loose back part of a coat that hangs below the waist," according to FreeDictionary.com
Congressional Seats Gained/Lost By The...
A mid-term election occurs two years after a Presidential election; one-third of the Senate and all of the seats in the House of Representatives are at stake. Conventional wisdom holds that the President's party will lose seats during a mid-term election.
Janet Yellen Bio
Learn about Janet Yellen and her work on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Find out whether Janet Yellen will be nominated to replace Ben Bernanke as the Fed chairman. See where Yellen has worked before joining the Federal Reserve Board.
10 Most Memorable Campaign Songs
Read a list of the best campaign songs used by presidential candidates. Find out how politicians choose campaign theme music. See what recording artists had to say about their music being used by politicians.
Davis-Bacon Act (1931)
The Davis-Bacon Act (1931) requires federal contractors to pay prevailing wages -- in other words, public funds cannot be used in price discrimination. Ironically, an Act championed by Republicans has been suspended most almost exclusively by Republican Presidents.
3 Ways to Bypass the Electoral College
Learn about three alternatives to the Electoral College. Discover myths about what the U.S. Constitution does and doesn't say about electing presidents. Find out why the current system is the subject of so much controversy.
A Comparison of Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln
The Obama campaign has made the hay out of the Lincoln legacy, from making his announcement speech on
Hillary Clinton on the Keystone XL Pipeline
Find out where likely 2016 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton stands on the Keystone XL pipeline. Read what Clinton has said about the Keystone XL project. Learn about the political risks Clinton faces over her position on the Keystone XL pipeline.
What is a Filibuster?
Definition of a filibuster and how it has been used in the U.S. Senate, as well as famous filibustersn in Senate history and popular culture.
Party in Power
Find out which party is in power of Congress and the White House. See the political makeup of the House of Representatives and Senate. Learn how many Republicans and Democrats have been sent to Washington over the years.
Air Force One Cost
Find out how much Air Force One Costs taxpayers. Learn about whether the president uses the airplane for political purposes. See how the president reimburses for Air Force One costs when it's used for less-than-official purposes.
What Is Medicare?
An indepth look at medicare, one of the primary government programs for health care.
Brief Description of the U.S. President Pro...
This is a brief description of the U.S. President Pro Tempore
What Was The Chrysler Bailout?
The year was 1979. Jimmy Carter was in the White House. G. William Miller was Treasury Secretary. And Chrysler was in trouble. Would the federal government help save he nation's number three automaker?
Does the President Have to Be Born On U.S. Soil?
Find out whether Americans born overseas are eligible to serve as U.S. president. See which candidates have been challenged over their eligibility. Learn what the Constitution and legal scholars say about whether presidents must have been born on American soil.
Presidents of the U.S.A.
Terms of office, political affiliation, and brief bios of the Presidents of the United States.
What Is The Endangered Species Act?
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) provides for both the conservation and protection of plant and
Facebook Age Requirement Set in Federal Law
Find out why there's a Facebook age requirement. See which federal law imposes a minimum age for use of Facebook and popular web email services including GMail and Yahoo! Discover how some people get around the Facebook age requirement.
The Legacy of William Rehnquist
Review of the life of Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, including notable decisions. Page 2.
President Obama's Executive Team
The president's cabinet is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the Executive Branch of government. Cabinet officers are nominated by the President and confirmed or rejected by the Senate. A cabinet is authorized in Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution. Cabinet officers are titular heads of the permanent executive agencies of the government.
Is David Letterman Really a Liberal?
Learn about David Letterman's political views. Find out where the Late Show With David Letterman host stands on the issues. See why some viewers think Letterman is a liberal.
Historical Presidential Approval Ratings - End...
Chart of end-of-term Presidential Approval ratings. Links to current approval ratings -- job, Iraq -- as well as Presidential candidate polling data.
How Much Can You Spend on Supporting Your...
Find out how much money you can contribute to the federal political candidate of your choice. See how those candidates are allowed to spend the money. Learn about the limits to how much you can give in each election cycle.
Keystone XL Pipeline Controversy
Read about the Keystone XL Pipeline controversy. See where the president and other key elected officials stand on the issue.
What Does It Mean To Be A Natural Born Citizen?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Only United States
U.S. Immigration Policy
A look at changes in U.S. immigration policy being considered by Obama and the 111th Congress
The Republican Contract With America
The Contract with America was developed by the U.S. Republican Party during the 1994 Congressional election campaign, the first mid-term election of the Clinton Administration. It was signed by all but two incumbent Republican Representatives and all non-incumbent Republican Congressional candidates.
What Is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The Federal National
Quotes About Politics
Quotations from politicans and other famous people - talking about politics.
Controversial Presidential Pardons - An Overview
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The President
What is a Presidential Executive Order?
Executive orders are official documents by which the President of the United States manages the operations of the Federal Government.
Lyndon B. Johnson - We Shall Overcome - Speech...
On 15 March 15 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson addressed Congress, calling for passage of the voting rights act. The speech cam one week after a gathering in Selma, AL led to deadly violence when African-Americans preparing to march to Montgomery were attacked by police. A white Unitarian Minister from Boston, James J. Reeb, was killed.
Cloture Definition
Read a definition of the cloture rule. Find out how the rule came into being in the U.S. Senate. Discover how often cloture is used.
What Is Executive Privilege?
Presidents of the United States -- beginning with George Washington -- have claimed that the Constitutional principle of separation of powers grants the Executive Branch the right to resist some Congressional or Judiciary requests for information.
Top 10 Political Movies
Use this gift guide to find the best political movie for the politico on your gift list.
Salaries of US Federal Officials
Current salaries for members of the U.S. Congress as well as the White House and the Courts.
List of federal government shutdowns in U.S....
Find out how many government shutdowns there have been in the past. See how long government shutdowns have lasted in the past. Learn when the last government shutdown was.
Should Voters Have to Pass a Test?
Learn about a time when voters had to pass a test. Find out why some people think voters should have to pass a test on Election Day. See what federal laws say about forcing voters to pass a test.
What Does It Mean When Congress Is In Recess?
A Congressional session runs for one year, 3 January to sometime in December. When Congress is in a recess, business has been put
Stock Market Crash of 1929
The 2008 financial market meltdown is not a solo event, although its magnitude marks it for the history books. It's the latest in a series of financial crises where businesses (or government entities) turn to Uncle Sam to save the day. Page 2.
Bills Vetoed by President Bush
Details on the bills that have been vetoed by President George W. Bush (43).
Landslide Definition in Politics
Find out what a landslide election is in American politics. See examples of landslide elections in modern congressional and presidential elections. Learn what percentage margin constitutes a landslide election win.
Edward Snowden Espionage Case
Learn about the federal government's criminal case against Edward Snowden. Find out why Edward Snowden was accused of spying on the United States. See what the penalties are in the criminal case against Edward Snowden.
How Many US Governors Have Been Impeached?
How Many US Governors Have Been Impeached?
What Is The FAA?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for ensuring the safety of civil aviation; it is functions as agency within the US Department of Transportation
Everything You Need to Know About Ted Cruz
Read a biography of Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. Find out where Ted Cruz stands on important issues. See why Ted Cruz is such a divisive figure in American politics.
5 Big Super PACs to Watch
Learn about the biggest super PACs in the 2012 presidential contest. Find out which candidates the big super PACs are supporting. See how much money big super PACs are spending.
List of Living Presidents
This is a list of living U.S. presidents. Find out which presidents are still alive. Learn who the oldest living president is in the United States.
Milestones In Politics For American Women
As Nancy Pelosi assumes leadership of the US House of Representatives, let's look at other milestones for women in politics in the United States.
5 Celebrity Politicians
Read a list of five of the most famous celebrity politicians. See which offices these movie stars held in the federal government. Learn why these TV stars decided to go into politics.
10 Biggest Budget Deficits
This is a list of the 10 largest federal budget deficits in modern history. Find out under which president the biggest deficits occurred. See how those administrations explained their overspending.
What is the National Security Agency?
Learn about the National Security Agency. Find out what the National Security Agency does. Read about the history of the National Security Agency.
Oaths of Office - Bibles and Scripture Passages...
This information on the details of swearing in US presidents is courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol. Page 5.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito - Biography
President Bush nominated Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. He was confirmed on 31 January 2006 and is the second Bush appointment to the Court.
Side-By-Side: Hurricane Katrina v Hurricane...
A timeline of events leading up to the landfall of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.
What is the Grand Bargain?
Find out more about the grand bargain of 2012. See how the grand bargain would affect the national debt. Read about the political controversy surrounding the grand bargain.
The First Electoral College Tie
Read about the first Electoral College tie in American political history. Find out how an Electoral College tie is broken. See which American president emerged victorious after the first Electoral College tie.
The Citizens United Ruling
Read about the Citizens United case against the Federal Election Commission. Find out what the legal arguments were in the landmark decision. Learn about the ruling's impact on campaign finance laws.
113th Congress Leaders
See a list of leaders in the 113th Congress. Find out who holds which positions. Learn which party controls the House and Senate.
US Attorneys General
Bios of US Attorney General from 1960-1980.
What is PRISM in the National Security Agency?
Learn about the PRISM surveillance program under the National Security Agency. Find out what information PRISM collects. See whether some of your communications might have been scooped up by the NSA's PRISM program.
Number of Keystone XL Pipeline Jobs is a Matter...
Find out how many Keystone Pipeline jobs would be created. See why estimates for the number of jobs created by the pipeline differ. Discover who's making what claims about the project's benefit to the economy.
Top 5 Conservative Super PACs
Read a list of the biggest conservative super PACs. Find out how the most conservative super PACs raised and spent money in the 2012 presidential election. See who's behind the nation's right-leaning super PACs.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United...
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, guided the United States through one of the most devastating experience in its national history, the Civil War. He is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest American presidents.
Regulating Food
The Food and Drug Administration develops standards of identity for food products. Here's how.
What is Dark Money?
Learn about the influence of dark money in politics. Read a definition of dark money. See some example of dark money contributions to campaigns.
Could Bill Clinton Serve in Hillary Clinton's...
Find out what role Bill Clinton would play in a Hillary Clinton administration. Read what Hillary Clinton said about her husband's position in her administration. See what the former president says about his position in Hillary's administration.
Requirements for Voting: 5 Things You Need on...
Here is a list of requirements for voting. Find out what you need on Election Day. Read this list of essentials for the polling place.
Defense of Marriage Act
President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on 21 September 2001. It defines marriage as an act between heterosexuals. Page 2.
I Have A Dream, 28 August 1963
Text of Martin Luther King, Jr. speech, I Have A Dream, the closing speech of the March on Washington, DC, on 28 August 1963. The speech was carried live on network television. Page 2.
Obama Press Secretaries
Read a list of Obama's press secretaries. Find out how many press secretaries Obama had during his two terms in office. Read bios of the Obama press secretaries.
Rick Santorum Daughter Bella Santorum
Read about Rick Santorum's daughter Bella Santorum. Learn about Balla Santorum's rare genetic disorder. Discover why Santorum considers his daughter a miracle.
Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF)
: The Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF) is an attempt to publicly fund federal elections elections.
Fun Facts About The Presidency
Who is more likely to be elected president - someone who is left-handed or right-handed? Which Detroit firm has a lock on the presidential limo contract? Which president took the longest vacation? Check out Presidential fun facts to learn the answers!
When is the 2016 Election?
Find out the date of the 2016 election. See which offices are up for election in 2016. Learn about who sets the date of the 2016 election.

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