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US Politics: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
7 Possible Presidential Candidates in 2016
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.
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.
What's in The Bill of Rights?
The history and texts of the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
How Does the U.S. Constitution Get Amended?
How to amend the Constitution of the United States.
When The 2016 Presidential Candidates Announced...
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.
Why American Presidents Can Only Serve 2 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.
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
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.
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.
What Oath of Office Do Federal Officials Need...
Details the oath of office for members of Congress. Page 4.
Why Do Presidents Use More Than One Pen to Sign...
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.
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.
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.
Understanding the Grand Jury Process
The Grand Jury in the United States: an historical overview with details on selection, reponsibilities, secrecy, subpoena power, and indictments.
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.
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.
Do Presidents 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.
What Is the President's Cabinet and What Does...
The United States Cabinet (usually referred to as
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.
How To Contact Your Congressmen and Senators
How to get in touch with your U.S. congressman.
What Is a 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.
5 Possible Causes of 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.
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 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.
What Is A Political Action Committee (PAC)?
Federal political action committees, PACs, raise
Read Up on America's History with 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.
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.
Air Force One Cost
Find out how much the U.S. presidential plane 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.
Who Was 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.
Your Comprehensive Timeline for Obama's...
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.
Military Conscription, Recruiting and The Draft
Overview of the history of the draft in the US. Page 2.
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.
Who Supports Jeb Bush For President? These 5...
Find out which Republicans are supporting a Jeb Bush presidential campaign. See why these Republicans are backing Bush for the White House in 2016.
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.
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.
How Are Senate Vacancies Filled?
What happens when a Senator dies in office or resigns? How is the replacement handled?
What You Need to Know about the US Healthcare...
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.
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.
Learn How Filibusters Delay Senate Procedures
Overview of Senate procedural Rule 22, filibuster and cloture .
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.
The Difference Between Authorization and...
Describes the difference between authorization of a program and appropriations for a program.
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.
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.
Hillary Clinton Says She Was Asked to Criticize...
Find out why Hillary Clinton refused to attack Sarah Palin the 2008 presidential campaign. See why Hillary Clinton's claims have rankled President Barack Obama.
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.
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.
Here are the Men Who Served as Barack Obama's...
President Barack Obama has had three press secretaries - Robert Gibbs, Jay Carney and Josh Earnest. Read about their backgrounds and controversies.
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.
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.
What Do Lobbyists Do?
Find out what lobbyists do. Read about their role in American politics. Learn about the rules and regulations covering lobbyists.
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.
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.
The Difference Between Executive Actions and...
Learn about executive actions. Find out how U.S. presidents use executive actions. Read examples of executive actions. See how executive actions compare to executive orders.
What Is The Fourth Estate?
The fourth estate is a term that references the press, positioning it as a fourth branch of government.
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.
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
8 Steps to How Supreme Court Nominees Are Chosen
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.
10 Best Political TV Shows
Use this gift guide to find the best political TV shows for the politico on your gift list.
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
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.
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.
How Much You Can Give to Political Candidates...
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.
What Is The Equal Time Rule?
The equal time rule This is a provision of the 1934 Communications Act (section 315) that
Top 10 Classic Political Novels
Top 10 classic political novels, from 1984 to To Kill a Mockingbird.
US Senate
What powers are granted to the Senate by the US Constitution? Page 2.
Entitlement Programs and Their Role in the...
Explains entitlement programs and their importance in the federal budget.
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 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 Attorneys General
Bios of US Attorney General from 1960-1980.
Ted Cruz Biography
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.
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.
Party in Power
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.
What Does It Mean To Be Partisan?
Definition of partisan. US Politics.
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.
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
US Politics - Forum Guidelines
Terms of use policies for the US Politics Forum at About.com
5 Myths About the Obama Executive Orders
Read the most prevalent myths about President Barack Obama's executive orders. Learn the truth behind the myths. Find out how Obama's use of executive orders compared to that of other modern presidents.
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.
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.
Public Holidays In The United States
What are the nationwide public holidays in the United States and how is a holiday born?
How to Run for Congress is 5 Easy Steps
Find out how to run for Congress. Read these five steps to running for Congress. Learn about the process of running for the House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate.
What Is GATT - General Agreement on Tariffs and...
What is the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade?
Hillary Clinton's Postion on Illegal Immigrants
Find out where Hillary Clinton stands on illegal immigration. See where she stands on the controversial path to citizenship for people living in the United States illegally.
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.
The Military Draft
Issues surrounding the all volunteer Army and the draft.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
Why There's So Much Speculation About Elizabeth...
Find out why Democrats are speculating about Elizabeth Warren's presidential aspirations. See what Elizabeth Warren has said about running for president in 2016. Learn about Elizabeth Warren's background in the U.S. Senate.
President Barack Obama's Second Term Agenda
Learn about President Barack Obama's second-term agenda. See what items Obama will make a priority during his second term in the White House. Find out how likely Obama's second-term agenda items are to pass.
Julián Castro Bio
Read a biography of Julián Castro. Learn about his political career and why he is a rising star in the Democratic Party. See why he was chosen to speak at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
What Does It Mean To Be A Natural Born Citizen?
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Government Shutdowns in U.S. History
There have been 18 government shutdowns in modern U.S. political history. The longest lasted three weeks. Here is a list of all of them and their duration.
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.
2016 Presidential Election
Learn about the 2016 presidential election. Find out when the 2016 president election is. See who's running in the 2016 presidential election.
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.
Balanced Budget Amendment
The amendment would prohibit the federal government from spending more than it takes in, unless Congress specifically authorizes the additional spending.
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.
Here's How Many Days Congress Really Works in...
Find out how many days Congress really works in a year. See how the average work week for a member of Congress compares to that of the average American worker. Learn why the relative small number of session days for members of Congress can be misleading.
What Caused the Government Shutdown of 2013
Learn about the government shutdown of 2013. Find out what caused the government shutdown of 2013. See why Republicans and Democrats couldn't agree on a budget in time for the new fiscal year.
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.
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 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.
What is Treason?
Read a definition of treason. Find out what constitutes treason in American law. Learn what the punishment is for treason.
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?
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.
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.
Why You Shouldn't Call Them Illegal Immigrants...
Learn about use of the term illegal immigrant and why it is controversial. Find out why the use of illegal immigrant is falling out of favor. See why you shouldn't use the phrase illegal immigrant.
Mitt Romney
Learn about 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Find out where Romney stands on important issues. See how much Romney and his family are worth.
Top 10 Political Movies
Use this gift guide to find the best political movie for the politico on your gift list.
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.
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.
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.
Issue Overview : Taxes
This overview examines six types of taxes and explores five principles used to judge whether a tax is good or bad.
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.
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.
Bills Vetoed by President Bush
Details on the bills that have been vetoed by President George W. Bush (43).
Which U.S. Presidents Were Impeached? Here's a...
Read a list of all the U.S. president who were impeached. See what caused the House of Representatives to impeach them. Find out why happened to the impeached presidents.
How Senators Use the Filibuster to Stop...
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.
What Is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?
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Quotes About Politics
Quotations from politicans and other famous people - talking about politics.
3 Ways Barack Obama Was Accused of Mishandling...
Find out why President Barack Obama came under fire for his handling of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release from captivity.
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.
These members of Congress threatened to oust...
Find out which members of Congress were most outspoken about impeaching President Barack Obama. See why they wanted to impeach Obama. Discover the outcomes of their efforts.
Secret Service Protection for Presidential...
Find out how and when presidential candidates get Secret Service protection. See how much Secret Service protection costs taxpayers. Learn about the code names for each candidate in the 2012 election.
11th Commandment Definition
Read a definition of the 11th commandment in Republican politics. Find out where the term originated. See how the term has been used and misused in campaigns.
How to Talk Politics and Still Stay Friends
Here are 5 tips for how to talk politics with friends and family. Find out how to stay friends even if you're a liberal and your friends are conservatives. Learn how to talk politics without upsetting guests at holiday gatherings.
What Is A Green Card?
: Green card is the popular name given to the US Permanent Resident Card . Foreigners who hold such an
U.S. Immigration Policy
A look at changes in U.S. immigration policy being considered by President Obama and the 111th Congress. Page 1 of 2.
US Political Theory - Foundational Thinkers
Political thinkers/theorists who provided foundational concepts -- the political philosophy -- for the government of the United States
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.
Presidents of the U.S.A.
Terms of office, political affiliation, and brief bios of the Presidents of the United States.
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.
Is There Room for Another Bush in the White...
Find out what Jeb Bush has said about running for president in 2016. See what Republicans and Democrats are saying about Bush's potential candidacy.
How Many US Governors Have Been Impeached?
How Many US Governors Have Been Impeached?
American Winners of The Nobel Peace Prize
A list of Americans who have won the Nobel Peace Prize.
How Does The Electoral College Work?
Although we cast a ballot for a presidential nominee on election day (the first Tuesday in November),
Rick Santorum
Learn about Rick Santorum. Find out more about his career in politics. Discover why Santorum is so controversial.
Regulating Food
The Food and Drug Administration develops standards of identity for food products. Here's how.
Here's a List of the Wealthiest Members of the...
Here's a list of the wealthiest members of Congress. Find out how much the wealthiest members of Congress are worth. See how much members of Congress earn compared with average Americans.
Hillary Clinton's Fight for Universal Health Care
Find out where Hillary Clinton stands on health care. See what kind of health care plan she has proposed in the past. Learn why Hillary Clinton's health care plan hasn't been enacted.
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
US Civil Rights Act - 1964
Text of the US Civil Rights Act - 1964
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.
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.
Keystone XL Pipeline Controversy
Read about the Keystone XL Pipeline controversy. See where the president and other key elected officials stand on the issue.
Explaining the Filibuster Rule Change of 2013
Learn about the filibuster rule change in the U.S. Senate. Find out why Democrats made the filibuster rule change in 2013. See how Republicans reacted to the move and learn about the practical impact of the change.
List of People Pardoned By President Barack Obama
Read a list of people pardoned by President Barack Obama. Find out what crimes those people committee. Learn how long they were sentenced for their crimes before being pardoned by Obama.
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