Watching a clip on YouTube made me want to be more familiar with the our nation's "current standing." The video clip aside, I know a LOT about certain issues, the ones that I think matter, and I can give pretty good overall explanations of each candidate or party's position on issues such as health care, environmental issues, personal wealth (taxes, redistribution, etc.), gun-control, educational reform, the War in Iraq, how to handle the much-feared "economic crisis," and oh yeah, abortion (my biggie). But I don't keep up to date on the whos and whens of our politics. It's not totally necessary, I know (so what if I know about them, right? They aren't asking me how to act!). I don't spend my time staying up on the public lives of movie or TV actors, or most that this world deems "public figures," preferring to keep up with the church abroad, especially the persecuted church, and the people with whom I am interacting right NOW, here. But I also don't want to be a hermit!
So, just for my own info, and for yours if you were wanting/lacking it:
-- The Speaker of the House since 2007 has been Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California. (Speaker of the House is second in line of presidential succession)
-- The Senate is a little different, since the VP is the President of the Senate: "The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two US Senators who are elected by the party conferences that hold the majority and the minority respectively." "The Majority leader customarily serves as the chief representative and "face" of his or her party in Senate, and sometimes even in all of Congress if the House thus the office of Speaker of the House is controlled by the opposition party." In practice, the Majority Leader presides over the Senate. (from the omniscient wikipedia)
--The Democratic party controls Congress (not often both Congress AND the President are of the same party--see here and here). This has been the case for the past 2 years. Article glorying in that fact here.
-- The 111th Senate will be composed of 56 Democrats, 2 Democrat-leaning independents and 40 Republicans, with two seats still to be determined as of November 19, 2008.
Senate Majority Leader is Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada. Senate Minority Leader is Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (again, from the Great Wiki) .
-- Bill Ayers is a radical left-wing who lives in Chicago, and who has connections with Obama, though it is debated just how deep those ties go. [Side note: I don't get the whole "anti-war terrorism" idea. How can you be violently opposed to war? Isn't that another war right there? "Hey! Stop openly bombing the innocents or I'll secretly bomb you!" That's a vigilante version of most wars themselves!
--Barney Frank is a very-popular US House Representative from Mass. In 1987 he became the first US Representative to come out as openly gay. [side note: I learned today that he partnered with Ron Paul to protect online "gambling rights." Great. I say I like MOST things about Ron Paul...like the abolition of the income tax, long one of my favorite bones to pick with the Amendments...but not all. Still not convinced on his foreign policy. But I love the man's consistency!]
Thanks to Zogby International for motivating me to make sure I have my names & facts straight. And I am interested to see how this plays out.