The American Government

Below are links to US Government Three major branches (Legislative, Executive and Judicial) and the many federal departments and agencies which report to the President's Executive Branch.

The Legislative Branch
The two bodies work in the US Capitol. House members serve for 2-years and are elected by 235 districts. Senate members serve for 6-years and there are two from each state.

After the 2020 elections, the Democratic party held slight majorities in both the US House and the Senate after defeating the Republicans who held the Senate under Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who is now reduced in power to 'Minority Leader." Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) has been Speaker of the House as majority leader there, and now Sen. Charles "Chuck" Schumer (D-NY)- took control of the Senate as Senate Majority leader.

The Senate Majority Leader is a powerful position in Congress because the Senate confirms judges and presidential appointments and the Senate leader controls debates and other key appointments.

The Executive Branch

The elected President, Joseph "Joe" R Biden, presides over all the nation's federal agencies. (Discussed below) He serves for a 4-year term and was elected in Nov 2020 and he began service at his inauguration on January 20th 2021. Biden's vice president, who presides over the Senate and would replace in case of his incapacitation or resignation, is Kamala Harris, former Democratic House member from California, and former Cal attorney general.

President Biden was vice president under former President Barrack Obama for eight years beginning in 2008. Before that, Biden was a Senator from Delaware. He is up for re-election in Nov, 2024. Biden defeated former president Donald J Trump, a controversial New York real estate mogel who served one term. Trump, who ran as a Republican, was impeached twice by the US House for high crimes and misdemeanors but was not removed by the US Senate which was composed of a narrow Republican majority.

More on the Executive Branch from Wikipedia

Presidential Order of Succession just in case he is convicted and removed, or resigns from office.-- Fm NY Daily News 2/2017

United States Judicial Branch
Operation of the Federal Court and federal Prison systems

The highest court is the Supreme Court of the United States-- 9 justices appointed by the president and confirmed for life by the US Senate. Under it are federal courts in districts around the nation. 

After the death of two Supreme court justices, and President Trump's appointments which were quickly approved by his Republican Senate under Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the voting power of the court now favors Republican appointments, but the Court Justices don't always vote in cases favoring Conservatives. That is generally the intent of the President and Senate in selecting them, however.  The latest addition was chosen by Democrat President Biden, Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first black woman appointed.

The Highest Law:  

Under the Constitutions, the federal courts have limited jurisdiction over criminal affairs and laws in the US, except when they appear to violate the United States Constitution. State courts handle most criminal cases, such as assault, murder and property crimes but federal laws that are in place, such as civil rights cases and interstate laws fall under the federal justice system, prosecuted by the US Justice Department.

Analysis:  Conservative politicization of the Court over abortion.  The court drew substantial criticism for repealing abortion rights in 2022 which had been established law under Roe v Wade for fifty years and public polls demonstrated a large majority of women favored women's choice related to abortion for both safety and financial reasons.

 Republican politicians who favor the wealthy, have long opposed abortion and gay marriage, in part to build their voting base with conservative religious voters. Senate Leader McConnell has been a die-hard party politician and he received extreme criticism for stacking and politicizing the court by ignoring Democratic President Obama's nominee a year before the end of his term.  Calling the reverse of abortion law his greatest career achievement, McConnell sat on the nomination until Republican President Donald Trump was elected and nominated a Republican instead.   Both of Trump's conservative nominees, Brett Kavenaugh and Amy Barrett had misled the Senate during their hearings, indicated the abortion protecting law was established and they would respect that, but after being seated, both reversed the law causing its repeal.   A second point of dissatisfaction between liberals and conservative balance on the Court is that Conservatives tend to roll back liberal social gains of the last few years including election protections for minorities, gay marriage, eben birth control, and the view corporations have First Amendment rights to contribute large, anonymous campaign sums to political candidates--typically to Republicans.

 Justices serve for life, promising years of very conservative decisions from the body that was designed to be non-partisan.

More on Government's Courts, the Federal Judiciary fm Wikipedia

Cabinet Level Departments

The major federal Executive Departments are supervised by the Executive Branch under the President and most Department Secretaries form the President's Cabinet.   The President appoints the Cabinet members who supervise their departments, which employ many thousands of federal and contract workers in Washington and scattered all over the country at outposts around the world on foreign soil.

US Federal Agencies

Federal Agencies generally fall under the Executive branch, led by the President. Other departments whose appointed heads are members of the President's Cabinet is a larger list. They include the Department of Health and Human Services, Departments of Labor, Veterans Affairs, the Post Office, Department of Energy, Interior overseeing parks and federal lands, Treasury governing the American money supply, and Transportation overseeing highways, aviation, shipping, and more. Below are some key departments many Americans are familiar with:

Wikipedia Summarizes the Departments
and below are links to them.
The Secretary of State.  Maintains  US Embassies, consulates, outposts, Overseas Travel information, Passports, Ambassadors and diplomatic staff.  

The Secretary of State oversees the Embassies around the world and often personally conducts the highest level negotiations on behalf of the President with similar level leaders around the world.  He or she works for peace among nations and conducts both political and economic relationships.  Consider the Secretary of State as the US personal emissary in foreign relationships.

Most Americans contact the State Department for Passports to other nations and when traveling, to Embassies and Consulates.

More on State's functions in US Foreign Relations from Wikipedia

Secy of Defense
Joint Chiefs of Staff

 Army    Navy    USCG
    Marines      USAF

Military News Videos:  
A peek at the supercarrier USS Gerald R Ford
Newest carrier in the mideast, Hell on the seas in detail
The Growing Chinese threat now and ahead 
A detailed look at the present and future US Navy submarine innovations

The Attorney General, federal investigations
Prosecution of federal laws
Deputies and regional District Offices

   FBI   DEA   ATF   ICE    more

Dept of Homeland Security
  CIA   Immigration

Federal Emergency Management Disaster Preparedness

Veterans Affairs 
GI Bill, Health, Education, Loans, more

under the Department of the Interior

Space Admin (NASA)

Department of the Treasury
Secret Service, IRS, financil safeguards

Transportation Dept
Supervision of air, rail, highway and shipping industries

Health and Human Services

   Social Security       Medicare   FB  

Housing and Urban Development
  Panning,low income and elderly housing programs

Dept of Agriculture
Assistance and advice to farmers and food inspections
   Snap Food Aid program

Dept of Labor
Supervision of Labor laws

Dept of Energy
Nuclear power regulation

Dept of Education
Supervision of federal education regulations, special education

Lesser Agencies of National importance

The Postal Service
Postmaster General

The federal governments recordkeeper

US Census Bureau
Bureau counts the population and collects data for public use every decade. This site shares certain public data by state and city, by gender, age and racial demographics.


About Elections in the US from Wikipedia

Click for some top government advisories

Alt-Park Svc FB : 1.3m like this rogue site

Protecting Your Rights
    The ACLU       Police Injustice

What's the difference between 
Republicans & Democrats?   

Four Freedoms Speech 
President Roosevelt 1941

Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Worship
Freedom from Want
Freedom from Fear,-98.24/6
Real time all worldwide plane flights

Google:  Nuclear War Checklist

UN - United Nations 

Suburban Population Statistics
(by States and Cities;
not a Census bureau site)

Interactive Maps 
Maps of the US, States, World, history
Your Child Learns - free online education

If It Were My Home 
(country comparisons)

Tenth Amendment Center
Dedicated to Constitutional limits on Feds
Government, US and World History    UPI Defense News
Private news organizations covering the military

YouTube Marine Corp Recruiting Commercials

Video  Military Tribute  Kiss' Gene Simmons

Air Force Band mobs the Smithsonian

Defense One

Wikipedia in Simple English
123,000 articles Perfect for those whose
language isn't primarily English,  
Fewer details than

For a large savable list of Political and Economic Terms and topics see:
BestLinks US:for Dummies

YouTube One Hour film
 by Rachel Maddow, PhD, MSNBC
Parody site.  Don't let your kids read
 any of the doomsday stuff