House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will remain leaders of their caucuses despite the fact that neither has been able to recapture majority control of their respective bodies.
After some speculation on what her future might hold, the 72-year old Pelosi announced Wednesday morning that she felt compelled to remain in charge of House Democrats in order to help President Obama resolve the nation's fiscal crisis, a goal she was unable to achieve when Democrats controlled both chambers from 2009 to 2011.
"I have made the decision to submit my name to my colleagues to once again serve as the House Democratic Leader," Pelosi said with many of her female Democratic colleagues at her side. more >>
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), who has been AWOL from Congress since June of this year, left the Mayo Clinic Tuesday where he was being treated for a bipolar disorder. Sources are now reporting that Jackson will resign his seat and accept a plea deal from federal authorities for what appears to be disuse of campaign funds.
The son of a noted civil rights leader and activist, Jackson entered Mayo shortly after spending time at Sierra Tucson in Arizona where he was beginning his leave of absence. He left Mayo in September to return to his Washington, D.C., home and the re-entered in October.
Jackson won re-election to his 9th term in Congress while a patient at Mayo last week. more >>
A secular group has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, alleging that the ministry's activity during the election season violates its tax exempt status.
Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based organization, argued in its filed report that BGEA's "vote biblical values" ad campaign violated the IRS' rules on religious groups and political campaigning.
"BGEA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has run full-page ads publicizing Billy Graham's call for the electorate to 'vote biblical values,'" said FFRF in a statement last week. "The ads have appeared in several 'swing state' newspapers in preparation for tomorrow's heated presidential election. Throughout the month of October, BGEA published articles favorable to Romney, which included a statement by Billy Graham." more >>
As the conservative camp begins its soul searching on what caused the Republican Party's humiliating loss in last week's presidential contest, two competing arguments have emerged: some say the problem was with the candidate (Mitt Romney), others say the problem was with the Party itself. How Republicans proceed in the future may depend on how they answer this question. For the 2016 election, do Republicans just need a better candidate, or does the Party need fundamental change?
"The truth is, Romney was better than the GOP deserved," opinion writer Kathleen Parker argued, but he was burdened by a Party that pulled him too far to the right.
"Party nitwits undermined him, and the self-righteous tried to bring him down," Parker wrote. more >>
When the new members of Congress are sworn in on Jan. 3, the institution that once mirrored the nation's Protestant Christian dominance will look slightly more like the religiously diverse nation it represents. The new Senate will seat a Buddhist member for the first time and the House of Representatives will have its first Hindu member.
Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who currently serves in the House of Representatives, won her Senate race last week and will be sworn in as the Senate's first Buddhist. Hirono's House seat will be filled by Tulsi Gabbard, who will become the first Hindu in Congress. Hirono will also be the first Asian-American female and the first person born in Japan to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
The new Congress will have at least seven members whose faith is not from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Besides Hirono and Gabbard, two other Buddhists, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), were re-elected. Two Muslims, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), were re-elected. And Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) will be Congress' only atheist after winning her first House race. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), the only atheist in the current Congress, lost his bid for re-election. Sinema will also become Congress' first openly bisexual member. more >>
With the Republican Party's stunning loss on Tuesday, conservatives have started asking why? One argument is that the Christian Right is to blame. But it could also be argued that the Christian Right presents the best hope for the Republican Party to regain majority status.
Here are the cases for and against blaming the Christian Right for Tuesday's election.
Yes, the Christian Right is to Blame more >>