Politics & Government

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What Is the U.S. Debt Ceiling?

The debt ceiling, legally known as the debt limit, is the total amount of money that the U.S. government is authorized to borrow to pay existing obligations, such as Social Security and Medicare benefits [more…]

What Does the U.S. Credit Rating Downgrade Really Mean?

In August 2011, the United States’ credit rating was downgraded by the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) from AAA to AA+, or down one level. Because this is the first time in American history [more…]

Getting Called for Jury Duty

Fulfilling a call to jury duty is a civic responsibility that enables you to participate in the judicial process. Receiving a summons for jury duty, however, typically prompts this reaction: “How do I [more…]

How to Get Involved in Politics

Politics is an area that you may feel like you don't have a say, but your participation can make a big difference. You have control over the amount of time [more…]

How to Contact Elected Officials

If you feel strongly about an issue and want to exercise your newfound political skills, just pick up your phone and voice your opinion to the people who represent you. If you cannot find the phone numbers [more…]

Information to Have When Calling Elected Officials

Legislators and other elected officials are busy people, and a lot of people want a piece of their time. After you've found the contact information for your representative, review following checklist before [more…]

Candidate Selection Checklist

Because you've only one vote to cast, your candidate choice is crucial. How do you know what to look for in a political candidate? Do a little research to help you get to know something about each candidate [more…]

Politics For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If the thought of politics makes you cringe, don't worry, you can get involved as little or as much as you like in politics. If you want to voice your concerns, use these handy resources to contact your [more…]

How to Follow Sentry Rules

When you’re sentry in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, or Marine Corps, it’s important to take your responsibility seriously. Follow these 11 rules, no matter which military branch you’re in, and [more…]

How to Tell Military Time

The military is all about being on time. Of course, when you arrive at basic training, you need to learn to tell time in a whole new way — the military way! Master this list, and you’ll have no reason [more…]

How to Master Military Ranks

Different branches have different military ranks. Here’s a list to help you prepare, whether you’re heading off to basic training for the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, or Marine Corps. [more…]

Mastering the Military Chain of Command

In the military, you need to know who is in charge — in essence, the military chain of command. You should always go directly to your superior (and not your superior’s superior!). This handy guide lets [more…]

What is Redistricting?

Redistricting is the process of drawing boundaries for electoral and political districts in the U.S. and is usually done every ten years after the census. The U.S. Constitution requires each Representative [more…]

Limitations to Damages from Breach of Contract

The plaintiff in a breach of contract case faces an uphill battle in proving the case. Any damages the court awards are limited by the following considerations: [more…]

Checking for Contract Conditions

In contract law, a condition is an event that must occur before some performance is due. Parties may claim that they aren’t in breach of contract because the condition that had to occur before they had [more…]

Essential Elements of Contract Formation

A contract is a legally enforceable exchange of promises. Contract formation requires the following three essential ingredients: [more…]

Finding an Enforceable Obligation

If you’re faced with the question of contract formation in your legal dealings, take the following three steps to find the obligation in the parties’ interaction: [more…]

Determining Whether a Transaction Is within the Statute of Frauds

To determine whether a transaction is within the statute of frauds and therefore must be evidenced by a writing, check whether the transaction is any of the following: [more…]

Extrinsic Evidence: Grasping the Parol Evidence Rule

Parol evidence is evidence of terms or understandings extrinsic to (not included in) a written contract. Courts follow the parol evidence rule to determine whether the evidence is admissible. Here’s the [more…]

Contract Law For Dummies Cheat Sheet

To be successful in contract law, you need to know the rules and be able to analyze fact situations in the light of those rules. This Cheat Sheet introduces some of the most important concepts in contract [more…]

Reading in Implied Terms in Contracts

Every contract is incomplete, and the courts find that some contract terms are implied even if the parties do not express them. These implied terms include the following: [more…]

Finding Contract Modifications

Parties frequently modify (change the terms of) the contract after they make it. Technically, a contract modification is a new contract requiring consideration. When one party promises to give something [more…]

Identifying Third Parties to Contracts

A third party is a person who’s not a party to the contract. Common law recognizes three significant third parties: [more…]

Recognizing Common Contract Defenses

A contract defense is any legal challenge to a contract’s enforceability. Following are common contract defenses: [more…]

Excusing Contract Performance Due to Impracticability

When an unforeseen event makes performance of a contract obligation impracticable (impossible or unrealistic), the seller may claim that its nonperformance is excused. To analyze a claim of impracticability [more…]

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