— This only refers to a public official being charged with a crime; it does not mean removal from office; two U.S. presidents have been impeached, but neither was removed from the office; nationally, the U.S. House deals with impeachment, then the Senate votes on the removal.intelligent design
— Kind of a middle ground in explaining the creation of the universe, somewhere between religious beliefs and evolutionary theories; prominent in the debate over teaching evolution in public schools - the idea is that natural processes did not create the complex workings of the universe but were directed by a larger force - generally not naming that force; some people believe it should be taught exclusively while others believe it should be taught as an alternative to evolution; some dismiss it entirely as 'junk science'. (Wikipedia entry on intelligent design
— Refers to voters or politicians who are not registered with a political party; sometimes also includes minor parties; in its broadest sense, usually applied to anyone who is not a Democrat or a Republican; many states restrict voting unless you are a member of a specific party. (Independent Progressive Politics Network
— A complex economic term; affected by a vast number of factors that economists don't even agree on; broadly, it means increasing prices and less valuable money; the government is in a constant struggle to control it.IRS
— The Internal Revenue Service collects taxes and enforces the internal revenue laws; some people protest its existence and others have called for it to be disbanded in an effort to overhaul the U.S. tax system; someone being 'audited' is usually a reference to the IRS. (Official IRS Web site
— If there's a judge, you're in the judicial branch; courts go from your local magistrate, traffic court all the way to the Supreme Court in D.C., which has the final word on interpreting the U.S. Constitution; court TV shows are not part of the judicial branch - they are typically people who waived a real hearing and signed a contract to let the TV judge make a binding decision ... sorry if that ruins the illusion.