Halfway through 2013! Now President Barack Obama only has 3.5 more years of his second term. If you think that sounds like a long time, imagine how it must feel to Obama.
Take this quiz to see how much you've been paying attention to the political news over the last six months. Warning: There is one trick question. What can I tell you? Having independence doesn't mean life is always fair.
1. Just before leaving town for its holiday break, the House of Representatives finished up work on:
a) The farm bill.
b) Fixing the Voting Rights Act.
c) Naming a Mississippi River bridge after Stan Musial.
2. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan recently revealed an achievement that Justice Antonin Scalia said "she could have done in my driveway." It was:
a) Writing a decision on property owners' right to road access.
b) Learning to parallel park.
c) Killing a deer.
3. Asked by reporters about the chances of passing immigration reform, House Speaker John Boehner said:
a) "Absolutely. I'm getting tired of your negativity."
b) "The House will work its will. Don't ask me how, because if I knew I'd certainly tell you, but the House is going to work its will."
4. Rep. Michele Bachmann made news when she announced she would not run for re-election. Which of the following was not among her career highlights:
a) Mixed up actor John Wayne with serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
b) Said the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired in New Hampshire.
c) Said that a nonseasonal blizzard in Minnesota was God's warning to politicians to reduce the size of government.
5. The House recently passed a ban on abortions after the 20th week of a pregnancy. In a committee meeting, Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, supported the bill by claiming:
a) A 15-week-old fetus can masturbate.
b) Pregnant women have to be protected from their hormone-induced bad judgment.
c) The Republican majority's work expanding health care, nutrition and education for poor children makes abortion unnecessary.
6. Mississippi has a new law:
a) Banning localities from requiring restaurants to post calorie counts on menus.
b) Establishing the nation's first "Take Your Weapon to Work Day."
c) Renaming a large parking facility in Biloxi the Trent Lott Lot.
7. In New York, a Democratic state senator was indicted on charges of trying to bribe political officials into putting him on the ballot for mayor. Prosecutors said he was aided by:
a) Agents of the Canadian government.
b) A leader of a tribe of Theodish pagans.
c) An undercover investigator disguised as Michael Bloomberg.
8. Which of the following is not true about the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Virginia?
a) Believes yoga is an invitation to Satanic possession.
b) Drank 14 Big Gulps in an hour to demonstrate his opposition to government restrictions on sugary drinks.
c) Said pro-gay rights liberals have done "more to kill black folks" than slavery or the Ku Klux Klan.
9. Anthony Weiner's campaign for New York City mayor made news on its opening week when its website:
a) Included Weiner's 100-point plan for a better New York.
b) Accidentally posted a staffer's memo on "Successful American Politicians Who Did Stuff Way Worse Than the Texting Thing."
c) Featured a picture of the New York skyline that was actually Pittsburgh.
10. Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate, recently urged Congress to pass immigration reform because immigrants are:
a) More patriotic.
b) More fertile.
c) More likely to vote Republican.
11. Who recently said: "Everybody tells me: 'Please run for President' "?
a) Hillary Clinton.
b) Donald Trump.
c) Mitt Romney after a Romney family reunion.
ANSWERS: 1-C, 2-C, 3-B, 4-C (Bachmann said Hurricane Irene was God's warning to politicians to reduce the size of government), 5-A, 6-A, 7-B, 8-B, 9-C, 10-B, 11-B.
Gail Collins is a columnist for The New York Times.