In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Friday, February 23, 2024

Politics: A matter of due coarse

President Barack Obama told 60 Minutes Sunday night that the national debate on issues is “coarsening.”

File that away in the “well, doh!” category.

Saying political debate in this country is getting “coarse” is like saying serial killer Ted Bundy had an anger management problem.

Political debate ceased being debate long ago. Discussion of issues is not debate — it’s a shout fest with the loudest, most obnoxious name-caller getting the most attention.

Been that way for a long time and the problem is not limited to political debate.

Let’s face it: America has become a rude, coarse society. College and professional sports have become “in your face” free for alls where thugs rule the day and bad behavior is not only encouraged, but rewarded.

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Yes, it is as bad as we think

090109outofbusiness_0.jpgNew Census data for 2008, the first full year of this recession, show just how bad our national economic stumble has been and add new urgency to policymakers’ efforts to protect the fragile recovery.

The national poverty rate — an income of $22,025 or less for a family of four — rose to 13.2 percent, up from 12.5 percent the year before and the highest level in 11 years. In 2007, the recession pushed 2.6 million more Americans into the ranks of the poor, bringing the total to 39.8 million.

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Democrats headed for big trouble

Despite sweeping Democratic successes in the past two national elections, continuing job losses and President Barack Obama’s slipping support could lead to double-digit losses for the party in next year’s congressional races and may even threaten their House control.

Fifty-four new Democrats were swept into the House in 2006 and 2008, helping the party claim a decisive majority as voters soured on a Republican president and embraced Obama’s message of hope and change. Many of the new Democrats are in districts carried by Republican John McCain in last year’s presidential contest; others are in traditional swing districts that have proved tough for either party to hold.

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Joe Wilson: One apology is enough

One apology is enough, a digging-in-his-heels Rep. Joe Wilson said Sunday, challenging Democratic leaders who want him to say on the House floor that he’s sorry for yelling “You lie!” during President Barack Obama’s health care speech to Congress.

The leadership plans to propose a resolution of disapproval this week if the South Carolina Republican doesn’t publicly apologize to Congress. Such a measure would put lawmakers on the record as condemning those two words, uttered during last Wednesday’s prime-time speech, that have become a fundraising boon for the defiant Wilson and his Democratic challenger.

Wilson said a resolution would show that Democrats simply wanted to play politics and divert attention from a health care overhaul that is lagging in Congress.

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Americans still bummed over the economy

One year after Wall Street teetered on the brink of collapse, seven out of 10 Americans lack confidence the federal government has taken safeguards to prevent another financial industry meltdown, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

Even more — 80 percent — rate the condition of the economy as poor and a majority worry about their own ability to make ends meet. The pessimistic outlook sets the stage for President Barack Obama as he attempts to portray the financial sector as increasingly confident and stable and presses Congress to act on new banking regulations.

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Obama heads for Wall Street

Pushing Congress to act on proposed financial regulations, President Barack Obama is going to the heart of Wall Street on the first anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse to outline changes needed to prevent a future crisis like the one that sent the global economy into a tailspin last year.

Obama has called on Congress to pass a sweeping overhaul of how financial institutions behave but has seen slower-than-sought action. Administration officials said the president will use Lehman Brothers as a starting point to again decry a hands-off approach from Washington that enabled irresponsible lending that sent the nation’s largest financial institutions to the brink of collapse and the larger economy to the edge.

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Bin Laden: Obama is ‘powerless’

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden warned President Barack Obama that he is “powerless” to halt the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and must rethink his policy on Israel, in his first message for three months.

The message, which accused “neo-conservatives” of maintaining a grip on the White House, was released Sunday, two days after the United States marked the eighth anniversary of Al-Qaeda’s September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Titled “Message to the American People,” the video — released by the As-Sahab media branch of Al-Qaeda — features a still image of bin Laden and an audio statement, said the IntelCenter US monitoring group.

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Obama’s lobbying reform ain’t working

President Barack Obama’s new special interest rules are having unexpected consequences with some lobbyists giving up their formal registrations and finding other ways to influence policy as they try to maintain access to key agencies or hope for future government jobs.

Congressional aides, industry executives and watchdog groups say the rules have also slowed Obama’s ability to fill key government jobs, eliminated some highly qualified candidates and kept away some others who worry tougher “revolving door” rules could tie their hands in the future.

“The president’s executive order isn’t working the way they planned,” said one top Washington industry lobbyist, who asked not to be identified, given the sensitivity of the subject.

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