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

At last!

Sarah Palin’s long-awaited autobiog is due to hit the streets November 17, and is number 2 on Amazon’s sale list.

This is the woman who, during a speech in Hong Kong the other day, blamed last year’s financial collapse on excessive government interference in the free markets. Clearly, Ms. Palin knows almost as much about finance as she does about Russia.

For those of you whose trigger fingers a itching to wrap themselves around the book; perhaps you should wait. A translation into English is in the works.

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Health care bill could hit House, Senate floors mid-month

Historic health care legislation could be on the floor of both houses of Congress as early as mid-October as Democrats work to answer President Barack Obama’s call for greater protections for those who have unreliable insurance or no coverage at all.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday the Senate debate could begin the week of Columbus Day, Oct. 12, even though lawmakers are scheduled to be on vacation at the time.

Democratic aides said the House was working on roughly the same timetable, although after months of missed deadlines, neither House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nor Reid would provide a detailed schedule.

Debate in the Senate could take weeks, compared with mere days in the House.

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Obama’s team at odds over Afghanistan war

President Barack Obama is confronting a split among his closest advisers on Afghanistan, reflecting divisions in his own party over whether to send in thousands more U.S. troops and complicating his efforts to adopt a war policy he can sell to a public grown weary of the 8-year-old conflict.

With top military commanders and congressional Republicans pushing for a troop increase, Obama pressed key members of his national security team Wednesday for their views during an intense, three-hour session in a packed White House Situation Room.

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Obama may need GOP help on Afghan war

With much of his party largely opposed to expanding military operations in Afghanistan, President Obama could be forced into the awkward political position of turning to congressional Republicans for support if he follows the recommendations of the commanding U.S. general there.

Congressional Democrats have begun promoting a compromise package of additional resources for Afghanistan that would emphasize training for Afghan security forces but deny Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal the additional combat troops he has indicated he needs to regain the initiative against the Taliban insurgency. The emerging Democratic consensus is likely to constrain the president as he considers how best to proceed with an increasingly unpopular war.

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Consumer spending up: Are we on a rebound?

Consumer spending, the bulwark of economic growth, is showing signs of life as the economy transitions from recession to recovery.

The key question is whether the spending rebound can be sustained while U.S. households face rising employment, tight credit conditions and other obstacles.

Economists believe that consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of total economic activity, surged in August, reflecting the success of the government’s Cash for Clunkers car rebate program.

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Public option? DOA or still on life support?

This week’s headlines declared the so-called public option dead on arrival after the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday rejected two versions of it offered by Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia.

Dead? It is not dead, but it is dead. Let me explain. Last week I attended a breakfast hosted by the Democratic Women’s Working Group in the House, and four female House Democrats insisted at that event that if any form of health care reform emerges from the Senate, the public option will be included in the House version. They added that Democrats have the votes to push it through when the House-Senate conference committee meets to iron out differences between the two chambers’ bills.

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Reid angers fellow Democrats with Medicare ploy

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moved swiftly to ensure that his home state of Nevada wouldn’t be hurt by Medicaid changes included in the health care reform bill moving through the Senate Finance Committee.

Now some of his Democratic colleagues are demanding the same treatment for their states.

“We have to make sure Colorado is treated fairly,” Democratic Colorado Sen. Mark Udall said Wednesday.

“We’re going to take a look at the details, but if Colorado has a fair claim on being treated the same way Nevada has been, of course we’re going to ask to have that kind of treatment.”

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Ohmigod! An honest man in Washington?

Frankly, the investigative journalism gig has gotten pretty easy these days.

In the corridors of power, evidence is as easy to pick up as cigar butts used to be, of the cynical way the game is played. Evidence abounds fingering the rule-breakers and wrongdoers, deceivers and distorters, buck-passers and buck-wasters, and of course, the standard-bearers who get caught baring their double standards.

So today’s news is about a rare find among the Washington elite: A straight-talking top official who answers tough questions without the usual duck-and-dodge, who has a top job he never sought and doesn’t really want — and who even volunteers to take the blame for recommending a controversial presidential policy that flopped.

Yes, Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

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Supreme Court revisits handgun laws

The Supreme Court could ignite a vigorous new fight over state and local gun controls across the nation when it rules on a challenge to Chicago’s handgun ban.

The court said Wednesday it will consider a challenge to Chicago’s ban, and even gun control supporters believe a victory is likely for gun-rights proponents.

If the court rules that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms doesn’t allow the city’s outright handgun ban, it could lead to legal challenges to less-restrictive laws that limit who may own guns, whether firearms must be registered and even how they must be stored.

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Solving the world’s problems

When publishers call their editorial writers together for the daily conference, they often like to say: “So, how are we solving the world’s problems today?” This is a little publisher joke, because in all of recorded history, no evidence suggests that any world problem has been solved by an editorial.

Those of us who write them are not discouraged. We press on in the hope that one of us is going to get lucky and eventually solve a world problem. Still, I wouldn’t sit on the edge of your seat waiting if I were you.

As one who has attended countless meetings to solve the world’s problems, I am bound to note with wonder and a hint of envy that the G-20 economic summit that recently concluded in Pittsburgh achieved a remarkable feat in the annals of world-problem solving.

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