That was fast. The hope and optimism that washed over the country in the opening months of Barack Obama's presidency are giving way to harsh realities.
An Associated Press-GfK Poll shows that a majority of Americans are back to thinking that the country is headed in the wrong direction after a fleeting period in which more thought it was on the right track.
Days before Gov. Sarah Palin is scheduled to leave office, the former vice presidential candidate is facing yet another legal distraction: An independent investigator found evidence she may have violated ethics laws by trading on her position as she sought money for lawyer fees.
A report obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press says Palin is securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts through the Alaska Fund Trust, set up by supporters.
None of this will come as news to anyone who has been nearly run down in a pedestrian crosswalk by a driver happily prattling away on a cell phone. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, apparently bullied by Congress, felt that the actual proof of the dangers of distracted driving was too sensitive to share with the public.
It looks as though Saddam Hussein, as has been increasingly suspected, pulled off the mother of all bluffs --one that not only changed the course of history but set off a chain reaction so violent it is anyone's guess where and when it will end.
The late dictator told his FBI interrogators before he was turned over to Iraqi justice that he fooled the United States and half the world into thinking he was in possession of weapons of mass destruction as a deterrent to what he believed was a threat from Iran. He said his fear of Iranian fanatics was so strong he even contemplated seeking a security agreement with America, whom he did not see as a major enemy.
What is now being billed as health care reform is but the latest chapter in a process I described in an earlier column as "Back on Uncle Sam's Plantation."
Rather than moving dysfunctional America off the welfare state, as we did with welfare reform in 1996, we are now moving the free, functioning, and once prosperous part of our nation onto the welfare state.
Public support for President Barack Obama's handling of healthcare reform, the pillar of his legislative agenda, has fallen below 50 percent for the first time, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Monday said.
Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress have run into stiff opposition this month as they try to pass legislation to restructure the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare industry through the creation of a government-run health insurance program.
President Barack Obama's advisers are urging critics of their health care overhaul to wait for Congress to finish writing legislation before issuing verdicts. They also signaled they are willing to wait longer than their White House-imposed August deadline for action if it means they can sway wary lawmakers.
The White House spent Sunday defending Obama's health care proposals and stressing that Congress has not yet written the final draft of legislation that would dramatically reshape how Americans receive health care. Instead, they said, Republicans — and even some Democrats — should wait until a final bill takes form.
Once Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed to the Supreme Court, all those hours of predictable questions and cautious replies at her Senate confirmation hearings will be filed and forgotten as she judges the way she sees fit. Nobody can hold her to what she's said.
That's the usually unspoken reality of confirmation proceedings. Once the votes are cast, they don't count.
It was spoken this time in a brief, little-noted exchange during four days of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.
The Defense Department frequently awards no-bid work to small contractors for repairs at military bases under the new economic stimulus law, costing taxpayers millions of dollars more than when businesses compete for the work, according to an Associated Press analysis of 570 such contracts.
The Pentagon saves more than three times as much money when companies compete, the AP analysis showed. Yet more than $242 million in federal contracts — representing more than one-fourth of the military's stimulus contract spending so far — has been awarded under the recovery program through no-bid contracts for repairs and maintenance.
The powerful American Conservative Union (ACU), one of the major backers of the Republican Party and right-wing causes, attempted to extort $2 million from Federal Express (FedEx) in exchange for support in a legislative dispute.
When FedEx refused the pay, the ACU switched sides in the fight and backed FedEx rival United Parcel Service (UPS).
Incredibly, the ACU put the bribe offer in writing in a letter to FedEx.Read More