Archives for Politics

Tax hikes? What tax hikes?

Republican Ronald Reagan raised taxes and survived to serve another presidential term. His successor, George H.W. Bush, raised taxes and did not.

Now comes Republican candidate John McCain, eager to reassure conservatives he's no tax raiser, yet also intent on letting voters know he will "do the hard things," as he often said in the primaries.

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A primer on polls

Why should I believe your poll?

It's a challenge pollsters and news organizations get all the time. And why not — the profusion of polls can be confusing. This week alone, one USA Today-Gallup Poll showed Barack Obama leading John McCain in the presidential race by 3 percentage points and a separate Gallup Poll showed Obama up by 8 points.

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Obama blew his chance on surge

We have just witnessed a rare happening in the political galaxy when the stars and the moons -- the facts and the politics -- line up perfectly. So perfectly, that a politician who made a wrong prediction or assertion can take the high road and still come out better than ever.

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Obama the superhero

Here come the superheroes, solitary, outsider conquerors of evil, doing what we stumbling, ordinary beings could scarcely ever hope to achieve and winning public adulation along the way -- the latest Batman movie is breaking all kinds of box office records, and Barack Obama is now nine points ahead of John McCain in Gallup's daily tracking poll.

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The media’s love affair with Obama

Appearing at a rally in behalf of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, humorist Will Rogers said in introducing the Democratic presidential nominee that he would keep it short because he didn't feel like wasting too many words on a "mere candidate." The American press should take note.

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Obama’s risky surge strategy

With the United States fighting two wars on foreign soil, Barack Obama promises to end the bad one, in Iraq, and to escalate the good one, in Afghanistan. He still opposes the troop surge that has dramatically lowered the level of violence in Iraq even as he proposes a troop surge sure to increase the violence in Afghanistan.

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Is John McCain really Bob Dole?

It's an election between old and new.

The Republican presidential candidate is a former war hero and seasoned senator who would be the oldest president in history when he starts his first term. His opponent is a much younger, charismatic Democrat.

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Barack Obama’s smoking gun

Whether it makes a difference that Barack Obama once was a smoker (and may be struggling to keep a nonsmoking status) may depend on whether or not you smoke.

Whether it makes a difference that he's working to quit his addictive habit may depend on whether or not you've quit.

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Obama’s SS plan short on details

Barack Obama's bid to place a new Social Security tax on very high incomes is either a bold or foolhardy plan, depending on who critiques it.

But its potential impact is almost impossible to gauge because he is providing few details on basic questions such as what the tax rate might be, what types of income would be taxed and how the taxpayers' benefits would be affected.

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Too many questions, too few answers

Six months ago, Americans were worried about Barack Obama's inexperience and John McCain's age and adherence to President Bush's policies. Today? Ditto.

Granted, most normal people are not yet besotted with the upcoming presidential election. Vacations, gas prices, the upcoming Olympics and the sagging economy are more important right now.

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