In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Just a couple of bad leaders

Conventional wisdom said Hillary Rodham Clinton was the smartest candidate among the crowded fields for both the Democratic and Republican Presidential nomination.

The same conventional wisdom promised great things from Nancy Pelosi – the first woman to lead the House of Representative as Speaker.

So much for conventional wisdom.

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Fine-tuning the campaign rhetoric

After a year of position papers and policy speeches, handshakes in the summer heat and winter snow, advertising that floods mailboxes and TV screens, and too many bites of pork on a stick at too many county fairs, it’s time.

For the final arguments.

Heading into the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, the presidential candidates are boiling down their messages.

On the Democratic side, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards are in a three-way tie in the polls. Among Republicans, it’s a close race for first between two former governors — Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.

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Bhutto’s death is more bad news for U.S.

The assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has dealt a severe blow to U.S. efforts to restore stability and democracy in a turbulent, nuclear-armed Islamic nation that has been a critical ally in the war on terror.

While not entirely dependent on Bhutto, recent Bush administration policy on Pakistan had focused heavily on promoting reconciliation between the secular opposition leader who has been dogged by corruption allegations and Pakistan’s increasingly unpopular president, Pervez Musharraf, ahead of parliamentary elections set for January.

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Candidates strike out with young voters

While the 2008 presidential candidates are taking potshots at each other, some young Americans are taking shots at the entire two-party system.

When asked to respond to a YouTube video by Medill News Service that shows young adults shouting the first five words they think of when they hear the words Republican and Democrat, one 19-year-old called the two-party system a failure, an opinion supported by a 28-year-old.

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It’s still the economy, stupid

Voters began to worry more about their pocketbooks over the last month — even more than about the war in Iraq.

More than half the voters in an ongoing survey for The Associated Press and Yahoo! News now say the economy and health care are extremely important to them personally. They fear they will face unexpected medical expenses, their homes will lose value or mortgage and credit card payments will overwhelm them.

Events, however, can quickly change public opinion. Thursday’s assassination of Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto could draw more attention to terrorism and national security, an issue that still ranked highly with the public and which 45 percent of those polled considered extremely important.

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The approaching dread of teenage drivers

As I watched my girls aged 11, 8 and 6 roll around the house on the new scooters they received for Christmas, I found myself offering the usual “be careful! Watch where you’re going, not so fast!”

What they don’t know is that I can’t see them taking off merrily on their little scooters without flashing forward to the teen driving years when they’ll want to take off merrily in cars.

That’s because I recently read “Teenagers and Cars: A Deadly Mix” by Gerri Hirshey in the New York Times.

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Losing role models

They buried Ralph Beard the other day and news of the event brought back a flood of memories, not an unusual occurrence when one begins to enter the springtime of his senescence. It was at once a nostalgic, still vivid recollection tinted with the sadness of brilliant talent and career wasted for reasons that were never clear.

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The sad legacy of J. Edgar Hoover

You probably had to grow up in the 1950s or earlier to know deep in your bones just how radically the reputation of J. Edgar Hoover has shifted from patriotic, upstanding, nation-protecting, model-for-one-and-all hero to liberty-denying, rights-abusing, sneaky, jealous, morally corrupt villain.

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The GOP’s alien agenda

Who said this?

“Immigration to this country is increasing and is making its greatest relative increase from races most alien to the body of the American people and from the lowest and most illiterate classes among those races … half of whom have no occupation and most of whom represent the rudest form of labor.

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A tough guy named Rudy

A jet passenger remembers seeing Rudolph W. Giuliani on a Dallas-to-New York flight. Heading home after a March 2005 speech, Giuliani perused a volume of Elizabethan literature.

Miles above Pennsylvania, a door-seal suddenly cracked. As the cabin depressurized, the pilot nose-dived from 38,000 feet to a safer 9,000. Oxygen masks swung above the heads of horrified travelers.

What did Giuliani do? As another, visibly rattled traveler recalled: “He put his mask over his face, picked the book back up, and kept reading Shakespeare.”

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