March 30, 2014 |
Last year, after it was revealed that the National Security Agency was indiscriminately scooping up records of Americans' telephone calls under an expansive interpretation of the Patriot Act, President Obama urged the public to relax. "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls," he said. As for the so-called metadata that was being vacuumed up and stored by the government - the source, destination and duration of calls - the president assured the nation that the program was free of abuses and subject to aggressive oversight.
March 29, 2014
Re "The president and the pope," Opinion, March 26 Doyle McManus wrote a balanced article about President Obama and Pope Francis "trading notes on practical politics" at a Vatican visit. As McManus points out, Francis has the advantage by not having "to worry about midterm elections or a balky Congress. " That being said, perhaps it's time for America to revisit the relevancy of the constitutional amendment that limits the number of times a person can be elected president. This could curtail the balkiness of Congress, by getting things done with prodding from a non-lame-duck president.
March 27, 2014 |
Maybe it was too good to be true. A rare bipartisan healthcare reform proposal backed by leaders of three major House and Senate committees is foundering because Republicans and Democrats can't agree on how to pay for it. The irony is that the measure, which would change the way Medicare reimburses doctors, would slow the growth of healthcare spending and taxpayers' costs. Lawmakers should stop the partisan bickering and start working in good faith to find a way to enact the long-overdue and much-needed reform.
March 23, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Here's some good news for homeowners worried that Congress will fail again to renew popular tax benefits for use in 2014 - especially those allowing for mortgage debt forgiveness, write-offs for energy-saving improvements and mortgage insurance premiums. Though there has been no formal announcement, the Senate Finance Committee under its new chairman, Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), expects to take up a so-called "extenders" package sometime this spring. "This is high on [Wyden's]
March 17, 2014 |
He has served in prison, starred in a short-lived reality TV show and delivered enough quotable quips to fill a bookshelf in the public library. Now, in his latest exhibition of life as political performance art, Edwin Edwards - former Louisiana governor, convicted racketeer, celebrated womanizer and, at age 86, new father - announced Monday he would be a candidate for Congress. "I've given a great deal of thought to this ... and I acknowledge that there are good reasons why I should not run ... but there are better reasons why I should," Edwards told reporters in Baton Rouge, La. "I am positive I can run, and I am confident I can win. " When last seen on the national stage, Edwards was co-starring in " The Governor's Wife ," an A&E series focused on his pen-pal-turned-bride No. 3, Trina Scott.
March 13, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Even areas of agreement in Congress get snarled in political gamesmanship. That's what's happening to a $1-billion Ukraine loan package that has widespread support, but is stalled by a partisan fight over other issues, including the Internal Revenue Service's regulation of political activity. As a result, Congress is now expected to recess for a week without approving the loan guarantees to the new government in Ukraine. Trouble hit when both Democrats and Republicans used the popular aid package as a vehicle to push through more divisive items that otherwise would not have had much of a chance.