March 1, 2009
The slogan of the National Endowment for the Arts is "a great nation deserves great art." Were it only that simple. When Congress voted on President Obama's $787-billion stimulus package, fiscal conservatives slammed the NEA's $50-million allocation. It wasn't the first time the agency, whose 2008 budget was about $144 million, had been thrust under the microscope. Since awarding its first grant in 1965, the NEA most famously riled opponents in 1996 with its plan to award grants to a quartet of controversial artists.
June 16, 2011 |
In her first televised interview since declaring her presidential candidacy, Michele Bachmann accused President Obama of having a “shocking" lack of empathy toward Americans victimized by the struggling economy. “I talk to people. I care about people,” the Minnesota Republican told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity Wednesday evening. “The president has no understanding of what is happening in real people's lives.” Coming off a debate performance in New Hampshire earlier this week for which was generally given high marks, Bachmann has edged her way into the White House conversation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 2010 |
The governor and the Legislature did the smart thing politically by removing their pork-stuffed water bond proposal from the voters' grasp in November. Next, they should do the prudent thing, both politically and fiscally, by tossing out the pork. That would make the bond much more digestible to voters if, indeed, it does wind up on the 2012 ballot as now scheduled. If not, the voters — the taxpayers — are very likely to do the right thing for themselves and bury the bloated $11.1-billion bond.
September 26, 2011
Obama and the GOP Re "Government by brinkmanship," Editorial, Sept. 22 One might argue that President Obama is a subtle, effective leader. He correctly read the voters' desire to stop hyper- partisanship in Washington, actively demonstrated commitment to bipartisanship and, by the way, gave the Republicans enough rope to hang themselves with. On the other hand, one might argue that Obama is a bumbling, ineffectual leader. He has consistently thrown away chances to yank Congress' chain and force Republicans to cooperate.
August 29, 2011 |
In a now familiar political ritual, Japan's ruling party on Monday picked a new prime minister -- the sixth in five years -- to lead the nation past a host of domestic ills, including a stagnant economy and a lingering nuclear crisis. In a tense runoff vote, Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, known as a tight-fisted fiscal hawk, defeated his closest rival, Trade Minister Banri Kaieda, even though Kaieda's had the backing of a powerful but publicly disgraced party boss. The 54-year-old Noda replaces outgoing Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who resigned Friday after just 15 months in office, carrying through on a promise to step down amid criticism that he had mishandled the nation's response to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2009 |
Assembly Republicans picked Sam Blakeslee as their new leader Thursday, choosing a coastal lawmaker known as a fiscal conservative with environmental leanings to lead them through what could be a long season of budget talks. The 53-year-old Blakeslee, from San Luis Obispo, will replace Assemblyman Mike Villines (R-Clovis) on June 1. Villines came under fire from fellow Republicans for helping push through a February budget deal that included a $12.5-billion tax hike.