It was about 2:30 in the afternoon on March 30, 1981 and Reagan was in the back of the presidential limousine rushing from a chaotic scene outside the Washington Hilton hotel. Within half an hour of the shooting doctors discovered President Reagan had indeed been shot and was on his way to surgery. When asked who was running the government a short time later at a White House press conference, Alexander Haig, a four star general and then Secretary of State, made the famously scoffed statement, “I am in control here.”
This past week bore witness to some significantly outrageous claims by two very public and private figures. From a burgeoning battle between a legendary journalist and the White House to an outright dismissal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by an Italian-American Supreme Court Justice coupled with what’s been recently heard from the new John McCain, are we simply observing a reflection of a divide America or is it a dire outbreak of senility?
A not entirely new development in the sequester blame game reemerged this weekend in the form of Bob Woodward putting a damper on the Democrats’ Speaker Boehner sequestration powerpoint, trump card. This not wholly unexpected wrinkle shifts the sequester’s inception back on the White House.
Both times in fairly recent years federal minimum wage was increased with the cooperation of Republican leadership. In 1996, the Republican-controlled House under Newt Gingrich, the minimum wage was raised from $4.25 to $5.15 over a 2 year period. The next wage increase took place a decade later, in 2006-2007, when Democrats won back control of the House. They found support for the increase in then President, George W. Bush. This instance raised the minimum rate to its current level of $7.25 per hour.
Senate Democrats will soon release a bill to counter massive cuts from the looming sequestration. In short the bill will institute a minimum tax rate for millionaires and eliminate some tax subsidies, specifically those subsidizing crop insurance for large farms, a program the CBO says will cost upwards of $90 billion over the next decade.
The rumor mill received an injection of new fuel after the release of Department of Justice memo outlining the Obama Administration’s legal justifications for drone attacks on American citizens. This led to worries about their use over U.S. soil and renewing big brother-esque speculative predictions for what will come. The privacy of which all Americans are entitled is on the verge of collapse. But is it? How valid is this path of logic that begins with this memo and leads to the sacrifice of personal privacy?
Once again the nation faces yet another mass shooting incident, this time leaving 20 elementary school children dead in small town Connecticut. This tragic even marks the 18th mass shooting this year alone resulting in the deaths of 99 people and the injury of 92 others. This, of course, only accounts for the nationally reported events, not the multitude of other shooting deaths that occur daily in our own cities and towns.
In the wake of such disturbing events as these we must ask ourselves, “When will be okay to talk about gun control?” When will the taboo of this issue be broken? So few have the conviction and courage to speak out, to say what needs to be said instead of sinking into the sidelines afraid of the controversy. Bob Costas should be applauded for his remarks after the Kansas City Chiefs murder-suicide. Instead he was lambasted for daring to speak of control.
Younger voters may pass on this years presidential elections. “It’s almost like if someone were voting in this election, it’d be like the lesser of two evils.” was the sentiment given by one Bowling Green University student in the swing state of Ohio. A new study found many of the under-30 crowd are not particularly interested in the sparing contest between President Obama and his challenger, Mitt Romney.
Despite young voters, those under 30 are more likely to vote Democrat, larger numbers of them are experiencing a lack in enthusiasm due in part to candidates’ inability to locate that common ground with college students.
One year ago this week, yesterday actually, the Mashed Potato Bulletin took its first breath with a posting initially intended for the New York Times Op-ed pages. But due to length restrictions and perhaps a bit too ambitious for a first attempt at political writing that first article inspired a pursuit for an alternate venue. After much soul searching, more than a few scrapped blog names and one off the wall suggestion, the Mashed Potato Bulletin was born.
I woke up this morning to NPR and yet another story about Lance Armstrong and the ever-unfolding doping scandal. The show’s guest was speaking about a book published a few years back by an Irish author whose claims of Lance’s doping fell on many a deaf ear which are now, in light of new evidence, basking in the glow of affirmation. Despite all the mounting and apparently irrefutable evidence there is still, in me at least, a semblance of incredulity.