American Politics

American Politics

Public no longer tunes in Clinton

While the president's people complain that his accomplishments are not appreciated by the American people, there may be something larger that explains Clinton's problems with Congress and the American people, where his approval rating, now around 40%, continues to sink Clinton's problem: tune-out. 

Clinton's policies alien to America

With the stock market down more than 300 points and interest rates rising for the first time in years, pundits are focused on short-term jitters in a nervous stock market. 

Health-care plan on its last legs

The Clinton plan for healthcare reform is dead. The coup d'grace was administered by Robert Reischauer, economist and chief of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. 

The CBO report was devastating. It showed the Clinton proposal to be a budget buster. While the Administration said the reform would save $59 billion during the first five years, the CBO report showed it would increase the deficit by $74 billion over the same period. This difference of opinion: $133 billion. 

Times changes -- must values, too?

Remember when a "joint" was a beer hall, "hash" was the dinner just before payday, "switch hitter" was a guy who could bat left or right-handed, and "crack" was the space between two sidewalk slabs -- as in "step on the crack and break your gramma's back"? Times change. 

Remember the survey released a few months ago on school discipline problems? In the 1950s, the major problems were cigarette smoking, skipping school, running in the halls, spit balls, chewing gum and whispering in class. 

Clinton's slicker than many think

Assessments of President Clinton's first year are all over the place. Liberal media savants -- from commentator Lars-Erik Nelson to New Yorker editor Sidney Blumenthal -- support Clinton and work nearly full time defending, explaining or advocating the new president to the American people. 

Conservative media mavens -- from talk radio and TV superstar Rush Limbaugh to National Review publisher Bill Buckley -- generally portray the new administration as led by "Bumblin Bill," who, from time to time, does something right -- such as NAFTA. 

Globalese, from NICS to NIES

For the past two weeks, NAFTA and APEC have dominated the news. As the global economy expands, we are increasingly exposed to stories about how it works. So here's a lexicon of key institutional players in the Asia-Pacific region, the newest region on America's international radar screen.

President raises stakes on trade

The North American Free Trade Agreement debate took a sharp turn last week. For the first time, pro-NAFTA forces are on the offensive and gaining momentum. 

NAFTA foes play with the numbers

As President Clinton fights to win approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the most vocal and effective opposition comes from the president's own party -- led by House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri and House Whip David Bonior of Michigan -- and organized labor, which is pouring millions of dollars of union dues into the back pockets of Washington lawyers and Madison Avenue flacks to try to defeat NAFTA in Congress this month. 

Shrill voices attack NAFTA

Some people--who properly recall from 11th grade civics that treaties are ratified by the U.S. Senate, not the entire Congress -- are asking why both houses of Congress are passing judgment on the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

Because Congress must pass implementing legislation for NAFTA (signed on Dec. 17, 1992) and for the side agreements dealing with environmental protection and workers' rights (signed on Sept 14, 1993), NAFTA is viewed as an "economic agreement" that requires the approval of both the House and Senate. 

Ill side-effects of health policy

Although the secrecy surrounding the Clinton administration's health security "initiative" was more like the premiere of Jurassic Park than the Manhattan Project, people are still being surprised by what they are finding.

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It’s better to wear out than rust out.”  That is the message of Reboot!  While American culture glamorizes the “Golden Years” of endless leisure and amusement, Phil Burgess rejects retirement, as he makes the case for returning to work in the post-career years, a time he calls later life.

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