In the midst of highly polarized moments, President Obama frequently calls for pursuing "common ground" between those involved - an ideal we all seek and an attempt to set himself above the political fray. Most recently, Mr. Obama used his post-election news conference to call for finding common ground for legislative action that will "move the American people's agenda forward" during the lame-duck session of Congress.
In a stinging rebuke to one of Capitol Hill's most powerful lawmakers, a bipartisan House panel Tuesday found Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, guilty of 11 of 13 ethics-violation charges, including using congressional staff and stationery to solicit donations.
The Republican point man on a major new missile pact with Russia said that he doubted the Senate had enough time in the lame-duck session to debate and vote on the treaty.
As the lame-duck session of Congress moves forward, the key issue is whether to continue the George W. Bush tax cuts beyond 2010. In the current economic environment harmed by deep unemployment, stubborn housing-market reports and low growth, any tax increases at any level of income would be a death blow to the nation's already dismal economic outlook. Nevertheless, the liberal class-warfare mantra espoused by Sen. Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama is that those earning more than $250,000 a year should be taxed at higher rates.
President Obama's bid to win ratification of a new strategic arms pact with Russia suffered a major blow on Tuesday when a key Republican senator came out against holding a vote before the Senate adjourns at the end of the year.
"If only we had sold our stocks a few weeks ago." "If only I'd had the brakes checked before she drove up to the mountains." There are few sadder words than those of regret at letting time pass until the catastrophe hits. Neither individuals nor armies nor nations are exempt from the human tendency to wait too long before acting - and paying a terrible price for the delay.
President Obama has set the stage for an acrimonious relationship with the newly elected senators of the 112th Congress. As they come to Washington this week for freshman orientation, his welcome message amounts to, "I want to disenfranchise you."
Was the great financial crisis caused by greedy and reckless bankers and Wall Street players or by a broad range of individuals, financial institutions and governments who became less risk-averse and prudent or by government housing policies that brought on the housing bubble and mismanaged the risks? The lame-duck Congress now in session is about to make some major decisions on spending and taxes - when all too many members still are operating on the idea that greedy bankers and Wall Street players, rather than government housing policies, are the problem.
Ask any 10 voters what motivated them to go to the polls on Election Day, and you'll probably get 10 different answers. Taxes, unemployment, government