FROM Gene Ulm
Populism and the President At a congressional grilling of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Republicans and Democrats acted out the anger they’ve been hearing from their constituents. The outrage is not yet directed at the President himself, but it’s getting through to the Obama White House. Is it greater on the right or the left? Will it paralyze Congress? Can a popular new president turn it to his advantage?
American Populism: 21st Century Style Treasury Secretary Geithner and Federal Reserve Chief Bernanke were on the hot seat today as members of Congress channeled the outrage of their constituents. Historians are reminded of populist anger during the Great Depression, the Gilded Age and Andrew Jackson's war against central bankers. Advisors on Capitol Hill and at the Obama White House are calculating the depth of public resentment over the loss of home value and retirement savings. Is it greater on the right or the left? Will it paralyze Congress? Can a popular new president turn it to his advantage?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.