FROM Michelle Cottle
Will the Sexy Scandals Blow Back on the President? While President Obama talks about oil-market manipulation and international relations, the media have been reporting about the Secret Service misbehaving with prostitutes in Colombia and General Services Administration bureaucrats partying in Las Vegas. American soldiers posing with the body parts of dead Afghan insurgents are also on top of the news. Michelle Cottle, Washington correspondent for Newsweek and the Daily Beast , has more on the juicy scandals that are interfering with Obama's campaign message.
Another Debate and Big Money in Politics When he withdrew yesterday and endorsed Mitt Rommey , Jon Huntsman said of the Republican campaign for president, "Rather than trying to advance our common goal, this race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people." With the field narrowed to five (the others are Ron Paul , Newt Gingrich , Rich Perry and Rick Santorum ), Republican presidential candidates had some sharp exchanges last night in South Carolina. With just four days -- and yet another debate -- until the primary election, we hear excerpts and assess the impact on South Carolina voters.
Extreme Makeover: US Economy Edition Globalization, advancing technology and the real estate collapse have led to a long-term economic crisis. Time for a tectonic shift in America? Or just muddle through?
Country Music's Changing Patriotic Tune The New Republic points out that, "Country music prides itself on being the voice of red-state America." The Dixie Chicks and Willie Nelson are among the exceptions, but Merle Haggard's " Okie from Muskogee " is typical of Country's super-patriotic conservatism. In the aftermath of September 11, Toby Keith came out "loud and proud" with " Courtesy of the Red,White and Blue (the Angry American)," recorded in 2002. Since then, things have changed, according to Michelle Cottle in the latest New Republic .
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.