November 8, 2011
Peter Funt is a writer and public speaker, and can be reached at www.CandidCamera.com. His column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate.
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Sparse attendance in Congress is an historical fact, but this scene was depressing nonetheless. The situation has gradually worsened as television and the Internet make it easier for members to stay in touch without actually setting foot in the chambers.
For most Americans, a penny at the gas pump has vivid significance, but billions of dollars create a meaningless blur.
We're in the midst of an information explosion –– a virtual supermarket of news options –– and Americans are stuffing themselves with sweets.
Voters judging the presidential candidates must dig through a growing list of imprecise utterances these days to determine whether the remarks should be taken seriously. Was it a flub or fib? A slip or a flip-flop? Maybe a gaffe? Even the smallest quips make it to the Internet and cable-TV, and many need deciphering.
We know President Obama did something last week related to rules covering contraception and health insurance for employees of religious organizations. But how do you characterize his action in a short headline? What's the appropriate verb to follow "Obama ..."?
"You can't make this stuff up," Johnny Carson used to say when truth trumped fiction in one of his monologues. The line is perfect for the current GOP presidential campaign, where the candidates' seemingly serious pronouncements leave joke writers with little to add.
It's a two-man race now, Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. Here's the betting line on key categories that seem to matter most in debates and on the stump.
If watching the GOP candidates becomes intolerable, and if fleeing to Australia doesn't seem viable, you might find 500 feet of rope handy to, well, hang yourself.
Across the street are three young men carrying cloth sacks, walking slowly through the woods in hunched-over style. Their bounty is a tasty brown mushroom, so you might say this is the Porcini Parade.
Four top-notch news guys died this fall. Their individual styles of journalism could not have been more different, and yet they were alike in their dedication to keeping audiences informed and entertained. They touched us all, but for me, each had a special connection.
On the GOP campaign circuit, "lazy" and "soft" have quickly become the go-to words for 2012. It's the latest example of how unprincipled political behavior in an age of instant communications is wrecking government, as well as the process of electing people to run it.
If you've been sending money to Herman Cain to prop up his troubled campaign, please send some to Rick Perry so he stays in the race. Consider it a favor to all of us who are hopelessly hooked on "Dancing with the Real Candidates of the GOP," otherwise known as the 2012 Republican presidential debates. No network programmer could have invented a TV series with such pop.
The immigration issue has grown into a virtually unsolvable problem. Arizona and neighboring states need a guest worker program, a reasonable path to citizenship for those without documentation, plus a compassionate program for their children.