Topic Category: Politics

The strange-bedfellows alliance of the center-left PD and the center-right PdL has been weakened by votes of no-confidence in both houses of Parliament. Nevertheless, it has survived the ordeal, despite fears that the PD’s refusal to help the PdL’s founder, Silvio Berlusconi, to escape his latest legal troubles could bring an early end to the parties’ marriage of necessity.

Topic: Politics
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The convergence of multiple serious economic problems, including food shortages, spiraling price increases, chronic power outages, and the limited availability of precious U.S. dollars, is contributing to a sense of disenchantment with the government. In addition, the population is troubled by a rising tide of deadly crime and deep-seated corruption; suspicions that high-ranking officials are profiting from exploitation of the distortions in the currency market are spreading fast.

Topic: Politics
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I run a successful manufacturing and export business. My success depends on our ability to accurately cost the materials and services we consume. If my estimates are wrong, I won't stay in business very long. Our government has no such apparent obligation. Our tax dollars are being wasted on projects that are so out of sync with accepted norms that one wonders who is involved in these decisions.

Topic: Politics
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The continued dominance of the ruling United Russia party was confirmed yet again at regional and local elections held on September 8. The opposition made a strong enough showing in major cities to suggest that President Vladimir Putin and his allies cannot take victory for granted in urban areas, but elsewhere, United Russia’s position appears to be pretty much unassailable.

Topic: Politics
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I don't pay much attention to opinion polls, because they're only as good as the pollster, and many of them are faulty in one way or another. But you don't have to be a Harvard Business School graduate to realize that the average voter has little or no respect for government, from the top down.

Topic: Politics
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ideologically eclectic coalition government passed the first major test of its viability in early August, when the Knesset approved an austerity budget for 2013–2014 that includes a range of spending cuts and tax increases. The passage of a two-year spending plan has greatly increased the coalition’s chance of surviving until 2015, assuming there is no need to revise the freshly minted budget.

Topic: Politics
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Allegations of exorbitant claims for reimbursement of living expenses submitted by some senators from the governing CPC became a major problem for Prime Minister Stephen Harper after it was revealed that his chief of staff, Nigel Wright, had cut a check for $90,000 to one senator. Wright resigned, but Harper’s claim that he had no knowledge of the transaction failed to convince voters.

Topic: Politics
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A recent Associated Press story, which stopped me in my tracks, said the gap in employment rates between America's highest- and lowest-income families has stretched to its widest levels since officials began tracking the data a decade ago. Rates of unemployment for the lowest-income families — those earning less than $20,000 — have topped 21 percent, nearly matching the rate for all workers during the Great Depression.

Topic: Politics
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As recently as three months ago, President Dilma Rousseff appeared to be in a strong position to win a second four-year term at an election scheduled for October 2014. She boasted a fairly high approval rating, her zero-tolerance approach to corruption in her administration had won her a reputation as a leader with integrity, and the main governing PT had made a respectable showing at local elections held in October 2012.

Topic: Politics
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As a conservative, I’m fully on record as a critic of President Obama’s policies. Today, however, I’m on board with the president’s decision to ask for congressional authority on Syria. Moreover, if the intelligence is solid, then Congress needs to give President Obama his requested authority. It is absolutely correct for the president to seek congressional approval. Sadly, it appears he is seeking such authority for all the wrong reasons.

Topic: Politics
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