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Ear to the Ground

George W. Bush Library Dedicated, GOP Pollster Rips Limbaugh, and More

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Posted on Apr 25, 2013

Past and Present: It was a rare sight Thursday, as Barack Obama and all four living ex-presidents attended the dedication ceremony of George W. Bush’s library. As is usual at events like these, the controversial aspects of Bush’s tumultuous presidency—of which there are many—were glossed over in favor of tributes by the likes of Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. As The Washington Post noted, George W. Bush himself came closest to acknowledging there were any troubles during his eight years in the White House, telling the large crowd in attendance at the ceremony that one right citizens have in the U.S. is to freely and expressly disagree with their leaders. “I created plenty of opportunities to exercise that right,” he said. (Read more)

No Beating Around the Bushes: George W. Bush said in an interview this week that his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, should run for president in 2016. Their mother, however, feels differently. When Barbara Bush was asked on NBC’s “Today” show whether she thought Jeb should make a bid for the White House, the former first lady responded, “He’s by far the best qualified man, but no. I really don’t.” She added, “There are other people out there that are very qualified and we’ve had enough Bushes.” (Read more)

Flying Blind: Despite the dire warnings issued by President Obama about the negative effects of the sequester cuts before they were enacted last month, Congress was still caught off-guard. In particular, lawmakers—along with the flying public—are upset over airport delays caused by the forced furloughs of air traffic controllers. Legislators also seem confused about how to solve the problem. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., is trying to figure out whether Congress needs to pass legislation in order to fix the furlough issue. “This wasn’t meant to come along because we were meant to be mature enough to work out a bargain so that all of this would go away,” Rockefeller said of the sequester, which was implemented March 1 after lawmakers failed to come up with a bipartisan budget deal to avoid it. (Read more)

On the Home Front: Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., have introduced a bill that is designed to help end veteran homelessness in the next two years. Called the Homeless Veterans Prevention Act of 2013, the bipartisan proposal would expand homelessness prevention programs, increase the amount of legal services available to veterans and reauthorize employment and housing programs, among other things. Although the rate of homelessness among veterans has declined since 2009, it’s still a major problem in this country: An estimated 62,000 vets remain without homes. The Sanders/Burr bill is geared toward helping the Department of Veterans Affairs meet its goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015. (Read more)

Video of the Day: Caustic commentator Rush Limbaugh and other hosts of right-wing talk radio shows are becoming a big problem for the Republican Party, GOP pollster Frank Luntz told a group of college students in a discussion he thought was off the record. Except for one thing: In an all too familiar scenario, someone was secretly recording him while he was talking. Mother Jones has since posted the footage, which features Luntz griping about conservative talk radio and how it’s negatively impacting the GOP.

 

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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