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Political Debate

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NEWS
May 3, 1995 | By David M. Kennedy
"Words ought to be a little wild," the eminent British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote in 1933, "for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking. " Were he alive to witness this country's rhetorical wars today, Keynes might have to swallow those very words. The wildness of our contemporary political dialogue has swollen beyond anything he might have imagined, even in the contentious atmosphere of Depression-era Britain in which he wrote. Many pundits, commentators and self-anointed political savants do not merely mount polemical assaults aimed at jarring the unthinking into sentience; they wage a savage, all-out "blitzkrieg" against thinking and unthinking alike - a merciless verbal carpet-bombing in which fantastic hyperbole and berserk conspiracy theories are the standard ordnance.
NEWS
October 19, 2013 | By Mari Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's election season, and along with that come dueling news conferences in Delaware County from the Democrats and Republicans. The cause at stake is the survival of the heavily traveled Media/Elwyn SEPTA line that is threatened with extinction in 2015. SEPTA announced it plans to cut nine of its 13 rail lines, close a subway line and convert all trolley routes to bus lines unless it gets more state funding. In Harrisburg, the Senate has passed the bill that would provide the money.
NEWS
April 18, 1992 | By WILLIAM RASPBERRY
As someone not particularly fond of Jerry Brown, I'm tempted to think of it as poetic justice that it is the former governor of California whose face is now spattered with mud. After all, Brown has taken some blatantly unfair shots at Bill Clinton, and what goes around . . . But in fact, I feel no elation over what ABC-TV did to Brown last week, with its revelation that some nameless, faceless, uncheckable sources had said some other nameless, faceless,...
NEWS
March 29, 1992 | By DAVID R. BOLDT
I guess the exact moment that it became indubitably apparent that the political process wasn't working right again this year came for me Tuesday night when Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown appeared on ABC-TV's Nightline. It was more like watching a dogfight than a political debate, with Brown snapping like an overbred whippet, while Clinton snarled back like a jowly hound dog. Ted Koppel happily egged them on, alternately tossing small scraps of meat between them, then yanking back with vicious pulls on their choke collars.
NEWS
April 14, 1995
The Republican representative from Disneyland, Bob Dornan, announced for president yesterday with warnings about America's "cultural meltdown" and "moral decay. " Yet Mr. Dornan himself could be the poster boy for something that's very wrong with American society: its incivility. As political debate has come to resemble mud-wrestling, Mr. Dornan has shown great skill at demonizing and sucker-punching his adversaries. His specialty is to impugn Democrats' patriotism. Once, he unjustly called Tom Downey, then a Democratic representative from New York, "a draft-dodging wimp.
NEWS
October 25, 2007
DAVID BRADLEY'S op-ed "The Boss Sounds the Alarm" tries to paint Bruce Springsteen as a heroic poet-activist, trying to warn fellow Americans against the evils in our system of government. According to "the Boss," there are lies and deceit in the heart of every politician and capitalist who dares profit from this land. This millionaire rock star, who capitalized big-time on our system while waving the flag back in the '80s, is now sour on this country and its people? Cry me a river, Bruce.
NEWS
November 25, 2005
RE YOUR editorial "It's about science, by God": Thanks for raising awareness of the debacle that led to throwing out the entire school board in Dover, Pa. As usual, the Daily News makes no bones about where you stand. That is what makes your paper fun to read. But it worries me that people are lining up on both sides, as if the evolution (E) versus intelligent design (ID) issue was a political debate. Hey, I want my kids to learn both sides and be able to make their own decisions!
NEWS
January 18, 2005
"CROSSFIRE" has been canceled, and, sorry, there'll be no tears shed here. We have grown weary of the CNN show and others of its ilk, where the exchange of insults, clever one-liners and partisan chatter pass for political debate. It's not. Though wrapped in the veil of political enlightenment, these shows are about entertainment, pure and simple. Instead of dueling ideas, we wound up with dueling personalities. Come on, does anyone really remember what was said after all the shouting was over?
NEWS
April 26, 1986
The Philadelphia chapter of the American Jewish Committee commends The Inquirer's forthright editorial of April 18, "America is now engaged in a new kind of war," and its sequel on April 20. As you noted, terrorism threatens "all Western democracies. " The irrational use of violence against innocent citizens of any nationality is a deplorable escalation of any political debate. We have been saddened at the deaths of innocent Americans and innocent victims of terrorism in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.
NEWS
February 20, 1995
Our contemporary political debate has settled into two painfully familiar ruts. Republicans, as we know, are infatuated with the magic of the "private sector," and reflexively criticize government as the enemy of freedom. Human needs and the common good are best served through the marketplace, goes their mantra. At the other extreme, Democrats tend to distrust the market, seeing it as synonymous with greed and exploitation, the domain of Jay Gould and Michael Milken. Ever confident in the powers of government to solve problems, Democrats instinctively turn to the bureaucratic state to regulate the economy and to solve social problems.
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NEWS
May 1, 2016 | By Ellen Gray, TV Critic
What if a tree fell during a televised presidential debate and Twitter and Facebook weren't there to record it/share it/mock it for its inability to remain upright? Would viewers have a better sense of the forest? Those aren't exactly the questions researchers set out to answer in a recently published study by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, but they might as well have been. In an article published online in the journal Political Communication, the Penn researchers concluded that people who used social media knew more about the 2012 election than nonusers, but that those who multitasked while watching the debates between President Obama and Mitt Romney didn't learn as much.
NEWS
October 19, 2013 | By Mari Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's election season, and along with that come dueling news conferences in Delaware County from the Democrats and Republicans. The cause at stake is the survival of the heavily traveled Media/Elwyn SEPTA line that is threatened with extinction in 2015. SEPTA announced it plans to cut nine of its 13 rail lines, close a subway line and convert all trolley routes to bus lines unless it gets more state funding. In Harrisburg, the Senate has passed the bill that would provide the money.
NEWS
October 17, 2012 | By Harold I. Gullan
I was thinking of Arlen Specter while watching this year's first presidential debate, reflecting on how rarely these gaffe-avoidance exercises actually change anyone's preconceptions. The most one-sided political debate I've ever seen was during Pennsylvania's Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 2010. Specter, the longtime incumbent, simply demolished his challenger, that seasoned old salt Joe Sestak. Specter was by turns the folksy Arlen, recalling his reverence during his modest Kansas upbringing for Franklin D. Roosevelt, the inspiration for his public life - well, that and symbolically getting his father the bonus promised for his service in the First World War - and the "snarlin' Arlen" who would reach for the jugular of any opponent, whatever his or her age or gender.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 6, 2012 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
  It was only two hours until Wednesday night's presidential-race debate, and another political debate was just beginning on the stage at Plays & Players Theatre, where the six cast members of This Is the Week That Is had declared themselves undecided voters, and set out to explore the issues. And what an exploration it is! I've seen many versions of 1812 Productions' annual This Is the Week That Is , a satire on news and life in general, and this year's "Election Special" is the funniest and meatiest I can recall.
NEWS
April 24, 2012 | BY HALEY KMETZ, Daily News Staff Writer
PROTESTERS who had filled the auditorium seats at an anti-Muslim event on Temple University's campus Monday night left the room quite empty when they marched out in opposition after the discussion began. The organization hosting the "Islamic Apartheid Conference," Temple University Students for Intellectual Freedom, says its mission is to introduce controversial issues often left out of mainstream debates and defends its right to political incorrectness. Panelists at the conference included Robert Spencer, contributor to the blog Jihad Watch, and Pamela Geller, famous for her hostility to the proposed construction of an Islamic community center near the site of the World Trade Center.
NEWS
January 31, 2012
By Steve Frank President Obama's State of the Union address was widely regarded as the opening salvo of his reelection bid and an attempt to frame the general election debate, which, channeling public anger at Washington and Wall Street, promises to be the most populist in decades. Ever since December, when Obama delivered another much-discussed address in Osawatomie, Kan., I've been brushing up on Progressive Era rhetoric to prepare for the election campaign. Because, as the president's choice of location highlighted, we've been here before.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 2, 2011 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Fox News commentator and former NPR news analyst Juan Williams calls himself the worst kind of bigot on the very first page of his new book, Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate (Crown, $24). "I am a bigot," he writes. "I hate Muslims. I am a fomenter of hate and intolerance. I am a black guy who makes fun of Muslims for the entertainment of white racists. " Williams, who will discuss the book Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Central Library, is, of course, being sarcastic.
NEWS
January 12, 2011
Pushed into forest of social anxiety Tuesday's comments on the Arizona shooting by E.J. Dionne ("Rhetoric has consequences") and Annette John-Hall ("Sheriff in Ariz. speaks truth") were excellent and long-overdue. Be the words spoken or written, there needs to be a clear line of demarcation to inform us where the humane, respectful, and civilized ends and the criminal, demonic, and punishable begins. The strategy of the extreme right has pushed civilization into the "Urwald," or untamed, ancient forest of political and social anxiety.
NEWS
May 28, 2009 | By Cynthia Burton INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
First of 2 candidate profiles Even when Christopher J. Christie seems angry, there's that spark in his eyes, the slight turn of a lip, and the raised eyebrow that say he's still in control and enjoying the battle. He'd better like it. If the Republican candidate for governor wins Tuesday's primary, he'll likely go up against multimillionaire Democratic Gov. Corzine in the general election. The governor has shown no hesitation to fillet his opponents with expensive television campaigns.
NEWS
September 25, 2008 | By Steven Rea INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Bill Maher had to face down protests when he showed up at the premiere of Religulous at the Toronto International Film Festival a couple of weeks ago. The heckling clutch of Christian conservatives hadn't seen the comic's documentary denouncing humankind's systems of belief - Catholicism, Judaism, the Mormons, Islam, Scientology even. But that didn't stop them from circling the entrance to the big hall, holding candles, and asking God to forgive the wise-guy contrarian of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher for his blasphemy.
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