What others think around the U.S., elsewhere
Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad as compiled by the Associated Press:
The incompetence of President Nicolás Maduro’s government in Venezuela, coupled with rampant corruption, is reaching dangerous levels that could portend a social explosion in that politically tense nation. With inflation reaching just under 50 percent for September and shortages of basic consumer goods multiplying by the day, there is no clear path to resolution of the country’s increasingly severe problems.
In the latest sign that the economy is falling apart, Toyota announced last week that it would have to clwnkee, go home.” (Yep, he really said that.)
Heading into municipal elections in December, Venezuela’s people are clearly fed up with his failed governance and may well send a signal by voting for the regime’s opponents at the local level. At this point, the only thing that can save Venezuela is a change in course that Maduro’s government is apparently unable or unwilling to provide.
Distributing revelations about the voracious appetite of the National Security Agency for personal email and instant messaging accounts stir a basic question: Where is Congress and the executive branch?
Who is looking out for the rights of Americans? Apparently no one.
The NSA, which already legally collects U.S. call records, also collects contact lists. Collecting the information is illegal in the United States, so the NSA does its work overseas. This is a variation on endlessly holding terror suspects in foreign jails and torturing them outside of U.S. legal restrictions.
Irony of ironies, the NSA is collecting communications data at a volume that has imperiled the capacities of storage repositories.
Both Congress and the executive branch come off badly. Lawmakers are fully empowered to hold hearings, ask questions and rewrite budgets if they do not like the answers or outcomes. President Obama is absolutely responsible for how the money is spent, and this bald evasion of the law does not reflect well on the Harvard Law School grad.
Get Congress involved, and wake up the White House.
There was a collective sigh of relief as Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress agreed at the 11th hour on a deal that reopened the government and averted a debt default. The agreement represents a virtually complete victory for President Barack Obama, who held steady to his position refusing to negotiate with a gun to his head.
It is not clear what, if anything, Republicans have learned from this debacle. GOP popularity ratings have reached historical lows. The party is perceived as being responsible for the shutdown, ready to take the U.S. economy and, by extension, the world economy to the precipice, and as being more interested in photo opportunities than in the hardships imposed on ordinary Americans.
The questions remain: How many more times must the world watch the spectacle of lawmaker brinkmanship over the U.S. debt, and what it will take to silence the radicals? Ultimately, it is up to U.S. voters to stop this madness and demand accountability from their politicians. It is not too much to ask for.