Letter: The United States Really Is Exceptional

United States roster falling to pieces ahead of remaining 2014 World Cup qualifiers

The president reiterated one more time tonight that he will not negotiate, House Speaker John Boehner said as he emerged after a meeting that he said was little more than a nice conversation, a polite conversation. The only thing thats stopping it right now is that John Boehner has not been willing to say no to a faction of the Republican Party that are willing to burn the house down because of an obsession with my health care initiative, Obama said. The White House meeting also included House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, and Vice President Joe Biden. Even as 800,000 federal employees remained furloughed and government agencies were shuttered or crippled, the White House began turning its attention to the next battle: raising the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has warned that the government will not be able to borrow more money unless the debt ceiling is raised by October 17. Administration officials and economists have warned failing to raise the ceiling would trigger a default on government debt that could lead to meltdown in debt markets and push the economy into another recession. When asked whether Wall Street should shrug off the stalemate in Washington, Obama told CNBC: I think this time is different. I think they should be concerned. Am I exasperated? Absolutely Im exasperated because this is entirely unnecessary, Obama said. I have bent over backwards to work with the Republican Party and have purposely kept my rhetoric down. Obama hosted 14 chief executives from top financial firms at the White House on Wednesday, who afterward issued dire warnings about the debt ceiling and called on Republicans not to use it as a bargaining chip. Theres a consensus that we shouldnt do anything that hurts this recovery, Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs, said as he left the White House. You can relitigate these policy issues in a political forum, but we shouldnt use threats of causing the US to fail on its obligations to repay its debt as a cudgel. The business community frequently sides with Republicans and has fought some of Obamas health care and financial regulatory laws. But the White House has won support from business in the current fight, with groups such as the US Chamber of Commerce urging Republicans to drop their demands that the health care law be tied to funding the government. Corporate leaders have warned that a debt ceiling crisis could be a disaster. Theres precedent for a government shutdown, Blankfein said.

Good News: The United States Still Isn’t a Failed State

The United States currently ranks a solidly not-failed 159th out of 178 states on the Fund’s annual index , which orders countries based on how they score across 12 indicators , and it would take a big hit to push America into failed territory. The shutdown, depending on how long it goes on, could cause the United States to at least rise a few spots in next year’s rankings (the higher the ranking, the more instability). Congress’s inability to agree on a spending plan has consequences for several indicators of “failedness” where the U.S. has already not been faring too well of late, Krista Hendry, executive director of the Fund, told FP. It’s a demonstration of an increasingly factionalized elite, it leads directly to a deterioration of public services, and it doesn’t exactly do the economy any favors, or strengthen perceptions about the legitimacy of the state. But hey, we have a lot going for us! General rule of law holds — federal courts are still hearing cases, and prison guards are still on the job. Essential services have been preserved; mail, for instance, is still being delivered. Our federalized system means states are still capable of running their own schools and hospitals without federal aid. “We still have air-traffic controllers in the towers, we still have military that are on call and as ready as they were yesterday. Essential services are all still going to function,” said Failed States Index Co-Director J.J.

United States shutdown solution no closer after crisis meeting

Everybody should know by now that Bradley is the one absolutely indispensable piece to this U.S. puzzle, so any efforts at a top performance begins with their midfield glue. Clint Dempseys hamstring issue (Where did he get this thing? No one seems to know.) has kept the U.S. attacker out of Seattles last two matches. Even if Dempseys condition improves, Seattle is likely to lobby for keeping him, for playoff positioning and Supporters Shield pursuits next week. Considering Dempsey is Major League Soccers top wage earner, it seems like a reasonable request. (MORE: U.S. Soccer and Jones refute reports of injury) Jermaine Jones status may be up in the air; reports out of Germany say surgery will have Jones on the shelf for a few weeks. But Jones and U.S. Soccer are refuting those reports, so stay tuned on this one.

‘Bill’ Oliphant, Knoxville Knoxville News Sentinel A Yes, Vladimir Putin. The United States is an exceptional country, but that is not to say Russia isnt exceptional. Large or small, every country on the face of this planet is exceptional. Almost all countries celebrate their revolutions, epic battles, valiant defenses, talented and/or heroic individuals, prolonged struggles, natural disasters, financial collapses and such. Most are prideful of their great polymaths, playwrights, composers, writers, scientists, inventors and explorers. All have suffered the embarrassment of misguided policies, unsavory alliances, atrocities, persecution and discrimination. Generally, they take pride in their identity, history and culture; deserve understanding and respect of their uniqueness from other countries; and resent criticism from countries that belittle them. Surprisingly, the citizens of some Communist countries have a more positive attitude regarding the general direction of their countries than we do (i.e., China and Russia are 85 and 37 percent positive, respectively, versus the United States, with only 26 percent positive) and are more optimistic about the future, while the most vocal self-proclaimed patriots in the United States seem to absolutely hate our democratic government, the basis of our exceptionalism. While governments following the Communist Manifesto are based on the principle that the bourgeois (wealthy or privileged/intelligentsia) are evil, and the proletariat (middle income and workers) are victims at the mercy of the bourgeois and capitalism, our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are based on the principle that all citizens are entitled by natural law to certain inalienable rights that are guaranteed and protected (from power, corruption and greed) by rule of law, and not the arbitrary dictates of despots or demagogues. So, yes, Mr. Putin, the United States is exceptional, and, while your rendition of Blueberry Hill may also be exceptional, I submit that President Barack Obama beats you hands down with his rendition of Al Greens Lets Stay Together. 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.