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America needs some good news. We thought there was going to be some from the World Cup, but that rug was yanked out from under us. The war in Afghanistan? President Obama took the opportunity of General Stanley McChrystal blabbing to reporters to look tough by firing him and re-hiring official “feel good” General David Petraeus. Why did Obama need to look tough? Because of his failure to come to grips with the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is now officially Obama’s Katrina, except worse because the spill could have been avoided, and because unlike a hurricane it never seems to stop.

Any direction you look the news is bad. There was a tussle in the Congress to extend unemployment benefits to those who are still jobless, while providing new benefits to those who are newly jobless. The “jump-start” of the economy appears to be only a backfire for American workers, while corporations reap the rewards of massive bailouts.

The stock market is on one of the most horrifying roller-coaster rides ever, alternately leaping and falling from one day to the next with little rationale or logic. A small ray of hope was seen in increased automobile sales, but that doesn’t seem to be sustainable or transferable to other markets.

Our supposed heroes and role models in the sport and entertainment worlds continue to disappoint as they go through endless arrests, affairs, divorces, alcohol and drug binges, and resort to plastic surgery to inflate themselves beyond natural proportions. How “real” is reality entertainment when all the noses, lips, and boobs you see are artificial?

But there is one thing we can celebrate: the 234th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the basic document that made possible a nation based on the still-difficult to attain ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Happy birthday America – still dedicated to the ongoing struggle to get it right.

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