A leopard may not be able to change its spots (or "its stripes," as former Vice President Al Gore once said), but John McCain is hoping to prove an old political warhorse can throw off his "maverick" image.

If you think America is in decline and you are worried about the future, you’re not alone. According to a report at FOXNews.com, a very solid majority of Americans — including both those who consider themselves Republicans and Democrats — are far more inclined to view the nation as weaker now than it has been.

dollarsFormer Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker sent up a trial balloon at the New York Historical Society April 6 when he said that a Value-Added Tax (VAT) needed to be considered in light of the huge deficits facing the country. According to Volcker, the VAT is “not as toxic an idea” as many have considered it to be in the past, and “if at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes.”

GuantanamoColonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who was Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, has charged in a sworn affidavit that top officials of the Bush administration — including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and President Bush himself — knowingly left innocent detainees to languish in prison to avoid political fallout. “Their view was that innocent people languishing in Guantánamo for years was justified by the broader war on terror and the capture of the small number of terrorists who were responsible for the September 11 attacks, or other acts of terrorism,” Colonel Wilkerson stated.

John Paul StevensA Republican who became the leader of the liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme Court, 90-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens, has announced he will retire at the end of the current term, after more than 34 years on the nation's highest tribunal. Nominated by Republican President Gerald Ford, who said he wanted "the finest legal mind I could find," Stevens was quickly confirmed by a Senate vote of 98-0, and was sworn in as Associate Justice on December 19, 1975.

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