abc bulliesThe nation is divided. Fundamental issues of religion, morality, economics, and fundamental civil liberties and the responsibilities of elected officials are being debated — often in angry tones — by people whose viewpoints regularly have every appearance of being mutually irreconcilable. There is a perception that, for good or for ill, the nation is truly at a crossroads that will define its character for generations to come.

Northwest AirlinesThe pilots of Northwest Flight 188 claim that they were overly concentrating on their schedules on their laptop computers when they overshot the Minneapolis airport by 150 miles. A number of aviation experts contend that the pilots actually fell asleep. Regardless of which explanation is correct, the one topic missing from the public debate is: “Why didn't the flight attendants awaken the pilots or otherwise alert them in a timely manner?”

Sharpton and GingrichFormer House Speaker Newt Gingrich, often talked about as a possible Republican candidate for President in 2012, should cut his ties to controversial civil rights activist Al Sharpton, National Legal and Policy Center President Peter Flaherty said. As reported on the Internet news magazine Newsmax, Flaherty has called on Gingrich to terminate his association with the fiery black preacher after Sharpton had spoken out against conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh's involvement with a group seeking to buy the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League.

A veteran Republican congressman and self-described "Pat Buchanan American" now regrets he "didn't vote my conscience" in the fall of 2002, when he voted to authorize President George W. Bush to take military action against Iraq. As reported in NationalJournal.com, the "conscience-stricken" Walter Jones of North Carolina, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, is now writing a book he hopes will atone for what he now considers a sinful vote.

obama chinaItem: Speaking at the United Nations on September 23, President Barack Obama boasted of what his new administration had done already: