Rising debt: It's always the other party's fault

In today's edition of the Friday files, we're spotlighting lackluster candidates, imprisoned innocents and your letters.

But first, a look at the massive debt this country is racking up.

Many of us have been concerned about this growing mountain of red ink for quite some time.

But it's been interesting to hear from some of the politicians suddenly screaming bloody murder about it.

U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, for instance, has decried deficit spending as loudly as any local. The Brooksville Republican even took to the House floor last month to accuse Washington of spending money "like a teenager with a credit card."

She's right. But it's curious to hear her say so, seeing as how she voted to raise the nation's debt ceiling to about $9 trillion back when George W. Bush was running the show.

In fact, every single Republican in Florida's congressional delegation — including those bellyaching about spending now — voted to raise the debt ceiling when I last wrote about it in 2006.

Perhaps it isn't the debt to which all these folks so strenuously object … as much as who's asking for it.

But hey, Republicans don't have the market cornered on debt-related double standards.

In fact, back in 2006, one Democratic senator got awfully high and mighty in criticizing Brown-Waite and the other Republicans for piling up the debt. "Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren," the senator said, calling it "a failure of leadership."

That senator was Barack Obama.


Another week, another round of uninspiring headlines in the gubernatorial race.

Bill McCollum spent a lot of time apologizing for the fact that he voted against the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday back when he was in Congress. Yeah, things like that can come back to haunt you. (McCollum's excuse: He must've been a little "naive" at the time.)

While McCollum was back-pedaling, Alex Sink was simply dodging. She refused to take a position on whether health-care reform is constitutional. "I'm not a lawyer," she said, "so I can't have an opinion." (The problem with that is that, unless Sink is getting a law degree between now and November, she apparently wants to be the first governor in state history incapable of taking a stand on legal issues.)

To paraphrase Jack Nicholson's Joker: This race needs an enema. And one has to imagine that Paula Dockery, one of the lesser-known candidates — or even someone who hasn't yet entered the race — is eager to provide one.

Righting wrongs

An update on the tragic — and largely ignored — trend of imprisoned innocents in Brevard County:

With three men already exonerated after years in prison, the courts have approved DNA testing for a man who, national advocates say, will be the fourth.

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