Getting along

February 18, 2011 2:35:46 PM PST
Can't we all just get along?

The Rodney King quote comes to mind as we watch events unfold in this country and around the world.

Alas, the answer seems to be a resounding, "no."

Crackdowns in the Middle East - bloody, deadly, dictatorial - and a sharp-knives-out mentality in legislatures across this country are making for a fascinating look at the dramatic ways people react to dramatic situations.

More violence and bloodshed in Bahrain and Libya today, as people who have nothing rebel against a government they perceive as the protector of people who have everything. Yes religion plays a role in these uprisings, but it's class that rules here. And those without money and resources are revolting against the so-called golden rule: Those who have the gold, make the rules.

The rebellions in this country aren't bloody, but there dramatic nonetheless. There's an outright legislative revolt in Wisconsin, where Democratic Party lawmakers are refusing to go to work, depriving the state senate of a quorum to vote on draconian budget cuts and the end of collective bargaining for state workers called for by Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Today, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, in an interview with ABC News, called the governor "Hosni Walker," comparing Walker to the ousted Egyptian President.

"I think the similarities are that people are wanting to be heard, and they are taking direct action," Baldwin said.

Then there are the dozens of budget cuts voted on and pushed through by the Tea Partiers who have stormed Congress in Washington. It's a fascinating political and human interest story.

If your household income goes down, as it has for millions of Americans, you take a sharp pencil and you start cutting your expenses. Cutting premium cable channels is one thing; cutting all news and information channels is another. Doesn't it hurt your life to be in the dark when it comes to news? (We think it does, by the way). Cut out fancy restaurants - sure. But if you cut out all food, you'll get sick, and you won't be able to work. And so the money you save will be far outweighed by your loss of income.

All that at play in Washington with some of these cuts. What's fat? What's bone? Complicating the issue: One person's fat may be another's bone. And vice versa.

We'll have the latest from the Middle East and from Washington tonight at 11 - including reaction from Planned Parenthood here in New York. Today, the House voted to cut the group's $330 million in federal funding. Although the measure has virtually no chance of passing the Senate, it's the first shot across the bow of the country's largest women's health agency.

Also at 11, Nina Pineda has the story of a former Marine in our area, trying to dig out of debt he incurred while studying to become a physician's assistant. He gave a supposed debt settlement expert $1500 to help him get above water. But he did nothing. The Marine felt ripped off, and so he turned to Nina and got 7 On Your Side.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg with his weekend AccuWeather weather, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me tonight at 11, right after 20/20.


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