Hot Buttons: Talk show topics

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International  |  July 18, 2002 at 3:15 AM
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The recent barrage of congressional and media criticism directed at President Bush for his handling of the widening corporate financial scandal has failed to damage his popularity, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. The survey finds Bush's job approval rating at 72 percent, virtually unchanged from a month ago.

An equally large proportion of people view the president as honest and trustworthy, despite news accounts he benefited as a business executive from some of the same practices he now publicly criticizes. About half of those surveyed -- 49 percent -- approve of the way Bush has dealt with the crisis in corporate America. Forty-three percent disapprove.

Most support Bush's proposals to increase penalties for financial fraud and to create a business corruption task force but 54 percent say these measures are "not tough enough."

A total of 1,512 randomly selected adults were interviewed July 11-15. The margin of error of the survey is plus or minus three percentage points.

-- Do Bush's proposals go far enough?

-- Can government do anything about "greedy executives, negligent corporate boards and the overall moral decline in society?"


The federal government's reputation as a boring, old-fashioned and uncaring employer is discouraging young people keen to enter public service in the wake of Sept. 11, according to a poll by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates Inc.

Just over 40 percent of college students said they are considering a government career, the survey of 1,022 college seniors and juniors found, The Washington Post reports.

However, stuffy, inflexible and outmoded working practices are the main reasons why few are going to work for the government. The government should be extremely worried by these findings, says Jeffrey Neal, director of human resources for the Defense Logistics Agency.

Neal and Linda J. Bilmes, former assistant secretary of commerce, commissioned the poll as research for a book they are writing on how government should adopt the best practices of leading companies. "If we don't reform ... then the government is heading for a train wreck," Neal says.

Private companies won on almost every value students considered important in an employer: the potential to "go high," caring management, family friendly policies, salary and the chance to try new things. Students gave the government credit for being free from discrimination and having a strong pension plan.

-- Two-thirds of those polled say government jobs were based on "who you know." Do you agree?

-- Do you agree the government is "stuffy, inflexible and outmoded" as an employer?


"Adult" advertising or sex ads -- the classified and display ads for strip clubs, massage parlors, escorts, phone-sex lines, domination/submission services, pornographic video and bookstores are beginning to show up in daily newspapers.

It's a newspaper advertising category that for decades has been owned by alternative papers, but increasing numbers of daily newspapers are coyly succumbing to the many seductions of sex ads, Editor & Publisher reports.

On a typical day last week, the Chicago Sun-Times' "Strictly Personal" classified category included ads offering phone numbers for "horny local girls," "cheating housewives" and "local nasty girls."

Other dailies, such as The Dallas Morning News, are beginning to accept ads in more controversial "escort" category.

Ironically, just as dailies are pursuing the adult category, alternatives are asking themselves if sex ads -- no matter how lucrative -- are limiting their potential growth in revenue and readership, Editor & Publisher says.

-- Would you object if your daily newspaper carried more adult sex ads?

-- Should newspapers establish standards for accepting such ads or should the government step in and regulate?

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