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Argument over Washington Redskins is a trivial issue

BY WILLIAM F. SHUGHART II Published: November 30, 2013

Members of the Oneida Indian Nation are demanding that the National Football League's Washington Redskins change the team's name to something less offensive to American Indians. Sportscaster Bob Costas calls the current nickname “an insult, a slur.”

Following an announcement by Dan Snyder, who has owned the team since 1999, that he refuses to do any such thing, President Obama joined the fray, saying that if he owned a professional sports team and knew that its name “was offending a sizable group of people, I'd think about changing it.”

President Obama has better things to worry about — and so do RG III and the Redskins, who have won just three games this season.

For starters, the Congress has not passed a single federal government budget on President Obama's watch. And so, America has been poised on the edge of a “fiscal cliff” twice in the past year. Headlines about budget “sequesters,” furloughs, partial government shutdowns and looming defaults on the federal debt have become routine.

President Obama's version of budget compromise? Agree to reopen the federal government unconditionally and then we can talk. And the Republicans blinked, agreeing to raise Washington's borrowing authority until Feb. 7 and finance federal spending at current levels by passing yet another “continuing resolution.” Expect deja vu all over again early next year.

The activation of new health insurance “exchanges,” one of the centerpieces of the Affordable Care Act, was nothing short of disastrous. Glitches in the software program intended to provide information to consumers about the available insurance plans and premiums caused the entire system to crash. Weeks later there were still massive problems.

NSA snooping of phone calls and emails both here and overseas, scandals at the IRS for holding up the applications of “tea party” groups seeking tax-exempt status, looming fiscal train wrecks for Social Security and Medicare, and trillion dollar budget deficits as far as the eye can see. You would think the president had enough on his plate, but that is not all.

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