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IQ: Up the down staircase 

Haiti, the Massachusetts election, the neverending health care debate, high unemployment, the Supreme Court decision — we've had a spate of high-profile headlines recently. Do they suggest we're crashing down faster than ever?

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Cameron Shorkey
Central

Student and barista/bartender

What's the biggest headline of the past week or so? The Supreme Court decision to eliminate caps on campaign financing for corporations. Future politicians will be bought, paid for, and beholden to corporate America. That's probably not all that much a departure from the present, though.

Will health care reform be possible with 41 Republicans in the Senate? Probably not, and that's sad. My brother couldn't get surgery for a brain tumor for a year because his insurance company declared it a pre-existing condition. He finally got the surgery, but his tumor had doubled in size by then.

Does it seem like things are falling apart, continuing pretty much normally, or getting better? There's always been bad things happening in the world. I think 2010 will be a damn good year for me, though.

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Daniel Sebeck
Stetson Hills

Air Force

What is the significance of the Massachusetts election? People need something to be fired up about. That was partly resistance to health care reform, but it's more people wanting change, per se. [Ted] Kennedy had been there forever. Now somebody else is.

Is health care reform dead? I'm not tuned into that issue. I grew up military, I'm military now, so I've always had health care.

How important an issue is climate change these days? It's something people talk about a lot, but if they were really concerned they'd walk to work and ride bikes more.

Are things falling apart, going on as usual, or getting better? People will always be angry at the weather, or at politicians, or the economy, but life goes on as it always has.

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Kendra Ryder-White
Downtown

Restaurant manager

What's the biggest story in the swirl of recent news headlines? Haiti getting leveled with hundreds of thousands of people killed.

Is health care reform dead? It's been in the works for so long that too many people have gotten used to the idea. Some sort of change will happen.

How important an issue is climate change nowadays? I want to go into conservation. It's the highest priority of any issue out there.

Are the wheels falling off, is everything proceeding as usual, or are things getting better? Things are pretty much going on as usual, in the sense that everything's been going to hell in a handbasket for years. Maybe it's the mercury in fish.

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