My big summer project has turned out to be redecorating my Chicago apartment. It all started because I told my landlord I was moving in order to gain a dishwasher and a vent above the stove. He countered with an offer to put both of them in and then some. That has created an interesting discussion among my friends about women and comic books that has been more disturbing than you might have thought possible.
SAN DIEGO -- This tourist Mecca has long been loved for the gleaming beaches along its 70-mile coastline where the sea caresses the sand. Now it's becoming known as the city where its Mayor allegedly gave unwanted caresses, butt pats and playful chokeholds to more than a dozen women.
"What do you mean, Americans have gotten ruder?"
Just like AAA ratings on mortgage-backed securities led to Wall Street's 2008 disaster, a rash of accountability scandals might be precursors to a similar public school crash. After years of promises that test-driven accountability would yield miracles, scandals with school ratings are popping up all over the country. Unless we hold reformers as accountable as they hold students, these scandals could bring down our public school system the same way Wall Street almost innovated our economy back into the Stone Age.
I've been thinking about the sorry state of American culture, and that made me reminisce about the Cold War.
SAN JOSE, Calif. - All I know about climate, some say, is what's outside my window.
Once upon a time, there was a little red hen who lived on a farm past the woods. She was friends with a bossy but politically connected pig, a groveling sheep who worked as a flunky for the village and a scared little mouse who specialized in running away and hiding. Hey. Sometimes your friends are whoever lives on the farm next to you.
Anyone who has even bothered to read my columns over the last decade-plus knows I was never a huge fan of George W. Bush. I have always believed that the 43rd president was a decent man who tried to do the right thing but often failed, either because of bad advice or flawed ideology - or both. That said, Barack Obama has carried Bush bashing to a level that should astound all but the most hardened and cynical political observer.
Ownership changes at The Washington Post and Boston Globe have many people speculating anew about the future of newspapers. But whatever happens to these great publications probably won't mean much to you, me, or the paper that carries this column.
Whether you're arising from a long, luxurious sleep or frantically cleaning up melted crayons, surely you have a strong opinion on the cover story in the August 12 "Time" magazine: "The Childfree Life: When Having It All Means Not Having Children."
Too many of our political leaders see government as the solution to our challenges. If only they paid more consideration to what some of our great minds had to say about government.
Boy, are some Americans losing interest in marriage these days.
It's a classic case of deja vu, and you get that sinking, ominous feeling. And then a (momentarily) optimistic one.
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
Denise Romano would make a lousy terrorist. She has a severe chronic refractory cough that causes her to pass out several times a day. She uses a walker so she has something to lean on when she gets one of her coughing fits. She can't drive. During the "people's filibuster," she let protestors use the parking space at her condo two blocks from the capitol. As much as she wanted to join the protests, her body just couldn't take it. Online activism was her only outlet.
Did you ever have a week in which you had an impossible amount of work to complete, yet somehow got it done?
Happy Thursday, everybody, and God Bless America.
America's attention recently turned away from the violence in Iraq and Gaza toward the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown. While all the facts surrounding the shooing have yet to come to light, the shock of seeing police using tear gas (a substance banned in warfare), and other military-style weapons against American citizens including journalists exercising their First Amendment rights, has started a much-needed debate on police militarization.
Shortly after he angrily denounced the obscene beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by a member of the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a smiling President Barack Obama was photographed playing golf. And so it started -- just like clockwork.
While the dominant Republican slogan on health care remains "repeal and replace," there is little agreement on what "replace" means. But if we wait until Obamacare can be repealed before developing a consensus on positive health care changes, major parts of Obamacare will be even more entrenched and its seductive goal of universal coverage may push us instead toward fully government-controlled single-payer system.
Knew he shouldn't. Couldn't help himself. I'm talking about the beaming leer in Rick Perry's mug shot. Or to be more precise, his smug shot. In the photo released by the Austin Police Department, the Texas Governor grins like a Cheshire Cat who just cleaned out the canary department of a PetSmart and is presetting his Lexus' GPS for another store.
Once again Israel is being forced to defend itself from the terrorists who run Gaza.
The initial outburst of rage, simmering for years in a brick and pavement community draped in poverty was genuine, and for many today is still genuine. It didn't and will never matter to many in Ferguson what Michael Brown did or did not do. What remains is a white man of authority gunned him down in the street and "the man" left his corpse in the open to rot for hours as men, women and children ogled, stared and raged from a distance.
So it turns out, thanks to a leak from the St. Louis County medical examiner's office, that the unarmed teen who was shot by a cop six times in Ferguson, Mo., including twice in the head, had marijuana in his bloodstream. And, naturally, the character assassins are essentially saying, "Ya see? He was a druggie, a violent thug."
The Saturday before last, Michael Brown swiped several cigars from a convenience store counter, passing much of his spoils to friend Dorian Johnson.
Just as World War I didn't prove to be "the war to end all wars," the 20th century didn't turn out to be when the nearly unimaginable brutality and indescribable evil represented by German dictator Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime was definitively laid to rest.
It was just a matter of time for the program to be abused.
The meeting probably wasn't as awkward as Cain attending Abel's funeral. Closer to Anna Nicole walking past her husband's family in court. Surely had a Billy Bob Thornton/ Brad Pitt-drunk at a wedding reception feel.
We have been at war with Iraq for 24 years, starting with Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990. Shortly after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait that year, the propaganda machine began agitating for a US attack on Iraq. We all remember the appearance before Congress of a young Kuwaiti woman claiming that the Iraqis were ripping Kuwaiti babies from incubators. The woman turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US and the story was false, but it was enough to turn US opposition in favor of an attack.
Like a boulder dropped in a lake, Hillary Clinton's dissing of President Obama is still creating serious ripples. So let's stay with this story a bit longer.