It sat in my parents' dining room for 30 years or more: an old oak stereo console with large speakers concealed by green fabric. It filled my childhood with a harmony and clarity we could use lots more of about now.
My great-grandmother Jane Purcell had a wonderfully full life. Part of her story is revealed in the 1940 U.S. Census, which the National Archives and Records Administration made available online to the public in 2012 at 1940census.archives.gov .
I was all set not to like "Zero Dark Thirty." I judged director Kathryn Bigelow an enemy of truth and justice for depicting torture as a necessary evil to find Osama bin Laden. When I walked into the screening, I was ready to hate "Zero Dark Thirty" as revisionist conservative propaganda.
Okay. Bent over. Hands on knees. Breathing hard. Whew. Made it. "Pant. Pant." For a while there, didn't seem like it'd ever happen, but somehow we mercifully staggered across the annum finish line, finally placing 2012 irrevocably in the rear-view mirror. Make no mistake, the political climate is still volatile. Rash. Mad. Loud. Pulsating forehead vein above arcing spray of spittle loud. And the double-crossing chicanery hasn't mellowed a bit of a spot of an iota from the fever pitch of last year's quadrennial heights.
During the 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama coined a catchy phrase to describe all the flip-flops in which his opponent had allegedly engaged during the course of his career. On virtually every issue, from health care to abortion, from taxes to so-called pay equity, from welfare to gun control, Obama said the GOP nominee suffered from "Romnesia."
Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics continued its monthly deceit and deception exercise. The December unemployment rate, according to the BLS, is 7.8 percent. In the same report, BLS announced that 155,000 new jobs have been created.
Will the Republican Party's 2012 national rout have an impact? Will it become more a moderate (excuse the "dirty" word) conservative party that tries to inch back to George W. Bush's stated goal of a more "compassionate conservatism" that would appeal to growing, Democratic-inclined demographics? As Tony Soprano said: "Fuhgeddaboudit!"
If you go to the website of Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland, you'll see a whole page devoted to Hurricane Sandy recovery. You'll see pictures of him touring flooded coastal towns. You'll see the number to call if you lost your power. You'll even see a link to the website for the National Flood Insurance Program.
On Friday, the House passed a massive National Defense Authorization for 2016 that will guarantee U.S. involvement in more wars and overseas interventions for years to come. The Republican majority resorted to trickery to evade the meager spending limitations imposed by the 2011 budget control act - limitations that did not, as often reported, cut military spending but only slowed its growth.
Operation Jade Helm has inspired a million jokes, and some of them have even been funny. But as much as comedians might jump on Greg Abbott for sending the Texas State Guard to monitor military exercises as the latest excuse to mock the reactionary rubes south of the Red River, Texas now faces an existential crisis: Is the Governor really this crazy?
As it appears we're smack dab in the middle of the 2016 presidential campaign announcement season, this might be the perfect time to ask the question on every American's lips: what kind of twisted psychopath chooses to do this? Who are these people that are so all fired up to enter this soul-sucking fray just to sit in an Office that is oval? Masochists? Sadists? Sadomasochists? Masosadochists? Folks who didn't pay attention during any previous election?
Tuesday night I went through a crash course in what really matters, in humanity, in mortality. I was watching the news reports about the Amtrak derailment, and amid my secondhand anguish for injured strangers I thanked God, literally thanked him out loud, for the fact that my immigration hearing in Baltimore had been canceled. Had it not been, I might have been sitting in one of those mangled cars.
We all know that the 2016 campaign will cost way more money than ever before - $10 billion is the latest head-spinning estimate - and that the reform laws aimed at curbing fat-cat clout have virtually collapsed. But still, it was shocking last week when the nation's top watchdog said that she's powerless to police the new Wild West.
I had never really thought about such books existing, but the May 8 "Newsweek" reports that Amish romance novels are big business, accounting for as much as half of the inspirational fiction market and involving dozens of new titles each month.
The baseball season is in full swing with the game's beloved sounds filling the air: the crack of the bat, roar of the crowd, clicking of knitting needles, and groans when an error is made, requiring several rows of yarn to be ripped out.
This week the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the NSA's metadata collection program was not authorized in U.S. law. The PATRIOT Act, under which the program began, was too vague, the court found. But the truth is the Act was intended to be vague so that the government could interpret it in the broadest possible way.