It's time to address the burning question singeing the lips of every American this summer: What will happen to Bryan Cranston's pork pie hat after "Breaking Bad" ends its run? Okay, maybe that's No. 2. The big one is who's going to be the Democratic presidential candidate in November of 2016? Thirty-eight months and counting.
Mark your calendar for August 28, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's iconic "I Have A Dream" speech, which was delivered to more than 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
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.
When you visit Brooklyn, you have to be amazed at the number of stoops.
John Landis's "Trading Places" is one of the 1980s' most fondly remembered comedies. There is far more to its story than frozen orange juice, however.
Boy, are the folks at the syndicated game show "Jeopardy" in trouble after introducing a new category: "What Do Women Want."
There was joke that made the rounds when Bill Clinton was trying to figure out how to allow gays in the military without upsetting morale. "Gays in the military," the joke went. "Next thing you know they'll want to be interior decorators!" Of course, gays have always served in our military. Now, after long last, they can serve openly, and as it turns out it is no big whoop.
After 13 years of war in Afghanistan - the longest in US history - the US government has achieved no victory. Afghanistan is in chaos and would collapse completely without regular infusions of US money. The war has been a failure, but Washington will not admit it.
President Obama and his Democratic allies are claiming credit for the latest in a string of positive jobs reports, but if they had their way it wouldn't have happened. Why? According to empirical research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York: "most of the persistent increase in unemployment during the Great Recession can be accounted for by the unprecedented extensions of unemployment benefit eligibility."
Welcome to Rocktober, Baby. That's what all the rock and roll radio stations call this, the 10th month of the year. Doesn't require more than a casually cocked ear to realize the airwaves are flooded with concerts and giveaways and promotional tie-ins. All in the name of Rocktober, Baby.
On the road in Atlanta, the Pirates learned they were among 10 teams to make it to baseball's postseason. Reporter Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described what followed:
Law enforcement has long been a popular subject in film comedy. It looks like some producer now has a lot of potential material.