After celebrating his 87th birthday last week, semi-retired communist dictator Fidel Castro did something nobody expected him to do: He contacted Pope Francis to hear his confession.
I've lived in a lot of apartments in a lot of different cities. Most of them have been described as vintage in their listing, which translates as very basic and old. I'm a big believer in location, location, location and I'm willing to trade where I am for whatever amenities there just aren't in my immediate surroundings.
On May 11, 2013, Indian President Pranab Mukherhee said "The future prosperity of India in the new knowledge economy will increasingly depend on its ability to generate new ideas, processes and solutions." He was right not just about India, but indeed about the whole world; we need strong incentives to innovate, invent, and create - and that must include meaningful legal protections for the products of invention and creation. Unfortunately, despite the rhetoric, India has been moving sharply against protecting intellectual property rights, with serious repercussions for companies that want to invest in India and by implication for global innovation and ...
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."
"Just following the will of the people." That's been the GOP rationalization for accomplishing absolutely nothing for five and a half years. Doesn't matter what the issue is. Immigration. Jobs. Infrastructure. Climate change. Banking reform. The proliferation of substandard dental schools in Nebraska.
Liberal megadonor Tom Steyer, failing to raise any significant outside money for his global warming Super PAC, turned to one of his San Francisco neighbors for a million dollar check. It was Herb Sandler, the subprime mortgage lender at the heart of the housing crisis, and like Steyer a huge hypocrite.
Do you have personal issues? Do you want to seem intelligent, well informed and on-top-of-it-all without having to bother to put in any effort or time to see whether your assertions are accurate? If so, then join the trend that's all the rage in the 21st century: show indignation now and worry (or, more likely, don't) about accuracy later. And, for heaven's sake, never EVER worry about "nuance."
President Obama came to my tiny home state of Delaware on Thursday with a "new" initiative to repair deteriorating infrastructure around the country (and to repair his declining polling numbers).
Despite the media play Chicago gets, it isn't the official "Murder Capital of the U.S.A."
With Barack Obama's approval ratings getting dragged down by a floundering foreign policy, we might miss one of his biggest successes in a place no one expected-Iran. Whether we extend the interim anti-nuke deal or reach a longer-term agreement to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, Obama has backed our enemy into a corner. But fans of cynicism, failure, and partisanship should take heart, because there's still time for congress to turn what should be a win-win for the United States into yet another loss.
Kudos to the nation's newspaper editors for making a valiant effort to prepare us for the upcoming (July 28) 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War.
Over the past several weeks we have seen a significant increase in illegal immigration, as thousands of unaccompanied minors pour across what seems an invisible southern border into the United States. The mass immigration has, as to be expected, put an enormous strain on local resources, and it has heated up the immigration debate in the US.
Recently, I wrote that summer is the time for stupid political stunts, and John Boehner should honor that tradition by making good on his vow to sue President Obama for alleged executive abuses. "Do it, Mr. Speaker," I urged. "Give us a laugh during silly season."
As you've probably noticed, the airwaves and news pages have been filled with liberals deliberately lying about the meaning of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision (Conservatives want to deny women birth control, Republicans are trying to stop women from having sex, yadda yadda yadda).
Happy Tuesday, everybody, and God bless America.
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