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.
My son Gideon, age nine, is hog wild about the classic CBS sitcom "Green Acres," which counts the super-intelligent pig Arnold Ziffel among its characters.
Rush Limbaugh fielded a phone call the other day that even he couldn't answer.
They thought it was dead, but now it's coming back. The little theater, a dancehall named Oscar's Palladium on North Second Street in Sargent, Neb., had once been the scene of shows on a Midwest vaudeville circuit, then dances featuring big bands such as Tommy Dorsey's, then early rockers. And then it closed.
Hitler is in the news again, invoked by some ignorant people.
A decade ago, Rick Perry famously signed off an interview with the words, "Adios, mofo." Now, signing off as governor, he told the same reporter, "Adios, my friend." He might be on his way out, but he's leaving behind a cast of characters that promises years of entertainment. The price of oil might be tanking, but stupid will always be Texas' most abundant natural resource.
Since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, the dollar has lost over 97 percent of its purchasing power, the US economy has been subjected to a series of painful Federal Reserve-created recessions and depressions, and government has grown to dangerous levels thanks to the Fed's policy of monetizing the debt. Yet the Federal Reserve still operates under a congressionally-created shroud of secrecy.
Everyone from Jon Stewart to Ted Cruz has mocked President Obama for not flying to France last weekend.
I received an unexpected postcard in the mail the other day from an old friend. It made my day.
The politics of the crude exports issue are confused by a lot of irresponsible reporting. Almost every story on the issue asserts that allowing exports would be politically dangerous because it would supposedly raise prices at the pump, but the claim is never credibly sourced. In fact, every single serious study has found precisely the opposite: allowing crude exports would lower prices at the pump.
Elizabeth Warren continues to bedazzle people precisely because she's not running for president. If she were to actually run for president, her power to bedazzle would diminish in a flash. To quote the sage Bob Dylan, "What looks large from a distance, close up ain't never that big."