"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.
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.
When we were teenagers, my "the South's gonna do it again" younger brother bought into some weird conspiracy theory that Gen. Robert E. Lee didn't really surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. Lee supposedly thought he was merely handing his sword over to someone for cleaning. (The deniers who concocted the theory apparently also believed that Europeans never really landed in the New World but just filmed it out in the desert somewhere.)
Ah, springtime has finally arrived in Washington, D.C.
For decades Democrats have gone to extraordinary lengths to impose new energy taxes. They do not, to put it mildly, have the support of the American people. So they have turned to increasingly complex schemes to pretend the taxes they are advancing are not taxes. They've now reached an unprecedented level of obfuscation: a federal regulatory agency acting without Congress to coerce states into imposing regulations that will bury cost increases in the electricity rate base - and they might get away with it. Congress should therefore act immediately to, if they can't stop what is happening, at least ...
Does everyone remember Angela Corey?
A responsible financial institution would not extend a new loan of between $17 and $40 billion to a borrower already struggling to pay back an existing multi-billion dollar loan. Yet that is just what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did last month when it extended a new loan to the government of Ukraine. This new loan may not make much economic sense, but propping up the existing Ukrainian government serves the foreign policy agenda of the U.S. government.
"America and the West have a historic opportunity to negotiate a nuclear agreement that will promote peace in the Middle East and the world. It will give your country, Iran, a brighter future. What do you say to that?"