Archive - 2014

May 14th

Read, Kids, Read

    As an uncle I'm inconsistent about too many things.

    Birthdays, for example. My nephew Mark had one Sunday, and I didn't remember - and send a text - until 10 p.m., by which point he was asleep.

    School productions, too. I saw my niece Bella in "Seussical: The Musical" but missed "The Wiz." She played Toto, a feat of trans-species transmogrification that not even Meryl, with all of her accents, has pulled off.

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Science Vs. Taxes

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An LA Story That's All Too Familiar

    When a city is forced to spend more on Wall Street fees than on basic public services, it is the sign of trouble. When that city is one of America's biggest population centers, it is the sign of a burgeoning crisis.

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Monica Lewinsky, Grace in Humiliation

    How refreshing to hear Monica Lewinsky recount the depth of her shame. When it was revealed in 1998 that she had provided then-President Clinton with oral sex, Lewinsky now writes in Vanity Fair, she "was arguably the most humiliated person in the world."

    How many ambitious women these days wouldn't take that lemon of embarrassment and turn it into the lemonade of sexy branding? Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian used (leaked) tapes of their sexual exploits as career boosters.

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Show time on Benghazi

    Before asking a question at the coming show trial, each self-righteous congressional inquisitor should be required to correctly locate Benghazi on an unlabeled map.

    That would shorten the farce. My guess is that some of the House Republicans screaming loudest in faux outrage would be hard-pressed to find Libya, much less pinpoint the city where four Americans were tragically killed.

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The Speaker's Sand Trap

    The Speaker is hitting the links.

    "This is a Tee Party I can live with," he grins, as he puts a tee emblazoned with "Speaker Boehner" into the turf.

    The GOP's Dean Martin is on the road, making a ring-a-ding and ka-ching tour to rake in the moolah to ensure that Republicans keep the House in November and he keeps his job.

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The Square People, Part 1

    I think I'll plan to go from Kiev to Hanoi more often. It's only when you go to two seemingly disconnected places that you see the big trends, and one of the big ones I've noticed is the emergence of "The Square People."

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GOP hopefuls seek inner-city education

    Has Sen. Rand Paul flip-flopped on the issue of voter ID requirements?

    A year ago at historically black Howard University, the Kentucky Republican defended his party's push for voter identification card requirements, saying they hardly compared to the racist voting restrictions of the old Jim Crow South.

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Happy Times in Hedge Fund America

    Pharrell Williams should be happy. The singer has had the world’s hottest pop single over the past six months. His Happy has been topping the charts everywhere, from the United States to Bulgaria.

    If this bouncy ditty keeps selling, Williams might even end 2014 as happy as Taylor Swift, the most lavishly compensated musical artist in all of 2013. Swift took home $39.7 million for the year.

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It's Now the Canadian Dream

    It was in 1931 that the historian James Truslow Adams coined the phrase "the American dream."

    The American dream is not just a yearning for affluence, Adams said, but also for the chance to overcome barriers and social class, to become the best that we can be. Adams acknowledged that the United States didn't fully live up to that ideal, but he argued that America came closer than anywhere else.

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