Monday September 01, 2014
August 10th, 2014
For the first time since 1997, the U.S. economy just added at least 200,000 jobs per month for six months running. GDP grew at a 4 percent annual clip between April and June. The percentage of Americans who describe the economy as “good” has climbed to the highest level of President Barack Obama’s presidency.
Who wouldn’t rejoice over these happy milestones on the bumpy road to a real recovery?
A Pantene commercial that tells women to stop apologizing and “#ShineStrong” has gone viral. It contrasts scenes of women saying things like “Sorry, can I ask a stupid question?” with snippets of them behaving in an assertive way.
Pantene’s commercial makes a good point, but there are bigger problems holding women back — including the role that beauty products play in our culture.
The 113th Congress has just slinked out of town for a five-week summer recess, leaving behind its lowest public approval rating in 25 years, according to the latest Washington Post/ABC News Poll. A majority of voters surveyed -- 51 percent -- expressed disgust with their own legislators for their inability to do their job.
Wal-Mart loves keeping track of data. For instance, the retail giant’s researchers know that before and after major storms, customers buy strawberry Pop-Tarts at a rate that’s seven times faster than normal.
How does Wal-Mart use this data? To stock its shelves with more — or less — of a certain good based on consumer demand.
Surely you thought that partisan posturing by far-right Congress critters couldn’t get any nuttier. But here comes the GOP’s claim that all the talk about impeaching President Barack Obama is being led by…Barack Obama!
Having discovered that the larger public is appalled that his party would even consider wasting time on such extremist nonsense, House Speaker John Boehner tried to do a political back flip.
On July 23, Dr. Kent Brantly woke up with a fever. He immediately quarantined himself, and three days later a test confirmed his nightmare. He had the Ebola virus.
Brantly, 33, emailed a friend and said that he was "terrified," for he knew better than anyone the horror of the virus. He had been treating patients in West Africa with it for many weeks, watching as they vomited, hemorrhaged internally and sometimes bled from multiple orifices - then weakened and died.
Judging by the way he holds his cards so close to his vest, President Obama must be an awfully good poker player. Here we are halfway through his second term, and few observers can claim to know with any precision exactly what he thinks about critical matters of war and peace.
Or what he might do if push came to shove, an eventuality he appears entirely determined to avoid.
After leaders from more than 40 African countries gathered for President Obama's historic summit, we should not forget that free speech and a free press are economic development issues, too.
The CIA now admits that it spied on a Senate investigation into the agency's shameful program of secret detention and torture. Do we need any more proof that the spooks are out of control?
An internal "accountability board" will look into the incident, an agency statement said, and might recommend "potential disciplinary measures" or even "steps to address systemic issues."
Somehow, I don't feel reassured.
Scotland's referendum on whether to split from Britain is a bit more than six weeks away. The battle for the hearts, minds and votes of the undecided, sufficiently numerous to be decisive, is being fought with a mixture of payola and scaremongering unbecoming of such a momentous decision.