Saturday December 20, 2014
September 4th, 2014
There were no ruffles or flourishes.
Diane Sawyer stepped down as the anchor of "ABC World News" and the "face" of the network (her job to be effectively split between George Stephanopoulos and David Muir) with characteristic dignity, grace and understatement.
And, OK, she still looks gorgeous.
Americans are in the dumps about their future. What does that have to do with legroom in economy class? Everything.
The middle class sees its stature shrinking in the global pecking order and in a culture that favors money over well-being. There can be no better example for this than the indignities of flying economy.
François Hollande, the president of France since 2012, coulda been a contender. He was elected on a promise to turn away from the austerity policies that killed Europe's brief, inadequate economic recovery. Since the intellectual justification for these policies was weak and would soon collapse, he could have led a bloc of nations demanding a change of course. But it was not to be. Once in office, Hollande promptly folded, giving in completely to demands for even more austerity.
It was all going so well for Texas Gov. Rick Perry -- until the indictment. His efforts to move past a disastrous 2012 presidential run that had become a reliable punch line for a senior moment seemed to be working.
Control of the U.S. Senate is the most important prize at stake in this year's mid-term elections. There are 36 Senate seats up for election -- 21 are held by Democrats, 15 by Republicans.
In wheelchairs and on walkers, Baltimore's big plan for the future shuffled into the Horseshoe casino this week to begin the city's renaissance. Again.
"Horseshoe brings the promise of a better Baltimore," declared Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at the casino's grand opening Tuesday night.
Hold your horses, Ms. Mayor.
Labor Day - that mocking reminder that this nation once honored workers - is upon us again, posing the nagging question of why the economy ceased to reward work. Was globalization the culprit? Technological change? Anyone seeking a more fundamental answer should pick up the September issue of the Harvard Business Review and check out William Lazonick's seminal essay on U.S. corporations, "Profits Without Prosperity."
As he has grown weary of Washington, President Barack Obama has shed parts of his presidency, like drying petals falling off a rose.
I'd like to know whether the United States is at war with the Islamic State. I'd like to know why -- or why not. I'd like to know whether the goal of U.S. policy is to contain the jihadist militia or destroy it.
President Obama? Members of Congress? Please pay attention. I'm talking to you.
The short-term future of politics in the nation's capital will be determined in large part by which party ends up in control of the Senate. But for a sense of the long-term future of politics in the country as a whole, watch the governors races.