Monday September 01, 2014
February 20th, 2014
Now here’s a heads-they-win, tails-we-lose situation: Three of the contracts Arizona signed with private companies to house its prisoners require 100 percent occupancy.
That’s right: If the state fails to send along enough jailbirds to fill all the beds, it pays a penalty. Nationwide, similar arrangements in two-thirds of these contracts either guarantee high prison occupancy or penalize taxpayers when there aren’t enough convicted criminals to keep behind bars.
Emily, a 15-year-old ninth-grader, ran away from home in early November, and her parents are sitting at their dining table, frightened and inconsolable.
The parents, Maria and Benjamin, both school-bus drivers, have been searching for their daughter all along and pushing the police to investigate. They gingerly confess their fears that Emily, a Latina, is being controlled by a pimp.
Now that the Congressional Budget Office has explicitly denied saying that Obamacare destroys jobs, some (though by no means all) Republicans have stopped lying about that issue and turned to a different argument. OK, they concede, any reduction in working hours because of health reform will be a voluntary choice by the workers themselves - but it's still a bad thing because, as Rep. Paul Ryan puts it, they'll lose "the dignity of work."
From now on, it's the Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah House.
There will be no shutdown of the government at this point. We may even have a year of relative peace on the subject. This time it was the Senate that played the big game. It will surprise no one that it was Senator Cruz, the bad boy from Texas, who stirred the pot.
A story that captivated New York City: A group of elderly Korean-Americans had been gathering at a McDonald's in Queens for conversation and fellowship. They'd sit there all day long, sometimes sharing a $1.39 package of fries. The hangout was so popular that friends from other neighborhoods would travel to join them.
OK, let's say you're a freshman Republican senator, but already a force within your party and a rising media star, and you're thinking about running for president in 2016. After all, there's no obvious frontrunner. You've got as good a chance as anybody. All you need is a good, strong, popular issue to run on.
A growing group of Ted Cruz's Republican Senate colleagues are infuriated with his tactics.
So frustrated was Arizona Sen. John McCain with the latest, forcing fellow Republicans to take a politically risky vote on lifting the debt ceiling, that Thursday he tweeted a Wall Street Journal editorial accusing the Texas lawmaker of instigating "needless drama that helps to explain why Republicans remain a minority."
As the usual suspects in Congress argue over whether to extend unemployment benefits, which ran out at the end of last year for more than a million jobless workers, I am feeling Germany envy.
Jobs in Germany fell more softly in the 2008 global economic crisis than they did here or in the rest of the European Union --and bounced back more quickly.
Is digital technology destroying middle-class jobs? Does it exacerbate income inequality? Does it boost economic growth and productivity - without creating the jobs that ought to come with economic growth?