Archive

Date

September 11th, 2014

The Down Side Of Reclining

    I am trying to imagine how our national leaders would react if they got caught in a reclining airplane seat crisis. You know what I mean. If they were flying to some important meeting and the person in front flopped back into their personal space, crunching a laptop or bruising a knee.

    Obviously, this doesn't happen to real national leaders. Their airplanes have rooms, for heaven's sake. But if it did.

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Taming Modern Monopolies

    Analysts at the OECD, the Paris-based research agency, have just shared a grim prediction: If current trends “prevail,” all developed nations will show by 2060 “the same level of inequality as currently experienced by the United States.”

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Playing Toxic Whack-a-Mole

    Popular activities like hiking, camping, and backpacking come with all kinds of risks. You can get heat stroke or hypothermia, run out of water, fall off a cliff, and bump into cougars or grizzly bears. If you get close enough to an infected ground squirrel for one of their fleas to hop onto your skin, there’s a chance you’ll catch bubonic plague.

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Murky Facts In Ferguson Resist Easy Conclusions

    Almost the only heartening news out of Ferguson, Missouri, came in a Washington Post report headlined "Nearly 6 in 10 African-Americans say Michael Brown shooting was 'unjustified.'"

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How today's politics tear us apart

    Americans need to get out more. We're not only divided into different political parties, polls show; we are becoming different Americas.

    That's good for vigorous arguments, but it works against our ability to reach much agreement.

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Herky-jerky leadership

    The word of the day is herky-jerky, which is a polite way of saying erratic.

    And which, I regret to report, is a fitting description of President Obama's handling of immigration. And, I regret even more, a metaphor for his stumbling stewardship.

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Do You Want Some Hogwash with That Burger?

    Burger King bills itself as “home of the Whopper,” a name intended to convey to burger eaters that this one is a whale of a deal. But “whopper” also means a prevarication, a crock, a tall tale — hogwash.

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Are Republicans staring at another 1998 fiasco?

    With elections looming in November, Republicans are counting on President Barack Obama's unpopularity to deliver them control of the Senate. They're not running on an agenda, refusing even in broad outline to say how they would reform the tax code or replace Obama's health-care law.

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A cautious president, or a careless one?

    In the wake of President Obama's surprising comment to reporters that "we don't have a strategy yet" to deal with the surging terrorist threat of the Islamic State threat in Syria and Iraq, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein has observed: "I've learned one thing about this president, and that is he's very cautious. Maybe, in this instance, too cautious."

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Will China Defeat Obesity?

    Say what you will about the Chinese, but they know how to make wholesale changes, and sometimes those changes are inarguably for the good. As noted in an editorial in The Lancet last week, the life span of the average person in China in 1950 was 40 years; by 2011 it was around 76. (The average life span in the United States in 2011 was 79.)

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