Tuesday December 10, 2013
October 3rd, 2013
That Barack Obama is such a kidder. No matter how awkward the moment, he's got just the right quip to purchase some wiggle room. Remember when his old Chicago banking buddy Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, first ran into that bit of trouble over his bank's "London Whale" derivative scam? That scheme has already lost $6 billion with close to another $1 billion piled on by the SEC in fines last week after JPMorgan admitted it broke the law.
To understand the crisis in Washington, tune out the histrionics and look at the big picture: Republicans are threatening to shut down the federal government -- and perhaps even refuse to let the Treasury pay its creditors -- in a desperate, last-ditch attempt to keep millions of Americans from getting health insurance.
Seriously. That's what all the yelling and screaming is about. As my grandmother used to say, it's hard to know whether to laugh or cry.
The Germans who went to the polls Sunday were, by and large, a contented lot. Two-thirds of them felt that their prosperous country was "well" prepared for the future, according to a leading exit poll. Four out of five believed - accurately, according to all the economic statistics - that they are better off than their neighbors in Western Europe.
Countries that don't plan for the future tend not to do well there. When you watch the reckless behavior of the Tea Party-driven Republicans in Congress today, you can't help but fear that we'll be one of those. What makes it all the more frustrating is that in so many ways we have the wind at our back, if only we'd pull together to take advantage of it.
Watching grown men fulminate in public can be unnerving. Michael Piwowar and Daniel Gallagher — two distinctly CEO-friendly members of the federal Securities and Exchange Commission — recently did plenty of fulminating.
Piwowar and Gallagher had little choice. They were trying to defend the indefensible — the skyrocketing pay of America’s top executives — against a common-sense reform that lawmakers wrote into federal law three years ago.
When Sen. Ted Cruz of La Mancha jumped on his trusty steed and charged the windmills, he explained: "Everyone in America knows Obamacare is destroying the economy." He added that accepting the Affordable Care Act would be like appeasing the Nazis.
Cruz is a smart man, and maybe this is just disingenuous demagoguery. But there's a scarier possibility: After spending too much time in the Republican echo chamber, he may believe what he says.
This week, Baby Veronica finally went home -- for good.
She was adopted at birth by a South Carolina couple who raised her until she was just over 2 years old.
Then she was sent back to live with her biological father, Dusten Brown, who had signed away his parental rights but then sought to invalidate the adoption because his tribe had not been notified of it.
I know that life is supposed to be full of surprises but the last few weeks have been ridiculous.
For example, you had the unnerving spectacle of Vladimir Putin, the former KGB thug who runs Russia, rescuing Barack Obama, the former community organizer who runs his mouth, from the trap Obama had laid for himself.
For a visitor from the land of win-at-any-cost elections and ceaseless partisanship, the election that just concluded here, resulting in a triumphant third term for Chancellor Angela Merkel, offers a glimpse of politics from another planet.
As the people of Colorado are presently learning, it’s horrendous enough to suffer the ravages of a natural disaster, but it’s doubly horrific to then be faced with a more devastating unnatural disaster.
First came the epic floods that recently ripped through the front range, tearing up towns, roads, waterways, mountain homes and businesses, farms, and lives. Just awful.