Wednesday August 20, 2014
May 4th, 2014
Two of the reasons Pennsylvania has no severance tax and one of the lowest taxes upon shale gas drilling are because of an overtly corporate-friendly legislature and a research report from Penn State, a private state-related university that receives about $300 million a year in public funds.
Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy made it easy for inquiring minds.
"Mama. What's a racist? "
"Why here, honey: Read all about it."
That's all it takes. Sterling and Bundy, racism personified.
The reaction to both men's comments also came with ease as well as in high dudgeon: emotional explosions of outrage and anger.
Maddie's Room is actually very nice -- comfortable chairs, lots of outlets. If you don't look closely, you might think you're at an airport lounge, except I'm the only one who appears to be working.
Everybody else is just waiting.
This is the surgical waiting room at UCLA Ronald Reagan Hospital. I am sitting with my sister, and with my nephew's girlfriend, while my nephew undergoes surgery on his crushed leg.
Race is, hands down, the most repulsive aspect of the Donald Sterling scandal. But sex is a close second. To listen to the taped conversation between the octogenarian owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and the 30-something V. Stiviano is to glimpse the tawdry and inherently unequal arrangement between -- well, let's put it primly, benefactor and recipient.
The First Family is all over the news, discussing the management of the economy, income inequality, raising the minimum wage, the vicissitudes of press coverage and the benefits of healthy eating.
Everywhere you look, the Clintons rule.
Not long ago I asked a good friend of mine - one of the smartest men I know, and one of the most devoted dads - if he thought that his children would live in a more prosperous America or at least enjoy the same bounty of opportunities that we had.
His response was instant and unequivocal. No.
"How do you make peace with that?" I said.
Dozens of heavily armed terrorists rolled into the sleepy little town one night in a convoy of trucks, buses and vans. They made their way to the girls' boarding school.
The high school girls, asleep in their dormitory, awoke to gunfire. The attackers stormed the school, set it on fire, and, residents said, then herded several hundred terrified girls into the vehicles - and drove off and vanished.
There has been a festival of commentary of late bemoaning the pusillanimous foreign policy of President Barack Obama. If only we had a president who rode horses shirtless, wrestled a tiger or took a bite out of a neighboring country, we'd all feel much safer. Your Honor, I rise in - partial - defense of Mr. Obama.
On the surface, the news that the nation's unemployment rate dropped last month from 6.7 to 6.3 percent would seem to be cause to conclude that the American economy is finally recovering from the Great Recession of 2008. Instead, the cautionary flags continue to fly.
The botched Oklahoma execution of Clayton Lockett has called our continued use of the death penalty in this country back into question. In many ways, the death penalty is an abhorrent attempt to sate an irrational cultural bloodlust, rooted in vengeance and barbarism and detached from data.
To be sure, Lockett was no angel. He was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting a young woman, Stephanie Neiman, and watching as accomplices buried her alive. And according to The Associated Press: