Wednesday December 11, 2013
July 6th, 2013
The immigration reform bill likely to pass the Senate this week will pick up a few more votes because it commits the government to building a longer fence. Thanks to a Republican amendment, workers will erect an additional 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.
We may soon have to endure extreme boredom at 30,000 feet as the once-friendly skies open to electronic devices and smartphones.
Will this mean that the Delta Shuttle is going to become like the Acela, where - unless you can find a seat in the quiet car - there's no escaping loud, one-sided conversations about who's going to drop off the SUV for a brake job or the tedious tale of the sullen waiter at dinner the night before?
On Tuesday, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., introduced a complicated bill that is intended to solve, once and for all, the problem known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. You can be forgiven for missing this piece of news. Between Edward Snowden and the Supreme Court, it was easy enough to overlook.
In addition to being a fine actor, James Gandolfini was smart and rich. He could afford the best medical care the West has to offer and understand the stakes of being so overweight and stressed. Yet he let his weight balloon in an orgy of careless eating and drinking. Did he think himself invincible or assume that he had time to deal with health issues later, his age being only 51? Surely a doctor somewhere read him the riot act, so why didn't he make health a priority?
Even now, nearly six months later - during which time Amazon.com has been flooded with hundreds of negative reviews condemning her; a website was set up attacking her; and her friends and colleagues have been bombarded with emails denouncing her - it is a little hard to understand why Ping Fu's memoir, "Bend, Not Break," has aroused such fury in some quarters of the Chinese immigrant community.
Paula Deen needs to give the self-pity a rest. The damage to her carefully built image is self-inflicted -- nobody threw a rock -- and her desperate search for approval and vindication is just making things worse.
Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng claims he is being booted from his apartment and his fellowship at New York University this month because of NYU's kowtowing to the Chinese government. The school protests mightily, claiming that it has lavished resources on Chen and never intended for his fellowship - granted after he sought refuge in the U.S. embassy in Beijing - to last for more than a year.
There are two widely discussed scenarios that could unfold in Washington this summer.
Paula Deen is where sass meets crass, where the homespun and folksy curdle into something with a sour aftertaste.
Her manner may be as sugary as her cooking, her smile as big as the hams she hawked for Smithfield. But she doesn't pause when she should. Doesn't question herself when she must.
The two big stories of the day are really one story: They're what happens when Congress fails.