In matters cultural, California has always been the United States' petri dish. Whatever happened in California usually infiltrated the rest of the country.
The first shocking headlines after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared revealed that two men had boarded with stolen passports. "Stark evidence of security gap," blared The Christian Science Monitor.
I admit it. I have been obsessed with the plane. Most of the stories I've read offered no new information, but I read them anyway.
There's nothing quite so helpful as a fatwa and threats of a Christian boycott to create buzz in advance of new movie.
Meaning, you should understand, not a gun you hold in your hand, but rather, the hand itself, thumb cocked and index finger extended to resemble a pistol.
Beats me how new apps like "Secret" and "Whisper" are going to make big money. Presumably, that is the objective of their Silicon Valley creators.
This week's meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama holds great promise in a time of turmoil, though not necessarily in the ways some may hope.
And what shall we say now that the monster has died?
"Once an agent, always an agent." This was the terse response of Nina Khrushcheva on New Year's Eve 1999 when her mother commented favorably about the new president, Vladimir Putin, who was then speaking on TV.
Professor Amy Chua of the Yale law school is better known as a "Tiger Mom" because of her take-no-prisoners, tough love approach to raising children. She and her husband Jed Rubenfeld (a fellow Yale law professor) have written what may turn out to be the best book of this year.
I must need to smoke pot. How else to explain why I wasn't getting President Obama's interview on "Between Two Ferns," the Web show hosted by Zach Galifianakis of "The Hangover" fame.
Somewhere in a shoebox beneath a bed, I have photographs of the Mentone Springs Hotel, a Victorian lodging built 130 years ago on the western brow of Lookout Mountain in Northeast Alabama.
It's your fault Justin Bieber is a jerk.
A Republican leader is doing something right ... and good. He is Rep. David Camp of Michigan. Camp has issued a detailed plan for simplifying the tax code. That's his duty as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax law.
When he came to Washington in 1981, Ronald Reagan made much of his commitment to the "new federalism," which in that case, like so many others, had very little to do with federalism.
The race between Chris McDaniel and Thad Cochran for U.S. senator is crystallizing Mississippi's great political irony.
Eighty-three-year old Ron Kilmartin was in a hospice, dying of lung cancer. His daughter was at his bedside, cracking jokes about it. Here's one: "Last week, Dad coughed and said, 'choking.' I tried to give him water but he just wanted me to turn off the men's Olympic hockey game."
When the going gets tough, well, why not just make the going easier? This seems to be the conclusion of the College Board, which administers the dreaded SAT college entrance exam. Recently announced "improvements" to the test are designed, say board officials, to better gauge what students study and learn in high school. Shouldn't take too long.
Vladimir Putin is a lucky man. And he's got three more years of luck to come. He takes Crimea, and President Obama says it's not in Russia's interest, not even strategically clever. Indeed, it's a sign of weakness.
It didn't take very long for the smiling sports fan cheering in the Olympic stands to revert to his true nature. I'm referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the former KGB leader whose idea of diplomacy is sending in the troops.
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