Wednesday August 20, 2014
August 10th, 2014
Wal-Mart loves keeping track of data. For instance, the retail giant’s researchers know that before and after major storms, customers buy strawberry Pop-Tarts at a rate that’s seven times faster than normal.
How does Wal-Mart use this data? To stock its shelves with more — or less — of a certain good based on consumer demand.
Surely you thought that partisan posturing by far-right Congress critters couldn’t get any nuttier. But here comes the GOP’s claim that all the talk about impeaching President Barack Obama is being led by…Barack Obama!
Having discovered that the larger public is appalled that his party would even consider wasting time on such extremist nonsense, House Speaker John Boehner tried to do a political back flip.
On July 23, Dr. Kent Brantly woke up with a fever. He immediately quarantined himself, and three days later a test confirmed his nightmare. He had the Ebola virus.
Brantly, 33, emailed a friend and said that he was "terrified," for he knew better than anyone the horror of the virus. He had been treating patients in West Africa with it for many weeks, watching as they vomited, hemorrhaged internally and sometimes bled from multiple orifices - then weakened and died.
Judging by the way he holds his cards so close to his vest, President Obama must be an awfully good poker player. Here we are halfway through his second term, and few observers can claim to know with any precision exactly what he thinks about critical matters of war and peace.
Or what he might do if push came to shove, an eventuality he appears entirely determined to avoid.
After leaders from more than 40 African countries gathered for President Obama's historic summit, we should not forget that free speech and a free press are economic development issues, too.
The CIA now admits that it spied on a Senate investigation into the agency's shameful program of secret detention and torture. Do we need any more proof that the spooks are out of control?
An internal "accountability board" will look into the incident, an agency statement said, and might recommend "potential disciplinary measures" or even "steps to address systemic issues."
Somehow, I don't feel reassured.
Scotland's referendum on whether to split from Britain is a bit more than six weeks away. The battle for the hearts, minds and votes of the undecided, sufficiently numerous to be decisive, is being fought with a mixture of payola and scaremongering unbecoming of such a momentous decision.
Romance, designer gowns, lavish parties, fast cars, private jets and lakeside mansions.
The federal trial of former Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia and his first lady on corruption charges features all that and more. If you're headed to the beach, the transcript makes for riveting reading.
At 6:02 a.m. Saturday, the air raid siren sounded over Tel Aviv. I was rousted by the hotel staff from my room and ushered into the windowless service elevator area with two French families, everyone in their pajamas. After 10 minutes, when the Hamas missile threat had passed, we were allowed to go back to our rooms. As I slipped back into bed, the hotel loudspeaker bellowed, "Dear guests, you may return to your routine."
"Rarely has a president been confronted with so many seemingly disparate foreign policy crises all at once," The New York Times noted about Obama on July 23. What the paper didn't/won't/can't say is: Rarely has a president caused so many of his own crises.
This summer, most of Obama's problems follow from his unwillingness to respect democracy overseas.