Even the best batters have to take batting practice sometimes. But it seems Barack Obama didn't heed such advice during the debate last Wednesday night. His lack of preparation was strikingly evident, only giving further credence to the idea that the president just doesn't seem to like the game of politics all too much.
As a teenager in Pennsylvania, I delivered The Morning Call and The Evening Chronicle to customers in a suburb of Allentown. On rainy days, I'd try to make sure the paper stayed dry inside the screen door. Now, I get The State and the New York Times delivered to my driveway in plastic bags, though the Times delivery is erratic. I can, of course, also read the Times on my iPhone, iPad and desktop computer.
Once or twice a year while living in the Washington, D.C., area as a child, my father would drive me and my sister to New York's Long Island to visit my grandparents, Ira and Barbara Cahn. They lived in Wantaugh, but spent much of their waking hours -- as well as time they should have been sleeping -- a little east of there in Massapequa.
Twenty-five years after sociologist William Julius Wilson's important study of urban decline and vanishing "marriageable men," poverty is still with us. At least, we're finding lots of new ways to argue about it, even if our theories are no less sharply divided than the rest of our politics.
Move over Duggar family, TLC has a new hit show on their hands.
Six weeks have passed since my oldest son walked through our back door. The mere mention of this makes the stretch seem even longer. Of course, aside from a normal dose of missing their brother, for his siblings, this time represents six weeks of more slices of pizza at dinner, shorter waits for the bathroom, and total control of the TV remote. For me, it suggests more intangibles. It is the void, the missing place setting at our table, and the one less body charging down the stairs for breakfast like a horse running for open country.
Research tells us Americans are getting smarter as time goes by.
WASHINGTON -- Gloria Steinem is unmistakable.
The European's triumph during the final round of the Ryder Cup Sunday may provide a preview of things to come on the PGA Tour.
That morning, a piano tune from boyhood days echoed down the halls of Pinedale, a senior citizens care facility located near Camden. As we drew abreast of the piano player's room, there sat Neva Shannon ("Coota") Montgomery with her near 100-year-old, yet nimble fingers "tickling the ivories" into the song "Jesus Loves Me."
If there's one thing I have an unnatural fear of, it's insects of both the crawling and flying variety. I've known that about myself since I was at least 12 years old when a huge bumblebee landed on my head. Not knowing what it was, I reached up and grabbed it only for it to -- naturally -- sting me. Luckily, I'm not allergic, but, boy!, did it hurt. Why that translated to a fear of crawling insects, I'm not sure except that I remember a giant millipede (or something like that) crawling up my bedroom wall ...
Amidst a necessary, but life-threatening, debate on the future of health care for millions of Americans, presidential candidate Mitt Romney revealed why it's OK that almost 50 million Americans are uninsured. Romney said in an interview with a TV broadcast news program that people who are uninsured are "care(d) for" with the help of America's emergency room services:
You might not be finding much to laugh about these days.
WASHINGTON -- I've written variations of this column a couple of times during the past 20 years, but certain occasions bear revisiting -- and surely the disappearance of a friend is one.
With the official start of autumn last week and the holidays soon upon us, my thoughts turn to a truly unique American holiday. No, not Thanksgiving but Arbor Day. Perhaps you may recall celebrating Arbor Day in elementary school, perhaps you remember hearing John Denver singing "Trees for Your Tomorrow" on television or radio on behalf of the National Arbor Day Foundation or perhaps you've seen an article about it in The Chronicle Independent with a photo of people standing around a newly planted tree.
"Hey," said the guy next to me at the blackjack table, "you know what they call people who hang around casinos?"
WASHINGTON -- President Obama got it two-thirds right when he said the delayed confirmation of his attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch, is owing to Senate dysfunction and Republican stubbornness.
Here in the Chronicle-Independent newsroom, we're kind of shaking our collective head about the news which broke Tuesday about the early-morning heist of a complete automatic teller machine (ATM) from Mid Carolina Credit Union in Lugoff. The thief or thieves apparently used a large, stolen piece of equipment to rip the ATM from its concrete base and load it into or onto some sort of vehicle, almost surely a truck, given an ATM's size and weight.
Spring is here in the City and the Bradford pears look so pretty.
If I had to list the drivers people have asked me about over the years, Kurt Busch wouldn't be in the top 10.
WASHINGTON -- I'm standing in the Starbucks line behind 10 other sleepyheads waiting to order my tall skinny cappuccino, otherwise known as a shot of coffee described as I wish it to be.
Today's reflection is about things I just don't do anymore.
Every day, in every area of our state, hardworking South Carolina taxpayers are being robbed. They are not held up at gunpoint and their homes are not burglarized. But, they are the victims of theft just the same. Criminals are stealing federal funds and using that money for their personal benefit. They are committing fraud against the food stamp program. In fact, they pocket more than $2 million of your tax dollars every year in South Carolina alone.
From 1999 to 2006, I tuned in to every episode of "The West Wing" starring Martin Sheen. It was one of the smartest shows I've ever watched with a superb cast and excellent writing. Like every television show, it had its ups and downs. Its detractors felt it was too idyllic and -- being an Aaron Sorkin product, like "The Newsroom" in more recent years -- too preachy.
You may be surprised to learn people sometimes disagree with me. You may be equally surprised I sometimes see their point in the disagreement. Sometimes I agree with the disagreement.
Flowers are blooming, the sky's blue and it's motorcycle-riding season.
OK, so the time changed nearly two weeks ago, but this week's installment of my thoughts and musings is about the recent time change and the proverbial "extra hour of daylight" we get to enjoy from now until autumn.
The daffodils are nodding their pretty yellow heads all over town. To me, they are the harbingers of spring, blooming long before the weather is really warm. They give us hope the warm days really will return soon. In my yard, they pop up in the bed by my yard's Victorian cast iron fence -- in the bed I meant to transform into a perennial cottage garden wonderland. Twenty-one years ago, when we moved in, I dug a vegetable plot in the back yard and the long border bed out front. Back then, when I was doing historic preservation consulting ...
The controversy encircling former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her use of private email to conduct public business provides our latest example of government in the shadows, a situation we know well in South Carolina.
WASHINGTON -- On March 2, the story broke Hillary Clinton had possibly violated email regulations while secretary of state.
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