A battle ahead on ‘personhood’

Some of the most hard-fought Senate races this fall are likely to feature big fights over “personhood.”

The Cuba embargo is such a bad idea

On a drive across Cuba a few weeks ago, my family and I decided to make a quick detour to the Bay of Pigs. It was hot, and the beach at Playa Giron — where 53 years ago a tragicomic CIA-sponsored invasion force stormed ashore — seemed like a good place for lunch. Plus, who could pass up the opportunity to swim in the Bay of Pigs? I would swim in the Gulf of Tonkin for the same reason.

A deadly decade for environmentalists

According to a report released this week by the London-based NGO Global Witness, at least 908 environmental activists have been killed over the last decade. That number is comparable to the 913 journalists killed in the course of their work in the same period and is likely on the low side — reporting is inconsistent in many countries and full data for 2013 hasn’t yet been collected. 2012 was deadliest year ever for environmentalists with 147 killed.

CEO pay goes up, up and away!

At 79, Graef “Bud” Crystal is the grand old man of executive compensation critics. Once a top compensation consultant, he switched sides in the 1980s, becoming a fierce critic of many of the practices he helped institutionalize, and analyzing executive pay for other media like Fortune and, most recently, Bloomberg News. He’s been known to call his second career “atoning for my sins.”

The boundaries of Boston Strong

The 118th Boston Marathon, next week, will actually be the first of its kind — the first running of the iconic American foot race after two bombers killed three people, injured 263 (many horribly) and shook the nation a year ago.

Legacy of hate in Kansas shootings

When I learned that the man accused of shooting innocent bystanders Sunday at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement home in Kansas City was a former Klansman named Glenn Miller, I shuddered.

Goodbye, tea party

Say what you will about Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, but they know a train wreck when they see it. Although both supported the shutdown and were heartily supported by tea party groups in their own Senate races, neither has endorsed tea party candidates Matt Bevin in Kentucky, Milton Wolf in Kansas or Chris McDaniel in Mississippi.

Election is about Scott, not Obama

When politicians cannot run on their record, they change the subject.

There’s nothing wrong with a selfie, even if you’ve been stabbed

When something awful happens, it is easier not to stare directly at it. Instead, we focus on the things around the edges. What did the neighbors hear? How was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

Obama could stand to be a little more like LBJ

On Thursday, President Barack Obama joined other dignitaries at a civil rights summit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signature accomplishment as president — passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And in a nod to the shoulders that he stands on, Obama said, “I have lived out the promise of LBJ’s efforts.”

Brennan must defend CIA’s terrorist interrogation program

CIA Director John Brennan is trapped — caught between the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is accusing his agency of lying about the effectiveness of its terrorist interrogation program, and his boss, President Obama, who has told Brennan directly that he does not want him to defend the program.

California drought points to next food-price shock

Drought in the United States, past and present, might make 2014 one of the more volatile years for food prices and supplies globally. U.S. consumers may get a preview of what’s coming at the salad bar.

How factory employment explainsgender pay gap

President Barack Obama commemorated Equal Pay Day this week by saying that women are paid less than men, only to undercut his argument with a lousy comparison. The larger problem isn’t that women are paid less than men for the same work; it’s that the American workplace puts women at a disadvantage before any apples-to-apples comparison can be made.

Don’t blame NATO expansion for Russian aggression

Tom Friedman wrote a good column this week, arguing that the United States and Europe need to take a long look at whether they are ready to make the sacrifices involved in saving Ukraine from Vladimir Putin and, if not, let the Ukrainians cut the best deal they can.

What’s driving Chinese officials to suicide?

Xu Ye’an, the 58-year-old deputy chief of China’s Bureau for Letter and Calls, killed himself under mysterious circumstances in his office this week, the latest in a series of high-ranking officials to commit suicide recently.

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