August 23, 2013 |
Suppose, for the purpose of argument, that by the time you read this Time Warner Cable and CBS have settled their schoolyard dispute over transmission fees, and your CBS and Showtime shows are available again on your Time Warner cable box. Problem solved, right? No. The problem's just beginning. I bet you know it, though you may not know you know it. Let's say that as a Time Warner Cable residential customer, you made up for the loss of CBS programming by watching more on Netflix.
September 27, 2010 |
For all the talk these days of porous borders and external threats to the United States, the core of our sense of security and identity as a nation has always come from within. What's surprising, perhaps, is that it derives less from our vaunted democracy or our freedoms than it does from that rather nebulous notion we call the American dream. The dream is the glue that keeps us all together. It's the vague promise that our lot will get better over time that gives us the patience to endure whatever indignities we suffer at the moment.
January 4, 2011 |
Thousands of California homeowners recently received official-looking letters from a company called Home Emergency Insurance Solutions informing them that they face the prospect of thousands of dollars in unforeseen costs because they lack coverage for the pipes that bring water to their homes. Luckily, Home Emergency Insurance Solutions is ready to step up with policies running $4.95 a month. So is this something homeowners should consider? A spate of municipal water pipes going kerblooey last spring might prompt some to think so. But consumer advocates and utility officials say you need to be careful.
November 29, 2011 |
Howard Cohen has received dozens of calls from "Rachel" at "card member services. " At first he thought they must be from his credit card issuer. Now he knows better. "It's a scam," Cohen, 67, of Fontana told me. "All they want is to get you into some new credit card with a higher interest rate - or worse. " The "worse" in this case is possibly having your identity stolen and bogus charges run up on your plastic. The Web is dripping with complaints from consumers nationwide about the "Rachel" calls.
September 14, 2010 |
It may be cheaper to travel by bus instead of flying, but watch out for sneaky fees — especially if you're buying a ticket for someone else. Paul Kleibrink was hoping to save some money when he went online to buy a ticket from Greyhound Lines Inc., the country's largest intercity bus operator. His grandson's girlfriend needed to return home to Oregon, and Kleibrink, 81, had agreed to spring for the cost. "I guess I'm a soft touch," the Santa Cruz resident told me. A one-way ticket on Southwest Airlines would have cost about $160.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 30, 2012 |
I've been thinking a lot lately about single mothers - the concept and the people. Maybe it's because I'm still receiving emails from agitated readers about my column crediting single mothers , among others, with helping reelect President Obama. That sounded to some, as one reader put it, like "tacit encouragement of single-parent over two-parent homes. " Or maybe it's because we're getting close to the date on the calendar when my husband died 19 years ago - leaving me with three little girls to raise, and shoving me into a demographic I never imagined I would join.
October 2, 2012 |
Who's the most influential billionaire business figure in national politics? If you answered one of the Koch brothers (Charles or David) or George Soros, you're wearing your partisan blinders. The former are known for their devotion to conservative causes, the latter to liberal. In either case, you're wrong. The most influential billionaire in America is Peter G. Peterson. The son of Greek immigrants, Peterson, 86, served as Commerce secretary under President Nixon, then became chairman and chief executive of Lehman Bros.
February 15, 2011 |
The biggest mistake people make when talking about the outsourcing of U.S. jobs by U.S. companies is to treat it as a moral issue. Sure, it's immoral to abandon your loyal American workers in search of cheap labor overseas. But the real problem with outsourcing, if you don't think it through, is that it can wreck your business and cost you a bundle. Case in point: Boeing Co. and its 787 Dreamliner. The next-generation airliner is billions of dollars over budget and about three years late; the first paying passengers won't be boarding until this fall, if then.
July 22, 2011 |
In the sport of boxing, there are thousands of sideshows and two real issues: Will Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao ever fight each other, and will the Klitschko brothers ever do the same? The answers, in order, are: probably not, and never. If you are a boxing fan, you hate both conclusions. If you are a human being, you will come to understand the Klitschkos' stance. Younger brother Wladimir articulated it nicely once again over lunch the other day. "Don King once offered us $100 million to fight," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2014 |
I had breakfast at Republique on La Brea Avenue on Tuesday, and here's how the tab broke down: Cafe Americano - $3.25 Quiche - $5 Tax - 0.77 Surcharge Healthy LA - 0.25 The last item is the one creating a little controversy at the new high-end restaurant in the old Campanile space. The owners are adding a 3% fee to every bill, which they say will pay for healthcare insurance for all their employees, from hostesses and bartenders to dishwashers and potato peelers. "This is offensive," snapped one Yelper, who called the fee "a 3% surcharge for Obamacare.