January 8, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A decision by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to consider a new rule this year requiring companies to release information about their political spending has buoyed disclosure advocates, who say such a move could be a game-changer in their quest for more transparency. If approved by the SEC, the regulation could require all publicly traded corporations to detail how much money they give for political activities, including to tax-exempt advocacy groups and trade associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - From my skimpy research on New Year's resolutions, I've learned that 40% of us make them, and about 90% end in failure. A dismal record of weak will. Yet, New Year's resolutions should be encouraged because they're vital to self-improvement. They reflect at least a brief recognition of personal flaws and the need for betterment. Therefore I'm proposing a few, mainly for Sacramento politicians. Never mind that I've tried this in previous years and mostly been ignored.
December 21, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's consideration of Chuck Hagel to be Defense secretary has set off an outcry of criticism that could force a second damaging White House retreat over a Cabinet pick. Even as Obama was nominating Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) as secretary of State on Friday, the possible selection of Hagel, a Republican who served two terms as a U.S. senator from Nebraska, drew intensifying crossfire from influential pro-Israel groups, Iran hawks and the gay rights lobby.
December 13, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Susan Rice, who came under heavy criticism for her defense of the Obama administration after armed militants killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, withdrew her name from consideration for secretary of State on Thursday as the president began to narrow his choices for key Cabinet positions. “If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly - to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities,” Rice wrote in a one-page letter to President Obama.
November 13, 2012 |
Alvin Roth earned his 2012 Nobel Prize in economics for market design and matching theory - creating ways to pair "buyers" and "sellers" happily and fairly when price isn't a primary consideration. For instance? Kidney exchanges, in which cost can't legally play a role but donors and recipients with just the right assets and needs still must find each other. Roth's algorithms can be used to make good matches in even the thorniest situations: bringing the lovelorn together with potential mates, and bringing together the right charter and public schools with the right students.
October 21, 2012 |
A reader recently asked about car rental abroad. He was concerned that his age (80) would bar him from renting a car. It does in some countries. But an email from a reader suggested a solution to this dilemma, although this wasn't just any reader. The email said, "Throughout Canada, you can take the DriveABLE Cognitive Assessment Tool, or DCAT. This is a 45-minute cognitive assessment done on a computer, but it does not require any computer skills to perform. It is administered by a DriveABLE certified member in a physician's office.… I have done over 500 examinations at my office in the Atlanta area.
October 2, 2012 |
Yes, yes. We know what you're thinking. You looked at that headline and thought, "This man is daft. The academy doesn't honor that kind of movie. " Put aside for a moment what type of movie Oscar voters generally recognize and simply consider this question: What if best picture means just that? Best picture. And not best picture within a narrowly confined set of criteria that generally include characters with impediments or accents, preferably working in a historical epic that tackles an Important Issue or two and imparts Life Lessons just as the musical score reaches the sweet spot of its crescendo.
September 29, 2012 |
The only thing more endangered than being Arkansas' head coach is being undefeated. Stanford found out Thursday night what others will discover Saturday. The Cardinal sin of losing at Washington leaves 26 unbeatens as the season winds toward an Agatha Christie finish of "And then there was none, one, two or (God forbid) three. " Conference USA and the Mountain West and Sun Belt conferences have no unscathed schools and are eliminated from the title pool - but you knew that already.
September 16, 2012 |
Question: On a recent flight from Los Angeles to Shanghai, an older woman passenger collapsed on my lap and then on my feet. The flight crew had to bring an oxygen tank to her. It was terrifying, and I didn't know what to do. If this ever happens again, what should I do? Kevin Orbach Nantong, China Answer: The quick answer is to summon help, stay calm and do what you can, which sounds simple but isn't. What you are required to do, what you can do and what you should do are different questions, so we'll start with the easiest one first.
August 30, 2012 |
The most compelling assertion in Daniel Mendelsohn's lengthy consideration of criticism on the New Yorker's Page-Turner blog this week is the very first one: “I didn't dream of being a novelist or a poet,” he tells us. “I wanted to be a critic.” It's not that I feel the same way, exactly - for me, criticism is, as it has always been, an important component of my writing life but hardly the only one - and yet with that simple admission, Mendelsohn...