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November 20, 2011 | By Richard J. Mouw
Some voters are convinced that if Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination, we run the risk of ending up with a member of a "cult" in the White House. Many of my fellow evangelicals are especially concerned about this possibility. Some are unhappy with me because I have gone on record as saying that Romney's church, the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is not a cult. It's not that these folks believe that Mormons are unfit for any public office. Many evangelicals voted for Romney as governor of Massachusetts — and in earlier days Mitt's father, George Romney, got strong evangelical support as Michigan's governor.
November 13, 2011 | By Shawn Hubler
I grew up in central Pennsylvania, steeped in the myth of Penn State football. I was 4 when I learned the alma mater. By the time I was 10, I knew every player's number and name. Every Saturday that there was a home game, we'd drive an hour from our tiny town "over the mountain," as my father called it, and sit high in the stands, in rain, snow or autumn sunshine. We'd do this cheer: "We are! Penn State!" The stadium would thunder. My parents had not even gone to college, but they'd yell it until their throats ached.
November 2, 2011 | By Catharine Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
Hello, Angry Birds. Until recently, we thought Hello Kitty was the campiest highflying animal. That was only because we didn't know about Angry Birds (and a tip of the hat to Ellen Creager of the Detroit Free Press for informing us). Taiwanese airline EVA on Monday debuted a new generation of Hello Kitty aircraft, with A330-300 jets decorated using Sanrio 's iconic Japanese feline. You can see the cat on the craft , of course, but according to an EVA news release issued before the debut flight, "At check-in, passengers on these aircraft receive Hello Kitty boarding passes and baggage stickers.
October 25, 2011 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy, Los Angeles Times
While vintage horror films are being dusted off for annual Halloween marathons, one band is combing through classic titles to solidify its set list. The members of Nilbog love horror. But they appreciate the sinister, electro-rock orchestrations that anchor the slasher flicks even more. The Los Angeles-based, five-piece act covers the scores of horror, sci-fi and giallo films (an Italian genre of horror fiction such as Dario Argento's "Sleepless"), and they are certain there's no other outfit like them.
October 25, 2011 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
McDonald's McRib is back. The barbecue sauce-slathered, tangy pork sandwich that launched more fan sites than many rock stars has once again started showing up in McDonald's restaurants nationwide. The last time the McRib made a limited-time appearance — in fall 2010 after being sporadically available for 16 years — customers went whole hog, driving McDonald's U.S. sales up 4.8% in a month. And it's likely to again be a hit, at least among the McRib faithful that made the sandwich — which has no actual ribs — a cult favorite.
October 21, 2011 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Martha Marcy May Marlene," with a frightfully fearless Elizabeth Olsen playing all of those Ms, is a difficult title that perfectly suits this wonderfully difficult film. It'd be easy enough to say this is a drama about the destructive power of cults on youth, which it is, but really what writer-director Sean Durkin has given us is an existential thriller about identity and just how tenuous a grasp we have on who we really are. Already a hit on the festival circuit, "Martha Marcy May Marlene" is also a coming-out party of sorts — an impressive first feature for Durkin and a potent debut for its star, still best known as the Olsen twins' younger sister.
October 18, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
More than a week after the issue of Mitt Romney's faith became an open conversation in the Republican race for president, Rick Perry said the pastor who called Mormonism a cult simply "expressed an opinion," one that he did not agree with. Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress endorsed Perry and introduced the Texas governor at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, calling him "a true conservative" and "a genuine follower of Jesus Christ. " Speaking later with reporters, Jeffress said he agreed with the belief widely held among evangelicals that Mormonism was a cult, and that in a contest between Perry and Romney, "we ought to prefer a born-again follower of Christ.
October 16, 2011 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from New York — Elizabeth Olsen recently experienced something that had never happened to her: She was recognized by a stranger. "It was really weird. I was walking in Tribeca and a guy just came up to me and said, 'I just saw the trailer for your movie, and I'm really looking forward to it,' and then he kept on walking," the young actress recalled. Then she added uncertainly, "I hope he wasn't confusing me with someone else. " That she would find this exchange exciting might seem, well, really weird in its own right.
October 10, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
Mitt Romney has been reluctant thus far to address controversial comments from a supporter of Rick Perry equating the Mormon religion with a cult. Jon Huntsman -- not so much. In an interview with CNN on Monday afternoon, the former Utah governor, who, like Romney, is a Mormon, called Pastor Robert Jeffress a "moron" (video below). "The fact that some moron can stand up and make a comment like that ... [is] outrageous," Huntsman told Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room. " "Anyone who is associated with someone willing to make those comments ought to distance themselves in very bold language.
August 30, 2011 | Jonah Goldberg
When asked what posed the greatest challenge to statesmen, Harold Macmillan, the former British prime minister, responded, "Events, my dear boy, events. " That's because events tend to throw everybody off their plan. For example, Hurricane Irene ended President Obama's vacation early. And the hurricane's steady deterioration upset the plans of news producers who anticipated something more dramatic for their wall-to-wall coverage. In a similar fashion, Obama and his advisors predicted the economy would do better — much better — than it has, and those predictions were wrong.
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