November 28, 2013 |
One hundred and fifty years ago, with the country still torn by civil war, President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for all Americans to observe a common day "of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. " That's when Thanksgiving evolved from a holiday celebrated by states and the federal government on their own timetables into a national one held on the fourth Thursday of every November. We are far less divided as a country now than we were in Lincoln's day, but we're still split sharply, even bitterly, on some major issues.
October 10, 2013 |
Congress has spent much of the last three years stumbling about like a traveler who's lost his map, with no coherent strategy for bolstering the weak economy or putting more jobless Americans back to work. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has worked indefatigably, creatively and bravely to keep borrowing costs low, which has helped the housing industry regain its footing and encouraged U.S. businesses to expand. President Obama sought to keep the Fed on track Wednesday, nominating the reserve board's No. 2, Janet L. Yellen, to be its new chair.
August 15, 2013 |
We learn in the opening moments of "Herblock: The Black & the White" that when famed Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herbert Block (best known by the signature in the film's title) was young, he drew a chalk caricature of Kaiser Wilhelm on the sidewalk, taking pleasure in the notion that his neighbors would be walking over it. Block never lost the glee that came from creating images that would stir the pot and champion causes close to his heart. Michael Stevens' (son of filmmaker George Stevens Jr.)
July 19, 2013 |
On Thursday, members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences handed out the first Emmy nomination to a television series that wasn't delivered over the airwaves or cable. In fact, three such series - two dramas and a comedy, all delivered by Netflix over the Internet - garnered a total of 14 nominations. With that, the academy acknowledged the latest step in the evolution of TV: the expansion of high-quality original programming from broadcasting and cable to broadband. That's not necessarily welcome news for traditional TV networks and pay-TV operators, but it's an encouraging sign for everyone else.
July 14, 2013 |
The Obama administration stumbled badly in recent months as it repeatedly overstepped its authority in seeking information from news organizations. Prosecutors swept up phone records tracking calls by reporters and editors of the Associated Press, suggested that a Fox News reporter might be criminally prosecuted and continued their vigorous pursuit of information held by reporters in ferreting out alleged leaks. For that, the administration has been properly excoriated. On Friday, however, Atty.
June 23, 2013 |
Even as he condemned Edward Snowden's leaks about two government surveillance programs, President Obama said he welcomed the debate about whether post-9/11 efforts to detect terrorist plots have undermined Americans' privacy. That debate has raged since the Guardian and the Washington Post published material provided by Snowden, and two things are clear: • The American public and many members of Congress were unaware of the scope of the government's electronic surveillance programs, which include a continuous and indiscriminate collection of the phone records of virtually every American, and extensive monitoring of foreigners' emails and social media accounts.