November 13, 2010
Unclear on U.S. exceptionalism Re "America, the one and only," Opinion, Nov. 9 Like Jonah Goldberg and President Obama, I think the United States is a great country. It was great before we abolished slavery; it was greater afterward. What did conservatives think of that? It was great before women had the right to vote; it was greater afterward. What did conservatives think of that? It was great before workers had the right to join unions; it was greater afterward.
May 21, 2009 |
Self-mythologizing is as much a part of rock as the 15-minute guitar solo. Tom Waits knows the drill: He's been messing with our heads for a full generation. Like Bob Dylan, he has proven a canny master of disguise, creating an impenetrable wall to keep his life from a discerning public. But more like David Bowie than Dylan, Waits has utilized exaggerated theatricality as his mask of choice. He emerged in 1971 as a flophouse poet and beat-influenced boozer. When that conceptual well ran dry, he became a sonic junk man, a cockeyed carnival barker shilling opaque shards of sound.
June 26, 2004 |
Former President Clinton slogged through the talk show circuit this week promoting his 957-page autobiography, "My Life." Along the way, he encountered diffident anchors, indulgent hosts and uncompromising journalists who made him squirm before moving on to Mary-Kate Olsen's eating disorder. For his part, Clinton mostly kept his temper and stuck dutifully, if often verbatim, to his talking points. Show: 60 Minutes As seen on TV: With Dan Rather Airdate: Last Sunday, 7 p.m. The vibe: Man-to-Dan.
October 11, 2009
California's Republican state senators claim they act the way they do -- blocking budget votes, demanding health and education cuts, opening tax loopholes for downtrodden classes such as yacht owners -- because they want to protect their constituents from overbearing and ineffective government. They're becoming progressively less believable, especially after GOP senators last month held more than 20 mostly worthy bills hostage in order to try killing a program that old-school Republicans would have championed.
August 8, 1997 |
The shilling sank to an official record low against the U.S. dollar, extending a slide that began when the International Monetary Fund halted a key aid package last week. The IMF had cited the government's failure to crack down on corruption in its decision. The shilling fell 4% to close at 70.26 to the dollar. It has fallen 18% since the IMF took action. The government, meanwhile, declared illegal a national strike called for today, raising chances of violent clashes.
January 2, 1991 |
The ancient shilling is history. The so-called "one bob," a coin of the realm since 1504, ceased to be legal tender Tuesday and was replaced by a smaller 5-pence coin. Shillings--roughly the diameter of a quarter and unchanged in size since 1816--can be returned to banks for several months. The government says it has retrieved 800 million shillings, leaving more than 4 billion still in circulation. The new 5-pence coin, about the size of a dime, is worth 9 1/2 cents.