September 25, 2009
Conservative critics of President Obama's foreign policy initiatives are having a tough week. On Thursday, Obama achieved a signature victory when the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved his resolution aimed at halting nuclear proliferation. His warm reception by the General Assembly -- some delegates were so awed by the American president that they couldn't resist snapping pictures during his Wednesday speech -- stood in sharp contrast to the welcome accorded George W. Bush, whose U.N. speeches were typically met with stony silence.
September 12, 2009 |
It's been another sorry season for the Pittsburgh Pirates, as their streak of consecutive losing seasons reached a record 17 years. At least Pirates fans have one thing to rejoice about: bargain beer prices. According to the Wall Street Journal, the higher a baseball team's winning percentage, the higher beer prices tend to be. A study of major league clubs showed that a team with at least a .600 winning percentage charges about $1.30 more per 16-ounce beer than a miserable team floundering with a .400 winning percentage.
September 10, 2009 |
Arnold Palmer turns 80 today, and for generations of golf fans, he's still "the King." In the early 1960s, Palmer's magnetic personality and brash playing style lured new fans, fattened tour purses, boosted TV ratings and helped usher pro golf into the modern age. He drew huge throngs at tournaments that followed him en masse, the crowds so deep that many in his "Arnie's Army" relied on cardboard periscopes to watch him play. His rivals, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, won more major tournaments; Palmer won over more fans.
August 22, 2009 |
The Dow Jones industrial average might be up for sale by its owner, News Corp., a move that conceivably could result in a name change for the 125-year-old stock market barometer. The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported Friday that News Corp. was considering selling its stock index business and had reached out to potential buyers. News Corp., which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch, declined to comment. Dow Jones & Co., which News Corp. acquired in 2007, offers thousands of stock indexes that are used as benchmarks by investors and licensed for use by mutual funds and other investment products.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 2009 |
Kenneth H. Bacon, 64, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who was top spokesman at the Pentagon during the Clinton administration and later became a prominent advocate on behalf of international refugees, died Saturday of melanoma at his vacation home on Block Island, R.I. His primary residence was in Washington. Bacon had spent 25 years at the Journal's Washington bureau before becoming the chief spokesman at the Pentagon in 1994. After leaving the Pentagon in 2001, Bacon became president of the D.C.-based advocacy group Refugees International and emerged as one of the strongest voices for the dispossessed around the globe.
July 19, 2009 |
Critics don't get much respect. (Pause here for raucous laughter.) If you doubt it, look up the word "critic" in any book of quotations and see what you find. H.L. Mencken's "New Dictionary of Quotations" is full of zinger after zinger, most of which revolve around a single theme: Those who cannot do, review. I especially like this sulfurous couplet by John Dryden: "They who write ill, and they who ne'er durst write / Turn critics out of mere revenge and spite." Is that true?
July 11, 2009 |
CIT Group Inc., a lender to small and midsize businesses, is preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing after so far failing to win a government guarantee to help it borrow, according to a published report. An unidentified source told the Wall Street Journal that CIT was still hopeful it would win access to a federal guarantee program because "the government has not said absolutely no to anything." CIT declined to comment. The New York company received $2.3 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program in December after becoming a bank holding company.
July 1, 2009 |
Having conquered the NBA, Kobe Bryant has set his sights east, to the Far East -- China. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bryant in recent years has waged a "deliberate campaign" to make inroads in the world's most populous country. That includes annual visits to China -- he has a trip planned in late July -- and the creation of the Kobe Bryant China Fund, a charity backed by the Chinese government designed to raise money for education and health programs.
May 1, 2009 |
A suspicious surge in trading of Schering-Plough Corp. shares just before news of a merger deal with fellow drug maker Merck & Co. is being investigated by federal regulators, according to a published report. The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking to see whether any trades were made by people with inside knowledge about the merger talks, unidentified people familiar with the situation told the Wall Street Journal. Spokesmen at the SEC and both companies declined to comment.