The right always whines about its contrived war on Christmas. But this year, the real assault is on Thanksgiving, when retail stores will be open—depriving thousands of their holiday.
Forget the war on Christmas. It’s time to talk about a more dangerous assault—the one being waged against Thanksgiving. And this war has real casualties: American families.On Thursday, while most of us will be stuffing ourselves in the company of our loved ones—or at least our family—thousands of others will be compelled to leave their Thanksgiving celebrations to go to work. Why? Many retail chains have decided to open up their stores on Thanksgiving Day, including Walmart, Macy’s, Target, and Sears.
With her jump from broadcast TV to a video player on Yahoo’s homepage, Katie Couric signals a new era—it’s no longer career suicide to move from old media to new.
When, years from now, historians try to piece together the exact moment that the balance of cultural power shifted from old media to new, when the old lions guarding the gatehouse were flattened by the democratizing power of the Internet and social media, the events of the last few months, or even the last couple of days, may provide a clue.On Friday, news broke that Katie Couric, one of the most recognizable stars of television, was leaving ABC for Yahoo News.
Talked about for years, a high speed rail service for the Northeast may be on its way at last, with the Federal Railroad Administration expected to approve an overhaul of the tracks.
It may seem improbable, but the odds that faster trains are coming to the Northeast Corridor have jumped recently. That’s because beginning in 2015, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is expected to finally permit modern European designs on tracks throughout the country, running side by side with heavy freight, at all times of day. This decision could cut the weight of U.S. passenger trains in half, meaning trains can go faster, accelerate more quickly, cause less wear on tracks, and get passengers to their destination in less time.
The passenger-rail behemoth sucks up more taxpayer dollars than ever, and its ridership gains are merely a blip. Kill it once and for all.
“We’ll take you across the mighty Mississippi through eight states—past wheat fields and ranches, missions and pueblos, mountains and deserts,” reads the promotional copy for Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, a sleeper train that weaves 2,256 miles from Los Angeles to Chicago along portions of the old Sante Fe trail. “You’ll see spectacular landscapes and pristine vistas not visible from interstate highways.” While gazing out at scenery worthy of the best John Ford flicks, riders can chow down on offerings from Amtrak’s full-service kitchen, such as the angus steak burger for $9.
Before Napa was even a glimmer in anyone’s eye, the first great American wine was made on the banks of the Ohio River by a land speculator in 1842. The story of how he inadvertently made a Champagne-style wine that even wowed Europe and inspired a poem by Longfellow.
America’s first great wine is one you’ve probably never heard of. The Pilgrims did not produce it. Despite his dreams of flourishing vineyards at Monticello and his belief that America could produce wines “doubtless as good” as Europe, Thomas Jefferson did not create it either. American’s first great wine was a pink sparkling libation made from a hybrid grape called Catawba, grown in the Ohio River Valley outside of Cincinnati. The visionary behind it, Nicholas Longworth was convinced Catawba would become the greatest grape in America, possibly the world.
Holiday food drives for ‘associates in need’? Tips on ‘digging out of holiday debt,’ like selling items on eBay? Far from raising wages, Walmart and McDonald’s have a reached a new low.
What are future historians going to call this age? Probably not the Era of Good Feelings, which is what we still call the Monroe-era embrace of small-r republicanism. (It was awfully brief.) The Gilded Age has been taken, although we’ve often heard that we’re living in a New Gilded Age.Lately, I’m wondering if we’ve morphed even beyond that. We know the 1 percent have been partying in contemporary America as never before. And we know the workers at the bottom have been getting hammered.
The former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is encouraged by the terms of a security-pact agreement governing the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
Retired Marine General John Allen, who commanded all American and NATO forces in Afghanistan until early this year, praised the security agreement reached today by Afghan and U.S. negotiators. The deal ensures that a residual U.S. force will remain in the country after the American combat mission comes to a close at the end of 2014. It is unclear what the size of that force will be, though it is expected to be somewhere in the range of 10,000.
In a D.C. court Tea Party Congressman Trey Radel was fined and sentenced to probation and mandatory rehab for his recent cocaine bust. Like Rob Ford, he blamed his drug use on alcohol.
30 years ago, pioneering rapper Melle Mel warned “white lines . . .don’t do it.” If only hip hop conservative Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) had paid attention he might have avoided the embarrassing arrest for cocaine possession that landed him before a judge today when he was sentenced in a D.C. courtroom. Radel, a first-term congressman from southwest Florida, pled guilty on Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Like people, selfies are often bothersome, silly, and apparently redundant. But the new Word of the Year doesn’t just expose our narcissism—it can express the simple joy of being alive.
I never use Facebook. Well, almost never. I have, on the other hand, tweeted more than 41,000 times. I love Twitter. I love the purity of text it streams at me. So I’m a little bothered by Twitter’s introduction of automatically displayed images embedded within tweets.But it’s not because some of those pics are selfies. A lot of people are complaining about them. It sounds as if 2013 has been a better year for selfies than it has been for them.
Who let the dogs out? That’s what they’re asking in the White House, after new puppy Sunny got a little too rowdy at a recent event and knocked over a little girl.
The Senate’s youngest member, Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy, held his fellow lawmakers’ feet to the fire on gun control. A year after Newtown, he says he’s not giving up the fight.