The richest 1% of U.S. households had a net worth 225 times greater than that of the average American household in 2009, according to analysis conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank. That's up from the previous record of 190 times greater, which was set in 2004.
The United States has become a nation that consumes everything in sight and yet produces increasingly little. Do you know what our biggest export is today? Waste paper.
If you listen to the recent speeches of Republican presidential hopefuls, you’ll find several of them talking at length about the harm done by unionized government workers, who have, they say, multiplied under the Obama administration....
But anyone paying attention knew why public employment had risen — and it had nothing to do with Big Government. It was, instead, the fact that the federal government had to hire a lot of temporary workers to carry out the 2010 Census — workers who have almost all left the payroll now that the Census is done.
Despite sanctions and trade embargoes, over the past decade the United States government has granted special licenses allowing American companies to do billions of dollars in business with Iran and other countries blacklisted as state sponsors of terrorism, an examination by The New York Times has found.
At the behest of a host of companies — from Kraft Food and Pepsi to some of the nation’s largest banks — a little-known office of the Treasury Department has made nearly 10,000 exceptions to American sanctions rules, approving deals involving countries that have been cast into economic purgatory, beyond the reach of American business.
...when Andrew Schneider, AOL's public health correspondent, contacted the TSA to find out what maintenance and testing is in place to ensure the safe operation of the scanners, he discovered that the TSA appears to have no regime at all to ensure that they are functioning within normal parameters.
Also piles of snow, soon to become, undoubtedly, deeper.
GREENFIELD, Mass.—Western Massachusetts is getting better telephone service.
This little piece from Boston.com notes that Verizon, under pressure from the state attorney general, has graciously agreed to now and then check its lines to see if they really work and fix stuff, more or less, that doesn't.
With an average 1,196 people per square mile, the Garden State [New Jersey] has a population density that's higher than India and Lebanon but not quite on par with the Netherlands.
(Click the link.)
MIAMI – Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can't answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new study released Tuesday....
The report by The Education Trust found that 23 percent of recent high school graduates don't get the minimum score needed on the enlistment test to join any branch of the military. Questions are often basic, such as: "If 2 plus x equals 4, what is the value of x?"
The military exam results are also worrisome because the test is given to a limited pool of people: Pentagon data shows that 75 percent of those aged 17 to 24 don't even qualify to take the test because they are physically unfit, have a criminal record or didn't graduate high school.
Former Bellwood administrator Roy McCampbell once compared red-light cameras to a lottery or casino — a "guaranteed amount of money."
But as the cameras reduce the number of drivers who roll through red lights, the number of $100 fines is also dropping.
Sarah Palin took a shot at Michelle Obama during Sunday's episode of her reality TV show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," jabbing the first lady's anti-obesity campaign for attempting to deprive Americans of dessert....
"Where are the s'mores ingredients? This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert."
Over at the Washington Post, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer also shakes his head admiringly as he describes Obama’s “comeback,” noting that he’s “already a year ahead” of where Bill Clinton was when the former president finally recovered from the midterm whupping he took in 1994.
The cancer-causing metal made infamous by the movie "Erin Brockovich" is turning up in tap water from Chicago and more than two dozen other cities, according to a new study that urges federal regulators to adopt tougher standards.
Last fall, as he had done hundreds of times, Iranian-American businessman Farid Seif passed through security at a Houston airport and boarded an international flight.
He didn't realize he had forgotten to remove the loaded snub nose "baby" Glock pistol from his computer bag. But TSA officers never noticed as his bag glided along the belt and was x-rayed. When he got to his hotel after the three-hour flight, he was shocked to discover the gun traveled unnoticed from Houston.
Overbooked classes are among the academic hurdles many undergraduates face at the University of Massachusetts Amherst — a campus struggling to break into the top ranks of public universities after losing nearly a fifth of its tenured and tenure-track professors in the past two decades....
“We’re offering less than we could,’’ said Sigrid Schmalzer, a history professor. “This is a cheaper way of selling degrees, but I really worry about what’s happening to the quality of our education.’’