The HealthCare.gov website is a disaster -- symbolic to Obamacare opponents, disheartening to supporters, and incredibly frustrating to people who just need to buy insurance. Some computer experts are saying the only way to save the system is to scrap the current bloated code and start over.
Amazon.com Inc. is at it again. To the consternation of much of the book industry, the online giant is again offering digital titles for less than major publishers think books are worth. And this time, the price is zero.
We should never again hear anyone declare that Marilyn Monroe was a size 12, a size 14 or any other stand-in for full-figured, zaftig or plump. Fifteen thousand people have now seen dramatic evidence to the contrary. Monroe was, in fact, teeny-tiny.
One thing is clear in the aftermath of the debt-limit debate: U.S. President Barack Obama has lost his glamour. The alluring icon of hope and change has become just another pol, derided by his supporters as well as his opponents. As one headline succinctly put it: “Obama succumbs to the ways of Washington.”
Anyone -- a local teenager, a traveling businessman, a married mother of four, an illegal immigrant, even a student at a Jesuit university -- can walk into my neighborhood CVS any time, day or night, and, for less than $30, buy a 36-count “value pack” of Trojan condoms.
The public is in a foul mood over increasing college costs and student debt burdens. Talk of a “higher education bubble” is common on the contrarian right, while the Occupy Wall Street crowd is calling for a strike in which in which ex-students refuse to pay off their loans.
The newest banner in the window of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh features a strikingly realistic portrait of Superman. Unfazed as bullets bounce from his chest, neck and forehead, the Man of Steel wears a calm, resolute expression, made all the more convincing by the creases and fine lines of early middle age.
“Infrastructure” may be one of the least glamorous words in the English language, but with the right touch the concrete and steel of roads, bridges, tunnels, dams and railroads can look as alluring as a movie star. Witness the sleekly seductive illustrations produced for today’s California High-Speed Rail Authority or the midcentury pictures of effortlessly flowing superhighways, a genre that reached its apotheosis in Walt Disney’s “Magic Highway U.S.A.” in 1958.