The Supreme Court began another term on Monday with a different look. Following the retirement of John Paul Stevens, who had the longest tenure among the justices, President Obama replaced him with former solicitor general Elena Kagan. As solicitor general, Kagan served as the government's top lawyer in Supreme Court cases.
Erie County, like most everything else in New York State, is currently in a huge budget crisis. To keep taxpayers' enormously high rates from rising even further, County Executive Chris Collins is trying to limit government spending. In a drastic measure, Collins has decided to cut all but 10 of Erie County's various cultural organizations from next year's county budget. Collins says he is keeping the top 10 ? which includes the Buffalo Zoo, the Buffalo Museum of Science, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and the Historical Society ? because they each bring in outsiders and tourists from around the country, while the others do not. Collins' logic is suspect; it looks like he may care more about tourists and outsiders than he does about the people who live in Erie County year-round. Among the institutions that will not receive any money from the county next year (money that they usually do receive) are Shakespeare in Delaware Park, the African American Cultural Center, the Irish Classical Theater, and the Music is Art Festival.
The Democratic National Committee announced Tuesday its plan for the upcoming midterm elections. The plan, nicknamed "The Plan," consists of the DNC's latest approach to shooting themselves in the foot. "I think we've really got it down this time," says DNC Chairman Tim Kaine.
There are 30 teams in the National Basketball Association, and on July 8 I had my money on 29 of them. I genuinely thought that LeBron James was coming to the Mecca of basketball to throw on the blue and orange and bring Madison Square Garden back to its glory days.
In an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today" show on Monday morning, President Barack Obama said that he was in favor of lengthening the school year for American students in grammar school and high school. Right now, American students attend school for an average of 180 days out of the year, compared to an average of 196 for nations such as Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, which have moved ahead of the United States in student performance. Formerly a leader in educating youth, the U.S.
For college students, having to spend absurd amounts of money is an unfortunate fact of life. Whether it's the exorbitant costs we pay just to attend school, the wallet-killing textbook prices or just food expenses, it's hard for college students just to break even financially. Tuition costs are the most egregious example of this.
The sweeping tax cuts enacted by former President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003 are set to expire at the end of the year, and the question of whether to extend them has become a contentious issue in Washington. Republicans favor extending the cuts, which have mostly benefited the wealthiest Americans.