Scandal-ridden officials become outcasts in Bell, California

Scandal-ridden officials become outcasts in Bell, California

There was a time in this modest blue-collar community when Mayor Oscar Hernandez was all but hailed as a superhero, the big friendly guy who said hello to everybody when he wasn’t busy greeting them at his venerable corner grocery store. Those days ended abruptly last July after it was disclosed that Hernandez was presiding […]

Rahm must reintroduce himself to Chicago

Rahm must reintroduce himself to Chicago

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said he plans to hit Chicago’s grocery stores, train stops, “bowling alleys and hot dog stands” as he prepares to run for mayor of the nation’s third-largest city. Emanuel announced Sunday in a video posted on his website, ChicagoforRahm.com, that he’s preparing to run. He had been […]

The high cost of living without a bank

The high cost of living without a bank

The nickel-and-diming never stopped. The fees were constant: $28 to cash a paycheck. $1.50 for a money order. A dollar or more every time I swiped the prepaid cash card I bought at the drug store. In all, I racked up $93 in fees in a monthlong experiment of living without a bank and making […]

Both parties play the economic blame game

Both parties play the economic blame game

If you don’t like the economy, blame President Barack Obama and Democrats because they’re making times tougher, Republicans are telling voters entering the four-week homestretch to an election the GOP hopes will return the party to power in Congress. Look, Democrats say, it’s the Republicans who caused the financial meltdown and recession. Do you want […]

Republicans, Democrats fine tune midterm strategies

Republicans, Democrats fine tune midterm strategies

Democrats have all but written off at least three Senate seats — in North Dakota, Indiana and Arkansas — and at least six House seats in Tennessee, Louisiana, New York and elsewhere as they embark on a final-weeks advertising push to minimize congressional election losses. Emboldened by their prospects, Republicans are throwing at least $3 […]

Health care reform’s growing pains

Health care reform’s growing pains

It’s a centerpiece of President Barack Obama‘s health care remake, a lifeline available right now to vulnerable people whose medical problems have made them uninsurable. But the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan started this summer isn’t living up to expectations. Enrollment lags in many parts of the country. People who could benefit may not be able […]

With Rahm gone, a change in tone at 1600 Pennsylvania

With Rahm gone, a change in tone at 1600 Pennsylvania

Reshaping the tone and tenor of the White House, President Barack Obama on Friday replaced the colorful and caustic Rahm Emanuel with the private Pete Rouse as his chief of staff, shifting to a new phase of his presidency with a drastically different aide as trusted gatekeeper. Emanuel’s decision to quit the White House and […]

Bye bye Rahm Emanuel, hello Pete Rouse

Bye bye Rahm Emanuel, hello Pete Rouse

President Barack Obama is making official what has been clear for days: Rahm Emanuel, the relentless enforcer of his agenda as White House chief of staff, is resigning. The job Emanuel wants now is mayor of Chicago, where his next fierce political fight awaits. What Emanuel leaves behind is more than a staff job. It […]