There are two basic realities about Cuba’s communist dictatorship that U.S. policy, and the anti-Castro hardliners that shape it, prefer to ignore. The first is that the Castro brothers will almost certainly die in power. The second is that market-oriented economic reforms, albeit tentative, are as much a part of Cuba’s landscape today as 1956 Chevrolets.
Anyone who has tried to tend a garden or walk the dog in the height of a South Florida summer understands the energy-zapping qualities of a heat and humidity combo. A recently released study reports that climate change will mean an increase in those sticky, sweaty days.
Voters in Washington and Colorado just approved measures legalizing marijuana for recreational use. But businesses that want to sell marijuana in those states will face a problem: No bank wants to do business with them.
I called several banks in Washington. I called a local credit union, a tiny bank in the San Juan islands. Everybody said basically the same thing. Even if selling marijuana is legal under state law, it's still illegal under federal law. And banks and credit unions worry that this could get them in trouble.
10/01/12 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with Time Magazine Senior Correspondent Michael Grunwald, who’s chronicled the events and reactions surrounding the 2009 federal stimulus package, which reached 700-billion-dollars. In The New New Deal, Grunwald examines what prompted conservatives to condemn the stimulus as a monstrous waste and liberals to lament the lost opportunity for a bigger and bolder package. Grunwald speaks with literary contributor Ariel Gonzalez.