My last hill ride was epic — just not in the way I'd hoped it would be. I'll always remember the date: June 7. The route was called "Hell's Delight." Seventy miles of the steepest hills I had ever done. And trust me, I've done a lot.
But "Hell's Delight" was a new kind of suffering. And, although we road racers enjoy suffering, that day I went too far. About 5 miles before the finish, I crashed. My jaw and left cheekbone broke. Half my face was bleeding; so was my brain. There were abrasions on my arms, shoulders, neck, and left leg. I needed surgery to fix my jaw.
The next Republican nominated for president will take the stage and wave to the crowd in ... wait for it ... Cleveland, Ohio.
That may shock you for any number of reasons, not least being that hardly anyone remembers the last time Cleveland hosted a national convention.
In fact, it was 1936, when the GOP went there to nominate a guy named Alf Landon, who carried exactly two states in November. It was the worst showing by a Republican nominee in U.S. history, which may have something to do with Cleveland's long wait for another try.
It's turning into the largest influx of asylum seekers on U.S. soil since the 1980 Mariel boatlift out of Cuba.
Since October, more than 52,000 children — most from Central America and many of them unaccompanied by adults — have been taken into custody. That's nearly double last year's total and 10 times the number from 2009.
The giant remittances economy — which consists of folks, mainly immigrants, sending money across borders — has been expanding for years. In 2014, the World Bank expects that people will send $436 billion in remittances to developing countries (despite more deportations of migrant workers). And by 2016, the World Bank projects that global remittances will rise to $681 billion, with remittances to developing countries landing at $516 billion.
Some red states like Louisiana and Texas have emerged as leaders in a new movement: to divert offenders from prisons and into drug treatment, work release and other incarceration alternatives.
By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. In recent years, sentencing reformers in the capital, Baton Rouge, have loosened some mandatory minimum sentences and have made parole slightly easier for offenders to get.
But as reformers in Louisiana push for change, they're also running into stiffening resistance — especially from local prosecutors.
After a half-century of the War on Poverty, an anti-poverty agency in Ohio has concluded that decades of assistance alone just hasn't changed lives. Instead, it says, the ongoing breakdown of the family is to blame.
"You're seeing the same people come year after year, and in some cases generation to generation. And so then you think, why is that happening?" says Jennifer Jennette, program manager of the Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron and Richland Counties in Ohio.