I think everyone can agree that the Republican Party's search for its presidential nominee has been a long, strange trip. For me, one of the strangest things about it is that, after all this time, I barely know who's running Mitt Romney's, Rick Santorum's and Newt Gingrich's campaigns. You see, over the past 30 years, political strategists have gone from being shadowy figures to being celebrities in their own right.
The cacophony of hoots being directed at Mitt Romney Wednesday for his poor performances in Alabama and Mississippi primaries is somewhat curious, especially since it was the conventional wisdom as recently as last week that the Deep South was likely to be very tough going for him.
The Afghan response to Sunday's shooting deaths of 16 Afghan civilians has been limited compared with the recent outrage over the burning of Qurans. In one of the few protests, demonstrators chanted anti-U.S. slogans in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Tuesday.
Credit Rahmat Gul / AP
After U.S. troops burned Qurans last month, Afghans staged protests throughout the country. Here a demonstrator holds a Quran in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Feb. 22.
Politeness seems to be falling by the wayside these days, with phrases like "you're welcome" replaced by the more casual "you bet" or "no problem." Good manners were more the norm in 1960, when these kids at a junior theatrical school learned how to curtsy and bow.
Credit Chris Ware / Keystone Features/Getty Images
Words such as "yes," "please" and no thanks" are vanishing from many of our conversations.
Listen to the conversations around you — colleagues at the office, customers in the coffeehouse line, those who serve you, those you serve, the people you meet each day. "Give me a tall latte." "Hand me that hammer." "Have a good one."
Notice anything missing? The traditional magic words "please" and "thank you" that many people learn as children appear to be disappearing.