In the eyes of the public, the year is ending for Lindsay Lohan in much the same way it began: with an impending court date.
Jack Alvo drives the streets of the New York City six days a week -- the 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift. He never imagined he'd be a cabdriver at his age. After all, a decade ago, he was pulling down $250,000 a year on Wall Street. He survived the 9/11 attacks while working in wealth management for Morgan Stanley on the 73rd floor of the World Trade Center's South Tower. He was a lucky man. But Jack lost his last finance job in 2009, not so long after the markets crashed during the Great Recession. He is still in its grasp, trying to raise two kids, his hair now gray, driving a yellow taxi through the steel and concrete caverns of Manhattan.
In 2013, the Republican Party faces a big test. Members begin the new year in disarray, with their public approval ratings plummeting while Democrats still control the White House and Senate. The year is coming to a close with an embarrassing display of legislative ineptitude as House Republicans divided over a solution to the fiscal cliff. Without displaying the capacity for strong leadership, political parties can't succeed.
George H.W. Bush marked his 80th and 85th birthdays with parachute jumps. He said after the second jump: "Just because you're an old guy, you don't have to sit around drooling in the corner. Get out and do something. Get out and enjoy life." Now 88, Bush has been struggling with serious health concerns, including bronchitis. We need him to recover, to set an example for the world of how a man can mark his 90th.