Herman Cain has vaulted into the top tier of GOP presidential candidates with his 9-9-9 tax plan, which would create a new 9 percent federal sales tax. But consumers would have to pay that sales tax on top of existing state and local sales taxes. Here are figures from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation that look at the total sales taxes in every state, adding up the state sales tax, a statewide average of the various local sales-tax rates, and the 9-9-9 federal sales tax.
Nearly 30 years after her passing, Ayn Rand is experiencing a renaissance as the economy sputters and government efforts to spur growth fall short. With over 25 million copies of her books in print, including “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead,” Ms. Rand had a history of engaging groups of dedicated followers on her small government, free market, and individualist philosophy. Now, she's gaining fans among tea party activists and others worried about the spread of government. Here are six things even her fans probably didn’t know about her:
Gap Inc.,the clothing retailer that runs the Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic retail chains, announced Thursday that it would be closing 189 Gap locations across North America by the end of 2013. At the same time, Gap is expanding its footprint overseas, opening a flagship store in Hong Kong and tripling its locations in China from 15 to 45. With Gap gradually taking its business elsewhere, which retailer will step in as the new go-to for the American shopper? Here are a few contenders:
For years, US officials have described Iran as the “most active” state sponsor of terror in the world. Many have been carried out by proxy forces, such as Lebanese Hezbollah, which was created by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in 1982, so the exact nature of the role of the Islamic Republic, if any, often remains uncertain. Here’s a list of major terror attacks blamed on Iran in the past four decades.
It was apparently a mistake when they announced six titles this year instead of the usual five nominated for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. But then, said Harold Augebraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation, "We decided that it was better to add a sixth one as an exception, because they're all good books." Which of these six finalists do you think will win the 2011 National Book Award for Young People's Literature on Nov. 17? UPDATE: One of the six finalists – "Shine" by Lauren Myracle – was removed from the list of 2011 nominees on Oct. 17.
October 12 marks the birthday of stop-motion animation pioneer Art Clokey. The creator of the iconic jade green clay humanoid, Gumby, and his faithful equine companion, Pokey, Clokey was among the very first animators to combine clay figures with stop motion, which he first did with a short film in 1953. Many animators followed in Gumby's rectangular footsteps, including "California Raisins" creator Will Vinton and "Wallace & Gromit" creator Nick Park. The 1990s saw the rise of computer generated animation, but a handful of film directors still like the unique textures and often eerie movement that stop motion offers, qualities that are on display in films such as "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Chicken Run," "James and the Giant Peach," "Coraline," and "The Fantastic Mr. Fox." But almost all great animators got their start with short films. Here are five of our favorite stop-motion shorts.
Martha Stewart's daughter Alexis has recently published Whateverland: Learning to Live Here, a non-too-flattering book detailing her life with the domestic queen. Stewart is just the latest in a long line of children to publish memoirs about their lives with famous parents – some complimentary, others less so. The veracity of several have been called into question by family members or other doubters.
Sure, access to the Internet costs you something every month. But did you ever stop to think how much money it saves? Online price comparison and access to wholesale markets and group deal sites, like livingsocial.com and Groupon, can save the average consumer $8,000 annually, according to new study from the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), a coalition that lobbies to make high-speed Internet access more affordable and widely available. “Generally Internet shopping can be a big money saver,” agrees Jody Rohlena. senior editor at Shopsmart magazine, but beware of online impulse buying: “It’s important to stick to your budget and try not to go crazy.” Here are nine areas of consumer spending where the Internet can save big bucks, according to the IIA study. Can you guess which spending category is in the top spot?
"Phoenix Jones," Seattle's crime fighter, wore a mask as he entered a Seattle courtroom Thursday where prosecutors said they hadn't yet decided whether to file charges against him in an alleged pepper-spray attack. The superhero's brush with the law brought national attention to a citizen superhero who offered a low level of law enforcement for the city. But Phoenix Jones, who's real name is Benjamin John Francis Fodor, says he will continue fighting crime. Fodor is not alone. There are many other 'average Joes' who transform nightly into costumed vigilantes in the name of keeping villains off the streets for good. Here are five.
On Columbus Day, many Americans observe Christopher Columbus's discovery of the New World, which the explorer himself mistakenly thought was India. True, it's not the most exciting holiday on the calendar. It's not even observed in every state, which means Columbus Day comes with a lot of gray area about practical matters, such as who's working and who's not. Here's your practical guide to Columbus Day.
It is not just the baby boomer generation that’s maturing, it’s their cars as well. The average age of a vehicle in the United States is a record 11 years. Moreover, the vast majority of car owners plan to hold onto their cars well past the 150,000-mile mark, according to a recent survey from AutoMD.com, and nearly 80 percent are racking up more miles (up to 50,000 or more) on their current vehicle than their previous one. If you’re driving something built before Facebook or the Y2K millennium bug, here are five tips to keep it humming well beyond the 100,000-mile mark:
The 'super PAC' promises to shake up the 2012 election. This new fundraising heavyweight – which Stephen Colbert famously brought attention to with his own Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow – heralds a new era of 'superspending' in politics. Here are the basics about super PACs and how their emergence may influence elections.
Apple's announcement Wednesday that founder Steve Jobs had died sparked waves of comment across the Internet, as techies and others chose their own ways to note his achievements or mourn his passing. Some recounted their own interactions with Jobs. Others had simple words of gratitude, adding "sent from my iPhone." On Twitter, many people tagged their posts with "#thankyousteve" or "#iSad." Among a multitude of noteworthy tweets, here are five ...
Rin Tin Tin was a magnificent German Shepherd with a great backstory and an unmatched Hollywood career. But more recently he was looking a bit like a fading babyboomer memory. Then, this fall, came the publication of Susan Orlean's book, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend. Suddenly, Rin Tin Tin is trending on Twitter – and finding a whole new place in our hearts. I recently asked Orlean six questions about her book and its regal subject. Here are excerpts of our conversation.
The winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature – one of the highest awards a writer can receive – will be announced on Thursday. All across the world, literati are preparing for the big event in a decidedly plebeian way. They’re betting on the frontrunners. British bookmaker Ladbrokes has ranked the contenders’ odds, according to bets it is accepting online from “clued up literary fans.” Here’s a somewhat surprising look at the top four contenders.