obama-and-cruzWhy the president and his Tea Party rival both have something to gain in this government face-off.

With each passing "crisis" in the zero-sum game of congressional politics, we've gotten used to sorting out the winners and losers of every battle. But as September's round of Washington's annual budget fight tightens up -- and a government shutdown looms for Tuesday -- what we have, so far, is a win-win: The Tea Party's Sen. Ted Cruz has the attention he craves, and President Barack Obama stays "covered."

My parents didn’t have much growing up: my dad was a truck driver, and my mom worked at JC Penney as a clerk, as well as a bunch of other odd jobs.  They struggled to find work. We lived in public housing. I learned quickly that I would have to work hard and study hard to follow my dreams. I got my first job while I was still in elementary school – selling TV Guides door-to-door.

I enlisted in the US Navy after high school and then worked my way through college and law school. I went on to a career in law, and then business, before deciding to run for Governor in 2010. In 2010, our state was in a free fall: we had lost more than 800,000 jobs during the four years before I took office, the real estate market had collapsed, and state debt had grown by about a billion dollars a year for two decades.

ninaNina Davuluri is the first Indian American to hold the title of Miss America. It should be something for all Americans to celebrate. Alas, it's a victory marred by waves of racist backlash in social media. Davuluri is called a "terrorist," and derogatory references to convenience stores - "Miss 7-Eleven" - and Muslims are mentioned. But the biggest complaint? Miss America should be more "American."

Perhaps what the haters resent is that immigration and diversity have irrevocably changed who is an American these days. U.S. demographics are shifting toward a reality where non-white groups are emerging as majorities. By 2050, whites will represent less than 50 percent of the U.S. population, while minorities will reach 54 percent, an astonishing shift.

The Gourmet Retailer Editors’ Pick for 2013 New Products

Tortuga 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain® Coffee has earned a 2013 New Products Editors’ Pick from The Gourmet Retailer, one of the leading United States trade publications covering the specialty food industry. The magazine honored only 50 products from the more than 940 submissions. Explaining their pick:“When you can’t get to Jamaica, bring it to you. This vacuum-packed, foil-sealed Blue Mountain coffee comes with an escape hatch to the tropics . . . the vacation feeling is included free of charge.”

One of the most sought after coffees in the world, Tortuga 100% Blue Mountain® Coffee is handpicked in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica and roasted by the finest local roast masters just before shipping. It is treasured for its balanced blend of richness, and perfect acidity which creates a distinctive aroma only found in 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain® Coffee.