If the sheer variety of holiday music that pops up each winter is any indication, there's no genre that can't handle a little Christmas spirit. This year, Louisiana country singer Sammy Kershaw decided to test that theory with the sounds of the bayou. His new album of Cajun-infused holiday songs is called A Sammy Klaus Christmas.
They used to call it the "vanity press," and the phrase itself spoke volumes. Self-published authors were considered not good enough to get a real publishing contract. They had to pay to see their book in print. But with the advent of e-books, self-publishing has exploded, and a handful of writers have had huge best-sellers.
I've never had any interest in hunting. Among other things, I'm a terrible shot, but I have friends who hunt, and it appears to me to be a perfectly reasonable sports hobby — certainly every bit as honorable as fantasy football. Moreover, shooting a deer or a duck with a bullet seems to me no more inhuman than catching a trout or a marlin with a hook.
Oh, sometimes I get a little piqued that those who hunt and fish are ennobled as "sportsmen," while people who play golf are just golfers and people who bowl are just bowlers. But then, that's just me being picayune.
Inouye's wife, Maggie, waves to a neighbor as she, the senator and son Kenny prepare to leave their home, Aug. 4, 1973, in Bethesda, Md.
In this Jan. 9, 1963, file photo, Daniel Inouye takes the Oath of Office as Democratic senator from Hawaii from Vice President Lyndon Johnson in a re-enactment of the swearing in ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Inouye and Sen. John M. Montoya, D-N.M., are shown during the Watergate Senate hearings on Capitol Hill, Aug. 2, 1973.
Credit Joe Marquette / AP
President Clinton presents the Medal of Honor to Inouye, one of 22 Asian-American soldiers receiving the Medal of Honor for service in World War II, June 21, 2000, at the White House in Washington.
U.S. Rep.-elect Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii and his wife, Margaret, wave as they arrive at Friendship Airport in Washington, D.C., Aug. 9, 1959.
Seeking the U.S. Senate seat from Hawaii is Democrat Daniel K. Inouye, shown in this 1962 photo.
Credit Matthew Cavanaugh / Getty Images
Inouye, escorted by Army Gen. Charles Taylor, inspects the troops outside the Pentagon during the annual National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony Sept. 14, 2004. Inouye lost his arm in World War II combat.
Credit Win McNamee / Getty Images
Secretary of the Army John McHugh greets Inouye before a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee March 21 in Washington, D.C.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Senate Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee Chairman Daniel Inouye delivers an opening statement during a hearing on the proposed Army budget estimates for fiscal year 2012 on Capitol Hill, May 18, 2011.
Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye, the Senate's senior member, died at a Bethesda, Md., hospital Monday. He was 88 years old and was suffering from a respiratory ailment. The Japanese-American was known for his heroism in World War II and for breaking racial barriers.
Born to Japanese immigrants in Hawaii in 1924, the young Inouye dreamed of becoming a surgeon, but world events intervened as he was listening to the radio on Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley named a fellow Republican, Rep. Tim Scott, as the state's next senator on Monday. He replaces retiring Republican Sen. Jim DeMint and will make history as the first black senator from the South since 1881.
Haley, however, wanted everyone to know her selection was based on Scott's merit, not his race.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund has been called the law firm for black America. Once run by Thurgood Marshall, the group played a major role in desegregating public schools and fighting restrictions at the ballot box.
Now, the Legal Defense Fund is preparing for a new leader — just as the Supreme Court considers cases that could pare back on those gains.