Opinion

The FINANCIAL -- The movement for a $15-an-hour minimum wage has scored several high-profile victories lately. New York state plans to phase in a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers over the next few years. Los Angeles County will raise its minimum to $15 for all workers by 2021, following a similar move by the city of Los Angeles. Seattle is phasing in the $15 minimum that was adopted last year. And the huge University of California system will raise the minimum wage for its workers to $15 by 2017.

The FINANCIAL -- If “The Donald” loses the Republican presidential nomination and runs as a third-party candidate, he definitely could put a crimp in GOP hopes to reclaim the White House.

The FINANCIAL -- Going into the first Republican debate of the primary season next week, it looks like Donald Trump, Scott Walker and Jeb Bush are guaranteed seats.

The FINANCIAL -- Usually the biggest problem with federal programs is a lack of cash, but that’s not the case with the government’s ideas for mortgage borrowers who have run into rough times. In fact, it turns out that government foreclosure prevention programs have a $20 billion surplus — money some on Capitol Hill now want for such things as road and bridge repairs.

The FINANCIAL -- FBI Director James Comey recently announced that the radical Islamic State group (ISIS) now poses a bigger security threat to the United States than al-Qaeda does.  Americans appear to agree.

The FINANCIAL -- Forty-seven years ago, the musical "Hair" opened on Broadway. Elderly mavens -- the core theater audience then, unlike the throngs of tourists flocking to cheap movie adaptations today -- were instructed that America was entering an "Age of Aquarius." The old moral rules were extinct: we were entering a new era of freedom, experimentation and self-expression.

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