Lawmakers writing the transportation spending bill have a problem. Actually they have 89 billion problems, because that's how many dollars they are short between what they want to spend over the next six years and the revenue bean counters expect.
When I think of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, I think of the decadeslong building of the new eastern span, the shameless political grandstanding for a project that ran $5 billion over budget - and the construction headaches that live on. Brian Maroney, Caltrans' chief engineer for the bridge, sees something entirely different. He sees a visual stunner that delights drivers as they emerge from Treasure Island to gasp at a skyway with twinkling lights curling toward the East Bay hills. He thrills at the experience to the user, especially at night. Most importantly, he sees a bridge that is safe.
There's a new card game making the rounds that's designed to offend. What does it say about our culture that this marketing strategy actually works?
With the Islamic warriors of ISIS having captured all the border posts between Iraq, Syria and Jordan, we may be witnessing the end of Sykes-Picot.
In November of 2002, Washington Post reporter-editor Bob Woodward unveiled excerpts of his latest book, "Bush at War," and caused a big stir by revealing that Fox News boss Roger Ailes had sent a confidential memo to the George W. Bush White House after 9/11 insisting the president stay tough against the terrorists.
There is no more endangered figure in America than the black man.
It's time to pass the hat for Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state has tried to distance herself from her weeks-ago assertion that after husband Bill left the White House, the couple were "dead broke." She told PBS that the line was "inartful," but only after she told a British paper that she does not count herself among the "truly well-off." Nobody knows the troubles she's seen.
The New York Times reports that House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is considered "the best hope" to win passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in Congress after he becomes majority leader in July. It's sort of quaint how the Gray Lady wants to believe in miracles.
Obama administration officials trekked out to a tiny rural community in southern Virginia to teach the local yokels a thing about immigration policy. Yet the lessons learned were not by the local farmers but by the bureaucrats who got more than an earful in protests against placing illegal aliens in their small town of Lawrenceville.
The panic that engulfed this capital after the fall of Mosul, when it appeared that the Islamist fanatics of ISIS would overrun Baghdad, has passed.
"Reinvigorating the leadership" is how one senior House staffer described the ascendency of Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Republican who won a first-ballot victory for the position of GOP whip. The staffer went on to portray Scalise as not a member of the Washington establishment. Indeed, Scalise is a former chair of the Republican Study Committee, the conservative caucus in the U.S. House. He has had a meteoric rise, and he is someone to be reckoned with.
How's this for a punch line? You stage a rebellion to get rid of Eric Cantor, who is on his worst day (to critics on the right) a very conservative _guy who relishes hardball tactics, and he gets replaced by a pragmatic moderate from California. You call this victory?
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office found its way to the front page by declaring the word "Redskins" was offensive and therefore unworthy of trademark protection under a 1946 law that proscribes trademarks for "immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter."
The first time I ever went "online" to do a search on the "World Wide Web" (yes, we used to call it that), I figured I'd pick a subject I knew a lot about and see what was there. So I typed in the word "rape" - a subject I learned about the hard way many decades ago and have been teaching and writing about for the past 30 years. To my surprise and horror, what popped up on my search were not sites aimed at providing resources or support for the victims of rape, but one horror story site ...
"Pee in a cup" is a phrase you should prepare to hear frequently this election season. A requirement that doctors be subject to random drug and alcohol testing is the curb-appeal provision in a measure that will be on the California ballot in November.
Downtown San Francisco feels like a large public toilet without enough janitors. More than once this year, I've seen men drop their pants in public places - including at Fifth and Market - to leave a smelly mess on the sidewalk. You can walk for blocks and never escape the stench of stale urine. At lunchtime, I see street people passed out on high-traffic sidewalks, and I am afraid to walk around them.
"Natural law - God's law - will always trump common law," said Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a Christian leader in her own right, "God will have the final word in this matter."
San Francisco changed America. When then-Mayor Gavin Newsom opened City Hall to same-sex marriages during the 2004 Winter of Love, he had determined to "put a human face on discrimination." The long line of couples eager to tie the knot appealed to the public's romantic side. When two people are in love and want to commit to each other for the rest of their lives, activists asked, how can the government say no?
At last, America's political leaders now feel the pain of the poor and empathize with the millions of working families slipping out of the middle class.
The judicial decision to uphold all of the president's health care subsidies may be very disappointing, but the economics of Obamacare are far worse than whatever constitutional mistakes have been committed by the Supreme Court.
"I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you."
Almost immediately after a white killer gunned down nine black worshippers at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, out came the politics.
DEAR DR. ROACH: As a preventive measure for prediabetes, my doctor recommended I take 500 mg of metformin twice a day (morning and evening). I have been following this regimen for two months. The same day I started the medication, my night sweats started up again, with a vengeance. On the metformin, my quality of sleep was negatively affected by four to five episodes of bad hot flashes every night. Since hot flashes/night sweats were not mentioned as a side effect either by my doctor or on the information pamphlet, I notified my doctor. He suggested stopping the metformin ...
When SB 128, which would legalize physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients, passed the California Senate, supporters hailed the measure's success as a sign of its inevitability. And what Democrat in this heavily left-leaning Legislature wants to be on - say it slowly - The Wrong Side of History?
There's nothing as depressing as asking young people whether they plan to participate in the election and hearing them tell you they have no idea which candidate to be for or what the differences are or, worse, that it doesn't matter. What do you do with such a person? Can you really force someone to sit down and read a voter's guide? And what would they learn if they did? Probably more about what's wrong with their opponents than what's right about their candidates.
It is fitting, if late, that South Carolina's political leaders seem ready to evict the Confederate flag from the grounds of their state Capitol in response to the vile shooting that left nine African-Americans dead in Charleston's Emanuel AME Church last week. In a Monday news conference while flanked by Democrats and fellow Republicans, Gov. Nikki Haley noted that many in the Palmetto State see the Confederate flag as a tribute to their Southern roots but said, "Today we are here in a moment of unity in our state, without ill will, to say it's time to ...
DEAR DR. ROACH: My 18-year-old daughter at college has severe acne that has not improved with OTC or prescribed topical treatments. Her dermatologists discussed the option of oral treatments, including the drug isotretinoin, which can have severe side effects.
In his seventh year of "fundamentally transforming the United States of America," as Barack Obama memorably promised five days before he was elected president, we're learning new details about thousands of immigrants who were released from custody after being convicted of serious violent felonies and horrific sex crimes. Instead of doing his duty to keep bad people out of America (or remove them if they manage to sneak in), Obama is bringing us even more diversity by accepting thousands of refugees from terrorist-harboring countries such as Syria and Somalia.
Let's now praise a threesome of odd bedfellows: a Democratic ex-senator, an exiled American citizen, and a current Republican senator.
DEAR DR. ROACH: Is it true that someone who takes antacids every day is more likely to get cancer of the esophagus? -- D.R.