After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake shook loose a big chunk of the Bay Bridge, local politicians did not signal that they wanted to take decades to build a new eastern span, so commuters should get used to driving on a span expected to crumble in a big rumble. Instead, they made grandiose promises about a "world-class" structure. Then-Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown demanded a tony design; then-San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown stood up for Treasure Island interests. Steel prices soared.
It is almost unbelievable that this is a first.
Compared to the hell Jackie Robinson went through, Jason Collins is getting a ticker tape parade.
The Washington Post reported something surprising on April 29 - a hidden-camera expose by pro-life advocates. On the front page of the Metro section, the Post reported how a veteran D.C. abortion doctor named Cesare Santangelo told a 24-week pregnant woman that in the unlikely event that an abortion resulted in a live birth, "we would not help it."
"The worst mistake of my presidency," said Ronald Reagan of his decision to put Marines into the middle of Lebanon's civil war, where 241 died in a suicide bombing of their barracks.
The Pecksniffs of America had nothing but scorn for Congress' vote last week to stop furloughs of air traffic controllers, which were ostensibly mandated under the 2011 Budget Control Act.
Hours after the Boston Marathon bombings but before authorities identified suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, President Barack Obama purposefully addressed the nation. "We will find out who did this. We'll find out why they did this," the president pledged. "Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice."
As much as liberals had their fingers crossed after the Boston Marathon bombings - please don't let it be a Muslim, please don't let it be a Muslim - that's who the terrorists were. All that wishing and hoping is based on the very ugly premise that "middle America" is a cesspool of bigotry and hate, a sentiment shared by Muslim terrorists.
This week, the Obama administration furloughed 14,500 air traffic controllers - staffers will lose two days of work per month - ostensibly to comply with the 2011 Budget Control Act's $85 billion in sequester cuts this year. The Federal Aviation Administration's share is $637 million. So expect delays at the airport. That's the idea, but it didn't have to be.
Sometimes a picture speaks volumes. Sometimes it's outright deceptive. The picture of "Bomber No. 2" didn't look a bit like a mass murderer. A sweet-faced college kid, the former lifeguard, the nice young man described by classmates and friends. It couldn't be. There must be some outside organization calling the shots. An international conspiracy, perhaps. Brainwashing.
The bipartisan immigration package put forward by the Gang of Eight looks like a reasonable bill, but it likely won't become law, and it probably shouldn't.
WASHINGTON - It's sure to be a major motion picture worthy of the talents of Michael Moore and Oliver Stone. If the FBI does indeed have the right suspects, the docudrama screenplay - "based on a true story" - will begin with FBI public-domain footage of two young men carrying backpacks along a crowded street and then two bombs detonating near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and wounding more than 170. The scene closes with rescuers rushing to help grievously injured victims.
Lead poisoning is entirely preventable.
"Whatever they thought they could ultimately achieve, they've already failed," says President Obama of the Boston Marathon bombers.
Should we have wept or cheered on Earth Day?
Why was Walter Scott running away from a policeman who tried to stop him for a broken taillight? The media are trying to make a South Carolina policeman's killing of a black man, Walter Scott, another sensational case of racism, but the media have missed the point of the tragedy.
Imagine a political campaign against environmentalists that's so negative, so ridiculously slanted and downright dirty, that it actually repulsed executives of some of America's biggest fracking corporations.
Welcome to Hollywood, where dreams become real - and where logic, reason and economics 101 become dreams.
Radical activists in the gay community have put pedal to the metal to force gay acceptance from Christians - making not only their position but also their tactics anti-Christian. They are deliberately targeting the Christian wedding industry - the cakemakers, the caterers, the quaint bed-and-breakfast owners, and the like. They are headhunting Christians who refuse their business on moral grounds by slapping them with lawsuits or "human rights" complaints.
While Hillary Clinton hates doing Sunday shows - as we remember from the weekend after Benghazi - she did allow her close friend Gov. Terry McAuliffe to appear on "Meet the Press" on April 19. Jaws dropped when NBC host Chuck Todd threw him a real Russert-like hardball, quoting from his 2007 memoir "What A Party!"
This tax season, America's billionaires are toasting you, the ordinary taxpayer.
San Francisco is foodie heaven. If you want to eat out, you will never lack for options. That's the plus side. On the downside, Ess Eff menus are getting so precious they take the fun out of eating.
The economy has been in a tepid, soft, slow recovery for the past five-and-a-half years. It's the weakest rebound in generations. The Commerce Department's revision of fourth-quarter GDP shows that nothing much has changed. Over the past year, real economic growth registered 2.4 percent, slightly higher than the recovery average. It ain't much.
The Republican rout in the Battle of Indianapolis provides us with a snapshot of the correlation of forces in the culture wars.
My friend Julia died as we knew she would. Cancer had ravaged her body for a decade. She no longer could breathe. She was at home, under hospice care, when she asked for a dose of morphine that she knew would kill her but also keep her final moments free of pain.
The assisted-suicide movement is the rare self-proclaimed civil rights movement that exists to cater to the wishes of affluent Americans. Last week, the California Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on SB 128, a bill to legalize assisted suicide in the state. (Proponents don't like the word suicide, so they call the measure the "End of Life Option Act.") Supporters talk of their fear of medical personnel's prolonging their lives, of pain and lack of autonomy; opponents fear that the bill's passage would represent a callous act of cultural abandonment of the sick and disabled.
More than 30 years ago, conservatives managed to defeat the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, which would have added "sex" to the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection, by frightening women into believing that it would outlaw separate bathrooms for men and women. In the years since, the courts have effectively done what Congress couldn't, prohibiting discrimination in virtually every aspect of American life - except, of course, bathrooms, which never were really at issue.
Rand Paul's entry into the 2016 Republican presidential primary is good for the GOP. I won't proclaim that Paul, 52, has the gravitas or character to occupy the Oval Office - that remains to be seen - but I do believe that all the other Republican hopefuls should watch and learn from Kentucky's junior senator. His take on issues could make independents and Democrats take a second look at a party where they have not felt welcome.
Just last month, Apple chief executive Tim Cook made headlines when he wrote a piece in The Washington Post, panning Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act as "very dangerous." Apple, Cook wrote, does not believe in discrimination and strives to "do business in a way that is just and fair." This month, the San Francisco Chronicle's Wendy Lee reported, Apple fired some construction workers at Apple Campus 2 in January because they had been convicted of felonies or face felony charges. Just and fair? Hardly.
The debate about a "religious freedom" law being considered in Indiana has been making national news. The issue is whether the law would allow discrimination against gays. There has been a storm of protest both from inside and outside the state - with leading businesses threatening and threatened by a proposed boycott of the state; Silicon Valley, for the first time I can remember, taking effective political action; and Indiana legislators tripping over themselves to make sure everyone understands that the law is in no way intended to immunize or condone discrimination.