I have known Susan Rice for decades. We worked together in the '80s. I followed her career in the '90s. She served her country with intelligence and integrity during the Clinton administration and for the past four years as our country's representative to the United Nations.
As the "fiscal cliff" looms, editorial writers and Beltway commentators have turned their sights on their favorite enemy -- tax-foe Grover Norquist's no-new-taxes pledge signed by a weighty majority of GOP members of Congress. If Republicans had not been scared into signing the pledge, the pack laments, D.C. pols would compromise, and all would be well with the world.
Once again, billionaire investor Warren Buffett urges his fellow high-on-the-hoggers to pay more in taxes. "Only in Grover Norquist's imagination," says Buffett, do taxes make much of a difference in how people invest. "So let's forget about the rich and ultra-rich going on strike and stuffing their ample funds under their mattresses if -- gasp -- capital gains rates and ordinary income rates are increased. The ultra-rich, including me, will forever pursue investment opportunities. ...
It seems hard to believe that the election was only three short weeks ago, and that even as the results were coming in proving Nate Silver (the much maligned New York Times blogger) right and the pillars of conservatism (Dick Morris, George Will and, of course, Karl Rove) completely wrong, Republicans thought they had it won and Mitt Romney had only one speech prepared.
Gov. Jerry Brown's signature was notably absent from the ballot arguments in favor of Proposition 30, the tax increase measure he pushed so hard in this fall's election.
One of the proudest progressive victories of the November 6 elections was produced by some scrappy citizens in the burg of Brecksville, Ohio, population 14,000.
The Republican strategists who confidently predicted that their candidate, Mitt Romney, would win the 2012 election are already pontificating about what Republicans must do to win in 2016. After their disastrous defeat, strategy and policy mistakes and expensive super PAC advertising that failed to win votes, why should anybody take their advice again?
Jerry Brown's signature was notably absent from the ballot arguments in favor of Proposition 30, the tax increase measure he pushed so hard in this fall's election. He was essentially responsible for its content and for the now-mooted triggered budget cuts that – barring a "Perils of Pauline"-style rescue – would have cost public schools and universities more than $6 billion over the next year alone.
Consider this headline from a Reuters article in The Huffington Post: "Raising Taxes on Rich Won't Hurt Economic Growth, CBO Says."
President Obama likes to complain about gridlock in Washington and blame Republicans for keeping him from doing his job. As president, he has the unfettered executive power to pardon individuals convicted of federal crimes or commute their sentences. Yet, while his 2008 campaign called for a review of federal mandatory minimum sentences to reduce the number of needlessly warehoused nonviolent drug offenders, Obama has pardoned a mere 22 offenders who served their sentences and commuted only one sentence. When it comes to acts of mercy, Obama has produced his own gridlock of one.
Barack Obama won his re-election fight because Americans who are committed to moving forward turned out in record numbers to vote, especially in battleground states.
The post mortems on the presidential campaign continue to pour in, the ones on the botched Romney effort the more interesting (and more depressing for those of us who supported him). President Obama was clearly vulnerable, and Mitt Romney clearly positioned to defeat him.
Thanksgiving week is a time to express gratitude and appreciation and to acknowledge what we are thankful for in our lives. Many of us have Thanksgiving routines and rituals that take us out of the everyday routine of our lives and provide a space for us to slow down, unwind, reflect and give thanks.
With the truce in the week-long Gaza war, Barack Obama is being prompted by right and left to re-engage and renew U.S. efforts to solve the core question of Middle East peace.
Like many people, I have a tendency to spend more time thinking about what's wrong than what's right, what's missing rather than what is there, what I don't have instead of what I do.
Where are the peaceniks? Why aren't they marching on Capitol Hill to protest President Barack Obama's use of military force in Syria and Iraq? The San Francisco Chronicle's Kevin Fagan interviewed peace activists who told him that their ranks are numb, in part because America has been at war for more than a decade. Some even wonder whether the Islamic State is so barbaric as to merit airstrikes.
"I see the media is at it again," an acquaintance said referring to the deluge of coverage after the Ray Rice assault on his wife. True, a ton of coverage on what became a national, if not international story.
For those of you who read my last column and thought I had crossed over to the dark side, this one should tilt the world back on its proper axis.
"You'll never meet anyone who says, 'I want to be a millionaire. I think I'll start a winery,'" owner Bill Smyth tells me from his small office over the tasting room of Westover Vineyards, nestled in Palomares Canyon. Smyth has worked in a number of fields. He made some money. He bought the vineyard property when he was young. His ex-wife bought him a kit to make wine, and his labor of love turned into a small business.
The video of a Syrian captor beheading American freelance journalist James Foley "has done more damage than any ransom ever could," former Iranian hostage Sarah Shourd warned on CNN recently. Foley's parents have been vocal about their frustration in knowing that their son remained a hostage as France and other European countries paid a reported average of $3 million-plus to free their citizens. The family wants to establish an organization to provide information to other families, presumably to get around a no-ransom policy.
When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a mere a two-game suspension for domestic violence, he took his cue from some of the very same women's groups now calling for his head.
Supervisor David Chiu wants San Francisco to become the first American city to oppose any ban on sex-selective abortions. It apparently has not occurred to him why no other city has chosen to do so.
In its wisdom (such as it is), the California Legislature passed a measure that would change the standard of sexual consent on the state's college campuses. Gov. Jerry Brown should veto this bill. If the University of California and other institutions that receive state-funded student aid want to demonstrate they have "no tolerance for any form of sexual violence" when students report rape as state Sen. Kevin de Leon has argued, then they should call the cops, not academic panels.
The bums they were. The L.A. bums they are.
It seems like yesterday. And yet, so much was different.
The strategy that President Obama laid out Wednesday night to "degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL," is incoherent, inconsistent and, ultimately, non-credible.
For the first time since 1997, the U.S. economy just added at least 200,000 jobs per month for six months running. GDP grew at a 4 percent annual clip between April and June. The percentage of Americans who describe the economy as "good" has climbed to the highest level of President Barack Obama's presidency.
By releasing the grisly videos of the beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, ISIS has altered the political landscape here and across the Middle East.
Why has there been no media interest in the police shooting of an apparently unarmed suspect in Salt Lake City?
On Aug. 24, United Airlines diverted a Newark-to-Denver flight to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport after two passengers got into an argument. It started when a 47-year-old man used a device called the Knee Defender to prevent the 48-year-old woman in front of him from reclining her seat.