The biggest story in Washington is about something that doesn't really exist: the so-called "fiscal cliff." This manufactured panic is all about politicians and corporate interests getting things they want - things that don't have much to do with the "crisis" anyway. But instead of challenging this spin, big media outlets are playing along.
While America's CEOs are fretting about the government's so-called "fiscal cliff," millions of American workers face a financial disaster that gets much less media attention. There's a half-trillion-dollar deficit in the nation's worker retirement benefits.
We know the news flash: On Saturday morning, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and shot himself in the head in the parking lot in front of his coaches. To liberals like NBC sportscaster Bob Costas, this was not just a crisis. It was also an opportunity.
After four decades and billions of dollars in spending, the U.S.-led "War on Drugs" has failed.
No law annoys California developers more than the California Environmental Quality Act and they figure to win at least some changes to its strict 42-year-old rules next year.
"Sorry, we're closed." In one of the saddest signs of the times, this message is popping up all across the country as governors and legislators are cutting off funds (and shutting off access) to one of the finest, most popular assets owned by the people of our country: State parks.
Angus T. Jones told the truth. In a religious video posted on YouTube, the former child actor who's the "half" man of the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men" shocked the celebrity press by saying "I don't want to be on it. Please stop watching it. Please stop filling your head with filth."
On Nov. 16, 2010, an unlicensed driver named Roberto Galo took a left turn at Harrison and 16th streets in San Francisco and hit motorcyclist Drew Rosenberg. After Galo backed over Rosenberg's body, the law-school student died. A jury convicted Galo for manslaughter and driving without a license. After serving 43 days in jail, he was released on home detention.
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?
University of California Regent Richard Blum confessed that he was "apoplectic" at the Board of Regents meeting Wednesday. The husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein supports tuition increases as high as 28 percent over five years, which the board approved Thursday. Blum warned that private universities such as Yale and Stanford threaten to poach academic superstars. "In my investment business, if I underpaid my staff as much as the university is underpaid," said Blum, "I'd have nothing but empty desks." And: "You've got to get real about this stuff."
Asserting a legal and constitutional authority he himself said he did not have, President Obama is going rogue, issuing an executive amnesty to 4 to 5 million illegal aliens.
Lloyd Blankfein is very concerned about income inequality. With his face reflecting both worry and perplexity, he recently called inequality "very destabilizing."
"Grubergate" is the name for the embarrassing revelations about Obamacare by its chief architect, MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber. Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) predicted that the House Oversight Committee will hold hearings on this issue, so the public can learn the facts underlying this legislative failure.
Here's something that might not have occurred to you: It's not easy being rich.
Dick Tuck, the legendary political prankster and wit, once ran for local office in San Francisco and lost. His concession speech, in its entirety: "The people have spoken - the bastards."
The words "deportation relief" jumped out at me from Greg Sargent's Washington Post blog posting titled "Get ready for a titanic battle over immigration." Those two words seem so benign compared with "amnesty" - the preferred usage in the GOP lexicon - but that is their meaning.
"How do you like the Journal's war?"
While the Republicans were busy wiping the floor with Democrats on Election Day, the citizens of Berkeley were making history.
In her mind, Dianne Feinstein will always be mayor of San Francisco. She may be a high-ranking U.S. senator with more than her share of clout in Washington, but she never forgets her roots as onetime mayor and supervisor in the city by the bay. As Ess Eff's mayor emerita, Feinstein recently inserted herself into the city's regulation of Airbnb and other short-term rental concerns. Last month, DiFi wrote a piece for the San Francisco Chronicle urging Mayor Ed Lee to veto compromise legislation written by Supervisor David Chiu. The senator sees Airbnb as a neighborhood killer ...
A big surprise from this year's elections is that American politics has become dominated by the least likely of participants: shy people.
What happens to a person when their reckless driving while under the influence alcohol kills eight people? How about if this same person then gets indicted for criminal negligence leading to the accident and for lying about vehicle maintenance records? And, on top of it all, additional federal charges of jury tampering and backroom deal making? While confinement and loss of liberty might be expected for an individual whose dependence on alcohol results in death and destruction, what happens if the "person" instead is a corporation hooked on profits?
Don't look now, but the overbearing power of America's military-industrial complex has probably snuck into your town.
SACRAMENTO - Democrats won every statewide office and a comfortable majority of the congressional delegation and legislative seats. Yet at Capitol Weekly's election postmortem confab Thursday, Republicans were giddy, and many Democrats were, well, agitated.
A good friend who lives on the East Coast lost his 28-year-old daughter in a tragic accident of carbon monoxide poisoning.