Back in years like 1936 and 1972, when California was in the midst of serious recessions, no Republican presidential candidate or surrogate would have dared bash California the way Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Peggy Noonan and others lately have.
"They lie, and they don't care if people think they lie," California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton told reporter Joe Garofoli before a state delegation breakfast Monday. Burton even brought up that "as long as you lie, Joseph Goebbels, the big lie, you keep repeating it, you know."
I watch some commercials on television and am amazed that the corporate sponsor really signed off on the product. Think about the expressions on the faces of the dark suits in the executive boardroom when they were presented with some of the commercials running on TV right now.
TAMPA, Fla. - Clint Eastwood put on an odd skit Thursday night at the Republican National Convention. It was awkward to watch and hard to hear, but I have to hand it to Eastwood. He achieved the impossible; he made the gaffe-prone Mitt Romney come across as supremely tactful.
TAMPA, Fla. - You could say that the film "2016: Obama's America" is the GOP equivalent of Michael Moore's "Roger and Me." The documentary is based on conservative firebrand Dinesh D'Souza's 2010 book, "The Roots of Obama's Rage." As the film's narrator, D'Souza argues that Barack Obama's philosophy is "anti-colonialist," a legacy passed on from his Kenyan father, who left Obama's family when he was 2 years old.
Did Mitt Romney make the economic sale at the Republican National Convention? Did he convince people who are living at the margin or unemployed and discouraged that he has the answers to the economy? Frankly, I don't think so.
It was the political convention that almost wasn't. In the run-up to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Democrats and their fellow travelers in the so-called mainstream media claimed that the GOP was waging a "war against women," depicted Mitt Romney as a heartless felon responsible for the death of a woman who lost her health insurance and blasted Romney for choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate. They then tried to define Ryan as a heartless ideologue who would eliminate Medicare and throw grandmothers off a cliff. And then a tropical storm-turned-hurricane named Isaac threatened to blow ...
After a genuinely grassroots Republican platform committee produced a principled document on a plethora of issues, including immigration, some people who were not part of the process are promoting pro-amnesty proposals. Writing this week in The Wall Street Journal, Jon Huntsman suggested that President Obama's executive order offering work permits to 1.6 million illegal immigrants doesn't go far enough.
In front of a spirited crowd that packed the Tampa Times Forum, Chris Christie gave a solid speech that echoed Mitt Romney's programs, consisting of substantial budget cuts, tax cuts and entitlement reform.
The Republican convention was delayed by a day on Monday. It's not a problem: The national media's preconvention spin was timed perfectly, almost as if it was on automatic pilot. In Monday's New York Times, longtime political writer Adam Nagourney regurgitated the same old, tired political spin that the Republican Party is too conservative and exclusionary on "social issues" and that their divisive stands will hurt them with "mainstream" voters.
TAMPA, Fla. - Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan to be his running mate. Since his teens, Ryan has been a big fan of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." In 2005, he told The Atlas Society that the novel shaped his "values system" - and that speech has launched a number of recent columns by liberals aghast at Ryan's taste in literature.
Like teenagers on vacation with their parents, Republicans from blue states and Democrats from red states don't want to be seen with party elders.
Mitt Romney made a smart executive decision selecting Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate. Ryan's genial personality, serious policy wonkery and political courage have dazzled conservatives and won respect even in a few liberal circles. Romney scores points for political courage as well. He knew liberal politicians and journalists would talk in punishing terms about Ryan's budget ideas.
Shrewd move in choosing House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Now here's the next play: Invite George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, to speak this month in Tampa at the Republican National Convention.
The only way the planned California bullet train could possibly be exempted from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) would be via legislative action followed by a signature from Gov. Jerry Brown.
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.