Photo voter ID laws, according to Attorney General Eric Holder, are a "poll tax." "Many of those without IDs," Holder recently told the NAACP, "would have to travel great distances to get them - and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them."
In January, prosecutors would not believe Eliana Lopez when she said her husband, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, did not hurt her when he bruised her arm during a Dec. 31 argument on the dubious grounds that as a battered woman, she was effectively brainwashed to rationalize the abuse. In July, as Mayor Ed Lee has to go through the San Francisco Ethics Commission in his bid to fire the sheriff, City Hall has concocted a new reason not to listen to Lopez: She's too happy.
"Why is the modern Republican Party so opposed to allowing the rich to pay just a little bit more in taxes to help solve the debt and deficit problem in this country that they would prefer no deal at all?" Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., asked at The Brookings Institution on Monday.
Back in 2007 and 2008, it was remarkable watching Barack Obama treated to one puffball interview after another, courtesy of Steve Kroft on "60 Minutes." Kroft compared him to Abe Lincoln and oozed about his "political poetry." But it's simply irresponsible, after three and a half years of President Obama wrecking the economy, that CBS - now with anchor Charlie Rose - is still in puffery mode.
The first criterion in choosing a vice president, it is said, is that he or she must be qualified to be president.
Californians have always thought of themselves as trailblazers for the rest of the country. As the biggest state in the Union that is home to the gems of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and the world's most productive agricultural land in the Central Valley, our state has proven time and time again to be ahead of the nation.
After years and years of over-the-top stories attesting to the character, honor, integrity and moral fiber of the late Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, we now know, after reading the 267-page Penn State internal report on child predator Jerry Sandusky, that the legendary coach was nothing more than a narcissistic, arrogant coward.
To measure how our economy is doing, media outlets keep a constant eye on the Dow Jones Average. But they're like cats watching the wrong mouse hole, for the great majority of Americans have between zero and next-to-nothing in the stock market.
There are some ideas so convoluted that only an expert (or wannabe expert) could love them.
Last week, the House of Representatives, in a colossal waste of time, voted for the 33rd time to repeal President Obama's health care plan.
Some people are too smart for your own good.
San Bernardino has now followed Stockton into bankruptcy.
To know which way the economic winds are blowing, just check such newspaper headlines as these: "Underemployed and Underpaid," "Shrinking Consumers," "Economy Leaving Lost Generation."
Obama needed a filet mignon in the June employment report. But instead he got a rubber chicken.
When Barack Obama promised to "fundamentally transform the United States" we could not have anticipated the extreme transformations he would seek. The evidence is rolling in that he is determined to transform America into a totally secular land where religion is permitted only within the walls of a church and is banned in every public place, public gathering and public school.
The Metropolitan Opera in New York City is hardly a site for hundreds of angry protesters. But they have erupted over their current selection, an opera called "The Death of Klinghoffer." Leon Klinghoffer was the 69-year-old paralyzed New Yorker who in 1985 was aboard the hijacked cruise ship Achille Lauro, then executed by Islamic terrorists because he was a Jew. The terrorists forced the ship's barber and a waiter to throw his body and his wheelchair overboard off the coast of Egypt.
You heard it here first.
Here we go again - into yet another war in a tumultuous swath of the world we still don't comprehend. For a preview of what we're stepping into in Iraq and Syria, let's remember Afghanistan.
If you believe Houston Mayor Annise Parker, then you have to believe that when lawyers for her city subpoenaed five local pastors and demanded their sermons, the episode represented an unfortunate instance of lawyer overreach, with no intent to harass or intimidate the opposition.
I know Republicans who voted for Jerry Brown in 2010. They thought he'd be like Richard Nixon going to China and stand up to public employee unions by fixing a dysfunctional pension system. They thought he'd live up to his pose as elder sage, ready to do what's best for California. After he won a return engagement as governor, Brown liked to bloviate about the need for elected officials to demonstrate "loyalty to California."
In 1492, "Columbus sailed the ocean blue" and discovered the New World. And Oct. 12 was once a celebrated holiday in America.
Growing up in Washington in the 1930s and '40s, our home was, several times, put under quarantine. A poster would be tacked on the door indicating the presence within of a contagious disease - measles, mumps, chicken pox, scarlet fever.
I'd like to think that if I got the bad news that Brittany Maynard received - terminal cancer with a prognosis of less than six months left to live - I'd be like her. I'd like to be stoic and brave. I'd like to take charge of the rest of my cruelly abbreviated life. If I were facing death at age 29, I would want to find meaning in an end come too soon.
Just in the United States, the cosmetics industry pulls in some $70 billion a year in sales of what's commonly called "makeup." But lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, and the like aren't the only kind of makeup the cosmetic giants are peddling.
Corporations are funneling money to right-wing governors who work against the interests of their customers and employees.
Practically everyone expects California Attorney General Kamala Harris to win re-election handily in November. The Democrat won 53 percent of the vote in a crowded June primary. A rising star expected to ascend someday to the governorship, perhaps a U.S. Senate seat, Harris has won the endorsement of major newspapers in the state. She's such an attractive candidate that even though it was true, President Barack Obama had to apologize last year for calling her "by far the best-looking attorney general in the country."
Rather than urge guests to leave bigger tips and thank you notes, Marriott should pay its housekeepers a living wage.
I paid less than $10,000 to earn my college degree from a top-ranked school.
I hadn't heard from my friend John in some time.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Westover Vineyards of Castro Valley. Owner Bill Smyth is preparing to shutter his winery because the California Department of Industrial Relations slapped him with $115,550 in fines, back wages and penalties for using unpaid volunteers. Those fees put Westover in the red.