Despite all the media hullabaloo about the fiscal cliff and a potential recession if none of the Bush tax cuts are extended, stock markets have behaved calmly throughout this whole period.
In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy, every politician who has me on their email list - and there are many, on both sides of the aisle - has been filling my inbox. All of the messages begin with the requisite expression of shock and horror, the business of sending out our hearts and prayers to those who mourn. Then the gun control advocates insist that now is the time for congressional action, and the opponents caution that no legislation is going to stop people (not guns) from killing.
While some prominent Republicans appear to be more open to raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans as part of a budget deal that would keep us from tumbling off the so-called "fiscal cliff," others are digging their heels in deeper.
On Friday, a heavily armed young man walked into a Connecticut elementary school and murdered 20 first-graders and six adults before he killed himself. Even in a country inured to gun violence, this crime is too heinous to contemplate.
Michigan is no longer a state. It is now "Michiganistan," an autocratic czardom in the hands of Emperor Rick Snyder.
"No set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society."
President Barack Obama in 2008, and again during the 2012 election, promised absolutely, positively no tax hikes on the middle class. The rich, however, must pay more: "It's not me being stubborn, it's not me being partisan - it's just a matter of math."
"Mandatory sentences breed injustice," Judge Roger Vinson told the New York Times. A Ronald Reagan appointee to the federal bench in Florida, Vinson was railing against a federal system that forced him to sentence a 27-year-old single mother to prison life without parole because her dealer ex-boyfriend had stored cocaine in her house.
Those who say we should run government like a business must not be frequent flyers.
When you think about it, it's amazing that the high-minded swells at the University of California didn't unveil a new logo sooner. The old logo, which will continue to appear on diplomas and official letters, features the school motto, "Let there be light." Ancient. An English translation of a Latin phrase. And a book. Dead-tree lit. 1868? Dead white guys. Under a star. Too militaristic.
Here we are on brink of a major historical moment. We're beginning to wind down the longest period of war in our history. And we're about to turn around a 13-year-long surge in Pentagon spending.
Christmas in my home city of Santa Monica is different this year. It used to be that there were elaborate displays depicting the birth of Jesus in the big public park by the ocean. I've always believed that Christmas is a major religious holiday, and the display reflected that. According to people who know more about such things than I do, the large dioramas told the story of Jesus' birth according to the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.
As the white flag rises above Republican redoubts, offering a surrender on taxes, the mind goes back to what seemed a worse time for conservatives: December 1964.
Bill O'Reilly asked this question on his Fox News program last week: "Why do I have to be the leader defending Christmas against its attackers?" O'Reilly was criticizing Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee's renaming his state's Christmas tree a "holiday tree."
More than 5 million young people are looking for work. College is increasingly unaffordable, while youth jobs are few and far between. For years lawmakers have been cutting programs that help young Americans find a productive path. And as if that weren't enough, budget cuts scheduled for 2013 may hollow out what's left of federal education and training programs.
As Middle America rises in rage against "fast track" and the mammoth Obamatrade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, The Wall Street Journal has located the source of the malady.
How come everyone I know is depressed?
Sofia Vergara is the Spanish-accented sexpot on the ABC sitcom "Modern Family." She's also now the center of an unwanted controversy over a "modern family." She's fighting with an ex-fiance over two frozen embryos.
After the recent Baltimore riots, left-wing critics accused President Barack Obama of lacking an "urban agenda." Critics like PBS's hard lefty Tavis Smiley said: "What do we see in Baltimore and Ferguson and beyond? Racism, poverty and militarism. And so poverty is clearly connected to this. My sense is that this is going to become the new normal. These kinds of uprisings and riots are going to happen a lot more if we can't get serious about jobs, jobs, jobs with a living wage for all fellow citizens. ...
Some of corporate America's biggest climate-change deniers - from Exxon-Mobil to the Koch Brothers - are dreading a potent storm that's gaining strength and headed right at them. It's the category-5 "Hurricane Francis," which threatens to overwhelm their flimsy ideological castles.
The Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., would announce Thursday she would be running for retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer's seat. At last, it seemed as if California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the only name Democrat in the race, might face some competition. Then Sanchez claimed that the announcement email had been sent out by mistake. Oops, as former Texas Gov. Rick Perry would say.
David Cameron is the most successful Tory Party leader since Margaret Thatcher.
That was, essentially, the headline for the big New York Times poll out this week. It was supposed to measure how much Hillary and her team's stumbles on the issue of her private email server had hurt her. Just how much did her favorability drop? Essentially, not at all.
The media elite have a preeminent place in our politics, allegedly with the knowledge to declare what is politically feasible and what is not, including which candidates have a chance at winning and which do not. Before we head into a presidential primary season, it's time to insist that these "experts" don't know any better than the rest of us.
After the mysterious death of suspect Freddie Gray, the Maryland state's attorney for Baltimore charged all six Baltimore police officers involved with his arrest and transport. The crimes ranging from "second-degree depraved-heart murder" to involuntary manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment. Locals cheered her decision to charge all six. The charges followed three days of riots triggered by Gray's funeral and came almost immediately after the medical examiner filed his report calling Gray's death a "homicide."
The Pentagon's mad scientists have a God-like goal of "creating" new food.
In March, President Barack Obama teased the notion of making voting mandatory. "It would be transformative if everybody voted," he said during a Cleveland event. "That would counteract money more than anything." Spokesman Josh Earnest walked back the idea the next day, after whetting the appetites of liberal activists. Too often, partisans talk about tinkering with our system to improve voter turnout without fixing why the electorate isn't showing up.
Mother's Day I hugged my mother tightly and celebrated with her. I'd like to thank our 40th president for that.
Hollywood and global-warming panic have always been a natural match. After all, who can tell you better to cut back on your wasteful ways better than a high-flying multimillionaire movie star with the carbon footprint of a Tyrannosaurus rex?
Al Capone, the infamous mob boss and bootlegger in Chicagoland during the 1920s, always maintained that he was just a businessman.