As a candidate for the presidency, George W. Bush took heat for supposedly saying something like, "God wanted me to become president." He never said that. But no matter. Here comes another yet another Bible-banging religious conservative "taking his marching orders from God." Apparently, if you feel God endorses a particular path, God wants you to keep the news to yourself.
Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., has made some nasty charges during his 19 terms in Congress. Stark has called a female colleague a "whore," a male colleague a "little fruitcake" and a black Cabinet member "a disgrace to his race." At a political debate last month, Stark accused Democratic challenger Eric Swalwell, a city councilman, of accepting "hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes" - without presenting any proof.
Mitt Romney can't get past the Seamus story. In 1983, Romney put the family dog in a carrier on the roof of his Chevy as his wife, their five sons and their luggage squeezed in to the station wagon for a vacation. The dog got diarrhea. Romney has not figured out how to put the 29-year-old story behind him. So critics continue to use the episode as the defining anecdote about the GOP hopeful.
Ten years ago, perky actress Jennifer Love Hewitt tried to jump-start a music career with a song titled "Bare Naked." Now she's trying that attention-grabbing tactic again with a sleazy new Lifetime series called "The Client List." She plays a massage therapist who turns tricks.
Former San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Brown is appalled. He didn't vote for Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, and he isn't his biggest fan. But when he considers the prosecution of Mirkarimi for bruising his wife's arm during a New Year's Eve argument, he is appalled. People lose sight of what types of cases should be prosecuted, Brown told me last week, and Mirkarimi's case is not one of them.
Poor Mitt Romney. He might have the picture-perfect Hollywood looks of a president, but he keeps stumbling, bumbling, and fumbling along the campaign trail like he's in a Three Stooges slapstick comedy.
Increasing public disapproval of Barack Obama is based on more than his extravagant spending, which hangs debt like an albatross around the necks of our children and grandchildren. He is presiding over the most scandal-ridden administration in decades, from Colombia to Las Vegas to the Mexican border to Solyndra and more.
Never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut – and never, ever, ask national security officials if they think there should be more shortcuts around the Constitution's protections of our civil liberties.
Wall Street headlines are full of fears of a springtime stall for the already subpar economic recovery. And if that weren't bad enough for Obama's re-election chances, a spate of new polls show Mitt Romney's economic-approval ratings are far outdistancing the president's.
The smart thinking among savvy election lawyers and political insiders is that federal prosecutors will have a hard time proving that John Edwards broke campaign finance laws when he ran for president in 2008. Edwards has pleaded not guilty. Election lawyer Jerry Goldfeder captured this view when he said: "With the government having to prove that Edwards knew the intricacies of the campaign finance law and intentionally broke it, the government has a very tough road in this trial. He may not be a sympathetic figure, but that doesn't mean he should go to prison for trying to hide ...
Every four years, there is one presidential campaign that is much more fun to watch than the rest, even if it has no realistic chance of success. I loved watching Mike Huckabee four years ago. It was far better than watching John McCain going from the Straight Talk Express (fun four years before) to the cautious conservative.
This week, President Barack Obama has been warning students that without his intervention, interest rates for a federal student loan program will double to 6.8 percent July 1.
A well-regarded Republican strategist at a private gathering recently warned, "And just wait until they play that Mormon card." By "they," he meant the Obama campaign and its complicit media cheerleaders.
"Bring diapers and wine."
Acura found itself in a bit of hot water last week when it was revealed that a casting agency in Los Angeles only desired light-skinned African-American actors for the company's Super Bowl commercial, featuring Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld.
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.