Gov. Jerry Brown recently stepped in it when a reporter asked him about the Bay Bridge. In March, 32 of 96 key rods in the under-construction eastern span cracked after they were tightened. Dao Guv -- who, as Oakland's mayor, helped delay construction of the new span to win a tony, world-class design -- gave the wrong answer: "(Scatological stuff) happens."
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom likes to be out front on issues. As San Francisco mayor, he approved same-sex marriages in City Hall even though they weren't legal. He pushed for a first-of-its-kind ban on city pharmacies selling cigarettes. Likewise, he signed the Special City's first-in-the-nation ban on groceries giving away plastic bags.
It is that time of year again.
When you get right down to it, the political targeting and stalling of tax-exempt applications by the IRS was an effort to defund the tea party. Rick Santelli, one of the tea party founders and my CNBC colleague, was the first to make this point. I've taken it a step further: The IRS was taking the tea party out of play for the 2012 election, as it looked to avoid a repeat of 2010 and another tea party landslide.
My state of Texas seems to have an inordinate share of nincompoops in public office. But it's only fair that office holders from other states be considered before deciding which one is the nincompoopiest of all.
"The American people are weary. They don't want boots on the ground. I don't want boots on the ground. The worst thing the United States could do right now is put boots on the ground in Syria."
As a journalist, I am not supposed to admit this, but: I sympathize with the Obama administration's frustration over national security leaks. After a spate of leaks last year - notably, The Associated Press' reporting that national security officials foiled an underwear bomb 2.0 attempt last May - Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein joined Republicans to denounce the Beltway's proclivity for leaking classified information. "This has to stop," quoth DiFi. "When people say they don't want to work with the United States because they can't trust us to keep a secret, that's serious."
The Obama scandals started piling up on top of each other in the last few days. The civil servants who testified on Benghazi were heartbreaking. Then the IRS admitted a punitive agenda against tax exemptions for groups with "tea party" in the name or groups that "educate about the Constitution."
Monumental gifts to museums are coinciding with the erosion of arts programs at the nation's public schools.
Last Sept. 11, a terrorist attack left four Americans dead at the Benghazi, Libya, diplomatic mission. The next day, a State Department official wrote in an email, "The group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists." Days later, however, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice went on Sunday talk shows and blamed an anti-Islam video for the violence, even though others in her own department knew better.
Three young Cleveland girls missing and presumed dead turned up alive and in good health. A hero of the story is a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, a black man who helped free the girls from the home in which they were apparently imprisoned for some 10 years.
It sounded like a freedom-of-religion case when a Columbus, Texas high school relay-race team was disqualified from the state track championship because Derrick Hayes pointed heavenward after his team won the race. That would seem odd in a red state like Texas. It turned out that officials were so strict, they warned runners to make no hand gestures after the finish line. Hayes had apparently pointed forward, and then upward, and for that he was out.
Amy Meyer was curious. Then she was appalled. Then she was charged with the "crime" of using a cell phone to video what appalled her.
Federal unemployment benefits for 400,000 Californians out of work since last fall recently dropped 18 percent, a $52 cut out of weekly checks that average $297. Similar cuts are rolling out in other states.
The report from the Arlington, Va., Police Department is, on its face, hardly newsworthy:
The angels cried for Caroline today. How could they not, looking down from the heavens, watching the mourners pack Blessed Sacrament Church. The funeral service was attended by hundreds, those closest to her, those who knew her, and those who knew of her. Those who could not attend found time to pray for her soul. One found the time to write about her.
It's back. The PATRIOT Act - a grotesque, ever-mutating, hydra-headed monstrosity from the Bush-Cheney Little Shop of Horrors - has risen again. This time, it's got an added twist of Orwellian intrusiveness from the Obamacans.
Hidden just below the surface of the liberal media is a barely noticed trend of patronizing contempt: Joe Biden is the Democrats' Dan Quayle, but because he is a Democrat, they'll do anything to avoid treating him like they treated Quayle.
Michael Sam appears to be a fine young man. But, no, he isn't the first openly gay male U.S. athlete to play in a major sport. And "brave"? Can we please dispense with the absurd Jackie Robinson comparisons? Wake me when a black collegiate pro prospect "comes out" as a Republican.
It's so great - truly heartwarming - to see billionaires devoting their deepest thoughts to finding solutions for eradicating poverty.
The Congressional Budget Office did not exactly say Obamacare would cost the nation 2.5 million jobs.
The delightfully naughty movie star Mae West liked to joke: "I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."
When my kids were little, an older and more experienced mother told me that one key to raising kids safely is to limit the number of "nos" to what really matters and insist firmly on those. Motorcycles and heroin, she said, which seems like a pretty good list. I added driving drunk or getting in a car with someone who had been drinking. I left heroin on the list, even though heroin use is totally foreign to me. I have friends and family who have struggled with alcohol (mostly) and other drugs, but heroin is outside of my life experience.
Do Americans want another Clinton in the White House? As former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flirts with running in 2016, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also a potential White House candidate, has put an interesting spin on Bill Clinton's White House years. Democrats shouldn't accuse the GOP of waging a "war on women," he recently told "Meet the Press," because President Clinton was a "sexual predator" with former intern Monica Lewinsky.
In 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touted the Affordable Care Act as a bill "not only about the health security of America; it's about jobs. In its life, it will create 4 million jobs, 400,000 jobs almost immediately."
Democratic fundraiser/actor Ben Affleck - and the next big-screen "Batman" - recently gave an interview to Playboy. His own bias against Republicans, he admits, prevents him from fully enjoying a Republican actor's performance. "It's ... hard," said Affleck, "to get people to suspend disbelief."
President Barack Obama's support for the NSA's domestic spying program prompted a critic to say: "Given the unique power of the state, it is not enough for leaders to say: 'Trust us, we won't abuse the data we collect.'"
The apparent heroin overdose death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman already has become a hockey puck in the war over the war on drugs. During a House subcommittee hearing on federal marijuana policy Tuesday, critics of the war on drugs hammered a White House drug official for putting too much emphasis on marijuana when Washington instead should focus on dangerous drugs that actually kill users.
As our liberal media continue to obsess over whether Gov. Chris Christie lied about knowing his aides were plotting to cause Bergen County traffic jams, it's worth remembering that our national networks don't care when Democrats lie - even about their own life stories.
President Barack Obama has now revealed that he unilaterally plans to use executive orders to "bypass" Congress. His shocking words were: "We are not just going to be waiting for legislation ... I've got a pen and I've got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward."