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.
Given the expectations raised by the Republican punditocracy - that Mitt was headed for a big victory - the jolt of defeat hit especially hard.
Big news from that razzle-dazzle place I call "El Casino Grande" - otherwise known as Wall Street.
"You'd have to be made of stone not to feel for these students," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said as he announced an Obama administration decision to forgive as many as 350,000 loans taken out by students of the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges. "Some of these schools have brought the ethics of payday lending into higher education."
When a big-name retailer finds its sales in a slow downward spiral, the geniuses in the executive suite often try to keep their profits up by cheapening their product and delivering less to customers.
Not another Bush v. Clinton campaign, you hear from Republicans who aren't for Jeb Bush anyway. Why should these old fashioned brands have such appeal that we actually think we can turn the clock back to the time when the biggest worry was a blue dress. But even that isn't exactly right: There was after all the hopeless search for the weapons of mass destruction and the mission that has yet to be accomplished. Granted, I'm a Democrat. But at least I can find something to look back on fondly, or with amusement, or with anything but ...
The revenge of the status quo is brutish. "If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it," humorist Art Buchwald once observed. Those words never seemed truer than at the "Uber Turns Five" celebration at its San Francisco digs Wednesday. In the disruption economy, five years can carry a ride-service giant from disruptor to establishment.
The story of Bruce Jenner declaring against human reality that he's a woman was already a tired old story, exhausted last month in a one-hour prime-time ABC "news" special. But that's not how the grand pooh-bahs of our news and entertainment media see it. They can't get enough. Deconstruction is a tonic. And so the Kardashian-Jenner Inc. rollout continues, a perfect combination of shameless TV hucksterism and a leftist revolt against the old-fashioned notion of natural humanity. How yesterday.
The Clinton campaign has launched its campaign in the courts, being waged by a veteran of such battles but on a far larger scale. What the Clintons are doing is challenging the new round of regulations on voter identification and proof enacted in a handful of states with a history of discriminatory voting practices. In the past, these laws would not have stood up to the scrutiny of the Justice Department; in the new era, thanks to another misguided Supreme Court decision, the states are free to do what they want. Sadly, the best proof that the law is still ...
Fourteen to one, in favor.
Ann Coulter lives up to her reputation of issuing warnings and political commentary that nobody else dares to say in her newest book, "Adios, America!" It's aptly titled; she makes the case that it is goodbye to the America we know and love if we don't stop diluting our population with people who don't love America, don't respect our Constitution and laws, don't even speak our language, and commit all sorts of unspeakable crimes.
In Progressive World, there are at least four stages of legally becoming an adult.
If you're a student of public relations, you had to be impressed. The rollout of Bruce to Caitlyn has been handled with such mastery that you'd think we live in a country that long ago shed any deep hostility toward those who don't easily fit into boxes marked "male" or "female." From Diane Sawyer to Vanity Fair, it's been 5-star but tasteful, if you know what I mean, which is exactly what you'd expect from Alan Nierob, the longtime Hollywood pro who is reportedly running the show.
The culture war against Christianity is picking up speed.
Senator Chuck Schumer, a leader of the corporate wing of congressional Democrats and heir apparent to outgoing Minority Leader Harry Reid, never met a global trade deal too ugly to hug.
Does George Pataki really think he can win the nomination? Rand Paul? Rick Santorum? Whoever announced this morning? Yes. How can they possibly think this, you ask (unless you are one of their ardent supporters)? I mean, a first-term senator, a former printing executive, whatever, who, frankly, no one has ever heard of is going to get elected president? How are they going to raise the $300 million or however much it will take to win the nomination?
Do I trust the federal government? Hell no. President Barack Obama's Department of Justice is happy to spend years investigating a foreign soccer organization for corruption and former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert for allegedly paying off a blackmailer - but not the alleged blackmailer - yet ignores big concerns. The feds have done next to nothing about the IRS targeting of conservative political groups, other than to defend IRS official Lois Lerner's creative use of the Fifth Amendment when she refused to answer questions from House investigators. And when Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked in 2013 whether the government ...