Vice President Joe Biden played the race card this week when he drawled Southern-style to a racially mixed audience that if Mitt Romney takes the White House, he'll "unchain Wall Street. They're going to put y'all back in chains."
When the Legislature passed Governor Brown's public safety "realignment" plan last year, I was vehemently opposed to it because I predicted that it would put Californians in serious danger. Regardless, we were promised that the plan would save money without compromising justice. But judging from recent history and a new report from the Chief Probation Officers of California, the Valley is receiving none of what we were promised. It turns out, I was right to be concerned.
It seemed that Joseph Holman, a 51-year-old redhead from Brooklyn, had climbed into the middle class the old-fashioned way: by the sweat of his brow.
For all of the gun lovers, feel free to go buy your Glock, shotgun, hunting rifle, .22 pistol, .357 magnum or any of the other guns at your disposal, but you do not need an AK-47.
The campaigns of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are engaged in a fierce battle in Ohio, knowing full well that it is one of the critical battleground states that could determine who wins in November.
Gabrielle Douglas became the fourth American - and first black female - to win a gold medal in women's individual all-around gymnastics. Effervescent and attractive, Gabby stands to make millions of dollars in endorsements. But she has received criticism - in the social media, via Twitter, Facebook and, according to The Daily Beast, several "black blogs."
In this very negative election season, the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns don't sweat accuracy. Even if fact-checking PolitiFact rates a 30-second spot as "pants-on-fire" false or Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler gives it four Pinocchios - his maximum rating - no worries; they don't clean up their act. As Slate's John Dickerson wrote, to the grizzled campaign operatives of 2012, "if you're not getting four Pinocchios or a pants-on-fire, you're not doing it right."
Jared Lee Loughner pleaded guilty Tuesday to 19 counts involving a 2011 shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead and 13 others, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, wounded. As part of the deal, Loughner will receive a sentence of life without parole. Victims' families have been spared the rigors of a trial, and prosecutors can be sure that Loughner will never again endanger the general public. Thank the federal death penalty, which applied because Loughner shot people at a federally protected political event.
Whenever a name Republican says something stupid or indefensible or arguably both, for the next three days folks will open a conversation by asking me (the only Republican they know) what I think about the latest GOP gaffe.
State Sen. Mark Leno wants California to recognize that a child can have "more than two legal parents." So he wrote a bill, SB 1476, which, he argues, wouldn't change the definition of a parent - for example, live-in lovers would not qualify - but would allow family court to recognize more than two parents only "when it is required to be in the best interest of the child." He stresses that if the bill becomes law, "none of our sponsors or supporters believe that this authority will be used very often."
The Field Poll is rarely wrong in gauging public sentiment. Its final reading prior to a major election almost never deviates more than 4 percent or 5 percent from the final vote.
Two weeks ago, Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, an Atlanta company famous for its juicy chicken sandwiches, appeared on "The Ken Coleman Show" to air his biblical belief that those who champion same-sex marriage are risking divine retribution upon us all.
One of the juiciest ironies of Tampa's newly-minted law to suppress protest at the upcoming Republican National Convention is that it bans the carrying of water pistols by protesters. However, thanks to Florida's nutty right-wing governor, anyone with a concealed-weapon permit is free to tote an actual bullet-firing pistol! Apparently, the authorities really do consider blood to be thicker than water.
Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy faces a consumer protest for expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Fair enough. Offended, the Democratic mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco threatened to prevent the Georgia-based fast-food company from operating in their cities!
A combination of computerized tracking and public pressure have joined to make reporting of school dropouts in California the best in America, but those reports are still not good enough.
Old songs occasionally need to be refreshed with updated verses.
"A steady patriot of the world alone,
President Barack Obama inserted a jarring note in his speech to the annual Prayer Breakfast by insulting Christians with an inappropriate reference to the Crusades and charging that people "committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ."
How about this year's Super Bowl, huh?
What happened to California's death penalty? There has not been an execution since 2006, when a federal judge ruled against the state's three-drug lethal injection protocol. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld three-drug executions. It didn't matter. Though as candidates Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris - who both personally oppose capital punishment - promised to uphold the law, in real life they've let things slide. Fed up, two men related to murder victims have filed suit to push the state to carry out the law.
Kim Gunoo is a 15-year-old South Korean boy who has lived with perpetual diarrhea since birth.
If the most frequently dialed federal agency in America can't even answer two-thirds of the millions of phone calls it gets, should the government cut its budget?
Seeing clips of that 22-minute video of the immolation of the Jordanian pilot, one wonders: Who would be drawn to the cause of these barbarians who perpetrated such an atrocity?
This year marks the 102nd anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie, and in these hard times of tinkle-down economics, we sure could use some of his hard-hitting musical stories and inspired lyrical populism.
Life is short, so don't spend it beating yourself up.
I believe that parents should vaccinate their children. Because children are vulnerable, the media have a responsibility to inform parents about the risks involved when they don't vaccinate their children.
"Many people were inconvenienced by the Montgomery bus boycotts. Do you think Rosa Parks should pay restitution for that?" Mollie Costello hectored the Bay Area Rapid Transit board at a recent hearing. Costello is one of the Black Friday 14 - 14 protesters arrested Nov. 28 for shutting down the West Oakland BART station and four of five transit lines for three hours to protest the killing of unarmed black men by police officers.
Old songs occasionally need to be refreshed with updated verses.
I recently mentioned in a column on renewable energy that solar power could generate half of the world's electricity by 2050. I cited the International Energy Agency as my source.
The brilliant actor Benedict Cumberbatch is in hot water for getting his words wrong. Appearing on Tavis Smiley's show, the Oscar-nominated star of "The Imitation Game" took a strong stand in favor of greater diversity in Hollywood.