The Koch brothers - the GOP megadonors and fossil fuel magnates - live in their own special world, enshrouded in the fumes emanating from their family's enormous stockpiles of wealth.
That is how one unnamed official described the military option in Iraq, on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.
At the end of the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama famously wrote that our world may be at the "end of history" where "Western liberal democracy" becomes "the final form of human government."
It has been a summer of remembrance.
Back in the 1950s, C.S. Lewis saw chastity as under attack with "all the contemporary propaganda for lust that makes people "feel that the desires we are resisting are so 'natural,' so 'healthy,' and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them."
The (well-funded, I am sure) opposition to San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener's ballot measure to tax soda and other sugary drinks calls itself the Coalition for an Affordable City. Its website features owners of corner markets explaining how the proposed tax would hurt their businesses and expressing their bewilderment at City Hall's picking on hardworking merchants.
There is no white Republican elected official today who is coming close to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's effort to reach out to black voters.
In June, President Barack Obama sent a letter to Congress asking for help to address the surge of illegal crossings at the Texas-Mexico border. Among other items, Obama asked Congress to grant him the legal authority "to exercise discretion in processing the return and removal of unaccompanied minor children from non-contiguous countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador."
Last week, by 2-1 vote, a Washington, D.C., appellate panel ruled that the Obama administration unlawfully changed Obamacare. Meanwhile, on the same day, on the same question, a panel from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the other way. This issue is headed for the Supreme Court.
Anyone who thinks the cultural left is going to stop its political correctness with the Washington Redskins isn't reading USA Today. On the top of their Sports front page on July 22, the paper reported on activists taking a stand against "redface," championing a group called Eradicating Offensive Indian Mascotry.
The New York Times has seen the light. On Sunday, the paper editorialized in favor of an end to the federal ban on marijuana. According to Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance, The Gray Lady has become the first major national newspaper to support legalizing marijuana.
When I heard our Congress critters are taking an extended vacation for all of August and part of September, I had two incongruous reactions: gratitude and anger.
The FBI's motto is "Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity." But given the FBI sting against Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow - a convicted felon who was freed from prison in 2003 because the feds got him to testify against a confederate - I suspect that a more apt motto might be "Fuggedaboutit."
The "crossfire" mentality that defines public discourse today has the obvious problem of ignoring the fact that most of us land somewhere in the middle, turning every debate into a shouting contest between the extremists who generate passion and ratings, and rarely reflecting the views of the majority in the middle. I've been saying for years that it might be just as entertaining, and certainly more productive, to see where ideological opposites find common ground. But until someone actually attempts it, we will keep spiraling down into extremism and incivility.
The news that Google executive Forrest Hayes died on a yacht after being injected with heroin by a "date" he met on a website that connects "sugar daddies" with "sugar babies" has prompted not only charges against the woman, 26-year-old Alix Tichelman, and an investigation of a similar death (ruled accidental) involving Ms. Tichelman in 2013, but also questions about the website that brought the dead husband and father into contact with the woman who literally killed him.
Donald Trump is the GOP's Voldemort, the Dark Lord and villain of the Harry Potter children's book series. To thinking Republicans who don't want to go through another circle of hell like the 2012 presidential primary, Trump is He Who Must Not Be Named. When a partisan mistakenly utters his name, media dementors -- soulless creatures who sail through the airwaves -- pop out from nowhere and suck the oxygen out of the hapless offender. Helpless and filled with dread, some victims die, while others slip into nothingness. The dementors will not relent. They want to turn the primary ...
DEAR DR. ROACH: Can exposure to infectious mononucleosis trigger or cause rheumatoid arthritis to flare up and become active? I would appreciate your comments. Thank you. -- J.C.
Downtown San Francisco feels like a large public toilet without enough janitors. More than once this year, I've seen men drop their pants in public places - including at Fifth and Market - to leave a smelly mess on the sidewalk. You can walk for blocks and never escape the stench of stale urine. At lunchtime, I see street people passed out on high-traffic sidewalks, and I am afraid to walk around them.
"Natural law - God's law - will always trump common law," said Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a Christian leader in her own right, "God will have the final word in this matter."
San Francisco changed America. When then-Mayor Gavin Newsom opened City Hall to same-sex marriages during the 2004 Winter of Love, he had determined to "put a human face on discrimination." The long line of couples eager to tie the knot appealed to the public's romantic side. When two people are in love and want to commit to each other for the rest of their lives, activists asked, how can the government say no?
At last, America's political leaders now feel the pain of the poor and empathize with the millions of working families slipping out of the middle class.
The judicial decision to uphold all of the president's health care subsidies may be very disappointing, but the economics of Obamacare are far worse than whatever constitutional mistakes have been committed by the Supreme Court.
"I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you."
Almost immediately after a white killer gunned down nine black worshippers at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, out came the politics.
DEAR DR. ROACH: As a preventive measure for prediabetes, my doctor recommended I take 500 mg of metformin twice a day (morning and evening). I have been following this regimen for two months. The same day I started the medication, my night sweats started up again, with a vengeance. On the metformin, my quality of sleep was negatively affected by four to five episodes of bad hot flashes every night. Since hot flashes/night sweats were not mentioned as a side effect either by my doctor or on the information pamphlet, I notified my doctor. He suggested stopping the metformin ...
When SB 128, which would legalize physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients, passed the California Senate, supporters hailed the measure's success as a sign of its inevitability. And what Democrat in this heavily left-leaning Legislature wants to be on - say it slowly - The Wrong Side of History?
There's nothing as depressing as asking young people whether they plan to participate in the election and hearing them tell you they have no idea which candidate to be for or what the differences are or, worse, that it doesn't matter. What do you do with such a person? Can you really force someone to sit down and read a voter's guide? And what would they learn if they did? Probably more about what's wrong with their opponents than what's right about their candidates.
It is fitting, if late, that South Carolina's political leaders seem ready to evict the Confederate flag from the grounds of their state Capitol in response to the vile shooting that left nine African-Americans dead in Charleston's Emanuel AME Church last week. In a Monday news conference while flanked by Democrats and fellow Republicans, Gov. Nikki Haley noted that many in the Palmetto State see the Confederate flag as a tribute to their Southern roots but said, "Today we are here in a moment of unity in our state, without ill will, to say it's time to ...
DEAR DR. ROACH: My 18-year-old daughter at college has severe acne that has not improved with OTC or prescribed topical treatments. Her dermatologists discussed the option of oral treatments, including the drug isotretinoin, which can have severe side effects.
In his seventh year of "fundamentally transforming the United States of America," as Barack Obama memorably promised five days before he was elected president, we're learning new details about thousands of immigrants who were released from custody after being convicted of serious violent felonies and horrific sex crimes. Instead of doing his duty to keep bad people out of America (or remove them if they manage to sneak in), Obama is bringing us even more diversity by accepting thousands of refugees from terrorist-harboring countries such as Syria and Somalia.