When you win the White House, you get to pick the team you want. Sure, that sounds simple and doesn't need any clarification, but it's clear that simplicity and clarity is lacking in Washington, D.C.
On Sunday, Fox News' Chris Wallace spoon-fed former GOP Sen. Bob Dole one of the media's favorite questions: Could Ronald Reagan - or Dole - make it in today's Republican Party? "I doubt it," Dole answered. "Reagan wouldn't have made it. Certainly, (Richard) Nixon couldn't have made it, because he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it."
After a British soldier wearing a Help for Heroes charity T-shirt was run over, stabbed and slashed with machetes and a meat cleaver, and beheaded, the Tory government advised its soldiers that it is probably best not to appear in uniform on the streets of their capital.
No, this is not Watergate or Iran-Contra.
I hate Apple. There was a time when I would look at my iPhone, and my heart would skip a beat. With its stylish white-and-gray cover, it felt like a luxury car I could hold in my hot little hand. It told me things I didn't know. It told me how to get where I wanted to go. It was exciting. It purred cute little noises that let me know I was wanted, desirable, in demand.
Whenever one of our cities gets a star turn as host of some super-sparkly event, such as a national political gathering or the Super Bowl, its first move is to tidy up - by having the police sweep homeless people into jail, out of town, or under some rug.
How can it be that with Washington simmering in scandals, with Republicans (not to mention talk-show hosts) using the "I" word (impeachment) with abandon, with calls to bring back Ken Starr (of Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky fame), President Obama's job approval rating is holding steady at around 50 percent, thank you very much?
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."
Obamacare is a fiasco. Why don't the media acknowledge that? And it's fair to ask: Why don't they ridicule it? After all, in the Bush years, the press reran President George W. Bush in front of the "Mission Accomplished" banner time and again, did they not? Perhaps Joe Biden at the signing ceremony saying into an open mic that this was a "big (blanking) deal" would suffice.
A week ago, in the St. George's Hall in the Kremlin, Russia's elite cheered and wept as Vladimir Putin announced the re-annexation of Crimea. Seven in 10 Russians approve of Putin's rule.
As a Californian, I have not gotten too much sympathy from friends and family about our rotten weather this winter. Yes, I said rotten weather. It's been incredibly pleasant- except for a few times when the temperature crept up to 90 - but we've hardly had any rain.
Actor-turned-producer Robert Redford boasts that his new CNN series, "Death Row Stories," is "about the search for justice and truth." That's odd, because the series has aired three episodes and they're all about victims of prosecutorial abuse. So far, nobody's really guilty. The second episode features a woman who never spent a night on death row.
Of course Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is right to point out that "bossy," the other B-word, is often used to discourage girls - and later women - from becoming leaders. "Words like bossy send a message: don't raise your hand or speak up," says the website of her "Ban Bossy" campaign. "By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys - a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead."
Even though it was in Burlingame, one might have expected the California Republican Party's weekend convention to feel a bit like the last days of Pompeii. The Dems hold every statewide office and control both houses of the Legislature. Still, GOP Chairman Jim Brulte managed to halt an orgy of panic.
The other day, this story hit the New Media. It's one the Old Media will simply never report.
The homeownership rate is declining while rents rise and hedge funds snap up thousands of foreclosed homes.
In the last stanza of "The Battle of Blenheim," Robert Southey writes:
Medical science has long known that the optic nerve runs from the retina of our eyeballs to the visual cortex of our brains, letting us see what's going on around us.
Though Barack Obama is widely regarded as a weak president, is the new world disorder really all his fault?
It didn't take very long for the smiling sports fan cheering in the Olympic stands to revert to his true nature. I'm referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the former KGB leader whose idea of diplomacy is sending in the troops.
"It is time to give America a raise," President Barack Obama proclaimed in support of his proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2016.
In assessing the motives and actions of Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton compared them to Adolf Hitler's. Almost always a mistake.
Sometimes, a news story can be so crammed with irony that it boggles the mind. Consider just the headline on one such story that ran recently in my town's daily paper: "Man gets 10 years for defrauding banks."