After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake shook loose a big chunk of the Bay Bridge, local politicians did not signal that they wanted to take decades to build a new eastern span, so commuters should get used to driving on a span expected to crumble in a big rumble. Instead, they made grandiose promises about a "world-class" structure. Then-Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown demanded a tony design; then-San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown stood up for Treasure Island interests. Steel prices soared.
It is almost unbelievable that this is a first.
Compared to the hell Jackie Robinson went through, Jason Collins is getting a ticker tape parade.
The Washington Post reported something surprising on April 29 - a hidden-camera expose by pro-life advocates. On the front page of the Metro section, the Post reported how a veteran D.C. abortion doctor named Cesare Santangelo told a 24-week pregnant woman that in the unlikely event that an abortion resulted in a live birth, "we would not help it."
"The worst mistake of my presidency," said Ronald Reagan of his decision to put Marines into the middle of Lebanon's civil war, where 241 died in a suicide bombing of their barracks.
The Pecksniffs of America had nothing but scorn for Congress' vote last week to stop furloughs of air traffic controllers, which were ostensibly mandated under the 2011 Budget Control Act.
Hours after the Boston Marathon bombings but before authorities identified suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, President Barack Obama purposefully addressed the nation. "We will find out who did this. We'll find out why they did this," the president pledged. "Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice."
As much as liberals had their fingers crossed after the Boston Marathon bombings - please don't let it be a Muslim, please don't let it be a Muslim - that's who the terrorists were. All that wishing and hoping is based on the very ugly premise that "middle America" is a cesspool of bigotry and hate, a sentiment shared by Muslim terrorists.
This week, the Obama administration furloughed 14,500 air traffic controllers - staffers will lose two days of work per month - ostensibly to comply with the 2011 Budget Control Act's $85 billion in sequester cuts this year. The Federal Aviation Administration's share is $637 million. So expect delays at the airport. That's the idea, but it didn't have to be.
Sometimes a picture speaks volumes. Sometimes it's outright deceptive. The picture of "Bomber No. 2" didn't look a bit like a mass murderer. A sweet-faced college kid, the former lifeguard, the nice young man described by classmates and friends. It couldn't be. There must be some outside organization calling the shots. An international conspiracy, perhaps. Brainwashing.
The bipartisan immigration package put forward by the Gang of Eight looks like a reasonable bill, but it likely won't become law, and it probably shouldn't.
WASHINGTON - It's sure to be a major motion picture worthy of the talents of Michael Moore and Oliver Stone. If the FBI does indeed have the right suspects, the docudrama screenplay - "based on a true story" - will begin with FBI public-domain footage of two young men carrying backpacks along a crowded street and then two bombs detonating near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and wounding more than 170. The scene closes with rescuers rushing to help grievously injured victims.
Lead poisoning is entirely preventable.
"Whatever they thought they could ultimately achieve, they've already failed," says President Obama of the Boston Marathon bombers.
Should we have wept or cheered on Earth Day?
When the news rippled out on Monday that Robin Williams had committed suicide, even I thought - for a moment - "but he had everything." As if suicide is a "choice."
Most Americans have received an authentic-looking email from a scammer, purportedly from a bank, requesting an update to the account information for official-sounding reasons.
If John Boehner is so worried about the president's executive orders, why didn't he sue George W. Bush?
"Who is responsible for the Bay Bridge?" I asked California Gov. Jerry Brown at a San Francisco Chronicle editorial board meeting in May.
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."