President Obama suffered a large, embarrassing loss in the Senate on a slew of gun-control bills. If this were a Republican president, they'd be sounding the lame-duck alarms on the nightly newscasts. But most media outlets can't do this. They were fully vested in this campaign alongside Obama, and to underscore his weakness is to acknowledge their own.
Do you know about "net zero"? That's the wonky phrase attached to an elegant idea: converting communities to total renewable energy, complete recycling, and a culture of conservation to bring humankind's carbon footprint into a sustainable balance with a healthy earth.
I'm from Boston. Over the years, I lived in two apartments within a stone's throw of Monday's bombings. Over the years, I stood and cheered marathon runners countless times. I know every square inch of the area in all the pictures, which is hardly unusual. It's the center of Boston. My nephew was around the corner when the explosions went off.
That "loving Jesus means hating gay people" is "proclaimed in Christian churches and on Christian television and radio broadcasts."
Ruling the world, as our government does, is tricky. Uncle Sam can never relax. The moment resisters in some subservient country, like Pakistan, sense weakness, they test him. He can't afford to be seen as soft and he's got to keep his eye on previously uncontested lands, like Mali.
No matter how you slice the Obama budget pie, the inescapable fact is that the president wants to get rid of the roughly $1 trillion budget-cutting sequester and substitute in a $1 trillion-plus tax hike. In other words, more spending, more taxing. Growth-busting. The GOP should just say no.
USC lecturer Darry Sragow dismissed California Republicans as "really stupid," "racist" and "angry old white people" before his political science class last fall. Those remarks wouldn't be news - except that student Tyler Talgo secretly videotaped Sragow, and the bias-watchdog group Campus Reform posted 15 minutes of excerpts from the 2 1/2-hour class, which the Drudge Report picked up. That turned Sragow into a chew toy for cable news pundits.
Attacks from abroad - Pearl Harbor, 9/11 - have united us.
Country music star Brad Paisley is either an idiot or a genius. If he wrote the song "Accidental Racist" to stir a whirlwind of (mostly bad) publicity, he's a genius. But the negative cultural consensus strongly suggests he should have never been dumb enough to try to write a racial-harmony song.
Turf wars can be the silliest of all scuffles, and no place does silly with more zeal than Texas.
I happened to be sitting in the Fox News bureau between "hits" on Tuesday morning, when the news broke about the stabbing at Lone Star College in Houston. Watching it unfold in real time, I couldn't help but think (as I'm sure all of us did) about the Newtown, Conn., massacre and the families flying to Washington and the fear that the parents of the Texas college students must be feeling.
When the Transportation Security Administration announced that it will allow passengers to carry small knives on planes effective April 25, my reaction matched that of Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., who has called the policy change "misguided and, frankly, dangerous." It's impossible to think about the ban on knives on planes without remembering what prompted it - the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
As recently as 1956, nearly 39 percent of blacks voted Republican in that year's presidential election. After the Civil War, Abe Lincoln's Republican Party easily carried the black vote - where blacks were allowed to vote. Unwelcome in the Democratic Party, most blacks voted Republican and continued to do so through the early part of the 20th century. It wasn't until 1948, when 77 percent of the black vote went to Harry Truman, who had desegregated the military, that a majority of blacks identified themselves as Democrats.
The legendary British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died, and the national media tried to pay their respects, not only for breaking Britain's "glass ceiling" with a "bruising" political style, but for transforming Britain and helping wind down the Cold War.
The Associated Press announced last week that it no longer sanctions the term "illegal immigrant" in its stylebook. Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll explained that the AP has decided it is wrong for reporters to use the word "illegal" to describe a person, but it's OK to use the word to "describe only an action, such as living or immigrating to a country illegally."
While Hillary Clinton hates doing Sunday shows - as we remember from the weekend after Benghazi - she did allow her close friend Gov. Terry McAuliffe to appear on "Meet the Press" on April 19. Jaws dropped when NBC host Chuck Todd threw him a real Russert-like hardball, quoting from his 2007 memoir "What A Party!"
This tax season, America's billionaires are toasting you, the ordinary taxpayer.
San Francisco is foodie heaven. If you want to eat out, you will never lack for options. That's the plus side. On the downside, Ess Eff menus are getting so precious they take the fun out of eating.
The economy has been in a tepid, soft, slow recovery for the past five-and-a-half years. It's the weakest rebound in generations. The Commerce Department's revision of fourth-quarter GDP shows that nothing much has changed. Over the past year, real economic growth registered 2.4 percent, slightly higher than the recovery average. It ain't much.
The Republican rout in the Battle of Indianapolis provides us with a snapshot of the correlation of forces in the culture wars.
My friend Julia died as we knew she would. Cancer had ravaged her body for a decade. She no longer could breathe. She was at home, under hospice care, when she asked for a dose of morphine that she knew would kill her but also keep her final moments free of pain.
The assisted-suicide movement is the rare self-proclaimed civil rights movement that exists to cater to the wishes of affluent Americans. Last week, the California Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on SB 128, a bill to legalize assisted suicide in the state. (Proponents don't like the word suicide, so they call the measure the "End of Life Option Act.") Supporters talk of their fear of medical personnel's prolonging their lives, of pain and lack of autonomy; opponents fear that the bill's passage would represent a callous act of cultural abandonment of the sick and disabled.
More than 30 years ago, conservatives managed to defeat the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, which would have added "sex" to the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection, by frightening women into believing that it would outlaw separate bathrooms for men and women. In the years since, the courts have effectively done what Congress couldn't, prohibiting discrimination in virtually every aspect of American life - except, of course, bathrooms, which never were really at issue.
Rand Paul's entry into the 2016 Republican presidential primary is good for the GOP. I won't proclaim that Paul, 52, has the gravitas or character to occupy the Oval Office - that remains to be seen - but I do believe that all the other Republican hopefuls should watch and learn from Kentucky's junior senator. His take on issues could make independents and Democrats take a second look at a party where they have not felt welcome.
Just last month, Apple chief executive Tim Cook made headlines when he wrote a piece in The Washington Post, panning Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act as "very dangerous." Apple, Cook wrote, does not believe in discrimination and strives to "do business in a way that is just and fair." This month, the San Francisco Chronicle's Wendy Lee reported, Apple fired some construction workers at Apple Campus 2 in January because they had been convicted of felonies or face felony charges. Just and fair? Hardly.
The debate about a "religious freedom" law being considered in Indiana has been making national news. The issue is whether the law would allow discrimination against gays. There has been a storm of protest both from inside and outside the state - with leading businesses threatening and threatened by a proposed boycott of the state; Silicon Valley, for the first time I can remember, taking effective political action; and Indiana legislators tripping over themselves to make sure everyone understands that the law is in no way intended to immunize or condone discrimination.
Imagine a government energy program that is such a disaster that the Environmental Working Group and the American Petroleum Institute both oppose it. The anti-poverty group ActionAid USA wants to get rid of it, as does the pro-business Competitive Enterprise Institute. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wants to end it. So does Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. They're both sponsors of the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015.
Don't pick your nose (at least in public). The other day while I was walking down the street, I saw a guy doing just that. He had the index finger of his right hand up his right nostril, and he was really digging in like he was searching for gold. As I walked past, he turned to face the other way, even though I could still clearly see him as he proceeded to pop the treasure he had found right into his mouth. Super gross.
Does Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., suffer from short, medium and long-term memory loss?
I never quite understood what "nursing" really meant until the past six months, when the supposed superstar doctor who operated on me in Phoenix (One of the smartest male doctors I know told me she was the best, a woman, how wonderful; beware gender bias.) made a mess of my intestines, leaving me rather critically ill with peritonitis and unbearable pain while she went to Maui. Some very fine physicians, in California and in Arizona, tried to clean up the mess she left, but it was the nurses who took care of me.