As was clear in this week's arguments on the constitutionality of the health care reform law, today's Supreme Court is as political as any institution in Washington. It was not always so.
Political activism has drawn the University of California into an academic death spiral. Too many professors believe their job is to "advance social justice" rather than teach the subject they were hired to teach. Groupthink has replaced lively debate. Institutions that were designed to stir intellectual curiosity aren't challenging young minds. They're churning out "ignorance." So argues a new report, "A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California," from the conservative California Association of Scholars.
I didn't want to let the latest cockamamie Fed idea for "sterilized" bond buying pass without a comment. A Wall Street Journal story explained that somehow the Fed will buy more long-term bonds, print new money and then borrow the money back so it doesn't cause inflation. It's all a lot of hooey. Typical Fed tinkering. It can't seem to help itself. The dollar has already fallen about 1 percent since this story broke. Gold has jumped.
The late William F. Buckley Jr. naturally put it best when he said: "The wisest choice would be the one who would win. No sense running Mona Lisa in a beauty contest. I'd be for the most right, viable candidate who could win."
Another way that the rich are different from you and me is that their bankers serve freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies to them.
Don't get me wrong. The killing of 16 Afghan men, women and children by an American soldier without provocation and without threat to his own life (or so it appears) was wrong. Completely wrong. It is an unspeakable tragedy for all those involved. It places the lives of other Americans in danger. I'm no fan of the myriad "abuse excuses" that once held sway in the American legal system. Those who know the difference between right and wrong and have the capacity to choose are responsible for choosing wrongly. End of story.
I hate to sound like a lawyer, but: There's a big hole in San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee's suspension of Ross Mirkarimi as sheriff.
From the moment it was created as part of the 1974 Proposition 9 political reform initiative, California's Fair Political Practices Commission has operated on the presumption that politicians and their most active campaign aides and backers should never be fully trusted.
This year marks the 100th 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.
Barack Obama's statement that the death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy that cries out for a more thorough investigation was the right and necessary thing to say.
When President Obama was participating in a live video chat, Jennifer Wedel asked him, "Why does the government continue to issue and extend H-1B visas when there are tons of Americans just like my husband with no job?" Her husband is a semiconductor engineer who was laid off three years ago and is still unable to find an engineering job.
Everything is political in San Francisco. In January, police arrested Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi on domestic violence charges after an argument in which he apparently bruised the right arm of his wife, Eliana Lopez. Mirkarimi's supporters tried to frame the prosecution as an effort by the city's political establishment to pick on a rebellious progressive.
As I walked the streets of New York the other day, I saw several white youths with hoodies, tattoos and nose rings. Not one time did it enter my mind that they could be skinheads.
I've been waiting for it: the inevitable comparisons between the Massachusetts governor who ran for president (with my help) in 1988 and the former Massachusetts governor on his way to being the 2012 Republican nominee.
"I am a refugee," my anesthesiologist told me after I had awakened from my third surgery in 12 years - one to repair a muscle tear in my left shoulder and two for the same disc in my lower back. "I am part of the British 'brain drain' of the late '60s. Doctors could not make any money. So I left." Britain's loss, my gain. The same surgery 12 years ago required a two-day stay in a hospital. Last week, after a two-hour surgery, I left the same day as an outpatient.
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."
Former IRS official Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right Wednesday not to incriminate herself when she testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the IRS targeting of tea party groups.
A few weeks ago, the woman next to me on a Southwest flight from Los Angeles to San Jose said she was going north to have her hair done. For a moment, I indulged myself. Imagine a life where you have the freedom to get on a plane on a Thursday to have your hair done. I felt self-righteous and hardworking, for at least the 90 seconds that elapsed before the woman told me the whole truth. She was also going north to tend to the garden she and her family planted at the site where her 17-year-old son drove ...
If a teenager were zipping around Amazon.com looking for "a reliable guide to the turbulent physical and social transitions of adolescence," would that child want to first consult a 76-year-old grandmother who's had three unsuccessful marriages?
OK, climate change deniers. This has gone too far.