I will never forget the phone ringing on that sunny September morning and my friend Annie telling me to turn on the television because the world was going to hell. My children, then 8 and 11, woke up a few minutes later to see me staring at the images of the planes hitting the towers.
What a good day it is, for only five years after that ugly Wall Street collapse, the Dow Jones Average has soared back above 13,000 and top executive paychecks are at Zippididoodah levels. The only little cloud over this otherwise sunshiny recovery is… well, you. You people for whom Labor Day is named, that is.
The conventions have come and gone, but as always, the TV network "news" coverage of Tampa and Charlotte demonstrated once again that these people have no intention of trying to be equally positive or equally aggressive with the two major parties. Their obvious, but unstated, agenda is to drag Obama over the finish line to re-election.
You've heard of the "October surprise," where candidates hold onto something negative about their opponent, then spring it at the last moment so the opponent won't have time to respond much before Election Day?
While Rep. Todd Akin's pseudo-scientific tommyrot about "legitimate rape" has surged him into the lead for the title of Dottiest and Most Dangerous Political Nut of the Year – never count out us Texans in any hard-nut contest.
The authors of the Democratic platform have inadvertently revealed to the world the sea change that has taken place in that party we once knew.
Perhaps the reason for President Obama's flat and energy-less speech Thursday night - TV cameras panning the convention floor actually showed delegates falling asleep - was that he already knew Friday's jobs numbers were going to be a disaster. The August unemployment report completely punctured his argument that if you just give him four more years, his policies will solve the economy.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - "First shot, straight through, that's how you perform under pressure," Barack Obama said in 2008. They played the quote with a video clip of Obama making a basket at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.
Back in 1988, we had what we thought was a great new idea. There was only one slot for a keynote speech at the Democratic convention on Monday night, but we had two great candidates for the job. One was the late Ann Richards, then the treasurer of the state of Texas and a candidate for governor, famous for her wit and wisdom (remember: George Bush was born "with a silver foot in his mouth"). The other was the governor of Arkansas, a young star of the party, a charismatic speaker, a southern moderate and a good friend. We needed ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - "The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right." So reads the 2012 Democratic National Committee platform.
The case for re-electing President Barack Obama rests on five arguments, the most important of which is that Romney/Ryan represent sexism, racism, homophobia and fascism.
Back in years like 1936 and 1972, when California was in the midst of serious recessions, no Republican presidential candidate or surrogate would have dared bash California the way Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Peggy Noonan and others lately have.
"They lie, and they don't care if people think they lie," California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton told reporter Joe Garofoli before a state delegation breakfast Monday. Burton even brought up that "as long as you lie, Joseph Goebbels, the big lie, you keep repeating it, you know."
I watch some commercials on television and am amazed that the corporate sponsor really signed off on the product. Think about the expressions on the faces of the dark suits in the executive boardroom when they were presented with some of the commercials running on TV right now.
TAMPA, Fla. - Clint Eastwood put on an odd skit Thursday night at the Republican National Convention. It was awkward to watch and hard to hear, but I have to hand it to Eastwood. He achieved the impossible; he made the gaffe-prone Mitt Romney come across as supremely tactful.
"NYPD, KKK, How many kids did you kill today?"
An old bumper sticker offered a stinging response to the Bush-Cheney regime's enthusiasm for waterboarding: "Impeach Bush," it urged. "Torture Cheney."
There are 250 million Christians in America today, but most seem to be oblivious of the fact that they and their religion are under steady attack from those who apparently hate Christianity, or at least want to expunge Christianity from any public place or mention. That hatred seems to extend to all sorts of evidences of Christianity in our society, such as Christmas, which is a federal holiday.
Do you - or does anyone - really need a book of rules and a three-hour briefing to do your job ethically?
I have a theory as to why Americans don't worry all that much about global warming: High-profile purveyors of climate change don't push for reductions in greenhouse gases so much as focus on berating people who do not agree with their opinions. They call themselves champions of "the science" yet focus on ideology more than tangible results.
The celebrations in Havana and the sullen silence in Miami tell you all you need to know about who won this round with Castro's Cuba.
The spooks are spooked.
Brought before a House inquisition, MIT professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber burbled a recantation of his beliefs about how that triumph of liberalism had been achieved.
The intelligence was obtained illegally. The hackers presented a threat to workers and their families. Foreign operatives likely were behind the document theft. Any news organizations that report this ill-gotten information are, if not un-American, surely "morally treasonous and spectacularly dishonorable."
In the spirit of holiday harmony and goodwill toward all, I say it's time for you working stiffs to extend your hands in a gesture of solidarity with America's millionaires.
This is Woody's story, my favorite Christmas story.
Christmas may not be the most solemn of all Christian feasts. That distinction belongs to Easter. Yet our salvation through the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord would never have been possible, had he not become one of us in the womb of Mary. Besides, for sheer popular appeal, Christmas still wins the gold.
The year is winding down with some good TV news: The amoral biker-gang drama "Sons of Anarchy" has ended its seven-year run on the cable channel FX, after a final season drenched in pointless sex and violence. Jax, the leader of the gang, shot a bunch of his enemies dead and then drove his motorcycle straight into the oncoming grill of a semi truck.
When California Gov. Jerry Brown was pushing Proposition 30 in 2012, he sold it with the promise that the income and sales tax increases in his measure would put off sharp tuition increases in the UC and CSU systems. Sacramento increased state funding for the University of California and California State University by 5 percent annually for two years and then 4 percent annually for the next two years. Budget documents heralded a four-year deal that would keep tuition flat.