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.
TAMPA, Fla. - You could say that the film "2016: Obama's America" is the GOP equivalent of Michael Moore's "Roger and Me." The documentary is based on conservative firebrand Dinesh D'Souza's 2010 book, "The Roots of Obama's Rage." As the film's narrator, D'Souza argues that Barack Obama's philosophy is "anti-colonialist," a legacy passed on from his Kenyan father, who left Obama's family when he was 2 years old.
Did Mitt Romney make the economic sale at the Republican National Convention? Did he convince people who are living at the margin or unemployed and discouraged that he has the answers to the economy? Frankly, I don't think so.
It was the political convention that almost wasn't. In the run-up to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Democrats and their fellow travelers in the so-called mainstream media claimed that the GOP was waging a "war against women," depicted Mitt Romney as a heartless felon responsible for the death of a woman who lost her health insurance and blasted Romney for choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate. They then tried to define Ryan as a heartless ideologue who would eliminate Medicare and throw grandmothers off a cliff. And then a tropical storm-turned-hurricane named Isaac threatened to blow ...
Imagine a political campaign against environmentalists that's so negative, so ridiculously slanted and downright dirty, that it actually repulsed executives of some of America's biggest fracking corporations.
Welcome to Hollywood, where dreams become real - and where logic, reason and economics 101 become dreams.
Radical activists in the gay community have put pedal to the metal to force gay acceptance from Christians - making not only their position but also their tactics anti-Christian. They are deliberately targeting the Christian wedding industry - the cakemakers, the caterers, the quaint bed-and-breakfast owners, and the like. They are headhunting Christians who refuse their business on moral grounds by slapping them with lawsuits or "human rights" complaints.
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.