It seemed that Joseph Holman, a 51-year-old redhead from Brooklyn, had climbed into the middle class the old-fashioned way: by the sweat of his brow.
For all of the gun lovers, feel free to go buy your Glock, shotgun, hunting rifle, .22 pistol, .357 magnum or any of the other guns at your disposal, but you do not need an AK-47.
The campaigns of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are engaged in a fierce battle in Ohio, knowing full well that it is one of the critical battleground states that could determine who wins in November.
Gabrielle Douglas became the fourth American - and first black female - to win a gold medal in women's individual all-around gymnastics. Effervescent and attractive, Gabby stands to make millions of dollars in endorsements. But she has received criticism - in the social media, via Twitter, Facebook and, according to The Daily Beast, several "black blogs."
In this very negative election season, the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns don't sweat accuracy. Even if fact-checking PolitiFact rates a 30-second spot as "pants-on-fire" false or Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler gives it four Pinocchios - his maximum rating - no worries; they don't clean up their act. As Slate's John Dickerson wrote, to the grizzled campaign operatives of 2012, "if you're not getting four Pinocchios or a pants-on-fire, you're not doing it right."
Jared Lee Loughner pleaded guilty Tuesday to 19 counts involving a 2011 shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead and 13 others, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, wounded. As part of the deal, Loughner will receive a sentence of life without parole. Victims' families have been spared the rigors of a trial, and prosecutors can be sure that Loughner will never again endanger the general public. Thank the federal death penalty, which applied because Loughner shot people at a federally protected political event.
Whenever a name Republican says something stupid or indefensible or arguably both, for the next three days folks will open a conversation by asking me (the only Republican they know) what I think about the latest GOP gaffe.
State Sen. Mark Leno wants California to recognize that a child can have "more than two legal parents." So he wrote a bill, SB 1476, which, he argues, wouldn't change the definition of a parent - for example, live-in lovers would not qualify - but would allow family court to recognize more than two parents only "when it is required to be in the best interest of the child." He stresses that if the bill becomes law, "none of our sponsors or supporters believe that this authority will be used very often."
The Field Poll is rarely wrong in gauging public sentiment. Its final reading prior to a major election almost never deviates more than 4 percent or 5 percent from the final vote.
Two weeks ago, Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, an Atlanta company famous for its juicy chicken sandwiches, appeared on "The Ken Coleman Show" to air his biblical belief that those who champion same-sex marriage are risking divine retribution upon us all.
One of the juiciest ironies of Tampa's newly-minted law to suppress protest at the upcoming Republican National Convention is that it bans the carrying of water pistols by protesters. However, thanks to Florida's nutty right-wing governor, anyone with a concealed-weapon permit is free to tote an actual bullet-firing pistol! Apparently, the authorities really do consider blood to be thicker than water.
Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy faces a consumer protest for expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Fair enough. Offended, the Democratic mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco threatened to prevent the Georgia-based fast-food company from operating in their cities!
A combination of computerized tracking and public pressure have joined to make reporting of school dropouts in California the best in America, but those reports are still not good enough.
Get ready, America, for here comes "the next latest and greatest thing in aviation." Wow, what could it be? Maybe the airlines are going to drop all of their ridiculous ripoff fees. That'd be great!
Mitt Romney might have thought it was eminently sensible in an NBC interview in London to repeat exactly what the TV networks had already reported on security at the London Olympics, namely, that there was room for concern.
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.