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.
Rising inequality "is the defining issue of our time," said President Obama in his Osawatomie speech that echoed the "New Nationalism" address Theodore Roosevelt delivered in that same Kansas town a century ago.
No matter how much President Obama protests, the simple fact is that he continues to oppose and mock and disparage oil and gas drilling. He is a prisoner of the environmental left, and he remains on the wrong side of energy history.
If you shake out the Obama budget in terms of bold headlines, it's really a class-warfare, tax-the-rich budget. Layer upon layer of tax hikes are piled on successful investors, small-business owners and corporations.
A big surprise from this year's elections is that American politics has become dominated by the least likely of participants: shy people.
What happens to a person when their reckless driving while under the influence alcohol kills eight people? How about if this same person then gets indicted for criminal negligence leading to the accident and for lying about vehicle maintenance records? And, on top of it all, additional federal charges of jury tampering and backroom deal making? While confinement and loss of liberty might be expected for an individual whose dependence on alcohol results in death and destruction, what happens if the "person" instead is a corporation hooked on profits?
Don't look now, but the overbearing power of America's military-industrial complex has probably snuck into your town.
SACRAMENTO - Democrats won every statewide office and a comfortable majority of the congressional delegation and legislative seats. Yet at Capitol Weekly's election postmortem confab Thursday, Republicans were giddy, and many Democrats were, well, agitated.
A good friend who lives on the East Coast lost his 28-year-old daughter in a tragic accident of carbon monoxide poisoning.
If Barack Obama owes his presidency to one thing, it was the good sense he had back in 2002 to call the Iraq War what it was: "dumb."
Tuesday was a beauteous night. Republicans won the Senate handily, picked up 14 House seats and won gubernatorial races in Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois. Good times.
"The students at the University of California at Berkeley represent a diverse array of students from all walks of life," begins the student petition. Somehow you just know that before the end, the document will demand that the administration muzzle someone - for the sake of diversity. The spirit of far-left censors trumps exposure to novel ideas. Hence the petition, titled "Stop Bill Maher from speaking at UC Berkeley's December graduation."
Liberals have this terrible and annoying habit of congratulating themselves for their intellectual heft merely because they hold liberal views. Once this arrogant notion reigns, it's tough for liberals to acknowledge when one of their own says something so remarkably untrue and stupid that it makes you wonder just how ignorant is the liberal really.
Most years, California offers up supersize election stories - an embarrassment of riches for the opinion columnist. This year, other states are getting all the drama while California looks as staid as a bored accountant.
"I would not be inclined to make a political decision on something as serious as Ebola," Gov. Jerry Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci on Monday. By Wednesday, California had joined New Jersey and New York in mandating 21-day quarantines for people returning from Ebola-stricken areas if they had contact with infected patients. Unlike New York, California had yet to see a confirmed Ebola case, although state health officials are aware of 19 individuals who recently traveled to an Ebola-affected country.
Grow old with me!
For some, the decision to vote 'yes' on Measure G – the Manteca Unified School Bond – may still be in question. Considering the many diverse opinions expressed in the Bulletin in recent weeks, this is understandable. Let me try to dispel any lingering doubts about voting 'Yes' on G.
The column by Sherri Stoddard, a Registered Nurse who serves on the California Nurses Association board that supports Proposition 45, was penned in favor of the ballot proposition that appeared on Tuesday's opinion page. The headline, though, incorrectly referenced the nurses supporting Proposition 46.
The nation's largest retailer is passing the cost of health care onto you.