Chutzpah. I believe that's the word for it.
Back in 1937, then President Franklin D. Roosevelt, frustrated with decisions of the Supreme Court majority blocking critical aspects of his New Deal program, announced that he would seek to expand the court to as many as 15 justices. Under the bill he proposed, the president would have the authority to appoint one new justice for every justice who was older than 70 years and 6 months - up to a total of six new justices.
San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener will always have a special place in my heart. Braving an onslaught of puns in a wiseacre nation, Wiener sponsored legislation to require that naked guys place a barrier between their butts and park seats. Later, he pushed for and won a ban on public nudity on city streets (except at events where people have grown to expect some exhibitionism). It was a gutsy move in a city where political correctness too often trumps common sense.
Apparently, President Barack Obama was fibbing when he said in 2009 that under his Affordable Care Act, "if you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period." On Wednesday, Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler rated that pledge as a four-Pinocchio whopper.
When opinion shifts in modern America, the change can be like a flash flood. Three years ago, 54 percent of California voters rejected Proposition 19, which would have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Last year, Colorado and Washington voters approved measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Last week, Gallup released a poll that found that 58 percent of Americans support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana - a 10-point jump from one year ago. Sunday's New York Times reports that a template for how the two states will regulate marijuana may be found in California.
My wife and I are raising six of my nieces in our home, and the one thing we've made clear to them is that we aren't their friends or buddies. As long as they are under our care and guidance, we are parents, they are the children, and our rules are the only ones that matter.
What amazing alchemists Wall Street bankers are! They can turn failure into gold and reform into business as usual.
Danvers, Mass., is two towns away from where I grew up. I used to shop at the mall there. When I was much younger and stronger, I'd ride my bike that far. We played Danvers in football. I went to camp in Danvers.
It took the awful deaths of Bay Area Rapid Transit engineer Chris Sheppard and contractor Laurence Daniels on Saturday to end a BART strike that never should have happened in the first place. Thank you, BART unions, for putting the public's best interest last.
Add another actor to the list. Chris Noth, currently starring in "The Good Wife," played Detective Mike Logan on "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and "Mr. Big" on "Sex and the City." Noth has now outed himself - as yet another liberal. Worse, his moronic anti-GOP, anti-tea party comments put him into the category of "brain dead" Hollywood liberal, to use an expression from playwright David Mamet.
How's this for irony? Ronald Reagan - worshipped as the supreme deity by small-government, anti-spending zealots - not only has a government office building in Washington named for him, but it's the biggest and costliest one built to date.
Guy walks into a restaurant. Says to the waitress, "I'd like some scrambled eggs and some kind words." She brings the eggs. The guy smiles, "Now how about the kind words?" Waitress whispers, "Don't eat the eggs."
Have you checked your kids' school assignments lately? You might be shocked if you do.
At an event Monday to boost the Affordable Care Act after its glitch-rich rollout, President Barack Obama asserted that his signature health care plan is a hit because "prices have come down." That's the administration's big lie: that Washington can mandate universal health care with beefed-up benefits and somehow the plan will save everyone money.
The conventional wisdom is that Republicans were the big losers in the shutdown of the government and the near-default. Certainly, that's what the polls show. And Sen. Ted Cruz has become the "poster boy" for a failed strategy that finally ended when the grownups in the Senate hammered out the sort of deal that should have been passed by the House weeks ago.
As Republicans, we believe that your tax dollars should be spent responsibly on the priorities that matter most such as education. But in order to properly fund those priorities, we must have a budget that lives within its means and avoids the mistakes of the past. It is refreshing to see that Governor Jerry Brown recognizes these principles in his education budget proposal.
The takeover of Fallujah by al-Qaida wipes out our costly 2004 victory in which we captured the Iraqi city at the cost of 100 Marines and soldiers killed in action, and hundreds more wounded. Fallujah isn't just an Obama mistake; it's the exemplar of Obama's disastrous foreign and military policies designed to reduce the power and prestige of America on the world stage.
Can antibiotic medicines, long hailed as miracle drugs, be too much of a good thing? Yes.
The media quickly came up with a term for the apparently politically orchestrated George Washington Bridge traffic jam: "Bridgegate." Now what catchy term do the media attach to the explosive new book castigating the incumbent wartime commander in chief? "Gatesgate"? Hardly.
Sam Berns died last week, at the age of 17.
How near death is the California Republican Party? It's this bad. Democrats hold every statewide office. Term limits have opened up a few offices; still, no serious Republican plans to run for attorney general, lieutenant governor, treasurer or controller this year. If the lead Democrat for any of those offices were to die in September, there would be no Republican in the race to win in November.
As we approach the centennial of World War I, we will read much of the blunders that produced that tragedy of Western civilization.
Perhaps you thought the political world was finally safe from the dynamic duo of Rob Ford and Trey Radel. But no. Heeeere they come, rushing back into the limelight.
Liberals are angry President Barack Obama won a second term, and yet, they didn't get the liberal agenda items they wanted passed in 2013, including gun control and amnesty for illegal aliens. The complaint at the end of the year is that this was the "least productive Congress" in 66 years, with production always being measured by the amount of legislation passed.
If I were governor of New Jersey and really wanted to know whether my staff had any involvement whatsoever in a nasty political prank that closed lanes and gridlocked traffic on the George Washington Bridge in September as payback for the Fort Lee mayor's refusal to endorse me, I would not do what Chris Christie did. That is, wait until December and then tell staffers that if they knew anything about the bridge mess, they had one hour to inform not me but my top underling or chief counsel.
In the wars she has fought, America has often allied with regimes that represented the antithesis of the cause for which we were fighting.
Take a moment and look around you. Look up. The sky hasn't fallen, has it? People in Colorado are buying marijuana - legally - and civilization hasn't come crashing to its knees.
My wishfully thinking Democratic friends are hoping that Bridgegate will sink the presidential ambitions of "frontrunner" Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor whose independent streak and straight-talking authenticity have earned him the mostly meaningless crown three years out.
CNN's Candy Crowley seems absolutely, positively astonished that Republicans could oppose raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits.
It's still a mystery how Santa Claus got it down the chimney, but Bastrop got a Christmas present boys can only dream about: a big honking, steel-clad, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) truck.