When he ran for governor of California in 2010, Jerry Brown traded on cryptic pledges - most notably, "no new taxes without voter approval" - that, like pronouncements by the oracle at Delphi, could mean whatever listeners wanted to hear. Most insiders figured that Brown wanted to raise taxes but was too cagey to tell voters, who had rejected a tax-increasing ballot measure by a 2-1 ratio in 2009. It is because Brown was so darn clever that Californians now are stuck with a Hobson's choice - vote for his Proposition 30 and raise taxes that could kill jobs in a state ...
With the unprecedented budget explosion of means-tested, welfare-related entitlements, does Team Obama think it can buy the election?
On Sept. 11, scores of men with automatic weapons and RPGs launched a night assault on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and set the building ablaze. Using mortars, they launched a collateral attack on a safe house, killing two more Americans, as other U.S. agents fled to the airport.
Within the first few minutes of the second presidential debate, Obama said "not true" more times than Lance Armstrong, Mark McGwire and Baghdad Bob - combined.
My theory as to why President Barack Obama fell flat during the first debate: He looked at the crowd and the cameras and thought:
Every election year at this time, radio and television airwaves, newspaper columns and political websites are suffused with poll results. Some track voter preferences daily, like www.realclearpolitics.com, which carries a daily compendium of polls on presidential and other significant contests at the national and state levels.
Do Americans want to make Barack Obama a one-term president so that they can replace him with a one-term governor? My biggest beef with Mitt Romney is that he won his way into the statehouse in Boston in 2002 only to use it as a perch to run for the White House in 2008. He didn't run for re-election.
As we approach a major national election, we hear warnings about many kinds of vote fraud and possible recounts that might delay confirmation of the victors. We also hear from deniers who insist that vote fraud is a figment of the imagination of Republicans. It isn't; vote fraud is real.
Over the next few days, news media and Republicans will share video snippets of Thursday night's vice presidential debate. Voters will get an extra helping of Vice President Joe Biden chuckling, interrupting, laughing, mugging, smirking and otherwise behaving completely inappropriately. What Team Obama described as "just Joe being Joe" steadily devolved into Joe just being creepy.
In diplomacy, always leave your adversary an honorable avenue of retreat.
There was something ironic about the latest headlines detailing President Barack Obama's record fundraising success. His gigantic haul in September - some $181 million - was a big step up from the record pace set by both campaigns in August, when the president and his "affiliates" took in $114 million while Gov. Mitt Romney and his affiliate team took in $111 million.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee needed nine of 11 supervisors to uphold his bid to fire Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. He lost. Four supes - John Avalos, David Campos, Jane Kim and Christina Olague - voted Tuesday night to retain Mirkarimi.
"I just thought it's too difficult. And you're not going to like this, but my gut feeling is that all the media is against George, Republicans, any Republican." - Former first lady Barbara Bush, who said she was surprised when her son won the presidency in 2000.
It's out! This year's list of American success stories has just been published, and, according to its compiler, it "instills confidence that the American dream is still very much alive."
Mitt Romney politely cleaned Barack Obama's clock. A lethargic and at times tired looking President Obama was out-hustled, out-facted, out-energized and out-informed by former Gov. Mitt Romney.
Just when you thought the plutocratic profiteers running America's exploitative, low-wage economy couldn't get any more clueless, self-serving, pious, and mingy - along comes Lady Maria of Marriott, magnanimously saying: "Let them eat tips."
In his U.N. address, President Obama listed a parade of horrors afflicting our world: "Russian aggression in Europe," "terrorism in Syria and Iraq," rapes and beheadings by ISIL, al-Qaida, Boko Haram.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Lawrence Silveira is a Sierra High graduate now living in Chicago. In this column, penned on Sept. 5, he writes about the differences between the two locales, and what he's learned in his first few weeks at Columbia College.
"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."
Here's an unusual super-rich guy with a strange message for his fellow 1-percent-of-the-1-percenters.
There's a photo-word montage on the Internet in which a little boy, presumably from Africa, looks skeptically at a woman who is apparently from somewhere else. The boy asks, "You mean to tell me you have so much clean water, that you (poop) in it?"
Where are the peaceniks? Why aren't they marching on Capitol Hill to protest President Barack Obama's use of military force in Syria and Iraq? The San Francisco Chronicle's Kevin Fagan interviewed peace activists who told him that their ranks are numb, in part because America has been at war for more than a decade. Some even wonder whether the Islamic State is so barbaric as to merit airstrikes.
"I see the media is at it again," an acquaintance said referring to the deluge of coverage after the Ray Rice assault on his wife. True, a ton of coverage on what became a national, if not international story.
For those of you who read my last column and thought I had crossed over to the dark side, this one should tilt the world back on its proper axis.
"You'll never meet anyone who says, 'I want to be a millionaire. I think I'll start a winery,'" owner Bill Smyth tells me from his small office over the tasting room of Westover Vineyards, nestled in Palomares Canyon. Smyth has worked in a number of fields. He made some money. He bought the vineyard property when he was young. His ex-wife bought him a kit to make wine, and his labor of love turned into a small business.