Among the strange things that happened last year - and there were many - perhaps the strangest was the end of the Iraq War.
In the 1,257 GOP debates we've had to sit through, poverty and the poor has rarely come up. So it was no surprise that Mitt Romney would be dismissive of them in an interview with CNN's Soledad O'Brien.
Newt's easy. While all of us on the Democratic side were playing "root for Newt," Republicans were taking the proverbial second and third look - and getting scared by what they saw. Hello, Herman Cain.
Two of three judges on a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Tuesday found Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Judge Stephen Reinhardt stipulated that the ruling skirted the larger issue of whether same-sex couples have a right to marry. That's a shame, because at least an equal-right-to-marry claim makes for a clean argument.
Losing candidates usually congratulate the winner - first by telephone and then in front of their supporters. Not Newt Gingrich. When he loses, Gingrich doesn't even bother to pretend to be a good sport.
Tax systems that heavily tax the rich are asking for trouble - or so the politicians who cater to the 1 percent incessantly argue. The higher the tax rate on high incomes, their argument goes, the greater the incentive the rich have to waste time and energy figuring out ways to pay less.
The now-famous picture of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer shaking her finger at President Barack Obama is both appropriate and deserved. In America, we don't have rulers entitled to the deference and obsequiousness other countries show to their kings; our elected officials are ordinary citizens whom we are free to criticize.
For a symbol of how America's decade-long war is going in faraway Afghanistan, look at the beautiful fields of red poppies flowering so bountifully there. Unfortunately, that bounty symbolizes the failure of an ambitious Western initiative against Taliban forces.
While Democrats mock Mitt Romney for his alleged lack of interest in the "very poor" and focus their political pitch on income inequality, one can't help noticing the Obamas running around to $35,000-a-head fundraisers with the very rich and very famous in New York City and Hollywood.
Forgive Republican candidate Mitt Romney for his alleged failure to adequately explain why he paid "only" 14 percent of his income in taxes.
If the goal of the primary process is simply to nominate a candidate, essentially to nominate the man or woman most likely to win in the end, then this primary season should be declared over. Clear the stage, and give it to Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich's promise to go the next 46 notwithstanding, you couldn't find anyone in Vegas to give you ballpark odds on his winning. And forget about Ron Paul or Rick Santorum. They never had a chance.
The photograph of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer pointing a finger at President Obama on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport brought out the worst in amateur psychoanalysis from our media elite. No one had an audiotape or videotape of what was said but just the finger-pointing image somehow was definitive evidence of profound disrespect.
Occupy Oakland is aptly named. When forces occupy a city, they know that occupied turf is not their home. They can maraud, loot, vandalize, abuse the locals, and then leave. They can treat other people's property as their own.
10. It would be very boring. People would stop paying attention to presidential politics. Campaigns are unique learning experiences, as Professor Gingrich certainly knows.
The Brian Williams MSNBC debate in Florida was not only dreadfully boring - I never thought I could ever long for commercials - it was pathetic. Freed of the fear of triggering an avalanche of applause against loaded questions, Williams and his co-moderators couldn't bring themselves to utter one single question asking the Republican candidates to respond to Obama's mistakes. For almost two hours, not one Obama failure was cited. Apparently, his record is spotless.
Rosa Parks became a powerful symbol of courage and defiance in the Civil Rights Movement by simply refusing to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back of the bus, as the racist culture of that time dictated she was supposed to do.
The day after 9/11, I called one of my friends and said we should write a "quickie" book on civil liberties in times of terror. We both knew what was about to happen; any half-serious student of constitutional law could figure it out. We, as a nation, were about to crack down.
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown is in an enviable position. He delivered a State of the State address Wednesday that did not require hand-wringing about ugly shortfalls and painful cuts for public schools. As he prepares to run for re-election, he doesn't even need to announce that he is running for re-election. No Democrat dares challenge the 75-year-old incumbent.
Or do we really need three?
The Hollywood blacklist, according to Wikipedia, is the term for "the mid-20th-century practice of denying employment to screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals because of their suspected political beliefs or associations." The blacklist spirit is alive and living in San Francisco, but here and now the enemies of free thought have a new question: Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Republican Party?
The Manteca Bulletin asked a fair question: why should the public be concerned about the Forest Service's proposal to log about 30,000 acres in the 257,000-acre Rim fire (Editorial, January 3, 2014)? The reasons are simple. The proposed logging would heavily target the rarest, most threatened, and most biologically diverse and rich forest habitat type in the Sierra Nevada-"snag forest habitat"-and it would further threaten numerous rare and declining wildlife species that depend on this habitat, including the Black-backed Woodpecker.
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.