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.
"You can make money without doing evil" is No. 6 on the list of 10 things Google (the corporation) knows to be true. The Google list leaves out a few caveats. Like: You can make more money flouting antitrust laws. You can pay your brainiacs less if they believe you will retaliate if they try to go to work for someone else.
When the news rippled out on Monday that Robin Williams had committed suicide, even I thought - for a moment - "but he had everything." As if suicide is a "choice."
Most Americans have received an authentic-looking email from a scammer, purportedly from a bank, requesting an update to the account information for official-sounding reasons.
If John Boehner is so worried about the president's executive orders, why didn't he sue George W. Bush?
"Who is responsible for the Bay Bridge?" I asked California Gov. Jerry Brown at a San Francisco Chronicle editorial board meeting in May.
The Koch brothers - the GOP megadonors and fossil fuel magnates - live in their own special world, enshrouded in the fumes emanating from their family's enormous stockpiles of wealth.
That is how one unnamed official described the military option in Iraq, on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.
At the end of the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama famously wrote that our world may be at the "end of history" where "Western liberal democracy" becomes "the final form of human government."
It has been a summer of remembrance.
Back in the 1950s, C.S. Lewis saw chastity as under attack with "all the contemporary propaganda for lust that makes people "feel that the desires we are resisting are so 'natural,' so 'healthy,' and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them."