For most of my life, Christmas has been a strange, sad and lonely day. I've raised my children the way I was raised: to respect Christmas as a religious holiday, which is to say not our holiday.
It's too hard to try and make sense of a senseless event. Adam Lanza's merciless slaughter in Connecticut has forced everyone with a microphone to insist we have a "national conversation" about why this happens.
The year 2012 was defined by the calculated re-emergence of Obama worship, no matter how obvious his failures in office. After his re-election, the actor Jamie Foxx let it all hang out in a tribute at the BET Awards on November 25: "First of all, give an honor to God and our lord and savior, Barack Obama!"
Despite all the media hullabaloo about the fiscal cliff and a potential recession if none of the Bush tax cuts are extended, stock markets have behaved calmly throughout this whole period.
In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy, every politician who has me on their email list - and there are many, on both sides of the aisle - has been filling my inbox. All of the messages begin with the requisite expression of shock and horror, the business of sending out our hearts and prayers to those who mourn. Then the gun control advocates insist that now is the time for congressional action, and the opponents caution that no legislation is going to stop people (not guns) from killing.
While some prominent Republicans appear to be more open to raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans as part of a budget deal that would keep us from tumbling off the so-called "fiscal cliff," others are digging their heels in deeper.
On Friday, a heavily armed young man walked into a Connecticut elementary school and murdered 20 first-graders and six adults before he killed himself. Even in a country inured to gun violence, this crime is too heinous to contemplate.
Michigan is no longer a state. It is now "Michiganistan," an autocratic czardom in the hands of Emperor Rick Snyder.
"No set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society."
President Barack Obama in 2008, and again during the 2012 election, promised absolutely, positively no tax hikes on the middle class. The rich, however, must pay more: "It's not me being stubborn, it's not me being partisan - it's just a matter of math."
"Mandatory sentences breed injustice," Judge Roger Vinson told the New York Times. A Ronald Reagan appointee to the federal bench in Florida, Vinson was railing against a federal system that forced him to sentence a 27-year-old single mother to prison life without parole because her dealer ex-boyfriend had stored cocaine in her house.
Those who say we should run government like a business must not be frequent flyers.
When you think about it, it's amazing that the high-minded swells at the University of California didn't unveil a new logo sooner. The old logo, which will continue to appear on diplomas and official letters, features the school motto, "Let there be light." Ancient. An English translation of a Latin phrase. And a book. Dead-tree lit. 1868? Dead white guys. Under a star. Too militaristic.
Here we are on brink of a major historical moment. We're beginning to wind down the longest period of war in our history. And we're about to turn around a 13-year-long surge in Pentagon spending.
Christmas in my home city of Santa Monica is different this year. It used to be that there were elaborate displays depicting the birth of Jesus in the big public park by the ocean. I've always believed that Christmas is a major religious holiday, and the display reflected that. According to people who know more about such things than I do, the large dioramas told the story of Jesus' birth according to the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.
For 10 days, Americans have argued over the wisdom of trading five Taliban senior commanders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
No matter how small the haul, a thief is a thief, right?
On Saturday, Bowe Bergdahl was a hero, and the five members of the Taliban being freed in exchange for him were the worst of the worst.
Edward Snowden is trying to set the record straight about what exactly he was doing before he blew the whistle on widespread government snooping.
You've got a Nunn running in Georgia, a Pryor in Arkansas and a Landrieu in Louisiana.
The problem with the U.S. Veterans Affairs giving inferior and delayed care to veterans is a good window into the future of Obamacare. Both the VA and Obamacare suffer the endemic problems of a government-run single-payer system (aka socialism) - no choice of doctors or hospitals, no insurance companies, broken promises, lengthy waits and bureaucratic cover-ups.
"We needed to get him out of there, essentially to save his life."
As we know, the barons of Wall Street haven't hesitated to raid our public treasury and haul off trillions of dollars worth of government bailouts and special tax breaks to subsidize their "free market" ventures.
Elliot Rodger's story is not one of an untreated, mentally ill, white mass-killer who illegally acquired fully automatic "assault weapons." This mixed white and Asian 22-year-old bought his firearms legally, did not use a long-arm or "high-capacity" weapon and had been in therapy since the age of 8. Half his murder victims were killed by knife. Several of the injured were run over by Rodger's car.
In these trying times of health care austerity, it reaffirms one's faith in humanity to learn that many hospitals are now going the extra mile to provide top quality care for all.
On Memorial Day weekend, scores of thousands of bikers arrived here for their annual Rolling Thunder tribute to America's veterans, especially those lost in our wars or left behind.
First, Wall Street's government bailout restored the banksters who wrecked our economy to full prosperity. Now, it's paying off very handsomely for the bank overseers who orchestrated the bailout.
How is it possible that the FBI agent who shot and killed an associate of a suspected Boston Marathon bomber has been pocketing more than $50,000 annually in disability benefits since he retired as an Oakland, California, police officer in 2004 at age 31?
The VA problem is not Shinseki; it's socialism. The Veterans Affairs health care system is completely government run. It is a pure single-payer program. National Review Editor Rich Lowry calls it "an island of socialism in American health care." He is right. I've been arguing this all week.
If tea-partying Republicans want to force the GOP establishment to stand for principle, they have to make the the party's big-business faction feel pain.