California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom likes to be out front on issues. As San Francisco mayor, he approved same-sex marriages in City Hall even though they weren't legal. He pushed for a first-of-its-kind ban on city pharmacies selling cigarettes. Likewise, he signed the Special City's first-in-the-nation ban on groceries giving away plastic bags.
It is that time of year again.
When you get right down to it, the political targeting and stalling of tax-exempt applications by the IRS was an effort to defund the tea party. Rick Santelli, one of the tea party founders and my CNBC colleague, was the first to make this point. I've taken it a step further: The IRS was taking the tea party out of play for the 2012 election, as it looked to avoid a repeat of 2010 and another tea party landslide.
My state of Texas seems to have an inordinate share of nincompoops in public office. But it's only fair that office holders from other states be considered before deciding which one is the nincompoopiest of all.
"The American people are weary. They don't want boots on the ground. I don't want boots on the ground. The worst thing the United States could do right now is put boots on the ground in Syria."
As a journalist, I am not supposed to admit this, but: I sympathize with the Obama administration's frustration over national security leaks. After a spate of leaks last year - notably, The Associated Press' reporting that national security officials foiled an underwear bomb 2.0 attempt last May - Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein joined Republicans to denounce the Beltway's proclivity for leaking classified information. "This has to stop," quoth DiFi. "When people say they don't want to work with the United States because they can't trust us to keep a secret, that's serious."
The Obama scandals started piling up on top of each other in the last few days. The civil servants who testified on Benghazi were heartbreaking. Then the IRS admitted a punitive agenda against tax exemptions for groups with "tea party" in the name or groups that "educate about the Constitution."
Monumental gifts to museums are coinciding with the erosion of arts programs at the nation's public schools.
Last Sept. 11, a terrorist attack left four Americans dead at the Benghazi, Libya, diplomatic mission. The next day, a State Department official wrote in an email, "The group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists." Days later, however, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice went on Sunday talk shows and blamed an anti-Islam video for the violence, even though others in her own department knew better.
Three young Cleveland girls missing and presumed dead turned up alive and in good health. A hero of the story is a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, a black man who helped free the girls from the home in which they were apparently imprisoned for some 10 years.
It sounded like a freedom-of-religion case when a Columbus, Texas high school relay-race team was disqualified from the state track championship because Derrick Hayes pointed heavenward after his team won the race. That would seem odd in a red state like Texas. It turned out that officials were so strict, they warned runners to make no hand gestures after the finish line. Hayes had apparently pointed forward, and then upward, and for that he was out.
Amy Meyer was curious. Then she was appalled. Then she was charged with the "crime" of using a cell phone to video what appalled her.
Federal unemployment benefits for 400,000 Californians out of work since last fall recently dropped 18 percent, a $52 cut out of weekly checks that average $297. Similar cuts are rolling out in other states.
The report from the Arlington, Va., Police Department is, on its face, hardly newsworthy:
Obamacare was supposed to be a big success by now, according to predictions made by liberals who railroaded it through Congress in 2010. Instead, as admitted by one of its leading architects, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, it's heading for a "train wreck" later this year.
That was, essentially, the headline for the big New York Times poll out this week. It was supposed to measure how much Hillary and her team's stumbles on the issue of her private email server had hurt her. Just how much did her favorability drop? Essentially, not at all.
The media elite have a preeminent place in our politics, allegedly with the knowledge to declare what is politically feasible and what is not, including which candidates have a chance at winning and which do not. Before we head into a presidential primary season, it's time to insist that these "experts" don't know any better than the rest of us.
After the mysterious death of suspect Freddie Gray, the Maryland state's attorney for Baltimore charged all six Baltimore police officers involved with his arrest and transport. The crimes ranging from "second-degree depraved-heart murder" to involuntary manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment. Locals cheered her decision to charge all six. The charges followed three days of riots triggered by Gray's funeral and came almost immediately after the medical examiner filed his report calling Gray's death a "homicide."
The Pentagon's mad scientists have a God-like goal of "creating" new food.
In March, President Barack Obama teased the notion of making voting mandatory. "It would be transformative if everybody voted," he said during a Cleveland event. "That would counteract money more than anything." Spokesman Josh Earnest walked back the idea the next day, after whetting the appetites of liberal activists. Too often, partisans talk about tinkering with our system to improve voter turnout without fixing why the electorate isn't showing up.
Mother's Day I hugged my mother tightly and celebrated with her. I'd like to thank our 40th president for that.
Hollywood and global-warming panic have always been a natural match. After all, who can tell you better to cut back on your wasteful ways better than a high-flying multimillionaire movie star with the carbon footprint of a Tyrannosaurus rex?
Al Capone, the infamous mob boss and bootlegger in Chicagoland during the 1920s, always maintained that he was just a businessman.
In watching Baltimore burn, "progressives" run out of scapegoats. Over a week ago, a black man named Freddie Gray died after being arrested by police. Videotape shows Gray being dragged into a police van. Within a less than half an hour, his spine was somehow severed and he died seven days later.
They say there's honor among thieves. I say: That depends on the thieves.
"Peaceful protest turns violent," read the San Francisco Chronicle headline about the May 1 protest in Oakland that ended badly. Police arrested about a dozen people after activists trashed new cars and smashed bank windows. I love that headline. It makes it seem as if it's an anomaly when an Oakland protest ends with errant sparks and glass shards - even though a social-justice demonstration in Oakland has a better chance of ending with vandalism than a Hollywood marriage has in ending in divorce.
It's been about eight months since I came to Chicago for school, but come May 18, I'll be back home in Manteca. And in those eight months, I've learned a lot. Here are just a few of the things I've learned this year at Columbia College Chicago:
The last year could be described as The Year of Transgender Propaganda. The Hollywood and news media push on the latest frontier of "gender fluidity" demonstrates the libertine left's absolute arrogance that the LGBT revolution is an unstoppable juggernaut.