My friends from out of town want to know what I thought of President Obama's State of the Union address. The answer is simple. I live in Los Angeles. I didn't see or hear the State of the Union address. I was watching the Christopher Dorner manhunt.
Along with many Americans, I watched President Obama's State of the Union speech last night. He is probably the most eloquent speaker that many of us have ever heard. He makes salient points on many issues that concern us, such as gun control and global warming. I do, however, have a few questions on some of his open-ended thoughts.
In his column Sunday, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown wrote that on Labor Day weekend, he'll be preening at the Bay Bridge opening ceremony, taking credit for obstructing plans to rebuild the Bay Bridge so that it could be the "the world-class wonder" he knows it will be.
Karl Rove has declared war on grassroots conservatives and Tea Parties. Rove, who had the richest super PAC in 2012 (American Crossroads, which reportedly spent $300 million in the 2012 election cycle), has started a new fund called Conservative Victory Project to spend big bucks in the 2014 Republican primaries to defeat Republican candidates not approved by the Establishment.
"To govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me."
Four years ago, Michelle Obama picked up a shovel to make a powerful symbolic statement about America's food and farm future: She turned a patch of White House lawn into a working organic garden.
This year, for the State of the Union address, Democrats and Republicans (those who can find "dates," anyway) will be sitting together. It is supposed to be a signal to the nation of bipartisanship - at least the kind that allows people from opposite parties, as we used to do decades ago, to put their differences aside at the end of the day.
On Tuesday, NBC released a confidential Department of Justice paper concluding that our government can authorize the use of drones to kill targeted terrorist leaders, including U.S. citizens abroad. This story bares the dividing line between honest liberals - such as Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the American Civil Liberties Union and the San Francisco Chronicle's editorial board, all of whom opposed some of the harsher anti-terrorism tactics employed under President George W. Bush's administration and under the current administration - and rank opportunists, such as President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who ...
The ancestors of many Americans came here to escape mingy monarchs, oppressive priests, and baleful barons who controlled all aspects of communal life back in their countries. They bravely left everything they knew behind in a quest for freedom.
San Francisco passed America's first ban on plastic bags in chain groceries and drugstores in 2007. In a research paper for the Institute for Law and Economics, law professors Jonathan Klick and Joshua Wright crunched state and federal data on emergency room admissions and food-borne illness deaths and figured that the San Francisco ban "led to an increase in infections immediately upon implementation."
"When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."
Tax-free gifts are solidifying the nation's financial dynasties.
Forty years after he was convicted for his involvement in two murders committed by Charles Manson, a California parole board has found that Bruce Davis is suitable for parole. His crimes, if it matters (and why should it?), didn't involve the notorious murder of the pregnant Sharon Tate; he participated in the killing of a musician and a stuntman. Early on, Davis claimed he was simply a bystander. A jury didn't agree. Since then, he has acknowledged shared responsibility. He has also been a model prisoner. He became a born-again Christian. He earned a master's degree and ...
My grandmother lay in bed at a hospice facility, days away from death. With her loving children by her side, she looked at her belly and - as she had done for all of the years I'd known her - complained that she was too fat. What?
Americans who are concerned about traditional freedoms and the Second Amendment have no difficulty understanding the message of the popular bumper strip: "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." It should be just as easy to grasp the corollary: If nukes are outlawed, only terrorist countries will have nukes.
On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton addressed the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women. The former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state comes to the Bay Area at a time when I hear more people, on the left and the right, cringing at the prospect of Clinton's heading the Democratic ticket next year - and, worse, squaring off against Jeb Bush in a Bush-Clinton rerun. To many, a Clinton nod has the grim inevitability of death and taxes.
I can't tell you how many times I've had out-of-towners tell me they think San Francisco is a breathtakingly beautiful city - so why is it that City Hall hasn't done more about baseball pitchers chewing tobacco at city ballparks? No, wait. I can tell you. I've never heard that. I have heard countless complaints from tourists and locals about homeless people sprawled on sidewalks, the stink of the city and the creepiness of walking downtown while navigating around urine puddles, feces and used hypodermic needles.
The safest bet you can possibly make at the beginning of a presidential election cycle is that the "objective" national media will savage the Republican contenders with "investigative" journalism. Not just one Republican contender, but all the Republican contenders.
Back in 1987, this writer was invited by friends to advise them on a press conference they had called to oppose President Reagan's signing of an INF treaty to remove all nuclear missiles from Europe.
The times they are a-changin'. Last week, a Republican congressman from Orange County, California, joined Oakland medical marijuana dispenser Steve DeAngelo to urge President Barack Obama, a Democrat who started out as a critic of the war on drugs, to curb his Department of Justice. They want Obama to make his prosecutors stop trying to shut down honest marijuana establishments in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and the left-leaning DeAngelo have found common cause in calling out one area in which the federal government can and should do less.
The people of Chicago are grappling with a big question that people in nearly every urban place face: Can anyone really govern such a sprawling, brawling city?
When Republicans challenged Obamacare in the courts, they sought to overcome the hurdle of persuading the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a program passed by Congress and enacted by a president. The legal challenge by Texas and 25 other states to the Obama administration's executive actions on immigration is different. Congress never passed a Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, to grant legal status to some 5 million immigrants. President Barack Obama himself never signed what his aides call an "executive action"; Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson takes that honor ...
After years of debt, deficits and budget cuts, it may come as a surprise to learn that our state government is flush with cash. But you wouldn't know it by the talk of tax increases coming out of Sacramento.
The other day I built my first snowman. It was cold and a little rainy and we didn't have the stereotypical carrot nose or corncob pipe to adorn our new friend with, but it was something of a success. It had branches for arms and I even used my hat and glasses to make him look cool - if a snowman can get any 'cooler'.
The headline that caught my attention on Presidents Day could not have been starker, colder: "Intense Republican Hate Is Skewing Obama Polls."
President Barack Obama committed the ultimate political blunder the other day. He blurted out the truth.
The University of California Student Association has approved a resolution to direct UC regents to divest financially of the governments of Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Sri Lanka and the United States. "UC students did not give consent to invest in governments engaged in violence against others," proclaimed the Resolution Toward Socially Responsible Investment at the University of California, targeting the above countries for human rights violations. The motion - which passed with nine yes votes, one no vote and five abstentions - faulted the U.S. government for conducting drone strikes abroad, as well as the nation's high ...
Brian Williams' six-month suspension has fallen flat. His critics aren't mollified. His supporters are clearly dispirited. Everyone knows this one is not over - though his tenure at NBC may very well be done.