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Clinton Inc.: Living large

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.

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Posted: feb. 27, 2015 12:46 a.m. | | Clinton Inc.: Living large Comments 0 Comments

War on drugs, SF-style

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.

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Posted: feb. 26, 2015 12:43 a.m. | | War on drugs, SF-style Comments 0 Comments

Aiming starter’s gun at GOP

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. 

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Posted: feb. 25, 2015 12:32 a.m. | | Aiming starter’s gun at GOP Comments 1 Comment

Hanging Rudy out to dry

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.

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Posted: feb. 23, 2015 6:56 p.m. | | Hanging Rudy out to dry Comments 0 Comments

Drug war opposition builds

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.

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Posted: feb. 22, 2015 6:45 p.m. | | Drug war opposition builds Comments 0 Comments

Taking on ‘Mayor 1 Percent’

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?

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Posted: feb. 22, 2015 6:38 p.m. | | Taking on ‘Mayor 1 Percent’ Comments 0 Comments

Path to imperial presidency

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 ...

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Posted: feb. 21, 2015 12:49 a.m. | | Path to imperial presidency Comments 0 Comments

Sacramento wants more taxes

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.

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Posted: feb. 20, 2015 1:06 a.m. | | Sacramento wants more taxes Comments 0 Comments

A snow job: Process of writing

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’.

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Posted: feb. 19, 2015 1:11 a.m. | | A snow job: Process of writing Comments 0 Comments

Honoring our presidents

The headline that caught my attention on Presidents Day could not have been starker, colder: “Intense Republican Hate Is Skewing Obama Polls.”

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Posted: feb. 18, 2015 9:21 p.m. | | Honoring our presidents Comments 0 Comments

Truth about religious violence

President Barack Obama committed the ultimate political blunder the other day. He blurted out the truth.

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Posted: feb. 18, 2015 9:21 p.m. | | Truth about religious violence Comments 0 Comments

Divest USA of UC

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 ...

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Posted: feb. 18, 2015 12:48 a.m. | | Divest USA of UC  Comments 0 Comments

Ridiculous Williams suspension

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. 

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Posted: feb. 16, 2015 7:18 p.m. | | Ridiculous Williams suspension Comments 0 Comments

Ultimate enemy of ISIS

The president’s request for the authorization to use military force against the Islamic State has landed in a Congress as divided as the country.

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Posted: feb. 13, 2015 8:43 p.m. | | Ultimate enemy of ISIS Comments 0 Comments

Old McPontiff had a farm

Old songs occasionally need to be refreshed with updated verses.

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Posted: feb. 13, 2015 8:49 p.m. | | Old McPontiff had a farm Comments 0 Comments

Rev. Wright’s star pupil

“A steady patriot of the world alone,

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Posted: feb. 11, 2015 7:29 p.m. | | Rev. Wright’s star pupil Comments 0 Comments

Obama insults Christians

President Barack Obama inserted a jarring note in his speech to the annual Prayer Breakfast by insulting Christians with an inappropriate reference to the Crusades and charging that people “committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

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Posted: feb. 10, 2015 7:31 p.m. | | Obama insults Christians Comments 0 Comments

NFL stiffs cities hosting Super Bowl

How about this year’s Super Bowl, huh?

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Posted: feb. 10, 2015 7:31 p.m. | | NFL stiffs cities hosting Super Bowl Comments 0 Comments

Is there is a death penalty?

What happened to California’s death penalty? There has not been an execution since 2006, when a federal judge ruled against the state’s three-drug lethal injection protocol. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld three-drug executions. It didn’t matter. Though as candidates Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris — who both personally oppose capital punishment — promised to uphold the law, in real life they’ve let things slide. Fed up, two men related to murder victims have filed suit to push the state to carry out the law.

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Posted: feb. 10, 2015 12:43 a.m. | | Is there is a death penalty? Comments 0 Comments

Smartphone could be poisoning kids

Kim Gunoo is a 15-year-old South Korean boy who has lived with perpetual diarrhea since birth.

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Posted: feb. 10, 2015 12:37 a.m. | | Smartphone could be poisoning kids Comments 0 Comments

A tax cut for tax cheats

If the most frequently dialed federal agency in America can’t even answer two-thirds of the millions of phone calls it gets, should the government cut its budget?

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Posted: feb. 08, 2015 7:26 p.m. | | A tax cut for tax cheats Comments 0 Comments

Whose job is it to kill ISIS?

Seeing clips of that 22-minute video of the immolation of the Jordanian pilot, one wonders: Who would be drawn to the cause of these barbarians who perpetrated such an atrocity?

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Posted: feb. 07, 2015 1:06 a.m. | | Whose job is it to kill ISIS?  Comments 0 Comments

Where’s Woody Guthrie when we need him?

This year marks the 102nd anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie, and in these hard times of tinkle-down economics, we sure could use some of his hard-hitting musical stories and inspired lyrical populism.

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Posted: feb. 07, 2015 1:06 a.m. | | Where’s Woody Guthrie when we need him? Comments 0 Comments

Give yourself some loving

Life is short, so don’t spend it beating yourself up. 

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Posted: feb. 06, 2015 1:13 a.m. | | Give yourself some loving Comments 0 Comments

Smart medicine, foolish politicians

I believe that parents should vaccinate their children. Because children are vulnerable, the media have a responsibility to inform parents about the risks involved when they don’t vaccinate their children.

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Posted: feb. 05, 2015 1:10 a.m. | | Smart medicine, foolish politicians Comments 0 Comments

‘Get out of jail free’ cards

“Many people were inconvenienced by the Montgomery bus boycotts. Do you think Rosa Parks should pay restitution for that?” Mollie Costello hectored the Bay Area Rapid Transit board at a recent hearing. Costello is one of the Black Friday 14 — 14 protesters arrested Nov. 28 for shutting down the West Oakland BART station and four of five transit lines for three hours to protest the killing of unarmed black men by police officers.

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Posted: feb. 04, 2015 1:15 a.m. | | ‘Get out of jail free’ cards Comments 0 Comments

Old McPontiff had a farm

Old songs occasionally need to be refreshed with updated verses.

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Posted: feb. 04, 2015 1:06 a.m. | | Old McPontiff had a farm Comments 0 Comments

Oil experts miss crude crash

I recently mentioned in a column on renewable energy that solar power could generate half of the world’s electricity by 2050. I cited the International Energy Agency as my source.

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Posted: feb. 03, 2015 1:17 a.m. | | Oil experts miss crude crash Comments 0 Comments

Word games & racism

The brilliant actor Benedict Cumberbatch is in hot water for getting his words wrong. Appearing on Tavis Smiley’s show, the Oscar-nominated star of “The Imitation Game” took a strong stand in favor of greater diversity in Hollywood.

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Posted: feb. 01, 2015 11:52 p.m. | | Word games & racism Comments 0 Comments

Abortion protesters don’t count?

Hundreds of thousands of protesters descend on Washington every January to “March for Life,” protesting the horror of more than a million abortions in America every year. Every year the “news” outlets report next to nothing, even when their reporters are there documenting the event as their cameras film it.

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Posted: jan. 31, 2015 12:31 a.m. | | Abortion protesters don’t count?  Comments 0 Comments

Where the real battle is happening

The Super Bowl is well timed. It comes mid-winter, a month after our New Year’s resolutions begin deflating, when the market is teetering, our finances are squeezed, and the collections agencies calling day and night. For those who were fortunate to make some income last year, the 1099’s or W-2s arrive, and we brace ourselves to face off with the IRS.

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Posted: jan. 31, 2015 12:36 a.m. | | Where the real battle is happening Comments 0 Comments

‘NEW’ GAS TAX

So why is it that while other states are now enjoying gas prices of less than $2 per gallon, California is still paying higher prices?

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Posted: jan. 29, 2015 1:21 a.m. | | ‘NEW’ GAS TAX Comments 0 Comments

When in Riyadh, don’t do as royals do

First lady Michelle Obama made an important statement when she showed up in Saudi Arabia with her husband Tuesday to mourn the death of King Abdullah and meet successor King Salman. Though the first lady dressed in a fashion respectful of Saudi custom — in black pants and a long, loose jacket that fully covered her arms and legs — she did not don a headscarf. Saudi women do not have that choice. Thus, the first lady made a fashion statement that sent a politely assertive message to the all-male Saudi delegation.

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Posted: jan. 29, 2015 1:15 a.m. | | When in Riyadh, don’t do as royals do Comments 0 Comments

Marriage on chopping block?

Within hours after the Supreme Court announced it would decide whether the Constitution requires every state to recognize marriages between persons of the same sex, the New York Times published an editorial gleefully predicting the inevitable outcome. When its ruling comes down in June, the Times assures us, the Supreme Court will “end the debate once and for all.”

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Posted: jan. 27, 2015 7:19 p.m. | | Marriage on chopping block? Comments 0 Comments

Hair-raising hypocrisy in Texas

As messed up as it sounds, in the unending struggle for justice, there is such thing as a “positive negative.” This occurs when you win a struggle that you never should have had to deal with in the first place.

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Posted: jan. 27, 2015 7:19 p.m. | | Hair-raising hypocrisy in Texas Comments 0 Comments

Jeb Bush: Boring speaker

Jeb Bush may be the front-runner in the GOP 2016 primary. He is the son and brother of former presidents and can tap into their vaunted fundraising machines. In some eyes, the former Florida governor always was the more disciplined, thoughtful and worthy son. Maybe. But Jeb Bush also has a problem: He is a boring speaker.

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Posted: jan. 26, 2015 6:36 p.m. | | Jeb Bush: Boring speaker Comments 0 Comments

Pelosi’s ploy versus Boehner’s invite

“I don’t believe I’m poking anyone in the eye,” House Speaker John Boehner asserted Wednesday. That was after His Speakership told the media that he had invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress about “the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life.”

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Posted: jan. 24, 2015 12:06 a.m. | | Pelosi’s ploy versus Boehner’s invite Comments 0 Comments

The greatest ‘Babe’ in sports

I recently addressed a rather odd topic for an audience of political progressives: “Who was your sports hero growing up?”

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Posted: jan. 24, 2015 12:10 a.m. | | The greatest ‘Babe’ in sports Comments 0 Comments

Selma snub vs. Eastwood eclipse: Who’s the victim of discrimination?

Where’s the Clint Eastwood Million Cowboy March on Hollywood? The case for bias against Eastwood is far stronger than that of the alleged “snub” of the movie “Selma.” “American Sniper,” a new film directed by Clint Eastwood, set box-office records for a film opening in January. Yet he was “shut out” of the director category. Was Clint Eastwood, a white, unabashed George W. Bush-supporting Republican, a victim of political discrimination?

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Posted: jan. 22, 2015 12:44 a.m. | | Selma snub vs. Eastwood eclipse: Who’s the victim of discrimination? Comments 0 Comments

New math on campuses

The New York Times published a provocative news story called “The New Math on Campus.” No, it’s not about the failure of Common Core to teach arithmetic; it’s about the changing ratio of males to females on most college campuses.

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Posted: jan. 20, 2015 11:59 p.m. | | New math on campuses Comments 0 Comments

Some common sense on cannabis

Until recent years, marijuana prohibitionists have been able to intimidate most reform-minded politicians by simply threatening to brand them as “soft on drugs.”

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Posted: jan. 21, 2015 12:03 a.m. | | Some common sense on cannabis Comments 0 Comments

Selma, 50 years later

On Martin Luther King Day, 2015, how stand race relations in America? 

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Posted: jan. 19, 2015 7:15 p.m. | | Selma, 50 years later Comments 0 Comments

Who polices the pay police?

One difference between top executives and worker bees is that those at the top can lower the pay of those down below while simultaneously raising their own.

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Posted: jan. 19, 2015 7:20 p.m. | | Who polices the pay police? Comments 0 Comments

Who polices the pay police?

One difference between top executives and worker bees is that those at the top can lower the pay of those down below while simultaneously raising their own.

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Posted: jan. 19, 2015 7:15 p.m. | | Who polices the pay police? Comments 0 Comments

The other ‘racial’ cop stories

In 2012, according to the CDC, 140 blacks were killed by police. That same year 386 whites were killed by police. Over the 13-year period from 1999 to 2011, the CDC reports that 2,151 whites were killed by cops — and 1,130 blacks were killed by cops.

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Posted: jan. 18, 2015 10:24 p.m. | | The other ‘racial’ cop stories Comments 0 Comments

The other ‘racial’ cop stories

In 2012, according to the CDC, 140 blacks were killed by police. That same year 386 whites were killed by police. Over the 13-year period from 1999 to 2011, the CDC reports that 2,151 whites were killed by cops — and 1,130 blacks were killed by cops.

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Posted: jan. 17, 2015 12:42 a.m. | | The other ‘racial’ cop stories Comments 0 Comments

Still lying about communists

Ask anyone under 40 to identify Paul McCartney or “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and the odds are you’ll get a blank look in return. Ask someone under 30 to describe the Soviet menace and you may well get the same response. The first one is harmless ignorance, and some might argue the second one is as well. After all, it’s over and we won, right?

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Posted: jan. 15, 2015 1:13 a.m. | | Still lying about communists Comments 0 Comments

Dismissing the attack in France

When America was hit on 9/11, the world united around us. France just had its 9/11, and again the civilized world has come together, all except the United States. Where were America’s leaders as the rest of the world united? 

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Posted: jan. 14, 2015 12:56 a.m. | | Dismissing the attack in France Comments 0 Comments

For the love of women

I love women. I’ve always loved women.

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Posted: jan. 09, 2015 8:09 p.m. | | For the love of women Comments 0 Comments

Get wild but stay smart

Minutes to midnight on New Year’s Eve, I sat around a fire with friends, discussing plans for 2015. I told them mine: to hike over 200 miles on the John Muir Trail through the High Sierras, by myself.

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Posted: jan. 09, 2015 8:09 p.m. | | Get wild but stay smart Comments 0 Comments

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