February 18, 2014 |
Of all the time-honored failings for which we criticize sitting presidents - by "we" I mean pundits, academics and other members of the chattering phylum - two charges stand out: imperialism and shrinkage. Usually it's one or the other. When the president is unpopular or when he's lost control of his agenda or when he just seems inadequate to the demands of the job, the headline "The Incredible Shrinking Presidency" proliferates like kudzu. When the Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006, the Economist proclaimed "The Incredible Shrinking Presidency" of George W. Bush on its cover.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 2013 |
Maybe too much sex has addled Suzanne Somers' brain. In a much-mocked essay published by the Wall Street Journal on Monday, the 67-year-old self-help author and star of the 1970s TV show “Three's Company” held forth on what she believes are the evils of Obamacare and the terrible effects it will have on retirees. She didn't really use facts, as such, or even logic, as such. Instead, using personal anecdotes about relatives and friends in Canada, a misremembered newsmagazine headline and apparently fabricated quotes by Stalin and Churchill, she maintained that Obamacare is a “socialist Ponzi scheme.” Here's a bit of what she wrote: “Affordable care will allow for preexisting conditions.
October 17, 2013 |
The frantic action-comedy "Chinese Zodiac" may please non-discriminating fans of its co-writer/director/star (and more) Jackie Chan, but will likely leave most other viewers dazed, confused and eagerly watching the clock. The fact that this awkwardly dubbed, stateside version reportedly runs about 15 minutes shorter than the cut released in China may in part account for the movie's convoluted plotting. On the upside, there's now less of this cartoonish mishmash to wade through. Blasting, brawling and close-calling his way through the mayhem is Chan, cheesing it up as a bounty hunter known only as J.C. (which one, er, prays stands for "Jackie Chan")
July 9, 2013 |
If a driver were involved in a crash locally and alcohol or drugs could have been an issue, police will usually have the driver tested. It wouldn't matter if he or she were a tourist from another country, or a visitor here to do some corporate business. Why, then, is it different for pilots of airliners that crash? This puzzling dichotomy was revealed Tuesday in a news conference about the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco. According to Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, federal rules call for key crew members involved in an accident to receive drug and alcohol testing.
June 5, 2013 |
When Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson crashed weddings with such crazy success in 2005, they wanted to get laid. Older and not particularly wiser in "The Internship," the guys now want to get jobs. That's funny. Unfortunately, the comedy is linked to some new-age nonsense about old-school guys finally catching up with the Internet age. It's a one-liner forged into a two-hour joke. At stake is a much-coveted summer internship at Google that could lead to a full-time gig. This sets up a fish-out-water tale with the 40-something goofballs essentially thrown into a school ruled by young nerd geniuses.
June 2, 2013 |
ABC's new nighttime soap "Mistresses," which premieres Monday, is pretty much what we've come to expect from any Americanized version of a British television show that isn't "The Office": lame. The BBC version, which debuted here in 2009, was the fairly ridiculous tale of a quartet of female besties, each involved in some manner of semi-illicit romantic intrigue or other - a U.K. and middle-aged "Sex and the City," elevated by a willingness to conjure mood and the inevitable Very Fine British Acting.