SAN DIEGO -- For the last few years, I've wondered what it is about Kevin McCarthy that gives me the creeps.
The Republican seems plenty affable, and he is obviously good enough at politics to have ascended rapidly through the ranks of congressional leadership in just his fifth term. Still, there is something about him I don't trust.
Now, ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- It's been a week since, in what seemed like a quick vacation to the past, I traveled to my hometown to reconnect with high school classmates 30 years after graduation.
And I still have a reunion hangover. Here's how I figure it: Muscles get sore when strained, and our hearts are made of muscle. As my friends and I tried in vain to ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Pope Francis is beloved precisely because he doesn't believe he's anything special. He frustrates his security detail by venturing into crowds, showing kindness to children and the physically challenged.
This is the unique gift of the pontiff formerly known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Pope Saint John Paul II, the fierce opponent of ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- There's something about Carly.
With Donald Trump and Ben Carson flirting with anti-Muslim xenophobia, Republicans are hungry for an outsider who isn't out of her mind.
And, fueled by another strong debate performance, Carly Fiorina is burning a path through the GOP presidential field. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO catapulted into...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- In the film "Stand by Me," the narrator -- voiced by Richard Dreyfuss -- offers an observation that sooner or later becomes undeniable as we advance in years: Friends come in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant.
Social network sites like Facebook have cheapened the concept of friendship. But they also provide a ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- I'm often asked which of the two major political parties is better on immigration. It's a trick question. They're both dreadful.
Lawmakers have mastered the game of doing nothing except misleading their constituents. Democrats campaign by portraying themselves as immigrants' best friend; once in office, they build walls, militarize...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- For the nation's 54 million Hispanics, this is a confusing time of year.
Hispanic Heritage Month, which was established by Congress in 1988 and runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, is all about mixed messages. It allows for America's largest minority to feel simultaneously appreciated and unwanted.
Just like those illegal immigrants -- ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Many Americans don't understand what Hillary Clinton's email scandal is really about. Oddly enough, this includes Clinton herself.
The Democratic front-runner continues to blame the brouhaha on partisan attacks by Republicans, and on a busybody media that is out of step with voters. According to polls, Democratic voters insist they...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- This Labor Day, instead of once again whining about how immigrants supposedly hurt U.S. workers by lowering wages, let's consider the possibility that many U.S. workers have hurt themselves by overestimating the value of their labor.
We talk a lot about jobs in this country. Politicians run for office promising to create jobs, save...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Chris Christie's plan to track immigrants like FedEx tracks packages comes with its own slogan: When your idea to combat illegal immigration absolutely, positively has to be the most ridiculous of them all.
The 2016 GOP presidential hopeful wants help from the private sector in tracking illegal immigrants who overstay visas. At a ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Donald Trump insists he's no politician. Now, after what happened at a dramatic news conference in Iowa, we know that Jorge Ramos is no journalist. At least not a real one.
The Univision anchor is an activist, a professional victim, the star of his own telenovela. He is a "commentator" when he feels the insuppressible urge ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Just when I thought Chris Matthews didn't have anything helpful, original or insightful to say about immigration, he surprises me by offering up a gem. In the past, the MSNBC host has simplistically suggested that immigrants lower wages for American workers while blaming the failure of Congress to pass immigration reform on ethnic ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Principles only mean something in times of confusion, conflict or chaos. When things are going smoothly, it's easy for the leaders of a political party to proclaim what they believe. But you should check back when things are falling apart, and see if they're still believers.
Thanks to the insurgent presidential campaign of Donald ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Some people believe that Donald Trump is a Democratic mole who is in the Republican presidential race to scare away voters from the GOP and torpedo otherwise-promising Republican contenders by getting them to co-sign crazy.
Those who believe that Trump is a Democrat in Republicans' clothing will wince at the question that NBC News'...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- A heinous crime in a California city recently gave the local police chief a soapbox, which he promptly stumbled over.
As the son of a retired cop, I might normally defend a law enforcement official who appears to be trying to keep the public safe.
Not this time. Not when it sounds as if the police chief wants to be a politician. ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- I've misjudged people before -- written them off, only to later realize that they had more character than I gave them credit for. But I've never experienced this phenomenon with questions asked of a presidential candidate.
That is, until now. I was wrong about the grilling given to Donald Trump by Fox News' Megyn Kelly, co-...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Will he, or won't he?
According to media reports, Vice President Joe Biden -- while still reeling from the recent death of his son Beau -- is thinking about making a third run for the presidency.
The 72-year-old Biden has a quality that could be his main selling point to Democrats: trustworthiness.
For Hillary Clinton, there is ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- I can't believe I'm saying this, but Donald Trump may be good for the immigration debate after all.
Trump is a refreshing change from those in both parties who are too afraid to speak the truth about the jobs done by illegal immigrants. Also, Trump doesn't let his opposition to illegal immigration interfere with his support for ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Apparently worried about being eclipsed on immigration by Donald Trump's traveling road show, House Republicans are preparing to stampede into the debate with a bill aimed primarily at strengthening enforcement.
Naturally. Because the stale and one-dimensional "enforcement only" approach has worked so well up to now.
If ...Read more
SAN DIEGO -- Donald Trump should apologize for saying that John McCain is considered a hero only "because he was captured" during the Vietnam War.
But while we're on the subject of atoning for mistakes, the Arizona senator owes an apology to a group of voters for something that has not been particularly heroic: his rightward lurch on a hot-...Read more