In every presidential election there are candidates with compelling resumes who the high command of the political parties and the media rarely mention. In almost every election cycle, a formidable candidate fails to make the cut.
Could Hillary Clinton really be in trouble in the Democratic presidential primaries against a self-described socialist senator from tiny Vermont? She could. But not yet.
Of course if the "short-fingered vulgarian" -- to borrow a Spy Magazine term of endearment for Mr. Trump -- runs as a Independent, then, as in 1992 (when Ross Perot stole huge numbers of the GOP vote), the Republicans don't have a prayer, no matter whom they run.
California has been the epicenter of innovation in America over the last 100 years. Our companies have revolutionized the entertainment, agriculture, transportation and technology sectors. It is increasingly clear that clean energy is the next frontier in the innovation economy. California already has a head start.
As we contemplate our present and future around the 239th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, are we being myopic? Is our politics focused mainly on marginalia while real change, big change, is being prepped elsewhere?
Did you know that California is not in the West and that the "real America" is the Old Confederacy?
The velocity of events and the fragmentation of the media culture are such that it can be difficult to keep up with how we're doing in various national security crises around the world. Here's the latest state of play on some of the most pressing.
For weeks there were signs of a potential California budget fight between Governor Jerry Brown and Democratic legislators, with the press spinning it up a bit. The Legislative Analyst Office was estimating billions more in revenue than the Brown administration.
California's economy hasn't thrived because it's run by Democrats, but rather because of liberal culture. Not liberal values in the classic sense -- equality, peace, and justice -- but rather the liberal mindset that's open and flexible.
Is there a certain synchronicity at work with Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush staging their big formal campaign openings just as Jurassic World oddly enjoys the biggest opening weekend of all time with its recycled plot (albeit with new bells and whistles) about the dangerous majesty of rampaging dinosaurs? It has to be.
Farm labor -- feeding America and much of the world -- is honorable and important work. Farmworkers shouldn't risk death or illness from extreme heat when reasonable measures can easily prevent such tragedies. Enforcement of these protections will improve through joint efforts by the state of California and the UFW as a result of the settlement of this lawsuit.
In many respects, the 1992 Independent campaign of populist insurgent H. Ross Perot could serve as an archetype for an Independent candidacy today. That year, Perot garnered 18.9 percent of the popular vote.
For years, watchdog groups in California have criticized the existence of a slush fund controlled by the speaker of the California Assembly. The fund, which is not subject to any credible audit or oversight, has spent over $100 million in the past six years, mostly for pet projects and peddling political influence.
The big drought has Californians worried. There are major controversies over Governor Jerry Brown's order to cut water consumption by 25 percent, not to mention some furious to-and-froing on climate change and demands for tax hikes and tax cuts.
California's state of mind, as much as its magnificent landscape, has always loomed large in the global imagination. And just when many were beginning to believe that the future of the Golden State had passed it by, California is breaking new ground again on many fronts.
It's our first Week to Week News Quiz of the Post-Letterman Era. Take our latest quiz and see that the news, alas, is still the same.