WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is changing the guard. Minutes after the president retook the oath of office, he formally submitted nominations for his new secretary of state, secretary of defense and CIA director. Two days later, remnants of red, white and blue inaugural bunting, bleachers and security fences were still up at the U.S. Capitol and along Pennsylvania Avenue when Congress came back to "work." Temporary barricades, snow fence, partially disassembled Jumbotrons and hundreds of miles of cables and wires - the detritus of "the longest inaugural parade in history" - didn't deter our elected representatives from "investigating" the Sept ...
It was in 1981 that the United States Supreme Court, in a decision that I still have trouble explaining to my students when I teach it, held that it was constitutional for the Selective Service, acting under the authority of Congress and the president, to require all men - but not women - between the ages of 18 and 25 to register for a potential draft.
"With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd they go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?" Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing on the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya, which left U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith and Glen Doherty dead. "It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can ...
Newsweek stopped its print edition at the end of 2012, but they still tried to scandalize the country by producing a fake cover honoring Obama's second inauguration as "The Second Coming." This absurd attempt at myth making is a natural progression. The "cover" story was written by Evan Thomas, who proclaimed on MSNBC a few years ago that Obama was "sort of like God" in being above the gritty political fray.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, being negotiated in secret even as we speak, has a lot to say about worker rights and environmental protections. This pact, which is shaping up between the United States and 10 other nations, comes out squarely against them.
On Super Bowl Sunday, 50 lucky fans will be on the field with R&B superstar Beyoncé during the halftime show, thanks to a Pepsi sweepstakes. Slightly less lucky winners will have their photos seen by millions during the halftime show, even though they won't be at the Super Bowl themselves.
The re-election of Barack Obama hasn't done anything to make more jobs available to Americans, and there is no indication that it will. America now has 23 million people who want a full-time job but can't find one.
In the days before the re-inauguration of President Obama, there have been the usual curtain raisers, with the usual suspects screaming from their respective corners about the usual stuff.
As President Barack Obama's second term commences, I thought I'd write about the things I liked in his first term. Here are five:
DEAR DIDI: I am hoping you can help solve a disagreement that my husband and I have been having. We love your column and your answer will be our 'tiebreaker' of sorts. My husband thinks our dog should spend nights outside in the yard to protect our home. I feel sorry for him and want him in the house but my husband says I baby him too much. What do you think? Caring Mom in Manteca, CA
CLARK COUNTY, Nev. - Official Washington has the collective attention span of a fruit fly. This condition is exacerbated by the Obama administration's proclivity for declaring selective events and issues to be crises that require immediate action. The problem is aggravated because the loyal opposition is in nearly total disarray, and few in the so-called mainstream media have any idea what they are talking about.
Top corporate chieftains and Wall Street gamblers want to tell Washington how to fix our national debt, so they've created a front group called "Fix the Debt" to push their agenda. Unfortunately, they're using "fix" in the same way your veterinarian uses it - their core demand is for Washington to spay Social Security, castrate Medicare and geld Medicaid.
As politicians in Washington debate whether new laws should be issued to tighten up on background checks, impose limits on assault weapons and regulate ammunition sales and the like - a debate likely to be dominated by politics - it is worth focusing on the other side of the gun question, the public health side.
Like a lot of Californians, Stockton businessman Matt Davies, 34, expected that when Barack Obama was elected in 2008, the new administration would not prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries operating under a law passed by California voters in 1996. After all, as a candidate, Obama contended that he saw federal enforcement against medical marijuana as a waste of resources.
My eyes filled with tears as I listened to the parents of the victims of the shooting in Newtown, Conn., speak out, many for the first time. They gathered to announce the founding of a nonprofit group, Sandy Hook Promise. Their purpose was to engage in the public dialogue about what they called "gun responsibility." They want something positive to come from their children's deaths.
There's a photo-word montage on the Internet in which a little boy, presumably from Africa, looks skeptically at a woman who is apparently from somewhere else. The boy asks, "You mean to tell me you have so much clean water, that you (poop) in it?"
Where are the peaceniks? Why aren't they marching on Capitol Hill to protest President Barack Obama's use of military force in Syria and Iraq? The San Francisco Chronicle's Kevin Fagan interviewed peace activists who told him that their ranks are numb, in part because America has been at war for more than a decade. Some even wonder whether the Islamic State is so barbaric as to merit airstrikes.
"I see the media is at it again," an acquaintance said referring to the deluge of coverage after the Ray Rice assault on his wife. True, a ton of coverage on what became a national, if not international story.
For those of you who read my last column and thought I had crossed over to the dark side, this one should tilt the world back on its proper axis.
"You'll never meet anyone who says, 'I want to be a millionaire. I think I'll start a winery,'" owner Bill Smyth tells me from his small office over the tasting room of Westover Vineyards, nestled in Palomares Canyon. Smyth has worked in a number of fields. He made some money. He bought the vineyard property when he was young. His ex-wife bought him a kit to make wine, and his labor of love turned into a small business.
The video of a Syrian captor beheading American freelance journalist James Foley "has done more damage than any ransom ever could," former Iranian hostage Sarah Shourd warned on CNN recently. Foley's parents have been vocal about their frustration in knowing that their son remained a hostage as France and other European countries paid a reported average of $3 million-plus to free their citizens. The family wants to establish an organization to provide information to other families, presumably to get around a no-ransom policy.
When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a mere a two-game suspension for domestic violence, he took his cue from some of the very same women's groups now calling for his head.
Supervisor David Chiu wants San Francisco to become the first American city to oppose any ban on sex-selective abortions. It apparently has not occurred to him why no other city has chosen to do so.
In its wisdom (such as it is), the California Legislature passed a measure that would change the standard of sexual consent on the state's college campuses. Gov. Jerry Brown should veto this bill. If the University of California and other institutions that receive state-funded student aid want to demonstrate they have "no tolerance for any form of sexual violence" when students report rape as state Sen. Kevin de Leon has argued, then they should call the cops, not academic panels.
The bums they were. The L.A. bums they are.
It seems like yesterday. And yet, so much was different.
The strategy that President Obama laid out Wednesday night to "degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL," is incoherent, inconsistent and, ultimately, non-credible.
For the first time since 1997, the U.S. economy just added at least 200,000 jobs per month for six months running. GDP grew at a 4 percent annual clip between April and June. The percentage of Americans who describe the economy as "good" has climbed to the highest level of President Barack Obama's presidency.
By releasing the grisly videos of the beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, ISIS has altered the political landscape here and across the Middle East.
Why has there been no media interest in the police shooting of an apparently unarmed suspect in Salt Lake City?