Hey there, Mr. Speaker.
The feud between Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and David Vitter, R-La., doesn't have the import of the federal government shutdown, but it does shine a light on the Beltway's partisan rancor. If there is a lesson for Washington politicos from this mud fight, then it is this: Don't try to be clever. There will be blowback.
Somewhere in America, author and historian Taylor Branch is sitting back with a huge grin on his face, telling anyone who passes by, "I told ya so."
On the same day, CNN and NBC both dropped their plans to make movies about Hillary Clinton. Interestingly, it looks like a win both for the Clintons and for RNC chair Reince Priebus, who boldly told the two networks that they wouldn't be moderating any GOP presidential debates in 2015 or 2016 with those promotional films in the pipeline.
When you write a column, you hear from people who think they have a clever magic-wand solution to intractable political issues. Washington has run up $17 trillion of debt? Pass term limits. Throw the bums out. Take away their pensions.
In the showdown over the shutdown of the U.S. government, the Obamaites tipped their hand as what their strategy is.
It used to be that a college degree was a ticket to a pretty good job. No more. College graduates are now called the "Lost" generation because more than half of recent graduates are jobless or working only non-career part-time jobs or working jobs that don't require a college degree.
In Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle, reporter Stephanie M. Lee delivered a down-the-middle story about a Bay Area couple, Jennifer Benito-Kowalski and Steve Kowalski, 40 and 41 - who paid an Indian woman to help them attain their goal of making a baby with their own DNA. To many moderns, this arrangement presents a win-win formula. The poor gestational carrier gets needed money, and the comfortable couple get a baby. What's not to like?
"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies," said Winston Churchill.
My cousin Mona called me the other day about her husband Harry, who had came home from work and said:
Before world war II, college was mostly for the rich. starting with the gi bill, which gave thousands of WW II vets a shot at getting an advanced degree, education became a more common route for upward mobility.
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is worried.
When House Republicans voted to cut the food stamp program by $39 billion over the next decade, Democrats charged GOP cruelty. Strategist Donna Brazile wrote that the move was a "heartless act," not "an example of government tightening its belt or making tough choices."
This week, Baby Veronica finally went home - for good.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a question regarding my stool. It is not normal, but is in pieces, which are small and sometimes elongated. I am in no pain or discomfort. I have not lost weight or changed my eating habits. It started about a year ago. I had a colonoscopy six months ago. Everything was OK. I am a female, 64 years old. I have been eating a lot of whole wheat and lots of vegetables and fruits.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to share his long-repressed feelings about a traumatic event. "It was," the Kentucky Republican confided, grim-faced, "the worst day of my political life."
DEAR DIDI: Our four year old pit mix will play with toys if we interact with them but if we throw the toy and ask him to fetch he loses all interest and walks away. He runs into things around the house fairly often so we are wondering if he has a balance or coordination issue. How PETS we work on this? We adopted him when he was a year old and he is so calm and such a joy to us. Our other issue, unrelated, is that he growls intensely at anyone that comes to our home even if ...
"The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature."
At last month's California gubernatorial debate, Republican hopeful Neel Kashkari praised Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris for using their discretion not to appeal a court ruling that overturned the state's same-sex marriage ban. Kashkari then chided both Democrats for failing to use that same discretion when they appealed the Vergara v. California court decision. The suit is named after Beatriz Vergara, one of nine students who sued to eliminate the state's teacher tenure system.
Just when you thought the plutocratic profiteers running America's exploitative, low-wage economy couldn't get any more clueless, self-serving, pious, and mingy - along comes Lady Maria of Marriott, magnanimously saying: "Let them eat tips."
In his U.N. address, President Obama listed a parade of horrors afflicting our world: "Russian aggression in Europe," "terrorism in Syria and Iraq," rapes and beheadings by ISIL, al-Qaida, Boko Haram.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Lawrence Silveira is a Sierra High graduate now living in Chicago. In this column, penned on Sept. 5, he writes about the differences between the two locales, and what he's learned in his first few weeks at Columbia College.
"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."
Here's an unusual super-rich guy with a strange message for his fellow 1-percent-of-the-1-percenters.
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.