By JEFF SHIELDS
The Senate is so out of touch that some leaders think the way to pass a path-to-citizenship bill for immigrants in the country illegally is to budget $40 billion for extra immigration enforcement over the next 10 years. This is the type of cynical ploy that makes everyone hate Washington.
"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
If celebrity cook Paula Deen is out because of her decades-old private use of the "n" word, what about its public AND private use by MSNBC's Al Sharpton? What about HBO host Bill Maher's use of the "c" word?
The Supreme Court decision on marriage, as Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his dissent, "is an assertion of judicial supremacy over the people's Representatives in Congress and the Executive. It envisions a Supreme Court standing (or rather enthroned) at the apex of government, empowered to decide all constitutional questions, always and everywhere 'primary' in its role."
It's good to know that our friendly, über-secret National Security Agency is out there every day, protecting our freedom. By violating it.
I have no problem with the news sites recommending stories to me, or the shopping sites figuring I'm good for another look at those size-41 shoes. I have no problem with someone using my supposedly "private" information to sell me more and target me for whatever they know I'm interested in. But I have to draw the line.
Folks, there's a serious housing shortage in America these days. The stress it's creating for needy families is approaching heart-attack levels.
Is the Second Reconstruction over?
Last week, Bill Clinton warned that President Barack Obama risked looking like a "wuss" and "a total fool" for not acting sooner on Syria. Shortly thereafter - but two months after Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel charged that strongman Bashar Assad had crossed a "red line" in using chemical weapons against his own people - the White House announced that in response to Assad's use of sarin, the administration would send small arms to help Syrian rebels.
The newly amended 1,198-page "comprehensive" immigration bill was plunked on Senate desks last Friday afternoon. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid forced through an initial vote over the objections of senators who said they had not read it. Sen. Mike Lee labeled the ploy "banana republic" politics.
In general, we don't take kindly to the government busting down our door and telling us how to live. Yet in 2010, the government did exactly that in a major way: a federal district court judge ordered the uprooting of over 250 acres of biotech-enhanced sugarbeets in Oregon. The safety of the genetically-enhanced produce was never in question; the seeds had previously been subjected to multiple, rigorous scientific tests and were determined by the government to be safe. Rather, anti-biotech advocates filed suit against the USDA over allegations of procedural technicalities in an effort to drive their political agenda ...
"The Pentagon unveiled plans Tuesday for fully integrating women into front-line and special combat roles, including elite forces such as Army Rangers and Navy SEALs."
Arrogance is an unpleasant trait. When overlaid with ignorance, it really gets ugly.
She lost her job for reasons having nothing to do with her and everything to do with her ex-husband.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Westover Vineyards of Castro Valley. Owner Bill Smyth is preparing to shutter his winery because the California Department of Industrial Relations slapped him with $115,550 in fines, back wages and penalties for using unpaid volunteers. Those fees put Westover in the red.
A couple of weeks ago at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, several hundred people went to their feet to applaud a speech delivered by David H. Koch. The occasion was the opening of the Met's new facade on Fifth Avenue. It runs four city blocks, and is complete with new fountains, paving, lighting, landscaping and seating areas for visitors. Mr. Koch contributed the entire $65 million cost of the project, which took years to complete.
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.