"Washington is an island surrounded by reality," Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, likes to say.
As our children head back to school and the fall harvest begins, the rivers coming into our reservoirs slow and they empty out. Unfortunately, this past winter and spring failed to bring us the amount of water we need, and the water supply situation for the Central Valley is shaping up to be a dire one. As a community, we face great uncertainty for next year.
While pretty much everybody agrees that the U.S. tax code is a mess, nobody does anything about it. Oh, politicians talk about doing something, but mainly what they do is make it worse.
If House Republicans had somehow erased chunks of the Affordable Care Act - the employer mandate, the ability to screen who gets subsidies and the annual cap on out-of-pocket costs for a year - the Democrats would have blasted those moves as unconscionable acts of sabotage. But the GOP didn't sneak in those changes. President Barack Obama did.
After delivering a number of "economic growth" speeches this summer, President Obama has failed to inspire any confidence, falling all the way back to square one in a recent Gallup poll. Actually, make that less than square one. Gallup reported that Obama's approval rating on the economy has sunk to 35 percent in August, from 42 percent in early June.
There are numerous issues that should be labeled a national epidemic, but few are as important as the ridiculous and onerous laws on the books on the federal and state level that have led to a massive incarceration problem in the United States.
It was big news Monday when Attorney General Eric Holder told the American Bar Association in San Francisco, "Certain low-level nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences."
"Sire, clear the square with gunfire or abdicate."
These days, almost every political conversation ends up with a little Hillary at the end.
The culture war has gone global.
Forbes Magazine is at it again. This time it lists Stockton on its "Dirtiest Cities in America" list. Not playing favorites, Fresno and Modesto are also included on the list.
Eric Holder, America's first African-American attorney general, and his boss, Barack Obama, the first black president, haven't been shy about pointing out racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Racial profiling? It's real, they say. State "stand your ground" laws? Obama says they don't work for minorities. Yet both have been conspicuously absent when it comes to redressing racial disparities in their own home turf, the federal government's ill-conceived war on drugs.
DEAR DIDI: I was stopped by a Lathrop police officer the other day and he proceeded to lecture me about having my dog in the back of the pickup truck. I tried to explain that I am a rancher and my dog loves being back there but he threatened to give me a ticket if I didn't listen to his lecture. My dog is my buddy and he goes everywhere with me. He would never jump out of the truck so what, exactly, is the big deal?
The Washington Post is a legend in the minds of the Washington elite, so its financial decline has caused quiet panic. As NPR media reporter David Folkenflik put it, "You think of stories like the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, these are all stories where The Washington Post led the nation's understanding, the world's understanding of some major issues."
"There have been times when they slip back into Cold War thinking," said President Obama in his tutorial with Jay Leno.
At the declaration by Donald Trump that he is a candidate for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party, media elites of left and right reacted with amusement, anger and disgust.
Big news from that razzle-dazzle place I call "El Casino Grande" - otherwise known as Wall Street.
"You'd have to be made of stone not to feel for these students," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said as he announced an Obama administration decision to forgive as many as 350,000 loans taken out by students of the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges. "Some of these schools have brought the ethics of payday lending into higher education."
When a big-name retailer finds its sales in a slow downward spiral, the geniuses in the executive suite often try to keep their profits up by cheapening their product and delivering less to customers.
Not another Bush v. Clinton campaign, you hear from Republicans who aren't for Jeb Bush anyway. Why should these old fashioned brands have such appeal that we actually think we can turn the clock back to the time when the biggest worry was a blue dress. But even that isn't exactly right: There was after all the hopeless search for the weapons of mass destruction and the mission that has yet to be accomplished. Granted, I'm a Democrat. But at least I can find something to look back on fondly, or with amusement, or with anything but ...
The revenge of the status quo is brutish. "If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it," humorist Art Buchwald once observed. Those words never seemed truer than at the "Uber Turns Five" celebration at its San Francisco digs Wednesday. In the disruption economy, five years can carry a ride-service giant from disruptor to establishment.
The story of Bruce Jenner declaring against human reality that he's a woman was already a tired old story, exhausted last month in a one-hour prime-time ABC "news" special. But that's not how the grand pooh-bahs of our news and entertainment media see it. They can't get enough. Deconstruction is a tonic. And so the Kardashian-Jenner Inc. rollout continues, a perfect combination of shameless TV hucksterism and a leftist revolt against the old-fashioned notion of natural humanity. How yesterday.
The Clinton campaign has launched its campaign in the courts, being waged by a veteran of such battles but on a far larger scale. What the Clintons are doing is challenging the new round of regulations on voter identification and proof enacted in a handful of states with a history of discriminatory voting practices. In the past, these laws would not have stood up to the scrutiny of the Justice Department; in the new era, thanks to another misguided Supreme Court decision, the states are free to do what they want. Sadly, the best proof that the law is still ...
Fourteen to one, in favor.
Ann Coulter lives up to her reputation of issuing warnings and political commentary that nobody else dares to say in her newest book, "Adios, America!" It's aptly titled; she makes the case that it is goodbye to the America we know and love if we don't stop diluting our population with people who don't love America, don't respect our Constitution and laws, don't even speak our language, and commit all sorts of unspeakable crimes.
In Progressive World, there are at least four stages of legally becoming an adult.
If you're a student of public relations, you had to be impressed. The rollout of Bruce to Caitlyn has been handled with such mastery that you'd think we live in a country that long ago shed any deep hostility toward those who don't easily fit into boxes marked "male" or "female." From Diane Sawyer to Vanity Fair, it's been 5-star but tasteful, if you know what I mean, which is exactly what you'd expect from Alan Nierob, the longtime Hollywood pro who is reportedly running the show.
The culture war against Christianity is picking up speed.
Senator Chuck Schumer, a leader of the corporate wing of congressional Democrats and heir apparent to outgoing Minority Leader Harry Reid, never met a global trade deal too ugly to hug.
Does George Pataki really think he can win the nomination? Rand Paul? Rick Santorum? Whoever announced this morning? Yes. How can they possibly think this, you ask (unless you are one of their ardent supporters)? I mean, a first-term senator, a former printing executive, whatever, who, frankly, no one has ever heard of is going to get elected president? How are they going to raise the $300 million or however much it will take to win the nomination?