After four decades and billions of dollars in spending, the U.S.-led "War on Drugs" has failed.
No law annoys California developers more than the California Environmental Quality Act and they figure to win at least some changes to its strict 42-year-old rules next year.
"Sorry, we're closed." In one of the saddest signs of the times, this message is popping up all across the country as governors and legislators are cutting off funds (and shutting off access) to one of the finest, most popular assets owned by the people of our country: State parks.
Angus T. Jones told the truth. In a religious video posted on YouTube, the former child actor who's the "half" man of the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men" shocked the celebrity press by saying "I don't want to be on it. Please stop watching it. Please stop filling your head with filth."
On Nov. 16, 2010, an unlicensed driver named Roberto Galo took a left turn at Harrison and 16th streets in San Francisco and hit motorcyclist Drew Rosenberg. After Galo backed over Rosenberg's body, the law-school student died. A jury convicted Galo for manslaughter and driving without a license. After serving 43 days in jail, he was released on home detention.
I have known Susan Rice for decades. We worked together in the '80s. I followed her career in the '90s. She served her country with intelligence and integrity during the Clinton administration and for the past four years as our country's representative to the United Nations.
As the "fiscal cliff" looms, editorial writers and Beltway commentators have turned their sights on their favorite enemy -- tax-foe Grover Norquist's no-new-taxes pledge signed by a weighty majority of GOP members of Congress. If Republicans had not been scared into signing the pledge, the pack laments, D.C. pols would compromise, and all would be well with the world.
Once again, billionaire investor Warren Buffett urges his fellow high-on-the-hoggers to pay more in taxes. "Only in Grover Norquist's imagination," says Buffett, do taxes make much of a difference in how people invest. "So let's forget about the rich and ultra-rich going on strike and stuffing their ample funds under their mattresses if -- gasp -- capital gains rates and ordinary income rates are increased. The ultra-rich, including me, will forever pursue investment opportunities. ...
It seems hard to believe that the election was only three short weeks ago, and that even as the results were coming in proving Nate Silver (the much maligned New York Times blogger) right and the pillars of conservatism (Dick Morris, George Will and, of course, Karl Rove) completely wrong, Republicans thought they had it won and Mitt Romney had only one speech prepared.
Gov. Jerry Brown's signature was notably absent from the ballot arguments in favor of Proposition 30, the tax increase measure he pushed so hard in this fall's election.
One of the proudest progressive victories of the November 6 elections was produced by some scrappy citizens in the burg of Brecksville, Ohio, population 14,000.
The Republican strategists who confidently predicted that their candidate, Mitt Romney, would win the 2012 election are already pontificating about what Republicans must do to win in 2016. After their disastrous defeat, strategy and policy mistakes and expensive super PAC advertising that failed to win votes, why should anybody take their advice again?
Jerry Brown's signature was notably absent from the ballot arguments in favor of Proposition 30, the tax increase measure he pushed so hard in this fall's election. He was essentially responsible for its content and for the now-mooted triggered budget cuts that – barring a "Perils of Pauline"-style rescue – would have cost public schools and universities more than $6 billion over the next year alone.
Consider this headline from a Reuters article in The Huffington Post: "Raising Taxes on Rich Won't Hurt Economic Growth, CBO Says."
President Obama likes to complain about gridlock in Washington and blame Republicans for keeping him from doing his job. As president, he has the unfettered executive power to pardon individuals convicted of federal crimes or commute their sentences. Yet, while his 2008 campaign called for a review of federal mandatory minimum sentences to reduce the number of needlessly warehoused nonviolent drug offenders, Obama has pardoned a mere 22 offenders who served their sentences and commuted only one sentence. When it comes to acts of mercy, Obama has produced his own gridlock of one.
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.