Contrary to politicians who want to call a truce about social issues, there is absolutely no way to separate social and fiscal issues; they are locked in a tight political embrace. Politicians who say we can ignore social issues or avoid talking about them, are really saying that they have no plan to cut federal spending and the growing national debt.
Anyone who believes America's culture wars are behind her should have started out Friday reading The Washington Times.
President Obama fought back against rising oil and retail gas prices in a speech in Florida last month. But it was a curious speech. He started out by mocking Republicans, stating that GOP candidates are licking their chops as gasoline prices rocket up. He said, "They are already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas. I'll save you the suspense: Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling."
Let's go spelunking in Rick Santorum's head. There, we can probe the inner sanctums of his brain and discover his deepest thoughts.
Though the Obama administration's decision to force church-based institutions to provide "access" to contraception as part of their health plans was intolerant and unconstitutional and gratuitously divisive, events have proved the move to be brilliant politics.
It's almost impossible to get California's massive 53-member delegation in the House of Representatives to pull together on anything. They can't even agree that action is needed to alleviate the housing foreclosure crisis.
You thought that yesteryear's threat of creeping communist cells inside the USA was the worst conspiracy in our history? Or maybe you think that foreign terrorists pose the greatest threat ever.
WASHINGTON - On Feb. 20, a NATO-Afghan security team at the Parwan Detention Center - adjacent to the U.S.-run Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul - began destroying files, books and documents from the detention facility library. The printed material was being burned because it contained handwritten coded messages being passed among Taliban and al-Qaida detainees. Afghan security personnel retrieved charred pages from several copies of the Quran and other Islamic holy texts. The following day, angry crowds rioted outside NATO installations in Kabul and elsewhere around Afghanistan.
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom began a San Francisco Chronicle editorial board meeting last week by complaining about his job. In states such as Texas and Maryland, gubernatorial nominees choose their lieutenant governors. Those officers, Newsom argued, are "empowered," as each is "truly a lieutenant." Under the status quo with Gov. Jerry Brown, Newsom said, "we're at each other's throats; nothing gets done." But: "If they run together, then they have a team. Otherwise, get rid of the position."
"I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident. ... I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies."
Sarah Palin's top aides held a conference call to denounce the forthcoming HBO movie "Game Change," which like any ultraliberal media production, knocks Palin as a mentally imbalanced moron. Reporters are already underlining the Palin aides haven't seen the movie.
As I watched Wednesday night's GOP presidential primary debate on CNN, I couldn't help but notice that the four surviving Republicans are old news. Three have been out of power for a political half-life. Mitt Romney hasn't been governor of Massachusetts for five years. Likewise, Rick Santorum hasn't been in the Senate since January 2007. Newt Gingrich hasn't been in Congress since 1999. If they weren't campaigning day and night, you'd think they were retired.
Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute and a prominent climate change expert, admitted Monday that he lied. Gleick pretended to be someone else in order to obtain documents from the Heartland Institute, which has challenged mainstream scientific consensus on the role of man in global warming.
If you shake out the Obama budget in terms of bold headlines, it's really a class-warfare, tax-the-rich budget. Layer upon layer of tax hikes are piled on successful investors, small-business owners and corporations.
The shocking death of pop star Whitney Houston built a massive audience for the Grammy Awards telecast Sunday night on CBS. It attracted 39.9 million viewers, making it the most watched non-sports program of the season.
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.
"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.