"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.
My name is Amy Glass and I am a Manteca resident and an RN in the Kaiser Modesto ICU. I was one of the many Manteca residents who spoke at the Manteca City Council on June 3 in favor of a resolution asking Kaiser to immediately restore the services that it cut from the Kaiser Manteca Medical Center in January 2013.
Lawmakers writing the transportation spending bill have a problem. Actually they have 89 billion problems, because that's how many dollars they are short between what they want to spend over the next six years and the revenue bean counters expect.
When I think of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, I think of the decadeslong building of the new eastern span, the shameless political grandstanding for a project that ran $5 billion over budget - and the construction headaches that live on. Brian Maroney, Caltrans' chief engineer for the bridge, sees something entirely different. He sees a visual stunner that delights drivers as they emerge from Treasure Island to gasp at a skyway with twinkling lights curling toward the East Bay hills. He thrills at the experience to the user, especially at night. Most importantly, he sees a bridge that is safe.
There's a new card game making the rounds that's designed to offend. What does it say about our culture that this marketing strategy actually works?
With the Islamic warriors of ISIS having captured all the border posts between Iraq, Syria and Jordan, we may be witnessing the end of Sykes-Picot.
In November of 2002, Washington Post reporter-editor Bob Woodward unveiled excerpts of his latest book, "Bush at War," and caused a big stir by revealing that Fox News boss Roger Ailes had sent a confidential memo to the George W. Bush White House after 9/11 insisting the president stay tough against the terrorists.