Barack Obama has just taken his first baby steps into a war in Syria that may define and destroy his presidency.
When I first started teaching criminal law (decades ago), I spent weeks on the Fourth Amendment and the "zone of privacy." The big case was Katz v. United States, decided in 1967. The FBI suspected that Charles Katz was using a payphone in a phone booth (those enclosed spaces we used to rely on before cellphones) to transmit gambling information to folks in other states (a federal offense). So they attached a listening device to the outside of the booth, which picked up his end of the conversation. He was convicted and, on appeal, claimed that the government should have ...
It has become evident that Barack Obama's definition of "fundamentally transforming the United States" includes Big Brother harassing selected conservatives while monitoring everybody's email and telephone traffic. These seem to be among the surprising duties of the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency (NSA), respectively.
Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald wrote that Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old former intelligence analyst who leaked information on huge U.S. data mining operations, "will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers." House Speaker John Boehner called Snowden "a traitor." Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein railed that he had committed "treason."
Next year should be a banner year for the GOP, and may yet be.
The scandals surrounding the Obama administration come down to one common theme - that the ever-growing size and scope of our federal government gives it enormous power over virtually every aspect of our lives, power that in the wrong hands can be used to reward supporters, exact revenge and punish enemies. In education, health care, transportation, energy, disaster relief, welfare, commerce, work and salary rules, and on and on, the federal government plays an outsized role completely inconsistent with the Founding Fathers' notion of a limited government that allows maximum personal liberty.
The unfolding story of the Obama administration monitoring not just telephone records but Internet usage has drawn media coverage with adjectives like "astonishing." No doubt about it, even the pro-Obama press acknowledges it is a scandal. Still, it is laughable that the media would label him a "dictator" or discuss the "I word."
Before President Barack Obama took a question on intelligence surveillance and stepped on his message in an odd and hastily put-together event in San Jose on Friday, the president made a few scheduled remarks about California's implementation of his Affordable Care Act.
"Gentlemen do not read each other's mail," said Secretary of State Henry Stimson of his 1929 decision to shut down "The Black Chamber" that decoded the secret messages of foreign powers.
SAN JOSE - "Nobody's listening to your phone calls," President Obama proclaimed at a Friday event that was supposed to be about California's implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
The specter of school shootings has brought a too-typical staple to local newspaper sections: the boys disciplined at (or suspended from) grade school for bringing a toy gun or anything resembling a gun.
Tupac Shakur, the rapper killed in an unsolved and possibly gang-related murder, once said: "I know for a fact that had I had a father, I'd have some discipline. I'd have more confidence." Tupac admitted he began running with gangs because he wanted structure and protection: "Your mother cannot calm you down the way a man can. Your mother can't reassure you the way a man can. My mother couldn't show me where my manhood was. You need a man to teach you how to be a man."
Ruth Asawa's "San Francisco Fountain" owes Apple big time. Before the tech behemoth announced its plans to plop a slick, glassy Apple Store where Levi's and the fountain plaza reside, many locals were blithely unaware of the bronze landmark. Mayor Ed Lee apparently forgot about it when he cozied up to Apple execs announcing their plans to bulldoze (in effect) and build over the northeast corner of San Francisco's Union Square.
Sen. Carl Levin was aghast.
Fifty years after poverty in America briefly became a front-burner issue on our nation's political agenda, it's time to move it off the back burner again.
Words can be discombobulating, especially when people twist them to fit concepts that mean the exact opposite of what you think is being said.
Julius Caesar lay dead. The senators who took his life stood dumbstruck, faced with the foul deed they had done, and then fled in a panic. Mark Antony stared at the corpse in horror and then raged, "Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war." He picked up Caesar's heavily tattooed lifeless body and exited the stage. The audience gasped.
"This is a Christian nation," said the Supreme Court in 1892.
It was outrageous for ABC News to promote Bill Clinton's spokesman George Stephanopoulos to the top of the political-anchorman heap. It was shameless to keep him there, even as Hillary Clinton keeps running for president. Conservatives never felt he was an appropriate choice, and never felt he sincerely attempted fairness and balance in his "journalism."
There's no classroom experience the libertine supports more mightily than "sex education." They have struggled to banish even a whisper of a religious worldview from the classroom. Only the secular and "science-based" ideology is allowed.
As Middle America rises in rage against "fast track" and the mammoth Obamatrade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, The Wall Street Journal has located the source of the malady.
How come everyone I know is depressed?
Sofia Vergara is the Spanish-accented sexpot on the ABC sitcom "Modern Family." She's also now the center of an unwanted controversy over a "modern family." She's fighting with an ex-fiance over two frozen embryos.
After the recent Baltimore riots, left-wing critics accused President Barack Obama of lacking an "urban agenda." Critics like PBS's hard lefty Tavis Smiley said: "What do we see in Baltimore and Ferguson and beyond? Racism, poverty and militarism. And so poverty is clearly connected to this. My sense is that this is going to become the new normal. These kinds of uprisings and riots are going to happen a lot more if we can't get serious about jobs, jobs, jobs with a living wage for all fellow citizens. ...
Some of corporate America's biggest climate-change deniers - from Exxon-Mobil to the Koch Brothers - are dreading a potent storm that's gaining strength and headed right at them. It's the category-5 "Hurricane Francis," which threatens to overwhelm their flimsy ideological castles.
The Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., would announce Thursday she would be running for retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer's seat. At last, it seemed as if California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the only name Democrat in the race, might face some competition. Then Sanchez claimed that the announcement email had been sent out by mistake. Oops, as former Texas Gov. Rick Perry would say.
David Cameron is the most successful Tory Party leader since Margaret Thatcher.
That was, essentially, the headline for the big New York Times poll out this week. It was supposed to measure how much Hillary and her team's stumbles on the issue of her private email server had hurt her. Just how much did her favorability drop? Essentially, not at all.
The media elite have a preeminent place in our politics, allegedly with the knowledge to declare what is politically feasible and what is not, including which candidates have a chance at winning and which do not. Before we head into a presidential primary season, it's time to insist that these "experts" don't know any better than the rest of us.
After the mysterious death of suspect Freddie Gray, the Maryland state's attorney for Baltimore charged all six Baltimore police officers involved with his arrest and transport. The crimes ranging from "second-degree depraved-heart murder" to involuntary manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment. Locals cheered her decision to charge all six. The charges followed three days of riots triggered by Gray's funeral and came almost immediately after the medical examiner filed his report calling Gray's death a "homicide."