WASHINGTON - Forty-three years ago this week, the fabled 101st Airborne Division launched Operation Apache Snow - a major ground offensive against North Vietnamese army invaders in the treacherous A Shau Valley. Though fighting raged over hundreds of square miles of triple-canopied jungle, the focus soon became a single terrain feature, a mountain, with peaks as high as 3,000 feet, the Vietnamese named Dong Ap Bia, or "Mountain of the Crouching Beast." The Americans who fought there called it Hamburger Hill.
The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday that Skechers USA Inc. will pay $40 million to settle charges that the shoe company made "unfounded claims" about its Shape-ups.
It's that time of year. What's the old song? "I can still remember..." And I do. It's what I talk about when I'm invited to be a graduation speaker and what I write about every year at this time.
When the April figures on unemployment were released May 4, they were more than disappointing. They were deeply disturbing.
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
In 1993, a jury convicted Clarence Aaron for his role in two planned cocaine deals. Aaron was a 23-year-old college student. It was his first offense. Unlike his co-defendants, Aaron was not a career drug dealer. He didn't know enough to plead guilty and testify against others to win a reduced sentence. He perjured himself in court. A federal judge sentenced Aaron to three terms of life without parole for a first-time nonviolent drug offense.
President Barack Obama emerged from his ideological closet last week when he said, "Same-sex couples should be able to get married." Obama supported same-sex marriage in 1996. He opposed same-sex marriage, however, in 2004 and 2008 and right up until Vice President Joe Biden announced that he is "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex nuptials on "Meet the Press" May 6. Thus, I would categorize the president's position on same-sex marriage not as having evolved, as he claims, but as a long overdue moment of honesty.
National Public Radio's Kai Ryssdal recently talked about the weak economy. His guests, two reporters from The Washington Post and The New York Times, acknowledged the obvious - that the economy is underperforming.
Depending on which poll you believe, Obama is either up by 3, 7 or 9 points, or down by 1, 3 or 5.
First, the corruption. Then, the cover-up. And now, a sham to cover-up the cover-up.
"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country," President John F. Kennedy famously said in his inaugural address.
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
"My fellow Americans, we have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war," said Barack Obama from Bagram Air Base.
President Barack Obama was entitled to a victory lap. In August 2007, then-Sen. Obama stuck out his neck when he said that there were terrorists holed up in the mountains of Pakistan and that he was willing to do something about it.
As a candidate for the presidency, George W. Bush took heat for supposedly saying something like, "God wanted me to become president." He never said that. But no matter. Here comes another yet another Bible-banging religious conservative "taking his marching orders from God." Apparently, if you feel God endorses a particular path, God wants you to keep the news to yourself.
That is how one unnamed official described the military option in Iraq, on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.
At the end of the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama famously wrote that our world may be at the "end of history" where "Western liberal democracy" becomes "the final form of human government."
It has been a summer of remembrance.
Back in the 1950s, C.S. Lewis saw chastity as under attack with "all the contemporary propaganda for lust that makes people "feel that the desires we are resisting are so 'natural,' so 'healthy,' and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them."
The (well-funded, I am sure) opposition to San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener's ballot measure to tax soda and other sugary drinks calls itself the Coalition for an Affordable City. Its website features owners of corner markets explaining how the proposed tax would hurt their businesses and expressing their bewilderment at City Hall's picking on hardworking merchants.
There is no white Republican elected official today who is coming close to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's effort to reach out to black voters.
In June, President Barack Obama sent a letter to Congress asking for help to address the surge of illegal crossings at the Texas-Mexico border. Among other items, Obama asked Congress to grant him the legal authority "to exercise discretion in processing the return and removal of unaccompanied minor children from non-contiguous countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador."
Last week, by 2-1 vote, a Washington, D.C., appellate panel ruled that the Obama administration unlawfully changed Obamacare. Meanwhile, on the same day, on the same question, a panel from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the other way. This issue is headed for the Supreme Court.
Anyone who thinks the cultural left is going to stop its political correctness with the Washington Redskins isn't reading USA Today. On the top of their Sports front page on July 22, the paper reported on activists taking a stand against "redface," championing a group called Eradicating Offensive Indian Mascotry.
The New York Times has seen the light. On Sunday, the paper editorialized in favor of an end to the federal ban on marijuana. According to Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance, The Gray Lady has become the first major national newspaper to support legalizing marijuana.
When I heard our Congress critters are taking an extended vacation for all of August and part of September, I had two incongruous reactions: gratitude and anger.
The FBI's motto is "Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity." But given the FBI sting against Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow - a convicted felon who was freed from prison in 2003 because the feds got him to testify against a confederate - I suspect that a more apt motto might be "Fuggedaboutit."
The "crossfire" mentality that defines public discourse today has the obvious problem of ignoring the fact that most of us land somewhere in the middle, turning every debate into a shouting contest between the extremists who generate passion and ratings, and rarely reflecting the views of the majority in the middle. I've been saying for years that it might be just as entertaining, and certainly more productive, to see where ideological opposites find common ground. But until someone actually attempts it, we will keep spiraling down into extremism and incivility.
The news that Google executive Forrest Hayes died on a yacht after being injected with heroin by a "date" he met on a website that connects "sugar daddies" with "sugar babies" has prompted not only charges against the woman, 26-year-old Alix Tichelman, and an investigation of a similar death (ruled accidental) involving Ms. Tichelman in 2013, but also questions about the website that brought the dead husband and father into contact with the woman who literally killed him.
Hillary Clinton's $35 doorstop of a memoir is a flop. It was a best-seller to hard-core Democrats, but her advance is estimated at $14 million, which means Simon & Schuster is taking a bath in the hopes of a publishing a future president.