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.
Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., has made some nasty charges during his 19 terms in Congress. Stark has called a female colleague a "whore," a male colleague a "little fruitcake" and a black Cabinet member "a disgrace to his race." At a political debate last month, Stark accused Democratic challenger Eric Swalwell, a city councilman, of accepting "hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes" - without presenting any proof.
Mitt Romney can't get past the Seamus story. In 1983, Romney put the family dog in a carrier on the roof of his Chevy as his wife, their five sons and their luggage squeezed in to the station wagon for a vacation. The dog got diarrhea. Romney has not figured out how to put the 29-year-old story behind him. So critics continue to use the episode as the defining anecdote about the GOP hopeful.
Ten years ago, perky actress Jennifer Love Hewitt tried to jump-start a music career with a song titled "Bare Naked." Now she's trying that attention-grabbing tactic again with a sleazy new Lifetime series called "The Client List." She plays a massage therapist who turns tricks.
Former San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Brown is appalled. He didn't vote for Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, and he isn't his biggest fan. But when he considers the prosecution of Mirkarimi for bruising his wife's arm during a New Year's Eve argument, he is appalled. People lose sight of what types of cases should be prosecuted, Brown told me last week, and Mirkarimi's case is not one of them.
Poor Mitt Romney. He might have the picture-perfect Hollywood looks of a president, but he keeps stumbling, bumbling, and fumbling along the campaign trail like he's in a Three Stooges slapstick comedy.
I have a theory as to why Americans don't worry all that much about global warming: High-profile purveyors of climate change don't push for reductions in greenhouse gases so much as focus on berating people who do not agree with their opinions. They call themselves champions of "the science" yet focus on ideology more than tangible results.
The celebrations in Havana and the sullen silence in Miami tell you all you need to know about who won this round with Castro's Cuba.
The spooks are spooked.
Brought before a House inquisition, MIT professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber burbled a recantation of his beliefs about how that triumph of liberalism had been achieved.
The intelligence was obtained illegally. The hackers presented a threat to workers and their families. Foreign operatives likely were behind the document theft. Any news organizations that report this ill-gotten information are, if not un-American, surely "morally treasonous and spectacularly dishonorable."
In the spirit of holiday harmony and goodwill toward all, I say it's time for you working stiffs to extend your hands in a gesture of solidarity with America's millionaires.
This is Woody's story, my favorite Christmas story.
Christmas may not be the most solemn of all Christian feasts. That distinction belongs to Easter. Yet our salvation through the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord would never have been possible, had he not become one of us in the womb of Mary. Besides, for sheer popular appeal, Christmas still wins the gold.
The year is winding down with some good TV news: The amoral biker-gang drama "Sons of Anarchy" has ended its seven-year run on the cable channel FX, after a final season drenched in pointless sex and violence. Jax, the leader of the gang, shot a bunch of his enemies dead and then drove his motorcycle straight into the oncoming grill of a semi truck.
When California Gov. Jerry Brown was pushing Proposition 30 in 2012, he sold it with the promise that the income and sales tax increases in his measure would put off sharp tuition increases in the UC and CSU systems. Sacramento increased state funding for the University of California and California State University by 5 percent annually for two years and then 4 percent annually for the next two years. Budget documents heralded a four-year deal that would keep tuition flat.
Barack Obama has announced the particulars of his executive amnesty for an estimated five million of the many more foreigners who broke our laws to get into the United States. This amnesty will, of course, become a magnet for more illegals to work the same racket, hoping for the same reward.
In July of 1967, after race riots gutted Newark and Detroit, requiring troops to put them down, LBJ appointed a commission to investigate what happened, and why.
From the very beginning, this was much ado about an aberration, a tragic aberration to be sure, but an aberration nonetheless.
Last year, Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell stood trial in Philadelphia for the deaths of one woman and seven babies who had their throats slit, but national reporters didn't want to cover it. It's a "local crime story," they said. Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple said that when he asked national reporters about avoiding the Gosnell story, the typical response was "Get out of my face with this agenda-driven stuff, and come back when you have a real story."