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.
In late March, Kennedy Johnston made a Facebook post about going to college to become a teacher. One of the first responses was from her big brother, U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Cable, who was serving in Afghanistan.
The bill created in secret by the Gang of Eight is an outrageous betrayal of American workers, both high-skilled and low-skilled. Claiming it is bipartisan, the drafters were Democrats and globalist Republicans.
They're hunkering down at SAC Capital, the hedge fund empire of billionaire Steven A. Cohen. Federal prosecutors have been picking off SAC's second bananas one by one, plea bargaining for information that brings them ever closer to Cohen.
No one should pretend that dealing with leaks of highly sensitive and classified national security documents is easy. I remember hearing plenty of conservatives taking to the airwaves to accuse The New York Times of nothing less than "treason" for publishing materials provided by WikiLeaks. I thought the Times publication was squarely within the bounds of First Amendment law, just as I think James Rosen was acting within the bounds of the First Amendment in the reporting that led to the government's securing a search warrant targeting him in 2010.
When you win the White House, you get to pick the team you want. Sure, that sounds simple and doesn't need any clarification, but it's clear that simplicity and clarity is lacking in Washington, D.C.
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.
There is no more endangered figure in America than the black man.
It's time to pass the hat for Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state has tried to distance herself from her weeks-ago assertion that after husband Bill left the White House, the couple were "dead broke." She told PBS that the line was "inartful," but only after she told a British paper that she does not count herself among the "truly well-off." Nobody knows the troubles she's seen.
The New York Times reports that House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is considered "the best hope" to win passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in Congress after he becomes majority leader in July. It's sort of quaint how the Gray Lady wants to believe in miracles.
Obama administration officials trekked out to a tiny rural community in southern Virginia to teach the local yokels a thing about immigration policy. Yet the lessons learned were not by the local farmers but by the bureaucrats who got more than an earful in protests against placing illegal aliens in their small town of Lawrenceville.
The panic that engulfed this capital after the fall of Mosul, when it appeared that the Islamist fanatics of ISIS would overrun Baghdad, has passed.
"Reinvigorating the leadership" is how one senior House staffer described the ascendency of Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Republican who won a first-ballot victory for the position of GOP whip. The staffer went on to portray Scalise as not a member of the Washington establishment. Indeed, Scalise is a former chair of the Republican Study Committee, the conservative caucus in the U.S. House. He has had a meteoric rise, and he is someone to be reckoned with.
How's this for a punch line? You stage a rebellion to get rid of Eric Cantor, who is on his worst day (to critics on the right) a very conservative _guy who relishes hardball tactics, and he gets replaced by a pragmatic moderate from California. You call this victory?