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.
Increasing public disapproval of Barack Obama is based on more than his extravagant spending, which hangs debt like an albatross around the necks of our children and grandchildren. He is presiding over the most scandal-ridden administration in decades, from Colombia to Las Vegas to the Mexican border to Solyndra and more.
Never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut – and never, ever, ask national security officials if they think there should be more shortcuts around the Constitution's protections of our civil liberties.
Wall Street headlines are full of fears of a springtime stall for the already subpar economic recovery. And if that weren't bad enough for Obama's re-election chances, a spate of new polls show Mitt Romney's economic-approval ratings are far outdistancing the president's.
The smart thinking among savvy election lawyers and political insiders is that federal prosecutors will have a hard time proving that John Edwards broke campaign finance laws when he ran for president in 2008. Edwards has pleaded not guilty. Election lawyer Jerry Goldfeder captured this view when he said: "With the government having to prove that Edwards knew the intricacies of the campaign finance law and intentionally broke it, the government has a very tough road in this trial. He may not be a sympathetic figure, but that doesn't mean he should go to prison for trying to hide ...
Every four years, there is one presidential campaign that is much more fun to watch than the rest, even if it has no realistic chance of success. I loved watching Mike Huckabee four years ago. It was far better than watching John McCain going from the Straight Talk Express (fun four years before) to the cautious conservative.
This week, President Barack Obama has been warning students that without his intervention, interest rates for a federal student loan program will double to 6.8 percent July 1.
Just when you thought the plutocratic profiteers running America's exploitative, low-wage economy couldn't get any more clueless, self-serving, pious, and mingy - along comes Lady Maria of Marriott, magnanimously saying: "Let them eat tips."
In his U.N. address, President Obama listed a parade of horrors afflicting our world: "Russian aggression in Europe," "terrorism in Syria and Iraq," rapes and beheadings by ISIL, al-Qaida, Boko Haram.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Lawrence Silveira is a Sierra High graduate now living in Chicago. In this column, penned on Sept. 5, he writes about the differences between the two locales, and what he's learned in his first few weeks at Columbia College.
"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."
Here's an unusual super-rich guy with a strange message for his fellow 1-percent-of-the-1-percenters.
There's a photo-word montage on the Internet in which a little boy, presumably from Africa, looks skeptically at a woman who is apparently from somewhere else. The boy asks, "You mean to tell me you have so much clean water, that you (poop) in it?"
Where are the peaceniks? Why aren't they marching on Capitol Hill to protest President Barack Obama's use of military force in Syria and Iraq? The San Francisco Chronicle's Kevin Fagan interviewed peace activists who told him that their ranks are numb, in part because America has been at war for more than a decade. Some even wonder whether the Islamic State is so barbaric as to merit airstrikes.
"I see the media is at it again," an acquaintance said referring to the deluge of coverage after the Ray Rice assault on his wife. True, a ton of coverage on what became a national, if not international story.
For those of you who read my last column and thought I had crossed over to the dark side, this one should tilt the world back on its proper axis.
"You'll never meet anyone who says, 'I want to be a millionaire. I think I'll start a winery,'" owner Bill Smyth tells me from his small office over the tasting room of Westover Vineyards, nestled in Palomares Canyon. Smyth has worked in a number of fields. He made some money. He bought the vineyard property when he was young. His ex-wife bought him a kit to make wine, and his labor of love turned into a small business.