Saturday, November 16, 2013 12:00 am
What a sorry state America is in when voters can’t trust elected officials to keep their campaign promises. A Gallup poll released earlier this week showed that Congress has reached a new low, gaining the approval of just 9 percent of Americans. This breaks last year’s dismal 10 percent, the previous record.
Saturday, September 7, 2013 12:00 am
For those of us who grew up during the Vietnam years — and especially for those who fought in the 20-year-long war — the prospect of possible United States involvement in the Syrian civil war is chilling. In my lifetime, the U.S. has been part of at least 10 armed conflicts, some of which, like Vietnam and Somalia, were poorly thought out and even more poorly executed.
Friday, September 6, 2013 5:29 pm
I've been surfing the web, trying to make sense of the debate over intervening in Syria. Here are a couple of suprising turns of events I've come across plus some interesting summaries:
Friday, July 5, 2013 12:17 pm
When the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, 68-32, the successful vote set off loud rounds of self-congratulatory backslapping among the Gang of 8, the various big business lobbies, the Chamber of Commerce and immigration lawyers. The White House, which had veto power over the bill’s language, chimed in too.
Look more deeply into the vote, however, and some interesting facts emerge that should take the wind out of the victors’ sails, especially as S. 744 heads to the staunchly opposed House.
Since 2006, the Senate has cast more or less 60 votes for amnesty in all the bills put before it. Last month’s vote gave no indication that Senate enthusiasm for a wide reaching amnesty is greater than it traditionally is. Two of the Gang’s original goals failed: 1) to reach 70 total votes and 2) to get at least half of the Republicans to sign on. The first objective came up two short. As for the second, only 14 of 45 Republicans voted “yea,” a much lower share than in either 1986 during the disastrous Immigration Reform and Control Act or in 2006 for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act.
During the two months that the Gang wrote S.744 with plenty of help from immigration activists and the two additional months since the bill dropped in mid-April, a relative calm has settle over previously panicked Republicans. After the November presidential election, President Obama’s large Hispanic vote share paralyzed Republicans with fear and led them to irrationally conclude that they need greater Latino outreach. But reams of post-election analysis found that even if Mitt Romney had won 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, he still would have lost the election. Low white voter turnout coupled a record high number of black voters made Obama an easy winner.
Electoral college reality has set in. And since no one knows who the 2016 candidates will be, sanity has been restored among congressional Republicans about how far they should push their opposed-to-amnesty base to play for Democratic votes they’ll never get.
As for the Republicans who turned coat, their Senate careers may be end when their terms do. Gang Republicans Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake skipped the celebratory photo ops, realizing that front page images of them hugging Gang liberals Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin might kill their reelection chances.
Through the Internet’s power, previous staunch anti-amnesty campaign pledges “yea” voting Republican senators made will live on. Here’s a sampling. Flake: amnesty is “a dead end,”; Orrin Hatch: “We can no longer grant amnesty,”; Rubio: “I would vote against anything that has amnesty in it,” McCain: “I’ll build the dang fence,” Kelly Ayotte: “I don’t support amnesty; it’s wrong.” Little wonder Americans feel that Washington has abandoned them.
The next time they hit the stump, Hatch will be 86 and have served in the Senate for 40 years; McCain, 80 with a 30-year congressional career. Rubio’s polling has droppedprecipitously since he assumed spokesman status for the Gang’s Republicans. Breaking promises is bad business for duplicitous politicians, young or old.
Friday, May 24, 2013 12:00 am
The Lodi Police Department has been marked by frequent change and turnover in recent weeks. Decades more experience is leaving the department as its second-in-command, Capt. J.P. Badel, retires after 29 years in law enforcement.
Saturday, November 17, 2012 12:00 am
As the post-presidential election dust settles, let me present a fact-based analysis of why Mitt Romney lost.
Saturday, June 2, 2012 12:00 am
On May 30, a letter titled "Why are politicians' ideas so costly?" by Richard Viall states, "According to information received from Lou Dobbs, a noted national economist, there is currently a bill snaking its way through Congress that applies to 'amnesty' for illegal aliens."
Saturday, January 7, 2012 12:00 am
One of the debates within the GOP leadership is whether the
eventual presidential candidate should mount an aggressive,
attack-style campaign against President Barack Obama or take a less
Wednesday, January 4, 2012 12:00 am
Oh, my (yawns). I feel like I've been asleep for the last year.
I certainly hope you enjoyed my kumbaya-ish hiatus. It was nice to
switch things up and focus on nothing but the positive during an
otherwise bleak 2011. But friends, it's 2012, and there isn't
anything more important to me this year than the presidential
election and the future of this country.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 12:00 am
B.J. Hill, the man who walked through Lodi as part of a
cross-country trip in 2008 to collect messages for the next
president, delivered them personally to President Barack Obama last
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 12:00 am
The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American
military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a
war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any
battlefield — even people in the United States itself.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 12:00 am
Massachusetts native B.J. Hill walked through Lodi back in 2008
and walked across the country to collect advice for the new
president who would take office the following January.
Saturday, October 1, 2011 12:00 am
Rick Perry can't get out of his own way. During the presidential
debates, he has reviled three immigration issues that Republicans
hold dear: passing mandatory E-Verify legislation, rejecting
federal and state versions of the DREAM Act, and building a border
Saturday, August 13, 2011 12:00 am
If the United States had a parliamentary government instead of a
democracy, President Barack Obama might already have one foot out
of office. The horrible circumstances that sent the financial
markets into turmoil and the events that preceded the Wall Street
chaos might force parliament to a call for a "no confidence" vote.
Such a measure demonstrates to the head of state that the elected
parliament no longer trusts his leadership.
Saturday, July 16, 2011 12:00 am
Historians have to go back to Herbert Hoover to find an
incumbent president as vulnerable as Barack Obama. The nation isn't
quite at the stage where half the population is wearing "Hoover
blankets," newspapers wrapped up underneath clothing to stay warm,
but we're getting there.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 12:00 am
I received a copy of a letter that was sent to the “Letters to
the Editor” in The Record some time ago. After reading it, I felt
it an excellent letter and that the information should be shared
with the good readers of the Lodi News-Sentinel. The letter covered
a 30-year period regarding things that caused the burst in the
housing bubble. After verifying the information in the letter, I
wanted to give a brief history of why the housing bubble burst and
Saturday, April 16, 2011 12:00 am
The dustup between mogul Donald Trump and New York Times
editorial page columnist Gail Collins over whether or not President
Barack Obama has a valid birth certificate or is a U.S. citizen
makes for wonderful political theatrics. Would-be 2012 Republican
presidential candidates, including The Donald himself, must be
licking their chops over the potential fodder this nagging
"birther" debate may represent during their campaigns.
Saturday, April 9, 2011 12:00 am
President Barack Obama's official announcement that he will seek
re-election came as no surprise on Capitol Hill.
Saturday, February 26, 2011 12:00 am
This is in response to Heinz Lehrach's letter to the editor
published on Monday, Feb. 21. In typical liberal Democrat fashion,
only some of the facts are present.
Saturday, November 6, 2010 12:00 am
On Tuesday night, like millions of other Americans, I voted the
straight GOP ticket even though I'm not a Republican. I'm a
registered Independent and previously a nominal Democrat, but one
who didn't vote for President Barack Obama. Of the Independents who
backed the Democratic ticket in 2008, 24 percent of them abandoned
Friday, July 16, 2010 10:11 pm
It is ironic that it took the quixotic chair of the Republican
Party to make one of the most realistic assessments of the
eight-year American war in Afghanistan.
Saturday, June 26, 2010 12:00 am
Barack Obama is the accidental president. Having little
meaningful political experience is the best and perhaps the only
explanation for Obama's numerous head-first plunges into the cold
and murky water that will turn Congress over to the Republicans in
Saturday, June 12, 2010 12:00 am
Disappointment. Since ex-HP CEO Carly Fiorina was announced the
winner of the GOP U.S. Senate primary, I am dealing with feelings
of immense disappointment.
Saturday, June 5, 2010 12:00 am
With only three days remaining until the June 8 primary,
beleaguered Californians have little to cheer about.
Saturday, January 30, 2010 12:00 am
After the media have finished their pronouncements regarding
President Obama's State of the Union message, his first year will
continue to be a topic of discussion. A year is likely too short a
time in which to accurately judge a presidency, but pundits and
editorial boards make a critical look at that first year an