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The Weekly Daley: And the beat(ing) goes on

We’re kind of inured to hearing about the fate of journalists in war zones, political hotspots, places where vast numbers of people are enduring some traumatic upheaval. More than a thousand journalists have been killed in the Middle East, Africa, many countries in Asia, Mexico, Central and South America over the past several years. But […]

Here’s to 100 more

In January 1915 the Board of Trade changed its name to the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce. It was a smart decision and over the next 100 years, the chamber boards and members continued to make smart decisions that helped mold and shape our beautiful county. Where would we be without those thinkers who decided […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: I’m back in the saddle again

After my Nov. 20, 2014, stroke occurred my driving privilege was suspended, as it should have been. I was in no condition to drive a bicycle, much less a car. Eventually my doctor submitted a form to DMV, stating that she thought I could drive again. An officer from the DMV’s Driver Safety Branch in […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Free market nonsense

The concept of a Free Market economy is central to the very fabric of American conservative orthodoxy. But as I pointed out previously this is a fantasy, for there never has been, nor can there ever be, a completely Free Market economy. This fantasy is a classical zombie that keeps rising from the graveyard of discredited […]

My Turn: Hillary Clinton’s ‘New College Compact’ raises an important question: Did she ever take Econ 101?

Today’s version of “A chicken in every pot” is Hillary Clinton’s proposed plan to “make college affordable and available to every American.” This is political catnip, pure and simple. And it is a more delusory form of catnip than Herbert Hoover’s “chicken,” for while everybody needs enough to eat, not everybody needs to go to […]

Charles Krauthammer: The immigration swamp

  Not on anyone’s mind? For years, immigration has been the subject of near-constant, often bitter argument within the GOP. But it is true that Trump has brought the debate to a new place — first, with his announcement speech, about whether Mexican migrants are really rapists, and now with the somewhat more nuanced Trump plan. […]

Belltower: The China Syndrome

The 1979 Michael Douglas movie of the same name about a nuclear plant meltdown featured the fanciful notion that it could melt all the way through the earth to China. Now we are left to ponder if a Chinese stock market meltdown could go all the way to the United States. By Aug. 29, 1929, […]

The Balancing Act: Hang on to your wallets

The Clean Energy and Pollution Act of 2015, Senate Bill 350, has passed the California Senate and should be coming up for a vote in a week or two in the Assembly. This bill really means the cost of California energy (electricity and gasoline) will skyrocket, as will the cost of cars . And it could outlaw older […]

Mark Shields: Why Bernie Sanders’ big crowds count

When Democratic presidential candidates have campaigned in Los Angeles, it has usually been around a private fundraising event featuring Barbra Streisand or Steven Spielberg or George Clooney — or some combination of the three. What it has not been about — especially some 15 months before Election Day — is a long-shot, underdog candidate’s drawing a crowd of […]

Something to think about: Job requirements

People love watching a train wreck, wanting to see what will happen next — like watching the baby mamas on Maury Povich and Jerry Springer or Snookie and the other house stooges on “Jersey Shore.” It’s fascinating to see people behaving outrageously without seeming to care about the consequences. I blame reality TV for The Donald […]

Will our outrage take over politics?

Upon reaching a certain age, it’s not uncommon to start saying things that, in our younger days, we were sure we’d never utter. Take, for example, a woman we saw the other day while shopping at a big box retailer. She was puzzled and asked, “Don’t stores sell music on CDs anymore?” Someone broke the […]

The Weekly Daley: In favor of human rights

We really like human rights here in the ol’ U.S. of A. Human rights is a cornerstone of our Constitution, our values both spiritual and secular, our morals and ethics — pretty much some of the time. We count among our friends lots of nations who also treasure human rights as written into their own constitutions […]

My Turn: An excise tax on marijuana could make sense

California lawmakers are finally considering legislation to regulate medical marijuana, which has been legal under state law for nearly two decades. Among the proposals is a bill calling for an excise tax on marijuana that could raise nearly $60 million in revenue each year. As a fiscal conservative and opponent of recreational marijuana, I’m an […]

Krauthammer: The Racing Form, third edition

Both presidential nomination contests having been scrambled by recent events — the FBI taking control of Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server and a raucous, roiling GOP debate — the third edition of the Racing Form is herewith rushed into print. Legal disclaimer: This column is for betting purposes only. What follows is analysis — scrubbed, as thoroughly as […]

Publisher’s Ink: Playing chess in Placerville

It was hard to miss the “Going out of Business” advertisement for Evergreen Footwear Store appearing in this newspaper last month. It’s something everyone hates to see. Much changed since Judy Stanfield took over the shoe store in 2002. Online shopping took a bigger slice of her retail pie. According to Judy, it wasn’t uncommon to […]

The rural life: In praise of poles

Walking, the best exercise, is now better than ever. Walking has always been easy to do (no learning curve), versatile (do it indoors, outdoors, anywhere) and safe (low risk of injury). Plus, it requires no gym membership, and “free” is always good. Its one weakness? The lack of a rigorous upper-body component. Now, however, you […]

John Stossel: Immigration is great

Yikes, you really hate me! Many of you, anyway, based on Twitter and Facebook comments posted after I argued immigration with Ann Coulter on my TV show. “Move into an illegal-heavy neighborhood and get back to us!” “Another libertarian who believes illegal invaders are good for our country. Madness.” Madness? Clearly, lots of Americans are […]

California Rambling: Less is more

Like Tim “The Toolman” Taylor, the accident-prone handyman in the 1990s TV sitcom “Home Improvement,” the error most binocular buyers make is demanding “more power.” Vickie Gardner, vice-president of Stuff at Alpen Optics, a California-based binocular producer says buying too much binocular is the biggest mistake first-time buyers make. “People often think they need the highest […]

Bill will improve treatment and outcomes for seriously mentally ill

By Kimberly Blaker America’s mental health care system is long overdue for change. House Bill HR-2646 – Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015, introduced this month by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) is a first big step. The two broader problems with treatment for the seriously mentally ill […]

Billlingsley’s Bullets: The time to change is now

My dad was not big on talking about the past or the future. He was a “right now” person. According to him, people who still dwelled on the past were looking for an excuse to explain their present failures. Instead of improving their present circumstances, they wasted a lot of time and energy creating alibis […]

Despite second string tag, solid showing at early forum

Nobody likes to sit at the “kids’ table” or wait on the bench as the varsity players shine. For the first time in the history of primary debates seven Republican candidates for president found themselves relegated to the second tier in Cleveland. Due to the large number of candidates, Fox News selected 10 candidates for […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: An enduring question

An enduring question is what role government should play in the lives of its citizens. I twice addressed this question last year. In the first article I discussed the appropriate size of government and in the second the question of its purpose. The question that arises today is a bit different — that of the role […]

Charles Krauthammer: Just who is helping Iran’s hard-liners?

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that the American public rejects the president’s Iran deal by more than 2-to-1. This is astonishing. The public generally gives the president deference on major treaties. Just a few weeks ago, a majority supported the deal. What happened? People learned what’s in it. And don’t be fooled by polls that […]

My turn: We need to strengthen biodefense now

The United Nations Security Council recently heard firsthand testimony from the victims of a chemical-weapons attack in Syria. A Syrian doctor spoke of his frantic efforts to treat more than 100 people who were hit by chlorine-filled bombs in the town of Sarmeen. These kinds of attacks are becoming more common and will increasingly be […]

Mark Shields: Missing Richard Nixon

John P. Sears, before he was manager of Ronald Reagan’s 1976 and 1980 presidential campaigns, had spent the years from 1965 through 1970 working as a top political aide to Richard M. Nixon. Sears, a bright and witty man who found Nixon both complicated and fascinating, spoke about accompanying Nixon, then an unannounced presidential candidate, […]

Belltower: Into the mystic

Every time I make the drive from Folsom’s East Bidwell Street up the hill toward El Dorado Hills all one can see ahead is blue sky until making the crest of the hill. When there are big cumulus clouds stacked up against the Sierra as I drive up that hill I have the sensation that […]

The Balancing Act: Destroying Grand Jury credibility

The third and most insidiously false political report from the 2014-15 El Dorado County Grand Jury entitled “Putting political gain above what’s right for the county” is a perfect title to describe the Grand Jury actions. They have become a political body and a kangaroo court. In another attempted political and character assassination of the county auditor, […]

The Weekly Daley: A GOP debate preview

If you’ve been around this space for a few years, you may have noticed that before almost every big presidential debate, I receive (in a plain brown wrapper) a copy of unofficial transcripts of debate preparations. My working title is: “What you should see but won’t in the next debate.” And while there is an […]

Tough cuts ahead

“A million here, a million there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.” Sen. Everett Dirksen is credited for this quote, said some 50 years ago. Today it’s still relevant … especially when discussing El Dorado County’s budget. In June the Board of Supervisors adopted a preliminary $253 million 2015-16 General Fund budget with the intention […]

Something to think about: No news is good news

I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the news this summer — too busy playing outside and being social. I’ve replaced CNN with gardening and the evening news with camping in the backyard. I’ve missed a few major events, but I’m not sure I really needed to know about them. When I resurfaced, I […]

My Turn: GDPUD board’s job is to watch the money

Since Georgetown Divide Public Utility District seated three new directors, the board has a new majority with little interest in watching the district’s $9 million in assets. On top of that disregard for district finances, they want to ask for two new rate hikes from customers. The board refuses to watch what is happening to […]

My Turn: Partnership and collaboration crucial to solving Tahoe’s problems

History shows time and time again our greatest accomplishments at Lake Tahoe are achieved when people work together. In the past, Tahoe was known as a place where unproductive interactions between stakeholders led to a stunning decay in our environment and our economic vitality, creating a region that seemed frozen in time. We face major […]

Charles Krauthammer: Among the ruins, a case of righteousness

Christianity, whose presence in the Middle East predates Islam’s by 600 years, is about to be cleansed from the Middle East. Egyptian Copts may have found some respite under Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, but after their persecution under the previous Muslim Brotherhood government, they know how precarious their existence in 90 percent Muslim Egypt remains. Elsewhere, […]

Home Country: Darwinian gardening

Days like this, said Doc, a guy has to get out and get his yard work done early — before it gets too hot. “So when does it get too hot, Doc?” “Oh, about three o’clock in the morning. Makes it a toss-up. Do you get up early without the benefit of coffee and conversation […]

California Rambling: Missouri’s Bull Run

Time ran out for Nathaniel Lyon, 154 years ago, next Monday. As commanding general of the United States’ Army of the West, based in Springfield, Mo., Brig. Gen. Lyon had been running out of time since taking command in May. Missouri was neutral when the Civil War began four months earlier on April 12, 1861, […]

John Stossel: Governed by zealots

The government’s environmental rules defeat even environmentalists. Thomas Collier is a Democrat who managed environmental policy for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Then he noticed a mining opportunity in Alaska, one he calls “the single largest deposit of gold and silver that is not being developed in the entire world.” Tom’s company hired hundreds of […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: Is your world too small?

Mother Teresa once said, “The problem with the world is that we draw our family circle too small.” I am not sure what Mother Teresa meant by her statement. Knowing her, I suspect she had compassion for everyone, especially those in need. All of us were potentially part of her family. At times, my compassion […]

My Turn: A breathtakingly dangerous act

The following is a statement Congressman Tom McClintock shared on the nuclear deal with Iran shortly after the agreement was announced: I don’t know how adequately to express my alarm and outrage at the president’s agreement with Iran. It is a breathtakingly dangerous act. Some have compared it to Neville Chamberlain’s Munich Accord with Nazi […]

Adopt a pet

We at the Mountain Democrat are fully behind the movement to help animals find a permanent, loving home. That’s why we continually publish animals available for adoption in the newspaper. It’s been a longtime service and we appreciate the kindhearted advertisers and supporters who make this possible. Seeing animals waiting for adoption pulls at the heart-strings. Finding good […]

Publisher’s Ink: Grave robbing — no shovels required

Victor Frankenstein, the young student of science portrayed in Mary Shelley’s novel, was on a quest to create life. The movie based on Shelley’s work depicts Frankenstein robbing graves in search of human body parts to use in his scientific experiment. The result of his endeavor was an 8-foot creature stalking the countryside and terrorizing […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: Ideology-driven policy

What do you call a person who will not learn from experience? One who causes pain and suffering to others because of their indifference? Think drunk driver or the radical Republicans, who have raised indifference to an art form. When it comes to the minimum wage, conservatives have long advocated policies that treat companies’ employees […]

Charles Krauthammer: The price of fetal parts

“Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you.” — Barack Obama, address to Planned Parenthood, April 26, 2013 WASHINGTON — Planned Parenthood’s reaction to the release of a clandestinely recorded conversation about the sale of fetal body parts was highly revealing. After protesting that it did nothing illegal, it apologized for the “tone” of one of […]

The Balancing Act: Attack on a supervisor

Supervisor Ron “Mik” Mikulaco doesn’t always vote with the majority of the Board of Supervisors. His most important vote was a dissenting no vote on the last budget (FY 2014-15 that had a large structural deficit) which happened to be the last budget submitted by ex-CAO Terri Daly. Someone during this last Grand Jury term […]

Mark Shields: The trap of becoming only a congressional party

In five of the past six presidential elections, the Republican Party has lost the nation’s popular vote to the Democrats. In those same six presidential contests, 18 states and the District of Columbia, totaling among them 242 electoral votes (you need only 270 to win the White House), have voted every time for the Democratic […]

Belltower: Didn’t know that

It took an Associated Press story about drought in the desert to give me the tidbit that Joshua trees were named by the Mormon Battalion after heading back to Utah via the Cajun Pass in 1857. “They saw the trees as shaggy prophets stretching their limbs to point the way to their promised land,” AP […]

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