The Weekly Daley: The last ones standing

I didn’t see the so-called “Happy Hour” debate Wednesday as I was toiling away on a story about the county’s new balanced budget. However, I did tune in for the main event. Pre-debate hype said the moderators, CNN anchor Jake Tapper and conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt, indicated they would hold the candidates’ feet […]

Celebrating the Constitution on its 228th birthday

Thursday, Sept. 17, was Constitution Day, celebrated nationally as Citizenship Day from 1952-2004, and by many states before then. It marks the 228th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. In honor of Constitution Day, and to remind Americans of the importance of our system of government, the American Council of Trustees and […]

Something to think about: Friendly persuasion

We do not need to waste lives and resources trying to bomb other countries into submission. There is another way. As any parent or grandparent can tell you, nothing wears down resistance like a laser-focused child. Recent exposure to young children who are bent on obtaining whatever they have decided they need or want has […]

Charles Krauthammer: The Iran charade on Capitol Hill

Congress is finally having its say on the Iran deal. It will be an elaborate charade, however, because, having first gone to the U.N., President Obama has largely drained congressional action of relevance. At the Security Council, he pushed through a resolution ratifying the deal, thus officially committing the United States as a nation to […]

Publisher’s Ink: Trump touching a nerve and making people nervous

Political pundits, pollsters and the old guard of the Republican Party are shocked by the resilient support businessman Donald Trump is receiving. “He’s touching a nerve in the country” has been the most recent explanation by his rivals and the media. Could that be the same nerve that propelled Republicans to sweep elections in 2012 […]

California Rambling: Autumn just seems early

Autumn seems to have arrived a little early, this year. You may not have seen the change where you live, though those living at the highest elevations of the eastern Sierra began noticing leaves changing from green to lime to yellow, and in many cases falling from branches, by mid August. Willows living in the […]

John Stossel: Cutting red tape

I’m upset that the presidential candidates, all of them, rarely mention a huge problem: the quiet cancer that kills opportunity — regulation. The accumulated burden of it is the reason that America is stuck in the slowest economic recovery since the Depression. I understand why candidates don’t talk about it: Regulation is boring. But it’s important. […]

The rural life: Of dreamers and ‘quitters’

“Never give up.” These are the words of Winston Churchill, or so we’re told. An online search will net you a million-and-a-half hits, all attributing this or a similar quote to Britain’s great wartime leader. “Never, never, give up” is one variation. “Never, never, never give up” is another. However it appears, his message seems […]

Billingsley’s Bullets: The Lone Ranger needs Tonto

My friend Steve Tapson provided the following Lone Ranger/Tonto conversation: “The Lone Ranger and Tonto were camping in the wilderness. After they got their tent set up, both men fell sound asleep. Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, ‘Kemo Sabe, look towards sky, what you see?’ The Lone Ranger replies, ‘I […]

The Weekly Daley: Freedom of religion: In the eyes of the beholder?

So, Saint Kim was released from a Kentucky jail Tuesday to a clamoring throng of supporters chanting things like “You go girl!” and believe it or not, “Kim Davis for President.” As the county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to some same-sex couples, Davis is being idolized as a holy warrior for religious […]

NLRB ruling hits entrepreneurs

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board gave unions a big win – even by the Obama administration’s labor-friendly standards. While that’s good news for labor supporters, the so-called new joint employer rule could fundamentally harm a wide range of U.S. businesses. The NLRB, the independent federal agency which advocates for employees’ collective bargaining rights, […]

Krauthammer: Why Clinton remains, yes, inevitable

Unless she’s indicted, Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination. That kind of sentence is rarely written about a major presidential candidate. But I don’t see a realistic third alternative (except for one long-shot, below). Clinton is now hostage to the various investigations — the FBI, Congress, the courts — of her e-mails. The issue has already […]

My Turn: The Forgotten Children

Each year there are more than 100 new substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in our county, often at the hands of those we entrust with their children’s care. For these children, it marks the beginning of what can only be described as a nightmare — a life that is characterized by the loss […]

The Democratic-Chronicles: The summer of our discontents

We have walked on the moon, seen pictures of Pluto from three billion miles away, virtually eliminated smallpox and polio and invented the Internet, the personal computer and Cool Whip. But why do otherwise seemingly intelligent people deny man’s calamitous role in climate change. Then, not only adamantly refuse to modify their behavior but prevent […]

Mark Shields: Pat Moynihan explains the 2016 Republican race

Daniel Patrick Moynihan — four-term U.S. senator from New York, ambassador and White House adviser -— was that rarest of combinations: a gifted public intellectual and a talented, practical politician. He alone, in January 1980, during the depths of the Cold War, dared to say, “The defining event of the decade might well be the breakup […]

Belltower: The atomic bomb saved my uncle

I saw my late Uncle Tom Raffety in 1981 when our daughter was born and again a couple of years later in San Francisco. In 1987 my uncle wrote a 16-page account of his war years to my mother. A couple of weeks ago I stopped to read it after finding it in a footlocker. […]

The Balancing Act: Self-interest

For the past year-and-a-half I have followed the county government machinations fairly closely. Prior to that time my interactions with the county were somewhat limited. There were a few supervisors who were less than impressive, but there were some good ones. Also impressive were some department heads and when I built a house 10 years […]

Drug testing young athletes?

The issue of athletes taking performance-enhancing drugs to make them faster, stronger and focused is not new. Year after year we’ve seen mega-star football players, baseball players, professional cyclists, etc., fall from grace as they admitted to steroid and/or performance-enhancing drug use. What’s new, and alarming, is the issue of young athletes — high school students […]

Something to Think About: The New Bigotry

Do we always need someone to hate — someone to feel superior to, someone to attack and make a scapegoat for woes? It seems to me that bigotry is always present in some form, but the targets have changed. Jews, blacks, immigrants, the landless poor, gays, Native Americans and women have all been targets for discrimination […]

The weekly Daley: More kooky things to think about

Just when you think politics couldn’t get any nuttier, Kanye West announces for president in 2020. I didn’t actually hear his speech but it’s been all over the news and social media. I subscribe quite a lot to the news, social media, not so much. I guess a hip-hop kind of guy married to a […]

My Turn: California needs to address its lack of technical training

As the uneven economy recovery continues in California, there is one area where jobs remain available: technical workers. Workers with vocational training are currently in demand. The hardest segment of the workforce to replace has been the skilled trades, due to a shortage caused by the exodus of highly skilled baby boomers that are entering […]

My turn: What’s wrong with this picture?

What’s wrong with this picture? It was taken on Aug. 19 at the Placerville Aquatics Center. The pool was clean and ready for use, but closed! Taking a drive last Sunday, in the heat of an 90-plus-degree day, I drove past Lotus Park near Coloma and found the beach packed with users and the parking […]

Charles Krauthammer: What six years of ‘reset’ have wrought

On Sept. 5, 2014, Russian agents crossed into Estonia and kidnapped an Estonian security official. Last week, after a closed trial, Russia sentenced him to 15 years. The reaction? The State Department issued a statement. The NATO secretary-general issued a tweet. Neither did anything. The European Union (reports The Wall Street Journal) said it was too […]

John Stossel: Rank the Candidates

    My list of best to worst possible presidents: — Rand Paul (R) — Gary Johnson (Libertarian) — Carly Fiorina (R) — Jeb Bush (R) — Ted Cruz (R) — Scott Walker (R) — Rick Perry (R) — Marco Rubio (R) — John Kasich (R) — Ben Carson (R) — Bobby Jindal (R) — […]

My Turn: Homecare workers deserve respect

It’s time for the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors to put people first by fully funding our county’s homecare program. When my son Brendan was born with cerebral palsy, his doctors told me he was unlikely to ever walk, talk or feed himself. Like any parent, I was devastated and worried about my son. […]

California Rambling: The Queen of Sin

She was so famous for being successful that she became infamous. Maria Gertrudis Barceló was of such exceptional beauty, independence, charm, intelligence and industry that few in the early 19th century quite knew how to categorize her. So, she was wrongly vilified as a courtesan, called “the Queen of Sin,” accused of “ill-gotten” fortune and said […]

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 the DMV, stating that she thought I could drive again. An officer from the DMV’s Driver Safety Branch […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]