Sunday, December 21, 2014

Season’s greetings from the Obamas

I’m going to be honest with you: This year has not been great. In fact, it has been a steaming lump of coal. Still, there were a couple of bright spots. My plan to get everyone to the doctor for annual check-ups worked out just fine – much better than last year! – even though […]

Putin just invited Kim Jong Un to visit Russia. Really.

Officials in Moscow confirmed Friday that North Korean despot Kim Jong Un may attend ceremonies next year commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. It would be Kim’s first public foreign visit since coming to power in December 2011. “Yes, such an invitation was sent,” confirmed Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, […]

New school finance strategy lacks accountability

It’s not exactly three strikes and you’re out, but neither is the third time a charm for Gov. Jerry Brown’s landmark overhaul of public school finance and governance. A third major research organization has examined how Brown’s “Local Control Funding Formula” is being implemented and found it wanting. The funding strategy, adopted in 2013, eliminated […]

Sound off for Dec. 21, 2014

Flanked by Cuban exiles and relatives of killed Cuban dissidents, Sen. Marco Rubio and two Republican House members stepped up criticism Thursday of President Barack Obama’s move to re-establish ties with the Castro dictatorship. Some Daily Republic readers weighed in: We recognized Cuba right after the revolution but Cuban exiles wouldn’t allow us to give […]

If you want to help the poor, fix the safety net

Strengthening America’s middle class requires grappling with poverty. Too many low-income Americans are finding their path to the middle class blocked. Heather Reynolds is the CEO of a massive charity organization – Catholic Charities Fort Worth, which boasts the budget of a small city and serves 100,000 low-income people a year. She has steered the […]

Yes, Virginia, the Santa wish list has gone digital

“I sent my Christmas list to you in Google Docs. Can you help me edit it and then email it to Santa?” Sigh. The days of scrawled letters to Santa with crayons, smiley faces and Unabomber-like scribbles with serial numbers and price lists and naked greed mellowed by cute, backward s’s are fading away. The […]

Disabled veterans, their widows may qualify for added benefits

Veteran’s pension is a cash benefit paid to wartime veterans who have limited or no income. Veterans 65 and older automatically qualify to receive this benefit. Those younger than 65 years of age must be permanently and totally disabled. In addition to the cash benefit, veterans who are more seriously disabled may qualify for Aid […]

December 20, 2014 | Posted in Local opinion columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska and Oklahoma on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to declare Colorado’s legalization of marijuana unconstitutional, saying the drug is being brought from Colorado into the neighboring states. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said the states filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to prevent Colorado from enforcing the measure known […]

‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Had Mark DeFriest just waited a couple of months to collect his inheritance, he never would have gone to prison. Had he just behaved while he was there, he would have been released more than 30 years ago. But the man dubbed Florida’s “prison Houdini” kept escaping instead of simply serving out […]

Top Islamic militants killed; more US troops going to Iraq

WASHINGTON — Two senior Islamic State group leaders were killed in U.S. and coalition airstrikes in northern Iraq over the last week, U.S. officials said Thursday, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved new orders for several hundred troops to deploy to Iraq to train Iraqi forces. According to one of the U.S. officials, airstrikes killed a key deputy of […]

Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors sued New York City on Thursday to speed the pace of reforms at the Rikers Island jail complex and address what a Justice Department investigation found was a “deep-seated culture of violence” toward young inmates. The move comes a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the 10-jail lockup to […]