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Posts By Author » Debra Saunders

Edward Snowden, Moscow’s Accidental Tourist
  1 Jun 2014     12:02 am

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has found the court of public opinion to be far more receptive than a court of law. He conducts the occasional interview with seemingly sympathetic journalists. NBC News aired one such interview with anchorman Brian Williams on Wednesday night. “Do you see yourself as a patriot?” Williams asked.

“I do,” answered Snowden, now 30. He was just trying to protect the country and the Constitution “from the encroachment of adversaries — and those adversaries don’t have to be foreign countries.”
Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate …

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Qualified for the FBI and Oakland Disability
  29 May 2014     12:02 am

How is it possible that the FBI agent who shot and killed an associate of a suspected Boston Marathon bomber has been pocketing more than $50,000 annually in disability benefits since he retired as an Oakland, California, police officer in 2004 at age 31?

On May 22, 2013, Ibragim Todashev of Orlando, Florida, allegedly had just confessed to helping the late Tamerlan Tsarnaev kill three men two years earlier, when he threw a coffee table at an FBI agent and charged a Massachusetts state trooper with a pole. The agent fired …

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Splitting the IVF Baby
  25 May 2014     12:02 am

If his story were a movie, then Gus’ tale would start before he was born in December 2009. It would begin in a fertility clinic, where actor Jason Patric donated sperm so that his ex-girlfriend Danielle Schreiber could have a baby. Later, his parents would reunite and then split up and then, after a contentious custody battle, find the love they always knew was there, wed and live happily ever after.

But this story begins in Hollywood, so there is no marriage; there are many breakups, separate residences and legions of …

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San Francisco, Haul Up Your Golden Drawbridge
  22 May 2014     12:04 am

“San Francisco, open your Golden Gate. You’ll let nobody wait outside your door.” Those are the lyrics of the city’s signature song, but now somebody should call “rewrite.”

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency voted to bar nonresidents’ cars from the crooked part of Lombard Street on Saturday and Sunday afternoons between June 21 and July 13. Last year, the agency banned tour buses from driving by the iconic Painted Ladies on Alamo Square. Thanks to well-heeled city residents who can afford to live in these world-famous properties, San …

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Now Trigger-Happy University Students
  20 May 2014     12:05 am

Academia is hell. In the latest higher-education fad, students want “trigger warnings,” according to The New York Times. It appears that some students are so fragile that they want university staff to protect them from big bad ideas.

Students around the country say they want “explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans.” An Oberlin College draft — now “under revision” — …

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MugShotMary.com vs. BobProtectedRapists.com
  18 May 2014     12:02 am

There are certain elections that make you want to wash your hands before voting. And that usually has something to do with the candidates.

In California’s 10th Senate District, two Democrats who have served in the California Assembly want to fill the state Senate seat of termed-out Ellen Corbett. Former Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi is best-known for her conviction for shoplifting $2,450 worth of clothes at Neiman Marcus in October 2011. She vaguely blamed a “medical condition” for what she termed a “personal mistake.” Does that mean she could not tell right …

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Today’s College Motto: Shut Up Already
  15 May 2014     12:04 am

First the censorious left went after Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born critic of Islam’s treatment of women, after Brandeis University had invited her to receive an honorary degree. Bowing to political correctness, Brandeis rescinded the invitation.

Then the academic mob went after Rutgers’ choice for commencement speaker, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She withdrew. Next, student activists went after International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde — because the IMF is “a primary culprit” in economies of “the world’s poorest countries” — and she bowed out of a speech at Smith …

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Angry White Men — aka Journalists
  13 May 2014     12:03 am

A poll released last week reported that 7 percent of American journalists say they are Republicans. The survey also found that the news force is aging, having a median age of 47. And 62 percent of journalists are men. A mere 8.5 percent of full-timers are minorities. Less than 1 in 4 are “very satisfied” with their job. In short, the profession that dubbed the Republican Party a refuge for “angry white men” is teeming with angry white men.

The irony here is wasted on the ink-stained-wretch community.
Indiana University has conducted …

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What Do the California GOP and the Alamo Share?
  11 May 2014     12:02 am

It tells you how completely California has become a one-party state that practically no one in Sacramento believes that a Republican can beat Gov. Jerry Brown in November. But GOP big shots think it is very important which Republican loses to Brown, 76, in November — former Treasury official Neel Kashkari or Assemblyman Tim Donnelly.

Because Democrats can use the top of the GOP ticket to gin up anger and turn out liberal voters, the GOP consultant class has rallied round Kashkari. He has the endorsement of GOP heavyweights — Mitt …

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Monica’s Emancipation Proclamation
  8 May 2014     12:03 am

“It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress,” Monica Lewinsky, now 40, writes in a Vanity Fair essay due for digital release today. All I can say is: You go, girl.

The 1998 revelation of L’Affaire Lewinsky and its fallout should have made one thing clear to American women. Forget “You’ve come a long way, baby.” When husbands cheat, the other woman usually ends up the odd man out.
Bill Clinton’s presidency and poll ratings survived his self-serving definition of sex. Hillary Clinton had to live with her husband’s …

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Forgive and Forget Benghazi, Dude
  6 May 2014     12:03 am

“Dude, this was, like, two years ago.” Thus spake former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor on Thursday after Fox News Channel anchorman Bret Baier asked him whether he had been involved in changing talking points to prepare then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice for Sunday talk shows in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi, Libya, attacks that left four Americans dead. Vietor explained that he should not be expected to remember something as “mundane” as “the process of editing talking points.”

It would be easier to …

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Freed Prisoner of the Drug War
  4 May 2014     12:02 am

MOBILE, Ala. — “That situation didn’t define who I was,” Clarence Aaron, 45, told a group gathered for a weekend celebration at the Mobile high school he attended about two decades ago. When, at age 24, he found himself in federal prison in 1993 — after he was convicted and sentenced to life without parole for a first-time nonviolent drug offense — he felt what he called the “stigma.” But the former LeFlore High varsity football star refused to give in to the bitterness of receiving a life sentence while …

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If Lethal Injection Is Torture, Who’s Responsible?
  2 May 2014     12:02 am

News reports this week were filled with lamentations from death penalty opponents about the messy and unnecessarily painful execution of Oklahoma’s Clayton Lockett. As Andrew Cohen wrote in The Atlantic, Oklahoma corrections officials “were using an untested mix of lethal drugs, never previously used in that dosage combination, obtained through secret means, which precluded the possibility of oversight from attorneys or medical officials on the quality of the drugs. They were warned by medical experts, and asked by defense attorneys, to open up the process to review — by the …

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Can’t We Share the Love?
  27 Apr 2014     12:02 am

If ever there was a city built on the bedrock belief that the government should stay out of the bedroom, it is San Francisco — unless you own the bedroom. Then you are not free to do whatever you want with the bedroom, because people who are not owners control what you can do with your own property.

Ergo, if you want to rent out a spare bedroom in your flat or, Goddess forbid, a standalone unit to tourists via Airbnb, VRBO or a similar platform, you might run into the …

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Cruder Than Alberta Tar Sands
  24 Apr 2014     12:04 am

According to experts cited by The New York Times, President Barack Obama’s eventual decision on the Keystone XL pipeline — last week, the administration once again postponed a decision — “will have a marginal impact on global warming emissions.” The global economy releases lots of greenhouse gas — 32.6 billion metric tons of carbon in 2011. The Keystone XL pipeline would add 18.7 million metric tons. In the global greenhouse gas picture, it won’t make a dent.

To the working men and women of America, however, the project represents “a lifeline …

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Overdue Mercy for Low-Level Drug Offenders
  22 Apr 2014     12:04 am

When Barack Obama ran for the White House in 2008, federal inmates and their families believed that if he won, miracles would follow. They were convinced that the former law professor and critic of federal mandatory minimum sentences would be liberal with his unfettered constitutional power to free low-level and nonviolent offenders sentenced to decades, even life without parole, behind bars.

Then, for the next five years, criminal lawyers and reformers stood around scratching their heads, wondering why Obama held the worst pardon record of any modern president. He commuted one …

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I See Rich People
  20 Apr 2014     12:02 am

In the “Star Trek” movies, San Francisco serves as headquarters of Starfleet Command. This cracks me up to no end, as I cannot imagine the Board of Supervisors approving construction of Starfleet Academy or the oddly shaped high-rises you see in the background. And if City Hall somehow did approve the project, you know there’d be some ballot measure to kill the deal. The grounds could be endless: No photon torpedoes. Too many techies already. What about affordable housing?

In many ways, San Francisco is a museum. It’s a city that …

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District of Compensation, Just and Otherwise
  17 Apr 2014     12:05 am

Pete Stark’s name didn’t come up Tuesday night at the Castro Valley Library candidates forum for the congressional district Stark represented from 1972 to 2012. The fact that nobody seemed to miss the California Democrat should serve as a warning to politicians who think they own their seats. So thought Stark, until fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell knocked him off his perch in 2012, thanks in part to California’s top-two primary election.

This go-round, Swalwell is the incumbent. Termed-out state Sen. Ellen Corbett is his Democratic challenger. Against the odds, Alameda County …

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Nevada Showdown: All Hat, No Cattle
  15 Apr 2014     12:05 am

Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and his well-armed supporters forced the well-armed federal government to back down and return Bundy’s seized cows — which were seized because Bundy, 67, stopped paying grazing fees in 1993. How does anyone get the government to back down?

At first blush, Bundy seemed to have right on his side. He’s a cowboy who just wants to keep being a cowboy.
The federal government, which owns more than 80 percent of Nevada land, including the land on which the Bundy family had settled, threatened to put him …

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Government Can’t Say No
  13 Apr 2014     12:02 am

The Social Security Disability Insurance program is in big trouble. In 2016, the program’s trust fund is expected to run out of money. When that happens, there will be “large across-the-board cuts for all beneficiaries,” warn James Lankford, the Republican chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees entitlements, and Jackie Speier, the subcommittee’s ranking Democrat. Those cuts will be painful for the “truly disabled,” whom the system originally was designed to serve.

Washington has a choice to make: provide for the truly disabled or the newly disabled.
The definition of disability was …

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