Local columns

The 15 warnings signs of tyranny

BERKELEY — As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically: 1. Exaggerate their mandate to govern — claiming, for example, that they won an election by a landslide even after losing the popular vote. 2. Repeatedly claim massive voter fraud in the absence of any evidence, in order ...

Countdown for Trump

FLINT — Sorry, Trump doesn’t get to get away with the same sleight-of-tongue tricks he did during the election. He’s going to be president in a few days. The bar is higher now. That means he doesn’t get to call news he doesn’t like “fake news.” (The truth is we don’t know yet ...

Americans will get the Trump they elected

WASHINGTON (AP) — After 10 weeks, dozens of tweets and one rollicking news conference, Donald Trump’s transition into the White House has left little doubt that the man Americans elected in November is the president they’ll get. The immense responsibilities of the office and the ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Jan. 17, the 17th day of 2017. There are 348 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 17, 1917, Denmark ceded the Virgin Islands to the United States for $25 million. On this date: In 1893, the 19th ...

Trademark Office’s assault on free speech

WASHINGTON — In 1929, Chief Justice William Howard Taft convinced Congress to finance construction of “a building of dignity and importance” for the Supreme Court. He could not have imagined what the court will ponder during oral arguments this Wednesday. The case concerns the name of an ...

Ben Carson: Role model

WASHINGTON — During his Senate confirmation hearing, Dr. Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development-designate, told a story. He said his mother was a domestic who cleaned beautiful homes. One day she asked him if he would rather live in those nice houses or the house in which he ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2017. There are 349 days left in the year. This is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 16, 1942, actress Carole Lombard, 33, her mother, Elizabeth, and 20 other ...

Worst of Times

NEW YORK — Now that I no longer do a weekly TV show, I have more time to read my local paper. Sadly, that’s The New York Times. The Times actually does some good reporting, but their political and economic coverage is filled with deceit. Can I find deceit every day? You bet. Take a look ...

Not so Golden Globes

WASHINGTON — Meryl Streep has played many roles in her long career and holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations of any actor. Among her portrayals was British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. At the Golden Globe Awards Sunday night, Streep behaved as if she actually had been ...

For GOP, the Year of Living Nervously

WASHINGTON — Outspent by nearly a 2-1 ratio by Hillary Clinton and conspicuously not endorsed by the two most recent Republican presidents or the two most recent Republican presidential nominees, Donald Trump was still able to capture six states Democrat Barack Obama had twice carried — ...

Obama’s unforced errors on foreign policy

WASHINGTON — When Barack Obama moves two miles from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to 2446 Belmont Road in Washington’s Kalorama neighborhood, he will live half a mile from 2340 S Street, where Woodrow Wilson spent his three post-presidential years. Wilson’s embittering foreign policy failure ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Jan. 13, the 13th day of 2017. There are 352 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 13, 1967, the Rolling Stones’ double-A sided single “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday” ...

Just mouthing the words

FLINT — Many people are having a great time making fun of Mariah Carey, the pop diva whose New Year’s Eve performance went kerplop when technical difficulties made it clear her performance was lip-synced. Every news show on the planet delighted in replaying the disaster. And of course ...

Russian hacking and glass houses

WASHINGTON — Many top U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a secret intelligence operation for the purpose of discrediting Hillary Clinton, thereby helping Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election. Hillary Clinton has done more to ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Jan. 12, the 12th day of 2017. There are 353 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 12, 1910, at a White House dinner hosted by President William Howard Taft, Baroness Rosen, wife of the Russian ...

The Titanic has set sail

WASHINGTON — Over the New Year’s weekend, President Barack Obama’s chief policy adviser and closest strategist, Valerie Jarrett, told a talk show host that her boss would have a happy legacy because there was an absence of scandal in his administration. When first I heard this ...

Despite woes Obamacare not in ‘death spiral’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump says that President Barack Obama’s health care law “will fall of its own weight.” House Speaker Paul Ryan says the law is “in what the actuaries call a death spiral.” And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that “by nearly ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Jan. 11, the 11th day of 2017. There are 354 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 11, 1927, the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was proposed during a dinner of Hollywood ...

Chicago carnage: What can be done?

WASHINGTON — Chicago has come a long way from the idealized lyric “my kind of town, Chicago is,” which Frank Sinatra made famous. True, Chicago has a history of gangland murders going back to the days of Al Capone, but 2016 set a new and lamentable record. According to CNN, citing ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Jan. 10, the 10th day of 2017. There are 355 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Jan. 10, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his State of the Union address, asked Congress to impose a surcharge on ...