Local columns

Presidential hopefuls take ‘Problem Solver Promise’

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Six presidential hopefuls have found some common ground on the nation's future, according to a bipartisan group created to bridge the divide between Republicans, Democrats and independents.No Labels, formed after the 2010 midterm elections, is asking candidates to embrace ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Wednesday, Jan. 13, the 13th day of 2016. There are 353 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Jan. 13, 1966, Robert C. Weaver was nominated to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Lyndon B. Johnson; Weaver ...

Vicious cycle of wealth and power

BERKELEY - What's at stake this election year? Let me put as directly as I can.America has succumbed to a vicious cycle in which great wealth translates into political power, which generates even more wealth, and even more power.This spiral is most apparent in declining tax rates on ...

Roots and identity

WASHINGTON - Ever since the miniseries "Roots" was shown on ABC in 1977, Americans have demonstrated a keen interest in finding out more about where they came from and the names and circumstances of their ancestors.Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. is fulfilling that longing in ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Tuesday, Jan. 12, the 12th day of 2016. There are 354 days left in the year.Today's Highlights in History:On Jan. 12, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson said in his State of the Union address that the U.S. military should stay in Vietnam until ...

Complicating the Obvious

WASHINGTON - Engineers who design computerized products and services seem to have an almost fanatical determination to avoid using plain English.It is understandable when complicated processes require complicated operations. But when the very simplest things are designed with needless ...

Clinton, Sanders turn to GOP to win Dems

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Hillary Clinton wants you to know that she won't need a "tour of the White House" if she wins the presidency, warning again and again that a Republican in the Oval Office would derail everything the Democrats have achieved.Her main Democratic rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Monday, Jan. 11, the 11th day of 2016. There are 355 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Jan. 11, 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued "Smoking and Health," a report which concluded that "cigarette smoking contributes ...

Politicians without borders

NEW YORK - When driving on treacherous roads, guardrails are useful. If you fall asleep or maybe you're just a bad driver, guardrails may prevent you from going off a cliff.Recently, The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel used the phrase "no political guardrails" to point out how many of ...

Obama’s gun proposals may fall short of goals

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's proposals to tighten gun control rules may not accomplish his goal of keeping guns out of the hands of would-be criminals and those who aren't legally allowed to buy a weapon. In short, that's because the conditions he is changing by executive action ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Saturday, Jan. 9, the ninth day of 2016. There are 357 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Jan. 9, 1916, the World War I Battle of Gallipoli ended after eight months with an Ottoman Empire victory as Allied forces withdrew.On ...

When Americans were exceptional

WASHINGTON - David Brooks, a New York Times columnist and my valued colleague on PBS' "NewsHour," has told of having heard a rebroadcast of "Command Performance," a radio show that went out to U.S. troops everywhere during World War II. This particular show was aired on V-J Day - when the ...

Super PACs prolong presidential campaigns

WASHINGTON (AP) - Jeb Bush's recent cancellation of advertising plans in Iowa and South Carolina was yet another cost-saving step for a down-in-the-polls presidential campaign that had already thinned its staff. If not for his flush super PAC, the Republican might be gone from the contest by ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Friday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2016. There are 358 days left in the year.Today's Highlights in History:On Jan. 8, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his Fourteen Points for lasting peace after World War I. Mississippi became the first ...

Resolutions of the rich and famous

FLINT - In 2016, I resolve to:- "Stop using childish playground taunts and insults against my presidential opponents, even though they really are a bunch of jerks, dummies and losers" - Donald Trump.- "Learn to speak as if I haven't just been shot with a tranquilizer dart" - Ben Carson.- "Take ...

Things to watch in sprint to Iowa’s caucuses

WASHINGTON (AP) - The 2016 presidential election has defied all expectations so far.An enormous field of GOP candidates, still a dozen strong with a month to go before the leadoff Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1. The billionaire outsider who has tapped into the anger and fears of a nervous nation. A ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Thursday, Jan. 7, the seventh day of 2016. There are 359 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Jan. 7, 1789, America held its first presidential election as voters chose electors who, a month later, selected George Washington to be ...

Remembering 2015

WASHINGTON - How shall we remember 2015? Or shall we try to forget it?It is always hard to know when a turning point has been reached, and usually it is long afterwards before we recognize it. However, if 2015 has been a turning point, it may well have marked a turn in a downward direction for ...

Taking stock

WASHINGTON - Taking stock is a tradition observed by Jews at Yom Kippur and others who examine their lives at the end of a year and vow to improve in the new year.One group needs to take stock perhaps more than any other: the mainstream media. They continue to lose readers and viewers, but ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Wednesday, Jan. 6, the sixth day of 2016. There are 360 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Jan. 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his State of the Union address, outlined a goal of "Four Freedoms": Freedom of speech ...