Local columns

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Saturday, Feb. 27, the 58th day of 2016. There are 308 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Feb. 27, 1991, Operation Desert Storm came to a conclusion as President George H.W. Bush declared that "Kuwait is liberated, Iraq's army is defeated," and ...

In defense of George Wallace

WASHINGTON - David Boaz of the libertarian Cato Institute - which champions individual liberty, limited government, peace and free markets - has been outspoken in his criticism of 2016 Republican front-runner Donald J Trump: "Not since George Wallace has there been a presidential candidate who ...

The lure of socialism

WASHINGTON - Many people of mature years are amazed at how many young people have voted for Senator Bernie Sanders, and are enthusiastic about the socialism he preaches.Many of those older people have lived long enough to have seen socialism fail, time and again, in countries around the world. ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Friday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2016. There are 309 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Feb. 26, 1916, actor-comedian Jackie Gleason was born in Brooklyn, New York.On this date:In 1616, astronomer Galileo Galilei met with a Roman Inquisition ...

Flying the unfriendly skies

FLINT - February is the worst month. I'm sick of winter. Spring seems an eternity away. Everything puts me in a bad mood. Especially TV commercials. I don't know why. They just do. I find myself talking back to the TV saying things like "Good grief, lady, I don't want to hear about your leakage ...

Social Security, joblessness top economic concerns

WASHINGTON (AP) - Finally, something that polarized Americans can agree on.Ask people what economic issues will be important for the next president, and Democrats, Republicans and independents alike all put a high priority on protecting Social Security and reducing unemployment.Beyond that, ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Thursday, Feb. 25, the 56th day of 2016. There are 310 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Feb. 25, 1986, President Ferdinand Marcos fled the Philippines after 20 years of rule in the wake of a tainted election; Corazon Aquino assumed the ...

Tragedy and Choices

WASHINGTON - Amid the petty bickering, loud rhetoric and sordid attack ads in this year's primary election campaigns, the death of a giant - Justice Antonin Scalia - suddenly overshadows all of that.The vacancy created on the Supreme Court makes painfully clear the huge stakes involved when we ...

For Dems, health care issue now divides

WASHINGTON (AP) - Health care for all. It's a goal that tugs at the heartstrings of Democrats, but pursuing it usually invites political peril.Now Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are clashing over this core question for liberals, making it a wedge issue in the party's presidential ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Wednesday, Feb. 24, the 55th day of 2016. There are 311 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Feb. 24, 1868, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson following his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. ...

The death of the Republican Party

BERKELEY - I'm writing to you today to announce the death of the Republican Party. It is no longer a living, vital, animate organization.It died in 2016. RIP.It has been replaced by warring tribes:Evangelicals opposed to abortion, gay marriage and science.Libertarians opposed to any government ...

Antonin Scalia’s successor

WASHINGTON - Few people in modern history have fulfilled their oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution" more than the late Justice Antonin Scalia.Scalia was so well respected that the Senate voted 98-0 in 1986 to confirm him. These days it would be difficult to get a unanimous ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Tuesday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2016. There are 312 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Feb. 23, 1836, the siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.On this date:In 1848, the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, died ...

Executive overreach meets resistance

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."- Newton's Third Law of MotionWASHINGTON - Notice the Newtonian physics of America's Madisonian system. Barack Obama's Woodrow Wilsonian hostility to the separation of powers, expressed in his executive authoritarianism, is provoking ...

How They Voted

Senate Bill 599, Revise, increase register of deeds fees: Passed 31 to 7 in the SenateTo authorize a flat $30 fee for recording a document with a register of deeds regardless of how many pages, instead of the current charge of $8 plus $3 for each additional page. The bill also increases related ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Monday, Feb. 22, the 53rd day of 2016. There are 313 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Feb. 22, 1732 (New Style date), the first president of the United States, George Washington, was born in Westmoreland County in the Virginia Colony.On this ...

The future of robot cars

NEW YORK - The Tesla S is the closest thing to a totally driverless car available now. I had to leave my state to test-drive it. New York's archaic laws forbid taking both hands off the wheel.Once outside New York, the Tesla representative in the passenger seat had me turn on the ...

GOP candidates pushing, maneuvering hard in South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio are locked in a high-stakes political chess match in South Carolina, strategically moving money and other campaign resources around in a bid to pull ahead in the Republican primary race - or at least keep their campaigns afloat.The ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Saturday, Feb. 20, the 51st day of 2016. There are 315 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Feb. 20, 1816, the opera buffa "The Barber of Seville" by Gioachino Rossini premiered at the Teatro Argentina in Rome under its original ...

Make America great again — at torture!

WASHINGTON - The undisputed front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination who, like every other remaining 2016 contender, never volunteered to serve in the nation's military, has nevertheless repeatedly promised to make America great again - in the use of torture.In the last ...