Local columns

President Trump’s bad week

WASHINGTON — In an ideal world, the president of the United States would succeed in negotiating a nuclear arms treaty with a foreign government — and do so with full congressional support; his lawyer would respect the attorney-client privilege and not reveal confidences publicly; Congress ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, March 9, the 68th day of 2019. There are 297 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 9, 1933, Congress, called into special session by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, began its “hundred days” of ...

Peace begins with a smile

WASHINGTON —”Peace,” we were told by Mother Teresa, “begins with a smile.” Smiles have been very scarce in American political life lately. What follows is a modest attempt to encourage a smile or two. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who first ran for president in 1987, has been ...

A different kind of freshman marks Pelosi’s new majority

WASHINGTON (AP) — It wasn’t exactly a mic-drop moment. But when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi abruptly ended a conversation as a freshman lawmaker no longer seemed to be listening, it showed just how far the Democratic leader and the new majority have to go in getting used to each other. A ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, March 8, the 67th day of 2019. There are 298 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 8, 1702, England’s Queen Anne acceded to the throne upon the death of King William III. On this date: In 1618, ...

Enough snow already

TRAVERSE CITY — As I write this, it has now snowed for 4,765 days in a row, by my estimate. Of course, I’ve been known to get a little nuts about winter this time of year, so I could be off by three or four thousand. But it certainly feels true. - I know, I know. Take some Vitamin D. Sit ...

Bibi and Trump agonistes

WASHINGTON — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing indictment on charges of fraud, corruption, breach of trust and bribery. He’s also running for re-election, and with less than six weeks until ballots are scheduled to be cast in Israel, some have raised suspicions of a ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, March 7, the 66th day of 2019. There are 299 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 7, 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered his troops to march into the Rhineland, thereby breaking the Treaty of Versailles ...

Is the American Century over for good?

WASHINGTON — “Politics stops at the water’s edge” was a tradition that, not so long ago, was observed by both parties, particularly when a president was abroad, speaking for the nation. The tradition was enunciated by Sen. Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan in 1947, as many of the ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, March 6, the 65th day of 2019. There are 300 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 6, 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Dred Scott v. Sandford, ruled 7-2 that Scott, a slave, was not an American citizen ...

America has already fired Trump

BERKELEY — Special counsel Robert Mueller’s soon-to-be-delivered report will trigger months of congressional investigations, subpoenas, court challenges, partisan slugfests, media revelations and more desperate conspiracy claims by Donald Trump, all against the backdrop of the burning ...

Bill Clinton has 2020 advice, but few candidates seeking it

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 20 years after he left the White House, Bill Clinton is still sought after for advice by some Democrats running for president. But the names on his dance card in recent months underscore how much his standing in the party has changed. So far, none of the party’s ...

Almanac

Michigan’s new “Emergency Vehicle Caution Law” — also known as the “Move Over Law” — took effect this month. Drivers now must slow to 10 mph below the posted speed limit when passing any stopped emergency vehicle: ambulances, police cruisers, fire trucks or wreckers. Anyone who ...

Schultz would spoil today’s party duopoly?

WASHINGTON — As an upbeat Howard Schultz tucked into lunch here recently he was having a good week because Democrats were having an awful one. The former Starbucks CEO, who is contemplating a plunge into politics, knows that his narrow path to the presidency as an independent depends on the ...

White House steps up ‘socialism’ attack on Dems

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the White House gears up for the 2020 campaign, it’s pressing the case that Democrats are rallying behind what it’s calling the policies of “socialism.” Trying to portray Democrats as out of step with ordinary Americans, Vice President Mike Pence said in a ...

Welfare for the rich

NEW YORK — When I hear “welfare payments,” I think “poor people.” But America’s biggest welfare recipients are often politically connected corporations — like America’s sugar producers. The industry gets billions of dollars in special deals while deceitfully running ads ...

Gun violence is the real emergency

WASHINGTON — Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a group of supporters and journalists that in her view, gun violence is the real emergency. Such a statement, in the context in which she made it, should send shivers down the spines of all who believe in personal liberty ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, March 2, the 61st day of 2019. There are 304 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 2, 1933, the motion picture “King Kong” had its world premiere at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and the ...

Nobody knows who will be the nominees

WASHINGTON — Peter D. Hart, the respected Democratic pollster who has perfected his trade through his work in the past 15 presidential campaigns, candidly warns against the predictive value of polls taken this far ahead of any presidential election. At this stage, so long before voters ...

Kudos to Dianne Feinstein

WASHINGTON — Here’s a sentence I never thought I would write: Dianne Feinstein was right. A small group of middle- and high-school children from the San Francisco Bay area visited the Democratic senator from California last week to demand she support the “Green New Deal,” a collection ...