Local columns

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today is Thursday, Aug. 10, the 222nd day of 2017. There are 143 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 10, 1977, postal employee David Berkowitz was arrested in Yonkers, New York, accused of being “Son of Sam,” the gunman who killed ...

Is Trump’s Russia policy being hijacked?

WASHINGTON — In crafting the platform in Cleveland on which Donald Trump would run, America Firsters inflicted a major defeat on the War Party. The platform committee rejected a plank to pull us deeper into Ukraine, by successfully opposing new U.S. arms transfers to Kiev. Improved ...

Common sense uncommon in Washington

WASHINGTON — “Sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.” — Dictionary.com’s definition of common sense. Sometimes what used to be called “common sense” can seem radical in Washington, which is used ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, Aug. 9, the 221st day of 2017. There are 144 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 9, 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, a U.S. B-29 Superfortress code-named Bockscar dropped a nuclear device ...

Trump reeling from Affordable Care Act loss

BERKELEY — The demise of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act is hardly the end of the story. Donald Trump will not let this loss stand. Since its inception in 2010, Republicans have made the Affordable Care Act a symbol of Obama-Clinton overreach — part of a supposed ...

What the world needs now

WASHINGTON — Insidious is the force that causes us to dream of things we wish (or don’t wish) were so. Thus, on the eve of this column’s creation, I dreamt of Donald J. Trump. We were seated at a dinner table for eight, but the other six chairs were empty. We spoke of many things, from ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Aug. 8, the 220th day of 2017. There are 145 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon, facing damaging new revelations in the Watergate scandal, announced he would resign ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, Aug. 7, the 219th day of 2017. There are 146 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 7, 1942, U.S. and other allied forces landed at Guadalcanal, marking the start of the first major allied offensive in ...

What if some spies are bad guys?

WASHINGTON — What if the federal government captures in real time the contents of every telephone call, email and text message and all the fiber-optic data generated by every person and entity in the United States 24/7/365? What if this mass surveillance was never authorized by any federal ...

The GOP’s Southern Gothic page-turner

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Southern Gothic is a literary genre and, occasionally, a political style that, like the genre, blends strangeness and irony. Consider the current primary campaign to pick the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. It illuminates, however, not ...

The Trump Budget

NEW YORK — Remember President Trump’s “terrible” budget cuts? “Promises Little but Pain,” warned The New York Times. “Harsh and shortsighted,” cried The Washington Post. Then Congress passed a budget. President Trump signed it. Do you notice the “pain”? I follow the ...

Wars and rumors of wars

WASHINGTON — One month after the election, President-elect Donald Trump made a “victory tour” of states that had helped deliver his surprise win. In Fayetteville, North Carolina, Trump introduced his choice for Secretary of Defense, Gen. James Mattis, and pledged the following: “We ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Aug. 5, the 217th day of 2017. There are 148 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On August 5, 1957, the teenage dance show “American Bandstand,” hosted by Dick Clark, made its network debut on ABC-TV. The ...

Missing case for Republican health care

WASHINGTON — At 2 o’clock on a Friday morning in July — after having successfully run in three national elections on their party’s repeated promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which Barack Obama had spent the first two years of his own presidency (and a lot of political ...

The president is not the enemy

WASHINGTON — The Establishment, a construct of Democrats and Republicans that rules in Washington no matter which party controls government, appears to be over its fainting spell following Donald Trump’s election. It is now throwing everything at him from a daily — make that hourly, even ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Aug. 4, the 216th day of 2017. There are 149 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 4, 1892, businessman Andrew Borden and his wife, Abby, were axed to death in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. ...

We’ll miss privacy once it’s gone

TRAVERSE CITY — A Wisconsin software company is offering to implant microchips into employees’ hands so they can effortlessly make purchases in the break room, open doors, log in to computers, use the copy machine and so forth. My first reaction is “How lazy are these people?” I ...

A clash that should not be

WASHINGTON — During the past two weeks, President Donald Trump has made no secret of his unhappiness at the management of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Actually, Trump seems most agitated at the growing parts of the DOJ that are not under Sessions’ ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Aug. 3, the 215th day of 2017. There are 150 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas. On ...

Shall we fight them all?

WASHINGTON — Saturday, Kim Jong Un tested an ICBM of sufficient range to hit the U.S. mainland. He is now working on its accuracy, and a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop that missile that can survive re-entry. Unless we believe Kim is a suicidal madman, his goal seems clear. He ...