Local columns

A diminishing president is a good thing

WASHINGTON — Looking, as prudent people are disinclined to do, on the bright side, there are a few vagrant reasons for cheerfulness, beginning with this: Summer love is sprouting like dandelions. To the list of history’s sublime romances — Abelard and Heloise, Romeo and Juliet, Elizabeth ...

Democrats’ ‘better deal’ is a raw deal

WASHINGTON — Theodore Roosevelt offered Americans a “Square Deal.” His fifth cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, gave us “The New Deal.” Modern Democrats, who have lost election after election, are now offering the country “A Better Deal.” Speaking in Berryville, Virginia, a small ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, July 31, the 212th day of 2017. There are 153 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 31, 1777, during the Revolutionary War, the Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, was made a major-general ...

$2 Million Bathroom

NEW YORK — Did you see the $2 million dollar bathroom? That’s what New York City government spent to build a “comfort station” in a park. I went to look at it. There were no gold-plated fixtures. It’s just a little building with four toilets and four sinks. I asked park ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, July 29, the 210th day of 2017. There are 155 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 29, 1967, an accidental rocket launch on the deck of the supercarrier USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin resulted in a ...

McCain the Patriot

WASHINGTON — In this unheroic era when prominent American males prove their abiding patriotism by prominently displaying an American flag pin in the lapel of their suit jacket, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., remains seriously out of step. McCain has never been a flag waver. With the steady ...

Transgender ban nod to Christian conservatives

WASHINGTON (AP) — His agenda stalled and his party divided, President Donald Trump veered into the nation’s simmering culture wars by announcing plans to ban transgender people from serving in the military. Much of the political world — prominent conservatives and Trump administration ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, July 28, the 209th day of 2017. There are 156 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On July 28, 1945, a U.S. Army B-25 bomber flying in heavy fog crashed into the 79th floor of New York’s Empire State Building, ...

O.J. Simpson parole hearing reboot

TRAVERSE CITY — If I had been on O.J. Simpson’s parole board, his parole hearing would have gone like this: “Are you willing to admit you killed them?” “No.” “Next!” Ten seconds. Boom. Done. Instead, this killer will once again roam the land. And golf courses. And of course ...

Democrats attempt rebranding with new agenda

By Erica Werner AP Congressional Correspondent WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic leaders believe they lost to President Donald Trump partly because voters don’t know what the party stands for. So they’re trying to rebrand themselves with a new slogan and a populist new agenda as they look ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, July 27, the 208th day of 2017. There are 157 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 27, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to assess the causes of urban rioting, the same ...

Is Iran in our gun sights now?

WASHINGTON — “Iran must be free. The dictatorship must be destroyed. Containment is appeasement and appeasement is surrender.” Thus does our Churchill, Newt Gingrich, dismiss, in dealing with Iran, the policy of containment crafted by George Kennan and pursued by nine U.S. presidents to ...

Porking out with your money

WASHINGTON — Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to eliminate governmental waste and fraud, just released its “2017 Congressional Pig Book,” an annual publication highlighting wasteful government spending that should embarrass each and ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, July 26, the 207th day of 2017. There are 158 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 26, 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party at the ...

The Trump standard

BERKELEY — What did Donald Trump say when confronted with proof that his son jumped at the prospect of meeting with a “Russian government attorney” offering to dish dirt on Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support” for his candidacy? Trump said “many ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, July 25, the 206th day of 2017. There are 159 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 25, 1967, a full-page ad in The Times (of London) called for the legalization of marijuana, saying the law against the ...

Wild blue yonder ain’t what it used to be

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The aircraft arrayed around the spacious lawn of Maxwell Air Force Base, home of the Air University, mostly represent long-retired types. The largest, however, is a glistening B-52 bomber, which represents a still-employed component of the Air Force’s aging fleet: The ...

How They Voted

The Legislature is on a summer break with no sessions scheduled until Aug. 16. Rather than votes this report contains some interesting or noteworthy legislative proposals to amend the constitution. To become law these require a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate and approval by ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, July 24, the 205th day of 2017. There are 160 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 24, 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate by Scottish nobles in favor of her infant son James, who became ...

Loving animals to death

NEW YORK — We need to sell more rhino horns, quickly. That may be the only way to save rhinos from extinction. Today, rhinos vanish because poachers kill them for their horns. Businesses turn their horns into ornaments or quack health potions. Some horns sell for $300,000. No wonder ...