Local columns

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Nov. 16, the 320th day of 2018. There are 45 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 16, 1933, the United States and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations. On this date: In 1776, British ...

Here’s how we fix things

TRAVERSE CITY — After losing his job in the Nov. 6 election, Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, wanted a recount because the vote was close but he couldn’t get one because of a new state law that only allows recounts in races lost by more than 1 percent. Walker lost by 1.2 ...

What will the Dems do with their new House?

WASHINGTON — The Democratic Party has won control of the House of Representatives. Its members effectively will be able to block all legislation that the Senate passes and the president wants. They also will be able to unleash their subpoena power mercilessly on the executive branch. Will the ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Nov. 15, the 319th day of 2018. There are 46 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 15, 1864, during the Civil War, Union forces led by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman began their “March to the Sea” from ...

The war for the soul of America

WASHINGTON — The war in Washington will not end until the presidency of Donald Trump ends. Everyone seems to sense that now. This is a fight to the finish. A postelection truce that began with Trump congratulating House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — “I give her a great deal of credit ...

What’s wrong with Florida elections?

MIAMI — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) had the best line when it comes to the latest Florida election in which contests for governor and the U.S. Senate are still undecided. Rubio tweeted: “Bay County was hit by a Cat 4 Hurricane just 4 weeks ago, yet managed to count votes & submit timely ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Nov. 14, the 318th day of 2018. There are 47 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 14, 1970, a chartered Southern Airways DC-9 crashed while trying to land in West Virginia, killing all 75 people on ...

America has rejected Trumpism

BERKELEY — Make no mistake: America has rejected Trumpism. No one seriously expected the Senate to flip, because Democrats had to defend 26 seats in that chamber, compared with only nine held by Republicans. The real battleground was the House, where Democrats had to achieve a net gain of ...

Democratic gains may mean tighter gun, looser pot laws

By The Associated Press From New York to New Mexico, residents in a number of states can expect a leftward push for expanded health care coverage, gun control, education funding and legalized recreational marijuana as Democrats who gained new or stronger powers in the midterm elections seek to ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Nov. 13, the 317th day of 2018. There are 48 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 13, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18. On this ...

Political antibodies strengthening the nation

WASHINGTON — America’s body politic has recently been scarred by excruciating political shingles, and 2018 campaigning was equivalent to acid reflux. But Tuesday’s elections indicated that some political antibodies are strengthening the nation’s immune system. Tuesday was, on ...

How They Voted

Senate Bill 477, Mandate 10 mph speed reduction when passing emergency vehicles: Passed 34 to 0 in the Senate To require drivers to slow to 10 mph below the posted speed limit when passing police or emergency vehicles on the side of the road, and also require this when passing roadside tow ...

Gamblers have the best track record

NEW YORK — Republicans held the Senate! Democrats took the House but by a narrower margin! Did I just embarrass myself? I write this Election Day morning, before most polling places even opened. I don’t know the actual results, of course. But I’ll pretend I do because I trust the ...

Will the moment seize Democrats?

WASHINGTON — We are about to find out whether Democrats meant it when they lamented the loss of civility in Washington. Having won the majority in the House of Representatives in Tuesday’s election, will they cooperate with Republicans and “reach across the aisle,” or will they pander ...

You can’t choose your relatives

WASHINGTON — George Mitchell, a former federal judge and Senate majority leader, was the chief negotiator of the Good Friday Agreement, which brought to a peaceable end 30 years of civil war in Northern Ireland. He was a kid from Waterville, Maine, whose father was the orphaned son of Irish ...

How They Voted

With the Legislature holding intermittent sessions during the general election campaign season, the Roll Call Report completes its review of key votes from the 2017-2018 session. Senate Bill 897, Impose work requirement on able-bodied Medicaid recipients: Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate on ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Nov. 9, the 313th day of 2018. There are 52 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 9, 1938, Nazis looted and burned synagogues as well as Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria in a pogrom or ...

The dreaded exclamation point

TRAVERSE CITY — When it comes to the English language, there are three rules that newspaper reporters typically follow: 1) Never use an Oxford comma. If you don’t know what that is, I’m reluctant to tell you in case you’ll start using them, but what the heck: An Oxford comma is the ...

Ending birthright citizenship

WASHINGTON — In 2004, nearly 80 percent of Irish voters decided to end birthright citizenship. In its coverage the BBC said, “The government said change was needed because foreign women were travelling to Ireland to give birth in order to get an EU passport for their babies.” In 1986, ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Nov. 8, the 312th day of 2018. There are 53 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 8, 2016, Republican Donald Trump was elected America’s 45th president, defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton in an ...