Local columns

Is Democracy on the way down?

WASHINGTON — “The Western democratic system is hailed by the developed world as near perfect and the most superior political system to run a country,” mocked China’s official new agency. “However, what’s happening in the United States today will make more people worldwide reflect ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 2018. There are 341 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to ...

Al Capone lives!

WASHINGTON — “You can get a lot farther with a smile and a gun than you can with just a smile.” This quote has often been attributed to the late Chicago mobster Al Capone, who with his fellow organized crime buddies used extortion as one of their tactics to get what they wanted. ...

No euphemisms for conduct unbecoming a president

BERKELEY — Now that Donald Trump has been president for a year, it’s time the media call his behavior what it is rather than try to normalize it. Here are the six most misleading media euphemisms for conduct unbecoming a president. 1. Calling Trump’s tweets “presidential ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2018. There are 342 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 23, 1968, North Korea seized the U.S. Navy intelligence ship USS Pueblo, commanded by Lloyd “Pete” Bucher, charging ...

Don’t mess with ‘The Bachelor’

TRAVERSE CITY — “The Bachelor” is on again, which is wonderful. No, I don’t “like” the show. I’m a guy. If I liked the show I’d have to turn in my man card. But I do really, really, really like messing with the lovely yet formidable Marcia, a lifelong feminist who, oddly enough, ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2018. There are 345 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, pledging emphatically to empower ...

‘Always proud he was my President’

WASHINGTON — Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, who created the international scholarship program that bears his name and that has produced 59 Nobel Prize winners among its estimated 360,000 alumni, was not, for entirely legitimate reasons, a humble man. Admitted to the University of ...

Cutting a hole in the 4th Amendment, again

WASHINGTON — Hidden beneath the controversy stirred up last week by the publication of a book called “Fire and Fury,” a highly critical insider’s view of the Trump White House that the president has not only denounced on national television but also tried to prevent from being published ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Jan. 19, the 19th day of 2018. There are 346 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 19, 1953, CBS-TV aired the widely watched episode of “I Love Lucy” in which Lucy Ricardo, played by Lucille Ball, gave ...

Selling hate to America

NEW YORK — Who will warn Americans about hate groups? The media know: the Southern Poverty Law Center. SPLC, based in Alabama, calls itself “the premier” group monitoring hate. Give us money, they say, and they will “fight the hate that thrives in our country.” I once believed ...

In immigration debate, race matters

WASHINGTON — President Trump “said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist. ... I cannot believe ... any president has ever spoken the words that I ... heard our president speak yesterday.” So wailed Sen. Dick Durbin after departing the White House. And what caused the ...

Big decisions await Congress on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — Before a potential government shutdown at midnight Friday night, a host of leftover Washington business is bottled up in Congress, waiting on a deal to prevent the deportation of young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children and an agreement on other ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Jan. 18, the 18th day of 2018. There are 347 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Jan. 18, 1943, during World War II, Jewish insurgents in the Warsaw Ghetto launched their initial armed resistance against ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Jan. 17, the 17th day of 2018. There are 348 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Jan. 17, 1893, Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown as a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Lili’uokalani ...

How merit-based college admissions became so unfair

WASHINGTON — During World War I, chemist James Conant was deeply involved in research on what was considered the worst imaginable weapon: poison gas. During World War II, as a science adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt, Conant was so central to the development of the atomic bomb that he ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, Jan. 15, the 15th day of 2018. There are 350 days left in the year. This is the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 15, 1943, work was completed on the Pentagon, the headquarters of the ...

Why does anyone care about the Royals?

TRAVERSE CITY — What is it with some people and the British royal family? Some kid of one of them started preschool or something this week and they couldn’t get enough: “Look! How cute!” Cute, sure, but the kid’s just going to nursery school to finger paint and pull hair. So why does ...

Punish poor people

NEW YORK — Store owner Kamal Saleh was just hit with thousands of dollars in fines. His crime? He sold three cigars for $8.89. “Too cheap!” say New York City bureaucrats. “The cigars should have cost 11 cents more.” Politicians want you to spend more for tobacco. They decided ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Jan. 13, the 13th day of 2018. There are 352 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 13, 1968, country singer Johnny Cash performed and recorded a pair of shows at Folsom State Prison in California; ...