Local columns

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Monday, August 3, the 215th day of 2015. 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 this date:In 1807, former Vice ...

Governed by zealots

WASHINGTON - The government's environmental rules defeat even environmentalists.Thomas Collier is a Democrat who managed environmental policy for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Then he noticed a mining opportunity in Alaska, one he calls "the single largest deposit of gold and silver that is not ...

Earth to Kepler-452b

WASHINGTON - NASA has discovered the answer to all of our problems. It is another planet, a possible twin to Earth that could theoretically sustain life.This revelation could be bigger than Columbus "discovering" America, or Lewis and Clark finding the Northwest Passage.It offers the ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Saturday, August 1, the 213th day of 2015. There are 152 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On August 1, 1975, a 35-nation summit in Finland concluded with the signing of a declaration known as the Helsinki Accords dealing with European security, ...

The importance of the ‘like’ factor

WASHINGTON - Bill Cohen, the former three-term Republican U.S. senator from Maine who served as secretary of defense in Democratic president Bill Clinton's second administration, offered this key to the art of winning tough elections: "I don't care how great your ideas are or how well you can ...

Donors lift Bush’s presidential ambitions

WASHINGTON (AP) - A dozen million-dollar contributors account for at least 10 percent of Jeb Bush's record-setting presidential fundraising haul.The big-money boosters propelled Right to Rise, a super PAC dedicated to helping Bush win the Republican nomination, to its $103 million total in the ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Friday, July 31, the 212th day of 2015. There are 153 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On July 31, 1715, a fleet of Spanish ships carrying gold, silver and jewelry sank during a hurricane off the east Florida coast, scattering most of their ...

The old(der) Andy Heller

FLINT - We were at a mile-long lakeshore park in my hometown where I used to train for cross country in my high school days when life decided to mess with me."Let's go for a jog, bud," I said to Henry.He's 16 now."Um, OK," he said, looking a bit puzzled. We don't usually jog together because I ...

Then & Now: Medicare and Medicaid turn 50 today

WASHINGTON (AP) - When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law on July 30, 1965, Americans 65 and older were the age group least likely to have health insurance."No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine," Johnson said at the ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Thursday, July 30, the 211th day of 2015. There are 154 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a measure creating Medicare, which began operating the following year.On this date:In 1729, Baltimore, ...

Documented Irresponsibility

WASHINGTON - People who entered the United States illegally may be called "undocumented" in politically correct circles, but what is all too well documented is the utter irresponsibility of both political parties in dealing with immigration issues.Both Democratic and Republican administrations ...

Things to consider as Trump dangles 3rd party

WASHINGTON (AP) - A lot of Republicans would like Donald Trump to go away. But not too far.The prospect that Trump might eventually leave the primaries and run for president on his own has started to cast a shadow on the race, reviving memories of Ross Perot, Ralph Nader and the chills their ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Wednesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2015. There are 155 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On July 29, 1890, artist Vincent van Gogh, 37, died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound in Auvers-sur-Oise, France.On this date:In 1588, the ...

Hillary’s Glass-Steagall mistake

BERKELEY - Hillary Clinton recently noted that too many of America's major financial institutions are still too complex and too risky, and she promised to offer plans to rein in excessive risks on Wall Street.Well and good. But apparently she won't propose reinstating a bank break-up law known ...

2016 Republicans use Trump, TV to make debate cut

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Rick Perry is attacking Donald Trump's credibility and branding the billionaire businessman "a cancer on conservatism." Rick Santorum, a conservative stalwart, popped up on a TV program popular with liberals. Lindsey Graham set his cellphone on fire.With the first debate of ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Tuesday, July 28, the 209th day of 2015. There are 156 days left in the year.Today's Highlights in History:On July 28, 1945, a U.S. Army bomber crashed into the 79th floor of New York's Empire State Building, killing 14 people. The U.S. Senate ratified the United ...

Why this should shock no one

WASHINGTON - "...if we come to see ourselves as meat, then meat we shall become." - Leon Kass, M.D., "Toward a More Natural Science"What is most shocking about an undercover video of a conversation between Deborah Nucatola, a Planned Parenthood executive, and two antiabortion activists from the ...

How They Voted

The House and Senate are out for several weeks. Therefore, this report contains several recently introduced bills of interest.Senate Bill 197: Pro-rate Michigan's electoral college presidential votesIntroduced by Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (R), to end the current winner-take-all system of allocating ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Monday, July 27, the 208th day of 2015. There are 157 days left in the year.Today's Highlights in History:On July 27, 1940, Bugs Bunny made his "official" debut in the Warner Bros. animated cartoon "A Wild Hare." Billboard magazine published its first "music ...

The War on Uber

WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton gave a speech warning that the new "sharing economy" of businesses such as the ride-hailing company Uber is "raising hard questions about workplace protections."Democrats hate what labor unions hate, and a taxi drivers' union hates Uber, too. Its NYC website ...