Local columns

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Friday, Jan. 22, the 22nd day of 2016. There are 344 days left in the year.Today's Highlights in History:On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade decision, legalized abortions using a trimester approach. Former President Lyndon ...

Gov. Snyder — he should resign

FLINT - What the heck, I might as well start my new website (andrewheller.com) off with a bang: I think Gov. Snyder should step down for his role in the Flint water emergency.And not because it happened in the first place but because he's proven by his dead turtle response that A) he doesn't ...

Too big to fail: The sequel?

WASHINGTON - Movie sequels are rarely as good as the original films on which they're based. The same dictum, it appears, holds for finance. The 2008 housing market collapse was bad enough, but it appears now that we're on the verge of experiencing it all again. And the financial sequel, working ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Thursday, Jan. 21, the 21st day of 2016. There are 345 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Jan. 21, 1976, British Airways and Air France inaugurated scheduled passenger service on the supersonic Concorde jet.On this date:In 1793, ...

What are elections for?

WASHINGTON - After months of watching all sorts of political polls, we are finally just a few weeks away from actually beginning to see some voting in primary elections. Polls let people vent their emotions. But elections are held to actually accomplish something.The big question is whether the ...

Bernie’s plan to bust up Wall Street

BERKELEY - If you haven't yet seen "The Big Short" - directed and co-written by Adam McKay, based on the nonfiction prize-winning book by Michael Lewis about the housing and credit bubble that triggered the Great Recession - I recommend you do so.Not only is the movie an enjoyable (if that's ...

How They Voted

Senate Bill 90, Create African-American Affairs Commission: Passed 34 to 2 in the SenateTo create an Office of African-American Affairs in the state Department of Civil Rights, and a government African-American Affairs Commission consisting of 15 political appointees who have "a particular ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Tuesday, Jan. 19, the 19th day of 2016. There are 347 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Jan. 19, 1966, Indira Gandhi was chosen to be prime minister of India by the National Congress party. (Gandhi, a powerful as well as ...

Rubio’s record of misjudgment

WASHINGTON - What boxer Sonny Liston's manager said of him (Sonny had his good points, the trouble was his bad points) is true of Marco Rubio. His strengths include intelligence, articulateness and, usually, cheerfulness. His misjudgments involve, in ascending order of importance, the Senate ...

Clinton reaching back into 2008 playbook

WASHINGTON (AP) - Challenged anew by Bernie Sanders, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is reverting to some of the same themes - even strikingly similar attack lines - from her 2008 primary loss to Barack Obama.Clinton is leaning hard on an experience-above-all-else argument, ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Monday, Jan. 18, the 18th day of 2016. There are 348 days left in the year. This is the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.Today's Highlight in History:On Jan. 18, 1911, the first landing of an aircraft on a ship took place as pilot Eugene B. Ely ...

Bettors know better than pundits

NEW YORK - Want to know who the next president will be?Don't trust polls or pundits. Betting odds at ElectionBettingOdds.com are the best predictor of who will win any election.Pundits have a terrible track record. Last election, Newt Gingrich and Dick Morris forecast a Romney "landslide." Rush ...

Out of (gun) control

WASHINGTON - I'm still waiting; waiting for someone to show me how laws stop a person intent on breaking them.Daily on the roads I see people breaking speed limits despite the possibility that cameras will catch them and send a ticket in the mail.In one of his last gasp efforts to ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Saturday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2016. There are 350 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Jan. 16, 1991, the White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. (Allied forces prevailed ...

The Constitution, the President and Guns

WASHINGTON - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." - Second Amendment to the U.S. ConstitutionIn 2008, the Supreme Court laid to rest the once-simmering dispute over the meaning of the ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Friday, Jan. 15, the 15th day of 2016. There are 351 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Jan. 15, 1976, Sara Jane Moore was sentenced to life in prison for her attempt on the life of President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco. ...

Dispiriting times in Michigan

FLINT - Whether you're a Republican, a Democrat or someone who doesn't give a rat's patoot about the ugly game of politics, this has been one lousy, dispiriting week to be a citizen of Michigan.It began with Senate Bill 571, a campaign finance bill that, as many read it, prohibits schools, ...

Underdog candidates keep powering along

PARKERSBURG, Iowa (AP) - Running as an underdog presidential candidate isn't always glamorous.You speak to half-filled halls and small rooms, low-key rallies. There may not be a bus emblazoned with your smiling face. And then there are the rally-goers who blatantly say they aren't quite ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Thursday, Jan. 14, the 14th day of 2016. There are 352 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Jan. 14, 1966, Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue in Manhattan were converted from two-way to one-way streets to improve traffic flow. (To ...

Showman-in-Chief

WASHINGTON - Those who have been marveling at Donald Trump's political showmanship were given a reminder of who is the top showman of them all, when President Barack Obama went on television to make a pitch for his unilateral actions to restrict gun sales and make a more general case for ...