Local columns

Candidates should choose their judicial muse

WASHINGTON - A supremely important presidential issue is being generally neglected because Democrats have nothing interesting to say about it and Republicans differ among themselves about it. Four Supreme Court justices are into the fourth quarters of their potential centuries - Stephen Breyer ...

Doing for yourself

WASHINGTON - A recent New York Times headline read, "Raising Taxes on the Wealthiest Would Pay for Bold Plans." The story says that by soaking the rich "the government could raise large amounts of revenue ... while still allowing them to take home a majority of their income."Nowhere in the ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Monday, Oct. 26, the 299th day of 2015. There are 66 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Oct. 26, 1965, The Beatles received MBE medals as Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II at ...

Forced Silence

WASHINGTON - In a democracy, citizens must be able to criticize their leaders. It's a reason America's founders put free speech in the Bill of Rights. I assumed that right is safe in the United States. So I was shocked to learn what happened in Wisconsin.Before dawn, Deborah Jordahl was ...

Another meeting of unlike minds

WASHINGTON - When President Obama meets in Washington Nov. 9 with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, I would imagine Netanyahu's main concern will be to find out exactly what the U.S. means by "infringement" as it applies to the Iran nuclear agreement. What exactly will the U.S. do ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Saturday, October 24, the 297th day of 2015. There are 68 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On October 24, 1945, the United Nations officially came into existence as its charter took effect.On this date:In 1537, Jane Seymour, the third wife of ...

The guns everywhere bill

FLINT - Sometimes you have to fight crazy with crazy and literal with literal, so I have a few changes in mind for the latest Michigan Senate's latest bit of nuttiness.If you missed it, a Senate committee just passed a measure - derisively called the "guns everywhere" bill by wussies, liberals ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Thursday, October 22, the 295th day of 2015. There are 70 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On Oct. 22, 1962, in a nationally broadcast address, President John F. Kennedy revealed the presence of Soviet-built missile bases under construction in ...

After debate, voters say Clinton most electable

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats appear to be rallying around Hillary Rodham Clinton after her command performance in the party's first presidential debate, with strong majorities viewing her favorably and more saying she can win the White House than any of her rivals, a new Associated Press-GfK ...

Open season on the police

WASHINGTON - In recent months there have been a series of cases reported in the media, where some teenage thug - white, black or Hispanic in different cases - has been stopped by a policeman for some routine violation of the law and, instead of complying with lawful instructions, such as "show ...

Dems embrace Obama legacy despite risks

WASHINGTON (AP) - If the recent Republican presidential debates have revealed hobbling breaks in the party, the Democrats' first political X-ray showed a couple of hairline fractures.The five Democrats on the debate stage last week in Las Vegas offered a relatively - and surprisingly - unified ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Wednesday, October 21, the 294th day of 2015. There are 71 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On October 21, 1892, schoolchildren across the U.S. observed Columbus Day (according to the Gregorian calendar) by reciting, for the first time, the ...

What to do about big banks?

BERKELEY - Giant Wall Street banks continue to threaten the well-being of millions of Americans, but what to do?Bernie Sanders says break them up and resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act that once separated investment banking from commercial banking.Hillary Clinton says charge them a bit more and ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Tuesday, October 20, the 293rd day of 2015. There are 72 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On October 20, 1965, in one of the more colorful moments of his presidency, Lyndon B. Johnson, recovering from gall bladder surgery at Bethesda Naval ...

Is economic equality a moral imperative?

WASHINGTON - America is more distant from the 1933 beginning of the New Deal (82 years) than that beginning was from the 1865 end of the Civil War (68 years). Both episodes involved the nation's understanding of equality: The war affirmed equality of natural rights, the New Deal addressed ...

How They Voted

Senate Bill 103, Reduce "student growth" portion of teacher rating criteria: Passed 97 to 8 in the HouseTo base just 20 percent of a teacher's "effectiveness" rating on actual progress of students in the teacher's classroom as measured by state assessments, instead of as much as 50 percent ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Monday, October 19, the 292nd day of 2015. There are 73 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On October 19, 1765, the Stamp Act Congress, meeting in New York, adopted a declaration of rights and liberties which the British Parliament ignored.On this ...

Censorship in America

WASHINGTON - Support for the idea that it's good to hear all opinions, even offensive ones, is thin. A plurality of Americans now support laws against "hate speech."Conservatives once wanted to ban Playboy magazine, violent rap lyrics and offensive depictions of Jesus. Leftists then were right ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday is Saturday, October 17, the 290th day of 2015. There are 75 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On October 17, 1915, playwright Arthur Miller, author of "Death of a Salesman" and "The Crucible," was born in New York.On this date:In 1777, British ...

A Crying Shame

WASHINGTON - With no prompting, the stranger standing next to you in line will volunteer, after checking his pedometer, how many steps he has already taken today, as well as how many miles per gallon his hybrid is getting. You may already know that among the baseball teams in the playoffs, the ...