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Local columns

‘Nations with allies thrive’

WASHINGTON — Retired Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis, the former secretary of defense and an exceptionally well-read warrior, has said, “Throughout history, we see nations with allies thrive, and nations without allies wither.” Mattis’ words brought to mind those 13 fateful days in ...

The Iran protests

WASHINGTON — The latest protests in Iran by people angry over the Iranian military’s missile launch that “unintentionally” downed a Ukrainian jetliner killing many Iranians, Canadians and others, is different from past protests over rigged elections, rising gas prices, and what ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Jan. 17, the 17th day of 2020. There are 349 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Jan. 17, 1995, more than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe ...

Parent of an adult

TRAVERSE CITY — There’s this profoundly odd moment as a parent where you look at your kid and see — as improbable as this may seem — an adult. Suddenly, he’s not the toddler who peevishly swatted the rump of a well-dressed society lady who unwisely stepped between him and the tubs ...

How They Voted

The 100th Michigan Legislature began its 2020 session on the second Wednesday in January, as specified in the state Constitution, with a few votes on bills of general interest. Senate Bill 434, Authorize cosmetology “mobile salons”: Passed 102 to 5 in the House To direct the state ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2020. 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 ...

American companies are free agents

BERKELEY — Donald Trump’s “phase one” agreement with China, expected to be signed this week, is intended partly to slow China’s move into new technologies like electric cars by protecting the intellectual property of American corporations. Which lends a certain irony to Tesla’s ...

What I’d like to hear from candidates

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s strategy of holding on to the two weak articles of impeachment against President Trump was starting to rattle some Democrats, who felt they were losing the political battle. Last Wednesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told reporters, “If we’re ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Jan. 15, the 15th day of 2020. There are 351 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 15, 2009, US Airways Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger ditched his Airbus 320 in the Hudson River after a flock of ...

The Culture War comes to the Old Dominion

WASHINGTON — Since 1969, “Virginia Is for Lovers” has been the tourism and travel slogan of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Advertising Age called it “one of the most iconic ad campaigns in the past 50 years.” But the Virginia of 2020 seems to be another country than the friendly ...

A lawless political assassination

WASHINGTON — “America ... goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” — President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) — — — Recently, President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. military to invade a then-friendly country without the knowledge or consent of its government and ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Jan. 14, the 14th day of 2020. There are 352 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 14, 1994, President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed an accord to stop aiming missiles at any ...

It’s war: Are we in it to win it?

WASHINGTON — Prior to Iran’s missile attacks on U.S. bases inside Iraq, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said, “We are not seeking war with Iran, but we are prepared to finish one.” Esper said the U.S. prefers a “diplomatic” solution to the escalation of tensions in the ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, Jan. 13, the 13th day of 2020. There are 353 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 13, 2012, the Italian luxury liner Costa Concordia ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio and flipped onto its side; 32 ...

Congressional Grandstanding

NEW YORK — Congressional hearings were created to educate lawmakers so they have knowledge before they pass bills or impeach a president. Not today. Today, hardly any education happens. During the President Trump impeachment “testimony,” legislators tried to score points. At least ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Jan. 11, the 11th day of 2020. There are 355 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 11, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Grand Canyon National Monument (it became a national park in ...

Try to remember …

WASHINGTON — Is anyone here old enough to remember the urgent warning issued in a speech to the National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in August 2002 by an American vice president who had artfully avoided the military draft during wartime? Dick Cheney, after acknowledging he was ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Jan. 10, the 10th day of 2020. There are 356 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 10, 1984, the United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations for the first time in more than a ...

No resolutions this year

TRAVERSE CITY — I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution this year, but if I had it would have been: “I resolve to stop nagging myself all year long, every day, to incessantly improve at this or that.” The older I get, the more I’ve learned the value of telling that voice in my head to ...

If Baghdad wants us out, let’s go!

WASHINGTON — Fifteen years after the U.S. invaded Iraq to turn Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship into a beacon of democracy, Iraq’s Parliament, amid shouts of “Death to America!” voted to expel all U.S. troops from the country. Though nonbinding, the expulsion vote came after mobs ...