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Local columns

Good News

NEW YORK — I rarely watch cable news anymore. It’s all hysteria, all the time. CNN: “We are destroying the planet.” MSNBC: “The middle class is disappearing!” President Donald Trump says drug trafficking “is worse than ever!” I’m glad my favorite magazine, Reason, ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2019. There are 101 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Sept. 21, 1985, In North Korea and South Korea, family members who had been separated for decades were allowed to visit ...

No new edition of ‘Profiles in Courage’

WASHINGTON — Then-Sen. John F Kennedy wrote admiringly in his 1955 book, “Profiles in Courage,” about Republican U.S. Sen. Edmund G. Ross of Kansas. In 1868, in a decision Ross knew would end his political career, he broke with his party to vote against the impeachment of then-President ...

Non-debate ‘debates’

WASHINGTON — By definition, what 14 million viewers watched on TV last week was not a debate — not even close. Here’s how dictionary.com defines “debate”: “A discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints ... a formal contest in which the ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2019. There are 102 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Sept. 20, 2001, during an address to a joint session of Congress, President George W. Bush announced a new Cabinet-level ...

Fun with Jarts

TRAVERSE CITY — People who know me know my lifelong obsession with Jarts. If you’re younger than 40, you probably have no idea what those are. They were - and are - the world’s best lawn game, consisting of two plastic rings placed 20 or so paces apart into which you lob Jarts, which ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2019. There are 103 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Sept. 19, 2008, struggling to stave off financial catastrophe, the Bush administration laid out a radical bailout plan ...

After Bolton, Trump goals remain unrealized

WASHINGTON — The sudden and bitter departure of John Bolton from the White House was baked in the cake from the day he arrived there. For Bolton’s worldview, formed and fixed in a Cold War that ended in 1991, was irreconcilable with the policies Donald Trump promised in his 2016 ...

When government runs health care

DUBLIN — “When would you like to schedule your knee replacement surgery?” asked my American doctor before I left for Ireland? I gave him a date that works for me (I’m calling it the result of an old basketball injury, not advancing age). His office scheduled it for that date. Contrast ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Sept. 18, the 261st day of 2019. There are 104 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Sept. 18, 1793, President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol. On this date: In 1850, Congress ...

America will bounce back

BERKELEY — If stagnant wages, near-record inequality, climate change, nuclear buildups, assault weapons, mass killings, trade wars, opioid deaths, Russian intrusions into American elections, kids locked in cages at our border, and Donald Trump in the White House don’t at least occasionally ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2019. There are 105 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Sept. 17, 1987, the city of Philadelphia, birthplace of the U.S. Constitution, threw a big party to celebrate the 200th ...

Hong Kong a ‘hair’s breadth from destruction’

HONG KONG — Physically diminutive, intellectually acerbic and with an eye for the ironic, Margaret Ng — lawyer, writer and former legislator — is, at 71, a member of the generation for which this city’s youthful protesters have scant patience. They say the elders have been too patient ...

How They Voted

Senate Bill 343, Increase medical-related college loan subsidies: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate To increase from $200,000 to $250,000 the maximum amount the state can give to doctors, nurses and some other medical professionals to repay their college loan debt in return for the individual ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2019. There are 106 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Sept. 16, 2001, President George W. Bush, speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, said there was “no question” ...

Better schools

NEW YORK — With most services, you get to shop around, but rarely can you do that with government-run schools. Philadelphia mom Elaine Wells was upset to learn that there were fights every day in the school her son attended. So she walked him over to another school. “We went to go ...

Dealing with the Taliban devil

PARIS — President Trump was right to cancel a “secret” meeting with leaders of the Taliban and the Afghan government following two bomb attacks by the terrorist group that killed 10 civilians, an American soldier and a Romanian service member in heavily fortified Kabul. The president is ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Sept. 14, the 257th day of 2019. There are 108 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Sept. 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” (later “The Star-Spangled ...

Politics as it should be practiced

WASHINGTON — Back when Richard Nixon was president, a Washington saloon five minutes’ walk from the White House named the Class Reunion was the go-to watering hole where press, politicians and real people could rub and bend elbows. To be candid, I was a regular at “the CR,” as it was ...

Poll: Trump gets some of his worst grades on climate

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump gets some of his worst marks from the American people when it comes to his handling of climate change, and majorities believe the planet is warming and support government actions that he has sometimes scoffed at. While the administration has rolled ...