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Local columns

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, March 25, the 85th day of 2020. There are 281 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 25, 1931, in the so-called “Scottsboro Boys” case, nine young black men were taken off a train in Alabama, ...

How They Voted

The Legislature met one day this week and has scheduled tentative sessions for one day per week during the coronavirus public health emergency, which will only take place if there is a specific need. In coming weeks the Roll Call Report will feature recently introduced bill of interest. House ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, March 24, the 84th day of 2020. There are 282 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 24, 1989, the supertanker Exxon Valdez (vahl-DEEZ’) ran aground on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and ...

Freedom in a time of madness

WASHINGTON — “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times and under all circumstances.” — Ex parte Milligan, U.S. Supreme Court (1866) During the Civil ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, March 23, the 83rd day of 2020. There are 283 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 23, 1933, the German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers. On ...

Price gouging

NEW YORK — “We don’t have any...!” Fill in the blank. People are stocking up on things, fearing that we will be stuck in our homes, under quarantine, without essential supplies. Some hoard toilet paper. A popular internet video features someone driving up to what appears to be a ...

The virus and what matters most

WASHINGTON — Some years ago, I wrote a book titled “The Things That Matter Most.” It was a critique of the continuing impact the ‘60s generation has had on the country. The coronavirus pandemic, too, offers us an opportunity to consider what matters most in our nation and individual ...

America doesn’t have a public health system

BERKELEY — Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and just about the only official in the Trump administration trusted to tell the truth about the coronavirus, said last Thursday: “The system does not, is not really geared to what we need ...

Hoarding, Price Gouging — and the virus

WASHINGTON — As the saying goes, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” I would add, “and anti-price gouging legislation in times of crisis.” Yet price increases in the face of sudden shortages are an important impetus to restore supply and demand market conditions that are closer ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, March 20, the 80th day of 2020. There are 286 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 20, 1854, the Republican Party of the United States was founded by slavery opponents at a schoolhouse in Ripon ...

Why are people hoarding toilet paper?

TRAVERSE CITY — Remember in 2016 when you said “Don’t worry, he’ll grow into the job” and “Hey, he led a business, he can lead the United States”? And then, later, when you said, “The economy is doing great and the stock market is all him!” and “Yeehaw, look at my 401K! ...

The virus, the media and the economy

WASHINGTON — A friend tweeted from Ireland (in time for St. Patrick’s Day), blaming President Trump for the major decline in the value of stocks. This same friend credited Barack Obama’s economic policies when the Dow Jones Industrial Averages approached 30,000. This — and more — is ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, March 19, the 79th day of 2020. There are 287 days left in the year. Spring arrives at 11:50 p.m. EDT, the earliest the vernal equinox has occurred in 124 years. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 19, 1966, the Texas ...

It’s time for Michigan Senate to let the sunshine in by expanding FOIA

LANSING — It’s Groundhog Day or — more accurately — Groundhog Session for the Michigan Senate as it again stalls on even discussing, let alone voting, on a series of House bills known as the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA). For the fourth time since the bills were initially ...

How They Voted

Senate Bill 812, Clarify unemployment insurance “work search” requirements: Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate To require the state unemployment insurance benefits agency (the Michigan Employment Security Commission) to specify what an individual would have to do to be considered “actively ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, March 18, the 78th day of 2020. There are 288 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 18, 1940, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass, where the Italian dictator agreed to join ...

Will the coronavirus kill the New World Order?

WASHINGTON — Dr. Brian Monahan, attending physician of Congress, told a closed meeting of Senate staffers this week that 70 million to 150 million Americans — a third of the nation — could contract the coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci testified that the mortality rate for COVID-19 will ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, March 16, the 76th day of 2020. There are 290 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On March 16, 1926, rocket science pioneer Robert H. Goddard successfully tested the first liquid-fueled rocket at his Aunt ...

Trump’s virus playbook offers US vs world strategy

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s a “foreign” virus, he says — one that can be fought by closing the nation’s borders to dangerous foreigners carrying scary disease. President Donald Trump has turned to a familiar playbook as he tries to grapple with the spiraling coronavirus outbreak, ...