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Local columns

Trump wields sanctions; experts wonder to what end

WASHINGTON (AP) — Call it the diplomacy of coercion. The Trump administration is aggressively pursuing economic sanctions as a primary foreign policy tool to an extent unseen in decades, or perhaps ever. Many are questioning the results even as officials insist the penalties are achieving ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Aug. 21, the 233rd day of 2019. There are 132 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 21, 2000, rescue efforts to reach the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk ended with divers announcing none of ...

Trump’s great gamble

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s reelection hopes hinge on two things: the state of the economy in 2020 and the identity of the Democratic nominee. The further left the Democrats go to select their candidate, the greater the probability Trump wins a second term. Thus Trump got good ...

Socialism never?

WASHINGTON — President Trump has repeatedly promised, “America will never be a socialist country.” Since Franklin Roosevelt began expanding government in the 1930s, the United States has increasingly adopted big-state policies associated with socialism. We may not be at the stage Bernie ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2019. There are 133 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 20, 1986, postal employee Patrick Henry Sherrill went on a deadly rampage at a post office in Edmond, Okla., shooting ...

How They Voted

The legislature remains on summer break with no votes expected until September. Rather than votes this report contains some interesting or noteworthy recent bill introductions. Senate Bill 390: Streamline process for welfare recipients getting heat and light subsidies Introduced by Sen. ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, Aug. 19, the 231st day of 2019. There are 134 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 19, 1934, a plebiscite in Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler. On this date: In ...

Selling an organ should be permitted

NEW YORK — Have you volunteered to be an organ donor? I did. I just clicked the box on the government form that asks if, once I die, I’m willing to donate my organs to someone who needs them. Why not? Lots of people need kidneys, livers, etc. When I’m dead, I sure won’t need mine. ...

The dangerous urge to do something

WASHINGTON — When tragedy strikes, as it did in two mass killings earlier this month, there is always the urge to pressure the government do something. Governments are animated by the belief that doing something — any demonstrable overt behavior — will show that they are in control. I ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Aug. 17, the 229th day of 2019. There are 136 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 17, 1987, Rudolf Hess, the last member of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle, died at Spandau Prison at age 93, an ...

Line 5 — Take the middle road

GRAND RAPIDS — Everyone living near the Great Lakes loves, respects and wants to protect them. The beauty and survival of America’s greatest water asset is non-negotiable. That said, common sense needs to be applied. Ultimately, the decision about what to do with Line 5 under the Mackinac ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Aug. 16, the 228th day of 2019. There are 137 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died at his Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 42. On this date: In 1812, ...

Andy does summer in Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY — I’m just going to say it: I like Renaissance festivals. I’ve always been a fan of hokey and there’s nothing hokier than a guy dressed in tights telling you in a bad English/pirate accent where the turkey leg stand is. Sheer, dumb bliss. I wonder if someday there will ...

The shaming of America

WASHINGTON — One of the everlasting social forces in directing human behavior — shame — has become part of the 2020 presidential race. And one of the most shameful things in these times is to be thought or labeled a racist. As it should be, if true. Thus, some Democrats and others ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Aug. 15, the 227th day of 2019. There are 138 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents. On this date: In 1483, ...

Biden goes all in on the race issue

WASHINGTON — Those who believed America’s racial divide would begin to close with the civil rights acts of the 1960s and the election of a black president in this century appear to have been overly optimistic. The race divide seems deeper and wider than at any time in our lifetimes. Most ...

None dare call it ‘conspiracy’

WASHINGTON — After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, investigators discovered that the lone man assigned to guard the president, John Parker, had abandoned his post to watch the play from an adjacent box at Ford’s Theater. Worse, at intermission, Parker adjourned to a nearby saloon to ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Aug. 14, the 226th day of 2019. There are 139 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 14, 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced that Imperial Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War ...

A few words about guns and personal liberty

WASHINGTON — Last weekend’s mass murders in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have produced a flood of words about everything from gun control to mental illness to white nationalism. Most of those words have addressed the right to keep and bear arms as if it were a gift from the government. ...