Local columns

Abortion ban aims for high court, but won’t get there soon

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alabama’s virtual ban on abortion is the latest and most far-reaching state law seemingly designed to prod the Supreme Court to reconsider a constitutional right it announced 46 years ago in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. But Chief Justice John Roberts may prefer a ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, May 21, the 141st day of 2019. There are 224 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 21, 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean as she landed in Northern Ireland, ...

Children shouldn’t pay price for bigotry

WASHINGTON — Republican James G. Blaine (1830-1893) was a House speaker, senator and two-time secretary of state, but he is remembered, if at all, for this doggerel: “Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine/ the continental liar from the state of Maine.” His lasting legacy, however, is even more ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, May 20, the 140th day of 2019. There are 225 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his ...

Sex ‘trafficking’ panic

NEW YORK — When police charged New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with soliciting prostitution, the press said the police rescued sex slaves. “They were women who were from China, who were forced into sex slavery,” said Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show.” We’re told this ...

My sentimental journey with Doris Day

WASHINGTON — It was Oscar Levant who uttered the famous line: “I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin.” In a way it was a backhanded compliment to a woman who represented in most of her film roles an image of chastity and virtue that was once mostly promoted in American culture, ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, May 18, the 138th day of 2019. There are 227 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 18, 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, endorsed “separate but equal” racial segregation, a concept ...

A story ‘too good to check’

WASHINGTON — Shortly after the cooling of the earth, when I was working for The Washington Post, I more than once heard a grizzled editor skeptically caution a younger reporter who was sure that he, alone, had gotten a stop-the-presses exclusive scoop that was going to lead the paper and, ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, May 17, the 137th day of 2019. There are 228 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriages. On this date: In 1536, Archbishop of ...

House has constitutional duty to impeach

BERKELEY — Donald Trump is causing a constitutional crisis with his blanket refusal to respond to any subpoenas. So what happens now? An impeachment inquiry in the House won’t send him packing before Election Day 2020 because Senate Republicans won’t convict him of impeachment. So the ...

Back to the past with Joe Biden

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden, the leading Democrat in the overcrowded presidential sweepstakes (there are more of them running than horses in the recent Kentucky Derby), appears to want to take America back to the days of the Obama administration, which he was a part of for eight years. What would ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, May 16, the 136th day of 2019. There are 229 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 16, 1966, China launched the Cultural Revolution, a radical as well as deadly reform movement aimed at purging the ...

Are all the world’s problems ours?

WASHINGTON — In 2003, George W. Bush took us to war to liberate Iraq from the despotism of Saddam Hussein and convert that nation into a beacon of freedom and prosperity in the Middle East. Tuesday, Mike Pompeo flew clandestinely into Baghdad, met with the prime minister and flew out in ...

GOP focus on women, minorities for 2020 challengers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Republicans are hunting district-by-district for just the right candidates — women and minorities in many cases — to help them recapture the House six months after a political tidal wave swept Democrats into control of the most diverse majority in history. Among ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, May 15, the 135th day of 2019. There are 230 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 15, 1930, registered nurse Ellen Church, the first airline stewardess, went on duty aboard an Oakland-to-Chicago flight ...

Did the Attorney General Deceive Congress?

WASHINGTON — William Barr, the attorney general of the United States, now faces a likely contempt citation for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena and for misleading Congress. This is about the Mueller investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. ...

Changes in state forfeiture law are long past due

Although some in the law enforcement community might take issue, we believe legislation that’s headed to the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer making fundamental changes in Michigan’s forfeiture law is not only appropriate but long past due. Under the bill, which enjoyed rare bi-partisan ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, May 14, the 134th day of 2019. There are 231 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 14, 1955, representatives from eight Communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, signed the Warsaw Pact in ...

The danger of dabbling in protectionism

WASHINGTON — A man who worked in a boxer’s corner in a 1962 match against Cassius Clay, as he still was known, explained why the referee stopped the fight in the fourth round: “Things just went sour gradually all at once.” It can be like that when government dabbles in ...

How They Voted

The House and Senate each passed their own separate auto insurance reform bills this week, with many provisions in common. This report summarizes key features and differences of these complex proposals. Senate Bill 1, Senate version, no-fault auto insurance reform: Passed 24 to 14 in the ...