Local columns

The opposition’s very wrong first step

WASHINGTON — In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan instructed Haley Barbour — his White House political director and a future Republican Party chairman and governor — on building a winning coalition: “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not ...

Rhetoric and reality

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s inaugural address may not have risen to the rhetorical level of John F. Kennedy (“The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans” and “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”), or Ronald ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Jan. 27, the 27th day of 2017. There are 338 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Jan. 27, 1967, astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a ...

A parting shot at personal freedom

WASHINGTON — On Jan. 3, outgoing Attorney General Loretta Lynch secretly signed an order directing the National Security Agency — America’s 60,000-person-strong domestic spying apparatus — to make available raw spying data to all other federal intelligence agencies, which then can pass ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Jan. 25, the 25th day of 2017. There are 340 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 25, 1947, gangster Al Capone died in Miami Beach, Florida, at age 48. On this date: In 1533, England’s King ...

Trump’s plan to neuter the press corps

BERKELEY — Tyrants don’t allow open questioning, and they hate the free press. They want total control. That’s why, according to three senior officials on the transition team, the incoming Trump administration is considering evicting the White House press corps from the press room ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 2017. There are 341 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 24, 1942, the Roberts Commission placed much of the blame for America’s lack of preparedness for Imperial Japan’s ...

The waterbeetle of American politics

He flabbergasts the Human Race By gliding on the water’s face With ease, celerity and grace; But if he ever stopped to think Of how he did it, he would sink. — Hilaire Belloc, on the waterbeetle — — — WASHINGTON — Leaving aside the missing element of grace and the ...

Trump’s first week

NEW YORK — Donald Trump will be busy today. He and Mike Pence have promised, Mother Jones magazine points out, that on Trump’s first day in office he will repeal Obamacare, end the “war on coal,” expel illegal immigrants, begin construction of a “beautiful Southern border wall,” ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Jan. 21, the 21st day of 2017. There are 344 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 21, 1942, pinball machines were banned in New York City by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia after a court ruled they were ...

Challenge us; Don’t coddle us

WASHINGTON — The late William Safire, a certified wordsmith who had been a speechwriter for President Richard Nixon before becoming a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, concluded, after reading 56 of them, that there had been only four great presidential inaugural ...

Young Americans fear they will be worse off post-Trump

NEW YORK (AP) — As Donald Trump approaches his inauguration, young Americans have a deeply pessimistic view about his incoming administration, with young blacks, Latinos and Asian Americans particularly concerned about what’s to come in the next four years. That’s according to a new ...

Trying a different way

WASHINGTON — Some years ago a friend of mine wrote a book titled “The Seven Last Words of the Church, or, We’ve Never Tried It That Way Before.” It is about what he regarded as the entrenched bureaucracies in his denomination that are reluctant — even hostile — to change. The same ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Jan. 20, the 20th day of 2017. There are 345 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 20, 1942, Nazi officials held the notorious Wannsee conference, during which they arrived at their “final ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2017. There are 342 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 23, 1933, the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the so-called “Lame Duck Amendment,” was ratified as ...

We’re gonna get what we asked for

FLINT — You’re going to see a lot of sky-is-falling commentaries from pundits this week about Donald Trump’s upcoming coronation. Hopefully, this isn’t one of them. Sure, I’m concerned. But in the end, I figure we get the government we deserve — good and hard, for better or ...

GOP prescription of minority outreach forgotten

WASHINGTON (AP) — Together, they delivered a post-election autopsy with a dire prediction: Republican survival requires embracing a message of tolerance and respect in an increasingly diverse United States. Yet on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration four years later, the authors of the ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Jan. 19, the 19th day of 2017. There are 346 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 19, 1977, on his last full day in office, President Gerald R. Ford pardoned Iva Toguri D’Aquino, an American ...

She’s back

WASHINGTON — The criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton is back front and center now that the FBI has released proof that her failure to safeguard state secrets caused the secrets to fall into the hands of foreign governments, some of which wish the United States ill. Even though the ...

Guns in America and shooting back

I’m an advocate of the right to bear arms. I own several nice pistols and a shotgun. I wouldn’t mind adding a couple of more to my collection. I have never shot anybody or aimed a gun at a person. I hope and pray I never feel in such danger that I might feel the urgency to do so. Aiming a ...