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Local columns

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Aug. 8, the 220th day of 2017. There are 145 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon, facing damaging new revelations in the Watergate scandal, announced he would resign ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, Aug. 7, the 219th day of 2017. There are 146 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 7, 1942, U.S. and other allied forces landed at Guadalcanal, marking the start of the first major allied offensive in ...

What if some spies are bad guys?

WASHINGTON — What if the federal government captures in real time the contents of every telephone call, email and text message and all the fiber-optic data generated by every person and entity in the United States 24/7/365? What if this mass surveillance was never authorized by any federal ...

The GOP’s Southern Gothic page-turner

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Southern Gothic is a literary genre and, occasionally, a political style that, like the genre, blends strangeness and irony. Consider the current primary campaign to pick the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. It illuminates, however, not ...

The Trump Budget

NEW YORK — Remember President Trump’s “terrible” budget cuts? “Promises Little but Pain,” warned The New York Times. “Harsh and shortsighted,” cried The Washington Post. Then Congress passed a budget. President Trump signed it. Do you notice the “pain”? I follow the ...

Wars and rumors of wars

WASHINGTON — One month after the election, President-elect Donald Trump made a “victory tour” of states that had helped deliver his surprise win. In Fayetteville, North Carolina, Trump introduced his choice for Secretary of Defense, Gen. James Mattis, and pledged the following: “We ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Aug. 5, the 217th day of 2017. There are 148 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On August 5, 1957, the teenage dance show “American Bandstand,” hosted by Dick Clark, made its network debut on ABC-TV. The ...

Missing case for Republican health care

WASHINGTON — At 2 o’clock on a Friday morning in July — after having successfully run in three national elections on their party’s repeated promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which Barack Obama had spent the first two years of his own presidency (and a lot of political ...

The president is not the enemy

WASHINGTON — The Establishment, a construct of Democrats and Republicans that rules in Washington no matter which party controls government, appears to be over its fainting spell following Donald Trump’s election. It is now throwing everything at him from a daily — make that hourly, even ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Aug. 4, the 216th day of 2017. There are 149 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 4, 1892, businessman Andrew Borden and his wife, Abby, were axed to death in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. ...

We’ll miss privacy once it’s gone

TRAVERSE CITY — A Wisconsin software company is offering to implant microchips into employees’ hands so they can effortlessly make purchases in the break room, open doors, log in to computers, use the copy machine and so forth. My first reaction is “How lazy are these people?” I ...

A clash that should not be

WASHINGTON — During the past two weeks, President Donald Trump has made no secret of his unhappiness at the management of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Actually, Trump seems most agitated at the growing parts of the DOJ that are not under Sessions’ ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Aug. 3, the 215th day of 2017. There are 150 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas. On ...

Shall we fight them all?

WASHINGTON — Saturday, Kim Jong Un tested an ICBM of sufficient range to hit the U.S. mainland. He is now working on its accuracy, and a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop that missile that can survive re-entry. Unless we believe Kim is a suicidal madman, his goal seems clear. He ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 2017. There are 151 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 2, 1776, members of the Second Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of ...

12 ways Trump has let down supporters

BERKELEY — You had your reasons for voting for Donald Trump. For some of you he seemed the lesser of two evils, because you hated Hillary. Some of you just wanted to shake up the Washington establishment and end politics as usual. But many of you were attracted by what he promised. So after ...

A plan to save Social Security

WASHINGTON — It is no secret that what the major media seem to care most about is radically different from what concerns average Americans. While the inside the Beltway crowd continues to focus on alleged collusion between President Trump and Russia, real concerns like the future of Social ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Aug. 1, the 213th day of 2017. There are 152 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On August 1, 1957, the United States and Canada announced they had agreed to create the North American Air Defense Command ...

A diminishing president is a good thing

WASHINGTON — Looking, as prudent people are disinclined to do, on the bright side, there are a few vagrant reasons for cheerfulness, beginning with this: Summer love is sprouting like dandelions. To the list of history’s sublime romances — Abelard and Heloise, Romeo and Juliet, Elizabeth ...

Democrats’ ‘better deal’ is a raw deal

WASHINGTON — Theodore Roosevelt offered Americans a “Square Deal.” His fifth cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, gave us “The New Deal.” Modern Democrats, who have lost election after election, are now offering the country “A Better Deal.” Speaking in Berryville, Virginia, a small ...