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Local columns

Winfrey’s speech sparks talk of 2020 campaign

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Oprah Winfrey’s impassioned call for “a brighter morning even in our darkest nights” at the Golden Globes has Democratic Party activists buzzing about the media superstar and the 2020 presidential race — even if it’s only a fantasy. Even so, for Democrats ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Jan. 10, the 10th day of 2018. There are 355 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 10, 1776, Thomas Paine anonymously published his influential pamphlet, “Common Sense,” which argued for American ...

Trump making little progress on promises

BERKELEY — Almost one year in, it’s time for another update for Trump voters on his election promises: 1. He told you he’d cut your taxes, and that the super-rich like him would pay more. You bought it. But his new tax law does the opposite. By 2027, according to the nonpartisan Tax ...

Trump actions re-ignite states rights’ debate

By Ryan J. Foley and Geoff Mulvihill Associated Press Lawmakers and others in Democratic-leaning states have been howling over the past year about actions by the Trump administration and congressional Republicans that they say have undermined states’ rights. That includes promoting ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Jan. 9, the ninth day of 2018. There are 356 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 9, 1793, Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a hot-air balloon, flew from Philadelphia to Woodbury, New Jersey. On ...

America needs balanced-budget amendment

WASHINGTON — Today’s political discord is less durable and dangerous than a consensus, one that unites the political class more than ideology divides it. The consensus is that, year in and year out, in good times and bad, Americans should be given substantially more government goods and ...

Divided Democrats face backlash on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a new deadline fast approaching, Democrats in Congress are struggling to adopt a unified strategy to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. Their inaction has enraged liberal activists across the country, who have shifted their anger in ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, Jan. 8, the eighth day of 2018. There are 357 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Jan. 8, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson outlined his Fourteen Points for lasting peace after World War I. Mississippi became ...

Presidential election odds

NEW YORK — President Trump is up 3 percent! I refer to the betting odds. Gamblers (mostly in Europe because political bets are legal there) now give the president a 53 percent chance of finishing his first term. That’s it — they barely think he’ll complete four years. This must ...

Iranian leaders on foreign hand in protests

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — As nationwide protests have shaken Iran over the last week, the Islamic Republic increasingly has blamed its foreign foes for fomenting the unrest. So far, Tehran has not offered any evidence to support that claim, though Iran’s opponents throughout the ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Jan. 6, the sixth day of 2018. There are 359 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 6, 1968, a surgical team at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, led by Dr. Norman Shumway ...

Character counts, but so do results

WASHINGTON — I do not make it a practice to comment on the work of fellow columnists, though occasionally some care to comment on mine, which is fine. I’m happy to help them make a living. An exception will be made here because of New York Times “conservative” columnist, Bret ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Jan. 5, the fifth day of 2018. There are 360 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 5, 1953, Samuel Beckett’s two-act tragicomedy “Waiting for Godot,” considered a classic of the Theater of the ...

Masters of the Universe on the road

TRAVERSE CITY — There was a 40-vehicle pile-up on U.S. 31 near Muskegon last weekend. Police blamed the usual suspects: speed and stupidity. “You’ve got to take it slow,” a local police chief said. “When people get on the highway and the speed limit is 70 miles an hour people think ...

Is there a chance for a breakthrough with the Koreas?

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — After one of the most fraught years on the Korean Peninsula in recent memory — threats of war amid North Korea’s strongest-ever nuclear bomb test and repeated missile launches — an unexpected, very tentative interest in peace seems to have broken out. In ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Jan. 4, the fourth day of 2018. There are 361 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 4, 1868, “The Moonstone” by Wilkie Collins, considered by some the first full-length English detective novel, began ...

Our sore winner President

WASHINGTON — During his winning campaign to capture the White House, Democrat Barack Obama was harshly critical of the White House record of his predecessor George W. Bush. But once in office, Obama — like nearly all presidents before him — heeded the sage advice of a great chief ...

Will war cancel Trump’s triumphs?

WASHINGTON — Asked what he did during the French Revolution, Abbe Sieyes replied, “I survived.” Donald Trump can make the same boast. No other political figure has so dominated our discourse. And none, not Joe McCarthy in his heyday in the early ‘50s, nor Richard Nixon in ...

On Trump’s plate: Congress, elections, Korea

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has returned from an end-of year holiday to face fresh legislative challenges, midterm elections and threats abroad. The president began the second year of his presidency with confrontational tweets targeting Iran and Pakistan. He slammed Islamabad ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2018. There are 362 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 3, 1868, Japan’s Meiji (may-jee) Restoration re-established the authority of the emperor and heralded the fall of the ...