Columns

Boehner lament: GOP heading for defeat on immigration reform

Republicans won big in November on the hopes that a GOP-led Congress could counterbalance President Obama's imperial presidency. But as the deadline approaches to fund the Department of Homeland Security (Feb. 27), it looks like Republicans would rather play chicken with Democrats than actually ...

Obama goes to Congress on ISIS war powers move

WASHINGTON - After nearly 14 years of war in the Middle East, President Obama's pitch to Congress for authorization to continue it conforms with his own defined purpose - eventually to end America's "perpetual war footing" that began under his predecessor, George W. Bush.Obama has called for a ...

Look for Iran to remain a nuclear troublemaker

"Cui bono?" Who benefits? It was the question ancient Romans asked when hoping to cut through a fog of possible causes for a problem.As of late this week, U.S. Marines were evacuating Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. We've seen this movie before: the bonfires of documents, the hammer blows to ...

Other opinions

Without vaccines, too many children miss shot at healthNews flash: If you don't get your children vaccinated, you're not just putting them at risk. You're risking the welfare of others as well. The recent outbreaks in California, Michigan and other parts of the country of totally preventable ...

Why I’m pulling for Brian Williams

Newsrooms are snake pits. I say this with great affection.Newsrooms are tribal and competitive, fueling pettiness in the most honorable people. Editors cling to turfs like dictators policing their borders, and sometimes they mistake intimidation for management.As for reporters, they make their ...

Why did Brian Williams do it?

These are tough times for NBC's Brian Williams - and tougher times for journalism.The NBC newsman was suspended Tuesday night for six months amid charges that he misremembered or conflated wartime incidents he reported on from Iraq and Israel. He has also come under scrutiny for possible ...

Aetna bumps up pay for workers

Business schools preach a strict, anti-social doctrine of corporate management that comes down to this: CEOs must be idiots.By that I mean the original Greek word idiotes, which applied to people who care only about themselves and the prosperity of their immediate family. They're the ones who ...

Let us prey at prayer breakfast

There was a time when the 63-year-old National Prayer Breakfast was a rather mundane affair.It rarely made news. Speakers - evangelist Billy Graham spoke at most of the early ones - talked about Jesus and salvation.Presidents, beginning with Dwight D. Eisenhower, would follow with unremarkable ...

Don’t blame income for everything

Oxfam reports that the richest 1 percent of people in the world own 48 percent of the world's wealth. Many claim that we should be alarmed by income inequality because it hampers upward mobility. Others argue that because income is distributed so unevenly, justice and fairness require income ...

Budget cuts to IRS won’t save money

If the most frequently dialed federal agency in America can't even answer two-thirds of the millions of phone calls it gets, should the government cut its budget?Congress thinks so. That agency is the Internal Revenue Service. And lawmakers have hacked at its budget yet again.Worse still, those ...

Online dating a double-edged sword

She was a lawyer, noisy but nice. He was a Marine, quiet and even nicer. They seemed an attractive, comfortable couple, so I was greatly surprised when - after he left to use the men's room - she leaned over to me at the next table and asked, "What do you think of him?"They had connected ...

Price of privacy high in NMU cases

Over last several weeks, our community has been engaged in a dialog about finding a delicate balance - a balance between the need for transparency weighed against a fundamental right to privacy.Transparency is central to meeting our mission as a public university. All of us have a ...

County Road 595 a bad idea in wrong place

Proposed Marquette County Road 595 would irreversibly impact high quality wetlands at the headwaters of several watersheds and foreseeably lead to additional roads that would open up one of Michigan's last remaining wilderness areas to resource exploitation.Wetlands are a foundation of our ...

Mommy truce: Do what feels right

In the early 1990s, I used to perm my hair into spring coils and wore padded shoulders that gave me the wingspan of a whooper swan, but I thought my biggest problem was my 5-year-old daughter's occasional bed-wetting.So off I went to the pediatrician's office to unravel my woes.Before we ...

Seeking a vaccine for ignorance

WASHINGTON - Flashback: Galileo is under house arrest pondering the unyielding ignorance of The Church for refusing to consider his heliocentric proposition that the Earth circled the sun.We find this historical anecdote preposterous today, but people were persecuted for lesser heresies in ...

Stormy weather and politics

It was refreshing to see meteorologists apologize for their dire - and wrong - predictions of an unprecedented snow storm that they had said would devastate the northeast. It was a big storm, but the northeast has seen lots of big snow storms before and will probably see lots of big snow storms ...

President Obama tips his hat to FDR

Whatever happens over the next two years, you can bet that 22nd century school children will know more about President Barack Obama than kids learn today about, say, Calvin Coolidge. He made history just by being the first non-white man to occupy the White House.What else will tomorrow's kids ...

Misinformation on torture clouds issue

When the Senate released its shocking report on CIA torture late last year, it renewed a debate from the Bush years about the merits of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques."Polls released afterward suggested that most Americans thought that torture was effective and, in some cases, ...

Tragic school stories keep coming

New York's schools are the most segregated in the nation, and the state needs remedies right away. That was Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch's message to New York's governor and Legislature. She said that minority children are disproportionately trapped in schools that lack teaching talent, course ...

US could have had better Cuba deal

Cuban President Raul Castro has issued new demands for normalizing relations with the U.S. He wants us to lift the trade embargo, remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terror and give Cuba the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay.One can imagine President Obama being awfully tempted to ...