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Will there be a penalty for Afghanistan withdrawal?

President Biden’s announced intention to complete the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, exactly 20 years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, will complete a goal former President Trump wanted to meet, but did not, following advice ...

Intent important; not every tragedy is a racial lesson

Reliving the awful details of George Floyd’s slow suffocation is brutal and emotionally draining. As always in matters touching on race, the thrum of ethnic hostilities is the background noise. Some have been eager, since the trial began, to cite George Floyd’s drug use or heart trouble ...

Hold political opinionmakers accountable for made-up facts

When I first started in policy analysis back in 2002, I assumed there was current, up-to-date, easy-to-use statistical information available on the issues of the day. Why did I think that? Because it seemed that professional news commentators drew from a wealth of evidence that let them come ...

Liberties lost happens over period of time

If one can say the pandemic has had any positive side effect, it has been to help us focus on what the loss of liberties looks like. Such losses do not occur immediately but erode over time as people become increasingly comfortable with government claiming to know what is best for us. The ...

Here’s what local governments should do with their stimulus checks

Michigan’s local governments will collect $4.4 billion from Congress’s latest spending bill. Many local leaders will ponder hard about how best to use the money to best serve their residents, and they should look to use the funds to increase the long-term financial health of the local ...

President Biden, like Trump, is relying on executive orders

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by 7 million votes in November, but he still must invoke special presidential orders, as Trump did, to get his way, for lack of sufficient congressional support on certain controversial issues. This time it’s over stronger gun control, in ...

‘Woke’ disinformation is worse than Russian brand

Why do the Russians need to bother spreading disinformation when our own domestic sources do a much better job at it. We just went through a four-year national obsession with Kremlin disinformation. It supposedly swayed the 2016 presidential election. It was “sowing divisions” in ...

Are we doing our best for trans kids?

Seventeen legislatures are considering laws that would dictate how medical personnel can treat transgender youth — the latest flash point in the culture war. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson surprised observers this week when he vetoed one of those bills. It would have outlawed puberty ...

‘But, I’m a capitalist, Mr. President. You are not’

Back in the day when “Saturday Night Live” was funny, Chevy Chase would open the “Weekend Update” segment by saying, “I’m Chevy Chase ... and you’re not.” That line came to mind over President Biden’s massive tax-and-spend proposals, which are unlike anything since FDR, ...

Fixing PFAS notification problems shouldn’t take discussion

They just don’t get it. Weeks ago, after a Record-Eagle reporter unearthed a massive procedural flaw in how state and local officials disseminate information about possible drinking water contamination, we called for a swift, common-sense solution. Unfortunately, what’s unfolding ...

Georgia election flap underscores our collection action problem

The Georgia debacle is a perfect example of the rolling collective action problem of our democracy. A collective action problem, simply put, is when there is a goal that would benefit everyone — in this case, confidence in our machinery of democracy — but the incentive structure for the ...

Bills to cut drug costs would raise insurance premiums

A well-intentioned pair of bills aimed at reducing the cost of certain essential medicines have passed the state House and are pending in the Senate. While their goal is laudable, the bills wouldn’t actually reduce drug costs — they’d merely shift who pays for them. And they do so in a ...

What’s Flying: What will spring bring to the U.P.?

“Just living is not enough ... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” — Hans Christian Andersen Sunshine comes as an added gift on warmer days in spring. Golden rays draw cold dark hulls of sleepy painted turtles out of the ice cold bottoms of small ponds and enjoin ...

Federal funds should be used to improve Michigan finances

Michigan lawmakers are going to collect $5.7 billion from the federal government’s latest spending bill and they don’t yet know what to do with it. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has recently worked with some allies to put together some guidance for them. The first thing is to know ...

Politics: Take it out of the ballgame

When the NFL decided not to punish players who kneeled during the pre-game national anthem, some fans reacted by refusing to attend games, buy league merchandise, or watch games on TV. It took several years for the NFL to win fans back and some — like me — broke the habit and never ...

New Jim Crow smear: Voter supression is little more than lie

President Joe Biden is so committed to bipartisan cooperation and fact-based governance that he’s launched an ignorant and incendiary attack on the new Georgia voting law. Biden says the new law is “Jim Crow in the 21st century” and “an un-American law to deny people the right to ...

Needed from Dems: A realistic case for optimism

The differences between an ideologue — someone who subscribes completely to a political ideology (whether conservative or liberal) and a pragmatist — someone who is concerned almost exclusively with the practical results of a specific public policy — is the biggest divide in American ...

Trump clings to relevance while GOP clings to Trump

WASHINGTON — As former President Donald Trump struggles to remain politically relevant, his access to social-media megaphones has dwindled, most notably with Twitter banning Trump from its popular outlet. But some cable TV news outlets are continuing to offer his fact-sparse rants to a ...

George Floyd ‘narrative’ embedded in public opinion

It is difficult to change a narrative once it has been established in the public’s mind. A narrative was firmly fixed by the media, activists, and rioters prior to the trial of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, which opened Monday. Chauvin is charged with murdering George ...

Bipartisanship can be lethal weapon against political foes

American politics is caught in a perverse paradox. The bases of both parties would like nothing more than to destroy the other party. But it is precisely this animus that prevents them from accomplishing their goal. That’s because the best strategy for partisans to wreak havoc in the other ...