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Columns

Saving the city’s men a complex task

Rebuilding a city means little if a large percentage of its people get left behind. Mayor Mike Duggan acknowledged that this week when he asked: "What does Detroit's recovery mean if everybody doesn't have the chance to participate?"Duggan was speaking at the My Brother's Keeper Detroit Summit ...

In the twilight of Barack Obama’s presidency, much hope remains

Seven years ago, months before he won the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama delivered a speech about race.Celebrated by many and derided by some, it addressed head-on the role of race in his campaign. At the time, I was most struck by his willingness to acknowledge those white ...

Racial reconciliation in Baltimore could start with Ruth Starr Rose

OXFORD, Md. - Long before there was a "Black Lives Matter" movement, there was Ruth Starr Rose - an activist artist whose paintings nearly a century ago captured the dignity and spirit of America's black families at a time when stereotype and caricature prevailed.It is fitting that an ...

Joaquin and Obama are a couple of forces of nature

Hurricane Joaquin dumped large amounts of rain on the East Coast, but another "force of nature" flooded the country with so much rhetoric it was difficult for most people to keep up.Before barely any facts were known, there was President Obama on camera (when isn't he?) making a 12-minute ...

Ugly truth: Democrats need candidate, GOP needs party

Political Washington just got a welcome dose of refreshing candor. Democrat Fred Yang, one of the bipartisan team that conducts the respected Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, took a look at the most recent numbers - showing Democratic favorite for 2016, Hillary Clinton, in a statistical tie ...

Rampant drug price gouging a product of political system

If Hollywood had created Martin Shkreli as the monster from Wall Street, we would have accused it of unfair characterization. But Shkreli - a 32-year-old hedge fund director in T-shirts, dabbler in the punk rock music world - has saved Tinseltown the trouble.Shkreli has also done the American ...

Here are some dogs that are not barking in 2016 presidential race

Sherlock Holmes famously solved the mystery of the Silver Blaze by noting the dog that didn't bark in the night. It strikes me that in this wild and woolly campaign cycle there have been numerous dogs not barking in the night, or in the daytime either.Start with the race for the Democratic ...

The Donald does policy, but it’s unclear if plans make any sense

WASHINGTON - Having thoroughly intimidated the rest of the Republican Party's 2016 presidential field and won a goodly number of its voters' hearts with his tough-guy persona, Donald Trump has decided to tackle their minds.He has rolled out a plan for economic growth that professes to offer his ...

Daddy is a dictator: What can you do when your father is an evil man?

The bride, Edda, was 20, glamorous and well connected. The groom came from a prominent family. Their wedding was Italy's social event of the year in 1930.If the occasion was marred in any way, it was through the inability of the bride's father to part gracefully with his first-born daughter.He ...

No, the EPA isn’t out to extinguish grills

It seemed to take Michigan politicians a really long time to recognize the hazards posed by the proposed low-level nuclear waste dump near the shores of Lake Huron at Kincardine, Ontario. Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley, for instance, was scheduling hearings and writing letters before the typical ...

Cecile Richards standing tall for Planned Parenthood in hearing

Seeing as it's still all too common to depict a determined woman as an angry one, let's be clear on who did and did not yell at the congressional hearing Tuesday.The headline in The Hill read, "Republican gets into shouting match with Planned Parenthood executive."Alas, this is no closer to the ...

Not counting constant fighting, GOP brat pack has little to offer

WASHINGTON - The Republican Party's "Freedom Caucus," which has several less-charitable nicknames on Capitol Hill, is the dog that caught the car.Now what?Having (sort of) unseated Speaker John Boehner, these 37 or so uber-conservative House members are now scrambling for "a real leader."Except ...

John Boehner getting out of the House just in time

The announcement by House Speaker John Boehner that he is retiring at the end of October stunned Washington where life is all about grabbing power and holding on to it, often until death they do part.At a meeting with reporters, Boehner said, "My first job as speaker is to protect the ...

Has anyone, anywhere thanked John Boehner for his service?

Has anybody bothered to thank House Speaker John Boehner for Pope Francis' even coming to the United States? Let history note that it was Boehner, as a lowly second-term member of the House minority, who in 1994 organized a petition to then-House Speaker Tom Foley requesting that Pope John Paul ...

Another cynical Democratic Citizen USA voter drive afoot

There's only one time when you can depend on the chronically backlogged, recklessly inefficient Department of Homeland Security to perform smoothly: election season.While hundreds of thousands of visa overstayers and deportation fugitives remain on the loose, federal bureaucrats at the U.S. ...

Are our familiar political alignments suddenly changing before our eyes?

As the 2016 presidential selection process proceeds, there is increasing evidence that the political patterns we have grown used to, that we have come to consider permanent, might be suddenly changing.Those patterns include a polarized and closely divided electorate, with partisan preferences ...

Carson’s putdown of Mislims calls candidacy into question

WASHINGTON - Sooner or later, the cool self-assurance of citizen non-politician Ben Carson was bound to betray him.His categorical statement that "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation, I absolutely would not agree with that," was astoundingly un-American in ...

Are institutions of higher education properly preparing our children?

For a month I've been chewing obsessively on this one sound bite from the 2015 Convocation Speech by the president of Northern Michigan University: "The expectations of today's parents and students, such as state of the art recreation facilities, are expensive."Are you kidding me? Not about the ...

State of Michigan has weak FOIA policy

Enacted nearly 40 years ago, Michigan's Freedom of Information Act is a vital tool for residents of this state to track what their government is doing and how their tax dollars are being spent.At the local level, it gives citizens the proper oversight to ensure both staff and elected leaders of ...