Columns

Aug. 6 was an extraordinarily tough day for the president and his party

The night of Aug. 6 was the biggest of the political year so far, for what happened on the stage at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena and for what happened offstage as well.The stage was the scene of the first two Republican presidential debates, hosted by Fox News, which together lasted some 200 ...

Fees causing trouble in public education

Public education used to be, you know, public - an essential societal investment for the betterment of all, paid for by all through school taxes.In addition to privatization schemes to turn education over to corporate profiteers, public schools themselves have steadily been shifting from free ...

Bernie Sanders factor having impact on Clinton ‘steamroller’

WASHINGTON - A small-sample poll in New Hampshire shows Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton by 44 percent to 37, six months before the state's first-in-the-nation 2016 presidential primary.At the same time, Sanders is drawing huge crowds in cities around the country where he was ...

Immigration is good, but most Americans have serious concerns

Yikes, you really hate me!Many of you, anyway, based on Twitter and Facebook comments posted after I argued immigration with Ann Coulter on my TV show."Move into an illegal-heavy neighborhood and get back to us!""Another libertarian who believes illegal invaders are good for our country. ...

Chicken ordinance a unique opportunity

Chickens in the city? That's what members of Grand Haven City Council recently discussed.The conversation was the result of a local resident who asked them what it would take to allow egg-laying hens in the city.Since the question was asked, the city's planning commissioners have researched the ...

‘Straight Outta Compton’ a whitewash of rappers’ reality

My Instagram and Facebook feeds have been filled with unwitting apologists for racism against Korean-American small-business owners.Heckuva job, Hollywood!Here's how the poison is spreading. A savvy marketing team at Universal/Comcast Corp. developed a web toy that allows social media fans to ...

‘Trump problem’ will fade but Bernie Sanders just getting started

"We are trying to be reasonable," an organizer for Bernie Sanders' Seattle rally said.The black female protesters who stormed the stage became enraged. "We aren't reasonable!" they shouted back. "If you do not listen to [us], your event will be shut down," one of them declared to the ...

Fox presidential debate: Was it unfair, unbalanced?

Twenty-four million people tuned in to watch the first primetime debate among 10 Republican presidential candidates. What were they expecting, a love-in?Some conservative critics dumped on Fox News with a vitriol usually reserved for liberal media.David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting ...

Ethical hunters have nothing to do with what happened to Cecil

BOZEMAN, Mont. - That picture of Cecil the lion's corpse and the American dentist posing triumphantly over it was ghastly. Cecil had apparently been lured out of a safe haven in Zimbabwe and illegally shot.It happens that the Cecil story appalled many of the hunting and fishing writers gathered ...

Holder proves you can go home again

Novelist Thomas Wolfe famously wrote: "You can't go home again." But Eric Holder has proven him wrong.Holder, who served as President Barack Obama's attorney general until stepping down earlier this year, recently returned to his old home - Covington & Burling.Where's that? Well, it's ...

Too many candidates to fit on stage: Democrats then, Republicans now

Why did Fox News decide to schedule two Republican presidential debates rather than one? Simple arithmetic: 90 minutes divided by 17 candidates equals 5 minutes and 29 seconds apiece. That's scarcely enough time for the oral equivalent of a few tweets.There won't be a similar problem for the ...

Burning wood in the great north: Can it get any cleaner than this?

Wood energy, done with known, efficient and affordable technologies, is one of the most environmentally-friendly energy sources at our disposal. Not only is it renewable and sustainable, but it's locally-sourced and most easily contributes to the heating and cooling sector. Renewable energy ...

Joe Biden still in wings despite speculation that he may run

WASHINGTON - A report in the New York Times has stirred new speculation that Vice President Joe Biden, who up to now has remained aloof from the 2016 Democratic presidential race, may be edging closer to entering it. If so, it would be a course correction from his declared position ever since ...

Disinvestment ties roads, blight to D.C.

Awful policy-making streams from Washington like water down slippery rocks these days.But special mention is due the proposal, now largely dead, to raid blight funding for cities like Detroit to shore up the nearly broke national highway trust fund.It was exceptionally frightful, for obvious ...

When history books make history, all of us are much better for it

WASHINGTON - History books can be historic events, making history by ending important arguments. They can make it impossible for any intellectually honest person to assert certain propositions that once enjoyed considerable currency among people purporting to care about evidence.The author of ...

Trump-inspired debate drama highlights unsettled GOP field

CLEVELAND (AP) - It took just one question for chaos to erupt in Cleveland."Is there anyone on stage, and can I see hands, who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the Republican Party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person," asked ...

Defunding Planned Parenthood different than repealing abortion

The GOP-controlled Congress is taking up the cause, once again, of defunding Planned Parenthood. This latest effort comes in response to macabre hidden-camera videos shot by the Center for Medical Progress of staff at Planned Parenthood talking about the grisly practice of chopping up fetuses ...

It’s another British invasion but this time it isn’t musical

When music fans think of "the British Invasion" they are referring to 1960s bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Britain today, however, faces a different type of invasion.Thousands of migrants, most from North Africa and the Middle East, are storming an ineffective "barricade" in ...

Yes, debates 15 months before election do matter

Presidential debates, even those with 10 candidates held some 15 months before Election Day, do matter. Just recall the Aug. 11, 2011, GOP debate in Ames, Iowa, when Byron York of The Washington Examiner, in discussing the proposed combinations of spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the ...

No matter what, killing Cecil bad move by Minnesota dentist

"Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter."- African proverbOn the ledger of global outrages, the killing of Cecil the lion outside of a Zimbabwe national park should barely register.What is the fate of one big cat compared with the civil ...