Columns

Jimmy Carter has made peace with life and death

When Ronald Reagan announced in November 1994 he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, even some of his most ardent political opponents paused to wish him well.It was the same last Thursday when former President Jimmy Carter, who will soon be 91, held a news conference in Atlanta to ...

New taxi companies, drivers struggle for economic liberty

Here's my taxi question. If a person is law-abiding, has a driver's license, has a car or van that has passed safety inspection, and has adequate liability insurance, is there any consumer-oriented reason he should not be able to become a taxicab owner/operator?Put another way: If you wish to ...

Members of the audience are getting very poor reviews

Broadway star Patti LuPone made headlines recently when she grabbed a cellphone from a woman texting in the second row. It may have helped that she was in character, playing a tough-broad diva from a community theater.The play, "Shows for Days," was being performed at Lincoln Center, where ...

Donald Trump’s immigration plan seems to be half-fantasy, half serious

Donald Trump's six-page platform on immigration may not be, as Ann Coulter wrote, "the greatest political document since the Magna Carta." But given the issue's role in elevating the candidate to leading Republican polls, it merits serious attention.And at least some of the platform's planks ...

Shielding Wall Street from bigotry’s ravages

Phil Gramm, the former right-wing senator from Texas, has surprised me.I assumed he had zero charitable instincts. In office, he kept trying to kill safety net programs, such as food assistance: "We're the only nation in the world where all our poor people are fat," Gramm smirked back in ...

Memo to public: This is what Tourette Syndrome looks like

"Are you sure," I asked my daughter before writing this column."Yes," she said resolutely.Veronica is profoundly grateful for all the prayers, kindness and advice from strangers, friends and family alike that she received earlier this summer when I first told you about her plight. We hope ...

Great American, Congressman Lou Stokes, was warrior, friend

One of my most enduring memories of former Rep. Lou Stokes is from the fall of 2008, two days before the presidential election.Lou was looking dapper in his long wool coat as he stood with friends - the Rev. Otis Moss and his wife, Edwina - waiting to greet candidate Barack Obama before he took ...

Voter interest in Sanders,Trump likely harbringer of big changes

A new chapter in American politics has begun.Millions of Americans on the right and left have lost faith in their political parties, their government and even the economic system. Only 1 in 4 Americans are satisfied with the way things are going.Policy experts will offer various arguments why ...

Summer of our political discontent is playing out

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders represent two sides of the same coin. Both men have tapped into a deep anger - a discontent - in the public mood. Little seems to be going right. America appears in decline under a disengaged president.We can't seem to win wars, or know why we are fighting them. ...

Here’s why Bernie Sanders’ big crowds are important

When Democratic presidential candidates have campaigned in Los Angeles, it has usually been around a private fundraising event featuring Barbra Streisand or Steven Spielberg or George Clooney - or some combination of the three.What it has not been about - especially some 15 months before ...

Voter supression often difficult to see but it is usually there

The students at Miami Central Senior High frustrated me, and I frustrated them. The topic was Ferguson and my opinion that African-Americans in that torn-up Missouri city could get the city government they want if only they voted in greater numbers. After all, they are a clear majority of the ...

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 ...