×

Columns

FOIA a powerful tool for everyone

The Freedom of Information Act isn’t just for reporters. It is a powerful tool for the public’s use, too, as demonstrated last year by a citizens’ group searching for the truth about the abrupt resignations of several popular school principals. In the aftermath of the ensuing ...

Battling poverty is our longest war

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to spend $1.4 billion of New York’s resources to solve the persistent problem of poverty in central Brooklyn. If he wins legislative approval, Cuomo, a Democrat, intends to spend the money on affordable housing, job training, anti-violence programs, recreational space, ...

Dear Annie: Pains of Alzheimer’s

Dear Annie: My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years ago. In the beginning, it was just small stuff, such as forgetting that she had told the same story to us five times or using her lipstick as eyeliner. About a year ago, it got really bad. My dad told me that she would ...

Sunshine Week op-ed: What’s news? Hearst had it right

Newspaper titan William Randolph Hearst described the grist of his industry this way: “News is something which somebody wants suppressed.” By that measure, Michigan is a state teeming with potential news stories. We’ve been stuck with an F grade in public access to information, and a ...

No free lunch in health care system

The health care reform bill that has now passed two committee hurdles in the House still faces an uphill battle to become law. Many tea party Republicans have already said they won’t vote for a bill they call Obamacare Lite, and it is likely that very few, if any, Democrats will cross over to ...

America’s high-risk complacent class doesn’t like taking chances

michael barone“Most Americans don’t like change very much,” writes economist and Marginal Revolution blogger Tyler Cowen, “unless it is on terms that they manage and control.” That’s just one of many provocative sentences you can mine from the riches threaded through his new book, ...

Meekhof standing in way of government transparency

Sarah Leach “You guys are the only people who care about this.” Those were the unapologetic words of Republican state Sen. Arlan Meekhof to a roomful of journalists last month during the Michigan Press Association’s annual meeting in Grand Rapids. He was addressing inquiries as to ...

Students, others can make use of Freedom of Information Act

mitchell kukulka During my time studying journalism at Central Michigan University, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to experience the difficulty and frustration that can come when trying to wrangle information from less-than-cooperative sources. For many student journalists, innocuous ...

Plot to poison Obamacare apparent

Froma Harrop Arsenic was a poison favored by Victorian mystery writers. The victims would be fed small amounts, not suspecting the cause of their increasing discomfort. At a certain point, the arsenic buildup would send them into organ failure and death. The Republican House health care ...

For women, what comes next?

International Women’s Day is a once-a-year acknowledgment of what women do every day of the year, which is to keep the world afloat with our labor — paid and unpaid. March 8 fell on a Wednesday this year. Here in the U.S., some of the organizers of January’s Women’s March encouraged ...

They aren’t your daddy’s Marines

WASHINGTON — An old Marine told me that Marines guard Marines from the other side. And when one of their brothers is being threatened, the Devil Dogs (aka Marines) will “go wild on them” for eternity. Yes, but what about the sisters? Do the Devil Dogs protect them, too? What about the ...

Trump effect having positive impact

Here are two scenarios. One: you are a retiree who in recent years has been concerned about the value of your stock portfolio. Suddenly, the value of your stocks and stock-based mutual funds surges, the Dow rising 1,000 points to record highs within weeks. You examine the monthly report your ...

Leadership D.C. could learn from

Hollywood’s critics, of which there has never been a shortage, have long accused that California village of being the national home office of insincerity and shallowness. Two great 20th-century American wits memorably made that case. Fred Allen wrote, “All the sincerity in Hollywood you ...

Immigration announcement key

In the Trump era, good news rarely lasts a full 24-hour news cycle. The president’s well-received Tuesday speech has already been overshadowed by revelations that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice during the presidential campaign with the Russian ambassador, despite the fact that ...

Facts on the ground moving immigration in Trump’s direction

The afternoon before President Donald Trump’s Tuesday night speech to Congress, Twitter watchers were treated to a flurry of tweets, inspired by comments at the traditional lunch with network anchors, that the president was going to endorse something very much like the “comprehensive” ...

Claims of voter fraud are Trump’s most shameful lies

On Feb. 9, at a closed-door meeting with a group of U.S. senators, Donald Trump claimed that both he and former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte would have been victorious in the Granite State last fall if not for the “thousands” of people who were “brought in on buses” from neighboring ...

National sigh of relief after State of the Union address

The morning after President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress, the Dow Jones industrial average shot up 300 points, lifting the stock market above 21,000. But the excitement of the money managers couldn’t touch the ecstasy of conservative observers. John Hinderaker of the ...

Michigan State University must redouble scrutiny of sexual abuse

High-brow credentials and impressive titles don't give anyone the right to inappropriately touch vulnerable young women. Sadly, it appears Michigan State University gymnasts were lulled into trusting an alleged sexual predator because he bore the imprimatur of the college. That makes MSU ...

What has Trump done for American people?

The punditry remains obsessed over Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and their alleged boss, Donald Trump. Who’s controlling whom? And the world’s still fascinated by Trump’s appalling and entertaining antics — as confusion runs riot in the executive branch. At a certain point, though, we ...

Speaking of Planned Parenthood

Dozens of women in Congress wore suffragist white Tuesday night for President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session. You know this had to annoy him, all those dames sticking out in that sea of dark suits, but he stayed on script anyway. That was all he had to do, apparently, to be ...