Columns

Trump’s orgy of unnecessary cruelty

The theme that unites Donald Trump’s major initiatives so far is their unnecessary cruelty. His new budget, for example, comes down especially hard on the poor — imposing unprecedented cuts in low-income housing, job training, food assistance, legal services, help to distressed rural ...

The Base’s Rage Ill Serves the Democratic Party

In a week chock-full of news, the party that on the night of Nov. 8 found itself, much to its surprise, very much out of power has been having difficulty finding a way to return. Democratic senators, urged on by the left blogosphere and party activists, peppered Supreme Court nominee Neil ...

MSP takes TEAM approach in guiding our youth

We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing world, and keeping up and ahead can be a challenge. It’s difficult for us adults so consider how it must be for our youth, especially for teens who are nearing adulthood. Pressure to be successful, social status, expectations, rules, mixed messages ...

What do we talk about when we don’t talk about Lent?

It happens to me every year when the ground is cold and wet in March, when polite Easter talk involves pepper and egg sandwiches, and later, chocolate bunnies and those sugary Peeps. It’s the time when I ask questions of myself that I can’t quite answer, like this one: As a Christian, ...

Serious Matter of Political Humor

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the only American elected president four times, had an often overlooked strength that both sustained him under the torrent of abuse he endured and served to thwart his dyspeptic political opponents: FDR could laugh at the jeers directed at him. He framed and showed ...

Kindest cuts only seem to be cruel

“Devastating!” shouts Chuck Schumer. Even Republicans are unhappy. Big spending “conservative” congressman Hal Rogers calls President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts “draconian, careless and counterproductive.” But Trump’s cuts are good! Why do politicians always assume ...

Voting class of 2016: Trump’s Budget Cuts and the Upper Peninsula

Donald Trump released his first budget this past week that includes a $54 billion increase in military and defense spending while cutting $54 billion from other areas, including some very important programs to Houghton County. The cuts the mainstream media reported on were the ones to the ...

The Narrative of Life

Gloria gripped the steering wheel. Adam was leaning back in the passenger seat. The car engine was running. It was a cold night in November. Flakes of snow were clumping together on the wet slushy ground - a reminder of a long winter to come. They were waiting for the car to defrost, the thin ...

Exploring the benefits of home health care

All of us have been affected by illness either personally or with a loved one. It was once common practice to keep patients in the hospital for extended periods of time, or to transition them to a long term care facility if they were unable to be completely independent at home. However, as ...

Time to explain journalism to Fox News — yet again

It is time, once again, to explain journalism to Fox News. In a way, that’s disappointing. After all, that network’s Shepard Smith has emerged as something of a journalistic hero lately, repeatedly standing up to Donald Trump’s administration for its attempts to undermine and ...

As Trump agenda falters, the two parties erode

WASHINGTON — As the new president continues to traffic in whole-cloth lies and genuine fake news, where are the voices in the Republican Party he hijacked that once represented the sober conscience of American conservatism? With the exception of naysayers like former GOP presidential ...

Rush-SHA, Rush-SHA, Rush-SHA

Every day, another onslaught of crazy out of this administration. Pick a day. Any day. Wednesday, let’s say. Before 7 a.m., President Trump was pretending he’d never heard of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, who first started covering Trump in the late 1980s and ...

Purity not winning quality in health care politics

Readers of a certain age may recall ads for Ivory Soap, which claimed to be 99 and 44/100ths percent pure. If the soap could have reached 100 percent purity, the company would likely have made the claim. Purity, apparently, is what some conservative Republicans are demanding in a health ...

Irish brogue always recognizable, not always understood

It’s a small country, hardly as large as our Peninsula, shaped like a Teddy Bear facing this way — rich with history, mysteries, folk tales, and a brogue you’d recognize anywhere. It’s Ireland, of course, and March is the month dedicated world over to that amazing land of 43 shades of ...

Trump waging war on truth-tellers

Donald Trump and his White House don’t argue on the merits. Instead, they attack the institutions that come up with facts and arguments they don’t like. Last week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer warned that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office couldn’t be trusted to come ...

Positive perceptions of Trump policies spur actions

Perceptions matter. People make decisions, even life-altering decisions, based on what they perceive as likely to happen. To the extent that public policy affects such decisions, the perception of likely policy change can affect behavior even before the change happens — even if it ends up ...

Legend of Trump, the firing of feds and St. Preet

President Donald Trump’s firing of U.S. attorneys across the country was terrible, Democrats and many TV talking heads and other media sages agreed. And this wholesale firing was offered up as yet another example of Trumpian imperial whim breathing its hot Big Orange authoritarian breath ...

Media reports while remaining ignorant

Has the media gotten worse? Or am I just grouchier? Every day I see things that are wrong or that so miss the point I want to scream. Four examples: Storm Coverage As this week's storm approached the East Coast, the media reverted to breathless hype: "monster storm ... very dangerous." ...

What should we do about a mentally ill president?

It's time to face up to the obvious: The President of the United States is deranged. I don't mean that he's merely idiosyncratic or pushing policies that I think are crazy, nor do I say this as just another political jab. I mean that Donald J. Trump literally is mentally ill. OK, I'm no ...

Resentment is not identity

So this driver is stopped at an intersection. A pedestrian is dawdling in the crosswalk. Driver leans out the window and yells, “Get out of the street, you damned liberal!” It’s been years since I read that in a magazine. I can’t remember if it was a true story, though I think it was. ...