Columns

Michigan State Police 100th Anniversary

2017 marks the Michigan State Police 100th year of service to our state.  We were originally created as a “temporary” wartime emergency force for domestic security during World War 1.  In April of 1917 the Michigan State Troops Permanent Force was established.  It was also known as the ...

What DeVos should have said

Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, probably survived the grilling she got from angry Democrats last week. When Sen. Patty Murray demanded she promise not “to privatize public schools,” DeVos replied, “Not all schools are working for the students.” When ...

Inaugural just magical thinking

It was, arguably, the most telling moment of Donald Trump’s inauguration speech. People want good schools, neighborhoods and jobs, said the incoming president. “But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; ...

Trump’s inaugural address: New tone, same goals

WASHINGTON — New President Donald Trump adopted a generally more civil and conciliatory tone in his inaugural address while doubling down on his campaign allegation that Washington politicians were out for themselves, a situation he said was going the change fast. For too long, a small ...

Man of words gave his daughter Kindle

The first time I met Barack Obama was in early 2006, when he was still a U.S. senator. He had come to Cincinnati to help out my husband, Sherrod Brown, in Sherrod’s campaign to join him in the Senate. I sat next to Obama during breakfast, before he took the stage. Almost immediately, our ...

Trying different way could be start of something big

Some years ago a friend of mine wrote a book titled “The Seven Last Words of the Church, or, We’ve Never Tried It That Way Before.” It is about what he regarded as the entrenched bureaucracies in his denomination that are reluctant — even hostile — to change. The same opposition to ...

Lust for respect makes unity difficult

“For many years,” Donald Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon, “our country has been divided, angry and untrusting. Many say it will never change, the hatred is too deep. IT WILL CHANGE!!!!” As persuasive as the ALL CAPS are, I have my doubts. Put aside Trump’s specific shortcomings for ...

Trump thinks we’ve been chumps in global trading

We’ve been instructed not to take our new president literally but instead seriously (in the felicitous phrasing of Salena Zito). As I write, there are hints that the inaugural address will focus on the theme of “America First.” President-elect Trump may or may not be familiar with the ...

Trump’s plan to neuter press corps

Tyrants don’t allow open questioning, and they hate the free press. They want total control. That’s why, according to three senior officials on the transition team, the incoming Trump administration is considering evicting the White House press corps from the press room inside the White ...

Trump’s inauguration is not without precedent

The United States has just had three consecutive eight-year presidencies, and it’s only the second time in history that that’s happened. The only other such moment came on March 4, 1825, 192 years ago. That’s a bit surprising, given the strong example George Washington’s two terms as ...

Let buyer beware when it comes to advertising tactics

Another year, another continuous battle with the people who most seriously and deviously change our lives — the ad makers. Changes in our society don’t happen overnight; they creep in slowly, from the youngest big spenders to the millennials, and on until we all succumb,  when any ...

State trying to control what you know — yet again

Earlier this week the Michigan House of Representatives began their 99th session. The first bill introduced deals with an important issue: rolling back Michigan’s income tax. The second bill introduced by Rep. Rob Verheulen, R-Walker, is a replica of the bill introduced in the last two ...

Heavyweight match: Lewis vs. Trump

WASHINGTON — A recent tweet from @realDonaldTrump: John Lewis is an American hero. I look forward to working with him in the years to come.” That, my friends, is what’s known as “fake news.” It didn’t happen. I made it up. Here’s real news: Just days before his ...

Challenge Us; Don’t Coddle Us

The late William Safire, a certified wordsmith who had been a speechwriter for President Richard Nixon before becoming a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, concluded, after reading 56 of them, that there had been only four great presidential inaugural addresses: Abraham ...

Abolish 5 bureaucracies in 1st week

Donald Trump will be busy Friday. He and Mike Pence have promised, Mother Jones magazine points out, that on Trump's first day in office he will repeal Obamacare, end the "war on coal," expel illegal immigrants, begin construction of a "beautiful Southern border wall," fix the Department of ...

Before president says farewell, there’s disappointment

For all the gooey talk about President Barack Obama’s legacy, it can probably best be described in four blunt words: Disappointment. And Donald Trump. What we can’t measure, not completely, not yet, is the inspiration he’s given to millions of people — particularly to ...

Godspeed, Mr. President

Dear Mr. President: “Barack Obama is not Jesus.” Those were the first words of the first column I ever wrote about you — a poke in the eye to Democrats who were singing rhapsodic hosannas about a certain highly regarded young senator. “Yes,” I griped, “he has great potential. ...

Dissent, tweets will not stop inauguration

WASHINGTON — On the eve of Donald Trump’s swearing-in as the 45th American president, there is nothing to stop it despite public dissent, such as Democratic Congressman John Lewis’s contention that Trump will be not be a “legitimate” president. Those many voters who cling to the ...

Call for Activists for Journalism

Well, that was quite the spectacle. In his first news conference since July, President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday likened the U.S. intelligence community to Nazi Germany, talked about himself in the third person as he described Vladimir Putin’s affection for him and attacked not one ...

Russians merely did to us what we’ve done to others

Many top U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a secret intelligence operation for the purpose of discrediting Hillary Clinton, thereby helping Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election. Hillary Clinton has done more to discredit ...