Editorials and columns

Stand after stumbling — or pay a toll

My wife doesn’t like this column. She says it’s too disjointed. Going from a description of journeys with my sons when they were young to a proposed gas tax increase is too much of a jump for her. She says it makes no sense — apples and oranges. She may be right. Probably is. However, ...

First lady may force bureaucracy to do good for kids

“Working group” too often is a political term that translates in the long run to talking much about a problem — but doing little. Let us hope a meeting hosted by first lady Melania Trump this week breaks the mold. Mrs. Trump called a meeting Monday at the White House of the Interagency ...

Really Pure Michigan: North, Southeast fight over roads money

The Pure Michigan ad campaign highlights all the wonderful things about our state so that outsiders cannot resist the temptation to try our lakes, our fudge, our golf courses, craft beers, etc., etc. But what the out-of-staters will never see is a Pure Michigan commercial exposing the ...

Bible-signing criticism ridiculous

President Donald Trump is not the first politician to be the target of nitpicking by those who just can’t stand him, and he will not be the last. Still, the most recent episode — let us call it Biblegate — reaches new heights of desperation to find something, anything, to criticize about ...

Sherrod Brown will be missed in 2020

Why should it be of any importance or interest that Sherrod Brown, the third-term U.S. senator from Ohio, announced this week that he will not run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination? For one reason, unlike many recent would-be national leaders who belong to his party — a list ...

Liars, cheats: College admissions scandal shows system’s flaws

Operation Varsity Blues has unleashed a veritable orgy of stereotypes. “Entitled white kids” have been trending, along with told-you-so’s about how the system is “rigged.” Several commentators have suggested that this scandal should quiet concerns about affirmative action because the ...

Has the Catholic church committed worst crime in US history?

“Horseplay,” a term used to denote child rape, is, says Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, part of a sinister glossary of euphemisms by which the Catholic Church’s bureaucracy obfuscates in documents the church’s “pattern of abuse” and conspiracy of silence “that goes all ...

Trump’s budget good, bad, ugly for us

Why is it that nothing ever seems to be easy these days? I ask that question in relationship to the federal budget, where we can review the newest proposal and either celebrate the fact President Donald Trump has included funding for the Soo Locks repairs in it, or be upset that the Great ...

Congrats, Stamas, Cole on open gov’t awards

As Sunshine Week draws to a close we would be remiss not to thank State Sen. Jim Stamas for his work over the years in making open records, government accountability and public notice accessibility part of his principles in the Legislature. Stamas was chosen by the Michigan Press Association ...

Remembering my favorite public records fight

As we wind down Sunshine Week, a national celebration of open records laws and a national push for more government transparency, I wanted to share one of my favorite stories of a public records fight — one that worked out well for the people. It was fall 2016, and we at the Lansing State ...

College admissions scandal will change nothing

Come Heller high water ... ∫ Are you shocked by the college admissions scandal? If so, why? What’s new here? The wealthy and famous have always used their money and fame to get their kids to the front of the line. This is only big news now because of the 1 percent conversation we’ve ...

Strong borders benefit American dream in Northeast Michigan

In 1991, we started a local business and, over the first 25 years, we grew to 18 employees. In 2017, our revenue grew 20 percent and an additional 35 percent in 2018. This year, we expect 50 percent growth and our staff will be over 40 employees. Our company will double in revenue and ...

Et tu, winter?

In Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar,” the soothsayer warns Caesar to “Beware the Ides of March.” The Ides of March, or March 15, would indeed prove to be disastrous for Caesar. Shortly after being warned, he shrugged the soothsayer’s words off as, “He is a dreamer. Let us ...

On March 21, celebrate ‘Lots of Socks!’

It was Jan. 5, Alpena, Mich., nine years, two months ago. We all have them, right? Dates forever notched onto our lifeline that are unforgettable. Why do we remember them so vividly? Maybe because they were so joyous or maybe they mark a tragedy, but, in most cases, they are moments in time ...

If you’re running for president, you should talk to journalists

Earlier this month, my husband, Sen. Sherrod Brown, went on a listening tour of four early-primary states as he considered running for president. I traveled with him to Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, as did a caravan of political reporters waiting to see if he would announce ...

Can Republican politicians get elected in nonwhite America?

The Pew Research Center has produced a projected profile of what the American electorate will look like ethnically in the 2020 elections. The portrait shows a continued trend of America becoming an increasingly nonwhite nation and electorate. Pew projects that 66.7 percent of eligible ...

Recent statements of value said to me

The following don’t deserve an entire column all on their own, so I’m sticking them all into this one. These are statements people have said to me recently that had an impact on me. Maybe if they have had an impact on me, they can impact you, as well. “I’m glad I went to the event ...

Even Pelosi understands impeachment push would reelect Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appears to have recognized that the monster she helped create — an ultra-leftist fringe —is a threat to her Democratic Party’s prospects for the presidency in 2020. The question she may be asking herself is whether she retains enough political power to slam the ...

Kim lies, Trump was right to walk away

The thoughtful among President Donald Trump’s severest critics have had to join with his supporters in giving him a thumbs-up for walking away from a summit meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un several days ago. Trump was right to refuse to be the newest chump in North Korea’s ...

What Kirtland’s warbler teaches on growth

My kids came home from school last week sharing stories of the Kirtland’s warbler. They recently had a lesson that talked about the bird that nearly vanished a number of years ago. Remember the little bird? When I was in elementary school many moons ago, we also heard about the endangered ...