Columns

Trump bends, doesn’t break, ways of Washington in first year

WASHINGTON (AP) — In his first year in office, President Donald Trump has frequently bent Washington to his will, shattering long-standing norms, plunging politics to a new level of corrosiveness and wielding his executive power to start rolling back his predecessor’s policies on the ...

Washington Democrats follow Capone’s playbook

“You can get a lot farther with a smile and a gun than you can with just a smile.” This quote has often been attributed to the late Chicago mobster Al Capone, who with his fellow organized crime buddies used extortion as one of their tactics to get what they wanted. Today’s modern ...

Senate passes bill to renew foreign surveillance program

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Thursday passed a bill to renew a critical foreign intelligence collection program dubbed the “holy grail” because it allows U.S. spy agencies to conduct surveillance on foreign targets abroad. The Senate voted 65-34 to reauthorize the controversial ...

Book misses why public lost trust in government

WASHINGTON — Is there anything more depressing than a cheerful liberal? The question is prompted by one such, historian David Goldfield, who has written a large-hearted book explaining that America’s problems would yield to government’s deft ameliorating touch if Americans would just ...

AP sources: WH directed Bannon to stay silent in House interview

WASHINGTON (AP) — Steve Bannon’s attorney relayed questions, in real time, to the White House during a House Intelligence Committee interview of the former Trump chief strategist, people familiar with the closed-door session told The Associated Press. As lawmakers probed Bannon’s time ...

Trump ends with lowest average rating for first year

WASHINGTON (AP) — This is a record not to be coveted: Donald Trump is wrapping up a year in office with the lowest average approval rating of any elected president in his first year. That’s according to polling by Gallup, which shows Trump has averaged just a 39 percent approval rating ...

Democrats need to learn how to own what they do

Donald Trump is fabulously adept at taking credit for and exaggerating every bit of good news, especially good economic news. When the news is bad, he changes the subject. Trump is the master, but Republicans generally are skilled at fine-tailoring reality for their benefit. Democrats are the ...

MLK’s ‘I have a dream’ speech

The text of Martin Luther King’s speech on Aug. 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ...

Trump’s own words revive debate over whether he’s racist

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 150 years after the abolition of slavery and more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, President Donald Trump’s incendiary comments about immigrants have ripped open a jarring debate in the United States and around the world: Is the American ...

How merit-based college admissions became unfair

WASHINGTON — During World War I, chemist James Conant was deeply involved in research on what was considered the worst imaginable weapon: poison gas. During World War II, as a science adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt, Conant was so central to the development of the atomic bomb that he ...

Dems call Trump action on Florida drilling politically motivated

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats from coastal states accused the Trump administration of punishing states with Democratic leaders after the administration said it would block oil drilling off Florida’s coast after objections from that state’s Republican governor. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff ...

Trump says administration looking at current libel laws

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he’s going to be taking “a strong look at our country’s libel laws,” blasting the current standards as “a sham and a disgrace.” Speaking during a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Trump said that people shouldn’t be able to say things ...

Are Trump’s accusers mad?

“Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.” — W.C. Fields Having lost an election they thought they would win and unable to get over it; having been staggeringly wrong about their predictions that a Trump presidency would be the end of global ...

Oprah in 2020? Allies send mixed messages on her future

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As Democrats nationwide encourage Oprah Winfrey to seek the presidency in 2020, those closest to the media mogul are sending mixed messages about her political intentions. Her best friend, CBS News host Gayle King, said Tuesday that Winfrey is “intrigued” by the ...

Dent’s departure makes Allentown vulnerable

WASHINGTON — It is almost a law of our political physics: Those who choose to leave Congress thereby demonstrate qualities that make one wish they would linger here longer. After seven terms in the House of Representatives, which followed eight years in Pennsylvania’s House of ...

STATE REP. BEAU LaFAVE

LaFave: Making Lansing work for the Upper Peninsula

With 2017 officially concluded, there are many reasons why my first year as your state representative has been successful. For me, I have focused on making sure our state government works for the Upper Peninsula and not the other way around. A perfect example, in addition to being a highlight ...

Bannon walks back statements as aides defend Trump’s fitness

WASHINGTON (AP) — Steve Bannon is trying to make amends. Faced with a growing backlash, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist released a statement Sunday reaffirming his support for the commander in chief and praising Trump’s eldest son as “both a patriot and a good ...

GOP senators urge probe of Trump dossier author

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Republican senators have made the first known criminal referral in congressional investigations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, targeting the author of a dossier of allegations about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. Senate Judiciary Committee ...

Celebrate freedom, not pot

As many Californians reveled with unbridled joy over their new freedom to use marijuana for any reason, this writer felt the bit of mild disapproval tighten in her mouth. Make no mistake. She fully supports the legalization of pot, as well as the decriminalization of hard drugs. The war on ...

AP: What does Sessions’ policy mean for the future of marijuana?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even as a series of states legalized the recreational use of marijuana, the possession, use or sale of the drug remained a federal crime. Still, the Justice Department, under President Barack Obama, took a hands-off approach. That changed Thursday. Attorney General Jeff ...