Jennifer Ladino: Visiting national parks could change your thinking about patriotism

BY: - July 6, 2019

When I took a post-college job as a seasonal ranger at Grand Teton National Park 23 years ago, I noticed right away that my “Smokey Bear” hat carried some serious emotional baggage. As I later wrote in my book, “Reclaiming Nostalgia: Longing for Nature in American Literature,” park visitors saw the hat as an icon […]

Jeff T. Wattrick: Marianne Williamson is the 2020 version of Pat Robertson

BY: - July 5, 2019

Should we take Marianne Williamson’s presidential candidacy seriously?  Alex Pareene says yes because Williamson is the 2020 version of Donald Trump. Though she’s “aiming her message not at the raging car dealer dad but the anxious Wellness Mom,” Pareene writes, Williamson is the same kind of unqualified, celebrity candidate as our disastrous president. Anything is […]

Column: Spare yourself and skip Trump’s Fourth of July speech

BY: - July 4, 2019

Here’s one set of eyes and ears that won’t be fastened on President Trump’s speech on July 4 at the Lincoln Memorial. The aural and visual blackout has nothing to do with politics or ideology, though Trump’s policies and politics are 18th Century leftovers, at best. Everything a president says, good, bad, even ungrammatical, is important […]

Gilda Z. Jacobs: Let lawmakers know this summer about policies that help working families

BY: - July 2, 2019

The band strikes up and the tiny flags start waving. Candy flies and kids swarm to grab all they can, their hands still sticky from the red, white and blue popsicles they recently inhaled. Grandparents sip lemonade and keep their eye out for the hot dog stand. Local lawmakers mill through the crowd, handing out […]


Susan J. Demas: Tyranny of the 3%: How abortion law gets made in Michigan

BY: - June 26, 2019

If you’re a woman living in Michigan, your right to make essential health decisions for you and your family could soon be decided by 340,047 people who may not know what’s on the petitions they’re signing. There are currently two sweeping anti-abortion ballot measures that have cleared the first hurdle with a state board. One […]

Rick Haglund: Michigan’s finances are still reeling from recession, outdated tax code

BY: - June 22, 2019

Much has been made of Michigan’s “lost decade”— the period between 2001 and 2010 in which Michigan shed jobs every year. But Michigan and most other states are dealing with a second “lost decade,” this one involving state government finances. A new report by The Pew Charitable Trusts found the states are still struggling to […]

Column: Raise the Age could be a bipartisan win 100 years in the making

BY: - June 21, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spent her inauguration speech talking about “building bridges” and embracing bipartisanship. And while some Michiganders dared to dream that was possible, those of us who have been in the trenches — and literally on one side of the legislative aisle or the other — had a harder time shedding our cynicism. It […]

Column: Water stays in the pipes longer in shrinking cities — a challenge for public health

BY: , and - June 20, 2019

The geographic locations where Americans live are shifting in ways that can negatively affect the quality of their drinking water. Cities that experience long-term, persistent population decline are called shrinking cities. Although shrinking cities exist across the U.S., they are concentrated in the American Rust Belt and Northeast. Urban shrinkage can be bad for drinking […]

Susan J. Demas: Michigan deserves great schools and roads. It’s time for a graduated income tax.

BY: - June 19, 2019

It’s been more than 100 days since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer came up with the most business-friendly solution to fix the roads and start to repair schools. After years of recession and Republican disinvestment, we have the worst roads in the nation. No state has spent less on education than we have in the last quarter-century. […]

Mary Alice Carter: Real Alternatives is a real waste of Michigan tax dollars

BY: - June 18, 2019

It shouldn’t be controversial to say that elected officials have a responsibility to be trustworthy stewards of taxpayers’ money. Unfortunately, conservative legislators in Lansing have no problem squandering taxpayer funds on contracts with Real Alternatives, a politically connected, right-wing organization that year after year failed to do what the state pays it to do. If you’re […]

Lavora Barnes: Trump has broken his promises on the Great Lakes

BY: - June 15, 2019

Editor’s Note: A previous version of the column may not have included Barnes’ full bio. It appears below. Next week, when Donald Trump kicks off his reelection, he will try to make his case to Michigan and the country that he deserves another four years in the Oval Office. Here’s one major problem for him: […]

Susan J. Demas: The GOP finally has an infrastructure plan: Sell off Michigan for parts

BY: - June 13, 2019

In what was, perhaps, the most perfect Onion story ever written, the city of Detroit was sold at auction to “bulk scrap dealers and smelting foundries” back in 2006. “Detroit Sold For Scrap” chronicles how the Renaissance Center netted $4,000 and the former Detroit Museum of African-American History fetched a whopping $135. “This is what’s […]