Peter Hannaford

Peter Hannaford, who died on September 5,  was closely associated with the late President Reagan for a number of years. His most recent book, Washington Merry-Go-Round: The Drew Pearson Diaries, 1960-69, of which he is editor, has just been published.

Misspelled Words Give Me LOL

 

Editor’s note: Peter Hannaford, a faithful contributor to this site for many years, filed this column on Friday morning. On Saturday, we learned yesterday, he died suddenly at his northern California home. His young colleague Robert Zapesochny, with whom he coauthored a number of recent columns, pays tribute to him nearby, nicely capturing Peter’s historical […]

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McKinley Who?

 

If you’d mentioned the name of the 25th president before this week, that’s the answer you would have gotten from about everyone except some Ohioans and the residents of a small California city (more about them later). President Obama changed all that with his announcement that the nation’s highest peak, Mt. McKinley, would be officially […]

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The Hole in Trump’s Wall

 

Donald Trump is commanding center stage with his pronouncements on illegal immigration. He says he will build a wall along the Mexican border, from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, and that he will get the government of Mexico to pay for it. He conjures up a vision of thousands of Mexican rapists, drug […]

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Saving Niger’s Uranium Before Boko Haram Gets It

 

Since February, Niger’s army has been battling Boko Haram in its Diffa region. It borders Nigeria’s northeastern region where Boko Haram is trying to establish an Islamic state. This terrorist organization has killed more than 15,000 people and created 1.5 million refugees, some 100,000 of which are in Niger. Niger’s government has declared a state […]

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For Your Travel Inconvenience

 

Having created the problem of too many passengers lugging their suitcases aboard airplanes by charging for checked bags, the major airlines are now planning to make checked bags even more unpopular. The are testing various methods for making bag-checkers do their own checking instead of giving their bags to attendants with the attendant putting tags […]

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Modern Science Saves Opera

 

Human tragedies and anxieties bombard us everyday in news stories online, in print and broadcast, and via Twitter and Facebook.  There isn’t much we can do about it, other than try to escape now and then. TV has situation comedies, cop shows, spy thrillers, and gang sagas. Or, how about a night at the movies? […]

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The Environment Goes to Pot

 

Marijuana “grows” are the new environmental menace. Teams of sheriff’s deputies from three northern California counties found ample evidence of this in raids on several illegal grows last week. They were in a remote area called Island Mountain, where the three counties of the “Emerald Triangle” (Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino) converge. The deputies served 20 […]

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The Donald’s Log Cabin

 

In announcing his presidential candidacy, Donald Trump used his patented carnival barker’s routine. After that he took off for New Hampshire to actually campaign.  At his first stop he drew a good-sized crowed. After his pitch, reporters asked some of those attending what they thought of Trump as a candidate. One man told an interviewer, […]

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Pension Roulette

 

Many states, counties, and cities are in a budget vise caused by funds they are required to set aside to pay pensions for retired public employees. California may be in the worst shape. Ever since Jerry Brown—in his first incarnation as Governor (1975-79) —approved collective bargaining by public employee unions they have used the union […]

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Proposition 14: Party Wrecker?

 

In California in 2009, Abel Maldonado, a liberal Republican state senator, made a Faustian bargain with the Democrats who controlled the legislature. They needed one more vote to pass their budget. He would give it to them in exchange for their okaying his brainchild, a ballot measure to do away with party primaries. As a […]

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