- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:

The Columbus Dispatch, Jan. 22

Donald Trump’s latest salvo against the media and the U.S. intelligence community is to accuse both of planting “fake news” to delegitimize his presidency. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton supporters are blaming fake news (along with Russian hacking, the email imbroglio and FBI Director James Comey) for their candidate’s loss.

Hearing politicians and their minions bemoaning fake news might be mildly amusing. They are, after all, world-class fibbers and spin-masters. Planting fake information against the opponent has a long and lowly history; remember Richard Nixon’s dirty tricks team forging the “Canuck” letter to discredit Sen. Edmund Muskie? Or the pamphlet in the 2000 presidential primary picturing John McCain with his adopted daughter, an effort to fan racism by implying he had an illegitimate black daughter?

In 1802, a tabloid-like news story accused Thomas Jefferson of fathering children with slave Sally Hemmings. In more recent decades, tabloid stories of infidelity swirled around presidential front-runners Gary Hart and John Edwards. Oh, wait, all of these turned out to be true.

So fake news isn’t new. Likewise, it isn’t always fake. While people are buying into malicious, false reports- likely because it comports with their existing views or prejudices -politicians have turned the tables: They’re using the label to discredit legitimate reporting…

Online:

https://bit.ly/2j5GkbA

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The Akron Beacon Journal, Jan. 22

President Trump campaigned as an agent of change in coal country. He told audiences in Ohio, West Virginia and elsewhere that he would bring jobs back. It was hard to see how exactly in the fall, and it is no less so today. The coal industry has been hit by a confluence of factors that have weakened its presence.

That weakening has triggered an immediate crisis for 22,500 retired coal miners. They face the loss of their health care and pension benefits. Which means Congress should act, approving the Miners Protection Act, reintroduced last week by Sherrod Brown, with the support of his fellow Ohio senator, Rob Portman.

Here is an opportunity for the president to prove true to his campaign commitment, if not on the job front then in ensuring the security that retired coal miners deserve.

What should be stressed about the plight of coal is that regulations put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency under Barack Obama are not the most telling factor. It is worth adding that the overall benefits of those rules exceed the cost. More than anything, coal and its jobs have suffered because of the low price of natural gas and automation in the industry.

Put another way, the marketplace has been rough on coal…

Online:

https://bit.ly/2kk1DeI

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The Marietta Times, Jan. 20

When astronaut Eugene Cernan left the surface of the moon after a very active Apollo 17 lunar expedition in 1972, he knew he was the last man on the moon, at least for a while.

He didn’t suspect he’d be the last man on the moon for the rest of his life.

Cernan, who died Monday at age 82, didn’t have the all-American persona of John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, nor the luck of being first, such as Alan Shepherd as the first American in space or Neil Armstrong as the first man to walk on the moon. But he was important to the space program as a true professional with a scientific heart and a pilot’s personality. His flights aboard an earlier Gemini mission and the lunar orbit of Apollo 10 were crucial to the six successful lunar landings, improving spaceflight all along the way.

He often teased that his Apollo 10 flight “painted the white line” for Armstrong to follow to the Sea of Tranquility in July 1969.

But in addition to the fun of being on the moon- it was an adventure for the dozen men who walked its surface -Cernan commanded the most advanced of the lunar missions…

Online:

https://bit.ly/2jp95RD

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The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon, Jan. 22

Peaceful women’s marches and rallies in Washington and across America Saturday were a healthy antidote to protests that turned ugly and violent Friday night.

Millions, a majority women though many men as well, protested worldwide citing a variety of reasons. Many women feared a Trump administration will mean rollbacks of reproductive rights, others objected to his crude comments in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women. Others simply wanted to make their voices heard, to let it be known they oppose many of the things President Donald Trump has said during the campaign or the policies he plans to enact.

It seems unlikely such protests will soon become a thing of the past as President Trump’s inaugural address did little to alleviate critics concerns that he will be a divisive figure. His 16-minute address Friday was similar in tone to his stump speeches, making it clear he is unwilling to move beyond campaign mode. That style undeniably won him the White House and resonates with his many supporters. Whether it will inspire an entire nation, create any sense of unity and lead to effective government remains to be seen. What many were desperate to hear was a vision for what a “great again” America will actually look like, and Trump provided few specific answers about that vision.

Nevertheless, Trump has certainly earned the votes and right to be who he is- but he must understand it also earned him the considerable backlash on display Saturday…

Online:

https://bit.ly/2jp47nS

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