The Trump administration’s attacks on this nation’s tradition of a free and independent press are nothing if not reprehensible. But don’t let them remove our focus this week from what’s vitally important.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump used his news conference to attack the press and the First Amendment, insult several reporters, give false information about his Electoral College victory, claim his administration’s first days have been velvety smooth, and describe the nation he now commands.

Up in North Carolina, that state’s so-called “bathroom bill” is a disaster — financially, perceptually and politically. Analysts say backlash against that discriminatory legislation has cost the state more than $600 million in lost business.

The primary focus of state government when it comes to spending on public schools should be on … public schools. Yes, our tax dollars and efforts at improvement should concentrate on those community-based institutions where the majority of Alabama parents send their children for an education.

Anniston’s crime problem doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s the city’s octopus, its tentacles reaching out to all four wards and virtually all aspects of life. One way or another, it affects everyone.

Groceries are taxed in Alabama because lawmakers are either too unwilling to craft a workable solution, too incapable of withstanding the political pressure, or not smart enough to grasp the importance.

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman’s release Wednesday from a federal prison in Louisiana doesn’t change these facts: the case against him was a house built upon sand, and the sentence he received was remarkably harsh.

For a state that loves its football and admires the coaches who win because they focus on fundamentals like blocking and tackling, Alabama sure is stuck with a bunch of elected leaders who seemingly can’t master the basics.

Donald Trump’s victorious presidential campaign included a mishmash of Republican policies and promises such as strengthening the U.S. military and stopping the exodus of American jobs to other countries.

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