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Sanders' 'Medicare for All' is not fair to Medicare

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

It needs pointing out that Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All plan bears little resemblance to Medicare. The Vermont senator undoubtedly exploits the word "Medicare" to obscure the radicalness of his single-payer proposal. Medicare, after all, is very popular.

Those who admire single-payer systems -- which do have their virtues -- should own up ...Read more

Trump and the Davos elite have no interest in addressing inequality

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

As the U.S. Senate debates Donald Trump's future, CEOs, financiers and politicians from around the world are descending on Davos in the Swiss Alps for their annual self-congratulatory defense of global capitalism.

The events are not unrelated. Trump is charged with abusing his power. Capitalism's global elite is under assault for abusing its ...Read more

His Excellency, Don Diego

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I tried. I swear I tried.

Like any columnist, I combed the week's news, looking for that thing from which a newspaper column could be built.

Iran. Nukes. Impeachment. The British royal family. Drugs. Tariffs. Heartbreak and fear and the sense that standards are slipping everywhere.

Scared hell out of me, is what happened.

And then, it struck...Read more

You create diversity by creating diversity

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Stephen King:

I hope you'll indulge me as I try to explain something I suspect you still don't quite understand. Namely: why so many of us were so disappointed with your take on the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominations. As the white-dominated and male-centric list of contenders was announced and women and people of color ...Read more

America's Long History of Meddling in Russia

From the Left / Ted Rall /

Russia -- OK, not the actual Russian government but a private troll farm company located in Russia -- bought $100,000 worth of political ads on Facebook designed to change the outcome of the 2016 election. Except that only a small fraction of those ads were political. Also except that the small fraction was divvied up between pro-Hillary ...Read more

In Defense of Iowa

From the Left / Mark Shields /

We have reached that time in every presidential nominating year when distinguished, national opinion leaders beat up on Iowa and that admirable state's influential role in determining the two major parties' eventual presidential nominees and, therefore, the next president. The USA Today editorial board indicts Iowa for being "one of the least ...Read more

Equality Deferred

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It was in 1972 that Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment.

The Amendment provides "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

Last week, 48 years later, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment -- which would make it law but for the fact that ...Read more

Let's ban secluded 'quiet rooms' in schools nationwide

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Until recently, Illinois state Rep. Jonathan Carroll, a Democrat, says he has avoided talking much in public about his childhood experiences with isolation punishment.

But he was moved to blog about it after the chilling revelations in a recent investigation by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois of the disciplinary policy called "...Read more

A fair and balanced impeachment

From the Left / Joe Conason /

When Mitch McConnell declares that the impeachment of President Donald Trump should follow the same rules and procedures as the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton, that must sound reasonable to many Americans. As the Senate majority leader puts it in his folksiest voice, "Fair is fair."

Leave aside the fact that McConnell -- who swore...Read more

Democrats should put an end to caucuses

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

"It is quite astonishing to see with what deadpan and neutral a tone our press and television report the open corruption -- and the flagrantly anti-democratic character -- of the Iowa caucuses."

I quote the late Christopher Hitchens because I couldn't put it better.

In a primary, eligible voters can show up anytime while polls are open, cast ...Read more

Warren has a strategy to take on Bernie

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

What a coincidence. With less than three weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, we suddenly learn about a meeting that took place a year ago, with only two people in the room. She, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, told him, Sen. Bernie Sanders, she was running for president; he allegedly told her that a woman couldn't win, which is a weird thing to say to a...Read more

Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that man behind the tree

From the Left / Jim Hightower /

Sen. Russell Long, the powerful Senate Finance Committee chair from 1966 to 1981 from the great state of Louisiana, liked to recite a little jingle highlighting the thorny political process of tax reform: "Don't tax you. Don't tax me. Tax that man behind the tree."

Yes, let's do just that! Today, our nominee for "that man behind the tree" is ...Read more

The Oscars honor our very own Joker

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- He's the true dark Joker, and I don't mean Joaquin Phoenix. The actor can't hold a candle to the president, a character whose lethal whims we fear in the new year.

Has Hollywood gone Washington, or has Washington gone Hollywood? That is the question.

The Academy Award nominations bestowed the biggest kiss on "Joker," a ...Read more

Democrats need to show they're up for a fight -- without falling apart

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Now that Cory Booker has dropped out of the Democratic presidential race, it must come as a relief to some of his critics that white people still have an opportunity to be president.

I'm referring, with my sarcastic tongue firmly in cheek, to the critics who thought the New Jersey senator was being a bit too candid when he complained a few days...Read more

Do Canadians want to defer to Harry and Meghan?

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

One thing Canadians tend to be is sensible. And so it is surprising how many would consider making Prince Harry and his wife, the former Meghan Markle, king and queen of Canada. Harry is a beneficiary of the lucky sperm club, and Meghan was TV actress from Los Angeles. Do Canadians really want to defer to these two, even under their current ...Read more

Opening up a can of America

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

Well, we done it. We kicked Iranian butt. We butt-kicked 'em. Their butts were kicked. We put a boot in their butts. Their butts, they were kicked. We opened up a can of butt-kick. We came to eat lollipops and kick butt, and we were out of lollipops. We took names and kicked butts. Butt kick. Kick butt. Works the same way backward and forward. ...Read more

The Russians will take microtargeting as far as possible

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

When I go on Facebook, I don't see many ads for garden equipment, power tools or even big TVs and sound systems. But comfortable work clothes for a woman of a certain age? Low-heeled pumps with arch support? Expensive skin creams that turn back the clock? How did these companies find me?

The answer, of course, is simple. They asked. I fit their...Read more

'Nations with allies thrive'

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Retired Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis, the former secretary of defense and an exceptionally well-read warrior, has said, "Throughout history, we see nations with allies thrive, and nations without allies wither."

Mattis' words brought to mind those 13 fateful days in October 1962 when, after the United States discovered that the Soviet Union was...Read more

Iran is not what you think

From the Left / Ted Rall /

War, many people believe, often results from cultural differences and misunderstandings. President Donald Trump's assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani has Americans considering the possibility that we may soon add Iran to our list of unwinnable wars in the Middle East. As that calculus unfolds, no one questions the assumption that there are ...Read more

Advice to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Don't let the haters get you down

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Yes, like numerous other people across the civilized world, I was oddly surprised but not really shocked to hear that Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and his American-born wife, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, have decided to pretty much call it quits on the royalty thing.

Many other observers were far more upset. Suddenly Brexit, the ...Read more