From the Left



Vague Democrats in presidential race could learn a thing or two from Nancy Pelosi

From the Left / Clarence Page /

President Donald Trump's best-laid plans sometimes turn out to be little more than slogans.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi memorably called his bluff in a meeting between Trump and congressional leaders on the Syria situation.

The House had just voted, 354-60, on a rare and overwhelming bipartisan rebuke of the president's announced withdrawal of ...Read more

How toxic should we let political speech get?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

When I heard that President Donald Trump had condemned a violent video parody that depicted a fake Trump shooting mainstream media and his political critics, I wondered whether he actually was upset that he hadn't tweeted the grisly video first.

After all, the president was nowhere to be seen as he announced his criticism through a White House ...Read more

NBA's deference to China in the wake of controversy shows how money trumps freedom of speech

From the Left / Clarence Page /

China's clash with the National Basketball Association over a short tweet reveals an unfortunate truth. Contrary to our best American hopes that China's success with market capitalism would weaken that government's chokehold on free speech, it appears to have done more to seduce us.

That's ...Read more

Trump's 'unmatched wisdom' leaves Syria's Kurds -- and us -- in danger

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Now we know who can drive a wedge between President Donald Trump and his strongest Republican allies: President Donald Trump.

The president, who sometimes exhibits the attention span of a fruit fly, acted so impulsively in ordering a pullout of American troops from northeastern Syria -- as Turkey prepares a military incursion to crush the U.S.-...Read more

Courtroom hugs after Amber Guyger was sentenced in shooting of Botham Jean test the limits of forgiveness

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Amber Guyger got off easy.

Amber Guyger got what she deserved.

It's easy to be in either camp -- or, for the truly ambivalent, be in both camps at once.

One thing is certain: Botham Jean is dead. Guyger killed him by accident, she says, but at best there appears to be considerable carelessness involved.

Which only brings up the very ...Read more

A question for defenders of President Donald Trump: What if President Barack Obama had done this?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

I know it has become almost a cliché by now, but can you imagine how Republicans would've reacted if President Barack Obama had behaved like President Donald Trump is behaving now?

Yes, it's time to update my WIODT -- What If Obama Did This -- list, which is unrelated although remarkably like HBO host Bill Maher's "If Obama Did It" lists.

...Read more

Go ahead and impeach, if only because democracy demands it

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It was a week that began with President Donald Trump appearing to face no possibility of being impeached. It ended with impeachment appearing to be assured.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a drill. This is your democracy, once again facing a constitutional crisis that will test the ability of our institutions to endure.

While some see a ...Read more

Abortion has dropped to record lows -- so who gets the credit?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

With the 2020 presidential contest stirring up abortion rights battles, it is illuminating to note a new report that shows how significantly the numbers of reported abortions have plunged. This comes as a wave of abortion restrictions have been passed by conservative state legislatures.

Although the report by the politics/fromtheleft/clarencepage/s-2277102">Read more

Cory Booker's misleading crime statistic backfires

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Immigrant children are dying at the border, President Trump boasts of being "locked and loaded" against Iran and the Amazon rainforest is burning. No wonder critics say we media workers should not be spending time on presidential candidates' gaffes.

But this is also a time when the value of inconvenient facts is itself under siege, not ...Read more

Andrew Yang's cash giveaway makes an important point about jobs

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Andrew Yang, who has been called "the internet's favorite candidate," turned into something of a latter-day Oprah during Thursday night's 2020 Democratic presidential debate.

Instead of offering each member of his audience a new car, as Oprah Winfrey famously did once during her daytime television talk show days, New York CEO and philanthropist...Read more

I quit smoking by vaping, and now I'm worried

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It's not every day that a CEO of a major corporation voluntarily warns potential consumers against using his or her product. But underage consumers are a special case.

"Don't vape. Don't use Juul," Juul CEO Kevin Burns said Thursday in an interview on "CBS This Morning." "Don't start using nicotine if you don't have a pre-existing relationship ...Read more

Like the Jussie Smollett case, Aaron Schock's dropped charges should be investigated

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Nothing spoils a good outrage like an intrusion of facts.

Outrage boiled up in news and social networks once again after the dropping of federal charges against former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, a Peoria Republican, became official on Wednesday.

Some observers fumed that he received an undeserved pass for committing financial crimes in office. ...Read more

Dave Chappelle pushes the same boundaries that once got Lenny Bruce arrested

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Part of the fun of watching edgy stand-up comedians is what I call the "Demolition Derby Effect."

Just as demolition derbies were born out of the belief that a lot of ticket buyers would rather watch cars wreck than race, a lot of people pay to watch edgy comedians in the anticipation that maybe, just maybe, any minute now they're going to (...Read more

#MeToo lessons from Al Franken and Kirsten Gillibrand: Will the Democrats learn in time for 2020?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

In the grand narrative of the 2020 presidential race, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and former Sen. Al Franken have found themselves on a political seesaw. As her political fortunes have crashed in recent months, Franken's -- if he has any -- appear to have inched up.

No, the former Democratic senator from Minnesota is not ready for full resurrection...Read more

Why I appreciate presidential candidate Joe Walsh -- for now

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It feels odd to find myself appreciating Joe Walsh for a change. I expect the feeling to pass. Walsh goes through more changes than Lady Gaga's wardrobe on an awards night.

No, I am not talking about the lead guitarist for the Eagles. I'm talking about the Joe Walsh who is less known for his peaceful, easy feelings.

Walsh, the former tea party...Read more

No, the Obamas' Netflix movie isn't political, unless you want it to be

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Is anyone "shocked, shocked," as the prefect in "Casablanca" might say, that some people are calling the first project to come out of Barack and Michelle Obama's production company's deal with Netflix (gasp!) political?

Yet, that's how some of the headlines greeted the streaming of the documentary "American Factory," the first release by the ...Read more

Don't make diversity the enemy of excellence

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As a new generation of college students gets ready to return to campus, I'm reminded of the late Allan Bloom, the University of Chicago professor, philosopher and -- on the subject of university education -- famously eloquent grump.

No one had any reason to expect his 1987 book with the stuffy ...Read more

What role does 'toxic masculinity' play in mass shootings?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As the toll from mass shootings this year already approaches the total for all of last year, more people are openly asking a question that has lurked mostly in the shadows: Why are the shooters so often white men?

"Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger, not the gun," declared President Donald Trump when he condemned shootings in El Paso, ...Read more

Don't like Biden's gaffes? Consider the alternatives

From the Left / Clarence Page /

OK, we saw this coming, didn't we?

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has a well-known history of gaffes, spouted another one Thursday night by telling a group of mostly minority voters in Iowa that "poor kids" are just as bright as "white kids."

That's awkward. But let us not even try to pretend a moral equivalence between Biden's racial ...Read more

El Paso shooting exposes our denial about domestic terrorism

From the Left / Clarence Page /

When newscasters speak of Dayton and El Paso, I hear my name.

I was born in Dayton, Ohio, and later covered local news there as an intern in the days of typewriters and telephone booths.

Years later, my son would attend the University of Texas at El Paso (Go, Miners!). I met a number of "nice ...Read more


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