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President Trump cheers press freedom -- and a press basher

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Two weeks after Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared, President Trump said he believes the Saudi-born journalist is dead, that high-level Saudis played a role and the consequences will "have to be very severe" for such "bad, bad stuff."

Then the president flew to Montana where he praised Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte, calling ...Read more

Sen. Warren tries to reclaim Indian roots, but Trump's isn't done with them yet

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to reclaim her Native American heritage, but President Donald Trump doesn't appear to be done with it yet.

Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who has been behaving like someone who is seriously considering a presidential run, surprised the political world on Monday by releasing DNA test results to back up her long-held...Read more

President Trump offers Medi-scare for all

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Maybe Donald Trump really believes his hype about the "lying media." That might explain why his effort to produce a commentary longer than a tweet contains enough falsehoods to have fact checkers working overtime.

His op-ed published Wednesday by USA Today mostly recycles old conservative attacks against government-run health care, spiced with ...Read more

Trump says it's a "scary time for young men in America." He doesn't know the half of it

From the Left / Clarence Page /

"Are you scared?"

I asked my unmarried and almost-30 son that question as we had a sushi lunch.

"Working on a column?" he responded.

Guilty. My son plays hard to get. In the fashion of his fellow millennials, he doesn't want to be quoted unless the interview is being podcast.

I assured him that I was only seeking a grassroots response to ...Read more

A good rap for Kanye West: mental health awareness. No joke!

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It must be terribly frustrating for Kanye West to see a Supreme Court confirmation fight in Washington elbow his new album out of the national spotlight. But that's show biz.

His latest wave of newsmaking appearances and tweets makes me wonder whether, at best, we're watching a genius at work or,...Read more

Cosby, Kavanaugh and #MeToo make a teachable week

From the Left / Clarence Page /

In a darkly amusing irony, Bill Cosby's menu for his first week in prison includes pudding.

No, it's not the pudding of the Jell-O Pudding Pops that Cosby memorably hawked in television commercials back in his 1980s heyday.

Locked up last week for three to 10 years as a convicted sex offender, Cosby is receiving plain off-brand prison-style ...Read more

In Supreme Court hearings, years of grudge politics boil over

From the Left / Clarence Page /

This is not a trial. We constantly were reminded of that as the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh escalated into a bitter partisan brawl.

But the reality amounted to two trials. The credibility of California university professor ...Read more

In tribal times, don't forget what unites us

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As the heated debate over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court boils down to a simple question of which tribe will win, it's an excellent time to revisit Abraham Lincoln's reaction to signs that his nation was coming apart.

It would not be "some trans-Atlantic military giant" that threatens our political institutions, he said in a ...Read more

Have we learned nothing since the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill battle?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Hard cases make bad law, according to an old legal maxim. Hard cases make brutal Supreme Court confirmation fights, too.

The soap opera unfolding around Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings offers an excellent example. The ...Read more

Brett Kavanaugh case takes us back to high school

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It must feel ironic for Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be judged now by the standards that he once tried to apply in the toughest way possible to another alleged offender, then-President Bill Clinton.

Now it is Kavanaugh who faces allegations of sexual misconduct, which in his case would amount to attempted rape. I sympathize with any middle-aged ...Read more

Trump flunks his disaster test, just being himself

From the Left / Clarence Page /

If a politician commits a gaffe but doesn't know that it's a gaffe, has a gaffe actually been committed?

That question came to mind as I read a startling tweeted denial from President Trump that 3,000 Americans died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year --and accused Democrats of inflating the death toll to make him "look...Read more

Trump's football game, a new brand of identity politics

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It's football season in an election year. Can President Trump and flag-waving politics be far behind?

Not by much. I used to watch sports for fun. But since the rise of Donald Trump as president and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as political activist, pro football has been pulled into the culture wars and midterm ...Read more

Why the Bush-Obama Candygate moment matters

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Back in 2010, still early in Barack Obama's presidency, a small group of Minnesota businessmen came up with a mischievous idea. They rented billboards to display a picture of former President George W. Bush, smiling and waving, and the words, "Miss Me Yet?"

No, was my immediate response. I liked Obama just fine, thank you. But nothing has ...Read more

With Congress in play, Trump warns of 'violence'

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Is he serious? Does President Donald Trump really think there will be "violence" from the left if Republicans lose control of Congress in the November mid-terms? Isn't the whole point of winning an election to get what you want without turning to violence?

Yet, "violence" was in Trump's forecast in a closed-door meeting with evangelical leaders...Read more

Trump doesn't let death interrupt his feud with McCain

From the Left / Clarence Page /

If you thought something as consequential as death would get in the way of President Donald Trump's long-running feud with the late Sen. John McCain, you didn't know how petty our president could be.

The president's painfully reluctant approach to memorializing his fellow Republican, who died Saturday at 81 in his Arizona home, was about as ...Read more

Grieve for Mollie Tibbetts, and demand justice, but spare us the libel against immigrants

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Editors note: Mary Sanchez is filling in while Mr. Page is away.

It's not hard to imagine Mollie Tibbetts and Kate Steinle together in heaven, observing their lesser human brethren exploiting their deaths for political gain.

Guess the politicos and blowhards just can't help themselves. The November midterms are around the corner.

The ...Read more

Jules Witcover: Why the Trump era is worse than Nixon and Watergate

From the Left / Clarence Page /

WASHINGTON -- When the Watergate scandal drove Richard Nixon from the presidency 44 years ago, the Republican Party survived because its establishment leaders pushed back against his criminal behavior.

Sen. Barry Goldwater and others told him he lacked the voters to escape impeachment, and he ...Read more

Kansas governor's race might be a test for Trumpism

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Editors note: Mary Sanchez is filling in for Mr. Page while he is away.

Recent days have me wondering what Kansas' fifth governor -- James Madison Harvey -- would say about the pickle the state find itself in now.

Harvey, a Republican, is my relative by marriage. He married Charlotte Cutter, whose sister is my great grandmother.

To the...Read more

A cure for urban violence right under our noses

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Cities have multiple personalities. I am reminded of that with bracing clarity by what some Chicagoans are calling the "weekend from hell."

It was the weekend in which the mammoth Lollapalooza festival drew tens of thousands of music fans to make joyful noise in downtown Chicago while some of the city's lowest-income and highest-crime ...Read more

Don't mock Internet trolls; they enjoy it too much

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Racial eruptions have become so common in the news of the Trump era that they can exhaust one's capacity to remain perpetually outraged. Almost.

Yet, as a new twist on these tribally turbulent times, the case of Sarah Jeong deserves special attention -- and it has been receiving plenty.

Right-wing commentators erupted in high, full-blown ...Read more

 

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