From the Left



Were the MAGA hat teens at the Lincoln Memorial victims of the Trump effect?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Remember the "red hat" kids?

Remember the video-recorded face-off between students from Kentucky's all-male Covington Catholic High School, some of whom were wearing bright red "Make America Great Again" hats, and a drum-beating Native American activist at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington?

Remember how the incident, at the beginning of <...Read more

Lessons of Gov. Northam, Rep. Omar: What to say after you say 'sorry' in politics

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Amid all the calls for the resignation of Gov. Ralph Northam, who admitted to wearing blackface makeup in the 1980s when he was a medical student, guess which group of Virginia voters is most staunchly supporting Northam?

Would you believe, African-Americans?

Yes, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll taken as the controversy boiled...Read more

Maybe Gov. Ralph Northam should say, 'You first, Mr. President'

From the Left / Clarence Page /

I'm disappointed in Ralph Northam, but not just for the reasons most people are saying. I'm disappointed that the embattled Democratic governor of Virginia didn't try to push back for a better deal.

True, he hasn't had much wiggle room. Even in these polarized political times, an impressively bipartisan blamestorm boiled up to call for his ...Read more

Now for the real deal -- what is a 'wall'?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Welcome to the eye of the hurricane.

For more than a month, the federal government was in partial shutdown while President Donald Trump and congressional leaders were deadlocked over the president's demands for money to build his long-promised border wall.

Neither side would budge and all the wiggle room for negotiation, particularly over the ...Read more

Trump's wall is America's 'Brexit,' thanks to Facebook

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Having trouble sorting out the United Kingdom's Brexit mess? Think closer to home. Think of Brexit as Britain's version of President Donald Trump's proposed Mexican border "wall."

And, perhaps more than we have been willing or able to comprehend, think of both as products of the age of Facebook.

Both have resulted from the twin convulsions of ...Read more

How to control the overwhelming fire hose of news

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Having trouble keeping up with news that seems to be flowing out of Washington with even more fire-hose ferocity than usual? If so, you're not alone.

Almost seven in 10 Americans (68 percent) feel worn out by the amount of news there is these days, according to a Pew Research Center poll in June.

That was notably higher than the 59 percent who...Read more

Trump's sly attempt to pit Hispanics, African-Americans against immigrants

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Almost as an afterthought near the end of his nationally televised address on what he calls the "border crisis," President Donald Trump remembered his black and Hispanic constituents and what's good for us -- as he sees it.

"(A)ll Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages," ...Read more

R. Kelly allegations raise the question: Do #BlackGirlsLivesMatter too?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

After viewing "Surviving R. Kelly," Lifetime's riveting six-part documentary on the R&B star's decades of child and sexual abuse allegations, one question rings out to me above all others: Do black girls' lives matter?

Or as film star Jada Pinkett Smith said with alarm Sunday in a video tweet following reports that streams on Spotify of his ...Read more

Women's March Chicago wrestles with confusion over a national group's identity

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Organizers of Women's March Chicago want you to know that, contrary to reports by me and other media sources, they are not cancelling a planned march in January.

"That's because we never planned to have one," Harlene Ellis, an organizer and spokesperson for Women's March Chicago, explained in a telephone interview.

After drawing thousands to ...Read more

Trump unleashes a new foreign policy peril in Syria

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Editor's note: Mr. Page is away. Today's column is by Jules Witcover.

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump's sudden announcement that he will withdraw 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria -- triggering the resignation of Secretary of Defense James Mattis -- augurs greater concern than ever about American foreign policy under an impulsive and inexperienced...Read more

Obamacare ruling notwithstanding, Trump has nothing to show for health care promises

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Editor's note: Mr. Page is away. The following column is by Jules Witcover.

WASHINGTON -- After two long years of fruitlessly trying to kill Obamacare, the Republican Party and President Trump have been given a political hand grenade by a federal judge in Texas to get the job done.

U.S. ...Read more

Trump's contempt for his job is evident in shutdown threat

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Editor's note: Clarence Page is away. Today's column is by Jules Witcover.

WASHINGTON -- Every American president's responsibility is to see that the government in his care runs smoothly and continuously.

Consider, then, Donald Trump's blatant declaration in his White House meeting last week with the Democratic congressional leaders: "I...Read more

Trump's latest miscalculation: Underestimating Nancy Pelosi

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Editor's note: Clarance Page is away. The following column is by Jules Witcover.

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump, who has declared the American press "the enemy of the people," invited some of them into the Oval Office Tuesday to witness his meeting with Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic congressional leaders....Read more

Bush showed us that brutish masculinity wasn't 'prudent'

From the Left / Clarence Page /

When former President George W. Bush broke down and briefly cried near the end of his eulogy to his father, former President George H. W. Bush, I felt more than sorrow for him. I felt connected.

I was reminded of when I got up to deliver a eulogy at my own father's funeral. "Keep it together, keep it together, keep it together ...," I silently ...Read more

Bush 41 was 'an American closer,' says GOP rival Buchanan

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Could former President George H. W. Bush have defeated current President Donald Trump? In a way, it already happened -- in 1992 -- although nobody would have known it at the time.

Trump did not run in that year's Republican primaries, but his ideas did. You can hear them in the fiery speeches of Patrick J. Buchanan, the conservative author, ...Read more

How the U.S. can help caravan migrants stay home

From the Left / Clarence Page /

When a caravan of Central American families seeking asylum in the United States was almost a thousand miles away, President Donald Trump called it a "national emergency" on Twitter and ordered more than 5,000 troops to protect the border.

But by the time the first group of migrants arrived at the port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico, near San Diego...Read more

Help us to thank you for prison reform, Mr. President

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Thank you, Mr. President.

In this season of giving thanks, I want to express my gratitude to President Donald Trump for softening his longstanding knee-jerk lock-'em-up attitude toward criminal justice, whether he admits to softening or not.

The president has vigorously endorsed a proposed criminal justice bill that doesn't stink. That's ...Read more

Is President Trump racist? He doesn't mind sounding like one

From the Left / Clarence Page /

To those who complain that I never seem to have anything positive to say about President Donald Trump, now hear this: I appreciate his lack of ability to hide his sexism and racism, among other odious -isms. Or maybe it's simply a lack of interest.

I try to use the S-word and the R-word sparingly. The words spark so many different reactions ...Read more

President Trump 2.0: No more 'Crazy Maxine'?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Did anyone expect at least a hint of humility from President Donald Trump after Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives? If so, they don't know our transactional president.

Almost lost in his occasionally hostile exchanges with reporters Wednesday at his first news conference after the midterms was the olive branch he offered to ...Read more

Incels threaten when refusing to hear 'no' turns lethal

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Like other so-called "incels," Scott P. Beierle's complaint about women who failed to see how wonderful he was, might have been simply funny, were it not so pathetic and, in the end, tragic.

Beierle, 40, was identified as the gunman who posed as a customer to go on a killing spree in a Tallahassee, Fla., yoga studio Friday. He shot two women to...Read more


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