From the Left



Will McConnell Ruth-lessly steal her seat?

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- The Senate is a hard place to keep a secret, especially when a Supreme Court seat is at stake six weeks before a hotly contested presidential election. Reporters swoop on senators, the talkative types. Like ancient Rome, everyone exchanges news from the Forum. But, reader, it feels like daggers drawn. Tempers are short and getting ...Read more

Summer rage: America burning inside and out

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

As sure as sunflowers fade fast, America's summer of burn is counting days to a close. Autumn arrives any moment.

How starved we are for a new season after a summer of hot air blasting from the White House, wildfires blazing in the West and another hurricane hitting near New Orleans. In all her fury, Mother Nature seems to act out 2020 human ...Read more

Modern pilgrims saved democracy, then perished in an earsplitting fall to earth

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Above Pennsylvania, civilians saved our citadel on the cruel morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Strangers to one another, they boarded a plane bound for San Francisco -- so their tickets said.

High in a turquoise sky, the aircraft turned around and thundered east, zeroing in on Washington. Their memorial is as stark as the lonely landscape where they ...Read more

Harris is not the second coming of Obama (and that's OK)

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Conquering his Democratic foes for president, freshman Sen. Barack Obama cast Joe Biden as his No. 2. Obama was a star rookie next to veteran Biden, who spent 35 years in the clubby Senate.

This hard summer, Biden picked Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. He's 77, and she's 55, a Gen Xer. In an inspired rhyme across 12 years ...Read more

Murder in the Rose Garden

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

The laziest first lady in American history paved over parts of the White House Rose Garden for her husband's four addresses to the Republican National Convention.

So, why should we care in a summer of sorrow and woe, wildfires and hurricanes, a reckoning on race and the pandemic? What are crab apple trees to thee and me?

Ruining the Rose ...Read more

A controlled convention is a very strange thing

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

It's not the same as being there.

We know that about the pandemic, but it's true, squared, of canceled Milwaukee. The Democratic National Convention, the ultimate American scrum scheduled this summer in Wisconsin, goes virtual for the first time in history.

The tight focus may cool Joe Biden down and warm Sen. Kamala Harris up. The old-school ...Read more

Biden had to prove his own mettle in VP pick

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Reader's update: Joe Biden chose Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate. This is a popular pick at first, with a personal connection to his late son, Beau. But Harris may not wear well to deliver concrete results on the election map, inexperienced at campaigning on the national stage beyond blue California.


Democratic...Read more

Trump's farewell address: Hanging up my bone spurs

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

"...sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything." -- Abraham Lincoln, Farewell Address at Springfield, Illinois.

Excuse me. I never promised you a Rose Garden, right, folks?

Oh, what a life, until the pandemic happened to me. We have a fantastic economy, a bull stock market, unbelievable crowd ...Read more

John Lewis: Crossing the bridge to bend arc of justice

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Washington -- Rep. John Robert Lewis of Georgia was living proof that nonviolent resistance is not for the faint of heart. Short and stocky, he carried scars of a fractured skull, from billy club blows on a bridge in Selma, Alabama -- scars visible to the multitudes he met. He was 25 back in 1965.

The story of those scars is told in his memoir,...Read more

Presidential portraits: is Trump the smartest of them all?

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

President Donald Trump tells us he's an ace at cognition and intellect tests, never mind cheating on the SAT.

No president ever bragged about burning bright as a "genius" before, but you know our guy. He doesn't kid, especially about himself.

As a diversion from the country convulsed in contagion and turmoil, let's look at the big picture of ...Read more

Statues face a hard look

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Statues are all the rage as the house of American history came under fire from street protests for racial justice.

Statues do more than honor the dead. Stone speaks to us, the living, about privilege, power and place.

Statues are not always reliable narrators of "history."

Confederate statues are defiant symbols of white male ...Read more

Following Trump off a cliff -- to a war won and done

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

A monologue overheard on Air Force One:

What a rush. My greatest speech, on the Fourth of July. Trump, loud and clear. Better than that Frederick Douglass. Everybody's talking about me. South Dakota, you made America great again!

I said to myself, Donald, it's showtime -- a season finale. I had to clear the field of my enemies, America'...Read more

The Yankee and the Cavalier still speak on our bittersweet Fourth

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Pen pals in the sunsets of their lives, they wrote between Massachusetts and Virginia until they both died on the same Fourth of July. It's an extraordinary rhyme in American history, which has extra meaning for our hard times.

"I loved Jefferson, and I have always loved Jefferson," one wrote about the other, after a long silence separated the ...Read more



David Horsey Kirk Walters Lisa Benson Marshall Ramsey Scott Stantis Gary Markstein