From the Left



Biden Faces a Long Fall With Chill Winds

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Summer's light fades into fall now. Cicadas are singing, but they won't be for long. Zinnias and cosmos show colors past the autumnal equinox, but black-eyed Susans have only their black eyes left.

We think nothing can surprise us anymore. But a popular president who suddenly "falls" to the brink is quite a sight. President Joe ...Read more

Diary Notes: Washington Puts a Dark Past To Rest

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- The city starts a new season, after Sept. 11 remembrances. Congress returns from summer recess. In the Capitol press gallery, you hear a bubbly chatter as if we're going back to school, a new beginning.

Could we be turning a corner from a mob storming the Capitol, an impeachment trial and the pandemic? As a witness to all three ...Read more

A Very Different Take on September 11: And the Tragedy Goes On

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Out of the clearest blue sky, a thousand Tuesdays ago, four doomed planes came roaring into New York, Pennsylvania and across the river to the brick fortress with five sides.

The hijacked airships smashed so many lives -- and so much steel -- into smithereens, in moments that turned to years.

Nineteen guys -- 15 Saudis, zero ...Read more

Harris as Veep: Not a Command Performance

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Does anyone know that Vice President Kamala Harris canceled plans to campaign for Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a bruising recall election?

Perhaps a telling move, from one Californian to another.

Harris was meant to help the governor in an hour of need. But she's shaky too and may have little political capital to lend Newsom....Read more

California Dreamin': A Rude Awakening

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Oh, California. I'm crying into my coffee, though I live back East now.

Seldom have we seen the Golden State suffer. It hurts to watch. The free-spirited poets, gold miners and flower children live in lore, but the state has seen better days.

A town named Paradise was lost and burned to the ground in 2018, a grim prelude to the summer's raging...Read more

The Tragic March of 2021: Will It Ever End Well?

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- The year 2021 is so far framed by the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot and the Aug. 15 fall of Afghanistan without firing a shot.

In a momentous march of malady, misfortune and strife, we also witnessed a second presidential impeachment trial; the comeback of COVID-19; the collapse of a condominium high-rise in Florida; a New York ...Read more

A Liberal Goes to Confession: Biden Versus Obama

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Let me be the first liberal to confess. Avuncular President Joe Biden is the president we expected young, cool former President Barack Obama to be.

Huge steps forward are happening here. The Senate just passed a massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill for roads, bridges, rail and broadband. In a small miracle, it's bipartisan, ...Read more

Two Californias Clash in a Divided House: Pelosi Versus McCarthy

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- It's a first in American history: The speaker of the House and the minority leader hail from the same state. But they barely speak.

Two Californias dwell and dominate in the House of Representatives. The party leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., live in diametrically opposed worlds within ...Read more

The Search for Truth on Jan. 6 Brings Tears

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- I don't need a hearing to tell me what happened on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, which was stormed by an armed mob. But the nation needs a reckoning on that deadly day.

It was a moment history will never forget, a presidential attack on an equal branch of government, Congress. This I can tell you: It was not a drill, nor a ...Read more

Anti-Vaccination Activists Set Up a Scary Moment in Time

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Anti-vaccination activists, let me be blunt.

It's your funeral, but it's our health care workers, hospitals and medical systems. Please stay home when COVID-19 comes to call.

The delta variant is causing cases to spike in all 50 states. Florida is a hot spot. Of course, unvaccinated Americans are those who are sick and dying from...Read more

A Seldom Told Spelling Bee Tale: In Black and White

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

So you heard about Zaila Avant-garde winning the National Spelling Bee -- the first Black girl to do so at the Scripps event. The truly avant-garde girl, 14, caused a sensation.

But have you heard of Marie Bolden winning the very first National Spelling Bee in 1908? The dignified Black girl from Cleveland caused a stir in America. The news ...Read more

The 4th Brings Us Back To Each Other

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

MADISON, Wis. -- The fireworks from here to Washington sang of a country renewing its place in the world -- and its sense of self. It was the most meaningful Fourth of July in memory, six months after the armed mob stormed the Capitol.

Democracy is making a remarkable recovery.

Seeing people in person again -- like family -- after 18 months ...Read more

The Founders: Only One Best Man for Women

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- The Founding Fathers, a great group of guys, gathered in Philadelphia in July of 1776 and again in 1787. What a wonder, 55 bright lights met in one room to start a revolution that isn't over yet.

We know the Declaration of Independence signers and Constitution framers were also flawed human beings. Many were rich slave owners, ...Read more



Bill Bramhall Scott Stantis Bill Day Daryl Cagle Ed Wexler A.F. Branco