From the Left



The Tragedy of Joe Manchin in Three Acts

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Joe Manchin gives new meaning to the old saying, "One man, one vote."

The West Virginia Democrat is in the center of three major bills his president and party desperately need to pass for a big story to tell voters in 2022. Or any story at all.

Tall, dark and outgoing, Manchin has displaced Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as ...Read more

Biden Needs to Keep Away Skunks and Mobs

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- The Biden presidency hangs not upon the House, but two Democratic senators, skunks at the political garden party. As skies darken, the Jan. 6 Capitol mob comes closer. These ominous signs are related.

I heard shrieks and howls while in the House chamber. It was an armed, bloodthirsty bunch. Footsteps and broken glass on pristine ...Read more

Don't Count 'Em Out: The Democratic State of Play

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

"Biden goes to church and walks through a graveyard in Wilmington as his legislative agenda is dying in Washington." -- Tweeted by a Washington Post reporter

Nineteen words shows what ails the press covering politics at the top rung. Jaded, in a word. The cold-blooded sneer as the president visited family graves shocked even the Twitterverse.

...Read more

Nancy the Fifth Faces Her Agincourt

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- The House is a mess, a visitor might say, with a government shutdown looming at midnight Friday and two Democratic bills worth trillions in infrastructure up in the air. It's a monumental moment in time.

Senate Republicans are also seriously threatening the first Treasury default on the nation's "full faith and credit." Something ...Read more

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



Randy Enos Lisa Benson Dan Wasserman Clay Bennett John Cole Bob Englehart