From the Left



In the Memory Glass: A Boy From Madison

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Speaking to my father on Father's Day, he looked back on his boyhood in Madison, Wisconsin, to the time his father died when he was 8 -- just weeks before the Pearl Harbor calamity.

His mother, Marie, a nurse, found herself with four children to raise under their Spooner Street roof.

Yet there was no better place for a fatherless child. ...Read more

The Last Good Republican

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Finding the last good Republican president was not hard in light of the moving 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on the beaches and by the cliffs of Normandy, France.

In military annals, the Allies storming Nazi-occupied France on June 6, 1944, went down as the most extraordinary land, air and seaborne invasion ever.

American, British ...Read more

A Grave Moment in History

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

The Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol was the worst day of my life. I was inside the besieged building, and there was no telling how it would end.

Jan. 6 was the best day of former President Donald Trump's life.

The man enjoyed every moment of the storming violence done in his name. He incited the throng of 30,000, directing them to the ...Read more

Obama and Biden: Style vs. Substance

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

In a glass pavilion, the tables sparkled, set for 500 guests at the White House state dinner for Kenyan President William Ruto.

A guest of Kenyan descent didn't stay for dinner, President Joe Biden announced.

"One just left: Barack," Biden noted. Washington lore says former President Barack Obama ducks listening to other people's speeches.

...Read more

The Supreme Court vs. Democracy

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- The silence from the Supreme Extreme Court is deafening. News broke that a Republican member's house flew a "Stop the Steal" American flag days after the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol.

This kind of defiance, actually applauding the violent takeover of democracy, is unheard of in the annals of the Supreme Court.

Justice ...Read more

A Rose Helps Quiet the Noise Inside

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

My father, Richard, 91, was missing his departed friends and folk, so I suggested planting a memory garden.

Close to his heart was Leon Rosenberg, his friend from Randall School to the University of Wisconsin and medical school. They knew each other from ages 10 to 89, when Leon died. They were born weeks apart: my father on Jan. 22, 1933, ...Read more

Hard Feelings Breaking Things

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

You know the way Shakespeare created a portrait of a family's hard feelings in King Lear, his tragedy about a raging, storming English king with three daughters? That play, set in Gloucester, speaks to me now of how Congress and the country are falling apart.

It even takes me back to the Civil War.

Shakespeare got it right. Conflicts and ...Read more

Table Talk in Troubled Times

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

The Luncheon Society intrigued me by its very name. My grandmother attended women's society "luncheons."

So how could I refuse a Zoom invitation ("you might enjoy") out of the ether to join a virtual conversation mixing yesteryear and tomorrow?

Speakers and guests are all over the map. Somehow Bob McBarton, the ebullient host, curates ...Read more

A Light in the House: Farewell to a Senate Friend

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

"Every single member (will) vote their conscience."

Conscience, did you say? House Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-La.) words cut cleanly through the House of Representatives noise. Seldom are they told to rise above the partisan rabble.

After months of darkness and delay, Johnson did the right thing for the nation and world. He opened the gate ...Read more

Trump's Luck and Mojo Run Low

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

At last, former President Donald Trump is on trial, a criminal defendant for election interference, in silencing a sordid brush with Stormy Daniels. The judge, Juan Merchan, made clear he's in charge here.

A harbinger of spring light in the American soul after a long winter occupation? Let it be so.

April is turning out as the cruelest month...Read more

A Solar Eclipse for the Common Good

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

I left the house at high noon.

Outdoors, Washington dressed in light spring green with splashes of pink cherry trees. The sun shone, no cloud cover. We earthlings had our eyes on the sky, from Texas to Maine. A solar eclipse was landing.

That was the path of "totality," a harmonic convergence of the sun and moon.

Totality -- a word meaning ...Read more

A Key to Baltimore's Broken Heart

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

A week ago, while Baltimore slept, the Francis Scott Key Bridge stood, its gorgeous and graceful truss lighting and spanning its busy global port. It is -- was -- a beloved landmark.

When the city woke in the dawn's early light, the bridge was not still there. A massive 21st-century cargo ship rammed it and it all fell down, severing a vital ...Read more

Cherry Tree Therapy for the House GOP?

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Washington's pink cherry blossoms, a spring sight for sore eyes, are about to be whacked. The Park Service says 150 trees must be cut down to build a new seawall round the Tidal Basin, where the marble Jefferson Monument perches perfectly on the water.

That calls up the legend of young George Washington and his famous line: "Father, I cannot ...Read more



Jeff Danziger Tim Campbell Eric Allie Kirk Walters Bill Day Joel Pett