From the Left



Church Rising, State Falling in Washington

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

An autumnal sky hung over the Capitol Monday afternoon. It was Yom Kippur, the day to atone, which seemed apt.

Four thousand tourists come to the Capitol every day now, but the place will likely be dark next week.

Gone was the cloud of uncertainty about a pending government shutdown. Most members of Congress dread the prospect. It's the last...Read more

Two Strikes and an Out: A Tale of Three Towns

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Summer's lease has all too short a date, wrote Shakespeare, but he was wrong. Thank goodness it's gone.

2023 delivered the summer of our discontent. It's striking that three company towns, Hollywood, Detroit and now Washington, D.C., are just about shut down.

The job is not getting done in these industry towns. That's a firebell for fairness...Read more

Aging Brings Wisdom to Biden

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden is a bit older and a lot wiser than former President Donald Trump.

Biden, a young, fit 80, traveled on major diplomatic missions to India and Vietnam while Trump, an old, heavy 77, was booed at an Iowa football game.

Trump didn't dress for a Big Ten big game, in his suit and long red tie. In Biden's case, 80...Read more

Justice For a January Day, At Last

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Enrique Tarrio, leader of the extremist Proud Boys, came to the federal courthouse to be sentenced for seditious conspiracy (and other counts) committed on Jan. 6, 2021.

The violent Trumpist Proud Boys were first to march to the Capitol, even before former President Donald Trump sent the mob of thousands to assault police lines ...Read more

In Trump They Trust: Bread and Circuses

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- An ancient Roman poet foresaw former President Donald Trump as a deposed ruler raging to regain power: in a famous line, with "bread and circuses."

Master satirist Juvenal poked at corruption in Rome's leaders. Yet he also aimed his pen at the people, who lost their right to govern the proud Roman republic.

They surrendered ...Read more

The March One August Day Still Goes On

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a new day -- on Aug. 28, 1963. That day brought a tremendous turning point for civil rights.

Sixty years ago came a peaceful uprising, magnificent in scale, the greatest American 20th-century gathering. Contrast that to the white supremacist mob that laid siege to the Capitol. Reflect upon that...Read more

Nixon Versus Trump: An Adventure Story

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

My mother came not to praise Nixon, but to bury him.

Some 49 Augusts ago, Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency of the United States. It was the first time that ever happened in American history. He wasn't stabbed in the back, but bluntly told to his face he had no Senate supporters left.

Nixon departed in his graceless way, victory signs ...Read more

From Capitol to Courthouse: Like a Vision

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- The truth is getting lost already, as always when former President Donald Trump enters the room -- or a courthouse.

Since the wrong crowd came to town on Jan. 6, 2021, our city longed for a moment of truth after the Trump mob stormed the Capitol. A Thursday on an August afternoon brought a fleeting moment of justice for that ...Read more

Mitch McConnell: Is There a Bright Side?

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

I could swear Sen. Mitch McConnell smiled at me just before he froze like a statue at the Tuesday party lunch press conference. It flashed quick as a lightning bug.

You hear he's cynical, relentless, even ruthless in his quest for power and winning the Washington long game. That he stole a Supreme Court seat from former President Barack Obama...Read more

The Hot Summer Is Melting History

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Summer's scorching heat beats us over the head, taking history's wheel backward.

A sad end to a storied dynasty, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. -- need I say more?

Oh, and slavery teaches new skills, says Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Take Texas and Alabama, now defying federal law.

Truculent Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott refuses the Justice ...Read more

Heaven and Earth: One Hot Strike Summer

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Hello, humans, from the new Anthropocene epoch! Yes, this is our chance to be remembered on rock layers for all time.

The long, hot summer -- the hottest July days ever on Earth -- is evidence that humans changed the sweet nature of, well, Nature.

Now do you see the climate crisis, deniers? On the continent across the warming ocean, Paris, ...Read more

The Heartland After Heartburn: Wisconsin and Washington

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WISCONSIN -- Birdsong on my grandmother's porch in morning sun. Seeing the Village revel in the Fourth of July with a bake sale, egg toss, parade, children's contests and antique fire-engine rides.

The Village dance is free for all ages and comers, as are the fireworks over Lake Mendota.

This heartland was once home.

All these things ...Read more

The Roberts Court: Something Rotten Under the Robes

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Picture us as peasants in medieval Europe again. We have no human rights, a concept far in the future. That's how the Supreme Court likes it.

Six Catholics powerfully rule the land now, wielding religious beliefs like a weapon. They are known as "justices." They are anything but, yet nobody can touch them.

They literally have the last word ...Read more



David M. Hitch Kirk Walters Adam Zyglis David Horsey Ed Wexler Mike Beckom