From the Left



McCarthy's Messy Fraternity House

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from Bakersfield, California, comes from central casting as a fraternity president. Trim looks, blue blazers, back slaps to the bros and affable, but vain and vapid.

Fraternity parties are known for violent destruction the morning after they run wild. Picture such a scene, writ large ...Read more

Children: No Shelter from Storms of the '60s

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Children of the '60s were very different from children in the '60s.

Flower children of the '60s on campus were changing the world with long hair and free spirits. They were the populous, rebellious Baby Boomers, born in post-World War II security and prosperity. The sun shone brightly on this huge wave, and they got all the attention.

As for...Read more

Gathering Storm Shows House Republicans Have No Limits

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Anxiety mounted here as President Joe Biden met with four congressional leaders Tuesday to discuss the financial crisis coming home to hit Americans. No resolution is in sight.

The global economy is also at stake, facing an emergency if the national debt limit isn't raised by Congress for the president's signing. Much depends on...Read more

Springtime For Washington: A Smorgasbord

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Washington -- After the parched seven-year famine of former President Donald Trump and the pandemic, the city let its hair down -- or put it up -- and donned black tie and party frocks for an evening of mirth.

President Joe Biden starred in a deft speech onstage at the ballroom of the White House Correspondents' Dinner, serious and self-...Read more

Missing 'DiFi' in the Senate: A Dilemma for Democrats

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

Absence in the Senate makes no heart grow fonder, given a delicate balance of power, 51-49, with Democrats holding a knife edge. Consider "DiFi," Dianne Feinstein, a Democratic elder on her sickbed.

She's been gone for going on 60 votes. Every chamber vote must be in person: no exceptions, not even for COVID-19.

The California senator's ...Read more

Refreshing Janet Reno: A New Telling of Her Tale

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

"When she was in the room, you knew she was in the room," my mother, professor Judith Stiehm observed of Janet Reno, the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney general. They were friends and my mother wrote Reno's biography after she died in 2016 at age 78.

The book, "Janet Reno: A Life," is a new portrait of a major figure in the 1990s.

Reno...Read more

The Day That Justice Comes for Trump, One Senator Never Surrenders

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Mark the moment in time, the day the jam of justice broke for former President Donald Trump at last in court, where he was arraigned for criminal charges.

Who says April is the cruelest month?

That word "criminal" -- cherish it, while others rage and weep, like South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican who gleefully ...Read more

'Chelsea Morning,' 'April Day,' 'Diamonds and Rust': The Three Js Inspired Me

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

"Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning

And the first thing that I heard

Was a song outside my window"

And the songstress that wrote the words, Joni Mitchell.

Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus are blazing talents; nobody can take that away. And Madonna. Hard not to love her spirit, performance art and clever lyrics charting her life, which set up ...Read more

Brash Young Governor Trumps Trump

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

The ace Gov. Rick DeSantis brings to the 2024 Republican table is simple: he won't be indicted any day now.

An angry young man, 44, next to angry old Donald Trump, DeSantis is no treat. He's learned his lessons well about hard Right, mean-spirited politics -- from Trump himself.

The word "woke" is his front line of attack, tampering with ...Read more

Biden's Dilemma: To Run With Harris Again?

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden is bound to run for reelection, and so he should. The real question, rumbling below ground, is whether he should keep Vice President Kamala Harris as his running mate.

Is Harris really ready to be understudy for the world's center stage? Given Biden's advanced age of 80, the jury is out.

Biden seems to share ...Read more

Suffrage March Tied to Our Times

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

"Votes for Women!" was a showdown between Alice Paul, 28, versus Woodrow Wilson, 56, which opened with a colorful Washington parade on March 3, 1913, with thousands of women from all over the nation.

Here came the young guard of suffrage, modern and out on the streets for all to witness. Susan B. Anthony was gone, but Paul worked at her desk, ...Read more

Thinking Hard About Ukraine War and Peace: One Year Out

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- "Slava Ukraini" is heard in the halls and streets here, especially when President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave a ringing speech to Congress before Christmas. That was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's crowning act before she gave up the gavel.

President Joe Biden loves trains so much he took one across Ukraine -- for 10 hours -- to meet ...Read more



Lisa Benson Scott Stantis Kevin Siers Ed Wexler Jeff Koterba Randy Enos