From the Left





Impeachment witnesses stand in stark contrast to Trump associates

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

As a candidate in 2015, Donald Trump said that he'd "surround myself only with the best and most serious people."

Not quite.

On Nov. 15, Trump's longtime friend and personal confidante, Roger Stone, was found guilty of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing a congressional investigation into Russian ...Read more

The socioeconomics of menthol cigarettes

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

In my home state of Massachusetts, where a wily state government has found a way to do everything except stop people from leaving the older cities, there is a war on flavored tobacco and vaping products. A ban of both is on the way.

Ostensibly, this is to protect our children, who are presumably lured into smoking by flavored products.

"Who do...Read more

'This is America. ... And here, right matters'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

In her diary entry for July 15, 1944, Anne Frank wrote words that would harrow and challenge generations not yet born: "I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart."

Less than a month later, "people" would discover Anne and seven other Jews hiding in a secret room. "People" would pack her in a ...Read more

Filling the buses

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

In 1976, the one-term Georgia governor who used to surprise locals in Iowa by introducing himself and telling people he was running for president finished first in Iowa (actually, he finished behind uncommitted, but that counted as first) and went on to win the Democratic nomination.

How did he do it? How did a little-known governor whose self-...Read more

Time past for Democrats to get real on health care

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In listening to the Democratic presidential debates, we might conclude that "Medicare for All" is a legislative possibility. It is not, and any presidential candidate with a scintilla of self-respect must admit that fact. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that just 30% of Americans "strongly favor" a plan in which all of us get ...Read more

Billionaires and corporations love anti-SLAPP Laws. Why does John Oliver?

From the Left / Ted Rall /

John Oliver recently dedicated his HBO show to why we need a federal anti-SLAPP law. Like most of his stuff, the episode was witty and engaging. It was also sloppy, thoughtless and poorly researched. From now on, I'll wonder whether I can trust anything he says.

An anti-SLAPP motion is a powerful legal maneuver available to defendants against ...Read more

There are witnesses we still need to hear from

From the Left / Joe Conason /

Accumulating evidence of impeachable offenses by President Donald J. Trump, based on available documents and witness testimony, is overwhelming. It began with the July 25 "transcript" he urged us all to read in which he responds to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's entreaty for more military assistance by asking for those two "favors." ...Read more

How Trump's poverty subsidy enriches the rich

From the Left / Jim Hightower /

Years ago, a Texas legislator who was occasionally known to take lobbyists' cash in exchange for a vote, explained his ethical framework as opportunistic: "I seen my chances, and I took 'em."

Likewise, such hustlers as Dan Gilbert (the billionaire founder of Quicken Loans), Michael Milken (the disgraced Wall Street finagler), Stephen Ross (a ...Read more

Do US carmakers want us to like them?

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

Ask not why the Trump administration must dismantle America's environmental laws with such gusto. By now, that's a given. Instead, let's ask why some automakers, businesses that must plan years in advance, are siding with a president intent on sowing chaos in their own industry.

The issue at hand is President Donald Trump's pointless crusade to...Read more

The only question left

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

What are usually the hard questions are easy this time. He did it. It was wrong. Now who cares is the question.

He did just what all the uncontradicted testimony has established, what we knew going in, witness after witness saying exactly the same thing. It doesn't matter who the whistleblower is, but the Republicans keep demanding his identity...Read more

Say her name: Ending the epidemic of transphobic violence

From the Left / Amy Goodman /

Transgender Day of Remembrance falls annually on Nov. 20. Gwendolyn Ann Smith launched the commemoration in 1999, to remember Rita Hester, murdered a year earlier, and Chanelle Pickett, murdered three years before that. "No one I spoke with then knew who Chanelle Pickett was," Smith reflected a dozen years later. "It seemed clear to me then that...Read more

Yovanovitch's was a voice heard all over the world

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- On the ides of November, one woman's voice hushed the noise of the House.

An imperfect world rarely gives us perfect opposites. Marie Yovanovitch and Gordon Sondland are such a pair, called on different days to appear in the House impeachment inquiry.

The woman, an expert career diplomat, faced unrest and crossfire in hardship ...Read more

'But he's naked!'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

The following rewrite of one of Hans Christian Andersen's best loved tales is presented with apologies to the author, who did nothing to deserve it:

So off went the Emperor under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, 'Oh, how fine are the Emperor's new clothes! Don't they fit him to perfection? And see his long ...Read more

Warren put brakes on 'Medicare for All' after she listened to what people actually want

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a woman of uncommon intelligence. But like all of us mortals, she sometimes makes mistakes.

Take, for example, the Massachusetts Democrat's embarrassing retreat on "Medicare for All." Please.

After weeks of being pressured to show some details as to how she would expand Medicare to cover all Americans and not just ...Read more

Partisan lines fade with the right candidates

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

I think Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards meant it when he partly credited his reelection to LSU's and the Saints' winning season. That would be the football teams -- Louisiana State University and the New Orleans Saints.

"People are just in a better mood," the Democrat said. And he did have LSU coach Ed Orgeron vouching for him.

Edwards pulled ...Read more

Warren's plan to address inequality rattles the establishment

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

The New York Times reported last week on a study showing that Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposed wealth tax (and presumably Sen. Bernie Sanders' even more ambitious version) would reduce economic growth by nearly 0.2 percentage points a year over the course of a decade.

With a story headlined "Warren Wealth Tax Could Slow the Economy, Early ...Read more

Stop shoving your sports agenda down my throat

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I'm what used to be called a "regular guy." House. Wife. Job. Taxes. Scared of street crime. Frozen pizza. Flannel shirts. Draft beer. Used car. It took me six months to pay off the new mattress I bought.

But I don't like sports.

By that, I mean I have never seen a complete basketball or hockey game, I can't name five professional baseball or ...Read more

Barriers zigzag across America like a scar

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

A few words about walls.

Unsurprisingly, the one Donald Trump is trying to build on the southern border -- the one he swore Mexico would pay for -- has proven, like most things he touches, an embarrassing failure. First came news early this month that smugglers have been able to cut through the barrier with a simple reciprocating saw, available...Read more

This time, it was Saugus

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

In California, every kid over the age of 3 knows how to duck and cover, and has an earthquake kit in their locker, emergency phone numbers and the like. Pretty terrifying the first time you pack that little kit for school.

Fires, earthquakes ... back east it was hurricanes. In my day, we also knew to head downstairs when the air raid sirens ...Read more

Will Democrats in 2020 again 'fall in love'?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

There are large historical differences between America's two major political parties in how they choose their presidential nominees.

Consider this: Since 1952, there have been 11 presidential elections where there wasn't a Republican president running for reelection. In 10 of those 11, the Republican candidate who led in the major polls in the ...Read more