From the Left



'Who Gets What, When, and How'

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

"Yay for science," Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the new head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said quietly as famed photographer Annie Leibovitz got the shot, no pun intended.

Hooray, indeed. Science worked. Science -- that is, people -- managed to do in one year what usually takes 10 to 15 years.

There is science. And there is ...Read more

We Can't Take No for an Answer

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

I don't mean that we are going to punish a grandmother who has reason not to trust government.

I do mean that we have to figure out how to change her mind.

In California, Blacks and Hispanics are dying of COVID-19 at much higher rates than whites or Asians.

There are no City of Los Angeles or Los Angeles County vaccination sites anywhere ...Read more

What Was He Thinking?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It's stunning to watch powerful men get caught.

Everybody always says, "Why did they do it?" but that's usually the easy part. In one way or another, it all comes back to making themselves look better, richer, smarter, more successful and more sexual than anyone else.

My question is why they think they can get away with it.

A couple of ...Read more

Cutting in Line

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It is a brisk morning, but this is LA, so that means we are in sweaters and puffers. We stand six feet apart.

I cannot believe I am here, cannot believe that a year spent inside, in fear, in anger, in grief, is nearing an end.

Science is saving us, pure and simple.

I am here by chance, because my daughter saw a notice on Twitter that a ...Read more

Crying fire in a crowded theater

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Perhaps the most famous quote about the First Amendment -- one that is often garbled and is sure to be dissected in the upcoming impeachment trial -- comes from former Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, writing for a unanimous Supreme Court in Schenck v. United States: "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely ...Read more

We called ourselves victims; today, we call ourselves survivors

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It has been more than 40 years since the man held an ice pick to my throat. "Push over. Shut up or I'll kill you," he said.

I was wearing a blue polyester long-sleeve shirt and print culottes. It was broad daylight, in the parking lot behind my building.

In those days, we called ourselves victims. Today, we call ourselves survivors.

I avoid ...Read more

COVID 19 response is federalism at its worst

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The U.S. COVID response has been called "federalism at its best" -- treating the states as "laboratories of change," as former Justice Louis Brandeis once said, rather than concentrating all decision-making in the federal government.

Frankly, it feels like federalism at its worst. At a time when we needed a national policy to fight a war that ...Read more

I am beyond grateful to be one of the winners of what has become the vaccine lottery

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

On Tuesday afternoon, while working at my desk, two things happened almost at once.

My law school roommate texted me that she and her husband had just signed up online to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Minutes later, my daughter called to say she had been on Twitter and found out that vaccines were being released that had been reserved for health ...Read more

How does Biden deal with the other 30%

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Going into Inauguration Day, a poll found that 66% of all Americans approved of the way then-President-elect Joe Biden handled the transition.

Deservedly so.

If ever there were a perfect setup for a transition in disarray, it would be one where the loser is in the White House and he refuses to concede.

And last week, not too many people were ...Read more

Can we force people to get vaccinated to keep their jobs?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

I don't think there is anyone in America with a phone who hasn't seen the graphic pictures of the Capitol under siege, or hasn't read the harrowing accounts of those trapped inside barricaded rooms.

Whatever else they may have done wrong, the Capitol Police protected everyone who was legitimately in the Capitol.

Inside the Beltway, the ...Read more

A message from the hot pot: It's about vaccines

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

There's a message we are hearing every day: Somehow, by June or July, everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one.

You will survive, if you live that long.

I understand congressional anger. I hope we all share that anger.

In our civil state, these are the Holy Temples literally stomping on the Constitution.

But there is only one ...Read more

Merrick Garland will restore the Justice Department to its real role

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Amid Wednesday's riots, President-elect Joe Biden's selection of Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general was not the front-page story it otherwise would have been.

In watching the horror of terrorists taking over the Capitol, the only consolation that got me through the day was the knowledge that my old friend will soon be running the Justice...Read more

Trump is the traitor on top

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

What do you say of a man who openly seeks to subvert the Constitution and incites his supporters to take over the Capitol of the United States?

He's not a president. He was never a president.

This is what he would say if the shoe were on the other foot: "Traitor! Traitor! It is your presidency that is on fire!"

There were ugly chapters in ...Read more

What do we do when there's no room at the hospital?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

In Los Angeles County, the hospitals are all full. ICU capacity dropped to zero percent in late December. Still, most of us are in denial, assuming full doesn't really mean that they are out of beds, much less rationing care.

Most of us are wrong.

A friend returned home from his studies to take care of his father, who had COVID-19.

For two ...Read more

Who's should get the vaccine first?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

I want the vaccine. I have rarely left my house during the last nine months -- if you try, you can find a way to have almost anything delivered -- because someone in our pod is being treated for cancer, and my kids and I don't take risks.

But I'm not complaining. I live in a mostly white section of Los Angeles, and the COVID-19 infection rate ...Read more

Observations on life in Los Angeles

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Los Angeles is on the verge of becoming the world's biggest COVID hot spot in the world. "The epicenter," we say, shaking our heads. How did this happen?

"It's not so bad here," we say, we being the people who populate what look like suburban communities; beach towns; and places defined as cool, such as West Hollywood and Venice.

I want to ...Read more

I don't sit in judgment of anyone but myself

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

To all of my Christian friends and family members, I wish you a day of joy as you celebrate the birth of Jesus, who you believe is the son of G-d.

I am not wishing a merry Christmas to my Jewish friends, whose determination to celebrate this holy day is diametrically opposed to the fundamental beliefs of Judaism. We do not believe in the ...Read more

There is no debate to be had on vaccination

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

I'm not a scientist. I'm not an infectious disease expert, let alone one of those who led the fight against AIDS. So I have to depend on experts. And luckily for me, there is no debate among experts on the subject of vaccinations. I know I will get furious emails, but they won't be from the most knowledgeable scientists. Former Presidents Barack...Read more

Bill Barr finds his moral compass. Finally.

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

When Bill Barr was appointed attorney general, I was hopeful. Impeccable credentials, long experience in law, not to mention a previous stint as attorney general, Bill Barr was an obvious choice. He was also someone who, at least in his prior jobs, had never lost the respect of those who disagreed with him. Perhaps, we thought -- and I say we ...Read more

Everything Trump says from now on is blither-blather, soon to end

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

There seems to be more talk these days about how Donald Trump is going to leave town than there is about how Joe Biden will arrive.

Joe Biden, it is said, will take the same train he took almost every day to his job in the U.S. Senate, beginning when he was tragically widowed and lost his daughter in a car accident. He commuted so he could ...Read more



Signe Wilkinson Peter Kuper Dana Summers John Cole John Branch Brian Duffy