From the Left




From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The answer is almost always $20.

As in, how much do you think this turkey sandwich cost? Hint: it used to be $10.

Extra points: Remember, we're in California, where there is an extra 10% tax on everything.

Extra reminder: There's a tip jar on the counter, a tip reminder on the app and an actor ready for their close-up (LA joke: When you ...Read more

'We Are Battling With One Another ... '

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

"We are battling with one another," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky told a conference last week, "and not battling with the common foe, which is the virus itself."

Who would have thought the virus would be easier to beat?

What in God's name are we fighting about?

Barely half of the United States ...Read more

The Ax Is Coming Down

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Friday. Or next Friday. Or by Thanksgiving. Or by the end of the year.

Anyway, it's coming.

The ax. Or, if you prefer, the stick. As in, the carrot and the stick.

The carrot is you keep your hair appointment or your reservation or your tickets. Those things you might live with or without. The stick is what's coming. If you want to keep your...Read more

Proctoring, Anyone?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

My son's longtime girlfriend (her students call her "Miss") teaches physics in an inner-city charter high school. She is, happily, back in school; doing labs online with students, slowly sipping coffee outside at McDonald's as their internet connections come and go, makes teaching law on Zoom look like a snap.

But wait. That's physics. ...Read more

The Constitutional Question

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

There are two questions relating to vaccine mandates that have become dangerously confused.

The first question is whether, as a matter of public health and safety, vaccines should be mandated -- for public school students and teachers, for first responders, for essential workers, for indoor events, for outdoor events, for gyms and restaurants...Read more

I Went to Sleep on a Friday ...

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

And woke up on Sunday.

In a hospital bed.

In the ICU. We all know those initials. Actually, I was lucky to be there. I didn't have COVID-19. Just the regular ICU. Actually, I was waiting for a step-down unit. The only beds available were non-COVID ICU.

I was lucky. I am lucky. I live in California. The governor did not get recalled. We have...Read more

In Loco Parentis?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It's one of those great Latin phrases: in the place of a parent.

It's a great phrase because of exactly how little it proves.

When is someone who is not a parent allowed to act in the place of a parent?

And when is someone who is a parent not allowed to act as a parent?

We never used to ask these questions -- or, at least, we never used to...Read more

Happy (Jewish) New Year

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

COVID? Last year, we thought it might be the last year.

This year, we know better.

In Los Angeles, we've pretty much outlawed COVID. In Florida, you've got a right to have COVID. Texas, too. Me, I'd rather pay taxes and outlaw COVID.

It's the new federalism. Red states have a right to die. Intensive care units in Southern states are packed....Read more

Gavin's Lucky Day

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

He Survived!

Not exactly a triumph, when you come right down to it. The bluest state in the nation, facing the "sage from South Central," stays white.

Larry Elder and I date back to the days when he was the house conservative at KABC-790 Talk Radio. The rest of the lineup was liberal. I was the heir apparent to the "Morning Guy," the English...Read more

1 in 4, Maybe More

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Last week, children across the nation went back to school. That was the good news. The bad news was that COVID-19 went back to school with them.

Official reports found that 1 in 4 cases were among children. Unofficial reports suggest that the numbers may be even higher.

And who is infecting these children?

Their parents.

How unbelievably, ...Read more


From the Left / Susan Estrich /

"Wake up," my friend Annie warned me. "The world is coming to an end."

It was the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. I was due to fly east on Friday, to launch my paperback book tour. But first, I switched on the television -- just in time to see the second plane crash into the World Trade Center.

How could I explain what was happening to my kids --...Read more

Roe Roe Roe Your Boat ...

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It was almost 50 years ago that the United States Supreme Court gave women control over their bodies prior to viability.

Within the next two years, they will take it away.

By a vote of 5-4, minutes before midnight, a very different Court refused -- for the first time in 50 years -- to say that an anti-abortion law is/was/will be ...Read more

Vanilla for Governor

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

On Sept. 14, or thereabouts, California voters will decide whether to recall the Democratic governor of California, the singularly unpopular Gavin Newsom, and replace him with someone who, at best, most of us have never heard of.

Vanilla, he has been labeled by the Los Angeles Times, a title which earned him their endorsement.

Labor Day is ...Read more

Joe Biden's War

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

What is there to say about the disastrous pullout from Kabul? The Taliban will stop at nothing. There is no respect for human life -- not only of our soldiers but also of their fellow citizens.

Thursday's suicide bombing, killing 13 American troops and scores of Afghans, only makes that clear.

Meanwhile, misinformation is everywhere, as ...Read more

Twitter, Trump and the Taliban

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

If there is one iconic photograph that defines World War II, it is the picture of six marines planting the United States flag atop Mount Suribachi in the last stages of the fighting.

The Battle of Iwo Jima, a Japanese island, lasted 36 days. Some 70,000 U.S. Marines participated in that battle; 7,000 of them were killed, in the Marines' ...Read more

Poor Andrew

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

According to The New York Times, the soon-to-be former governor of New York is sitting on $18 million in campaign cash -- with nothing to run for, a first in his life.

Of this I am sure: The guy does not know what hit him. Can it be that a series of meaningless encounters has cost him everything? It can be. Remember, the governor welcomed the ...Read more

Good for the NFL

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

The new policy of the NFL, widely reported in recent weeks, hits players and teams exactly where it hurts.

If there is an outbreak among unvaccinated players, you forfeit the game and face further fines, and none of the players on either team gets paid.

First, you lose. Second, you -- and every one of your peers -- has to pay for it. Sounds ...Read more

Americans First?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Should vulnerable Americans -- say, senior citizens and those with underlying conditions, to begin with -- get their third shot before people all over the world get their first?

I would say yes.

The World Health Organization says no.

In the past week, both Pfizer and Moderna have announced that they are testing a booster shot to address the...Read more

I Dropped My Phone in the Toilet

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It was in my back pocket. Not such a terrible place for a phone, until you start pulling down your pants at the same time you're sitting down. Nothing else was in the toilet, at least. Too much information?

I tried the rice. You put your phone in a sealed bag of uncooked rice, and the rice absorbs the moisture from your phone. I really wanted...Read more

Blue Genes

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Last week, Simone Biles shocked the world by withdrawing from the first week of Olympic competition because the "mental" wasn't there.

To a curious but largely supportive public, other gymnasts tried to explain the "mental" part of gymnastics and the dangers of jumping when that part is off. When you get the "twisties," they explained, it's ...Read more



Pat Bagley A.F. Branco Bob Englehart Bill Bramhall Adam Zyglis Jimmy Margulies