Archive

February 11th, 2017

The gulf between Trump and the truth

    Upon Barack Obama’s election, gun sales went through the roof. Upon Donald Trump’s ascension, sales of Orwell’s “1984” have taken off a rocket.

    Time to refresh some memories about “doublespeak” with the advent of Trumpspeak.

    Store those books in a safe place, America. You never know when, by executive order, literary license will be revoked -- not to mention any truth not authored by the Trump Organization.

     “Millions of fearful Americans have already begun stockpiling facts,” reports The Onion, “before the federal government comes to take them away.”

    Sure, that’s farce. However, what the head of Reuters said the other day is no joke.

    Trump, writes Reuters editor-in-chief Steve Adler, is proving to be as antagonistic to the press as any number of autocratic Third World rulers whose governments the international news agency covers. Regardless, Reuters is ready to do its job, he pledges.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

I never cared much about politics. Then Trump nominated Betsy DeVos to his Cabinet.

    Like a lot of Americans, I've never been particularly political. I've never voted in a midterm election. I've never voted in a local race, never voted for mayor. I don't recall voting ever except for the presidential elections. I would read political articles and keep up with the news, but I didn't do much research before heading to the polls every four years. My Facebook feed was mostly cat photos.

    But then President Trump was elected, and he nominated Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Betsy DeVos wants "choice" for special-needs kids. In Asia, we saw what that can mean.

    My son slides under the daybed, flattening his sprawling limbs in all directions across the dusty floor, then retracting them with a jerk. "I'm making myself invisible!" he declares. He knows our news is unwelcome.

    Don't let him think it's because of him, his doctor had coached.

    Crouching, I reach my hand to stroke his arm -- a gesture I realize is not enough to comfort a boy whose body short-circuits with uncertainty. My husband and I tell him:

    You can't start second grade tomorrow.

    We're leaving Singapore. We're moving to America.

    We don't know when. It will be soon.

    We don't know where. We'll figure it out.

    We don't have jobs. We'll get them.

    But until then, you can't go to school.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

February 9th

A game plan for Trump's foes

    The movement that Donald Trump's presidency has inspired against him is broad, passionate, engaged and determined. Its prospects depend upon highlighting a set of principles that can unite an American majority already appalled by what Trump is doing to our country.

    While almost everything in our politics these days has a strongly partisan cast, the anti-Trump forces cannot be defined by party or ideology. That's true even though, with a sadly short list of exceptions, Republicans in the House and Senate have been timid in speaking out against Trump's overturning of long-established norms and values.

     Over time, these profiles in meekness will regret where they stood in the early going. But they must be prodded and encouraged to break with the most egregious of the president's policies.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

What Chris Paul and Steph Curry can teach us about President Trump

    Everyone - and I mean everyone - is trying to figure out President Donald Trump right now.

    Is he operating according to a master plan that only he, and maybe Steve Bannon, can see? Or is he just doing stuff and seeing what happens? Is there method to what looks to many people like political madness?

    The best unified theory of Trump I've come across is that of Sally Jenkins, the Washington Post sports reporter and columnist. Here's Sally's explanation of Trump from a tweet last week: "An old sports strategy: foul so much in the 1st 5 min of the game that the refs can't call them all. From then on, a more physical game."

    If you think about the first 14 (or so) days of the Trump presidency through that lens, it starts to make a lot of sense.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Please don't retire, Justice Kennedy

    This is a column on a subject of broad public interest but with a single reader in mind: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. Justice Kennedy, if you're reading this, my message is simple: Please don't retire. It could put your legacy at risk; even more, it would be terrible for the country at a moment that demands healing, not another bitter fight ripping at the seams of national unity.

    It's natural, of course, that stepping down would be on your mind. At 80, you are the court's longest-serving justice -- 29 years this month. Appointed by a Republican president, you might decide that a Republican president should have the chance to name your successor.

    Please don't.

    Your tenure will be best remembered -- and justly celebrated -- for rulings on gay rights. Romer v. Evans (1996) struck down an amendment to the Colorado Constitution that barred the state or localities from passing anti-discrimination laws to protect gays and lesbians. Lawrence v. Texas (2003) declared unconstitutional laws criminalizing homosexual conduct.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Justice Ginsburg: Do you need any health?

    Dear the Honorable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,

    How are you? No, really, how are you?

    I've found myself thinking about you lately, and how things are going with you, and I just wanted you to know that I admire you very much and have some tokens of my esteem that you might enjoy.

    Such as blood. If you have any need for blood, you can have the eight or so units of A-positive that are right here in my body. There's also a gently used liver in here, lobes of it just lying around if you need them.

    I am 32 years old and in good health. I take vitamins and fish oil. In the gym, I recently lifted almost three times your weight with my butt.

    Do you like platelets? I have excellent platelets. I have had all my shots. If you, personally, ask me to, I will give up cheese. I can do eight push-ups and a 10-minute mile. My kidneys function well. I have two. Either one is yours for the taking. Both, if need be.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

February 8th

Hey, Republicans - where's the deficit dudgeon?

    Republicans finally control Washington and are licking their chops about what they can achieve: tax cuts, ending regulations, a stronger defense.

    But they are strangely silent on a centerpiece of their policy rhetoric during Barack Obama's presidency: federal budget deficits.

    Consider the dire warnings they sounded before their man made it to the White House on campaign promises of lower taxes and big spending programs. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell liked to say that deficits are so dangerous that tax reform had to be "revenue neutral." House Speaker Paul Ryan trotted out plans to balance the federal budget in 10 years. Texas Senator Ted Cruz thundered that the government, like the ordinary American family, has to stop living on credit.

    Here are three predictions to bank on even in today's crazy-quilt political world: 1) If Congress passes a tax reform plan, it not only won't be revenue neutral, it will lose trillions; 2) The budget won't be balanced in 10 years, and 3) The government, like many Americans, will keep using its credit card.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Cancel dinner plans and send 'nerd prom' to the history books

    Once merely embarrassing and ridiculous, the annual White House correspondents' dinner is poised to tip over into journalistic self-abasement.

    It's time to stick a silver-plated fork in it.

    The so-called nerd prom is a glitzy party - now a week-long blitz of related parties - in which Washington, Hollywood and New York media types schmooze it up with the public officials that some of them are supposed to cover, while looking over their shoulders to see whether Helen Mirren is really looking as fabulous as everyone says.

    "The main purpose of the evening," John Oliver once said, "seems to be providing photos of glamorous celebrities completely unaware of who they're standing next to."

    The dinner has long been criticized for its cringe-inducing "optics" - as journalists cozy up to celebrities and heartily applaud politicians, usually including the president.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

AME bishops sound a battle cry against the Trump administration

    Has anything like this ever occurred with a newly elected president? Less than two weeks after Donald Trump's inauguration, the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, "the first protestant denomination formed on American soil," has called upon its more than 1 million members in 39 countries, including the United States, to do all they can to see that a host of decisions and actions by the Trump administration, described by the bishops as "clearly demonic acts," "do not last." The bishops are calling for concerted grass-roots action, including bringing pressure on Congress.

    In a Jan. 31 Episcopal Statement, the bishops said that they didn't come to their decision quickly. They watched with dismay, they said, as presidential candidate Trump showed insensitivity and callous disregard for the rights and well-being of countless Americans. They were troubled to see him go around the country expressing views and policy positions that threatened to divide and polarize the nation.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!