Archive

May 7th, 2016

The Donald Trump New Normal

    This morning we woke up in a nation where Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States. No “Game of Thrones” analogies. This is the real thing.

    “We’re going to start winning again and we’re going to win bigly, believe me,” he said on primary night. It had been quite a day. His chief opponent held a news conference to announce that Trump was an “utterly amoral” narcissist and friend to rapists who was “proud of being a serial philanderer.” Armed with that information, Indiana voters raced off to the polls and awarded Donald a huge win.

    In his victory speech, Trump spoke in the much-promised “presidential” style, and the big news is that when Trump is being presidential he is incredibly boring. Also pretty incoherent:

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!

Some hard questions now that Trump is the nominee

    So Donald Trump is to be the Republican Party nominee. Establishment Republicans need to take a deep breath: The U.S. system of checks and balances was designed to preclude the kind of tyranny some are warning could accompany a Trump presidency. There will not be guillotines in the streets of Washington. Nonetheless, establishment Republicans are right to be shocked: Until recently, ours has been a strikingly successful political party. The Republicans' governing wing holds majorities in the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, state legislatures, and governorships. Under President Barack Obama, Democrats have lost 13 seats in the Senate, 69 seats in the House, over 900 seats in state legislatures, and 12 governorships. It looks like their losing streak may be ending.

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!

Say It, Don’t Spray It

    A friend of mine is a farmer out in Montana. She’s also eight months pregnant with her first child.

    Recently she looked out her window and saw a worker spraying pesticides on her neighbor’s farm. Concerned for the health of her baby, she called the neighbor about the spraying. “Oh,” the neighbor asked, “do you want him to spray your land too?”

    She remained polite on the phone but was internally panicked. What had he sprayed, and how would it affect her child?

    In the day that followed, she faced dilemmas like whether to take the dog in the car and walk him somewhere else, or even not to walk him at all.

    Was the land around her poisoned? Could she walk anywhere without endangering her child? She became a virtual prisoner in her home.

    She’s not the only one I know who lives in the country and faces issues like this.

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!

Republican effort to stop Trump ends in failure

    Donald Trump's initially improbable bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination become a de facto reality in Indiana Tuesday night, as the Hoosier state's voters buried the stop-Trump movement in its tracks and drove Sen. Ted Cruz to the sidelines.

    On the heels of a sweep of the New York and five other Northeastern states over the previous weeks, the streak based largely on public dissatisfaction and anger toward the political status quo has given Trump a stranglehold on the Republican Party's establishment, with consequences to be determined.

    The candidate who has ridden to the brink of nomination on personal insults, threats to foreign elements and racial and gender abuse used a victory night speech to pivot swiftly to what, for him, passes as conciliatory remarks toward his political foes, including Cruz.

    Trump called his prime rival for the nomination "a tough competitor" and predicted he would have a bright future in the GOP, though the widely expressed abhorrence from fellow senators toward Cruz during the campaign might suggest otherwise.

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!

King Coal Is Headed to Prison

    So long, Don, it’s been God-awful to know you.

    Don Blankenship, who was the King of King Coal, is headed toward a place he never imagined he’d end up: federal prison.

    The ruthless former CEO of the Massey Energy company arrogantly assumed he was above the law. For years he openly disdained the safety rules of his dangerous industry, willfully violating them in order to increase corporate profits and his own exorbitant executive pay package.

    Even when the law caught up with Blankenship, forcing him to resign as Massey’s CEO in 2010, he awarded himself a $12-million golden parachute to cushion his fall.

    All of his enrichment, however, was blood money. Literally.

    In 2010, Massey Energy’s despicable lack of concern for its mineworkers caused a furious explosion to rip through its Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. Twenty-nine miners were instantly killed. It was the worst U.S. mine disaster in 40 years, and it was no mere accident.

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 run a breast cancer organization. I hate breast cancer walks.

    Every spring, major breast cancer charities like Susan G. Komen and the Avon Foundation encourage people to raise money by walking. Each year, multiple organizations put on hundreds of walks, raising tens of millions of dollars. Since the 1980s, they've argued that these efforts are key to ending a devastating disease. About their three-day event, Komen proclaims: "This isn't just a walk. It's the journey to the end of breast cancer."

    As executive director of the national Breast Cancer Action organization, I've seen these walks become larger, shinier and more closely tied to their corporate sponsors. That bloat is bad for supporters and those with cancer alike.

    Here's why: The cost of putting on breast cancer walks today, especially multi-day walks, can be extravagant. And many of the best-known breast cancer charities don't report how much their walks cost or raise, so it's impossible to find out how much money really goes to breast cancer programs. These figures should be easy to find, especially as some walks require people to raise thousands of dollars to participate.

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!

Yale doesn't need Calhoun College - it needs a real slavery memorial

    Last week, Yale University President Peter Salovey announced that, after much protest and deliberation, the school will not rename a residential college named after John C. Calhoun, an ardent defender of slavery and one of the intellectual architects of secession.

    Salovey's message to the Yale community on Calhoun College and a host of related issues was admirable both for his candor -- he acknowledged that a new residential college will be named for Benjamin Franklin because that's what the donor, Charles B. Johnson, wanted -- and for Salovey's commitment to addressing the role of slavery in Yale's past.

    But I couldn't help but feel that if Salovey wanted the university community to engage more deeply with slavery, racism and Yale, he missed an obvious, and more artful, way to make remembrance and reconciliation a permanent part of the Yale landscape.

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!

Caitlyn Jenner’s Calling

    When Caitlyn Jenner was first emerging from the shell of gold medalist Bruce Jenner, Americans were riveted, voyeuristic — and surprisingly accepting.

    So much has changed since then. Hesitant acceptance of transgender people has dissolved into a national furor over bathroom laws. And among liberals, initial enthusiasm for Jenner faded with the discovery that she is a Republican who admired Ted Cruz!

    I accompanied Jenner as she visited a Brooklyn school, the Academy for Young Writers, that is in a gritty, working-class neighborhood and that has been a leader in making LGBT students feel welcome. The meeting was a collision of sorts: a wealthy transgender celebrity encountering a group of low-income LGBT teenagers of color, coming from different worlds but sharing anxieties and pain.

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!

How Much Will Trump Get Away With?

    For argument's sake, let's say you ran into this Trump character in a bar. First off, he's boasting about how incredibly smart, rich and good-looking he is. He's a big, big winner. He's even got his own TV show, and you don't.

    Next he starts in on what a HUGE success he is with the ladies, partly because of his, ahem, prodigious masculine endowment. American Pharoah, the racehorse, has got nothing on The Donald.

    Trump says you wouldn't believe how many supposedly happily married wives he's debauched. Top women, trophy wives, not that flat-chested specimen with "the face of a dog" sitting with you.

    Next he tells you about his hot daughter, the one with the amazing body whom he'd probably date if his supermodel wife wasn't even hotter.

    OK, enough.

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!

May 6th

Why more high-school seniors need to be like Malia Obama and take a gap year

    Sunday's announcement from the White House that Malia Obama would take a gap year before starting at Harvard University in the fall of 2017 drew swift reactions on social media-a mix of support, ridicule for delaying adulthood, and some envy that the idea of taking a break before college is too often reserved for the wealthy.

    But more high-school students should be following Malia's lead and getting off the conveyor belt that leads them to follow the well-plotted and well-trod course to college simply because they don't know what else to do with their lives three months after they leave high school.

    If young adults are to succeed eventually in the job market, they need environments where they can explore for a while before they settle. The family home and high school, with their close supervision and regimented schedule, don't provide such space.

    The gap year provides such space to explore careers, work and earn money, and learn new skills.

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!