Archive

October 15th, 2016

Daughters and Trumps

    As the father of no daughters, I’m appalled by Donald Trump’s comments about groping women. As the husband of no wife, I’m offended.

    What, you ask, do my parental and marital statuses have to do with recognizing the outrage of what he said? I wonder, too. But they must be germane, because Republicans seem unable to censure Trump without invoking female spouses and especially offspring. In this version of Take Our Daughters to Work Day, the work is displaying concern for women, and the daughters are less protégées than props.

    Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, used a written statement of displeasure with Trump to identify himself as “the father of three daughters.” This was apparently a wellspring of his pique, which didn’t rise to the level of actually rescinding his endorsement of Trump. Would a fourth daughter have done the trick? A fifth?

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!

Can the U.S. Win This Election?

    Seriously, why didn’t we sell tickets? If only our national election had been pay-per-view for the rest of the world, we could have wiped out the national debt. But while viewers around the world seem to be lapping up our national reality TV show, are we, the citizens of America, going to get anything out of it?

    Specifically, are we going to get the thing we need most and have enjoyed least this century: effective government? We have too much deferred maintenance to fix, too much deferred leadership to generate and too much deferred re-imagining to undertake to wait another four years to solve our biggest problems, especially in this age of accelerating technology and climate change.

    If we will have indulged in almost two years of electoral entertainment and pathos just to end up back where we were, only worse, with even more venomous gridlock in Washington, it won’t just be emotionally depressing, we’ll really start to decline as a nation. When we forfeit governing our country strategically at the national level for this long, inevitably the roof will start to leak and the floors will start to buckle.

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!

When Trump went low, Steve Bannon found a new direction: Lower

    Donald Trump preened when vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence got good reviews last week for his debate performance. The Donald bragged that Pence was the "first choice" he had made, and thus a praiseworthy indication of his hiring prowess.

    Fact check: False.

    Trump made a much more telling choice two months earlier - a hiring decision that was appallingly evident before, during and after the presidential debate Sunday night.

    In picking Stephen K. Bannon to run his campaign, Trump tethered his hopes to a combative propagandist - Bannon is the executive chairman of Breitbart News, the right-wing website that a Bloomberg News profile called "a haven for people who think Fox News is too polite and restrained."

    And while Fox has sometimes been split in its coverage of Trump - occasionally critical, often fawning - Breitbart seems to have no such internal conflict. Which explains why people call it Trump Pravda.

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!

Trump would jail Clinton? There's a name for that

    Donald Trump's threat in Sunday night's presidential debate to appoint a special prosecutor to go after Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server is legally empty -- but it's genuinely dangerous nevertheless. Federal regulations give the appointment power to the attorney general, not the president, precisely to protect us against a president who uses the special prosecutor as a political tool.

    What separates functioning democracies from weak or failed ones is that political parties alternate in power without jailing the opponents they beat in elections. That sometimes means giving a pass to potentially criminal conduct, but that's a worthwhile sacrifice for making republican government work.

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!

Trump did nothing at the debate to halt his campaign's death spiral

    On the debate stage Sunday night, we saw a lifelong public servant with total grasp of the issues and concrete plans to take the nation forward. And we saw a saw a fraudulent boor who knows nothing about anything and brags about groping women. Let's not pretend anymore that we have an actual choice.

    Let's not pretend there is any question about who "won" the debate, because only one candidate -- Hillary Clinton -- actually debated. Donald Trump did nothing but spew dangerous and incoherent nonsense, demonstrating in the process how fortunate we are that his electoral prospects finally seem to be circling the drain.

    "If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation," Trump told Clinton, referring to how she handled emails from her tenure as secretary of state. I believe those have to be the most shockingly un-American words ever uttered at a presidential debate, and they made me sick to my stomach.

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!

Three revealing Donald Trump moments in that hot mess of a town hall

    The first 30 minutes of the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump failed to respect the dignity of the American people. That Trump would go all "Real Housewives" by bringing four women who have accused former president Bill Clinton of sexual assault (or worse) was beneath the dignity of the office of president of the United States.

    We are so much better than the 90 minutes that were delivered. But there were three revealing moments that I want to highlight now - before the horror of what we just endured sinks in and renders me mute.

    -- Trump suggested that he used the $916 million loss on his federal income taxes to avoid paying federal income taxes.

    "Did you use that multimillion dollar loss to avoid paying federal income taxes?" CNN's Anderson Cooper asked Trump. "Of course I do, and so do all of her donors." Considering he won't release his tax returns, this will have to serve as confirmation of such a stunning fact.

    -- Trump threatened to put Clinton in jail over her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

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!

Ratings problem for GOP's freak show

    The NFL’s ratings are down. Fox Sports commentator Colin Cowherd says he knows why. It’s not about quality of play or sidelined quarterbacks.

    “It’s Donald Trump.” People are tuning out football for that guy.

    True. The nation is transfixed. It can’t take its eyes off the Trump Dumpster fire.

    The thing it, such TV ratings are not what his party wants. No, siree.

    Right now the GOP wants voters to flip to just about any other programming: tribal mating rituals in New Guinea, migratory fruit flies, the soufflé in French history.

    No such luck. All Americans want to talk about is this man’s terrible behavior. Trump’s nomination has been exquisite for cable news, horrific for the Republican Party.

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!

Pity Pence, but he has a path to redemption

    The big unasked question on the debate stage Sunday night was: "Where's Mike Pence?"

    Since the video of Donald Trump admitting to sexual assault came out on Friday and Republicans ran for the hills, Pence had gone to ground. He bailed on filling in for Trump at the fall picnic of Speaker Paul Ryan (who was "sickened" by the revelations). Pence emerged only to go to church. There was talk of a President Pence. No one would have been surprised if Pence had asked to get off the ticket.

    But Pence came home. Minutes after Trump stopped stalking Hillary Clinton on stage and lowered his fists, Pence tweeted: "Congrats to my running mate on a big debate win! Proud to stand with you as we ."

    Trump has little chance of "making America great again" without Pence by his side. Without Pence, the center of Trump's coalition would not hold. But Trump did nothing to lure Pence back into the fold. To the contrary, he said during the debate that the two hadn't even been in touch.

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!

October 14th

A vicious presidential debate

    It's not an American habit for a presidential candidate to declare that he would imprison his opponent. Donald Trump, reeling from the release of an 11-year-old video recording his lewd and repulsive comments about women, went there anyway.

    And while he said he was "very embarrassed" by his talk of groping and assault, Trump decided that salvation lay in dredging up old scandals involving his opponent's husband. Of Bill Clinton, he said: "There's never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that's been so abusive to women." Trump seemed to think that the comparison would somehow make him look better.

    Trump stalked the stage, interrupting Hillary Clinton, repeatedly attacking her for "lying," and assailing the moderators, Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper, saying at one point that the debate was three against one. It was the petulant and often boorish performance of a man aware that his campaign was at the edge of extinction.

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!

Mass surveillance is part of Yahoo's business model

    Yahoo has been getting a lot of attention lately for its failures to protect personal information. What's perhaps more remarkable, though, is how little privacy American internet users demand.

    First came news that hackers stole personal data on more than 500 million Yahoo users. Now the company is dealing with reports that it helped the Justice Department conduct mass surveillance by scanning email traffic for signs of a terrorist organization. One has to wonder: When Verizon finally completes its planned acquisition of Yahoo, will there be any users left to acquire?

    Yet if there's one thing Americans value more than freedom, it's free stuff. Thanks to decades of conditioning, people have this notion that online services -- e-mail, news, porn, search engines -- should be available without charge, like Yahoo. The employees of internet companies are magically compensated in starlight and dreams, so everything they produce should be gratis.

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!