Archive

November 23rd, 2016

Sexism did not cost Hillary Clinton the election

    To some, it seems an open-and-shut case that a woman faces an insuperable double standard on the road to the White House. "America was never ready for a woman president," one headline declared; Clinton's defeat "is what misogyny looks like," a Guardian columnist lamented; her own running mate, after the loss, described the United States as a nation that "has made it so uniquely difficult for a woman to make it into federal office." No, America is not ready, not now and not in the foreseeable future. After all, Americans twice elected an African-American president, but Hillary Clinton, an inordinately qualified woman, came up short. Only 41 percent of men voted for her. And just look at the sexism and misogyny of this election.

    But Clinton did not lose because of sexism, and future female candidates for president are unlikely to, either.

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!

Racism probably is getting worse

    President-elect Donald Trump's campaign often targeted blacks, Latinos and Muslims for criticism. Sometimes the rhetoric sounded racist or meant to appeal to the racism of others. Does that mean ethnic and religious prejudices are rising in the U.S.? Let's start with the pessimistic answer.

    Following the election, the number of racial incidents and attacks seems to have risen. The Southern Poverty Law Center recorded over 200 reported incidents of harassment and intimidation for the remainder of the week after Tuesday. Before the election, anti-Semitic tweets were becoming more common and more aggressive.

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!

Immigrant hopes may now depend on Melania

    House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said last weekend that there will be no deportation force rounding up undocumented immigrants. President-elect Donald Trump, Ryan's new boss, said he will deport 2 million or 2 million undocumented immigrants. Both may be right.

    Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who called the League of Women Voters "communist" for trying to thwart his voter-suppression efforts, is a key immigration policy adviser to Trump. He told the Los Angeles Times last week. "There is vast potential to increase the level of deportations without adding personnel."

    With a change of policy, each of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. would become instantly vulnerable to deportation. To enact those policies, all Trump has to do is rescind Barack Obama's less aggressive ones. Ryan wouldn't have to lift a legislative finger to realize Kobach's "vast potential."

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 told conservatives to work for Donald Trump. One talk with his team changed my mind.

    I am a national security Never-Trumper who, after the election, made the case that young conservatives should volunteer to serve in the new administration, warily, their undated letters of resignation ready. That advice, I have concluded, was wrong.

    My about-face began with a discreet request to me from a friend in Trumpworld to provide names - unsullied by having signed the two anti-Trump foreign policy letters - of those who might be willing to serve. My friend and I had agreed to disagree a while back about my taking an uncompromising anti-Trump stand; now, he wanted assistance and I willingly complied.

    After an exchange about a senior figure who would not submit a résumé but would listen if contacted, an email exchange ensued that I found astonishing. My friend was seething with anger directed at those of us who had opposed Donald Trump - even those who stood ready to help steer good people to an administration that understandably wanted nothing to do with the likes of me, someone who had been out front in opposing Trump since the beginning.

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 don't know what Trump will do. Here's some of what he can do.

    Even though he lost the popular vote, Donald Trump is the legitimate president-elect, and I share both Hillary Clinton's admonition to keep an open mind and President Obama's wish for Trump's success.

    But this is not the time for amnesia. Trump's campaign may not have featured much in the way of concrete policy, but he and his team did make a number of promises, including a first-100-days agenda, some of which reads like a hit list against progressive priorities.

    The agenda raises two questions. First, can he pull it off? Second, will he choose to do so?

    Since his victory, Trump has made some conciliatory sounds, but we cannot yet know how seriously to take him. He clearly has no reservoir of trust from those who opposed him. Moreover, some of what he's saying, particularly about Obamacare, doesn't make 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!

How to make drug prices fair for U.S. consumers

    Americans pay far more for branded prescription drugs than people in any other developed nation, exactly the kind of bad deal that President-elect Donald Trump decried repeatedly in his campaign. The U.S. was reminded of this outrage in September when it learned that drug maker Mylan NV has been charging Americans more than $600 for its EpiPen two-pack while selling it for only $69 in Britain.

    Why does this kind of inequality persist? The main reason is that, by law, Medicare and Medicaid cannot use their volume purchasing power to negotiate lower prices, as do health agencies in virtually all other developed nations.

    Were U.S. health agencies to do the same, however, the collective negotiating power of all these nations would beat down prices so much that drug companies would not have the funds to conduct the research and development that produces life-saving drugs and advances in treatment.

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!

Facebook's algorithms didn't tilt the election

    Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and chief executive officer of Facebook, finds himself in some hot water. His company is being blamed or credited, depending upon your point of view, for Donald Trump's election because its algorithms facilitated the circulation of misleading or false news stories.

    This controversy is misdirected: it should be less about Facebook's algorithms and more about human cognitive issues. Here is yet another lesson for investors.

    Confirmation bias is the tendency for people to seek out news, information and opinion that reinforces existing beliefs. We pay more attention to, interpret more favorably and tend to remember the things with which we agree. The opposite is also true: We tend to not notice, interpret unfavorably and more easily forget that which is at odds with what we already think. Selective attention, perception and retention are part of the broader confirmation bias that afflicts almost everyone. It has been called the "compulsive yes-man" in your head who "echoes whatever you want to believe."

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!

Clinton lost Pennsylvania more than Trump won it

    I was surprised by the presidential election. I'm still amazed by Pennsylvania.

    Before Nov. 8, I thought that six of the seven battleground states were tossups. The exception was Pennsylvania, where I spent a number of days reporting, made scores of calls and concluded it was in the Hillary Clinton column.

    The conventional wisdom now is that Donald Trump broke the Democrats' blue wall, starting with the Keystone State, with a surge of working-class and middle-class voters. A closer look at Pennsylvania's balloting produces a different conclusion: Democrats of all stripes -- young people, members of minority groups, suburbanites and working-class loyalists -- just didn't turn out the way they did for President Barack Obama. This was less about Trump than about Clinton.

    "He got out his vote but she underperformed their expectations," concludes Terry Madonna who runs the poll at Franklin & Marshall College which, like the Bloomberg Politics October survey, foresaw a Clinton victory.

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!

A Trumpian Silver Lining

    One of Donald Trump’s big advantages now is that he has so many awful associates. No matter what appointees he foists on us, there’s always another pal who’d have been worse. If he names some federal land-grabbing oilman as secretary of the interior, people are going to sigh with relief and say, “At least it isn’t Sarah Palin.”

    And Reince Priebus — until a few days ago Priebus was just the head of the Republican National Committee, a seriously unexciting guy with a hard-to-pronounce name. Then he got picked to be White House chief of staff at the same time Steve Bannon, the loathsome alt-right cheerleader, was named chief strategy adviser. Everyone fell madly in love with Priebus, who was ... way less bad.

    The whole world is watching the Trump transition — nine weeks and 3,998 appointments to go! If you want to look on the bright side, remember that however horrific you feel about what’s happening in Washington, Chris Christie feels worse.

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!

November 22nd

The suffragette who helps explain Clinton's loss

    One of the longest lines on Election Day wasn't to cast a ballot. It was to place an "I Voted" sticker, and get a celebratory photo taken, at Susan B. Anthony's in Rochester, New York. But one of the reasons Hillary Clinton lost the election, failing to realize the suffragettes' ultimate dream, is that she was too much like Anthony, and not enough like Anthony's more daring mentor and partner, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

    Anthony is the patron saint of women's suffrage. Grade-school students learn of her 1872 arrest for casting a ballot (the straight Republican ticket) decades before it became legal for women to do so. She first appeared on a dollar coin in 1979. When President Barack Obama marked the 50th anniversary of the march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery, he cited Anthony.

    She deserves all the accolades. But Stanton, Anthony's friend and mentor, deserves no less. And if Clinton had more of Stanton's fearlessness, she may well have won the race.

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!