Archive

October 22nd, 2016

Ryan needs Trump voters to go away after the election

    Last night, Tom Llamas of ABC News asked Donald Trump whether he thinks Paul Ryan wants him to win. "Well maybe not," Trump said, "because maybe he wants to run in four years, or maybe he doesn't know how to win."

    Putting aside whether Ryan appreciates the glorious winningness that is the Trump campaign at this moment, I wouldn't be surprised if Trump is right on his first point. It's entirely possible that Ryan would rather Trump lose, both because he doesn't particularly like him and because it would help the prospects for Ryan in 2020.

    But there's a broader question to ask: If Trump is heading for defeat, as it appears he is, how will that affect Ryan and other Republicans in Congress, not only in their positioning for 2020 but in what they do over the next four years?

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!

Public housing isn't wasted on the poor

    In the 1930s, when U.S. started to build public housing, it was focused in the inner cities, because that's where lots of poor people lived and worked. In recent decades, public housing is more about giving poor people vouchers, which allows them to move into the suburbs. As a result, poverty in the U.S. is no longer mainly an urban phenomenon.

    But some people label public housing . Is that true? Does building places for poor people to live actually hurt them by concentrating poverty and allowing social ills such as drugs and crime to proliferate?

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!

New Hampshire's Ayotte can't shake off Trump

    Few Republican candidates have been flummoxed more by Donald Trump's presence at the top of the ticket than Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

    Running for a second term against Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, Ayotte has the party's presidential nominee wrapped around her neck. Hassan, by contrast, has Michelle Obama, the country's most popular political figure, by her side. At a rally last week, Hassan introduced the first lady, who delivered one of the most powerful speeches of this election, excoriating Trump as a force for evil, whose candidacy, behavior and rhetoric had "shaken me to my core."

    Ayotte, a former attorney general, prosecutor and solid legislator has a core, but it's been shaken by wanting to win so much that she coddled Trump. All summer, the senator contorted herself into the twisted stance that she would support, but not endorse, him. Then, in a debate, she gave a rambling answer about whether Trump was a good role model, concluding "I think that certainly there are many role models that we have and I believe he can serve as president, and so absolutely I would do that."

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!

McCain vows to continue GOP's dysfunction

    We've heard hopeful claims lately that the Republican Party could be a normal, healthy, functional political party if it hadn't accidentally nominated Donald Trump. But Arizona Sen. John McCain has reminded us that this is not the case.

    McCain, speaking in support of Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, said: "I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up."

    The Arizona senator's office tried to afternoon, saying that he will vote for or against the individuals Clinton might nominate "based on their qualifications as he has done throughout his career." The "throughout his career" part ignores McCain's support of the current blockade against Barack Obama's attempt to fill the current Supreme Court vacancy, based on the Republicans' recently invented principle that presidents aren't allowed to put anyone on the court in election years.

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!

India's puzzling gender gap will restrict its growth

    Of an estimated 2.6 billion mobile-phone owners in low- and middle-income countries last year, 1.4 billion were men and 1.2 billion were women, according to a study conducted for the mobile industry trade group GSMA. Most of that mobile-phone gender gap was concentrated in just one country, India, where 114 million fewer women than men had phones.

    This leads to a bunch of other big digital disparities, as Eric Bellman and Aditi Malhotra reported in the Wall Street Journal last week:

    "In India around 30% of internet users are female, according to estimates by the Internet and Mobile Association of India. A government survey in 2014 found that only around 9% of females surveyed knew how to do an internet search or send email on a phone or computer, compared with more than 16% of males surveyed."

    The country has close to three men on Facebook for every woman, according to consultancy We Are Social. In most other parts of the world the ratio is about one to one.

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!

In obsessing about New York and San Francisco, we're ignoring the real rental crisis

    In September 2015, I hopped off a plane at LAX and made my way to an Airbnb on Los Angeles' Westside, ready to begin a new life as a UCLA graduate student.

    I had booked that room for a week and didn't expect I'd need it for much longer. I was armed with an extensive list of open apartments around the city, landlords' contact information, a couple of sublet agreements I'd already reviewed and the confidence of a New York City transplant. "I've found apartments in the most brutal market in the country," I thought to myself. "How bad can this be?"

    Five months and five apartments later, my interest in America's "housing crisis" was no longer academic.

    It's easy to read horror stories from New York and San Francisco -$6,000 a month for a 1BR, obscene fees paid to do-nothing brokers, apps that force apartment-hunters to outbid other tenants in real time - and assume that the housing crisis is something that can be avoided simply by not living in New York or San Francisco.

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!

Here's why Democrats helped raise money to reopen the GOP's firebombed N.Carolina office

    Early Sunday morning, unknown arsonists firebombed a Republican headquarters in Orange County, North Carolina, for undetermined reasons. By Sunday evening, Republican nominee Donald Trump had blamed the bombing on Democrats representing Hillary Clinton, and by 9 p.m. that night, more than 500 Democrats and independents had exceeded the $10,000 goal of the online campaign we had started to fund the reopening of the office within 45 minutes of setting it up. That the project took off so quickly says something hopeful in a season unused to such news.

    My name was on the GoFundMe account, but the project -- inspired by a tweet by Zeynep Tufekci, who suggested Democrats should lend an office to the Republicans -- was the work of a few friends who put it together. However, the effort truly belongs to the 520 people who contributed.

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!

Don't blame the robots! An interview on manufacturing, automation, and globalization with Susan Houseman.

    Susan Houseman is a senior economist at the Upjohn Institute in Michigan. I've followed her work on employment trends, especially in manufacturing, for years, and wanted to share some of her recent findings that struck me as particularly germane at this point in time.

    Q: This election has clearly elevated the view that our manufacturing sector, and the families and communities that have historically depended on it, has been hurt by trade. A countervailing view says it's not trade, it's automation that's responsible for large-scale job losses. You've recently updated your work ["Is American Manufacturing in Decline?," October 2016] on this question. Does productivity in the manufacturing sector support the automation story?

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 we please just fast-forward to Election Day?

    Make it stop. Won't somebody, please, make it stop?

    I realize my plea is in vain. We have three more weeks of this appalling spectacle in which a ridiculous comic-book villain -- a cross between the Joker and the Penguin -- is trying his best to destroy American democracy. Yes, Donald Trump, I'm talking about you.

    Three weeks. That's normally the blink of an eye, but the time between now and Election Day yawns like an eternity. How many new outrages will test our capacity to be outraged? How many more quisling Republicans will stand before microphones and pretend their party's nominee for president is fit for the office? How many early-morning tweetstorms will a certain set of unusually short fingers unleash upon a weary and anxious nation?

    Look, I happen to believe Hillary Clinton would be a good president. You may disagree, but no one seriously doubts her ability to do the job. By contrast, does anyone really believe it would be safe, let alone wise, to put someone as impulsive and thin-skinned as Trump in command of the most powerful military machine the world has ever known? The thought would be laughable if it were not so frightening.

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!

Better housing policy could save us all money. Why are we ignoring it?

    The Washington Post asks policy experts: What strategies should the next president pursue to make housing more affordable?

    Housing for America's lowest-income families rarely ever makes the front page and has been noticeably absent from both candidates' stump speeches. Yet 81 percent of respondents in a recent MacArthur Foundation poll said housing affordability is a problem in America, and 63 percent said presidential candidates aren't paying enough attention to the issue.

    Housing is both a cost-saving safety net and a platform for individuals and families to improve their health, education and economic outcomes. When people cannot afford housing, it undermines families' ability to reach the next rung on the economic ladder and prevents older adults from aging safely and securely.

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!