Archive

November 4th, 2016

Can U.S. democracy defend itself?

    Donald Trump's presidential candidacy has posed many challenges to U.S. media. In at least one frightening respect, it has failed: News outlets are actively abetting an authoritarian and imperialist foreign power's attempt to manipulate a U.S. presidential election to aid its favored candidate, Trump, and sanctioning an assault on the individual and civil liberties of all American citizens.

    There is consensus among U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies that the WikiLeaks "dump" of emails from the Democratic National Committee, former secretary of state Colin Powell and John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, is the result of illegal, targeted hacking directed by Russian intelligence services. The aim of WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange in publishing the emails is openly stated: to harm Clinton's candidacy. The slow daily release of Podesta's emails is obviously calculated to have continuing negative impact on news coverage of Clinton in the campaign's final weeks. The Russian government's aim in releasing the emails through WikiLeaks is also clear: to distance the emails' provenance from Russian intelligence services to give them greater legitimacy and propaganda value.

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 Historic Election for Women — and Not Just Because of Hillary

    This election may be revolutionary for women for an unexpected reason.

    First woman president? OK, there’s that.

    But I don’t think there’s anyone left who doubts that a capable woman has the same ability as a capable man to be president. You might not like a specific woman’s political leanings — I’m no fan of Sarah Palin, for example — but that’s different than simply opposing her for being a woman.

    No, this election is changing women’s role in America for a different reason. To put it plainly, Donald Trump’s outrageous statements about women — which veer regularly into open misogyny — have sparked a movement of women speaking up about things they normally keep to themselves.

    Like their sexual assaults. And their late-term abortions.

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!

5 Reasons to Vote Trump

    1.) Who needs experience to be president? It’s true that Donald Trump would have less public service experience than any president in American history, but knowledge is lame. Maybe the Know-Nothing Party in the 19th century captured this spirit in its name — and Trump is the apotheosis of knowing-nothing. In my journalistic career, I’ve never met a national candidate as ill informed, evasive or puerile as Donald Trump.

    Let’s try puerility for a change! What could go wrong?

    Oh, nuclear weapons, you say? Well, other countries walk all over us because they trust us to be reasonable. In, say, a trade dispute with Canada, we’d get much better results if Canadians feared that Trump might incinerate Ottawa. And even if something went wrong, so what? There’s lots more of Canada.

    Look, nobody messes with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, because he’s a crazy, inexperienced guy with nukes. With Trump, we’d have our own Kim Jong Un!

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!

This election has made Americans angry and sick. Here's how we can recover.

    Are you a political junkie who has grown tired of the news? Flip over to Fox -- no, not Fox News -- and you might catch the network's reboot of the iconic "Exorcist" book and film franchise. The story, a tale of faith-rattling possession and exorcism, has continued to capture the imaginations of new audiences since the 1971 publication of the original novel and subsequent release of the first film version in 1973.

    At the heart of "The Exorcist's" narrative is the tension between facing evil in the world head-on and the risk of falling into despair. "Yet I think the demon's target is not the possessed; it is us . . . the observers . . . every person in this house," author William Peter Blatty wrote in the 1971 novel, "And I think -- I think the point is to make us despair; to reject our own humanity . . . to see ourselves as ultimately bestial; as ultimately vile and putrescent; without dignity; ugly; unworthy."

    The relentless onslaught of ugliness gripping our American politics does not feel too far afield from the description of possession and the faith-rattling, soul-shaking effects described by Blatty.

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!

Race, not class, dictates Republican future

    The class compositions of the Republican and Democratic parties keep evolving. Democrats have been shedding working-class white voters for decades, while the GOP, long the party of management, entrepreneurs and inherited wealth, has acquired a new affinity for blue-collar blues, including a presidential nominee who promises to keep economically unviable coal operations in business while crushing labor competition from low-skills immigrants.

    A Pew Research Center report last month detailed the shift.

    Since 1992, the share of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters with at least a college degree has increased sharply, from 21 percent to 37 percent. Among Republicans, 31 percent have at least a college degree, up only slightly from 28 percent in 1992. As a consequence, a greater proportion of Democrats than Republicans now have a college degree or more education.

    In the New York Times last week, political sage Thomas Edsall called this process the "Great Democratic Inversion."

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 was born before women could vote. Now I'm voting for one for president.

    I was born on June 2, 1918, in New York City. Woodrow Wilson was president, the United States was fighting World War I, and women could not vote in this country.

    It would be another two years before women could vote in U.S. elections. But when they could, my mother registered and took me to the polls to watch her cast her ballot.

    I cast my first vote in 1940 for Franklin D. Roosevelt, and I have voted in every primary and presidential election since. (Contrary to the notion that women of my generation followed their husbands' lead and voted as the men did, I always voted the way I wanted, and so did the women I knew.)

    I've also never regretted one of my votes. The vote I was most proud of was for Hillary in the 2008 Democratic primary. She didn't make it, but I was very proud to vote for her. And this year, I got to vote for her again: I cast an early ballot for Hillary Clinton for 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!

Hillary’s Male Tormentors

    Weiner or no Weiner, Hillary Clinton is likely to be our next president.

    But she can’t seem to escape insatiable men.

    She married one — for better, for “bimbo eruptions,” for two terms in the White House, for impeachment.

    She’s in the climactic week of a grotesque battle with another. If she prevails, his boasts of sexual aggression will partly be why.

    And if she fails? Again there’s a priapic protagonist. The FBI wouldn’t be examining Anthony Weiner’s laptop if he hadn’t invited so many strangers to examine his lap, and her fate is enmeshed once more with the wanton misdeeds of the weaker sex.

    Over so many of her travails hangs a cloud of testosterone.

    No woman before her earned a major party’s presidential nomination, drawing this close to the Oval Office. Should she reach that milestone and make that history, she’d probably also work with a Congress in which there are more female lawmakers than ever before.

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!

The costs of Comey's appeasement

    The evidence suggests that FBI Director James Comey is a decent man. The evidence also suggests that he has been intimidated by pressure from Republicans in Congress whose interest is not in justice but in destroying Hillary Clinton.

    On Friday, a whipsawed Comey gave in. Breaking with FBI precedent and Justice Department practice, he weighed in on one side of a presidential campaign.

     I don't believe this was his intention. But his vaguely worded letter to Congress announcing that the FBI was examining emails on a computer used by Clinton aide Huma Abedin accomplished the central goals of the right-wing critics Comey has been trying to get off his back.

    Especially disturbing is that some of those critics are inside the FBI. As The Washington Post's Sari Horwitz reported on Saturday, "a largely conservative investigative corps" in the bureau was "complaining privately that Comey should have tried harder to make a case" against Clinton.

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 ignore the danger signs presented by Donald Trump's militant supporters

    "Lighting a fuse for rebellion on the right: Loose alliances of protesters join under tea party umbrella," front page article in The New York Times on Feb. 16, 2010.

    "Trump backers see revolution if Clinton wins: Dark fears and talk of a stolen election," front page article in The New York Times on Oct. 28, 2016.

 

 

    What those two stories have in common is that they are historical bookends. The former sounded an alarm. The latter is the result of an alarm ignored. We cannot afford to make that mistake again with a threat to democracy like Donald Trump on the ballot.

    The 2010 Times story was about how the legitimate concerns of folks feeling "taxed enough already" and suffering severe economic hardship in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse were being co-opted by the likes of birthers and other conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones. One passage of note highlighted the concern of Tony Stewart, a civil rights activist in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, whose work helped bankrupt the Aryan Nations through a 2000 lawsuit:

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!

Despite emails, Republicans still think Donald Trump will lose. Here's why.

    FBI agents have now obtained a warrant to examine the new emails found on Anthony Weiner's laptop, and it now appears possible that the FBI will share more information about the new significance of those emails -- or lack thereof -- before Election Day. Maddeningly, we don't even know whether that will happen -- sources are now hinting they may tell us more soon, but it's not definitive -- adding layer upon layer of uncertainty in the final stretch.

    But either way, some senior GOP strategists appear convinced that the new revelations -- if that's even the right word for the news -- won't shift the fundamentals of the race in a dramatic enough way to enable Donald Trump to win. With polls showing the race tightening, probably because disaffected Republican voters are coming back to Trump, Politico has a rundown on what these GOP strategists think this tightening really means and what comes next:

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!