Tribune News Service
Op-Ed Budget for Monday, September 28, 2020
Updated at noon ET (1600 UTC)
Adds OPPENHEIMER-COLUMN:MI, THOMAS-COLUMN:MCT
This budget is now available on the web at www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.
^Commentary: Retired military leaders shouldn’t endorse presidential candidates. America is divided enough<
^CAMPAIGN-MILITARY-ENDORSEMENTS-COMMENTARY:LA—<Two weeks ago, 235 retired generals and admirals signed an “open letter” supporting President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. The letter is disgraceful and runs counter to military norms. Unfortunately, a second group is likely to respond in kind with a similar statement in support of former Vice President Joe Biden.
Every presidential election year, candidates seek to embezzle the high trust Americans place in the U.S. military, abetted by a growing group of retired generals and admirals with the wrong stuff. But let’s start with the right stuff.
850 by ML Cavanaugh. MOVED
^Commentary: Trump’s flaws alone won’t bring skeptical Black voters out to vote for Biden<
^ELECTION-BLACKVOTERS-COMMENTARY:LA—<We’ve all heard the analysis: If only Black voters had turned out in the same numbers to vote for Hillary Clinton that they did for Barack Obama, we wouldn’t have Donald Trump today. The razor-thin margins for Trump in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania would have turned into razor-thin margins for Clinton, and that would have been it.
So, yes, Black voters were certainly important in 2016, and they’re going to be crucially important this year, too. But will they turn out? This is far from certain.
One thing we do know, however, is that Democrats shouldn’t assume anti-Trump sentiment among Black voters is enough, in and of itself.
850 by Earl Ofari Hutchinson. MOVED
^Commentary: If it weren’t for the color of my skin, I’d still be a US diplomat<
^DIPLOMAT-RACISM-COMMENTARY:LA—<My first day working on the consular line at the U.S. State Department in Juarez, Mexico, I was subjected to a strange look followed by an unexpected question. I had just finished interviewing a visa applicant and was handing him back his paperwork when he asked: “Where are you from?”
“I’m from the United States,” I responded, earnestly explaining that all of the consular officers conducting interviews were American. Still seeming confused, he shrugged, thanked me and left.
I wondered who the visa applicant thought would interview him. In retrospect, after months of interviewing applicants, it occurred to me he might have been expecting a white person to greet him from behind the consulate counter in 2018 instead of me: a diplomat with black skin, an Afro and a nose ring.
950 by Tianna Spears. MOVED
^Commentary: ‘Safe injection sites’ aren’t safe, effective or wise. Just ask Canadians<
^INJECTIONSITES-HERITAGE-COMMENTARY:MCT—<If you’ve never heard of “safe injection sites” — public facilities for drug users to consume heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine under the supervision of medical staff — you probably will soon. In cities such as Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco, drug legalization activists have launched a campaign to create such sites.
When challenged, activists point to Canada, which they have long cited as a model of enlightened drug policies. In their policy proposals and campaign literature, drug legalization advocates argue that safe injection sites in Canada — particularly the Insite facility in Vancouver, British Columbia — have prevented overdose deaths and saved lives.
They should ask a few Canadians.
800 by Christopher F. Rufo. MOVED
^Commentary: The problem isn’t the Republicans or Democrats; it’s ‘ethical fading,’ and it’s widespread<
^ETHICAL-FADING-COMMENTARY:HC—<I am a Muslim immigrant to America. Growing up in Pakistan, I saw the United States as the moral and ethical high ground where human dignity and national interests were held above partisan politics. However, I am wondering if that may be changing.
We must ask ourselves: Am I honest? Have I ever told a lie? The answer is likely yes, if we are honest to ourselves. We have all told small lies at some point in our lives, while not even recognizing that these are lies. This is a result of ethical fading.
850 by Khuram Ghumman. MOVED
^Commentary: California finally sweeps away most of its tributes to the Confederacy. What took so long?<
^CALIF-CONFEDERATE-COMMENTARY:LA—<Over the summer, California underwent a historical reckoning perhaps as comprehensive as any state in the nation. Activists toppled monuments to Confederates, to Spanish missionaries, even to Union generals. Now the process is drawing to a close in a rather unspectacular fashion — not because activists lack the initiative for further action, but because there are almost no monuments left to remove.
That California, a progressive state more than 1,500 miles from the nearest major Civil War theater, would sweep away tributes to dead Confederates seems self-evident. Yet this summer’s rash of monument removals was the culmination of a long-fought and hard-won battle.
1000 by Kevin Waite. MOVED
^John M. Crisp: Republican consciences struggle to be heard<
^CRISP-COLUMN:MCT—<A healthy conscience is a feature — or is it a bug? — of a normal human psyche. It has the pesky capacity to tell us when we’re doing the wrong thing, even in the face of the rationalizations that we produce to justify ourselves.
But a conscience is a fragile thing. Ignore its advice too frequently and it has trouble making itself heard. In fact, it made hardly a peep among Republican leaders last week after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
700 by John M. Crisp. MOVED
^Noah Feldman: Amy Coney Barrett deserves to be on the Supreme Court<
^FELDMAN-COLUMN:BLO—<Like many other liberals, I’m devastated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, which opened the way for President Donald Trump to nominate a third Supreme Court justice in his first term. And I’m revolted by the hypocrisy of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s willingness to confirm Trump’s nominee after refusing to even allow a vote on Judge Merrick Garland.
Yet these political judgments need to be distinguished from a separate question: what to think about Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whom Trump has told associates he plans to nominate. And here I want to be extremely clear. Regardless of what you or I may think of the circumstances of this nomination, Barrett is highly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.
1000 by Noah Feldman. MOVED
^Cass R. Sunstein: There’s room for surprises from Amy Coney Barrett<
^SUNSTEIN-COLUMN:BLO—<Here is a paradox. It is pretty easy to predict the voting patterns of new Supreme Court justices. But it can be exceedingly difficult to predict the votes of justices in specific cases, which means that it can be difficult as well to predict how those cases are going to be decided.
850 by Cass R. Sunstein. MOVED
^Doyle McManus: Buckle up for the first debate<
^MCMANUS-COLUMN:LA—<Debates don’t often decide the outcome of a presidential campaign — but Tuesday’s scheduled collision between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden could be an exception to the rule if Biden comes out a winner.
It has happened before.
950 by Doyle McManus. MOVED
^Nicholas Goldberg: Tuesday’s presidential debate will test Trump’s assertions about Biden’s mental state<
^NICHOLAS-GOLDBERG-COLUMN:LA—<President Donald Trump’s attacks on Joe Biden’s mental state are cruel, unsubstantiated and detestable.
But they’re also effective. With the president pounding the dementia message into voters’ heads steadily for months, it’s no surprise that many Democrats and independents are now secretly worried about what will happen when the two presidential candidates finally meet in person at Tuesday’s debate in Cleveland.
950 by Nicholas Goldberg. MOVED
^Mary Schmich: RBG and John Lewis are gone. It’s like losing both parents at once. What now?<
^SCHMICH-COLUMN:TB—<John Lewis and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
They were the parents. They led us and taught us and helped to make us who we are. And now they’re both gone.
For all of us who believe in what these two unique Americans stood for — decency, hope, equality of opportunity — it may be tempting to feel unmoored, unprotected, orphaned by their disappearance within two months of each other this summer.
750 by Mary Schmich. MOVED
^Will Bunch: Will Democrats’ embrace of mail, masks and social distance help Trump win the election?<
^BUNCH-COLUMN:PH—<It’s becoming something of a cliche in this crazy year of 2020, but in mid-September Joe Biden came to a minor league ballpark in Moosic, Pennsylvania — a few home-run balls from where the Democratic presidential hopeful was born — and staged a campaign event unlike anything America has ever seen before.
In a normal year, the former vice president might have packed the seats at PNC Field, but instead he was out in the parking lot for a nationally televised CNN town hall, watched in person by 35 carloads of preselected voters. The attendees leaned on the hoods of their cars, confined to chalked-out rectangles that would keep them 6 feet apart, as they watched Biden hammer home a message that matched the social distancing, that President Donald Trump’s mishandling of the coronavirus has been “close to criminal.”
A short time later, TV viewers saw Trump climb down Air Force One and address a packed rally of thousands at Mosinee, Wisconsin.
1450 by Will Bunch. MOVED
^Fabiola Santiago: With little US travel to Cuba, Trump’s election-time rum, cigar sanctions are meaningless<
^SANTIAGO-COLUMN:MI—<Let’s call President Donald Trump’s election-time economic sanctions against Cuba what they truly are: a political play to run up the margins of his Cuban American vote in Florida.
No hotel stays. No bringing home all the rum and cigars you can carry, Trump has mandated.
But with little U.S. travel to the island in the era of COVID-19, his prohibitions are meaningless. There isn’t much revenue to take away from the Cuban government when people aren’t going there anyway.
850 by Fabiola Santiago. MOVED
^Andres Oppenheimer: Hold Trump’s feet to the fire about COVID deaths and whether he’ll leave if he loses<
^OPPENHEIMER-COLUMN:MI—<Here are the key questions President Donald Trump should be asked in Tuesday’s presidential debate — and why you should not vote for him unless he answers them as any law-abiding American would.
First: “Will you do as your predecessors in the nearly 250-year history of America’s democracy have done and respect the outcome of the presidential election, no matter who wins?”
It’s mind-boggling that a U.S. president would have to be asked this question, which until now was reserved for autocrats such as Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro or Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
800 by Andres Oppenheimer. MOVED
^Clarence Page: An old question comes back: What if President Trump loses but won’t leave?<
^PAGE-COLUMN:TB—<Pardon me if I repeat myself but, sometimes, I repeat myself.
I realized that as I was web surfing for a possible column on what would happen if President Donald Trump loses reelection in November but doesn’t want to leave.
A search quickly showed me that, in a way, I already wrote that column early last year. Call this Part Two.
900 by Clarence Page. MOVED
^Mary Sanchez: Don’t check out now, conservative America<
^SANCHEZ-COLUMN:MCT—<Across America, people are cutting and pasting versions of a pledge to willful ignorance with damning regularity.
The online statement of personal superiority usually starts off with an admission that a rant is about to commence. It’s like they’re begging for a drumroll.
You’ve probably seen something like it on your Facebook feed.
It usually goes something like this: “I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who don’t have my work ethic.”
750 by Mary Sanchez. MOVED
^Cal Thomas: My questions for Joe Biden<
^THOMAS-COLUMN:MCT—<Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has made himself largely unavailable to questions from reporters since before his nomination. In contrast, President Donald Trump has made himself available numerous times per day to reporters and their often hostile and confrontational questions.
This is why the moderator of the first debate, Chris Wallace of Fox News, should ask Biden the most questions. Not that Wallace needs any help from me, but here are some things I would ask.
700 by Cal Thomas. MOVED
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^Editorial: Amy Coney Barrett is qualified for the Supreme Court — but should not be confirmed<
^SCOTUS-NOMINEE-SENATE-EDITORIAL:LA—<In nominating Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump has exercised a constitutional prerogative that he will enjoy up until Jan. 20, even if he is defeated in the November election. He also has chosen a legal scholar who is respected even by lawyers who disagree with her.
Neither of those facts requires that the Senate approve the nomination.
850 by The Times Editorial Board. MOVED
^Editorial: Amy Coney Barrett: Let’s learn more about her<
^SCOTUS-NOMINEE-EDITORIAL:TB—<In a vacuum, Amy Coney Barrett would be seen by all as a highly capable, fully qualified choice to serve as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. She has been a Supreme Court clerk to the late Antonin Scalia, a law professor at George Washington University and Notre Dame, and, since 2017, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Her credentials are impeccable.
But her nomination by President Donald Trump doesn’t come in a vacuum. It comes as the result of the unexpected death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The vacancy gave the president the chance to try to get his third Supreme Court appointee confirmed, possibly before the presidential election — and, if not, in the lame duck session of Congress that will follow, even if he should lose to Joe Biden.
700 by The Editorial Board. MOVED
^Editorial: Biden for president — please<
^BIDEN-ENDORSEMENT-EDITORIAL:BZ—<We enthusiastically endorse Democrat Joe Biden for president. The Scranton, Pennsylvania-born, six-term senator from Delaware and two-term vice president alongside President Barack Obama has half a century’s worth of experience in public service. He has a solid respect for the democratic process and has a demonstrated history of working across divides to bring people together — but he also has wisdom enough to know when to scrap efforts at compromise and fight like hell for what’s right.
650 by Baltimore Sun Editorial Board. MOVED
^Editorial: Don’t ignore Trump’s election threat<
^TRUMP-POWER-TRANSFER-EDITORIAL:MS—<One of the most foundational principles of this republic is the peaceful transfer of power from one presidential administration to the next.
Stretching across this country’s history, every presidential candidate has accepted the outcome of an election. Not only have defeated incumbents voluntarily packed up and left, they have without exception prepared the way for their successor, recognizing the duty to country that surpasses party and personal regrets.
That may be in jeopardy now.
600 by Editorial Board. MOVED
^Editorial: Fire-prone brush is no place for homeless people to camp<
^CALIF-WILDFIRES-HOMELESS-EDITORIAL:LA—<Homeless encampments are grim fixtures in Los Angeles. There isn’t enough housing and shelter for a homeless population that has increased by 16% in the city over the last year. And with a pandemic still raging, city officials have let encampments stay put (for the most part) lest homeless people contract or spread COVID-19 by being shooed from one location to another.
But another grim reality in Los Angeles is fire. And that is the one reason — notwithstanding the above concerns — to move homeless people out of encampments in brush areas and wooded parks. There has been an astonishing 80% uptick in fires involving homeless people so far this year, over the same time period in 2019.
800 by The Times Editorial Board. MOVED
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