Jim Verhulst - Deputy Editor of Editorials
Here’s what to read from the left and the right | Column
Here’s some interesting commentary from the opposite poles of the political spectrum.
Rows of luggage wait for their owners in the Southwest Airlines baggage claim at LAX on Dec. 29, 2022.
Rows of luggage wait for their owners in the Southwest Airlines baggage claim at LAX on Dec. 29, 2022. [ CHRISTINA HOUSE | Los Angeles Times ]
Published Jan. 7

We live in a partisan age, and our news habits can reinforce our own perspectives. Consider this an effort to broaden our collective outlook with essays beyond the range of our typical selections.


From “Liberal Corporate Media Ignores Government Wrongdoing When Liberals Are to Blame,” by David Sirota in Jacobin at

The context, from the author: After Southwest’s mass flight cancellations, liberal media refused to report on transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg’s failure to regulate the airlines — because media outlets now avoid journalism that could offend their audiences’ partisan loyalties.

The excerpt: In this case, that meant holding the nation’s chief airline regulator accountable for ignoring regulatory demands from elected officials in his own party. The premise of this kind of journalism — the very reason why the press is considered a crucial part of a functioning democracy — is to inform the public about problems, so that the public can pressure their elected officials to start doing their jobs and fixing things.

From “From Climate Exhortation to Climate Execution,” by Bill McKibben in The New Yorker at

The context, from the author: The Inflation Reduction Act finally offers a chance for widespread change.

The excerpt: So far, the climate debate has gone on mostly in people’s heads and hearts. It took 30 years to get elected leaders to take it seriously: first, to just get them to say that the planet was warming, and then to allow that humans were causing it. But Congress finally passed serious legislation — the Inflation Reduction Act — that allocates hundreds of billions of dollars to the task of transforming the nation so that it burns far less fossil fuel. So now the battle moves from hearts and heads to houses.

From “In Rural California, Farmworkers Fend for Themselves for Health Care,” by David Bacon in Mother Jones at

The context, from the author: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the San Joaquin Valley has some of the worst air quality in the United States.

The excerpt: Unincorporated communities may be poor, but they’re often organized. Those organizations fighting for basic social services like water before the pandemic became vehicles for fighting the virus. The residents and activists involved see a lesson for improving community access to health care generally.


From “My Plan for American Renewal,” by Sen. Marco Rubio in The American Conservative at

The context, from the author: The Republican Party must become a multi-ethnic, working-class coalition willing to fight for the country and usher in a new American century.

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The excerpt: Change begins in how we as Republicans see the role of traditional organized labor. We can and should partner with unions if they are actually promoting their members’ welfare. We are likely to find common ground on concerns about horrific working conditions, monitoring by computer algorithms, and unfair competition from foreign nations. But if unions want to defend the importation of cheap foreign labor and force the latest woke fads down everyday Americans’ throats, then we need to pursue alternative mechanisms to support workers.

From “Matt Gaetz’s Words About Kevin McCarthy Define the Current State of the Republican Party,” by Brandon Morse in RedState at

The context, from the author: After the red wave that never was and the passage of the omnibus bill, Republican lawmakers and voters alike are sick and tired of the GOP establishment being the Igor to the Democrat Party’s Dr. Frankenstein.

The excerpt: Right now, the Republican Party is about as dangerous as a revolver without any bullets in it. It just looks threatening. The GOP is all flash and noise, but it doesn’t have the willingness to fight meaningfully against a Democrat Party that has become unquestioningly radicalized.

From “Trump Is Wrong About The Efficacy And Resilience Of The Pro-Life Movement,” by Jordan Boyd in The Federalist at

The context, from the author: One of former President Donald Trump’s arguably biggest successes was nominating Supreme Court justices who understood that Roe v. Wade was an unconstitutional and unjust decision that had no right to remain “the law of the land.”

The excerpt: If Trump refuses to acknowledge that the unapologetically pro-life position is a strength, not a weakness, he’s setting himself up to face the same fate that doomed his life-ambivalent 2022 picks.