Tribune News Service

Op-Ed Budget for Friday, November 8, 2019

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET (0930 UTC)

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: The Berlin Wall fell in a dramatic wave of hope, openness and US support 30 years ago. Now everything is different<

^BERLINWALL-COMMENTARY:TB—<Thirty years ago, the wall dividing Berlin and Europe came tumbling down, inaugurating a period of dizzying change and unprecedented opportunity. Within months, Germany was reunited, Soviet dominance of Central and Eastern Europe collapsed and Soviet communism and the USSR itself disintegrated. The Cold War, which had split Europe for more than four decades, had ended.

In its stead, a far more optimistic and hopeful future beckoned. A continent torn asunder by two bloody world wars and frozen into two competing blocs now faced the possibility of becoming whole, free and at peace. The United States, as the world's sole remaining superpower, played a leading role in helping bring that about.

850 by Ivo Daalder. MOVED


^Commentary: Wonder Woman and Alice Waters are perfectly fine role models for boys<

^WONDERWOMEN-HEROES-COMMENTARY:TB—<Wonder Woman made a comeback in the past few years — not only the movie, but the icon, the archetype. The world needs Diana Prince more than ever.

Most recently she was featured in the viral Halloween PSA "My Heroes." We see two siblings — one male, one female. They carve pumpkins. Their parents hand them superhero costumes. They're seen from behind trick-or-treating. The end reveals that the boy was dressed as Wonder Woman and the girl as Batman.

650 by Michelle Fiordaliso. MOVED


^Commentary: Congress must demand transparency from health insurers<

^INSURANCE-COMMENTARY:BZ—<Autumn has arrived and, with it, open enrollment season, when every person with job-based health insurance "chooses" a health plan. If you're like most people, you are struggling to figure out what exactly you get for your insurance premium dollars, how much you'll have to pay out of pocket when you need care, and which plan is most likely to meet your unforeseeable health care needs.

We are told to "take charge" of our health. Yet, it's impossible to know whether our health insurance will do right by us. The information you need is not available.

750 by Diane Archer and Wendell Potter. MOVED


^Commentary: Impeachment testimony is also giving Trump a quid pro quo defense<

^TRUMP-DEFENSE-COMMENTARY:LA—<President Trump has offered multiple lines of defense against House Democrats' allegations that he appeared to abuse the power of his office in his dealings with Ukraine's new government. Some are situational and temporary, such as his argument that the process was illegitimate because it hadn't been authorized by a vote of the full House (which it now has been). But one that we are likely to hear throughout is the notion that the president himself did not pressure Ukraine inappropriately to investigate his political rival Joe Biden.

1100 by Jon Healey. MOVED



^Trudy Rubin: In Beijing, cutting-edge technology looms large while questions about China's future mirror US debates<

RUBIN-COLUMN:PH — One of the first things I learned on my current trip to Beijing is that foreigners are marooned if they don't have a Chinese bank account.

That's because China, a global leader in e-commerce, has become a nearly cashless society. Everyone from school kids to grandmas pays for everything with a personal barcode on their cellphone. I mean everything, including bottles of water, rides with DiDi (the Chinese Uber), takeout dinners and haircuts.

International credit cards are rarely accepted except at major hotels or high-end shops. And many vendors, including taxis, reject cash and wait for you to flash your barcode. But you can't get a barcode without a Chinese bank account, from which those phone payments are drawn. And a visiting foreigner can't open an account.

This Catch-22 lays bare the contradictions that define today's China.

800 by Trudy Rubin in Beijing. MOVED


^Cynthia M. Allen: Lawmaker's 'mess on a napkin' comment about miscarriages stems from abortion ideology<

ALLEN-COLUMN:FT — There's nothing particularly remarkable about politicians putting their feet in their mouths. It happens all the time, often with impunity.

But comments that Pennsylvania state Rep. Wendy Ullman made about miscarriage last week went far beyond the typical gaffe.

700 by Cynthia M. Allen in Fort Worth, Texas. MOVED


^Christine M. Flowers: Catholic priest had every right to deny Joe Biden communion over abortion views<

^FLOWERS-COLUMN:PD—<Whenever a Catholic runs or is nominated for public office, he or she has to endure a now-familiar vetting process revolving around one thing: abortion rights. To make progressives happy, candidates must follow the Mario Cuomo script of "I am personally opposed but I will not impose my will on other people."

But they also have to be careful not to alienate conservatives by downplaying their faith and morality. It's a very hard needle to thread, and a lot of people fail miserably at it. Rendering unto Caesar sometimes means denying God, and vice versa — someone's right not to have religious beliefs imposed on them must be balanced against another person's right to practice his or her faith.

700 by Christine M. Flowers. MOVED


^Martin Schram: Re-gluing the GOP<

^SCHRAM-COLUMN:MCT—<Famous Republicans we once respected for their patriotism have been all over our news screens, appearing politically panicked even unglued over truths we'll all finally be able to see and hear for ourselves next week.

800 by Martin Schram. MOVED


^Jay Ambrose: Hugs won't defeat Mexican drug cartels<

^AMBROSE-COLUMN-CORRECTION:MCT—<Phooey on Trump tweets. That's what I usually say, but not the other day when utterly sickening, demonic, drug-smuggling gunmen killed nine Americans in northern Mexico. The victims included twin babies and mothers trying desperately if futilely to save the lives of other children from an assault of the kind that took 36,000 Mexican lives last year. Smugglers also helped in the demise of 68,000 Americans overdosing on drugs.

700 by Jay Ambrose. MOVED


^Andrew Malcolm: These Democratic presidential candidates could be the next political casualties<

^MALCOLM-COLUMN:WA—<The best time of any political campaign is announcement day, so full of sunny promise, hope, optimism and certain success.

Candidates will have good days, bad days and very bad days. But after day one, basically, it's all downhill for almost everyone running, with the speed of decline dependent on many factors including money, luck, media coverage, candidate skills and did we mention money?

850 by Andrew Malcolm. MOVED


^Robin Abcarian: If you heed pollsters and pundits (except this one), your head won't stop spinning.<

^ABCARIAN-COLUMN:LA—<If we've learned anything from the presidential election of 2016, it is that polls are unreliable and pundits are imperfect prognosticators.

When it comes to presidential elections, to borrow a quote from the great screenwriter William Goldman, "Nobody knows anything."

Nothing definitive anyway.

850 by Robin Abcarian. MOVED


^Carl P. Leubsdorf: A strong, independent Ukraine is vital to U.S. security, too<

^LEUBSDORF-COLUMN:DA—<The potential impeachment case against President Donald Trump hinges on his alleged effort to condition continued U.S. support for Ukraine on the former Soviet republic's cooperation in helping him politically, including digging up dirt on potential 2020 rival Joe Biden.

Given the fact that Trump was credibly — though not criminally — accused of entertaining similarly questionable assistance from Russia in 2016, it's hardly surprising his threats raised warning flags throughout the White House and on Capitol Hill.

850 by Carl P. Leubsdorf. MOVED


^David Whitley: University's payout to fired coach shows how football has conquered education<

WHITLEY-COLUMN:OS — Imagine a distress call from a university. The chairman of the Department of Biological Science wasn't performing up to expectations and needed to be let go, but there was a problem.

The department was financially strapped. And if the chairman were fired, the school would have to pay him $18 million.

It sounds preposterous, but that's the essentially what's playing out at Florida State.

750 by David Whitley in Orlando, Fla. MOVED


^Gina Barreca: The special bond among veterans: Knowing what it means to serve<

^BARRECA-COLUMN:HC—<Those of us who have never been in the military don't understand what it is like to serve in the military.

My father never wanted to talk about the war. A waist-gunner and radioman on a B-24, he was unlike some other veterans from the neighborhood who traded stories about the places they'd been and adventures they'd had.

700 by Gina Barreca. MOVED



^Leonard Pitts Jr.: Election 2020: Act with foresight or regret with hindsight<

^PITTS-COLUMN-ADV10:MI—<I'm here to offer you an action list.

With last week's balloting behind us, we now have just less than a year before one of the most momentous elections in American history. As voters in 1860 had to decide between Union and secession, we face a stark choice of our own: America or Trump. There is no middle ground. This is democracy at its Armageddon.

800 by Leonard Pitts Jr.. MOVED

^John Kass: Jeffrey Epstein and Brett Kavanaugh: A tale of double standards<

^KASS-COLUMN:TB—<Before we get into the release by James O'Keefe's Project Veritas of that video starring "Good Morning America" co-host Amy Robach and her story that ABC spiked her report about the late serial sex predator Jeffrey Epstein, let's do something else first.

Let's remember what ABC, NBC and other media did to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing just a year ago, destroying his reputation, smearing him without evidence because he wasn't on their political team.

Oh, you don't want to go near Kavanaugh? Then just get off the bus, because I'm going there.

1000 by John Kass. MOVED

^Rex Huppke: In Trump impeachment inquiry, 'Read the Transcript' is code for 'DON'T READ THE TRANSCRIPT!'<

^HUPPKE-COLUMN:TB—<Greetings, fellow residents of an America that has been made great again.

I'm sending this note to clarify President Donald J. Trump's recent suggestion that everyone "Read the Transcript." This, of course, relates to the DEMONcrats ongoing hoax impeachment inquiry nonsense, which they are using to try to destroy the greatest president who has ever lived.

You probably saw people wearing white "Read the Transcript" T-shirts at a glorious Trump rally earlier this week. You can now purchase those shirts on the Trump campaign's website. (Send them to all your liberal relatives for Christmas! And remember: The more you spend, the more the president knows you love him!)

Here's what all supporters need to keep in mind: The unwritten part of the president's bold "Read the Transcript" message is that you should DEFINITELY NOT actually read the transcript.

900 by Rex Huppke. MOVED



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^Editorial: Alternative Fact of the Week: Kellyanne Conway, still the champion prevaricator<

^CONWAY-EDITORIAL:BZ—<Whatever claims Donald Trump has made about his influence on the U.S. economy, there's simply no question that he's done wonders for one particular profession — fact checking. Rare is the day when President Trump doesn't personally serve up five or six false or 20 misleading statements, often before breakfast.

But if you really want to see reality twisted into something unrecognizable without even the slightest sense of regret or remorse — the gold standard of the Trump era — then you really have to trot out Kellyanne Conway, the Trump adviser who coined the term "alternative facts" on a Sunday talk show in January 2017 to try to explain how Inauguration Day crowds could be record-setting when they weren't.

750 by Baltimore Sun Editorial Board. MOVED


^Editorial: A massacre in Mexico requires an American response. Here is what it should be<

^MEXICO-MASSACRE:DA—<Like all Americans, we're sickened by Monday's brutal murder of three women and six children — almost certainly by members of a Mexican drug cartel — as they traveled by car along a highway near Bavispe in the state of Sonora, about 300 miles southwest of El Paso, Texas.

And given the increasing brazenness of drug cartels south of the border, we understand President Donald Trump's offer via Twitter to send U.S. troops to Mexico to help the federal authorities there "wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth."

1000 by Dallas Morning News Editorial. MOVED


^Editorial: Rudy Giuliani continues traveling a dirty road of smears and dirty tricks<

^GIULIANI-EDITORIAL:NY—<Here begins another in a series of periodic reassessments of the reputation of the once-respected two-term mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani.

In a deposition transcript released Thursday, George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for Ukraine, testified that Giuliani's "assertions and allegations against former Ambassador (Marie) Yovanovitch were without basis, untrue, period."

250 by Daily News Editorial Board. MOVED


^Editorial: Warren's Rx, and ours: What proponents of 'Medicare for All' should learn from New York's struggle with single-payer plans<

^WARREN-HEALTHCARE-EDITORIAL:NY—<Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is trying to sell Americans on "Medicare for All" with the help of a new financing plan, should first have analyzed the dilemma in deep-blue New York, where a bill to replace private insurance with a single-payer system has stalled despite Democratic domination of all levels and levers of power.

The mighty challenge here, where the New York Health Act is weighed down under questions about cost and practicality, suggests Warren's plan could sink her chances should she advance to a general election against President Trump.

350 by Daily News Editorial Board. MOVED


^Editorial: Require sellers to disclose a home's flood history<

^FLOODING-EDITORIAL:FL—<Want to buy some Florida swampland? You could, without knowing it. And nobody has to tell you.

Because our state provides no safeguards for people who may unwittingly buy homes that repeatedly flood, the clich about Florida's classic real estate scam is truer than ever.

Florida isn't the only state where sellers can duck telling buyers about homes that repeatedly flood. But ours is the largest of the 21 states that lack such safeguards, the Natural Resources Defense Council says. The NRDC report, How States Stack Up on Flood Disclosure, gives us a big fat F for leaving consumers "greatly disadvantaged."

550 by Sun Sentinel Editorial Board. MOVED




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