Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Obama blunders make us less safe ]]> Lead story image

Anywhere you look around the globe, it’s hard not to see U.S. foreign policy in retreat or near collapse. Ukraine is threatened with fragmentation or invasion by Russia. President Barack Obama has failed to assemble the European unity on severe restrictions that might persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to scale back his ambitions to bring Ukraine back into Moscow’s orbit. Obama won’t provide Ukraine with weapons or do anything about reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas but talk about it. Success could embolden Putin to stir up trouble among ethnic Russian populations in the Baltic states. Latvia, Estonia and … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:22:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ U.S. projects weakness on Ukraine ]]> Lead story image

It seems pretty clear that Russian President Valdimir Putin can do pretty much what he wants in Ukraine. It also seems pretty clear that the United States and Western Europe will pretty much acquiesce to anything he does short of an outright invasion. The best guess among the experts — and guess is all it is — suggests Putin won’t send troops across the border into eastern Ukraine. Instead, Russia will settle for undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty by coercing Kiev to adopt constitutional changes that will make its regions with large ethnic Russian populations all but autonomous. They would be, in … ]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 02:24:27 -0500 <![CDATA[ Liberals fear full, unfettered debate ]]> Lead story image

Democrats and their left-wing, government-knows-best allies are up in arms over the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last week weakening Washington’s control over political speech. The hysterical roar of their outrage is a gauge of how badly they fear their ideas will do under the rigorous examination that full and unfettered debate allows. The court ruled unconstitutional limits on how many candidates and political committees to whom an individual could contribute money. Various Democrats and liberals whipped themselves into a frenzy, shrieking that the super rich would henceforth buy our elections. Perhaps it’s time to let a little dispassionate history intrude … ]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 02:15:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kerry’s delusions won’t bring peace ]]> Lead story image

That the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations appear on the verge of collapse should surprise no one given the yawning gap between the two sides and the persistent hostility of the Palestinian Authority to any significant commitment to a resolution of the decades-old conflict. The talks repeated past mistakes from the start last July. The most notable blunder involved what the respective parties were asked to do to get back to the bargaining table. The Israelis were required to make concessions, releasing terrorists from jail, which the Jewish state did. The Palestinians were asked only to not escalate tensions and … ]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 02:20:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jeb Bush has good creds, bad name ]]> Lead story image

Jeb Bush would appear to be a perfect general election candidate for the Republican Party: A record of success and competence as governor of Florida. Moderate conservative principles. A history of bipartisanship. Thoughtful leadership on vital policy issues like education. Fluency in Spanish, a Mexican-born wife, and a sincere searcher for a way out of the country’s immigration mess give him appeal to the growing Hispanic vote. Just one problem: His last name is Bush. Even his mother has opined that a nation of more than 300 million can do better than turn to dynastic control of the White House. … ]]> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 02:16:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ The price we’ll pay for Obamacare ]]> Lead story image

STEVE HUNTLEY: Obamacare was back in federal court facing serious challenges this week, the administration rewrote the law again, and the March 31 deadline for signing up turns out to be as firm as President Barack Obama’s infamous red lines. ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 02:19:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama fails to sell foreign policy ]]> Lead story image

President Barack Obama is at the Hague trying to build unity among European allies for tough sanctions against Russia for its abuse of Ukraine. Hanging over his effort will be the question of why Obama didn’t shore up support at home for his foreign policy with Congress? Surely he would be in a much stronger position in talking to European leaders, many wary of endangering trade, commercial and energy ties with Moscow, if he could point to a public display of bipartisan resolve with leaders of Congress. In times of overseas crisis — and Russia’s unlawful annexation of Crimea is … ]]> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 02:14:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ Stand up for Israel when it counts ]]> Lead story image

Crisis in the Ukraine edged to the sidelines, if only temporarily, the often misguided focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet, as Valdimir Putin pushed Ukraine around, President Barack Obama hosted meetings in the last couple of weeks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. It was pretty much more of the same: Abbas rejecting the Jewish state, and the White House and State Department trying to act tough with Netanyahu. It began a few days before Netanyahu arrived in Washington with Obama giving an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of Bloomberg View that took what most … ]]> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 02:25:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ Putin ends the left’s daydream ]]> Lead story image

STEVE HUNTLEY: Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Crimea and the sham vote there to be annexed to Russia constituted the nail in the coffin in the American Left’s wishful thinking of a new age. Gone is the notorious “reset” with Moscow, back is the Cold War-like reality of East-West confrontation. ]]> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 02:13:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Russia, not Ukraine, will have Crimea ]]> Lead story image

The Ukrainian crisis is in flux, with ultimatums, warnings and diplomatic statements being issued while troops are on the move. Even with the uncertainty in daily events, several things seem clear. Crimea is lost to Ukraine. The only question is whether Russia annexes it outright, or whether there is an international deal that lets everyone claim a degree of victory but leaves the peninsula essentially a Russian province in all but name. Actually, that’s not the only question. It remains to be seen if Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions stop at Crimea or whether he seeks a breakup of Ukraine … ]]> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 06:12:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama and Boehner: bad leaders ]]> Lead story image

STEVE HUNTLEY: The root of the rancor and gridlock in Washington was on vivid display this week: a failure of leadership by a Democratic White House and a Republican House of Representatives. ]]> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 10:09:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Putin looms over inspiring Ukraine ]]> Lead story image

STEVE HUNTLEY: The story from Ukraine is heartening, even inspirational, with protesters braving police bullets to force a corrupt president from office and give their nation hope for a more representative government based on Western values. Yet lurking over the eastern horizon is Vladimir Putin. ]]> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 06:14:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Uh, oh, prez goes crusading again ]]> Lead story image

STEVE HUNTLEY: President Barack Obama is mounting a new campaign to combat climate change. Yes, the administration that couldn’t construct a working Obamacare website is now telling us it knows how to fix the global atmospheric ecosystem to benefit all humanity. ]]> Sat, 22 Mar 2014 06:24:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Tax reform key to strong economy ]]> Lead story image

Perhaps at your house, as at mine, this is the time of year when a copy of TurboTax shows up by the computer. Or your thoughts turn to an accountant, H&R Block or another tax-help outfit. The annual season for paying the tax man his due is approaching. What better time to remind ourselves of the urgent need for tax reform, however remote it appears at the moment? The tax code runs 70,000 pages. That’s stark evidence of what everyone acknowledges: the code is chock-full of credits, deductions, loopholes, corporate welfare and arcane provisions that do little to help — … ]]> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 06:11:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama assaults First Amendment ]]> Lead story image

The Constitution has proved to be a reliable, durable, trustworthy framework for the workings of a democratic republican government. Yet it neglected to lay down some fundamental principles for maintaining a free society, so the Founders added the Bill of Rights. First among those principles were the rights of conscience, speech, press and association, and to petition government, all enshrined in the 45 words of the First Amendment. Defending and expanding the reach of those freedoms has been a persistent current in American history. Recent years have seen a new effort to erode those rights, often from liberal forces claiming … ]]> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:55:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Signs say IRS targeted tea party ]]> Lead story image

STEVE HUNTLEY: President Barack Obama maintains there’s “not even a smidgen of corruption” in the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of tea party and conservative groups.But testimony at a congressional hearing last week raised red flags about IRS abuse of conservatives that should trouble Americans no matter what their political leanings. ]]> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 06:14:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama pushes welfare mentality ]]> Lead story image

‘Darlin’, the government’s gonna find out about this house, they’re going to stop my welfare.” That line, from the 2004 Academy Award-winning best picture “Million Dollar Baby” starring Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank, defines the entitlement mentality that is causing new headaches for the White House with disclosures that Obamacare will encourage people to drop out of full-time work. Swank plays Maggie, a boxer finally earning good money thanks to training from Eastwood’s character. She buys her down-and-out mother a house but the mother bawls her out for endangering her benefits. As her ungrateful mother whines, “I can’t live without … ]]> Sat, 08 Mar 2014 06:21:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Scarlett Johansson takes a stand ]]> Lead story image

Hollywood celebrities usually bring a hammer to political issues, so it’s surprising and welcome to see actress Scarlett Johansson adopt a nuanced position on a highly contentious controversy, an Israeli business operating in the disputed West Bank. You might have seen the Super Bowl commercial Johansson made for a product called SodaStream, a device that takes plain water and various ingredients to make soda. It turns out that it’s manufactured in a factory in the Israeli town of Ma’ale Adumim. To pro-Palestinian and Israel-phobic activists, that is a “settlement” and anything going on there must be condemned no matter that … ]]> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 06:11:46 -0500