Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Ebola shows how government bumbles ]]> Lead story image

These are tough days for liberals. Their central dogma — that government is the answer to our problems — is taking a beating. Voters are learning what conservatives have always known, big government can fail in big ways. Consider what has Americans scratching their heads now: How could a doctor who spent a month treating Ebola patients in Africa return to densely populated New York City and not be told by public health officials to stay close to home during the disease’s incubation period? Dr. Craig Spencer rode New York’s subways and went bowling in Brooklyn the night before he … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:34:18 -0500 <![CDATA[ Politicians say the darnedest things ]]> Lead story image

In a long campaign season filled with super heavy issues like the weak economy, the Islamic State and Ebola, let’s pause to savor a few of the lighter moments. In Kentucky, Democrat senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan “I’m not Barack Obama” Grimes — the quote is from one of her campaign commercials — is refusing to say whom she voted for in the last two presidential elections. Her rationale at a one debate ­­— “I’m not going to compromise a constitutional right.” Ms. Not-Obama-Grimes may be on to something. The secret ballot protects us from retribution for our political choices. Obama’s … ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:54:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Enjoy the cheaper oil while we can ]]> Lead story image

Falling oil prices have us smiling when we fill ’er up. But economics is not known as the dismal science for no reason — good news often is accompanied by a downside, and economists are raining on our parade. But first the silver lining in the 20 percent drop in oil prices: Cheaper gas puts dollars in the pockets of consumers to spend on other things, giving the economy a boost. Lower fuel costs in manufacturing and transporting products may also show up in lower, or at least more slowly rising prices, for goods. Each penny decline in the cost … ]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:32:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hard to trust ‘experts’ on Ebola ]]> Lead story image

It seems like only days ago the experts were assuring us that there was no cause for worry after Ebola had arrived in our country. Now in a span of just four days, two nurses in Dallas who treated that first Ebola patient have themselves come down with the deadly disease. There’s still no reason to expect an epidemic, no cause for panic. But once again the experts have proved to be far from infallible in asserting that the nation’s medical facilities were well-prepared to cope with Ebola. The most visible authority figure offering assurances was Dr. Thomas Frieden, director … ]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:25:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Israel simply is not equally at fault ]]> Lead story image

Western donor nations that have given so much money to Palestinian causes are expressing hesitancy about funding the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip because they fear another war may be, if not just around the corner, then certainly not that far off. It’s a reasonable worry, but given the hostility in the international community toward Israel, the concerns are, as usual, being voiced in the wrong context. These nations ponied up huge sums for rebuilding after Hamas terrorism from Gaza provoked Israeli military operations in 2009 and 2012. That money evaporated in explosions this year when Hamas launched another conflict … ]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 02:36:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hedge your bets on Senate races ]]> Lead story image

The election for control of the U.S. Senate in just under four weeks is, somewhat surprisingly, shaping up as a bit of a nail- biter. A volatile mix of President Barack Obama’s unpopularity, voter discontent with things as they are threatening all incumbents, historic trends favoring Republicans, a Democratic money advantage and uncertainty about turnout is inspiring a wide variety of predictions: Democrats barely hold on to their majority! A GOP triumph of eight seats won! The smart money is on the Republicans getting the net gain of six wins needed to give them 51 seats. Still, so much turmoil … ]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 20:06:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama loose with the facts at NU ]]> Lead story image

Good news has been hard to find for President Barack Obama. The international situation is a little frightening with a terrorist army in Iraq chopping off heads and Russia gobbling up parts of Ukraine. Ebola is no longer a distant problem in Africa, it’s in Texas. So it’s no wonder that he’s turned to talking up the economy. The problem is that millions of Americans see more talk than actual improvement in their lives. Obama had, as he put it, “a lot of good statistics” to cite in his speech to a friendly crowd at Northwestern University the other day: … ]]> Sun, 05 Oct 2014 02:38:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Expert assurances provide little relief ]]> Lead story image

As one old enough to recall the national trauma of the murder of John F. Kennedy and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, I saw nothing funny in the jokes by late-night comedians ridiculing the Secret Service over the recent intrusion of an armed man into the White House. And given the scandal about Veterans Administration health care, the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website and the summer’s breach of the border by Central American children, I’m not exactly reassured by the experts declaring Ebola can be controlled now that we have the first case of a sick traveler in … ]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 02:22:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ A credible stand against terrorism ]]> Lead story image

In a bid to reassert U.S. leadership globally, President Barack Obama has succeeded in enlisting Arab Sunni states to bomb Sunni terrorists while launching a much-needed modernization of America’s nuclear arsenal. These endeavors are remarkable in themselves but especially so coming from a president who rose to the White House promising to withdraw from Mideast conflicts and to work toward a world free of nuclear weapons. The realities of international threats intruded on those lofty goals. ]]> Thu, 25 Sep 2014 02:21:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hard to argue Hillary means ‘change’ ]]> Lead story image

Democrats think they’re sitting pretty for the 2016 presidential election. They have an all-but-anointed standard-bearer in Hillary Clinton, one who has the extra appeal of possibly making history as the first woman commander-in-chief, while the Republicans again face a crowded, ideologically divided field with the potential of a blood-letting primary season that could leave the GOP with a wounded nominee. Then again, politics have a funny way of confounding expectations. Clinton was supposed to be the nominee in 2008,but along came Barack Obama. This time, the conventional wisdom goes, she doesn’t have to face the prospect of a once-in-a-generation charismatic … ]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:22:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ If only Obama had Bush’s real grit ]]> Lead story image

For years the conventional wisdom held that President Barack Obama has continued the national security policies of George W. Bush: drone strikes, secret surveillance measures and indefinite detention of terrorists. Now, say some commentators, Obama’s war rhetoric is even sounding like Bush’s. Obama advocates preemptive war to prevent attacks on America by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, though the current thinking is that ISIS poses no imminent threat to the United States. Obama’s declaration that “if you threaten America you will find no safe haven” resonates with Bush’s assertion that “you’re either with us or against us.” There … ]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:03:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama’s ISIS plan begs questions ]]> Lead story image

You could almost hear the sigh of relief from President Barack Obama’s supporters — he has a strategy to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and it’s a tough one. After a couple of weeks of muddled messaging about ISIS, also called ISIL, Obama declared in a prime time broadcast address Wednesday, “We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.” His plan focused on airstrikes, support for Iraqi and other ground forces, training for moderate rebels in Syria and counter-terrorism measures to prevent an attack on the homeland — but no U.S. … ]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 06:26:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dems want incumbent protection ]]> Lead story image

Senate Democrats want to amend the Constitution so they could by force of law limit the amount of money their opponents spend to try to unseat them in elections. Now, Democrats tell a different story: That they are trying to eliminate the influence of big money and “dark money” in political campaigns, to enshrine in the Constitution “campaign finance reform” so that no U.S. Supreme Court can overturn it. Embedding their incumbent protection scheme in our Constitution would eviscerate the First Amendment right of free speech. In a nation of 315 million people spanning a vast continent, it takes a … ]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:58:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Decimated Hamas makes ludicrous claims ]]> Lead story image

The Hamas terrorists who rule the Gaza Strip are good at one thing: Getting Palestinians killed. More than 2,100 Palestinians died in the 50-day war against Israel that ended on the same truce terms offered to Hamas in the early days of the conflict before most of the casualties occurred. News media accounts, quoting U.N. and Palestinian sources, say the majority of the deaths were civilians. That’s misleading in that it suggests overwhelming civilian casualties. Analyses, such as one by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, note that 44 percent of the deaths came among males … ]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 06:24:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Putin rolls over Obama’s rhetoric ]]> Lead story image

President Barack Obama insists there is no military solution to the Ukraine crisis, only a diplomatic one. That may be true, but it’s next to impossible to imagine a political end to the Russian invasion and violence by separatists in the eastern part of the country that won’t be a victory for Vladimir Putin. The Russia autocrat has persevered at every turn. He violated the sovereignty of Ukraine by chopping off and then annexing Crimea over loud but ineffective protests from Obama and European leaders. International shock and outrage over Russian-speaking separatists shooting down a commercial jetliner and killing 300 … ]]> Sun, 05 Oct 2014 07:36:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama foreign policy dangerously aimless ]]> Lead story image

President Barack Obama’s statement that “we don’t have a strategy yet” against the Islamist army rampaging across Syria will hearten Americans opposed to escalating the U.S. role in the Middle East chaos. But it’s hard to see how the fanatics of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria won’t interpret it as Obama backing away from another American “red line.” That’s because Obama only a week ago called ISIS a “cancer” while his military and foreign policy advisers said it was an “imminent threat” (Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel) that “will eventually have to be defeated” and attacked in Syria (Chairman … ]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 06:32:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fixing tax code beats bashing execs ]]> Lead story image

Burger King is the latest company to find itself in a harsh spotlight for making a reasonable business decision to relocate its headquarters out of the country. Democrats have responded to this corporate tactic with super-heated rhetoric rather than any commitment to work with Republicans to fix a complex, Byzantine, out-of-date tax code that encourages a few executives to seek more business-friendly environments. Senate Democrats howl that these businesses are “corporate deserters” who, as Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas put it, “pledge allegiance to some foreign power.” President Barack Obama says firms adopting this approach, called inversion, aren’t patriotic. Treasury … ]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:02:27 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama may be about to eat crow on ISIS ]]> Lead story image

Two top administration officials — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey — declare the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is a terrorist threat like we’ve never seen before, that it can’t be contained and that it “will eventually have to be defeated.” Unless they were speaking out of school — quite unlikely — that sure sounds like the White House is laying the groundwork for stronger military operations against ISIS. That would be a bitter pill for President Barack Obama given that his presidency has been committed to the premise that … ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:13:55 -0500