Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Obamacare’s never-ending story ]]> Lead story image

Obamacare appears headed for another rendezvous with the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices bent over backward, well mainly Chief Justice John Roberts did, to save the Affordable Care Act two years ago. Will similar legal gymnastics be found to rescue President Barack Obama and Democrats from the clear text of the law this time? At issue is explicit language saying that subsidies to purchase health insurance should go only to Americans who buy coverage through “an Exchange established by the State.” There’s reason to believe that the law was written this way to compel states to establish exchanges so their … ]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 02:28:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Targeting civilians is Hamas tactic ]]> Lead story image

It’s pretty clear that the Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine didn’t deliberately target a civilian jetliner; they thought they were shooting at a Ukrainian military plane. It’s crystal clear that Hamas is aiming rockets at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport, and a missile hitting an airliner taking off, landing or on the ground would be a deliberate attack on a civilian plane. Then again, civilians are the targets in Hamas’ war on Israel. Hamas wants to kill Israeli civilians in pursuit of its genocidal goal of eradicating the Jewish state. It wants Palestinian human-shield civilians to be killed by Israelis to … ]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:17:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Two clear-cut bad international actors ]]> Lead story image

The two international crises dominating the news this weekend have something in common: In each there’s a clear-cut bad actor who’s responsible for the bloodletting and misery afflicted on innocent people. No Ukrainian crisis would exist — and no airliner would have been shot down — had not President Vladimir Putin financed, armed, trained and provided boots-on-the-ground leadership to the Russian-speaking separatists in the eastern part of Ukraine, turning the region into a war zone. Israel would not have directed air strikes or sent its troops into the Gaza Strip had not Hamas, the terrorist organization ruling there, rained rockets … ]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 02:29:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kids paying for failure to control borders ]]> Lead story image

The waves of children and mothers from Central America washing over into the United States unleashed so much anger and outrage for the simple reason it confirms suspicions that our national borders are out of control. President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can talk all they want about our borders being more secure than ever. But the images of this mass migration tell a different story. Also telling another story is bipartisan legislation advancing in Congress to speed deportation hearings for these immigrants and change a law covering them. The argument is that we have to take … ]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 02:21:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ Diminished Obama fumbling in Middle East ]]> Lead story image

The Middle East is in flames, and the president of the United States seems largely irrelevant. Israel and Hamas terrorists are fighting another Gaza war. What was once touted by the administration as a success story in Iraq degenerated into a nightmare of bloodshed and triumph by Islamist fanatics. The Syrian civil war plods on with the death toll at 150,000, millions turned into refugees and dictator Bashar al-Assad still in power despite Washington’s demand that he must go. No one sees the United States as the power-player of yesteryear. President Barack Obama has squandered American credibility in foreign affairs, … ]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:25:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ One side in Israel conflict is to blame ]]> Lead story image

Already the headlines and news accounts speak of the Israelis and Palestinians “trading” strikes, talk of the two sides escalating their conflict, and, of course, repeat the tired, misleading phrase “the cycle of violence.” A pretty simple rule of thumb applies to the outbreaks of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed: No Palestinian violence, no Israeli violence. There’s no cycle, there’s a cause and effect. As the death tolls mount, that simple truth fades from view as calls from Washington and European capitals increase for both sides to exercise restraint. Let’s not forget the current fighting, which may yet evolve into a full-scale land … ]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 02:20:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Our nation remains exceptional ]]> Lead story image

SORRENTO, Italy — “We were there first. London was our colony. We were there before the Anglo-Saxons, before William the Conqueror and the Normans.” This outburst of pride in the Roman Empire of 2,000 years ago came from an Italian with whom we had struck up a conversation during lunch on the breathtakingly beautiful Bay of Naples below the majestic cliff where picturesque Sorrento sits. A three-week vacation in Italy focused on the glories of Michelangelo, the wonders of the Renaissance in Florence, the ruins of the ancient Forum in Rome and the fascinating remains of a city killed by … ]]> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 02:30:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ 3 Israeli teens’ deaths a war crime ]]> Lead story image

It’s a moment of moral clarity: Three teenagers were kidnapped and murdered for the simple reason that they were Jews. Let’s not hear any rationalizations about “Israeli occupation” or “settlements” or “building in settlements.” Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frankel, 16, were targeted by Hamas killers as the three Israelis hitch-hiked in the disputed territory of the West Bank. They were kidnapped and, when one of them used his cell phone to call the police, shot to death, and their bodies were hastily buried. The only regret from any Hamas operative was that the teens weren’t alive … ]]> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 02:18:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ IRS scandal is threat to free speech ]]> Lead story image

VENICE, Italy — The day we arrived in this beautiful lagoon city on an Italian vacation, its mayor resigned in a corruption scandal over a flood-control project. Later that day in Washington, D.C., the Internal Revenue Service disclosed that two years worth of emails to and from the key figure in the harassment of conservative groups had disappeared. The resignation of Venice’s mayor made the New York Times the next day. It would be three more days (according to a Lexis-Nexis search) before the loss of the IRS emails made it into the pages of the Times, the paper of … ]]> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 02:31:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ VA culture, not Shinseki, was real problem ]]> Lead story image

Veteran Affairs chief Eric Shinseki has fallen on his sword over the scandal about the excruciatingly long wait times for veteran medical care and the secret lists manipulated to hide the sometimes deadly delays in providing treatment to veterans of war. His resignation solves an immediate political problem for President Barack Obama. Democrats in Congress facing tough re-election fights in November were braying for Shinseki’s head as it became clear the VA deception was not confined to a few hospitals but infected, in Obama’s words, “many across the country” and showed “a need for a change in culture” not only … ]]> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 06:28:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama’s small ball foreign agenda ]]> Lead story image

A strategy of singles and doubles is how President Barack Obama recently characterized his foreign policy. Anyone looking for more than small ball in what the White House billed as a major speech at West Point on Wednesday was bound to be disappointed. No big agenda or ambitious goals were pronounced. It was more a steady as we go on the more modest role Obama has chartered for America in world affairs. The speech turned out to be somewhat anticlimactic after Obama’s announcement a day earlier of his plan for Afghanistan for the rest of his presidency. He pretty much … ]]> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 12:30:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ VA scandal shows Obama incompetence ]]> Lead story image

President Barack Obama got a good deal of criticism, even from some liberals this time, for being slow to react to the Veterans Administration scandal, being reluctant to accept the reality of it by calling for yet another investigation, and coming across as dispassionate in talking about it. There’s little wonder this scandal caught Obama off his game. It illustrates incompetency by his administration and the inefficiency that is inherent in any large bureaucracy, but especially in big government. From the beginning, Obama campaigned on improving VA health care for veterans and promised them that his team would bring the … ]]> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 06:27:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ Wealthy have right to back their causes ]]> Lead story image

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Charles and David Koch, brothers who contribute millions to libertarian causes and candidates, are “about as un-American as anyone I can imagine.” Republicans who favor voter identification laws to maintain integrity at the polling place “are not Americans” but rather would “be more comfortable in the Ukraine or Russia.” So says Howard Dean, former Democratic Party chairman and presidential candidate. Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a few months ago that “extreme conservatives” opposed to his agenda on abortion, gun control and gay issues “have no place in the state of New York.” … ]]> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 07:18:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama rises and falls on his oratory ]]> Lead story image

Barack Obama rose to national prominence and to the White House on a reputation for oratory. Yet his administration has turned out to be one notable for empty words, misstatements, politically motivated misleading claims and the 2013 “lie of the year.” The latest example of words coming back to haunt the president: In 2009 Obama told a veterans’ group, “We’re going to fund the best ideas and put them in action. All with a simple mission: cut those backlogs, slash those wait times, deliver your benefits soon.” Now ugly headlines tell not only of long waits for medical treatment at … ]]> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 11:49:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Plenty of presidential possibilities ]]> Lead story image

Will Hillary Clinton run for president? Might Jeb Bush jump in the race? Is hope for a Chris Christie candidacy gone, or does he have a second chapter in national politics? Can Marco Rubio revive conservative enthusiasm for his political future? Will Rand Paul inspire a libertarian groundswell? Does anyone care whether Joe Biden wants to move up to president? President Barack Obama has more than two years left in office, we haven’t settled the 2014 off-year election yet, but fascination prevails for the 2016 run for the White House. The fever would be hotter were it not for the … ]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 13:45:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama changes conversation again ]]> Lead story image

The White House did another of its famous political/policy pivots this past week. This time it turned, or rather returned, to climate change with an 829-page report claiming that recent weather proves climate is “not some distant problem of the future” but rather one “affecting Americans right now.” The dire warning was greeted mostly with a yawn. The problem for President Barack Obama is that however much the Midwest’s cold winter or the Southwest’s drought affect Americans, weather is not nearly so persistent a complaint among voters as is the Obama economy. The recovery officially began in 2009, but polls … ]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 06:43:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Court rules on trivial and profound ]]> Lead story image

It sometimes seems like all society’s issues eventually land in the U.S. Supreme Court. Take a couple of recent cases, one a decision on prayer at town council meetings that took up an issue dating to the country’s founding, the other a hearing on the challenge smartphones and other 21st technology pose to our right of privacy. The town hall case illustrated how petty, peevish and inconsequential are some of the complaints about religion in the public square. The town of Greece in Upstate New York is a mostly Christian community and its town board begins sessions with a prayer, … ]]> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 06:18:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Benghazi scandal roars to life ]]> Lead story image

The controversy over the Benghazi attack, once seemingly on life support if not dead, roared back to life the other day with the disclosure of a White House email suggesting blatant political motives in how the administration portrayed the deadly attack to America during a presidential campaign. Whether the email is the smoking gun, as administration critics claim, proving that the White House lied to voters remains to be seen, but that argument can no longer be dismissed out of hand. There’s little doubt the email, and White House reaction to it, show an administration willing to manipulate events to … ]]> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 06:38:49 -0500