Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ The time for action on diversity has come ]]> Lead story image

Last week, in a highly choreographed, tightly organized presentation, Apple rolled out the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. With the spotlights on and a global audience, Apple paraded a lineup of six white men to present its new products. Even the entertainment — U2 — was all white. Women and people of color are major consumers of Apple products: the iPhone, iTunes music, iPod music players, iPads and more. Apple had a huge opportunity to demonstrate to millions around the world that it is committed to be as diverse as its customers are. It clearly didn’t even think … ]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:46:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bluster is not a strategy ]]> Lead story image

Bluster is on the loose. With ISIS, an al-Qaida offshoot, proclaiming a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, Russia facing off with Ukraine, Libya descending into a civil chaos, the Taliban striking in Afghanistan, pundits and politicians are raising a drumbeat of demands for muscular action, condemning President Obama for his caution and supposed passivity. But the bluster is providing more heat than light. Remember, we had a president who shot first and thought later, who roused Americans with the threat of weapons of mass destruction, and dispatched American forces into a war of choice halfway around the world. … ]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:06:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ There is a Ferguson near you ]]> Lead story image

There is a Ferguson near you. Many pundits are saying that the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has revealed troubling racial tensions in America. But the real scandal in Michael Brown’s shooting is that it reveals what we’ve already known. As conservative Republican Sen. Rand Paul wrote about Ferguson: “Anyone who thinks race does not skew the application of criminal justice in this country . . . is just not paying attention.” Ferguson is a suburb of St Louis that is two-thirds African American. Its 53-person police force has only three African-Americans. Its mayor and five of its … ]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:52:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ From the Voting Rights Act to a voting rights amendment ]]> Lead story image

One of the greatest weeks in progressive political history started on July 30, 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Medicare and Medicaid bills into law. It ended on Aug. 6, when LBJ penned his signature on the Voting Rights Act of 1965, an act that he described as “a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory won on any battlefield.” We should take a moment to remember that wonderful week, 49 years ago. Progressive victories like those do not come along very often. Our victories did not start in LBJ’s White House, of course. You could say … ]]> Mon, 04 Aug 2014 18:18:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Government health care success: 49 years of Medicare and Medicaid ]]> Lead story image

This week marks the 49th anniversary of two of the most important “big government” programs ever — Medicare and Medicaid. On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed these two critical health care programs into law. At the signing ceremony, LBJ handed the first two Medicare cards to former President Harry Truman, who had called for the program years before, and his wife, former first lady Bess Truman. Contradicting the conservative fable that “big government” programs never work, Medicare has made the lives of millions of American senior citizens more secure and healthier. Medicaid has improved the lives of … ]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:55:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ Treat Central American children at our borders with humanity ]]> Lead story image

Politicians seeking political advantage blame the Central American children crisis on President Barack Obama. They demand that the border be secured. But these children aren’t undocumented immigrants trying to sneak into America. They are refugees fleeing threats on their lives, and hoping to reach our border security guards, not avoid them. They aren’t running to America; they are running from homes where their lives are under threat. Protestors aren’t trying to help border security round them up; they are blocking buses from reaching border security. We have a broken immigration system. Comprehensive reform has been blocked, largely by the same … ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:16:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Apartheid Avenue’ two blocks from the White House ]]> Lead story image

Diplomats who abuse their immunity from prosecution to keep their “imported” domestic workers as virtual slaves are a repeated scandal. What has not gained as much media coverage and public exposure is the flagrant abuse of sovereign immunity by international organizations. For decades, the World Bank, the third-largest employer in our nation’s capital, has sustained racially discriminatory practices. And within the last few months, an appeal to address the issue has seen inaction by the newest president of the World Bank, appointed in 2010 by President Obama. In 2009, the Government Accountability Project identified only four black Americans out of … ]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:27:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ How world has changed since I ran for president ]]> Lead story image

In 1984, we argued that the Democratic Party had to reach out to African Americans, Latinos, anti-war progressives, small farmers, the emerging gay and lesbian community. Now that Rainbow Coalition is the new majority. ]]> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 19:11:39 -0500 <![CDATA[ Common sense says go slow in Iraq ]]> Lead story image

The furious debate about Iraq is largely a debate about blame, not about solutions. The neo-conservatives who sold the invasion of Iraq on the basis of fables about weapons of mass destruction now want to blame Obama for “losing Iraq.” Unrepentant, they have once more flooded the media — Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, even Paul Bremer, who headed the ruinous post-invasion occupation. But Gen. Colin Powell, Bush’s secretary of state and former chair of the Joint Chiefs, had it right when he cautioned against the invasion, arguing what was dubbed the Pottery Barn argument that “if you break it, you … ]]> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 17:46:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ The fight for the South ]]> Lead story image

With the Republican takeover of the Virginia State Senate, Republicans now control the state legislatures in all 11 former confederate states. Now the reconstruction of the New South that was launched by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Lyndon B. Johnson is under assault. King’s movement and Johnson’s presidential power transformed the South after the Supreme Court ruled segregation unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education. The Voting Rights Act gave blacks the right to vote. Civil rights legislation opened up public facilities and launched an era of affirmative actions to overcome segregation. The War on Poverty extended Medicare, food … ]]> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 23:24:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sgt. Bergdahl becomes a political football ]]> Lead story image

The freeing of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after five years in Taliban captivity in exchange for five Taliban captives held in the military’s Guantanamo Bay prison has generated more fury than celebration. Republican legislators rail that the Taliban prisoners are murderous, with Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, claiming that three of the five are likely to return to the battle. Some are outraged the president “negotiated with terrorists,” cutting a deal with the Taliban. Democratic legislators led by California Senator Dianne Feinstein are in high dudgeon because they weren’t given 30 day notice, as required by … ]]> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 17:44:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ LBJ’s legacy under assault ]]> Lead story image

Fifty years later, former President Lyndon Johnson got the tribute he more than earned. Four presidents praised his contribution. The Great Society, the War on Poverty, Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act opened doors that had been locked. “I lived out the promise of LBJ’s efforts,” said President Obama, rejecting the cynicism of those who would dismantle Medicare and food stamps, signature LBJ achievements. Bill Clinton praised LBJ for demonstrating “the power of the presidency to redeem the promise of America.” Getting our history right is vital. For decades, LBJ’s achievements have been slighted. Liberals scorned him because of … ]]> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 18:14:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Great Divide could spur populist movement ]]> Lead story image

Congress will end the month of May without renewing jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed that were cut off at the end of last year. House Speaker John Boehner rails against the Obama administration for failing to create jobs, but apparently blames unemployed workers for not having one. There is a stark divide between the actions in Washington and the opinions of most Americans. Americans overwhelmingly support broad sensible reforms that will help working families, including renewing unemployment benefits. A new study released by the Campaign for America’s Future, “The American Majority is a Populist Majority,” reports on recent polling … ]]> Mon, 26 May 2014 01:08:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Brown vs. Board of Education was about a lot more than schools ]]> Lead story image

The Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education 60 years ago began when Oliver L. Brown, a welder, went to court because his daughter Linda could not attend Sumner Elementary School in Topeka, Kan., seven blocks from her home. The Supreme Court ruled definitively that “separate but equal” has no place in the American Constitution, that separate facilities are inherently unequal. Sixty years later, residential patterns have resegregated many of our schools. First lady Michelle Obama speaking in Topeka noted “many young people in America are going to school largely with kids who look just like them. Too … ]]> Mon, 19 May 2014 17:32:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Outrageous kidnappings show why U.S. needs better policy toward Nigeria ]]> Lead story image

Providing assistance in trying to save the girls is beneficial. But the U.S. needs to have a far more comprehensive policy towards Nigeria — and sub-Saharan African in general. ]]> Tue, 13 May 2014 01:40:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Indenturing our young people ]]> Lead story image

The young in America are being forced into cruel levels of debt, and this debt is already curbing their life prospects. Its economic effects are damaging to everyone. Yet with Washington frozen, the debt burdens on the young are likely to get worse. For the young, a college education or post-high school professional training is the equivalent of what a high school degree was a generation ago. College is the necessary but not sufficient ticket to the middle class. For the nation, educating the next generation beyond high school is essential both for producing the citizens we need for a … ]]> Tue, 06 May 2014 00:08:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sterling and Bundy are embarrassing, but real threat to equal rights is from Supreme Court, Congress ]]> Lead story image

“Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on,” goes the refrain of a famous song from the civil rights movement. We marched for freedom — for new laws that would end segregation, guarantee equal rights, enforce voting rights, and provide affirmative actions to help correct decades of being locked out or left out. We couldn’t let lunatic sheriffs or Klan rallies or jail distract us. We had to keep our eyes on the prize and hold on. That advice applies today where public expression of racial animus can distract from the far more serious legal reverses equal rights has suffered. … ]]> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 22:56:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ States’ refusal to expand Medicaid is deadly attack on poor Americans ]]> Lead story image

According to a Harvard study, an estimated 8 million Americans will remain uninsured because of the decision of 25 states to refuse to expand Medicaid. They estimate that will result in about 7,000 deaths per year, or 19 a day. The victims are working people, who earn too much to get Medicaid and too little to afford health insurance. ]]> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 23:54:01 -0500