Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Let’s act like ‘indispensible’ nation ]]> Lead story image

‘If you’re going through hell,” Winston Churchill once said, “keep going.” Last week felt like hell. A Malaysian passenger jet took off from Amsterdam and was shot down over Ukraine by a missile likely supplied by Russia to separatist rebels. All 298 on board were killed. As I write this, 251 bodies and 86 “body fragments” have been recovered — but only if you loosely define “recovered.” “Drunken — I mean literally, drunken — separatist soldiers are piling bodies into trucks unceremoniously and disturbing the evidence,” Secretary of State John Kerry said on “Fox News Sunday.” Nowhere was there more … ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 02:19:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ Border kids a dilemma for Obama ]]> Lead story image

No matter how much you love your children, if you were a parent in Honduras, you might be tempted to ship them to the United States. According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Honduras has the highest homicide rate in the world. In 2012, Honduras had 90.4 homicides per 100,000 people. The United States had 4.8, Canada had 1.6 and Mexico had 21.5. Honduras is also very poor. Unemployment is high, and there is less development than ever in Haiti. There are also gangs that recruit, enslave and murder children. So if you were a Honduran parent … ]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 02:19:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Lessons of Vietnam get lost in Iraq ]]> Lead story image

The lesson of Vietnam is that we refuse to learn any lessons from Vietnam. Even to dare mention the lesson of Vietnam is to risk painting oneself as weak-willed and lily-livered — to say nothing about being old enough to actually remember Vietnam. But I think there was a lesson, no matter how unlearned, nonetheless: We poured troops and weaponry into an unwinnable war in order to prop up a despotic government for reckless and unfounded political reasons — the domino theory, which stated that if we didn’t defeat the communists in Vietnam, we would someday be battling them on … ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 02:18:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ What fools these politicians can be ]]> Lead story image

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. This saying is both so funny and so wise that a number of funny and wise men are given credit for it, including Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain and Alex Rieger of “Taxi.” For politicians, the problem is especially acute. They feel the need to speak up, speak out and remove all doubt as to whether they are fools. Here are two seemingly different but actually related examples: Case one: Is a congressman from Oklahoma a living human being, or was he hanged in 2011? … ]]> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 02:20:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Enough poor-mouthing, Hillary ]]> Lead story image

I am completely in favor of Hillary Clinton’s amassing vast amounts of money. Her desire to do so is very American. Though our early colonists came here in search of religious freedom, they also believed that God had given them two hands so they could grab all they could with them. (As Native Americans would soon learn.) Hillary’s desire to be wealthy is well within the American mainstream. Her ability to achieve that wealth, however, is not. She is probably America’s leading political celebrity (it’s either Hillary or her husband), and that gives her incredible advantages when it comes to … ]]> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 16:39:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Can Hillary be herself and win? ]]> Lead story image

At some point in a political campaign, a candidate is always advised, “Just be yourself.” It is almost always terrible advice — though the candidate usually finds it appealing. No more phoniness! No more artifice! No more pretending to be something he or she is not! Campaigns are about artifice, however, about presenting appealing images, about submerging the personal quirks of the candidate with what is needed for election. Still, one faction of the campaign always ends up urging people to “let the candidate be the candidate,” largely because nothing else has worked. No doubt Mitt Romney was told to … ]]> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 06:19:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Daily combat at the White House ]]> Lead story image

Mike McCurry still has recurring dreams. They are like the ones people have about showing up at a final exam not having done the reading. But for McCurry, who was the White House press secretary for Bill Clinton from December 1994 to August 1998 — from Whitewater through most of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, in other words — the dreams are slightly different. “In my anxiety dream, I walk out to give the daily briefing and I don’t have my briefing book,” McCurry says. The briefing book, which takes enormous effort to assemble each morning, contains the assembled wisdom, positions, … ]]> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 09:42:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ In walks Jackson, a lion in winter ]]> Lead story image

The lion in winter walks into the room. His sideburns and mustache have gone gray. There is a little excess baggage beneath his chin. But Jesse Jackson’s stride is still firm, and his handshake firmer. His voice is quieter now, but the rhythms are the same, the hint of his South Carolina birthplace still an undertone in his speech. He is 72. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at 39; Robert Kennedy at 42; John F. Kennedy at 46. I ask Jackson whether he expected to live this long. “I did not,” he says. “We had the most death threats … ]]> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 06:29:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fireplug felons won’t wreck Rahm ]]> Lead story image

ROGER SIMON: It was not the worst weekend in recent memory. Only two men were killed and 26 others wounded in shootings in Chicago from Friday night to Sunday night.What really caught my interest was a different kind of crime story: fire-hydrant theft. ]]> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:27:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Gore: ‘Democracy has been hacked’ ]]> Lead story image

ROGER SIMON: You think Al Gore is upset with global warming? You ought to hear him on American politics. “The American political system is an utter catastrophe,” he said. “Our democracy has been hacked. The country is utterly and completely paralyzed, hogtied — and on a measure that will mean countless deaths in the future.” ]]> Sun, 15 Jun 2014 06:34:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hillary ‘out of step’ with Dems ]]> Lead story image

So here is the game: Is it easier to figure out who will be the 2016 Republican nominee or who will be the 2016 Democratic nominee if Hillary Clinton does not run? Think about it. Got an answer yet? I know your answer: What normal person is thinking about such things in May 2014? Well, no normal people. Just the national press corps, political operatives and potential candidates. The game is afoot. And it will not stop. The Republican field is in turmoil for at least two reasons. The first is that once again, there is no “next guy in … ]]> Sun, 08 Jun 2014 06:35:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Correspondents dinner is nerd prom ]]> Lead story image

ROGER SIMON: This Saturday is the nerd prom, officially called the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, a gigantic bash where the powerful of Washington, the beautiful of Hollywood and the geeks of the national press corps gather together in one giant banquet room to do . . . what? ]]> Sun, 01 Jun 2014 06:24:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rand Paul swims in the muddle ]]> Lead story image

Let some candidates seek the middle. Rand Paul is comfortable in the muddle. Some have said the junior senator from Kentucky is the most “intriguing” of the possible Republican presidential candidates for 2016. But if he is the most intriguing, it is not because he is the most interesting. It is because it’s so hard to figure out just what he is saying. Abortion? That ought to be easy for a conservative such as Paul, right? Not so fast there. “I think the debate is about when life begins,” Paul said, stating the problem but not the solution, something he … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:34:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Heart-wrenching stories of gun violence ]]> Lead story image

ROGER SIMON: It rose to 80 degrees in Chicago on Saturday, the warmest day of the year so far, and a spasm of gunfire quickly followed. Over 36 hours, at least 36 people were shot. Beyond the shock of the sheer numbers involved, the individual stories are heart-wrenching. ]]> Sat, 17 May 2014 06:40:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Abe Lincoln was ‘actually sexy’ ]]> Lead story image

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a petite person who writes about towering figures — Lyndon Johnson, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, the Kennedys. She sat in a hushed meeting room at the University of Chicago’s hushed Alumni House, where David Axelrod asked her unhushed questions. “People ask, ‘Why can’t Obama be more like Lyndon Johnson?’” Axelrod, director of the Institute of Politics at the university, said. “Why can’t he command the bully pulpit the way Teddy Roosevelt did?” “The bully pulpit, the platform a politician has to mobilize citizens, has changed,” Goodwin replied. “Lincoln would write a letter … ]]> Sat, 10 May 2014 06:26:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ The GOP’s Man of Steele returns ]]> Lead story image

Michael Steele is crossing the Midway Plaisance, a mile-long green swath that cuts through Chicago’s Hyde Park and was once used for the world’s first Ferris wheel, hoochie-coochie dancing and the other earthly delights of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. Today it is a verdant ribbon, wider than two football fields, that lies at the foot of the University of Chicago’s grand Gothic spires and is used for ice skating, soccer and whatever else one does on a verdant ribbon. Steele, who is a resident fellow at the university’s Institute of Politics, manages to traverse the entire width of … ]]> Sat, 03 May 2014 06:33:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Going home to the Chicago Way ]]> Lead story image

How cold was it in Chicago this winter? The politicians kept their hands in their own pockets. Not a bad joke — though I think I first heard it with New Jersey substituted for Chicago. Works just as well. Works for just about any big city, really. True, a large number of politicians from Chicago and its environs have been found guilty of corruption over the years. In my lifetime, four Illinois governors have gone to prison, two serving at the same time, which must be some kind of record. When I was growing up there, the tolerance for those … ]]> Sun, 27 Apr 2014 06:23:28 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vote ‘da’ for Putin for president! ]]> Lead story image

Our next president needs to be tough, resolute and no-nonsense. Our next president needs to be a person of clear intentions who will not cower in the face of our enemies or send mixed messages. Our next president must be dauntless, determined and daring. Our next president must be strong. If you have been reading editorials or listening to commentary, whether from the left or right, you know who that person is: Vladimir Putin. Read his rave reviews: Rudy Giuliani said recently of Putin: “He makes a decision, and he executes it, quickly. Then everybody reacts. That’s what you call … ]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 06:33:47 -0500