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 politics of fear — and Ebola ]]> Lead story image

Can you get the light out of my eyes? No. Can you loosen the handcuffs? No. Why am I here? You coughed. Coughing is a symptom of Ebola. We must protect the homeland. But you can’t lock up everybody who coughs. Why not? We have room. There are a lot of empty Borders and Blockbuster stores and Chi-Chi’s restaurants around. Besides, we are not locking you up. We are quarantining you — in handcuffs. For how long? Indefinitely — or at least until you give us a list of everybody you have ever come in contact with. In my entire … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:56:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ You never had it so good. Not. ]]> Lead story image

I hardly know where to begin. Ebola continues to spread around the world; the Islamic State pushes closer to Baghdad; the Secret Service can’t prevent a guy with a knife from running into the White House; sea levels are rising; fighting continues in Ukraine; extreme partisanship eats away at our democracy; thousands of American businesses have been subject to cyberattacks; 1 in 9 American bridges are rated structurally deficient; we are undergoing the most dramatic die-off of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago; and I think I’m getting a cold. Our get-up-and-go appears to have … ]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 02:22:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Four things Hillary can do to win ]]> Lead story image

Here are four dramatic things Hillary Clinton can do to win the presidency. Wait. Did I skip the fact that she has not yet announced for office? Yeah, I am skipping that. And am I skipping her battle for the Democratic nomination? Yeah, I am skipping that, too. For now. I am going straight to the general election because the only way to get past Hillary fatigue is to get things over with quickly. So how does Hillary win the presidency? Should she play it cautiously and hope the Republicans nominate somebody so out of touch with the American people … ]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 02:21:39 -0500 <![CDATA[ White House intruder tip of iceberg ]]> Lead story image

He is a threat assessment expert who has worked with high U.S. government security agencies for many years. He is an expert on how the Secret Service operates to protect our top leaders. He is not a happy man. “There has been a leakage of the best and most balanced agents from the Secret Service,” he told me. “We have been left with an overall force that has less experience and poorer judgment. “The agents are way under headcount, as well. They have more work, more stress, more difficulty — and all operating under a cloud of scandal.” That cloud … ]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 02:20:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Do ‘real men’ hit women? ]]> Lead story image

It was the day I learned the difference between sympathy and empathy. The phone rang on my desk. It was a woman I had written about. Her husband had beaten her for years. She divorced him; she took him back; she remarried him. The beatings continued. She would leave, and he would go after her. When she fled to her mother’s house, he followed her and broke all the bones on the left side of her face. For that, he was arrested and convicted of battery. He was sentenced to 90 days, but got out in a week. She got … ]]> Wed, 24 Sep 2014 02:18:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Snap out of it, Mr. President ]]> Lead story image

I wish the president would go golfing again. Really. He skipped it Sunday, a beautiful day, because he wanted to show the nation that he now finally understands the bad “optics” of golfing while frightening matters embroil the nation. Actually, he has always understood optics. He just temporarily stopped caring about them. It was as if he wanted to escape the theatrics of his office, if only for a few weeks. But he now realizes he can’t. He lives in the golden cage of the presidency, and there is no escape from it. He gave a hangdog interview to Chuck … ]]> Sat, 11 Oct 2014 06:25:53 -0500 <![CDATA[ Time for a Romney revival? ]]> Lead story image

Unlikely as it might seem, Mitt Romney actually put it best. “I have looked at what happens to anybody in this country who loses as the nominee of their party,” he says. “They become a loser for life.” This is from the documentary “Mitt,” which was released this year and covers Mitt Romney’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. Romney was aware that if he ran for the nomination in 2008 and failed to get it, this would not be fatal. Numerous failed nominees have gone on to get the nomination in future contests. But if one gets the nomination and then … ]]> Sat, 04 Oct 2014 06:18:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hillary can’t be Obama’s third term ]]> Lead story image

When Barack Obama was first elected president, he asked David Axelrod to leave Chicago and come to the White House with him. Axelrod would be a senior adviser, a powerful position where he could craft both policy and the president’s message. But Axelrod hesitated. Though he was often credited with being a calming influence in the fractious world of high-stakes politics, there was one thing Axelrod held dear: the ability to tell his boss off when his boss needed telling off. And when you’re president, Axelrod told Obama, I won’t be able to tell you off. Obama thought about it. … ]]> Sun, 28 Sep 2014 06:19:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Is Ferguson the new American normal? ]]> Lead story image

Could it be that our long national nightmare is just beginning? Could it be that after decade upon decade of refusing to address the cost of racism in America, the bill has finally come due? The protests in Ferguson, Mo., the arrests, the shootings, the armored vehicles, the police in full battle regalia indiscriminately training military-style rifles on unarmed citizens, the clouds of tear gas, the Molotov cocktails, the social media “reporting” of both hard truth and dangerous rumor as if there were no distinction between the two — could it be that this is our new normal? Ferguson has … ]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:57:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hillary can’t seem to loosen up ]]> Lead story image

Hillary Clinton walks through a paneled doorway and onto the set of “The Colbert Report.” A grin splits her face. Stephen Colbert is stunned. Shocked. Amazed. Right. Hillary steps up onto the low podium where Colbert is seated behind a desk. Her grin grows wider. Colbert keeps a dumbfounded look on his face. A surprise appearance on his own show! The audience is daffy with delight. This ought to be good. In September 2007, Hillary’s presidential campaign aides were arranging for her to appear on the season opener of “Saturday Night Live.” She refused. One said: “We told her doing … ]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 06:36:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ An eye for eye leaves the world blind ]]> Lead story image

Rafi Horowitz pulled the car to the side of the road, reached across me, opened the glove compartment and pulled out a black semi-automatic pistol in a well-worn leather holster. He clipped it to his belt. “We should stop,” he said, pointing with his chin to an Israeli couple and small child standing next to their broken-down car in Gaza. A group of Palestinian teenagers — not threatening, just bored-looking — had gathered some yards away. In those days, you just drove into Gaza from Israel. It was not difficult. Israelis flooded into Gaza to buy cheap produce and to … ]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 06:34:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Impeachment would boost Biden ]]> Lead story image

Ask Dr. Politics! You are fair, and we are unbalanced! Dear Dr. Politics: Is President Barack Obama going to be impeached? Answer: Only if the Republicans go totally nuts — which means it’s possible. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has said: “We see thuggery going on in the White House. We’re not going to take it.” Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has said: “From my standpoint, if the president (enacts more executive actions on immigration), we need to bring impeachment hearings immediately before the House of Representatives.” GOP intellectual Sarah Palin, who would have been a heartbeat away from the presidency if … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 06:19:01 -0500 <![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 … ]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 06:25:06 -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 … ]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 06:36:30 -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 … ]]> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 06:25:11 -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? … ]]> Sun, 03 Aug 2014 06:25:33 -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