Archive

January 9th, 2016

Women 'just' don't need your new email-policing app

    There's a new plug-in for Gmail called Just Not Sorry, which is currently making the media rounds on Slate, NPR, the "Today" show and elsewhere. The app is aimed at women who in their emails use what its creator, Cyrus Innovation chief executive Tami Reiss, calls "undermining words," such as "sorry" and "just." When a user types such words, they get underlined in red as if they were misspelled. In a post on Medium, Reiss frames this as a service to women leaders, because such words sabotage their authority.

    SORRY, but no.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

With ‘open carry,’ gun lobby gets what it wants: more fear

    When I was 10 I had a yo-yo. It was blue with marbled streaks of silver. At school we weren’t supposed to have yo-yos. But what’s the point of a yo-yo if one can’t show it off?

    So I empathized with those who came to the Texas Capitol on New Year’s Day with fancy toys openly displayed on their hips and shoulders, from AR15s to the latest from the minds of Glock. Joyous they were. The fourth-graders had finally taken over.

    Pursuant to a newborn law, Texas had just joined the “open carry” movement.

    After their Capitol demonstration, a bunch of the open-carriers convened at a nearby Subway. This meant other customers stood inches away in line from all that firepower. It must have made them feel safe. Would you like chips with that?

    Well, of course it didn’t make those customers feel safe. It made them feel ill, and just before lunch.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Why aren't we calling the Oregon occupiers 'terrorists?'

    As of Sunday afternoon, The Washington Post called them "occupiers." The New York Times opted for "armed activists" and "militia men." And The Associated Press put the situation this way: "A family previously involved in a showdown with the federal government has occupied a building at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon and is asking militia members to join them."

    Not one seemed to lean toward terms such as "insurrection," "revolt," anti-government "insurgents" or, as some on social media were calling them, "terrorists." When a group of unknown size and unknown firepower has taken over any federal building with plans and possibly some equipment to aid a years-long occupation - and when its representative tells reporters that they would prefer to avoid violence but are prepared to die - the kind of almost-uniform delicacy and the limits on the language used to describe the people involved becomes noteworthy itself.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Hillary Clinton's challenges in the fight against terrorism

    As President Barack Obama has conducted his ill-fated experiment in diminished U.S. leadership, he has fended off critics with what many dismissed as a straw-man argument: that the only alternative to his approach was mindless bellicosity.

    Then Ted Cruz came along - and turned out to be the straw man. When the Republican Texas senator saidof the Islamic State that he would "carpet-bomb them into oblivion" and find out "if sand can glow in the dark," it seemed he wanted to prove that mindless bellicosity was no figment of Obama's imagination.

    But there is a common thread to what Obama and Cruz offer: the false promise of an easy way out for the United States in the fight against terrorism.

    Obama wanted Americans to believe, and may have believed himself, that the "tide of war is receding," as he said in 2011. It turned out that he could end the United States' wars, temporarily, but that didn't mean the wars ended - and before long, the president was forced to return Americans to battle.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Elections Have Consequences

   You have to be seriously geeky to get excited when the Internal Revenue Service releases a new batch of statistics. Well, I’m a big geek; like quite a few other people who work on policy issues, I was eagerly awaiting the IRS’s tax tables for 2013, which were released last week.

   And what these tables show is that elections really do have consequences.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

January 5th

Our New Year Quiz

    Happy New Year! We’re going to have an exciting 2016 — including, of course, the finale of a presidential race that seems to have been underway since Woodstock.

    So much to look back on, so little time. Take this quick quiz and see how much of political 2015 you haven’t already managed to repress:

 

    1. In her final statement of the last 2015 debate, Hillary Clinton concluded …

    A. “May the Force be with you.”

    B. “We need to discuss the restroom issue.”

    C. “Have I mentioned I’m a grandmother?”

 

    2. The Democratic National Committee tried to ensure maximum TV ratings for that debate by ...

    A. Inviting Adele to ask the first question.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Elections Have Consequences

    You have to be seriously geeky to get excited when the Internal Revenue Service releases a new batch of statistics. Well, I’m a big geek; like quite a few other people who work on policy issues, I was eagerly awaiting the IRS’s tax tables for 2013, which were released last week.

    And what these tables show is that elections really do have consequences.

    You might think that this is obvious. But on the left, in particular, there are some people who, disappointed by the limits of what President Barack Obama has accomplished, minimize the differences between the parties. Whoever the next president is, they assert — or at least, whoever it is if it’s not Bernie Sanders — things will remain pretty much the same, with the wealthy continuing to dominate the scene. And it’s true that if you were expecting Obama to preside over a complete transformation of America’s political and economic scene, what he’s actually achieved can seem like a big letdown.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

For some black women, the Cosby indictment is painfully complex

    For more than a year, we've watched Bill Cosby's slide in slow motion as dozens of women have come forth to say that he sexually assaulted them. Now we're watching in hyperdrive. The comedian, pitchman and American icon was charged Wednesday with felony aggravated indecent assault stemming from allegations that he drugged and abused a woman in 2004 in his suburban Philadelphia home.

    Since then, we've had the Cosby perp walk and mug shot, timelines, deconstructions and details. Other accusers have celebrated, and social media is debating legal strategies and karma. Spectacle has begun.

    But for some, myself included, there is an extra lane to Cosby's fall from grace. It is gray, twisted and largely traveled by black women, many of a certain age. It both fully recognizes and supports the justice needed for survivors, yet is the opposite of guilty/not guilty binaries. It is full of sadness and reflection on an American double jeopardy others might not know about.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Expect banner year for 'dark money' in politics

    The 2016 presidential campaign not only will feature more money than any since Watergate, but also more secret money than the days when black satchels of illicit cash were passed around.

    The so-called dark money, or contributions that don't have to be disclosed, topped more than $300 million in the 2012 presidential race, and some experts believe that the levels may be far higher this time. There also is a risk that foreign money could be surreptitiously funneled into the presidential campaign because it wouldn't have to be publicly disclosed.

    This flood of cash is occurring thanks to a ruse that permits political advocacy groups to claim that they are principally social welfare agencies and thus tax exempt and not subject to disclosure. These organizations court interest groups and rich donors, some of whom want the influence that political money brings but not the public association. It's a win for the interest groups and the candidates; the public is kept in the dark.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!

Marco Rubio Doesn’t Add Up

    Math was never my strongest subject, so maybe I’m just not crunching the numbers right.

    But the more I stare at them, the less sense Marco Rubio makes.

    Rubio as the front-runner, I mean. As the probable Republican nominee.

    According to oddsmakers and prediction markets, he’s the best bet. According to many commentators, too.

    But Iowa is less than a month away, and in two recent polls of Republican voters there, he’s a distant third, far behind Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

    So he’s killing it in New Hampshire, right?

    Wrong. A survey from two weeks ago had him second to Trump there, but another, just days earlier, put him in third place — after Trump and Cruz, again. Chris Christie’s inching up on him, the reasons for which were abundantly clear in a comparison of Christie’s freewheeling campaign style and Rubio’s hyper-controlled one by The Times’ Michael Barbaro.

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site.

We'd be happy to set up login information for a free week of the Liberal Opinion Week website for you. Please email liberal@iowaconnect.com with your request. Thanks for your interest in the Liberal!