Archive

March 2nd, 2016

Why we celebrate Black History Month

    We are in the waning hours of African American History Month - the time set aside each year to reflect on black struggles and sacrifices to achieve America's promise.

    My recognition of African American contributions began in the 1940s with annual celebrations of Negro History Week at Stevens Elementary School in my West End/Foggy Bottom community. Our nation's capital is also where I experienced firsthand America's shame.

    Liberty Baptist Sunday school taught me the Ten Commandments. Civil authority in the city taught me the others.

    Among them: Thou shalt not attend Grant Elementary School on G Street NW, which was for white children only. Thou shalt not attempt to enter the Circle Theater at 21st and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, where only whites were allowed. Thou shalt never think about dining downtown.

    Thou can purchase sodas and sandwiches at the drugstore at the corner of 25th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, but thou shalt not sit and eat. Thou must stand at the end of the counter and wait patiently to be recognized.

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 Apple's fight with the FBI is so hard to referee

    The fight between Apple and the U.S. government comes down to a technical enigma wrapped in layers of emotional debate.

    On the surface, people seem to be drawn to opposing sides depending on feelings: fear of terrorism, or suspicion of government, distrust of corporations.

    But the crux of the disagreement comes down to a technical question, not a gut feeling: whether it's possible for Apple to disable its own security system to break into a deceased terrorist's iPhone without jeopardizing the security of all iPhones.

    Since Apple software is proprietary, the answer to the technical question remains shrouded in uncertainty. Still, decisions need to be made, and good policy can be formulated in uncertain situations, just as health authorities had to respond to the Zika outbreak though little was known about its potential health consequences.

    In the Apple case, decisions will affect the way we balance the fight against terrorism with concerns over the erosion of privacy in a world increasingly dependent on smart phones to track and guide people's lives.

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!

Who's sweating now? Not Rubio

    For the first time in 10 Republican debates, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio owned the night.

    With his back against the wall, yet to win a nominating contest, Rubio didn't prove he would be a better president, but by going toe-to-toe with Donald Trump showed he had improved as a debater. What a big mistake it was to lay off Trump for months, afraid of blowback. With nothing left to lose, Rubio stopped playing nice. It might be in time.

    Rubio got his first digs in on immigration, attacking Trump's hiring of foreign workers instead of locals who wanted jobs at his hotels. The business tycoon paid a huge settlement for doing so. Rubio got even more personal on immigrant labor saying that if Trump were to build his wall along the Mexico border "the way he built Trump Tower, he'll be using illegal immigrants to do it."

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!

Who will stop the Republicans from political suicide?

    Desperation ran rampant Thursday night in the final Republican presidential debate before Super Tuesday's 11 state primaries. The unuttered battle cry was: Stop Donald Trump!

    Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz led the onslaught, as each sought to position himself as the giant killer -- but with more volume than potency.

    Rubio went after the mogul's business record (hugely successful) and his Republican credentials (insubstantial). Cruz called Trump on not revealing his income tax returns and for contributing to Democrats. Trump stood between them, counterattacking and chiding them as ineffective.

    The two other candidates, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retired Dr. Ben Carson, provided contrasting civility to the warring trio, perhaps reminding television viewers of a sedate Grand Old Party past. Kasich strove to provide a modicum of policy substance to the catfight.

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!

Trump's boycotts could cause real economic harm

    For a candidate who promises to make America great again, Donald Trump has a funny way of showing it. By calling for consumer boycotts of products sold by Apple, Macy's, Nabisco and the entire country of Mexico, he seems to be doing his level best to achieve the opposite. In Thursday night's debate, Trump added Ford to his longer list of corporate miscreants.

    A Trump tirade may have a minimal effect on a company's sales, exports and jobs. But if he wins the presidency, these threats could cause real economic harm, even if the rule of law blocks him.

    Imagine this scenario: President Trump officially declaresthat China is artificially keeping its currency from rising against the dollar, as a way to boost exports and rob America of jobs. But this doesn't allow him to impose sanctions, such as steep tariffs on Chinese imports. It puts the ball in Congress's court to consider higher tariffs if China refuses to adjust its exchange rate. A deeply split Congress, however, fails to go along because higher tariffs would result in higher prices for American consumers.

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!

March 1st

But seriously, how do we turn this Donald Trump thing off?

    Hello? Is this customer support?

    Oh, thank God.

    This is the Republican Party. We purchased a "Donald" a few months ago.

    Complaints? No, no. It entertained the voters, just like you said. The debates -- we've never seen such viewing numbers. Turnout has been through the roof! It was everything you promised when we signed the contract at midnight and poured a little of our blood into the vial.

    It's been huge and great, just like you said.

    Only I - listen - you have to tell me how to make it stop.

    It won't go away. I keep clicking "X" on the little box to make it leave but it doesn't do anything.

    Yes, I tried turning the whole thing off and on again. That was the first thing I tried. But it didn't work. It was still there. On the TV. But also on my phone. Also the Internet. Also everywhere.

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!

Trump's unambiguous message: He is a white nationalist

    Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are running dueling ads on South Carolina's hip-hop, R&B and gospel-themed radio stations, with each candidate asserting a history of commitment to black causes and black political power.

    Clinton has also campaigned in the company of five black women who lost children to violence, including police violence. In addition to the mother of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teen who was pursued and killed by a gun-toting volunteer neighborhood watchman, The Washington Post reported:

    "Clinton was also joined by Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged in her jail cell in Texas after a traffic stop last year; Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, who died in a police chokehold in New York in 2014; Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton, shot by a police officer in Milwaukee in 2014; and Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, a Florida teen shot in 2012 by a man who had complained about loud music coming from the car the boy was riding in."

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!

Trump Meets the Mean Boys

    Chris Christie has endorsed Donald Trump! Well, really, what did you expect? He’s a sworn enemy of Marco Rubio, and we have long since established that nobody likes Ted Cruz.

    Rubio was the star of the latest Republican debate, having finally learned Trump’s key to success: Avoid being distracted by discussions of actual policy and concentrate on inflicting death by insult.

    But Christie, who did exactly the same thing to Rubio in New Hampshire, claimed the senator was throwing “flailing punches in the last days of a losing campaign.” We will not linger on the irony.

    On Friday, Rubio was in his new Trumpian glory, strutting around a platform and telling his audience that the developer had gone into a “meltdown” backstage during the debate.

    “First he had this little makeup thing applying, like, makeup around his mustache because he had one of those sweat mustaches,” Rubio gloated. “Then he asked for a full-length mirror ... maybe to make sure his pants weren’t wet.”

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!

Trump's debate disaster -- if voters notice

    Financier Donald Trump is better at TV than anyone else who has ever appeared in presidential debates. Much better.

    He also has no capacity at all to speak coherently on policy. He's lazy: He's developed about five minutes, maybe 10, of talking points, and he sticks with them. And as one crazy billionaire on a sitcom said when he ran for president, Trump doesn't just have skeletons in his closet. He has "skeletons running around eating leftovers from the fridge."

    Of course, many people have written about Trump's lack of policy knowledge, but it hasn't been dramatized in front of a large audience yet. On Thursday night, Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz turned their attacks on him, and fully exposed him as basically a fraud and a buffoon. Whether the media will say that -- in the news pages, not just the opinion pages -- is an open question. It's also unclear whether Republican voters will care.

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!

Five Big Questions After a GOP Debate That Targeted Trump

    Were Brakes Just Put on the Trump Juggernaut?

    Something profound happened on the stage in Houston on Thursday night. Both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz stopped focusing on each other long enough to turn toward the person who is actually beating them and is favored to win the Republican nomination: Donald Trump.

    Cruz dismissed Trump as someone who’d discovered certain concerns — who’d discovered conservatism, really — only when he became a candidate. Cruz said that while he was working to combat the illegal immigration that so inflames Trump now, Trump was firing Dennis Rodman on “Celebrity Apprentice.”

    But Rubio turned in Trump’s direction with particular force. With ferociousness, in fact. He recited a meticulously memorized litany of Trump’s transgressions, especially those that contradict Trump’s words now: the illegal immigrants that Trump reportedly hired for his construction projects, the litigation against a college bearing his name, multiple bankruptcies associated with him.

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!