Archive

February 20th, 2016

Congress wary of Chinese deal for Chicago Exchange

    Dozens of members of Congress plan to ask the Obama administration to review the planned acquisition of the Chicago Stock Exchange by a Chinese firm, to assess whether it poses a national security risk or a risk to the companies traded on the exchange.

    The Chicago Stock Exchange announced this month that it would be sold to a consortium led by the Chongqing Casin Investment Group of China, a move that would inject needed resources into the exchange and give the Chinese firm a foothold in the $22 trillion U.S. equities marketplace. Chinese state media reported that the deal was meant to eventually bring more Chinese firms into the U.S. market and that U.S. technology could be used to open new exchanges in China, a potential win- win for both sides.

    But the exchange's CEO, John Kerin, has said that he doesn't know who owns Chongqing Casin and that the Chinese government may be a minority stakeholder, as it is in most large Chinese businesses.

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!

Sanders can win the minority vote

    Organizing a protest against police violence in the black community, a curly-haired kid from Brooklyn found himself with a Chicago police officer's finger in his face. "It's outside agitators like you who're screwing this city up," the cop told him. "The races got along fine before you people came here."

    That young man was Bernie Sanders, and the confrontation took place in 1962, while Sanders was a University of Chicago student. In the following years, Sanders would lead sit-ins against housing discrimination and get arrested while marching for equal education.

    Now, as the 2016 campaign for president bears down on the fractious states beyond Iowa and New England, Sanders - today a 74-year-old U.S. senator from Vermont and candidate for the Democratic nomination for president - needs to convince minority voters that black lives still matter as much to him as they did 50 years ago.

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!

Sanders can win black votes away from Clinton

    Anyone who thinks that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders can't win black votes should have seen him at a prayer breakfast in Columbia, South Carolina, on Tuesday. He may not have enough time to erase the big lead that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enjoys with the state's African-Americans, but he's far from hopeless on that front. It helps him that Clinton's support, as elsewhere, is pragmatic rather than inspired.

    Allen University, where the prayer breakfast took place, is a small, historically black school with a four-year graduation rate of just 5 percent and a loose admissions policy, where every student gets at least some need-based financial aid. A few professors were pretty much the only white people in the audience, and Sanders was the only white person on stage.

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!

Republicans See How Long They Can Hold Their Breath

    Maybe we’d better refrain from having any new opinions until after the election.

    Follow the leader. Mitch McConnell says the Senate shouldn’t do anything about the Supreme Court’s vacancy as long as Barack Obama is president. Not even go through the motions of pretending to think about it. We’ve hit a whole new level in the politics of obstruction.

    Why stop there? For the next 11 months it’s probably better if we let everything go except for the purchase of food staples.

    Don’t even bother to fake it. Virtually every Republican with a job more elevated than zoning commissioner thinks the best thing to do with any Supreme Court nomination is to act as if it isn’t there, like a wad of gum on the sidewalk.

    “Delay, delay, delay!” cried Donald Trump at the last debate. Some listeners might have presumed he was calling for the return of the former House majority leader who resigned during a campaign finance scandal and later rehabilitated himself by doing the cha-cha on “Dancing With the Stars.” Exactly the kind of guy Donald Trump would like. But in this case he was talking about stonewalling any Supreme Court nomination.

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!

Obama and Republicans are wrong about Constitution

    What does the U.S. Constitution really have to say about whether the Senate must put a president's Supreme Court nominee to a vote? President Barack Obama says the Constitution "is pretty clear on what happens next": He nominates, and the Senate says yes or no in a timely fashion. Republicans think the Constitution gives the Senate the right, not just the power, to give the president's nominee a hearing or to refuse to do so.

    They're both wrong. Here's what the Constitution says about filling Supreme Court vacancies: nothing. In fact, the Constitution says nothing about the size of the Supreme Court at all. Congress could pass a law leaving the number of justices permanently at eight. Or it could expand the number to 23. All the Constitution requires is that there be a Supreme Court. Beyond that, we're in the realm of politics.

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!

No Candidate is Perfect

    Let me tell you something people don’t often say when arguing about presidential candidates on Facebook: No candidate is perfect.

    But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth choosing to support one.

    For example, you can support Bernie Sanders because you believe he’s the best all-around candidate, while simultaneously accepting that he tends to be clumsy when it comes to matters of race.

    It’s also possible to support Hillary Clinton while noting that you dislike her vote in favor of the Iraq War, or are concerned about the millions of dollars her family’s foundation accepted from Saudi Arabia.

    The same goes for Republican candidates. Each of those contenders comes with advantages and disadvantages.

    In other words, whatever your leanings are, you need to weigh each candidate’s pros and cons. How well do their proposals match your values? Do you believe they have a shot at actually getting something done?

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!

Move Flint's children to safety

    As a pediatrician - and grandfather - I ask myself: What would I do if I had family members raising kids in Flint, Michigan, right now?

    The answer is anything in my power to get them out of that toxic, distressed and struggling city. And if that's the right answer on a personal basis, it offers a critical insight into what has to be considered on a general policy level for the health and well- being of a community where water for drinking and bathing has been contaminated with lead for almost two years.

    Given the threat of ongoing lead exposure and the community's well-founded mistrust of government, should families be offered at least temporary resettlement while upgrades, repairs and enhancements are made to Flint's badly contaminated water infrastructure?

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!

Media Misrepresentations Of Clintons Are Nothing New

    Alas, this is pretty much where I came in. Starting in 1994, when your humble, obedient servant was approached to contribute weekly political columns, I found the behavior of the national political press shocking and alarming.

    Today, it's even worse.

    Even so, it's not every day a TV talker apologizes for broadcasting a doctored video misrepresenting something Bill Clinton said about President Obama. So it's definitely worth taking note.

    MSNBC's Chris Hayes did that the other night, at least temporarily persuading me that the network hasn't yet gone full Fox News.

    But first, some ancient history on a theme directly relevant to today's Democratic primary campaign: Hillary the Big Liar.

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!

Fear iPhone hackers, or the FBI?

    A federal judge in California ordered Apple to exploit a security weakness for the iPhone to help law enforcement investigate the San Bernardino terrorist attack. The company is refusing to provide a piece of software that would effectively allow federal investigators to bypass the strong security that Apple implemented in 2014.

    Bloomberg View columnists Eli Lake and Megan McArdle discuss.

 

    McArdle: Right now, it's impossible to brute-force a passcode by simply trying combination after combination, because there's a feature that will wipe the data after 10 unsuccessful tries. The judge has ordered Apple to create a piece of software that will raise that limit high enough for investigators in the San Bernardino shooting to keep trying until they unlock the iPhone belonging to San Bernardino County, which one of the shooters used.

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!

Donald Trump is right; Pope Francis' visit to the border is political

    With a visit to the U.S.- Mexico border this week, Pope Francis brings a clarion message from the heart of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The biblical imperative to welcome the stranger and protect the refugee is an ancient commandment.

    The presence of the first Latin American pope at the border also symbolically puts the most influential religious leader on the global stage squarely in the middle of a fierce presidential election-year fight over immigration.

    Donald Trump last week called the pope "a very political person" and implied Francis was being used by the Mexican government.

    "I think Mexico got him to do it," Trump sniffed, "because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is because they're making a fortune and we're losing."

    A pope who travels to the margins as a witness to God's solidarity with the poor and vulnerable isn't playing politics. He is following the Gospel. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus radically redefined the definition of neighbor beyond language, religion and border.

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!