Archive

July 29th, 2016

Government's privacy rights don't exceed public's

    When it comes to metadata, is turnabout fair play? The New Jersey Supreme Court will decide that question in a fiendishly clever case brought by a libertarian who is demanding the e-mail logs of town officials under the state's Open Public Records Act.

    What makes the case so piquant is that, as Edward Snowden's leaks revealed, the federal government engaged in bulk metadata collection under a questionable interpretation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The authorization relied on for the data collection has since expired, but the legal principle remains. The New Jersey lawsuit in effect asks: if metadata isn't that private, why not give the public access to the government's records of who contacted whom, and when?

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!

Blaming Putin won't help Clinton beat Trump

    Hillary Clinton's campaign and its supporters are linking Donald Trump to President Vladimir Putin. This must make the Russian president chuckle. After all, he accused Clinton of inciting protests in Moscow in 2011.

    The Democrats, however, need a reality check. The suggestion of a Russian connection to the Trump campaign is unfounded, at best. And though the hack of the Democratic National Committee's servers, the spoils of which were recently posted on Wikileaks, was probably the work of Russian hackers, no one is denying that this operation exposed an embarrassing tilt of the party in favor of Clinton and against Bernie Sanders.

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!

Clinton's Philadelphia vs. Trump's Cleveland

    After a raucous Republican convention nominated the very conservative Barry Goldwater in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson's campaign ran an advertisement quoting William Scranton, Pennsylvania's moderate governor, describing "Goldwaterism" as a "crazy-quilt collection of absurd and dangerous positions."

    Welcome to what will certainly be one of the central themes of the Democratic National Convention. Donald Trump's nomination at a dark and angry convention in Cleveland and his acceptance speech embracing a racially tinged authoritarian nationalism open up a wealth of opportunities for Hillary Clinton's campaign.

     This is the week in which Clinton could nail down the support of the nation's Latino and African-American voters while sowing deep doubts about Trump among what is likely to be the election's key target group: college-educated white voters.  She reinforced her appeal to them by picking Tim Kaine as her running mate. He's thoughtful, experienced and respected, broadly progressive yet with a moderate, conciliatory demeanor.

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: Another law-and-order candidate

    Any hopes that Donald Trump would soften his image and rhetoric upon becoming the Republican presidential nominee were dashed by his acceptance speech declaring himself "the law-and-order candidate."

    Seizing on the combined domestic and foreign reign of fear generated by the shootings involving police at home and the terrorist attacks abroad, Trump anointed himself the one American leader to restore order, in the manner of the classic Man on a White Horse.

    Declaring that he had "joined this political scene so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves," Trump boasted that "nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens."

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 set the table for Clinton

    Donald Trump's botched convention made Hillary Clinton's task in Philadelphia easier. Not necessarily easy, but easier.

    The Republicans' four days here were marked by disorganization, division and darkness. This was the Ronco of flubbed conventions: But wait, there's more. After the plagiarism debacle, a preventable problem made massively worse, came the Cruz fiasco, the news of his non-endorsement drowning out the vice presidential nominee.

    The mood among the GOP political establishment here traced a downhill trajectory from sour to disgusted. To talk to elected officials and political professionals was to encounter shrugged shoulders and shaking heads. No one could remember a convention this thoroughly, unnecessarily bungled.

    Trump could have used the convention, and his speech, to reassure doubting voters he possesses the judgment and temperament to be president, to expand beyond the base clamoring for Hillary Clinton's head.

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!

More Damned Emails

    Following last week’s Republican calamity in Cleveland, the Democratic National Convention rolls into Philadelphia on Monday with big opportunities and big challenges.

    Many Democrats will come with enthusiasm, but also with reservations.

    Unlike the Republican Convention’s speaker lineup, which was backfilled with Donald Trump’s children because there were so few party heavyweights to anchor it, the Democratic Convention will have a litany of A-listers: The president, the first lady, Bernie Sanders and former President Bill Clinton among them.

    These speakers will paint a vastly different picture of the country and its future than the unremittingly dark and dangerous one portrayed by the Republicans.

    There will also likely be less acrimony in Philadelphia, as the Democrats review the failed stagecraft of Cleveland and work hard not to replicate it.

    But, all is not roses for the Democrats.

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!

Lessons from the Trump-a-Thon

    The four day Trump-a-thon, sometimes noted as the Republican National Convention, ended this week in Cleveland, with the Republican party still divided and Donald Trump’s ego inflated larger than a Macy’s parade balloon. Trump was all over the convention hall, the hotels, and in the media, chatting, arguing, scowling, and boasting. It was Trump’s convention, and he knew it.

    Trump had begun his run for the nomination with a simple but powerful campaign theme, “Make America Great Again,” refusing to accept the reality that most countries see the United States as the world’s most powerful country and its president is one of the world’s most respected leaders. Slipping into the campaign, promoted by the Tea Party wing, is a plea to “Take Our Country Back.” Back to what? To the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s and the House Un-American Activities Committee witch hunts of the 1950s? To the worst recession since the Great Depression that had begun in 1929? To the race riots of the late 1960s? The two slogans, appearing on almost every piece of campaign memorabilia, are part of what “communicologists” call “branding.”

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's pivot to the center -- of darkness

    Where's the pivot?

    That's what I was wondering throughout Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's lengthy and surprisingly humorless acceptance speech Thursday at the Grand Old Party's national convention in Cleveland.

    Ever since Trump won enough delegates to clinch the nomination in May, I've been waiting to see if and when Trump would make "the pivot."

    That's today's fashionable term in political circles for a campaign strategy that President Richard Nixon used to describe as more of a pendulum: You swing toward your party's base to win their nomination, then swing back to the center to attract the independent voters that decide general elections.

    Timing and managing your pivot as a candidate is tricky but crucial. But, with barely more than 100 days left to the November elections, Trump sounded like a guy who ain't about to pivot.

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!

Delusions of Chaos

    Last year there were 352 murders in New York City. This was a bit higher than the number in 2014, but far below the 2,245 murders that took place in 1990, the city’s worst year. In fact, as measured by the murder rate, New York is now basically as safe as it has ever been, going all the way back to the 19th century.

    National crime statistics, and numbers for all violent crimes, paint an only slightly less cheerful picture. And it’s not just a matter of numbers; our big cities look and feel far safer than they did a generation ago, because they are. People of a certain age always have the sense that America isn’t the country they remember from their youth, and in this case they’re right — it has gotten much better.

    How, then, was it even possible for Donald Trump to give a speech accepting the Republican nomination whose central premise was that crime is running rampant, and that “I alone” can bring the chaos under control?

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!

A Sad Day For The Nation

    It is a sad day for this country when a major political party puts forth as their candidate for the most important job in the world a man such as the Republicans have done this week. Yes, the handwriting has been on the wall for several weeks now. Still to have it cemented in is a hard pill to swallow, not just for the general public but the party officials.

    Democrats might think it is good for their party but it is more likely in the category of be careful what you wish for. Never, ever has there been such vitriol as spewed forth in this Republican convention. It would be normal to think that no reasonable voter would fall for this but the point that cannot be ignored is that the candidate got this far. No reasonable person expected him to reach this point when he first announced. Hence many a party official sat back believing that it was unthinkable until it reached the point where it could not be ignored.

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!