Online Opinion Outpost: Sept. 16

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The Online Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

Obama’s Strategy

The Washington Post

President Obama’s reformulation of U.S. policy to accommodate that stubborn reality, articulated in his somber address to the nation Wednesday night, comes late — but not, we hope and trust, too late. There is still time to beat the Islamic State, to restore a unified (if federated) Iraqi state and to bring a measure of peace and humane governance to Syria. As the president convincingly emphasized, none of this can happen without a sustained, long-term engagement by the United States, to include both military force and a major investment of diplomatic capital. As the president also said, for the first time, U.S. strikes on the Islamic State cannot be limited to one side of the porous Iraq-Syria border; American drones and warplanes must pursue the Islamic State wherever it can be found, and that includes its havens in Syria.

An unhappy Democrat

The Washington Examiner

Harry Reid is one unhappy Democrat. With his job as Senate Majority Leader on the line in the coming elections, the Nevada senator has come up with a new and unique complaint. He is upset that Republicans failed to obstruct a constitutional amendment he has championed for months, and which he had brought to the Senate floor on Monday for a preliminary vote.

Yes, it sounds odd, especially given that Reid complains so often about Republican obstructionism. But when Reid scheduled Monday’s cloture vote on a proposed amendment to the Constitution limiting the freedom of political speech, he intended for Republicans to shut it down quickly. Instead, they voted to advance it to a full floor debate and an up-or-down vote.

Reid now fumes that Republicans have advanced his own bill in order to “stall” the Senate. But no one has wasted as much Senate time as Reid has.

Digital Wallets

The New York Times

This week Apple announced two new pieces of hardware, the iPhone 6 and a “smartwatch.” But as flashy as they are, neither item is as groundbreaking as a piece of software that will accompany them: a digital wallet, allowing users to eschew cash and credit cards for a quick swipe of their device at the register.

Apple’s digital wallet, if widely adopted, could usher in a new era of ease and convenience. But the really exciting part is the fast-emerging future that it points toward, in which virtual assets of all sorts — traditional currencies, but also Bitcoin, airline miles, cellphone minutes — are interchangeable, opening up enormous purchasing power for consumers and creating tough challenges for governments around the world.

Moving toward a digital wallet for dollars (or yen, or euros) is only a marginal step forward; throughout history, money’s value has been largely virtual anyway — think of stocks, or personal lines of credit. The real change is how the digital wallet technology facilitates the parallel emergence of virtual purchasing power, like loyalty points.

Should Goodell stay or go?

Mel Robbins, CNN

Do we need cell phone video of every assault to make the NFL pick up the ball? Apparently we do.

There’s Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers, who was convicted in July on domestic violence charges. Think he’s in jail or suspended indefinitely like Rice? Nope — under NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s leadership, he’s on the field. And there are many other examples where the NFL looked the other way or was way too lenient.

Ray Rice has been punished for his despicable elevator assault on Janay Palmer, who’s now his wife. Now it’s time for the NFL to be punished for its despicable handling of it. The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, must go. With Goodell in charge, nothing is going to change the next time another player is charged with felony domestic violence. And next time is already here.

Under his leadership, the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens have handled the incident so horrendously that they’re guilty of abusing Janay Rice too. Only TMZ rubbing Goodell’s nose in this pile of dung forced the NFL to react.

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