Online Opinion Outpost: Sept. 23

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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.

 

Clinton’s silence
Paul Begala, CNN

”Are you running for president?”
Despite the world aflame, Ebola spreading and the Washington Nationals in the playoffs, it seems the only thing the political press can do is speculate about a potential Hillary presidential candidacy.
An announcement now would be stupid, and Hillary is definitely not stupid.
If she were to go Open Kimono on us now it would draw attention from crucial midterm elections, siphon campaign donations from Democrats struggling to hold onto the Senate and possibly even eclipse important debates on how to fight ISIS and whether to shut down the government (again).
Hillary will decide soon enough.
We have plenty of other potential presidential candidates. I suspect they’d love the attention.

 

Scotland fails to secede
The New York Times

In the end, Scottish voters stepped back from breaking with the rest of Britain. The decision to maintain the 307-year-old union was the right one. Scotland already enjoys a significant degree of autonomy, and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain has promised more, and separation would have been a plunge into a dangerous unknown. But this will not be the end of the dream of independence — not for the Scots, or for the Catalonians, Flemish, Basques and other people who nurture the dream.
Untangling 300 years of joint institutions — military, diplomatic, commercial cultural, social — would have been messy and contentious. It would have meant finding a new home for Britain’s nuclear-armed Trident submarines, which are based in western Scotland, and finding a way for Scotland to continue using the pound as its currency. A chorus of economists had warned that breaking out of the United Kingdom would hurt Scotland, and a parade of British politicians like Mr. Cameron made impassioned pleas to the Scots not to break away.

 

Jihadist logic
Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post

What was the Islamic State thinking? We know it is sophisticated in its use of modern media. But what was the logic of propagating to the world videos of its beheadings of two Americans (and subsequently a Briton) — sure to inflame public opinion?
There are two possible explanations. One is that these terrorists are more depraved and less savvy than we think. They so glory in blood that they could not resist making an international spectacle of their savagery — after all, they proudly broadcast their massacre of Shiite prisoners — and did not quite fathom how such a brazen, contemptuous slaughter of Americans would radically alter public opinion and risk bringing down upon them the furies of the U.S. Air Force.
The second theory is that they were fully aware of the inevitable consequence of their broadcast beheadings — and they intended the outcome. It was an easily sprung trap to provoke America into entering the Mesopotamian war.

 

HealthCare.gov security flaws
Washington Examiner

During a Thursday hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Marilyn Tavenner was quick to defend the data security practices of healthcare.gov, the infamous insurance website run through her agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The CMS administrator noted that no one’s personal data has been compromised to date in any “malicious attack” on the site, such as the one that occurred in August.
Her statement was technically true, but so clearly calculated to deceive that it brought out the angry side of Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.
“So if you just screw up and put the public’s information out there, it’s okay,” Issa asked sarcastically, “because it wasn’t a ‘malicious attack?’”
Tavenner had to concede the point. For when healthcare.gov was first launched, Issa said in the hearing, the site’s data security was so bad that users could easily obtain other users’ personal data by slightly altering their browser URL while logged in.

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