Online Opinion Outpost: March 10, 2015


The 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.

Romney 2.0?
Crystal Wright, CNN

It’s no wonder Jeb Bush is emerging as the Republican Party’s 2016 frontrunner.
Of course, there is that awkward little name thing, something he seems fully aware of — despite only being in the exploratory phase of a potential campaign, Jeb has already declared he’s not just another Bush.
So, what exactly is in a name like Bush? Apparently, a whole lot of cash, which helps win presidential nominations and elections. And if Jeb wins the nomination in 2016, it will likely be less “joyfully,” as he promised last year, than ruthlessly.
None of this is to suggest that Jeb Bush doesn’t have appeal as a candidate.
But what troubles me a little about Bush’s early attempts at “corning the market” is that he’s relying on the same consultants that have cycled through the last 20-plus years of elections — some of whom worked for Romney’s campaign. This raises the question of why, if Jeb doesn’t want the public to view him as just another Bush running for president, he seems to be relying on the Bush network of consultants?


Netanyahu ‘never-never land’
Fareed Zakaria, The Washington Post

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was eloquent, moving and intelligent in identifying the problems with the potential nuclear deal with Iran. But when describing the alternative to it, Netanyahu entered never-never land, painting a scenario utterly divorced from reality. Congress joined him on his fantasy ride, rapturously applauding as he spun out one unattainable demand after another.
Netanyahu declared that Washington should reject the current deal, demand that Tehran dismantle almost its entire nuclear program and commit never to restart it. In the world according to Bibi, the Chinese, Russians and Europeans will cheer, tighten sanctions, and increase pressure — which would then lead Iran to capitulate. “Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough,” said Peter Pan.


Hillary’s e-mail
Timothy Egan, The New York Times

The news that Clinton used a personal email account as secretary of state is not going to deny her the Democratic presidential nomination.
Yes, the story reinforces all the bad personal characteristics of the Clintons — the secrecy, duplicity and entitled sense that the rules don’t apply to them. But it’s not the kind of episode that will move many voters from one camp to the other. Hillary Clinton, in her brilliance and her brittleness, is too much of a known quantity. If you haven’t made up your mind about her, after nearly a quarter-century in the public eye, a story about her private email account in the public realm is not going to matter.


Ferguson findings
The Wall Street Journal

On Wednesday Justice’s civil-rights shop published the findings of its investigation into the August shooting of black teenager Michael Brown. The 86-page report draws on the testimony of some 40 witnesses and essentially confirms Darren Wilson ’s account of the altercation, in which Brown attacked the officer after robbing a convenience store.
“There is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson’s stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety,” the report concludes. Perhaps someone will apologize for vilifying the Missouri grand jury and local prosecutor who declined to charge Mr. Wilson with the cold-blooded murder that liberals invoked even after the facts emerged.
Few organizations had more incentive to malign Mr. Wilson than Justice, which has helped galvanize the demonstrators and inflame racial tensions.


Retired elephants
The Los Angeles Times

The surprise decision by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to stop using elephants in its shows is a welcome move and a sea change in the company’s longtime preference for making the world’s largest land mammal the star of “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
For decades, the company fought lawsuits by animal welfare groups that contended it was cruel to haul elephants across the country in rail cars and to train them to perform by either using or threatening to use sharp-ended bull hooks on them. Circus officials always maintained that their elephants were treated with the utmost care and pointed out that the company contributed to the conservation of endangered Asian elephants financially and through its Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida.
But in the end, as dozens of local jurisdictions adopted ordinances to ban either the use of bull hooks on elephants or public performances that included exotic animals, the circus, wisely, bowed to public pressure.

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