Paul Krugman at The New York Times pounds away at Republicans Against Reality:
How did the G.O.P. get to this point? On budget issues, the proximate source of the party’s troubles lies in the decision to turn the formulation of fiscal policy over to a con man. Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, has always been a magic-asterisk kind of guy — someone who makes big claims about having a plan to slash deficits but refuses to spell out any of the all-important details. Back in 2011 the Congressional Budget Office, in evaluating one of Mr. Ryan’s plans, came close to open sarcasm; it described the extreme spending cuts Mr. Ryan was assuming, then remarked, tersely, “No proposals were specified that would generate that path.”Doyle MacManus at the Los Angeles Times goes for the jugular in Is the GOP self-destructing?:
What’s happening now is that the G.O.P. is trying to convert Mr. Ryan’s big talk into actual legislation — and is finding, unsurprisingly, that it can’t be done. Yet Republicans aren’t willing to face up to that reality. Instead, they’re just running away.
How divided are Republicans in Congress? So divided, one conservative joked, that it shouldn't be called a civil war: "It's not organized enough for that."For Charles Krauthammer at the Washington Post in his column How Fractured Is the GOP?, the possibility of a GOP-fostered government shutdown is not about principle, it's about utilitarianism:
Those who fancy themselves tea party patriots fighting a sold-out cocktail-swilling establishment are demanding yet another cliff dive as a show of principle and manliness.
But there's no principle at stake here. This is about tactics. If I thought this would work, I would support it. But I don't fancy suicide. It has a tendency to be fatal.
Leonard Pitts Jr. at the Miami Herald writes—Fox ‘mugs’ Muslim historian on Jesus book:
For all their professed abhorrence of so-called “identity politics,” it is for many conservatives an article of faith that if one’s identity includes Islam, that fact trumps everything else: character, upbringing, beliefs, politics, or fluency in Biblical Greek. Think Glenn Beck asking a Muslim congressman to prove he is not in league with America’s enemies. Think Michele Bachmann accusing an aide to the secretary of state of terrorist ties.Matthew O'Brien at The Atlantic writes—What Janet Yellen Did and Didn't Get Wrong About the Housing Bubble:
You are your tribe. More to the point, you are the worst iteration of your tribe, the scapegoat for all our fears of your tribe.
So Fox’s mugging of Aslan was an embarrassment, but hardly a surprise. The nation seems to have grown uncomfortably comfortable with the sort of “thinking” from which it proceeded.
Look, Yellen wasn't perfect. She didn't realize how vulnerable the shadow banking system was to runs (though who did?). But she got more things right than she did wrong. And she quickly learned from the things she got wrong so that she made out the iceberg the economy was about to hit in late 2007 -- when many of her colleagues were still more worried about inflation. This intellectual flexibility is part of the reason she's had the best forecasting record of anyone at the Fed since 2009. And it's why she should be the top choice for Fed Chair.Amitabh Pal at The Progressive writes—The Most Unfair Criticism of Huma Abedin:
Andrew McCarthy had a scurrilous piece for the National Review where he linked her, Kevin Bacon-degrees-of-separation style, to the Muslim Brotherhood and alleged that she had been controlling State Department policy through Hillary Clinton.A few years late to his conclusion and bit tepid with the solutions, at least Hedrick Smith gets it mostly right at the Los Angeles Times in his Trickle-down economics have worked out terribly for most Americans:
Additional members of the rightwing brigade have chimed in. Fox News panelist Brooke Goldstein called the Weiner-Abedin union a “Manchurian marriage” and blamed Abedin for Weiner’s wanderings. [...]
As John McCain said a year ago on the floor of the U.S. Senate, “These allegations about Huma are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant. These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis, and no merit. And they need to stop now.”
But for a lot of people in this country, if you happen to be a Muslim American, you're automatically a subject of ridicule and suspicion.
Since the late 1970s, under Democrats as well as Republican presidents, Washington has embraced the kind of pro-business, trickle-down economics House Republicans continue to call for. And things have worked out terribly for much of middle-class America, the 70% with family incomes from $30,000 to just over $100,000.Electoral statistician Harry J. Enten at The Guardian offers his Five reasons Jeb Bush would be a strong 2016 presidential contender:
We have become two Americas—literally, the 99% and the 1%. We have what a Citigroup investment brochure called the most eye-popping concentration of wealth in a great power since 16th century Spain. The numbers are staggering. From 1979 to 2011, 84% of the nation's increase in income has gone to the wealthiest 1%, according to Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist who now chairs the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
5. His true ideology looks like what one would expect for a winner for the nomination and general.Nate Cohn at The New Republica says—Ignore the Polls: McConnell Is Still the Favorite in Kentucky:
After losing two presidential races in a row, parties tend to nominate candidates who are more moderate than prior nominees. Jimmy Carter was more moderate than McGovern, Clinton was more moderate than Dukakis, and Bush was more moderate than Dole.
Jeb Bush is actually to the left of every possible nominee per ideological scoring except for New Jersey's Chris Christie and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman. Noticeably, Bush isn't too far to the left.
The last few weeks have been full of bad news for Senator Mitch McConnell. He earned a long awaited tea party challenger and, yesterday, two polls showed Allison Lundergan Grimes, the likely Democratic nominee, ahead by 1 and 2 points. As a result, Democrats are starting to believe they have a good chance in Kentucky. They shouldn’t get their hopes up. Certainly not yet.The Editors of Haaretz want an end to special financial benefits for settlements on the West Bank:
Eight years have elapsed since the government promised the United States that it would not provide incentives for development on the settlements; it has been about three weeks since the European Union announced sanctions on Israeli institutions with links to the settlements; and about two weeks since the announcement of the resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. And now the Israeli government, taking its lead from the Habayit Hayehudi party and the pro-settlement faction in Likud, is revealing its true face and the priorities which guide it. And they show that the settlements are an enterprise of supreme national importance that are entitled to siphon off funds from the state and from the public, and that come before any other sector in the country.