At the same time, the congressional comity following the Tucson shootings appears to be waning. A proposal by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that members of Congress not segregate themselves by party during Obama's upcoming State of the Union address is getting only lukewarm support.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) wasn't excited by the thought of sitting with Democrats during the president's address.
"I get a little uneasy with the idea that political rhetoric has anything to do with the tragedy in Tucson. It did not. There's not a shred of evidence," he said Friday. "So what are we trying to fix here?"
We’ve allowed the extremists to carry the day when it comes to guns in the United States, and it’s the dead and the wounded and their families who have had to pay the awful price. The idea of having large numbers of college students packing heat in their classrooms and at their parties and sporting events, or at the local pub or frat house or gymnasium, or wherever, is too stupid for words.
NY Times/Room for Discussion:
Economic indicators like manufacturing, consumer spending and confidence, and capital investment have shown improvement in recent months. Corporate profits are at record highs. Some analysts predict the economy will have grown by 3 percent at the end of 2010, with estimates higher for 2011.
Why is the labor market so slow to improve? Will high unemployment remain a structural feature of the new economy after the recovery?
including Simon Johnson:
The link between corporate performance -- measured in terms of profit -- and employment has fundamentally changed over the past 30 years. The government (including the Federal Reserve) apparently can take actions that will protect corporate sector profits, although there is no guarantee that this will work so well the next time the financial sector blows itself up -- as our big banks continue to get bigger, we are edging toward an Ireland-type meltdown scenario.
It is painfully clear that the government (and everyone else) knows much less about how to protect jobs. Next time, the financial crisis, job losses and speed of recovery will be different -- most likely worse on all dimensions.
Richard Cohen comnplains about Obama's performance at Richard Holbrooke's funeral. Cohen should be the last columnist to use the term "phoning it in".
Michael Gerson makes a pitch for vaccines on a global scale:
The editors of the British Medical Journal recently concluded that a 1998 study ringing alarm bells on a possible connection between vaccines and autism was an "elaborate fraud." It is the culmination of a more-than-decade-long controversy in which the charge was initially and frighteningly plausible, then embattled, then discredited by large-scale studies.
This is a particular blow to the parents of children with autism, who deserve more explanation and support than they are generally given. Autism has stubbornly resisted simple scientific explanation. This calls for more research and more practical help for parents - not less
In the spirit of Obama's AZ speech, let's acknowledge that Gerson's been pretty consistently supportive of global health, more so than many other conservatives.
President Barack Obama's approval rating is up five points since December as a growing number of Americans consider him a strong leader who is tough enough to handle a crisis, according to a new national poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday also indicates that a jump in support by independent voters is behind the overall rise in the president's approval rating.
According to media analysts, the nation's TV commentators and political pundits have proved uncannily accurate when describing the deeply disturbed inner thoughts of accused Arizona gunman Jared Loughner. "It's strange, but when it comes to getting inside the mind of this human being who seems to possess no empathy, sense of morality, or hold on reality, and who is motivated only by personal animus and self-glorification, the nation's major political pundits have been amazingly adept," said Horizon Media analyst Bob Cullen, who has studied extensive tape of commentators on all major TV news programs and found their remarks on "what the killer is thinking" to be consistently thorough and detailed across the board. "It's almost as though they have some way of knowing, firsthand, exactly what this demented and highly dangerous individual with the eyes of millions upon him is going through." Researchers at Horizon Media also reported that a number of prominent TV pundits appeared to be mimicking the exact same chilling gleam in Loughner's eye for what they could only speculate was "dramatic effect."
They didn't name names, but I could.