Visual source: Newseum
Now it's the right's turn to be unhappy with their elected leaders. Two years ago, it was liberals who were appalled at Obama's sell outs on the public option and so forth. Well, liberals are still mad at Obama, and in my opinion with increasingly good reason, at least as pertains to the budget situation.
I can see from the tea partiers' perspective why they're aghast, actually. The non-defense discretionary budget is about $1.25 trillion (out of a total budget of roughly $3.5 trillion), and $33 billion in cuts equals, as they repeatedly say, about 2.6 cents out of every dollar. If I were a tea partier, I'd be upset that the GOP couldn't do any better than that.
In her final column, Ann Woolner wonders if Antonin Scalia can actually be so naive about Wal-Mart's methods of sex discrimination.
Paul Krugman demolishes the GOP's doctrine of "expansionary austerity," but has a few words for the party that is supposed to be their foes:
And Democrats are offering little pushback. The White House, in particular, has effectively surrendered in the war of ideas; it no longer even tries to make the case against sharp spending cuts in the face of high unemployment.
So that’s the state of policy debate in the world’s greatest nation: one party has embraced 80-year-old economic fallacies, while the other has lost the will to fight. And American families will pay the price.
Tim Rutten offers some justified praise for a plan to take Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's 30/10 proposal nationwide.
"This is a program that puts people to work now at little cost, since 98% of the federal dollars would be repaid from local sources. This is more than a step we're proposing; it's a leap forward. There's nothing in the country that's as exciting right now, because America Fast Forward is doable, even in this divided, partisan environment."
The original 30/10 proposal's advantages for Los Angeles County always have been clear. What's striking is how well they translate onto the national stage. According to a study done recently by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., congressional passage of America Fast Forward would create 918,300 jobs paying $50.8 billion in wages. That translates into $5.8 billion in state and local tax revenues and $10.6 billion for Washington. Not a bad return on a secure investment.
Stephen Lerner says the Republican attacks on working people contain a silver lining: "This can be our moment."
Few events more clearly demonstrated the blackening of America than the standoff in Wisconsin. Like the nineteenth-century leaders of Southern states who stripped black citizens of voting rights, public accommodation and civic associations, Wisconsin’s Republican majority dismantled the hard-won basic rights of Wisconsin workers. Like those Confederate leaders, the Wisconsin GOP used intimidation, threats and even the police against demonstrators and rival officials. As the saga unfolded, many Wisconsin citizens felt stunned that their once-secure rights might be eliminated. For a moment, perhaps, they glimpsed the experience of black men and women who watched the shadow of Jim Crow blot out the promises of emancipation.
Mark Shields needs to learn that writing effectively about the loss of moral outrage requires that you show some.
Robert Fisk has some tough words for Bashar al-Assad and the United States in his tight rundown on Syria's predicament and its importance:
Syria needs to be renewed. It does need an end to emergency laws, a free media and a fair judiciary and the release of political prisoners and – herewith let it be said – an end to meddling in Lebanon. That figure of 60 dead, a Human Rights Watch estimate, may in fact be much higher. [Today], President Bashar al-Assad will supposedly tell us his future for Syria. It better be good.
Referencing the Census Bureau's report that one in six Americans is now a Latino, Esther J. Cepeda urges the middle class of that demographic to not to turn their backs on their brothers and sisters:
Latinos stand at a crucial juncture: They could continue to endure multigenerational poverty, a general lack of political power, dismal graduation rates and too-few professional opportunities while being erroneously thought of as a population of unassimilated carpetbaggers.
Or they could put their eye-popping statistics to the task of taking their rightful place in mainstream America as the most recent wave of culturally similar people, actively contributing their strengths, values and work ethic to continue making this country great.
In other words, instead of interpreting the population figures as an automatic guarantee of future political clout or demographic respect, the Latino community should consider them a call to action.
Larry Kudlow bellyaches that the Obama administration wants to stifle oil and natural gas development by requiring that it be done responsibly.