Jul 17 2017

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Paul Krugman: Republicans Leap Into the Awful Known

Sometime in the next few days the Congressional Budget Office will release its analysis of the latest version of the Republican health care plan. Senator Mitch McConnell is doing all he can to prevent a full assessment, for example by trying to keep the C.B.O. from scoring the Cruz provision, which would let insurers discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Nonetheless, everyone expects a grim prognosis.

As a result, White House aides are already attacking the C.B.O.’s credibility, announcing in advance that whatever it says will be “fake news.” So why should we believe the budget office, not the Trump administration? Let me count the ways.

Charles M. Blow: Trump Savagely Mauls the Language

I know that there are things of graver consequence in Donald Trump’s regime than his diction, but as a person whose vocation concerns him with language, I am simply appalled by Trump’s savage mauling of that language.

His usage isn’t only idiosyncratic or some act of bungling idiocy, although it is surely both. But his usage is also a way of reducing language to the point that it is meaningless because the use of it is mindless, and in that compromised state, language becomes nearly worthless. As a consequence, truth becomes relative, if not altogether removed.

You see, Trump’s abuse of language isn’t simply a thing to blithely mock.

It is something with which we must all take great umbrage, because it has the power to degrade truth itself.

Josh Rogin: The Trump administration’s shortsighted war on terrorism

While in Paris last week, President Trump praised the liberation of Mosul while blaming the Obama administration for allowing the Islamic State to run amok in Iraq in 2014. But Trump’s administration is repeating mistakes of the past on counterterrorism, neglecting the long game and increasing the likelihood that the terrorists will be back.

“Now we must work with the government of Iraq and our partners and allies in the region to consolidate the gains and to ensure that the victory stays a victory, unlike the last time,” Trump said.

While he was making those remarks, a senior U.N. official was shaking a cup around Washington, explaining to lawmakers and administration officials that if urgent humanitarian relief funds were not forthcoming, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who fled Mosul during the fighting would soon lack basic necessities.

E. J. Dionne, Jr.: On health care, history is watching. And it’s watching four senators in particular.

Over the past century, there has been a characteristic American cycle of response to far-reaching social reforms.

When the breakthroughs are first proposed, conservatives fight them with a devout passion, warning that the measures on offer would move the nation toward socialism and perdition. Then, over time, the disastrous consequences never materialize, the reforms prove their worth, and Americans come to see the once-new benefits as rights.

This was certainly the case with two of our nation’s greatest social programs.

Michelle Chen: Why Trump’s travel ban hits women the hardest

Trump’s “Muslim ban” is a frontal assault on many universal human rights principles. But the latest temporary reinstatement of the order’s 120-day refugee ban – pending an anticipated October Supreme Court ruling – is already quietly undermining the most fundamental universal humanitarian rule: it puts women and children … last.

The Executive Order is being challenged primarily for discriminating against citizens of six Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – with an arbitrary 90-day travel ban (with arbitrary, potentially illegal exceptions for those with “bona fide relationships” to US residents.)

But on top of alienating an entire religious community, Trump’s even longer ban on future refugee admissions deepens a hidden dimension of the crisis: the endemic gender injustice of warfare.