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Nov 24 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 Krugmman: On Feeling Thankful but Fearful

I’m a little behind the curve here, but it’s still Thanksgiving weekend, and it occurred to me that I should make a list of things for which I am personally thankful.

First of all, I’m thankful to have had the privileges that went with being a white male, growing up and building a career during an era — perhaps temporary — in which open anti-Semitism had become socially unacceptable. To my shame, until recently I didn’t fully appreciate just how big those privileges were (and at a deep level I probably still don’t). I knew that racism and sexism were real and continuing, but was oblivious to just how vicious they were (and are). [..]

And as someone who specialized in a social science that’s supposed to be relevant to policy, I’m thankful for the years during which it seemed as if logic and evidence actually mattered, at least a bit, to people in power.

O.K., I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this. I’ve had much to be thankful for — but every one of those good things is now very much under assault.

It’s true that we’re having a moment of awakening on sexual harassment, and it’s possible that this will turn out to have been a turning point. But with a self-admitted sexual predator in the White House, it’s hard to feel confident.

Eugene Robinson: Congress must investigate Trump’s alleged sexual misconduct

Powerful men with long histories of alleged sexual harassment or assault are finally being held accountable — except one. That would be President Trump.

From movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to television host Charlie Rose to Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore to veteran Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), prominent men are accused of using their status to take advantage of women in unconscionable ways. To my knowledge, however, only one of the alleged assailants has been caught on tape bragging about his misdeeds. [..]

Thirteen women have gone on the record to say that is how Trump operated, according to a tally by The Post. Eight of them — who say that Trump kissed them, groped them or both, without invitation or permission — have corroboration, meaning they told other people about the incidents before going public. Similar stories told by the other five accusers are not corroborated. [..]

If Congress is going to probe the conduct of members such as Conyers and Franken, it must also investigate the multiple, believable allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump. If they are true, the president must be censured.

The GOP leadership would be wise to realize that attitudes have changed. On this issue, to quote Bob Dylan, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Charles M. Blow: Thankfully Recommitting to Resistance

Last Thanksgiving I wrote a column titled, “No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along,” in which I committed myself to resisting this travesty of a man, proclaiming, “I have not only an ethical and professional duty to call out how obscene your very existence is at the top of American government; I have a moral obligation to do so.”

I made this promise: “As long as there are ink and pixels, you will be the focus of my withering gaze.”

I have kept that promise, not because it was a personal challenge, but because this is a national crisis.

Donald Trump, I thought that your presidency would be a disaster. It’s worse than a disaster. I wasn’t sure that resistance to your weakening of the republic, your coarsening of the culture, your assault on truth and honesty, your erosion of our protocols, would feel as urgent today as it felt last year. But if anything, that resistance now feels more urgent.

Nothing about you has changed for the better. You are still a sexist, bigoted, bullying, self-important simpleton. But now all of the worst of you has the force of the American presidency.

Catherine Rampell: A bungled contract is still devastating National Guard employees

For two years, Frank Ourada has been “supporting our troops” — more literally than most.

He has connected soldiers and veterans with food pantries, temporary housing and legal advice. He haggled with an insurance company when a soldier’s home flooded. He helped a suicidal veteran find treatment.

Ourada basically ran triage for military families, connecting them with whatever services they need to survive.

This position, National Guard Family Assistance Center specialist, may be Ourada’s most rewarding ever. The only rival was his time as an infantry Marine, which in 2009 left him disabled.

“This work is my therapy,” Ourada, 30, told me.

And yet last Friday he resigned. Because the job he loved so much had left him homeless.

Kevin Carty: Sinclair’s vast media merger threatens democratic ideals. Congress must fight it

Many liberals and progressives fear that Sinclair Broadcast Group’s attempt to buy Tribune Media will result in a new, all-powerful, Trump-aligned national TV network and deepen the conservative movement’s existing dominance of radio. To be sure, Sinclair’s existing programming is to the right of Fox News.

But this is not the right reason to challenge the deal. Neither liberals nor conservatives should allow the government to approve or disapprove of media mergers based on the corporation’s political ideology. The right reason to oppose this deal is that Sinclair’s size and market dominance already threatens the open marketplace of ideas upon which our democracy depends. Allowing Sinclair to combine with another media giant would only make the threat worse.

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