“Punting 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.
The Sunday Talking Heads:
This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Christiane Amanpour is “on the trail” reporting from Delaware on “This Week” featuring exclusive interviews with Republican Christine O’Donnell and Democrat Chris Coons.
“This Week” kicks off an extraordinary ABC network wide series, “Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s.” Amanpour has an exclusive interview with Maria Shriver, who will be releasing a groundbreaking report Sunday morning examining Alzheimer’s impact on women, who are at the center of this crisis.
Meghan McCain joins ABC’s George Will, Terry Moran and Matthew Dowd on our roundtable. With a little more than two weeks before Election Day they’ll analyze the midterm political landscape, where races are opening up and where they are tightening.
Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: The question for discussion is: How Divided Are We? Mr Schieffer’s guests will be Howard Dean, Former Chairman, Democratic National Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Liz Cheney, Republican Strategist and Chairwoman, Keep America Safe and William Galston, Deputy Assistant for Domestic Policy, Clinton administration and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution.
The Chris Matthews Show: Mr. Matthews will be joined by Andrea Mitchell, NBC News
Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Bob Woodward, The Washington Post Associate Editor, David Brookes, The New York Times Columnist and Helene Cooper, The New York Times White House Correspondent. They will be discussing these questions:
Is Obama’s National Security Team at War?
What’s the Evidence Hillary Clinton Might Bump Joe Biden?
Are Voters Set to Elect Some Extremists to the Senate?
Meet the Press with David Gregory: An exclusive with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs for an inside look at the Obama administration’s game plan to keep Democrats in power on the Hill. Plus, a look at the president’s agenda when it comes to all the big issues post-election: the economy, taxes, foreign policy and more.
Also the Senate Debate 2010 series continues with the showdown in Colorado. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet squares off with Republican Ken Buck on all the issues that matter most to the nation and to Colorado: the economy, taxes, health care, immigration and more.
State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Just two weeks until the midterm elections and the political ad wars are flooding the airwaves at historic levels. The White House accuses the US Chamber of Commerce and other special interest groups of spending millions of dollars from “unknown donors” and foreign entities. Joining us to discuss this and more is Senior Adviser to the President David Axelrod.
We get the GOP response from former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, chair of the Campaign for Working Families. That PAC is launching a $1 million ad blitz in 10 midterm election races.
Then, a closer look at the November midterms and the impact all this money will have on Election Day; that with Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group and Michael Duffy, Assistant Managing Editor of Time.
Fareed Zakaris: GPS: An exclusive interview with the newest Nobel laureate. MIT professor Peter Diamond was part of a trio that won the award in economics for their work on unemployment — certainly a hot topic these days. And just recently, Diamond was nominated by President Obama to the Federal Reserve. But the nomination was blocked. Diamond on HIS job problem…and the nation’s.
Also, North Korea’s “Dear Leader” is at it again. Kim Jong Il has just announced his succession plan and while it sounds like a farce, the implications could be deadly serious. What is in store for the Korean Peninsula’s future? And could a North Korean collapse lead to a confrontation between the U.S. and China?
While the world was watching the Chilean mine, much else was going on in the world. We’ll span the globe with a terrific GPS foreign policy panel.
And Iraq is going on nine months without a government and violence continues to wreck havoc there. Fareed sits down with Ayad Allawi, the former Prime Minister of Iraq, to get his thoughts on the stalemate and on Thursday’s deadly roadside bombing that killed members of Allawi’s party.
Also, a look at Al Qaeda’s new magazine. Is it the jihadist’s Cosmo?
And finally, was the rescue of the Chilean miners the solution to breaking a century-old dispute between two neighboring nations?
Frank Rich: The Rage Won’t End on Election Day
Don’t expect the extremism and violence in our politics to subside magically after Election Day – no matter what the results. If Tea Party candidates triumph, they’ll be emboldened. If they lose, the anger and bitterness will grow. The only development that can change this equation is a decisive rescue from our prolonged economic crisis. Not for the first time in history – and not just American history – fear itself is at the root of a rabid outbreak of populist rage against government, minorities and conspiratorial “elites.”
So far neither party has offered a comprehensive antidote to our economic pain. The Democrats have fallen short, and the cynics leading the G.O.P. haven’t so much as tried. We shouldn’t be surprised that this year even a state as seemingly well-mannered as Connecticut has produced a senatorial candidate best known for marching into a wrestling ring to gratuitously kick a man in the groin.
Dana Milbank: Without cap-and-trade, here’s what’s needed
There is a hole in the Democrats’ plan to fight global warming. A .270-caliber hole, to be specific.
“I’ll take dead aim at the cap-and-trade bill, because it’s bad for West Virginia,” Gov. Joe Manchin, the Democratic candidate for Senate, says in an ad put out last week. To demonstrate, he pops what appears to be a .270 cartridge in his Remington 700, then shoots a bull’s-eye through a piece of paper reading “Senate of the United States” and “Cap and Trade Bill.”
If you look closely, you can see that the bullet tears through the word “jobs” in the sentence “to create clean energy jobs.”
Robert Reich: The Fed’s New Bubble (Masquerading as a Jobs Program)
The latest jobs bill coming out of Washington isn’t really a bill at all. It’s the Fed’s attempt to keep long-term interest rates low by pumping even more money into the economy (“quantitative easing” in Fed-speak).
The idea is to buy up lots of Treasury bills and other long-term debt to reduce long-term interest rates. It’s assumed that low long-term rates will push more businesses to expand capacity and hire workers; push the dollar downward and make American exports more competitive and therefore generate more jobs; and allow more Americans to refinance their homes at low rates, thereby giving them more cash to spend and thereby stimulate more jobs.
Bob Herbert: The Mississippi Pardons
Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi has to decide whether to show mercy to two sisters, Jamie and Gladys Scott, who are each serving double consecutive life sentences in state prison for a robbery in which no one was injured and only $11 was taken.
This should be an easy call for a law-and-order governor who has, nevertheless, displayed a willingness to set free individuals convicted of far more serious crimes. Mr. Barbour has already pardoned four killers and suspended the life sentence of a fifth.
The Scott sisters have been in prison for 16 years. Jamie, now 38, is seriously ill. Both of her kidneys have failed. Keeping the two of them locked up any longer is unconscionable, grotesquely inhumane.
Kathleen Parker: Neither political party has kept touch with ordinary Americans
Witches vs. bearded Marxists. Actors vs. hicks. Toon Town vs. Parodyville.
The world isn’t too much with us. We have left the planet.
As we race toward the midterm elections, our political conversation has devolved beyond the silly to the absurd — and the sharks are jumping sharks. Is it even possible to have a serious conversation anymore? . . . .
The political divide between Elites and Ordinary Americans has never been starker or more comical, or more resplendent with self-loathing. When even Republicans view their base as ignorant rednecks — and Democrats no longer try to conceal their reliance on artifice and propaganda — farce has become the new reality.