Feb 05 2011

Punting the Pundits

“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.

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

New York Times Editorial: Politics and the Court

When it comes to pushing the line between law and politics, Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas each had a banner month in January.

ustice Scalia, who is sometimes called “the Justice from the Tea Party,” met behind closed doors on Capitol Hill to talk about the Constitution with a group of representatives led by Representative Michele Bachmann of the House Tea Party Caucus.

Justice Thomas, confirming his scorn for concern about conflicts of interest and rules designed to help prevent them, acknowledged that he has failed to comply with the law for the past six years by not disclosing his wife’s income from conservative groups.

Gail Collins: The Siege of Planned Parenthood

As if we didn’t have enough wars, the House of Representatives has declared one against Planned Parenthood.

Maybe it’s all part of a grand theme. Last month, they voted to repeal the health care law. This month, they’re going after an organization that provides millions of women with both family-planning services and basic health medical care, like pap smears and screening for diabetes, breast cancer, cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

Our legislative slogan for 2011: Let Them Use Leeches.

Robert Reich: The Jobs Report, and America’s Two Economies

At a time when corporate profits are through the roof, the Dow is flirting with 12,000, Wall Street paychecks are fat again, and big corporations are sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash, you’d expect jobs be coming back. But you’d be wrong.

The U.S. economy added just 36,000 jobs in January, according to today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Remember, 125,000 are needed just to keep up with the increase in the population of Americans wanting and needing work. And 300,000 a month are needed — continuously, for five years — if we’re to get back to anything like the employment we had before the Great Recession.

Greg MItchell: Bradley Manning: Forgotten No More

Nearly nine months after he was arrested for allegedly leaking classified material, including diplomatic cables, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was very much in the news this week. His supporters and attorney David Coombs continued to charge that the conditions of his confinement were overly harsh and punitive, while the Pentagon continued to deny that. Amnesty International protested the conditions and so did Rep. Dennis Kucinich, among many others. Coombs revealed that Manning did not, as some had suggested, have dual British citizenship. Manning, he said, was proud to be an American and an American soldier.

With Manning gaining wide attention today, it’s worth recalling that two months ago he was largely forgotten. How did so much change?

Jeff Biggers: Arizona Gone Wild: Does New Bill Give State the Right to Overthrow Federal Government?

How did this latest episode in “Arizona Tea Party Gone Wild” get by the state’s attorney general Tom Horne?

While the Canadian immigrant Tom Horne has been obsessed with banning Tucson Unified School District’s academically successful Mexican American Studies program for allegedly promoting “the overthrow of the United States government” and “resentment toward a race or class of people,” the state’s Senate President Russel Pearce and his Tea Party legislators introduced a bill this week to grant a committee the right to nullify “existing federal statutes, mandates and executive orders.”

Or, as long-time Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini notes, it gives Arizona the right “to secede without officially doing so.”

Robert Alvarez: Food, Egypt and Wall Street

The dramatic rise in food prices is fueling a great deal of discontent in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere. It is a deep under current propelling many of the poor, facing prospects of starvation to resort to the streets and to violence.   According to the United Nation’s Food Agency (Food and Agriculture Organization — FAO) world food prices are up for the 7th month in a row and are likely to remain close to the record high reached in December 2010. There’s no end in sight to this destabilizing battle with food price inflation in places like Egypt, where more than half of an average income goes for food.  According to the U.S. State Department, more than 60 food riots occurred worldwide over the past two years.

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