Apr 03 2011

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Ms Amanpour will look at the budget showdown in Washington and the conflict in Libya with guests Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and General Jim Jones, Ret.

The roundtable with George Will, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman of the New York Times, Republican political strategist and former Pentagon spokesperson Torie Clark and David Ignatius of the Washington Post take on the “Obama Doctrine.”

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer:Mr. Schieffer’s guests, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. will discuss Libya and the budget

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests Katty Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent, Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic Senior Editor, Michael Duffy, TIME Magazine Assistant Managing Editor and Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC Chief Washington  Correspondent will try to answer these questions:

Is President Obama failing to lead?

Could Republican red hots spoil the Party?

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Exclisive interviews with Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) to discuss the budget and Libya.

The roundtable guests are the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial; Republican strategist and columnist for TIME Magazine, Mike Murphy; columnist for the Washington Post, EJ Dionne; presidential historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin; and the chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Daniel Yergin.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Guests are Gen. James Jones (Ret.), Texas Sen. John Cornyn and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner.

Donna Brazile (the Obama loyalist) and Bill Bennett (the Islamaphobic bigot) will discuss the past week and what’s ahead.

Fareed Zakaris: GPS: Guests are former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski (Mika’s dad) weighs in on the turmoil in the Middle East and America’s response.

A roundtable discussion of Libya with  Bernard-Henri Lévy, French Envoy to the Libyan resistance, and the private citizen most responsible for getting the world to intervene in Libya, Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Robert Baer, a former CIA officer and author of See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA’s War on Terrorism and Robert Worth, Middle East correspondent for the New York Times.

In a separate interview, Noman Benotman, a Libyan who says he was there during the planning of 9/11 but now works on counterterrorism talks to Fareed about what al Qaeda could be up to in his homeland.

And finally, a robot may have conquered Jeopardy, but are robots now conquering Afghanistan?

Fareed may well be worth the effort to get up and watch. Bernard-Henri is a very interesting man.

John Nichols: In the Courts of Fitzwalkerstan: April 5 Judicial Election Could Renew Checks & Balances in Wisconsin

A hand-painted sign highlighting Wisconsin’s April 5 state Supreme Court election declares: “This May Be the Most Important Vote You Ever Cast.”

That’s a bold claim.

But it won’t be dismissed by many observers of the six-week long struggle between Governor Scott Walker and the public-employee unions he seeks to dismantle with aggressive anti-labor legislation and tactics.

The Supreme Court election in Wisconsin — one of a number of Midwestern states that elect jurists, in keeping with the progressive tradition that said all powerful officials should be accountable to the people — will provide the first real measure of the strength of the mass movements that have developed to challenge Walker, his agenda, and his political allies.

Michael Winsap: Labor Pains and the GOP

There’s a joke making the rounds and it goes like this: Big Business, a Tea Partier and Organized Labor are sitting around a table. A dozen cookies arrive on a plate. Big Business takes eleven of them and says to the Tea Partier, “Pssst! That union guy is trying to steal your cookie!”

Radical Islam and global terrorism may have replaced World Communism and the Cold War as the threats lurking under every bed and behind each closet door but organized labor is the conservative bugbear that keeps on giving, no matter which international conspiracy is busily undermining the republic. (Although if the right and the corporate interests behind it could somehow link unions to creeping sharia law, Christmas would come early for those guys — on several different levels of metaphor.)

Ralph Nader: Open Letter to President Obama on the Nomination of Elizabeth Warren

April 1, 2011

Dear President Obama:

An interesting contrast is playing out at the White House these days-between your expressed praise of General Electric’s CEO, Jeffrey R. Immelt and the silence regarding the widely desired nomination of Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Financial Regulatory Bureau within the Federal Reserve.

On one hand, you promptly appointed Mr. Immelt to be the chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitive, while letting him keep his full time lucrative position as CEO of General Electric (The Corporate State Expands). At the announcement, you said that Mr. Immelt “understands what it takes for America to compete in the global economy.”

Robert Alvarez: The FDA and Fukushima Fallout

Recently, a senior scientist with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made this comment to the news media about radioactive fallout being detected in milk in the United States from the nuclear catastrophe in Japan:

“Radiation is all around us in our daily lives, and these findings are a miniscule amount compared Fukushima-Daiichi to what people experience every day. For example, a person would be exposed to low levels of radiation on a round trip cross country flight, watching television, and even from construction materials.”

No matter how small the dose might be, it is disingenuous to compare an exposure to a specific radioisotope that is released by a major nuclear accident, with radiation exposures in everyday life. The FDA spokesperson should have informed the public that radioiodine provides a unique form of exposure in that it concentrates rapidly in dairy products and in the human thyroid. The dose received, based on official measurements, may be quite small, and pose an equally small risk. However, making a conclusion on the basis of one measurement is fragmentary at best and unscientific at worst. As the accident in Fukushima continues to unfold, the public should be provided with all measurements made of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima reactors to allow for independent analyses.

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