Apr 19 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”

Paul Greenberg: An Oyster on the Seder Plate?

Last night I put an oyster on my Seder plate.

While I didn’t particularly want to put something traif atop that most kosher of dishes, this Passover falls on the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. And since BP, the leaseholder of the failed well, seems intent with its new television ads on making us forget about the spill, I felt that something drastic was in order to help us remember. Combining the memorial powers of the Seder plate with the canary-in-the-coal-mine nature of the oyster seemed a good way to keep the disaster – and BP’s promises to clean up its mess – in mind.

Joe Nocera: Letting the Banks Off the Hook

Judging by last week’s performance, it sure looks as though the country’s top bank regulator is back to its old tricks.

Though, to be honest, calling the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency a “regulator” is almost laughable. The Environmental Protection Agency is a regulator. The O.C.C. is a coddler, a protector, an outright enabler of the institutions it oversees.

David Swanson: If Cairo Came to Kabul

Before Tahrir Square happened almost nobody predicted that President Hosni Mubarak would be forced out of office by a movement that didn’t pick up a gun. Had President Barack Obama expected that outcome, he might have publicly backed Mubarak’s departure before, rather than after, Mubarak stepped down.

Obama can be seen as overcompensating for that performance in Libya, but there he is placing faith in weapons. Anybody can do that. Egypt still has a long way to go on its path to a just society. But the question of whether Tunisian-Egyptian movements will find success elsewhere is the question of whether people can take the far more challenging step of placing trust in nonviolence.

Chris Hedges: Throw Out the Money Changers

We stand today before the gates of one of our temples of finance. It is a temple where greed and profit are the highest good, where self-worth is determined by the ability to amass wealth and power at the expense of others, where laws are manipulated, rewritten and broken, where the endless treadmill of consumption defines human progress, where fraud and crimes are the tools of business.

The two most destructive forces of human nature-greed and envy-drive the financiers, the bankers, the corporate mandarins and the leaders of our two major political parties, all of whom profit from this system. They place themselves at the center of creation. They disdain or ignore the cries of those below them. They take from us our rights, our dignity and thwart our capacity for resistance. They seek to make us prisoners in our own land. They view human beings and the natural world as mere commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse. Human suffering, wars, climate change, poverty, it is all the price of business. Nothing is sacred. The Lord of Profit is the Lord of Death.

Lauren Unger-Geoffroy: Dispatches From Cairo: Keeping Up With Egypt

For God’s sake, American press! Hurry up! Get up to speed on the Egyptian revolution evolution! It is changing every day.

You journalists do deserve thanks for your international outcry about the abuse of power against citizens, notably women. Faces were red, small ignorant aggressive heads fell, the military boys are sorry and on best behavior and under the eye of officers (for now, and of course this is not static!). People are sitting on the tanks and sharing soft drinks with their soldier brothers again. They’ve turned the page, we’re on to the next chapter-this is EGYPT, my brothers. The people are forgiving, they do not hold a grudge: THE LOVE IS BACK.

John Niochols: Rand Paul’s Right About This: ‘The Military Budget is Going to Have to be Cut’

Americans need not agree with everything that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says or does to recognize that he is one of the few members of Congress who is contributing anything more than hype and hypocrisy to the current budget debate.

Unlike House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and the other “deficit hawk” pretenders who back bank bailouts and every new war that a president proposes, Senator Paul keeps pushing his colleagues to get real about addressing the real bloat in the budget.


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