Jun 05 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 has an exclusive interview with the president’s top adviser on the economy, Austan Goolsbee.

To discuss the never ending stand-off on the economy and how it should be managed is 2008 Nobel Prize-winning economist, Paul Krugman of The New York Times, chief economist of the Chamber of Commerce Martin Regalia and Chrystia Freeland of Thomson Reuters.

The “This Week” roundtable takes on all the week’s politics with Republican political adviser Mark McKinnon, ABC News’ senior political correspondent, Jonathan Karl, former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers and the Republican presidential candidate rising in the polls, Herman Cain.

Except for Krugman, that you can catch later on-line, weeding the garden would be more interesting.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Joining Mr. Schieffer is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and  Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests Bob Woodward, The Washington Post Associate Editor, Helene Cooper, The New York Times White House Correspondent, Alex Wagner, Politics Daily White House Correspondent and John Heilemann, New York Magazine National Political Correspondent will discuss these questions:

He won the White House as the insurgent, so how will Barack Obama win again as the incumbent?

Can Republicans run for president while running from interviews?

Meet the Press with David Gregory: We get a break from Lurch this week for live coverage of the Men’s Final of the French Open at Stade Roland Garros in Paris between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. This is what I’ll be watching with a café au lait and a croissant.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests: Chief economist on President Obama’s Economic Advisory Board, Austan Goolsbee, former director of the Office of Management and Budget, Alice Rivlin, and former director of the Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, presidential candidate Ron Paul, former White House communications director Anita Dunn and Ed Gillespie, the former Republican National Committee chairman and Counselor to President Bush.

Tennis, sleep or weeding the garden, your many options

Fareed Zakaris: GPS: Mr. Zakaria’s guests will be two top economists, Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia University and Kenneth Rogoff from Harvard and an interview with a top leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Essam El Erian

Glenn Greenwald: WashPost: Criminal Law is Not for Political Elites

The Washington Post Editors work in a city and live in a nation in which huge numbers of poor and minority residents are consigned to cages for petty and trivial transgressions of the criminal law — typically involving drugs — and pursuant to processes that are extremely tilted toward the State.  Post Editors virtually never speak out against that, if they ever have.  But that all changes — that indifference disappears — when political elites are targeted for prosecution, even for serious crimes . . .

In some of these cases (Libby, Mubarak), the Post couches its defense of political elites in terms of concerns about the process while claiming they’re receptive to the possibility of punishment.  In others (Edwards), the concerns they raise are not invalid.  But whatever else is true, Post Editors are deeply and almost invariably disturbed when political elites are subjected to criminal accountability for their wrongful acts, but wholly indifferent — if not supportive — when ordinary Americans are mercilessly prosecuted for far less serious wrongdoing.

And it’s not just Post Editors, but their stable of Op-Ed columnists, who reflexively defend political elites when they break the law.  The late Dean of the Washington Press Corps, David Broder, was one of the first and most vocal advocates of one of the earliest expressions of elite immunity:  Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon, and Broder repeated that defense in 2006 upon Ford’s death (“I thought and wrote at the time that he was well justified to spare the country further struggling with the Nixon legacy”).  The Post‘s Broder also vigorously defended President Obama’s decision to oppose prosecution of Bush officials:  “he was just as right to declare that there should be no prosecution of those who carried out what had been the policy of the United States government.  And he was right when he sent out his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, to declare that the same amnesty should apply to the lawyers and bureaucrats who devised and justified the Bush administration practices.”

Maureen Dowd: An Archbishop Burns While Rome Fiddles

The archbishop of Dublin was beginning to sniffle.

He could not get through a story about “a really nasty man” – an Irish priest who sexually abused, physically tortured and emotionally threatened vulnerable boys – without pulling out his handkerchief and wiping his nose.

“He built a swimming pool in his own garden, to which only boys of a certain age, of a certain appearance were allowed into it,” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told me recently. “There were eight other priests in that parish, and not one of them seemed to think there was something strange about it.”

Two years after learning the extent of the depraved and Dickensian treatment of children in the care of the Irish Catholic Church – a fifth circle of hell hidden for decades by church and police officials – the Irish are still angry and appalled.

César Chelala: UN Sharply Critical of US on Women’s Rights

The United Nations Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, has issued a very critical report of the U.S. on its policies on women’s rights. The report is based on a trip of the Special Rapporteur to the US from 24 January to 7 February 2011. During that trip, Ms. Rashida Manjoo broadly examined issues of violence against women in different settings. Her recommendations should provide fruitful material for the U.S. to improve its policies towards women.

As indicated in the report, “Violence against women occurs along a continuum in which the various forms of violence are often both causes and consequences of violence.” Domestic violence or Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is one of the most critical expressions of violence. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) 552,000 violent crimes by an intimate partner were committed against women in the U.S. in 2008.

Their husbands or intimate acquaintances are responsible for the majority of crimes against women. The Violence Policy Center states that the number of women shot and killed by their husbands or intimate acquaintances was four times higher than the total number of women murdered by male strangers using all weapons combined, according to an analysis of 2008 data.

James Hansen: Silence Is Deadly: I’m Speaking Out Against Canada-U.S. Tar Sands Pipeline

The U.S. Department of State seems likely to approve a huge pipeline, known as Keystone XL to carry tar sands oil (about 830,000 barrels per day) to Texas refineries unless sufficient objections are raised. The scientific community needs to get involved in this fray now. If this project gains approval, it will become exceedingly difficult to control the tar sands monster. The environmental impacts of tar sands development include: irreversible effects on biodiversity and the natural environment, reduced water quality, destruction of fragile pristine Boreal Forest and associated wetlands, aquatic and watershed mismanagement, habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, disruption to life cycles of endemic wildlife particularly bird and Caribou migration, fish deformities and negative impacts on the human health in downstream communities. Although there are multiple objections to tar sands development and the pipeline, including destruction of the environment in Canada, and the likelihood of spills along the pipeline’s pathway, such objections, by themselves, are very unlikely to stop the project.

An overwhelming objection is that exploitation of tar sands would make it implausible to stabilize climate and avoid disastrous global climate impacts. The tar sands are estimated (e.g., see IPCC Fourth Assessment Report) to contain at least 400 GtC (equivalent to about 200 ppm CO2). Easily available reserves of conventional oil and gas are enough to take atmospheric CO2 well above 400 ppm, which is unsafe for life on earth. However, if emissions from coal are phased out over the next few decades and if unconventional fossil fuels including tar sands are left in the ground, it is conceivable to stabilize earth’s climate.

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