“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.
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New York Times Editorial: If Roe v. Wade Goes
A Romney-Ryan victory could result in re-criminalizing abortion in much of America
It is no secret that Mitt Romney and his running-mate, Representative Paul Ryan, are opponents of abortion rights. When Mr. Ryan was asked at last week’s debate whether voters who support abortion rights should be worried if the Romney-Ryan ticket were elected, he essentially said yes.
They would depart slightly from the extremist Republican Party platform by allowing narrow exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the woman. Beyond that, they would move to take away a fundamental right that American women have had for nearly 40 years.
Dean Baker: The National Debt and Our Children: How Dumb Does Washington Think We Are?
While much of the country is focused on the presidential race, the Wall Street gang is waging a different battle; they are preparing an assault on Social Security and Medicare. This attack is not exactly secret. There have been a number of pieces on this corporate-backed campaign in the media over the last few months, but the drive is nonetheless taking place behind closed doors.
The corporate honchos are not expecting to convince the public that we should support cuts to Social Security and Medicare. They know this is a hopeless task. Huge majorities of people across the political spectrum strongly support these programs.
Instead they hope that they can use their power of persuasion, coupled with the power of campaign contributions and the power of high-paying jobs for defeated members of Congress, to get Congress to approve large cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other key programs. This is the plan for a grand bargain that the corporate chieftains hope can be struck in the lame duck Congress.
Matt Taibbi famously dubbed Goldman “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” Taibbi knew his metaphor worked a deep injustice on Vampyroteuthis infernalis, a small animal that feeds on carrion and excrement (I will let the reader explore the metaphorical possibilities). Goldman Sachs’ leaders were always secretly flattered by Taibbi’s metaphor. They like being thought of as hyper-aggressive and intimidating. Saying that an investment banker’s goal is to make money is to state the obvious and causes no embarrassment.
The news flash is that Goldman Sachs has revealed her new, softer side. She has become Ms. Good in the Sack and she wants us all to know that she has feelings and she is terribly hurt by the way she is being taken for granted, treated coldly, and made fun of as a “fat” feline. The cruelest blow is that Ms. Good in the Sack suffered these indignities at the hands of the handsome new guy who escorted her to the presidential ball. Her BFF, the tall, dark and handsome guy who was exotic without seeming too dangerous — the kind of guy her dad always warned her never to date — has betrayed her. No sooner had she gotten in a serious relationship with Obama that helped him climb to the top of the social order than she saw him flirting with that skank — Ms. Liberal.
Richard (RJ) Eskow: Morgan Stanley: Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself …
“Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste …”
“Some people,” my mother used to say, “are just no damned good.” This was from somebody who rarely used bad language around us, and it was usually said with an air of bemused resignation rather than white-hot rage. I’ve always leaned a little more toward the possibility of redemption myself. But the more I learn about Wall Street, the more I see the wisdom in Mom’s words.
The latest lawsuit against Morgan Stanley raises the question again: Are a whole lot of Wall Street executives “just no damned good”? The evidence is overwhelming: They cheated. They lied. They used racial discrimination to make a fast buck at the expense of African Americans, ripped off their own investors (including working people’s pension funds), and then took a huge bailout from the American people.
Then, once they were safely ensconced back on their plutocratic perch and raking in more unearned wealth, they quickly deployed huge amounts of that money — to subvert our political process. That way they can loosen regulations on their own industry while forcing us to accept an austerity program like the “Simpson-Bowles” plan, which imposes even more hardship on the majority while offering even more tax breaks to people like Morgan Stanley’s executives.
Did we mention that Erskine Bowles, co-author of that plan, is on the Board of Directors of Morgan Stanley?
Wendell Potter; Romney’s Talking Points on the Uninsured Are Like the Ones I Wrote When I Was an Insurance Industry Flack
I understand where Mitt Romney was coming from when he said last week that Americans without health insurance don’t have to worry about dying at home.
“We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance,” the GOP presidential nominee told members of the Columbus Dispatch editorial board. “We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack.’ No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital.”
I have no reason to believe that Romney saw anything wrong with what he said. In fact, I probably would have said the same thing back when I was still a health insurance PR guy and trying to convince folks that the problem of the uninsured wasn’t really such a big deal.
Frank Bruni: Pop Goes the President
A candidate now needs to be up on Snooki as well as Bibi, and an up-to-the-minute playlist doesn’t hurt.
To the clamor for administration records concerning embassy security, I’d like to add my own request. I hereby subpoena President Obama’s iPod.
Nicki Minaj? For real? On Friday the president claimed that her voice was one of those occasionally streaming through his ear buds. I don’t buy it. For starters, she once rapped, facetiously or not, that she was voting for Mitt Romney and that Obama was a “lazy” noun-that-I-can’t-print-in-this-newspaper. On top of which, the president strikes me as more of an Adele guy, rolling in the deep of a post-debate funk.
But he’d been asked to weigh in on Minaj’s feud with Mariah Carey, and after praising Carey for fund-raising help, he hastened to throw some love in her foe’s direction. While Mitt Romney is on multiple sides of a single issue, Obama is on all sides of iTunes.