“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”.
Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt
Paul Krugman: Let’s Not Make a Deal
To say the obvious: Democrats won an amazing victory. Not only did they hold the White House despite a still-troubled economy, in a year when their Senate majority was supposed to be doomed, they actually added seats. [..]
But one goal eluded the victors. Even though preliminary estimates suggest that Democrats received somewhat more votes than Republicans in Congressional elections, the G.O.P. retains solid control of the House thanks to extreme gerrymandering by courts and Republican-controlled state governments. And Representative John Boehner, the speaker of the House, wasted no time in declaring that his party remains as intransigent as ever, utterly opposed to any rise in tax rates even as it whines about the size of the deficit.
So President Obama has to make a decision, almost immediately, about how to deal with continuing Republican obstruction. How far should he go in accommodating the G.O.P.’s demands?
Richard (RJ) Eskow: Voters Didn’t Ask for Bi-Partisanship, They Demanded Good Policies
After the Election, a New Mandate — and New ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Math
President Obama was reportedly planning to reach out to House Majority Leader John Boehner today to begin negotiating a deal to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” a series of spending cuts and tax hikes scheduled take effect unless Congress rescinds the law that created it.
President Obama was reportedly planning to reach out to House Majority Leader John Boehner today to begin negotiating a deal to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” a series of spending cuts and tax hikes scheduled take effect unless Congress rescinds the law that created it. [..]
But Boehner isn’t holding the cards in this situation. The president is. All the numbers say so — in the election results, the polling data, and even in the stock market, if you read it correctly.
: Hey, Obama, Hands Off Their Medicare
Striking a deal with Republicans to cut entitlements would be a disastrous start to the president’s second term.
The day after Barack Obama was re-elected, the Dow Jones lost 312.96 points. It wasn’t just that investors were hoping for the lower taxes and further deregulation that would come with a Romney win. The news from Europe was bad, and pundits were obsessively focused on the “fiscal cliff” of mandatory budget cuts that will drive the economy into a new recession unless Congress jumps off its own budgetary cliff first.
For once, the markets are right. But the news from Europe entirely contradicts conventional assumptions about the fiscal cliff.
Greece, which has dutifully cut its budget as demanded by the leaders of the European Union and the European Central bank, is deeper in depression than ever. The latest reports show its economy has shrunk by more than 20 percent over four years, and that the more that it cuts its deficit, the more its national debt grows.
Dean Baker: Climate Change, Not the National Debt, Is the Legacy We Should Care About
Worry about the grandchildren? Then stop global warming, but don’t pretend deficit reduction by slashing pensions is for them
The political leadership, including the Washington press corps and punditry, were already intently ignoring the economic downturn that is still wreaking havoc on the lives of tens of millions of people across the country. Now, in the wake of the destruction from Hurricane Sandy, they will intensify their efforts to ignore global warming. After all, they want the country to focus on the debt – an issue that no one other than the elites views as a problem.
The reality, of course, is straightforward. The large deficits of recent years are due to the economic downturn caused by the collapse of the housing bubble. If the economy were back near its pre-recession level of unemployment, then the deficits would be close to 1% of GDP, a level that could be sustained indefinitely.
Alfred W. McCoy: Beyond Bayonets and Battleships
It’s 2025 and an American “triple canopy” of advanced surveillance and armed drones fills the heavens from the lower- to the exo-atmosphere. A wonder of the modern age, it can deliver its weaponry anywhere on the planet with staggering speed, knock out an enemy’s satellite communications system, or follow individuals biometrically for great distances. Along with the country’s advanced cyberwar capacity, it’s also the most sophisticated militarized information system ever created and an insurance policy for U.S. global dominion deep into the twenty-first century. It’s the future as the Pentagon imagines it; it’s under development; and Americans know nothing about it. [..]
Amid all the post-debate media chatter, however, not a single commentator seemed to have a clue when it came to the profound strategic changes encoded in the president’s sparse words. Yet for the past four years, working in silence and secrecy, the Obama administration has presided over a technological revolution in defense planning, moving the nation far beyond bayonets and battleships to cyberwarfare and the full-scale weaponization of space. In the face of waning economic influence, this bold new breakthrough in what’s called “information warfare” may prove significantly responsible should U.S. global dominion somehow continue far into the twenty-first century.
Ben Adler: Conservatives Understand the GOP’s Problem but Not Its Solution
In the wake of President Obama’s decisive re-election victory on Tuesday, the more intellectually serious members of the conservative commentariat are in post-mortem mode. They are asking what went wrong and how they can avoid a third consecutive loss in 2016. Unfortunately for them, they display only a limited understanding of the Republican Party’s problem, and virtually no understanding of its underlying cause or its solution. [..]
The primary impulse among conservative pundits seems to be blaming the poor quality of their candidates. For those who are on the insurgent right, such as Red State’s Erick Erickson, that means complaining about Mitt Romney but not the extremist ideologues who lost winnable Senate races, such as Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana. For Beltway insiders, such as The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes and the Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson, that means complaining about Senate candidates and Romney’s clownish opponents in the Republican primaries.