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Apr 12 2013

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”.

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Joseph Brings Plenty: Save Wounded Knee

WOUNDED KNEE, S.D.  THE Lakota Sioux word “takini” means “to die and come back” but is usually translated more simply as “survivor.” It is a sacred word long associated with the killing of scores of unarmed Lakota men, women and children by soldiers of the United States Army’s Seventh Cavalry in the winter of 1890.

Wounded Knee was the so-called final battle of America’s war on its Native peoples. But what happened was hardly a battle. It was a massacre. [..]

Now, our heritage is in danger of becoming a real-estate transaction, another parcel of what once was our land auctioned off to the highest bidder. The cries of our murdered people still echo off the barren hills – the cries we remember in our hearts every day of our lives. But they may finally be drowned out by bulldozers and the ka-ching of commerce.

Paul Krugman: Lust for Gold

News flash: Recent declines in the price of gold, which is off about 17 percent from its peak, show that this price can go down as well as up. You may consider this an obvious point, but, as an article in The Times on Thursday reports, it has come as a rude shock to many small gold investors, who imagined that they were buying the safest of all assets.

And thereby hangs a tale. One of the central facts about modern America is that everything is political; on the right, in particular, people choose their views about everything, from environmental science to gun safety, to suit their political prejudices. And the remarkable recent rise of “goldbuggism,” in the teeth of all the evidence, shows that this politicization can influence investments as well as voting.

Jeff Faux: Where’s the Change?

Democrats keep telling their growing coalition to wait and the economic policies they’ve been hoping for will come. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s agenda can’t back up that promise.

The Democratic Party’s long-term prospects have dramatically improved since the November election. They will control the White House for another four years. The Republicans, who lost the total vote for the House of Representatives, remain captive of an unpopular reactionary right wing. The “Obama Coalition” of minorities and single women is growing faster than the GOP’s white male base. If demography is destiny, Democrats-and the progressive interests that they are supposed represent in the two-party system-are the wave of the future.

But the American dream is about upward mobility. Ultimately, “The economy, Stupid” trumps identity politics. If the Democrats are not the champions of expanding jobs and incomes for the majority of voters who work for a living-whatever their gender, color, or sexual orientation-their claim to being the natural majority party will amount to little.

Bruce A. Dixon: Is This Barack Obama’s 2nd Term? Is it Bill Clinton’s 3rd? Or Is It Ronald Reagan’s 9th?

The answer is yes to all three. Ronald Reagan hasn’t darkened the White House door in decades. But his policy objectives have been what every president, Democrat and Republican have pursued relentlessly ever since. Barack Obama is only the latest and most successful of Reagan’s disciples.

Like the present era, the Reagan presidency marked a series of decisive rightward turns for US empire at home and abroad. [..]

One could also argue, since we are in the grips of the greatest depression, although we don’t call them that any more, since the 1930s, and Obama’s economic policies bear more in common to Herbert Hoover than to Franklin Roosevelt, that we’re living through Herbert Hoover’s third term as well. But we’ll save that for another day.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: 9 ‘Chained CPI’ Facts They Don’t Want You to Know

The “chained CPI” proposal in President Obama’s budget continues to draw much-deserved fire, which is only likely to increase as more information about it becomes known.

Here are nine embarrassing facts about the chained CPI which the White House and its defenders would prefer to see overlooked: [..]

The bottom line? The chained CPI is the wrong answer to the wrong problem at the wrong time. It’s time for the White House to recognize that and move on. In the meantime Democrats need to walk away from it fast, before they pay a high price for it at the polls.

Jim Hightower: Fracking Free Speech

Welcome to Sanford, New York. It’s a pleasant place of 2,800 citizens on the New York-Pennsylvania border. Unfortunately, the pleasantness has been interrupted by a major squabble over whether or not to allow big companies to extract natural gas by fracturing the huge Marcellus Shale formation that underlies the region.[..]

However, as OnEarth magazine reports, Sanford’s town board is eager to allow oil and gas outfits to frack away. The board even leased land to one corporation that wants to drill inside the town. Last fall, Sanford officials went further, imperiously imposing a gag order on their own citizens. It seems that opponents of the profiteering frack rush were using the board’s public comment session to…well, to comment publicly.

Irritated, the board decreed that any topic could be discussed at its meetings – except fracking.