“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
New York Times Editorial: When New York City Police Walk Off the Job
Many members of the New York Police Department are furious at Mayor Bill de Blasio and, by extension, the city that elected him. They have expressed this anger with a solidarity tantrum, repeatedly turning their backs to show their collective contempt. But now they seem to have taken their bitterness to a new and dangerous level – by walking off the job. [..]
And for what? [..]
The list of grievances adds up to very little, unless you look at it through the magnifying lens of resentment fomented by union bosses and right-wing commentators. The falling murder rate, the increased resources for the department, the end of quota-based policing, which the police union despised, the mayor’s commitment to “broken-windows” policing – none of that matters, because many cops have latched on to the narrative that they are hated, with the mayor orchestrating the hate. [..]
Mr. de Blasio has a responsibility to lead the city out of this impasse, and to his credit has avoided inflaming the situation with hasty or hostile words. But it’s the Police Department that needs to police itself. Rank-and-file officers deserve a department they can be proud of, not the insular, defiant, toxically politicized constituency that Mr. Lynch seems to want to lead.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: Fight for Our Progressive Vision
As I look ahead to this coming year, a number of thoughts come to mind.
First and foremost, against an enormous amount of corporate media noise and distraction, it is imperative that we not lose sight of what is most important and the vision that we stand for. We have got to stay focused on those issues that impact the lives of tens of millions of Americans who struggle every day to keep their heads above water economically, and who worry deeply about the kind of future their kids will have.
Yes. We make no apologies in stating that the great moral, economic and political issue of our time is the growing level of income and wealth inequality in our nation. It is a disgrace to everything this country is supposed to stand for when the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, and when one family (the Waltons) owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent. No. The economy is not sustainable when the middle class continues to disappear and when 95 percent of all new income generated since the Wall Street crash goes to the top 1 percent. In order to create a vibrant economy, working families need disposable income. That is often not the case today.
I grew up in New York in the 1960s and 70s saying a prayer whenever I heard a siren – a prayer for whomever the siren wailed, and a prayer for the men behind the siren, the policemen and firemen risking their lives every day, my uncles (and later cousins) among them. That’s what my mother taught me. I still find myself doing it sometimes. [..]
Now I live in New York again, for the first time since the 1970s, and again New York is in turmoil over the police – not just over the killings of Garner and other unarmed black men, but over the murders of two police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, in Brooklyn on Dec. 20. White New Yorkers fear a return to the bad old days of riots, escalating crime and attacks on police. In the 1970s, 46 officers were killed in the line of duty, according to the New York Times, and 41 more in the 1980s. Before these latest murders, the last police killing was in 2011.
Black New Yorkers say the bad old days – of police abuse – never ended. The loudest voices are on the extremes, shouting down those who are trying to find common ground.
Want to know which critical deadlines Republicans will sneakily try to exploit? Bookmark this timeline as a guide
The conventional wisdom is that the 114th Congress will feature mostly angry white men in suits yelling about something or other, without the normal output from a legislative branch, like “legislation.” The passage of the CRomnibus should put that theory to rest. Republicans were able to slide dozens of policy riders into a must-pass bill, with Democrats and the White House agreeing to the changes amid the risk of a government shutdown. GOP legislators are salivating at the prospect of running this movie over and over again in the final two years of the Obama presidency.
Fortunately for the Republicans, they will have quite a few opportunities to test this model, in their first year of total congressional control since 2006. The 2015 calendar is littered with a series of critical deadlines, which Republicans will surely try to exploit. You can pretty much throw out the rest of the year and just tune in to Congress around these deadline dates, most likely the only times when anything of import will actually happen. Here’s your congressional calendar for the next year: