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Dec 11 2017

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering 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 “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Paul Krugman: Pessimism and Paralysis in the Aftermath of the Financial Crisis

The latest job report was very good, except for one thing: wage growth is still much lower than it was before the financial crisis. And this reminds me of a controversy that raged around four or five years ago, during what now seems like a golden age – an era when it seemed as if facts and reasoned debate might actually matter for policy. [..]

Anti-structuralists – demand siders? – tried to point out that if the structural story were true, there should be a lot of upward pressure on the wages of those workers who did have the right skills; in fact, nobody was seeing much in the way of wage gains. But this argument made little headway among Serious People.

But here we are: there hasn’t been a significant change in the skills of the workforce, but unemployment is now lower than it was in 2007, and wage growth is still low. The demand siders were right.

Charles M/ Blow: Rise of the Roypublicans

If Alabama voters on Tuesday elect Roy Moore to the Senate, the Donald Trump-diseased party once known as the Republicans may as well call themselves Roypublicans.

There will be no way to shake the stench of this homophobic, Islamophobic, sexist, racist apologist and accused pedophile. He is them, and they are him. Any pretense of tolerance and egalitarianism, already damaged by a Republican history of words and deeds, will be completely obliterated.

There will be no way to simply say that Moore is the abominable outgrowth of Alabama voters’ anger.

Moore has been fully endorsed by the Republican “president” of the United States, the leader of his party, and is now fully supported by the Republican National Committee. Last week, R.N.C. Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told CNN: “The president has said we want to keep this seat Republican. The R.N.C. is the political arm of the White House, and we want to support the president’s agenda.”

The pre-Trump Republican Party is dead; The zombie Trump party now lives in its stead, devoid of principle, feasting on fear and rage, foreign to moral framing.

E. J. Dionne Jr.: The attacks on Mueller push us closer to the precipice

Our democratic republic is in far more danger than it was even a few weeks ago.

Until this point, there was an underlying faith in much of the political world that if Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian collusion in the election turned up unmistakably damning material about Donald Trump, Republicans in Congress would feel obligated by their commitment to the country’s well-being to accept Mueller’s findings and challenge the president.

We would often hear recollections of how Republicans during Watergate — Sen. Barry Goldwater would inevitably come up — decided that the smoking guns were too smoky and that Richard Nixon had to go. They made clear to him that he no longer had the support of his party.

Surely, said the optimists, we have not drifted so far from decency that this sort of patriotism is beyond us.

Well, it sure seems to be. It’s not surprising that Trump and those on his payroll want to protect him at all costs. But we learned last week that Republicans are deepening their complicity in derailing Mueller’s investigation and burying the facts. The more Mueller imperils Trump, the more McCarthyite the GOP becomes

Jackson Diehl: Will someone save Trump from this disastrous decision?

President Trump inherited a Middle East convulsed by crisis and civil war with two fragile exceptions: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran’s nuclear program, both of which were quiescent. With two impulsive, egotistical decisions, taken against the strong recommendations of his national security team, he has endangered the status quo on both fronts. Now the question is whether Congress or European allies will save him from a potentially disastrous third strike.

The similarities between Trump’s refusal to recertify the Iranian nuclear deal in October and his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last week are striking — and revealing. In each case, he was presented with a congressionally mandated requirement to renew a policy of previous presidents. His secretaries of defense and state urged him to preserve it, lest he disrupt U.S. policies and endanger U.S. interests across the Middle East and beyond.

William Rivers Pitt: New Conservative Argument: Climate Change Is So Awesome, You Guys

In my worst post-apocalyptic imaginings, there is a place in my mind where a ravenous sea has encroached over every surface, ankle to knee to thigh to belly to throat. On a lone and desolate promontory clings one last living human who shrieks into the maelstrom a final defiance even as the pitiless rain clogs his throat: “In the church of climate alarmism, there may be no heresy more dangerous than the idea that the world will benefit from warming.”

His name is Jeff. [..]

It gets better.

“Polar melting may cause dislocation for those who live in low-lying coastal areas, but it will also lead to safe commercial shipping in formerly inhospitable northern seas,” says Jeff Jacoby in his Boston Globe article titled, “There Are Benefits to Climate Change.”

Istanbul. San Francisco. Helsinki. Philadelphia. Dublin. New Orleans. Venice. Perth. Bangkok. Edinburgh. Honolulu. New York. Oslo. Lisbon. Los Angeles. San Diego. Hong Kong. Miami. Tokyo. Sydney. Washington. Copenhagen. Vancouver. Barcelona. Mumbai. Nagoya. Tampa. Shenzen. Guayaquil. Khulna. Palembang. Tampa. Kochi. Abidjan. Boston.

Low-lying coastal areas, all.