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Nov 05 2018

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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David Hogg and Emma González: Since Parkland, we’ve been demanding action. Now it’s time to join us.

On Feb. 14, 2018, our lives were forever changed by a gunman who killed 17 of our classmates and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. In just 11 minutes, our childhood ended. Our eyes were opened to a harsh reality: Mass shootings happen more frequently in America than any place else on the planet, and the gun lobby buys the silence of too many of our elected officials.

Over eighteen months before the shooting at our school, 49 people were killed at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Four months before Parkland, 58 people were killed at a concert in Las Vegas. And just last week, 11 people were killed at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. In all that time, not a single federal law has been passed that addresses gun violence. Not a single law. Our nation’s leaders have failed to protect citizens where they live, where they learn and where they pray. [..]

More than 40 percent of surveyed 18- to 29-year-olds say they will “definitely vote” Tuesday, according to Harvard’s National Youth Poll. This number represents a significant increase from 2010, when only 27 percent indicated they would. But we all need to show up.

How many more shootings must there be before our leaders listen to us?

We have a simple answer: Young people must vote — all 62 million of us.

We must vote because the day after the election, the real work begins

Paul Krugman: A Party Defined by Its Lies

During my first year as an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, I wasn’t allowed to use the word “lie.”

That first year coincided with the 2000 election, and George W. Bush was, in fact, being systematically dishonest about his economic proposals — saying false things about who would benefit from his tax cut and the implications of Social Security privatization. But the notion that a major party’s presidential candidate would go beyond spin to outright lies still seemed outrageous, and saying it was considered beyond the pale.

Obviously that prohibition no longer holds on this opinion page, and major media organizations have become increasingly willing to point out raw falsehoods. But they’ve been chasing a moving target, because the lies just keep getting bigger and more pervasive. In fact, at this point the G.O.P.’s campaign message consists of nothing but lies; it’s hard to think of a single true thing Republicans are running on.

And yes, it’s a Republican problem (and it’s not just Donald Trump). Democrats aren’t saints, but they campaign mostly on real issues, and generally do, in fact, stand for more or less what they claim to stand for. Republicans don’t. And the total dishonesty of Republican electioneering should itself be a decisive political issue, because at this point it defines the party’s character.

Eugene Robinson: On Tuesday, vote to stop the madness

The Republican Party’s closing argument for the midterm election is a bit confusing:

“It’s all about President Trump — unless he angers, appalls or disgusts you, in which case we’ve never heard of anyone named Trump. We have also never heard of policies we’ve voted for repeatedly, such as eliminating the guarantee of health insurance for those with preexisting conditions, or slashing vital programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Please forget that we cut taxes for millionaires and corporations but not for you. And please, please , be terrified of a few traumatized refugees, mostly women and children, somewhere in southern Mexico.” The party then pulls down its pants and babbles unintelligibly before being gently led offstage.

The Democratic Party’s closing argument, by contrast, is simple and compelling: “Stop the madness.”

Just stop it. Vote to give Democrats control of the House, the Senate, governorships, state legislatures, everything. Take a stand for decency, for civility, for sanity — and, in the long run, help the GOP recover the mind it has lost and the soul it has surrendered.

Catherine Rampell: Republicans’ closing argument: Be afraid, be very afraid

Immigrants are coming for your children and lake houses. Socialists are coming for your Medicare (huh?). Black football players are coming for your flag. And now the Democrats are coming for your 401(k).

Republicans’ closing argument: Be afraid, be very afraid.

The GOP has had unified control of government for nearly two years now. Yet, somehow, Republicans’ promised return to morning in America, that end of “American carnage,” still hasn’t arrived, according to both their own standard-bearer and their terrifying campaign ads.

It’s funny, in a way. Unemployment is historically low. Consumer confidence is buoyant. There actually is a compelling, positive story to tell about the state of the country — or at least, the state of the economy — today. Whether President Trump can legitimately claim credit for recent economic trends is a nonissue; we know he has no problem taking credit for things he inherited, including his personal wealth. So at the very least, he could be emphasizing those economic milestones.

Radley Balko: ‘If you don’t get at that rot, you just get more officers like Josh Hastings’

Sylvia Perkins is sitting in an oversized chair at her home in a Little Rock subdivision. She’s wearing a black sweatshirt displaying a photo of her son, Bobby Moore. He’s smiling and saluting while wearing a Boston Celtics cap. The shirt’s format is familiar. It is similar to shirts worn by participants in police brutality protests all over the country. It is a shirt you wear when someone you love was killed by the police.

Fifteen-year-old Bobby Moore was fatally shot in 2012 by Josh Hastings, a police officer with the Little Rock Police Department. Despite serving on the force for only five years, Hastings’s tenure would prove to be enormously consequential. He had been hired over the objection from a high-ranking black police officer, and that objection was well-founded: Before his hiring, Hastings had once attended a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan, then lied about it on his application. He went on to accumulate an astonishing disciplinary record, usually resulting in lax punishment for misconduct.

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