Tag: Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour:Exclusive guests this week are former Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell and King Abdullah II of Jordan, author of “Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril.”

The roundtable with George Will, political strategist Matthew Dowd, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and ABC News Senior Political Correspondent Jonathan Karl will look at the GOP contenders.

Will will talk them to death

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Former House Speaker and GOP Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich  will be Mr. Schieffer’s guest.

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC Chief Washington Correspondent, Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post Senior Political Editor, Michael Duffy, TIME  Magazine Assistant Managing Editor and Katty Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent will discuss these questions:

Which leading GOP candidate has the political chops to conquer his flaw?

Is the cost of a college education still worth the price?

This line up could be wrong. Rachel Maddow said she would be a guest. I set my alarm to watch

Meet the Press with David Gregory: House budget chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) will be an exclusive guest.

The roundtable guests Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, Mike Murphy, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, WaPo’s Eugene Robinson, and NYT’s Andrew Ross Sorkin will discuss the Middles East and Newt Gingrich.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, member of the nearly defunct “Gang of 6 will discuss the consequences of defaulting on the debt.

Two members of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, Reps. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) will talk about intelligence gathering in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey and former Biden chief of staff Ron Klain, will talk about the GOP fiekd for 2012.

Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren will talk with Ms. Crowley about the President’s speech on the Middle East.

Fareed Zakaris: GPS: Mr. Zakaria will be reporting from Tahir Square in Cairo, Egypt on the latest developments and reactions to recent events. Some of his guests will be:

Waleed Rashed, a spokesman for the April 6th youth movement, one of the key groups organizing protests in Tahrir Square.

Sarah Abdelrahman, student activist and video blogger who was in Tahrir.

Noor Ayman Nour, a law student active in the protests.

Ragia Omran, a human rights activist and a lawyer helping defend the protestors against the military tribunals.

Joining him will also be Amr Moussa, the outgoing Secretary-General of the Arab League and former Foreign Minister of Egypt and Mohamed Elbaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Nobel Laureate.

John Nichols: AFL-CIO’s Rich Trumka on the Post-Wisconsin Game Plan

Unions such as the Service Employees and National Nurses United are investing in smart, grassroots projects in the states – seeking to build on the protest and politics model developed in Wisconsin,wheremass protests against anti-labor initiatives signaled an opening for labor togo on the offensive. At the same time, key unions such asthe Firefighters have signaled that, because of their disappointment with Republicans and Democrats at the federal level, they will be putting all their political money into state and local races and related projects.

Now, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is stepping up with a plan for unions to declare “independence” and back candidates – no matter what their party affiliation – who are committed to support workers and their unions.

Trumka, who was in Wisconsin early and has visited most of the states where battles over labor rights and cuts in public services are playing out, has made no secret of his interest in building on the energy of the new state-based movements.

It is with this in mind that he is now talking about changing the way labor practices politics. And that’s a very good thing.

Peter Hart: NYT’s Sorkin Hasn’t Heard of the People’s Budget

New York Times business reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote a piece on Sunday (5/15/11) that tried to advance the argument that $250,000 actually isn’t that much money to make in a year. The complaint is that politicians who advocate raising tax rates on income above $250,000 have chosen an arbitrary dividing line–above it you’re rich, and you’ll be taxed accordingly.

Articles like this are annoying for obvious reasons–we’re being asked to listen to wealthy people complain that they’re not that wealthy, once you factor in the private school tuition and a hefty mortgage. But they often mislead in other areas–especially when it comes to how much wealthy people pay in taxes. Ross Sorkin mentions a Manhattan father of two with a household income of $262,000 who sees his tax bill potentially going up, and he says, “I don’t understand why people like us are lumped in with millionaires and billionaires.”

As Dean Baker points out, anyone who understands marginal tax rates should know that someone making slightly more than $250,000 would pay a higher rate only on that income above that amount–which, in this case, would amount to a few hundreds dollars at most in extra taxes.

Shahid Buttar: Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire: Why the FBI Needs New Leadership

The last ten years have witnessed an assault on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, led largely by the FBI. Appointed mere days before the 9/11 attacks, Director Robert S. Mueller III has guided the bureau through the resurrection of many long discredited practices from its COINTELPRO era. Yet, the Obama administration has proposed extending Mueller’s term as FBI director. Congress should reject the proposal and insist on a nominee from outside the bureau to restore accountability, law and order. Just ask Nick Merrill in New York, Joe Iosbaker in Chicago or Ahmadullah Niazi in Los Angeles: three law-abiding Americans whose constitutional rights are among the casualties of the last decade.

The last time Congress extended the term of FBI director was in 1972, to keep J. Edgar Hoover in office. Years later, when the Church and Pike committees finally exposed the notorious counterintelligence program (aka COINTELPRO), Congress discovered that Hoover presided over severe abuses for decades.

Rania Khalek: This Is What A Police State Looks Like

The late Chalmers Johnson often reminded us that “A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.” His warning rings more true by the day, as Americans watch the erosion of their civil liberties accelerate in conjunction with the expansion of the US Empire.

When viewed through the lens of Johnson’s profound insights, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Kentucky v. King makes perfect sense. On May 13, in a lopsided 8-1 ruling, the Court upheld the warrantless search of a Kentucky man’s apartment after police smelled marijuana and feared those inside were destroying evidence, essentially granting police officers increased power to enter the homes of citizens without a warrant.

Under the Fourth Amendment, police are barred from entering a home without first obtaining a warrant, which can only be issued by a judge upon probable cause. The only exception is when the circumstances qualify as “exigent,” meaning there is imminent risk of death or serious injury, danger that evidence will be immediately destroyed, or that a suspect will escape. However, exigent circumstances cannot be created by the police.


Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Ms. Amanpour has an exclusive interview with South Carolina’s Republican Tea Bag governor, Nikki Haley.

Need I say more?

On a more serious topic, the economy, she talks with Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair, Former Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman and former Congressional Budget Office Director and McCain economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin about the battle over taxes and government spending.

Top foreign policy voices Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations, Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution and Anthony Shadid of The New York Times weigh in on the turbulent Arab spring.

The round table with the usual right wing suspects, George Will, Cokie Roberts and ABC News Political Director Amy Walter

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) discusses his plans to address the debt limit.

Plus: More from the CBS News Town Hall with President Obama on the Economy

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests are Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC Chief Washington Correspondent, Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post Senior Political Editor, Michael Duffy, TIME Magazine Assistant Managing Editor and Katty Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent. They will bat these questions around:

Which leading GOP candidate has the political chops to conquer his flaw?

Is the cost of a college education still worth the price?

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Republican Presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich will be giving an exclusive interview.

The rountable guests Columnist for the Washington Post, EJ Dionne; columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan; senior political analyst for Time Magazine, Mark Halperin;  White House Correspondent for the New York Times, Helene Cooper;  and chief political writer for the New York Times Magazine, Matt Bai.

The NYT’s really scraped the bottom with right winger Bai

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: The human hybrid turtle, talks = on raising the debt ceiling, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell demanded spending cuts and changes to Medicare and Medicaid as part of the deal. Also, Rep, Paul Ryan (R_WI) will spread more of his toxic economic budget nonsense.

Former Clinton senior adviser and spokesman Joe Lockhart and former Bush strategy and policy adviser Michael Gerson will discuss the GOP presidential race.

Adm. Dennis Blair (Ret.) and Amb. John Negroponte will discuss Adm. Dennis Blair (Ret.) and Amb. John Negroponte.

Fareed Zakaris: GPS: Condoleezza Rice and Eric Schmidt join Fareed to argue the consequences of L’Affaire de bin Laden.

David Cay Johnston: Ryan’s $34 Trillion Tax Folly

If repairing your car cost 18 percent of your income, would you buy a new car? Of course you would.

Now imagine that your mechanic tried to persuade you to keep the jalopy with a clever tax argument: The costs of your annual car tax and registration would decline over time, saving you money. Keep the car long enough and you would save a third of a year’s income just in taxes.

That sounds appealing, unless you stop to think about how much more you would pay for repairs as your vehicle ages and breaks down ever more often.

Now imagine that your mechanic’s savings estimate relied on data that could be analyzed to determine how much of your tax savings would be offset by higher repair costs, but he did not give you those figures. So you do the analysis and find out that for every dollar of tax you save, you would spend $5 to $8 on repairs.

How would you react? Would you laugh out loud at your mechanic? Or get mad? Or walk away in disgust at his lack of candor? Would you not only buy a new car, but also look for a trustworthy mechanic?

This analogy describes the “roadmap” for future taxes and spending on Medicare being marketed by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Ryan is touting his plan to replace Medicare, the universal healthcare plan for older Americans, with a form of defined contribution plan. Ryan would replace universal care with a subsidy for older Americans to pay for health insurance in the private marketplace.

Robert Fisk: Why No Outcry over These Torturing Tyrants?

Christopher Hill, a former US secretary of state for east Asia who was ambassador to Iraq – and usually a very obedient and un-eloquent American diplomat – wrote the other day that “the notion that a dictator can claim the sovereign right to abuse his people has become unacceptable”.

Unless, of course – and Mr Hill did not mention this – you happen to live in Bahrain. On this tiny island, a Sunni monarchy, the al-Khalifas, rule a majority Shia population and have responded to democratic protests with death sentences, mass arrests, the imprisonment of doctors for letting patients die after protests and an “invitation” to Saudi forces to enter the country. They have also destroyed dozens of Shia mosques with all the thoroughness of a 9/11 pilot. But then, let’s remember that most of the 9/11 killers were indeed Saudis.

Ralph Nader: End the Land Mine Plague

Everyday around the world innocent people, many of them children, are killed or injured by millions of unexploded land mines and cluster bombs. Some of the cluster bomblets look like candy or a toy which attract a child in a field, orchard, schoolyard or by the roadside.

Powerful aggressor nations are responsible for most of these anti-personal weapons being laid from land or by air. Most recently, Libya’s rulers laid mines on the outskirts of Ajdabiya as part of its battle against the resistance.

In 2006, Israel laid huge numbers of cluster bombs in southern Lebanon each of which contains lethal bomblets. For many months after the ceasefire, the United Nations could not get Israel, to provide its cluster bomb algorithms to UN experts so they could safely neutralize these heinous weapons. In that period many Lebanese, adults and children, became cluster bomb casualties. (Visit http://www.atfl.org and see the Cluster Bomb Victims photo gallery.)

Rania Khalek: In America, Being Poor is a Criminal Offense

It takes a special kind of bully to target the most vulnerable and neediest families in society, which millionaire politicians like to argue are draining America’s treasury.  I am referring to Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), who recently introduced a bill that would require states to implement drug testing of applicants for and recipients of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  This is reminiscent of Sen. Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) failed legislation last summer to drug test the unemployed and those receiving other forms of government cash assistance, which ultimately died in the Senate.  So far, Boustany’s proposal is following the same fate as Hatch’s, but around the country states are taking matters into their own hands.

In at least 30 state Legislatures across America, predominately wealthy politicians are quite impressed with themselves for considering bills that would limit the meager amount of state help given to needy families struggling to make ends meet.  Many have proposed drug testing with some even extending it to recipients of other public benefits as well, such as unemployment insurance, medical assistance, and food assistance, in an attempt to add more obstacles to families’ access to desperately needed aid.

Art Levine: GOP-Style Democrats Slash DC Budget: Homeless, Poor Children at Risk

Except for white Republicans in Congress opposed to home rule, few people outside of Washington, DC – and even some white liberals who live in the District – bother to pay much attention to Washington’s local political battles.

But that changed briefly last month, when Mayor Vincent Gray and six members of the city council were arrested in high-profile protests against a Republican-driven federal budget deal that prevents the city from spending its own funds on abortions for low-income women. Congress has traditionally had authority over the Democratic-run District’s budget, but rarely directly interferes in spending. “Why are we the sacrificial lamb?” Gray had asked. Progressive media outlets praised Gray for seeming to stand up to Republicans and their distorted budget priorities.

Yet Mayor Gray and much of the rest of the city council are moving on their own to make the city’s disabled, youngest and neediest citizens the sacrificial lambs of the proposed new city budget, with two-thirds of the cuts targeting the poor. It’s yet another troubling sign of the rightward shift of state and national Democratic Party leaders. It’s a trend that can be seen everywhere, from Democratic legislators in Massachusetts voting to strip public employee unions of the right to bargain collectively to national Democrats meekly accepting GOP messaging on deficit cuts and tax breaks for the rich. Here in Washington, city services are already so strained before the proposed cuts that even families with young children seeking emergency shelter are routinely turned away, and, instead, are often given bus tokens to ride the buses all night with their toddlers and infants.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Ms. Amanpour will have an exclusive with Rep. Ron Paul (R-WI) and her round table guests will be ABC News’ George Will, Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, former Reagan budget director David Stockman, and Chrystia Freeland of Thomson-Reuters debating the Ryan plan and what the country needs to do to get back on firm financial footing.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr Schieffer’s guests Sen. John McCain, (R-AZ), Gov. Robert Bentley, (R-AL), Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson and

Georgetown University’s Michael Eric Dyson will discuss the Alabama storms, Syria and Obama’s birth certificate.

Sheesh, the MSM needs to stop talking about CT’s.

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post Senior Political Editor, Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent, Gloria Borger, CNN Senior Political Analyst and Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune Columnist who will discuss:

Is Racism Behind Attacks On President Obama’s Qualifications?

How Has President Obama Changed The Job Description?

Meet the Press with David Gregory: NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) grant exclusive interviews. Virginia Governor and Vice-Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, Bob McDonnell (R-VA), and Former White House Senior Advisor, David Axelrod discuss the 2012 Republican Presidential candidates. Head Writer for Saturday Night Live, Seth Meyers, sat down with David to talk about hosting the White House Correspondents Dinner and the power of political parodies.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: This Sunday Republican Sen. John Barrasso and Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen discuss the debt ceiling, gas prices and stuff. Former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and a former ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, former Rep. Jane Harman will speculate on the national security shuffle. Ms. Crowley will host a education panel debating why are our kids falling behind in the classroom? Joining her will be former superintendent of Denver public schools, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet; the former U.S. Secretary of Education, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander; CNN education contributor and the founder of the Capitol Preparatory Magnet School, Steve Perry; and the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten.

Go back to bed

Rania Khalek: News Media Too Busy Covering Spectacle to Do Its Job

Dear Media:

Since you have been busy this week with non-stop coverage of the royal wedding and the spectacle that is Donald Trump, I thought I would take it upon myself to fill you in on the less newsworthy items that you missed.  Clearly, the royal wedding of a country that is not your own, in addition to the frantic rantings of an ego obsessed real state tycoon, take priority over middle east turmoil, vicious attacks on labor, and deadly tornadoes ripping through the country.

I assume you haven’t heard-since there has been little to no coverage-that Wikileaks has released the Guantanamo Files, which include classified files on more than 700 past and present Guantanamo detainees.  These documents shed new light on the six-year long persecution of a journalist because he worked for Al-jazeera, the unreliable evidence used to justify due-process free detentions, and the capture of children and men as old as 89.  Of course, I wouldn’t expect such large and important outlets to be bothered with such silly, insignificant revelations.

Michelle Chen: Anti-Union Forces Try to Knock Out New York City’s Hard Hats

On Thursday, construction workers held hard hats in thick hands in the glow of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. In honor of International Workers’ Memorial Day, they solemnly honored the sacrifices of fellow workers who had been injured or killed on the job. The scene embodied the heavy legacy of the city’s building trades: the labor that sculpted gotham’s majesty, muscular but embattled, angled precariously against the city’s powers that be.

Historically, the building trades unions have been known as shrewd political players and a formidable counterweight to developers and the city’s bureaucracy. But now, a civic organization and the real estate industry have teamed up to try to dismantle the construction unions’ political clout.

The Regional Plan Association has issued an extensive report (which as of this writing seems to have been taken down from the RPA’s home page and was only retrievable in cached form), which argues that the pending expiration of 30 city union construction contracts provides an opportunity to roll a little disaster capitalism down 5th Avenue.

Saul Landau and Jack Willis: Same Old from the Nuclear Gang after Fukushima

Wishful thinking about energy generation has apparently induced both temporary blindness and long-term amnesia.

The nuclear industry has promised the world cheap, safe, and clean energy for over 60 years.

As the Japanese government continues to extend its nuclear evacuation zone around the Daiichi nuclear complex in Fukushima, the pushers of nuclear power–including President Barack Obama–still demand that Congress approve ever-larger subsidies for new reactors.

Wishful thinking about energy generation has apparently induced both temporary blindness and long-term amnesia about the history of nuclear “mishaps.”

In 2009, the government subsidized the nuclear industry with $18.5 billion in loan guarantees, which failed to anticipate the total costs of “the next generation of plants.” The Nuclear Energy Institute–the industry’s lobbying group–now wants $20 billion more in loan guarantees to get the so-called “nuclear renaissance” underway.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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”. (Click on images to enlarge)

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: “It’s a special Easter edition of This Week. You won’t want to miss it.”

Actually, you most likely can pass on this.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: This week’s guests on Face the Nation are Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) along with Representatives Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) and Joe Walsh (R-Ill.).

The freshman class

The Chris Matthews Show: This Week’s Guests Katty Kay, BBC Washington Correspondent, Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast Editor, The Dish, Gillian Tett, Financial Times U.S. Managing Editor and Matt Frei, Washington Correspondent BBC chatting about these topics:

The Special Relationship Between the U.S. and Britain

How Brits See the Monarchy of the Future

THE Wedding is Friday

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Guests are Sen John McCain (R-AZ), who never saw a war he didn’t like and two members of the “Gang of Six”, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who want to throw anyone who doesn’t own a corporation or makes millions under the train. Never mind the bus.

The round table guests, columnist for the New York Times and author of the new book “The Social Animal,” David Brooks; columnist for the Washington Post, Eugene Robinson; Republican strategist, Alex Castellanos; and former communications director for President Obama, Anita Dunn will babble about “The Donald” and the “Budget/Debt Battle”

I think they should include interviews with Ivana and Marla

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Guests, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I(diot)-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. George Joulwan (Ret.) and former Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns, all get a turn adding their two cents or less about Libya.

Now, you can either go back to bed or eat some Easter candy for Breakfast. I’m going to have some coffee with a chocolate filled croissant. 😉

Mike Lux: The Base and the Swing, Part 7132

There is no doubt at all that there are demographic groups that can be accurately categorized as base voting blocs (of both parties) and as swing voting blocs, and politicians must appeal to both to win elections. The key is to position yourself in a way that genuinely does appeal to both — that both fires up your side and resonates with those in the middle. The great fallacy for Democrats is in thinking those two kinds of voters are so far apart on the most important issues in determining their voting. This debate keeps raging in Democratic circles, and I expect it will continue to for the foreseeable future.

Historically, swing voters tend to be, as Lee Atwater and most Republican strategists for the last 50 years have understood, economically populist. That is especially true in tough economic times, when more people are hurting and angry. Swing voters intensely dislike the idea of cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. They don’t like Wall Street bankers at all. They hate outsourcing jobs and are not fans of trade deals. They support taxing people making over $250,000 a year. They like the idea of firefighters and cops and nurses being able to unionize. Now, there’s no doubt: they are swing voters for a reason — they don’t like “big government” in general, they aren’t crazy about their own taxes going up, they are worried about government deficits. But here’s the deal: if the goal is to have a message and platform that appeals to both base and swing voters, you can do no better than populist economics. And here’s the other key thing: it is hard to unite them any other way. D.C. conventional wisdom centrism sure doesn’t do it.

John Nichols: A Responsible Republican Rejects Paul Ryan’s Fiscal Folly

Susan Collins slipped the knife in gracefully.

The Republican senator from Maine said that it took “courage” for House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, to advance what he would have Americans believe is a deficit reduction proposal.

But, she explained Friday, “I don’t happen to support Congressman Ryan’s plan…”

Collins’ announcement, made in an interview with a Maine television station, signals a break by a key Senate Republican with the Ryan bill, which received lockstep GOP support in the House. And Collins may not be the only senator from her side of the aisle to break ranks.

Indeed, while Collins is considered to be something of a moderate, honest conservatives should have just as much trouble with the fiscal folly that Ryan proposes.

No one who is serious about reducing deficits, responsible budgeting or the maintenance of a functional society could back Ryan’s scheme — a bait-and-switch scheme that does not even propose to balance the federal budget until 2040.

Michele Chen: The Growing Food Crisis, and What World Leaders Aren’t Doing About It

If all goes as planned for the G-20 this year, leaders of the world’s most powerful economies will convene to issue bold proclamations, talk past each other, and quietly agree to do virtually nothing. The stakes might be a little higher now, though, as the political poker table will be stacked with millions of the world’s hungriest people. Guess who’ll come away empty handed?

World Bank President Robert Zoellick warned at a recent World Bank-IMF meeting that the planet was hurtling toward a food crisis, akin to the chaos that erupted in 2007-2008 across the Global South. The context this time is in some ways more daunting: a perfect storm of social and economic upheaval in North Africa and the Middle East, natural and nuclear disasters in Japan, debt crises in Europe and the U.S., and epidemic unemployment worldwide.

Michael Winship: Congress: Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks

For all their talk of the Founding Fathers, the Constitution and core principles, you’d have thought that the current freshman class of Congress, the sprouted seed of Tea Partiers and the 2010 midterms, would have made a similar tour their first priority on arrival. And for all I know, many of them did just that. But for some, the siren song of cash and influence has proven stronger, already luring them onto the rocks of privilege and corruption that lurk just inside the Beltway. They’ve made a beeline not for the hallowed shrines of patriots’ pride but the elegant suites of K Street lobbyists, where the closest its residents have been to Lincoln is the bearded face peering from the five-dollar bill — chump change.

So much for fiercely resisting the wicked, wicked ways of Washington. These new members were seduced faster than Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate.”

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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”.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Ms. Amanpour’s guest will be Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner discussing the debt ceiling. A gang of Tea Party Republicans, Reps. Joe Walsh (R-Ill), Steve Southerland (R-Fl), Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Allen West (R-Fl), “debate” that and the looming debt crisis and Donald Trump.

The roundtable with George Will, economist Alice Rivlin of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, political strategist Matthew Dowd and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick debate the competing budget plans.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Scheiffer’s guests are Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) to  discuss the deficit and debt reduction

The Chris Matthews Show: This week’s guests are Joe Klein, TIME Columnist, Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC Chief Washington Correspondent, Becky Quick, CNBC Co-Anchor, Squawk Box and Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast Editor, The Dish, who will discuss these questions:

Why is raising taxes on the rich so tough?

What if there Is no hell?

Meet the Press with David Gregory:Tim Geithner makes another appearance to discuss spending and the debt ceiling and Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA)joins David Gregory to discuss the candidacy of Mitt Romney.

At the round table, Fmr. chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan; Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Fmr. Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI); author Jon Meacham; and author of the new book “Fail Up,” PBS’s Tavis Smiley will add their opinions on Romney

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York will join Ms Crowley exclusively to debate the buget competing proposals.

Former CIA Director, Gen. Michael Hayden (Ret.) will discuss the Libya crisis. The former president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister will try to explain rising gas prices when there is no shortage and another interview with Donald Trump

Now that you’ve read this, you can go back to bed or get out in the fresh air.

Glenn Greenwald: Mission Transformation in Libya

Barack Obama, March 28, 2011, explaining America’s involvement in the war in Libya:

   Of course, there is no question that Libya — and the world — would be better off with Qaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means. But broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.

Barack Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy, joint Op-Ed, yesterday:

   The bombing continues until Gaddafi goes

   Our duty and our mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 1973 is to protect civilians, and we are doing that. It is not to remove Gaddafi by force. . . . However, so long as Gaddafi is in power, Nato and its coalition partners must maintain their operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds. Then a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process can really begin, led by a new generation of leaders. For that transition to succeed, Colonel Gaddafi must go, and go for good.

Whatever one thinks about this war limited humanitarian intervention on the merits, this is not the mission that Obama cited when justifying America’s involvement. It’s the opposite:  “broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake” v. “so long as Gaddafi is in power, Nato and its coalition partners must maintain their operations.” To claim that “regime change” is subsumbed under the goal of “protecting civilians” is to define that objective so broadly as to render it meaningless and, independently, is to violate Obama’s explicit decree at the start that regime change would not be the military goal.  Finally, note the blithe dismissal of the very limited U.N. Resolution that initially justified all this: it does not provide for regime change in Libya by force, acknowledged the three leaders, but that, in essence, is what we’re going to do anyway (continue “operations” until he’s gone).

John Nichols: How Socialists Built America

This article is adapted from The “S” Word: A Short History of an American Tradition… Socialism, published in March by Verso.

If there’s one constant in the elite national discourse of the moment, it is the claim that America was founded as a capitalist country and that socialism is a dangerous foreign import that, despite our unwarranted faith in free trade, must be barred at the border. This most conventional “wisdom”-increasingly accepted at least until the recent grassroots mobilizations in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Maine-has held that everything public is inferior to everything private, that corporations are always good and unions always bad, that progressive taxation is inherently evil and that the best economic model is the one that allows the wealthy to gobble up as much of the Republic as they choose before anything trickles down to the great mass of Americans. Rush Limbaugh informs us regularly that proposals to tax people as rich as he is for the purpose of providing healthcare for kids and jobs for the unemployed are “antithetical” to the nation’s original intent and that Barack Obama’s reforms are “destroying this country as it was founded.”

MIchelle Chen: A Year On, BP Oil Still Mars Gulf Communities, Public Scrutiny Dries Up

The April 14 meeting proceeded efficiently, as scheduled, for BP shareholders. For the workers, environmentalists and community members rallying in protest, though, the day of reckoning had yet to arrive.

The government and media may be moving on from aftermath of the Deepwater disaster, but the scars left behind by the spill are still raw and festering.

First, Congress has passed no legislation to prevent the kind of disaster that touched off the explosion that killed 11 workers and poured masses of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Bill McKibben; What if Your President’s Just Not That Into You?

Tomorrow in Washington, at the sprawling and wonderful Power Shift, a few of us are on a panel titled “What If Your President’s Just Not That Into You?” Funny title, serious question.

The first thing: those of us in the environmental movement aren’t high school sophomores feeling jilted by their first crush. Most of us liked Obama a lot: I was among the first green leaders to join upon ‘Environmentalists for Obama,’ back when he seemed a longshot. It wasn’t because I thought he would solve every problem; it’s because I thought he’d make climate change one of the top two priorities of his presidency. And he thought so too: on the day in June of 2008 when he finally clinched the nomination he said that people would someday look back and say “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair sits down with “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour for an exclusive interview.

The “Round Table” with the usual suspects: George Will, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman and Mary Jordan of The Washington Post who will discuss the whether the new round of peace talks finally lead to progress in the Middle East.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests will be Laura Tyson, Former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analytics, Chief Economist Gretchen Morgenson, NYT Assistant Business and Financial Editor Nancy Cordes, CBS News Capitol Hill Correspondent and Jim VandeHei, Politico Executive Editor.

The Chris Matthews Show: This weeks guests will be Cynthia Tucker, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Columnist Howard Fineman,

Newsweek Senior Washington Correspondent, Michael Duffy, TIME Magazine, Assistant Managing Editor and , Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC, Chief Washington Correspondent. They will discuss if democrats lose big this fall will All fingers point at President Obama Himself? and

the top five Republicans definitely running for President.

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