My NYTX column is on David Brooks' latest. (I thought I had written a horrible column because I wrote it hurriedly on the way to another eye surgery. But I'm back, I can see, and -- after I corrected some typos -- I think the column is more-or-less worth your reading.) The NYTX front page is here.
Gene Robinson: "With its support for gay marriage, the NAACP has done more than strike a blow for fairness and equality. The nation's most venerable civil rights organization has made itself relevant again. The NAACP's 64-member board approved a resolution Saturday supporting 'marriage equality' not as a matter of empathy or compassion but as a right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment."
Stephanie Saul of the New York Times: Publicly-funded "scholarship programs have been twisted to benefit private schools at the expense of the neediest children. Spreading at a time of deep cutbacks in public schools, the programs are operating in eight states and represent one of the fastest-growing components of the school choice movement.... The money has also been used to attract star football players, expand the payrolls of the nonprofit scholarship groups and spread the theology of creationism.... Most of the private schools are religious.... The programs are insulated from provisions requiring church-state separation because the donations are collected and distributed by the nonprofit scholarship groups."
Laurie Penny gives a first-person account in The Independent on her bus ride from New York to Chicago to protest against politicians who exacerbated the financial crisis. Thanks to Dave S. for the link.
Norimitsu Onishi of the New York Times: "Facing opposition to a new studio in Lucas Valley, George Lucas said he would bring low-income housing there instead, inflaming wealthy neighbors in Marin County."
Frank Bruni's patronizing column in which he writes that politicians' wives would make good politicians, too, is interesting in that it highlights Christie Vilsack, the wife of Ag Secretary & former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. Christie is running for Congress against the deplorable Steve King.
Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic: RomneyCare is working well, & the Affordable Care Act -- if it had been in full force since 2001 -- would have saved Americans money. CW: let's see what the Supremes have done. They have certainly made their final decisions by now & are merely crossing the t's & dotting the i's at this point.
CW: If you missed President Obama's response to Cory Booker's criticism of the Obama campaign's Bain ads, do check out the video & link in yesterday's Commentariat, which I posted late Monday. ...
... Paul Krugman: "... apparently [Cory] Booker is so close to his Wall Street donors that it never occurred to him that echoing their over-the-top reactions to Obama's very mild populism would destroy his own political future (which I believe it has)." ...
... It is not just Booker's political donors who influenced his thinking. As David Dayen of Firedoglake explains, cities like Newark have a symbiotic relationship with vulture capitalists. "... practically every state in the union uses private equity, particularly through their large pension funds. This creates a symbiotic relationship between state and local governments and vulture capitalists. The pension funds then invest in local economies, fattened by the higher returns they get from their entrusting of funds to private equity. This allows these firms, which specialize in stripping down companies and turning over profits, without regard for the workers they leave behind, to get inoculated by the political class, who want to keep this game going." ...
... Booker continues his apology tour. Booker said he had "good conversations" with members of the Obama campaign, which evidently cured his nausea:
... NEW. Tim Mak of Politico has a summary of left-leaning bloggers' reactions to Booker. ...
... Here's the campaign's latest Bain video:
Daniel Drezner of Foreign Policy: "... with Romney's NATO Chicago Tribune op-ed this past weekend, I fear he and his campaign have crossed the line from really stupid foreign policy pronouncements to logically contradictory ones.... I don't like it when a guy with a 50/50 chance of being president in January 2013 has abandoned the Logic Train." Romney's op-ed is here. ...
... AND from the right. Daniel Larison of the American Conservative: "It will not come as a shock that Romney doesn’t seem to know much about NATO." (CW: Evidently, Romney is getting his foreign policy advice from Campbell Brown's husband Dan Senor.) ...
...CW: well, thanks to Romney, I learned a new word: "revanchism."
Nicholas Confessore, et al., of the New York Times: "President Obama's once-commanding fund-raising advantage is declining as major Republican donors rally for Mitt Romney, conservative 'super PACs' far outpace their liberal counterparts and tax-exempt issue-advocacy groups swarm the political landscape."
Paul Waldman of American Prospect: four years and running, thousands of articles about Barack Obama's early life, and conservatives still think he hasn't been "vetted." They're still looking for that "horrible secret."
Right Wing World
I think Schumer can probably find the legislation to do this. It existed in Germany in the 1930s and Rhodesia in the '70s and in South Africa as well. He probably just plagiarized it and translated it from the original German. -- Grover Norquist, on Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) bill to penalize Americans who renounce their citizenship to evade taxes
There is nothing quite as classy as calling a Jewish person a Nazi. -- Constant Weader
New York Times: "Katie Beckett, who was 3 years old and had been hospitalized almost since birth when President Ronald Reagan invoked her case as an example of irrational federal regulation in 1981 -- a key moment in the movement toward government support for home health care — died on Friday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the hospital where she was born. She was 34, more than three times the age her doctors had predicted she would reach."
New York Times: 'The leading American diplomat in Afghanistan, Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, will leave his post this summer for health reasons after serving here less than a year, a State Department official said Tuesday."
New York Times: "A passenger flight from Paris to Charlotte, N.C., was diverted on Tuesday to Bangor, Maine, because of security concerns set off when a passenger told the crew that she had a surgically implanted device.... There was no indication that a bomb or any such device was involved in the case."
New York Times: "In an apparent breakthrough, the leader of the United Nations nuclear monitoring arm said on Tuesday that despite unspecified differences, he expects to sign a deal with Iran 'quite soon' on the arrangements for an investigation into potential military applications of Tehran's disputed nuclear program."
New York Times: "Global stocks rose on Tuesday, even as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development cut its growth forecast for the euro zone and said Europe risked creating a self-sustaining cycle of decline that could have dire effects for the world economy."
New York Times: "A private cargo rocket headed to the International Space Station blasted off early Tuesday morning. Built by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Hawthorne, Calif. -- commonly known as SpaceX -- this rocket is carrying only about 1,000 pounds of cargo, and nothing of great value.... If the cargo capsule makes it all the way to the space station, it would be the first commercial, rather than government-operated, spacecraft to dock at the space station, and it would mark an important step in NASA's efforts to turn over basic transportation to low-Earth orbit to the private sector."
Washington Post: President Obama spoke at the commencement of Joplin, Missouri, High School one year after a tornado devastated the town.
Washington Post: "The Air Force said Monday that it had fined the former commander of the Dover Air Force Base mortuary $7,000 and suspended his top deputy for 20 days without pay for retaliating against whistleblowers, but it allowed both men to keep their jobs."
HealthDay: "In a highly anticipated move sure to unleash heated debate, a prominent U.S. government advisory panel is recommending that men of all ages no longer be screened for prostate cancer by undergoing the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent group of medical experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, said PSA screening results in overdiagnosis of prostate cancer and unnecessary treatment that can leave men impotent and incontinent."
Guardian: "Facebook shares have fallen sharply on a second day of trading, leading to questions about the valuation of its IPO and the handling of the sale by its bankers."
ABC News: "A month after the Secret Service was rocked by allegations that agents brought prostitutes to a Colombia hotel where they were preparing for a visit by President Obama, the Drug Enforcement Administration today announced that at least three of its agents are also under investigation for allegedly hiring prostitutes in Cartagena."
NEW. Washington Post: "The nation's chief of nuclear safety announced his resignation Monday after a three-year tenure marked by debates over regulatory guidelines, praise for the U.S. response to the Japanese nuclear disaster and complaints that he had verbally abused women in the workplace. The departure of Gregory B. Jaczko, an advocate of tough safety standards at nuclear reactor sites during eight years on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, caps almost a year of concerns about his leadership of the NRC...."
NEW. New York Times: "In an effort to show a unified front in their campaign against the birth control mandate, 43 Roman Catholic dioceses, schools, social service agencies and other institutions filed lawsuits in 12 federal courts on Monday, challenging the Obama administration's rule that their employees receive coverage for contraception in their health insurance policies." CW: sorry, thought I linked this yesterday.