Must-Read Op-Eds for Monday, May 21, 2012

Updated
 
OBAMA, STOP CONDESCENDING TO WOMEN
CAMPBELL BROWN
NEW YORK TIMES

[T]he promise of [Obama’s] campaign four years ago has given way to something else — a failure to connect with tens of millions of Americans, many of them women, who feel economic opportunity is gone and are losing hope. In an effort to win them back, Mr. Obama is trying too hard. He’s employing a tone that can come across as grating and even condescending. He really ought to drop it. Most women don’t want to be patted on the head or treated as wards of the state. They simply want to be given a chance to succeed based on their talent and skills. To borrow a phrase from our president’s favorite president, Abraham Lincoln, they want “an open field and a fair chance.” In the second decade of the 21st century, that isn’t asking too much.

MAYOR BLOOMBERG’S 911 CALL
EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES

The new system is supposed to be able to handle 50,000 emergency calls an hour, 40 times more than the average daily volume now. But the report concluded that the Police and Fire Departments have still failed to plan coordinated responses for operators and dispatchers to major emergencies like a blackout or terrorist attack. The departments need to develop formal procedures and training to work together when there is such an event and calls surge. Mayor Bloomberg has a lot more work to do.

DIMON’S Déjà VU DEBACLE
PAUL KRUGMAN
NEW YORK TIMES

The point, again, is that an institution like JPMorgan — a too-big-to-fail bank, not to mention a bank whose deposits are already guaranteed by U.S. taxpayers — shouldn’t be engaged in this kind of speculative investment at all. … Will we get that kind of regulation? Not if Mr. Romney wins, obviously; he wants to repeal Dodd-Frank, and in general has made it clear that he would do everything in his power to set us up for another financial crisis. Even if President Obama is re-elected, getting the kind of regulation we need will be an uphill struggle. But as Mr. Dimon’s debacle has just demonstrated, that struggle remains as necessary as ever.

IS MENTIONING REV. WRIGHT RACIST?

KATHLEEN PARKER
WASHINGTON POST

The power (and hubris) of individual political donors and their offspring — the ads they want to sire — may become the tragedy of this election season. Romney is nothing like a racist, yet suddenly he is forced to distance himself from ads about which he knew nothing. And we now can agree that resurrecting Wright for any purpose would do more political harm than good. Ricketts apparently would agree. He has distanced himself from the proposal faster than Obama distanced himself from Wright. … And thus ends another faux controversy about non-ads in the very strange universe known as American Politics.

BAIN CAPITALISM 101
EDITORIAL
WALL STREET JOURNAL

If Bain’s standard operating procedure were to hand the next owner of one of its companies a ticking bankruptcy package, how is Bain still finding buyers nearly three decades later? And who would agree to lend money to a company backed by Bain? … The liberal critique of private equity assumes that the financial industry is full of saps who have been eager to lose money across the table from Bain for 28 years. This is the same financial industry that the same liberal critics say is full of greedy schemers when it comes to padding their own pay or ripping off consumers. But financiers can’t be both knaves and diabolical geniuses at the same time. Learning about Bain successes like Staples or Gartner or Steel Dynamics confirms the logical conclusion that Bain had to be creating value along the way—for investors, for lenders, and that means for workers too.

WHAT’S AT STAKE IN THE WISCONSIN RECALL
CHRISTOPHER TONER
WALL STREET JOURNAL

Recalling Gov. Walker and reinstating collective-bargaining rights would guarantee a tax hike to pay astronomical, pre-Walker-level health and retirement benefits to union members. Local governments would have to continue fighting in front of arbitrators to exert any semblance of control over their workforce. And big labor would be able to exert more control over politicians and dictate reform on its terms—which is virtually no reform at all. If politicians nationwide see Mr. Walker as a cautionary tale, what will happen on the inevitable day when we have to tell seniors that they must contribute more toward Medicare or wait until age 68 to receive Social Security? Will the AARP run those people out of office too?

THESE ARE NOT THE TIMES TO BE BIASED
JOE SCARBOROUGH
POLITICO

Anyone who has spent any time working on a political campaign knows that terrible ideas bubble up and are popped by smart managers every five minutes or so. The fact that the New York Times decided to seize on a stupid idea by a guy not connected to (a) the super pac, (b) the RNC or (c) the Romney campaign shows just how much of a stretch it was to put Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg’s story on the top of page one. Zeleny and Rutenberg are great reporters. And their story calling out a single strategist for pushing this self-destructive idea should find its way into the news stream. But until the New York Times begins publishing the moronic ideas of Democratic ad men making pitches to George Soros or Ted Turner, they should limit their breathless attacks against a political party they clearly oppose.

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Must-Read Op-Eds for Monday, May 21, 2012

Updated