Must Read Op-Eds for September 22, 2011

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A FEW WORDS WITH IRAN’S PRESIDENT  BY NICHOLAS KRISTOF
NEW YORK TIMES
Mr. Ahmadinejad also indulged in a bit of triumphalism. He acknowledged that the West’s “crippling” sanctions against Iran had “worked well.” But he added: “Does Iran face more problems or the United States of America?” He referred to the “collapse” of the American financial system and suggested that Iran’s economy is in better shape…He added that the West will be driven by its weakness to “seek a rapprochement with Iran.”  Then the interview was over, and Mr. Ahmadinejad zoomed back from bombast to conciliation. He beamed and told me: “We truly like and love the people of the United States.”

 

WHAT WOULD WILLOW THE CAT DO?  BY GAIL COLLINS
NEW YORK TIMES
Perhaps you are eager to know more about Willow the cat, who has now become a major celebrity…so the betting is that she was picked up in Colorado by a New Yorker who transported her East despite the inability of Congress to come up with long-term funding for either highway construction or the Federal Aviation Administration…But about Congress…They have other things on their plate, mainly the critical job of passing emergency extensions of everything. Once again, we are forced to miss the good old days when nobody in Congress had principles and we all got to complain about political hacks. We miss the hacks a lot, even as Willow the cat’s Colorado family must have missed her when she took off for New York.

 

RON PAUL IS WINNING  BY DANA MILBANK
WASHINGTON POST
Rarely does a man go far in public life hawking the sort of oddities that the gadfly from Texas does. And yet, in a sense, Ron Paul is winning the 2012 Republican presidential primary. Paul won’t be the president, or even the party nominee, but that was never his goal. He aimed to shift the debate toward his exotic economic theories, and by that standard he has prevailed. The former obstetrician fathered the Tea Party. His son won election to the Senate. Republican leaders in Congress have joined Paul’s crusade against the Federal Reserve. And his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination are stealing his ideas.

 

HANDICAPPING THE GOP DEBATE  BY KARL ROVE
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has, along with Mr. Romney, been the most consistently impressive debater. Getting into scraps with other candidates has helped, and he’s had strong, even Reaganesque, moments on foreign policy. His challenge tonight is to get a shot at Iowa by shouldering aside Ms. Bachmann as the social conservative favorite…But the economy will remain the election’s No. 1 issue. The strength and fluency of candidates in offering a compelling agenda for growth, jobs, fiscal discipline and reform will eventually play the biggest role in settling the contest.

 

GM IS BACK, THANKS TO UNCLE SAM  BY E.J. DIONNE
WASHINGTON POST
Once human beings throw off the chains imposed by the idea that all economic laws are “natural,” they discover the capacity to change things and can use the tools of democratic government to do so when all else fails. We did not have to accept the collapse of our domestic auto companies, and we do not have to accept that the Federal Reserve is powerless to give the economy the boost it needs. There is no reason to believe that the federal government is incapable of investing more in schools, roads and other public goods to build for the future and get more money into the hands of consumers now. We do not have to rely on giving rich people tax cuts and then confine ourselves to offering fervent prayers that they might invest some of the money in creating jobs. We can seek to control our fate, or we can turn the invisible hand into a God who commands us to be helpless.

 

HOW ABOUT A GREEN TEA PARTY?  BY TERRY ANDERSON
WALL STREET JOURNAL
As the presidential campaign heats up, it would be nice to see some environmental leadership. Unfortunately, neither political party is providing it. Democrats keep throwing money and regulations at environmental problems, and Republicans keep arguing that a focus on jobs and the economy must trump environmental protection…It is time for a movement that brings environmental quality through economic prosperity. It’s time for a Green Tea Party.  It is not enough to strut your stuff in clothes made of recycled materials while driving your hybrid to an environmental protest. And environmental quality cannot be bought simply by throwing more tax dollars and regulations at problems. The GTP would serve environmental quality, budget cuts and economic prosperity.

 

ADDICTED TO DRONES  BY DAVID IGNATIUS
WASHINGTON POST
Here’s the real problem with drones. They may indeed reduce collateral damage, as their proponents argue, because of their precision and surveillance. And America’s growing use of them against al-Qaeda may be legal under international law that allows self-defense. But what is legal isn’t always wise. A world where drones are constantly buzzing overhead — waiting to zap those deemed threats under a cloaked and controversial process — risks being, even more, a world of lawlessness and chaos. Drones have been America’s best weapon against al-Qaeda, but one to use sparingly — against people U.S. intelligence knows are seeking to kill others.

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Must Read Op-Eds for September 22, 2011

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