Must-Read Op-Eds for Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Updated
 

TALL TALES ABOUT PRIVATE EQUITY
STEVE RATTNER
NEW YORK TIMES

Aware of private equity’s reputation, Mr. Romney still trots around the country erroneously calling himself a “venture capitalist.” And in a further effort to deflect attention from the Bain Capital debate, Mr. Romney last week argued that President Obama was responsible for the loss of 100,000 jobs in the auto industry over the past three years. That’s both ridiculously false … and a remarkable comment from a man who said that the companies should have been allowed to go bankrupt and that the industry would have been better off without President Obama’s involvement. Adding jobs was never Mitt Romney’s private sector agenda, and it’s appropriate to question his ability to do so.

PRESIDENT OBAMA WANTS IT BOTH WAY ON PRIVATE EQUITY
EDITORIAL
WASHINGTON POST

The president accepted $3.5 million in campaign donations from private equity executives in 2008, and additional dollars this time around, so it would have been awkward for him not to concede that private equity does “good work.” … What we’re left with is a president who seems content to present an even-handed view of private equity at his news conferences while propounding a much more tendentious one in his campaign advertising. Pointing out that a business career hasn’t fully prepared Mr. Romney to be president, in other words, is a long way from suggesting that he’s a vampire.

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FATHER DOESN’T KNOW BEST
MAUREEN DOWD
NEW YORK TIMES

Some leading Catholic groups endorsed the compromise struck by the Obama administration that put the responsibility for providing the contraceptives on the insurance companies, not religious institutions. But others wanted to salute the Vatican flag and keep fighting. … The church leaders headed to court hope to undermine the president, but they may help him. Voters who think sex is only for procreation were not going to vote for Obama anyway. And the lawsuit reminds the rest that what the bishops portray as an attack on religion by the president is really an attack on women by the bishops.

THE WEBCAM SPYING CASE
EDITORIAL
NEW YORK TIMES

Mr. Ravi’s lamentable decision not to speak at the sentencing hearing added to the tragedy’s haunting force. “I heard this jury say guilty 288 times — 24 questions, 12 jurors, that’s the multiplication,” Judge Berman said. “And I haven’t heard you apologize once.” … Mr. Ravi’s lawyers have said they will appeal his conviction; the prosecutor said he would appeal the 30-day sentence, which he called “insufficient.” However the case unfolds, it is up to Mr. Ravi to take responsibility for his actions and demonstrate he is worthy of the justice he received from Judge Berman.

THE ROMNEY YOU SEE IS THE ONE YOU’D GET
RICHARD COHEN
WASHINGTON POST

It’s hardly conceivable that, as president, Romney will become the Romney some think he is. The forces that shaped him in the primaries and caucuses will not go away. He has been clay in the hands of the political right, and this will not change. … Romney has left it to others to define what sort of candidate he would be. Nothing would change if he were president. Weakness is his one consistency.

THE IPO FROM HELL?
HOLMAN JENKINS JR.
WALL STREET JOURNAL

There’s a reason companies from time immemorial have considered a successful IPO one that leaves money on the table so initial holders can enjoy a first-day pop. Companies want a record of managing and satisfying investor expectations. Establishing such a record was destined to be doubly hard for Facebook. It’s clear Mr. Zuckerberg was eager to indulge the public’s readiness to attribute a $100 billion market value to the firm. He liked the idea of Facebook’s stratospheric valuation relative to any demonstrated ability to generate revenues or profits. He reportedly pushed Morgan Stanley to raise the issue price. But far from clear is whether he’s willing now to accept the public investors’ agenda and protect their money by shifting his focus to profit making.

GETTING A GOOD DEAL WITH IRAN
LINDSAY GRAHAM, JOE LIEBERMAN, JOHN MCCAIN
WALL STREET JOURNAL

Our best hope for avoiding conflict is to leave no doubt that the window for diplomacy is closing. In the absence of a negotiated solution that addresses the totality of Iran’s nuclear program, and soon, we must take the steps that President Obama laid out in February, when he said: “America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.” The U.S. must be prepared, if necessary, to use military force to stop Iran from getting a nuclear-weapons capability.

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Must-Read Op-Eds for Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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