Here are the top editorial and opinion columns from today.
PRESIDENT OBAMA AND THE ARAB SPRING EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMES
President Obama raised great hopes in 2009 when he spoke in Cairo about “a new beginning” with the Muslim world. The glow has faded. He has another chance this week to bolster this country’s image and to help support democratic change in the region. Reviving the peace process must be part of that effort. ... But as Mr. Assad proved, it is still a far too potent weapon for autocrats and extremists.
POWERFUL AND PRIMITIVE BY MAUREEN DOWDNEW YORK TIMES
While the French excoriated the American system of justice — discouraging pictures of Strauss-Kahn handcuffed, which are illegal in France — Americans could pride themselves on the sound of the “bum-bum” “Law & Order: SVU” gong sounding, the noise that heralds that justice will be done without regard to wealth, class or privilege. It’s an inspiring story about America, where even a maid can have dignity and be listened to when she accuses one of the most powerful men in the world of being a predator.
BIBI AND BARACK BY THOMAS FRIEDMANNEW YORK TIMESWe don’t want the Arab democracy rebellions to stop, but no one can predict how they will end. The smart thing for us and Israel to do is avoid what we can’t manage, and manage what we can’t avoid. Right now we’re doing neither.
WELFARE-QUEEN STATES BY HAROLD MEYERSON
If we’re really serious, then, about reducing the deficit entirely through cutbacks, the solution is clear: Cut off these slacker states. As we can’t very well expect them to support legislating an end to their slothful dependence on our sugar-daddy subsidies, the only real solution is to reduce them to vassal status, strip them of their congressional and electoral college representation, and compel them to pay what they owe America’s producing class.
ROMNEY, YOU CAN'T GOVERN BY BULLET POINT BY RUTH MARCUSWASHINGTON POSTGovernment-by-PowerPoint threatens to flatten the nuance inherent in difficult public policy decisions. It substitutes the appearance of serious thinking for real analytical rigor. And really, governor, if you’re trying to come across as a Regular Guy, is a PowerPoint presentation the way to go? You ought to delete that program. Just one columnist’s ongoing input.
THE INCENTIVE TO SAVE ACT EDITORIALWALL STREET JOURNALSo we're happy to report that Congressman Denny Rehberg of Montana and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida have introduced legislation requiring the federal government to dedicate all unspent grant money from states to federal debt retirement. The Refund Act would give states greater incentive to return dollars to Washington, assuring state taxpayers that returned funds wouldn't merely be shipped to less frugal states. ... Congress has long rigged the budget rules to encourage more taxing and spending. It's time to change those incentives.