Here are today's top editorial and opinion columns.
THE MIDEAST PEACE PROCESS: NO PLAN FOR TALKS EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMES
[Now] more drift and recriminations, unless Mr. Obama comes up with a plan to get the parties into serious talks. We see no hint that he is working toward one. We are told that he has no immediate plans to appoint a new envoy to replace George Mitchell, who resigned, or to send Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to the region. Negotiations will become even harder once the unity government with Hamas is formed and it gets closer to September. Time is running out.
WHAT OBAMA DID TO ISRAEL BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMERWASHINGTON POST
Obama’s response to this relentless Palestinian intransigence? To reward it — by abandoning the Bush assurances, legitimizing the ’67 borders and refusing to reaffirm America’s rejection of the right of return. The only remaining question is whether this perverse and ultimately self-defeating policy is born of genuine antipathy toward Israel or of the arrogance of a blundering amateur who refuses to see that he is undermining not just peace but the very possibility of negotiations.
MEDICARE AND MEDISCARES BY PAUL KRUGMANNEW YORK TIMES
So what happens now? The fight will shift from Medicare to Medicaid - a program that has become an essential lifeline for many Americans, especially children, but which in the Ryan plan is slated for a 44 percent cut in federal aid over the next decade. At this point, however, I'm optimistic that this initiative will also run aground on popular disapproval. What of Mr. Ryan's hope that voters will realize that they've been lied to? Well, as I see it, that's already happening. And it's bad news for the G.O.P.
MEDICARE SURVIVAL GUIDE BY DAVID BROOKSNEW YORK TIMESThe Boston Consulting Group foresees a manufacturing renaissance as Chinese wages rise and workers in low-cost states like Mississippi find they can compete once again. If Republicans can help foster that, and if they can cut a bipartisan deal that illustrates that we are all in this together, they can do good for the country while doing well politically. If not, it's the same old story: whoever is bravest on entitlements will lose.
CALIFORNIA'S INVITATION FOR JUDICIAL ACTIVISM BY MICHAEL GERSONWASHINGTON POST
At the end of his dissent, [Justice Samiel] Alito warns that a large prisoner release in California might lead to a “grim roster of victims.” Of course, nearly all prisoners are eventually released after serving their time. We are only debating the pace. And it is absurd and outrageous to treat them like animals while hoping they return to us as responsible citizens.
HUNTSMAN-BACHMANN IN 2012! BY ED ROGERSWASHINGTON POSTRepublicans need to do something radical. If we go through the drudgery of the primaries with a weak field, produce a weak nominee, and face an impoverished spring and early summer of 2012, followed by a tiresome, cliched August convention, we will give Obama a huge advantage.
WORD OF THE DECADE: 'UNSUSTAINABLE' BY PEGGY NOONANWALL STREET JOURNALIt's obvious the White House political plan for 2012 is this: The Democrats will call for fiscal discipline and offer no specifics or good-faith starting points. They will leave the Republicans to be specific, and then let them be hanged with their candor. Democrats will speak not of what they'll do but only of what they would never do, such as throw grandma out in the snow. In honeyed tones, Mr. Sperling said both parties should "hold hands and jump together."