Here are today's top opinion and editorial columns.
LAW MAKERS? By Major GarrettNational Journal
A parade of edgy, ideologically barbed pieces of legislation to dismantle parts of President Obama's health care law, vastly expand offshore oil drilling, and restrict access to privately insured abortion coverage passed with virtually no Democratic support. The bills appear destined for the dustbin of Senate history. But despite the obvious downsides, all of this seemingly pointless political maneuvering may turn out to be worth the trouble-for both parties.
FEARS AND FAILURE BY PAUL KRUGMANNEW YORK TIMES
Yet any action to help the unemployed is vetoed by the fear-mongers. Should we spend modest sums on job creation? ... So we’re paying a heavy price for Washington’s obsession with phantom menaces. By looking for trouble in all the wrong places, our political class is preventing us from dealing with the real crisis: the millions of American men and women who can’t find work.
THE POLITICS OF SOLIPSISM BY DAVID BROOKSNEW YORK TIMES
There has been less progress in getting political leaders to come up with compromises that balance dynamism and cohesion. Republicans still mostly talk about incentives for growth, and Democrats still mostly talk about economic security. The breakthrough, if there is one, will come from the least directly democratic parts of the government, from the Senate or some commission of Establishment bigwigs. ... It will all depend on reviving the republican virtues upon which the country was founded.
STALLED MISSION IN LIBYA EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMESThere are legal obstacles to immediately releasing the roughly $30 billion in frozen Khaddafy regime assets to rebel authorities in Benghazi. Secretary of State Clinton pledged to expedite that process. At Thursday’s meeting, diplomats also said they were creating an international fund to channel humanitarian and financial assistance to rebel areas. The United States, Qatar and Kuwait promised generous contributions. European nations and other affluent Arab countries should do the same, with strict monitoring mechanisms put in place to make sure the aid goes to its intended recipients.
THE QUIET AT GROUND ZERO EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMES
Crowds were kept well away on surrounding sidewalks, offering their own silence beyond sight of the president. ... One World Trade Center, stood barely halfway up to its 1,776 feet, but its mirror-finish skin reflected promisingly across the scene. “It’s not joyful, but we persevere,” one man in the crowd declared of the occasion. He echoed the tone of President Obama before police responders from 9/11: “We did what we said we were going to do.”
WHY THE GOP SHOULD SUPPORT PUBLICLY FUNDED CAMPAIGNS BY ALAN SIMPSONWASHINGTON POSTBy providing qualified candidates with enough matching funds to run energetic campaigns, we can ensure that character, experience and ideas — not money — determine who gets to compete for public office. Now those are criteria I’m sure [George] Will agrees should count for more than the depths of one’s wallet in the public forum.
EVIL DOES NOT DIE OF NATURAL CAUSES BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMERWASHINGTON POSTAl-Qaeda is not subsiding on its own. It is not retiring from the field, having seen the error of its ways. It is not disappearing because of some inexorable law of history or nature. It is in retreat because of the terrible defeats it suffered once America decided to take up arms against it, a campaign (once) known as the war on terror.
SHOW THE PROOF, MR. PRESIDENT BY PEGGY NOONANWALL STREET JOURNAL
However, and with our president there is always a however, he has spent almost every moment since his Sunday night speech displaying both a tin ear and a chronic tendency to misunderstand his own country. His refusal to release more evidence that Osama is dead is allowing a great story to dissolve into a mystery. He is letting a triumph turn into a conspiracy theory.
THE WATERBOADRING TRIAL TO BIN LADEN BY MICHAEL MUKASEY WALL STREET JOURNAL
Intelligence-gathering rather than prosecution must be the first priority, and that we need a classified interrogation program administered by the agency best equipped to administer it: the CIA. ... Acknowledging and meeting the need for an effective and lawful interrogation program, which we once had, and freeing CIA operatives and others to administer it under congressional oversight, would be a fitting way to mark the demise of Osama bin Laden.