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Must Read Op-Eds for September 13, 2011

IF IT FEELS RIGHT... BY DAVID BROOKSNEW YORK TIMESIn most times and in most places, the group was seen to be the essential moral unit.

IF IT FEELS RIGHT... BY DAVID BROOKSNEW YORK TIMESIn most times and in most places, the group was seen to be the essential moral unit. A shared religion defined rules and practices. Cultures structured people’s imaginations and imposed moral disciplines. But now more people are led to assume that the free-floating individual is the essential moral unit. Morality was once revealed, inherited and shared, but now it’s thought of as something that emerges in the privacy of your own heart.

NOW AMERICA MUST TURN THE PAGE BY JOE SCARBOROUGHPOLITICOIn the darkest days of the great depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt told a frightened country that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” FDR’s words are still relevant eight decades later. It is time to move past the fear that gripped us over the past decade and instead, begin shaping our own destiny on our own terms — not on the terms of twisted terrorists and petty dictators. We will prevail. We are Americans. But first we have to have the courage to turn the page and move forward together.


Ten years ago, my routine was to take the Amtrak every Tuesday from Massachusetts, where I then lived, into Manhattan, and then go back to Massachusetts at the end of the week. At 8:46 a.m. that Tuesday, my train had already left Stamford, Conn., the last stop before Manhattan. A few miles from Penn Station, the train groaned to a stop. From my seat, I could see huge billows of smoke in the distance. I couldn’t see one of the Twin Towers. I assumed that it was hidden by the smoke. ... On Monday, I took the Acela to Washington. As we left Penn Station, the conductor came on the intercom. “Please have your ID ready,” he said. “We will be checking them.” The person across from me said, “I’ve been on this train a million times, and they’ve never checked IDs.” The person sitting next to me said, “It’s fine by me.” When the conductor took our tickets, he didn’t ask to see our IDs. I was glad he didn’t. THE FRONTRUNNER HAS NO CLOTHES BY DANA MILBANK WASHINGTON POST Refreshingly, though, Perry’s rivals did not leave his bluster unanswered. Of the increase in jobs in Texas, Romney joked: “If you’re dealt four aces that doesn’t make you necessarily a great poker player.” ... Perry licked his lips. He looked at the ceiling. He blinked so rapidly his eyes could have been sending a coded S.O.S. signal. For a guy who apparently thought he could bluff and bully his way to the nomination, this was much-needed comeuppance. OBAMA TURNS UP THE HEAT WITH HIS JOBS BILL BY EUGENE ROBINSONWASHINGTON POSTThe president has vowed to take his case to the American people, following up his stop in Cantor’s Virginia district with visits this week to Ohio — Boehner’s home state — and North Carolina. Might it be pure coincidence that that Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina happen to be “purple” states Obama won in 2008 and hopes to capture again next year? Of course not. After all, another way to describe a swing state is “common ground.” WHAT JOBS 'TRAINING' TEACHES? BAD WORK HABITS BY JAMES BOVARDWALL STREET JOURNAL Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office reported that there were 47 different federal employment and training programs, costing taxpayers $18 billion a year. ... If federal job training efforts worked, Congress would not have thrown out the programs it has created every decade or so and enacted new ones. In reality, government training has always been driven by bureaucratic convenience, or politicians' re-election considerations. There is no reason to believe the latest round of proposals will be any different. A TERROR CONSENSUS, BUT A JOBS DISPUTE BY WILLIAM MCGURNWALL STREET JOURNAL Whatever else the 10th anniversary of 9/11 accomplished, it told us the truly divisive issue these days is not the war on terror but the economy. No sooner had the names of the dead been called out at Ground Zero, the public focus shifted immediately back to the truly discordant issues in America 2011: whether Mr. Obama will get his second stimulus, what Republicans think of Social Security, how a Greek default might hurt us here at home. ... This time, however, it's not just the economy's anemic performance that makes it so dominant in our political debate. It's also that Mr. Obama has embraced most of the terror-related policies that once allowed him to draw a bright moral line between himself and President Bush.