WHY CONSERVATIVES HATE WARREN BUFFETT BY E.J. DIONNE WASHINGTON POST
Maybe only a really, really rich guy can credibly make the case for why the wealthy should be asked to pay more in taxes. You can’t accuse a big capitalist of “class warfare.” That’s why the right wing despises Warren Buffett and is trying so hard to shut him up. Militant conservatives are effective because they are absolutely shameless. Many of the same people who think the rich should be free to spend unlimited sums influencing our politics without having to disclose anything are now asking Buffett to make his tax returns public. I guess if you’re indifferent to consistency, you have a lot of freedom of action.
HAPPY TIDINGS FROM THE HILL BY GAIL COLLINS
NEW YORK TIMES
If a single representative shows up and objects, the four-day funding bill is dead and the government shuts down this weekend. But, of course, what would make anyone think that there could be a member of the House of Representatives crazy enough to make the trip back to Washington just to bring the entire federal government to a crashing halt? ... No one in the House of Representatives actually wants to single-handedly shut government down in its tracks. Ever lower, goes the bar.
KILLING THE RECOVERY EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMES
Germany’s export model is also failing, producing little growth while sucking demand from its neighbors. Germany could easily raise money at low cost to stimulate its own consumption. Yet not only has it refused stimulus spending, it is imposing austerity on the rest of Europe — forcing weak countries to contract their economies in exchange for its aid. Economic policy makers have made similar mistakes before. That is what caused the Great Depression. There is not a lot of time left to get this right.
ADM. MIKE MULLEN'S LEGACY BY DAVID IGNATIUSWASHINGTON POST
As Mullen prepares to leave Friday, the federal government is shuddering with the politics of paralysis. So I ask him, as a last question, about the political divisions he has tried to bridge as a nonpartisan chairman. He muses that it’s odd to be lecturing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki about governance when “there’s a lot of things we don’t get right” at home. What America needs, he says finally, is the same requirement that makes the military work, which is “accountability for outcomes.” A political system that works — whether it’s in Islamabad or Kabul or Washington — is one that takes responsibility for solving the problems that do not yield to force of arms.
TAKING CAIN SERIOUSLY BY DANIEL HENNINGERWALL STREET JOURNAL
The GOP nominee is running against the incumbent president. Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them, and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead. Not least, Mr. Cain's life experience suggests that, unlike the incumbent, he will adjust his ideas to reality. Herman Cain is a credible candidate. Whether he deserves to be president is something voters will decide. But he deserves a serious look.
'EARNED AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM' EDITORIALWALL STREET JOURNAL
Mr. Christie continues to say he isn't running for President, but Tuesday's theme is the basis for a campaign if he does take the leap. In any event, the best Republican speeches this year have come from Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Messrs. Ryan and Christie. None of them is running for President, but perhaps the candidates who are running have been paying attention.
WHY THE HELL NOT MITT ROMNEY? BY DAVID FRUMTHE WEEK
Attention, Chris Christie fans. If you are looking for a Republican nominee who could actually do the job of president, who does not repel independent voters, who can survive a 90-minute debate without saying anything foolish, why the hell not Mitt Romney? For three years, Republican activists, strategists, and donors have tried to find a plausible alternative to Romney, and again and again they have failed. For about 15 minutes, that alternative seemed at last to have materialized in the form of Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Perry still leads [in certain] national polls and is still raising money. Yet it's hard to miss the loud hiss of air escaping this particular balloon.
THE PERMANENT CANDIDATE BY ALEC MACGILLIS NEW REPUBLIC
Perry’s seeming emphasis on cultivating allies rather than advancing legislation means he has left an oddly shallow policy imprint—especially given that he is the longest serving governor in Texas history. He has presided over few major reforms other than a sweeping tort overhaul and a much-praised repair of the state’s juvenile justice system. “What does it say if your governor’s clearest role is in vetoing bills and not passing them, in a legislature that’s Republican dominated?” asks Kirk Watson, a Democratic state senator from Austin. Here, many Texans draw a contrast to Bush, who, despite facing a Democratic legislature, managed to implement more significant reforms, notably in education. “Bush’s focus was on what’s good for Texas,” says one senior state Democrat. “Perry’s was a little more on what’s good for Perry.”