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Must Read Op-Eds for Wednesday, November 16, 2011



PERRY, CAIN AND A PARADE OF PAINFUL MOMENTS  BY KATHLEEN PARKERWASHINGTON POST[I]t has become clear that [both Perry and Cain] are not now presidential material. We may indeed overlook their faults, but we needn’t excuse what are more than mere lapses. Their lack of knowledge or recall suggests a lack of depth and an absence of seriousness. We expect more from those who pretend to the throne. And though Americans admire the self-made who have experienced ordinary life, most don’t want an ordinary person to lead the country. A funny line is worth a laugh, a song may buy you lunch, but in the end, there’s no winking one’s way to the White House.

WHO'S THE DECIDER?  BY THOMAS FRIEDMANNEW YORK TIMESit's true that ... in the age of Facebook and Twitter, the people are more empowered and a lot more innovation and ideas will come from the bottom up, not just the top down. That's a good thing - in theory. But at the end of the day - whether you are a president, senator, mayor or on the steering committee of your local Occupy Wall Street - someone needs to meld those ideas into a vision of how to move forward, sculpt them into policies that can make a difference in peoples' lives and then build a majority to deliver on them. Those are called leaders. Leaders shape polls. They don't just read polls. And, today, across the globe and across all political systems, leaders are in dangerously short supply.


MAYOR BLOOMBERG CONFRONTS OCCUPY WALL STREET  BY EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMESThe mayor promised that the protesters would be allowed in the park 24 hours a day but not to sleep. They will almost certainly test those limits. Asked what happens when somebody lies down or goes to sleep on a bench in the park, the mayor said the protester would be asked to leave. If that does not work, the demonstrator would be carried out. Sounds like a recipe for conflict. Now that Mayor Bloomberg has dismantled the anti-Wall Street group, he must keep his promise to support the protesters' right to speak up about income inequality, especially in the city's financial district.


PROGRESSIVES ON THE MARCH TO TAKE OVER CONGRESS  BY KATRINA VANDEN HEUVELWASHINGTON POSTIn 2012, the question of whether Barack Obama can win a second term despite flagging poll numbers and a lousy economy will capture most attention. But the conservatives in the House of Representatives, and in state legislatures across the country, are held in even deeper disregard by the public. Whatever happens at the top of the ticket, voters will be looking for champions of the 99 percent. Occupy Wall Street has set the tone. Now a new generation of gutsy and populist progressives may just be ready to Occupy Congress and statehouses across the country.


WHY NEWT WON'T LAST  BY DANA MILBANKWASHINGTON POSTGingrich is now aiming to take his anti-media campaign further. The news media “did everything they could to kill my campaign,” he said, and “I fully expect them to dig up everything they can, throw the kitchen sink at me and see if they can stop me.” This, he told WBOB radio in Jacksonville, Fla., on Tuesday afternoon, is because his candidacy is “probably the greatest threat” to Obama’s reelection. ... What? Consensus-based leadership? Sounds squishy. The conservative voters Gingrich needs will never go for it.


THE PRESIDENT'S VENTURE CAPITALIST  BY EDITORIALWALL STREET JOURNALLoan programs like DOE's are always going to pick the Solyndras of the world, since their reason for being is to help companies that can't acquire private financing, and can't persuade enough investors that the risks they take on will be profitable. A government program dedicated to uneconomic goals is naturally going to end in economic failure. The amazing thing is that by this standard Solyndra may not be the worst investment, relatively speaking, since the entire DOE portfolio seems to be such a dog. "What's terrifying is that after looking at some of the ones that came next, this one started to look better," one White House budget staffer wrote in an April 2010 email. "Bad days are coming."