Visual source: Newseum
Diane McWhorter at The New York Times looks at "Juan Crow" laws in Alabama:
Since Alabama has no foreign border and a Latino population of less than 4 percent, the main purpose of H.B. 56 seems to be the id-gratification of tribal dominance and its easy political dividends. A bill co-sponsor, State Senator Scott Beason, was frank about his motive: ?when their children grow up and get the chance to vote, they vote for Democrats.?Matt Yglesias at Slate analyzes the union movement's perception problem:
Mr. Beason, who was later caught referring to blacks as ?aborigines,? is from a predominantly white suburb of my hometown, Birmingham, which is gearing up for the 50th anniversary of our civil rights milestones of 1963: fire hoses and police dogs turned on child marchers and a church bombing that killed four black girls. For the 2013 ?celebration,? the prize civic leaders were keeping their eyes on was the redemption that flowed from those debacles, notably the Civil Rights Act.
I wish billionaires had less influence over American politics. The fact that I would, personally, like to be a billionaire does not contradict that point. On the contrary, the untoward level of political influence enjoyed by billionaires is one of the main things that's appealing about my hypothetical billionaire lifestyle. If someone is inclined to view labor unions as primarily dedicated to advancing the interests of a privileged (remember that wage premium) minority of American workers, that's in no way inconsistent with a large share of the non-unionized minority wishing that they enjoyed those privileges.David Paul Kuhn at The Atlantic examines the fact that Bain attacks work but Romney still gets points for his business experience and argues it's a problem for Democrats:
If the upshot of those mixed feelings was a rapid rise in the rate of union membership, the contradiction would work itself out quickly. But since Taft-Hartley that hasn't been the case and the union share of the private sector's been steadily declining. For decades now union leaders have placed a lot of emphasis on labor reform as the way of turning this around. But for obvious reasons most business interests are extremely hostile to that idea. Under those circumstances, for the unions to prevail their cause would have to be overwhelmingly popular. But they're not popular. As Henwood reminds us public confidence in labor unions is low and support for greater union influence in American life is anemic.
That's a fairly profound problem.
Romney presents himself as the businessman who can turn America around. Therefore, naturally, both sides will fight until Election Day to define Romney's business. It's "job creator" versus "job destroyer."The Washington Post Editorial Board tackles the new fronteir in cyberwarfare:
Democrats have the harder task. A survey spurred reports that the Bain strategy was "paying off." PurplePoll found Americans believe private equity firms "hurt" workers more than they "help" the economy by a 47 to 38 percent margin -- and independent voters shared the same view.
But Romney has not paid for that image. Fifty-eight percent of independents say Romney has the "right kind of business experience to reduce the unemployment rate and improve the economy," according to a CNN poll. Only 17 percent of voters overall, in a Fox News poll, term Romney's work at Bain a "bad thing." Romney the financier is vulnerable. Two-thirds of Americans believe Romney would "do more" than Obama "to advance the economic interests of wealthy Americans," according to an ABC News-Washington Post poll.
The world is awash in hacking, espionage, theft and disruption. Nations are struggling to defend their networks, but also building offensive cyberprograms designed to function as free-standing weapons or as adjuncts to conventional kinetic warfare. [...[Doyle McManus at The Los Angeles Times:
Secrecy in military and intelligence matters, including cyber, is vital to protect sources, methods and operations. But in a broader sense, the technology of cyberconflict has grown faster than policy. The Pentagon now describes cyberspace as a new domain on a par with land, sea, air and outer space, but the United States today has no overarching, open doctrine to govern an offensive cyberprogram, nor is there a healthy debate about what it should entail.
It is time to start that debate. Nuclear weapons policy was openly discussed during the Cold War, when the stakes were existential. The United States crafted a declaratory policy about the use of nuclear forces, which was public; an employment policy that included sensitive matters, which was largely secret; and an acquisition policy, which was some of both. Why not start by creating a declaratory policy for cyberforces?
Romney's prescription is simple: unleash private enterprise through lower taxes and less regulation. It's a kind of free-market fundamentalism. If you want to know whether bank regulations are a good idea, he suggested, just ask a banker; for advice on energy policy, ask a coal mine operator. Anyone who expected a more moderate Massachusetts version of Romney to emerge once the general election campaign was underway is still waiting. After the primary season controversies over the inconstant positions of his early career, the one thing Romney can't afford is another flip-flop.
Romney's job is easier than Obama's. All he needs to do is to ask voters whether they feel better off today than they did four years ago. The incumbent has to find a way to acknowledge voters' pain and explain why he hasn't banished it yet.