Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 20th, 2012 Edition

Scott Walker's Lead Growing in Wisconsin Recall
by Newsmax Wires
May 18, 2012

Democrats’ hopes of ousting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in June’s recall election, seem to be slipping out of reach, as the state’s biggest newspaper gave the incumbent a huge boost late on Saturday.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel formally endorsed Walker in his battle to keep his job when he faces off against the city’s own mayor, Tom Barrett.

In an editorial posted on its website Saturday night, the Journal-Sentinel said although the governor is a controversial figure, “we see no reason to remove Walker from office. We recommend him in the June 5 recall election.

“Walker's rematch with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was prompted by one issue: Walker's tough stance with the state's public-employee unions,” said the editorial. “It's inconceivable that the recall election would be occurring absent that. And a disagreement over a single policy is simply not enough to justify a vote against the governor.”

The paper said it had no doubt that Barrett “like Walker, is a capable and honorable public servant, adding, “But this election isn't about Tom Barrett. It's about Scott Walker.

“Even if you disagree with Walker's policies,” the editorial added, “does that justify cutting short his term as governor? And if so, where does such logic lead? To more recall elections? More turmoil?

“It's time to end the bickering and get back to the business of the state. We've had our differences with the governor, but he deserves a chance to complete his term. We recommended him in 2010. We see no reason to change that recommendation. We urge voters to support Walker in the June 5 recall election.”

Open Thread: Sunday Morning Talking Heads
May 20, 2012

What hath the “hoagie summit” wrought? A Sunday morning full of debt chatter, apparently. Paul Ryan will hit both NBC and Fox News to sound the alarm yet again, but the one to watch is Boehner vs. Pelosi on ABC. Lots of media panic circulating already about his warning to O that he won’t raise the debt ceiling again without further spending cuts. Apparently we can’t afford to do that while the global economy is still fragile, although we can afford to let some or maybe even all of the Bush tax cuts lapse in the interest of “fairness” despite the fact that that also poses a risk. Ah well.

For your companion reading, dive into this Yuval Levin piece at the Weekly Standard on the fiscal fruits of the entitlement state. The line-up via WaPo:

  • NBC’s Meet the Press: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL); Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI); Mayor of Newark, NJ, Cory Booker; Republican strategist Mike Murphy, Republican strategist; Jim Cramer, CNBC; Kim Strassel, Wall Street Journal
  • CBS’ Face the Nation: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA); Tom Friedman, New York Times; Clarissa Ward, CBS
  • ABC’s This Week: Rep. John Boehner (R-OH); Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); George Will, ABC; Donna Brazile, political strategist; Matthew Dowd, ABC; Laura Ingraham, radio show host; and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom
  • Fox News Sunday: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI); Austan Goolsbee, former Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers; Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard; Joe Trippi; Karl Rove; Evan Bayh
  • CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley: David Axelrod, Obama campaign senior adviser; Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee Chairman; Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX); Jeff Zeleny, New York Times; Dana Bash, CNN; NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Our Age of Anxiety
by Yuval Levin
May 20, 2012

There is something very strange about the 2012 presidential race so far. The election comes at a time of extraordinary public unease, which clearly demands some response from the political system, and especially from the men running for the highest office in the land. But the two presidential candidates are both running campaigns oddly detached from what is rightly worrying voters.

If you were to judge the state of the country by listening only to the Obama campaign, you would conclude that we are on the verge of the long-awaited triumph of the liberal welfare state, and that all that stands in the way is a gang of retrograde Social Darwinists who somehow manage to be simultaneously nihilistic and theocratic. That band of reactionaries ran the economy into the ground for the sake of their wealthy patrons, and now they’re coming for our social programs and for women’s freedoms. Only if they are held off can the forward march of history proceed. 

If you were to judge the state of the country by listening only to the Romney campaign, you would conclude that all was well in America until we took a wrong turn four years ago and elected a president hostile to freedom and prosperity. If we just correct that error and undo what he has done, our economy will be ready to bloom again. 

But neither of these stories speaks to what actually seems to have voters uneasy. The persistently weak economy is at the core of that uneasiness: Thirty-five months after the recession technically ended, economic growth remains anemic, and unemployment remains very high. But Americans are nervous not only because the economy has yet to bounce back, but also because we have a sense that the economic order we knew in the second half of the 20th century may not be coming back at all—that we have entered a new era for which we have not been well prepared.

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