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Classless Krugman on 'Fake Heroes' of 9-11 Like Bush

Plus: Paying Taxes Now Voluntary, According to New York Times

Classless Krugman on "Fake Heroes" of 9-11 like Bush

'What happened after 9/11 - and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not - was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.' – Columnist Paul Krugman in a blog post at nytimes.com the morning of September 11.



News Flash: Paying Taxes Now Voluntary, According to New York Times

'Obama Tax Plan Would Ask More Of Millionaires – Called 'Buffett Rule' – Populist Sales Pitch to Press the G.O.P. in Budget Talks.' – Headline to lead story of September 18.
'President's Plan On Deficit Mixes Cuts And Taxes – Foes See Class Warfare – Trimming Entitlements and Asking the Rich to Pay More.' – Headline to lead story of September 19.



The Iran-Contra Anniversary: Noticed by Nobody Else on Earth

'While the Nixon library marked the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Pentagon Papers by declassifying the documents - a gesture that was more symbolic than anything else - there is no plan to mark the 25th anniversary of the Iran-contra scandal, Reagan museum officials said.' – Adam Nagourney discussing the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, September 13.




Do As Buffett Says, Rich Guys, Or Watch Your Mercedes Burn

'But altruism does not fully explain why members of the global elite are suddenly keen to prevent the deep budget reductions that will occur if governments don't raise more money. They are also moved by what some might call enlightened self-interest. Their walls may be high, but the wealthy live in the same world as the poor and the middle class, who have been walloped by unemployment and cuts to social welfare programs. When Mercedes-Benzes burned in Berlin and riots broke out on London's streets, the rich were watching on TV.' – From a September 10 editorial, 'The Enlightened Want to Be Taxed.'



32 Months into Obama's Presidency, It's Still All Bush's Fault

'The decline in Obama's political fortunes, the Great Disappointment, can be attributed to four main factors: the intractable legacy bequeathed by George W. Bush; Republican resistance amounting to sabotage; the unrealistic expectations and inevitable disenchantment of some of the president's supporters; and, to be sure, the man himself.' – From recently retired Executive Editor Bill Keller's column on September 19.


Obama's 'Moderate' Big-Spending, Tax-Hiking Stimulus

'Mixing politically moderate proposals with a punchy tone, President Obama challenged lawmakers on Thursday to 'pass this jobs bill' - a blunt call on Congress to enact his $447 billion package of tax cuts and new government spending, designed to revive a stalling economy and his own political standing.' – White House reporter Mark Landler, September 9.

'On Friday, the White House was basking in positive reviews of Mr. Obama's spirited performance on Capitol Hill, in which he presented a plan that was more robust than had been generally expected, as well as forecasts from economists that his mix of tax cuts and new spending would spur growth and appreciably reduce the jobless rate.' – Landler following up on nytimes.com, September 10.



Obama Picked on By Republicans Who 'Simply Do Not Like the Man'

'While most of those fights stemmed from deep policy divides, the relentless acrimony between President Obama and Congressional Republicans also seems strikingly personal, almost petty. And Democrats worry that Mr. Obama, hampered, too, by his own inexperience and dispassionate style, is increasingly weakened by what they fume is a party that fundamentally disrespects him and his office....Since then, Congressional Republicans have turned down requests for White House meetings, refused to return the president's call and walked out of budget talks. It seems they simply do not like the man....There is the persistent and deeply uncomfortable question of race. Many African-Americans, including black lawmakers, and even white Democrats, have complained that some of the disrespect for Mr. Obama stems from distaste among some whites at the idea of seeing a black man in the Oval Office.' – Jennifer Steinhauer, September 2.


Environmental Reporter to Third World: Let Them Sweat

'As more people in more countries come to rely on air-conditioning, the idea of thermal comfort may need to be rethought to curb the growth in greenhouse gas emissions. Ten years ago, when I lived in Beijing, air-conditioning was a rare luxury. On a visit there this month, I saw air-conditioners blasting even in rural restaurants. If hundreds of millions people in China and India expect to be cooled to our frigid standard of 71.6 degrees all the time, the environmental impact might be far less comfortable. ' – Elisabeth Rosenthal, August 28.




Calmes Still Insisting Obama's First Stimulus Package Worked

'Nonpartisan analysts and the Congressional Budget Office have credited the first stimulus package with helping to end the recession and keep unemployment from growing even higher than it did. They say the winding down of the federal government's help this year has contributed to the economy's stall....economists began to fret that the austerity measures in both the United States and Europe threatened to push the world into another recession.' – White House correspondent Jackie Calmes, September 3.



Calmes Against Excited About Obama's Latest 'Jobs Bill'

'The possibility of major parts of President Obama's $447 billion jobs bill becoming law, and of further steps next week by the Federal Reserve, have forecasters saying that the decisions Washington makes in the weeks ahead could have a substantial effect on economic growth and unemployment. At a minimum, the stimulus could be insurance against the headwinds blowing from Europe's debt crisis and the impact of the recent government spending cuts in this country. The jobs package of tax cuts and spending initiatives could add 100,000 to 150,000 jobs a month over the next year, according to estimates from several of the country's best-known forecasting firms; the potential Fed actions could add 15,000 more jobs a month over two years.' – Jackie Calmes, September 14.



Clueless Krugman, Shear Hear Non-Existent Cheers for Letting Patient Die

'But that was then. Today, 'free to choose' has become 'free to die.' I'm referring, as you might guess, to what happened during Monday's G.O.P. presidential debate. CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Representative Ron Paul what we should do if a 30-year-old man who chose not to purchase health insurance suddenly found himself in need of six months of intensive care. Mr. Paul replied, 'That's what freedom is all about - taking your own risks.' Mr. Blitzer pressed him again, asking whether 'society should just let him die.' And the crowd erupted with cheers and shouts of 'Yeah!'' – Columnist Paul Krugman, September 16.


'And following the last debate, when Mr. Paul was asked whether a young man without health insurance should be left to go without treatment - which was greeted with some chants of 'let him die' from the crowd - expect more questions along these lines.' – 'Caucus' reporter Michael Shear, in a September 22 post.

vs.

'A few jeers? Yes. Heckles? No question. 'Audience' cheers? No way. The voices that can be heard in the video - perhaps two or three of them - don't constitute an 'audience' reaction. There were 1,100 people in the crowd. The episode is the clumsy work of a few loons or meatheads in the audience.' – Washington Post blogger Eric Wemple, September 14.




Former Reporter Can't Comprehend 'Moral Compass' of Those Against Obama-Care

'I have a confession to make. I can describe the legal arguments and the judicial conclusions, but on a fundamental level, I just don't get the attack on the federal law. I don't understand people who voluntarily, without claiming poverty, let their children go uninsured. I don't understand the moral compass of the owner of the fancy car I saw the other day that sported the bumper sticker: 'Repeal Obamacare.' I suppose that the self-satisfied and oh-so-secure car owner never met anyone like the healthy 27-year-old man profiled the other day in USA Today who was denied insurance in the private market because his doctor four years ago had ordered a particular heart-monitoring test – which found nothing wrong with his heart.' – Supreme Court reporter turned online columnist Linda Greenhouse, September 21.



Rushing to Obama-Care's Defense

'When it comes to health care, Mr. Perry writes that President Obama's legislation on the subject was 'the closest this country has ever come to outright socialism,' largely ignoring the fact that Mr. Obama's plan relies heavily on existing private insurance companies, doctors and drug manufacturers.' – Michael Shear, September 3.



Leftist Film-maker Michael Moore Belongs on Shelf With Thomas Paine

'Mr. Moore's coming of age as a working-class malcontent is, however, something to behold. It's the story of a big lunk who learns to yoke his big mouth to a sense of purpose. It persuades you to take Mr. Moore seriously, and it belongs on a shelf with memoirs by, and books about, nonconformists like Mother Jones, Abbie Hoffman, Phil Ochs, Rachel Carson, Harvey Pekar and even Thomas Paine. Mr. Moore - disheveled, cranky, attention seeking, too eager to pick a fight - is easy to satirize. But he could nearly get away with branding his camera with the words oncescrawled on Woody Guthrie's guitar: This machine kills fascists.' – From Dwight Garner's September 14 review of left-wing film-maker Michael Moore's autobiography 'Here Comes Trouble.'



Sniping at Romney, Phony Rich Guy

'In recent weeks, Mr. Romney's renovation of his $12 million home in the La Jolla section of San Diego has reinforced the fact that he is a wealthy man, forcing his campaign to work harder to avoid the implication that he is out of touch with the concerns of working people. (His quip in June to a group of jobless people in Florida that he, too, was unemployed did not help on that front.)' – Ashley Parker on the campaign trail with Mitt Romney, September 22.

Wish We Could Be Like the Communist Chinese

'We had Governor Ed Rendell, you know, criticizing the NFL for canceling the Philadelphia Eagles-Viking football game in December and saying we're a bunch of wusses. If this were China they would have walked to the game in the snow. and doing calculus along the way.' – Columnist Thomas Friedman, plugging his new book (coauthored with former Clinton advisor Michael Mandelbaum) 'That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back,' on the September 7 edition of Charlie Rose on PBS.



It's All Bush's, Um, Boehner's Fault!

'But their relationship was severely strained after Mr. Boehner abandoned their budget talks in July, came back and then walked out a second time. And after what the White House saw as a third strike this month - Mr. Boehner's humiliating public rejection of Mr. Obama's requested date for an address to a joint session of Congress - the Obama team called Mr. Boehner out.' – White House reporter Jackie Calmes on September 20.



Liberal Bias at the Times? New Editor Doesn't Quite Deny It

'I sometimes try not only to remind myself but my colleagues that the way we view an issue in New York is not necessarily the way it is viewed in the rest of America. And I am pretty scrupulous about when we apply our investigative firepower to politicians that we not do it in a way that favors one way of thinking or one party over the other. I think the mandate is to keep the paper straight, but I don't think you have to lean right to do that.' – New Executive Editor Jill Abramson, responding to a question from the paper's Public Editor Arthur Brisbane (who was quoting former Times editor A. M. Rosenthal) on how to steer the paper 'to the right to compensate for the leftward political leanings of some staff.' From the September 11 edition.