Cutting Edge: New ideas / Sharp opinions

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Voter ID outed

Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog: "Republican Mike Turzai, Pennsylvania's House majority leader, [recently] made a startling confession. Boasting about the state's new voter ID law, which was ostensibly about the integrity of the electoral process, Turzai bragged that the law 'is gonna allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.'

"The surprising candor helped reinforce what Democrats have argued all along: These laws are about disenfranchising voters Republicans don't like. The right usually maintains the trumped up 'voter fraud' pretense, but once in a great while, a GOP official will slip and tell the truth."

Mr. Benen goes on to cite a finding from the Pennsylvania Department of State that 9.2 percent of the state's registered voters lack a standard driver's license or a non-driver photo ID.

The welfare president

MJ Lee at Politico: "Louisiana Gov. Bob Jindal, who has vowed to reject the expansion of Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care law, charged Tuesday that the president 'measures success by how many people are on food stamp rolls and government-run health care.'

" 'The president, his administration, needs to understand what makes this country great in part is that we're not dependent on government programs,' the Republican governor said on "Fox & Friends." 'It seems to me like the president measures success by how many people are on food stamp rolls and government-run health care. That's not the American dream.' "

Eight-grader wins

Annie-Rose Strasser at congratulates eight-grader Julia Bluhm for leading a petition drive that convinced Seventeen magazine to stop photoshopping pictures of girls, which was raising unrealistic expectations among teens as to how svelte and sexy they ought to look.

"For the sake of all the struggling girls all over America, who read Seventeen and think these fake images are what they should be, I'm stepping up," Julia wrote. "I know how hurtful these photoshopped images can be. I'm a teenage girl, and I don't like what I see. None of us do."

After Julia collected 81,000 signatures, Seventeen promised to represent women of all shapes and sizes in every issue of its magazine without photoshopping their bodies, though they still may photoshop wrinkles out of clothes and hide flyaway hairs.

Glocks for everyone

Becket Adams in The Washington Times: "While speaking at a campaign rally in Florida, Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., mocked politicians who use taxation as a means of regulating behavior (the most recent example being the tax [not a penalty] on Americans who don't want to participate in "Obamacare").

" 'What will be next? If you don't buy a certain type of green car, they will tax you. If you don't buy a certain type of food, they will tax you,' Rep. West said.

" 'Well, I got a great idea: I believe for personal security, every American should have to go out and buy a Glock 9mm. And if you don't do it, we'll tax you. Now, I wonder how the liberals will feel about that one.' "

Diagnosis: insecurity

Lynn Parramore at Alternet: "The hell created by three grinding years of 8 percent-plus unemployment brings us plenty of stories of what people suffer when they lose their jobs. But what about the untold millions who live in chronic fear that tomorrow's paycheck will be their last?

"Research shows that the purgatory of job insecurity may be even worse for you than unemployment. And it's turning the American Dream into a sleepwalking nightmare. From young temporary workers to middle-aged career veterans, Americans are being pushed to their physical and psychological limits in what has the makings of a major national public health crisis."


Compiled by Greg Victor (


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