Cutting Edge: New ideas, sharp opinions
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Jonathan Capehart at washingtonpost.com marvels at how Mitt Romney seems "amazed at whatever he just saw or whomever he has just met, as if he were a traveler in a strange and distant land. ... [Last] weekend, Romney added to his parade of wonder with this beauty after visiting a well-known convenience-store chain in Pennsylvania:
" 'Where do you get your hoagies here? Do you get them at Wawa's? ... I was at a Wawa's. I went to order a sandwich. You press a little touch-tone key pad. ... You touch this, touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier and there's your sandwich. It's amazing!'
"What's amazing is that Romney is seeking to lead a nation he appears to be visiting for the very first time."
Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker on the upcoming Olympics: "We are about to enter that period, which occurs every four years, when Americans become passionate about athletes we have never heard of participating in games we do not follow trying to please judges we cannot see according to rules we do not know."
He does like the idea, though, that Olympic teams bring nations together: "We are embracing the marginalized masters among us in order to make a team, as we have embraced once marginalized people to make a nation."
A friend who teaches in Wisconsin on Facebook: "I have been teaching public school for over 20 years. I live in a 900-square-foot home with plywood cabinets next to the railroad. My greedy lifestyle is going to destroy all of what Hard-Working-America holds dear. I am proud to be union. I am proud to be Satan's spawn."
Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute criticizes the Obama administration for delaying construction of the Keystone XL pipeline based, in part, on safety concerns:
"Pipelines have been used to transport American gas or oil ... for three quarters of a century. Almost 500,000 miles of interstate pipeline crisscross America. ... This extensive and operational infrastructure network is heavily regulated by the Department of Transportation. ... A review of safety and accident statistics ... clearly show that, in addition to enjoying a substantial cost advantage, pipelines result in fewer fatalities, injuries and environmental damage than road and rail. Americans are more likely to get struck by lightning than to be killed in a pipeline accident."
Fred Hiatt in The Washington Post says Republicans pushing for unlimited campaign contributions were more persuasive when they also advocated full disclosure of donors. Ever since the Citizens United decision gave Republicans a campaign finance advantage, he writes, they've changed their tune: "The Republicans, apparently, never meant it. Now that they have Unlimited Donations, or something pretty close, they don't want Unlimited Disclosure after all."
Mr. Hiatt goes on to document Republican support for full disclosure earlier in the decade and the party's abandonment of it in the face of a bill that now proposes to make it law: "Democracy is endangered ... if politicians cannot hold to principle equally when it's politically beneficial and when it's not."
Allentown Morning Call blogger Bill White recently recounted the immortal 1869 "Eulogy to the Dog" by politician/lawyer George Graham Vest. An excerpt:
"The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground when the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only to be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince.
"When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wing, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens."
First Published June 24, 2012 12:00 am