Alex Koppelman in The New Yorker on Sandy relief House Republicans will tell you they rejected the Sandy-aid bill (at first) because of wasteful spending, but Alex Koppelman argues that they were holding up much needed aid for political reasons. "They opposed it because, they said, half—or more—of the sixty billion dollars of funding contained in the bill was what they called 'pork,'" writes Koppelman, who thinks money should also be spent to storm-proof these areas against future disasters. "A more accurate term would be 'foresight.'"
Charles Blow in The New York Times on cliff crises to come Looks like lawmakers should get used to being suspended over various "cliffs" of their own making. The docket for future Congressional debates will be like "an M. C. Escher drawing of cliffs," according to Charles Blow. "There is no reason to celebrate," he writes. "We—and by we I mean Congress, and by Congress I mean the Republicans in Congress—have again demonstrated just how broken and paralyzed our government has become, how beholden to hostage-takers, how vulnerable to extremism."
Matt Lewis in The Week on conservatives losing the culture war As a writer for The Daily Caller, Matt K. Lewis falls well within the conservative spectrum. But even he's starting to suspect that Paul Weyrich was right when he wrote in 1999 that conservatives "probably have lost the culture war." The traditional culture favored by conservatives in the Reagan years, "can't be won back by passing some landmark piece of legislation," writes Lewis. "Instead, it's going to be a long, hard slog."