Paul Krugman in The New York Times on Ben Bernanke vs. the man Describing the chairman of the Federal Reserve as a "hippie" seems like a bit of a stretch, but Paul Krugman argues that in his own way Ben Bernanke is standing up to the man over the deficit. Elected officials assume there's a consensus on reducing the deficit, but Bernanke shattered that illusion this week by holding firm to his conviction that obsessing over the deficit is bad policy in a depressed economy. "Mr. Bernanke’s apostasy may help undermine the argument from authority — nobody who matters disagrees! — that has made the elite obsession with deficits so hard to dislodge," Krugman writes. "A misguided elite consensus has led us into an economic quagmire, and it’s time for us to get out."
Yochai Benkler in The New Republic on the Bradley Manning case The precedent set by this week's proceedings in the Bradley Manning trial could be disastrous for whistleblowers. As an expert witness in the case, Yochai Benkler argues that prosecuting Manning for leaking documents to WikiLeaks should give pause to anyone leaking sensitive information even to more traditional journalism organs like The New York Times. "The guilty plea Manning offered could subject him to twenty years in prison—more than enough to deter future whistleblowers," Benkler writes. "But the prosecutors seem bent on using this case to push a novel and aggressive interpretation of the law that would arm the government with a much bigger stick to prosecute vaguely-defined national security leaks, a big stick that could threaten not just members of the military, but civilians too."