Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle on Joe Paterno's legacy Some in the media have wondered how Jerry Sandusky's child molestation scandal will affect Joe Paterno's coaching legacy. "Folks, this is Joe Paterno's legacy," writes Ostler. Ostler lays out Paterno's strong coaching history and his respected position at Penn State. But he also lays out the revelations that Paterno knew years ago that his assistant coach was probably molesting boys on the campus and didn't take steps to stop it. Ostler supports Penn State's decision to fire him and the school's president as a move that will reaffirm the idea that anyone should know to act on allegations of criminal activity among their employees. Ostler admits Paterno faces no legal trouble. "But there was no trial when Paterno was sainted ... The public decided. It's the same deal on the flip side. We'll take the facts and form them into our personal legacy of Joe Paterno."
Gail Collins in The New York Times on last night's GOP debate We will remember last night's Republican debate chiefly for the moment when Rick Perry forgot which federal agency he wanted to eliminate. "Pity the Republican voters. They aren't asking for much. They just want a candidate who's really conservative but not totally crazy," Collins writes. Collins essentially declares this the end of the road for Perry, and she recounts other highlights from the debate, describing Newt Gingrich's performance as "self-important," and Mitt Romney's as "smarmy." She pegs the uninspiring performances on display to voter repudiation of particularly right-wing referendums in this week's election, like the "personhood" amendment in Mississippi. "From sea to shining sea, there was a very strong anti-nutcase tenor to the results," she says, and that doesn't bode well for most of this year's Republican candidates.