Amy Davidson in The New Yorker on Obama's opponents President Obama gave a combative speech Tuesday that addressed several Republicans by name. "[T]he choice of a Republican nominee finally looks clear and irrevocable: Mitt Romney. And yet he is the least interesting of the enemies Obama has chosen or will be forced to confront," Davidson writes. Obama spoke at length about Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal, demonstrating how he plans to run his campaign against House Republicans. He's spoken against conservatives on the Supreme Court in public comments this week, as well. In his speech, he mentioned Mitt Romney, but only as a supporter of Ryan's budget plan, trying hard to make him look at once dangerous and small. "Conservatives in Congress and on the Court are appealing targets because of their solidity, which their party's presumptive candidate lacks. Mitt's hollowness makes him a bit like one of those punching-toy clowns," she says.
Mark Bittman in The New York Times on pink slime The public has paid so much attention lately to "pink slime," the name for Lean Finely Textured Beef that's treated with ammonia, that a company that produced it has temporarily shut down two factories. "But there's an irony: the stuff is gross, for sure, but it's far from the most disgusting meat product out there, and at least its origins reflect an attempt to make meat safer," writes Bittman. He points out that producers invented pink slime to prevent E. Coli infections, and they may have succeeded. But then, the outcry should force us to revisit the meat industry that provide grain-fed beef and manure that breeds E. Coli in the first place. "The United States food system may seem more palatable when 'pink slime' and many other forms of chemical processing are gone, but it won't be any safer until we begin to seriously address the reasons they exist in the first place."