Five Best Thursday Columns

Ezra Klein on Romney and Bush, Nicholas Kristof on healthcare, Anne Applebaum on diplomatic security, Linda Greenhouse on the embarrassment of Fisher v. Texas, and K.C. Cole on male white CEOs.

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Ezra Klein in Bloomberg View on Romney and George W. Bush Romney's biggest problem is that his policies are the same as George W. Bush's. He should have been able to defend that on Tuesday, but instead he ignored it. The issue: Bush had a surplus, and cutting taxes without cutting spending led to a deficit. "We do need new thinking. But Romney isn’t offering any."

Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times on how healthcare could have saved Scott Kristof wrote of his uninsured college roommate Scott with prostate cancer in Sunday's column, and Kristof was surprised at how many readers were "savagely unsympathetic," saying people pay for their mistakes. But "a civilized society compensates for the human propensity to screw up." Scott died Monday. Had he lived in a country with universal healthcare, maybe he would have survived.

Anne Applebaum in The Washington Post on how security affects diplomacy To Applebaum, the disturbing part of the Libya security discussion is the assumption "that no American diplomats should ever be exposed to any risk whatsoever and that it is always better to have too much security than too little." Chris Stevens was good because he was accessible. Too much security distorts the view ambassadors have of the people in the country.

Linda Greenhouse in The New York Times on the embarrassment of the affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas is embarrassing for both the court and Texas. For the court, the judges against affirmative action did not engage, instead toying with the case. "It was impossible to avoid the conclusion that ridicule rather than a search for understanding was the name of the game." For Texas, it's embarrassing that the schools are so bad and segregated, the top 10 percent of many classes are not prepared for college.

K.C. Cole in Los Angeles Times on why CEO means white male People see what they expect to see. In one experiment, people did not realize the pedestrian they were talking to had been switched out after a short interruption. "Default assumptions are great fodder for fooling people, a type of illusion that catches the brain in the act of jumping to conclusions. But they also can have serious consequences, from derailing careers in science to putting innocents on death row."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.