Michael Phillips at the Chicago Tribune on the late, great Roger Ebert Sun-Times movie critic Roger Ebert, who died yesterday at the age of 70, "saw, and felt, and described the movies more effectively, more cinematically, and more warmly than just about anyone writing about anything," writes Michael Phillips, a movie critic at the Chicago Tribune, in one of the many tributes to Ebert in the morning papers today. "Even his pans had a warmth to them. Even when you disagreed with Roger you found yourself imagining the movie he saw, and loved (or hated) more than you did." Ebert's approach to film was bursting with love for the medium, part of his total embrace of life itself. "He lived a great, whole-hearted life, in the city he loved, married to the woman he loved, writing about everything he loved," Phillips continues, adding, "Writing about the movies means you get to write about life itself." Ebert's former colleague Richard Roeper, writing at the Sun-Times, put Ebert's impact on American letters succinctly: "If there were a Mount Rushmore of movie critics, we'd start with Roger Ebert."
Michael Lind at Salon on Obama's Social Security offer "Cutting Social Security makes no sense at all in terms of economics or public policy [but] it makes excellent sense in terms of the selfish class interests of the super-rich," says Michael Lind, in his investigation of the Obama administration's anticipated offer to House Speaker John Boehner, which trims Social Security payments using a controversial technique known as "chained CPI." Lind sees no grounds on which Obama should compromise with the Republican project to shrink the welfare state. "According to a February 2013 Pew poll, only 10 percent of Americans want to cut Social Security while 41 percent want to increase Social Security benefits," he notes. "It's time to change the public conversation about retirement security in America to reflect the beliefs and interests of the struggling many, not the fortunate few." It's an uuncertain strategy for the Obama administration, according to Slate's Matt Yglesias, because Obama's proposal also raises taxes: "The core issue is that this is a compromise the GOP has already rejected. They've rejected it in its details, and they've also rejected it as a general concept."