5 Best Sunday Columns

The deficit commission, when Lincoln lost big, and the Medal of Honor

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  • What This Medal of Honor Recipient Reveals About Afghan War  The New York Times' Elizabeth Rubin recounts the horrific 2007 operation that recently resulted Sgt. Salvatore Giunta becoming the first living Medal of Honor winner since Vietnam. Rubin was there for the disastrous push to secure part of Korengal, one of Afghanistan's most remote and lawless regions. Giunta and the other men in his unit, writes Rubin, are angry and frustrated to have sacrificed so much for Korengalis who don't want them there. "As for the Korengal Valley, Giunta was right. The Korengalis would never leave or give up. Last April, after three more years of killing and dying in that valley, the Americans decided to leave the place to the locals."

  • The Death of 'Real News'  Ted Koppel writes in the Washington Post, "We live now in a cable news universe that celebrates the opinions of Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly - individuals who hold up the twin pillars of political partisanship and who are encouraged to do so by their parent organizations because their brand of analysis and commentary is highly profitable. The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me. While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic."
  • In Defense of the Deficit Commission  The New Republic declares in a staff editorial, "There is plenty wrong with the proposal, but does it actually deserve the sneering, dismissive response it is receiving? Not even close. In fact, the report—which has spawned headlines suggesting seniors will be reduced to eating cat food—actually contains a number of good ideas. ... There are things for liberals to like here and things for liberals to take issue with. But in the long run, the deficit is a very real problem, one that will only grow more difficult to tackle as time passes. Once this downturn ends, Washington will need to get cutting."
  • Lincoln Once Endured Electoral Losses Similar to Obama's 2010  Liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias points out "the 1862 midterms at which the Republicans got a bit of a shellacking" much like Obama's Democrats in 2010. Yglesias links to the New Yorker's Hendrick Hertzberg's post on the similar media (and partisan media) circumstances between 1862 and 2010. Yglesias suggests this "highlights the extent to which the values-and-temperament debate between conservative nationalism and progressive cosmopolitanism is ultimately much more fundamental than the passing controversies over tax rates economic regulation. The basic anxieties provoked by threats to existing status hierarchies haven’t changed, nor have the rhetorical tools of countermobilization."
  • The Volt is Disappointing  The Washington Post's George Will gets grumpy. "General Motors, an appendage of the government, which owns 61 percent of it, is spending some of your money, dear reader, on full-page newspaper ads praising a government brainstorm - the Volt, Chevrolet's highly anticipated and prematurely celebrated (sort of) electric car. ... Meretricious accounting and deceptive marketing are inevitable when government and its misnamed 'private sector' accomplices foist state capitalism on an appalled country."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.