Five Best Monday Columns

E. J. Dionne Jr. on the moral hole, Bill Keller on end-of-life care, Mark Buchanan on social influence and the market, Eric Posner on drone wars, and Buzz Bissinger on voting for Romney. 

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E. J. Dionne Jr. in The Washington Post on the campaign's moral hole The faithful who think abortion trumps the church's commitment to social justice should look at Nuns on the Bus, a group of nuns serving the poor. They're waging a campaign in Ohio against the Ryan budget because of its attack on the hungry. Their message to candidates: "Don’t be afraid of reminding voters that budgets and elections have moral consequences."

Bill Keller in The New York Times on end-of-life care Keller writes of a Liverpool hospital that brings practices of hospice care into a hospital setting so that people will have more choices in how they die, a standard practice in many countries but not in the U.S. "In America, nothing happens without a cost-benefit analysis. But the case for a less excruciating death can stand on a more neutral, less disturbing foundation, namely that it is simply a kinder way of death."

Mark Buchanan in Bloomberg View on social influence and the market The free market "only works if people aren’t biased or systematically disposed to making poor judgments," Buchanan writes. A study showed that when people are asked to guess about something they don't know about, they do worse when given access to others' estimates. "Rather than the 'wisdom of crowds,' we have the 'unwarranted confidence of crowds'."

Eric Posner in Slate on Obama's drone dilemma State Department lawyer Harold Koh says the drone war in Pakistan is legal, but the only way it could be is if Pakistan consented to it—or "coerced consent," like if you walked into a jewelry store and the owner says you consented to purchase a $10,000 tiara despite your protests. The problem: International law is too weak to stop the U.S., leaving lawyers like Koh to make up interpretations.

Buzz Bissinger in The Daily Beast on why he's voting for Romney The author of Friday Night Lights endorses Romney, not long after the Romneys used popular FNL phrase "Clear eyes, full heart, can't lose." "Four years ago, all Obama had to do was speak and everyone swooned. That was four years ago. It is now four years later. He is no longer the chosen one. He is just too cool for school in a country desperate for the infectiousness of rejuvenation. Romney has it."

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