Gretchen Morgenson on the Coming Bank Bailouts The New York Times columnist argues that the financial reform rules established by Democrats increase the likelihood of future bank bailouts: "Given the multiple bailouts of 2008, it is to be expected that the line of institutions clamoring to join the cannot-fail party will grow longer. That’s the definition of moral hazard — if you rescue one group, others are sure to want the same treatment and behave in a way that ensures they’ll get it. The losses that taxpayers may endure in the next debacle, meanwhile, mount higher."
Clarence Page on Rahm Emanuel The Chicago Tribune columnist considers Emanuel's potential mayoral strengths: "With Chicago's unemployment high and its budget in a deep deficit, Emanuel's reputation as an expert fundraiser could work in his favor. Chicago voters are still looking for the urban visionary Daley provided with his massive building and beautification projects. But they're looking even more for someone who knows how to raise revenue, balance budgets and encourage industry. The city that likes to call itself 'the city that works' wants to get working again."
David Ignatius on Pakistan's Frontier The Washington Post columnist explores the challenge of taming Pakistan's tribal regions: "U.S. drone attacks and other firepower can keep the insurgents on the run, but they won't bring stability... Somehow, the people in this desolate region have to feel they have a stake in a future that's something other than continuous warfare."
Thomas Friedman on a Third Party Candidate The New York Times columnist makes a bold prediction: "Barring a transformation of the Democratic and Republican Parties, there is going to be a serious third party candidate in 2012, with a serious political movement behind him or her — one definitely big enough to impact the election’s outcome. There is a revolution brewing in the country, and it is not just on the right wing but in the radical center. I know of at least two serious groups, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, developing “third parties” to challenge our stagnating two-party duopoly that has been presiding over our nation’s steady incremental decline."
Dana Milbank on Glenn Beck's Hitler Obsession The Washington Post columnist surveys Beck's favorite talking points: "When the subject turns, as it usually does, to President Obama, Beck again sees lessons from history. In particular, he has seized upon two individuals who he believes provide excellent historical parallels to the 44th commander in chief: Woodrow Wilson and Adolf Hitler. You don't understand how Obama is tied to a genocidal monster and to an American president who died 86 years ago? Allow Professor Beck to explain."