Amy Davidson in The New Yorker on Hillary Clinton "Do Clintons ever truly go away?" Amy Davidson asks on the eve of Hillary Clinton's retirement from the State Department. Clinton insists that she won't make a 2016 presidential bid, but pundits gazing into crystal balls already see her as the Democratic frontrunner. Before speculating on where Clinton's going, Davidson takes a moment to review where she came from. "The true transformation in the past few years may have been not in Clinton’s character or approach but in the way she is now ensconced in a Washington establishment that she and her husband once challenged," she writes, arguing that perhaps Clinton should take her canonization as a cue to exit. "There is something enervating about the idea of sitting around for a couple of years wondering about what Hillary wants, and waiting for her next introduction. Can we ask if it might be time to say goodbye?"
Matthew Yglesias in Slate on the fiscal cliff Everyone in Washington wants to heroically swoop in to save Americans from tumbling over the fiscal cliff. But when Matthew Yglesias looks at the looming Bush-era tax cut expirations, he doesn't see the same crisis as everyone else. He sees a game of chicken that's harming instead of helping the economy. "The problem is that the quest for the grand bargain is essentially a quest for the impossible," he argues. "Whereas ginning up crises to force Congress to strike that impossible bargain is wreaking real tangible harm on the country. Whatever happens during the lame-duck session, the best thing for America would be for the great and the good in Washington and corporate America to drop their fixation with the grand bargain."
Daniel Byman in The New Republic on Al Qaeda In case anyone thought the war on terror was actually winnable, Daniel Byman would like to take this opportunity to remind us that Al Qaeda is not quite "on its heels," as President Obama recently put it. "In fact, reports of al Qaeda’s demise are both true and overstated," he writes. "For as the President and his advisors contend, the core organization now led by Ayman al Zawahiri is on its heels, with key senior leaders dead and many others on the run or in hiding. But as jihadist attacks in Benghazi, Yemen, and elsewhere indicate, the broader movement is alive and in some places prospering."
Bill George in The New York Times on Hewlett-Packard One of the world's biggest computer companies, Hewlett-Packard, has been on a steady decline in recent years. And the troubles date back to 1999, long before Meg Whitman took over the role of chief executive, argues Bill George. He thinks that the only way to save it at this point is to separate the company's two main components, enterprise systems and computer hardware. "In its current form, Hewlett-Packard is a wasting asset, whose value to customers, employees and shareholders is steadily declining," George writes. "It is time for the board to move quickly to restore its former status as a company everyone can admire, one that can compete successfully in two very different global markets."
Shikha Dalmia in Bloomberg View on immigration With some Republicans ready to talk about immigration reform, Shickha Dalmia argues that the U.S. can learn a thing or two from a nearby nation that also attracts scores of immigrants: Canada. Wait, Canada? Why not, Dalmia asks: "Canada’s provincial-nominee program, while not perfect, avoids the economically meaningless distinctions between skilled and unskilled workers that bedevil the employment-based U.S. immigration laws. It also puts in place incentives to treat foreign workers not as foes but as friends whose labor and skills are vital to the economy." In order to create an immigration system that works for newcomers and employers alike, she argues, the U.S. should follow Canada's lead on guest worker programs and devolving authority to regional governments.