Joe Nocera in The New York Times on Obama's new cabinet If The New York Times' Joe Nocera were in charge of assembling Obama's second term cabinet, his dream team would include some unusual choices. For instance, he'd shuffle recently disgraced CIA director David Petraeus over to the Department of Defense, and he'd replace Secretary of Energy Steven Chu with a committed environmentalist, the Environmental Defense Fund's Fred Krupp. And for Secretary of State, Nocera wants an unbroken chain of Clintons: "The current favorite for the job, Susan Rice, the United Nations ambassador, is a safe choice, but she doesn’t have the breadth that the job requires. Who does? How about Bill Clinton? Seriously."
Jonah Goldberg in The Los Angeles Times on Mohamed Morsi Many Egyptian revolution onlookers accepted Mohamed Morsi as an acceptable moderate rising to fill the country's power vacuum. But since assuming power, the former Muslim Brotherhood figure has cemented an undemocratic amount of power, argues Jonah Goldberg. "In less than half a year, Mohamed Morsi has deftly built the apparatus of despotism," Goldberg writes. "Much as the Nazis brilliantly cast themselves as reformers sweeping away the corruption of the Weimar Republic, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have been using the effort to clean up the detritus of Hosni Mubarak's dictatorship as an excuse to consolidate power."
Peter Hakim in Foreign Policy on Mexico With all eyes trained on the Middle East, Americans sometimes forget the challenges that lie ahead for maintaining relations with our closest neighbors. Even with the Gaza conflict still fresh in everyone's minds, Peter Hakim is calling Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto's trip to the White House today "the first major test of President Barack Obama's post-election foreign policy." Hakim writes, "The meeting between Obama and Peña Nieto comes at a particularly promising moment when the two nations have a chance to ease two longstanding sources of bilateral tension and mistrust: immigration and anti-drug policy."
Dana Milbank in The Washington Post on Rick Santorum Back from a failed Presidential bid, Rick Santorum has joined Senator Mike Lee in opposing ratification of the U.N.'s Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, calling it "a direct assault on us." Adopted by 126 nations, the treaty forbids discrimination of blind people, those who use wheelchairs, and AIDS patients. "Their spurious theory of a U.N. takeover of parenting was enough to lead Lee and Santorum to oppose a treaty that would extend American values worldwide and guarantee disabled people equal treatment, and freedom from torture and exploitation," writes Dana Milbank. "In this fight against rights for the disabled, Santorum doesn’t have a leg to stand on."
Sarah Ditum in The Guardian on Sweden's gender-neutral toys For parents who don't want to encourage their young sons to fetishize guns or their little daughters to idolize Barbie, shopping for toys can be frustrating. Especially with the holidays just around the cornet. If it's gender-neutral toys you're looking for, Sarah Ditum suggests you check out the offerings in Sweden, where a toymaker was sanctioned in 2009 for presenting "an anachronistic view of the sexes." Ditum writes, "When someone next tries to insist that girls play one way and boys play another, these children will have a picture in mind that tells them otherwise. And that's why every time my second child, a girl, shoots me in the face with the Nerf gun that she demanded for Christmas, I remind myself that this is exactly what I asked for."