Paul Ryan on the New Republican Budget Paul Ryan lays out his budget plan in The Wall Street Journal. Under the title "The Path to Prospertiy," Ryan and his fellow House Republicans plan to reduce and freeze government spending at 2008 levels; reform Medicaid, food stamps, welfare programs that promote employment; "[save] Medicare," without forcing "people to reorganize their lives and preventing cuts to Social Security; and lower tax rates for individuals and businesses. "This budget is the new House majority's answer to history's call," writes Ryan. "It is now up to all of us to keep America exceptional."
The New York Times Editors on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's Trial The New York Times editors disagree with the decision to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, "the self-professed mastermind of Sept. 11 attacks," at Guantanamo Bay rather than a federal court in New York City. "How fitting it would have been to put the plot's architecht on trial a few blocks from the site of the World Trade Center, to force him to submit to the justice of a dozen chosen New Yorkers, to demonstrate to the world that we will not allow fear of terrorism to alter our rule of law." But, they explain, it was that fear of terrorism that fueled opposition to holding the trial here. Given the circumstances, Mr. Holder is right to push for a military trial for Mr. Mohammed, rather than let him linger in indefinite limbo," they concede. "But Monday's announcement represents a huge missed opportunity to prove the fairness of the federal court system and restore the nation's reputation for providing justice for all."
Derrick Jackson on the Inflated Pay of University Presidents The Boston Globe's Derrick Jackson spotlights the contradiction between state university budget cuts and the ever-increasing salaries of state university presidents. The outgoing president of the University of Massachusetts is one of 59 state presidents whose pay surpasses the half-million mark, and his successor, Robert Caret, has already been promised a $50,000 raise within his first two years--before his performance can even be evaluated. "Ironically, Caret was hired on the strength of his ability to dramatically slash racial graduation gaps," writes Jackson. "But, by definition, his pay poses a great challenge to prove he is in touch with the issues of financially stressed students." Jackson doesn't deny that the sincere concern for the success of their schools has earned these presidents their coveted positions. But if they are so concerned about their students, he says, they should donate some of the money they don't really need to scholarship programs.
Brendan O'Neill on Who's Really to Blame for Afghan Violence The Telegraph's Brendan O'Neill warns against blaming Koran-hating Pastor Terry Jones for Afghan violence, writing that this "demonizes free speech as something terrifying, even murderous, and it treats Muslims as brainless, wide-eyed automatons who can't be held responsible for their actions." O'Neill notes that the mostly liberal attempts to sympathize with Afghan Muslims actually patronizes them "as overgrown children, as attack dogs almost, who hear a command or see an offensive image and act on it, robot-like," and, in effect, gives them "a license to feel offended, a license to go crazy."
The Los Angeles Times Editors on Richard Goldstone's Curious Flip-Flopping The Los Angeles Times Editors are suspicious of the UN's Richard Goldstone's recent backpedaling on his previous conclusion that Israel "intentionally targeted civilians" in its 2008-2009 three-week attack on the Gaza Strip. Now, Goldstone declares that, based on new evidence from the Israeli government, his conclusion was wrong. The Times editors find this reversal confusing and ill-explained and argue that "The charges leveled by the Goldstone report were extremely tough--tough enough to help reframe the Israeli-Palestinian debate around the world. If any of them were wrong, then Goldstone owes the world a detailed explanation so that the truth can be revealed."