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'Deep Cuts in Social Services' by Conservatives Led to London Riots

Plus: Several Times columnists compare Tea Party members and congressional conservatives to terrorists.

'Deep Cuts in Social Services' By Conservatives Led to London Riots

'Frustration in this impoverished neighborhood, as in many others in Britain, has mounted as the government's austerity budget has forced deep cuts in social services. At the same time, a widely held disdain for law enforcement here, where a large Afro-Caribbean population has felt singled out by the police for abuse, has only intensified through the drumbeat of scandal that has racked Scotland Yard in recent weeks and led to the resignation of the force's two top commanders....Economic malaise and cuts in spending and services instituted by the Conservative-led government have been recurring flashpoints for months...As the budget cuts take hold, risk of unemployment increases and social measures like youth projects are sacrificed, Mr. Beech said, and 'all logic says there will be an increase in antisocial behavior.'' – London-based reporter Ravi Somaiya on the riots there, August 8.



Norway Terrorist's 'Fellow Travelers,' Gingrich and Rep. Peter King

'Breivik has many ideological fellow travelers on both sides of the Atlantic. Theirs is the poison in which he refined his murderous resentment....Republicans like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Representative Peter King, who have found it politically opportune to target 'creeping Shariah in the United States' at a time when the middle name of the president is Hussein. – International columnist Roger Cohen, posted to nytimes.com July 25.


Again: Columnist Compares Tea Party to Terrorists

'You know what they say: Never negotiate with terrorists. It only encourages them. These last few months, much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people. Their intransigent demands for deep spending cuts, coupled with their almost gleeful willingness to destroy one of America's most invaluable assets, its full faith and credit, were incredibly irresponsible. But they didn't care. Their goal, they believed, was worth blowing up the country for, if that's what it took....For now, the Tea Party Republicans can put aside their suicide vests.' – Columnist Joe Nocera, August 2.



And Again: Columnist Compares Tea Party to Terrorists

'If China or Iran threatened our national credit rating and tried to drive up our interest rates, or if they sought to damage our education system, we would erupt in outrage. Well, wake up to the national security threat. Only it's not coming from abroad, but from our own domestic extremists. We tend to think of national security narrowly as the risk of a military or terrorist attack. But national security is about protecting our people and our national strength - and the blunt truth is that the biggest threat to America's national security this summer doesn't come from China, Iran or any other foreign power. It comes from budget machinations, and budget maniacs, at home....So let's remember not only the national security risks posed by Iran and Al Qaeda. Let's also focus on the risks, however unintentional, from domestic zealots.' – Columnist Nicholas Kristof, July 24.



Again? Another Columnist Likens Tea Party to Terrorists

'Alas, that is the Tea Party. It is so lacking in any aspiration for American greatness, so dominated by the narrowest visions for our country and so ignorant of the fact that it was not tax cuts that made America great but our unique public-private partnerships across the generations. If sane Republicans do not stand up to this Hezbollah faction in their midst, the Tea Party will take the G.O.P. on a suicide mission.' – Columnist Thomas Friedman, July 27.



Welcome to the Race, Governor Perry

'And if [Rick] Perry were to win the Republican nomination, he would face critics, among them Democrats, who have long complained that the state's economic health has come at a steep a price: a long-term hollowing out of the state's prospects because of deep cuts to education spending, low rates of investment in research and development, and a disparity in the job market that confines many blacks and Hispanics to minimum-wage jobs without health insurance.' – Clifford Krauss, August 16 report from Houston.



The 'Psychological Upside' of Soviet Repression

'There was an initial assumption in the West that the end of the cold war in 1991 brought universal jubilation. But time has proved and the show suggests otherwise. Free-market capitalism brought its suppressions and exclusions, as artists discovered. Among other things, some felt, it undermined the purpose and value of art....For some artists repression had a psychological upside. It gave their work a clear-cut sense of importance. It established art's primary value as moral, not monetary; instrumental, not formal. If what you were doing was censorable, you could trust you were doing something right; heroic, even. And this attitude fostered solidarity and the growth of a counterculture in which experimentation, individuality and iconoclasm were protected and nurtured.' – From a July 22 art review by Holland Cotter, 'When Repression Was a Muse.'



Reporter Sighs Along With Obama's 'Frustration' Over G.O.P. 'Intransigence'

'And I think the frustration the president has, is 'Look, I've come three-quarters the way to your position, and you're not willing to give me that last 25 percent that I can use to say to Democrats there is something in this for you.' So I think the intransigence of the Republicans is really beginning to wear on him and just strikes him as more and more unreasonable." – Reporter Mark Landler in a 'Caucus' podcast, posted on nytimes.com July 15.



What's 'Awkward' About Creating Construction Jobs?

'Mitt Romney has never claimed to be a middle-class man of the people. But the news that he is planning to quadruple the size of his $12 million oceanfront property in the La Jolla section of San Diego, first reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune on Saturday evening, came at a particularly awkward time. Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, had spent much of the previous week on the campaign trail criticizing President Obama for vacationing in Martha's Vineyard when many Americans are still out of work.' – Campaign reporter Ashley Parker, August 23.



Tasteless or Moronic?

"What do you wear when protest and mayhem rock your world?" – Subhead to an article by Kabir Chibber about the March riots in London over education cuts, in the Fall 2011 edition of T, the Times fashion magazine.



Kerry in Long line of Honorable Dems 'Cut to Ribbons' by GOP 'Attack Machine'

'The last time most Americans saw John Kerry, he was tying himself in knots trying to rebut the charge that he was for the war in Iraq before he was against it. That was unfair, like a great deal that happened during the 2004 campaign, but politics are unfair. Kerry seemed to be the latest in a long line of decent, serious, honorable Democratic presidential candidates cut to ribbons by the Republican attack machine and bested by G.O.P. contenders whom voters would much rather have a beer with....' – Sunday Magazine profile of Sen. John Kerry by James Traub from July 17.



Calmes Weaves Liberal Cocoon, Insisting Republican Plans Will Backfire

'The boasts of Congressional Republicans about their cost-cutting victories are ringing hollow to some well-known economists, financial analysts and corporate leaders, including some Republicans, who are expressing increasing alarm over Washington's new austerity and antitax orthodoxy.' – Lead to an August 13 story by Jackie Calmes.



Obama, the 'Fiscal Conservative'

'His attempt at a big deficit-reduction package - which seemed to come back from the dead on Tuesday - allows him to project a different image. He takes on the moderate role of fiscal conservative, looking to cut spending and increase taxes on the affluent.' – Economics writer David Leonhardt, July 20.



Why Aren't the Peasants Revolting?

'To elected officials, the unemployed are a relatively small constituency. And with apologies to Karl Marx, the workers of the world, particularly the unemployed, are also no longer uniting....It wasn't always so. During the Great Depression, riots erupted on the bread lines. Even in the 1980s and 1990s, angry workers descended on Washington by the busload.' – Economics reporter Catherine Rampell, July 10.



'Conservative' David Brooks: Tea Party Has 'No Sense of Moral Decency'

'The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency. A nation makes a sacred pledge to pay the money back when it borrows money. But the members of this movement talk blandly of default and are willing to stain their nation's honor.' – 'Conservative' columnist David Brooks, July 5, in 'The Mother of All No-Brainers.'


Plus: 'Mother of All No-Brainers' Gets Mother of All Corrections

'An earlier version of this column misstated the amount of revenue increases needed in exchange for spending cuts. It is a few hundred billion, not million.' – Correction posted online July 6.



Is This Truly Movie 'News'?

'Another weekend, another splash in the cinematic sewer. Paramount's 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' remained a huge No. 1 at North American theaters with $47 million in ticket sales ($261 million to date). But it was the unexpectedly strong performance of 'Horrible Bosses' - noted by critics for its homophobia and misogyny - that caught Hollywood's attention.' – Movie reporter Brooks Barnes, July 10.



But The Times Said He Already Was a Centrist....

'President Obama made no apparent headway on Monday in his attempt to forge a crisis-averting budget deal, but he put on full display his effort to position himself as a pragmatic centrist willing to confront both parties and address intractable problems.....Mr. Obama's remarks were among the clearest expressions yet of a repositioning effort that has been under way since the midterm elections last November, when Republicans captured the House and made inroads in the Senate.' – Washington reporter Jackie Calmes, July 12.


Those Angry Opponents of Illegal Immigration

'Americans upset about illegal immigration have a new outlet for their rage: a fund set up by the State of Arizona that will use private donations to build a border wall.' – Marc Lacey from Phoenix, July 20.



'Everything We Know About Economics' Says Gov 'Should Be Getting Bigger Right Now'

'And for governments, the real problem is that there's this tremendous political pressure to get smaller, and everything we know about economics tells us that they should be doing the opposite, they should be getting bigger right now....I could get you 100 economists, and 95 of them would tell you the same thing, which is that right now is a really good time for the government to go out and borrow money, it's as cheap as it's ever been to borrow money, invest it in infrastructure, invest it in things that will pay off in the long run, and help out the economy.' – Washington reporter Binyamin Appelbaum, in a 'Caucus' podcast posted at nytimes.com August 12.



Sen. Tester vs. 'Blood-Fest of Extremes' Like Tea Party

'But other factors, engrained into Montana's political history and geography, could also push the contest more toward the middle and away from the blood-fest of extremes that marked the 2010 midterm elections, when moderates, especially among Republicans, fell under a surge of Tea Party-backed candidates.' – Reporter Kirk Johnson in Montana with 'centrist' Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, August 19. Tester's ideological rating from the American Conservative Union is only 17 out of 100.



'Biblical Bully' Rick Perry

'Though Perry will not officially announce his candidacy until Saturday, he loomed large over the Republican debate Thursday night. With their denial of climate change, basic budget math, and the indisputable fact that most of the nation's gains have gone overwhelmingly to a wealthy few in the last decade, the candidates form a Crazy Eight caucus. You could power a hay ride on their nutty ideas....To Jews, Muslims, non-believers and even many Christians, the Biblical bully that is Rick Perry must sound downright menacing, particularly when he gets into religious absolutism.' – Former reporter Timothy Egan, in an August 11 blog post at nytimes.com.



Condescending: GOP Governors Must Prove They Can 'Play Well With Others'

'In the months after a flurry of Republican wins of governors' offices and state legislatures in 2010, perhaps nowhere was the partisan rancor more pronounced than in the nation's middle - places like Wisconsin and Ohio, where fights over labor unions exploded. But now, at least in those states, there are signs that the same Republicans see a need to show, at least publicly, a desire to play well with others. In both states, critics dismiss the moves as desperate attempts to shore up sinking popularity ratings or disingenuous, tardy strategies to appear agreeable after already ramming through their agendas.' – Reporter Monica Davey, August 22.