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updated 7/31/2013 12:17:53 PM ET 2013-07-31T16:17:53

The Morning Joe must-read opinion pages for Wednesday, July 31

QUIT IS THE WAY TO ROLL
MAUREEN DOWD
NEW YORK TIMES
Aside from being a gift to clowns, hacks, punsters, rivals and the writers of “The Good Wife,” Carlos Danger is also a gift to political-scandal survivors. His behavior is so outlandish and contemptible — the sort of thing that used to require a trench coat and park — that it allows Eliot Spitzer and Bill Clinton to act huffy. … Weiner continues to play the rebel without a pause. He shrugged off reports that the Clintons, who have been christened the careless Daisy and Tom Buchanan of politics, regard him, in the words of F. Scott, as the foul dust floating in the wake of their dreams. “I am not terribly interested in what people who are not voters in the city of New York have to say,” Weiner sniffed about the first couple of Westchester. … At an event Tuesday evening in Times Square with advocates for New Yorkers with disabilities, the 48-year-old seemed tired, slight and young as he was thronged by the fierce Hydra-headed press beast. He looked as if he were running on raw will. He apologized for being late, saying something about the “time-space continuum.” … One man stood up and complained that he had been let down once when Weiner was a Queens congressman and backed away from a bill he had promised to pass. “How can I trust you?” the man asked. The question of the hour lingered in the febrile air.

OBAMA’S ‘GRAND BARGAIN’ WITH OBAMA
EDITORIAL
WALL STREET JOURNAL
…[The tax] simplification in Mr. Obama’s plan seems to apply mainly to those that file under the corporate tax system. Most small business owners file under the rules for individuals, which are not being simplified under this plan and whose tax rates Mr. Obama raised substantially in January. Cutting corporate rates without doing so for small businesses will merely increase the opportunities for tax arbitrage. On the other side of Mr. Obama’s grand bargain, he offered his usual grab bag of spending that would create more union jobs at high Davis-Bacon wages, more teachers, and more job training, though the federal government already runs more than 40 job-training programs that don’t seem to do much training for real jobs. He also wants more subsidies for biofuels and electric cars—the ideas that worked so well in the first term.

THE UNRAVELING OF ANTHONY WEINER
EDWARD-ISACC DOVERE AND MAGGIE HABERMAN
POLITICO
Anthony Weiner has lost his mind. At least, that’s the conclusion most Democrats have come to. There’s really no other way they can explain how he’s handled the revelations of his post-resignation sexts and his combative encounters with voters over the weekend looking for him to quit the mayor’s race. But Monday night’s needlessly dismissive brush off of the Clintons — the first family of Democratic politics who consider his wife a second daughter — surprised even people who thought they couldn’t be surprised anymore by his political self-destructiveness. … The question at this point isn’t whether he’ll win or be able to use his 2013 campaign to purge memories of his 2011 humiliation. It’s just how defiant and, his critics argue, delusional, Weiner will get.

END THE DAMN DICKMANSHIP!
TINA BROWN
THE DAILY BEAST
Think about some of our prominent women in Washington right now. Can you ever even imagine-forgive me, Secretary-Kathleen Sebelius uploading a cro*** shot of herself on Instagram? Or Janet Yellen ordering up male hookers during downtime at the Federal Reserve? It’s preposterous. Perhaps we need some kind of sexual DUI test developed to tell us what is likely to happen when middle-aged libido meets a whiff of power. … The trouble with Carlos [Danger] and his ilk is they’re not just a danger to themselves, but a danger to everyone else. One look at the humiliated face of the elegant Huma Abedin, spear-carrier for Hillary Clinton’s women’s-empowerment message, will tell you that.

IN COMMENTS ON GAYS, POPE FRANCIS DOESN’T PONTIFICATE
RUTH MARCUS
WASHINGTON POST
the lasting phrase from [The Pope’s] news conference, one with resonance for Catholics and non-Catholics alike, will no doubt be, “Who am I to judge?” This is not a common question in the modern age. We live in an American Idol culture in which judging is celebrated and judges are celebrities. The harsher, even crueler, the judging, the higher the judge’s profile. “So You Think You Can Dance?” “You’re Fired!” “Chopped.”
The audience is riveted by the buildup to the moment of judgment, by the prospect that those being judged will lash out or, better yet, dissolve in tears. We sit at home, simultaneously playing judge ourselves and feeling relief that we are not among the judged.

WEINER’S WOMEN
SUSAN JACOBY
NEW YORK TIMES
These women are not victims of men like Mr. Weiner (or of ordinary, obscure sex seekers in the digital world) but full and equal participants. There is no force involved here; people of both sexes are able to block unwanted advances. Women are certainly safer on the Web than they would be going home with strangers they meet in bars.  Nevertheless, the female thrill seekers are as bewildering in their own way as the sleazy would-be mayor of New York is in his. Why is he called a pervert while Sydney Leathers’s statement that their Internet contact progressed to phone sex twice a week — “a fantasy thing for both of us,” she told one tabloid TV show — is greeted with neutral, if not exactly respectful, attention? Some fantasy. Cinderella, where are you now that we need you?

Video: Brzezinski: We need to hear why Huma forgave her husband

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