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Must-Read Op-Eds for Friday, March 16, 2012

THE CAGEY PHASE
BY DAVID BROOKS
NEW YORK TIMES

Obama has talked vaguely about tax reform. He has acknowledged the need for entitlement reform and major deficit reduction. But he has never thrown himself All In. He has never displayed an inner passion, a sense that these projects are his life mission, or a willingness to bear the pain that taking on these challenges necessarily entails. It will be interesting, over the course of this campaign, to see what’s underneath the cageyness. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, arouses Obama’s passion to go All In.

NATURAL BORN DRILLERS
BY PAUL KRUGMAN
NEW YORK TIMES

Employment in oil and gas extraction has risen more than 50 percent since the middle of the last decade, but that amounts to only 70,000 jobs, around one-twentieth of 1 percent of total U.S. employment. So the idea that drill, baby, drill can cure our jobs deficit is basically a joke. Why, then, are Republicans pretending otherwise? Part of the answer is that the party is rewarding its benefactors: the oil and gas industry doesn’t create many jobs, but it does spend a lot of money on lobbying and campaign contributions. The rest of the answer is simply the fact that conservatives have no other job-creation ideas to offer. And intellectual bankruptcy, I’m sorry to say, is a problem that no amount of drilling and fracking can solve.

SANTORUM NEEDS GINGRICH IN THE RACE





OBAMA'S OIL FLIMFLAM





THE PENTAGON'S COLD FEET ON SYRIA





AMERICA'S REAL WAR ON WOMEN





HOW MUCH IS APPLE WORTH?