US Press: pick of the papers

The ten must-read opinion pieces from today's US papers.

1. Obama's tax plan is common sense, not class warfare (Washington Post)

Eugene Robinson argues that Obama's proposal to boost taxes for the wealthy by $1.5 trillion over the next decade is a good first step toward reform.

2. Politics takes priority in Obama's deficit plan (USA Today)

With Republicans rejecting any large-scale compromise, says this editorial, the point now seems to be political positioning for the 2012 elections.

3. Obama, Boehner ultimatums get us nowhere (Chicago Tribune)

The two most visible figures in the U.S. debt crisis are busy playing 2012 politics, says this editorial.

4. Obama Rejects Obamaism (New York Times)

The president cannot transcend himself. It's back to politics as usual, says David Brooks.

5. Obama's tax plan reflects reality: rich are getting richer (Boston Globe)

This editorial calls for a debate about an economy that allows some to amass unimaginable wealth, while tens of millions of others struggle to earn a middle-class living.

6. The 'Buffett rule,' and more (Los Angeles Times)

The GOP should look to the lesson of the 1990s, when Washington's efforts to trim the deficit contributed to a booming economy, says this editorial.

7. Our Hidden Government Benefits (New York Times)

The threat to democracy today is not the size of government but rather the hidden form that so much of its growth has taken, says Suzanna Mettler.

8. Doctors' salaries - America's medical markup (Star Tribune)

This editorial points out that health care costs more in the US because, well, doctors charge more.

9. Why we don't just 'let them die' (USA Today)

Lewis Simons says that events at last week's GOP debate spark the question: what kind of country is this?

10. A Romney-Perry foreign policy debate? (Washington Post)

Romney, Perry should debate national security, says Marc A. Thiessen.

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Will anyone sing for the Brexiters?

The five acts booked to perform at pro-Brexit music festival Bpop Live are down to one.

Do Brexiters like music too? If the lineup of Bpoplive (or more accurately: “Brexit Live presents: Bpop Live”) is anything to go by, the answer is no. Ok, former lineup.

The anti-Europe rally-cum-music festival has already been postponed once, after the drum and bass duo Sigma cancelled saying they “weren’t told Bpoplive was a political event”.

But then earlier this week the party was back on, set for Sunday 19 June, 4 days before the referendum, and a week before Glastonbury, saving music lovers a difficult dilemma. The new lineup had just 5 acts: the 90s boybands East17 and 5ive, Alesha Dixon of Britain’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing fame, family act Sister Sledge and Gwen Dickey of Rose Royce.

Unfortunately for those who have already shelled out £23 for a ticket, that 5 is now down to 1. First to pull out were 5ive, who told the Mirror that “as a band [they] have no political allegiances or opinions for either side.” Instead, they said, their “allegiance is first and foremost to their fans” - all 4our of them.

Next to drop was Alesha Dixon, whose spokesperson said that she decided to withdraw when it became clear that the event was to be “more of a political rally with entertainment included” than “a multi-artist pop concert in a fantastic venue in the heart of the UK”. Some reports suggested she was wary of sharing a platform with Nigel Farage, though she has no qualms about sitting behind a big desk with Simon Cowell.

A spokesperson for Sister Sledge then told Political Scrapbook that they had left the Brexit family too, swiftly followed by East 17 who decided not to stay another day.

So, it’s down to Gwen Dickey.

Dickey seems as yet disinclined to exit the Brexit stage, telling the Mirror: "I am not allowed to get into political matters in this lovely country and vote. It is not allowed as a American citizen living here. I have enough going on in my head and heart regarding matters in my own country at this time. Who will be the next President of the USA is of greater concern to me and for you?"

With the event in flux, it doesn’t look like the tickets are selling quickly.

In February, as David Cameron’s EU renegotiation floundered, the Daily Mail ran a front-page editorial asking “Who will speak for England?” Watch out for tomorrow’s update: “Who will sing for the Brexiters?”

I'm a mole, innit.