US Press: pick of the papers

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

1. Iran's Terror Plot (Wall Street Journal)

An assassination attempt on U.S. soil is a sobering wake-up call, writes this WSJ editorial.

2. Not even close: Romney crushes the field (Washington Post)

According to Jennifer Rubin, he escaped Tuesday's debate without a scratch.

3. After another bad debate, is Rick Perry finished? (Washington Examiner)

After two consecutive weak debate performances, Perry was under considerable pressure to do well on Tuesday. He didn't, writes Byron York.

4. Are Voters Looking for an Isolationist? (New York Times)

Mitt Romney wants more intervention abroad. Can another candidate court the voters who don't? Michael A. Cohen invites a debate.

5. I'll still screen for prostate cancer (USA Today)

Dr. Marc Siegel write that the PSA test saves lives, and a panel's judgment doesn't change that.

6. Mourn the countless other Michael Jacksons (New York Daily News)

Too many young men with lost childhoods are forgotten, says John Mariani.

7. In Egypt, a new pogrom (Boston Globe)

The "spirit of Tahrir Square'' has ushered in neither liberal democracy nor a rebirth of tolerance for Egypt's ancient but beleaguered Christian minority.

8. U.S. should call Iran's bluff (Los Angeles Times)

Whether or not Ahmadinejad is sincere in his proposal to cease production of highly enriched nuclear fuel and import it instead, it is clearly in our interests to accept, says James M. Acton.

9. The 'nuclear option' to cut deficit (Politico)

It makes no sense for the U.S. to continue spending so much on an excessive nuclear arsenal, argues Ed Markey.

10. Finally Making Sense on Wall Street (New York Times)

Whether the issue is Wall Street or food, it's activism that will lead to change, writes Mark Bittman.

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Commons Confidential: When Corbyn met Obama

The Labour leader chatted socialism with the leader of the free world.

Child labour isn’t often a subject for small talk, and yet it proved an ice-breaker when Jeremy Corbyn met Barack Obama. The Labour leader presented the US president with a copy of What Would Keir Hardie Say? edited by Pauline Bryan and including a chapter penned by Comrade Corbyn himself.

The pair, I’m informed by a reliable snout, began their encounter by discussing exploitation and how Hardie started work at the tender age of seven, only to be toiling in a coal mine three years later.

The book explores Hardie’s relevance today. Boris Johnson will no doubt sniff a socialist conspiracy when he learns that the president knew, or at least appeared to know, far more about Hardie and the British left than many MPs, Labour as well as Tory.

***

Make what you will of the following comment by a very senior Tory. During a private conversation with a Labour MP on the same select committee, this prominent Conservative, upon spotting Chuka Umunna, observed: “We were very relieved when he pulled out of your leadership race. Very capable. We feared him.” He then, in
a reference to Sajid Javid, went on: “We’ve got one of them.” What could he mean? I hope it’s that both are young, bald and ambitious . . .

***

To Wales, where talk is emerging of who will succeed Carwyn Jones as First Minister and Welsh Labour leader. Jones hasn’t announced plans to quit the posts he has occupied since 2009, but that isn’t dampening speculation. The expectation is that he won’t serve a full term, should Labour remain in power after 5 May, either as a minority administration or in coalition in the Senedd.

Names being kicked about include two potential newcomers: the former MEP Eluned Morgan, now a baroness in the House of Cronies, and the Kevin Whately lookalike Huw Irranca-Davies, swapping his Westminster seat, Ogmore, for a place in the Welsh Assembly. Neither, muttered my informant, is standing to make up the numbers.

***

No 10’s spinner-in-chief Craig “Crazy Olive” Oliver’s decision to place Barack Obama’s call for Britain to remain in Europe in the Daily Telegraph reflected, whispered my source, Downing Street’s hope that the Torygraph’s big-business advertisers and readers will keep away from the rest of the Tory press.

The PM has given up on the Europhobic Sun and Daily Mail. Both papers enjoy chucking their weight about, yet fear the implications for their editorial clout should they wind up on the losing side if the country votes to remain on 23 June.

***

Asked if that Eurofan, Tony Blair, will play a prominent role in the referendum campaign, a senior Remainer replied: “No, he’s toxic. But with all that money, he could easily afford to bankroll it.”

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 28 April 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The new fascism