US Press: pick of the papers

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

1. Obama-Bubba ticket could be winner (Politico)

A loophole would make it possible for Bill Clinton to take Biden's spot on the 2012 ticket, note Paul Goldman and Mark J. Rozell.

2. Herman Cain's 9-9-9 doesn't add up (USA Today)

According to this editorial, the former pizza CEO's tax plan is a windfall for the rich, burden on the poor.

3. What the CLASS Act says about health-care reform (Washington Post)

Further analysis of the experiment showed it worked exactly as the Congressional Budget Office predicted, writes Ezra Klein: it saved money in the first 10 years and cost money after that.

4. Who Mailed the Anthrax Letters? (New York Times)

New research raises doubts that investigators found the perpetrator. Congress should commission an independent assessment to be sure there are no culprits still at large, urges this NYT editorial.

5. America's bitter sugar policy (Politico)

Sugar price supports are an unnecessary market intervention, costing consumers and businesses $4 billion a year, say Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Mark Kirk.

6. Food fight over marketing to kids misses mark (USA Today)

In a country where cartoon characters tempt children to eat the wrong foods, where kids don't get enough exercise and parents don't say "no" often enough, it's little wonder that one-third of children are overweight or obese. Parents are key, argues this editorial.

7. Should pensions be a top priority? (Chicago Tribune)

According to Dennis Byrne, not at the expense of other crisises

8. Apology to Chinese immigrants is long overdue (San Francisco Chronicle)

The idea seems unthinkable today, says this editorial, but until 1943, most Chinese were barred from entering the United States, and immigrants already here were prohibited from seeking citizenship.

9. Obama's stumbling, bumbling 1-term presidency (Washington Times)

The President has exposed what can be called only "Amateur Hour in the White House", writes Joseph Curl.

10. Funny lady: Siri may be there for you, but is that a good thing? (Boston Globe)

Yes, voice recognition is a useful tool, says Joanna Weiss, but what will happen if searching becomes so easy and appealing that we spend even less time talking to people?

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When Donald Trump talks, remember that Donald Trump almost always lies

Anyone getting excited about a trade deal between the United States and the United Kingdom should pay more attention to what Trump does, not what he says. 

Celebrations all round at the Times, which has bagged the first British newspaper interview with President-Elect Donald Trump.

Here are the headlines: he’s said that the EU has become a “vehicle for Germany”, that Nato is “obsolete” as it hasn’t focused on the big issue of the time (tackling Islamic terrorism), and that he expects that other countries will join the United Kingdom in leaving the European Union.

But what will trigger celebrations outside of the News Building is that Trump has this to say about a US-UK trade deal: his administration will ““work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly”. Time for champagne at Downing Street?

When reading or listening to an interview with Donald Trump, don’t forget that this is the man who has lied about, among other things, who really paid for gifts to charity on Celebrity Apprentice, being named Michigan’s Man of the Year in 2011, and making Mexico pay for a border wall between it and the United States. So take everything he promises with an ocean’s worth of salt, and instead look at what he does.   

Remember that in the same interview, the President-Elect threatened to hit BMW with sanctions over its decision to put a factory in Mexico, not the United States. More importantly, look at the people he is appointing to fill key trade posts: they are not free traders or anything like it. Anyone waiting for a Trump-backed trade deal that is “good for the UK” will wait a long time.

And as chess champion turned Putin-critic-in-chief Garry Kasparov notes on Twitter, it’s worth noting that Trump’s remarks on foreign affairs are near-identical to Putin’s. The idea that Nato’s traditional purpose is obsolete and that the focus should be on Islamic terrorism, meanwhile, will come as a shock to the Baltic states, and indeed, to the 650 British soldiers who have been sent to Estonia and Poland as part of a Nato deployment to deter Russian aggression against those countries.

All in all, I wouldn’t start declaring the new President is good news for the UK just yet.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.