US politics from outside the beltway

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US Press: pick of the papers

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

1. In Iraq, a man of the shadows (Washington Post)

Is Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki - suspicious eyes, wary demeanor, brows furrowed by years living in the underground - really the face of today's Iraq? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, and America helped make it that way, writes David Ignatius.

2. Cuba restrictions: bad on policy, bad on tactics (St. Petersburg Times)

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami is using thousands of Cuban-American families as pawns in a game of chicken with Democrats and President Barack Obama over next year's federal budget.

3. Save marriage: let gays wed (Washington Post)

It might be up to gay men and lesbians to save marriage, according to Jonathan Capehart.

4. What Wyden-Ryan hath wrought (Washington Post)

Matt Miller explains why the new Wyden-Ryan Medicare framework is the most fascinating policy and political maneuver of the year.

5. The 'hot mess' of politics (Los Angeles Times)

Political figures including Gingrich are lucky Americans' tolerance for screw-ups is fairly high, according to Meghan Daum.

6. Republicans and Democrats play games with payroll tax cut (New York Daily News)

Both parties need to get their heads out of the schoolyard and into the public interest.

7. Huge odds that Newt comes up snake eyes (Boston Herald)

Newt Gingrich provided on Monday redundant evidence for the proposition that he is the least conservative candidate seeking the Republican nomination, writes George F. Will.

8. The great eight: attacks to remember (Politico)

The Republican presidential field's long nightmare is almost over, writes Maggie Haberman.

9. Mayor Bloomberg rightly takes aim at online gun sales (New York Daily News)

Anonymous Internet cash business puts weapons in criminals' hands, no questions asked.

10. A United States of Europe? (Los Angeles Times)

There are uncanny similarities between the current round of wheeling and dealing and the founding of the United States of America. Bruce Ackerman asks whether we are witnessing the birth of the United States of Europe.