US Press: pick of the papers

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

1. GOP should pick Mitt Romney (Houston Chronicle)

The Republican primary race has descended into a bickering, bloody mess, accurately described by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and others as a circular firing squad. The Chroncile says: Stop the shooting.

2. Super PACs are ruining GOP (Politico)

Today is not Super Tuesday, argues Bill Schneider. It's super PAC Tuesday, and it's destroying the GOP.

3. How I would check Iran's nuclear ambition (Washington Post)

Mitt Romney describes how, as president, he would go further than Obama.

4. Limbaugh out of line - and apology was weak, too (San Francisco Chronicle)

Talk radio's Rush Limbaugh took civic discourse to a new low with his misogynistic belittling of Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, says this editorial.

5. Rick Santorum Isn't Crazy (New York Times)

Whatever one thinks of the Republican presidential candidate's views on church and state, his opinion is not beyond the pale, writes Stanley Fish.

6. Natural electoral selection (Boston Globe) ($)

The natural selection that's occurring in the GOP race is pushing candidates into niches, says Farah Stockman -- but the nominee may have trouble attracting the mainstream.

7. Ultrasound in abortion should be a woman's choice (USA Today)

Decisions about legal medical procedures should be up to physicians and their patients, not state legislators.

8. US must expand, not suppress, voting rights (Chicago Sun Times)

According to Jesse Jackson, the current drive is the greatest insult to the Voting Rights Act since it was passed 47 years ago.

9. Romney in Ohio: Want College? Can't Afford It? Too Bad (New York Times)

David Firestone describes what modern Republican austerity looks like.

10. Girl Scouts evil? (Philadelphia Daily News)

The war on women - especially their contraceptive and reproductive rights - has entered a new, younger battleground, reports this leading article.

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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.