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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Reflecting upon the Tiananmen Square massacre and scrutinizing Obama's reading list. Plus: Is Congress dysfunctional when it comes to immigration?

Harold Meyerson compares the 1968 California primary between Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy to "Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's equally historic campaigns."

• "Obama does not need to, should not and almost surely will not offer the vice presidency to Clinton," asserts Ruth Marcus. "The White House is not big enough to accommodate three people who believe they should be president."

 

• "Whoever said that after denial comes acceptance hadn’t met the Clintons," quips Maureen Dowd, further suspecting that "Clintonologists know that Hillary is up to something, but they aren’t sure what."

• "Talk of the 'dream ticket' that energized Democrats initially carried the assumption that" Clinton "would be atop that ticket," professor Don Campbell points out in USA Today. "Once Obama eclipsed her, the party’s dream became her political nightmare."

• In the Philadelphia Inquirer, columnist Froma Harrop projects that Obama will have a tough time rallying female voters. "What's dangerous for the Democratic Party is that, for many women, the eye of the storm has moved beyond Hillary or anything she does at this point. The offense has turned personal" against Obama.

 

• "It is almost ridiculous that at the end of the primary campaign season, the putative Democratic candidate for president has been able to get this far without revealing definitively where he stands on the great matter of free or less-free markets," Tony Blankley scoffs, looking at Obama's stance on economic issues.

• Not approving Obama's choice of books -- "The Post-American World" by Fareed Zakaria -- Thomas Frank offers the Illinois senator "a better reading list." His suggestion? "The Predator State," by James K. Galbraith.

• In the Los Angeles Times, Ploughshares Fund President Joseph Cirincione maintains that John McCain "senses what many may have not: This is a rare moment in national and international politics, a period of rapid change that promises a transformation in global nuclear policy."

• In the New York Times, Miklós Haraszti, representative on freedom of the media at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, advocates passing a federal shield law. "By finally allowing the media to protect the anonymity of confidential sources, Congress would do more than close a fissure in U.S. press freedoms: It would also help curtail the destructive behavior that current U.S. prosecutorial habits are inspiring globally."

 

• "With a couple billion Chinese, Indians and others joining the global marketplace, they will need energy, and lots of it. The price mechanism is our only hope," writes Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., arguing for relief from skyrocketing gas prices.

• "It is odd... that critics have launched a new attack on the origins of the war at precisely the time a new order in Iraq is taking hold," author Fouad Ajami concludes in the Wall Street Journal, reminding readers of the reasons the United States went to war.

• "The American kickoff of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation last week unintentionally revealed the mountain of misunderstanding the former British prime minister has undertaken to scale," notes Michael Gerson.

• "The Chinese people have been reminded by the earthquake that lives are not expendable and that deaths cannot go unmourned. Now they have to extend that understanding to the victims of Tiananmen," author Ma Jian insists in the New York Times, writing on the anniversary of the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

• "The time has come for China's leaders to let go of old wounds and offer an Olympic amnesty to all political prisoners and those of us who were forced into exile for peacefully speaking our minds," Wang Dan, a leading student organizer of the 1989 Tiananmen democracy movement, agrees in the Washington Post.

Thomas L. Friedman encourages "radical pragmatism" as a solution in the Middle East, defining the term as "a pragmatism that is as radical and energetic as the extremism that it hopes to nullify. Without that, I fear, Israel will remain permanently pregnant with a stillborn Palestinian state in its belly."

From The Editorial Boards...

USA Today praises Obama for being "one of the most inspirational figures in recent political memory. What can you say about a candidate who attracts 14,000 people to a rally in Idaho in the dead of winter? Or 75,000 people on a sunny day in Portland, Ore.?"

• But, the Wall Street Journal has some reservations about Obama: "The presidency has to be earned, and Americans have a right to know much more about the gifted man who is the least tested and experienced major party nominee in modern times."

• "For most voters in the political middle who'll determine the outcome on Nov. 4, the easy part will be deciding to embrace one of these excellent candidates," predicts the Chicago Tribune. "The hard part? Rejecting the other."

• "Obama and Clinton raced away from the pack by raising more money, inspiring new voters and shattering stereotypes about identity politics," cheers the San Francisco Chronicle. "Obama prevailed, setting up a far more dramatic contrast -- in persona, in experience, in issues -- against" McCain "in November."

The Hill applauds Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and his influence in Congress. "Graham is young by Senate standards and after showing he can take a punch, it is likely that he will be on Capitol Hill for a long time."

• "The Bush administration has worked overtime to manipulate or conceal scientific evidence -- and muzzled at least one prominent scientist -- to justify its failure to address climate change," reveals the New York Times.

• "This oil crisis brings to mind shortages of an even more critical natural resource: water," notes the Dallas Morning News.

• "Thanks to the nation's dysfunctional immigration system and the dysfunctional Congress that keeps it that way, tens of thousands of promising, intelligent, ambitious and highly skilled foreign professionals... will be denied a chance to contribute their expertise and energy to the American economy," the Washington Post fumes.

• "Gays and lesbians have waited plenty long for their rights to be recognized, and those rights should not be held hostage to the convenience of attorneys general across the nation," contends the Los Angeles Times.

• "The car bomb that went off Monday at the Danish embassy in Islamabad was only the latest of several recent signs pointing to Pakistan as a nexus for terrorism and religious extremism," the Boston Globe writes, adding that a solution to the country's instability will include a "comprehensive peace between India and Pakistan."

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