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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Krugman apprehends a 'chilling' Fed Reserve prediction and Strassel details a GOP divide. Plus: How did Burris 'lie his way into' the Senate?

• In Time, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., argues that a truth commission should be established to investigate interrogation techniques of the Bush administration.

• "A lobbying powerhouse [PMA Group] recently raided by federal agents has hurriedly gone out of business, but not before leaving a detailed blueprint of how the political money churn works in Congress," the New York Times editorial board scoffs.

 

• In a letter to President Obama published in the Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh urges him to oppose any "content-based regulation" of radio waves.

Stimulating Talk

• "The bottom line is this: The overall stimulus is significantly smaller and less front-loaded than it looks," Clive Crook asserts.

• "The nation's economy is not just the sum of its individuals. It is an interwoven context that we all share." David Brooks explains that in order to "stabilize that communal landscape, sometimes you have to shower money upon those who have been foolish or self-indulgent."

 

• In the Wall Street Journal, former senator and John McCain's adviser Phil Gramm outlines two factors, a confluence of which, he asserts, caused the financial crisis.

Paul Krugman is troubled by a recent Federal Reserve statement that projected economic conditions and unemployment rates aren't going to improve any time soon.

Michael Kinsley marvels at the economic "upside-down problems" churning through Washington.

• "In political terms, voters have dumped the blame" for the economic crisis into George W. Bush's "lap. But, at some point along the way," Charlie Cook speculates, "if this recession lasts very long, its ownership will transfer to" Obama.

 

Joel Stein mocks the government's "bad bank" idea, writing them a letter to become the CEO of the "baddest bank ever."

GOP Examination

Jonathan Rauch maintains that "conservatism may need to abandon the anti-tax dogma that it adheres to in" Ronald Reagan's name.

Kimberley A. Strassel delves into how two Republican governors are symbolic of the GOP's current challenges: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

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• The Wall Street Journal editorial board argues that there have been signs of prosecutorial misconduct in the trial of former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

The Illinois Senate Seat Saga

• "Roland Burris needs to stop explaining and start packing. The woefully forgetful Illinois senator should go home and stay there, and" Eugene Robinson would also "advise taking a vow of silence as well."

• Referring to the harsh media coverage of Burris, John Kass "couldn't help but wonder: When it comes to covering corruption, is there a media double standard, one for weak black politicians and another for powerful white guys?"

• Seeking to explain why Burris "keeps fighting," Mary Schmich recounts particular aspects of his life, calling him an "African-American trailblazer."

• The Chicago Tribune editorial board has a list of questions for the Democratic Party, demanding an explanation for how Burris "lied his way into" the Senate.

Foreign Affairs

Charles Krauthammer fears that Obama's "rookie" actions on foreign policy issues, such as those related to Iran and Russia, may be "a harbinger of things to come."

• Reporting from Jerusalem, William Schneider examines Israel's Feb. 10 elections and the influence former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may now have with the increased representation of his Likud Party in the government.

Odds And Ends

• "Washington's failure to aggressively attack the high cost of smoking-related disease has long been unconscionable." Ronald Brownstein predicts that "it may soon be unaffordable."

• The Washington Post editorial board urges Congress to step in and help strengthen libel laws abroad in order to ensure First Amendment rights at home remain strong.

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