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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Challenges loom large for health care reform as scrutiny swells around the Democrats' plan. Plus: What do Cheney and Merkel have in common?

President Obama "is arguably our greatest speechmaker without a single memorable line," Roger Cohen declares. "How so? How is it possible to make speeches of such majesty while leaving people blank when asked to recall a solitary phrase?"

• Obama's Cairo speech, "which contained many inspired passages, was essentially a teaching moment. A lecture, if you will," Kathleen Parker maintains.

 

Tunku Varadarajan thinks that former Vice President Dick Cheney and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are the only two politicians who have spoken out against Obama.

• "The toughest behind-the-scenes battles [in the health care debate] will be about how much the insurance companies, the drug companies and the providers are willing to give up to get a government bailout of the health system," E. J. Dionne Jr. asserts.

• The Wall Street Journal charges that "the only possible outcome [to reform plans] will be the nationalization of U.S. health markets, which will mean that almost all care will be rationed by politics."

 

• "Voters are entirely in the dark about how [health care] reform might affect them." The Financial Times predicts that "at this rate, the plan will be explained only after it has become law."

Fred Hiatt discusses whether one-party rule will be conducive to progress on health care and energy.

• "To make sense of today's most perplexing economic debate -- whether we're flirting with inflation or deflation -- it's worth recalling what happened after World War II," remarks Robert Samuelson.

• "Obama and his team have been having so much fun wielding dictatorial power while rescuing 'failed' firms,' that they have developed a scheme to gain the same power over every business," Kevin Hassett scoffs. "The plan is to enact policies that are so anticompetitive that every firm needs a bailout."

 

Paul Krugman examines Great Britain's economic crisis, while using the one here in the U.S. as a reference.

• In the New York Times, former New York schools chancellor Harold Levy lists five ways to improve both public and private education.

• Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., "proves why the power to fill Senate vacancies should rest with voters at the ballot box in a special election," the Washington Post writes. "And he proves why he should resign."

Clive Crook thinks that with the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, the time is ripe to have a national discussion about affirmative action.

• The Washington Times examines Sotomayor's "wise Latina" speech and judicial record more closely and charges that her "career has been spent promoting racial and gender preferences."

• The New York Times insists that one key focus in Afghanistan must be to limit civilian deaths.

• "A long-term solution to the Korean nuclear problem cannot be achieved by America alone," former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger contends in the Washington Post.

• In The New Republic, Laura Secor, a fellow at New York Public Library, likens the possible re-election of Iran's incumbent leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to that of George W. Bush in 2004.

• "In a post-bubble world that vilifies the private sector and elevates government as humanity's best hope, two events in Latin America last week deserve attention," Mary Anastasia O'Grady writes.

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