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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Qualified support for climate-change legislation emerges on one side, while doubt about the science re-emerges on the other. Plus: Peggy Noonan wonders whether Obama is just too young.

• The New York Times presses the House to pass climate-change legislation, asking voters to "watch carefully" whether politicians who "insist that they want to combat global warming and reduce this country's dependence on fossil fuels" mean what they say.

Ronald Brownstein notes that the global-warming bill "reduces a regional disparity that allows Midwestern and other coal-dependent states to enjoy artificially low electricity prices at the expense of states elsewhere, particularly along the coasts."

 

• The Washington Post supports the goals of the new bill, but complains that it is "filled with political compromises, directives, subsidies and selections of winners and losers that most members won't be able to analyze before the vote and that leaves us wondering how effective it will be."

• The Los Angeles Times calls out Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, for moving oversight of "offsets" out of the Environmental Protection Agency's hands and into the hands of the Department of Agriculture. "This will help bring rich payouts to farmers while probably reducing the offsets' effectiveness."

• Even as laws to curb global warming are considered, Kimberley A. Strassel argues that "the number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling." So she urges the bill's opponents to argue against the science, not the cost.

 

Michael Kinsley notes that "the Obama administration believes that health care can be made cheaper without any reduction in quality," but warns "that doesn't mean rationing will be easy to avoid."

• The Wall Street Journal predicts that "if or when the Administration's speculative cost-cutting measures under universal health care fail to produce savings, government will start explicitly limiting patient access to treatments and services regarded as too expensive."

Paul Krugman is frustrated by the "two Barack Obamas" he encounters on domestic policy. "On one side there's Barack the Policy Wonk," and on the other is "Barack the Post-Partisan, who searches for common ground where none exists, and whose negotiations with himself lead to policies that are far too weak."

Peggy Noonan says the youth of the president and his White House is to blame for an overly ambitious agenda. "It's adult to see limits, it's right and realistic."

 

William Schneider examines recent polls that send a unified message: "Progress in Washington has stalled, partly because President Obama is more popular than his policies."

Charlie Cook looks at the polls and largely agrees, finding that "most people generally subscribe to" Obama's "goals but are troubled by the specifics and the costs of achieving them."

• In the Los Angeles Times, former U.N. ambassador John R. Bolton is dissatisfied by "the president's underlying policies" and "not just his rhetoric" in response to Iranian protests.

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Charles Krauthammer describes Iran as "a revolution in search of its Yeltsin. Without leadership, demonstrators will take to the street only so many times to face tear gas, batons and bullets."

Michael Gerson dismisses all commentators on the Middle East. "Experts will overinterpret events to confirm preexisting views. No snapshot in this complex historical process is the permanent picture."

Kathleen Parker is unsure if Gov. Mark Sanford deserves anyone's mercy. "Although his agony seemed sincere enough to make me want to offer the man a cigarette, his apparent need to drag everyone else along his Via Dolorosa was both personally embarrassing and politically disastrous."

• "Sanford didn't just sentence his wife and sons to humiliation," USA Today believes "he forced them to bear that suffering in front of a gossip-hungry public."

Dorothy Rabinowitz wonders how Sanford and those before him "fell into the grip of the same delusion: namely, that the way to retrieving dignity is to go before the microphones to issue craven apologies to a list of purported victims."

Stuart Taylor Jr. reacts with a "wow" to the Supreme Court's opinion on the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which the justices said "raises serious constitutional questions." He asks: "How did [Chief Justice John] Roberts get the four liberals to sign on to that, with nary a word of dissent or qualification? And why didn't Roberts and the four other more conservative justices strike down Section 5, as was widely expected?"

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