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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Friedman urges passage of the energy bill, and doubts abound about the troop withdrawal from Iraq. Plus: Minnesota Senate race (finally) ends.

Michael Gerson praises the eight house Republicans who took "great political risk" and voted for the energy legislation last week. "It is not only legitimate -- it is admirable."

"For all its flaws," the energy "bill is the first comprehensive attempt by America to mitigate climate change by putting a price on carbon emissions," Thomas Friedman underscores. "Rejecting this bill would have been read in the world as America voting against the reality and urgency of climate change and would have undermined clean energy initiatives everywhere."

 

"Democratic leaders should... resist calls to weaken the targets on emissions reductions. The House bill is itself a compromise, and a weaker Senate bill could be worse than no bill at all," the New York Times maintains.

"What if climate change has little or nothing to do with human activity?" Jeff Jacoby asks. "What if enacting cap-and-trade means incurring excruciating costs in exchange for infinitesimal benefits?"

"Even if Democrats manage to set up a solid health-care program, conservatives will do their best, once they have regained power, to drop it down the same chute they did" FEMA, Thomas Frank writes.

 

The New Republic's Jacob Hacker and Rahul Rajkumar conjure up a dismal picture of what the country may be like if health care reform is passed without a public insurance option.

Shikha Dalmia lists the "top five lies" President Obama "has told -- the first two for no reason other than to get elected and the next three to sell socialized medicine to a wary nation."

"From a model for far-sighted investments in the future, California has become a state that uninvests in the present and has no vision at all for the future," Harold Meyerson opines.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune cheers the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision Tuesday in favor of Democrat Al Franken over Republican Norm Coleman in the state's Senate race. The board calls it "a clear decision, arrived at with thoroughness and care, and with no evidence of fraud."

 

"The unfortunate lesson" in the Minnesota high court's ruling "is that you don't need to win the vote on Election Day as long as your lawyers are creative enough to have enough new or disqualified ballots counted after the fact," the Wall Street Journal sneers.

John Mercurio asserts that the Democrats' nomination of Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds for governor "could be a blessing in disguise" for Republicans.

Amy Walter discusses whether sophomore Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., could beat incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., in the state's primary Senate race.

Clarence Page supports Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court, but is "eager" to hear the reasoning behind her Ricci v. DeStefano ruling, which the high court overturned Monday.

Richard Cohen recounts the downward spiral of his old high school acquaintance, Bernie Madoff.

"Jenny Sanford presents a new and improved version of the betrayed political spouse -- neither enabler nor victim," Ruth Marcus remarks.

"Stay focused, ladies. Here is The Practical Guide to Help Spurned Political Wives Survive Old Problems in the Era of New Technology," quips Maureen Dowd.

The Washington Post finds it "troubling" that the administration isn't "devoting sufficient attention to the daunting political, military and diplomatic challenges that remain" in Iraq.

"The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraqi cities marks the beginning of the country's return to its rightful owners -- Iraqis," the Los Angeles Times observes. "It is a changed Iraq, but whether it will become a better country remains to be seen."

Writing on RealClearPolitics.com, columnist Tony Blankley says he is "struck by the potentially appalling irony that overhangs the president's decision this week to go forward with the removal of troops."

USA Today has doubts about troops being pulled out of Iraq: "Exit strategies, like battle plans, are notorious for not surviving contact with reality."

In an opposing view, Tufts University professor William C. Martel counters that the U.S. should withdraw troops "no matter what."

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