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Legacy Content / EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

The Wall Street Journal says House Democrats are in search of a "welfare state." Plus: Peggy Noonan suggests Sonia Sotomayor is "mildly animatronic."

July 17, 2009

• House Democrats' health care bill "finally reveals at least some of the price of the reckless ambitions of our current government," the Wall Street Journal asserts, predicting an impending "unrepealable European-style welfare state."

• When it comes to health care, the singular broker of bipartisanship is Sen. Chuck Grassley, writes Kimberley Strassel. But now "Senate liberals, who never wanted compromise, are forcing [Sen. Max Baucus] to choose between their bread and Mr. Grassley's butter."

Peggy Noonan evaluates the confirmation hearing's lead character this way: "Sonia Sotomayor seemed weirdly overrehearsed, speaking v e r y s l o w l y, gesturing with her hands in a way that was no doubt supposed to look natural and warm, like grandma in the kitchen, but instead came across as artificial and mildly animatronic."


Michael Gerson attacks Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for "a simplistic, pro-choice rant" that "displays a disturbing insensitivity to Supreme Court history."

• Goldman Sachs reported record quarterly profits, which Paul Krugman sees as an indication that "Goldman is very good at what it does. Unfortunately, what it does is bad for America."

USA Today isn't in favor of buying more F-22 fighter jets. "This sort of waste is shortsighted in peacetime. But it's outrageous in times of war such as now."

• In an opposing view, Sen. Jim Inhofe counters that "the United States' ability to dominate the skies is critical to our national security."

• As the list grows of alleged violations of law by the Bush administration, the New York Times concludes that "President Bush and his top aides panicked after the Sept. 11 attacks. And second, [Vice President Dick Cheney] and his ideologues ... preyed on that panic to advance their agenda."

• In a Washington Post op-ed, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert worries that "the issue of settlement construction commands the agenda between the United States and Israel." He calls it "a mistake that serves neither the process with the Palestinians nor relations between Israel and the Arab world. Moreover, it has the potential to greatly shake U.S.-Israeli relations."

• Even with the confirmation vote of 76 senators for Robert M. Groves as director of the Census Bureau, the New York Times says signs of bipartisanship on the Census are "mixed."

David Brooks praises a new Obama initiative to improve community colleges because it "doesn't throw money at the problem. ... It ties money to reform and has the potential -- the potential -- to spur a wave of innovation."

Charles Krauthammer complains that Obama has "expressed none of Kennedy's enthusiasm for human space exploration. ... So what, you say? Don't we have problems here on Earth? Oh, please. Poverty and disease and social ills will always be with us."

• In the voice of Bo, the Obama's Portuguese water dog, writer Ben Greenman reviews "my first 100 days in office" by reiterating "some of my basic convictions."

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