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Pundits & Editorials

Blue Dogs take center stage on health care reform, but are they making any sense? Plus: If conservatives want looser gun laws, E.J. Dionne asks why not carry weapons in Congress?

• In the Wall Street Journal, Hillary Clinton and Timothy Geithner write about the paradox that "few global problems can be solved by the U.S. or China alone. And few can be solved without the U.S. and China together."

• The New York Times is impatient for Washington's reform of Wall Street: "The problem is that the bonus-driven risk culture is reasserting itself now, while comprehensive reform will probably take until next year."


• As the House passes legislation to prevent car dealerships from closing, the New York Times asks, "What will the House try to micro-manage next? A Capitol prod to revive whitewall tires? Or inscribe patriotic slogans on front grilles?"

Paul Krugman said Blue Dog Democrats would be pivotal in the health care debate, except that "the Blue Dogs aren't making sense."

Stuart Rothenberg acknowledges that Democratic Blue Dogs "are showing their muscle" but it's unclear "whether it's out of principle or merely a political reflection of the president's loss of support on health care among independent voters."


Robert J. Samuelson blames President Obama for pretending reform "will satisfy almost everyone," saying it's his "self-serving exaggerations and political fantasies" that "have destroyed what should be a serious national discussion of health care."

Eliza Newlin Carney notes the reasons that "the health care influence industry -- its well-connected players, its high-dollar ad campaigns and its massive lobbying expenditures -- is facing heightened scrutiny as the congressional health care debate intensifies."

Ross Douthat reminds everyone that "the Iraq war isn't finished yet," no matter how much the public and its leaders would like it to be over.

• Former CIA director Michael Hayden defends the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program as "crucial in addressing one of the most stinging criticisms of the 9/11 commission -- the need to reduce the gap between foreign intelligence and domestic security."


• The Washington Post defends those who relied on memos about proper interrogation "in the good-faith belief that they were following the law," but "it is an entirely different story for those who went well beyond the often-extreme measures authorized by the memos."

• Lawmakers who promote loosening gun restrictions "tell us that the best defense against crime is an armed citizenry," so E.J. Dionne Jr. dares them: "If they believe that, why don't they live by it? Why would freedom-loving lawmakers want to hide behind guards and metal detectors?"

• "On the surface," Iran "has returned to normality," observes Fareed Zakaria. But look closer, "underneath the calm, there is intense activity and the beginnings of a political opposition."

Mark Blumenthal defends polling's place in democracy: "Elected officials are self-interested. They will 'heed' public opinion when they see the potential for reward or peril at the next election."

• The Wall Street Journal goes after Rep. Charlie Rangel: "Ever notice that those who endorse high taxes and those who actually pay them aren't the same people?"

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