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Pundits & Editorials

On health care stagnation, Daily Kos founder and Ruth Marcus point finger at Democrats, while Clinton's mission to North Korea wins kudos. Plus: Is the GOP too Southern?

• Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., ought to retire and allow their successors to continue the health care fight that they are unable to join, argues Markos Moulitsas, founder and publisher of Daily Kos.

• Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., takes on a page-1 story in the Washington Post that says talk radio hosts are drumming up opposition to health care reform using scare tactics. He writes in the Washington Times, "It does seem that the words attributed to unnamed conservative culprits are fairly mild compared to the hysteria coming out of left-wing Web sites and blogs."

 

• "Judging by the first public meetings on health-care reform that members of Congress have begun convening in their districts, America is in Second Coming time, in the William Butler Yeats sense," Harold Meyerson quips. "The best may or may not lack all conviction, as Yeats wrote in his classic poem, but the worst are sure as hell full of passionate intensity."

• "Does President Obama care more about passing health-care reform that truly gets costs under control, or more about getting reelected? Does he care more about getting the nation's fiscal house in order, or more about getting reelected?" Ruth Marcus asks. "Right now, the evidence points to getting reelected."

• "It was a moment unique in the annals of diplomacy," Maureen Dowd argues of former President Bill Clinton's mission to Pyongyang to free two American journalists. "Bill was being hailed as a dazzling statesman who might have changed the stormy weather between the U.S. and North Korea, just as Hillary was beginning an 11-day trip to Africa designed to highlight the subjects she most cares about: do-gooder development and women's issues."

 

• The Los Angeles Times sees implications for the nuclear disarmament struggle stemming from Clinton's trip to North Korea.

Kathleen Parker agrees with the assessment of Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, that part of the Republican Party's problem is that it has "too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns," writing, "it is true that the GOP is fast becoming regionalized below the Mason-Dixon line and increasingly associated with some of the South's worst ideas."

Thomas Friedman sees hope for the Arab world in the West Bank, of all places.

• "Monday's resignation of White House cybersecurity adviser Melissa Hathaway was another reminder that President Obama's cyberpolicy is lost in space," the Washington Times argues.

 

• In Politico, Marco Rubio, who is running for Senate from Florida, encourages fellow Republicans to take on Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination and reassure skittish conservatives that "our opposition to her judicial philosophy is in no way a wholesale opposition to Hispanics."

• "Maybe it's the heat, maybe it's the humidity, but the guns of August rarely fall silent," Monica Crowley observes as she recounts the month's violent track record. "If history is any indication, this August may be long and steamy, but it won't be calm."

• "Voting rights advocates have had little success challenging felon disenfranchisement laws in court," the New York Times complains. "Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in Boston, became the latest federal court to uphold a ban on voting by convicted felons."

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