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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

The right savors Obama's health care woes, while E.J. Dionne attacks protesters who pack heat. Plus: Margaret Carlson remembers Robert Novak.

• "Reading the transcripts of President Obama's 'town hall meetings' this month on heath-care reform is painful," bemoans David Ignatius. "The harder he tries to sell his program, the louder and angrier the debate gets -- and the more the general public tunes out the politicians."

• Why does Max Baucus, the Senate Finance Committee's Democratic chairman, "persist in the charade of bipartisan negotiations with [Chuck] Grassley?" Harold Meyerson asks. "Does he -- does anybody -- really believe that a Republican Party so deeply invested in defeating President Obama's campaign for health-care reform is open to a scaled-down version that Obama can still claim as a victory?"

 

• "Using a song years ago to sort through the complexities of a relationship in trouble," Billy Joel "repeated the same simple one-word truth: 'It's a matter of trust,'" Daniel Henninger argues. "Instead of whining about conspiracies, the average congressman getting yelled at this summer by his own constituents might ask: How come these people don't trust me?"

• "The idea of the federal government operating another health insurance business to compete with Blue Cross Blue Shield and hundreds of other private plans has crashed and burned -- the victim of a massive grass-roots protest movement and deepening fears and divisions among Democratic lawmakers," cackles Donald Lambro.

• "Will someone please tell the armed demonstrators how foolish and lawless they make our country look in the eyes of so much of the world?" asks E.J. Dionne Jr. "Are we not the country that urges other nations to see the merits of the ballot over the bullet?"

 

• After hearing that former House Majority Leader Tom Delay, R-Texas, will appear on "Dancing with the Stars," Gail Collins is ready for other political reality shows.

• "Seven months after taking office amid a religious-like faith that he was the one (or even The One) we had been waiting for, President Obama is beginning to resemble a shooting star," Cal Thomas charges.

Nicholas Kristof wants us to spend less money on prisons and the war on drugs and more on education and health care.

• In the Wall Street Journal, Juan Williams tries to explain why a higher percentage of black Americans believe disgraced quarterback Michael Vick deserves a second chance.

 

Karl Rove defends his role (or lack thereof) in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys in the Wall Street Journal.

Steve Chapman believes the six states that let gays wed will soon expose the cracks in the arguments against gay marriage.

Margaret Carlson shares her memories of the late columnist Robert Novak.

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