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Legacy Content / EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Democrats face pressure to oust Rangel from his chairmanship, while Rep. John Lewis defends him. Plus: Is Afghanistan an after-thought?

October 9, 2009

David Brooks figures he "might as well get engaged as a provisional supporter to fight to make" the health care bill sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., "better, or at least to fight off the coming onslaught to make it worse."

• In the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., laments that health care costs are crushing small businesses.

• "After considering all of the options on the table, I am convinced that a 'public option' has to be included in any health care reform package," Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., writes in the Chicago Tribune. "I will vote against any plan that doesn't include a public option."

 

• "Behold: a new $829 billion entitlement that will subsidize insurance for tens of millions of people -- and reduce deficits by $81 billion at the same time." The Wall Street Journal quips: "In the next tent, see the mermaid and a two-headed cow."

Charlie Cook points to new polling to argue that the administration should focus more on the economy and less on health care reform.

Margaret Carlson writes with "great regret" that "Democrats must remove Charlie Rangel from his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee."

• "House Democrats had better start taking the ethics allegations against" Rangel "seriously," Eugene Robinson warns.

• The New York Times blasts House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for "protecting" Rangel from Republicans' calls to strip him of his committee chairmanship.

• If Rangel "had any shame, he would step down from his chairmanship while the House ethics committee reviews his various dealings," USA Today contends. "If he doesn't do that -- and there is no indication he plans to -- House Democrats should force him to give up his gavel."

• In an opposing view, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, counters that Republicans who want to oust Rangel from his chairmanship are "trying to silence a strong, progressive voice for health care reform and economic security for working families."

• "Gender politics is always just beneath the surface in this town, because the inequality in power is stubborn and persistent," Dana Milbank remarks. "But in recent days, the battle of the sexes has been unusually prominent."

Clive Crook asserts that the international climate change talks slated for December in Copenhagen should focus more on the "price of carbon, rather than quantitative targets for emissions."

Paul Krugman fears that the financial crisis is weakening the U.S. education system, which he says is already behind most advanced economies.

Charles Krauthammer takes President Obama to task for what he sees as flip-flopping on Afghanistan: once supporting the war there but not supplying the troops needed in order to win there now.

• "Why are we treating Afghanistan almost like an afterthought, interesting and important but not as urgent a question as health care?" Peggy Noonan asks.

• Democratic strategist Bob Shrum says Afghanistan -- and not health care or the economy -- will be the "fateful" test that decides Obama's presidency.

• "Congress continues its irrational and damaging bluster over the fate of detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba," the Washington Post scoffs.

• "Yesterday, just a week after the 60th anniversary celebrations of the People's Republic, China kicked off its first World Media Summit." In the Wall Street Journal, Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain, writes that "it shows how far China has come -- and how far it has to go."

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