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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Rove and Barone tear into the Baucus bill's cost estimates, while Broder says success depends on the White House. Plus: Is Rockefeller the new Kennedy?

• "The fate of the health-care bill is largely in the hands of President Obama and Sen. Olympia Snowe," E. J. Dionne Jr. declares.

• The "inflammatory and utterly self-serving report" issued by the "leading industry trade group," which alleges that the Finance Committee's health care bill "would drive up premium costs for Americans by thousands of additional dollars a year... needs to be addressed head-on," the New York Times maintains.

 

• "The problem for Mr. Obama is that the" Finance Committee bill "is being sold on the strength of accounting tricks that make it appear that it won't add to the deficit," Karl Rove asserts.

Michael Barone also rips the bill apart for how much it could cost.

• "What Obama and his key aides -- Rahm Emanuel, Peter Orszag and Nancy-Ann DeParle -- do from this point on will determine whether this is a substantial achievement for the country or simply another gesture toward real" health care reform, David S. Broder predicts.

 

• "At 6 feet 6 inches, thin as a pinstripe and lacking a reflex to race for a camera," Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., "has stepped into the void left by the death of Senator Ted Kennedy as the unapologetic liberal," Margaret Carlson remarks.

• "Three weeks ago, the name Alan Grayson would have drawn a blank, even among many who follow Congress closely," Dana Milbank observes. "But in the past fortnight, Congressman Die Quickly has become a cult hero on the left."

George F. Will predicts that unemployment will help Republicans gain seats in the 2010 midterm elections.

John Mercurio speculates that Democratic Illinois senatorial candidate Alexi Giannoulias, who is currently the state's Treasurer, will have a tough time encouraging voters to focus on him and not Obama or former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D).

 

William Pesek imagines how the conversation would go if Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sought the advice of Bernie Madoff.

Steve Chapman can't believe the Federal Housing Administration "often requires only 3.5 percent" in down payments from home buyers.

Nicholas D. Kristof urges Democrats to take up education reform, emphasizing that "good schools constitute a far more potent weapon against poverty than welfare, food stamps or housing subsidies."

• The Washington Post supports the Military Commissions Act of 2009, which would, according to the board, "forbid the use of detainee statements obtained through torture, coercion, or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment."

David Ignatius thinks Obama is "wise to take his time" on Afghanistan, but he worries that "the White House approach will soften the edges so much that the policy itself will be fuzzy and doomed to failure."

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