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Legacy Content / EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Kissinger assesses how to stop nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Mann defends climate science. Plus: Carlson says Lieberman killed health care.

December 18, 2009

• "With all its flaws, the Senate health bill would be the biggest expansion of the social safety net since Medicare, greatly improving the lives of millions," Paul Krugman remarks. "Getting this bill would be much, much better than watching health care reform fail."

David Brooks lists the reasons to vote for or against the health care bill.

• "Slowly, slowly, the Democratic health agenda is turning into a political suicide pact," Kim Strassel observes. "Congressional members have been dragged along by momentum, by threat, by bribe, but mostly by the White House's siren song that it would be worse to not pass a bill than it would be to pass one. If that ever were true, it is not today."


Eugene Robinson assesses the ability of lawmakers to play the political game to achieve their goals on health care reform.

• "Health-care reform is dead," Margaret Carlson declares. "Time of death: 6 p.m., Dec. 15, 2009, Connecticut Standard Time. Signing the certificate: Senator Joseph Lieberman, the former Democrat turned Independent turned health-care slayer."

• "The Democratic majority seems determined to pursue a political kamikaze mission toward a historic mistake," Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., writes in Politico. "If it succeeds, the result will be disastrous for Democrats in 2010 and, unfortunately, even worse for our country."

David S. Broder applauds the release of a report from leading economists, warning about the potential dangers of America's high debt.

• "When scientists make putative compendia of" climate change "literature, such as is done by the U.N. climate change panel every six years, the writers assume that the peer-reviewed literature is a true and unbiased sample of the state of climate science," explains Patrick Michaels, senior fellow at the Cato Institute in the Wall Street Journal. After Climategate, "that can no longer be the case."

• Penn State scientist Michael Mann, who was implicated in the Climategate scandal, reiterates in the Washington Post that "the messages do not undermine the scientific case that human-caused climate change is real" and that "some critics are seeking to cloud the debate and confuse the public."

• In Politico, Rep. John Boccieri, D-Ohio, and Jonathan Murray, advocacy director for Operation Free, caution that "when our nation's military and intelligence experts say climate change is a threat to national security, elected leaders should pay attention."

• In the Washington Post, Henry Kissinger says that if the United States continues trying to stop nuclear proliferation in North Korea with negotiations, which have failed no matter the framework, "diplomacy will turn into a means of legitimizing proliferation rather than arresting it."

• "I hope Iran policy makers in Washington and Europe are reading histories of that world-changing year, 1989," Roger Cohen muses. "I hope so because the time has come to do nothing in Iran."

• "For an explanation of why Iran's behavior remains unchanged, look no further" than the administration's back-tracking of support for sanctions against Iran, argues the Wall Street Journal.

• In Uganda "the proposed law requiring the reporting and punishment of homosexuals is not only an improper role for government, it also directly undermines the public good," Michael Gerson contends.

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