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Pundits & Editorials

Hiatt questions McConnell's principles after he voted against deficit commission, and Dionne says Alito proved he's partisan.

• "It's impossible to avoid the conclusion that the only thing that changed since May," when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., endorsed the deficit commission bill, "is the political usefulness of the proposal to McConnell's partisan goals," which Fred Hiatt says led the senator to vote against the proposal last week.

• The Wall Street Journal lectures Congress for voting down spending cuts proposed by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a move that the board says reveals "how phony the new antideficit Beltway posturing really is."


• "President Obama made a big deal last week about his purported federal spending freeze, but not enough has been said about how meager the supposed savings actually are," argues the Washington Times. "Historical context shows that any savings from this public-relations gimmick will be tiny."

Paul Krugman highlights the "remarkable stability of Canada's banks" and asserts that "we need to learn from those countries that evidently did it right."

• "While winning legislative victories on the economic stimulus and health care, the administration allowed the opposition to define the measures," Albert R. Hunt maintains.


Clive Crook wonders whether Americans are willing to pay higher taxes for guaranteed health insurance.

• Regarding rising teenage birthrates, Ross Douthat asserts that "if you blame abstinence programs for a year's worth of bad news, you'd also have to give them credit for more than a decade's worth of progress."

E.J. Dionne Jr. argues that Justice Samuel Alito's "inability to restrain himself during the State of the Union address brought to wide attention a truth that too many have tried to ignore: The Supreme Court is now dominated by a highly politicized conservative majority intent on working its will, even if that means ignoring precedents and the wishes of the elected branches of government."

• "When a citizen signs a petition to place an initiative on the ballot, is he or she acting as a voter or as a legislator? How the Supreme Court answers that question" in an upcoming case "will determine whether states can make the names of signers public. It's a close call, but the court should decide in favor of disclosure," contends the Los Angeles Times.


• The Washington Post asserts that "Obama has been doing everything he can on his end to lay the groundwork for the repeal" of "don't ask, don't tell," but "the 16-year-old policy is a creature of Congress. Thus, it is Congress that must permanently right this wrong."

• As part of his "Dangerous Dozen" list of open House seats most likely to change party control, Stuart Rothenberg (subscription) contends that with "so many of the districts on this list ... currently held by Democrats," it's a reflection of "how strongly the political landscape is tilting toward the GOP."

• In the Washington Post, the Hoover Institution's Jack Goldsmith argues that "the problem with" Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's "call for accountability and norms on the global network ... is the enormous array of cyberattacks originating from the United States. Until we acknowledge these attacks and signal how we might control them, we cannot make progress on preventing cyberattacks emanating from other countries."

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