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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Jonah Goldberg challenges Audi's 'Green Police' ad, while Steve Chapman questions the miltary's gay ban. Plus: the Wall Street Journal fears 'antibusiness populism.'

• "The surprisingly smooth relationship between the administration's top two officers is part of the broader White House culture," David Brooks muses. "Republicans believe, with much evidence, that an unprecedented wave of public rage is breaking across the land, directed at Washington. The uninformed float rumors that Rahm Emanuel is on the outs. Yet the atmosphere in the White House appears surprisingly tranquil."

• "The immediate reaction to the Brown election--in both parties--has been a dangerous lurch toward antibusiness populism," reflects investment officer Donald Luskin in the Wall Street Journal. "The crux of it is that it reveals a political process so dangerously narcissistic that it would use core institutions of the nation's economy as pawns in its own power struggles."

 

• "What you're not hearing from the politicians and the talking heads is that the joblessness and underemployment in America's low-income households rival their heights in the Great Depression of the 1930s," Bob Herbert argues, citing employment percentages. "Those who believe this grievous economic situation will right itself of its own accord or can be corrected without bold, targeted (and, yes, expensive) government action are still reading from the Ronald Reagan (someday it will trickle down) hymnal."

• The Philadelphia Inquirer praises President Obama's cuts of NASA, writing that the "decision not to spend any more money on a rocket program to return Americans to the moon isn't a stab to the heart of all those who crave the day when space travel as depicted in Star Trek reruns becomes reality."

• "Anyone sitting in a dank, fetid Haitian jail for any reason probably deserves at least a measure of sympathy, so in that sense I feel sorry for the Baptist missionaries from Idaho charged with kidnapping 33 'orphans' and trying to take them out of the country," writes Eugene Robinson. "True charity would have been to help those families care for their children -- not to put them in a bus and drive them away."

 

• "Even with minimal due respect for Haiti's sovereignty, it defies common sense to apply kidnapping charges against religious volunteers acting to save children from further trauma and privation amid a devastating natural disaster the local government can't handle," the Washington Times contends in defense of the Americans arrested in Haiti.

Steve Chapman inveighs against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," citing precedents of gays serving openly and efficiently in other nations' militaries: "All recent experience argues that the American military would adapt fine to accepting gays. But when it comes to actual real-world evidence, supporters of the ban don't ask, and they don't tell."

Jonah Goldberg criticizes the Audi 'Green Police' Super Bowl commercial, which depicts "an America where citizens are arrested -- roughly -- for even minor environmental infractions."

• While assessing chances for a new war between Israel and its neighbors, the Boston Globe calls on Obama to "demand that Syria and Israel cut out their mad bragging about the pain each can inflict on the other."

 

Richard Cohen compares the wives of former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and South Carolina governor Mark Sanford in what he calls "a brief to appreciate that these women are not vessels for the problems and anxieties of others nor exemplars of how, in some sort of emotional vacuum, these scandals should be handled."

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