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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Friedman wants schools, not missile attacks, in Yemen, while the NYT gets impatient with Iran's nuclear program. Plus: Obama a disaster for organized labor?

Newt Gingrich and John Goodman, CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, outline 10 ideas for health care reform that deliver "more quality choices at lower cost for every American" in the Wall Street Journal.

Michael Gerson argues that "the new era of Democratic bipartisanship" ended when the DNC attacked Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan as "a vicious, voucherizing, privatizing assault on Social Security, Medicare and every non-millionaire American."

 

• "An election is coming, so the Republicans are trying to scare Americans by making it appear as if the Democrats don't care about catching or punishing terrorists," contends the New York Times. "It's nonsense, of course, but effective."

• "For every Predator missile we fire at an Al Qaeda target here, we should help Yemen build 50 new modern schools that teach science and math and critical thinking -- to boys and girls," asserts Thomas L. Friedman. "If we stick to something close to that ratio of targeted killings to targeted kindergartens, we have a chance to prevent Yemen from becoming an Al Qaeda breeding ground."

• "Enough is enough," reacts the New York Times to news that Iran will raise the level of its uranium enrichment. "Iran needs to understand that its nuclear ambition comes with a very high cost.... If the Security Council can't act swiftly, or decisively, the United States and its allies will have to come up with their own tough sanctions."

 

• "Tehran's apocalyptic rulers have not unclenched their fists, and no amount of goodwill is going to persuade them to do so. Perhaps that wasn't clear to Obama a year ago. Now it is clear to almost everyone," opines Jeff Jacoby.

• Writing in the Washington Post, Katrina vanden Heuvel notes that despite Sarah Palin's call for "consequences" for the banking industry, "not one House Republican voted for financial reform in December. And bipartisan Senate negotiations on reform just broke apart over Republican opposition to creating a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, or any quasi-independent agency with the power to protect consumers from the abuses, predatory lending and frauds of the financial community."

• "As headline-making news goes, Palin's palm-piloting and R-word outrage pales in comparison to her foray during the Fox interview on national defense," notes Clarence Page. "She did not quite suggest that Obama invade Iran, as some news reports seemed to indicate, but she did bring up an Iran invasion as something that could calm his opposition and help Obama's re-election."

• The Wall Street Journal derides Obama's proposed $5,000 tax credit for small businesses for each new worker hired: "We've also seen this economic movie before -- in 1977 under Jimmy Carter."

 

• The Washington Post promotes the CLEAR Act, sponsored by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, as an "alternative between simple do-nothingism and House complexity" on an energy bill.

• Obama's proposals to increase government transparency "are all good and necessary reforms, of course. But one suspects they will do little to allay the grandiose fears of the broader antigovernment set," opines Thomas Frank.

• "In the absence of a future court overturning Citizens United, the fundamental response should be a constitutional amendment. We must exclude all commercial corporations and other artificial commercial entities from participating in political activities. Such constitutional rights should be reserved for real people," write Ralph Nader and Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, in the Wall Street Journal.

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Harold Meyerson makes the case that, "for American labor, year one of Barack Obama's presidency has been close to an unmitigated disaster."

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