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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Zakaria slams Palin's suggestion to invade Iran, and Douthat breathes a sigh of relief Edwards isn't president. Plus: Partisan health care summit.

• "Why are Republicans reluctant to sit down and talk? Because they would then be forced to put up or shut up," posits Paul Krugman. "Since they're adamantly opposed to reducing the deficit with tax increases, they would have to explain what spending they want to cut."

• "If the summit fails to shake things up and does not lead to the passage of a comprehensive health-care bill, Democrats and Obama are in for a miserable time for the rest of his term," E.J. Dionne Jr. warns.

 

• "Republican opposition to the [health care] Senate bill has been cynical and unprincipled," Clive Crook contends. "It is a scandal that not one Republican has been willing to speak up for a reform that, in the end, was a centrist proposal -- much like the one that Mitt Romney, the party's front-runner for the presidential nomination in 2012, signed as governor of Massachusetts."

• "Obama plans to unveil, in advance of Thursday's health-care summit, a merged version of the House and Senate bills. Whether this is the right approach depends on the product" and whether it controls costs, the Washington Post remarks.

• "Not all affairs produce corruption, and we don't have to know every sin that our politicians commit," writes Ross Douthat. "But the Democratic Party's narrow escape from the nightmare of" a John Edwards "candidacy suggests that there's a case for erring on the side of prurience."

 

• "The lesson of the chill of the global-warming consensus is this: Those who want to persuade others of the truth as they see it need to make their case as transparently as possible," L. Gordon Crovitz (subscription) maintains. "Technology enables access to information and leads us to expect open debates, conducted honestly and in full view."

• "It is important to recognize the magnitude of what people like [Sarah] Palin are advocating," cautions Fareed Zakaria on invading Iran. "The United States is being asked to launch a military invasion of a state that poses no imminent threat to America, without sanction from any international body and with few governments willing to publicly endorse such an action."

• In the Wall Street Journal, Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies put forth their argument in favor of gasoline sanctions against Iran.

Jackson Diehl finds it "hard to escape the impression that a president who built his campaign on opposition to the war still undervalues Iraq's enormous strategic importance and the dangers embedded in its political transition."

 

• "It would be possible in other circumstances to disregard the ongoing story of Greece and its debts as a tedious tale of financial markets. But there's much more to it than that," argues Robert J. Samuelson. "What's happening in Greece speaks to two larger issues affecting hundreds of millions of people everywhere: the future of the welfare state and the fate of Europe's single currency -- the euro."

William Pesek writes that "the search for the next Greece is finding its way to an unlikely place: Japan."

• "Mexico's violent drug war may be pushing Mexican immigrants and their families to put down deep roots in the United States more quickly and firmly than ever," asserts Gregory Rodriguez.

• "So after five years of investigation, partisan accusations and unethical media leaks, the Justice Department's senior ethicist has concluded that Bush Administration lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee committed no professional misconduct. The issue now is whether the protégés of Attorney General Eric Holder who led this exercise at Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) should themselves be in the dock," opines the Wall Street Journal.

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