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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Goldberg and Shlaes say U.S. should not model itself after Europe. Plus: Mixed reviews on Obama's health care plan.

David Brooks remarks that President Obama's health care reform "has been dragged ever lower into the mire by Congressional special interests that are parochial in the extreme."

• In the Chicago Tribune, Chicago-area writer Dennis Byrne supports Republican involvement in Obama's health care summit and other open debates "because the more the public learns about the gargantuan Senate and House health legislation (and not to mention the out-of-control spending), the more the public will despise what the great Chicago minds inhabiting the White House have in store for the republic."

 

• "Obama's proposals provide a firm basis for both the Senate and House to move forward with comprehensive reforms," the New York Times maintains. "If the Republicans resort to filibusters to block passage, the Democrats should use a budget reconciliation procedure that requires only a majority vote for passage in the Senate."

• The Wall Street Journal slams Obama's health care plan and Democrats' plan to move forward: "After election defeats in Virginia, New Jersey and even Massachusetts, and amid overwhelming public opposition, Democrats have decided to give the voters what they don't want anyway."

• The Washington Post criticizes Obama for delaying the tax on high-end health insurance plans until 2018: "What credit or credibility is due a president who endorses a tax but leaves to his successor the unpleasant task of collecting it?"

 

• "If Republicans are serious about wanting to engage in this debate, Obama has provided a starting point," asserts Eugene Robinson. "Of course, I don't believe for one minute that the Republican leadership really wants to join any process that leads to meaningful health care legislation, because the party's political strategy to this point -- say no to everything -- has worked quite well."

• In the Wall Street Journal, Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda "pledge[s] that Toyota will set a new standard for transparency and speed of response on safety issues. We also will strive to lead on advanced safety and environmental technologies."

Jonah Goldberg criticizes people who say the United States should look abroad for examples on how to improve: "Like butterflies always looking for a prettier flower, these intellectuals keep flitting to the next 'proof' of America's shortcomings."

Amity Shlaes writes that the U.S. shouldn't try to be more like Europe because "Europe only functions as well as it does because it in turn copies the U.S. Their longstanding dance has had only two steps: the U.S. generates ideas, and then Europe implements them."

 

• "Europe is in a crisis. Superficially, the crisis is about money: the Greek budget, a German-led bailout, the risk of contagion, moral hazard, the fragility of the euro. Fundamentally, it's a crisis of ideas," Bret Stephens (subscription) remarks.

• The Boston Globe argues that Congress should swiftly approve funds for African-American farmers before more of them lose their land to debt.

• Noting how Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., voted in favor of the Senate jobs bill, Dana Milbank wonders if Brown "hasn't been in Washington long enough to be intoxicated by the Spirit of Party."

• "Contrary to" Sarah Palin, Anne Applebaum does "not think Obama would restore the fortunes of his presidency by bombing Iran, like a character out of that movie 'Wag the Dog.'" But she does "hope that this administration is ready, militarily and psychologically, not for a war of choice but for an unwanted war of necessity."

• "There are reasons to support targeted killings, up to a point," avers Celestine Bohlen about drone strikes. "That said, it is still a second-best policy. Dead men don't talk; they make good martyrs; they are easily replaceable in decentralized organizations like al-Qaeda or the Taliban."

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