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Pundits & Editorials

Klein says health reform will either pass or fail now, while Rove says today's summit should be a debate. Plus: Assessing the Bush era torture memos.

George F. Will predicts that today's health care "summit's predictable failure will be a pretext for trying to ram health legislation through the Senate by misusing 'reconciliation,' which prevents filibusters." He then goes on to argue that filibusters are both the Democrats' enemy and key to a democracy.

• The Washington Post doesn't support Democrats using budget reconciliation to pass health care but stresses that "using reconciliation in this context would be neither a misuse of Senate rules nor, in a historical context, unusual."


• "Letting health-care reform fail is indistinguishable from conceding the 2010 election," writes Ezra Klein. "There's no real fallback plan. If Democrats fall back, they fall."

• "Today's event should be treated as a debate. Facts, humor, and using the president's own words to refute his assertions could carry the day," Karl Rove asserts. "Republicans need to be mindful of winning over those who are watching."

• "If the number of uninsured is a problem, Democratic proposals will exacerbate that problem," warns the Washington Times. "There is only one way for each insured person to get more coverage at a lower price without lowering insurance company costs -- and that is to cover fewer people."


Daniel Henninger (subscription) isn't impressed with Obama's speech to the Business Roundtable on Wednesday: "Instead of giving a speech about reviving business confidence in the economy, Mr. Obama gave a speech about reviving business confidence in him."

• "Terrorists strike for many reasons, but particularly when they sense weakness and chaos in their enemy," states Fox News contributor Monica Crowley remarks in the Washington Times. "The United States cannot effectively prosecute this war while the commander in chief channels Hamlet."

• Iranian interest in maintaining a compliant government in Baghdad by way of a broad covert-action campaign to influence Iraq's elections is a crucial matter of national security, says David Ignatius. "The best way to counter this assault, American officials have decided, is by exposing it publicly."

• In reviewing the torture memos for former President George W. Bush, the New York Times finds that Justice Department lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee "were not acting as fair-minded analysts of the law but as facilitators of a scheme to evade it. The White House decision to brutalize detainees already had been made. Mr. Yoo and Mr. Bybee provided legal cover."


• "The reason" Attorney General Eric Holder "is having to play defense about his antiterror bona fides is because he's let his ideological antipathy to Bush practices interfere with the practical realities of fighting terrorists," lambastes the Wall Street Journal.

• The Washington Times slams the EPA for moving forward on regulating greenhouse gas emissions and supports Republican efforts to block the agency's authority.

• "The doubters of climate science have launched an enormously clever -- and effective -- campaign, and it's worth trying to understand how they've done it. The best analogy is perhaps the O.J. Simpson trial," author and climate supporter Bill McKibben remarks in the Los Angeles Times.

USA Today gives a skeptical review of the Toyota chief's testimony to lawmakers Wednesday: "A company dedicated to safety -- one that once rushed to customers' driveways -- would find out what's really wrong, expose everything and get on with fixing the problems. Despite Wednesday's apology, Toyota doesn't yet appear to be on that course."

• Noting that credit card companies have already found ways to evade the recently enacted Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, the New York Times maintains that "Congress cannot pass a new law for every new scam the industry comes up with. What the country clearly needs is a strong, fully engaged Consumer Financial Protection Agency that protects Americans from abusive, deceptive and predatory lending practices."

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