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Pundits & Editorials

Obama tends to "obfuscate and mislead," according to Peggy Noonan. Plus: Bruce Stokes warns that the currency dispute with China could soon boil over.

• President Obama's Fox News interview "revealed his primary weakness in speaking of health care, which is a tendency to dodge, obfuscate and mislead," accuses Peggy Noonan. "He grows testy when challenged. It revealed what the president doesn't want revealed, which is that he doesn't want to reveal much about his plan."

• "If health-care reform finally staggers across the finish line, it will be because" Obama "and congressional Democrats recognized -- at long last -- the truth that has been staring them in the face for more than a year: They'll be better off politically if they just try their best to do the right thing," asserts Eugene Robinson.


• "Imagine Jason Altmire bound, at the end of a plank, a band of Democratic pirates behind him, a swarm of constituent sharks circling below. Imagine that, and you understand what Democrats are doing to their members with health care," writes Kimberley Strassel (subscription).

Paul Krugman points to an "investigative report this week" from Reuters "that powerfully illustrates the vileness of our current system" and demonstrates the need for health care reform.

• "Struggling to comply with the very stringent rules governing reconciliation bills, the Democrats made some reasonable trade-offs between enhancing benefits and finding additional savings and revenues," maintains the New York Times.


• "To crow, as did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that the package is 'a triumph for the American people in terms of deficit reduction' is premature at best, delusional at worst," warns Ruth Marcus.

• "We believe stronger and more principled presidential leadership could have delivered a bill that was paid for from the start, rather than one that relies on budgetary gimmicks in the short term," opines the Washington Post. "But if legislators are asked to cast an up-or-down vote in the next few days, our advice would be to vote yes."

• "Everything I've experienced in Washington, and heard from journalists there, suggests control over the message has reached obsessive proportions," declares Roger Cohen.

• "Why did President Obama choose to turn a gaffe into a crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations?" wonders Charles Krauthammer.


• Writing in the Washington Post, Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., explain the "four pillars" of their draft immigration reform plan, and argue "that America's security and economic well-being depend on enacting sensible immigration policies."

Michael Gerson contends that Attorney General Eric Holder "is the most endangered member of the Obama Cabinet for a different reason: Just about everything he has touched has backfired."

• The United States "is suffering a devastating crisis of authority. The only way to restore trust is from the local community on up," concludes David Brooks.

• "If any country is responsible for protectionism and for politicizing the exchange rate, it is China," claims Sebastian Mallaby. "Beijing's leaders have made a political decision to peg their currency at an artificially low level, handing their exporters a competitive advantage. Yet China's outburst" in reaction to comments by Obama "reflects the insecurity behind its confident facade."

• "The long-simmering Sino-American dispute over the appropriate level of the renminbi-dollar exchange rate may be about to boil over," warns Bruce Stokes as he outlines advice for debaters.

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