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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Kagan would be wise to ignore her own advice, Clarence Page writes. Plus: How will Karzai respond to Obama's overtures?

• "Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan has -- or had, anyway -- the right vision of what confirmation hearings for the high court should be," writes Ruth Marcus in reaction to Kagan's criticism of the confirmation process' ambiguity. "If she lived up to her own standard, she could improve the process enormously -- and be confirmed anyway."

• "Kagan probably will be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, if she can resist the temptation to follow her own advice," quips Clarence Page. "Today's Elena Kagan sounds a bit more reserved about educating the public in her confirmation hearings, judging by her hearings for her current job."

 

• "The most prominent thing about Kagan is her extraordinary ability, while holding high-profile jobs in the legal profession, to say nothing on the major issues of the day," remarks Michael Gerson. "Is it possible Kagan lacks any well-formed constitutional perspective at all? Who knows? Who could possibly know?"

• "Does a gender-mixed court featuring Kagan, [Sonia Sotomayor] and [Ruth Bader Ginsburg] qualify as a diverse court because they are women? Or do these three represent ideological purity in a lace bib? The jury is still out," contends Kathleen Parker.

• "What she will not bring is educational diversity. Her confirmation will leave the court entirely composed of former law students at either Harvard or Yale," notes law professor Jonathan Turley in the Los Angeles Times. "The decision of President Obama to select a nominee from one of these two schools is particularly disappointing as a replacement for Justice John Paul Stevens -- an iconic figure on the court who was also its only graduate from an alternative institution (Northwestern)."

 

Maureen Dowd insists that "the question for the Obama White House is not whether it can grow to appreciate the caped capo who runs Afghanistan.... The question is whether [Hamid Karzai] will fall for all the guff they're throwing at him."

• "In recent months it has sometimes seemed as though Karzai and the Obama administration, instead of seeking a joint way forward, were positioning themselves to blame the other for an inevitable failure in Afghanistan," observes Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, in the Washington Post. "The good news is that both seem to have recognized that things have gone too far and that both sides have to step back from the brink."

• "Karzai needs to step up to the challenge too if he and the U.S. are to beat back the Taliban and stabilize Afghanistan. The relationship can succeed only if both partners are committed," cautions the Los Angeles Times.

• Writing in the Wall Street Journal, former attorney general Michael Mukasey criticizes Eric Holder's support for extending the "public safety exemption" to Miranda rights. The exemption "allows a delay in Miranda warnings until an imminent threat to public safety ... has been neutralized. In terror cases it is impossible to determine when all necessary intelligence, which in any event might not relate to an imminent threat, has been learned."

 

• "This is not the time for a tax increase," writes former Reagan economic adviser Martin Feldstein in the Wall Street Journal. He advises, instead, that "Congress should move quickly to reassure taxpayers and financial markets that the current tax rates will be preserved for two years but that further tax cuts will depend on the future fiscal outlook."

• "If you really look closely at what it will take for Greece to mend its economy, this is actually a bailout-for-a-revolution," writes Thomas Friedman about the deal with the European Union. "Greece's entire economic and political system will have to change for Greeks to deliver their side of this bargain."

• "What could be worse than a 20-minute, 1,000-point drop in the stock market? A 20-minute, 1,000-point drop that defies explanation," warns the New York Times. "At a Congressional hearing on Tuesday, federal regulators and stock-exchange executives said they had no one explanation for the plunge last week that briefly wiped out about $1 trillion in market value."

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