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Flotsam and Jetsam

That whole idea about buying “toxic” assets? Never mind. Who knows what they are worth? And, if this gives you the queasy feeling that the government doesn’t know what it’s doing, you are right. No one knows — this stuff has never been tried before.

Time to fish or cut bait for Chris Matthews in his Senate race. Never would Arlen Specter be so beloved by conservatives.

I think she’s right: “I’m going to bet that Obama will keep Guantanamo open. Don’t worry, he’ll break it to us comfortably, with the most cushiony possible rhetoric. And all you Bush haters will be just fine with it.” If you thought the Left wasn’t much bothered by problems of intellectual inconsistency or reality before, wait until the excuses start pouring forth on behalf of the new administration.

I honestly don’t know whether to be concerned about the Minnesota Senate recount. But I think we’ve had enough conspiracy theories for a while, so I will watch from afar, hesitant to scream foul unless there is some real proof of fraud. That said, having a bunch of ballots in the car of a Democratic election official does not inspire confidence.

Meanwhile, Ted Stevens’s lead has also disappeared.

Megan McArdle on the car bailout: “But let’s say it was all management’s fault.  What’s the argument for bailing them out then?  Does someone have tens of thousands of auto engineers, marketers, and senior management buried under a rock somewhere, waiting to replace the incompetent managers?  Because it seems to me that we’re just pouring money into the same deep hole that will periodically reward our efforts by coughing up the Pontiac G6.” Really, isn’t it better to give the money to Toyota or Honda to build more plants in the U.S., employ more workers and make cars people want to buy?

Larry Kudlow adds: “Total compensation per hour for the big-three carmakers is $73.20. That’s a 52 percent differential from Toyota’s (Detroit South) $48 compensation (wages + health and retirement benefits). In fact, the oversized UAW-driven pay package for Detroit is 132 percent higher than that of the entire manufacturing sector of the U.S., which comes in at $31.59. I don’t care how much money Congress throws at GM. With that kind of oversized comp-package they are not gonna be competitive. It’s throwin’ bad money after a bad cause. What a way to start the new Obama era.”

Byron York  wisely counsels Republicans to get a likable candidate next time.

Lots of inside scoop on the RNC Chair race. The winner, I suspect, will not be a brand new face brimming with ideas and technological sophistication.

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton is already nervous about the President-Elect, following his conversation with Poland’s President: “But on balance, his conversation with Mr. Kaczynski points toward a weakening of the U.S. defense posture, indifference to allies under duress, and the need to satisfy his natural constituency within the Democratic Party.”

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is making a lot of sense. If he keeps it up, a faction of pundits will no doubt rise up to attack him. Isn’t that how we know who is making progress as a GOP leader?

I’m not sure why conservative pundits are peeved at McCain for not defending Palin. I thought they didn’t really like him or respect his opinion anyway.

The governorships are where the action will be — and luckily for Republicans, their candidates are articulate, young, and accomplished.

This isn’t being covered by the MSM: “No President-elect in the postwar era has been greeted with a more audible hiss from Wall Street. The Dow has lost 1,342 points, or about 14%, since the election, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting similar skids. The Dow fell another 4.7% yesterday. Much of this is due to hedge fund deleveraging, as well as dreadful corporate earnings reports and pessimism that the recession will be deeper than many had hoped. We also don’t want to read too much into short-term market moves. But there’s little doubt that uncertainty, and some fear, over Barack Obama’s economic agenda is also contributing to the downdraft.” It wouldn’t kill him to name his Treasury Secretary – soon.


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