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Flotsam and Jetsam

The most interesting thing about this poll showing a large majority opposed to “card check” is that nearly a dozen political operatives and consultants sent it to me –suggesting the pro-secret ballot forces are ready for a fight.

New ballots show up in Minnesota–but these, for a change, give a boost to Norm Coleman. The Star Tribune count has Coleman up by 316 with 98% of the votes recounted, but Al Franken’s lawyer says he’s really winning. If Franken ever makes it to the Senate, his creative accounting will fit right in.

And I’d agree that Saxby Chambliss’s win takes some of the wind out of the “fight all the way to the Senate” sentiment for Franken. There were plenty of Democrats who likely weren’t that thrilled about him even when he was the 60th vote.

The UAW offers to “‘suspend’ the notorious ‘jobs bank,’ which pays laid-off workers nearly full wages and benefits” for not working. (With a photo via Glenn Reynolds). How many voters knew there was such a monstrosity before this week? Really, it’s remarkable the Big Three have survived this long.

Harry Reid yesterday said there still aren’t enough votes to pass the auto bailout. Are the Democrats in the majority? So he either means that even Democrats can’t swallow this, or that he can’t persuade enough Republicans to walk the plank this time. Either way, sanity may have beaten back bailout mania. For now.

Are Democrats taking a “second look” at coercive interrogation or talking out of both sides of their mouths? After President-elect Obama becomes President Obama we’ll see if Guantanamo remains open or is closed. Are the U.S. troops sticking to a sixteen-month withdrawal plan or or not? Is he setting a date for tea with Ahmadinejad or not? Once he is holding office, rather than merely seeking it, his deeds will define him and voters will figure out what he means by what he does.

From the “now they tell us” files at the  New York Times: “Campaign Promises on Ending the War in Iraq Now Muted by Reality.” Funny how no one at the Grey Lady during the campaign ever suggested Obama’s promises were out of touch with reality. Next we’ll be hearing that it really isn’t smart to block free trade agreements. Can’t wait for the raves from the Times when Obama declines to hand rogue state leaders a diplomatic coup by refusing to offer high level meetings.

Tip for elected officials: if someone sounding like the President-elect calls don’t hang uptwice.

A very long, pseudo-sophisticated explanation for why Eliot Spitzer isn’t coming back: “It’s hard to see how he completes the (natural, banal) cycle back into the public eye without giving soft-focus interviews about his personal transgressions until we’re thoroughly bored by them.” Let’s try this: ” You gotta be kidding!”

President-elect Obama is dropping the idea of a windfall profit tax on oil companies because . . . well, there’s not so much windfall. (It’s also an administrative nightmare and does nothing to promote energy independence, but we’ll save all that for another day.) You have to love the Left whining: “Between this move and the move to wait to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, it seems like the Obama team is buying into the right-wing frame that raising any taxes – even those on the richest citizens and wealthiest corporations — is bad for the economy.” Yeah, really who could imagine that raising taxes in a recession would be a bad idea? (Well, other than John McCain and every Republican running in 2008.)

Which prompts one Lefty to ask: “Did Barack Obama just break his first campaign promise?” Nope! There was FISA, public financing, an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and throwing the lobbyists and Clintons out of government — to name just a few previous broken promises. Some didn’t even make it to election day.



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