Commentary Magazine


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Flotsam and Jetsam

From the “Ya think?” file on Chris Matthews’ very public consideration of a Senate run: “If Matthews is serious about running, some within the network hope he commits to the Pennsylvania Senate race sooner rather than later. Otherwise, his nightly presence on ‘Hardball’ provides easy fodder to critics fueling the narrative that MSNBC is in the tank for the Democratic party. [Query-- isn't that true without the Senate run?] After NBC News was stung by criticism during the presidential campaign — charged with bias resulting from the antics of more outspoken personalities on MSNBC — staffers worry the situation will be repeated over the next six months.”

When Media Matters and Brent Bozell both agree on something — Matthews’ departure — maybe it’s time for NBC to consider if its journalistic brand is becoming as worthless as GM’s stock.

But this takes the prize for the most obvious headline of the week: “Matthews could be haunted by his own words.”

I agree with this take on the money gap in the presidential election. It was a symptom, not the cause of the Republicans’ predicament. Other factors (e.g., a problematic nominee, poor party building, a depressed base) had much more to do with it. But it sounds better to blame the rich guys on the other side.

Is GM engaged in magical thinking? They came to the right place. Washington is full of that sort of hooey (e.g. “government creates jobs”).

Okay, one Senator was on the ball at the Big Three hearing: “Senator Corker says G.M. can’t survive with its current capital structure, and complains that G.M. is not seeking a big enough haircut from bondholders. He also says the U.A.W. concessions did not amount to much. In a bankruptcy, he says, the obligations to the post-retirement beneift fund known as VEBA ‘are toast.’ He demands promises of big concessions from the U.A.W., and does not get them. Instead, he hears about a poor old lady who needs her pension.” (Others liked what Corker had to say as well.)

And is Sen. Corker the only to notice that “Chrysler” is really owned by a private equity fund, Cerberus? You remember them? The same gang that stripped Mervyn’s retail chain store bare and left the employees without so much as their accrued vacation pay. These are the people Democrats want to give money to?

And in case you still weren’t convinced the car bailout is a bad idea: “All three automakers promised that they would not be back in front of Congress next year if they got the funds — assuming the economy doesn’t go completely down the tubes in the next few months. Moody’s Economy.com chief economist, Mark Zandi, questioned that prediction. He said the $34 billion wouldn’t be nearly enough and put the total price tag at between $75 billion to $125 billion. ”

Sorry, but Al Franken’s “missing ballots” remind me of another famous missing item from a classic movie. Didn’t end well in the latter case either.