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Flotsam and Jetsam

They apparently needed a study to confirm that there are more men in news stories because there are more men “holding positions of authority.” The “solution”? Do different types of stories that “interest women.” That wouldn’t be condescending or playing to stereotypes, would it?

Thomas Friedman cautions the President-elect to get real: “So whether its cars, Kabul or banks, we have to stop wishing for the worlds we want and start dealing with the things themselves. ” No change we can believe in? No transformative presidency?

You have to love the tone of protectiveness as the media explains Rahm Emanuel was just doing his job, conveying approved candidates. Nothing to see. Just walk along.

Good grief: “Faced with painful choices about who will suffer most from looming budget cuts, Alexandria officials have taken the unusual step of paying a professional ethicist to help them grapple with the moral issues involved.” Have we so completely lost confidence in our ability to self-govern that we must resort to pseudo-experts to tell us what to do? Yup.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates declares: ““So anyone who thought that the upcoming months might present opportunities to ‘test’ the new president would be sorely mistaken.” Yeah, you got that Mr. Vice President-elect!?

The A.P. reports: “Despite a summer deadline to pull American combat troops from urban areas, thousands will stay in cities to support and train Iraqis, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said Saturday.” I am so comforted by the election of  John McCain  Barack Obama because I can now rest easier that there will be no precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces, even if it takes years to stabilize Iraq.

David Broder writes: “When you talk about reorganizing one-sixth of the U.S. economy and changing the way a vital service is delivered, every single decision from the most trivial to the monumental will be controversial.” This is supposed to make me feel better about health care reform? But don’t you see, its passage will be proof positive that “representative government” can work. First we had to prove we weren’t racists by electing Barack Obama, now we have to support nationalized health care to show we don’t despise our system of government. It never ends.

This is precisely right: ” I’m hearing the truly bizarre argument that the UAW didn’t scuttle the negotiations; it was the Republicans unreasonable insistence that they cut their wages to levels comparable to that of their competition.  After all, the UAW was perfectly willing to negotiate their compensation package–in 2011, when their current contract expires.And I think that’s perfectly reasonable.  We’ll just wait until 2011 to give them the money, then.” This is all a stunningly effective argument for bankruptcy, where collective bargaining muscle counts for nothing and the judge can refashion labor agreements.

The Bobby Jindal media swoon continues. Even though he said “no” to 2012, politicians have been known to change their minds when a “spontaneous” outpouring of excitement lifts them to the nomination. (I’m not buying that his 2011 race for governor makes it impossible for him to run for President the following year — if we learned anything from 2008 it was that every effort before January 2008 was wasted time and money.)

The Coleman-Franken recount has now become a mess, as rejected absentee ballots get counted and Coleman goes to court. We should follow Harry Reid’s advice on Illinois — let the Governor appoint the successor.



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