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Flotsam and Jetsam

Do the Demcoratic gubernatorial candidates in Virginia know where they are? This take from a recent Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner suggests they need a GPS: “If someone was dropped by parachute into the convention hall, they might have at times thought they were at a Democratic dinner in heavily unionized Michigan, not Virginia, a right-to-work state. . . Their message ran somewhat counter to the state party’s reputation for being pro-business and socially moderate.”

If you think conservatives are being tough on Tim Geithner, this is from a college professor and Obama fan: “Yes, I think Geithner did blow it. First, his demeanor is all wrong. He has a habit of looking up when his head is pointed down, which gives him the look of being either a graduate student who doesn’t know the answer to a question or a guy who has stolen something and now is being asked about it. Second, the timing of his speech was wrong.  . . Third, Geithner should hire somebody–maybe David Gergen–to teach him something about the politics of this moment–that decisions about Wall Street have another more powerful audience–the American public that is enraged about this situation and wants a quick, clearly outlined fix to the problem . . . .Otherwise, soon, Obama is going to be tainted by the Bush economic collapse and be hobbled by it for the rest of his life.” The rest of his life? Well a few years, maybe.

Arlen Specter is getting lots of attention — and potential primary challengers.

If his poll numbers don’t improve he’ll have even more. “Pennsylvania voters are sharply divided over whether Sen. Arlen Specter should be reelected next year, with Republicans almost as negative as Democrats, probably because the GOP Senator is one of only three from the party supporting President Barack Obama’s Stimulus Package.” Probably?

Jake Tapper explains that the role of journalism is not to “make the presidency work.” You guys at MSNBC listening? (What is remarkable is that there aren’t more mainstream journalists like Tapper. Really, is it that hard to ask difficult questions and stay up on the details?)

One of Obama’s favorite props, er, companies, Caterpillar it seems has a bunch of tax havens. Unlike Geithner, however, it appears Caterpillar was abiding by the law.

Here’s a candidate  to replace Robert Gibbs — he’s a much more effective presidential spinner.

Russ Feingold has his work cut out for him trying to pass a Constitutional amendment barring governors from filling vacant senate seats. “‘Some are not comfortable with it because they were appointed,’ Feingold said.” Oh, that. (Maybe that renowned Constitutional scholar Caroline Kennedy, you know, could testify, you know?)

So much for transparency and bipartisanship – the Democrats decided to compromise (with themselves) in secret.

Megan McArdle comes right out and and says it: Maxine Waters is nuts. “Her questions to the bankers are so bizarre that they don’t know what to do.  Ken Lewis looks like a deer in the headlights as Waters asks her about offshore loss mitigation efforts.  He can’t even figure out what she’s talking about, and neither can I.  She also asks the bankers, few of whom are in the credit card business, how many of them have cut credit limits to people on the basis of where they shop.  It’s like watching your crazy aunt challenge your boyfriend to prove that fairies aren’t real.”

Like scorpions in a bottle, Reid and Pelosi engaged in a last-minute duel over the stimulus. “It is not clear who won …” Well, not the taxpayers, certainly.

The Fix asks if bipartisanship is “dead.” Certainly. Civility is not bipartisanship. Come to think of it, falsely claiming your opponents don’t want to do anything about the recession isn’t even civil. Or true.

Remember when moderate Republicans used to inveigh against deficits? “If nothing else good comes from this exercise, at least Senators Snowe, Susan Collins and Arlen Specter should be laughed out of town if they ever fret about a budget deficit again.”


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