Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

Sen. Mitch McConnell dissects the Gray Lady’s shifting views on judicial appointments, which curiously turn depending upon the party occupying the White House.

Are we in the worst economy since the Great Depression? Not even close to that – or the 1982 recession.

The New York Times reports: “The Obama administration is increasingly concerned about a populist backlash against banks and Wall Street, worried that anger at financial institutions could also end up being directed at Congress and the White House and could complicate President Obama’s agenda.” Hmm. You might even see people start organizing tea parties around the country to halt bailout mania.

AP reports: “One of President Barack Obama’s economic advisers said Sunday that the economy is fundamentally sound, a striking reversal from the Democrat’s campaign rhetoric as his administration now guides the nation’s financial health amid dire conditions.” Well, then we can forgo the New Deal II, right?

If AIG’s conduct is so “outrageous,” why does Obama keep giving it money? Sounds like corporate welfare of the worst type.

Christiana Romer tries to excuse Obama’s McCain-sounding rhetoric. Not very successful, but she seems like a very sincere lady. Someone should ask her some hard questions. (e.g. What is a “saved” job? If card check increases unionization and boosts wages won’t unemployment increase?)

The Norm Coleman camp seems enamored  of this editorial, declaring we’ll never know who won the Minnesota Senate race and we should have a do-over. Frankly, if  the former is true, that is largely the result of utterly inept post-election lawyering by the Coleman legal team. And a do-over is not, I think, either politically viable or legally probable. Moreover, we are going to have a winner, and in a democracy we generally don’t benefit by attempts to delegitimize the winner.

Michael Goodwin hits the nail on the head: “Yes, it’s early, but an eerily familiar feeling is spreading across party lines and seeping into the national conversation. It’s a nagging doubt about the competency of the White House.” And it’s not just Tim Geithner : “[T]hey were reinforced by the bizarre nomination and withdrawal of Chas Freeman as a top intelligence official. It’s hard to know which explanation is worse: that the White House didn’t know of Freeman’s intemperate criticism of Israel and his praise of China’s massacre at Tiananmen Square, or that it didn’t care. Good riddance to him. But what of those who picked him?”

Big Labor claims card check is designed to re-level the playing field and prevent employers from unfairly stopping employees from unionizing. The reality is different, the Wall Street Journal editors argue: “Union rolls hit a peak of 32.5% of the labor force in 1952, then fell fast. As of last year, 12.4% of American workers belonged to a union. The share of unionized government employees has held steady for decades, but a mere 7.6% of the private workforce chooses to join a union. Unable to reverse the trend in the marketplace, unions have focused on electing Democrats who will rewrite national labor law.”

The Washington Post editors don’t seem sold on Terry McAuliffe as the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Virginia: “He must convince Virginians that a businessman with exactly zero years’ experience in Richmond can navigate the stratified General Assembly, solve transportation gridlock and generate jobs. It’s possible to imagine Mr. McAuliffe persuading businesses to locate in the state or lawmakers to support his legislation. But he must prove that he can also handle the day-to-day challenges of the job.”