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Flotsam and Jetsam

The GM-White House alliance finally gave late night comics some material on Obama.

Well, this isn’t very funny: “Fiat cars are unreliable and unsatisfying, according to two respected independent surveys of European-market vehicles. What’s more, parent company Fiat Group appears not to have enough money to pay debt that matures in the next 12 months, Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday as it downgraded Fiat’s ratings. Those are chilling reports at a time the Italian automaker is viewed as the only savior for Chrysler, via a proposed partnership.”

Rep. Connie Mack says if Obama fired the head of GM he should fire the head of the UAW. Remember the old days when the president just fired his own staff?

Headline he may regret: “DCCC chair: NY20 race proof of Obama’s coattails” Well, unless the Democrat loses in which case it was a local race.

Calvin Woodward writes: “One of President Barack Obama’s campaign pledges on taxes went up in puffs of smoke Wednesday.The largest increase in tobacco taxes took effect despite Obama’s promise not to raise taxes of any kind on families earning under $250,000 or individuals under $200,000. This is one tax that disproportionately affects the poor, who are more likely to smoke than the rich.” Other than AIG executives, smokers are about the most politically unpopular group in America, so they don’t “count.”

The Senate rejects the cap-and-trade reconciliation route: “The Senate overwhelmingly voted Wednesday not to use a fast-track budget procedure to pass President Obama’s ‘cap and trade’ plan to combat global warming. The vote was a victory for Republicans, who vehemently oppose using the special rules to pass any of Obama’s policy initiatives because the method doesn’t allow for filibusters. But it does not mean the rules – known as budget ‘reconciliation’ – won’t be used to pass the president’s sweeping health care plan, as several senior Democrats have suggested in recent days is likely to happen.” It seems Red state Democrats aren’t willing to walk the plank on everything for Obama.

Should Congressional Democrats worry, asks Karl Rove, that the president is “keeping score”? Between Organizing America, albeit not with an impressive debut (“Having less than 5% of your own activists sign a petition is unimpressive and perhaps evidence that adding $9.3 trillion to the deficit alarms even some of Mr. Obama’s most fervent supporters”) and targeting members of the media, it does seem like bare-knuckled politics is the order of the day.

Mitt Romney gives credit where credit is due, praising “Obama for not pulling troops from Iraq haphazardly and for going after terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” But he hits him hard on spending. I suspect that will be the formula many Republicans use in 2010 and 2012.

The Conference Board warns of a double dip recession if we have “too rapid” a recovery. Doesn’t seem very rapid to me.


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