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Flotsam and Jetsam

President Obama rides to Chris Dodd’s defense because . . . because he “deserves the help.” And that is because? He is just the epitome of Hope and Change?  Well, he’s a “D” vote in the Senate.

Good grief: “Indiana in March joined seven other U.S. states with a jobless rate of at least 10 percent, and unemployment surged in Oregon, Washington and West Virginia as the worst employment slump in the postwar era rippled through the economy.”

Into the legal weeds in the NY-20.

Mickey Kaus takes liberal bloggers to task for selling healthcare reform as a cost-saver: “Isn’t it an epic mistake to try to sell Democratic health care reform on this basis? Possible sales pitch: ‘Our plan will deny you unnecessary treatments!’ Or maybe just ‘Republicans say ‘yes.’ Democrats say ‘no’!’ Is that really why the middle class will sign on to a revolutionary multi-trillion dollar shift in spending–so the government can decide their life or health ‘is not worth the price’?  I mean, how could it lose?” Well, that’s why Obama is trying to tell us that making all our records electronic will be a huge cost saver. Sounds better than telling people the wait for chemo will be six months.

Free speech and open access at a journalism award presentation? You must joking.

A smart take by Josef Joffe on the fallacy that Obama’s soothing words and heartfelt apologies can resolve fundamental international conflicts: “Conflict between states is made from sterner stuff than bad manners or bad vibes, past grievances or imaginary fears. International politics is neither psychiatry nor a set of ‘see me, feel me’ encounter sessions. It is about power and position, about preventing injury and protecting interests. Love and friendship move people, not nations.”

Bizarre advice from the Washington Post’s foreign affairs columnist: “Stay focused on fixing the American economy. Avoid pleasant distractions created by dealing with foreign leaders and crises without congressional interference. Stay out of the honey-tree trap of commander in chiefism.” Yes, if the world would just chill, the president could ignore it.

Shocking, I know, but Obama is making up his claim that 90% of guns in Mexico used in crimes come from the U.S.

The sort of news a gubernatorial candidate likes to see: “Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie today applauded his former staff on winning six guilty verdits in the corruption trial of former State Sen. Joseph Coniglio (D-Paramus). Christie was the federal prosecutor when Coniglio was indicted in 2008.” And since it is New Jersey there are likely more of those to come along.

Yuval Levin explains NIH’s embryo stem cell restrictions. Whatever you think of the guidelines, it is striking once again that in contrast to his predecessor who gave a detailed and thoughtful speech, and made the call himself, Obama dumped this one in the laps of NIH staffers.

On healthcare, Fred Barnes wonders if “Obamacare might suffer the fate of HillaryCare.” Well, only if people understand how much it will cost and what happens when private health insurance withers away to be replaced by European-like national healthcare insurance. But Barnes is right, Republicans aren’t going to be able to count on help from big business or drug companies this time — they’re quite willing to sell private healthcare insurance down the river.

Not a bad result of the financial meltdown: fewer MBA grads are looking to investment banking careers. Other fields, I think, could use some more smart people these days.


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