Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

John McCormack explains the Left’s phony figures on the tax consequence of cap-and-trade. Bottom line: the real number is $3900 per family.

Governor Jon Corzine is approaching George W. Bush polling territory. The worst ever for a New Jersey Governor.

Is TARP a criminal enterprise? Getting close, explains Larry Kudlow.

Perhaps Andrew Cuomo should release names to the public or Congress should pass a law: “At a time when New York Times managers are forcing all employees to take a five percent pay cut, and demanding even larger sacrifices from the NYT-owned Boston Globe, top executives of the beleaguered newspaper received substantial bonus and fringe benefit payments over and above their salaries, according to a proxy statement released on March 11.”

Mickey Kaus and I are both stumped: what was it that Jane Harman did that was wrong? (Well, other than getting on the bad side of someone who doesn’t like her strong national security and pro-Israel stands.)

Karl Rove accuses the president of playing for personal popularity on his apology tour at the expense of advancing our national interests: “There is something ungracious in Mr. Obama criticizing his predecessors, including most recently John F. Kennedy. (‘I’m grateful that President [Daniel] Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old,’ Mr. Obama said after the Nicaraguan delivered a 52-minute anti-American tirade that touched on the Bay of Pigs.) Mr. Obama acts as if no past president — except maybe Abraham Lincoln — possesses his wisdom. . . A superstar, not a statesman, today leads our country. That may win short-term applause from foreign audiences, but do little for what should be the chief foreign policy preoccupation of any U.S. president: advancing America’s long-term interests.”

Andy McCarthy on Hillary Clinton dismissing Vice President Cheney as “not a particularly reliable source”: “If the Secretary of State really doesn’t think Vice President Cheney is a reliable source, she is smart enough to know the obvious thing to do:  declassify and disclose the intelligence reports he’s talking about so all the world can see exactly how unreliable he is.  Here’s her big chance to put her money where her mouth is and truly embarrass the guy she so effortlessly trashed in a public hearing today.”

A smart take on what will flow from political show trials that resemble “Argentina, Malaysia or Peru” more than anything we have ever seen in America: “As patriotic officials who acted in good faith are indicted, smeared, impeached from judgeships or stripped of their academic tenure, the partisan anger and backlash will grow. . . Mr. Obama is more popular than his policies, due in part to his personal charm and his seeming goodwill. By indulging his party’s desire to criminalize policy advice, he has unleashed furies that will haunt his Presidency.”

Whatever you think of the policy implications the Obama message machine lost a few wheels this week, argues Alex Conant.

Good to keep in mind: “Most Earth Day predictions turned out to be stunningly wrong. In 1970, environmentalists said there would soon be a new ice age and massive deaths from air pollution. The New York Times foresaw the extinction of the human race. Widely-quoted biologist Paul Ehrlich predicted worldwide starvation by 1975. . .Consider that since the first Earth Day in 1970, U.S. population has increased by 50.25%, miles driven has increased by 159% and real GDP has increased 203%; and yet air quality is better than ever.” But I’m sure they are really, really certain now about all the awful things that will happen to us. Because we’ve eliminated politics from science, you see. (Or is it the other way around?)

The truth dribbles out: “In the fall of 2002, four senior members of Congress, including  Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), now speaker of the House, were secretly briefed on interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, according to U.S. officials. Pelosi has confirmed that she was then ‘briefed on interrogation techniques the administration was considering using in the future. The administration advised that legal counsel for both the CIA and the Justice Department had concluded that the techniques were legal.’” And what did Ms. Pelosi say? I’m betting it wasn’t “No, stop. It’s torture.” I’m thinking it was “Are you sure you’re doing enough?” But we’ll find out before we’re done.