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Flotsam and Jetsam

Arlen Specter is already looking to wriggle out of his “no card check” pledge. But one senses the battle for the pro-card check forces for anything eroding the secret ballot or resorting to mandatory arbitration is already lost. Unlike Specter none of the Red state Democrats (e.g. Blanche Lincoln) are going to risk looking like craven flip-floppers on something that’s a loser with the voters. The bigger danger for business: an innocuous sounding compromise that will permanently tip the scales in favor of increased unionization.

James Carafano: “Joe Biden said the other day stimulus spending was about $ 1.1m billion per day. Yet the Pentagon could not afford the $1.4 billion it had to cut to keep missile defense fully funded. Who is doing the math over at the White House, when did one day of building roads become more important to the federal government than defending the entire nation.” Well, obviously the answer to the latter is January 20, 2009.

In a brilliant take-down of Nancy Pelosi’s ever-changing torture tales Mark Steyn observes: “Dianne Feinstein has provided the least worst explanation for her colleague’s behavior [things looked different in 2002]. The alternative – that Speaker Pelosi is a contemptible opportunist hack playing the cheapest but most destructive kind of politics with key elements of national security – is, of course, unthinkable. Senator Feinstein says airily that no reasonable person would hold dear Nancy to account for what she supported all those years ago. But it’s OK to hold Cheney or some no-name Justice Department backroom boy to account?”

Her first smart move: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) turned down invitations to be on several Sunday morning talk shows and is instead spending the weekend with her family.”

The AP’s Liz Sidoti observes: “The White House desperately wants to get Democrats in Congress focused on the president’s priorities. Obama’s team has made it clear it’s not eager to retread the past. But House and Senate liberals, prodded by a vocal and active network of grass-roots and “netroots” supporters, relish doing just that, seemingly fixated on how Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney handled Iraq and terrorism. And it’s the popular new president who may have the most to lose.”

Sam Youngman remarks on the irony: “Less than six months into an administration that promised to be the sunny morning to the darkest night of the Bush administration, Obama has been accused of something unthinkable on that cold January day when he placed his hand on the Bible and became commander in chief. He’s being compared to George W. Bush. Obama, this week, found some of his closest allies — those who viewed his election as the answer to their prayers — feeling betrayed and making that unfathomable comparison: Obama is like Bush.”

Getting the law and history wrong and fuming at Dick Cheney for tying the Democrats in knots, Maureen Dowd  still can’t bring herself to retract her claws on Pelosi’s behalf: “The stylish grandmother acted like a stammering child caught red-handed, refusing to admit any fault and pointing the finger at a convenient scapegoat. She charged the C.I.A. with misleading Congress, which is sort of like saying the butler did it, or accusing a generic thuggish-looking guy in a knit cap with gang tattoos to distract from your sin. . . Leon Panetta, the new C.I.A. chief, who is Pelosi’s friend and former Democratic House colleague from California, slapped her on Friday, saying that the agency briefers were truthful. And Jon Stewart ribbed that the glossily groomed speaker was just another ‘Miss California U.S.A. who’s also been revealing a little too much of herself.’”


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