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Flotsam and Jetsam

Gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan, who announced he is happy to house Guantanamo detainees in New Jersey (something not even Harry Reid is in favor of any more), said “If I had the opportunity, I would break a city like Newark into three small towns with three separate school boards.” (That’s actually a switch from his prior plan to break it up into six towns.) He’s long been a fan of the notion that New Jersey should “dismantle” its cities. Not clear what happens if they don’t want to be dismantled.

Probably not a surprise: “Former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie holds a commanding 18-point lead over rival Steve Lonegan with only two weeks to go before Republican voters select their nominee for governor, according to a Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll.”

Harry Reid has some polling woes: “About a third of the state’s voters would re-elect Reid if the 2010 election were held today, according to the poll, but 45 percent say they would definitely vote to replace him. Seventeen percent would consider another candidate. The findings are echoed by another poll question about Reid’s popularity that finds the four-term incumbent to be a polarizing figure in his home state. Half of Nevada voters had an unfavorable view of Reid, while 38 percent had a favorable view and 11 percent a neutral opinion.”

And that was before his 180 on closing Guantanamo. And before a rocky Tuesday: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid became the latest Democrat to stray into rhetorical trouble Tuesday, botching statements on three subjects in one news conference – including the fragile health of the chamber’s most senior members.”

The fur flies in the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary debate.

The only hitch in the Obama car scheme, according to Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.: “In delivering unlimited sway over the domestic auto makers to the greens and labor, Mr. Obama is creating a catastrophically unbalanced ‘system’ with no effective pushback on behalf of profits (aka ‘viability’) — that is, except from consumers, who ultimately will doom his attempt. How so? By declining to pay enough for the forthcoming Obamamobiles to cover the cost of designing and building them.” Oh, that.

Really unfair to call it the “Bush third term“: “Advocates of gun rights are poised to win a Congressional victory that eluded them under a Republican president. To the frustration and discouragement of many Democrats, House and Senate lawmakers and aides say it now appears likely that President Obama will this week sign into law a provision allowing visitors to national parks and refuges to carry loaded and concealed weapons.” Well, you get the idea.

Michael Gerson skewers the Democrats’ hypocritical apologies to the intelligence community for “a series of blows to [their] pride and morale”: “To stanch the CIA’s bleeding morale, Democrats have tried reassurance. President Obama, speaking at CIA headquarters, took the Fred Rogers approach: ‘Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes. That’s how we learn.’ Yes, children, hypocritical congressional investigations and foreign kangaroo courts are really our friends. House intelligence committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes sent a sympathy note to Langley: ‘In recent days, as the public debate regarding CIA’s interrogation practices has raged, you have been very much in my thoughts.’ There should be a section at Hallmark for intelligence operatives unfairly accused of war crimes.”

The California tax propositions go down in flames. A sign of things to come? Politicians be forewarned: the public’s tolerance for tax hikes even in an overwhelmingly liberal state is non-existent. The president and Congress shouldn’t bank on running up the tab and handing the bill to the taxpayers. The taxpayers might just vote “no” on all of them.

Maureen Dowd (or is it a “friend”?) has a fictional Donald Rumsfeld telling a fictional Dick Cheney: “You got Obama to do an about-face on the torture photos. He’s using our old line about how it would endanger the troops. He’s keeping our military tribunals. His Justice Department invoked our state secrets privilege to try to get that lawsuit on torture and rendition dismissed. He’s trying to stop any sort of truth commission, thank goodness. He’s got his own surge going in Afghanistan. He’s withdrawing from Iraq more slowly. He’s extended our secret incursions over the Afghan border into Pakistan.” So I suppose Dowd and all her cronies were spun with all that “change” hooey, eh?


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