Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

Karl Rove observes: “Until now, the new president has benefited from public willingness to give him a honeymoon. He decided to use that grace period to push for the largest expansion of government in U.S. history and to reward political allies (see the sweetheart deals Big Labor received in the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies). The difficulty for Mr. Obama will be when the public sees where his decisions lead — higher inflation, higher interest rates, higher taxes, sluggish growth, and a jobless recovery.” Yes, voters may notice none of the Keynesian schemes did much beyond grow the debt. There are some realities which not even the media can spin for Obama.

Eli Lake on the release of the dossier on our nuclear facilities: “The vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Republican, said the disclosure revealed ‘a virtual treasure map for terrorists.’ A Pentagon official with knowledge of the situation said the Pentagon is ‘clearly concerned about the situation.’” You’d think someone might lose his/her job over something like this. After all, if scaring New Yorkers with an Air Force One fly-over is grounds for dismissal isn’t this?

Sotomayor is continuing to tell Senators: “Obviously it was a poor choice of words if you read on and read the rest of my speech you wouldn’t be concerned with it but it was a poor choice of words.” Actually, the speech does raise concerns — and it should be read in full.

Empathy in action: Sotomayor awarded double the standard time to take the Bar exam plus damages to a plaintiff who sued under the Americans With Disabilities Act, claiming as a poor reader she had been denied a “reasonable accommodation.” Not to worry if you are out looking for a lawyer: “Thus buoyed by a gust of judicial empathy, the intrepid plaintiff took the test a fourth and final time. And failed it once again.” (Aside from being dumb, the ruling seems to overlook the requirement that to get the accommodation you have to be able to perform the “essential functions of the job.”) Well, after thousands of dollars later in litigation for the state bar, all’s well that end’s well, I suppose.

Sen. Lindsay Graham says he might use the Obama precedent and vote against Sotomayor on ideological grounds.

Newt Gingrich withdraws the “racist” label from Sotomayor. Good for him. Perhaps he thought others were sounding more, well, presidential.

Rep. Steve Israel told the president he wouldn’t run for the Senate — not that he would support Obama’s hand-picked candidate. It certainly has been a bad month for dictating Senate races from Washington. Darn candidates and voters have minds of their own!

Mitt Romney (at 8:18) wants Obama to get off the apology kick. And he wants Obama to distribute those GM shares to the taxpayers. Hmm. Not that it would be worth anything, but it would keep the government from bossing around the company, propping up the UAW and setting us up for further subsidies.

New Jersey’s problems in a nutshell: “Under threats that picketing state workers would disrupt the official kickoff of Gov. Jon Corzine’s election campaign — and an appearance by Vice President Joe Biden — negotiators reached a last-minute, tentative settlement today with one of New Jersey’s largest labor unions, four high-ranking Democratic officials said.”

The most constructive step this week concerning the Middle East: “Reps. Anthony Weiner and Joseph Crowley of New York and Shelley Berkley of Nevada held a news conference to call on the Saudi government to stop planting what they said were seeds of hate in Saudi children through religious textbooks that teach controversial lessons, such as the hour of judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.”