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Flotsam and Jetsam

Michael Barone thinks the story of the Virginia Democratic primary is the very low turnout.

David Broder says Obama will eventually have to give up on the public option for healthcare reform. “[T]the Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee, where a bill will be written this month, said almost unanimously that the government plan was a nonstarter. [Sen.Bob] Bennett, who is not on the committee, underlined that determination, telling me ‘we will fight almost to the last man and woman against a government-run plan, and not a few Democrats will join us.’ . . .The time may come — either before or after the House votes on its bill — when Obama may have to demonstrate his flexibility on the issue of a government-run option.” Well, if Bennett is right then it’s the only way he’ll get his bill.

From the “not news anymore” file: Joe Biden says something dumb. This time saying Sotomayor has the “back” of law enforcement. But really, why is that any worse than giving assurances to pro-choice groups that Sotomayor is “solid” on abortion?

Republicans are complaining about the rush to the Sotomayor confirmation hearings. Listen, if you had a nominee who espoused views that 70% of Americans opposed you’d want to rush too.

Republicans turn the heat up a notch, demanding to know why Sotomayor’s answers to the written questionnaire are “incomplete.”

We are reading terrorists their Miranda rights in Afghanistan (imagine if they did this in WWII) and shipping the Uighurs off to a South Pacific Island. At some point our enemies will think we’re not serious about this.

Gail Collins writes that “New Yorkers believe they have the worst state government in the nation.” Oh, puleez. I know they have to be No. 1 in everything but New York’s not in the same league as California when it comes to rotten, mismanaged government.

Robert Gibbs won’t tell us what happens if Ahmed Ghailani is acquitted. And Sen. Mitch McConnell takes to the Senate floor to demand answers.

Funny how the Washington Post editors wag their fingers at those who want to nationalize the Virginia gubernatorial race. What, aren’t Obama and his bailouts, stimulus, and domestic agenda popular? We’re told that’s off bounds. Hmm.

A quintessentially conservative sentiment from George Will: “What the country needs today to shrink its problems is not presidential greatness. Rather, it needs individuals to do what they know they ought to do, and government to stop doing what it should know causes or prolongs problems.” Conservative, but perhaps not politically realistic, at least before the next election.

A must-read John Bolton piece on the risks associated with an Israeli strike on Iran. His analysis show why “Israel’s military option against Iran’s nuclear program is so unattractive, but also why failing to act is even worse. All these scenarios become infinitely more dangerous once Iran has deliverable nuclear weapons. So does daily life in Israel, elsewhere in the region and globally.” What is more: “Although there is no profit now in complaining that Israel should have struck during the Bush years, the missed opportunity is palpable. For the remainder of Mr. Obama’s term, uncertainty about his administration’s support for Israel will continue to dog Israeli governments and complicate their calculations. Iran will see that as well, and play it for all it’s worth.” And what is Obama’s viable alternative? He doesn’t have one.



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