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Flotsam and Jetsam

David Broder makes the case that President Obama misses George W. Bush. Yes, running against an unpopular president was far easier than being president, it turns out.

Mickey Kaus takes aim: “WaPo media critic Howard ‘I’m A Star–The Rules Don’t Apply to Me’ Kurtz, who failed to disclose that he is paid by CNN when he defended CNN in an online chat this week. . . My beef with Kurtz isn’t so much that he has a giant crippling conflict of interest (one that would never be tolerated for a Post reporter writing about, say, GM). It’s that he has a giant crippling conflict of interest while he runs around chastising other journalists for minor conflicts of interest. Franklin Foer called him an ‘East German figure skating judge.’”

The White House declares itself “not hysterical” that healthcare, as a Senate Democratic “senior advisor” told CNN, is “on the rocks.”

Climate change legislation seems also to be on the rocks. But it doesn’t appear anyone cares.

When Obama promised we could keep our coverage under ObamaCare he didn’t really mean to guarantee we could keep our coverage under ObamaCare. (h/t Ramesh Ponnuru) “The last thing Obama wants is a groundswell of opposition, driven by Americans’ fears of being forced to change their insurance or losing it.” So better to give them a fake guarantee.

The reality: “The president is barnstorming the nation, urging swift approval of legislation that is taking shape in Congress. This legislation — the Affordable Health Choices Act that’s being drafted by Sen. Edward Kennedy’s staff and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee — will push Americans into stingy insurance plans with tight, HMO-style controls. It specifically exempts members of Congress (along with federal employees; the exemptions are in section 3116).”

Jim Hoagland on the myopia afflicting the White House: “They cling to their pre-election ideas and assumptions, acting above all to keep alive Obama’s chances for a nuclear deal with any government that sits in Tehran.”

Ron Paul, the sole “no” vote on the House resoltuion in support of the Iranian protesters: “I have admired President Obama’s cautious approach to the situation in Iran and I would have preferred that we in the House had acted similarly.” Chas Freeman has liked Obama’s caution as well. 405 Congressmen, the U.S. Senate, and the twittering protesters in Iran? Not so much.

Not dead yet: “A key House defense authorizer on Thursday predicted that Congress will likely fund as many as 20 more F-22 Raptor fighter jets, despite the Obama administration deciding to put the kibosh on the Lockheed Martin contract after the 187th airplane is delivered.”

Rich Lowry is right: Obama talks more sweetly to Iran than to Israel. “Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gets a rhetorical pass that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t.”

Claudia Rosett argues that “whatever Obama’s reasons for casting himself as U.S. Couch-Potato-in-Chief while protesters bleed in the streets of Iran, he’s making a horrific mistake in choosing that role. In matters vital to American security, he’s passing up a prime chance to start filling those big shoes he won in America’s presidential race by promising ‘hope’ and ‘change.’ More broadly, Obama is underscoring a sorry message to democratic dissidents living under tyrannies everywhere, Iran included: That America is no longer all that engaged with their cause. Washington is more interested in engaging with, and thus shoring up, their rulers.”

The Virginia GOP hassles Gov. Tim Kaine about his travels since he is juggling his state duties with DNC Chair. Not clear why the Virginia GOP is bothering since Kaine isn’t on the ballot.


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