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Contentions

Flotsam and Jetsam

School reform is everywhere as a campaign issue — in the New Jersey gubernatorial race, in the Virginia gubernatorial race and now in the New York mayor’s race. In each case it is the Republican (or former Republican) trying to make it an issue. We’ll see if voters bite.

Haven’t quite taken politics out of science yet: “Scientific findings at odds with the Obama Administration’s views on carbon dioxide and climate change are being suppressed as a result of political pressure, officials at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) charge.”

Nor have we entered into a new era of government accountability. Pejman Yousefzadeh explains that “being an IG in the Obama Administration appears to be a dangerous and risky thing. Congress and the media should ask why this should be the case, and why speaking truth to power is so frowned upon.”

Ben Smith has an interesting report on the conflicting and varied takes on the Dennis Ross move from State to NSC. Dan Senor thinks it’s a move up for Ross and a ding for George Mitchell, while others think it’s nothing of the kind. What is clear is that there are many, many cooks in the kitchen. What is also clear is that Obama will need a new Iran policy at the very time Ross is leaving a post with Iran as its sole focus. We’ll see if Ross becomes a major player or, lacking a specific portfolio, is marginalized.

Is Reagan’s support for Solidarity a model for Obama and Iran?

Chris Christie turns the tables on Rep. Steve Cohen in a kangaroo hearing intended to embarrass Christie during his gubernatorial run. Didn’t turn out that way. Maybe he’ll use it in his ads.

Republican Bob McDonnell tries to make cap-and-trade an issue in the Virginia gubernatorial race. Sounds like he’s banking on the economic recession continuing and laying the blame on the policies of his opponent’s party. Hey, it worked for the Democrats when George W. Bush was in the White House!

A new feminist icon  or “media genius” is born: “Jenny Sanford, the first lady of South Carolina, left her husband alone to burble at length about his yearlong affair with a woman from Argentina. Instead Ms. Sanford released a statement that was hard hitting and to the point: she said she wanted her marriage to continue but demanded nothing less, as her price, than her husband’s ‘repentance.’ On Friday, she told reporters she had known of the affair since January but had waited for her children’s school year to end before separating from him.” What happens when the liberal punditocracy finds out she is a conservative and a Christian?

Even Ruth Marcus has figured it out that “to work, the public plan has to be able to set prices and, at least at the outset, require providers to participate if they want to remain eligible to accept Medicare patients.” She asks “Is a public plan — without the need to turn a profit and with lower administrative costs — inevitably going to be more cost-effective than a private competitor?” And if it’s not, taxpayer subsidies and regulations will drive the private competitors out of business. This is the point, after all.



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