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Flotsam and Jetsam

Sure it’s “meddling,” but it is hard to think of anyone (well, other than Ron Paul) who is going to oppose this: “A bipartisan pair of senators is pushing for international restrictions on electronic equipment sold to Iran, citing reports that the government has monitored citizens’ communications after the country’s disputed elections. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Friday called on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to request that the European Union curb all telecommunications equipment German and Finnish companies, Siemens and Nokia, sell to Iran.”

Why Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson changed his mind to vote for cap-and-trade: “In exchange for his vote, Grayson got assurances from Democratic leaders that they would support his efforts to build a new $50 million hurricane-research center in Central Florida. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got a 219-212 victory on the bill.”

Bob Herbert figures out what’s really important: “How do you put together a consumer economy that works when the consumers are out of work?” Maybe the Obama team should have worked on saving or creating some jobs. He, of course, is right to be flabbergasted: “Why this rampant joblessness is not viewed as a crisis and approached with the sense of urgency and commitment that a crisis warrants, is beyond me. The Obama administration has committed a great deal of money to keep the economy from collapsing entirely, but that is not enough to cope with the scope of the jobless crisis.”

Republican Cesar Conda, sounding a similar theme, writes: “When the $787 billion government spending stimulus package was approved earlier this year, the Obama Adminstration predicted it would “save or create” 150,000 jobs and the unemployment rate would rise no higher than 8 percent. However, Obama’s own Labor Department reported that unemployment topped a two-decade high of 9.4 percent in May and nearly 3 million jobs have been lost since the beginning of the year. . .Republicans are asking ‘where are all the jobs?’ I suppose the Team Obama will continue to blame President Bush for today’s rising unemployment, but at some point this will not be a credible answer.”

An “abomination” is what Charles Krauthammer calls cap-and-trade. Nina Easton says it isn’t going anywhere in the Senate, and the critics have the “wind at their backs” given that this is a jumbo tax imposed during a recession. Juan Williams says this is all about the administration getting “a win” somewhere.

Funny that the day after Pelosi’s great “achievement” cap-and-trade is no where to be found on the front page of the New York Times. Hmmm. Perhaps it is not going anywhere — or perhaps losing 44 members is, well, embarrassing for the House leadership which we were told wanted to get 230 votes.

But that’s not as bad as Politico which the day after cap-and-trade and with major developments in Iran tops its banner with “Inside Sanford’s Love Letters.”

And in real news, Ahmadinejad is in a snit about Obama’s tougher language. This is a sure-fire sign the president is on the right track.

The “Republican 8” have incurred the wrath of the conservative base.

Taxes have become an issue in the Virginia gubernatorial race: “McDonnell has already been pointing to Deeds’s Senate voting record on transportation as proof that the Democrat would raise taxes. For instance, since 2004, Deeds has supported five proposals that included some form of increase in the gas tax. Each was intended to raise money for transportation improvements, and each was blocked before final passage.”

AEI’s John Calfee explains what a public option plan would do to medical innovation: “Competitive markets have generated the prices and the profits necessary to induce a steady flow of medical innovation in this country. A public plan option would tend to dismantle that system. The people in charge will not know how to set reimbursement levels to motivate reasonable R&D efforts, and there is no reason to expect them to try. In public plans, the tried-and-true method is to push the prices of suppliers down until something gives — too few doctors willing to take on Medicare patients, for example — and then to ease up. That is a destructive approach to medical technology R&D.”


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