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Flotsam and Jetsam

Even the Gray Lady has figured it out: “Doubts About Obama’s Economic Recovery Plan Rise Along With Unemployment.”

Not only Obama’s poll numbers are sinking: “Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on eight out of 10 key electoral issues, including, for the second straight month, the top issue of the economy. They’ve also narrowed the gap on the remaining two issues, the traditionally Democratic strong suits of health care and education. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that voters trust the GOP more on economic issues 46% to 41%, showing little change from the six-point lead the party held last month. This is just the second time in over two years of polling the GOP has held the advantage on economic issues.”

Frank Ricci will testify against Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation, as will COMMENTARY contributor Linda Chavez.

Nancy Pelosi gets something right: no resolution for Michael Jackson.

Really not good: “Sen. John Ensign’s attorney acknowledged Thursday that the Nevada Republican’s parents paid nearly $100,000 to the family of his mistress around the time she and her husband left his staff in April 2008.” And they say “family values” are eroding.

More trouble in paradise: “The three House chairmen writing the chamber’s health care bill are warning the White House, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and industry groups that they are not on board with deals struck behind their back.Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) said Thursday he ‘didn’t care’ what agreements had been negotiated and made it clear he’s been left in the dark.’ All I know about the White House and deals are what I read in the paper,’ he said. ‘I can’t legislate that.'”

But we hardly knew ya! Roland Burris won’t run in 2010. Not to worry: now that Al Franken is there the Senate clown quota is filled through 2014.

You can’t make this stuff up: “Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) took direct aim at Rep. Joe Sestak (Pa.) for the first time Thursday, calling the two-term Congressman ‘a flagrant hypocrite’ for challenging him in the Senate Democratic primary. In a statement from his campaign, Specter cited Sestak’s past voting history in Pennsylvania in an effort to paint him as a political opportunist who only joined the Democratic Party in order to run for Congress.” Well, if anyone is an expert on hypocrisy and political opportunism, it is Specter.

Because it worked out so well last time, AIG is preparing for another round of bonuses. Whoever has the pitchfork-and-torch concession on Capitol Hill will be delighted.

Okay, he blew a presidential campaign, but Mark Penn has a point on what will happen when unemployment hits 10%: “If and when the country crosses that line, it will be the No. 1 news story for days, recent stock market gains could recede, and consumer confidence will fall. And whether or not the economic crisis is coming to an end, such a high unemployment level has the potential to undermine the hard-won confidence enjoyed by the Obama administration. The Republicans will quickly claim all we have is more debt and fewer jobs.” Actually, a lot of this has already happened, but he is right that it’s going to get much worse even though the difference between 9.9% unemployment and 10% isn’t all that significant (except to the additional jobless Americans). Sort of like “The First 100 Days.” But I’m betting the 10% mark won’t generate a spate of TV specials.



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