Fred Barnes thinks Americans have figured out what’s up and that the ObamaCare battle is lost. Looking at the poll numbers, he concludes: “1) The public is smarter than we think. They know their health care. 2) A bill that’s rejected this soundly has little chance of being enacted, and the congressional recess won’t make things better. 3) Obama is not persuasive. He’s been touting his plan for months as support for it dropped. He’s lost the argument.” Well, now we’ll see what can be passed. It might not be anything. The status quo never looked so good.
If this doesn’t scare you, it should: “If President Obama has his way, another such unelected authority will be created — a manager and monitor for the vast and expensive American health-care system. As part of his health-reform effort, he is seeking to launch the Independent Medicare Advisory Council, or IMAC, a bland title for a body that could become as much an arbiter of medicine as the Fed is of the economy or the Supreme Court of the law.”
The New York Times warns Obama that he’s overexposed: “The all-Obama, all-the-time carpet bombing of the news media represents a strategy by a White House seeking to deploy its most effective asset in service of its goals, none more critical now than health care legislation. But longtime Washington hands warn that saturation coverage can diminish the power of his voice and lose public attention.” Part of the problem is that when he’s out there, he’s not saying much.
ABC News calls it health-care chaos: “Just a day after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said there is ‘no question’ she has the votes to pass health care, it looks now like Democrats in the House have also given up on having a health care vote by the August recess.”
On again, off again: “Hours after calling their chairman a liar, Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stood by that chairman’s side and announced together that the once-collapsed health-care negotiations are back on track.”
J Street can’t really say whether its members are pro-Israel.
Meanwhile, from the “meddling in democracies” file: “Let’s hope the Administration was paying attention to India’s environment minister when he told Mrs. Clinton a thing or two about climate policy Sunday. ‘There is simply no case for the pressure that we, who have among the lowest emissions per capita, face to actually reduce emissions,’ Jairam Ramesh told Mrs. Clinton in a closed-door meeting, according to a copy of his remarks distributed after the session. ‘And as if this pressure was not enough, we also face the threat of carbon tariffs on our exports to countries such as yours.’ ”
Did Obama actually apologize for his “stupidly” uninformed comments about the Gates-Crowley incident? Maybe in private. How nontransparent if so.
In Virginia: “The Obama administration dispatched a senior aide to Richmond Wednesday to urge former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder to get behind state Sen. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee. . . . But Wilder, in disclosing the meeting in an interview with POLITICO, made it clear that he remained far from endorsing Deeds and was in no hurry to weigh in on the closely watched race — all the while outlining with his typical brutal candor what he thought some of the party’s challenges were and what was at stake. On what the former governor called ‘bread-and-butter issues,’ he said of Deeds: ‘Tell me what the man has done? I haven’t heard it.’” Ouch.
In New Jersey, you knew this was coming: “One day after federal authorities arrested five New Jersey politicians involved in a massive money-laundering operation, GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie hit the airwaves with his first general election ad reminding voters of his record fighting corruption. . . . Christie’s law-and-order background has always been his strongest asset, and the mass arrests (which led from an investigation that he initiated as U.S. attorney) couldn’t come at a better time. It also comes on the same week he tapped a female county sheriff as his running mate.”
The Obama administration says it is defending democracy and the rule of law in Honduras. “But in fact, a close look at Mr. Zelaya’s time in office reveals a strongly antidemocratic streak. He placed himself in a growing cadre of elected Latin presidents who have tried to stay in power past their designated time to carry out a populist-leftist agenda. These leaders, led by Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, have used the region’s historic poverty and inequality to gain support from the poor, but created deep divisions in their societies by concentrating power in their own hands and increasing government control over the economy, media and other sectors.”