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Flotsam and Jetsam

Completing (or could there be more?) its streak of capitulations to rogue nuclear-wannabe states, the Obama administration has agreed to direct talks with North Korea. The welcome mat it is now out: lob missiles, declare your nuclear ambitions, snatch Americans, and your reward is direct, one-on-one talks with the Obama team.

And the White House is expecting “concrete action” from Iran. Honest. Soon. Or at the end of the year. Or whenever. Isn’t that what the September 15 deadline was all about? Not anymore.

Back in the real world: “Iran said on Saturday it would not back down in its nuclear row with the West, a day after the United States said it would accept Tehran’s offer of wide-ranging talks with six world powers.’We cannot have any compromise with respect to the Iranian nation’s inalienable right,’ Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference, in language Iranian officials normally use to refer to its nuclear program.” Iran’s response, we are told by the U.S., was “nonresponsive,” so naturally the U.S. will immediately commence talks. If this appears to you to be unintelligible and embarrassing, you are not alone.

I am certain the president’s press secretary will declare they didn’t see a thing from the White House: “Thousands of people marched to the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, carrying signs with slogans such as ‘Obamacare makes me sick’ as they protested the president’s health-care plan and what they say is out-of-control spending. The line of protesters spread across Pennsylvania Avenue for blocks, all the way to the capitol, according to the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. People were chanting ‘enough, enough’ and ‘We the People.’ Others yelled ‘You lie, you lie!’ and ‘Pelosi has to go,’ referring to California congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.”

Actually, the march drew 1 or 2 million, depending on which crowd estimate you like.

And they cleaned up after themselves.

Grover Norquist: “Obama and ACORN fancy they are the community organizers. They should drop by and see what real outrage and real community organizing—without taxpayer subsidies or paid union staff in purple T-shirts—looks like.”

James Capretta: “On Wednesday, the president described a health-care plan that doesn’t exist. There is no proposal in Congress or offered by the president which would lower costs for households, businesses, and the government, and the president doesn’t have a magic solution which will ‘bend the cost curve’ with painless efficiency gains. What is clear is that the bills under consideration in Congress would impose massive new hidden costs on low and moderate wage households—the very people the president and his allies say they want to help. And that’s a fact, not an assertion.”

If cap-and-trade legislation can’t get Russ Feingold’s support, I think it’s safe to say it isn’t going anywhere. Feingold’s not interested in a bill that “rips off Wisconsin.”

If you need a break from politics, savor this from former Reagan speechwriter Peter Robinson on the joys of motherhood and the lump in the throat when the first born goes off to college.

Even Eleanor Clift can spot the problem: “The greatest weakness for Obama is how to pay for the proposals that he outlined. His assertion that much of the cost could be covered by squeezing money out of Medicare and Medicaid will be challenged by reputable economists. . . . The taxes written into the various House bills by leaders far more liberal than what the Senate can accommodate will probably fall by the wayside, leaving the last word to the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Max Baucus, on how to pay for what finally emerges.”



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