Are we getting closer to a health-care deal? “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has ruled out including cooperatives in the House version of the healthcare bill, putting the House further at odds with the Senate Finance Committee.” Doesn’t seem like it.
The fierce urgency of “maybe around Thanksgiving“: “Senior Obama lieutenants, including Vice President Joe Biden, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, have all said recently they think Congress can get a bill to the president before the end of the Thanksgiving break. The comments suggest the White House is trying to light a fire under congressional negotiators, but it doesn’t appear to be working.” (h/t Mickey Kaus)
Meanwhile: “Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin said today Republicans will not be at the table when the Senate merges the health-care bills from two committees before sending one to the floor. Harkin, a Democrat and chairman of one of the committees, also said any bill that passes Congress will include a government-run insurance option for Americans to buy.” We’ll see if there really are the votes for an increasingly unpopular (especially with seniors), strict-party-line-passed government takeover of health care.
So much for “restoring America’s standing in the world“: “At his U.N. debut last week, Obama shocked the Europeans — and especially Sarkozy — by responding to the Iranian nuclear crisis not with fair firmness, but with platitudes about arms control, the reinvention of disarmament, and achieving peace in his term. . . . Sarkozy, who had been pressing for a forceful warning to the Iranians, had to tone down his own response. Instead, he simply pointed out that Iran had made threats that ought to be taken seriously by America and the world, but that clearly wasn’t happening. He mocked Obama by telling Le Monde’s diplomatic correspondent that the American president wasn’t living in the real world — a ‘virtual world,’ he called it.”
He’s not the first to make the prediction: “Top U.S. military officials may retire or resign unless President Obama quickly sets forth a clear plan on winning the war in Afghanistan, including whether to send more troop to stop insurgents, says Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican.”
Marty Peretz catches Hillary Clinton being irrelevant again, this time on UN resolutions on violence against women. He observes: “In the meantime, while the president and his secretary of state are worrying about women, there is one decision to be made at the White House that will affect the very lives and dignity of more than 14 million women. It is the decision over Afghanistan where we–that is, our soldiers and the soldiers of our NATO–have freed millions of Afghan women from a humiliating form of degradation and slavery. Their fates are also at stake in the issue of whether we stay and fight or not. But almost nobody has them in the equation.” Well, if as Irving Kristol observed ”a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged by reality,” then a neocon must be a pro-Israel Democrat who can’t believe he vouched for Obama.
Charles Krauthammer catches the French catching Obama’s weakness (and deceitful concealment of the intelligence on the Qom enrichment site): “When France chides you for appeasement, you know you’re scraping bottom. Just how low we’ve sunk was demonstrated by the Obama administration’s satisfaction when Russia’s president said of Iran, after meeting President Obama at the United Nations, that ‘sanctions are seldom productive, but they are sometimes inevitable.’”
Voters may want him to do his day job (that would include being commander in chief and finally deciding on a war strategy): “Forty-three percent (43%) of Americans say it’s a bad idea for President Obama to go overseas at this time to help Chicago make its final presentation to the International Olympic Committee. But 36% disagree and think it’s a good move on the president’s part.”
In the latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll Obama’s approval rating drops another four points in two weeks to 50%. ( 65 percent think he’s proposing too much spending and 78 percent think all that debt is hurting our economic future.)