From the “about time” file: “U.S. spy agencies are considering whether to rewrite a controversial 2007 intelligence report that asserted Tehran halted its efforts to build nuclear weapons in 2003, current and former U.S. intelligence officials say. The intelligence agencies’ rethink comes as pressure is mounting on Capitol Hill, and among U.S. allies, for the Obama administration to redo the 2007 assessment, after a string of recent revelations about Tehran’s nuclear program.”
I guess health care isn’t all wrapped up yet: “The triumph of the Senate Finance Committee’s vote isn’t wearing particularly well. House liberals and labor unions are in open revolt over the public option. Centrist Democrats say they aren’t necessarily on board, after all. Friends are enemies and enemies aren’t friends, threats are promises and promises begin to sound like threats. And — just like before — with lots of sharp sticks around, someone has to blink. ” Seems like “the hard choices” are still being delayed.
Nor are the House and Senate on the same page: “Already at odds over healthcare, the Democratically controlled House and Senate are now on a collision course over legislation to require both chambers to pay for everything they pass. The Senate is looking to quickly move legislation costing more than $200 billion over 10 years that would adjust Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors, but it does not plan to pay for the bill with offsetting spending cuts or tax increases. The move tests the will of House leaders on pay-go and sets the stage for a standoff that could come in advance of what is already sure to be a difficult healthcare reform conference.”
Gloria Borger argues that the stimulus plan was supposed to bolster the public’s confidence in Obama’s ability to manage the economy: “Instead, the stimulus has become a handy target. Wall Street may be doing well, both conservatives and liberals rail, but the jobs elsewhere are not coming back. And as the president now moves to ask the nation to support an overhaul of health care, voters are still asking: Why should we trust the government to do that?”
The VFW wants Obama to stop dawdling over a strategy for Afghanistan. “In Afghanistan, the extremists are sensing weakness and indecision within the U.S. government, which plays into their hands, as evidenced by the increased attacks in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan. I fear that an emboldened enemy will now intensify their efforts to kill more U.S. soldiers.”
Kim Strassel on Creigh Deeds’s dependence on Big Labor: “In an 18-year state legislative career, he has a cumulative 92% rating on the Virginia AFL-CIO’s scorecard of votes. He’s refused to denounce national union priorities such as card check. During a rough-and-tumble Democratic primary earlier this year, he visited picketers outside a Hilton hotel.” But despite all the union cash flowing into Deeds’s coffers, “ the unions have clearly been more hurt than help.”
Charles Krauthammer sums up Obama’s foreign policy: “It is amateurishness, wrapped in naivete, inside credulity. In short, the very stuff of Nobels.”
Chris Christie ticks up to a 4-point lead in the latest poll. But it really comes down to how many anti-Corzine votes get thrown away on the independent candidate.
When it comes to cash on hand, Bob McDonnell has a big lead going into the final weeks of the Virginia gubernatorial campaign.