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Flotsam and Jetsam

Jamie Fly provides a useful review of Joe Biden’s record of getting most everything wrong — from the Contras, to arms control in the 1980s, to Iraq. On the last point: “In 2006, with violence in Iraq on the rise and some in his party calling for a full-scale withdrawal, Senator Biden began a collaboration with Leslie Gelb, a former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, to promote a truly harebrained scheme to break up Iraq into three autonomous regions.”

Charlie Crist’s commanding position over Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate primary is deteriorating. It seems now is not a good time to be a Republican primary candidate who embraced Obama’s stimulus plan.

A secret GOP plan to stop health-care reform. It’s all very sneaky: “Unable to mount a filibuster on their own and calculating that Democrats are on track to send a health care bill to Obama by year’s end, Senate Republicans figure the only way to stop or reshape the measure is to give the public enough time to figure out what’s in it and what they don’t like about it.” Oh my, not the “let the public find out what’s in it” gambit!

And sure enough, support for ObamaCare is dropping again. Only 42 percent approve, while 54 percent do not.

Meanwhile, a “tension rising among Democrats” story doesn’t sound like an indication we’re getting close to a bill.

Unemployment is sky high in Michigan. “The decline in auto sales has hurt Michigan more than other states, but the state’s economy would have been better equipped to cope without [Gov. Jennifer] Granholm’s policy mix of higher taxes in order to spend more money on favored political and corporate interests. If any larger good can come of the experience, it is that Michigan is teaching other states how not to govern.”

This unintentionally funny profile of the Nobel Committee chairman explains a lot: “Coming from a committee headed by Mr. Jagland, the award makes sense. He is often described as a risk taker who thinks on a grand scale — an intellectual who, at times, has faced trouble translating his vision into practical policies.” A match made in heaven … er … Oslo.

Some good news: “The District of Columbia’s embattled school-voucher program, which lawmakers appeared to have killed earlier this year, looks like it could still survive. Congress voted in March not to fund the program, which provides certificates to pay for recipients’ private-school tuition, after the current school year. But after months of pro-voucher rallies, a television-advertising campaign and statements of support by local political leaders, backers say they are more confident about its prospects. Even some Democrats, many of whom have opposed voucher efforts, have been supportive.” Even Democrats!

Is Bob McDonnell pulling away? This poll has him up 44.7 percent to 30.9 for Creigh Deeds.

Ruth Marcus joins Helen Thomas and Pete Wehner in the “what’s with the Fox bashing?” consternation: “It makes the White House look childish and petty at best, and it has a distinct Nixonian — Agnewesque? — aroma at worst. It is a self-defeating trifecta: it distracts attention from the Obama administration’s substantive message; it serves to help Fox, not punish it, by driving up ratings; and it deprives the White House, to the extent it refuses to provide administration officials to appear on the cable network, of access to an audience that is, in fact, broader than hard-core Obama haters.”



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