Commentary Magazine


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Flotsam and Jetsam

Doug Hoffman has indeed become the conservative front-runner in the NY-23 and has a shot at beating the Democrat.

And now the GOP establishment climbs onboard. A lesson perhaps for the Beltway crowd.

Another poll with a double-digit lead for Bob McDonnell.

Mickey Kaus, who more or less likes the Obama agenda, is forced to admit he doesn’t really like him. He’s discovered that Obama is pompous and aloof up there with his teleprompter. Yeah, who knew? Maybe that Obama magic that convinced so many of his magnificence has a one-year expiration date from Election Day.

What’s in the House’s trillion-dollar health-care bill? “Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had touted the bill as costing $894 billion when she released it online earlier in the day, but that number nets out $167 billion in new pay-or-play taxes on individuals and businesses. Pelosi’s office had also said the bill would cut the deficit by $30 billion, but the CBO score came in much better. The $1.055 trillion cost is offset by $740 billion in new taxes and revenue and a net $426 billion in cuts in spending, largely in Medicare.” That’s right — and how many Democrats are willing to vote for more than $700B in new taxes and $420B in Medicare cuts? We will find out. Unless the whole thing implodes.

National Jewish Democratic Council head Ira Forman says he would be upset with the Chuck Hagel pick if the job were more important. Well, this is progress. He wouldn’t offer an opinion on the Mary Robinson award. Next, maybe he can express some chagrin at sending James Jones to rub elbows with the mullah flacks.

Charles Krauthammer thinks Obama should stop blaming Bush and own up to his own policy choices: “Obama is obviously unhappy with the path he himself chose in March. Fine. He has every right — indeed, duty — to reconsider. But what Obama is reacting to is the failure of his own strategy.”

The swamp isn’t yet drained: “Nearly half the members of a powerful House subcommittee in control of Pentagon spending are under scrutiny by ethics investigators in Congress, who have trained their lens on the relationships between seven members and an influential lobbying firm founded by a former Capitol Hill aide.”

Turns out the global-warming models are “imperfect.” The new data comes at an inconvenient time for the international climate police: “The renewed discussion of inherent shortcomings in climate models comes on the cusp of potentially big financial commitments. In five weeks, diplomats from around the world will meet in Copenhagen to try to hash out a new agreement to curb global greenhouse-gas emissions. The science continues to evolve.”

Kim Strassel thinks there is a method to Harry Reid’s madness: “Then again, maybe he is majority leader for a reason. Maybe Mr. Reid didn’t just wander out of the Nevada desert. Maybe he has a plan. Maybe, just maybe, he sees a big upside in turning the public option into the centerpiece of the health-care debate. After all, what does he have to lose? Up for re-election next year, Mr. Reid is facing Nevada polls that suggest he’s lost most voters outside his base. His base too, was slipping, with Moveon.org making him a punching bag for not embracing the public option. With this week’s announcement, he is once again the hero of the left, and has that baboon off his back.”