Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

Buried nearly at the end of the Washington Post story on Blago-gate is this nugget: “Fitzgerald’s team has scrambled to interview Jackson, as well as members of the Obama transition team who talked with Blagojevich about the appointment.” So we now have more than one? And who, exactly, has been interviewed by the U.S. Attorney? If we had an independent and aggressive media they would be asking.

From the New York Times, no less: “By January, Congress will probably be asked to approve an outlay of more than $700 billion. Spent in one year on construction, research or equipment, it might well offset the contraction at first. But unless it also revived general confidence, the economy could collapse again, once the money was gone. ‘If that spending can’t get the private sector going, then it is just a make-work maintenance operation,’ said Stanley Moses, an economist at Hunter College in New York.” Yet the Obama administration sees “no choice” but to go down that road. Why? Because they fundamentally have no faith in or appreciation of the private sector — and lack any top advisors with a private sector track record to explain it to them.

Vice President Dick Cheney gives some shots to Joe Biden, who didn’t quite have his Constitutional articles quite right. Hey, Biden can be a bit player if he likes — not like me! Heh. Well, we should give the President-elect credit for figuring out Biden is not a person to be taken seriously.

And Biden muffed the “unitary executive” attack as well. Although it has become a buzz-word meant to critique the Bush administration’s expansion of executive wartime powers (which might have been an interesting discussion, if someone had pointed Biden in the right direction and given him some talking points), it really isn’t that at all. Too bad the interviewer didn’t ask whether President Obama would be giving up “signing statements.”

How many conversations did Rahm Emanuel and Blago (or his advisors) have? Not clear yet. But Patrick Fitzgerald has the tapes, so the Obama team better not be counting with fuzzy math. And how many between the SEIU and Emanuel on the topic? That may be the most intriguing part of this tale.

You gotta love the sycophants in the media who, based on nothing more than a leak of the Obama team’s own internal review, proclaim Rahn Emanuel is “in the clear.” No need to ask Emanuel questions or hear the Blago tapes. Just move along.

It really is getting hard to keep up with all the scandals — a Blago-related shake-down of a movie producer? I must have missed that. The movie — I kid you not — is called “Million Dollar Baby.” Golden, just golden.

A good point: the bailout money to Chrysler is only likely to “soften its inevitable fall into bankruptcy.” But for whom — Cerberus? As misguided as the bailout to GM was, there’s no possible purpose in giving billions (even just a few) of taxpayer money to an equity investment fund to lessen their losses as they close down a car company the have no interest in funding any longer.

Candid analysis from Willie Brown on the Democrats nixing a special election in Illinois: “Publicly, they may say that’s because a special election would cost the state millions. But the truth is, the Democrats are deathly afraid that with all these corruption stories swirling around, a do-gooder Republican could win the seat and damage the Democrats’ chances of holding a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. And you know what? They’re probably right to be afraid. If there was a fight, the only way the Democrats could hold onto the seat would be to have Obama himself come in and campaign. That, however, would make it a referendum on him – and Obama would not want to put himself in that position so early in his presidency, even in his home state.”

Mara Liasson on the New York Senate race: “I would not want to be David Paterson. I mean, this is — first of all, he’s an unintended governor. He wants to run. He could have gotten this entire problem of who’s going to primary — who’s going to mount a primary challenge off the table by appointing Andrew Cuomo, and then along comes Caroline Kennedy.You’ve got six female members of the House who could lay claim to being the senator. So no matter who he picks, he’s going to get very angry — pissed off — he’s going to — he’s going to — this is not a decision that is going to make anybody happy. ” Well, Paterson could pull a Biden: stick Maggie Williams in there for two years until Chelsea is old enough to run. What? The “appoint the princess with no experience” idea is saner?

Another liberal voice tries to warn the Democrats: “Just when Democrats have succeeded in decoupling intellectual elitism from social elitism–just when they have succeeded in suggesting that you can be advocates of intelligence and expertise without being advocates of unearned privilege and crude snobbery–along comes the ultimate symbol of social elitism to stake her claim to a powerful place in the Democratic Party. ”

Meanwhile, an unidentified Jewish leader in New York isn’t satisfied with a one-liner from Kennedy on the status of Jerusalem: “When Hillary Clinton sought to succeed Sen. Moynihan, she engaged in detailed discussions with Jewish New Yorkers about such critical issues such as the future of Jerusalem, her thoughts on the peace process, Arab incitement against Israel and more.” The nerve of some folks wanting answering  on detailed policy issues!

But Rep. Tom Reynolds has the theme nailed: “”We’re seeing a seat-warmer in Delaware, a seat-seller in Illinois, and we’re making seat-cushions in New York for, kind of, an aristocrat royalty of entitlement coming in here.”

David Gregory has  a couple of challenges: finding interesting guests who don’t repeat the MSM patter and losing a very annoying verbal tic (“Right”). He failed on both counts this Sunday, but perhaps he’ll improve.

Where did the first half of the $700B bailout go and how was it used? The banks don’t know or aren’t telling. Lesson: Be wary the next time a Treasury Secretary says it’s an emergency.

I’m not buying the notion that there will be no political will next year for more car bailouts. We know there will be more Democrats and higher unemployment — the perfect combination for insisting on more money. Besides another $17B or so will look like chump change — give ’em just one more chance, just one!

Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
for full access to
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
Don't have a log in?
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.