Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

Larry Lindsay observes of the stimulus bill: “As soon as it was passed, the administration started backpedaling on how stimulating it will actually be. Instead of January’s projection of 4 million jobs and unemployment peaking in the third quarter of 2009, White House officials are now on the talk shows saying that it will take years for its positive effects to show up. That is kind of late for admitting that their critics’ observations about the bill were right.”

Gabriel Schoenfeld explains who Chas Freeman is and concludes: “Either way, if those complaining loudest about politicized intelligence have indeed placed a China-coddling Israel basher in charge of drafting the most important analyses prepared by the U.S. government, it is quite a spectacle. The problem is not that Mr. Freeman will shade National Intelligence Estimates to suit the administration’s political views. The far more serious danger is that he will steer them to reflect his own outlandish perspectives and prejudices.”

More bad economic news: “The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased moderately in January, declined in February, reaching yet another all-time low.”

Would Congressional Democrats really try to kill school vouchers for poor kids in D.C. by a legislative sleight of hand? Yup.

Maybe the markets are sliding and consumer confidence is down because the public has caught on: the Obama team is obsessed with expanding government, not reviving the private sector. As Craig Shirley put it: “The Obamanoids are singularly indifferent to the productive members of society and are using this economic fiasco as an excuse to grab more power for themselves.” Well, they’ll figure it out sooner or later.

54% of Americans want no more bailouts, according to Rasmussen.

The Democrat in the NY-20 race to replace Kirsten Gillibrand, in addition to having some tax problems, has said some nasty things about the military.

In case you missed it, Tim Geithner and Hillary Clinton had diametrically opposite messages for the Chinese.

Sen. Dick Durbin says of Roland Burris: “People want this Blagojevich burlesque to end.” Well, then Durbin and his colleagues can expel Burris. And all the complaining is getting tiresome — it’s the Democrats own darn fault they have this guy instead of an elected substitute for Obama.

Gallup shows Obama below 60%.

The Democratic Governor of Tennessee is thinking he may not accept the stimulus money for unemployment insurance. I await the “Stimulus Causes Rift Among Democratic Governors” headlines.

Isn’t it time for the MSNBC budget to be listed as an in-kind gift to the DNC? Really, introducing Governor Bobby Jindal with “Oh, God” sort of destroys the illusion that they are in the news business.

Before that unfortunate display, Michael Gerson wrote: “Fairly or unfairly, media and intellectual elites (including some conservative elites) regard Gov. Sarah Palin as an inhabitant of another cultural planet. Jindal, while also religious and conservative, speaks the language of the knowledge class and will not be easily caricatured or dismissed.” Oh yes he will, it seems.

President Obama managed to scare even the Washington Post’s editors: “His priorities for fundamental reform, the causes that animated his campaign, are admirable ones. Yet we cannot help wondering: Isn’t the most critical task to ensure a swift and effective response to the stomach-churning downturn? Does a new, understaffed administration have the capacity to try so much so fast? And does the political system have the bandwidth to accommodate all that Mr. Obama is asking from it?”

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