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Flotsam and Jetsam

Bill Kristol sums up: “Well, the North Koreans did something real, and the president gave a speech about a nice future that might happen 50 years from now. And the question is what is the president of the United States going to do about a successful North Korean test.” Go to the UN and back to the six party talks, apparently.

Worse yet, Obama is going ahead to nix much of the missile defense program. As John Bolton notes, it is hard to imagine something so “extraordinarily ill-advised.”

On the Democrats’ termination of the DC school voucher plan: “The decision to let 1,700 poor kids get tossed from private schools is a moral disgrace. It also exposes the ugly politics that lies beneath union and liberal efforts across the country to undermine mayoral control, charter schools, vouchers or any reform that threatens their monopoly over public education dollars and jobs. The Sheldon Silver-Dick Durbin Democrats aren’t worried that school choice doesn’t work. They’re worried that it does, and if Messrs. Obama and [Education Secretary Arne] Duncan want to succeed as reformers they need to say so consistently.”

The New York Daily News seems to think Rudy Giuliani is prepping for a gubernatorial run.

A revealing poll: “Fifty-seven percent (57%) of U.S. voters nationwide favor a military response to eliminate North Korea’s missile launching capability.” Would they like a useless UN meeting instead?

Michael Kinsley gets it precisely right: “If General Motors goes under, there will still be cars. And if the New York Times disappears, there will still be news.” And he gets bonus points for saying it in the Washington Post. Read the whole thing, as they say.

Democrats react to the projected deficits in the Obama budget: “‘It’s insane,’ said Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss. ‘This is the fourth president since I’ve been in the House who’s said they were going to fix the deficit in later years. It only worked out for Bill Clinton.” Other Democrats were more circumspect. ‘It disturbs me a bit,’ said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., ‘but we’re getting some good funding for transportation, and that’s very important.'” Well, if we get a monorail in Nevada I guess it’s okay. (CBO says Obama’s budget deficit will be $658B by 2012.)

So if the Obama team thinks George W. Bush acted like a “statesman” why haven’t they returned the courtesy and avoided slamming their predecessor on every imaginable topic?

Not post-partisan yet: “For all of his hopes about bipartisanship, Barack Obama has the most polarized early job approval ratings of any president in the past four decades. The 61-point partisan gap in opinions about Obama’s job performance is the result of a combination of high Democratic ratings for the president — 88% job approval among Democrats — and relatively low approval ratings among Republicans (27%).” What is fascinating is that Obama’s support is more partisan than that of George W. Bush who won a highly contentious election. Both their ratings among independents at this stage in their presidencies is virtually identical. Funny how we don’t get those “Most Divisive Ever!” headlines.

You have to chuckle over headlines like this: “McAuliffe Takes A Chapter From Obama Playbook In Governor Bid.” Well, apparently the Clinton’s money man isn’t taking the chapter about relentlessly attacking Obama. And I don’t suppose the former DNC chairman and cable talk show fixture is going to be running as an anti-lobbyist, reformer. But yes, he’s using the Internet and social networking which makes him just like Obama. Got it.

The cat is out of the bag: Organizing America is a bust: “But in its first big test, the group dubbed Organizing for America (OFA) had little obvious impact on the debate over President Obama’s budget, which passed Congress on Thursday with no Republican support and a splintering of votes among conservative Democrats. The capstone of the campaign was the delivery of 214,000 signatures to Capitol Hill, which swayed few, if any, members of Congress, according to legislative aides from both parties.”



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