Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

Never mind! “At a White House meeting Thursday, President Obama told Congressional leaders that he thinks it would be a mistake to set up a commission to investigate excesses of the Bush administration’s war on terror. ‘The president said that given all that’s on the agenda and the pressing issues facing the country, that a backward-looking investigation would not be productive,’ a White House official who attended the session said. ‘The president was very clear…that he believes it’s important that there’s not a witch hunt.'” And I’m opposed to violins on TV also.

Rep. Frank Wolf goes after Eric Holder for not releasing all the memos showing the intelligence results from enhanced interrogation techniques.

A very wise take on the whole ordeal by Marty Peretz.

One of Terry McAuliffe’s Democratic gubernatorial opponents raises his Global Crossing connection. (McAuliffe put in $100,000 and got $18M out before the company crumbled.) Yikes.

Charles Krauthammer: “In the service of his ultimate mission — the leveling of social inequalities — President Obama offers a tripartite social democratic agenda: nationalized health care, federalized education (ultimately guaranteed through college) and a cash-cow carbon tax (or its equivalent) to subsidize the other two. Problem is, the math doesn’t add up. Not even a carbon tax would pay for Obama’s vastly expanded welfare state. Nor will Midwest Democrats stand for a tax that would devastate their already crumbling region.” What’s coming, says Krauthammer, is healthcare rationing. Or the 2010 election, whichever arrives first.

Austan Goolsbee was right: “Three cheers for President Obama’s decision, announced quietly on Monday, to repudiate a campaign promise and not press for new labor and environmental regulations in the North American Free Trade Agreement. The last thing the Western Hemisphere needs are more trade barriers that would snarl supply chains and damage commerce.” Now the president has to give up the made-up complaints about Colombian labor violence and sign the free trade agreement with that country. It’s the least we can do after building up Hugo Chavez.

Victor Davis Hanson: “Nonsense is passed off as wisdom. Those who caused the financial meltdown walked away with millions in bonuses while taxpayers covered the debts they ran up. The big-spending government claims it may cut our annual $1.7 trillion deficit in half by 2012 – but only after piling up trillions more in national debt. In our Orwellian world, borrowing to spend what we don’t have has been renamed ‘stimulus.’ Those who pay no federal income taxes – almost half of Americans – can somehow be promised an income tax ‘cut.’ In the new borrowing of trillions of dollars here and trillions there, billions of dollars now sounds like pocket change.”

Hmm: “Fifty-eight percent (58%) believe the Obama administration’s recent release of CIA memos about the harsh interrogation methods used on terrorism suspects endangers the national security of the United States. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 28% believe the release of the memos helps America’s image abroad.”

The Washington Post editors opine: “The apparent confusion within the Obama administration about whether to prosecute officials of the previous administration for committing torture is not surprising.” Well, they mean because it’s such a hard question with conflicting interests so it’s hard not to be confused. But I thought all the easy questions were answered before they got to Obama. “It’s hard” doesn’t seem like a good excuse for incoherence and equivocation.

Chrysler is being “directed” to bankruptcy by the government. But fear not: “Treasury now has an agreement in principle with the U.A.W., whose members’ pensions and retiree health care benefits would be protected in the event of a bankruptcy filing.” Just in case you thought the fix for Big Labor wasn’t in, think again.

But those union-busting meanies at the New York Times are prepared to stick it to the Boston Globe’s employees.

An ex-CNN reporter says Susan Roesgen stepped over the line berating tea party interviewees.

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