Commentary Magazine


Flotsam and Jetsam

The power of the minority is not insignificant: “Republicans are pushing the hot-button issue of what will be done about Guantanamo’s prisoners—so much so that Democrats signaled Thursday that they will likely drop language sought by the Pentagon to authorize the use of war funds to relocate the inmates.”

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran can no longer take Terry McAuliffe’s “sanctimonious rhetoric.” Yikes. You don’t think Democrats will hold all those nasty anti-Obama ads against McAuliffe, do you? Well the crowd seemed to enjoy Moran’s blast, if that is any indication of how the primary base feels.

This critique of French vs. American economic systems is fantastique. (Too bad she was born in France or she could run in 2012.)

Could the Guantanamo closing and CIA interrogation memo dump have rubbed voters the wrong way? “Just 42% of likely voters now believe the United States and its allies are winning the War on Terror, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. That’s down from 50% two weeks ago, down from 62% in early February, and is the lowest level of confidence since June 30, 2008.” Republicans are ready to pounce.

Senate Republicans catch a break (or make their own): Jim Bunning has succumbed to pressure and will retire.

And another possible contender, Republican Mark Kirk, is very competitive in Illinois.

Probably not a photo New Jersery Governor Jon Corzine will use in his campaign ads.

Meanwhile, the GOP primary is heating up. Probably not a good move for the underdog Steve Lonegan, who is positioning himself as the hardcore conservative, to come up with a plan that will increase taxes. (Sounding weirdly like what you’d hear from a Democrat,”Lonegan acknowledged that many people – about 50 percent – would be paying higher taxes, but said the flat tax would stabilize the state’s economy.”) Or New Jersey could cut spending, attract new business, and get the public employee unions under control to “stabilize” the economy.

It is still a lot of people, but the act is losing it’s appeal: “President Obama drew 28.8 million viewers for his third prime-time news conference, which was a 29 percent drop from his second, according to Nielsen. And to compare, the first of his presidency drew 49.5 million viewers.” Given that FOX made the right business call not covering it, how many more of these will the other networks agree to carry?

Because they solved all the really big problems already: “Schools with vending machines that sell candy and soda to students could soon find the government requiring healthier options to combat childhood obesity under a bill introduced on Thursday by two senators.” Hey, if the president tells us to cover our mouths when we sneeze and the Senate tells kids what to eat, all the House need do is tuck us in at night.

Speaking of problems, the Washington Post editors take their whack at Joe Biden: “No doubt America’s airlines are at the front of the line of those eager to send the vice president back to his work on high-speed rail service or nuclear nonproliferation or whatever he does when not issuing misguided public health advice.” I think that would be taunting the Chief Justice in public and pinching pennies on his charitable donations.

Another good reason why these things should be left to bankruptcy judges: “It’s especially rich for Mr. Obama to blast the creditors for seeking ‘an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout’ while offering the UAW a 55% majority stake in Chrysler. He also praised the large banks that hold most of the Chrysler debt and supported the government plan. But of course J.P. Morgan and the other big banks are also recipients of billions of dollars in taxpayer cash and have a strong interest in playing nice with their creditor, Uncle Sam Obama.”

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