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TUESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2009
COUNT SARAH IN - AT 9:55 P.M. ET: From NewsMax:
In a major step closer to a future run for national office, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Tuesday established SarahPAC, a political action committee expected to play a key role in financing upcoming political endeavors.
“SarahPAC believes the Republican Party is at the threshold of a historic renaissance that will build a better future for all,” the SarahPAC.com Web site announced Tuesday. “Health care, education, and reform of government are among our key goals.”
COMMENT: Sarah can be a major player. She has a great deal going for her, but she must prepare - really prepare - for the next race. She will.
JIMMAH SPEAKS, WE WORRY - AT 9:51 P.M. ET: I was monitoring the TV news outlets and caught Carter with Larry King. Carter said that George Mitchell, appointed by President Obama to be Mideast envoy, is "the greatest American" for the job. Considering Carter's views on the Mideast, maybe it's time to start worrying. I've started.
OUR NATIONAL IDENTITY - AT 8:02 P.M. ET: From The DC Examiner:
Among the millions of people who are excited by the election of President Obama is Ashley Judd, as she demonstrated at the 40th birthday luncheon for NARAL Pro-Choice America at the Hilton Washington Tuesday...
...After a brief slide show featuring Bush and other anti-abortion politicians, during which the crowd booed and hissed, Judd remarked, “It’s so nice to live in America again.”
COMMENT: As the great philosopher, Jerry Lewis, once said, "Bad looks you can change. Stupid is forever."
THE TALIBAN LOVES US - AT 7:55 P.M. ET: From Reuters:
LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - The Taliban told U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday that his plan to close Guantanamo Bay prison camp was a "positive step" but peace was only possible if he withdraws U.S. forces from Afghanistan and Iraq.
COMMENT: Why do I worry when we get praise from the Taliban? I'm starting to agree with critics who said that President Obama's interview with Arab TV yesterday was too apologetic. I also note TV reports that pointed out that the president, during his interview, didn't mention democracy once. We'll soon find out if he's a shrewd operator and skillful diplomat, or another Jimmy Carter. Mr. Obama also spoke with the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, and said he wanted to stop the drift in U.S.-Moscow relations. Question: Why must our president make these initiatives? How about some initiatives from other countries.
CURIOUS - AT 3:49 P.M. ET: There was this quote, which we overlooked earlier, from President Obama's interview with Arab TV yesterday. From The New York Times:
He added that “we sometimes make mistakes,” but said that America was not born as a colonial power and that he hoped for a restoration of “the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.”
COMMENT: Say what? Will Mr. Obama please define this respect and partnership? Twenty or thirty years ago? In that time frame we had the Marine barracks blown up in Beirut, the hostages taken in Iran, the oil extortion from Saudi Arabia and other "allies," armed air clashes with Libya, the shootdown of Pan Am 103, and a host of other acts of respect and partnership. This is a disturbing quote from the president. Has he drunk the Kool Aid? I don't know, but we will watch closely.
FOLLOW THE MONEY - AT 11:58 A.M. ET: From Fox News:
Republican lawmakers are raising concerns that ACORN, the low-income advocacy group under investigation for voter registration fraud, could be eligible for billions in aid from the economic stimulus proposal working its way through the House.
House Republican Leader John issued a statement over the weekend noting that the stimulus bill wending its way through Congress provides $4.19 billion for "neighborhood stabilization activities."
COMMENT: What's included in this bill is incredible. Basically, it's pork. There may be one victory coming, though. There are reports that House Democrats will drop family-planning funds from the "stimulus" bill after an appeal by the president to do so. Mr. Obama is trying to attract Republican support for the package, and including family planning in an economic stimulus bill is not the way to do it.
THE IRANIAN BOMB - AT 11:27 A.M. ET: From Britain's Sky News
Iran will have enough enriched uranium to make a single nuclear weapon later this year, the prestigious International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) predicts.
The think tank's Mark Fitzpatrick made the announcement at today's launch of its annual global review of military powers.
"But being able to enrich uranium is not the same as having a nuclear weapon."
However, the survey reports doubts over US Intelligence estimates that Iran halted its work on nuclear weapons six years ago.
This points to Tehran's continued development of long-range ballistic missiles able to reach targets in Israel and beyond.
COMMENT: That US intelligence estimate was a disgrace to this country, clearly the product of people with a political agenda. We await a real strategy by the Obama administration for dealing with the Iranian bomb.
QUOTE OF THE DAY - AT 10:09 A.M. ET: From Spiegel Online International, quoting a resident of Gaza:
"Many people are now against Hamas but that won't change anything," he says. "Because anyone who stands up to them is killed."
COMMENT: And Jimmah Carter was on TV yesterday, suggesting that Hamas isn't a terrorist group. Jimmah should live there for a while.
THRIFT NOTE OF THE DAY - AT 10:05 A.M. ET: From Bloomberg:
Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc., which has received $45 billion in U.S. government funds, won’t take delivery of any new aircraft, according to a spokesman for the New York-based bank.
COMMENT: How lovely of them. You'll recall yesterday's story that they'd ordered a $50-million jet for their executives. Now they've reconsidered. Good thinking, boys. Good thinking. Now learn how to run a bank.
Posted at 9:38 a.m. ET
This story will outrage you. It focuses on what our kids are being taught in institutions of "higher education." Dennis Prager, the conservative talk-show host, was on a flight to Denver and encountered a student. Read on:
She: Who did you vote for?
Me: Smaller government and the war on terror.
She: Terror is the new communism.
Me: Communism killed about a hundred million people. And who do you think attacked and killed 3,000 of us on Sept. 11?
She: The government.
Yup. A college student. Prager found out that she attended the University of California at Santa Barbara. Surprised?
Truth is she had to be a student at a major university. She would never have come up with “Terror is the new Communism” on her own. It is a moral obscenity that one has to learn.
Of course, there is an irony to this statement. Meant in the opposite way she meant it, I could largely assent to the proposition that terror is the new communism. Communism was an enslaving and murderous threat in its time and the Jihadism is such a threat in our lifetime.
But that is not how this young woman meant the statement. As she has learned history and the contemporary world, communism was a bogeyman in its time and terror is a bogeyman in our time.
The way it's often stated by some "educators," communism is just another lifestyle choice, or another "narrative."
Prager tried to explain to this young woman what communism is, and what it had done. It had no effect.
In her belief that neither communism nor terror were/are real threats, I suspect this young woman represents many college students. If one wants to understand what left-wing dominance in university social sciences departments produces, one merely had to meet this young woman.
At most universities, communism is a non-evil, indeed, largely a non-issue. The most enslaving and murderous movement in history is almost never taught as such. When communism is mentioned at all, it is usually solely in order to show how vile anti-communists were. Thus, as little as students may know about McCarthyism, most students far more readily identify it with evil than they do communism. Indeed, more could probably identify Joseph McCarthy than Joseph Stalin.
That is very well stated, and completely accurate. On some college campuses, even disagreeing with a Marxist gets you labeled as a McCarthyite.
And that, quite frankly, breaks my heart. I am currently reading “Mao: The Secret Life,” almost universally regarded, even in the mainstream media, as the most important book on Mao ever written. According to the authors, in 1930-31 alone, Mao and his gang developed 120 types of torture for use on innocent people he wanted to force into phony confessions so as to rule by terror...
...These poor souls have no memorial. Least of all at an American university.
We think we won the Cold War. We did...except in our own universities and in parts of the press.
A commentator several years ago remarked that American parents spend years trying to guide their kids so they'll get into select colleges. And then those same parents never ask one question about what is being taught to their children.
I'm hoping that the economic pressure of these times will force the nation to take a cold look at our colleges and universities, and start asking some very tough questions before doling out federal billions in "aid to education." Too often it's not education that's being aided, but propaganda.
We'll return to this theme often.
January 27, 2009. Permalink
CAR TROUBLE - AT 8:33 A.M. ET: From The New York Times:
DETROIT — Automakers said Monday that they were working toward President Obama’s goal of reducing fuel consumption, but rapid imposition of stricter emissions standards could force them to drastically cut production of larger, more profitable vehicles, adding to their financial duress.
Mr. Obama ordered the government on Monday to reconsider whether California and other states could regulate vehicle emissions to help control greenhouse gas emissions, a reversal of a position taken by the Bush administration.
COMMENT: While we have no great love here for the performance of American auto makers, it seems a bit quaint to allow individual states to dictate what those companies should make. There has to be a balance between environmentalism and sound economic policy. If the president knuckles under to the environmental religionists, especially in California, he can destroy the very car companies he's trying to save.
OBAMA SPEAKS TO MUSLIMS
Posted at 7:46 a.m. ET
President Obama gave the first TV interview of his presidency to an Arab news outlet, the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya Network. The interview coincided with his dispatching of special envoy George Mitchell to the Middle East. The Politico reports:
President Barack Obama presented a humble and conciliatory face of America to the Islamic world Monday in the first formal interview since he assumed office, stressing his own Muslim ties and hopes for a Palestinian state, and avoiding a belligerent tone — even when asked if America could "live with" an Iranian nuclear weapon.
"I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries," Obama said, according to a White House transcript. "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy."
Remember, during the campaign, what happened to anyone who brought up Mr. Obama's Muslim links? They were called racists.
But the president was careful during the interview. He showed respect for the Muslim world, but maintained, at least on the surface, a tough line toward militants:
He even dismissed "bankrupt" ideas and policies that don't improve children's health care, jabbing at "nervous" Al Qaeda leaders in language that echoed his campaign against George W. Bush.
A bit odd to compare comments he made about President Bush to comments about Al Qaeda, but we won't make too much of that.
Obama's shift Monday was one of tone, not of policy, and he also affirmed America's support for Israel.
"Israel is a strong ally of the United States. They will not stop being a strong ally of the United States. And I will continue to believe that Israel's security is paramount," he said. "But I also believe that there are Israelis who recognize that it is important to achieve peace. They will be willing to make sacrifices if the time is appropriate and if there is serious partnership on the other side."
That's a basic restatement of American policy, and the president was wise to say it on an Arab channel.
Most of the interview was unexceptional. It was the part about Iran that might be troubling:
"Will the United States ever live with a nuclear Iran? And if not, how far are you going in the direction of preventing it?" asked the interviewer, Al Arabiya Washington Bureau Chief Hisham Melhem.
Obama responded only generally, expressing disapproval of an Iranian bomb but not the flat condemnation that is standard from American officials.
"... Iran has acted in ways that's not conducive to peace and prosperity in the region: their threats against Israel; their pursuit of a nuclear weapon which could potentially set off an arms race in the region that would make everybody less safe; their support of terrorist organizations in the past -- none of these things have been helpful."
During the campaign and transition periods, Obama's condemnations of an Iranian nuclear weapon were more direct: "[T]heir development of nuclear weapons would be unacceptable," Obama said on Meet the Press on December 7.
A senior Obama aide said Monday night that Obama had not changed his views on Iran.
But what are his actual views on Iran? Time is on Iran's side, as its nuclear program proceeds. We'll be watching Iran policy closely. If Iran gets the bomb on Obama's watch, that could be his foreign-policy disaster.
January 27, 2009. Permalink
GORE RETURNS, LEAVE WHILE YOU CAN - AT 7:12 A.M. ET: From The Washington Times:
Former Vice President Al Gore returns to Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Sen. John Kerry, who chairs the committee, had kind words for his fellow former Democratic presidential nominee: "Al Gore has been sounding the alarm on climate change for over three decades, and he understands the urgent need for American engagement and leadership on this issue."
COMMENT: Aren't you excited? If you're in the Washington, D.C. area, rush right down. You can see John Kerry and Al Gore in the same room, together again. But bring your iPod. You'll want to stay awake.
BULLETIN AT 6:58 A.M. ET: This just in from NewsMax.com:
Barbra Streisand has sent out an e-mail urging support for President Barack Obama’s controversial choice for attorney general, Eric Holder.
Streisand calls Holder “my friend” and writes: “Eric Holder is a man of unique integrity, as committed to liberty, the rule of law and our constitutional rights as anyone I know. He has enormous experience pursuing justice … He has worked with people on both sides of the political aisle.
“That's why I'm so angry that Republicans in the Senate have chosen to make him a target.”
COMMENT: Well, that should make Holder a shoo-in. If Barbra's for you, what else do you need? And now that Barbra has shown her displeasure with Republicans, they really should be silent. After all, Barbra knows.
PERSONAL ASIDE: I was, so to speak, present at the creation of Barbra Streisand. While I was a student at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, Walter Kerr, the renowned drama critic, came in to give a lecture. He mentioned that he'd just seen the new musical, "I Can Get it For You Wholesale," and remarked (approximate quote), "There's a young singer in the show - Barbra Streisand. Note the spelling of her first name. It's B-a-r-b-r-a, not the usual spelling. She's going to be a very big star. Follow her."
So we followed her, and wrote about her, and only God knows what we helped create.
MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2009
THE DEMS AT THEIR WORST - AT 7:52 P.M. ET: From AP:
WASHINGTON – The House Judiciary Committee chairman subpoenaed former White House adviser Karl Rove on Monday to testify about the Bush administration's firing of nine U.S. attorneys and its prosecution of a former Democratic governor.
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said the ongoing legal battle to get Rove and other former Bush administration aides to testify may have success with a new president in the White House.
COMMENT: Conyers is an embittered hard leftist who still seeks vengeance against President Bush. This is just an awful waste of an important committee's time. It's similar to the phony Valerie Plame case. The Daily Kos and MoveOn will cheer. No one else will.
OBAMA ON ENERGY POLICY - AT 6:12 P.M. ET: From a statement on energy policy by President Obama today, via ABC News:
"Year after year, decade after decade, we've chosen delay over decisive action. Rigid ideology has overruled sound science. Special interests have overshadowed common sense. Rhetoric has not led to the hard work needed to achieve results," he said. "Our leaders raise their voices each time there is a spike in gas prices, only to grow quiet when the price falls at the pump."
COMMENT: The president must be careful. What he says is largely true, but gratuitous swipes at "rigid ideology" and "special interests" are not helpful. Some thoughtful experts would assert that the "science" he's accepted on global warming and emissions is more rigid ideology than real science. As for special interests, we assume he's referring to oil companies. The president would be wiser to make them his allies, not his enemies. For decades our oil companies, with all of their real failings, have provided America with incredibly cheap energy, compared to prices charged in Europe. Use their knowledge and experience, Mr. President, as FDR did in engaging industry during World War II. Remember movie mogul Jack Warner's line about those he disliked: "I don't want to see that S.O.B. in this office again...until I need him." America will need its oil companies.
EUROPE'S GREAT MORAL VOICE - AT 5:56 P.M. ET: From The Washington Post. I am not making this up:
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- European Union leaders said Monday they are willing to take prisoners being released from the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay _ but only after detailed screening to ensure they don't import a terrorist.
COMMENT: Okay, fair enough. We'll only send them Gitmo detainees who defaulted on their American Express cards. They're tough, they may do it again, especially when buying flat-screen TV's, but Europe can handle them.
DOW SO-SO - AT 5:45 P.M. ET: Dow closed up 38, not bad considering the grim economic news today, including the fact that 62,000 jobs were lost in more layoffs.
THEY SHALL RETURN - AT 3:03 P.M. ET: From CBS News:
Five days after President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay within a year, two Saudis who were released from the controversial U.S. prison in 2007 renewed their pledge to attack western interests in a video released by Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula on the internet today.
“We assure our leaders Sheikh Osama Bin Laden, may God protect him, and Dr. Ayman al Zawahiri, that we shall continue to follow the path of jihad,” said Abu Sufian al Azdi Saeed al Shihri, a Saudi who was a prisoner at the Guantanamo prison.
COMMENT: Amazing how mainstream news outlets are now running stories on the danger of Guantanamo inmates. Didn't see much of that during the Bush administration.
HEALTH CARE IN THE U.K. - AT 2:55 P.M. ET: From the U.K.'s reliably left-wing Guardian:
Meat-free menus are to be promoted in hospitals as part of a strategy to cut global warming emissions across the National Health Service.
The plan to offer patients menus that would have no meat option is part of a strategy to be published tomorrow that will cover proposals ranging from more phone-in GP surgeries to closing outpatient departments and instead asking surgeons to visit people at their local doctor's surgery.
COMMENT: When people start talking about the beauty of government-guided health coverage, we might want to think about the above story. I'm not sure I want my health care decided on the basis of global-warming theories.
NO MORE KRISTOL BALL - AT 2:27 P.M. ET: Bill Kristol has written his last column for The New York Times. It's the one we quote below, in our 9:06 a.m. entry. A statement by The Times said the end of Kristol's tenure was by mutual agreement. The Times story on Kristol's departure said:
The newspaper’s decision to sign him to a one-year contract as a columnist drew intense criticism, particularly from the left, as did many of the columns he wrote.
COMMENT: "Particularly" from the left? Did anyone else criticize the decision? I don't recall that. There's a left-wing element at The Times that does not believe any conservative voices should be heard at the paper. When Bill Safire was hired in the 1970s, there was an uproar as well. He went on to become one of the paper's best columnists. The Times admits that it has no conservative replacement for Kristol, something it should have had.
DOW NOT WOW - AT 2:18 P.M. ET: The Dow reversed this morning's upward course and is now down 55. Many companies today announced further layoffs.
RICE AND IRAN - AT 2:14 P.M. ET: From AP:
Newly installed US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice says the new administration led by US President Barack Obama will engage in "direct diplomacy" with Iran.
She warned, however, of further action unless Teheran meets UN Security Council demands to suspend uranium enrichment as a prelude to talks on its nuclear program.
COMMENT: Her comment was balanced, and could have easily been made by the other Rice - Condi. These are not the "unconditional" negotiations originally promised by the president during his campaign. They seem to have faded away with the oath of office.
MARKET UP - AT 10:14 A.M. ET: The Dow is up 115.
A LITTLE LATE - AT 10:03 A.M. ET: From Bloomberg:
Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Former Merrill Lynch & Co. Chief Executive Officer John Thain said paying $1.2 million to renovate his office suite a year ago was a “mistake,” and that he plans to reimburse the company.
Thain, who sold Merrill Lynch to Bank of America Corp. on Jan. 1, was dismissed last week as head of trading, investment banking and brokerage for the combined firm. He made the pledge in a memo dated yesterday to top Merrill executives.
COMMENT: Might have been a bit wiser to admit the mistake earlier. But we're glad the guy has 1.2 mil lying around for the reimbursement. "Executives" like this can kill the free enterprise system.
ECONOMICS FROM NANCY - AT 9:59 A.M. ET: Drudge reports:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi boldly defended a move to add birth control funding to the new economic "stimulus" package, claiming "contraception will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."
Pelosi, the mother of 5 children and 6 grandchildren, who once said, "Nothing in my life will ever, ever compare to being a mom," seemed to imply babies are somehow a burden on the treasury.
The revelation came during an exchange Sunday morning on ABC's THIS WEEK.
COMMENT: If Obama starts getting gray hair, Nancy Pelosi will be one of the reasons.
BORN AGAIN LIBERALISM?
Posted at 9:06 a.m. ET:
Bill Kristol has an excellent column in The New York Times speculating on whether President Obama can save liberalism. Kristol puts it in context, documenting the sins of liberalism past:
Since Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, conservatives of various sorts, and conservatisms of various stripes, have generally been in the ascendancy. And a good thing, too! Conservatives have been right more often than not — and more often than liberals — about most of the important issues of the day: about Communism and jihadism, crime and welfare, education and the family.
Lest conservatives be too proud, it’s worth recalling that conservatism’s rise was decisively enabled by liberalism’s weakness. That weakness was manifested by liberalism’s limp reaction to the challenge from the New Left in the 1960s, became more broadly evident during the 1970s, and culminated in the fecklessness of the Carter administration at the end of that decade.
More amen. Any opponent of Jimmah is a friend of mine.
In 1978, the Harvard political philosopher Harvey Mansfield diagnosed the malady: “From having been the aggressive doctrine of vigorous, spirited men, liberalism has become hardly more than a trembling in the presence of illiberalism. ... Who today is called a liberal for strength and confidence in defense of liberty?”
Superbly said. Can liberalism be revived?
The answer lies in the hands of one man: the 44th president. If Reagan’s policies had failed, or if he hadn’t been politically successful, the conservative ascendancy would have been nipped in the bud. So with President Obama today. Liberalism’s fate rests to an astonishing degree on his shoulders. If he governs successfully, we’re in a new political era. If not, the country will be open to new conservative alternatives.
And now the beauty part:
We don’t really know how Barack Obama will govern. What we have so far, mainly, is an Inaugural Address, and it suggests that he may have learned more from Reagan than he has sometimes let on. Obama’s speech was unabashedly pro-American and implicitly conservative.
Obama appealed to the authority of “our forebears,” “our founding documents,” even — political correctness alert! — “our founding fathers.” He emphasized that “we will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.”
Finally, Kristol compares the present to the crisis of World War II:
Today, the dangers are less stark, and the conflicts less hard. Still, there will be trying times during Obama’s presidency, and liberty will need staunch defenders. Can Obama reshape liberalism to be, as it was under F.D.R., a fighting faith, unapologetically patriotic and strong in the defense of liberty? That would be a service to our country.
It will be hard for Mr. Obama because the left wing of his party, once shown the door by Harry S. Truman in 1948, staged a return in the late sixties and stayed for dinner. Obama must face down the members of that wing, and make plain to them that he will not do their bidding. Will he?
January 26, 2009. Permalink
WE'RE NOT ALONE - AT 8:26 A.M. ET: It's no secret that American newspapers are in trouble. But America isn't alone in this. The French press is in even worse shape. There's this, from The Times of London:
It's Sunday in Paris and as usual most of the newspaper kiosks are closed. You don't need to look much beyond that absurdity to understand why the French press is in trouble.
The newspaper business is suffering everywhere, but the French one is in worse shape than most. Restrictive practices by communist-led print unions and a bizarre distribution system hobbled the press long before the internet began eating into its readership. France is one of the most expensive places in the world to print and sell newspapers. This created a vicious circle with dwindling readership driving away advertising and forcing prices even higher. Ouest-France, a provincial daily that is France's best-selling newspaper, ranks only 77th in the world circulation league.
COMMENT: Ah, those Communist unions. So good for the economy. But I wonder if The Times is leaving something out. Is it possible that the French, like many Americans, are becoming skeptical about the content of their newspapers, and are turning to other sources? Even the French might tire of the constant anti-Americanism and provincialism. I certainly hope so.
WHY GOVERNORS SHOULDN'T APPOINT SENATORS - AT 8:02 A.M. ET: From ABC News:
Illinois' beleaguered Gov. Rod Blagojevich said today that when he was deciding who would take President Obama's Senate seat he considered appointing talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.
Blagojevich made the revelation to Diane Sawyer this morning on "Good Morning America" on the day his impeachment trial begins. That trial is expected to toss him out of office.
COMMENT: Hot Rod is one of the best arguments I've ever seen for the idea that candidates for high office should have psychiatric clearance. His impeachment trial begins today, and he's doing talk shows. Maybe Oprah will help him.
GOOD NEWS FOR THE PRESIDENT - AT 7:10 A.M. ET: The morning press brings good news for Mr. Obama - he's already being attacked and warned by the political left. University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole, Bush-hater, surge-doubter, Israel-despiser, is now tut-tutting the new president over our raids along the Afghan/Pakistan border:
Pundits are already worrying that Obama may be falling into the Lyndon Johnson Vietnam trap, of escalating a predecessor's halfhearted war into a major quagmire.
COMMENT: With enemies like that, Obama doesn't need friends. Apparently, the left is shocked, shocked, that Obama hasn't surrendered already.
DRIVE, HE SAID - AT 6:54 A.M. ET: From AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Plunging into energy policy, President Barack Obama is poised to give states a freer hand in curbing emissions from cars, and to get his government moving on fuel-efficiency standards that could remake the auto industry.
Obama will announce his plans Monday at the White House, according to officials familiar with the details who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting the president.
COMMENT: Obama's energy team is pretty radical. I have serious doubts about letting states set their own standards at a time when our auto industry is struggling for survival. You can get a state like California, with its army of environmental nutbags, setting standards so high that the patient can be killed before it has a chance to recover. Let's look carefully at the details.
IT WON'T GO AWAY - AT 6:51 A.M. ET: Apparently there was something else that forced Caroline Kennedy to withdraw from the Senate race in New York. Ace reporter Fred Dicker has the latest on the intrigue that will spawn a hundred book proposals. He cites two sources:
"Caroline learned on Wednesday that there was a specific and serious concern involving someone in her family, and it had nothing to do with taxes, nannies or her marriage," said the second source...
...The new revelations explain why, as The Post reported yesterday, members of the Kennedy family are "apoplectic" over the way the daughter of President John F. Kennedy was treated.
COMMENT: This is really ugly stuff. Governor David Paterson, an African-American, has crossed the Kennedys and the liberal establishment. His allies in this are Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose vacant seat was being filled, and who clearly wanted Kennedy out of the picture, and Senator Charles Schumer, New York's senior senator and a power in the U.S. Senate. There is real political bloodletting going on. It remains to be seen whether the New York Republican Party, renowned throughout Western civilization for its incompetence, can take advantage of the mess.
TRUTH TELLING IN THE MIDEAST - AT 6:31 A.M. ET: Occasionally, even European officials get it right. From the Jerusalem Post:
Hamas bears full responsibility for the war in Gaza, a top EU official said Monday in the Strip, calling the group "a terrorist movement."
"At this time we have to also recall the overwhelming responsibility of Hamas," Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, told reporters.
"I intentionally say this here - Hamas is a terrorist movement and it has to be denounced as such," Michel said as he visited the town of Jabalya in northern Gaza.
"Public opinion is fed up to see that we are paying over and over again - be it the (European) commission, the member states or the major donors - for infrastructure that will be systematically destroyed," he said.
COMMENT: I was wondering when the Europeans would realize that much of the aid they give the Palestinians goes right down the drain - either absorbed by corruption or devoted to things that get blown up. At least this official gets it, but the European left will insist that the checks keep right on coming.