Walter Shapiro : "John Corzine by all estimation is going to be reelected Governor of New Jersey." Really? "By all estimation"? You giving odds with that? I'll take them. Depends on the Daggett vote , no? And the night is young. ... P.S.: Don't forget the Incumbent Rule. ... Update: Maybe Daggett's vote won't fade. Could he pull a Ventura and actually win? Mark Blumenthal clinically examines on this non-crazy possibility . Andy Pettitte's arm is in the algorithm! ... Backfill: Shapiro made the case for betting on Corzine here . .. I may be biased by memories of an incident recounted by Fred Siegel and Dan DiSalvo :
Supporters of public sector union power have developed a rationale for the government employees' gold-plated perks. The argument is that public employees are the vanguard of the working class. As such, the benefits they achieve will eventually have to be matched by private sector employers. As Carla Katz, the leader of New Jersey's Communications Workers of America, explained to Paul Mulshine of the Newark Star-Ledger , reformers embrace "the progressive theory that unless you create a substantial wage and benefits package that reflects good jobs and the ability to have a middle-class life style, there will be a perpetual race to the bottom."
Katz not only represents thousands of state employees, she is also the richly rewarded former girlfriend of New Jersey governor Jon Corzine . Katz's influence on Corzine became clear in 2006 when the impassioned governor spoke to a Trenton rally of roughly 10,000 public workers and shouted out: "We will fight for a fair contract." Corzine was of course management in that situation, not labor. [E.A.]
New Jersey taxpayers, who now have to pay for the resulting union pay and benefit packages, must be unusually forgiving. ... . 4:15 P.M.
How to Fill the Empty Hours After Health Care? Nate Silver writes :
It's becoming increasingly likely that regulation of the banking and financial sector is liable to be the issue that dominates the first half of 2010. Why? Well in the first place, it's badly needed ... [snip] In the second place, i t's not clear what else the Obama administration will do on the domestic policy front, once the health care issue gets resolved. Although the unpopularity of the cap-and-trade program is greatly exaggerated -- most polls in fact show it receiving a plurality or narrow majority of support -- the swing districts in 2010 tend to be big carbon emitters. Immigration reform, likewise, is liable to be a less favorable issue for the Democrats in 2010 than it will be in 2012 , when we'll have a younger, more diverse electorate in which Hispanics play a larger role as swing voters. EFCA -- the White House's support for which has always been questionable -- almost certainly isn't going anywhere . Movement on gay rights issues is a possibility, but is more dependent on the White House's willpower than its bandwidth. A second omnibus stimulus bill is probably out of the question, although certainly there will be piecemeal efforts -- extended unemployment benefits, greater investments in transportation infrastructure -- that the White House will pursue. Still, for a hard-working White House, that leaves plenty of time on the table for a big-ticket item, and that item will probably be banking reform. [E.A.]
Banking reform. Not "card check" (EFCA). Not "comprehensive" illegal immigrant legalization. Not even "cap and trade." Banking reform. ... And the more time it takes up, the better! ... I'm less worried about my vote for Obama every day. ...
P.S.: But will immigration really be a more "favorable" issue for the Dems in 2012, when they will probably have a smaller margin in the House? Maybe Silver is saying they'll have more incentive to bring it up--their swing district freshmen will already have lost--even if passage will still be difficult. ... Card check, on the other hand, will be both harder to pass and less advantageous to bring up, no? ...
P.P.S.: I still think the issue that "dominates the first half of 2010" is likely to be ... health care. At least the first half of the first half of 2010. We're talking about what happens after that. ... 4:15 P.M.
National Review Not Guilty So Fox Not Guilty Too! National Review 's Stephen Spruiell defends Fox against the charge that it is an instrument, not of conservatism but of the Republican Party and (for much of the past decade) the Bushes.
I grow so tired of this smear. National Review gets this kind of thing all the time. Last year, Jonah compiled a nice summary of our dissents from the Bush White House. One could compile a similar dossier in defense of Fox News, but I'm afraid it wouldn't matter. [E.A.]
Oh, go ahead! ... It will be a mighty thin dossier, at least if it doesn't include issues (like Harriet Miers and immigration) where Roger Ailes' network initially, and disconcertingly, appeared to toe and try to hold the Bush line before eventually acceding to its viewers' opinions and allowing dissenting conservatives to express themselves. ... 4:15 P.M.
"Howard Kurtz, Missing in Action:" The Left is now on the case of the Biggest Conflict of Interest in Journalism . Writes Michael Massing :
Young people have embraced [Jon Stewart's] show precisely because he’s willing to take on cable news in a way our top media reporters are not. And not just Fox. Last week, "The Daily Show" offered a brilliant expose of the superficiality and hollowness of the journalism practiced on CNN, showing how its anchors allow partisan spokesmen to make all kinds of ridiculous claims without challenge. "We’ll have to leave it there" was the stock response of CNN interviewers to the ludicrous talking points of their guests.
You’ll almost never see Howard Kurtz scrutinize CNN in that way. Of course, he’s employed by the network.