“Sell your vote, and we will publish it.”

Sounds good to me. That’s just called political accountability. I also like the threat that any nominations for sold votes will be held by the Senate.

Speaking of which, there’s an interesting rumor over at Human Events:

Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) who announced his retirement from Congress has been promised the job of NASA administrator in exchange for his vote, and Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), another retiring Democrat, has been promised an appointment as U.S. Ambassador to NATO in exchange for his vote.

It will be interesting to note any job announcements from this Tennessee duo post-House retirement. Both voted against passage of the House bill back in November.

Emphasis mine. If true, this has at least two implications. First, the administration is willing to throw Charlie Bolden under the bus. Second, they’re also willing to throw the new plans for NASA under the bus for health care, because Gordon (who just happens to be the relevant committee chairman) has expressed skepticism about them:

Even Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), the House Science and Technology Committee chairman who has no real parochial interest in Constellation, branded NASA’s budget request “a radical departure” from the Bush-era plan twice endorsed by Congress.

Stay tuned.

[Update a few minutes later]

As I said, if it’s true. My question is: why would he even want the job, particularly if he relishes the status quo? It’s no plum.

[Update a couple minutes later]

In light of this news, you might want to listen to the live webcast of the Senate Commerce Committee hearings discussing commercial crew. It’s quite a line up. But it may or may not be relevant, depending on how the policy works out.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Clark Lindsey is following Twitter feeds on the hearings. Stafford is testifying now. Saying that we need the POR for “risk mitigation.”

I never fail to be astounded that people don’t recognize the high amount of risk with Ares.

[Early afternoon update]

Over at Space Politics, pseudonymous commenter “Major Tom” notes that this may be a recycling of an old rumor from last year, before Bolden was chosen. That is certainly possible. It would be nice to see some substantiation or verification of it.

[Update a few minutes later]

Gordon has announced that he is now a yes vote on the bill. FWIW. For some reason, no quid pro quos are discussed.

Can’t Get Through To Washington?

Call your state legislators:

It’s something Hoekstra said is an effective means of putting pressure on Democrats. “There’s no doubt that if my state reps’ phones started ringing off the hook on a federal issue they would call me and want me to know, and say, ‘Hey Pete, you know the people in Michigan are really feeling passionate about this.’”

We need to put pressure on every front.

Finally, The Breakup?

For decades American Jews, like an abused spouse in a marriage, have kept going back to the Democrats, regardless of how much abuse they continue to get. But maybe Barack Obama has finally gone too far:

“I don’t think he’s pro-Israel,” Tisch says, voicing the suspicions of many. “I think the president comes to this from Jeremiah Wright’s church, and there’s no doubt in my mind that in Jeremiah Wright’s church, the Palestinians were portrayed as freedom fighters and not as terrorists.”

Tisch adds the flap is bound to influence the traditionally Democratic Jewish electorate, nearly 80 percent of which voted for Obama in 2008. “Now for the first time, there are a significant number of people in the organized Jewish community that feel that the president has gone too far,” Tisch says. It will be interesting to watch “what happens to the president’s approval rating among Jewish voters. I think this could really be an important point of demarcation for Jewish public opinion of the president.”

Other wealthy Jewish New Yorkers, who are active in the pro-Israel cause as well as Democratic Party politics, agree the issue could depress Jewish support for Democrats next November.

“Obama has done zero favors for the Democratic candidates in 2010,” says a prominent Democratic fundraiser who, like most of Jewish activists who spoke for this story, was unwilling to go on the record. “I know a lot of historical Democrats who are big check-writers and even bundlers, who have told me that until things settle down they have no interest in helping any Democrats.”

Another politically active Jewish billionaire confirms this assessment. “I think anyone writing a check now is doing it with shaking fingers,” this man says. “Not only is Obama is changing the nature of our relationship with Israel, he is pushing through health care legislation that will cost everybody more money, he is demonizing Wall Street and the ‘big fat cats,’ attacking people who gave a lot of money to the Democrats and their candidates for Congress and the presidential race. So this latest thing is the third strike.”

More and more rubes, like David Brooks, are figuring out who the rubes were.

Unfortunately, if history is any guide, once things “settle down,” they’ll go back for another beating.

A Middle East

…without American influence. That’s the logical outcome of the Obama policies. And a preferable one, for many on the left. They’d prefer a world without American influence. Because America is, you know, evil.

[Update a few minutes later]

Obama’s strikingly unilateral foreign policy:

Maureen Dowd doesn’t see any pattern to the President’s actions. She believes that the President’s pique at Israel was spontaneous because of the “supremely aggravating character of Bibi Netanyahu”, but Kagan suggests the President has a tendency to take alliances for granted while attempting to mollify enemies. This makes sense from a certain point of view. He’s a wooer, not a keeper. His whole life has been focused on getting to the next rung, the next office. Once that rung is attained, why it’s meant to be stepped on to get to the one above. And why not? Since your friends are already your friends you don’t need to be nice to them. On the other hand you have to convince your enemies to like you because they don’t like you yet. And a smart man should unsentimentally work on them.

…The problem is that over the long haul international relations are about the keeping, not the wooing. Building a really stable international framework, as opposed to getting a photo op, means creating a foundation based on shared values. Sometimes the bad guys like being bad guys. After all is said and done, Venezuela will import 30,000 Cuban advisers whether Obama has been nice to Chavez or not. Although it’s politically incorrect to say it, one reason why America has enemies is because there are some countries out there that are not worth making friends with.

Read all. Carly Simon is involved, too.

[Update a couple minutes later]

More thoughts from Geraghty:

The Economist: “Friends have spats, but this seems to be more than that. America has not simply accepted Mr Netanyahu’s prompt apology. Opinion in the administration is said to be divided. Mr Biden himself and many State Department officials, together with George Mitchell, who was to have supervised the now-stalled proximity talks, advised cooling things down. But, whether out of rage or calculation, Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton preferred to escalate.”

Boy, there’s a reassuring calculation about what drives our policy choices, huh? 50/50 shot this is deliberate or we’re just lashing out at blind rage at the one ally in the region we would trust in a back-alley knife fight. And how utterly screwed are we when Joe Biden has become the voice of reason on Middle East policy?

Well, that was the excuse they made for the lunatic decision of nominating him.

The subtext of the Kagan column from yesterday was pretty clear: all around the world, we’re spitting on our allies and groveling before our enemies and the most hostile states. For two years, we argued that the world didn’t work the way Obama said it did; now we’re getting to see the results.

And three more years of it to look forward to.

Real Journalism

I didn’t watch the whole thing, but reportedly, Bret Baier showed the rest of his colleagues how to interview a president tonight. Or at least this president. All it takes is a real journalist who doesn’t get a tingle up his leg to be in the presence of The One. Even A. B. Stoddard said that he was on the defensive. And it was nice to see someone call him out on his ongoing Medicare legerdemain. You can reduce Medicare costs, or you can reduce the new entitlement costs, but you can’t do both with the same dollars. And Baier was kind enough not to ask him about the “3000% decrease in employers’ costs for health insurance.”

[Thursday morning update]

Roger Simon: Obama must be desperate.

It does seem to me that despite the brave front being put out by her Highness and Hoyer (and Reid) and the White House, that they still can’t wrangle the votes, even for the Slaughterhouse Rules. There’s an excellent chance that this atrocity can be defeated, and it’s no time to give up. But the waverers in the House have to hang together, and not let themselves get picked off separately.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!