McMahon Hits Blumenthal on Vietnam Lies

You knew this was coming. Linda McMahon is out today with a hard hitting ad against Richard Blumenthal, highlighting his history of lying (or at least being repeatedly misleading) about his Vietnam record:

Blumenthal holds a slight 4-point edge in an average of polls compiled by Real Clear Politics. Cook Political Report considers the race a toss-up.

UPDATE: Since writing this, a new poll by Democratic firm PPP shows Blumenthal with a more comfortable 12-point lead.

CNN’s Rick Sanchez Calls Jon Stewart a “Bigot” and Says Jews Control the Media

In a long and rambling radio interview, CNN host Rick Sanchez called Jon Stewart a “bigot” and then joked that Jews couldn’t be considered a minority because they run the major media networks.

“I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority?” he said sarcastically, laughing. “Yeah.”

Audio here.

Via the Corner.

How ObamaCare Spurs Consolidation, Helps Big Insurers

One of the big ironies of the health care debate was that supporters of the new law were arguing that government intervention was necessary to deal with the problem of consolidation in the insurance industry. ObamaCare was supposed to change all of that by fostering competition.

But now we’re starting to get confirmation of one of the arguments that critics of the legislation were making — that ObamaCare’s onerous regulations would drive smaller insurers out of business, thus leading to further consolidation in the industry.

Today, the Wall Street Journal reports:

Financial services provider Principal Financial Group Inc. is exiting the health-insurance business in an early sign of expected consolidation as the impact of the health overhaul becomes clearer.

UnitedHealth Group Inc., the country’s largest health insurer by revenues, Thursday agreed to renew the policies of Principal’s roughly 840,000 members as contracts expire. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Analysts pointed to the agreement as a sign that big insurers could have a bright future gobbling up smaller firms’ membership.

The federal health overhaul passed in March has prompted worries among regulators and industry groups that smaller insurers might have difficulty competing under rules that require insurers pay out between 80% and 85% of premiums on medical care.

During the health care debate, I explained how we could get real competition in health insurance.

Obama Makes Rahm Departure Official

Calling it a “bittersweet day at the White House,” President Obama announced that chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was stepping down, and would be replaced by senoir advisor Pete Rouse on an interim basis.

The press announcement was triumphant, with Emanuel and Obama crediting each other for saving America from the second Great Depression.

It was also a de facto announcement of Emanuel’s candidacy to be mayor of Chicago. Without mentioning the post by name, Obama said Emanuel was “extraordinarily well qualified” for it. Emanuel himself said he was looking forward to going back to Chicago and was “energized by the prospect of new challenges.”

Obama also mentioned that Rouse’s low-key demenor represents a stark contrast from Emanuel’s legendary brash style. Obama said Rouse “has never seen TV camera or microphone that he likes.”

John Bolton for President?

UN Ambassador John Bolton is “very seriously” considering running for president in 2012, Townhall’s Guy Benson reports.

In an interview, Bolton told Benson that he’s even taken the step of “consulting with high-level campaign operatives to discuss feasibility and logistics.”

Bolton has had a lot of fans among conservatives ever since his bitter confirmation battle during the Bush administration. Though he’s unlikely to have a broad enough appeal to capture the nomination, he could still have an impact on the race. He’s consistently been one of the most articulate voices for a muscular U.S. foreign policy, and a leading critic of the current administration when it comes to international affairs, dubbing Obama our first “post-American president.”

Should he enter the GOP race, he could help generate more discussion about foreign policy so that it doesn’t get ignored at a time of economic challenges.