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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 03/24/2011

Morning Bits

Unlike the president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) did not suffer from a bout of moral equivalence over the terrorist attack in Israel yesterday: “Violence against Israel perpetrated by extremist groups is relentless, and illustrates the need for the U.S. to continue to provide robust security assistance to our key ally. The same extremists who seek Israel’s destruction also seek the destruction of the United States. Strengthening Israel’s security against our common enemies also strengthens U.S. security. We must also provide strong and unequivocal political support for Israel by opposing efforts to pressure Israel into making concessions, as well as efforts to deny Israel and other democracies the right to defend themselves against extremist threats.”

Unlike J Street, genuine pro-Israel groups rejected the urge to bring up the “peace process” before the casualty count is fully known. Alan Solow, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and executive vice chairman Malcolm Hoenlein put out a statement, which included this: “There must be a price for such terror; there must be consequences for such actions. There is no shared responsibility here. This is pure unadulterated murderous terrorism and those who tolerate it, those who abet it, those who provide financing and weapons, must all be held to account by the international community. We especially look to the 14 members of the UN Security Council who so readily supported an unjustified condemnation of Israel several weeks ago to be heard now.”

Unlike President George W. Bush, President Obama is going to get a congressional vote after he’s ordered troops into battle. “Congress may hold a vote on President Barack Obama’s decision to attack Libya when lawmakers return from recess next week, according to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL). Durbin, along with Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jack Reed (D-RI) held a conference call with reporters on Wednesday afternoon as part of the White House’s damage control effort following the widespread and bipartisan criticism over the lack of congressional consultation before the intervention in Libya, and the lack of clarity over the mission’s goals.”

Unlike most of her constituents, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has one heck of a tax problem; in fact, it’s bigger than what she first announced. “Sen. Claire McCaskill’s final bill for taxes on her airplane will likely be close to $320,000, including nearly $80,000 in interest, which the senator anticipated paying. On Monday, McCaskill announced that she would send a $287,000 check to St. Louis County, her estimated obligation for unpaid personal property taxes on her Swiss-made Pilatus plane that has been parked at Spirit of St. Louis airport in Chesterfield since 2006.”

Unlike Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty can say this: “One year ago today, President Obama signed into law the Federal government takeover of health care, one of the most flawed and misguided laws in modern history. Obamacare takes our health care system in the wrong direction, failing to reduce costs and improve quality. The law infringes on individuals and states’ rights by forcing individuals to purchase a good or service, which is why I joined a lawsuit calling the law unconstitutional. If courts do not do so first, as President, I would support the immediate repeal of Obamacare and replace it with market-based health care reforms.” (Emphasis added.)

Unlike other potential presidential candidates, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour “flew on the state-owned plane to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in February.” But he’s a lobbyist, you see, so he knows how to work the system.

Unlike Bush, Obama has tried to outsource American leadership. How’s that working? “NATO failed again on Wednesday to agree on taking over military operations against Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in Libya from the United States, chiefly because of Turkey’s objections, diplomats said. After ambassadors of the 28-nation alliance ended a third day of wrangling in Brussels without a deal, one senior NATO diplomat said: ‘No decision on anything.’” Imagine that.

Unlike a lot of today’s celebrities, one of the legends of film actually stood up for Israel despite the financial cost. “Among Elizabeth Taylor’s outstanding work on behalf of Israel and Jewish causes was her participating in raising $840,000 for Israel in a 1967 London gala and purchasing personally $100,000 in Israel Bonds in 1959. The same year, she cancelled a visit to Moscow after the Soviet Union lashed out at Israel after the June 1967 Six Day War. In 1975, she was one of 60 prominent women to sign a statement to then-U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, condemning the U.N. General Assembly’s infamous Zionism-is-Racism resolution. Taylor offered herself as a hostage when 104 hostages aboard an Air France airbus were hijacked by PLO terrorists and held at Uganda’s Entebbe Airport, from which they rescued in a spectacular Israeli commando mission on July 4, 1976, America’s 200th birthday. Taylor frequently visited Israel and met with its leadership, including Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1983. In 1987, she signed a petition seeking the release from Soviet incarceration of leading refusenik, Ida Nudel. Elizabeth Taylor’s pro-Israel activism led to the banning of her films in several Arab countries. After purchasing $100,000 in Israel Bonds in 1959, the United Arab Republic (now Egypt) banned all her movies.” R.I.P., Liz.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 03/24/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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