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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 03/16/2011

Morning Bits

“Muslim outreach” is a flop. “It seems that the young pro-democracy revolutionaries who unseated Hosni Mubarak in February were less than excited to meet Secretary Clinton on her visit to Cairo, in light of the Obama administration’s reluctance to push out Mubarak and her own famously warm words for the Egyptian dictator. ‘I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family,’ Secretary Clinton said in a 2009 interview.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill’s efforts to kill a scandal are a bust. “Missouri Republicans have filed a complaint against Sen. Claire McCaskill with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, calling for an investigation into whether the Missouri Democrat improperly used taxpayer funding to cover the cost of at least one airplane trip to a political event. McCaskill, who is up for reelection in 2012, paid more than $88,000 to the Treasury Department last week after a POLITICO report that she had used taxpayer funds from her Senate office account to repay nearly 90 flights on a private plane that she co-owned with her husband and other investors.”

Global warming hysteria was a loser, but Al Gore is back with a new book. “The Nobel-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning author of ‘Earth in the Balance’ and ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ — also known in some circles as the popular-vote winner in the 2000 presidential election — is writing an as-yet-untitled book for Random House about ‘the political, social and economic forces that are shaping what America and the world will become in ensuing decades,’ the publishing house announced Tuesday.” Glad he’s not doing anything pompous and overwrought.

The Fed’s monetary policy is looking like a dud. “Oil-exporting countries are cutting holdings of U.S. government debt as energy prices rise, helping depress the dollar, the worst-performing major currency of the past six months. . . . The appeal of the dollar has diminished as the Federal Reserve keeps interest rates at almost zero, prints cash to purchase $600 billion of bonds in a policy known as quantitative easing and the budget deficit holds above $1 trillion. The currency fell to 61.3 percent of global foreign-exchange reserves in the third quarter, from a peak of 72.7 percent in 2001, the latest International Monetary Fund data show.”

Doing nothing is bombing as a political strategy. “The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 20% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -22. That is the president’s lowest rating since September.”

Net neutrality may end with a thud. “House Republicans won another battle in their war on net-neutrality regulations in a highly partisan committee vote on Tuesday. A resolution to repeal the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules passed the Energy and Commerce Committee in a 30-23 party line vote, and is now headed to the full House.” But not until there is another president to sign such a bill.

President Obama’s reliance on multilateralism is a failure. Even the “international community” doesn’t buy it: “The Arab League’s call this weekend for a no-fly zone over Libya is startling news and has sent diplomats scattering. We’ll now see if the ‘international community’ (to use the Obama Administration’s favorite phrase) decides anything before Moammar Gadhafi’s forces overrun the rebel stronghold in Benghazi. The odds favor Gadhafi.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 03/16/2011

 
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