Morning Bits

Isn’t this a relationship in which both parties would be better off without the other?

Isn’t this a poor way to “get out in front of the controversy” surrounding our Libya policy? “President Barack Obama told congressional leaders there are no plans to use the U.S. military to assassinate Libyan strongman Muammar Qadhafi — despite the administration’s policy of seeking regime change in the North African country — according to sources familiar with a Friday White House Situation Room briefing.” When did it become our policy to seek regime change? Clearly, that’s not the White House public story these days.

Isn’t this the key problem with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s presidential candidacy? “While Barbour may have a sympathetic ear among Republican primary voters when it comes to attempts to portray him as a racist, they could be a lot less forgiving when it comes to lobbying. There was a time when Republican voters were inclined to defend large corporations, but ever since the 2008 Wall Street bailout, there’s been a growing recognition that big business is perfectly willing to set aside free market principles and cozy up to government when it sees it as in its interest to do so. Indeed, this recognition was one of the driving forces behind the emergence of the Tea Parties.”

Isn’t this phrase — “Not that I’m defending Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades . . .” — probably not the best way to start out defending J Street’s opposition to a letter from Rep. Steve Rothman condemning Palestinian incitement of violence?

Isn’t this proof that George W. Bush’s rap as a “unilateralist” is bunk? “President Barack Obama has touted his emphasis on multilateralism in the U.S. military intervention in Libya, but, for political, operational, and legal reasons, Obama’s “coalition of the willing” is smaller than any major multilateral operation since the end of the Cold War. The Cable compiled a chart listing all the countries that contributed at least some military assets to the five major military operations in which the United States participated in a coalition during the last 20 years: the 1991 Gulf War (32 countries participating), the 1995 Bosnia mission (24 countries), the 1999 Kosovo mission (19 countries), the 2002 invasion of Afghanistan (48 countries), and the 2003 invasion of Iraq (40 countries), at the height of the size of each coalition. As of today, only 15 countries, including the United States, have committed to providing a military contribution to the Libya war.”

Isn’t this a central problem with soak-the-rich tax schemes? “Nearly half of California’s income taxes before the recession came from the top 1% of earners: households that took in more than $490,000 a year. High earners, it turns out, have especially volatile incomes — their earnings fell by more than twice as much as the rest of the population’s during the recession. When they crashed, they took California’s finances down with them. . . . New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois — states that are the most heavily reliant on the taxes of the wealthy—are now among those with the biggest budget holes. A large population of rich residents was a blessing during the boom, showering states with billions in tax revenue. But it became a curse as their incomes collapsed with financial markets. Arriving at a time of greatly increased public spending, this reversal highlights the dependence of the states on the outsize incomes of the wealthy. The result for state finances and budgets has been extreme volatility.”

Isn’t this really the key point and reason to state clearly our objective in Libya? Retired Gen. Jack Keane explains that “the military should be assigned the mission to defeat Gadhafi’s military. It’s already defeated its air forces and its air defense, but to defeat its entire structure of ground forces, its command-and-control, its logistics, its committed forces, those who are in the fight, and its uncommitted forces, who are not yet in the fight. . . . If that’s not in the cards, then this incremental approach that we’re taking just to protect the population — and we’re not able to do that until we get air-ground teams on — is the step we should stick with. But, in my mind, American prestige is clearly on the line in terms of Gadhafi. If he stays in power, and we have some kind of a stalemate, that’s a totally unsatisfactory outcome.”

Isn’t this the fundamental issue in Syria? Democrat Josh Block writes: “This administration has gambled that communication with hostile regimes is preferable to stubborn silence, and that being on the ground is preferable to self-righteous absenteeism. Fair enough. Now is the time to talk advantage of the diplomatic presence we have in Syria. Ambassador Ford should head to Darra, and he should demand explanations.” Read the whole thing.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.

politics

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read

politics

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters