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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 04/13/2011

Morning Bits

I didn’t know the establishment approved of them: “Is is true though that establishment-approved GOP candidates — Romney, Daniels, Huntsman, TPaw, Barbour — aren’t getting much traction.”

I bet you didn’t know that Democrats are all about civility. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) on Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget: “I’ve never seen so much anger, so much unity, so much sheer astonishment that any human being could actually do this. So we are going to fight like crazy . . . [Republicans] continue to take — lower — the estate tax rates. They give them more income tax cuts for the super rich, etc. I can’t believe that somebody who actually goes into public service would do something like that.”

I didn’t know Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) opposed Obama’s futile Middle East policy. He sure never said this before: “I was opposed to the prolonged effort on the settlements in a public way because I never thought it would work and, in fact, we have wasted a year and a half on something that for a number of reasons was not achievable.” Did he realize Syrian engagement was a waste of time, too?

In case the White House didn’t know, Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) spells it out: “If the President is willing to offer serious proposals that grow our economy, preserve and protect programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and set us on a path to pay down the national debt, we’re open to hearing them. However, if the President begins the discussion by saying we must increase taxes on the American people — as his budget does — my response will be clear: tax increases are unacceptable and are a nonstarter. We don’t have deficits because Americans are taxed too little, we have deficits because Washington spends too much. And, at a time when the American people face skyrocketing prices at the pump, energy tax hikes are a particularly bad idea.”

In case Mitt Romney’s staff didn’t know, conservatives hate Romneycare. Michael Graham writes: “A new Suffolk University poll showed that nearly half of Massachusetts voters say the law isn’t helping, while just 38 percent say it is. . . . Taxpayers now spend $2.5 billion more on our state’s health care budget. The direct cost of Romneycare has gone from less than $100 million a year to at least $400 million — and even that number is suspect. But we do know we’ve spent more than $35 million in a single year on health services for illegal immigrants, and tens of millions more on illegal, unallowable or outright bogus claims. If you want to know why Romneycare’s costs keep rising, check out this simple statistic from the Patrick administration: In 2006, 85 percent of the insured in Massachusetts got their coverage through private group coverage at work. Today that’s down to 79 percent. Meanwhile the percentage on the MassHealth dole has doubled, and more than 150,000 people are now subsidized through Commonwealth Care.”

Liberals didn’t know (or don’t care) that Ryan’s Medicaid reform has a successful precedent: “One of the greatest bipartisan policy successes of recent decades was welfare reform, enacted into law by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. As House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has proposed in his budget, those reforms should now be extended to Medicaid and beyond. . . . The key to the 1996 reform was that the new block grants were finite — federal funding did not vary with the amount each state spent. . . . The reform was wildly successful. The welfare rolls were reduced by two-thirds nationwide, and even more in states that pushed mandatory work most aggressively. As a result, in real dollars total federal and state spending on [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] by 2006 was down 31% from [Aid to Dependent Children] spending in 1995.” Read the whole thing.

Doug Kmiec, a formerly conservative legal scholar who shilled for Obama during the campaign, didn’t know Obama’s views on religious expression, it seems. “U.S. Ambassador to Malta Douglas Kmiec, a former Reagan administration official who backed President Obama in 2008, is coming under fire in a State Department Inspector General report that portrays him as overly focused on faith based issues and outside writing and aloof in his official duties [as] ambassador.” Now, that’s what they call karma.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 04/13/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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