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Right Turn
Posted at 07:30 AM ET, 04/27/2011

Morning Bits

Shameful. “Egyptian anti-regime activists found a startling document last month during a raid inside the headquarters of the country’s state security service: A British company offered to sell a program that security experts say could infect dissidents’ computers and gain access to their email and other communications.”

Disgraceful. “In Syria and Lebanon, there is confusion about the American position. Many believe we are Assad well-wishers, and certainly Obama’s policy for 2009 and 2010 lent credence to that view. Now, the administration is coy: It talks of new sanctions but does not impose them yet. It talks of U.N. action but it is the U.K. and France that introduce the resolution, not the United States. It will not recall the U.S. ambassador who was so foolishly dispatched to Damascus late last year. The White House issues a statement in the president’s name, but in that statement he does not once use the pronoun ‘I’ and he does not say anything on camera — a live statement that al-Jazeera could usefully broadcast into Syria.”

Appalling. “Most major financial institutions around the world have chosen to stop providing banking services to Iran. But some branches of designated Iranian banks are still operating in the capitals of some of American’s closest allies, in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. We need our partners to shut them down, lest they undermine the overall sanctions effort.”

Embarrassing (for Ben Bernanke): “Traders pushed the dollar to near 2½-year lows, emboldened by growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will give no indication of when it might end its ultra-loose monetary policies. Analysts are increasingly convinced that the Fed will not sound any alarm-bells about rising prices in its monetary policy decision Wednesday afternoon — either by the Federal Open Market Committee’s statement, or via Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s first-ever post-policy meeting news conference. . . . Over the last several months, investors unsettled by the U.S.’s inflationary mix of cheap credit and soaring debt have sold the dollar. . . .

Distressing (for the Big Labor-dependent Democratic Party). “As newly elected Republican state legislatures aggressively push a slew of anti-union measures, the International Association of Fire Fighters is freezing its federal political spending and shifting all resources toward its beleaguered state and local colleagues.”

Cringe-inducing (for liberals): “President Obama’s policy of raising the federal debt limit without any preconditions relating to limiting spending, i.e. a ‘clean debt limit,’ is supported by only one-out-of-ten voters, the least popular option of three presented in a Resurgent Republic survey conducted jointly with the American Action Forum. The second-ranking option overall is ‘not raising the debt limit under any circumstances.’ That option places second among Independents and Democrats, and is the top preference for Republicans. The preferred option, drawing support from a plurality of voters overall, is ‘raising the debt limit, but only in exchange for substantial spending cuts and a commitment to reduce the deficit.’”

Vile. Taking a break from shilling for the mullahs, he turns to the Iranians’ junior partner: “ ‘I think that President Assad is going to count on . . . majoritarian support within the country to support him in doing what he needs to do to restore order,’ Flynt Leverett of the New America Foundation said recently on PBS’s NewsHour. Now we are seeing what Mr. Leverett puts down merely to the business of ‘doing what he needs to do’: Video clips on YouTube of tanks rolling into Syrian cities and unarmed demonstrators being gunned down in the streets; reports of hundreds killed and widespread ‘disappearances.’”

By  |  07:30 AM ET, 04/27/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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