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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 05/22/2011

Morning Bits

Yuval Levin takes on “Mediscare”: “ ‘Medicare as we know it’ is not an option. Leaving Medicare alone means it simply won’t be there for future seniors. The question is how to reform the program in order to save it. . . . Indeed, in an extraordinary letter affixed to the recent trustees’ report, Medicare’s chief actuary noted that Obamacare’s approach to the program — price controls determined by a board of experts and devoid of market-based reforms that could help health-care providers improve their efficiency — would actually exacerbate Medicare’s troubles.”

It takes a certain personality (self-delusion?) to serve a president whose views and instincts run counter to your life’s work. “[Dennis Ross’s] strategy sometimes contrasts sharply with that of a president who has bold instincts and a willingness to elevate the plight of the Palestinians to a status equal to that of the Israelis. But now, as the president is embarking on a course that, once again, puts him at odds with Israel’s conservative prime minister, the question is how much of a split the president is willing to make not only with the Israeli leader, but with his own hand-picked Middle East adviser.” What happened to the time-honored tradition of quitting on a matter of principle?

The 2012 political landscape likely takes some states out of the Obama column. “The sputtering economy and unhappiness with Obama’s leadership have battered his popularity nationwide, hitting him particularly hard in conservative states like North Carolina, Indiana and Virginia where in 2008 he broke Democratic losing streaks dating to the 1960s. High unemployment and a declining manufacturing industry also have helped drive down his poll numbers in traditional Rust Belt battlegrounds like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which are crucial to his hopes of putting together the 270 electoral votes needed for re-election.”

Dore Gold takes exception to Obama’s comments on the 1967 lines. “[T]he 1993 Oslo Agreements, signed by Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn, did not stipulate that the final borders between Israel and the Palestinians would be the 1967 lines. Borders were to be a subject for future negotiations. An April 2004 U.S. letter to Israel, backed by a bipartisan consensus in both houses of Congress, stipulated that Israel was not expected to fully withdraw, but rather was entitled to ‘defensible borders.’ U.S. secretaries of state from Henry Kissinger to Warren Christopher reiterated the same point in past letters of assurance.”

It takes the New York Post to boil down Friday’s meeting to its essentials: “Bibi bops Bam.”

It takes a trip? “Senior administration officials will travel to North Korea next week for the first time since 2009.” The purpose is to evaluate “food security.” I can save them the flight: The lunatic-run dictatorship starves its own people.

It takes a certain talent to anger both the Israelis and the Arabs: “Saudis dismissed U.S. President Barack Obama’s much-anticipated ‘Arab Spring address’ as meaningless, predictable drivel while Egyptians and other Arabs, to whom Obama offered some sops, also did not find anything new in the speech, which according to them focused on U.S. interests.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 05/22/2011

Categories:  2012 campaign, Morning Bits

 
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