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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 05/15/2011

Morning Bits

The Democratic Public Policy Polling needed a poll for this? “Economy more pressing to Americans than the War on Terror.” Next up: “Voters concerned about debt.”

Another Paul needed to go down this path again? “Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) suggested Friday that he wouldn’t have voted in favor of the 1964 Civil Rights Act if he were a member of Congress at the time.” Actually it’s a good thing he did — perhaps people can stop treating him like a viable candidate or a serious policy person.

Obama needed to spike the football on this? “Gates: SEALs who killed bin Laden concerned for their safety.” Maybe we could have left it vague as to which unit. But then no presidential photo op.

Will Democrats who denied we needed to look at entitlement reform be embarrassed? (Never!) “Medicare will run out of money five years earlier than previously estimated because of the slowing economy, the program’s trustees said in their annual report Friday. By 2024, the trust fund that pays for seniors’ hospital stays will be paying out more money than it takes in, the trustees warned. Social Security is projected to reach that imbalance in 2036. The costs of Medicare and Social Security ‘are not sustainable . . . and will require legislative corrections,’ the trustees said.”

A food fight among Democrats? This is the last thing the the imperiled majority needed. “Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), facing reelection next year, spoke up to oppose a plan being drafted by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad that would impose a new surtax on millionaires of about three percent on top of the higher tax rates they would face when the George W. Bush tax cuts expire next year, according to several people familiar with the exchange. . . . Another centrist on the budget committee, Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), has also opposed the idea.”

In case any more was needed to freak out the base, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) says that he might choose Condi Rice as a running mate. Well, c’mon, it’s not like saying he’d pick Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) for secretary of state. Oh, wait. Does Daniels have a tin ear or contempt for the base, do you think?

This is the last sort of pat on the back Mitt Romney needed to quell the firestorm after his health-care speech that was supposed to quell the firestorm over his failure to repudiate the individual mandate.: “His search for practical solutions, alas, sometimes means that he fails the ideological-purity test, but this fact might also be viewed as refreshing.” Mostly not among Republican primary voters, though. (By the way, even the most devoted fans of the former governor don’t believe the 25-point “lead” in New Hampshire is anything more than name recognition. Keep in mind he had a 13-point lead in December 2007 and lost the primary by five points. Oh, and at one point Rudy Giuliani was leading in the New Hampshire polls; he wound up with 8 percent.)

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 05/15/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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