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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 05/30/2011

Morning Bits

Proof of what I already knew. “Polls 300 days have little predictive value at all.” (Political Wire). Unfortunately, the explanation involves math.

Fact: We live in an age of heroes.

The claim: “Rep. Anthony Weiner says social networking identity hacking is to blame for the lewd material that a conservative news Web site reported was sent from his Twitter and yfrog handles to an unidentified woman from Seattle, Washington.” The evidence suggests otherwise. Let the puns abound.

The truth of the matter is, only one party is willing to pay for the national security policy on which President Obama has embarked. “The Obama-Gates cuts had begun very deliberately, with big speeches made to defend the termination of high-profile, big-ticket, but mostly controversial weapons systems. But after the rout of Democrats at the polls last fall, and with Republicans promising they were serious about cutting spending this time, Obama and Gates grew bolder. Even as they cut deeper and deeper, they cleverly tried to paint the new Tea Partyish Republican Congress as extreme, and as endangering U.S. troops with plans to reduce the deficit by cutting defense. Except it didn’t work. It turns out the Republican Congress didn’t have any intention of making additional defense cuts.”

In reality, you can’t solve the debt problem without redesigning the entitlement problem. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) explains, “Medicare will be part of any agreement to begin to reduce our long-term debt. I’m not going to put a number on the overall package, but we all know what the driver of the debt is."

Res ipsa loquitur. Tim Pawlenty “was clearly open to the idea of a mandate at one point in his career, but to his credit, he never actually imposed a mandate as governor, and as Hotline’s Erin McPike reported last year, he twice rejected recommendations that he institute a mandate, including from his own health-care task force.”

Economic data aren’t getting much better, but why does Mitt Romney think the economy is his ticket to the nomination? ( “Romney bets his candidacy on the economy”) After all, the Republican primary electorate can have an economic conservative without the baggage. Many of Romney’s GOP rivals see the Massachusetts health-care plan, which included an individual mandate like the one in Obama’s plan, as a major vulnerability. Romney advisers know that his rivals will try to beat him with it at every opportunity. Going forward, they will try to make the argument that all GOP candidates, including Romney, favor repealing Obama’s plan and that he has put out a proposal to replace it. No one knows if that gamble will work.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 05/30/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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