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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 05/25/2011

Morning Bits

Tevi Troy says the Israeli prime minister hit all the right notes. “Netanyahu’s speech was the capstone on the complex five-act play that took place in Washington this past week, one in which Netanyahu scored a decisive 4–1 victory.” Read the whole thing for the box score.

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) says Bibi hit a “home run”: “Today’s speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu was absolutely a home run, as he declared in unmistakable terms his desire and readiness to make peace with the Palestinians, and acknowledged plainly that painful compromises will be necessary to achieve an agreement. The Prime Minister made clear that Israel is not opposed to Palestinian statehood and that it seeks direct negotiations with the Palestinian leadership without delay. The Prime Minister couldn’t have been clearer that real, lasting peace between Israel and an independent Palestinian state is truly his goal.”

If the V.P. is a hit, maybe a less exciting top of the ticket is fine? “American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas said in an interview today that he thinks the eventual Republican nominee would be well advised to offer Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio a slot on the ticket — and that Rubio, if asked, would likely assent.”

If only Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had hit this point earlier: “Senior Pentagon leaders on Tuesday argued against further cuts to weapons programs as lawmakers look to reduce the deficit . . . ‘When it comes to our military modernization accounts, the proverbial ‘low-hanging fruit’ — those weapons and other programs considered most questionable — have not only been plucked, they have been stomped on and crushed,’ Gates said during a speech Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).”

She was not a hit. “A congressional hearing turned ugly Tuesday with accusations flying that a White House official misled Congress in March and lied again on Tuesday. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) got into the back-and-forth with Elizabeth Warren, the president’s special adviser to a new consumer protection bureau, over previous testimony she made to Congress about the role of the agency.”

Former Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller hit the nail on the head: “To pick a fight with the Israelis on the eve of the visit of an Israeli prime minister with whom you don’t have a relationship (but who you need if you want to get anywhere on the peace process) is dumb; to put out June 1967 lines without any backgrounding after the speech is dumb; to take a position in non-existent negotiations and identify your position as a would-be mediator is dumb; and to send a message to the Palestinians that ‘you really have me scared about your virtual statehood initiative so maybe I’ll identify my position on Jerusalem next’ is dumb.” Not a “smart” diplomat in sight.

Reason Magazine hit a critical point about the GM bailout. It turns out that its “profits” don’t begin to approach the $60 billion the taxpayers sunk into the car company.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 05/25/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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