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Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 08/19/2011

Morning Bits

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he really isn’t running for president.

Tim Pawlenty says he really isn’t running for Senate.

The economy really isn’t looking very good. “Inflation resumed its climb in July as gasoline prices rebounded and food costs continued to rise, while new jobless claims rose slightly . . ., posing further questions about the strength of the U.S. economic recovery.”

Ambassador John Bolton tells us it really isn’t smart to gut defense. “It makes no sense to put our military on the chopping block when any objective analysis shows the real culprit is entitlement spending. The Heritage Foundation predicts that between 2010 and 2015, total defense spending will fall from 4.9 percent to 3.6 percent of gross domestic product. Meanwhile, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid surpassed defense spending in 1976 and have grown unchecked since. These three programs alone risk completely crowding out the government’s primary constitutional obligation: defending our country.” Read the whole thing.

This really isn’t encouraging. Democrats “oppose benefit cuts even for future enrollees. That position was renewed this week by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who vowed that the Democrats on the panel will work toward ‘creating jobs and reducing the deficit — while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which are the priorities of the American people.’ ” You wonder whether they ever do the math.

There really isn’t any way to explain the political stupidity of agreeing to an interview like this one. “Obviously Jon Huntsman is not going to be the Republican nominee. But whatever small chance he might have had is now gone altogether, with the publication of a fawning profile in Vogue (!) by lefty journalist Jacob Weisberg , with photography by Annie Leibovitz. His opponents couldn’t buy media more damaging to the guy.” Maybe this will come into the political lexicon (“pull a Huntsman” and “go Vogue”).

It really isn’t helpful to call the government. That Obama thinks it is, tells you a lot about his fact-free perspective.

This really isn’t enough to wow the voters. “In the book, Mr. Perry dings politicians who don’t have the courage to take on Social Security. So what is his position now? ‘The governor wants to see the benefits for existing retirees and those close to Social Security be strongly protected,’ ... [communications director Ray] Sullivan said. Beyond that, ‘he believes a full review and discussion of entitlement reforms need to be had, aimed at seeing that programs like Social Security and Medicare are fiscally responsible and actuarially sound.’ ” I gotta think he’ll have something better by the fall debates.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 08/19/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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