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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 08/05/2011

Morning Bits

More on Russia’s intimidation tactics by Eli Lake. “In the past four years, Russia’s intelligence services have stepped up a campaign of intimidation and dirty tricks against U.S. officials and diplomats in Russia and the countries that used to form the Soviet Union. U.S. diplomats and officials have found their homes broken into and vandalized, or altered in ways as trivial as bathroom use; faced anonymous or veiled threats; and in some cases found themselves set up in compromising photos or videos that are later leaked to the local press and presented as a sex scandal.”

More foot-dragging from the EU. “EU countries wary of oil sanctions on Syria.”

More anger from the left. “On Wednesday, AOL Huffington Post editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell that nobody believes the President’s top priority is jobs — it’s getting reelected.”

More evidence that the Palestinian Authority suffers from mismanagement and corruption.

More signs of desperation. “Run, Hillary, run!”

More complaining after the fact. “Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Thursday of dire consequences if the Pentagon is forced to make cuts to its budget beyond the $400 billion in savings planned for the next decade. ‘We’re already taking our share of the discretionary cuts as part of this debt-ceiling agreement, and those are going to be tough enough,’ Panetta told reporters in his first news conference as defense secretary. ‘I think anything beyond that would damage our national defense.’” So where was he during the debt-ceiling debate, and if his advice was ignored, what is he still doing in an administration that is willing to damage our national defense?

More shots at John Weaver. “Weaver hasn’t really played in [New Hampshire] since that election 9 years ago and hasn’t been involved in a Republican Primary here in 11 years. With his experience he knows more players and the landscape more than nearly all national consultants, but the party has dramatically changed in those 11 years. . . . It is understandable if Huntsman holds that premise about Weaver in his mind, but it makes you wonder if he read a study by the University of New Hampshire that showed only 32 percent of likely 2008 voters were even around in the 2000 New Hampshire Primary.”

More sane advice from Ruth Marcus: “The White House is still deciding how to engage with the super-committee. Its instinct, I suspect, will be to hang back. Any plan the president submits will inevitably become target practice for his opponents and interest groups. It can be argued that producing the Obama Plan would be counterproductive to the process of achieving a committee compromise. Tough noogies. He’s the president. He needs to set out the hard choices he keeps mentioning. Ducking the committee process would be like deciding that he’d rather not submit a budget this year, thank you very much.” And the same goes for the Republican challengers, she says.

More questionable dealings with cronies. “Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, a potential Republican presidential candidate, has for the past two months been working toward laying the groundwork for the commercialization of adult stem cell therapy, a highly controversial treatment which Mr. Perry underwent a month ago. According to the story first reported by the Texas Tribune, in the month before Mr. Perry’s procedure, which was performed by Dr. Stanley Jones, a Houston-based orthopedist and a personal friend of the governor, a healthcare bill that authorized the creation of an adult stem cell bank was passed by Texas lawmakers.” Very similar to the flap about mandatory anti-STD vaccinations for school-age girls that financially benefited his former chief of staff.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 08/05/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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