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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 07/31/2011

Morning Bits

The genius of TSA. “You may have seen us manhandling children and little old ladies at the airport. Now you can watch us do the same to the English language so we don’t have to use bad words. It turns out children and little old ladies prefer not to be patted down by uniformed strangers in the middle of the airport. They don’t seem to enjoy it at all. To make them happy, we are poised to introduce ‘new behavior detection techniques’ at airports all over America. . . . Some people call ‘behavior detection techniques’ ‘profiling,’ but we don’t like to do that because we think the p-word is ugly.”

It doesn’t take a genius to see these ratings agencies are winging it. “Moody’s, a credit-rating firm, signaled that the United States was likely to retain its AAA credit rating if the Treasury doesn’t miss a bond payment.” Weren't we told we’d get downgraded if we didn’t pass a “grand bargain”?

After undermining Republicans’ leverage, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) casts himself as a political genius. “Just a few weeks ago, the Balanced Budget Amendment wasn’t even a part of the conversation, despite the overwhelming support it has among the American public. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated group of conservatives, it is now an integral part of the debate over how to solve America’s spending problem. . . . Unfortunately, Senator Reid plans to strip out the Balanced Budget Amendment requirement or let this bill die altogether. If he does so, let’s remember that a bipartisan group of 234 House members already passed a responsible Cut, Cap, and Balance compromise plan to protect our AAA credit rating and solve the country’s debt problems.” So he did something meaningless, and since that didn’t work he’s going to insist on CCB?

Bill Kristol is looking, if not for political genius, then at least some common sense: “The near self-immolation of Republicans in the House late last week confirmed that the best that can be expected over the next year on the Hill is . . . not much. We can hope . . . that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell can minimize the damage to the Republican image and cause. . . . Apart from those who took silly positions (Michele Bachmann, who opposed all versions of a debt ceiling increase, even as she equivocates on Medicare reform) and those whose support is confined to the liberal media (Jon Huntsman, who supported Boehner), the Republican presidential candidates were basically nowhere to be found during the debt ceiling debate, or confined themselves to coy and cryptic comments. Not exactly profiles in leadership.” Two words: Ryan-Rubio!

The genius of Keynesians: “The economy expanded by a wan 1.3% in the quarter, following a revised 0.4% in the first quarter, and another downward revision in last year’s final quarter to 2.3%. This means that for nine months the economy has averaged growth of less than 1.5%, which is barely treading water. . . .The architects of this Keynesian debacle now offer the ex-post explanation that recoveries that follow financial panics are always slower. . . . Perhaps the best proof of this policy failure is the response of the neo-Keynesians to the current malaise. They want more of the same, only less.” When facts are irrelevant to a theory it does take on the trappings of a religious cult.”

The genius of the “grand bargain” was undermined by the untrustworthiness of the president. “‘ I’ve offered ideas, I’ve negotiated,’ [House Speaker John] Boehner said in closing debate on his bill. ‘Not one time, not one time did the administration ever put any plan on the table. All they would do is criticize what I put out there. I stuck my neck out a mile to try to get an agreement with the president of the United States.’ ”

The Obama campaign geniuses and Democratic pollsters kept telling us Obama was “winning” the debt-ceiling debate. “President Obama’s job approval rating is at a new low, averaging 40% in July 26-28 Gallup Daily tracking. His prior low rating of 41% occurred several times, the last of which was in April. As recently as June 7, Obama had 50% job approval. . . . Obama’s job approval rating among Democrats is 72%, compared with 34% among independents and 13% among Republicans. . . . The inability of U.S. lawmakers to agree on the debt ceiling has apparently shaken Americans’ confidence in the economy and now seems to be taking its toll on the president’s public support, with Obama’s approval rating at a new low.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 07/31/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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