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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 07/11/2011

Morning Bits

No difference between the man and the institution, really. Richard Falk and the U.N. that is. “The reputation of the man and the honor of the world-wide body he has served so faithfully are inextricable.” Why I’m not at all impressed with calls to fire him. Surely his replacement won’t be much better.

No end to the cluelessness. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on “Meet the Press” in response to a chart showing “Unemployment 7.3% Inauguration Day, up to 9.2%, latest report, up 26%. You see the debt figures up 35%”: “David, let me just say, that’s a ridiculous table.”

No more Minnesota “nice.” Tim Pawlenty, also on Meet the Press: “I like Congresswoman Bachmann.I’ve campaigned for her, I respect her. But her record of accomplishment in Congress is nonexistent.” But will he say it to her face in a debate?

No one in the White House can quite explain it. Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on “Fox News Sunday”: “We have 9.2 percent unemployment. Their prescription is to raise taxes? I mean, my goodness. Who thinks that — the president didn’t think that was a good idea in December. Why do they think it’s a good idea now?”

No sign of good faith by the White House, says Stephen Hayes. “John Boehner said in his statement that the president is operating on good faith, that these are good-faith negotiations. And I just don’t see a lot of evidence to support that claim. If you look at what the president did, if you look at what the White House did, he insisted on tax hikes that Republican leaders had already ruled out and that could not pass the House of Representatives no matter what. My view is that the White House actually wants to push this to the brink, maybe even beyond August 2nd.”

No serious legal scholar buys the argument. (That doesn’t exclude many law school professors and deans.): “David B. Rivkin Jr., an attorney who served in the Department of Justice during the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, said the DOJ would never advise the president to use the 14th Amendment as a legal run-around on the debt ceiling. ‘It’s so absurd,’ Rivkin said. ‘It is an empty threat. Not even a threat, it is a legal impossibility. . . . It’s not just a question of opinion, it’s a question of case law.’ ” Even Tim Geithner is declaiming ownership of the idea.

No Sarah Palin endorsement for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)? On Facebook she argues that the nominee must be “a strong chief executive [who] has been entrusted with real authority in the past and has achieved a proven track record of positive measurable accomplishments.” If Bachmann wins Iowa and/or New Hampshire, Palin’s endorsement won’t really mean much, however.

No time to slash defense. “If Republicans acquiesce in ruinous cuts to the defense budget, they will cease to be known as Ronald Reagan’s heirs. Instead they will be remembered as the party of William E. Borah, Hamilton Fish III, and Gerald Nye. Remember those GOP giants of the 1930s? They thought a strong defense was unaffordable and unnecessary. But their reputations collapsed on December 7, 1941, when we learned (not for the last time) the price of unreadiness.”

No self-awareness. None. “Publicly funded NPR’s [Nina] Totenberg warns of intertwinement of government and press.”

No problem there. Just move along. Nothing to see. “Should CNN be using President Obama’s pollster as a paid contributor to its network?”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 07/11/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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