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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 08/21/2011

Morning Bits

A unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood isn’t going to work magic in the Middle East. — not when Israelis continue to defend against those “who shoot guns, mortars, and rockets at unarmed men and women going about their daily lives, and slit the throats of children and infants in their cribs.” If this is the result of the Arab Spring in Egypt there’s soon to be a wave of nostalgia for Hosni Mubarak.

Patent reform (even with an infrastructure bank) just isn’t going to do the trick. “Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia logged increases in their unemployment rates in July, the Labor Department said Friday. Nine states recorded drops, while 13 saw no change in unemployment.States hardest hit by the recession and housing downturn again posted the highest unemployment rates. Nevada led the pack at 12.9% (up half a percentage point from June), followed by California at 12%. Nine others had unemployment rates at or above 10% during the month: Michigan and South Carolina at 10.9%, the District of Columbia and Rhode Island at 10.8%, Florida at 10.7%, Mississippi at 10.4%, Georgia and North Carolina at 10.1%, and Alabama at 10%.”

Foreign policy gurus tell President Obama that rhetoric alone isn’t going to cut it. “Thirty-two mostly conservative national security experts wrote a letter to Obama today on the letterhead of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies commending him for calling on [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad to step down and urging him to quickly ramp up the pressure on his regime. ‘We are concerned . . . that unless urgent actions are taken by the United States and its allies, the Assad regime’s use of force against the Syrian people will only increase and the already significant death toll will mount,’ the letter said.”

President Obama’s pump-up-the-base rhetoric isn’t getting it done. “Only 48% of Democrats on our most recent national survey said they were ‘very excited’ about voting in 2012. On the survey before that the figure was 49%. Those last two polls are the only times all year the ‘very excited’ number has dipped below 50%.”

A payroll tax cut isn’t going to fly with pro-growth conservatives. “The biggest problem with Mr. Obama’s payroll tax cut is that it’s temporary. Employers hire workers based on their business needs and the costs of each new employee. They aren’t likely to add workers based on lower tax costs if they know those costs are going to rise in a year. That’s especially true when employers also know that Obamacare is going to raise their cost of hiring in 2013.”

Obama’s belated demand for Assad to leave isn’t carrying the day. “Thousands of Syrians took to the streets on Friday to call for the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad, keeping up the pressure in the five-month uprising a day after an alliance led by the United States toughened sanctions against his government and publicly called on him for the first time to step down. At least 18 people were reported killed, including some soldiers who disobeyed orders to shoot at protesters. The deadly repression, in the face of rising international condemnation of Mr. Assad, suggested his own stubbornness was hardening.”

The image of a grown-up who can unite the party together isn’t holding up for Rick Perry. “[I] n his debut as a candidate, Perry zigzagged between cowboy zingers — such as saying Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke would be treated “pretty ugly down in Texas” if he printed more money — and the more restrained remarks he made Friday in South Carolina. . . . Former Minnesota congressman Vin Weber . . . . said the comments ‘raised the question that so many people had about him: Can he translate beyond Texas? Can that sell in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan and Florida and Indiana?” In his defense, it’s early still.

A second try isn’t going to pass the straight-face test. “Aide:Giuliani Still ‘Seriously Looking at’ Presidential Bid.”

This isn’t going to go over well. “General Motors Co. is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit over a suspension problem on more than 400,000 Chevrolet Impalas from the 2007 and 2008 model years, saying it should not be responsible for repairs because the flaw predated its bankruptcy.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 08/21/2011

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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