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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 10/14/2011

Morning Bits

Could it be that they aren’t interested in human rights? “What does one make of organizations that wish to see George W. Bush behind bars — but have never expressed similar sentiments about Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, or Hassan Nasrallah? Those organizations would be Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International, which just this week asked Canada to try to prosecute former president Bush ‘for his role in authorizing the torture of detainees.’” Read the whole thing.

Could it be that it was a video game? “Whether it came from a pizza box or an unnamed Wells Fargo banker, Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 economic plan is now being compared to another unlikely source: the SimCity video game. Long before the GOP presidential candidate’s plan began dominating the political discourse, a shockingly similar 9-9-9 plan was ruling the virtual world of SimCity.”

Could it be a value-added tax by another name? Cain’s adviser Gary Robbins think that’s what 9-9-9 really is. “So what about the idea that the nine percent business transaction tax combined with a nine percent sales tax act (in concert) very much like a VAT? Robbins agreed. . . . Now this is a key point: DESPITE what Herman Cain himself said in the debate the other day (raising questions as to whether Cain fully grasps the numbers behind his own plan), Robbins did NOT rely on ‘dynamic’ scoring to conclude that it would be revenue neutral.” Maybe Robbins should run for president instead.

Could it be that tough talk and more sanctions are insufficient to respond to Iran’s assassination attempt? “By downplaying the U.S. military option against Iran and ceasing military signaling activities in the Gulf, the Obama administration has allowed American deterrence of Iran to deteriorate. Reestablishing that deterrence is vital to discouraging [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] activities such as this plot. A sanctions-only response, however, would have the opposite effect; it would have little impact on the IRGC, which in any event operates outside the law, and would be seen as a substitute for serious action. As a result, it would encourage a sense of impunity rather than discouraging escalation.”

Could it be that the Hawaii Senate seat is a toss-up?! Charlie Cook: “The 23 Democratic-held Senate seats on the ballot next year provide Republicans with a target-rich environment of races in GOP-leaning and swing states. Solidly blue Hawaii should not be a likely candidate for a spot on that list of targets. But, Republicans have managed to recruit the one GOP candidate who can make this race competitive. And, with former Gov. Linda Lingle’s announcement this week that she would run for the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Dan Akaka, this race moves from the Solid Democratic column to Toss Up.”

Could it be that he’s just a bad candidate? “Romney has been running for President for years, while Rick Perry has been running for a few months. The debates have magnified this difference in preparation and polish. Various theories have been put forward for Perry’s embarrassing debate performances — back pain, not enough sleep — but by now we’ve seen enough to know that Perry is simply inarticulate, has trouble making arguments, and is lost once the conversation turns to issues outside of the ones he mastered as governor of Texas. He entered the Presidential race late; he has not spent time preparing for the office, and it shows.”

Could it be that Republicans will settle for the obvious? “Romney’s campaigning skills have improved markedly from his first presidential run in 2008; he is currently the only candidate plausible enough to share the stage with Barack Obama in 2012. Not only are his currently held convictions right; if he were actually to make it through the primary, his past liberal positions could make him more appealing to out-of-work Democrats who are looking for a safe home. And while Romney may not be the ideal candidate, he may just be ideal enough to win. As the old saying goes, when being chased by a bear, you don’t have to necessarily be fast — you just have to be faster than one other guy. The good news for Romney is that he’d be running against an incumbent whose approval rating is slightly lower than that of paper cuts.”

Could it be that Obama just makes stuff up? “House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) ‘respectfully challenged’ President Obama in a phone call over the president’s assertions that he has not yet seen the Republican jobs plan, the Speaker’s office said. . . . House Republican leaders unveiled a ‘Plan for America’s Job Creators’ in May, centered on a combination of deregulation, tax cuts and the trade agreements that passed on Wednesday. ‘I want to make sure you have all the facts,’ Boehner told the president in the 10-minute call. He reminded Obama that Republicans had outlined aspects of his jobs plan that they would work on, noting provisions such as the trade deals that the House has already acted on.” Truth is the first casualty of a failing presidency.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 10/14/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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