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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 11/02/2011

Morning Bits

A silver lining in the Palestinians’ U.N. gambit for unilateral declaration of statehood. “Following the State Department’s announcement that it had cut off U.S. funding from UNESCO in response to its overwhelming vote in favor of accepting the Palestinian bid for full membership, senators from both parties predicted the United States would cut funding or even withdraw from several other international organizations the Palestinians seek to join.”

Pure gold. The Republicans’ anti-Obama ad, that is.

A gem of a column by Jeffrey Goldberg. “There are certain writers whose deaths leave us intellectually impoverished. Imagine if Tocqueville were here to explain the Tea Party, or if we could read Solzhenitsyn today on a revenant Russia, or Naguib Mahfouz on Tahrir Square. And just imagine what further illuminating thoughts the great Libyan writer Muammar Qaddafi could have shared with us, had his people not turned on him with such terrifying finality. I will miss so many things about Qaddafi: the funny hats, his voluptuous Ukrainian nurse, those charming sons of his, and the female bodyguards who comprised his very own Deadly Viper Assassination Squad.” Read the whole hysterical thing.

The crowning moment in Obama’s Israel policy or a recipe for disaster? “Jewish leaders have been pressing Obama since he took office to carve out time for Israel, arguing that a trip is needed to repair missteps in the relationship with the key U.S. ally. But the window — and the expectations — for a visit are quickly diminishing, leaving a potential missed opportunity for a president who has been dogged by questions about his commitment to Israel.” I can’t imagine things would go smoothly if he went.

He used to have the Midas touch. “Jon Corzine bellied up to the global market tables, bet MF Global, and lost. Specifically, the former head of Goldman Sachs and governor of New Jersey authorized his traders to scarf up $6 billion in bonds issued by Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, and Ireland. The bet, presumably, was that the powers-that-be in Europe would bail out these and other bondholders to the tune of 100 cents on the dollar, because in our global bailout spree, that’s what powers-that-be do. Oops.”

The glimmer of hope for a debt deal in Europe fades. “Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s call for a referendum on a freshly minted bailout package rattled European officials and global markets, sparking warnings that the move could force the collapse of the Greek government and push the country into a destabilizing default on its sovereign debt. Stocks and the euro plunged, and 10-year Italian bond yields rose perilously close to their highest levels since the euro’s inception.”

Not exactly a sh ining moment in the GOP presidential primary. “The lawyer for one of the two women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment said Tuesday that she wanted to come forward but was bound not to by a confidentiality agreement with the National Restaurant Association.”

A nugget of good news for Texas Gov. Rick Perry: “Presidential candidate Rick Perry was stone-cold sober during his bombastic, comedic speech in New Hampshire, according to the man who invited the Texas governor to speak and spent much of the evening with him.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 11/02/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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