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Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 11/09/2011

Morning Bits

President Obama should know it’s not 2008 anymore. “Individuals identifying with the Democratic Party are a smaller share of the American people than they were early in 2008, and their views are less representative of the people as a whole. This means that the Obama team, which faces the crucial choice of either doubling down on its 2008 winning mix of professionals, young people, and minorities or rebuilding support among Independents in the heartland, should emphasize the latter option. Any general election strategy that relies solely on mobilizing the party’s diminished base will have a hard time forging a majority of the popular vote.”

Even before Tuesday’s press conference, Herman Cain wasn’t a rock star. I don’t think we’ll be talking about his great “favorability” rating anymore. “Herman Cain’s image among Republicans is starting to get worse amid claims that he sexually harassed several women in the 1990s. His latest Positive Intensity Score, based on Oct. 24-Nov. 6 Gallup Daily tracking, is 25. However, across the two weeks that make up that average, his score was 29 in interviewing conducted Oct. 24-30, before the news broke, and 20 in the days since.”

Dems can’t say anymore that the GOP won’t talk about taxes. “Congressional Republicans have offered to increase tax revenue by nearly $300 billion over the next decade through an overhaul of the tax code, a significant concession aimed at breaking a long-standing impasse in negotiations over the federal debt. The offer envisions a tax code rewrite that would lower rates for everyone while raising overall tax collections by $250 billion, mainly by limiting the value of itemized deductions such as write-offs for home mortgage interest, state and local taxes and other expenses.” Sounds like part of Speaker John Boehner’s grand bargain from the summer.

I don’t think the Obama team can argue anymore that “sanctions are working” on Iran. The New York Times reports: “The [International Atomic Energy Agency] laid out the case that Iran had moved far beyond the blackboard to create computer models of nuclear explosions in 2008 and 2009 and conducted experiments on nuclear triggers. It said the simulations focused on how shock waves from conventional explosives could compress the spherical fuel at the core of a nuclear device — the signature of implosion. The report also said Iran went beyond such theoretical studies to build a large containment vessel at its Parchin military base, starting in 2000, for testing the experimental feasibility of such explosive compression. It called such experiments ‘strong indicators of possible weapon development.’”

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) says we can’t pussyfoot around anymore. ““It is time for an unequivocal declaration that we will stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability by peaceful means if we possibly can, but with military force if we absolutely must. . . . It is still within our power to stop it. But it will require more than further incremental pressure — which is to say, more of what we have already been doing, that clearly hasn’t been working.”

Elliott Abrams says a wise adviser would tell Bibi Netanyahu it isn’t productive anymore to try to get a fair shake from Obama even after removing unauthorized West Bank encampments:“No sooner does Netanyahu take this courageous step than he is denounced by French President Sarkozy and President Obama, in a private conversation that has now been revealed. . . . If this were only a matter of personal relations between Obama and Netanyahu, it could be left at that. But it is far more consequential, for by that comment — and especially as it was made in private and can be interpreted as his actual view — President Obama has joined the chorus of assaults on the Jewish State. We only have one president at a time and they only have one prime minister. To treat the prime minister of Israel in this way is disgraceful.”

Charlie Cook can’t keep up the pretense of suspense anymore. “As the travails of Herman Cain remain front-and-center, this ‘contest’ for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is becoming boring. Like a formulaic movie, few plot twists are unfamiliar and we all know how it ends. . . . I think we know where this thing is headed: Romney. His weakness, that he doesn’t provide a starkly different ideological profile, is actually his strength in a general election. If the 2012 election is a referendum on the Obama presidency, Republicans will very likely win. Romney would make it a referendum.”

It doesn’t matter who does what job anymore. The problem is the president isn’t doing his. “President Obama’s chief of staff, William M. Daley, has turned over some of his day-to-day management responsibilities to another senior aide, Pete Rouse, according to several officials with knowledge of the change. The shift comes after a turbulent period in which the White House has struggled with a weak economy and a hostile Congress. Mr. Daley made the announcement in a staff meeting on Monday, these officials said, though it was unclear exactly what his new role would look like. He told a Chicago television station recently that he planned to return to his home there after the 2012 election.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 11/09/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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