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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 02/05/2012

Morning Bits

Before they spike the ball, the Obama administration should consider: “In January 2011, the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent with a participation rate of 64.2 percent. If that were the participation rate today, the unemployment rate would be 8.9 percent, instead of 8.3 percent. As an analysis from Hamilton Place Strategies concludes, ‘Most of the shift of the past year is due not to the improvement in the labor market, but the continued drop in participation in the labor force.’ . . . The unemployment rate is dropping because economic growth continues to be so anemic that nearly 4 million Americans have quit looking for work and have been disappeared by the Labor Department.”

China and Russia block action on Syria. “Russia and China on Saturday vetoed a Western and Arab-sponsored U.N. resolution condemning Syria’s violent repression of anti-government demonstrators, throwing their prestige and power behind President Bashar al-Assad as he intensifies a military operation aimed at crushing the 10-month-old uprising. The Russian and Chinese stance came as a blow to U.S. and European efforts to rally behind an Arab League plan that would require Assad to step down, making way for a democratically elected unity government with a leader who commanded the support of both the government and the opposition.” So much for “reset.”

The very defense strategy at the heart of the Obama Doctrine: “Secret operations gain the president no credit. Revelation of the completed operations is the whole point, demonstrating Obama’s courage and his commitment to yesterday’s deeds. The trouble with wars like Iraq and Afghanistan is that they commit you to doing risky things tomorrow, when you may wish to give a speech about health care or jobs. Thus the beauty of the Obama Doctrine. ‘Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill . . . that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, a day at a time, so long as what is required of us will be over by tomorrow morning, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.’ Not inspiring, you say? Obviously you’re one of the antediluvian defense types who wants a whole army and navy. That’s passé now. The new approach is raid, run, and announce.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is trying to run out the clock. “Senate Democratic leaders said they don’t expect a fiscal 2013 budget to reach the floor this year because spending levels were set last summer under the debt-ceiling agreement.”

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) calls foul. “Senate Democrats confirmed that they’ve given up on budgeting. What a disgrace. Senate Majority Leader Reid’s refusal to budget is a recipe for crisis. By refusing to confront the storm clouds ahead, Senate Democrats are committing our nation to a future of debt, doubt and decline.”

You have to execute to play with the pros. “[Rick] Santorum fails to qualify for Indiana ballot, vows to challenge the decision.”

Not a complete scoring, but the Congressional Budget Office is going to give us some more accurate cost numbers for Obamacare. “Congressional Budget Office bean counters are taking a fresh look at President Obama’s national health care law, and will have updated figures on key provisions in March, director Doug Elmendorf testified . . . in Congress. . . . Several factors could make the health care law significantly more costly than advertised at the time of passage in March 2010. For instance, the law was crafted in a way to delay enactment of the major spending provisions until 2014, to make the legislation appear cheaper under the CBO’s 10-year budget window (then 2010 to 2019). Now, the budget window has moved up to 2022, meaning it takes into account an extra three years of full enactment.” Also Obama banked on less than 5 percent unemployment in 2014.

Obama is way out of bounds on this one. “For Obama to move from the Biblical injunction that ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required’ to higher marginal tax rates on those making $250,000 or more is laughable theology. Why draw the line at $250,000? Why not draw it at $125,000? Or $500,000? . . . It’s no secret that Obama, in order to win re-election, is attempting to divide us by class. But that, apparently, is too restrictive a category for Obama. Now he wants to divide us based on faith, portraying his position on taxes as consistent with the teaching and spirit of Jesus and those who oppose his agenda as being anti-Christian (as well as anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish).”

Talk about unsportsmanlike conduct. Newt Gingrich didn’t call Romney to congratulate him on winning the Florida primary because Romney outspent him on adds attacking Gingrich.

Ooof. Former New Hampshire governor John Sununu roughed up Gingrich. “When Newt Gingrich talks about big ideas, I take ‘big’ as being a synonym for cockamamie. . . . Half the stuff he comes up with is unrealistic and undoable. . . . Most of the ideas he has are designed to be self-aggrandizing. This is a man who cares more about his ego than he does about accomplishing something worthwhile for the country.” Okay, that makes the highlight reel.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 02/05/2012

 
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