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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 02/19/2012

Morning Bits

Time to put up. “Fifty-six leading conservative foreign-policy experts wrote an open letter Friday to U.S. President Barack Obama calling on him to directly aid the Syrian opposition and protect the lives of Syrian civilians.”

Speed up. “Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., offered the latest plan to reform Medicare. Among its many ideas, it would transition the program to a ‘premium support’ system in which beneficiaries can use their Medicare subsidies to choose among private plans and traditional Medicare — but sooner than in other similar plans.

Give it up. No one in Ohio gives a darn what former U.S. senator Mike DeWine says. “Ohio Republicans who spoke to BuzzFeed ... said they DeWine is viewed as a lightweight among elected officials; his endorsement . . . [of Rick Santorum] is not expected to move very many votes.” But you can always count on national media to give it importance!

A hold-up. “Armed robbers on Friday seized dozens of items on display at the antiquities museum in Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the ancient Olympics in southern Greece, after tying up an employee. Greece’s Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos submitted his resignation after the robbery, state television reported.” Maybe it was German bankers looking for collateral?

Fed up with Santorum imitating Obama’s industrial policy. The Wall Street Journal editorial board: “Mr. Santorum is better on corporate taxes [than Obama], but he too is under the illusion that manufacturers need special help. He wants to zero out their tax liability, but all that distortion will do is touch off a lobbying grand guignol to qualify as a ‘manufacturer.’ At any rate, this preference merely substitutes Mr. Santorum’s omniscience and political mediation for Mr. Obama’s. Maybe manufacturing should be a better investment going forward. Maybe not. The essence of a market is that millions of investors and consumers will decide.” Ouch.

Santorum should man up and clean up his language. He’s the one who started taking about contraception as a matter of public policy.

We should wise up. Negotiations with the mullahs would be a sham. “From Tehran’s perspective, protracted diplomacy has the advantage of potentially dividing the international community, shielding Iran’s facilities from military retribution and easing economic sanctions. Iran may have to be patient in its quest to get the bomb; it may have to offer confidence-building measures and placate its allies in Beijing and Moscow. Any concessions it makes will probably be reversible and symbolic so as not to derail the overall trajectory of the nuclear program. Can Tehran be pressed into conceding to a viable arms-control treaty? On the surface, it is hard to see how Iran’s leaders could easily reconsider their national interest. The international community is confronting an Islamic republic in which moderate voices have been excised from power.”

Mickey Kaus does a pitch-perfect send-up of the media’s penchant for invented story lines. “From Media Central — All Member Action Alert: We need to give Gingrich another boost — immediately. He’s dragging along at under 15% in national polls. If we want a brokered GOP convention — and we do — we can’t let this thing become a two-way race between [Mitt] Romney and Santorum. A two-way race means it’s highly likely that one of the two will get 51% of the delegates, as Sean Trende points out. The plan clearly calls for three (3) semi-strong candidates splitting the pie. Yet Gingrich is now doing so badly he’s on the verge of becoming a non-factor. He might even lose Georgia on Super Tuesday. Pump him up stat or prepare to be bored in Tampa.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 02/19/2012

 
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