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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 03/23/2012

Morning Bits

Defense should be the first, not the last, priority of the federal government, says Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). “Without the necessary reinvestment, Ryan said, the U.S. will not have the technological superiority and capability to compete against any potential adversary. ‘And other countries are catching up,’ he said. ‘China is putting a lot of investment into their military.’ Ryan’s message was simple: It’s time to repair the military, not cut another peace dividend.” Well, for one thing there's no peace.

When you first hear this stuff, it’s hard to believe. “So why is it that when Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah Al al-Sheikh, the grand mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, declares that it is ‘necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula,’ the major media do not see this as even worth reporting? And no one, to the best of my knowledge, has noted that he said this to the members of a terrorist group.” Umm, because it’s politically incorrect?

The White House says that Republicans are “aggressively and deliberately ignorant” about energy technology. This isn’t the first time President Obama has dismissed policy critics with name-calling when he’s incapable of defending his policies on the merits. “Government subsidies do not drive economic growth. Just the opposite, they distort and slow growth. Investors know that if the only reason a business is profitable is because of artificial government subsidies, then the profit signal from that business is fake and should be ignored. Economic growth occurs when entrepreneurs are allowed to discover new ways of producing goods and services that people need or want to buy. Those that identify new methods of delivering value to consumers that is greater than the cost of producing it, earn profits. Government policies that least interfere with this method of discovery are most likely to produce faster economic growth.”

First they say they are serious about human rights. Then they do stuff like this: “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has decided to use a national security waiver to provide over $1.5 billion of U.S. aid to Egypt, bypassing Congressional restrictions evil while the Egyptian government’s assault on NGOs in Cairo continues.” Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, is among those “disappointed” by the move. Read the whole thing.

This isn’t the first time the White House misjudged public opinion. “A solid majority of Americans think the U.S. government should approve of building the Keystone XL pipeline, while 29% think it should not. Republicans are almost twice as likely as Democrats to want the government to approve the oil pipeline. About half of independents also approve.”

First, Ryan ran the budget numbers with the legally required assumptions and baseline. But when realistic growth is factored in “the budget could achieve balance in the mid-to-early 2020s, with the upper-bound growth assumption producing budget balance within the ten-year budget window — much sooner than CBO’s estimated balance date of 2039.”

First, he blocks the XL pipeline, and then he tries to take credit. “As gasoline prices continue to rise, President Obama on Thursday pushed back on attacks from Republicans that he is blocking the Keystone XL oil pipeline and is against drilling, arguing his administration has added enough new oil-and-gas pipelines to ‘encircle the Earth and then some.’ . . . Republicans quickly dismissed the speech and the executive order as a public relations stunt. ‘Today he’s out in Oklahoma trying to take credit for a part of the pipeline that doesn’t even require his approval. Now this is what I’m calling the Obama energy gap,’ House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said during a press conference at the Capitol.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 03/23/2012

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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