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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 03/28/2012

Morning Bits

The light dawns on Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa): “I think the court sees that the precedent is all on permitting Congress to do this under the Commerce Clause. What they’re wrestling with — and probably they’ve wrestled with this in the past — is the question of, ‘Well, if this is allowed, is there no limit to what Congress can do under the Commerce Clause?’”

The light goes on: “Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s slam on Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney shows that the Russians want President Obama to be reelected.” I’m waiting for the Bashar al-Assad endorsement.

Illuminating: The public is not obsessed with media-created controversies. “Though the 2012 presidential campaign was the second most closely followed story last week, 55 percent of the public says they had not heard about one of the week’s more prominent election stories: a gaffe by a top strategist for Mitt Romney who said that the candidate would recalibrate his campaign once he wins the GOP nomination, shaking the slate clean like an Etch A Sketch toy.” Sort of like we said — the press is divorced from its audience.

There is reason for Mitt Romney to be sunny. “Republican leaders across the party’s ideological spectrum are lining up behind front-runner Mitt Romney in an escalating effort to conclude the presidential primary battle and close ranks before the general election.”

Rick Santorum’s recent behavior highlights his deficits as a politician. “Having exhausted the good reasons for electing him, he’s now reduced to just shouting the odds at the dwindling number of Republicans left to vote. He’s becoming shrill and a little scary — all venting spleen and swinging fists. . . . Santorum is making random, unforced errors that suggest a mind that isn’t sufficiently disciplined. He doesn’t seem to be allowing himself to be effectively managed, preferring to wing it with the first thing that comes into his head. Perhaps that’s what drew conservative voters to him in the first place, but it’s also likely to start turning them away.”

Robert Reich tell liberals to look on the bright side: “Behind this judicial foreplay is the brute political fact that if the Court decides the individual mandate is an unconstitutional extension of federal authority, the entire law starts unraveling. But with a bit of political jujitsu, the President could turn any such defeat into a victory for a single-payer health-care system — Medicare for all.” Except for all those Republicans in Congress (and possibly the White House) it sounds like a slam dunk.

Somehow I don’t think he’s going to be able to laugh this one off. “Obama Makes Light of Missile-Shield Remark.”

This is a shining example of where that “flexibility” is going to come in handy. “The State Department has altered an official communication to erase the fact that it had referred to Israel and Jerusalem as separate entities.”

Not exactly a glowing review of the government’s argument from the Supreme Court hearing. “Both before and after the arguments, I had revealing conversations with a liberal professor in the courtroom. He agreed that the government’s chief problem is that it had not provided a limiting factor or boundary line in any of its previous arguments. Thus, if the Supreme Court agrees that Congress has the power to compel the purchase of an insurance policy from a private company, it could compel the purchase of virtually anything considered good or prudent. After the arguments ended, the professor agreed that [Solicitor General] Verrelli had been unable to come up with a concise and reasonable answer to that question, which was asked of him multiple times by different justices.”.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 03/28/2012

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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