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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 03/29/2012

Morning Bits

On the money: “While fending off criticism from Rick Santorum and others about the Massachusetts mandate, [Mitt] Romney has always said it was a state issue, not a federal one. And if the Supreme Court agrees, it would have to give the former governor a leg up in credibility with Republicans and the general public. President Obama, meanwhile, would emerge as a big political loser. Obamacare was the central signature domestic economic plan for his administration. What else does he have to show for nearly three and a half years in office? An $800 billion stimulus plan that didn’t work? A tax on rich people? An assault on oil and gas companies?”

On the right track. “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) said Wednesday that Democrats will accept the Supreme Court’s ruling on her party’s healthcare law — whatever it is. The California liberal –- a champion of the bill who was crucial to its passage -– said Democrats ‘were careful to honor the Constitution’ in drafting the bill, but would respect the high-court’s verdict, however it falls.” I suspect that sentiment won’t last.

On the other hand, no defensive-sounding vote of “confidence” was needed for Paul Clement. “The White House on Wednesday defended Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, the man charged with defending the 2010 health reform law before the Supreme Court. Verrilli’s arguments before the court on Tuesday have been criticized by analysts and observers.”

On the mark, for now. “The United States has suspended food aid to North Korea because Pyongyang has violated a deal to refrain from missile launches and cannot be trusted to deliver the aid to those who need it, a Pentagon official says.” Next year, I’m sure that Obama will have “more flexibility.”

On the nose. “Hill Democrats (and the current mayor of Chicago) always feared the 18-month battle on health care reform would turn out to be a colossal time-suck and expenditure of political capital, during a time (2010-11) when the U.S. economy was swooning back into another recession. Democrats still make the point that those months of distraction could have been better spent on the economy and jobs. To have nothing to show for it in terms of policy after all that? Tally it among the greatest losses — in terms of opportunity cost — since LBJ bled his presidency in Southeast Asia.”

On point. “The insurance industry lobby — which has a dog in this fight, as it benefits from people being compelled to buy its product — put together [a] chart showing different estimates of the policy cost of ObamaCare without a mandate. It would, by these estimates, be an expensive, ineffective mess.” That’s what five justices seem to think.

On the dole, no more? “Casino titan Sheldon Adelson, who has almost single-handedly bankrolled a ‘super PAC’ backing Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, now believes Gingrich is ‘at the end of his line.’ ”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 03/29/2012

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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