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Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 08/16/2012

Morning Bits

Something’s got David Axelrod’s goat. “Is there something internal in the polling?” Hmm. Could it be Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)? Maybe his internal polling matches this battleground state polling.

The media have a cow over Fareed Zakaria’s plagiarism. But that’s not the half of it. “Borrow a line or two from the New Yorker and it’s a major punishable offense. Repeatedly serve up the flawed left-wing conventional wisdom on taxes, spending, and the Middle East, and get rewarded with your own television show and a Harvard honorary degree.”

Who’d have thought that Medicare could be the issue that seals the deal for the Republicans? “[T]o pass Obamacare, the president cut Medicare by more than $700 billion over the coming decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). And these cuts are of the worst kind. They are arbitrary and across the board. They reduce reimbursement rates for all who provide services to Medicare patients, regardless of how well or badly they treat their patients. Among the cuts is a $156 billion reduction in payments to Medicare Advantage plans over ten years. These cuts will force seniors to pay $3,700 more for their health care by 2017, according to a study I co-authored with Robert Book . . . Further, the Medicare cuts in Obamacare would slash payment rates for hospitals, so much so that the chief actuary of the program has warned repeatedly that the cuts will jeopardize access to care for seniors.”

The biggest one is a president who wants to duck the issue. “US diplomat: ‘Serious’ barriers to establishing Syrian no-fly zones.”

The world economy will continue to dog Obama. “Greece has gone bust. Spain is in trouble. Around the world, what Walter Russell Mead calls the ‘blue state model’ of welfare state governance is taking on water, including in the U.S. states under liberal governance. Every day, a new town in California goes bankrupt, even as its governor dreams of light rail. This may be why the Mediscare tactics that worked so well from 1996 and 2005 may not work in this era.”

Has he out-foxed the military and the media? “The recent sacking of all of Egypt’s top military officials by its new Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohammed Morsi, was met with considerable approval in the West, including the United States. After all, the argument goes, he was elected, and don’t we all favor civilian control of the military? Why call this a Brotherhood power play rather than the proper result of this year’s elections? That optimistic view cannot be maintained when the Brotherhood is simultaneously making a power play to stop any press criticism of its actions and to pack Egypt’s media with Brotherhood sympathizers.”

Obama’s Medicare cuts are now the elephant in the room. Ouch.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall when the fight breaks out in Obamaland about why they didn’t dump Joe Biden. “Artur Davis, the former four-term Democratic congressman from Alabama, said Wednesday that Vice President Joe Biden was propagating ‘racial viciousness’ when he said Mitt Romney’s regulatory policies would ‘put y’all back in chains.’” You know Hillary Clinton could be drafted at the convention.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 08/16/2012

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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