December 14, 2012

Back to old-fashioned deal-making. “The fetishistic, post-Watergate notion that the public’s business must always be done in public has produced a lot of fine-sounding preachments (from Obama, among others) but also a lot of governmental paralysis.”

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Back to the Senate? Most GOP insiders think Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) will run if he is nominated as secretary of state. “[Susan] Rice’s decision will mean renewed focus on Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), whom President Obama has also been considering as a potential defense secretary. Republicans have praised Kerry as a wise choice — perhaps because his nomination would give defeated Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) a chance to regain office in another special election.”

Back to basics. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio): “While the president promised the American people a balanced approach, his proposals have been anything but that. He wants far more in tax hikes than spending cuts. And instead of beginning to solve our debt problem, he wants new ‘stimulus’ and the ability to raise the debt ceiling whenever he wants, without cuts and reforms.”

Back to runaway health-care costs. Another Obamacare failure: “Health insurance premiums may as much as double for some small businesses and individual buyers in the U.S. when the Affordable Care Act’s major provisions start in 2014, Aetna Inc. (AET)’s chief executive officer said. While subsidies in the law will shield some people, other consumers who make too much for assistance are in for ‘premium rate shock.’ “

Back to the United Nations for her, but the Benghazi investigation goes on. “While the White House may have been hoping that Susan Rice’s decision to no longer pursue the secretary of state position means that the investigation into what exactly occurred at Benghazi and who was responsible for the security decisions will cease, both Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham made it clear today that they intend to continue pursuing the matter.” Still, it will be harder to keep the spotlight on the scandal.

Back to Iran. He’s always been a rapid opponent of sanctions. Now this: “Former Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, on the shortlist for secretary of defense in the second Obama administration, sits on the board of a bank that is under investigation for allegedly violating United States sanctions on Iran.”

Back to the economy: Obamacare is still a drag on employment. “The Affordable Care Act imposed the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices with the goal of raising nearly $30 billion over the next decade. Manufacturers say the impact of the tax is far greater than meets the eye: the 2.3 percent tax is on gross sales, meaning it’s a much greater percentage of net income. … Michigan-based Stryker Corporation, a company of 20,000 people, last year announced it was laying off 1,000 workers in anticipation of the tax and a $100 million bill in the first year. The company remains concerned about the tax. … The Advanced Medical Technology Association estimates that the tax ultimately could cost up to 43,000 jobs.” So much for high-paying tech manufacturing in the U.S.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.
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