Morning Bits

Just when you think it can’t get worse. “The indispensable U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA, has put out a wonderfully strongly worded press release blasting the government of Tunisia for releasing a prime suspect in the Benghazi terrorist assault and, more importantly for our purposes, blasting the terrorist-coddling (my words, not his) Obama administration for not only failing to exert enough pressure on Tunisia to do otherwise, but for refusing to comment on this outrage and for refusing to cut off aid to Tunisia.”

Capitol  Fiscal Cliff

Capitol dome- J. Scott Applewhite/A.P.

Chuck Hagel’s Jewish problem gets worse. “Multiple U.S.-based sources involved in the battle to save a popular USO port in the Israeli city of Haifa in the late 1980s corroborated accusations that secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel fought to close the hub. . . .Hagel attempted to cut funding for the USO Haifa Center, telling a group of Jewish leaders in a 1989 meeting that the American Jewish community should bankroll the port, according to sources present in the meeting.” Read the whole thing.

There might be worse picks, but the Wiesenthal Center probably couldn’t come up with one. “A prominent Jewish rights organization called on Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel to apologize for his ‘hateful statements’ on Israel that have drawn fire from similar groups that oppose him. ‘We believe it sends the wrong signal, at the wrong time, to the Mullahs in Iran,’ Simon Wiesenthal Center founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier, said in a statement about the nomination. ‘It says to them, here is a man who understands us, here is a man that may tolerate a nuclear Iran.’” It really should shame the other pro-Israel groups that are hiding under their desks. Where is the Orthodox Union, for example? The Conference of Jewish Presidents?

 Those meek groups look even worse when others are showing some backbone. “Senator Ben Cardin (D., MD) rejected Chuck Hagel’s position that the United States should have waited for the international community in applying sanctions against Iran on MSNBC this afternoon: ‘I personally don’t understand why we should delay allowing Iran to move more aggressively forward with its nuclear weapons program when we move forward with sanctions the international community followed us. These are questions I think as a senator I have a responsibility to get his answers before making a decision on whether to support his confirmation or not.’”

Nothing worse than being endorsed by the mullahs. “Hagel nomination cheers Iran, worries Israel.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) decides there are worse things than being attacked for throwing Grandma over the cliff. “In the absence of a president who will lead on this issue, one constructive way to start tackling our financial deficit and the fiscal deadlines we face this quarter … is to begin legislating on entitlements in areas where there has been strong bipartisan consensus in Congress as well as White House support: chained CPI adjustments and Medicare means testing.”

As future prospects get worse, people stop having kids. It’s true nationally and in California: “Declining migration and falling birthrates have led to a drop in the number of children in California just as baby boomers reach retirement, creating an economic and demographic challenge for the nation’s most populous state.”

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