Change of heart? “Senator Rand Paul has a new ally in his attempt to fit his libertarian foreign policy views into the Republican Party’s hawkish pro-Israel stance: The Israeli public relations firm Lone Star Communications, which has also promoted American figures from Glenn Beck to Mike Huckabee, and also works with a leading Israeli opponent of Palestinian statehood.”
Change in tactics. “In the face of furious criticism from Washington and elsewhere, American International Group’s board of directors announced Wednesday the firm would not participate in a shareholders lawsuit against the government over the terms of a taxpayer bailout that saved the company from ruin.” Remarkable that it was under serious consideration.
Change of pace? Maybe the president’s budget will be on time. So far he’s been late. A lot.
Change for the worse. “By choosing White House chief of staff Jacob Lew as his new treasury secretary, President Obama is bracing himself to battle congressional Republicans in 2013, not seeking bipartisan compromises with them. . . . Republicans who’ve dealt with Lew in negotiations on taxes and spending regard him as the most partisan, ideological, and uncompromising of Obama’s aides. In talks, he has brushed aside their proposals for trimming the deficit and controlling the national debt.” Many a time we said predictions of a more moderate second term were off base. Sorry to be dead right on this.
Change the direction of the cost curve. Unfortunately President Obama is bending it upward. “Should premiums continue to rise, more and more uninsured Americans are going to choose to pay the penalty rather than purchase expensive insurance. And those who go without insurance are more likely to be the ones who can afford to do so — young and healthy Americans with limited medical expenses. Should this occur, insurers would have to raise premiums even more to subsidize the expenses of the sicker beneficiaries they must cover under the law. This, in turn, would cause additional people to forgo insurance and pay the fine. And so on. This is known in the health care policy community as the ‘death spiral’ and it’s one of the biggest threats to the structure of Obamacare.” And the president said that we don’t have a spending problem; we have a health-care problem. Well, he was half right.
Change the president, Mickey. Mickey Kaus (via Instapundit) complains that “Obama’s compartmentalized view irrationally rules out” a whole lot of spending restraint. “He’s telling fat-and-happy Washington — all the redundant civil-rights enforcers and consultants and conference organizers — not to worry. They’re not the problem. They’re paid for! There’s no general crisis, or even a general “problem” — it’s all health care, and must be solved somehow by unspecified medical efficiencies we’ll think up later (plus tax increases).” I guess he should have voted for the other guy.
Change his tune. The president originally wanted a significant force after the 2014 Afghanistan operation draw-down. Gen. Stanley McChrystal: “We had 7,500 in Afghanistan in the summer of 2002 when I was first stationed there. And 7,500 wouldn’t do much, because by the time you had a pretty small headquarters at Bagram, you were running the airfield, you had some people starting to train A.N.S.F. (Afghan National Security Forces). … Pretty soon you don’t have much reach.”