Morning Bits

It ain’t over. “Silent on Assault Weapons Ban Defeat and NRA-Backed Dems, Has Obama Collapsed on Gun Control?”

Til it is over. “Background checks ‘in jeopardy’: No match for resistance by gun advocates.”

Deja vu: “It’s been about 18 months since Solyndra announced that it would be filing for bankruptcy, taking a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy with it into the grave. At the time, critics (including me) argued that this might not have been a very wise use of taxpayer funds. The administration’s defenders rejoindered that the loan guarantee program, which was aimed at stimulating investments in Green Technology, was in fact a roaring success. Investing in such an early stage, innovative sector put the administration in the place of a Venture Captial firm: some of the loans would go bad, of course, but the pathbreaking performance of the other firms in the portfolio would generate huge overall dividends.” Three of those firms have gone bankrupt; a fourth appears close to doing so as well.

All over again: “The Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available to people with weaker credit, an effort that officials say will help power the economic recovery but that skeptics say could open the door to the risky lending that caused the housing crash in the first place.”

The future of Egypt is grim: “The comic Bassem Yousef, who is known as Egypt’s Jon Stewart, is being prosecuted for various non-crimes: insulting the president, spreading rumors, propagating lies – all charges that mean only that the powers that be don’t like what he is saying. Those powers know that his prosecution is under assault internationally, yet they have continued to pile on new charges. . . . The Bassem Yousef prosecutions (one must now use the plural) are indefensible and should be met with loud and repeated U.S. protests. We do not know where Egypt is heading, but we know what we believe and we ought to know that we must support those Egyptians who seek a truly democratic Egypt.”

Ain’t what it used to be.There is now  “evidence of a growing, cross-border alliance between two powerful Islamic extremist groups — al-Qaeda in Iraq and Jabhat al-Nusra or Nusra Front in Syria. Nusra Front is the most effective rebel faction fighting President Bashar Assad’s regime, and the US designates both Sunni jihadi groups as terrorist organizations. . . . The alliance is also nurturing Nusra Front, which emerged as an offshoot of Iraq’s al-Qaeda branch in mid-2012 to battle Assad’s regime as one of a patchwork of disparate rebel groups in Syria.”

You can observe a lot by watching. Turkey hasn’t changed its tune and John Kerry rushes back to try to smooth things over (i.e., conceal that obvious fact). “The White House claimed a major diplomatic coup last month when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to apologize for a 2010 raid that killed eight Turks and one Turkish-American trying to force the Gaza blockade. Erdoğan accepted the apology but then announced that he would be visiting the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip, raising tensions in the region. The announcement was met with disapproval by the State Department, which reiterated its opposition to negotiating with Hamas, which the United States considers a terrorist group. The department declined to confirm or deny the reports.”

Note: More of Yogi Berra’s memorable comments can be found here.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.
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Jennifer Rubin | April 3, 2013