Morning Bits

Griping in Democratic ranks. “Senate Democrats are increasingly divided over the bipartisan student loan rates bill blessed by leadership last week. The bill is expected to come up for a vote as early as Tuesday and pass with strong votes from both parties, though a number of Democrats have publicly  blasted the bill, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders  (I-Vt.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).”

Forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (Rami Bleible/Reuters)
Forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (Rami Bleible/Reuters)

Back-biting over Nate Silver. “I don’t think Nate Silver ever really fit into the Times culture and I think he was aware of that. He was, in a word, disruptive. . . . A number of traditional and well-respected Times journalists disliked his work.”

Grumbling in the state that sent him on the way to the nomination in 2008. “Fifty-five percent of Iowa’s registered voters disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing. . . .  [I]ndependents are the biggest driver of his lower results: 59 percent of independents disapprove of the job he’s doing, compared to 37 percent approval.”

Undermining Hamas should be a priority. “For one, Congress and the administration could stop wringing its hands over whether the toppling of Morsy was a coup and instead openly encourage continued operations against the tunnels (while also holding the army to account as it navigates complicated transition). Congress, which dishes out some $500 million per year to the Palestinians, could also quietly work with the Palestinian Authority to scale back the funds that flow to Gaza. From there, the United States could attempt to use whatever leverage it has to convince both Turkey and Qatar to cut back on their funding of Hamas.”

Exasperating, I can imagine, to see your city die. “When people ask me why I moved from liberal to conservative, I have a one-word answer: Detroit.  . . . [Mayor Jerome Cavanagh] was one of the first mayors to set up an antipoverty program and believed that city governments could do more than provide routine services; they could lift people, especially black people, out of poverty and into productive lives. Liberal policies promised to produce something like heaven. Instead they produced something more closely resembling hell. You can get an idea of what happened to Detroit by looking at some numbers. The Census counted 1,849,568 people in Detroit in 1950, including me. It counted 713,777 in 2010.” Read the whole thing.

Grousing about his tactics overlooks what he’s accomplished. New York police chief Ray Kelly: “Since 2002, the New York Police Department has taken tens of thousands of weapons off the street through proactive policing strategies. The effect this
has had on the murder rate is staggering. In the 11 years before Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office, there were 13,212 murders in New York City. During the 11 years of his administration, there have been 5,849. That’s 7,383 lives saved — and if history is a guide, they are largely the lives of young men of color.”

Bickering comes to an end. “President Barack Obama should be able to go ahead with a plan to arm the Syrian rebels after some congressional concerns were eased, the chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said on Monday.” Now imagine if the White House had acted 18 months ago.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.
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Jennifer Rubin | July 22, 2013