Smart move by the Senate after a unnecessary delay last week. “The Senate easily advanced a package of aid and sanctions in response to the Russian incursion of Ukraine on Monday, but a final deal is being bogged down by a controversial push to reform the International Monetary Fund. With the help of a significant bloc of Republicans, the Ukraine bill cleared a key procedural vote on Monday evening on a 78-17 vote.” The House is a problem, however.
Sage advice. “The U.S., rapidly drawing down its military forces and especially its forces in Europe (where only two Army brigades will be left, if we are lucky), is not in a good position to defend the Baltic states. The other NATO states have more forces nearby but less willpower to act. . . . The best way to head off such a dire emergency would be to (a) increase the size of the U.S. army by cancelling a planned drawdown and (b) to position U.S. ground forces in the Baltic republics to act as a guarantee of American assistance in the event of invasion. By not doing this we are tempting Putin to exploit our perceived weakness–as he has previously done in Georgia and Ukraine.”
Talk radio show hosts should read conservative Armstrong Williams’s sound rebuttal to those ready to write-off any new Latino voters. “Focusing on Latinos as being the sole ethnicity of illegal aliens does create terrible problems for the entire Latino community. Stereotyping is a form of racism. Statements by journalists and politicians linking immigration reform to the mythical ‘Latino vote’ are dangerous and wrong-headed. It is outrageous that Latinos or other ethnic or religious groups are expected to vote and hence, think and act monolithically[. It is] nothing short of bigotry.”
Savvy move in an election year. “Lowering taxes for the third time in less than a year, Gov. Scott Walker signed his $541 million tax cut bill in a ceremony Monday at a farm in Cecil as he travels through central and northern Wisconsin touting it. . . . With growing tax collections now expected to give the state a $1 billion budget surplus in June 2015, Walker’s tax proposal will cut property and income taxes for families and businesses, and zero out all income taxes for manufacturers in the state.”
A sharp analysis of the governor’s strengths and weaknesses. “Amid all of Jindal’s education reforms and vaunted (and sometimes over-vaunted) ethics reforms in Louisiana, what people can lose sight of is that he has focused much of his attention on economic growth. Year after year he has successfully pushed various tax cuts, including income taxes, sales taxes on natural gas, corporate-franchise taxes, and some capital-gains taxes. Combined with industrial recruitment and regulatory reform, these policies certainly have had the desired effect: The unemployment rate in Louisiana has been below the national average every month of Jindal’s tenure, and now, after the fourth-best improvement in the nation since 2008, it stands at an impressively low 4.9 percent. . . . But here’s where an anomaly creeps in — and Jindal’s record isn’t complete without noting it. Whereas in most states a governor’s popularity closely tracks the state’s economy, Jindal’s popularity has markedly dropped since his overwhelming reelection in 2011.” Read the whole thing.
Shrewd Democrats aren’t waiting. “Democrats have been waiting for ObamaCare to become popular for four years. And counting. Congressional leaders and senior White House advisers have been saying since 2010 that public opinion will turn their way sometime soon. Be patient, they have told anxious members of their party again and again.”
A stellar opponent — or even a middling one — should be able to dispense with this guy. “Report: Osborn Senate Campaign Misrepresented Memo About Military Record.” Yikes.