Morning Bits

You didn’t think it could get this bad? “It’s possible that the Qadaffi regime is fragile enough that it will fall with the slightest push. Or not. But the president has certainly made a hash of things so far. I said at the outset of this administration that it would find that governing is harder than campaigning. But it need not be this much harder.”

You didn’t think it could get this bad? “Of all the critiques of President Obama’s handling of Libya, one of the most damning is that he has failed to define victory — perhaps the most important step to justify military action to the American people. This is an essential job of the commander in chief. It is also relatively straight-forward with Libya. Enabling rebels to win on the ground should be our primary goal. This would end the Qaddafi regime, which was deadly before this revolution and would be only more so if it survives. But just as important, it is now also the only way for the U.S. to extricate itself from this conflict without appearing to lose. . . . . While it is unclear whether President Obama considered this in his weeks of deliberation before taking serious action, by committing overt U.S. military forces, anything short of a rebel victory would deeply harm U.S. interests. Were the U.S. to withdraw forces amid a rebel stalemate or defeat, friends and foes around the world would see this as an American defeat.”

You didn’t think it could get this bad? “Although Hamas’s main headquarters can be found in Gaza and Damascus, over the past several months, three officials from the terror group have also set up shop at the International Red Cross office in East Jerusalem.”

You didn’t think it could get this bad? President Obama’s Syrian engagement policy is in shambles: “Syrian police launched an assault Wednesday on a neighborhood sheltering antigovernment protesters, fatally shooting many in an operation that lasted nearly 24 hours, witnesses said. A resident of Daraa who was reached by phone from Damascus said witnesses there reported seeing at least 34 people slain. . . . ‘It was a very difficult, bloody day,’ he said. ‘There is a state of undeclared curfew in Daraa, whenever troops see four or five more people gathered they open fire,’ he said.”

You didn’t think it could get this bad (for Obama and his “historic legislation”)? Well, liberals never saw this coming: “Only about 12,000 people have signed up for the poorly constructed risk pools, and no one expects the other insurance regulations to help more than a tiny percentage of the population. For most Americans, these ‘early benefits’ are simply non-events. If the president were to feature them as large achievements of his presidency in 2012, it would strike most voters as the trumpeting of the trivial. With so little to work with, and intense opposition among those pushing for repeal, the president is unlikely to feature Obamacare at all in his 2012 campaign, and certainly not in the way Reagan touted his 1981 tax cut in 1984.”

You didn’t think it could get this bad? “The political flap over Sen. Claire McCaskill’s taxpayer-funded use of a private aircraft has ratcheted into a full-blown story, after the Missouri Democrat acknowledged she’d also failed to pay more than a quarter of a million dollars in property taxes on the plane, which she and her husband partially own. And what ought to be scaring the party is that there may yet be more of this embarrassing story to come.”

You didn’t think it could get this bad? A lot of real pro-Israel activists actually did: “Israeli lawmakers held a highly unusual hearing Wednesday to decide whether J Street, a Washington-based Jewish advocacy group that bills itself as ‘pro-Israel, pro-peace,’ ought to be declared anti-Israel. The group’s founder, Jeremy Ben-Ami, flew in to attend the two-hour session, which frequently deteriorated into a verbal brawl among members over what it means to be ‘pro-Israel’ and who has a right to speak on Israel’s behalf, particularly abroad. It also revived a decades-old debate about what role, if any, Jews living outside the country should have in Israeli policymaking. . . . Questions were asked about J Street’s funders and its policy on Iran sanctions — critics said it opposed sanctions, but Ben-Ami said it lobbied in favor of them — and the group was accused of giving money to congressional candidates who lawmakers said were anti-Israel.”Funny, AIPAC never has this problem, does it?

 
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