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Morning Bits

The release of a Cuban political prisoner who should never have been jailed doesn’t impress the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman. “The focus for the U.S. and for all freedom-loving nations should be not on the release of one political prisoner, but on demanding the unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience without being forced into exile as some have,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). “We must demand that the Cuban tyranny provide for freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and basic human rights and hold free, fair, transparent elections monitored by international observers.”

The Obama administration should be doing something (but likely won’t) about the wave of violence against Christians in the Middle East. Hudson Institute fellow Lela Gilbert reports: “In recent weeks, a series of abuses against Christians has swept across the Muslim world. There has been a murder in Pakistan, attacks on churches in Ethiopia, an attempted assassination of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Turkey and repeated pogroms against the Copts in Egypt. Now, rights groups are reporting new developments in Iran’s anti-Christian crackdown, which has swept up nearly 300 Christian believers since June 2010.” Read the whole thing.

President Obama should show the same commitment to Libya. “President Barack Obama mobilized US military might on Friday to provide emergency aid to Japan after an earthquake and tsunami which he described as ‘simply heartbreaking.’ The United States, which has nearly 40,000 military personnel in Japan, has ordered a flotilla including two aircraft carriers and support ships to the region to provide aid.”

Google should be concerned about a former Sam Alito clerk and U.S. attorney gunning for the Web goliath. “Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) wants a congressional hearing to examine whether Google has run afoul of antitrust laws. . . . ‘The powerful position Google occupies in the general search arena creates myriad opportunities for anticompetitive behavior. . . . Enforcement of the antitrust laws is especially important for sectors in which the United States has been a leader, such as the e-commerce and online advertising industries.’ ”

Obama should worry less about how to “message” the economic recovery and more time working to aid , rather than impede, it. “The White House is caught between wanting to tout the administration’s economic accomplishments — and possibly helping to shape the nation’s fiscal mood — and the fear of offending voters by hailing a recovery that many of them have yet to experience.”

This should pretty much take nuclear power out of the mix of non-carbon-based energy for a good long time. “Authorities released slightly radioactive vapor from two of Japan’s nuclear-power plants Saturday to avoid a bigger calamity after Friday’s earthquake caused a power outage that disabled its cooling system, as 11 reactors were closed across the country.”

Obama should do more than “thinking” about entitlement reform and real deficit reduction. He could have actually come up with a plan, you know.

Pathetic as it sounds, Obama should emulate France and Britain’s Libya policy.

As Paul Wolfowitz puts it, if Obama won’t lead, he should at least follow. “Portugal has now joined France in recognizing the national council in Benghazi as the government of Libya. The Guardian reports that France will now send a French ambassador to Benghazi and receive a Libyan envoy in Paris. Two Libyan National Council representatives, Mahmoud Jibril and Ali Essaoui, have been to Paris and met with President Nicolas Sarkozy. The six Arab countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have called publicly for a ‘no-fly zone’ to support the Libyan opposition.”

Then he should go there: “Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, ‘No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.’ ” Ah, to suppress the opposition and muffle criticism! Scary, actually he would think this way.

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