The Washington Post

Morning Bits

Under fire. “A Senate panel pressed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen Thursday on whether a ‘stalemate’ or even a loss to Col. Muammar Qadhafi in Libya is likelier now that the United States has transitioned leadership responsibilities to NATO. At a hearing, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told the administration top brass that he is ‘disappointed’ in the decision to pull back American forces before a regime change. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said that developments in Libya over the last two days have been ‘unsettling,’ asking Gates directly whether the transition on Thursday was tantamount to a ‘diminution’ of military capabilities in the region.”

Under what circumstances do we imagine Gaddafi would be forced to leave? “Officials at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which early Thursday assumed control of allied operations to enforce the United Nations mandate in Libya, said they aren’t considering arming Libyan rebels.” This is what happens when America outsources its national security.

Under-informed. Ed Kilgore writes an entire column about Mitt Romney’s chances in 2012 without mentioning health care. Thunk.

Under the category of “shameless fearmongering”: “As Congress struggles to negotiate a budget deal to keep the government running, the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) told lawmakers Wednesday that the GOP version of the budget bill would result in the deaths of at least 70,000 children who depend on American food and health assistance around the world.” Do we really imagine that private sources, other countries and better allocation of resources wouldn’t “spare” these children. So how many children are we “killing” unless we increase USAID funding? Imagine if Republicans put out this sort of claptrap.

Underperforming. “A new NY1-Marist Poll finds New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s once high approval ratings a thing of the past with just 40% of registered voters approving of the job the mayor is doing in office with 59% disapproving.”

Underworked. “Adults nationwide continue to believe government workers have it easier than those in the private sector. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American [a]dults shows that 70% believe workers in the private sector work harder than government workers. Just seven percent (7%) believe government employees work harder, but 23% more are undecided.”

Underestimated is the power of a good dessert. “With Business in Front of F.C.C., AT&T Sends Gift of 1,500 Cupcakes.”

Underappreciated by conservatives is the degree to which the once-revered “intellectual” president is now ridiculed by liberals. Ruth Marcus writes, “As a rhetorical device, particularly as a political rhetorical device, the false choice has outlived its usefulness, if it ever had any. The phrase has become a trite substitute for serious thinking. It serves too often to obscure rather than to explain. President Obama has employed the false-choice device in assessing financial reform, environmental regulation, defense contracting, civil liberties, crime policy, health care, the deployment of troops in Iraq, Native Americans, the space program and, most recently, the situation in Libya.” Bingo.

Under normal circumstances Sarah Palin complains about the “lamestream media.” Now she is whining about the Daily Caller.

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


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