The Washington Post

Morning Bits

Among other things. “Our Elite Schools Have Abandoned Military History.”

Among other problems. If Mitt Romney loses in Iowa, he will have a tough time convincing the punditocracy that he “didn’t try.” Jonathan Martin observes that “aides to the former Massachusetts governor have vivid memories of the time and money they devoted to Iowa in 2008, only to see Mike Huckabee ride a wave of support from evangelicals to defeat Romney by nine points. With Huckabee and other social conservatives mulling runs, Team Mitt looks warily at Iowa. Romney has already skipped two candidate cattle calls there.”

Among other foreign policy disasters. Count President Obama’s response to the Syrian human rights atrocities. Elliott Abrams writes that the administration “announced some new sanctions on Syria, including on Assad’s brother Maher, but leaving Bashar al-Assad’s name off the list. Why? According to Reuters ‘he could be named later if violence by government forces against pro-democracy protesters continues.’ Put less gently, he appears not to have killed the threshold number of people yet, and if he kills more he’ll go on the list. He did kill more people today — dozens more. The toll is now over 500 and climbing.”

Among other, far gloomier stories. There are grounds for optimism, care of the U.S. military: “The Pentagon on Friday painted a guardedly optimistic picture of the war in Afghanistan, saying that U.S. and allied forces had made ‘tangible progress’ against the Taliban over the past six months and that conditions were right to withdraw at least some U.S. troops this summer.” We can only hope Obama does not forfeit that progress by pulling out too many troops too quickly.

Among the “worst” of those union-busting, anti-worker pols. This would include Massachusetts Democrats? “On Wednesday, the Massachusetts state House voted 111-42 to limit public employees’ ability to collectively bargain for health care. Mrs. Trumka, please hide all sharp objects from Richard, the AFL-CIO chief. . . . Coming in the bluest of blue states, the news landed like ice water on unions, which are shouting betrayal.” The reaction of the left blogosphere will be interesting. Will they attack with the same venom they spewed in Wisconsin?

Among other strengths. It turns out Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is very good on the stump. This news report shows how effective Ryan can be. Funny, too.

Among other attributes. Count his good eyesight. Ryan spots an AstroTurfer at a town hall.

Among the most appalling public statements of late. A list must include the suggestion by Brad Johnson of the Center for American Progress that the tornado-ravaged states got what was coming.

Among other reasons. Why the left is peeved at Obama: “The announcement on Friday that two former top White House aides were forming a non-government group underwritten in part by secret donors has sparked pointed disagreement over the strategic direction and moral compass of the Democratic Party. . . . ‘I’m not going to endorse playing with the devil. I’m not going to endorse becoming just another corporate candidate,’ former Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, a longtime campaign finance reform advocate, said in a phone interview with the Huffington Post. “I know a lot of Democrats in D.C. don’t agree with me on this. And I, of course, understand the desire to do everything possible to win. But, essentially what you’re doing by this is, you’re trying to become corporate-lite, in effect. And we’ll lose that battle, because [Republicans] are going to have more money.’ ” Sounds to me like a good platform for a primary run.

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

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