Howard Kurtz spots an about-face at the White House: “It isn’t often that the White House press secretary begins a briefing by saying his boss was wrong. But that’s what Jay Carney did Monday in saying that Barack Obama should not have voted against raising the debt ceiling when he was a senator. The president ‘regrets that vote and thinks it was a mistake,’ Carney said. . . . The tenor of the briefing room made clear just how fundamentally the GOP has altered the terms of political debate. Carney used the phrase ‘deficit reduction’ again and again, and promised there would be more in the economic proposals the president will unveil in a speech Wednesday at George Washington University.”
Phil Klein spots more than one problem with liberals’ new favorite model budget. For starters the plan “anticipates revenue as a percentage of the economy rising to over 30 percent. This would be a staggering level, blowing away the all-time record of 20.9 percent during the height of World War II. And the increase in taxes wouldn’t just hammer the rich, but increasingly fall on the middle class.”
The Koch brothers spot the errors and demand a correction from the New York Times: “The most recent bout of falsehoods was, perhaps unsurprisingly, directed at the much-maligned owners of Koch Industries, Charles and David Koch. In a Sunday, April 3 op-ed in the Times, David Callahan, a senior fellow at the left-wing advocacy group Demos, made numerous factual errors regarding the company and its fraternal owners, and about non-profit tax law — together, the two central topics of his piece.
Elliott Abrams spots Vladimir Putin’s hand: “On April 6, Hamas terrorists fired a Russian Kornet laser-guided missile at a school bus in southern Israel. How did Hamas get such a missile? It turns out that Russia does not license others to produce this missile; every single Kornet is manufactured in Russia at the KBP factory. The KBP web site helpfully touts all the wonderful qualities of this weapon. So how did Hamas get its hands on the Kornet it used to try to kill dozens of Israeli schoolchildren? Syria is the obvious guess, as Russia sells Kornets to Syria and Syria maintains close relations with Hamas and Hizballah. The United States has previously sanctioned the KBP plant for providing missiles to Syria that then reached Hizballah, as this Israeli news item notes. The only thing we don’t know is whether it was Hizballah or Syria who turned Kornets over to Hamas.” So reset’s going swimmingly, you see.
Mitt Romney announces formation of his exploratory committee and a rival promptly spots the key issue for 2012: “Many seized on the fact that the video came the day before the five-year anniversary of the Romney’s universal health care law enactment, an event that Democrats in key early states like Iowa and New Hampshire ‘celebrated’ by thanking him for paving the way for national reform. ‘Watching the video it’s hard to think of anything other than what Gov. Romney was doing at the very same moment 5 years prior: sitting with Ted Kennedy finalizing their government run health care plan,’ was the swipe from one aide to a rival candidate shortly after the video aired.” It’s bizarre actually that he keeps avoiding the issue.
Republicans spot ex-OMB head Peter Orszag taking a shot at the president. “Depending on whose spin you believe, Orszag quit over principle, telling friends he was upset by Washington’s refusal to get serious about the deficit. A less favorable view is that Orszag was marginalized by [Rahm] Emanuel and David Axelrod. He was accused of leaking and being disloyal, said one Democrat close to the players. The press loved Peter, which was part of the reason why the White House didn’t love him.”
Peter Feaver spots what’s wrong with Obama’s “kinetic” military actions. “The net result of this is that Obama’s strategy is inordinately reliant on kinetic effects. Napoleon used to say that the moral is to the physical as three is to one. Obama’s approach denies his team that psychological force multiplier. So when the administration talks about kinetic military action, realize that this may simply be indicating that that is the only part of the strategy that has a good chance of succeeding. We should all hope that the impressive kinetic military action the president has authorized is sufficient to overcome the deficiencies in the non-kinetic aspects of the strategy.” Read the whole thing.