Morning Bits

Not the mature conversation on the budget we were promised. “Ever since President Obama gave his speech on deficit reduction last month, in response to the Paul Ryan-authored 2012 House Republican budget, press accounts have suggested that he has released an actual budget that would reduce deficit spending by $4 trillion. This claim is wrong on both counts: Obama has not released a second budget, and the proposals he outlined in his speech and its corresponding ‘framework’ would not reduce deficit spending by anywhere near $4 trillion.”

Not the civility Obama promised. “HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that the Ryan Medicare proposal will lead to early deaths among seniors. During testimony before the House Education and the Workforce Committee, she said seniors ‘will run out of money very quickly.’ She continued, ‘If you run out of the government voucher and then you run out of your own money, you’re left to scrape together charity care, go without care, die sooner. There really aren’t a lot of options.’” Disgusting.

Not the roll-over-and-play-dead Congress of the last two years. Republicans challenge the imperial presidency: “Nearly every Republican senator is vowing to block any presidential nominee to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unless major changes are made to the agency. In a letter sent to the president Thursday, 44 GOP senators said that any pick to become the first director of the CFPB, regardless of political affiliation, will be unacceptable unless the bureau is significantly altered to reduce its ‘unfettered authority.’”

Not the result the Palestinians’ “unity government” was hoping for, no doubt. “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will return to Israel Friday claiming to have secured the support of two key European countries – France and England – against accepting any Palestinian government that fails to renounce terror and refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Not the worst career choice for a guy with no principles. “[Charlie] Crist has gone from asking for votes to asking for business ‘if you need help sorting out your legal issues as a result of an accident or insurance dispute.’”

Not the anti-terrorism policies we want going forward. In a must-read, former attorney general Michael Mukasey explains, “Osama bin Laden was killed by Americans, based on intelligence developed by Americans. . . . Seized along with bin Laden’s corpse was a trove of documents and electronic devices that should yield intelligence that could help us capture or kill other terrorists and further degrade the capabilities of those who remain at large. But policies put in place by the very administration that presided over this splendid success promise fewer such successes in the future. Those policies make it unlikely that we’ll be able to get information from those whose identities are disclosed by the material seized from bin Laden. The administration also hounds our intelligence gatherers in ways that can only demoralize them.”

Not the most successful tax proposal. It didn’t last a day: “The White House on Thursday walked back a proposal to tax people based on how many miles they drive. . . . ‘This is not a bill supported by the administration,’ White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. ‘This was an early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within the administration, does not take into account the advice of the president’s senior advisers, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the president.’” That’s not a walk-back, it’s a sprint.

Not the time to slash the Pentagon budget. “Republicans see the possibility of several issues arising from the successful raid that can be used to raise questions about Obama’s policies. Strategist Michael Goldfarb sees the Obama administration’s drive to cut the defense budget as a legitimate concern. ‘The American people are looking at a huge successful military operation and can see this is one institution that really works effectively. Don’t you want to make the point that the president is trying to cut $400 billion from this institution but seems incapable of cutting anything else?’ said Goldfarb.”

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

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