Business leaders are unimpressed. “The White House on Tuesday released over two dozen finalized plans—more than 800 pages of text—for streamlining regulations in government agencies. But congressional Republicans and business advocates say the effort doesn’t go far enough. They fear the continued implementation of new regulations will prove costly for businesses and hinder economic growth at a vulnerable time. . . . Business organizations applauded the move but expressed concern that the effort would be overshadowed by new regulations, such as those mandated by the health care and Dodd-Frank financial reform laws.”
Republicans are unimpressed with Jon Huntsman’s political critiques. He is at 1 percent in the Gallup poll.
Elliott Abrams is unimpressed with Obama’s indifference regarding democratic elections by the Palestinians. “The United States and the EU should be demanding elections, so that there is a legitimate government in Ramallah. Neither the United States nor the Quartet said one word criticizing that cancellation, again, of local elections. But the flimsy excuses offered by Abbas should be rejected flatly, and elections for the presidency and the parliament should be held within six months. Can it be the policy of the United States that autocracy is intolerable in Damascus, Tripoli, Cairo, and Tunis, but just fine in Ramallah?”
A Brookings scholar is unimpressed with President Obama’s money advantage. “Money helps but it is more important for challenges than incumbents. Challengers need adequate resources to get known, communicate their message to voters, and protect themselves from opposition attacks. At a time of high unemployment and declining presidential popularity, Republicans only need sufficient resources to get their key points out. They don’t have to outspend Democrats to do well in 2012.”
Independents are unimpressed with Obama. “The unpopular debt-ceiling deal has significantly hampered President Obama’s effort to win over independent voters. . . . .[A] Gallup poll this week found Obama trailing not only the two leading GOP candidates — former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry — among independent voters, but long-shot candidate Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) as well. The poll found that Obama leads Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), but only by a 6-point margin, 48 percent to 42 percent.”
Yuval Levin is unimpressed with the notion that GOP presidential candidates should duck on entitlements. “It is crucial that Republicans take up that challenge in a way that would make it possible to take some meaningful steps toward reform after the 2012 election. The Ryan budget was a very important first step on that path, but it is absolutely essential that the Republican presidential candidate next year is willing to make a case for some real reforms—be they Ryan’s or others. That doesn’t mean he has to run on a Medicare platform, but he has to include Medicare reform in his broader platform and rhetoric, and to be reasonably well prepared to make the case for it against the inevitable Democratic demagoguery. A failure to do so would be a failure to take our fiscal problems seriously. We do not face a choice between discretionary cuts and entitlement reform, we face a choice between doing both or suffering a massive debt crisis that will crush our potential for prosperity.”
Noemie Emery is unimpressed with Obama’s supposed brilliance. “And if Obama is brilliant, and Bush is an imbecile, how come the genius kept most of the things the dolt set in motion: the protocols for fighting the war against terror, the surge strategy, the timetables, and even, in Robert Gates and David Petraeus, some of his main appointees? Why couldn’t the genius improve on the idiot’s handiwork? Maybe he isn’t that bright.”
Ben Smith is unimpressed by George Pataki. (Isn’t everyone?) “It’s hard to know what to write about George Pataki, who inched closer to running for president today. I covered New York politics through his third successful campaign, in 2002, and his final term. But I never felt I had a crystal clear sense of his ideology or approach to governance. His success came in large part from staying out of the political cut-and-thrust, and he never aspired to be the sort of well-known statewide public figure that some governors — like Nelson Rockefeller and both Cuomos — become. . . .Pataki’s low profile style may be the reason he’s not taken as seriously as even, say, Jon Huntsman, who amassed a similar record in a much shorter tenure.” Ouch.
Anyone who’s been following the North Korean regime’s routine for two decades will be unimpressed with this. “North Korea is ready to impose a moratorium on nuclear missile tests if international talks on its nuclear program resume, a spokesman for Russia’s president said Wednesday after talks between the two leaders.”