The Washington Post

Morning Bits

Rick Santorum’s boffo new ad. But it doesn’t mention Mitt Romney?

An excellent idea. “Sen. Rand Paul is joining a legal challenge to President Barack Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The Kentucky Republican appears to be the first sitting senator to legally object to the Jan. 4 appointments that drew fire from congressional Republicans, who say the president overstepped constitutional boundaries by installing three members to the labor board and Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

Another super move by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). “Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) is introducing legislation, which he calls the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, responding to the administration’s move. Good for the senator: Although the administration’s policy may well be a violation of the existing Religious Freedom Restoration Act, additional legal and political backing for religious freedom would be helpful.”

What a swell idea that “reset” turned out to be. “The tensions over the forces for change erupting across the Middle East were coming to a head here on Tuesday as Arab and Western states confronted Russia over its refusal to condemn the Syrian government for its violent suppression of popular protests.”

This is not positive news for the Obama reelection campaign. “CBO reports that annual spending over the Obama era has climbed to a projected $3.6 trillion this fiscal year from $2.98 trillion in fiscal 2008, or more than 20%. The government spending burden has averaged 24% of GDP, up from an average of about 20%. This doesn’t include the $2 trillion tab for ObamaCare. All of this has increased the federal debt by about $5 trillion in a mere four years. Thanks to higher revenues, the federal deficit will decline to $1.08 trillion in 2012, or 7% of GDP.”

A downer for the Keynesians. “The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday predicted the deficit will rise to $1.08 trillion in 2012. The office also projected the jobless rate would rise to 8.9 percent by the end of 2012, and to 9.2 percent in 2013. These are much dimmer forecasts than in CBO’s last report in August, when the office projected a $973 billion deficit. The report reflects weaker corporate tax revenue and the extension for two months of the payroll tax holiday.”

Depressing news for those who want him for VP. Rubio: “Well, look, my answer hasn’t changed on that. I’ve answered it repeatedly. I have. I’m focused on my job in the Senate. I don’t think I’m going to be asked in terms of getting elected. I’m not going to be the vice presidential nominee but I’m flattered by your words on the panel. We’re going to TiVo that to my mom.” At some point the nominee will get the idea he’s not interested.

A drag for the Romney-haters. The exit polls show Romney has a 76 percent favorable rating and 21 percent unfavorable rating with Florida GOP voters. And 65 percent would be satisfied if he won the nomination. Could it be that a lot of these talk show hosts and right-wing bloggers are out of touch even with Republicans?

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


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