Not encouraging. “As least 11 people were killed after assailants attacked protesters staging a sit-in near Egypt’s Ministry of Defense early on Wednesday, sparking hours of clashes that threw the coming presidential election into disarray as at least five candidates announced the suspension of their campaigns to protest the deaths.”

Encouraged Newt Gingrich to hang it up, I guess. “The campaign been dogged by financial problems since last summer, but its cash crunch accelerated in recent weeks. It finished March with $4.3 million in debts, an alarming increase from $1.5 million at the end of February, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.”

Democrats might be encouraged to fend for her if it didn’t take days to come up with this excuse: “Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, fending off questions about whether she used her Native American heritage to advance her career, said today she enrolled herself as a minority in law school directories for nearly a decade because she hoped to meet other people with tribal roots.”

If only Californians would be encouraged to change their state’s tax and regulatory policies. “California named worst state for business in magazine survey. . . . Its 10.9% unemployment rate is only lower than Nevada’s and Rhode Island’s. A third of U.S. welfare recipients live in California, the report noted. High state taxes and bundles of red tape make operating a business in the state unaffordable to many companies, critics say. Last year, 254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs elsewhere -- 26% more than 2010. Most chief executives in Silicon Valley said they won’t expand in the state, according to the survey.”

The ad is called “Forward.” But actually President Obama is encouraging Americans “to look back.” Surprise, surprise: “The ad also implicitly blames President George W. Bush for that recession. An image of Bush appears in the background as the 2008 financial crash is recalled. But while Obama’s promise of a definitive break with the Bush years paid off four years ago, the attempt to hold his predecessor culpable for the ongoing economic malaise may be less effective with the passage of time.” Sigh.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be encouraged by this. “The Likud would have 31 seats in the next Knesset, with Kadima dropping from largest to fifth-largest faction at only 10 seats, a Dahaf Institute poll sponsored by the Knesset Channel showed Wednesday. According to the poll, Labor will be the second-largest faction with 17 seats, followed by Yisrael Beytenu with 13 and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party with 12.”

It is encouraging that not every politician uses religion to bludgeon his opponents. “While [Rep. Paul] Ryan, a committed Catholic, provided a robust defense of his budget, he readily admits there is plenty of room for differences over the prudential application of Christian principles to matters of public policy. Too often people on both the left and the right insist the New Testament and Hebrew Bible provide a governing blueprint. In fact, they say virtually nothing about what we would consider public policy. They simply do not offer detailed guidance on (to name just a handful of issues) trade; education; welfare, crime; health care; affirmative action, immigration; foreign aid; legal reform; climate change; and much else.” Unfortunately, too many public figures, including the president, don’t agree. Read the whole thing.

It is not encouraging when the left touts totalitarian (China)or authoritarian models. As for the latter, there is this: “I’ve been a gushing fan of Singapore’s public policy achievements since I began looking at them a few years back. Singapore spends 4 percent of gross domestic product on health care vs. America’s 17 percent, yet it delivers equal or better health outcomes. It’s at the top of global school rankings because (unlike us) it routinely recruits exemplary students into the teaching profession. Yes, I know, Singapore still denies press and assembly freedoms we take for granted, and has awful anti-gay laws on the books (which I’m told go unenforced).”