Preparing for the worst. “The Pentagon did an about-face on sequestration …, taking concrete steps — including a hiring freeze and a delay in awarding some contract awards — more than six weeks before the across-the-board spending cuts are scheduled to hit.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says Afghan forces are not prepared to take over. “I think there is a very, very grave risk now that with the president’s announcement that they are basically going to be out, that the Afghans will not be able to effectively counter what still remains a significant Taliban and significantly discordant situation in both Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan,” McCain said. “There’s only one Afghan brigade that is capable of acting independently. These forces need air support, intelligence, all the kind of logistics and other support that is necessary to be effective fighting forces.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) (Associated Press)

National Rifle Association President David Keene is prepared for a fight: “When a president takes all the power of his office, if he’s willing to expend political capital, you don’t want to make predictions. You don’t want to bet your house on the outcome. But I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress.” Really, if President Obama includes an assault weapons ban, isn’t it a sign he’s not serious about getting something passed?

It doesn’t sound like Cory Booker is prepared for prime time yet. “Newark Mayor Cory Booker on Sunday continued to teeter the line about whether he will run for the U.S. Senate and potentially challenge incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg to a primary. ‘That’s my intention, but it’s over a year away,’ Booker said when asked if he’s going to run. ‘A lot could change between now and then.’ But he didn’t explicitly say he was running. ‘I’m not ruling out anything right now, but it’s premature to be speculative,’ Booker said.” When is it not premature to speculate?

Another Democrat is not prepared to roll over for the president. “… [Connecticut Sen. Richard] Blumenthal was reluctant to express his support for Chuck Hagel on “Fox News Sunday” this morning. Although he thinks Hagel will win the nomination, he refused to promise to vote for him.”

Are other conservatives prepared to back Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s roads proposal? The Washington Examiner’s editorial board does: “Transportation has been consistently short-changed in Virginia for decades, even though it represents one of the state’s core functions. This cannot continue. And as sales tax receipts rise due to expanded economic activity, revenue for new roads and bridges will be generated to keep the vast highway network Virginians depend upon healthy for years to come.”

How often am I prepared to recommend a Huffington Post column? Well, this one is a must-read: “(1) Obama prefers to have Wall Street guys run finance (despite coming to power because Wall Street blew up the world), (2) the revolving door under Obama that connects Wall Street and the White House has been super-charged, and (3) even very short stints in Wall Street have made Obama’s finance advisers wealthy. The obvious is vitally important, and it is largely ignored by the most prominent media. The obvious aspects help explain why Obama’s economic policies have been incoherent, ineptly explained, inequitable, and often slavishly pro-Wall Street at the expense of our integrity and citizens.”

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