What a concept — A budget! “Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee have put forward a schedule for producing a budget resolution this year to committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.). The Senate has not passed a budget resolution since 2009, and Murray last year suggested that a budget may not get done again this year. In a letter made public Wednesday, Republicans lay out a detailed hearing and markup schedule to meet the legal deadline for producing a budget.”
What a concept — You need troops to win a war! “Retired Lt. Gen. Jim Dubik, a former commander of the training mission in Iraq, estimates in a recent report for the Institute for the Study of War that 23,000 to 28,000 troops would be needed. . . .That is a far cry from the figures now leaking out of the Obama administration. Rumor has it that the administration would like to pull out perhaps half of the 66,000 troops this year and almost all the rest in 2014, leaving behind as few as 3,000 personnel. Or maybe none at all: Talk of a ‘zero option’ has been getting louder from the White House.”
What a concept — Get voters to like the GOP! Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has put forth the outlines of comprehensive immigration. “Senator Rubio also understands that while immigration reform isn’t a magic bullet for the GOP, the immigration issues is ‘a gateway issue for Hispanics … No matter what your stance is on a number of other issues, if people somehow come to believe that you don’t like them or want them here, it’s difficult to get them to listen to anyone else.'”
What a concept — Stop spending more when you are broke. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): “So President Obama may not want to cut spending as part of the upcoming debt-limit debate, but history shows that deficit-reduction measures tied to debt-ceiling increases are about as standard in Washington as the Cherry Blossom Festival. And with the federal debt now at a mind-numbing $16.4 trillion, it’s a debate the president will have whether he wants to or not.”
What a concept — Realistic voters! “Still, as much as Israelis want peace with the Arabs, they are skeptical of that happening anytime soon. Israeli voters are as rational as voters in any liberal democracy — and in this case, Israel is a liberal democracy that has come under repeated attacks from its neighbors. . . . Israelis haven’t abandoned the dream of peace; they’ve faced reality and are refusing to continue to pay lip service to an illusion.” Read the whole thing.
What a concept — Make arguments instead of cloying appeals! Chuck Todd on the rollout of the anti-gun legislation: “The assault weapons ban may be the most difficult and a bridge too far, but even to improve the background checks system, the magazine clip … what struck me is, they almost have to tap into emotion, tap into frustration, to anger in the public and use that, because he spent more time making an emotional case for his proposals than he did talking about the individual proposals themselves.”
What a concept — Those in favor of a strong Israel are protecting Americans’ security. “Chuck Hagel does not have to like Jews, but if he expects to defend the United States, he needs to understand the nature and scope of the war against Israel, including its corrupting effect on Arab societies. The alignment between Israel and America is dictated by those who burn the flags of both countries on the same pyre. By contrast, those who lobby for Israel’s protection axiomatically have America’s back.” A must-read from Ruth Wisse.