About time. “Recalibrating their strategy after a bruising election and an inauguration that underscored President Obama’s renewed popularity, political savvy and place in history, Republicans are now training their fire on Senate Democrats instead of the man in the Oval Office. Republican House members have come to terms with the fact that though they control the lower chamber, Democrats run the rest of Washington. In light of that, they are putting more pressure on the Senate to pass a budget — a basic task of governing that has not been achieved for four years.”

In the nick of time. A smart conservative book making the case for immigration reform is coming out soon. “The only alternatives to increased immigration are mounting debts or reduced social services. A practicable system of work-based immigration for both high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants—a system that will include a path to citizenship—will help us meet workforce needs, prevent exportation of jobs to foreign countries and protect against the exploitation of workers”

Deja vu all over again. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) still insists he was right about Bashar al-Assad. “Kerry developed a relationship with Mr. Assad, saying as recently as March 2011, “My judgment is that Syria will move, Syria will change, as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States and the West. Kerry addressed his past views on Assad, saying he is convinced the Syrian leader ‘did want to move’ his country forward. But ‘since then he had made a set of judgments that are inexcusable and reprehensible,’ Kerry said, adding he now believes that ‘time is ticking’ on Assad’s time in power.” Good grief — and he might be the strongest part of the national security B Team.

Better late than never. “Mali Exposes Flaws in West’s Security Plans . . . The tension is a dramatic example of a growing trans-Atlantic disconnect.” It is almost like we had an incompetent national security team.

Long overdue. “The president has made many terrible appointments. To say that this one [to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission] is a superb appointment is not to grade him on a curve. Mary Jo White will be terrific in what is a very important job.”

Not a moment to lose. The “Jewish Lobby” Chuck Hagel complained about shows up. Except they aren’t Jewish: “At least 400 Christian leaders will travel to Capitol Hill next week to lobby senators against the nomination of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense, pro-Israel group Christians United for Israel (CUFI) announced yesterday.”

No time like the present. Newt Gingrich says it is time to get happy and inclusive. “Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich channelled his inner Bobby McFerrin and encouraged Republicans to ‘be a happy party.’ Speaking at the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee, the former presidential candidate said the GOP needs to engage with Americans where they are . . . . ‘I would like to say to every consultant in the party: If you think you are going to target less than 100 percent of the country you’re not going to get any of our business.’ ” Newt is at his best when he’s not running for something.