Why Israel thinks it is a rotten deal. “Although Israel has less firepower than the U.S., it will not outsource ultimate responsibility for its defense to any nation, even its closest friend and ally; that is a cornerstone of its national security strategy. Moreover, Israel has vastly greater exposure to the Iranian threat. Thus, Israel’s goal is to prevent Iran from acquiring the capacity to build a nuclear weapon.”
For Turkey it’s not horrible at all. “You may have thought the Geneva deal struck last month between Iran and the P5+1 nations (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) was a sweet one for Tehran — getting billions in sanctions relief in exchange for mere promises to halt its nuclear program. But Turkey may be an even bigger winner. It just needs to open its doors and wait for Iranian funds to pour.”
A conservative group doesn’t think the budget deal is so terrible. “This is a model for the types of policy changes the nation needs now to avert the debt crisis that mandatory spending poses. Mandatory spending is already crowding out the budget, and will continue to do so. Medicare is running cash deficits of $300 billion. These numbers only get worse over time. Social Security is now in cash-deficit and will continue to drive up federal borrowing until 2033, when the Trust Fund runs dry, forcing a 23 percent cut to retiree benefits. These are critical safety net programs, and with modest changes can put on solid footing over time. The Bipartisan Budget Act does not accomplish these changes, and no one claims it does, but it offers a model for how these changes can be made. Let’s hope it’s a lesson Congress can learn soon.”
The awful 2012 GOP primary calendar will be a thing of the past. The Republican National Committee (RNC) is pushing for fewer debates and a June convention: “One proposal being weighed by the RNC members would involve sanctioning a small handful of debates while penalizing candidates who participate in any nonsanctioned GOP debate by stripping them of one-third of their delegates to the national convention. . . . Of all the changes, the convention date is perhaps the most crucial and sought-after adjustment in the wake of Romney’s 2012 loss. For many in the party, the primary process dragged for too long, with too many loose ends and hurt feelings, before Romney was formally declared the nominee at the Tampa, Florida, convention in late August.”
Dreadful numbers for the people who cheered for the shutdown. “For the first time, a slim majority of Americans say they have an unfavorable opinion of the Tea Party movement. About one-third view the movement favorably, a new low. A smaller percentage, 22%, in a separate question identify themselves as supporters of the movement, while 24% describe themselves as opponents. Nearly half (48%) are neutral.” Dysfunction and anger have a short shelf-life.
Speaker of the House John Boehner is finally taking on the advocates of atrocious governance. “Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) outburst Thursday at outside conservative groups is going viral on the Internet. Boehner voiced incredulity Thursday that the same groups that pushed Republicans to shut down the government later said they knew the strategy wouldn’t succeed in defunding ObamaCare.”
The MSM find the White House’s behavior appalling — mostly when it affects them. “The members of the White House press corps exploded at White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Thursday over the charge that President Barack Obama’s administration is too restrictive in the access it gives photographers, and replaces that access with official White House photographers.”