Good for them. “Club for Growth Grows Up . . . [T]he group has dialed back its pugnaciousness and played ball with party leaders. Compared with its upstart rivals, the Club’s tactics this cycle have been downright establishment-friendly. While activists waged war against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Club declined to back his opponent. In a press release, it even praised the six-term incumbent’s voting record and defense of First Amendment rights. . . . It backed only three challengers to sitting Republican lawmakers so far this cycle, fewer than its conservative competitors. And it has poured money into Arkansas, in support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s leading Senate recruit this cycle, Rep. Tom Cotton.”
Good to know. “The name of the Democrats’ plan, ‘A Fair Shot for Everyone,’ even echoes a line Mr. Obama repeated often on the campaign trail. . . . Privately, White House officials say they have no intention of searching for any grand bargain with Republicans on any of these issues. ‘The point isn’t to compromise,’ a senior White House official said, speaking anonymously to divulge strategy. . . . Part of the goal is to energize the Democratic base, which will be crucial to turnout in the more conservative states where the party needs to win this year.” No wonder he wouldn’t talk on the record.
Good policy and good politics. “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday that the immigration form plan presented by Democrats in the House of Representatives would reduce the U.S. budget deficit by $900 billion over the next 20 years. The CBO estimates that approving the bill – virtually identical to the bipartisan measure passed by the Senate last June – would save the country about $200 billion in the first decade and some $700 billion in the second.”
Good thing the president takes this seriously. No wait. . . Yikes. “The U.S. gross federal debt currently stands at $17.548 trillion, and net interest payments to our creditors are the fastest-growing item in the budget. In 2014, the Congressional Budget Office projects that the nation will spend $233 billion on interest payments. By the end of the budget window in 2024, however, CBO forecasts that interest payments will nearly quadruple to an astonishing $880 billion. Every dollar spent paying our creditors is a dollar wasted—money for which we get nothing in return. Interest payments threaten to crowd out every other budget item.”
Good advice. “Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula was made easier by its energy grip over Ukraine. Russia’s state-controlled gas company, Gazprom, threatened to cut off supplies to Ukraine earlier this month, as it did in 2006 and 2009. Gazprom is now threatening to double the price Ukraine pays for natural gas, which could cripple the country’s already weak economy, which we are trying to help. America’s newly developing energy supplies could make a difference, sapping President Putin’s strength, while bolstering Ukraine and many other European countries.”
Good news, finally, from the White House. “The Obama administration on Wednesday signaled support for increased exports of natural gas in a joint statement issued with the European Union. Noting the conflict in Ukraine, the statement strongly suggested increased sales of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is needed to diversify Europe’s energy supplies and weaken the influence of Russia.”
Good grief. And what makes it worse is the president seems not to understand this. “It is thus more accurate to say that Russia in an alignment, not an alliance, with Iran and Syria. Depending upon competing priorities and the vicissitudes of world politics, Putin will tack this way today, that way tomorrow. In the end, however, he will never sell out Tehran and Damascus in order to win compliments in Washington; if forced to choose, he will always side with the former against the latter, and will certainly leave them in no doubt that Russia is their most dependable friend in the United Nations Security Council. It is this fact that makes Russia a revisionist power in the Middle East and the permanent adversary of the United States.”