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Morning Bits

Mark Hemingway skewers the conspiratorial left, observing that "the left's collective Koch delusions are especially odd considering that for years liberals have been accusing conservatives of wallowing in the fever swamps whenever George Soros' name comes up. . . . [S]ome of the biggest critics of Koch on the left, such as the Center for American Progress and Common Cause, are big recipients of Soros funding. Go figure."

House Republicans are ready to attack entitlements. "House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that he's determined to offer a budget this spring that curbs Social Security and Medicare, despite the political risks, and that Republicans will try to persuade voters that sacrifices are needed."

Notwithstanding the barrage of complaints from liberals, "Harvard University moved Thursday to allow ROTC programs to set up on campus, after years of restricting the U.S. military's access because of its 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. ... Harvard President Drew Faust cited the recent decision to overturn that policy as the genesis for the university's new [tack]. She will sign an agreement Friday with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to re-establish a home for ROTC on campus, the school announced in a press release."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is rolling over the public employee unions in his state. "Public workers are setting up tent cities in Columbus, as in Madison. Yet despite some defections, most Republicans hung together in a crucial vote Wednesday in the state senate, narrowly passing 17-16 a bill that will limit collective bargaining for government unions and move to merit from step pay, among other reforms. It now goes to the house, which Republicans control 59 to 40. . . . The bill gives Ohio and its cities and counties new tools to manage the costs of some 360,000 state and local workers. They will earn pay increases on the basis of performance, rather than the automatic seniority and length-of-service increases that now apply beyond the annual increases negotiated by unions. It also allows collective bargaining for wages up to inflation, but not for benefits or pensions. Far from a 'right' divinely etched into stone, Ohio only allowed government collective bargaining in 1983."

First in Wisconsin and now in the U.S. Senate, liberals submarine the civility campaign. "Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) took to the Senate floor Thursday to defend labor unions, saying that dictators like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin opposed them."

Mike Huckabee misfires -- again. "Mike Huckabee laced into Oscar winner Natalie Portman for her 'out-of-wedlock' pregnancy, saying the expecting star is helping to 'glamorize' single motherhood. Huckabee made the comments on conservative commentator Michael Medved's radio show this week, after Portman accepted her golden trophy and in her speech thanked her fiance, Benjamin Millepied, for giving her 'my most important role of my life.'" So his concern is about a woman placing motherhood above career and marrying her child's father?

Wisconsin Republicans bring out the big guns. "Senate Republicans Thursday ordered the forcible detention of their 14 Democratic colleagues, who fled the state two weeks ago to avoid a vote on Gov. Scott Walker's controversial budget repair bill." Why not simply declare those absent for two weeks to have resigned their offices?

Reason enough to take out Gaddafi: "In the hospital morgue in the town of Ajdabiya, the fallen soldiers looked as young as 12 years old. The revelation by a morgue worker came as witnesses told The Times yesterday that soldiers sent by Colonel Gaddafi to fight rebels in the neighbouring eastern oil town of Brega were no more than children. Meanwhile, captives accused of being mercenaries were paraded on the front line."

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