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Morning Bits

It took a while, but Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius admits to double counting on the ObamaCare budget. It took a while for conservatives to welcome Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates's retirement. First, with a war in Afghanistan, he told West Point cadets "In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined" and then he insisted that a no-fly zone would be an "attack on Libya." Bill Kristol concludes that "he's doing his president, and his country, no favors now. He has said for a while he wants to retire. Let him go, with all appropriate felicitations and salutations. And let someone take over as secretary of defense who believes in the missions in which American forces are now engaged, and who does not shy away from the understanding that American power is a crucial force for good in the world." Unfortunately, the commander in chief will remain. It took a while, but the Senate Democrats finally came up with some cuts for the continuing resolution. Not a lot of cuts, however, as Americans for Tax Reform points out: "[Friday], the Senate Appropriations Committee released its Continuing Resolution that would fund government through the end of the 2011 Fiscal Year, ending September 30. While Democrats have pledged to meet House Republicans 'halfway,' their version of a seven-month funding measure comes nowhere close. The House-passed CR cuts over $60 billion in spending -- the Senate Democrat version cuts a paltry $10 billion, preserving the bloated spending status quo." It took a while, but more people are coming to the conclusion this president is anything but post-racial. "[R]eporter Kenneth Walsh has written a new book, Family of Freedom: Presidents and African Americans in the White House, in which he says: 'But Obama, in his most candid moments, acknowledged that race was still a problem. In May 2010, he told guests at a private White House dinner that race was probably a key component in the rising opposition to his presidency from conservatives, especially right-wing activists in the anti-incumbent 'Tea Party' movement that was then surging across the country. ... A guest suggested that when Tea Party activists said they wanted to 'take back' their country, their real motivation was to stir up anger and anxiety at having a black president, and Obama didn't dispute the idea. He agreed that there was a 'subterranean agenda' in the anti-Obama movement -- a racially biased one -- that was unfortunate.' "

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