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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

Sometimes the punishment fits the crime. "The House voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to censure Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), who pleaded for leniency but now finds his 40-year career tarnished after his colleagues rebuked him using a rare form of public punishment for ethics violations. The vote was 333-79, with 77 Democrats and two Republicans voting against censure, the harshest form of punishment short of expulsion from Congress."

Sometimes it's better to say nothing at all. "A reporter asks Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) if an average American citizen 'went through similar circumstances as yourself that they may be punished in a worse way?' Rangel lashed out at the reporter: 'Please, I'm not a psychiatrist. I don't deal in average American citizens.' "

Sometimes holding firm pays off. The Republicans may get what they sought all along: extension of all the Bush tax credits. "Under the prospective deal, all the Bush tax cuts would be extended for two years and unemployment benefits would be extended for one, according to congressional sources. Also under consideration is an extension of the Make Work Pay and college-tuition tax credits that were part of the 2009 economic stimulus package."

Sometimes it's better not to oversell yourself. Charles Krauthammer on START: "They see it as their greatest achievement in foreign affairs of this year. Now ask yourself: If this is their greatest achievement, what does it say about what the rest of the two years have been like?"

Sometimes it's just about politics. Jamie Fly writes, "The real reason the administration wants this legislative victory is because of the importance it has placed on its 'reset' of relations with Russia. As some of the cables released by WikiLeaks show, the reset is based on fundamentally unsound judgments about the type of regime that inhabits the Kremlin. Republicans should caution the administration about its efforts to embrace President Medvedev and should call for more pressure on Moscow on human rights and ending Russia's occupation of Georgian territory -- but New START is not the vehicle for achieving these goals or killing the reset. . . Some have argued that after his party's crushing defeat at the polls, Obama will now turn to foreign policy. The difficulty with this is that thus far he has very few foreign policy successes to cling to. That, not national security concerns, is why he is so desperate to get New START ratified this year."

Sometimes it's not very helpful to compare the federal government to a Mexican fast food joint. "You can loudly demand more cheese, more sour cream, and whatnot, and the asymmetry of interest (you really want more cheese, your server doesn't really care) ensures that the amount of every topping will be on the high side of the plausible." Umm. And if you order too much you get sick?

Sometimes there is no way to sugarcoat things. "The longer people stay out of work, the more trouble they have finding new work. . . So the legions of long-term unemployed will probably be idle for significantly longer than their counterparts in past recessions, reducing their chances of eventually finding a job even when the economy becomes more robust."

Sometimes nothing goes right. We lose the World Cup to a "not free" country. "America's bid to host the 2022 World Cup has fallen short. But it wasn't for lack of trying: Eric Holder has been in Zurich, advocating for the competition to be hosted by the U.S., and the attorney general was joined by Bill Clinton and actor Morgan Freeman. . . The affair is altogether reminiscent of the Obama administration's last foray into sports, when the president himself went to Denmark to convince the International Olympics Committee that the games should be played in Chicago. Then, too, the White House came up short. Freedom House awards Qatar a 'not free' rating. And one can't help but wonder whether Iran will be providing security (since the two nations recently signed a major security deal) and whether Israel, should its national team qualify for the competition, be allowed even to enter Qatar, as it would be a violation of the Arab boycott."

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 3, 2010; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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This is the most disgusting commentary I have ever read. Why is this woman working for the Washington Post?

What Would He Have to Do to Get Below 50 Percent?
Jennifer Rubin - 08.27.2010 - 10:55 AM

It is not as if all of American Jewry is comatose. The New York Times reports on numbers from a Pew poll:

Obama’s approval rating among Jews in 2010 averaged 58 percent.

This percentage was the lowest of all those representing his enthusiastic supporter groups except one, the religious unaffiliated.

The percentage change in Obama’s approval rating from 2009 to 2010 among Jews was greater than any of the other enthusiastic supporter groups, greater than Democrats and liberals in general and greater than the nation overall (or the goyim, if you prefer.)

So American Jews did notice when Obama condemned Israel for building in its eternal capital. They did notice that he has been, from Cairo on, spouting the Palestinian victimology meme. They did notice that he has played footise with the Israel-bashers at the UN and joined (to sit as a mute observer, it seems) the noxious UN Human Rights Council. They did notice that Obama snubbed Bibi, inducing a make-up session. They did notice that he signed onto an NPT declaration singling out Israel (and then said it meant nothing). They did notice that he hasn’t been to Israel. They did notice that his advisers have leaked the prospect of an imposed peace deal and forgoing a UN veto should Israel resume building in its own country. They did notice that his efforts to thwart an existential threat to Israel have been lackluster at best.

And still, 58 percent like what they see. It is indeed a “sick addiction.” There’s no denying it: a majority of American Jews are willfully indifferent to the fate of the Jewish State. It is a sad affirmation that the liberal agenda – of which Obama has been a stalwart, albeit incompetent, standard-bearer — takes precedence over the survival of the Jewish state, and in turn, the Jewish people. (Do we imagine Jewry would survive if Israel does not?)

For those Jews whose priorities are a bit different, a word of advice: find new friends, new allies. There are millions who will make up for and far exceed the numbers of Jews for whom abortion-on-demand and eliminating the Bush tax cuts trump defense of the Jewish state. And for Jewish leaders of pro-Israel groups: you occupy a minority position in American Jewry, so stop chasing the Obama-infatuated. An undiluted and unapologetic defense of the Jewish state, and candor about the president most of you voted for, is in order. Unless of course, you are part of the 58 percent.

Posted by: doczoidberg | December 3, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

why is it disgusting? Elaborate please. Obama has done quite a few things that are not supportive of Israel, and she is amazed his approval is so high among Jews. She wrote for Commentary for several years, you know, which is a Jewish-focused online magazine.

Man Ms. Rubin has Beltway lefties in a tizzy. Almost as if they don't like reading opposing views. I thought only idiot right wing knuckle draggers were like that?

Posted by: jmpickett | December 3, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse


Isn't it a good idea to have these opinions out in the open? On the other hand,I could be convinced that this is a collosal embarrassment for WAPO.
This is like Dicken's Christmas Carol,or It's a good life,where we are shown a path that leads to a grey,dreary,mean world inhabited by ghastly apparitions rather than joyful,full blooded citizens.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 3, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

“Some have argued that after his party's crushing defeat at the polls, Obama will now turn to foreign policy.”

YIKES! So far electing Obama has [“just”] cost the nation Trillions of dollars either misspent or in unfunded health care liabilities. Now we stand to pay for our sins in BLOOD.

Posted by: nvjma | December 3, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

What, exactly, is "disgusting" about that article?

Just because you don't agree with something doesn't mean that it's "disgusting" and that the writer shouldn't be working for the Post. Or is that you just don't think that any conservatives should be working for the Post?

Posted by: WashingtonDame | December 3, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

@doczoidberg | December 3, 2010 8:23 AM: "This is the most disgusting commentary I have ever read."

I read your impassioned comments and it sounds to me like you are in violent agreement with Ms.Rubin's sentiments.

What exactly disgusts you about her commentary? Please explain.

Posted by: HenriLeGrand | December 3, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I would have preferred that Jennifer Rubin stayed with Commentary Contentions blog rather than get lost in the world of Washington Post blogs, but, here she is.

@doczoidberg: thank you for making sure that assessment from August 27 gets more readers.

Perhaps a few will appreciate the truth about Obama's dismal record with one of the America's most important ally, Israel.
Does it take Hamas directly threatening the Suez Canal to understand why Israel is so important to the security of global trade?
Who would you have working WITH America on cyber-warfare defense?

Posted by: K2K2 | December 3, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"why is it disgusting? Elaborate please. Obama has done quite a few things that are not supportive of Israel, and she is amazed his approval is so high among Jews. She wrote for Commentary for several years, you know, which is a Jewish-focused online magazine."

I would say it's disgusting because the WaPo, and especially the WaPo editorial page, is nothing but a mouthpiece for israel. And because Obama is seen as insufficiently pro-israeli, the WaPo has made it a point to go after Obama in every way possible, including adding Ms. Rubin. This would be fine if it were coming from the Jerusalem Post, but not from the Washington Post. Israel’s interests are not America’s interests and the WaPo editors ought to start putting America’s interests first.

Posted by: Thoughtful-Ted | December 3, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Jennifer, FIFA is very clear on these points. If Qatar would refuse to allow the Israeli team to play, they lose the Cup. As for broader significance, Qatar is spending $50B, yes, that's with a B, on infrastructure. Money talks.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 3, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

So you find Ms. Rubin's comments "disgusting" because she doesn't hate Israel enough for you? No country completely shares America’s interests, but American interests and values generally comport with other liberal democracies, such as the UK and Israel. By contrast, American interests tragically rarely agree with those of International institutions like the United Nations, the dictatorships of the Middle East, or hyper self interested countries like Russia. I doubt Mr. Picket et. Al is as concerned about “American Interests” when America subjects itself to international institutions and gives unilateral concessions to Russia, then when we stand by the Jewish state.

Jennifer, this is a good indication that you're doing a great job. Goodness knows there are enough Blogs and Internet sites full of obsessive animus towards Israel; it’s good to know that there's an intelligent and tireless person like Jennifer Rubin to provide well-reasoned and principled counterbalance to the torrent of hate out there. I’ve often criticized the Washington Post, but they deserve kudos for providing Ms. Rubin’s valuable voice.

Posted by: jamie_rapp | December 3, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

@Thoughtful-Ted | December 3, 2010 11:07 AM:

"WaPo, and especially the WaPo editorial page, is nothing but a mouthpiece for israel."
Really? Hyperbolize much?

"Israel’s interests are not America’s interests"
Not always, of course. But as America is Israel's ally, would you consider the possibility that sometimes our interests do coincide with Israel's?

"WaPo editors ought to start putting America’s interests first."
I agree that American news media should, in principle, support American interests. What evidence do you have that WaPo does not? Do you believe there can be a difference of opinion among Americans as to the specifics of what America's interests are or should be? Or do you claim to know in absolute terms what they are in all circumstances?

Are you of the opinion that support of Israel is always against America's best interests? And if so, how do you rationalize that opinion?

Posted by: HenriLeGrand | December 3, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If you are looking a good Criminal Justice degree I strongly recommend "United Forensic College" there you can get the best training to solve crimes.

Posted by: jamieconor4 | December 4, 2010 5:23 AM | Report abuse

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