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Right Turn: January 9, 2011 - January 15, 2011

Priebus wins RNC chairmanship in seventh round

On the seventh round of voting, the Republican National Committee (RNC) selected Reince Priebus as its next chairman. Michael Steele dropped out after the fourth ballot, endorsing Maria Cino. Ann Wagner withdrew after the sixth round. The final count was...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 14, 2011; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  RNC  
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Friday question

It was a trying and terribly sad week for the whole country. What was the most inspirational moment of the week, and what was the most disheartening? Responses must be in by 6 p.m. ET on Sunday. As usual, I'll...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 14, 2011; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Friday question  
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Freedom House tracking human rights or promoting liberal agenda?

Freedom House, a group that tracks and monitors human rights abuses, is out with its latest Freedom in the World report. It appears that some left-wing priorities, however, have trumped accuracy. With regard to the Middle East, Christian Whiton, a...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 14, 2011; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Human Rights  
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The real issue in Arizona: Schizophrenia (Part 2)

Earlier today, I reviewed medical experts' explanations of the causes of schizophrenia. In this post, I'll look at how the illness manifests, whether lay people can identify it, and what changes may be needed in the mental health system. Dr.Stephen...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 14, 2011; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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Cut defense, ask questions later

Last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced substantial defense cuts. This week, two of the premises for these cuts dissolved. On the troop reduction, we are supposed to believe that we will be out of Afghanistan and Iraq by 2014....

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 14, 2011; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Budget  
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The real issue in Arizona: Schizophrenia (Part 1)

Missing from much of the wall-to-wall coverage of the horrific Arizona shooting have been credible facts regarding schizophrenia. Bizarrely, the national debate has raged on almost everything but the issue of schizophrenia. In fact, had reporters and pundits alike had...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 14, 2011; 9:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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Mitch Daniels's error

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels made a cardinal error in presidential campaigning: he has raised his visibility and made some gaffes without the national staff to help him respond to a flood of criticism. Social conservatives are miffed over his suggestion...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 14, 2011; 8:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Morning Bits

Hillary Clinton is now talking tough to Arab states (is she running for something in New York state?). But still, the left-wing demagogue is never far from view. "Hillary Clinton started her week on a shameful note, terming crazed Arizona...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 14, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Nice but tough -- Tim Pawlenty at the National Press Club

The "too nice" rap on Tim Pawlenty and the lack of a clear campaign theme have been the most discussed shortcomings of the potential Pawlenty 2012 campaign. To some degree, he addressed both of those at a speech at the...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 13, 2011; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Romney staffs up

RealClearPolitics.com reports that Mitt Romney is hiring staff for his anticipated presidential run: Rich Beeson, a Republican operative who has worked as a political director at the Republican National Committee and was most recently a partner at the voter contact...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 13, 2011; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Thune boycotts CPAC boycotters

Senator John Thune (R.-S.D.) has much the same dilemma as Tim Pawlenty: He's a fine conservative but not well-known and not instantaneously a stand-out in the crowded primary field. But he is, it seems, going to make a go of...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 13, 2011; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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A new tone or a new presidency?

Karl Rove, writing no doubt before the Arizona memorial service, examines the hiring of Bill Daley and concludes: Mr. Obama's best chance of success 22 months from now rests on reclaiming his image as a reasonable, bipartisan and unifying figure....

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 13, 2011; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  President Obama  
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Heal thyself, Sen. Webb

My home-state senator, Jim Webb (D.-Va.), made a remarkable statement yesterday. The Virginian-Pilot reported on his appearance in Norfolk: The Obama administration "did a really terrible job handling health care reform," he said, because the president relied on Congress to...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 13, 2011; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Senate Democrats  
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What the left did wrong

Why were the last four days a mini-disaster for the swampland of the left? It boils down to: facts, response and time. Members of the left pounced first and didn't much care about the facts. Before it was clear just...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 13, 2011; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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Morning Bits

You might have thought we were all past the divisive stage, if you hadn't read Hillary Clinton's latest screed, imitating Paul Krugman. She proclaims the murders an act of political "extremism." Sheesh, "even her boss, whose own past love affair...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 13, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Arizona memorial: It's not about politics

The memorial service in Arizona was in many ways representative of our noisy, increasingly religious and decent country. I didn't care for the raucous-like atmosphere. The Native American chief went on too long and sounded like he had swallowed "Political...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 12, 2011; 9:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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Vintage Palin

Sarah Palin is, in one sense, lucky to have the critics she does. They accuse her of bizarre things (e.g. faking a pregnancy). And they try to blame her for things over which she is not remotely responsible (i.e. the...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 12, 2011; 1:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (112)
 
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Plan B for the memorial ceremony for Arizona victims

As I noted this morning the description of the memorial seemed kind of flaky. Precisely as my smart White House veteran predicted, there is a revision of the program. A University of Arizona official helpfully e-mails me: The information you...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 12, 2011; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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A response to the CPAC boycotters

Reaction that I have received to the Conservative Political Action Conference boycott (staged by a segment of social conservatives) from a variety of conservative and libertarian pundits and activists has been quite negative. A thoughtful reaction comes from David Boaz,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 12, 2011; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Conservative movement  
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Morocco: a different kind of Muslim country

In recent weeks, we have seen a spate of killings of Christians in Muslim countries. There is one country, however, that has managed to avoid the violence: Morocco. I spoke by phone with Morocco's ambassador to the U.S., H.E. Aziz...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 12, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Left gives up on guns, moves on to mental health

I must say I was surprised that so many on the left, in the wake of the Arizona shootings, went all in on the "conservatives are responsible" meme. What ever happened to the days when the instantaneous response would be...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 12, 2011; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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Did Sheriff Dupnik drop the ball?

The New York Times reports: The police were sent to the home where Jared L. Loughner lived with his family on more than one occasion before the attack here on Saturday that left a congresswoman fighting for her life and...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 12, 2011; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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ADL incensed at criticism

Yesterday afternoon I received an irate phone call from Anti-Defamation League spokesman Todd Gutnick. He was incensed that I had written such a critical piece on the ADL. I asked him what his specific gripe was. He said, "Well, for...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 12, 2011; 9:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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What kind of service is appropriate for the Arizona shooting victims?

President Obama travels to Arizona today for a memorial service for the victims of the Arizona massacre. The Post reports on the details. "The service is set for 8 p.m. Eastern time at the University of Arizona's basketball arena, the...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 12, 2011; 9:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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Tim Pawlenty Interview (Part 2) - does it help to be nice?

Former governor Tim Pawlenty has the rap that he is "too nice." A plugged-in Republican e-mails me, "Pawlenty is about as nice a guy you'll ever meet. Remember when girlfriends you had would break up with a guy because he...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 12, 2011; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Morning Bits

Americans are a fair-minded people. "Nearly six in 10 Americans say the country's heated political rhetoric is not to blame for the Tucson shooting rampage that left six dead and critically wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, according to a CBS...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 12, 2011; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Arizona memorial

The memorial service in Arizona was in many ways representative of our noisy, increasingly information, religious and decent country. I didn't care for the raucous-like atmosphere. The Native American chief went on to long and sounded like he had swallowed...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 9:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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Exclusive: George Shultz calls for Jonathan Pollard's release

In a remarkable development in the Jonathan Pollard case, the former secretary of state and highly respected national security figure George P. Shultz has written to the president asking for Pollard to be released: January 11, 2011 The President The...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 9:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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ADL goes over the line -- and beyond the pale

As more and more mainstream news outlets are acknowledging the fallacy of the connection between overheated rhetoric and the Arizona violence (The Post's Paul Farhi has a must-read piece on the subject) the Anti-Defamation League sends out an appalling press...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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The RNC chairman's race goes down to the wire

The RNC will cast votes this week for its chairman. Long-time Republican strategist Mike Murphy thinks there is "about a 60% chance that [Reince] Priebus will take it, followed by a 35% chance for [Saul] Anuzis and a 10% chance...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  RNC  
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CPAC boycotters respond

Yesterday I wrote about the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) boycott. I received a call from a conservative PR firm representing several social conservative groups that wanted their side of the boycott presented. I spoke by phone this morning with...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Conservative movement  
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What to expect with Republican oversight

Democrats and liberal pundits have been complaining about the investigations planned by Republican House chairmen, including Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.). But, in fact, Issa's list is limited to substantive matters, including corruption in Afghanistan. Last week Politico reported: Rep. Darrell...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  House Democrats  
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TIME magazine savages Israel -- again

It's not clear why Time magazine has championed anti-Israel zealotry, but it has now established quite a reputation for biased and inflammatory coverage of the Jewish state. In a September 2010 article, "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace," Time reporter...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 12:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Israel  
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Does the New York Times want to be known for Brooks or Krugman?

Longtime readers know I have my differences with David Brooks. But the Arizona massacre is the sort of incident for which David Brooks writing -- calm, measured and moderate --- is much needed. Today he writes: Mainstream news organizations linked...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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What about religious freedom in Muslim countries?

Elliott Abrams at the Council for Foreign Relations examines the independence referendum in Sudan. He notes: "The reports of millions of southern Sudanese voting in the referendum on independence are a reminder that democracy and self-rule are not a luxury...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Human Rights  
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Tim Pawlenty interview (Part 1)

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is doing what candidates do before announcing a presidential run. He's written a book and is stepping up his outreach. On Thursday, he'll speak at the National Press Club, and he's scheduled to appear at...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Policing your own side

I've argued over last few days that there are separate issues that shouldn't be confused. On one hand, we have the sorry state of political rhetoric, which is actually well illustrated by the unhinged voices blaming conservatives for a mass...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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Morning Bits

Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) gets it right: "We should always refrain from engaging in personal verbal attacks against those with whom we differ on important questions of the day. But we must also resist the temptation to assign blame to...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 11, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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A civil rights official disgraces himself

In response to my request for both good and bad coverage of the Arizona shootings, a reader sends in this from Michael Yaki, which reads in part: We don't know for sure what the motives of this particular madman were....

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 10, 2011; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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On second thought, maybe it's not Palin's fault

Paul Krugman is still spewing his anti-conservative venom and spinning a tale that conservative rhetoric caused the Arizona slaughter. All that is missing are any facts to support his rant. But meanwhile, more responsible outlets are fessing up: there really...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 10, 2011; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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Which 2012 GOP contender will lead on national security?

In the past, I've noted the possibility of a split in the conservative movement between Reagan-esque internationalists and neo-isolationists. That battle, I suspect, may manifest itself in the 2012 Republican contest. Mitch Daniels has signaled his attitude toward national security:...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 10, 2011; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  National Security  
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Friday question answered

On Friday, I asked readers which politician had the best week. Readers writing in both before and after the horrific Arizona shooting had a variety of interesting responses. I would agree that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who was frequently mentioned,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 10, 2011; 10:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Friday question  
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Sarah Palin's rhetoric

Sarah Palin was unfairly tagged by many on the left, and by many supposedly responsible news organizations, for somehow having provoked the Tucson shooter. There is zero evidence so far that the shooter was aware of any of Palin's campaign...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 10, 2011; 9:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (155)
Categories:  Sarah Palin  
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CPAC boycotters

Politico's Ben Smith reported over the weekend on the decision by certain social conservatives to boycott the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) next month because a gay rights group, GOProud, will be in attendance. Ben wrote: CPAC's supporters suggest that...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 10, 2011; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Conservative movement  
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Morning Bits

Juan Williams shows why he was much too reasonable to have worked at NPR. "Now, to get to the quick summations that people are rushing to here -- and I think it's important to say this as someone who's left...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 10, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Now ObamaCare debate moves to the real world

In writing on the real problems with ObamaCare and the prospect for repeal, Ezra Klein deserves credit on several points. First, although he briefly delves back into a defense of CBO calculations, he then turns, as many of us have,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 9, 2011; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Obamacare  
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Cutting troops in wartime?

You may recall that in 2006, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton went after the Bush administration for failing to give the troops what they needed. The topic was body armor: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton called the Bush administration "incompetent" when it came...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 9, 2011; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Budget  
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The Arizona tragedy

The horrific shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), the death of six (including a 9 year old and a federal judge) and the injuring of a total of 18 revealed the best and the worst in American politics. First, let's...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 9, 2011; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
 
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Morning Bits

Cat nip for the media: Michele Bachmann is going to Iowa. Sober news for Obama's re-election chances. "The year 2010 ended on a disappointing note, as the American economy produced just 103,000 jobs in December, suggesting that economic deliverance will...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 9, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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