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Right Turn: January 16, 2011 - January 22, 2011

Friday question

This week, Sen. James DeMint (R-S.C.) and the Republican Study Committee put forth a plan to slash $2.5 trillion in spending between now and 2021. The immediate cuts of $125 billion don't seem all that radical. In fact, you wonder...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 21, 2011; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Friday question  
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Tunisia at the crossroads

I am told by sources in Tunisia and by other monitoring the situation there that there are hopeful signs of progress towards democracy. The Jasmine Revolution, however, is far from over. Khairi Abaza of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 21, 2011; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Mike Pence -- will he or won't he?

The latest buzz in Republican circles concerns whether Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) will throw his hat into the presidential-candidate ring. It is a measure of how wide open the Republican field is that Pence is seriously considering a run, and...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 21, 2011; 10:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Another myth revived about Israel

The Jerusalem Post reports: A former CIA officer warned Thursday that a new conflict in the Middle East awaited if there was no progress in making peace between Israelis and Palestinians. "In the absence of a new American initiative to...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 21, 2011; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (109)
Categories:  Israel  
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ObamaCare for less

Matt Miller writes in The Post that he'd advocate repeal of ObamaCare if Republicans could come up with a plan that could cover 30 million uninsured Americans for less. I would suggest that's the wrong question. But in any event,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 21, 2011; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Obamacare  
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Morning Bits

Bill Kristol makes a plea for the GOP not to blow it in 2012: "The 2012 GOP presidential nomination is too important to waste. And it's too important for candidates who might be successful to pass up. Any Republican leader...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 21, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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No Labels gets this one right

I've been tough on No Labels, but the moderate, pro-civility group (there I go again labeling!) got one right today: While Americans are deeply divided on last night's vote to repeal health care reform legislation, citizens should unite in condemning...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 20, 2011; 3:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Arizona shooting  
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Spirit of America and the curse of government bureaucracy

There are moments when you realize just how anti-common sense the government can be. In a must-read column, Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal tells the story of the Spirit of America, a wonderful organization founded in 2004 to...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 20, 2011; 11:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  National Security  
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Congressional Republican freshman: Rep. Bill Huizenga

Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) is a freshman, but he's hardly new to Congress. He replaced Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), for whom he served as policy director for six years. But it is his experience out of government that makes him...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 20, 2011; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  House GOP  
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The peril of early presidential primary polls

Chris Cillizza reports: Former Govs. Mike Huckabee (Ark.), Sarah Palin (Alaska) and Mitt Romney (Mass.) make up the top tier of the 2012 Republican presidential field, according to a new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News. The only...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 20, 2011; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Do the GOP debt-limit schemes make sense?

Republicans are popping up with new schemes on the debt ceiling. They don't just want to extract big cuts in spending; they actually want to refuse to raise the debt ceiling. I asked James Capretta, a fellow at the Ethics...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 20, 2011; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  Budget  
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What will Obama do at the U.N.?

It takes a bit of detective work to figure out where President Obama is going on his Israel policy. Peace talks have stalled, but his secretary of state has rebuffed calls for an imposed peace and for unilateral declaration of...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 20, 2011; 8:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Israel  
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Morning Bits

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) doesn't invite Steve Emerson as a witness on his hearings on Islamic radicalism. Emerson then pens a bizzaro letter to show just how right King was. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) doesn't feel the slightest remorse for...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 20, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Interview with retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman

Sen. Joe Lieberman announced his retirement from the Senate today in Connecticut. I spoke with him by phone just a short time ago. There was no note of regret or even sadness at the end of one chapter in his...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 19, 2011; 6:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Joe Lieberman  
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Congressional GOP Freshman: Rep. Todd Rokita

There are 87 new Republican congressmen. They ran on fiscal conservative principles and are dedicated to repealing ObamaCare. But they are otherwise a diverse lot. Some come from the private sector and others from state government. Some are interested in...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 19, 2011; 4:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  House GOP  
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Tunisia sends shock waves

There is an interesting debate to be had on the degree to which the Iraqis' introduction to democracy impacted Tunisians. But some powerful evidence comes from Tunisia's role in spurring Muslims in other nations to challenge their oppressors. We have...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 19, 2011; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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What to think of Amy Chua

Amy Chua is the Yale law professor whose new book on parenting, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, has created a storm of controversy. Ruth Marcus gives an vivid summary: You may have heard the horror stories. Chua threatened to...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 19, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Culture  
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Bibi takes on Time

As I have reported, Time magazine's serial slimes on Israel have not gone unnoticed or unremarked upon. But today, in a perhaps unprecedented fashion, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu advisor Ron Dermer pens a very, very tough letter to Time's managing...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 19, 2011; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Israel  
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Joe Lieberman's legacy

Ezra Klein asks whether Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who is scheduled to announce his retirement in a couple of hours, was good for the Democratic Party. Ezra gives Lieberman more positive reviews than most other liberals, concluding, "For the Democrats,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 19, 2011; 10:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Joe Lieberman  
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ObamaCare repeal vote

The Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare begins in earnest today. House leadership aides tell me that only a handful of Democrats are likely to vote for H.R. 2, the bill to repeal ObamaCare. Some optimists are putting the number of...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 19, 2011; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Obamacare  
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Tunisia's popular revolution far from settled

The Jasmine Revolution is a work in progress, to say the least. Khairi Abaza of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies put it this way: "The regime is trying to make a cosmetic change to stay in power, the unity...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 19, 2011; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Morning Bits

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) for secretary of defense in the Ryan-Rubio administration. (Showing why he is an essential figure on national security, Josh Rogin reports on the letter Lieberman and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) wrote to Obama on China.) Should...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 19, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Glenn Greenwald: It's like Bush-Cheney all over, but worse!

The left-leaning Glenn Greewald, who unlike virtually all other liberal bloggers has taken a consistent position on the war on terror (criticizing Obama on the same basis on which he excoriated the Bush administration), writes: Obama has single-handedly eliminated virtually...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 18, 2011; 5:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  National Security  
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The tale of two retirements

Recently, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R.-Tex.) announced her retirement. Today, Chris Cillizza reported that Sen. Kent Conrad (D.-N.D.) will be hanging it up. The reaction to each is interesting and quite different. In Texas, the Democratic polling outfit Public Policy...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 18, 2011; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Going after ObamaCare

The House is set to vote on repeal of ObamaCare tomorrow. It will pass overwhelmingly, with more Democratic votes in favor of repeal than there were Republican votes to pass it originally. What then? The conventional wisdom (i.e. the consensus...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 18, 2011; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (116)
Categories:  Obamacare  
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In other words, Obama's China policy failed

The New York Times reports: President Hu Jintao of China is coming to town this week, and American officials say President Obama will be taking a far more assertive stance as he greets his biggest global economic rival. . ....

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 18, 2011; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Why we can't discount Iowa

In response to my post yesterday on each contender's path to the 2012 GOP nomination, I heard from a number of readers questioning whether the Iowa caucuses are all that important. Let's put it this way: Beating, or failing to...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 18, 2011; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Could it happen in Egypt?

The revolution in Tunisia is resonating in Egypt. This AP report tells us: An Egyptian man set himself on fire Monday outside the country's parliament, security officials said, in an apparent protest emulating the self-immolation of an unemployed Tunisian man...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 18, 2011; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Morning Bits

First, there was Students for Daniels, and now two conservatives want to draft Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) for president. First, he accused Republicans of responsibility for the Arizona murders, and now Paul Krugman accuses conservatives of wanting to keep Americans...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 18, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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But is Tunisia getting change?

The Wall Street Journal reports: Tunisia's caretaker prime minister announced a new coalition government following the ouster of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali--a move that temporarily fills the country's power vacuum and should help to stabilize the tense North African...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 17, 2011; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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The media-Palin codependency

Last month, I observed that it was nonsense to assert that Sarah Palin was the "voice of the GOP" or the favorite in 2012. That seems more accurate with each passing day. As Ross Douthat writes today: For their part,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 17, 2011; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Sarah Palin  
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The path for each GOP 2012 contender

Political operatives speak about "a path to the nomination," meaning the series of developments that must occur for a candidate to win the 2012 Republican presidential primary. Let's look at each potential contender's path -- or whether he or she...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 17, 2011; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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A left-wing blog plays the race card

Last week The Post ran an article describing efforts in Wake County, N.C. to end a school desegregation plan. The article explained that while Democratic and Republican school boards had supported different variations of school integration, parents became fed up:...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 17, 2011; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Left blogosphere  
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Easing sanctions on totalitarian Cuba

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of House foreign affairs committee, issued a tough statement on Friday regarding the Obama administration's decision to ease Cuba sanctions: "Loosening these regulations will not help foster a pro-democracy environment in Cuba. These changes will not...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 17, 2011; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Human Rights  
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Jasmine Revolution continued

The Jasmine Revolution continues to play out. Yesterday, it appeared that the army was stepping into the mix. The New York Times reported: New battle lines appeared to take shape in traumatized Tunisia on Sunday as the military backed the...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 17, 2011; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Hispanic Leadership Network meets in Florida

On Friday, at the end of a week in which the country was transfixed by the mass murder in Arizona and when political reporters were engrossed by the election of a new RNC chairman, an important event took place in...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 17, 2011; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Immigration  
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Friday question answered

I must say that I was quite encouraged reading the thoughtful answers to Friday's question as to what was the week's most inspirational moment and what was the most disheartening. With the benefit of a just a few days' perspective,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 17, 2011; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Friday question  
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Morning Bits

Excellent advice from Bill Clinton to Sarah Palin on her video: "I very much sympathize with her anger. I think she genuinely was metaphorically wounded by these charges. Having said that, if you want to be a presidential candidate,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 17, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Exclusive: Ex-Polisario Front police chief tells his story

Mustafa Salma Uld Sidi Mouloud, as I have previously reported, is the former police chief of the Polisario Front, a Soviet-style liberation group that has resorted to violence against Morocco and the people of the Western Sahara. The front also...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 16, 2011; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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After the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia

Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution is a remarkable event: a popular, secular revolt in a Muslim country. It poses an opportunity and a risk for the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a restrained statement on Friday: The United States continues...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 16, 2011; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Hannah Rosenthal and U.S. efforts to combat anti-Semitism

The Obama administration initially ignored human rights and now has given nice speeches but taken little action. After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech this week on democracy in the Middle East, there was considerable doubt that this represented a...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 16, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Human Rights  
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Is the 'Third Way' back?

Bruce Reed, Joe Biden's new chief of staff, was one of the founding fathers of the moderate Democratic Leadership Council, which helped propel Bill Clinton into office and did battle with the left wing of the party. Rather than to...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 16, 2011; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Obama White House  
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Morning Bits

The RNC is $20M in debt. "Almost immediately, [its new chairman Reince] Priebus will have to go into fundraising mode; he predicted this at the debate at the National Press Club, declaring that the next chairman would have to spend...

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 16, 2011; 8:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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