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Posted at 7:55 AM ET, 01/ 2/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

Joe Miller starts 2011 without his futile Senate race challenge.

China starts 2011 where it left off. "With the New START treaty ratified, the Obama administration can turn its attention to the real source of nuclear instability among the great powers: China's buildup of conventional ballistic missiles. The latest destabilizing system is China's anti-ship ballistic missile, the 'carrier killer' that the head of the U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Robert Willard, deemed operational last week."

Nate Silver starts 2011 with some realism about Sarah Palin. "On balance, these factors look somewhat less favorable to Ms. Palin than they did a year ago. In particular, it should be alarming to her how quickly some figures in the Republican establishment have turned against her. It is probably not a coincidence that these attacks began to escalate shortly after this November's elections, in which Republicans were perceived as having sacrificed several Senate seats, like in Delaware and Nevada, because of having nominated unelectable candidates." Right Turn readers figured this out a month ago.

Liberals start 2011 licking their wounds. "The real story of 2010 is that the voters were finally able to see and judge this liberal agenda in its unvarnished form. For once, there was no Republican President to muddle the message or divide the accountability. The public was able to compare the promise of 8% unemployment if the government spent $812 billion on 'stimulus' with the 9.8% jobless result. They stood athwart liberal history in the making and said, 'Stop.'"

Obama starts 2011 where he left off in 2010 -- appeasing Syria. Charles Krauthammer explains: "This is a regime that has been arming Hezbollah to the teeth [with] tens of thousands of rockets, violating every provision of the truce that was declared after the Second Israel-Lebanon War, [is an] ally of Iran, essentially an enemy of the United States, undermining all our activities and infiltrating itself into Lebanon out of which it had been kicked in 2005. All of this is happening and what does the administration do? It sends an ambassador in return for absolutely nothing. Returning an ambassador after withdrawal is a sign of conciliation and, in this case, appeasement."

A new Republican House committee chairman starts 2011 with a long-overdue blast on our feeble policy toward Hugo Chavez. "The incoming chairman of the Western Hemisphere subcomittee at the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Thursday evening that the Obama administration revocation of the Venezuelan envoy's visas should be followed by sanctions. 'The revocation of visas for Venezuela's envoy sets the stage for diplomatic isolation that must be followed up with the economic sanctions Venezuela has earned because of its support for terrorist groups such as the FARC, ELN, ETA and the IRGC Qods forces,' Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) said in a statement. 'It's far past time for the Administration to name Venezuela a state sponsor of terrorism once and for all,' he added."

We should start 2011 with some perspective on the religious hate crimes. "The FBI hate crime statistics tell a similar story. Jews were the targets of 71.9% of all religious hate crimes reported in the U.S. last year. Conversely, Muslims were the target of 8.4% of religious hate crimes." Read the whole thing.

Shouldn't all universities start 2011 with a full restoration of ROTC prgrams on their campuses? "A disdain for the military at many elite schools has defined campus life for decades; Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs have been widely banned -- initially, in reaction to the Vietnam War, with DADT becoming the fig leaf more recently. But with the Vietnam War's having been over for some time and with DADT now scrapped, will the exclusion of ROTC continue?"


By Jennifer Rubin  | January 2, 2011; 7:55 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Comments

Since Obama's foreign policy is largely one of appeasing America's enemies and rogue states and hammering America's allies, it comes as no surprise that his State Department has returned the US Ambassador to Syria.
In the case of Syria, a known supplier of arms and funds, as well as personnel to a variety of terrorist organizations including Hizballa and Hamas, this act of appeasement is particularly galling. Worse, it sends the message to Syria's main ally, the terrorist state of Iran, that Obama will kowtow to them eventually despite his apparent support of sanctions against the mullahs in Teheran.
It also tells Israel, that while Obama continually protests his support of Israeli security and the strong bonds of friendship between the two states, he really doesn't give a tinker's damn about Israel and he is more concerned with cozying up to America and Israel's bitterest enemies.

Posted by: Beniyyar | January 2, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Silly goose. It seems odd to quote Krauthammer, who writes for the same website.

Krauthammer is also dead wrong. An ambassador does not signal moral approval. Diplomatic contacts are not a reward, just a means of communication. When are we going to regard them as such?

As for boycotting Venezuela, as the Senator from
Florida would like, why would we imitate with Venezuela a policy that has failed with Cuba for 60+ years? So far, there's no lobby of Venezuelan exiles to appease.

Posted by: GrumpyOldMan | January 2, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer, you're going against your base on the hate crimes thing. Conservatives do not believe in the concept.

"Rep. Tom Price, who heads the GOP conservative caucus, also complained last week that the expansion of hate crimes legislation amounted to "thought crimes," and he labeled the bill's passage – tied to a defense bill – an "absolute disgrace."

But contacted about his position on hate crimes legislation overall, Price took a different position than Boehner. According to Price communications director Brendan Buck, the congressman opposes all hate crimes protections, including existing ones.

"We believe all hate crimes legislation is unconstitutional and places one class of people above others," said Buck."

Also in the negative camp is Senator-elect from PA Pat Toomey:

"I think it's a bad idea for government to legislate on the basis of what they think people are thinking, what's in a person's mind or heart when they create a crime," Toomey told KDKA in Pennsylvania on Thursday. "Crime should be prosecuted for what's actually done, and it should be vigorously prosecuted... We shouldn't have a system that is designed to say now, what was so and so thinking at the time he committed his crime and let's punish him more or less depending of what we think the thought process was. That's ridiculous. People should be punished for the crime they commit."

How to prosecute hate crimes was also an issue in 2004, when Toomey ran in the GOP Senate primary against Arlen Specter. At the time, conservative judge Robert Bork endorsed Toomey in Pittsburgh and called hate crime measures "a discriminatory law enforcement device." Toomey agreed, stating, "This is an attempt to criminalize thought. It's an attempt to criminalize and add a dimension of punishment."

Please note that while some like Boehner only opposes the addition of sexual identity into the hate crimes mix, others like those quoted above, oppose ALL hate crimes legislation.

So where do YOU stand on this Jennifer?

Posted by: 54465446 | January 2, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The only questionable candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin was perhaps Christine O'Donnell. Palin never endorsed Sharron Angle in Navada. Palin did endorse a slew of successful candidates, not all of them Tea Party favourites.

As for the idea that Palin should be alarmed that many in the Republican establishment should have turned against her--what's new about that--that was well known. Why shouldn't they fear her? She tore down the corrupt and fake GOP establishment in her home state did she not? And if they consider Palin unfit, surely that would become obvious in the primaries would it not? Why try to stop her running? It is tempting to believe that the GOP establishment are only too well aware that the Sarah Palin is in fact capable of winning through precisely because of her intelligence and competence.

Posted by: genecarr100 | January 2, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

genercar:

I actually admire Palin's drive to succeed. She's certainly a self-made person. However it would take unimagineable circumstances to ever make her President and she's a good enough vote counter to know that.

She'll stay in the shadow candidacy as long as possible though because if she says she's not running in 2012, she starts the decline into yesterday's news.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 2, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

We should start 2011 with some perspective on the religious hate crimes. "The FBI hate crime statistics tell a similar story. Jews were the targets of 71.9% of all religious hate crimes reported in the U.S. last year. Conversely, Muslims were the target of 8.4% of religious hate crimes." Read the whole thing

I actually read it,but it didn't say who was committing these hate crimes,was it University Professors who see Israel as the bad guy,was it right wing fundamentalists?,where's the hate?

Posted by: rcaruth | January 2, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"Shouldn't all universities start 2011 with a full restoration of ROTC prgrams on their campuses? "A disdain for the military at many elite schools has defined campus life for decades; Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs have been widely banned -- initially, in reaction to the Vietnam War, with DADT becoming the fig leaf more recently. But with the Vietnam War's having been over for some time and with DADT now scrapped, will the exclusion of ROTC continue?"

What needs to happen first is to end the reign of the all professional military,and replace it with a system like Israel's where we all serve as a nation. Having temporary citizen soldiers puts a brake on the reckless waging of war by politicians. When you put the children of Joe six pack and Sandra Soccer Mom at risk,the war better be critical importance in terms of self defense,nation building should be a very tough sell.

Posted by: rcaruth | January 2, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

54465446

I guess there were those who could not imagine Reagan beeting Carter in 1980 either. But you have a point. To win through Sarah Palin would have to overcome (a) the GOP establishment including a clutch of conservative pundits, (b) the GOP rival candidates, (c) an incumbent President and (d) almost the entire media establishment (with perhaps the exception of Fox and a number of talk radio hosts.

Is she qualified? Was either Obama or Hillary Clinton qualified? Try as I might I cannot unearth an major accomplishments in their careers whatsoever prior to 2008--certainly none that match Governor Palin's accomplishment as governor in her first 16 months in office.

I'd put my money on Palin.

Posted by: genecarr100 | January 3, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

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