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 not arrive with a great pop in employment. Rather, many signs point to a long slog of a recovery in the United States job market, with the unemployment rate quite likely to remain above 8 percent -- it now sits at 9.4 percent after Friday's report -- at least through the rest of President Obama's four-year term."
Tough question for Ben Bernanke. "While today's unemployment number came at a low 9.4%, well below expectations, the one and only reason for this is that the labor force in America has plunged to a fresh 25 year low. . . . Maybe someone can ask Bernanke during his imminent presentation before Congress what happened to the unemployed population, which would have been 18.4 million if this labor force [differential] was incorporated, resulting in an unemployment rate of 11.7%."
Intellectual assistance for those who are puzzled about reverance for the Constitution. "In fact, an informed and thoughtful return to the Constitution will take seriously the devotion to individual liberty and limited government shared by the original Federalist proponents of the Constitution and their Anti-Federalist opponents. It will learn from the intricately separated and blended political institutions that the Constitution established to impose restraint and allow for energy and efficiency. And it should culminate in the recovery of the spirit of political moderation that the Constitution embodies and on which its preservation depends." Read the whole thing.
Facebook support for Ryan-Rubio. Is there a better choice for 2012?
Fodder for those who think Senator Harry Ried is an ongoing headache for the Democrats. "Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid is dismissing the tea party as short-lived, saying it will 'disappear' once the economy gets better."
Smart advice for promoting Egyptian democracy. "Efforts by both the Bush and Obama administrations since 2006 to encourage political reform and address human rights concerns have essentially been ignored by the Egyptian government, demonstrating the need for an alternative framework for U.S. engagement with Egypt on these issues. While radical changes to the underpinnings of the U.S.-Egypt relationship are unlikely at this time, [Issandr] El Amrani suggests several modest but meaningful steps to uphold the credibility of American democracy promotion goals in the country. These steps include enhancing engagement with a variety of Egyptian opposition actors, downgrading U.S. relations with institutions such as the People's Assembly, and encouraging the Egyptian government to address key concerns of the Coptic community."
Candor for those rolling their eyes over the praise in recent days for Robert Gibbs. It seems he was " infuriatingly unavailable" and had "testy on-air exchanges with reporters in the briefing room, comparing an American Urban Radio Networks reporter to his young child and often assuming a sanctimonious posture." "At the lectern, Gibbs's tendency to speak in grammatically contorted sentences challenged reporters looking for an intelligible quote or sound bite, so did his habit of promising to get back to reporters when he didn't see fit to provide an answer." But he worked really hard.
Reality delineated for liberals nonchalant about repeal of the individual mandate. "If Obamacare fails in a really big way -- whether because Republicans will have sabotaged it, because it was poorly designed, or both -- will we end up with the public option or with single payer? . . . . It's not going to happen. Democrats are unlikely to have the presidency, a huge majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate any time soon. If they weren't able to get single payer or a public option when they had them, they're not going to get it in the future."
Good reason for praising espionage. "[Retiring Mossad chief Meir] Dagan now believes that Iran will not have a bomb until 2015. That the date keeps receding is, presumably, due in part to Dagan's own efforts and those of his organization. If he is right, we have four more years to stop the Iranian nuclear program. . . . The new Republican leaders of the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and Intelligence Committees . . . should be asking right now what more the United States and our allies can be doing to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons program, make our sanctions more effective, and support democratic dissidents in Iran. If Dagan's information and his analysis are right, the time horizon has moved back. The question now is whether we will take advantage of the time we have."
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