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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 01/ 9/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

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."

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 9, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Next: The Arizona tragedy

Comments

I await with great anticipation the first leftist this morning to blame Gifford's shooting on Rubin and people on the right generally.

Posted by: jmpickett | January 9, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse


Tough question for Ben Bernanke. "While today's unemployment number came at a low 9.4%,


http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&biw=636&bih=482&q=real+unemployment+rate&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

Posted by: rcaruth | January 9, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

A small correction, the number you're looking for is called the U6, and is currently about 16.7%. Not that it's much better than 18%.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 9, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Oops, you didn't say 18%, totally my bad for posting too fast. Mea Culpa.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 9, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"To underscore that intention, Republican representatives kicked off the 112th Congress with a piece of provocative and potentially instructive political theater by, for the first time in the nation’s history, reading aloud the 224 year old document on the House floor. But what does such a return entail?"

Ummm, no not really, they left out all the bad parts when they read it. Apparently we want to return to an imagined Constitution.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 9, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Even as a Dem, I might vote for Ryan in 2016, BUT, he has a major problem. All the no experience stuff that was written about Obama (and was true btw) applies in spades to Ryan right now. In fact, he's been in Washington DC since he left college, as a staffer and then as a Rep. He's never run anything in his life. Wish he would run for Governor or get our of the House.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 9, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I haven't seen any praise of Gibbs, anywhere, but he was certainly the worst choice for Press Secretary of our lifetimes.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 9, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

544 wrote, "Ummm, no not really, they left out all the bad parts when they read it. Apparently we want to return to an imagined Constitution."

They read the parts that are active today. Possibly you may recall that the constitution has been amended?

Since the oath of office for members requires them to uphold the constitution (as amended), why read parts that are no longer in force?

Would it make you feel better to read a constitution that does not apply to their oaths?


Posted by: OldeDog | January 9, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

oldedog:

Jennifer was talking about this:

"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."

The WHOLE point of her post in that she and some other conservative thinkers don't LIKE the as you put it:

" . . . the parts that are active today. Possibly you may recall that the constitution has been amended?"

The indivdual liberty referred to by the original proponents of the Constitutions did not extend to blacks or women. Furthermore, the Founding Fathers would have been absolutely horrified by a Department of Homeland Security.

Reading the "bad parts" is a sobering reminder that while we marvel at the extraordinary achievement of the FF's, it was amended because it was never intended to be a dead letter, as some would wish it to be.

Good chatting with you!

Posted by: 54465446 | January 9, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

544, you seem to think I was making some comment re Ms. Rubin's post. I was pointing out a silly comment you made, not what she said.

I was, I thought, most specific in quoting you, when you wrote, "Ummm, no not really, they left out all the bad parts when they read it. Apparently we want to return to an imagined Constitution."

I did quote you. I even used quote marks. I am forced to assume I made an error, and was unclear that I was criticizing you, not Ms. Rubin

The constitution, specifically that document that was read by the Congress, is not an "imagined" document.

It is, indeed, the document that each of them had just sworn to protect no more than hours before.

But, to expand my comment, the specific purpose of the House leadership in reading the constitution appears to be the remind the members about the legal source of their responsibilities.

The constitution, that document that was read by the Congressmen, is not an imaginary document.

Posted by: OldeDog | January 9, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

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