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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 01/18/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

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 uninsured. Yuval Levin explains that neither CBO or the White House claim "the law will actually reduce health-care spending or the rise of health-care costs--which are the actual problems at the core of our health-care dilemma and the reason why insurance has moved out of the reach of a growing number of American families." He also points to the "array" of Republican alternatives. I guess Krugman is going the Keith Olbermann route.

First, liberals championed the counter-productive (from their standpoint) filibuster reform, and now they may have blown it on the call for "civility," Mickey Kaus argues. "If a 'civility' crusade succeeds in getting the most volatile Republicans to cool it and stop irritating the center, it won't be doing Obama's work for him. It will be doing John Boehner's work for him."

First, J Street escorted Richard Goldstone around Capitol Hill, and now the Israel-bashing group puts out this: "J Street is speaking out against the Knesset's approval of a commission of inquiry into Israeli human rights and civil society non-governmental organizations. We are deeply troubled by the increasing strands of racism, authoritarianism and McCarthyism emerging throughout Israel's politics and society." Why, that sounds like the demonization, delegitimization and double standards that Hannah Rosenthal would deplore.

First, civil rights groups wanted no one judged on the basis of race, and now many liberal groups get in a tizzy about that idea. This statement by Ohio Gov. John Kasich is what got the Southern Christian Leadership Conference bent out of shape: "I want the best possible team I can get, and, hopefully, we will be in a position that we are fully diverse as we go forward. But I can't say I need to find somebody to fit this metric, not when I am trying to get a state that is in deep trouble out of trouble." Really, if we start judging people on the content of their character and their own abilities, where will it lead?

"First Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty, now Haley Barbour" is putting off a decision on a 2012 run until the spring, Jim Geraghty tells us.

First, Obama fails to meet with Chinese dissidents, and now he hosts their oppressor. Ellen Bork reminds us that Obama didn't meet with dissidents in China and has been steering clear here at home of "people who would have offended Chinese leaders -- people like Harry Wu, the former prisoner of China's laogai, or forced labor camps; Rebiya Kadeer, the exiled Uighur leader; Ngawang Sandrol, a Tibetan nun jailed and tortured for her songs of praise for the Dalai Lama; Wang Juntao, a former Tiananmen protester; or Wan Yanhai, a famous AIDS activist and longtime associate of Liu Xiaobo -- they were absent." The administration is talking a better game on human rights, but it's policy seems little different.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 18, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Good Morning Jen.
Just a few comments before heading to work (evil private sector work... for profits).

- Draft Mike Pence: Yes please. Let's have the strongest field of primary contenders in the fray. The needs of the nation outweigh the needs of Indiana.
- Krugman: Detailed daily comments hardly needed anymore. He's a self-debunking self-punking parody. Before the internet guys like him had it made. Now a 10-second websearch per day puts the clownsuit on him.
- JStreet/Israel/"McCarthyism": In general McCarthy was correct, see Venona Files.
- SPLC/Kasich: I thought Dr. MLK wanted us to be colorblind. RacialGreivances Inc. is an industry, no "issue" no donations, it will alway be thus.
- Barbour: Like him a lot. Perhaps a longshot for national office though.
- China Dissidents: Only dissent from the left is patriotic in this administrations veiw.
Later... Thanks.

Posted by: TominColorado | January 18, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

What is uncivil is distorting facts or lying to your constituents. For years the msm has been bashing Bush ,Cheney etal. We survived. Then the msm and the Dems went on to calling the tea parties, tea baggers, racists, brownshirts, violent etc. The republicans the party of millionaires and billionaires the party of no,etc. Now that the facts and common sense are starting to dominate the narrative the dems try to use some nut shooting innocent people to change that narrative. Stating the facts is not uncivil the argument should go wherever it goes to for clarity for the American people. I would not like to see it go in the gutter like saying the caimbridge police acted stupidly or a doctor will take out your tonsils if you have a sore throat,or republicans should get in the back of the bus or they are hostage takers or obstructionists or against the middle class but i guess one speech at a pep rally can erase all that even without being a man and taking responsibility for those uncivil comments.

Posted by: eddiehaskall | January 18, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

@eddiehaskall: Taking responsibility is not 'being a man.' Women should think about that too, yes?

Also, as Ms. Rubin pointed out yesterday, the use of the Tucson shootings for political ends is largely fading, mostly because regular folks on both sides said no pretty loudly.

As to the President's speech, the incident pretty much called for a presidential response. Would it have been markedly different had John McCain been speaking instead of Barack Obama? Based on McCain's response to Obama's speech, I'm inclined to think not.

Will it change anything in Washington? Again, I'm inclined to think not.

Posted by: MsJS | January 18, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

MsJS point well taken about a woman which i would demand the same behavior from. When you are the leader of a country and you personally have violated many times the deeds that you are now saying are wrong it would be presidential to admit that you have done this in the past and will cease from doing it in the future. Without this the words just ring hollow and our insincere. Washington must change in substance not rhetoric. Talk is cheap. I do however watch with guarded optimism that things in washington will change to honesty and fiscal sanity.

Posted by: eddiehaskall | January 18, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Paul Krugman gets it right way more often than not. The Republicans have no one to match wits with him, thus the hissy fits when he's mentioned.

Posted by: danw1 | January 18, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Pat Darian was at the State Department during the Carter Administration and she used to wax ad nauseam about human rights in China and everywhere else. It was such a waste of time and so sanctimonious. The relevant topic is not whining on and on regarding something related to poli sci and of no importance to economics. It is the potential for the US to lose reserve currency status and not manufacturing anything and how that leads to falling standards of living and per capita incomes that keep dropping. When this country has 45 million people on food stamps through the SNAP program, that is more people than are going to college. The appropriate topics are monetary, financial, and economic. They are not at all about human rights.

Posted by: Mackdawg1 | January 20, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse


MJ Rosenberg says that "you hate your country of residence and that your body should follow your heart." He is saying that you should emigrate.

Do you have a rebuttal to his accusations?

Posted by: Mackdawg1 | January 20, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

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