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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 01/23/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

Common Cause gets nearly all the facts wrong in its complaint about Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Embarrassing for lawyers claiming judges haven't followed ethical rules. There is an ethical rule, after all, about filing frivolous suits.

House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen gets tough with the U.N. regarding an A.P. report that the U.N.'s chief investigator is actually "under investigation himself for allegedly retaliating against two whistle-blowers." Her statement reads, in part: "The irony of the UN's chief investigator being investigated is overwhelming, but the fact that the U.S. continues to contribute billions of taxpayer dollars every year to an unaccountable, unreformed UN is no laughing matter. These allegations reinforce the need for expanded and effective oversight of the UN. Next week, our Committee will lead the way by holding the first of several briefings and hearings on UN reform." As with so many items, you wonder why the Democrats didn't exercise oversight when they were in charge.

The administration finally gets a hard lesson in reality and embraces use of the military tribunals that it vilified when coming into office. "The Defense Department plans a new round of military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as the Obama administration tries to accommodate the latest set of congressional restrictions on handling detainees there."

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) gets close to making a decision on a 2012 presidential run.

Jon Stewart gets kudos for doing what other liberals won't -- pummeling Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.).

I still don't think the administration gets it. Iran is not going to negotiate away its nuclear program: "'We will not allow any talks linked to freezing or suspending of Iran's enrichment activities to be discussed at the meeting in Istanbul,' senior official in the Iranian delegation Massoud Zohrevand said as Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members met Friday, Reuters reported. 'So far this issue has not been discussed, has not been raised or mentioned by the other party,' Zohrevand said, adding, 'Iran's nuclear rights cannot be discussed,' the report said." Other than giving Iran a publicity coup and demoralizing the Green Movement, it is hard to understand what further talks are accomplishing.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) gets more like another female media magnet all the time. "Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will deliver her own response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday, even though the GOP selected one of her House colleagues to give an official rebuttal."

Former prime minister Tony Blair gets credit from Tom Joscelyn of the Weekly Standard for understanding the Iran-Al Qaeda connection long before most "experts" did: "What nobody foresaw was that Iran would actually end up supporting [Al-Qaeda]. The conventional wisdom was these two are completely different types of people because Iran is Shia, the Al-Qaeda people are Sunni and therefore, you know, the two would never mix. What happened in the end was that they did because they both had a common interest in destabilising [Iraq], and for Iran I think the reason they were interested in destabilising Iraq was because they worried about having a functioning majority Shia country with a democracy on their doorstep." Actually, he should get credit for understanding the influence of a functioning Middle East democracy, something many on the left still don't comprehend.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 23, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Next: Let 1,000 flowers bloom -- and a dozen presidental contenders


"What happened in the end was that they did because they both had a common interest in destabilising [Iraq], and for Iran I think the reason they were interested in destabilising Iraq was because they worried about having a functioning majority Shia country with a democracy on their doorstep."

Pretty funny stuff from Tony Blair but unfortunately totally 100% demonstrably false.

Iraq already HAD a stable government in the way that all totalitarian governments are stable (see Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc.). It was far too stable for US, not Iran because we spent 10+ years waiting for and predicting the government overthrow. When it didn't happen, we did it ourselves!

Furthermore one thing all experienced analysts would agree on is that there was no al-Queda in Iraq whatsoever until we toppled Saddam and allowed them in.

Iran was absolutely overjoyed that we were stupid enough to topple the government of their arch-enemy, without them having to raise a finger. That's why Iran cooperated with the us in the invasion.

Finally the part about Iran worrrying about having a functioning Shiite majority democracy next to them makes as much sense as Boehener saying he hated the fact that there was a Congressional elections in 2010. The Shiites OWN any democracy in Iraq, as we have seen.

Once again a completely "Rubinesque" re-writing of history and reality, though not coming from you this time Jennifer!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 23, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

jm6446: well stated - really hard for some to see Iraq for what it is: a not-yet functioning democracy that has very little to do with Iran's decision to "co-operate" with Al-Qaeda in some places.

anyway, I just wanted to express my admiration for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and am really looking forward to her leadership of the House Foreign Relations committee. I hope Ms. Rubin will make a point to follow both the chair and her committee closely.

Posted by: K2K2 | January 23, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

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