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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 01/25/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

Not all are believers in the new-and-improved Obama when it comes to foreign policy. "Decades of U.S. policy are nibbled away or jettisoned altogether to reestablish relations with the penal colony that goes by the name of the Republic of Cuba, and yet Fidel doesn't phone or even write--he arrests a State Department contractor who's down there doing humanitarian work and throws him into one of Cuba's notorious prisons, where he languishes still, more than a month later." Read the whole, hilarious thing.

Republican and Democratic governors want a new-and-improved way of dealing with the federal government. They send a letter to Washington, which includes these requests: "Federal reforms should be designed to produce savings for both the federal government and states. . . Deficit reduction should not be accomplished by merely shifting costs to states or imposing unfunded mandates. . . States should be given increased flexibility to create efficiencies and achieve results . . . . Congress should not impose maintenance of effort (MOE) provisions on states as a condition of funding. MOE's curtail state authority to control their own budgets and fiscal systems and over time discourage investment in state-federal programs."

Will there be a new-and-improved George Allen?

The new-and-improved face of the Democratic Party? Keith Olbermann for Senate in Connecticut. Well, you can't say that wouldn't be a change from the centrist, civil, and kind Sen. Joesph Lieberman (I-Conn.). At least Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) would seem sober by comparison.

Not everyone is sold on the new-and-improved crony capitalism. Dan Harris of ABC News asks, "Isn't there some political risk here, though, for the President getting too cozy with the business community, given the fact that there are a lot of people in this country who are still very, very, angry at the CEOs and at Wall Street for helping create this mess in the first place?" Right Turn readers know the answer to that one!

When everyone is on the search for new-and-improved political ideas, sometimes it's best to return to the classics. Pete Wehner on The Neoconservative Persuasion, a collection of essays by the late, and very great, Irving Kristol: "Kristol writes that he has faith in the common people, of which he counted himself one, but just not very much faith in them. Further, he argues, the common man, being wise, only invests modest faith in himself. 'That it is possible to corrupt a citizenry -- or for a citizenry to corrupt itself -- is something the Founders understood but which we seem to have forgotten,' according to Kristol."

Obama's new-and-improved approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been a bust. Michael Weiss explains, "One of the unintended consequences of Obama's Middle East policy was that it forced Mahmoud Abbas into the awkward position of focusing on everything that didn't matter and ignoring everything that did, namely Salam Fayyad's ambitious and exclusively homegrown state-building project, which, entering its second and final year, still represents the best hope for an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. It was said at the time by astute commentators that the head of PLO could not position himself to the right of the American president on settlements."

What new-and-improved profanity has Rahm Emanuel come up with for this one: "Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is vowing to fight an Illinois appeals court ruling that he is ineligible to run for Chicago mayor because he does not meet the residency requirement of the office." Actually, wasn't this all a jumbo excuse to flee the White House?

What would make for a new-and-improved This Week? Dan Abrams replacing Christiane Amanpour. Hey, it would make a heck of a lot of sense.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 25, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Next: Aren't we supposed to cover what is going on?


Jennifer speaking of new and improved, how do you like the new and improved Lebanaon that democracy has brought?

I'm sure that's just an aberration, and it couldn't happen in Egypt or Tunisia or any other Islamic country right? LOL

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 25, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Concerning this quote from Irving Kristol:
“That it is possible to corrupt a citizenry — or for a citizenry to corrupt itself — is something the Founders understood but which we seem to have forgotten.”

I have not bought and read the book, but I strongly suspect that context of the quote is important here, as is usually the case.

Why? Because it appears possible that the ground work is being laid to protect the elites from the hoi polloi, and Saint Irving Kristol’s words are being employed for that purpose.

It is evident that Palin arouses a strong suspicion against populism at “Right Turn” and among your friends at Commentary and in other precincts of the Professional Right, so I urge you to remember this: What has brought us to this pass of crippling national debt and even much greater unfunded governmental liabilities? What has brought our national government (to say nothing of our state and local governments) to its present state of sclerosis and dysfunctionality? The corrupt elites, in government and the media, or the corrupt citizenry?

Under the circumstance populist leaders of the citizenry, outraged by the excesses and corruption of the elites and “professionals,” have a better claim to leadership than the elites and “professionals” have.

Posted by: nvjma | January 25, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse


A better claim to leadership? I could buy that. However judging by what you read, a lack of understanding of the problem. It really isn't all that simple as cutting taxes, cutting spending, and invading whatver nation upsets you.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 25, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

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