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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 01/28/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) explains how to cut the budget. Sen. Harry Reid, who has proclaimed Social Security to be on sound footing and has defended earmarks and every domestic spending boondoggle, says Ryan doesn't know what he is talking about. That's rich.

Judicial Watch, which has filed a FOIA request to pry documents out of DOJ on the New Black Panther Party, explains what the Justice Department has been up to. "On Wednesday, Judicial Watch -- a private watchdog -- filed a brief in its case seeking release of official memoranda, arguing that government stonewalling, 'is about political interference in [Justice's] decision-making process and [the department's] efforts to avoid public scrutiny of that interference.' Most abused is the 'deliberative process' privilege, which is intended for discussions made before and during litigation but is being claimed for documents created after the Black Panther case was concluded.'"

Jamie Fly explains why events in Tunisia and Egypt are important. "The spontaneous overthrow of Tunisian dictator Ben Ali two weeks ago has led to a cascade of protests across the Middle East. The most recent and perhaps most surprising have played out on the streets of Cairo, as tens of thousands of Egyptians call for an end to Hosni Mubarak's nearly 30-year grasp on power. . . . For far too much of his first two years in office, President Obama has been on the side of the thugs and jailers -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hu Jintao, Vladimir Putin, and Hosni Mubarak to name just a few. It is time for him to place the moral weight of his office fully behind those fighting for their freedom."

Jeb Bush and Newt Gingrich explain why it is better to let the states go bankrupt.

Marty Peretz explains that as editor in chief of The New Republic he "endured hundreds and maybe thousands of pieces which [he] believed to be ethically flawed, historically wrong, politically foolish." This is the Tiger Mother of journalism, displaying pride in the decidedly untoward.

Kim Strassel explains that Obama, despite his new kick to eliminate regulations, is back at it with cap and trade. "Listen carefully to Mr. Obama's speech and you realize he spent plenty of it on carbon controls. He just used a different vocabulary. If the president can't get carbon restrictions via cap and trade, he'll get them instead with his new proposal for a "clean energy" standard. Clean energy, after all, sounds better to the public ear, and he might just be able to lure, or snooker, some Republicans into going along."

Sen.Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) explains that one element of ObamaCare is going to get the axe. "A bipartisan bill in the Senate that would repeal the unpopular 1099 provision in the healthcare law garnered 60 co-sponsors on Thursday, giving the legislation its best chance at passage so far. . . . 'Today we hit the magic number 60 and I feel great about that,' Johanns told The Hill on Thursday."

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 28, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Next: Rand Paul neo-isolationism widely condemned

Comments

"It is time for him to place the moral weight of his office fully behind those fighting for their freedom."

The problem in Egypt, however, is that the group that arguably stands the best chance at gaining the most from an overthrow of Mubarak is the Muslim Brotherhood which is strongly tied to both Hamas and Hezbollah (Heck... article 2 of the Hamas statute states that Hamas is an organic part of the Muslim Brotherhood).

While I think an EVENTUAL and drawn out overthrow of Mubarak would be beneficial and TRULY Democratic, to see a change at this point and amongst this kind of unrest would put power squarely in the hands of a group that legitimizes terrorist organizations and would pose a serious threat to both our own countries interests and that of Israel.

Posted by: Indy82 | January 28, 2011 8:27 AM | Report abuse

If Jamie Fly believes that the protests taking place in Egypt and Tunisia are by the oppressed demanding their freedom, he has no idea what he is talking about.
The protests taking place are all about who is in power and who is robbing the populace. Mubarak and ben Ali have successfully kept their respective countries in the Dark Ages, their people impoverished, ignorant, and brutalized, their countries resources in the hands of relatives and cronies, and fomented hatred for the West and Israel to blunt domestic criticism for decades.
But they got old, the unexpected and rapidly increasing price of food(as a result of more and more food being produced as a source of green energy, thank you ever so much President Obama), and the fact that the majority of their populations are under 30 years of age, bitterly poor, lacking basic medical services, unemployed, badly educated, deeply frustrated that they have no future, and radically Islamisized into believing that if the Al Queida imams, or the Muslim Brotherhood, or the Iranian fundamentalists take over and run things all will be right.
But the last thing these protests are about is freedom, and that is about the last thing these protesters will see if they succeed.

Posted by: Beniyyar | January 28, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

While domestic econ policy is easy* (though the politics is not) foreign policy is almost impossible. The situation is bad but could easily get much worse in multiple ways. We do know that generally speaking an adequate military (as opposed to the wreck we have now) and a more firm, principled and pragmatic foreign policy is needed, but I don't have the first clue what that would look like in this case (as opposed to the Green Movement in Iran 2 years ago where there was nothing to loose except the mirage of a prospective deal and perhaps quite a bit to gain).


*Implement Ryan Road Map ASAP. Financial future of country set for 2 generations- although we'll start regressing almost instantly, stock market explodes, unemployment plummets, quality of health care goes up even as price goes down and a very large majority of Americans comprehensively better situated.

Posted by: cavalier4 | January 28, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

While domestic econ policy is easy* (though the politics is not) foreign policy is almost impossible. The situation is bad but could easily get much worse in multiple ways. We do know that generally speaking an adequate military (as opposed to the wreck we have now) and a more firm, principled and pragmatic foreign policy is needed, but I don't have the first clue what that would look like in this case (as opposed to the Green Movement in Iran 2 years ago where there was nothing to loose except the mirage of a prospective deal and perhaps quite a bit to gain).


*Implement Ryan Road Map ASAP. Financial future of country set for 2 generations- although we'll start regressing almost instantly, stock market explodes, unemployment plummets, quality of health care goes up even as price goes down and a very large majority of Americans comprehensively better situated.

Posted by: cavalier4 | January 28, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"For far too much of his first two years in office, President Obama has been on the side of the thugs and jailers -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hu Jintao, Vladimir Putin, and Hosni Mubarak to name just a few. It is time for him to place the moral weight of his office fully behind those fighting for their freedom."


Hmmmm wonder what caused Jamie Fly's amnesia? He must have been hit by a bus, because all those leaders are the same ones who were in office during the Bush administration.

What was Fly doing during that time? Well according to his own bio:

"Prior to joining FPI, Mr. Fly served in the Bush administration at the National Security Council (2008-2009) and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (2005-2008). He was Director for Counterproliferation Strategy at the National Security Council, where his portfolio included the Iranian nuclear program, Syria, missile defense, chemical weapons, proliferation finance, and other counterproliferation issues."

Now you HAVE to admit, even if you push aside the blatant hypocrisy in his statement about Obama, Fly has a spectacularly unsuccessful resume!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 28, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

benniyar:

For once you and I agree, except for the part about Obama being responsible for the food to green energy thing.

Let me introduce you to the Republican Senator from Ethanol, er Indiana, Richard Lugar, former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 28, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Jeb Bush (who I like) and Newt Gingrich (who brings me endless merriment) have apparently forgotten something. It's the Constitution which was read at the start of the 112th Congress. ( I know, they weren't there)

Nothing about this process would pass Constitutional muster AND that's not the worst of it, from a GOP standpoint. It would completely annihilate all the Tea Party/GOP arguments about government being too big and getting back to the original spirit of the Constitution.

If you'll recall not only were bankruptcy proceedings NEVER contemplated by the Founding Fathers, but several of them ended up in debtors' prison themselves.

Other than that, it's a great idea! LOL

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | January 28, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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