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Right Turn: February 6, 2011 - February 12, 2011

Friday question

Obama and his secretary of state came into office determined to practice "smart diplomacy." Europe and Israel are estranged. Iran has grown more influential in the region and refuses to renounce its nuclear ambitions. Russia has become more oppressive and...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 11, 2011; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Friday question  
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Tim Pawlenty at CPAC

Tim Pawlenty's voice was gravely, but it helped him sound a little tougher and rougher, which was plainly the goal of his CPAC speech. He jabbed at Obama for proving that someone can deserve a Nobel prize "less than Al...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 11, 2011; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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John Thune at CPAC

Most conservatives have never heard Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) speak. What they heard at CPAC was an extremely engaging and fluid proponent of core Republican beliefs. He understands the benefit of self-deprecating humor, explaining that he doesn't have the name...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 11, 2011; 2:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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What's next for the administration?

The world was pleasantly shocked as Hosni Mubarak stepped down today. Did the administration get a heads-up? A senior administration official authorized only to speak on background put it this way: "We have maintained multiple channels of communication with Cairo...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 11, 2011; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Egypt 'not out of the woods yet'

That's the take of Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. That doesn't mean this is an ominous turn of events, as some on the right keep insisting. (Glenn Beck, purveyor of doom, is joined on Twitter by...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 11, 2011; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Mubarak leaves

Yes, in a whip-lash moment, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down. The Post reports: President Hosni Mubarak resigned Friday and handed power to the Egyptian military, setting off wild celebrations among protesters across the country who had demanded his...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 11, 2011; 12:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Mitt Romney at CPAC

Mitt Romney's wife Ann introduced Romney, trying to humanize a candidate that in 2008 seemed remote if not plastic. However, this line didn't exactly make him seem warm and cuddly: "When the children were young and Mitt would call home...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 11, 2011; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Paul Ryan converts David Brooks

Two months, ago in a debate against Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) at the American Enterprise Institute, David Brooks argued we really weren't on a fiscal precipice and the real question is not how big government is, but what it should...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 11, 2011; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Budget  
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Worried Republicans = opportunity for non-candidates

If you talk to Republicans in D.C. -- or in Israel, for that matter -- the overwhelming sentiment about the 2012 contenders is a mix of un-enthusiasm and nervousness. Republicans genuinely believe that the economy and Obama's failure to exert...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 11, 2011; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Obama ignored by Mubarak -- again

One can scarcely imagine how the U.S. in its handling of the Egyptian revolution could look more inept and less effective. If the stakes were not so high the last few weeks would be material for high farce. (And indeed,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 11, 2011; 9:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Morning Bits

Elliott Abrams explains what went wrong in Egypt. "The Brotherhood thrived underground and in the mosques, while a moderate who had the audacity to run against President Mubarak in 2005, Ayman Nour, was then imprisoned for four years. This suggests...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 11, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Thursday feature: A turn to lighter fare

In our new Thursday feature, we ask prominent conservatives a nonpolitical question. Last week it was sports. This week we ask: What's your favorite dessert? House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio): "Graeter's ice cream from Cincinnati." Any favorite flavor? "A bunch...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 10, 2011; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Media  
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Herzliya wrap-up

Today, I am en route back to Washington, D.C. Being in Israel at a time of regional upheaval -- more so than usual -- is an interesting experience. The gap between reality and media image is never so great as...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 10, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Israel  
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Haley Barbour in Israel

The purpose of a foreign trip for a presidential candidate is to impress those who think the candidate is limited or non-presidential. It is a time for a candidate to stretch beyond his or her comfort zone. The candidate wants...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 10, 2011; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Morning Bits

Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) calls a halt -- by e-mail -- to a very odd Senate career. "The announcement leaves Democrats scrambling to field a strong candidate who can keep the GOP from regaining the seat lost by Republican Sen....

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 10, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Obamacare support melting away

Pretty much as expected by conservatives, Obamacare has remained unpopular with the public. It's under attack in the courts. And now, vulnerable Senate Democrats are running for the hills. ABC News reports: "We're looking at everything humanly possible. I've always...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 9, 2011; 9:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (138)
Categories:  Obamacare  
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Obama sows confusion on Egypt

As confused as Americans are about the policy and intentions of the Obama administration regarding Egypt, so are Israelis and Europeans. Obama started out with inertia. Then he vaguely suggested that change was needed. Then the administration shouted, "Now!" Hosni...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 9, 2011; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Morning Bits

We still have a problem. "Official and independent analysts said Iran's uranium enrichment program is performing consistently, signaling its recovery following a temporary suspension in late 2010 and a possible computer-based strike, Reuters reported yesterday." The International Criminal Court is...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 9, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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What's wrong with Europe?

Here at Herzilya the chasm between Europe and Israel was highlighted. Thankfully, for those who support a safe and secure Israel, also evident was the degree to which Britain's mindset differs from that of its European allies. From the perspective...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 8, 2011; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Gen. Jones does it again

The Herzliya conference made front-page news today in Israel. The Jerusalem Post reported: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains the core problem in the Middle East, and solving it will go a long way toward securing regional and even global peace, James...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 8, 2011; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Israel  
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Haley Barbour's run

Haley Barbour is due to speak here in Herzliya on Wednesday. But his supporters and surrogates are already circulating columns explaining that really there is no "Southern problem." This is understandable in light of the firestorm following comments he made...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 8, 2011; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Israeli democracy

There is, in some quarters in the U.S. and Europe, the notion that Israel is an oppressive state. Israel's foes particularly enjoy Holocaust analogies to add some oomph to their indictments. But let's get real here. At the Herzliya Conference...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 8, 2011; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  Israel  
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Fox, like MSNBC, learns the hard way

As other conservatives and I have written, whether on the topic of his inappropriate use of Holocaust talk or with regard to the many other instances of inflammatory language, Glenn Beck has proved himself to be a poor representative of...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 8, 2011; 8:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  Media  
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Morning Bits

One key lawmaker -- Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) -- announced last month that he's retiring, and now another -- Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) -- is going. "NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports that Rep. Jane Harman is resigning from Congress to take...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 8, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Why do conservatives oppose the individual mandate?

Greg Sargent tries to sooth nervous conservatives: Given the uniqueness of the health care market, it seems obvious to this non-lawyer that the individual mandate doesn't set precedent for the sort of future Congressional overreach that so frightens conservatives. This...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 7, 2011; 4:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Obamacare  
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How Israel sees Egypt

Israel's fear of unrest in Egypt is not irrational. For 30 years Israelis have lived without the fear of an Egyptian attack. And now they see Iran's proxy in control of Lebanon, the Muslim Brotherhood knocking at the door in...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 7, 2011; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Can we live with a nuclear Iran?

A debate among Efraim Halevy, former head of Mossad (who departed in 2002); Danielle Pletka of AEI; Brian Katulis of Center for American Progress; and Gen. Ephraim Sneh, Israel's former deputy minister of defense, was held this morning. I was...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 7, 2011; 12:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Israel  
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The City of David

In Jerusalem you become blasé about antiquity. Soon you fall into the habit of remarking, "Oh that is only Second Temple," meaning from the time of the return of the Jews from Babylon to the expulsion by the Romans in...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 7, 2011; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Israel  
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Friday question answered

In response to my query asking how President Obama has performed during the Egyptian revolution K2K2 had this cogent reply: Obama gets a C. His necessary caution got trumped by a shift to thinking a nation with 5,000 years of...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 7, 2011; 10:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Friday question  
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How to make a splash at CPAC

Despite the boycott efforts of certain social conservatives, thousands of conservatives will amass in D.C. beginning Thursday for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). This is the first of many opportunities for conservatives to size up the 2012 presidential candidates...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 7, 2011; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Morning Bits

Sen. John McCain has this right: "The lessons of Egypt appear clear: Three decades spent silencing moderate voices in order to fight extremist ones has had exactly the opposite effect: Radical groups are empowered, and responsible citizens are unorganized. ......

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 7, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Democracy in Egypt

There seems to be cause for optimism that Hosni Mubarak might be pushed aside in favor of a transitional government. The Post reported Saturday: A group of about 30 Egyptian intellectuals, writers, business leaders and legal experts has met with...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 6, 2011; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Herzliya: The 21st century Israel

Herzliya, just outside Tel Aviv, is a modern, affluent seaside city. When I arrived on shabbat, the airport and roads were relatively quiet (missing, of course, were the Orthodox Jews who shuttle back and forth between New York and Israel...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 6, 2011; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Israel  | Tags:  Israel Herzliya Jewish state  
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Morning Bits

Is a good outcome in sight? "Tentative signs of a possible solution to Egypt's crisis began to emerge Friday, with leading pro-democracy figures surfacing to claim a role in a transition process as tens of thousands of protesters again flooded...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 6, 2011; 7:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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