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Right Turn: February 13, 2011 - February 19, 2011

The U.N. veto and the real headline

There are two versions of analysis going around concerning today's grudging veto by the Obama administration of a U.N. Security Council resolution seeking to condemn Israel's settlements as "illegal" and claim that they "constitute a major obstacle to the achievement...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 18, 2011; 5:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Israel  
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Friday question

It was a rough week for the White House. Its budget proposal went over like a lead balloon. Its effort to compromise on a U.N. resolution regarding Israel's settlements drew bipartisan criticism. And yesterday, the president championed the public employee...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 18, 2011; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Friday question  
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Daniels's problems not limited to "social truce"

John McCormack at the Weekly Standard's Web site has a thoughtful analysis of the problem (largely self-created) of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. John suggests that his "social truce" position does not make sense as either a political or a policy...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 18, 2011; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Who's been overreaching?

E.J. Dionne decries Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker's "overreach," declaring the governor is "drumming up a crisis to change the very nature of the relationship between public workers and the government." Let's talk about overreach. Here's how the Milwaukee Journal...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 18, 2011; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Budget  
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Obama disappoints on the budget

David Brooks is not pleased with the president. Barack Obama was the candidate -- so philosophical, reasoned and tidy -- for whom he cheered strenuously and for whose presidency Brooks has often served as a mouthpiece (thanks to excessive attention...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 18, 2011; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  President Obama  
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A decisive moment: Public employee unions or the common good?

It is fortuitous that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke this week at the American Enterprise Institute not only about budgets but about public employee unions. Many in the liberal media were enthralled and raved about his no-nonsense approach to...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 18, 2011; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
Categories:  economy  
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Morning Bits

If they would agree to leave the state permanently, there could be a deal in the works. "A group of Democratic Wisconsin lawmakers blocked passage of a sweeping anti-union bill Thursday, refusing to show up for a vote and then...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 18, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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What would a Newt run mean?

News reports suggest Newt Gingrich is on the verge of forming a presidential exploratory committee Could he win the GOP presidential nomination? And who would he hurt the most? Gingrich has a financial empire, nearly 100 percent name recognition and...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 17, 2011; 4:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Tim Kaine for Senate?

It seems that the president and many Democrats are imploring former Virginia governor Tim Kaine (D) to run for the Senate to replace the retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.). Is this really the best the Democrats can do? Kaine left...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 17, 2011; 3:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Senate Democrats  
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Obama demonstrates lack of foreign policy competence, again

You can't say the White House hasn't brought diverse groups together on Israel. We have liberal Democrats like Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) criticizing the administration. ("America's support for Israel at the United Nations on the issues at hand is right...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 17, 2011; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Israel  
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The White House's 'outrageous' statement on Israel

UPDATE 12:34 P.M.: I spoke with Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) by phone a few minutes ago. He was quite displeased with recent events, observing that "the Palestinians think they have the PR wind at their backs. They see the White...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 17, 2011; 12:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  American Jews, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Obama White House, President Obama  
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Thursday feature: A turn to lighter fare

In our Thursday feature, we ask prominent conservatives a nonpolitical question. Last week it was desserts. This week we ask: What's your favorite technology gadget? Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: "Blackberry." Dana Perino (former White House press secretary, now a Republican...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 17, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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The backlash against Obama's U.N. 'compromise' begins

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is criticizing the president's gambit in the U.N. to reach a compromise on a statement regarding Israel's settlements. He e-mails me: This is a classic case of negotiating for the sake of negotiating. The Obama...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 17, 2011; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Israel  
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Interview with Sen. Rob Portman

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), like freshmen Republican Sens. Pat Toomey, Roy Blunt and Marco Rubio, occupies a cramped, windowless office in the basement of the Dirksen building. The surroundings are hardly luxurious, but Portman -- a former House member, OMB...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 17, 2011; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Senate GOP  
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Obama insists he doesn't add to the debt

You have to sympathize just a bit with the White House's new press secretary, Jay Carney. He's being asked to defend the indefensible, namely the assertion additional borrowing doesn't "count" in assessing whether we are adding to our debt. Watch...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 17, 2011; 8:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Budget  
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U.S. 'compromise' offer to condemn Israel

The U.S., in an apparent attempt to spare itself the trouble of vetoing a Palestinian-backed U.N. Security Council resolution seeking to condemn Israel, offered an unprecedented "compromise" that would entail a sharp rebuke of our democratic ally. Even that was...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 17, 2011; 8:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Israel  
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Morning Bits

If not New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, what about Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) as a presidential contender? "Over the weekend, Thune gave a crackling speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Although he finished in the lower tier...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 17, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Chris Christie takes D.C. by storm (part 2)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) didn't come to AEI merely to tell war stories. Plainly, he wants to Washington politicians to follow his lead. With regard to our federal fiscal mess, he told the audience, "You can't fix these...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 16, 2011; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Chris Christie takes D.C. by storm (Part 1)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a Washington, D.C., debut of sorts this afternoon, delivering, at the American Enterprise Institute, his first major speech inside the Beltway. The good news for Republicans? He is a political star. The bad news...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 16, 2011; 3:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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The other war against Israel

NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based watchdog group, sent out a statement today that reads, in part: Signaling the continuing decline of the organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has appointed Shawan Jabarin, an alleged senior activist in the Popular Front for the...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 16, 2011; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Israel  
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So much for breathing space with Iran

The Post reports today: In a six-month period between late 2009 and last spring, U.N. officials watched in amazement as Iran dismantled more than 10 percent of the Natanz plant's 9,000 centrifuge machines used to enrich uranium. Then, just as...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 16, 2011; 10:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Iran  
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What is our Iran policy?

The president has now begun scolding the regime in Iran for its brutal behavior. But alas, he is once again plagued by the same cautiousness that rendered him mute in June 2009 at the birth of the Green Movement and...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 16, 2011; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Iran, National Security, Obama White House, foreign policy  
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Is Haley Barbour done yet?

When Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour first ran into a firestorm on the race issue, I suggested he was done for as a potential presidential nominee. The last thing the Republican Party needed, I explained at the time, was a Southerner...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 16, 2011; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Jacob Lew's no good, horrible day

OMB director Jacob Lew was grilled first by the House Budget Committee and then by its Senate counterpart. On the House side, Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) let him have it. In his opening remarks, Ryan made clear how far off...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 16, 2011; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Budget  
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Morning Bits

Maybe we shouldn't have been surprised. James Capretta on the "deeply unserious" Obama budget: "What explains the president's sudden abandonment of the leadership he had been promising? The answer is surely politics. He and his advisers must have concluded they...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 16, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Two facts on the budget

If you want to understand how deeply insincere is the president's effort at fiscal discpline, you need look no further than two key facts. First, he expands the deficit in the first year. Yup. Yuval Levin explains: A lot of...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 15, 2011; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Budget  
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Why have a press conference like THAT?

President Obama had a hard day yesterday. Conservatives, the press and even some Democrats hammered him for an unserious budget. So you can imagine the wheels turning in the Obama brain trust: Have a press conference and recover the narrative!...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 15, 2011; 1:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Obama White House  
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Setting the record straight: Conservatives are the authors of the freedom agenda

As other conservatives and I have done, Eugene Robinson raps the knuckles of Republican CPAC speakers who barely spoke about Egypt. But then he presents an incomplete and ultimately misleading picture of conservatives' approach to Egypt, suggesting conservatives haven't supported...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 15, 2011; 1:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Gary Bauer not pleased with Mitch Daniels

As I noted this morning, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels's CPAC speech may have thrilled fiscal wonks inside the Beltway, but he may have offended more conservatives than he won over. I asked Gary Bauer, one of the most experienced and...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 15, 2011; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Mitch Daniels and the austerity trap

Yesterday there was some spirited discussion in the blogosphere and on Twitter about Mitt Romney's performance at CPAC and his prospects in the 2012 presidential primary. The real debate within Republican circles was whether he'd be "deader" if he stood...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 15, 2011; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Obama's centrist mask drops

For those outside the liberal cocoon and beyond the entreaties of the White House spin machine, it's hard to fathom what the administration is up to with its budget proposal. Obama seemed like he understood the 2010 midterm message and...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 15, 2011; 9:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Budget  
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Will Obama blow it twice on Iran?

The Post reported: Crowds of demonstrators battled security forces armed with tear gas and batons during a surprisingly large anti-government protest in the Iranian capital Monday that drew inspiration from the recent popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. Dodging clouds...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 15, 2011; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Iran  
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Morning Bits

"'My view is that the president's budget punted on the structural deficits issue. He did not give us any clear path forward to deal with them,' said David Walker, former comptroller general of the United States and now head of...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 15, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Relishing a fight

This afternoon I spoke to Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, who declared, "I'm happy today." Happy with a gargantuan budget? Why yes, he's delighted that the "Republicans did exactly the right thing [on the Continuing Resolution] in...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 14, 2011; 3:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Budget  
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Where are the spending cuts?

The president has proposed $1.5 trillion in tax hikes over the next decade. You'd think, at the very least, that would drain some of the red ink that the Obama administration has spilled over the past couple of years. How...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 14, 2011; 3:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Budget  
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Why is Obama cutting the Pentagon's budget?

President Obama isn't very serious about debt reduction, as we saw from his budget proposal. But he is quite determined to slash the Pentagon's budget. Jamie Fly and John Noonan of the Foreign Policy Initiative write in Politico today: In...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 14, 2011; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Budget  
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Will Obama now reverse course on Iran?

On Saturday, national security adviser Tom Donilon released this statement on Iran: By announcing that it will not allow opposition protests, the Iranian government has declared illegal for Iranians what it claimed was noble for Egyptians. We call on the...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 14, 2011; 10:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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How will Democrats react?

By proposing a budget with a $1.6 trillion deficit that will add to the debt over the next ten years, the president has put his own party, not the Republicans, in a tight spot. Republicans can easily do better than...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 14, 2011; 10:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Budget  
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Obama proposes massive increase in the national debt

That's right. For all his talk of fiscal discipline, the president reveals his true priorities in the budget released today. Jake Tapper of ABC reports: President Obama later today will propose a 10-year budget plan that would increase the national...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 14, 2011; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Budget  
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Romney was big CPAC loser

Chris Cillizza writes this of CPAC: For [Mitt] Romney, the nominal frontrunner in the 2012 nomination fight, his goal with his CPAC speech was to do no harm. He did far better than that with a very well-received speech and...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 14, 2011; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Friday question answered

In response to Friday's question asking what went wrong with the Obama administration's promised "smart" diplomacy readers offered a number of high-spirited and very entertaining explanations. It was a difficult choice, but a few entries aptly capture competing explanations for...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 14, 2011; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Friday question  
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Morning Bits

On ABC's "This Week," Bob Kagan of the Brookings Institution gave smart analysis on Egypt. Tim Pawlenty didn't talk much about Egypt at CPAC but he sounded smart on Sunday. "First of all before [Obama's] administration spoke like a tower...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 14, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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A 'dodge' or a retreat?

Americans for Tax Reform has begun dissecting the president's budget proposal: Under the Obama budget, tax revenues will grow from 14.4% of GDP in 2011 to 20% of GDP in 2021. By comparison, the historical average is only 18% of...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 14, 2011; 1:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Budget  
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What did we learn from CPAC?

We didn't learn from the CPAC straw poll who will be the 2012 presidential nominee. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) won the poll (in which a third of the delegates participated), as he did last year. In 2007 and 2008 Mitt...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 13, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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And what about the rest of the world?

CPAC speakers, with the exception of John Bolton, had plenty to say about the economy but virtually nothing about Egypt, The Post reported yesterday: On a day of history in the Middle East, there was one topic virtually absent from...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 13, 2011; 11:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Does Mitch Daniels want to be president?

Gov. Mitch Daniels had CPAC's dinner speaking slot on Friday. With an introduction by George Will, he certainly proved himself to be a serious economic wonk. But he did little to remove doubts about his electability and his desire to...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 13, 2011; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Morning Bits

Sarah Palin goes Ron Paul? "Palin is the second prominent Republican to call for cuts to foreign aid in recent months. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called for wide-ranging cuts in foreign aid, including aid to Israel -- a controversial demand...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 13, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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