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Right Turn: February 20, 2011 - February 26, 2011

Gov. Rick Perry's dream: Make the federal government as innocuous as possible

The nation's governors are in Washington for the National Governors' Association meeting. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, head of the Republican Governors' Association, sat down with a small group of bloggers to talk about his accomplishments and his view of federalism....

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 25, 2011; 10:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Governors  
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Majority Leader Eric Cantor talks to Right Turn

I spoke with Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) this afternoon. The topic was the continuing resolution (CR). Cantor explained that House Republicans have put online a proposal for a two-week, short-term extension. The amount to be cut is a...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 25, 2011; 5:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Budget  
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Friday question

The events in Wisconsin dominated the news this week. Gov. Scott Walker (R) is holding firm, the 14 Democratic senators are still hiding in Illinois and the White House now insists that it's all a local matter. How is the...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 25, 2011; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Friday question  
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Two more leftwing front groups

The left, for reasons that are unclear to me, appears bent on making the Koch brothers a campaign issue for 2012. The billionaire brothers who head Koch Industries have been major donors to free-market and other conservative causes. So rather...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 25, 2011; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Breaking the logjam

Several events are moving in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's favor in his standoff with state Democrats. First, the state assembly passed the collective-bargaining measure, raising the pressure on Democratic senators to end their obstruction. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 25, 2011; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  Governors  
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Conventional wisdom vs. an unconventional 2012 presidential race

Nearly everything mainstream political reporters and conventional-wisdom-spouting pundits told us about the 2012 Republican presidential primary race is turning out to be wrong. Sarah Palin is the "frontrunner"! Wrong. The field will be huge! Wrong. The Republicans always choose the...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 25, 2011; 10:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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We're simply haggling over the price

The Post reports: With a political standoff over spending threatening to trigger a federal shutdown next week, Senate Democrats began drafting a plan Thursday to slice billions of dollars from domestic agency budgets over the next seven months, yielding to...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 25, 2011; 9:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Budget  
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Left-wing legal group snookers Ezra Klein on Voter ID

In discussing the photo ID bill passed in Wisconsin, Ezra Klein repeats a favorite talking point of liberals: "Such laws tend to exclude groups of voters who move a lot, don't drive or can't afford the fees required to keep...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 25, 2011; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  law  
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Morning Bits

Awkward: Middle East adviser Dennis Ross is asked why he's going to a J Street conference with so many anti-Israel characters. Ross's attendance is especially cringe-inducing in light of this: "Four Kadima MKs who accepted an invitation to speak at...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 25, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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What will Obama do?

The paucity of action on Libya by the Obama administration has been roundly criticized by pundits and politicans. Today I asked State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley what, other than going to the U.N. Human Rights Council, we were doing about...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 24, 2011; 9:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Glenn Beck doesn't speak for mainstream conservatives

Each time I write a post critical of Fox News host Glenn Beck, scores of conservatives e-mail and comment here at Right Turn that he's "not as bad" as the left portrays him and that, besides, there are worse figures...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 24, 2011; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  Conservative movement  
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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 technology gadgets. This week we ask: What was your most memorable trip? Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: "Israel in 2007 with other attorneys general." Rep. Paul...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 24, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Culture  
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Palin got this one right: More Jews going to Israel

In November 2009, Sarah Palin made news with a comment on Israel in an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters: "I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 24, 2011; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Sarah Palin  
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Left-wing front group doesn't like public employee study

At 9:45 a.m. yesterday, my post "Public employee unions: Entitled to their own views, but not their own facts" went up on the website. In that post, I reviewed two studies on public employee unions. One was from the Center...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 24, 2011; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  law  
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Why have a press conference on Libya at all?

Unfortunately, it was not a Saturday Night Live routine. Wednesday afternoon, after being roundly criticized for saying so little and doing nothing on the slaughter in Libya, the president announced -- hold on to your hats! -- that he has...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 24, 2011; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Wisconsin Gov. Walker is winning

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, by holding firm, is winning his face off against the public employee unions and their Democratic handmaidens. Yes, the state senate Democrats remain in an undisclosed location in Illinois, but their situation has become a whole...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 24, 2011; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (131)
Categories:  Governors  
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Israel looks out for itself

On Monday, the Israeli Knesset passed a bill, a mere two pages long, that requires nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Israel to disclose funding they receive from foreign governments. They must also disclose if a specific ad or event is...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 24, 2011; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Israel  
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Morning Bits

Elliott Abrams gives thumbs down on Obama's Libya speech: "The administration has followed its near silence over Iran in June 2009 and its wavering on Egypt last month with days of silence on Libya. Finally the president has spoken and...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 24, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Daniels's damage control

This afternoon, sensing he was on thin ice politically, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and his staff went into damage control mode. His office put out this: Governor Mitch Daniels today said the actions by House Democrats to abandon the state...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 23, 2011; 6:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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How to deal with liabilities

No, I'm not talking this time about unfunded liabilities; I'm talking candidates' shortcomings. Every candidate has them, but voters have to decide which ones matter, while candidates have to decide how to minimize them. Politico reports that Newt Gingrich was...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 23, 2011; 12:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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More on Daniels's folly

Some readers and Republican insiders contend I have been too tough on Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. One writes, "Didn't Daniels restrict collective bargaining, shrink [the number of] government workers, privatize large swaths of Indiana's public sector, and make tough decisions...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 23, 2011; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Budget  
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An administration adrift

Stephen Hayes has a write-up of a meeting between himself, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, the Brookings Institution's Robert Kagan, the Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. The account does not fill one with confidence....

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 23, 2011; 11:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Public employee unions: Entitled to their own views, but not their own facts

The Center for Union Facts is out with a new, compelling study that makes clear how shoddy is the analysis of the most widely cited pro-union study arguing that public-sector employees are actually underpaid. The study isn't long and should...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 23, 2011; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  economy  
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Two governors, only one ready for primetime

Last night both Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) had their opportunity in the national limelight to advance their position in their fights against public-employee unions and to advance their own careers. To the surprise...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 23, 2011; 9:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Conservative movement  
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Tea Partyers: No 2012 endorsement but plenty to say

Mark Meckler had never "given a dime" to a political candidate and was merely "an interested observer" of politics before CNBC's Rick Santelli's on air rant on Feb. 19, 2009, lit a fire under him and millions like him. He...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 23, 2011; 8:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Conservative movement  
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Morning Bits

Where is Obama? "After almost a week of escalating violent reprisals against protesters and soldiers who have joined the anti-regime forces, Libya's Muammar Qaddafi and his sons have yet to quell the uprisings -- and the White House has yet...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 23, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Punting on Libya

Unlike the White House, the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), is suggesting a strong U.S. response to the Libyan regime's mass murder of its citizens: "The Libyan regime's widespread attacks on the Libyan people are deplorable,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 22, 2011; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Thune out, Pawlenty's gain?

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) announced via Facebook that he won't be running for president. This is understandable for several reasons, the most important of which is that with the retirement of Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Thune could well move up...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 22, 2011; 4:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Incivility on the left

It has become dogma on the left that the "civility problem," including the misuse and abuse of Hitlerian imagery, is primarily a problem on the right. The conversation is usually joined by conservatives who recount the left's hate speech from...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 22, 2011; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Culture  
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The Tea Party still no big deal?

E.J. Dionne responds to my post yesterday on the Tea Party, raising two objections. First, he contends that he really has not "vilified" the Tea Party on the grounds that it is racist. Second, he says he's not backing down...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 22, 2011; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Conservative movement  
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Maybe putting a KKK founder on license plates IS a rotten idea

It took the better part of a week, but Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has decided it's not a good idea to be seen as indifferent to a scheme to put a founder of the KKK on state license plates. Politico...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 22, 2011; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Public employee unions vs. the rest of us

Many liberals still profess confusion about the distinction between collective bargaining in the public sector and that in the private sector. Really, it's not that hard, unless the intention is to ignore the obvious differences between public employee unions (which...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 22, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  economy  
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What options do we have on Libya?

In another demonstration of moral and political paralysis, the Obama administration is saying little about the brutal Libyan crackdown and doing even less. Paul Wolfowitz, writing in the Wall Street Journal, suggests tougher action: The U.S. should come down on...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 22, 2011; 8:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Morning Bits

You get the sense Mike Huckabee isn't interested in giving up the good life to run for president? " Huckabee's various gigs include a weekly television show on Fox News, Paul Harvey-style commentaries on some 600 radio stations and a...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 22, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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If only the left had listened to the Tea Partyers

After months of scorning, dismissing and vilifying the Tea Partyers, E. J. Dionne concedes: No matter how much liberals may poke fun at them, Tea Party partisans can claim victory in fundamentally altering the country's dialogue. But like many liberals,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 21, 2011; 3:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Mideast uprisings aren't all cut from the same cloth

From a distance we see that much of the Middle East is in turmoil. Certainly what started in Tunisia and migrated to Egypt -- popular uprisings against aging, undemocratic regimes -- is now in evidence from Yemen to Libya. But...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 21, 2011; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Why do they misbehave?

Charles Lane observed over the weekend that in Madison, Wis., "anger and vilification are once again the order of the day -- and the incivility emanates from the progressive end of the spectrum, including, no doubt, many of the same...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 21, 2011; 10:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
Categories:  economy  
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Traveling in the West Bank (Part 2)

As I related on Sunday, my recent trip to Israel, and specifically to the West Bank, provided a vivid contrast to the international diplomatic frenzy over an area that few Americans ever see for themselves. Late in the afternoon on...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 21, 2011; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Israel  | Tags:  Jennifer Rubin  
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Friday question answered

In response to my question as to which Obama misstep of the week -- the budget, the U.N. veto bargaining or the Wisconsin labor stand-off -- would have the most serious ramifications a number of voters picked the Wisconsin labor...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 21, 2011; 9:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Friday question  | Tags:  Jennifer Rubin  
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Yes, there is a reason to rein in public employee unions

On Fox News Sunday Gov. Scott Walker didn't sound like he was buckling in his stand-off with public employee unions: First off, those Senate Democrats should realize, if you want to participate in a democracy, you got to be in...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 21, 2011; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  economy  
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Morning Bits

Time for Obama in verse? Read the whole, hysterical thing. Time for clarity on Obama. ABC's Jon Karl: "Look, the president was quicker and more forceful in his denouncement of Governor Scott Walker than he was in denouncing Hosni Mubarak."...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 21, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Traveling in the West Bank (Part 1)

Last week, while protesters battled autocratic regimes, the United Nations chose to focus its ire on Israel's settlements in the West Bank. It seems that no matter what else happens in the 50 or so Muslim-majority countries around the world...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 20, 2011; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Israel  
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Why isn't the Colombia free-trade deal done?

Much has been written about the president's lack of leadership on the budget and entitlement reform. But far less scrutiny has been directed at the administration's slothfulness when it comes to concluding free-trade deals. The Associated Press. reported: Florida Sen....

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 20, 2011; 11:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Interview: Sen. Pat Toomey

I spoke to freshman Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) by phone on Friday afternoon. He had arrived back in Pennsylvania Thursday night, and he told me that he is going to spend this week "crisscrossing the commonwealth" to get a read...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 20, 2011; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Senate Republicans  
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Morning Bits

Tim Pawlenty stands up for Gov. Scott Walker. "Governor Scott Walker is making tough choices needed to avoid financial ruin. The nation's governors don't need a lecture from a president who has never balanced a budget. All levels of government...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 20, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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