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Right Turn: February 27, 2011 - March 5, 2011

Friday question

The massacre of civilians goes on in Libya. The U.N. and our allies have been more outspoken than the Obama administration. Along with China, European powers have not been timid about using their military to assist in rescue efforts. By...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 4, 2011; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Friday question  
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Tunisia is not Libya, which is not Bahrain, which is not Morocco

We are certainly witnessing a regional transformation in the Middle East in which autocratic regimes are being challenged and in some cases toppled by secular uprisings. But, as I have noted before, the differences between countries is critical -- and...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 4, 2011; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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The New York Times fawns over new Obama team

Sometimes you have to marvel at what is deemed "news" by the New York Times. In a piece that gives "fluff" a bad name, we are told: The new team that Mr. Obama has assembled to run the White House...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 4, 2011; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Media  
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If not in Libya, when would Obama ever intervene?

Jamie Fly, executive director of the Foreign Policy Initiative, makes the case in USA Today that the Obama administration has been too slow to react to events in Libya: It was not until Monday, two weeks after the uprising began,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 4, 2011; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Is Paul Ryan really a 'fraud'?

Matt Miller has been going after the only man in Washington working on a proposal to reform entitlement programs. Miller laced into Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), with the sort of invective liberals usually reserve for Republican presidents: Thanks to House...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 4, 2011; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Budget  
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Will Muslim Brotherhood control Egyptian religious institutions?

Barry Rubin (no relation) wrote yesterday about "the opening of a Muslim Brotherhood campaign to replace Egypt's current clerical hierarchy with its own people." He explains that Hosni Mubarak clearly grasped that "control over Islam was vital to maintaining control...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 4, 2011; 9:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Judge Vinson delivers another blow to ObamaCare

When U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson issued his ruling finding ObamaCare unconstitutional, liberals seemed to develop a reading comprehension problem. He plainly stated that the law is unconstitutional, but defenders of ObamaCare seemed not to grasp that the judge...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 4, 2011; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Obamacare  
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Morning Bits

Mark Hemingway skewers the conspiratorial left, observing that "the left's collective Koch delusions are especially odd considering that for years liberals have been accusing conservatives of wallowing in the fever swamps whenever George Soros' name comes up. . . ....

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 4, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Obama's timid words on Libya

The Post reports: Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi launched renewed airstrikes against two key rebel-held towns Thursday, a day after poorly armed citizens repelled a major government assault on the area. As they have been at nearly every...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 3, 2011; 7:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Rep. Paul Ryan: Our fiscal future and our moral health

We know there is a fiscal crisis looming if we do not get our entitlement programs under control. But the failure to rein in these obligations also poses a moral danger to the country, according to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)....

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 3, 2011; 3:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Budget  
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California: How to fix what public employee unions have wrought?

Virtually unnoticed by the national media, a bipartisan commission in California last week put out an earthshaking (even for the tremor-plagued state) report on the extent of California's unfunded benefit liabilities. On Feb. 24, 2011, this commission made news: A...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 3, 2011; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Budget  
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Unions still in the driver's seat

Reid Wilson at the National Journal has a peculiar take on the relationship between organized labor and the Obama administration: "For the first time in more than a century, labor is playing a minor role, at best, in a Democratic-led...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 3, 2011; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Obama White House  
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Thursday feature: A turn to lighter fare

In our Thursday feature, we ask prominent conservatives a nonpolitical question. Last week we asked about their most memorable trip. This week we ask: What is your ideal weekend day (they can omit religious observations)? Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: "Exercise,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 3, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Media  
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An off-topic White House

President Obama has been largely missing in action of late, ducking direct comments on Libya and issuing a statement only after the extension of the continuing resolution was passed. The Post reports: Obama said in a statement that he would...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 3, 2011; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Obama White House  
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What GOP field?

Not a day goes by without a new poll on the prospective presidential primary race. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll told us that Mike Huckabee "leads" with 25%, followed by Mitt Romney (21%), Newt Gingrich (13%), and Sarah Palin...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 3, 2011; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Morning Bits

Delusional. Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer is running for president. "While Roemer is a native son of a state that witnessed a miracle last year -- the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl -- he faces very long odds....

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 3, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Bahrain and Yemen: Two different revolutions

This afternoon I spoke to the Foundation for Defense of Democracy's Steve Sotloff, who has been traveling in the Middle East, recently to Egypt and Bahrain and now en route to Libya. Much of the news, understandably, has focused on...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 2, 2011; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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The Politico- N.Y. Times food fight

Dana Milbank has a good summary of the pseudo-scandal involving Politico reporters' e-mails. It started with a Capitol Hill aide the public has never heard of -- Kurt Bardella, spokesman for Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) -- passing e-mails of reporters...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 2, 2011; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Media  
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It's a landslide: Senate passes $4B in cuts

As The Post reported, the Senate today overwhelmingly approved by a 91-9 vote the two-week extension of the continuing resolution, thereby preventing a government shutdown. The no's were cast by a mix of far-right and far-left senators, in other words,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 2, 2011; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Budget  
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Run baby, run!

There isn't a Republican activist or pundit who hasn't done it. Some are fixated on it. The "it" is running through the roster of potential presidential candidates, hoping to find one that jumps out and excites. The actual list of...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 2, 2011; 11:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Meanwhile, Iran runs roughshod over its citizens

The civil war in Libya and the uprisings in the Middle East continue to dominate the news. But we shouldn't lose track of Mehdi Karroubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the two Iranian oppositon figures jailed by the Iranian regime. The BBC...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 2, 2011; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Iran  
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Newt flakes? Memories of 1995. . .

Last night, Newt Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler sent out this missive: Clarification: Purpose of Gingrich Visit to Georgia Over the past 48 hours, there has been much speculation in the press about former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's intentions...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 2, 2011; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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House votes overwhelmingly to cut $4B

The House yesterday approved a two-week extension of the continuing resolution that was adopted during last December's lame duck session. The vote was a rout, 335-91. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) voted against it. And If you think fiscal silliness...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 2, 2011; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Budget  
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Morning Bits

Mike Huckabee gives Glenn Beck a run for his money as "least helpful conservative voice." The Post reports, "Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee got his facts wrong when he claimed twice during an interview Monday that President Obama was raised...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 2, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Tim Pawlenty: Nice guy with a tough record?

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who spoke at the Tea Party Patriots' summit last weekend, is out with a new video praising the Tea Party. I have a couple of observations. First, any candidate who wants to capture the GOP...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 1, 2011; 4:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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And then there will be three: Newt to announce this week

ABC News first reported that Newt Gingrich would announce this week whether he was forming a presidential exploratory committee. The assumption is that he'll tell us, yes, he is running. In a field that was once imagined to be huge,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 1, 2011; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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A phony Obamacare opt-out

President Obama offered governors a deal on Obamacare yesterday. The Post reports: President Obama sought to defuse criticism of the new health-care overhaul Monday by saying he is willing to give states an earlier opportunity to opt out of certain...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 1, 2011; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Obamacare  
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Obama officials praise those who support them

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Monday finally had enough of President Obama's hectoring. (Obama at the National Governors' Association meeting on Monday pronounced, "I don't think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 1, 2011; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Governors  
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Bad timing for Democrats' defense of status quo

At a time Senate Democrats are dragging their feet on an extension of the Continuing Resolution and the White House is pushing a budget that merely freezes discretionary defense spending, comes a report from the General Accounting Office: The U.S....

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 1, 2011; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Budget  
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What are we doing with those ships moving toward Libya?

The New York Times reports: The United States began moving warships toward Libya and froze $30 billion in the country's assets on Monday as the administration declared all options on the table in its diplomatic, economic and military campaign to...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 1, 2011; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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No, a peace deal wouldn't diminish anti-Semitism

Richard Cohen argues (with much justification) that anti-Semitism remains a scourge in the Muslim World: "There are nearly no Jews in Arab lands -- they were kicked out after Israel was established in 1948. Nowhere in the Middle East is...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 1, 2011; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Israel  
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What if Congress voted every two weeks on the budget?

The House is going forward with its proposed short-term extension of the Continuing Resolution (CR), as Majority Leader Eric Cantor made clear at a news conference yesterday: As far as the CR is concerned, about ten days ago, we took...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 1, 2011; 8:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Budget  
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Morning Bits

President Obama continues to root for public employees. I thought the White House said this was a local matter. Obama continues the post-partisan era. Well, not really. At the governors' meeting his "tone was sharper and more overtly political." Wisconsin...

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 1, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Hence, Mitt Romney's problem

Politico reports: President Obama on Monday once again brought up Mitt Romney's role in expanding health care in Massachusetts, in what has become a recurring political nightmare for the former governor who is seen as a likely Republican candidate for...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 28, 2011; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Our feeble Libya policy

The perception that the Obama administration's Middle East policy is feeble, if not pathetic, grows daily. This report makes clear how little we are doing in comparison to our allies: British and German military planes swooped into Libya's desert, rescuing...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 28, 2011; 1:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Dennis Ross disappoints J Street

The administration's chief Middle East adviser Dennis Ross went to the J Street confab. It was an odd assignment, given that J Street, in concert with the pro-Iranian-regime NIAC had conspired to try to prevent his appointment. The applause greeting...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 28, 2011; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  American Jews  
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What is it about Chris Christie?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) appeared on "Face the Nation" yesterday. He turned in another gripping performance, following his recent speech at the American Enterprise Institute. He is -- no doubt a consequence of his years as a prosecutor...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 28, 2011; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Who's the hooligan?

Dana Milbank on Sunday dubbed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) a "hooligan." He wrote: I don't budge," Walker promised the fake Koch. He explained that he would increase pressure on state workers by threatening thousands of them with layoffs. He...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 28, 2011; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  Media  
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Friday question answered

On Friday, I asked how the Wisconsin labor standoff is going to turn out and how will it impact the 2012 Republican primary race. A number of readers predicted that Gov. Scott Walker will prevail. Iowahawkeye writes: Walker's already won....

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 28, 2011; 8:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Governors  
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Morning Bits

Tim Pawlenty criticizes Obama for "sitting silent for days" on Libya. Paul Wolfowitz chides the Israelis. "It's crazy. The Israelis should welcome what's happened in Egypt," Wolfowitz told Fareed Zakaria. "If only cynically, I mean, they -- instead of associating...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 28, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Morning Bits  | Tags:  Jennifer Rubin  
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Obama on Libya: Very little and very late

After days of near-silence and inactivity the Obama administration took its first tentative steps against the murderous regime of Moammar Gaddafi. The Post reported: Moments after a charter aircraft departed Libya with all remaining U.S. diplomats there Friday, the Obama...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 27, 2011; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  foreign policy  
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What IS Alliance for Justice?

On Friday, I delved into the left's "Koch derangement syndrome," the effort to run the 2012 campaign against the two mega-wealthy brothers who donate to conservative causes, rather than the individuals who will be on the ballot. As I explained,...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 27, 2011; 8:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  law  
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Morning Bits

Democrats begin to cave on spending cuts. "The outlines of a plan to avoid a possible government shutdown began to emerge Friday evening, as Democrats reacted with cautious optimism to a Republican proposal to delay discussion of some of the...

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 27, 2011; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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