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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 02/16/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

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 would be better off going into a reelection campaign with massive borrowing on their record than with the political damage that might be inflicted if they embarked on a serious entitlement and tax reform exercise."

The Iranian regime shouldn't repress its people, Obama decides. "In Washington, Obama told reporters: 'We have sent a strong message to our allies in the region saying, 'Let's look at Egypt's example, as opposed to Iran's example.' You know, I find it ironic that you've got the Iranian regime pretending to celebrate what happened in Egypt, when in fact they have acted in direct contrast to what happened in Egypt by gunning down and beating people who were trying to express themselves peacefully in Iran." But what's he going to do? (At least he's now offering "moral support.")

This shouldn't be so hard to differentiate. "The Obama administration is stepping up its drive to promote Internet freedom... However, critics say that as the United States calls for unfettered and uncensored access to the Internet around the globe, the Obama administration is stepping on its own message by aggressively pursuing a criminal investigation into the activities of online publisher WikiLeaks and how it obtained hundreds of thousands of classified American government reports." C'mon, that's just silly. WikiLeaks was dealing in stolen classified material. "Give the mullahs the boot!" is a bit different, no?

Republicans shouldn't be against immigrants, even as they oppose illegal immigration, says a smart Republican. "During a recent speech at an event hosted by The Ripon Society, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie said, 'We favor welcoming legal immigrants into this country and believe it's a good thing. But sometimes that policy gets lost because we're so busy talking about keeping illegal immigrants out,' he said. Gillespie said Republicans have a responsibility to 'welcome people' into the U.S."

Obama shouldn't have expected anything different after submitting a budget so unserious. Along with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. Kent Conrad bashed the Obama budget. "From the beginning of the hearing, [OMB director Jacob] Lew was met with a series of tough criticisms from Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Republican ranking member of the committee. ... Sen. Kent Conrad, the [Democratic] chairman of the committee, was just as harsh, calling the budget plan one 'not wise.' 'It's not acceptable -- it's not a fiscal strategy that the country should embrace,' Conrad said."

The White House shouldn't underestimate the GOP leadership. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.), and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) put out a statement making clear they are not punters. "Our budget will lead where the President has failed, and it will include real entitlement reforms so that we can have a conversation with the American people about the challenges we face and the need to chart a new path to prosperity." This should get interesting really fast.

You shouldn't worry if this testimony from OMB director Jacob Lew makes no sense. "As the President has said, now that the country is back from the brink of a potential economic collapse, our goal is to win the future by out-educating, out-building and out-innovating our competitors so that we can return to robust economic and job growth. But to make room for the investments we need to foster growth, we have to cut what we cannot afford. We have to reduce the burden placed on our economy by years of deficits and debt." So we are going to spend a whole bunch more money.

Republicans shouldn't turn to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for national security expertise, says Dick Armey. "When asked if Daniels might experience difficulty on foreign-policy issues, Armey muses, 'Mitch has a disciplined awareness of his own limitations.' He thinks Daniels would bring in advisers to help him bone up on national-security policy." We've seen how well that works out, huh?

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 16, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Two facts on the budget
Next: Jacob Lew's no good, horrible day


I dunno Jen. If Daniels committed to appointing John Bolton as SecState (and, say, Jeff Sutton and/or Neil Gorsuch to the 1st/2nd SCOTUS opening - in a pinch Sutton would even do as a replacement for Nino - wish him long life and good health but by the end of the decade it might be time to go if the opportunity to appoint a younger and perhaps almost comparable replacement exists) that would upgrade his candidacy considerably.

Posted by: cavalier4 | February 16, 2011 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I'd bet the "unfettered and uncensored access to the Internet around the globe" people would understand if someone were using the Internet to sell stolen artwork.

It shouldn't be that hard to explain. I mean, look at Napster.

Posted by: IsraelP | February 16, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

If Obama really wants to out-educate the rest of the world, step one is repealing the laws exempting student loans from bankruptcy, and step two is eliminating federal guarantees on student loans. Education has become an unaffordable burden foisted off on young people who have no idea what they're getting into. Eliminating the protections on the student loan industry will eliminate the enabling force behind the education bubble.

Posted by: CylonCat | February 16, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I too would like to see Republicans supplement their criticism of policies that allows illegal immigration to prosper with praise for those who choose to follow the path of legal immigration-as byzantine as it may be currently be-and celebrate that group's achievements and contributions to this country. In fact they should go overboard with shining the spotlight on this group. Hispanics who are born in the US and immigrants from Latin America are more culturally aligned with the Republican party than Democrats, and they are a constituency that we could see exodus the latter for the former if Republicans push the right buttons.

Posted by: Fitz157 | February 16, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

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