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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 02/18/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

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 abruptly leaving the state in an effort to force Republicans to the negotiating table."

If the next showdown is in New Jersey, they could put it on pay-per-view. "'Republicans in Congress -- and reform-minded GOP governors like Scott Walker, John Kasich and Chris Christie -- are daring to speak the truth about the dire fiscal challenges Americans face at all levels of government, and daring to commit themselves to solutions that will liberate our economy and help put our citizens on a path to prosperity,' [Speaker John] Boehner said in a statement. ... The GOP Speaker referred specifically to an interview President Obama gave on Wednesday to Milwaukee television, in which he called the new law an 'assault on unions.' What's more, the Wisconsin chapter of the president's political arm within the Democratic National Committee (DNC), worked to promote rallies against the new law." I mean, could you imagine an Obama vs. Christie faceoff?

If they tried, it's hard to see how the Obama foreign policy mavens could have given their opponents a bigger political target. The drumbeat of criticism over the U.N. anti-Israel resolution continues. " 'The Administration's position is to throw Israel under the bus,' RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said. 'Instead of supporting this statement, the American position should be to publicly defend Israel and veto the Palestinian-backed resolution.' "

If this were a boxing match, it would be called. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner gets hammered.

If Tim Kaine had some smarts, he'd stick with doing a mediocre job as DNC chairman. He's not yet in the Virginia Senate race and already he's in over his head. "DNC chair Tim Kaine, in the midst of weighing a Virginia Senate race, finds himself in an awkward position over collective bargaining -- as political foes use the DNC's support of the pro-union rallies in Wisconsin to paint Kaine as too close to organized labor and likely to bring public sector unionism to Virginia."

If you want to see the iron grip of teachers' unions on the Democratic Party, you need look no further than D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who is putting at risk $60 million in school funding in order to maintain opposition to the school voucher program that congressional Democrats and the president tried to kill. "[Sen. Joe] Lieberman made a good point when he asked Mr. Gray, 'What's the harm?' in accepting that money in exchange for helping a small number of students get a better education. No harm at all; only gain." Well, if you insist on looking at it from the children's perspective, then yeah.

If you want a headline that sums up the Obama foreign policy, this would be it: "Unrest in Bahrain Presents Diplomatic Puzzle for Obama." Unprepared, clueless and overwhelmed? Yup.

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 18, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Next: A decisive moment: Public employee unions or the common good?


maybe Bahrain wants the UN resolution on Israel in exchange for the U.S. Fifth Fleet base? Linkage works in mysterious ways.

The United Nations is one crisis away from complete illegitimacy (how is Ivory Coast doing?). Maybe the UNSC should vote on a resolution dissolving the UN as illegitimate.

now returning to volume 2 of Harry S. Truman memoir, which is focussed on Iran, nuclear safeguards, and staving off Russian agression and global famine in 1946. not too many things change, but it IS nice that Bulgaria is no longer of concern...

Posted by: K2K2 | February 18, 2011 8:00 AM | Report abuse

I guess nothing is a puzzle to a neocon that thinks all we need in our diplomatic toolbox is the threat of military intervention. It is easy to be sure of your path when the world is only black and white, isn't it?

Posted by: billyvw | February 18, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

"A group of Democratic Wisconsin lawmakers blocked passage of a sweeping anti-union bill Thursday"

That is what this economic melt down is about. It is not just anti union, it is anti worker. You know, back in the 60's and 70's, when nearly 40% of the workforce was union, things were really bad. Now that unions represent about 6% of the workforce, it is not like that. American business is so proud of themselves that it just burns their souls to have to give all that good money to those uneducated, unrefined, unmotivated laborers. Just listen to them. They even refer to themselves as producers and achievers and lots of other glorious monickers.

Only problem, all of these uneducated minimum wagers are doing a really lousy job of supporting the producers businesses! Hopefully, those minimum wagers will soon get their confidence back and pull enough out of their savings and retirements to get things rolling smoothly again.

Posted by: wigglwagon | February 18, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

"I mean, could you imagine an Obama vs. Christie faceoff?"

Well, that's another fine mess you've gotten us into, Barry!

Posted by: aardunza | February 18, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

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