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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 02/22/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

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 packed schedule of speaking engagements. In June, he'll be headlining a week-long cruise to Alaska. When Huckabee and his wife, Janet, picked out the lot for the house they are building on a Florida beach, 'We just looked at each other and started laughing. We thought, can you believe we can do this?' he said."

Yuval Levin talks sense on the difference between private and public sector unions.

Public-sector union guru Steven Malagna gives you a sense of how public employees have used political power to extract huge benefits from government. "Unions use that money not only to run their daily operations but to wage political campaigns in state capitals and city halls. Indeed, public-sector unions especially have become the nation's most aggressive advocates for higher taxes and spending. They sponsor tax-raising ballot initiatives and pay for advertising and lobbying campaigns to pressure politicians into voting for them. And they mount multimillion dollar campaigns to defeat efforts by governors and taxpayer groups to roll back taxes. . . . Public unions are also among the biggest players in national politics. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (Afscme) has been the third-biggest contributor to federal campaigns over the past 20 years, having given $43 million. The National Education Association is number eight with $31 million in contributions, while the SEIU--half of whose 2.2 million members are government workers--is No. 10, with $29 million in campaign donations." And 95 percent of their donations go to Democrats.

This makes no sense: "Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi has signaled that he does not believe past flaps over race would cause him many problems should he decide to seek the Republican nomination for president."

On Libya, Bill Kristol hopes there is someone in the White House with more sense than the State Department: "No direct condemnation of the Qaddafi regime. No expression of support for the demonstrators. No hint of action on our part--no immediate economic embargo, no threats against any individuals involved in the atrocities, no call for a U.N. Security Council meeting, no sign of possible NATO enforcement of a no-fly zone, no demand that the border be opened for humanitarian aid. Instead, the State Department is trying to 'convey a message' to the Libyan government. This is your State Department at work. Surely there are some in the White House--I think there are some--who are cringing at such an absence of moral clarity on the part of the U.S. government and at such a failure of American leadership. Let's hope they persuade the president to step forward very soon to overrule the State Department, and to put the United States, in both speech and deed, strongly and unequivocally on the side of decency and freedom."

Get the sense this may come up if Obama and congressional Democrats try to force a government shutdown? "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker continued to stand his ground Monday night, challenging the 14 Democratic senators who have fled to Illinois to return to 'where they belong' so Republicans can move forward with his budget-cutting plan." Funny no liberals are complaining about "obstructionism."

In a real sense, the Wisconsin labor dispute shows how far public opinion and elite liberal opinion diverge. "A sizable number of voters are following new Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's showdown with unionized public employees in his state, and nearly half side with the governor. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters agree more with the Republican governor in his dispute with union workers. Thirty-eight percent (38%) agree more with the unionized public employees, while 14% are undecided."

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 22, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Next: What options do we have on Libya?

Comments

Speaking of sense, do the Democrats have any sense at all? They have structured their party to rely more and more upon a bubble which, if they actually had any sense, they should sense would eventually pop. Bubble? What bubble? How about accepting big outlandish campaign contributions from public unions, then “negotiating” juicy deals for the unions involving huge benefits packages – not so obvious as wage packages, but bankrupting most of the states of the union nonetheless – plus collecting big union dues automatically for the unions from the union members, which in turn come back to the corrupt Democrats – excuse the redundancy – as ever bigger outlandish campaign contributions from public unions.

This is an even more transparent scam than another bubble, namely the housing bubble, enabled by the Community ReInvestment Act and Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, which served and the happy [money] hunting ground for retired unscrupulous Democrat politicians for years.

Maybe the Democrats do have sense, but only for self-serving; they just have no sense of responsibility for the public.

Maybe November 2012 will knock some sense in to them. How about a filibuster-proof Republican Senate? The loss of the presidency should be automatic.

Posted by: nvjma | February 22, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol is an idiot and has gone nowhere his daddy didn't take him to.

Posted by: danw1 | February 22, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I am amazed at the level of the argumentation in these comments (danm1 takes the cake today). I am beginning to think that new Institute for Civility in Arizona is really needed. I am not sure what personal attacks (such as Jennifer Rubin receives every day) contribute to the discussion. But I sure wish people would put up arguments to refute her writings, rather than the accusations leveled at her daily. But I guess that would take time and effort...

Posted by: adnask | February 22, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

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