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 to take a public stand. Last night, Secretary Clinton released a statement, and pathetic as it was, it's more than the president has offered--a president who has spent considerable energy burnishing his image for the Muslim and Arab public."
Where's support for Obama's "historic legislation"? "The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that 56% favor repeal of the health care law, including 43% who Strongly Favor repeal."
Where will these Democrats run to? "Mirroring recent events in Wisconsin, Democrats in Indiana's state legislature plan to leave the state rather than vote on a bill that would bar unions from certain bargaining rights."
Where's the next flashpoint in the union vs. taxpayer war? New Jersey. And don't bet against Chris Christie: "Declaring that his deep cuts last year had established 'the new normal,' Mr. Christie, a Republican, carved out a modest increase for public-school aid, kept municipal aid flat, offered small increases for indigent care at hospitals and financial aid for college students, and set aside a bigger amount to support improvements in the state's vital transportation system. But to pay for his priorities, Mr. Christie, who has waged a 14-month rhetorical war against the teachers' and other public-sector unions, stepped up the pressure to slash their members' health and retirement benefits."
Where was there good news yesterday? At the Supreme Court. In Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, by a 6-2 vote, the court held that federal law preempts state tort claims against vaccine manufacturers, which "is absolutely crucial to maintaining the continued availability of the many vaccines that protect the lives and health of tens of millions of Americans."
Where does the White House shove the DNC? "Under the bus," reports Ben Smith. The White House is now saying claims of its involvement in the Wisconsin standoff are "false." Ben writes, "[O]ne Democrat who doesn't work for the White House or DNC suggested to me a few days ago that Obama's and the DNC's intervention made sense as a free way to please organized labor -- without spending political capital on the Hill or actual dollars in the budget to do it, and one that seemed unlikely to be a voting issue in 2012. The walkback makes that judgement seem a bit less clear." A bit?
Where did all the Democrats go? "Gallup's analysis of party affiliation in the U.S. states shows a marked decline in the number of solidly Democratic states from 2008 (30) to 2010 (14). The number of politically competitive states increased over the same period, from 10 to 18, with more limited growth in the number of leaning or solidly Republican states."
Where will all the Thune voters go? Not to Mitt Romney, whatever David Frum says. But he gets this right: "If you think Romney is already terminally wounded, then Thune's departure helps the best organized of the not-Romney alternatives: Tim Pawlenty." Even if he's not yet terminal, the fewer "not Romney" candidates the worse for Romney. He, of course, wants the not-Romney vote to be splintered.
| February 23, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories: Morning Bits
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