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Posted at 7:45 AM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

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 in Kenya." Huckabee later said he misspoke, thereby losing the birther vote.

Yuval Levin gives us the lowdown on the Obama team's new approach to its "historic legislation": "It seems that the administration has landed on a new way of dealing with the fact that the health-care debate will be far from over when the president is up for reelection next year. Rather than defend their health-care law, they're going to say that it has many huge problems that they want to fix, but then allow for only those fixes that do not actually permit a different approach to our health-care financing crisis. They must hope that this will counteract the growing practical concerns about the law. But admitting that Obamacare is deeply flawed and that some major claims made on its behalf before it passed were false should have a very different effect: It should strengthen the case for repealing the law and replacing it with actual health-care reform."

A new report on the cost of Obamacare mandates gives more ammunition to the legislation's opponents. "The massive increases in new federal spending under the health care law did not include the new Medicaid state spending mandates; and American taxpayers are still discovering the extent of [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] PPACA's costs. In 2017, state governments will be forced to spend new money on expanded Medicaid populations, and by 2020, the states will shoulder these new costs fully. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally estimated new state spending on Medicaid at $20 billion between 2017 and 2019, and an independent report from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured found that new state spending would be even higher at $43.2 billion through 2019. More recently, CBO has estimated a $60 billion cost to the states through 2021."

A Democratic defection en masse gives the House Republicans a big win. "The House on Tuesday approved a two-week spending resolution by a 335-91 vote, as more than 100 Democrats joined all but six Republicans to support a measure aimed at averting a government shutdown this week. More Democrats voted for the measure, which would reduce spending by $4 billion over the next two weeks, than against it, despite criticism of the GOP proposal ahead of the vote by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the Democratic leader and former Speaker."

It gives you heartburn to know the U.S. helps pay for this: "The Libyan situation ought to occasion some embarrassment at the United Nations. U.N. Watch, a Geneva-based nongovernmental organization, reports that the U.N. Human Rights Council has issued a 23-page report praising the Gadhafi regime's human-rights record."

The House Judiciary Committee gives Attorney General Eric Holder the third degree on the New Black Panther case. And he sort of proves the critics' point by showing such resentment over the notion that civil rights laws used to protect what he calls "my people" against racism could be used to prosecute African Americans who intimidate voters. That, in the trade, is called an admission against interest.

Will the "international community" give Libyans the help they are pleading for? "In a sign of mounting frustration among rebel leaders at Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi's diminished but unyielding grip on power, the revolutionary council here is debating whether to ask for Western airstrikes on some of the regime's most important military assets under a United Nations banner, according to four people with knowledge of the council's deliberations." Oh, but Russia and China object? Too bad there's not a superpower on the side of freedom with the will to act.

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 2, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Next: House votes overwhelmingly to cut $4B

Comments

There is no way we can ever pay for ObamaCare. It will be the "Little Shop of Horrors" all over again. We are looking at a $1 trillion dollars in Federal spending even after all the tax increases. Now, we find (as if we did not know) huge Medicaid cost increases to states that are already bankrupt or verging on bankruptcy.

This monster is rising from lake Erie to eat Cleveland again. There is nothing for Obama to fix. The whole thing is a house of cards. If the mandate goes, the whole house of cards collapses. Why wait for the collapse? Dismantle the whole thing now, identify the actual problems (and allowing 26 year old "children" is not a problem), and work to fix what needs fixing.

Posted by: RickCaird | March 2, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Benniyar pointed out how great universal health care is in Israel. Here's a Wiki link that explains the system.

Any chance Neocons(liberals) & liberals could come together on a similar package of cumpulsary health care?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Israel

Posted by: mfray | March 2, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

FWIW, Huckabee had already lost the birther vote. He's made comments critical of those who believe Obama wasn't born in the US.

His reasoning is that if there were some truth to it, the Clintons would have discovered it and used it to make Hillary the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee.

Now if I, a person who is on record as avoiding articles about possible GOP presidential wannabees, know this what does that say about Ms. Rubin, a person who allegedly consumes GOP politics for a living?

Posted by: MsJS | March 2, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Eric Holder is a disgace and should be fired.
Can you imagine the uproar if John Ashcroft had said something like that?

Posted by: tulsa_dave | March 2, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Would it be as "great" if we didn't subsidize them?

We subsidized Europe militarily for 60 years.

When U don't have to spend on X, U can afford to spend on Y....

And the Brits still had rotten teeth until recently. And they still didn't want to spend on cancer treatments because too many would live for far too long.

Posted by: gopthestupidparty | March 2, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"That, in the trade, is called an admission against interest."

Or “scoring an own goal” in soccer.

Our nation's Attorney General Eric Holder is showing off his competence.

Posted by: nvjma | March 2, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"Will the "international community" give Libyans the help they are pleading for?"

This from someone who tells our own children and elderly and poor and sick to 'go fly a kite, we haven't got the money,' when they ask for some help. Keep at it and Huckabee will be claiming that you were raised in Libya.

Posted by: chaos1 | March 2, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The deliberate twisting of the "my people" phrase, ripped out of context and thrown there en passant, is mind-numbing in its cynical display of partisan "point scoring." Does Ms. Rubin live to provide ammunition to Greg Sargent in his ongoing efforts to unmask his colleague as a hack?

Posted by: Patroklus | March 3, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer Rubin lies again. It's pathetic really. Jennifer, you work for a main line organization. You are supposed to write articles for intelligent people and yet here you are twisting the words spoken so that they don't mean what the man actually said.

Is this how you treat an informed audience? No, it isn't how you should treat the readers of the WaPo, but it is how you treat them.

Shame. Shame on you.

Posted by: kindness1 | March 3, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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