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

Morning Bits

By Jennifer Rubin

If we can't take out Somali pirates how are we going to meet threats from Iran, China and others? Reviewing the international "dithering," Cliff May writes, "Maj. Gen. Tom Wilkerson, USMC (ret.), is CEO of the U.S. Naval Institute. He told me he believes it is high time for a new approach. The U.S., along with a coalition of the willing, he says, could and should increase the risks of piracy and lower the rewards. That means taking the offensive: killing pirates at sea, in the harbors where they dock their vessels (and those they seize), and in what are now their safe havens and homes in the coastal areas of the northern Somali province of Puntland." But that would require that the administration exert leadership.

If we can't see much improvement in K-12 education is it time to stop spending so much money? Glenn Reynolds writes, "In the past, when problems with education were raised, the solution was always to spend more money. But as economist Herbert Stein once noted, something that can't go on forever, won't. Steady increases in per-pupil spending without any commensurate increase in learning can't go on forever. So they won't. And as state after state faces near-bankruptcy (or, in some cases, actual bankruptcy), we've pretty much hit that point now. . . .Getting rid of teachers unions and overgenerous, underfunded public pensions is something states will have to do to remain solvent. But that's just the short term. Over the longer term -- which means, really, the next three to five years at most -- straightened circumstances and the need for better education will require more significant change."

If we can't tell if a cover story is from March 2009 or from March 2011 is there anything all that new about Newsweek?

If we can't set up a no-fly zone over Libya, are we consigned to sit idly by while the massacre continues? Sen. John McCain on "This Week" was obviously frustrated: "McCain was asked about Defense Secretary Robert Gates's assertion that the no-fly zone calls on Capitol Hill were 'loose talk' and that such an operation would have to begin with a military assault on Libya's air defenses. 'We can't risk allowing Gadhafi to massacre people from the air,' the senator said. But McCain stressed that while ground intervention 'would not be appropriate,' there are other things the U.S. could do to support the rebels including intelligence, training and humanitarian assistance."

If we can't persuade the U.N. to stop its anti-Semitic agenda, isn't it at least time to stop funding it? "At a time when citizens of Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Iran, Tunisia, Yemen, Gaza, and elsewhere are demanding freedom and rejecting attempts to blame problems on Israel, the U.N. will hold another International Meeting on the Question of Palestine March 7-8 in Vienna. The timing of this event corresponds with "Israeli Apartheid Week" (IAW) activities, which are part of the broader BDS and Durban strategy of demonization."

If we can't spot any sign that the president will lead, is there any hope for entitlement reform? On "Meet the Press," Sen. Mitch McConnell didn't sound optimistic: "I have now had a number of private conversations with the president and the vice president. I was hopeful that we would step up to the plate here, if you will, and use this divided government opportunity to do something big about our long-term problems. I don't have any more complaints about the conversations with them; I've had plenty of conversations with them. What I don't see now is any willingness to do anything that's difficult. Look, this is the perfect time to do it. We control part of the government. They control part of the government. It could be done in a very, very effective way. And for those who are concerned about the 2012 elections, survived politically because both sides will have embraced it. I haven't given up hope but frankly I'm not optimistic."

If we can't even hold hearings on Islamic radicalization, are we surrendering to the forces of political correctness? Rep. Peter King (R- N.Y.) explains why his hearings are needed: "The Department of Homeland Security was set up after September 11th. The Committee on Homeland Security was set up after September 11th. And we're talking about a radicalization in this country which is linked to an overseas enemy. This is al-Qaeda internationally; it's attempting to recruit within the United States. People in this country are being self- radicalized, whether it's Major Hasan or whether it's Shahzad or whether it was Zazi in New York. These were all people who were identifying, in one way or another, with al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. So it's an international movement with elements here in the United States. And to me, that is a real distinction. There's always going to be isolated incidents, isolated fanatics, isolated terrorists, even. But an organized terrorist effort, to me, is different, which requires an investigation unto itself." It shocking that certain "leaders" in the American Muslim community would object to that.

By Jennifer Rubin  | March 7, 2011; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Bits  
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Comments

According to the WSJ, the Wisconsin Democrats are planning to come back and allow the bill to pass.

Posted by: sold2u | March 7, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

If we keep listening to liberal neocons such as Ms. Rubin demanding us REAL Americans fork over our tax dollars to pay for her no-fly zones, how are we to stop borrowing and printing money?

If we pay for hearings lead by New York neocons, how can we actually deal with the threat at hand?

If we keep supporting Ms. Rubin's open-border policies, how can we NOT keep spending more money on our schools in order to educate the illegal immigrants that are over-crowding our schools and bringing gang violence that she holds so dear?

If we can't recognize how destructive unconservative necons are to our great country, how are we to survive?

Posted by: mfray | March 7, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Durn it, as I mentioned on another blog entry here, even Peter Pan took on the pirates! True, his band of Lost Boys had some help from Wendy and her brothers, so we should engage the French and Italians in the eradication effort too. Heck, have Belgium send its dinghy; we’ll put it on the afterdeck of one of our warships so they can join in the fun too.

Better yet, we could privatize the eradication effort, letting folks with the time and money do it for us while enjoying the luxuries of a modern cruise ship: http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/11581-Luxury-Pirate-Hunting-Cruise.html

Posted by: SCMike1 | March 7, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The country would be better off if Representative King included in his investigation how a tiny little Mideast country can control the foreign policy of the most powerful country in the world, a little country whose prime minister brags about how easy it is to control Americans, a little country with an influential fifth column that can and has taken America to war against another country of no threat to us and was incapable of threatening us, a little country that extorts hundreds of billions of dollars from broken American taxpayers, a little country that runs the second largest industrial and national security spying operation against America, and a little country that has managed to make one billion Muslims hate all Americans.

Yes sir, Mr. King, do your duty. Find out why this happened and you will find why some Muslims are radicalized.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | March 7, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Lazarus40:

I knew you could do it! But I do suggest that in future editions of your rant you change the following:
“a little country with an influential fifth column that can and has taken America to war” (or whatever).
To:
“a little country that has established an influential fifth column in VespucciLand (or “America” or the “US” as you prefer ) that can and has taken America to war” (or whatever).

That way you’re hitting the traitorous neo-cons and others whose loyalty you believe to be questionable as I believe was your intent.

BTW, if your ears were burning last week, it was probably because Alan Dershowitz was talking about you.
http://www.gainesville.com/article/20110303/ARTICLES/110309824/1118/WIRE?Title=Anti-Semitism-now-commonplace-Dershowitz-tells-UF-audience

Posted by: SCMike1 | March 7, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

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