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May 31, 2011 6:57:51 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday May 31, 2011

Screen shot 2011-05-31 at 5.20.29 PM 5:00pm 2012 POTUS race video round-up:

3:45pm The Republican: The 900 lb. gorilla in the entitlement room: America's declining fertility rates

2:00pm More talking points for Republicans on Medicare - from Ramesh Ponnuru

Barrassomccarthy 12:00pm Opinion: Sen. John Barrasso and Rep. Kevin McCarthy: Congress Should Free Public Land for Locals

11:45pm Opinion: Rep. Tom Graves: Government is our number 1 job destroyer today

11:30am Morning video round-up:

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: Since Medicare will be central to 2012 whether Republicans like it or not, here are some talking points to help go on the offense against the Democrats

Video: Sarah Palin talks to reporters about her plans for 2012


DRAFT PAUL RYAN: If you haven't yet signed the petition, you can do so here

SAVE MEDICARE: If you support the GOP's plans to reform and save Medicare, be sure sign up here

It would be cowardly for the Republicans to nominate anyone other than Paul Ryan - Christopher Caldwell, quoted by the American Spectator

  • Meanwhile, Democrats plot to defeat Paul Ryan in Wisconsin - Roll Call

House GOP will reject higher debt ceiling today, one day before they meet Obama

"A day before they huddle with President Obama at the White House, Republicans will vote on the administration’s initial request that the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling be lifted without any accompanying spending reductions." - Washington Post

  • "Democrats have yet to put forth any plan to deal with America’s fiscal crisis. The national debt is at $14.3 trillion and growing daily; this year’s budget deficit alone is projected to be $1.5 trillion. The nation is in danger of defaulting on its loans, and yet all President Obama has done is produce a speech, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has wasted his majority by voting against every budget that has come to the floor. Apparently, the only thing more bankrupt than the Treasury is the party in power." - Washington Times editorial
  • "Mitch McConnell said he won’t support a deal to raise the U.S. federal debt ceiling unless it restrains the growth of Medicare spending" - WSJ

Gerson Winning the Medicare debate

  • In the Washington Post Mike Gerson proposes a three part plan for the GOP to win the Medicare debate.
  • Washington Examiner editorial: "If the choice is framed as a debate between change versus the status quo in Medicare, then Democrats have the advantage. If the choice is framed more honestly -- as between Republican Paul Ryan's plan on the one hand, and the rationing panel on the other -- then the playing field will be far more level."

Republicans ramp up economic growth message after NY26

"After Corwin's loss, Republicans wasted no time pivoting to their job creation plan, with a dozen members lining up at a press conference to talk about lowering the corporate tax rate and reducing regulations on businesses with hardly a mention of entitlement reform." - Washington Examiner

  • "Voters want their lawmakers to act on jobs and the economy. Republicans must listen, or they risk suffering the same fate as Democrats last November." - Byron York in the Washington Examiner

Palin Sarah black Sarah Palin's bus tour captures attention...

  • "With the Republican field still unsettled, Ms. Palin is clearly using the bus tour to keep herself in the conversation. Asked by a reporter Monday whether she would run for the White House, Ms. Palin said that “we’re still kind of contemplating that.’’ - WSJ
  • Palin to Fox: "I know that many of the mainstream media are looking for kind of a conventional, a campaign-type tour and I've said from the beginning this isn't a campaign tour, except to campaign on our constitution and our charters of liberty."
  • "Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will travel to Iowa next month as part of her nationwide bus tour, two sources with direct knowledge of the plan told RealClearPolitics."
  • David Frum argues that it's the Ryan Plan that has brought Palin back in the game.
  • Andrew Sullivan lists lots of reasons why Palin WON'T run but Richard Adams at The Guardian differs: "Is Sarah Palin going to run for the presidency in 2012? There are two big clues: everything she says and everything she does."

2012-RACE ...stealing it from others:

  • "The fact that Palin's ego trip so easily stole the spotlight from the actual Republican candidates shows what a challenge the party faces in trying to deny President Obama a second term." - Eugene Robinson at RCP
  • Bachmann may struggle in Palin's shadow - LA Times

William McGurn at the WSJ says that the open GOP race is a good thing and a battle-tested candidate will emerge.

The Huffington Post says all of the 2012 candidates are heading rightwards: "On energy, taxes, health care and other topics, the top candidates hold positions that are more conservative than those they espoused a few years ago."

RNC Chair Reince Priebus spends five hours every day dialling for dollars

"The Republican National Committee chairman said he dials for dollars about five hours a day, calling different donors to the party in scheduled 15-minute blocks. “Almost the entire day is spent either raising money, thinking about how to raise money, arguing about money, worried about money or figuring out new ways to raise money,” Priebus told The Daily Caller during an interview at his Capitol Hill offices."

Kingzinger Adam Illinois Democrats hopeful that redistricting may oust SIX GOP House members, including freshman Adam Kinzinger - Politico

Marco Rubio’s backers pull him in two directions on immigration issue - Miami Herald

VDH: Obama's three part re-election plan

"We are beginning to see the contours of the upcoming 2012 reelection campaign of Barack Obama. Whether always officially sanctioned or not, Obama’s campaign will focus on three general themes: a) the 2008 meltdown of the economy on Bush’s watch; b) conservative heartlessness in gutting cherished entitlement programs; and c) racial bias behind any criticism of Barack Obama." - Victor Davis Hanson for NRO

  • "A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that Obama's approval rating among Americans stands at 54 percent, with 45 percent saying they disapprove of the job he's doing as president."
  • Obama bid might hinge on new voter registration - Washington Times

Obama campaigning in 'auto bailout states' where unemployment is falling faster than national average - WSJ

New York Times

...but in an editorial the New York Times warns that the recovery is too slow: "The grim numbers tell an unavoidable truth: The economy is not growing nearly fast enough to dent unemployment. Unfortunately, no one in Washington is pushing policies to promote stronger growth now."

  • Ten terrible tax breaks that should be abolished - USA Today

Barack Obama has nominated General Martin Dempsey for chairman of the joint chiefs of staff - FT ($)

American acceptance of homosexuality is now well advanced, if exaggerated by the media - Economist

David Brooks offers some worldly wisdom to new graduates

"Today’s grads enter a cultural climate that preaches the self as the center of a life. But, of course, as they age, they’ll discover that the tasks of a life are at the center. Fulfillment is a byproduct of how people engage their tasks, and can’t be pursued directly. Most of us are egotistical and most are self-concerned most of the time, but it’s nonetheless true that life comes to a point only in those moments when the self dissolves into some task. The purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourself." - David Brooks in the New York Times



May 30, 2011 8:46:49 AM

Newslinks for Memorial Day 2011


Video Memorial Day message from Rep. Jeb Hensarling

Video Memorial Day message from Sen. Marco Rubio

Leadership Memorial Day statements:

Screen shot 2011-05-30 at 8.44.18 AM Videos:

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: Time for Tea Party 2.0? The movement needs to update its rallying cry this summer

Tea Party in crisis? Does the powerful, yet leaderless, movement pose new problems for the GOP and the larger mission to rein in government?

“In interviews with The Washington Times, Republicans said they see two problems ahead. One is that Democrats benefit from fake tea party candidates siphoning crucial votes from a Republican candidate. The other is the ongoing tendency of the Republican establishment to invite tea party rebellions by picking more-liberal candidates, such as Dede Scozzafava, who lost another Republican-leaning New York congressional district in a special election in 2009.” - Washington Times

Republican governors fight ObamaCare while managing its implementation in their states

Screen shot 2011-05-30 at 6.20.27 AM “A small but growing number of prominent, Republican governors — including Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour — are taking the lead to shape a key component of the health care overhaul their party fought so hard to kill. It’s a delicate balancing act for Republicans who, on the one hand, oppose federal health reform, even challenging its constitutionality in federal court, and, on the other hand, are pragmatically trying to control as much of the implementation process as they can.” - Politico

Screen shot 2011-05-30 at 8.48.42 AM

Memorial Day reflections: remembering that “these dead have not died in vain”

“Memorial Day is the occasion to recall the names of those whose sacrifices are known to you…and to honor the hundreds of thousands of others killed defending the country.  And not merely to remember, but also ‘to take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave their last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’" - Hugh Hewitt in the Examiner

Remembering WWII on Memorial Day through the words of those who are still around to tell us about it

“About 1.8 million World War II veterans remain alive today. That's less than half the number of 2003. When these voices go silent, those of us who write about the war will lose the benefit of living engagement. We will work as our Civil War colleagues do: from documents and recordings and nothing else.” - Wall Street Journal

Mitch McConnell defends including the House Medicare plan in the debt ceiling cuts solution

“[McConnell] said Sunday that a controversial House Medicare plan is “on the table” as President Barack Obama and his GOP rivals wrestle over budget cuts to enact this summer.” Washington Post | Wall Street Journal

  • The Democrats have no plan for Medicare (other than demagoguery). The Republicans have a plan, but it's getting clouded up in the debate. Here are the details you should know about the GOP plan from Yuval Levin at NRO

RNC chair: Big donors will step up and are not worried about how the 2012 GOP field is looking

Screen shot 2011-05-30 at 8.18.27 AM Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called the party’s crop of 2012 presidential candidates ‘solid’ even though several big names have recently opted against running. During an interview with The Daily Caller in his Capitol Hill office, Priebus said the party donors he speaks with aren’t worried about how the field is shaping up. I honestly don’t hear a lot of that,’ he said.” - Daily Caller

Tim Pawlenty ends superb rollout week by adding “doofus” to America’s political lexicon

Screen shot 2011-05-30 at 8.12.06 AM "Voters, remember to bring your doofus-detectors to the ballot box in 2012. That was the demand from Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty yesterday, who warned that America can't afford to send another 'doofus' to the capital. ‘Any doofus can go to Washington, DC, and maintain the status quo or incrementally change things. But for the country, the hour is late,’ he told ABC's This Week." - NY Post

> Video: "Any doofus can maintain the status quo, for the country the hour is late, we have to take significant action soon...we really have to change things": Tim Pawlenty weighs in on his plans for entitlement reform

More on GOP 2012:

  • Romney could pick up votes if he simply acknowledged what most people know: RomneyCare was a bold experiment that, like a lot of entrepreneurial ventures, just hasn’t worked out. - Conn Carroll at the Examiner
  • A graph from the Boston Globe showing how Romney’s health care plan became law.
  • The GOP field enters the stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day. - The Fix
  • Sarah Palin rolls into town with Rolling Thunder. - Politico
  • Does Iowa still matter? - WaPo

Arizona’s E-verify law is a model for the nation

“The legislation reduced Arizona’s population of working-age illegal immigrants by about 17 percent, or roughly 92,000 people, in just a single year. (This effect was entirely distinct from the Great Recession’s broader impact on immigration, the study argues.) And the swift attrition was mainly achieved through voluntary compliance.” - Ross Douthat in the New York Times

Local media takes aim at Marco Rubio for not highlighting immigration

Screen shot 2011-05-30 at 8.11.06 AM “Rubio has not made an effort to sponsor immigration legislation or even highlight the issue — it is not listed on his website, tea party members note. And he remained on the sidelines as E-Verify was narrowly defeated this month in the Florida Legislature, where Rubio is held in almost holy regard. Jobs, the national debt and Medicare are dominant themes on Capitol Hill now, not immigration. Still, the flicker of activity, including a U.S. Supreme Court decision Thursday upholding part of Arizona’s controversial new law, exposes the pressure and pitfalls facing Rubio.” - Miami Herald

Is the rise of “aggrieved whites” evidence that America’s majority population is losing its distinct role as arbiter of the national good?

“When even the majority group sees itself in a struggle for status and respect, it erodes any notion of the collective good. Forget the melting pot or the salad bowl; the metaphor for how we balance diversity and unity is becoming the fighting cage.” - LA Times

> Ryan Streeter on The Republican: A growing class divide among America's whites may be bigger than we realize



May 29, 2011 8:10:45 AM

Newslinks for Sunday May 29, 2011

4:45pm Video:

4:15pm The Republican: Mitch Daniels talks Medicare reform: "Americans are absolutely up to the job of making changes necessary once they understand the facts"

3:00pm Governor Scott Walker on improving education and protecting the middle class: "Changing course isn't easy, but necessary"

12:00pm Video: 

11:15am Senator Rob Portman's reflections on Memorial Day: "We all stand together"

11:00am The Republican: Government spending, business and economy remain top concerns for GOP voters: Romney's appeal spans the issues, Palin leads on social values

Video: Perry & Giuliani: Will they really run?

DRAFT PAUL RYAN: If you haven't yet signed the petition, you can do so here

SAVE MEDICARE: If you support the GOP's plans to reform and save Medicare, be sure sign up here

It’s still and always the economy, stupid: Mitt Romney frames 2012 in his favor

Screen shot 2011-05-29 at 6.04.43 AM "Romney and his advisers are working backward from November 2012. They believe that the economy will decide the outcome of the election and that the president has yet to convince voters that his economic policies have worked. They argue that Romney’s long experience in the private sector — his tenure as an elected official was just four years — makes him the Republican best positioned to challenge the president on how to fix what’s wrong." - Washington Post

View from Canada: The U.S. is in trouble and should start looking at Britain’s example

Unless the United States has the most spectacular cognitive awakening since Brunhilda, if not Lazarus, the laws of arithmetic are going to assert themselves in Zeus-like terms… If there are signs of hope, the place we might look is Britain. Unlike the United States, the European Union and Japan, the United Kingdom is making a respectable effort to reduce unsustainable debt rather than simply devaluing the currency in which the debt is denominated.” - Conrad Black in the National Post

Michael Barone: Why does the mainstream media always act so surprised by bad economic news?

Screen shot 2011-05-29 at 7.21.43 AM One answer is that many in the mainstream media have been cheerleading for Barack Obama. They and he both naturally hope for a strong economic recovery. After all, Obama can't keep blaming the economic doldrums on George W. Bush forever… A less cynical explanation is that many journalists really believe that the Obama administration's policies are likely to improve the economy.” - The Examiner

“Get ready to rumble”: Medicare becomes the new front on America’s battle over health care

"The part of the Medicare reform plan that has become a lightning rod deals with how the federally run health insurance system for senior citizens will change in a decade for recipients now 54 and younger…[Paul] Ryan predicted his proposal would be used as a weapon by Democrats before he introduced it.” - The Hill

Everyone can agree on one thing about Sarah Palin: It’s impossible to tell if she’s running in 2012…

Screen shot 2011-05-29 at 6.20.06 AM “Placing bets on Palin’s plans has always been a fast way to lose money.” - The Hill

  • Larry Sabato: “Early trial heats can be deceptive in some ways, but Palin loses to Obama by the widest margin of just about any candidate. The risks of nominating Palin are very, very high.”
  • Mark McKinnon: “Nature abhors a vacuum and so does Sarah Palin. I’m not surprised that with Huckabee out and absent some other Tea Party favorite in the race for the GOP nomination, Palin is cranking up her machine.”
  • Dan Judy: “My gut feeling is that it is impossible to have a gut feeling about Sarah Palin. Since 2008, she has not done anything that a potential candidate would do. But then again: She’s Sarah Palin.”
  • Politico reports on Palin’s “mystery tour”: “With hours to go before Palin’s bus tour is supposed to begin, it’s still unclear what she’ll be doing when she gets to the first stop. It’s even more of a mystery what her second stop will be.

…and whether Palin runs or not, she may cast a shadow over Michele Bachmann

“Even before the latest Palin boomlet, interviews with voters across Iowa suggested that despite their starkly different backgrounds and resumes, Bachmann may labor in Palin's shadow whether the former Alaska governor ends up running or not.” - Los Angeles Times

Screen shot 2011-05-29 at 6.39.16 AM More 2012 news:

  • Forget about John Bolton’s potential 2012 bid? That’s okay, he won’t announce until summer’s end: "Bolton, who served as ambassador to the United Nations under former President George W. Bush, told Roll Call in a phone interview that he's still seriously considering a bid but has not yet made a final decision…Bolton said he will make the final call around Labor Day.” - Roll Call
  • What about a Romney-Cain ticket? Matt Lewis wonders in the Daily Caller: “One possible match that is beginning to grow on me is the notion of a Romney-Cain ticket. (Stick with me here). Both are successful businessmen…Cain would balance the ticket geographically and philosophically. But the primary message would be obvious: Romney-Cain are proven business leaders who can fix the economy. Period.”
  • “Yes, I think so.” Mitch Daniels on whether he could have beaten Obama. - The Note at ABC
  • Relax everyone: Polls taken 300 days or more before and election are lousy predictors of who will actually win. - The Monkey Cage

Will our success in fighting AIDS in Africa get stopped short by the budget axe?

Screen shot 2011-05-29 at 8.08.22 AM “Michael Gerson, a conservative columnist with the Washington Post and a force behind an HBO special called The Lazarus Effect, is fighting hard to hold on to the funding that started with his boss, nearly a decade ago. ‘There are good foreign policy reasons to do this,’ said Gerson…[George W. Bush] often talked about “To whom much is given, much is required,”’ said Gerson, of the sponsor of the plan. ‘There was a motivation here of what America should do and be; that we should be a source of hope but also a kind of conscience motivation here, very much rooted in his faith.” - CNN

George Will: Obama is breaking the law by keeping troops in Libya without congressional approval

"Liberals are situational ethicists regarding presidential warmaking: Imagine their comportment if Obama’s predecessor — who got congressional authorization for his uses of force — had behaved as Obama is doing regarding Libya." - Washington Post

Michael Bloomberg teams up with Bill Clinton to fight global climate change

“Mr. Bloomberg’s billions of dollars and Mr. Clinton’s billions of friends are a potent combination, but can this unlikely power coupling make an impact in stemming rising seas or cooling the planet?” - New York Times

Iran looking to unplug the internet, in-house Iran’s online world

“Iran is taking steps toward an aggressive new form of censorship: a so-called national Internet that could, in effect, disconnect Iranian cyberspace from the rest of the world. The leadership in Iran sees the project as a way to end the fight for control of the Internet, according to observers of Iranian policy inside and outside the country.” - Wall Street Journal

Screen shot 2011-05-29 at 8.12.17 AM Memorial Day opinion round-up:

  • The 1868 order that created Memorial Day: “The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet church-yard in the land.” - Washington Times
  • Examiner Editors honor the men and women in uniform who serve and protect America: “[Secretary] Gates, citing historian Donald Kagan, noted that ‘the preservation of peace depends upon those states seeking that goal having both the preponderant power and the will to accept the burdens and responsibilities required to achieve it.’ The U.S. is a nation dedicated to the preservation of peace, a burden and responsibility we place on the shoulders of so many twentysomething servicemen and women. The nation owes it to them to honor their sacrifice and that of those who went before them.” - Examiner Editors
  • Mark Helprin in the WSJ: “The only just memorial to those who went forth and died for us, and who therefore question us eternally, cannot be of stone or steel or time set aside for speeches and picnics. We should offer instead a memorial, never ending, of probity and preparation, shared sacrifice, continuing resolve, and the clarity the nation once had in regard to how, where, when, and when not to go to war. This is the least we can do both for America and for the troops we dispatch into worlds of sorrow and death.” - Wall Street Journal



May 28, 2011 8:44:09 AM

Newslinks for Saturday May 28, 2011

Screen shot 2011-05-28 at 6.30.53 PM 6:00pm The Republican: Best article of the week: Ed Glaeser at Bloomberg saying "More Americans Need to Work and Marry"

4:30pm Video round-up:

3:00pm Krauthammer: Huntsman's biggest problem? People like Evan Thomas from Newsweek like him

Screen shot 2011-05-28 at 7.55.49 AM 2:15pm The Republican: Tim Pawlenty never supported an individual mandate, so let's move on

1:00pm The Republican: Why isn't anyone talking about growth? Bret Swanson lays out the numbers and why we should make it a top priority


DRAFT PAUL RYAN: If you haven't yet signed the petition, you can do so here

SAVE MEDICARE: If you support the GOP's plans to reform and save Medicare, be sure sign up here

Mitch McConnell’s unlikely ally in his effort to include Medicare reform as part of debt ceiling cuts: Bill Clinton

Screen shot 2011-05-28 at 8.12.26 AM McConnell said, “All this silly talk about how Medicare is not going to be part of the solution is nonsense. Let me just quote President Clinton … I don’t think the Democrats or the Republicans, said President Clinton, should conclude from that New York race that no changes can be made in Medicare. Medicare will be a part of any agreement.” - Politico

  • “The implication is clear. If enough Democrats opt for the Bill Clinton approach, as opposed to the Nancy Pelosi approach when it comes to Medicare, Republicans can avoid the political backlash of being the party who “voted to kill Medicare,” etc.” Andrew Stiles at NRO

Romney in Iowa: Contrasting his job-creating past with Obama’s job-killing present

He said, “With the economy going down, with tumult in the world, we picked a fine time to pick as our president someone with no experience in the private sector, no experience in the economy, no experience in negotiations, no real experience in leadership. You see, to create jobs, it helps to have actually had a job.” - Washington Post | Politico

View from the left: Democrats can’t win by bashing Paul Ryan’s Jack Kemp-like approach to solving the biggest problems of our day

Kempryan "Ryan clearly views himself as Kemp’s natural successor. At 41, he’s been in Congress most of his adult life, where he has pushed the boundaries of Republican economic orthodoxy, just as Kemp did. He has the same kind of “happy warrior” mentality. (“I’m a walking piñata,” he said with a smile.) And he’s finally latched onto a Big Idea that could reshape the country even more than the Kemp-Roth tax cuts did in 1981 — namely, the Republican budget he masterminded, particularly its radical vision for turning Medicare into, essentially, a do-it-yourself voucher program." - Joe Nocera in the NYT

Supreme Court’s decision on Arizona a victory for states rights

"Now that Arizona's mandatory E-Verify with business sanctions has been upheld, we expect and hope that many more states will follow suit. We're a nation of immigrants — legal immigrants — but we are also a nation of laws. The White House should be enforcing its own laws and not waging a legal war against Arizona for doing what the feds have failed to do." - IBD

Pataki, Giuliani, Perry in 2012? Just as pundits began saying the field was settled, others start flirting with a run

Screen shot 2011-05-28 at 7.18.02 AM “The uptick in activity by Republicans who were barely on the radar a few weeks ago comes less than a week after Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels became the latest of several prominent figures to opt out of the race. No clear front-runner has emerged, and some donors and activists worry that none of the announced candidates can beat President Barack Obama.” - Wall Street Journal

Screen shot 2011-05-28 at 8.44.07 AM More 2012 news:

  • And in this week’s “grasping at straws” poll of the week, Giuliani comes out on top. - NY Daily News
  • Jon Huntsman’s wife is the “unreluctant spouse”: “In a season of reluctant partners, she’s not only supportive of Jon Huntsman’s presidential run but a key force in making it happen.” - Politico
  • If Christie’s ever going to run for President, his only chance is in 2012, so he’d better get in now. - Erick Erickson at RedState
  • Mike Pence looking for a “strong, unapologetic conservative” to get in the 2012 race: “Is that person already in the race? 'Well, they may be, they may be,' Pence said. 'But I suspect that the field will get larger. I’m looking for a leader at the top of our ticket who will advocate the broad, mainstream conservative agenda without apology." - 2Chambers at Washington Post
  • “If Romney might initially be helped by a Palin candidacy, the polling suggests other candidates could struggle for the media limelight in a race with Palin, a best-selling author who appeared this week in the “Dancing with the Stars” season finale audience.” - The Hill
  • It’s time for “all-out drilling” to bring down gasoline prices, says Newt. "Republican White House hopeful Newt Gingrich is calling for an 'all-out' effort to expand U.S. oil-and-gas development that he alleges would bring down gasoline prices long before new supplies are produced. - The Hill
  • Did Tim Pawlenty express support for the individual mandate in 2006? He explains that it was included in a study commission’s recommendations on health care. “[I] kicked the recommendations out within days, I think, of the recommendations coming forward,” he says. - The Primary Event
  • Differing views of Pawlenty’s truth-telling approach to Medicare. - The Week
  • Sarah Palin goes “behind enemy lines” (i.e., the Northeast) on her tour. - Politico

Rand Paul, Senate gadfly who is dedicated to carving his own path in the Senate

Screen shot 2011-05-28 at 7.36.59 AM “Mr. Paul appears to be modeling his style somewhat on people like Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, who once forced a Friday night procedural vote on an AIDS bill then failed to show up for it, or Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, who also often stymies legislation and insists on debating his own doomed amendments.” - New York Times

A report from 2041 on how 2011 changed the debate about Medicare for good

“A few things have changed. Medicare today is run by Medicaid, the government health program for the poor. And thanks to so-called means-testing in the Medicare Salvation Acts of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2023, the program now supplies only token benefits to the majority of American seniors, who are increasingly affluent and long-lived. A newly retired person today can expect to live to 95, if hang-gliding accidents are excluded.” - Holman Jenkins in the Wall Street Journal

Victor Davis Hanson: If U.S. global leadership declines, the whole world suffers, too

Screen shot 2011-05-28 at 7.45.12 AM “The so-called international community cared as much in the 1930s about rising, aggressive totalitarian states in Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia as it does today about ascendant China or Iran. Millions of Jews, then as now, heard crazy threats of their annihilation, and desperately -- and in vain -- looked to the protection of the United States. In other words, the post-American world could look a lot like the rather terrifying pre-American version of seven decades past. Why in the world would we wish to return to it?” - NY Post

Michael Barone explains the Illinois redistricting and how Republicans can respond - Examiner

Irwin Stelzer: Don’t rule out the dollar just yet - Weekly Standard

Finally, the key to slowing China’s rise to global preeminence may not be trade, currency, or military strength: it’s obesity

Screen shot 2011-05-28 at 8.06.32 AM "It’s the same story in other parts of the world that are getting richer:  food is getting too fast, and people are getting too fat…The obesity rate among among Chinese school kids is close to that found in Western countries…Children from urban areas are heavier than those in the suburbs, and children from low and middle-income families are more obese than those from high income families." - Forbes



May 27, 2011 6:32:03 AM

Newslinks for Friday May 27, 2011

9:00pm Final fact of the week: The national debt has grown $3.2 trillion since Senate Democrats have passed a budget

ChuchillRyan 7:00pm The Republican: Paul Ryan's Churchill moment: He and the "cause people" will overcome the "career people" to warn of fiscal doom and call America to find the courage it needs

6:30pm Friday video round-up:

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 4.42.38 PM 4:15pm The Republican: Mayday Mitt? First, he defends the individual mandate, and now ethanol subsidies?

3:30pm Video: Fox coverage of the Clinton-Ryan exchange on Medicare

2:45pm The Republican: Just in: Voters want Ryan to run more than Christie, J. Bush, or Perry

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 2.22.41 PM 1:45pm The Republican: George W. Bush on the Middle East: "I'm not surprised that freedom continues to march forward"

12:30pm The Republican: Early comments on the Draft Paul Ryan effort

11:00am Tim Pawlenty's morning show round-up on Medicare, Ryan, and Obama:

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: A growing chorus is saying Paul Ryan should run for President in 2012 - you can join by signing the ConservativeHome Draft Ryan petition

Natalie Gonnella on The Republican: What They're Saying: On the case for a Paul Ryan Candidacy

Democrats promise to keep up their "Mediscare" attacks through 2012

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 10.16.26 "The leaders of Democrats' campaign committees said Thursday they wouldn't get "cocky" about their victory in New York's 26th Congressional district but promised to keep attacking Republicans over Medicare. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) spoke to reporters about their plans, attempting to use Rep.-elect Kathy Hochul's win to gain momentum without sounding overly optimistic." - Roll Call ($)

  • Peggy Noonan: "It is a long time since I've seen such transparent demagoguery, such determined dodging... Democrats will speak not of what they'll do but only of what they would never do, such as throw grandma out in the snow. In honeyed tones, Mr. Sperling said both parties should "hold hands and jump together," like Butch and Sundance. But it was clear Sundance was going to stop at the edge of the cliff and hope Butch gets broken on the rocks." - WSJ
  • Kimberly Strassel: "Here's the Washington headline of the week that nobody in America got to read: Paul Ryan, 40. Barack Obama, 0. Forty is the number of Senate votes that went in favor of Mr. Ryan's reformist budget, a tally that included nearly every Senate Republican. Zero is the number of votes President Obama got for his own tax-and-spend budget, a blueprint that not one of his own party had the backbone to support. It went down, 97-0." - WSJ
  • David Brooks' Medicare Survival Guide: "The two-step process to reducing the federal debt without committing political suicide." - New York Times
  • Editorial: 'Mediscare' won't save Medicare - USA Today

> Yesterday on The Republican: The Medicare wars have begun: sign up here to support the Republican plan

Tim Pawlenty: I would sign Ryan plan

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 10.17.30 "After days of pestering from Democrats, White House contender Tim Pawlenty said Thursday he would sign Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget if he were president. Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, reiterated that he will release his own budget proposal that differs from Ryan's in key areas like Social Security and Medicare. But he said that if Congress passed Ryan's plan — and his was not up for consideration — he would sign Ryan's into law." - The Hill

Racing against the clock: Congress successfully extends Patriot Act provisions

"Congress approved a four-year extension Thursday to key provisions of the USA Patriot Act that will allow federal investigators to continue to use aggressive surveillance tactics in connection with suspected terrorists. Overcoming objections from a bipartisan clutch of libertarian-minded lawmakers, the legislation passed the Senate, 72 to 23, and the House, 250 to 153. The provisions were due to expire at midnight Thursday without an extension." - Washington Post

"Minutes before the midnight deadline Thursday, President Obama approved a four-year extension of the government's Patriot Act powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists. The White House said Obama had signed the bill from France using an autopen machine that holds a pen and signs his actual signature. It is only used with proper authorization of the president." - Fox News

 ...although "support for Aghanistan wanes: 26 Republicans vote for a withdrawal amendment as it fails, 204-215" - Politico

Senate GOP block recess appointments

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 10.18.37 "President Barack Obama won’t be able to make any executive recess appointments when senators are home next week for the Memorial Day recess – including Elizabeth Warren, Obama’s pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Senate will be in “pro forma session” because Republicans are threatening to block adjournment, Senate leadership aides said. A senator who lives in nearby Virginia or Maryland will be asked to briefly open and close the session on those days, during which time no business will be conducted." - Politico

Sarah Palin readies East Coast bus tour as 2012 speculation mounts

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 10.20.15 "Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on Sunday will launch a tour of the East Coast, including a stop in the politically important state of New Hampshire, a development likely to roil the GOP presidential nominating contest. SarahPAC, the former Alaska governor's political action committee, announced Thursday that Ms. Palin would tour "historical sites that were key to the formation, survival and growth of the United States of America." She will appear Monday at the annual Memorial Day "Rolling Thunder" event on the National Mall in Washington, a gathering of motorcycle-riding veterans." - WSJ | The Hill

> Yesterday on The Republican: Romney and Palin lead among reduced 2012 field, as Paul, Gingrich and Cain tie for third

...while Congresswoman Michele Bachmann plans Iowa kickoff for 2012 presidential campaign

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 10.21.13 "On a day when former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin shook up the Republican presidential field with the news that she was launching a national bus tour, potential competitor Michele Bachmann said she was pressing ahead with her own effort and planned an announcement next month in her birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa." - LA Times | USA Today

Ed Rogers: "Huntsman and Bachmann should have a meeting of the minds and offer themselves as a Huntsman-led ticket before the Iowa caucuses next year. Think about it. Unless there is a new dynamic to the 2012 campaign, Huntsman probably can’t win the nomination and Bachmann probably shouldn’t. But beating Obama will require a fresh approach. He will not be weakened by a primary challenge, and as yet there does not appear to be a left-wing third-party candidate who could erode his support in the general election." - Washington Post

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 11.01.17 "Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) will formally announce his presidential campaign next Thursday in New Hampshire." - The Hill | Roll Call ($)

"Mitt Romney swung through Chicago on Thursday to raise money and put together a state campaign team for another run at the White House." - LA Times

"A major group of social conservatives has confirmed Donald Trump will speak at its annual conference next week that will also feature appearances from several GOP presidential hopefuls." - USA Today

> Yesterday on The Republican: Rick Santorum to officially announce 2012 presidential bid June 6 in Pennsylvania

Justices uphold immigrations law: "A divided U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Arizona law that imposes sanctions against businesses that hire illegal immigrants." - WSJ

Governor Chris Christie pulls New Jersey from "Climate Coalition"

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 10.27.28 "Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday that New Jersey would become the first state to withdraw from a 10-state trading system, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, declaring it an ineffective way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The decision delighted Republicans who have introduced bills in the New Jersey Legislature to repeal a law authorizing the state’s participation in the program. But it dismayed environmental advocates, who called it a serious blow to the state’s efforts to reduce emissions from power plants and foster a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy." - New York Times ($)

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 10.28.23 "Pakistan has agreed to let a forensics team in to use sophisticated equipment to look for clues related to al-Qaeda in walls or underground, a sign of cooperation between the two spy services." - Washington Post

"US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Pakistan on an unannounced visit aimed at soothing tensions after US forces killed Osama Bin Laden." - BBC News

"Army Gen. Martin Dempsey is the likely White House pick to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position that would require him to wind down combat operations after 10 years of war and absorb large budget cuts without losing the military's edge." - WSJ

US concern grows as Yemen's "political crisis" continues

Screen shot 2011-05-27 at 10.29.14 "The United States is pulling some of its embassy staff out of Yemen amid a bloody political crisis there. Yemen's longtime leader, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, is refusing to step aside, and clashes have erupted in the capital city of Sanaa. The U.S. is worried not only about the safety of Americans there but also about what instability in Yemen means for counterterrorism efforts against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP." - NPR

Other news in brief:

  • "After 15 years, Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb general accused of ordering the massacre of Muslims in 1995, was captured. He will be sent to The Hague for trial." - New York Times ($)
  • "A computer system that lacked key information about inmates factored in the release of an estimated 450 prisoners with a "high risk of violence," according to the California inspector general." - LA Times
  • "The Justice Department will likely renew its investigation of former Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) in light of the more than 1,000 emails the Senate Ethics Committee received at the tail end of its investigation, according to Reuters." - The Hill
  • "New statistics show that the Federal Election Commission has become “less aggressive” at enforcing the nation’s campaign finance laws than it was a few years ago, the most senior member of the agency said Thursday." - Roll Call ($)
  • "A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation Thursday to extend the term of FBI Director Robert Mueller by two years. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) introduced the bill to approve a one-time extension of Mueller's tenure. President Obama called on Congress to extend Mueller's term earlier this month." - The Hill

Also in opinion:

  • Editorial: "Decades of reckless pension giveaways threaten virtually every other function of government." - Chicago Tribune
  • Charles Krauthammer on "what Obama did to Israel": "Note how Obama has undermined Israel’s negotiating position. He is demanding that Israel go into peace talks having already forfeited its claim to the territory won in the ’67 war — its only bargaining chip. Remember: That ’67 line runs right through Jerusalem. Thus thestarting point of negotiations would be that the Western Wall and even Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter are Palestinian — alien territory for which Israel must now bargain." - Washington Post
  • Michael Gerson: "California’s deplorable prisons invited the high court to act." - Washington Post



May 26, 2011 7:02:41 AM

Newslinks for Thursday May 26, 2011

4:45pm Congressman Peter King: The Patriot Act and the Tea Party are kindred spirits

4:30pm Congressman Joe Walsh: President Obama is not Israel’s friend

Screen shot 2011-01-15 at 12.54.13 3:15pm The Republican: Rick Santorum to officially announce 2012 presidential bid June 6 in Pennsylvania

2:15pm 22 Senators join Ron Johnson in calling on the Administration to develop a debt ceiling contingency plan

1:15pm Ideas: Keeping their "Pledge": GOP introduces new plan to promote job creation and economic growth

Screen shot 2011-05-26 at 16.31.33 11:45am Video: "I've been in the Senate just long enough to be disgusted by the reality that Washington has too many people who think their political careers are more important than our country's future": Senator Marco Rubio on why we must save Medicare

11:30 Morning opinion round up:

11:15am Tim Montgomerie on ConHome UK: Defense Secretary Liam Fox goes to Washington to pay tribute to the kind of president that Obama will never be

10:30am The Republican: Romney and Palin lead among reduced 2012 field, as Paul, Gingrich and Cain tie for third


The Republican: The Medicare wars have begun: sign up here to support the Republican plan

Opinion: Randy Brandt: Deficit reduction and wealth creation go hand-in-hand with helping poor families

Video: Karl Rove talks to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly about whether the GOP can beat Obama in 2012

After NY26 setback, Republicans promise forceful counter attackson Democrats' Medicare neglect

"Republicans responded to Democrat Kathy Hochul's Tuesday victory in a traditionally Republican New York Congressional district by saying they needed to attack the Democrats' Medicare position more forcefully, rather than back off their own plan. "We need to make it a choice between a do-nothing approach that will ultimately destroy Medicare, and life-saving reforms," said Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.). Added Rep. Cliff Stearns (R., Fla.): "It's a wake-up call on how you frame it. It obviously wasn't framed right." - WSJ

  • Mitch Daniels: “The real enemies of Medicare and Social Security are those who say ‘leave them alone’” - WSJ
  • Bill Clinton in remarks to Ryan appears to agree that there's danger in the Democrat position: "I hope Democrats don't use this as an excuse to do nothing." - Fox
  • Daniel Foster at NRO: "Bill Clinton fears that the Democrats are going to stand pat on Medicare, and implicitly admits that they are using the issue to fear-monger for short-term political gain. Bill Clinton."
  • USA Today editorial: "Democrats know that the simple math of health care will eventually shred the social safety net they seek to protect. Demonization of the Ryan plan might be a short-term political winner, but unless the Democrats propose a viable money-saving alternative, the future of Medicare might be the least of their problems."

BUT Pawlenty and four GOP Senators break with Ryan

PAWLENTY "Tim Pawlenty, who formally entered the presidential race this week, broke gingerly with House Republicans on Wednesday and said his plan to secure Medicare’s finances will allow seniors to choose between the current fee-for-service program or other options." - WSJ

Republicans Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Scott Brown and Lisa Murkowski join Senate Democrats in voting against Paul Ryan's Medicare plan - Politico

Roger Simon for Politico says GOP fails to learn lessons of Dole's Medicare defeat.

Entitlement reform, fiscal restoration and lightly taxed long-term economic growth are the building blocks of a GOP agenda - Daniel Henninger in the WSJ

Karl Rove: Medicare was NOT the big factor in NY26

Rove "Polling by American Crossroads (an independent expenditure group with which I'm associated) showed that while Ms. Hochul's Medicare attacks galvanized Democrats, they swayed few independents. Among voters who had an unfavorable view of Ms. Corwin, just 20% focused on Medicare, with most Democrats already voting for Ms. Hochul. A larger percentage of those voters with an unfavorable opinion of Ms. Corwin's campaign—26%—were concerned about an ugly on-camera incident involving her chief of staff yelling at Mr. Davis [the third candidate in the race] in a parking lot. These voters felt Mr. Davis was being unfairly harassed. The defection of these overwhelmingly Republican and independent voters doomed Ms. Corwin." - Karl Rove in the WSJ

NY26 was ANOTHER defeat for "a state GOP that can’t seem to get its act together"

Screen shot 2011-05-26 at 10.46.24 “We have a state committee that is not functioning, that’s got no vision,” former Rep. Rick Lazio, who lost the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary, told Politico on Wednesday. “There’s no registration drive under way. There’s no accountability.” - Politico

As GOP looks to re-focus on jobs and growth - WSJ...

A shift welcomed by the WSJ in an editorial: "The biggest failing of House and Senate Republicans this year has been their emphasis on budget accounting more than growth economics. This is understandable given the tea party's 2010 electoral influence, the magnitude of the deficits, and Mr. Obama's fiscal abdication. But it has too often made the GOP come across as bookkeepers."

...Podhoretz: The economy could still kill Obama's re-election bid

Podhoretzjohn "This morning brought more bad economic news, with a gigantic drop in durable goods orders and sales that is part, but only part, of the reason forecasters are significantly downgrading  their expectations on second-quarter GDP growth. Anemic growth is not only troubling for the president and the Democrats because of the negligible effect it will have on pocketbooks and employment; it will also make the eyepopping deficit and debt numbers even more eye-popping as we head into 2012." - John Podhoretz for Commentary

George Will in the Washington Post agrees that the economy should be the GOP's focus: "The recession ended in June 2009, yet a late-April Gallup poll showed 55 percent of Americans describing the economy as in a recession or depression. Hence 78 percent are dissatisfied with the country’s direction. In 1960, candidate John Kennedy’s mantra was, “I think we can do better.” In 2012, a Republican can win by recasting that as a question: “Is this the best we can do?”"

Matt Bai: Republicans have at least three decent 2012 candidates

"Two of the three likeliest candidates — Mr. Romney and Mr. Pawlenty — got themselves elected governor in predominantly Democratic states. The third, Mr. Huntsman, governed in one of the country’s reddest states, but even then, he won re-election by a whopping 58 points and left office with the highest approval ratings in Utah since Brigham Young arrived. In other words, they may be yet unknown or — in the case of Mr. Romney — uninspiring, but nobody should lightly dismiss the political skills of any of these guys. And with the unemployment rate refusing to budge and economic anxiety peaking throughout the land, the eventual Republican nominee will have plenty to work with. It’s not as if the game plan here requires a ton of innovation or star power." - Matt Bai in the New York Times

  • In the Washington Examiner Timothy P Carney plots a frontrunner strategy for Pawlenty: Fight the special interests of big business and big government.
  • The Economist is impressed with Tim Pawlenty's truth-telling.

Lara Brown: Sarah Palin should run

Palin Sarah black "Whether or not Palin secures the nomination, her fierce speaking style could help sharpen the Republican message and its attack on the Democrats. Her fundraising prowess would certainly help her party build its contributor lists. Unbowed by media critics, ideological opponents and some fellow Republicans, Palin continues to raise millions of dollars and generate substantial media coverage. Republicans need her, even if they fear her." - Brown was contributing to a five person New York Times debate on Palin's possible candidacy

Other Tea Party favorites:

  • Republican patience with Rand Paul wearing thin as he uses parliamentary devices to delay reauthorization of Patriot Act - Roll Call
  • Sharron Angle has taken herself out of the running for Nevada's 2nd district special election - Roll Call

Obama in London


"President Obama on Wednesday called for a new chapter in the long history between the United States and Britain, saying that global economic, military and climate challenges require “remaking ourselves to meet the demands of a new era.” Even as he spoke of how much the world has changed since the allies emerged victorious from World War II, Obama told a joint session of Parliament that U.S.-British cooperation — in military, diplomatic, economic and humanitarian efforts — remains essential to ensuring global security." - Washington Post

  • The United States is now effectively an appeasement power because of its international debt and dependence on overseas oil - Conrad Black for NRO
  • Obama is the "Pro-Palestinian-in-Chief" - Stanley Kurtz for NRO

John Edwards’s legal team braces for a criminal indictment  - Washington Post

California considers how to deliver Supreme Court order to reduce prison population

"With California facing a Supreme Court order to reduce its prison population by as many as 46,000 inmates, the cash-strapped state will have plenty of options to consider -- all of them bad." - Fox

And finally... “What kind of a nut is this guy?”

Former GOP Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson rips anti-tax activist Grover Norquist for opposing any tax rise - The Hill



May 25, 2011 7:00:29 AM

Newslinks for Wednesday May 25, 2011

7:00pm Chris Christie: Taxpayers are not the money tree that the left thinks they are - so you won't see me raising taxes

6:00pm Ironic: Paul Ryan says we're borrowing a Clinton era idea to save Medicare, while Obama raids Medicare and balances its books on the backs of older Americans

4:30pm The Republican: Medicare, media coverage and maintaining momentum: Herman Cain weighs in on his 2012 campaign

4:00pm The Republican: Americans more positive in their perceptions of the state of moral values in the US

3:15pm "We have overcome evil and vanquished enemies before. It is absolutely imperative we defeat those who wish to destroy our way of life now": Congressman Chip Cravaack: on protecting America from terrorism

1:30pm Video:

12:15pm: GOP New Media Challenge: 2011 member brackets

12:00pm Ryan Streeter on The Republican: Americans fear debt more than default, and Biden says we could get $1 trillion in cuts "pretty quick"

11:45am Morning opinion round up:

11:15am The Republican: Reps. Tipton, Walsh and Coffman call on President Obama to retract his recent comments regarding Israel's border

10:45am Video:

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: The New York special election may not have been about Medicare, but the post-election debate will be - Three takeaways from last night

The Republican: Democrat Mediscare-mongering wins big in NY26 special election

Major upset: Democrat Kathy Hochul defeats Republican Jane Corwin in WNY race

Screen shot 2011-05-25 at 10.06.49 "Kathy Hochul defeats state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin in a House special election in western New York Tuesday night in a race that many regarded as a referendum on House Republicans’ efforts to reform Medicare." - Washington PostLA Times

Hochul commits to fighting GOP changes to Medicare - Politico

> Yesterday on The Republican: Jane Corwin granted court order barring certification of winner in NY special election

> Yesterday on Video: Cato Institute on saving Medicare: Free market reforms are better than bureaucratic rationing

'Clean' vote on debt limit set to pressure Democrats

Screen shot 2011-05-25 at 10.55.21 "House Republicans will hold a symbolic vote next week to pressure Democrats into accepting deep spending cuts in exchange for lifting the $14.3 trillion debt limit. The move, announced Tuesday in a closed-door conference meeting, is designed to show President Obama and Senate Democrats that Congress will not unconditionally grant the government more borrowing authority. The measure will be a “clean” vote on raising the debt limit, meaning it does not include corresponding spending cuts." - The Hill

Stimulus recipients found to be tax cheats

"One construction company that won multiple awards of money under President Obama’s 2009 stimulus program was delinquent on its federal tax bill to the tune of $700,000, even as a company executive was blowing hundreds of thousands of dollars at casinos. Yet another company failed to pay taxes, entered into a payment plan with the Internal Revenue Service, and then repeatedly defaulted on that agreement - and still won stimulus contracts worth more than $1 million, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday." - Washington Times

"Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who is fending off criticism from members of his own party for publicly opposing a GOP plan to overhaul Medicare, could face a potential challenge to his seat from the woman appointed by President Obama to run a controversial agency designed to protect consumers from bank abuses." - Fox News

Editorial: "We thought that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's attempt to reform Medicare had struck a fatal blow against the "third rail" mentality in Washington -- that cultural defect whereby politicians run in terror from anything new, no matter how necessary it is. Unfortunately, we are being proven wrong -- not by voters, and not by Democrats' "Mediscare" tactics, but by Republicans who are going wobbly, distancing themselves from Ryan in search of a political advantage. Given the dire need for Medicare reform, these Republicans are imperiling the nation's future, to say nothing of the GOP's political fortunes." - Washington Examiner

In Florida, Pawlenty calls for entitlement reform

Screen shot 2011-05-25 at 10.46.03 "Deep in senior-rich Florida, Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty called Tuesday for fundamental changes in Social Security and other entitlement programs he said are not sustainable in their current form. Pawlenty, a former Minnesota governor positioning himself as the GOP race's blunt talker, said in a Facebook town hall meeting and a session with reporters that if elected he would gradually raise the Social Security retirement age and phase out cost-of-living increases for wealthier recipients. Current retirees and those close to retirement would be unaffected, he said." - MSNBC

For 2012 contenders, Florida remains wide open

Screen shot 2011-05-25 at 10.09.51 All the signs indicate that the early presidential battleground of Florida is Mitt Romney territory. "The former Massachusetts governor finished a strong second here in the 2008 Republican presidential primary. He would almost certainly have the money to compete on Florida’s costly television airwaves. And in a big state where the nation’s economic ills are magnified — more people are out of work, more homes are under foreclosure — a candidate running as a turnaround specialist could resonate. Yet by all accounts, the race to win Florida, probably the first big state on the 2012 primary calendar, is wide open. So it was that Tim Pawlenty touched down here after announcing his candidacy Monday in Iowa. In a 24-hour sweep through the Sunshine State, he raised money, expanded his Rolodex and won over some prominent GOP operatives who backed Romney or others in 2008 but are looking for a fresh face this time." - Washington Post

> The Republican: Jonah Goldberg on drafting Paul Ryan: Politics is about moments, and this one is calling him

Reports: Pataki, Giuliani thinking about presidential bids

Screen shot 2011-05-25 at 10.08.06 "Former New York governor George Pataki reportedly is rethinking whether to run for president next year, now that fellow Republican Mitch Daniels is skipping the race. "I'm not a candidate at this point, but down the road, you never say never," Pataki told The Boston Globe. Pataki is not the only New York Republican who reportedly is giving a White House bid a second thought. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who faltered with his 2008 presidential bid, is said to be thinking about running again, according to Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y." - USA Today

"A 2008 Giuliani aide told Power Play that key members of the old team are “staying loose” in anticipation of a potential run. He said the exploration seemed to have entered “a different phase” and that Giuliani had grown increasingly serious as the Republican field took shape." - Fox News

The "Herman-ator" gains steam

Screen shot 2011-05-25 at 10.10.47 "To know Herman Cain is to love Herman Cain. In the latest Gallup survey of the potential Republican presidential field, the Atlanta businessman and former conservative radio host registered the most passionate support of any candidate in the race. His “positive intensity” score — in other words, the people who like him — is nearly twice as high as the average for the rest of his likely rivals. The downside: Only about a third of those polled actually know who he is. Mr. Cain, who is black, drew thousands of supporters to a weekend rally in Atlanta to formally announce his bid, quoting Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech to make the case that a win would be the ultimate vindication for the Civil Rights leader." - Washington Wire in the WSJ

Tea Party minority outreach project starts in Texas - Roll Call ($)

"A combination of the Senate’s arcane rules and Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) insistence on voting on several controversial amendments may cause the Patriot Act to lapse at the end of the week." The Hill

Obama in London: At state dinner, president and queen toast nations' enduring ties

Screen shot 2011-05-25 at 09.48.35 "President Obama and Queen Elizabeth II toasted the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom on Tuesday, a bond strengthened at times of peril for each of the transatlantic allies. In remarks at the start of a gala state dinner in Buckingham Palace, the queen recalled how the United States 'came to the rescue" of Britain in the past and said today 'the U.S. remains our most important ally.' When the two nations stand together, she said 'our people and other people of the good will around the world will be more secure and prosperous.'" - LA Times

"David Cameron and Barack Obama are set to hold talks in Downing Street with the conflicts in Afghanistan and Libya expected to feature prominently." - BBC News

Screen shot 2011-05-25 at 10.48.43 "The former head of the International Monetary Fund accused of sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid will receive a $250,000 severance payment -- paid in part courtesy of the American taxpayer -- unless U.S. lawmakers can stop the "golden parachute" from landing in the French politician's bank account." - Fox News

"French Finance Minister top contender For IMF chief: Christine Lagarde is the first woman ever to head the economic affairs of a G-8 economy." - NPR

Other news in brief:

  • "NASA plans a return to yesteryear by developing a space capsule that will carry humans into deep space, it announced. Like the Apollo spacecraft, the capsule will splash down in the Pacific Ocean upon return to Earth." - CNN
  • "Public schools, struggling with funding cuts, rising personnel costs and lower tax revenues, are shifting costs to students and parents by imposing or boosting fees for everything from enrolling in honors English to riding the bus." - WSJ
  • "According to a University of Miami study, those historical rankings of American presidents that pop up every year or so are significantly weighted in favor of Democrats, thanks to the liberal leanings of academia." - Washington Times

Michael Barone: Obama bypasses the rule of law to reward pals, punish foes

Screen shot 2011-05-25 at 11.00.35 "In a Univision radio interview during the 2010 election cycle, Barack Obama urged Latinos not "to sit out the election instead of saying, 'We're going to punish our enemies and we're going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.' " Punishing enemies and rewarding friends -- politics Chicago style -- seems to be the unifying principle that helps explain the Obamacare waivers, the NLRB action against Boeing and the IRS' gift-tax assault on 501(c)(4) donors. They look like examples of crony capitalism, bailout favoritism and gangster government. One thing they don't look like is the rule of law." - Washington Examiner

...and finally, Jeff Jacoby takes aim at San Francisco's proposed ban on circumcisions

"On the ballot in San Francisco this fall will be a proposal making it a crime to circumcise male children. If the measure passes, anyone convicted of circumcising a baby boy could be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to a year in prison. Even for San Francisco, this is madness." - Boston Globe



May 24, 2011 6:58:27 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday May 24, 2011

6:00pm The Republican: Poll: The American public still doesn't quite grasp what is causing our debt problem

4:45pm Video: In case you missed it: Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the joint session of Congress

4:30pm The Republican: Jane Corwin granted court order barring certification of winner in NY special election

3:45pm Afternoon opinion round up:

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 20.58.38 3:30pm Opinion: Rep. Steve Pearce: Time for a realistic Middle East policy

3:00pm Video:

2:45pm "Ice-water realism": David Frum on the congressional response to Netanyahu's address

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 20.56.35 1:45pm The Republican: What They're Saying: Republicans respond to PM Netanyahu's address to Congress

12:00pm The Republican: Jonah Goldberg on drafting Paul Ryan: Politics is about moments, and this one is calling him

11:15am Video: Frustrated with high gas prices yet? The GOP is

10:45am Morning opinion round up:

9:15am Video: Tim Pawlenty: Why I'm in

8:45am ConHome UK:  Cameron and Obama reaffirm the "essential" US-UK relationship as they effectively threaten further military action against brutal Arab dictators

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: The political risks on Medicare have been clear all along: Now it's time for jittery Republicans to answer three questions about where they stand on reform

Western New York election goes down to the wire

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 11.54.54 "Party leaders in Washington are offering up their final spin before voters in New York’s 26th congressional district head to the polls Tuesday. Depending on who’s doing the talking, the special election in western New York is either evidence of voters rejecting Rep. Paul Ryan’s controversial Medicare overhaul or a fluky three-way race of little national significance." - LA Times

  • "This week, an off-year special election in Buffalo and a purely symbolic vote in the Senate might tell Republicans all they need to know about the mercurial politics of Medicare reform." - Politico
  • "Republican Jane Corwin, a state legislator, said Monday that if she had an opportunity for a do-over, she 'probably would have addressed the Medicare message coming out of my opponent quicker.'" - Washington Wire in the WSJ  

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 11.59.36 "Voters in WNY are getting calls today from former president Bill Clinton and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, urging them to go to the polls in a special election for Congress that has become a referendum on the GOP's plans to revamp Medicare." - USA Today

Senator Scott Brown says no to Paul Ryan's Medicare plan

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 11.24.32 "In what could be a boost for Democrats, GOP Sen. Scott Brown said Monday he will vote against a controversial Republican plan to revamp the popular Medicare program for seniors. Brown, a moderate who is up for re-election next year in traditionally Democratic Massachusetts, announced his opposition to the Medicare proposal and the GOP budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., in a column for Politico." - USA Today

> Yesterday on The Republican: Medicare will change because it must: the question is whether Republicans will have the courage to continue defending the right kinds of changes

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 11.26.34 Run, Paul Ryan, run: "Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' decision not to run for president is bad for Republicans. Time for Rep. Paul Ryan to ride to the rescue" - Jonah Goldberg in the LA Times

> Yesterday on The Republican: 

Republicans "seeing red" over China

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 11.28.04 "The 2012 foreign policy debate is just getting underway but already the Republican presidential field has picked a favorite overseas punching bag: China. After several presidential elections dominated by security issues in the Middle East, fear of a red menace in the Far East is making a comeback. And no country in that region casts a larger or more frightening political shadow than China – a nation that seems to embody every economic and foreign policy anxiety of the GOP primary electorate." - Politico

Mitt Romney leads in New Hampshire, but voters unhappy with GOP field 

Screen shot 2011-01-15 at 12.54.13 "Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has a commanding lead in New Hampshire, according to a new poll on the GOP presidential nomination, but the findings show Granite State voters aren't too happy with the field of candidates trying to unseat President Obama. Romney is the choice of 32% of GOP primary voters in New Hampshire, home to the nation's first presidential primary, according to the poll by CNN and WMUR. The rest of the field is in single digits, with Texas Rep. Ron Paul garnering 9%, followed by former House speaker Newt Gingrich and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani at 6%. (Giuliani has not indicated whether he'll run next year.) More than 4 in 10 Republicans, however, or 43% say they are somewhat or very dissatisfied with the GOP field, which has been shaken up in recent weeks by the decisions of Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour to skip the 2012 contest." - USA Today

The alternative to Romney? "With the wide-open battle for the Republican presidential nomination solidifying, Tim Pawlenty moved quickly Monday to offer himself as the leading alternative to presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney and to seize the mantle of a tough, truth-talking fiscal conservative."  - Washington Post

> Yesterday on The Republican: Five questions for Tim Pawlenty from Lowry and Ponnuru at NRO

Herman Cain says the GOP gives him no respect - Washington Wire in the WSJ

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 11.34.51 News from the states:

  • "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California must remove tens of thousands of inmates from its prison rolls in the next two years, and state officials vowed to comply, saying they hoped to do so without setting any criminals free. Administration officials expressed confidence that their plan to shift low-level offenders to county jails and other facilities, already approved by lawmakers, would ease the persistent crowding that the high court said Monday had caused "needless suffering and death" and amounted to cruel and unusual punishment." - LA Times
  • Indiana law under a microscope: "Federal officials are reviewing a law that withholds Medicaid funds for services at Planned Parenthood." - Washington Post
  • "Top Republicans in South Carolina say a map released by the state House Judiciary Subcommittee last week is likely to be close to the final product that gets signed into law. The Palmetto State gained a seat in reapportionment, and mapmakers have drawn the new 7th district in the growing northeastern part of the state, anchored by the city of Myrtle Beach in the heavily Republican Horry County. The new Republican-leaning seat was crafted by taking a chunk out of freshman Republican Rep. Tim Scott’s coastal district, along with portions of the districts of Reps. Mick Mulvaney (R) and James Clyburn (D)." - Roll Call ($)

Prime Minister Netanyahu to AIPAC: Israel cannot return to pre-1967 boundaries

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 11.36.54 "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday repeated his criticism of President Obama's plan for peace negotiations with Palestinians, saying that his country could not return to the boundaries it had before 1967 because of the risks it would pose to Israel's security. In remarks to a pro-Israel lobby, Netanyahu said that while Israel is eager to negotiate a peace deal, 'it must leave Israel with security. Therefore, it cannot return to the indefensible 1967 lines.'"- LA Times

> Yesterday on Opinion: Herb London: The UN vote on (a non-democratic) Palestinian state poses a historic threat to Israel and the West

House expected to debate Libya mission

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 11.38.29 "The House is expected to debate the U.S. military mission in Libya amid lingering complaints that the Obama administration lacks the legal authority to continue the operation. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) hinted Monday that a Libya resolution would be attached as an amendment to a defense authorization bill that the House will begin debating on Tuesday. President Obama sent a letter late last week to congressional leaders endorsing a resolution being drafted in the Senate that expresses support for military action in Libya. Whether the House debate would focus on a measure supportive or critical of the mission is unclear. Several members of the House, however, have introduced amendments that would restrict funding for the operation." - The Hill

  • "More than 20 airstrikes in less than a half-hour shook the Libyan capital early Tuesday, with most of the strikes concentrated near the compound of Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi." - New York Times
  • "Rebel leaders say they need heavier weapons to push forward — and they're asking for outside help." - NPR

Budget director: Debt ceiling will be raised before it's reached - The Hill 

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 11.39.52 "Barack Obama and David Cameron hail the US-UK relationship as "essential for us and for the world" as the president arrives in London for a state visit" - CNN | Joint article by President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron in The Times ($)

"President Obama visits London at a time when Britain is debating whether it can afford its global role." - Washington Post

David Brooks: Britain is working

Screen shot 2011-05-24 at 11.42.53 "The British political system gives the majority party much greater power than any party could hope to have in the U.S., but cultural norms make the political debate less moralistic and less absolutist. The British press also do an amazing job of policing corruption. The media go into a frenzy at the merest whiff of malfeasance. Last week, for example, a minister was pummeled for saying clumsy things about rape. Tuesday, as President Obama visits London, we will get a glimpse of the British political culture. We Americans have no right to feel smug or superior." - New York Times

"An Arab for Ground Zero: Ameen Rihani's writings on American freedom and religious tolerance are as relevant today as they were when he first introduced them to a generation of Middle Eastern intellectuals." - William McGurn in the WSJ



May 23, 2011 6:48:23 AM

Newslinks for Monday May 23, 2011

6:00pm The Republican: Five questions for Tim Pawlenty from Lowry and Ponnuru at NRO

4:45pm Video round-up:

4:00pm Opinion: Herb London: The UN vote on (a non-democratic) Palestinian state poses a historic threat to Israel and the West

2:30pm Video: John Fund gives an overview of the "other guys" - the non-establishment, non-frontrunning GOP 2012 field


2:15pm The Republican: Draft Paul Ryan? Eric Cantor thinks it would be a good idea

1:15pm "A Time for Truth": The full remarks of Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign announcement

12:00pm The Republican: Medicare will change because it must: the question is whether Republicans will have the courage to continue defending the right kinds of changes

10:30am Videos:

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 8.06.41 PM 10:00am Tim Pawlenty's big gamble: Shift the discussion from cutting spending that others like to cutting spending that YOU like

7:00am Excerpts from Tim Pawlenty's formal 2012 announcement today

Ryan Streeter on The Republican: Draft Paul Ryan: With Daniels out, the idea sounds more appealing all the time

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Senate GOP won't 'coalesce' around one budget proposal

Screen shot 2011-05-23 at 10.43.26 "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Sunday that Senate Republicans are “not going to be able to coalesce” around one budget proposal. McConnell said he would support a budget proposal offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is planning to bring up for a vote in the Senate this week. But he also said the Senate should consider other Republican proposals." - The Hill

Congressman Paul Ryan challenges Democrats to propose alternative to his budget

Screen shot 2011-05-23 at 11.39.55 "The architect of the House Republican plan for overhauling Medicare says it's time to move beyond petty politics and focus on dealing with the nation's fiscal problems, and he's challenging Democrats to show leadership on budget cuts." - Fox News

 > Yesterday on Video: Ryan schools Gregory: "Leaders are elected to lead. I don't consult polls to tell me what my principles are or policies should be - leaders change polls"

"The special congressional election in western New York on Tuesday could offer an early answer to one of the key questions of the 2012 election cycle: Will Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to reshape Medicare cost the GOP at the ballot box?" - Washington Times

"As voters head to the polls in the suburbs of Rochester and Buffalo, a myriad of factors could shake up this bare-knuckles brawl." Robert Costa outlines five things to watch. - National Review Online

The "Gang of Six" collapse: The winners, the losers and a few in between

Screen shot 2011-05-23 at 11.36.00 "The collapse of the Gang of Six this week has had far-reaching ramifications on Capitol Hill, with the group’s failure to produce a deficit-reduction plan yielding winners and losers. The group’s implosion, coupled with other budget plans that have failed to gain traction, has given the spotlight to Vice President Joe Biden and his bipartisan effort to cut spending while also raising the nation’s debt ceiling. " - The Hill

Clive Crook: "Attending to the insane discussions in Congress over different kinds of default, one wonders why the US has not lost its triple-A credit rating already" - FT ($)

With Daniels out, GOP field takes clearer shape

Screen shot 2011-01-15 at 12.54.13 "Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’s decision not to run for president in 2012, while deflating the hopes of many in the Republican establishment, has helped solidify what has been a fluid GOP field and brought more clarity to the challenges ahead for leading contenders." - Washington Post | Washington Times 

  • Mark McKinnon: "Given Mitch Daniels’ and Mike Huckabee’s decisions not to run, and Newt Gingrich’s shaky campaign launch, the fiercely partisan Texas governor could be a top presidential contender among social conservatives and Tea Party types" - The Daily Beast
  • John E. Sununu: "Presidential primary season makes candidates stronger" - Boston Globe
  • Erick Erickson: "Republicans, not just conservatives, are at risk of a self-fulfilling, self-defeating prophecy that the field sucks and cannot beat Obama. It’s the economy, stupid. It always has been. It always will be. And America can do better than Barack Obama with any of the candidates we now have." - RedState

> Yesterday on The Republican: 

Screen shot 2011-05-23 at 10.58.44 On eve of his 2012 announcement, Tim Pawlenty promises to 'tell the truth'

"Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is officially declaring his presidential candidacy on Monday. But he offered a sneak peak to supporters in a YouTube video posted Sunday, in which he pledges to speak candidly about the nation’s challenges." - LA Times | Washington Wire on the WSJ

  • "The road to the presidential nomination used to run through the Iowa caucuses. But that might not be the case anymore, which makes former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s (R) plan to go all in in the Hawkeye State a bigger gamble than in previous cycles." - Roll Call ($)
  • "Mitch Daniels’ exit couldn’t have come at a better time for Tim Pawlenty" - Politico

> Yesterday on Video: Tim Pawlenty's video in advance of his formal 2012 announcement tomorrow

Screen shot 2011-05-23 at 11.15.31 ...while appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Newt Gingrich was forced to defend the revelation that he and his wife once carried as much as $500,000 in debt with the jeweler Tiffany & Co., the jeweler famous for its trademark blue packaging." - WSJ

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor blames Arab 'hatred,' not '67 border dispute, for peace-talk impasse

Screen shot 2011-05-23 at 10.57.46 "Taking a shot at President Obama, the second-ranking House Republican said Sunday that Arab culture – not the dispute over 1967 borders – is to blame for the long-standing absence of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Painting in broad strokes, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) accused the Palestinians – and the Arab world more generally – of harboring a "resentment and hatred" toward Israel that, he says, has made an accord impossible." - The Hill | Transcript of Majority Leader Eric Cantor's remarks at AIPAC

"Appearing before a pro-Israel audience, President Obama said Sunday the world won’t stand for more delays in forging Middle East peace and reaffirmed his support for an accord based partly on boundary lines in place before Israel made territorial gains in the 1967 war." - LA Times | Transcript of President Obama's remarks at AIPAC

Defense Secretary Robert Gates warns against deep military cuts

Screen shot 2011-05-23 at 10.55.50 "Outgoing Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warned Sunday against sharply cutting the size and reach of the U.S. armed forces to trim the deficit, portraying the country’s military might as an essential safeguard of global stability. The comments to graduating students at the University of Notre Dame came as some Republicans and Democrats look to defense as a way to address the U.S deficit, running about $1.4 trillion for this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30." - Washington Post | New York Times

Other news in brief:

  • "The nation’s biggest banks and mortgage lenders have amassed a glut of foreclosed homes that threatens to deepen the housing slump." - New York Times
  • "Spain’s Socialists suffered their worst electoral defeat in more than 30 years as voters punished Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s party for soaring unemployment and spending cuts that aimed to shield the country from Europe’s debt crisis." - Bloomberg
  • "Father-and-son Muslim clerics in South Florida, arrested on charges alleging they aided Pakistani terrorists, will challenge the prosecution’s effort to detain them until they go to trial in federal court." - Miami Herald
  • "Cash-strapped states are scaling back efforts to provide life-saving medicines to HIV patients. The result: more than 8,300 people — a record number — are on waiting lists in 13 states to get antiretrovirals and other drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS or the side effects, mental health conditions or opportunistic infections." - Washington Post

Ross Douthat: Who will play Dominique Strauss-Kahn?

Screen shot 2011-05-23 at 10.54.16 "To most Americans, the tale of Dominique Strauss-Kahn probably seems like fodder for a “Law and Order” episode, or maybe a cable-TV message movie. He’s just another high-profile man behaving badly, part Arnold Schwarzenegger and part Ben Roethlisberger and more obscure than both. But the story of the I.M.F. director charged with sexually assaulting a hotel maid is actually a natural fit for a more high-minded genre. In the hands of the right screenwriter, Strauss-Kahn’s arrest could be the central thread in one of those sprawling, complex, kaleidoscope-of-globalization movies that aspire to Oscar glory. Think “Traffic” or “Syriana,” “Crash” or “Babel”: the kind of movie that leapfrogs around the planet, shifting from place to place and perspective to perspective in an effort to bring an entire Big Issue into focus. Instead of the war on drugs or race relations in Los Angeles, though, the subject of this movie would be the potential collapse of the European Union." - New York Times



May 22, 2011 7:42:21 AM

Newslinks for Sunday May 22, 2011

7:00pm Video: Tim Pawlenty's video in advance of his formal 2012 announcement tomorrow

6:15pm Video: Herman Cain weighs in on his 2012 bid

6:00pm House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's remarks to AIPAC (as prepared for delivery)

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 23.27.00 4:00pm Video: 

3:30pm The Republican: The ins, the probably ins and the maybes: Conservatives reflect on the 2012 race after Daniels

12:00pm The Republican: Tim Pawlenty on Mitch Daniels' 2012 decision: "He is an intellectual powerhouse and will continue to play a leading role in GOP politics"

10:00am Video: A look back at Newt Gingrich's first solo appearance on Meet the Press in December 1991

9:15am Governor Mitch Daniels' exclusive statements to the Indianapolis Star:

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 08.40.10 8:00am Ryan Streeter on The Republican: A requiem for 2012: Five reasons why Mitch Daniels’ decision not to run makes Sunday May 22 a sad day for America

The Republican: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels decides against a 2012 presidential run

Video: "We need to probe beyond these tags and take a look at what people have done, and what they're willing to do": Former Ambassador Jon Huntsman urges Americans to look past traditional party lines

Bipartisan criticism grows over Obama's Middle East "reset": House lawmakers push back against the administration's stand on 1967 borders

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 09.34.35 "A growing number of House lawmakers are pushing back against President Obama's recent call to base Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on pre-1967 borders. Echoing the concerns of Israeli leaders, the critics maintain that reverting to those boundaries – which existed prior to the Six Day War of 1967 – would endanger Israel and empower its enemies." - The Hill

  • "Palestinian leaders are requesting a special meeting of the Arab League in the wake of US President Barack Obama's speech calling for a return to pre-1967 borders" - CNN
  • Michael Barone: "Obama channels W except on Israel and Palestinians" - Washington Examiner

> Yesterday on Video: Kiss' Gene Simmons slams Obama's Israel policy: "He has no idea what the world is like"

Republicans becoming increasingly worried over WNY race

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 09.19.52 "Republicans are growing pessimistic over their prospects in a race for a western New York congressional seat the party was once thought a lock to hold. With the contest entering its final weekend, party officials acknowledge what a Siena College poll released Saturday confirmed: Republican Jane Corwin narrowly trails Democrat Kathy Hochul. The Republican has so far failed to capture a portion of GOP votes that instead might be cast toward Jack Davis, despite a cascade of late attacks targeting the tea party candidate as a Democrat in sheep’s clothing." - Politico

...although "President Obama has maintained a conspicuous distance from the New York special election as other national Democrats have rushed to help the party’s nominee." - The Hill

"New poll shows Democrat ahead in NY special election" - CNN

Yuval Levin: Beyond "Mediscare"

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 08.44.48"Everyone agrees that such efficiency improvements are essential. As Ryan has put it, the basic choice offered by the parties’ competing approaches to Medicare has to do with how efficiency is achieved. It’s a choice between giving a board of experts the power to deny care to seniors based on its magisterial judgment of quality and value, and giving seniors the power to deny business to providers based on their individual opinions and priorities. In principle, therefore, this is a choice between markets and central planning, which should no longer be hard to make. In practice, it is a choice between modernizing Medicare to allow it to continue providing seniors with health security in retirement and letting the program collapse under its own weight." - The Weekly Standard

Steve Forbes to Presidential "wannabes": "be bold on the biggies"

Screen shot 2011-01-15 at 12.54.13 "There are three critical issues--in addition to ObamaCare--that GOP presidential candidates need to get right if we're to get America moving again: the dollar, taxes and means testing for Social Security and Medicare." - Forbes

Herman Cain enters the 2012 presidential race

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 08.42.00 "The announcement by the businessman, author and talk radio show host that he was joining the expanding Republican field came after months of traveling around the country to introduce himself to voters. Now the 65-year-old will see if he can use that grass-roots enthusiasm to turn a long-shot campaign into a credible bid. Cain supports a strong national defense, opposes abortion, backs replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax and favors a return to the gold standard. He said President Barack Obama "threw Israel under the bus" because he sought to base Mideast border talks partly on the pre-1967 war lines, and criticized the Justice Department for challenging Arizona's tough crackdown on illegal immigration." -  USA Today

> Yesterday on The Republican: It's official! Herman Cain is running for President

Newt Gingrich aims to regroup while Iowa

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 08.43.45 "Newt Gingrich has faced a rough road on the campaign trail in recent days, and tried to use his barnstorming tour of Iowa last week to refocus his candidacy on policy instead of gaffes, notably his criticism of a fellow Republican’s proposal to privatize Medicare that drew has drawn sharp rebukes from conservatives." - LA Times

  • Gingrich vs. Ryan is an easy choice: "The Ryan plan restores freedom, ownership, and personal responsibility to center stage of entitlement reform. Exactly what we need." - Star Parker in the Washington Examiner
  • Food stamps and a bogus racial charge: "You have to be tuned to a remarkably subtle frequency to detect racial animus in Newt Gingrich’s comment" - Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe

"Pitching himself as a politician with international experience who would help the United States' economy rebound, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman on Saturday told college graduates in this key early nominating state that the nation must set aside its partisan sniping." - Fox News

Governor Terry Branstad on Trump's cancellation of Iowa appearance : "He really burned the bridges - it's a good example of what not to do"

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 09.31.10 "Donald Trump might not want to step foot in Iowa anytime soon. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) had nothing nice to say about Trump, who canceled his scheduled appearance next month at the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner." - Roll Call ($)

Unions cut donations to Democrats

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 09.57.50 "Some of the nation’s largest labor unions are cutting back dramatically on their financial support to the Democratic Party, saying they are highly frustrated with the failure of Democrats to put up stronger resistance to Republican proposals opposed by labor. The unions have cited what they see as Democrats’ tepid response to Republican efforts to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public sector workers, cut Medicare funding and require voters to show identification at the polls." - Washington Post

Although a veto is likely, Minnesota bill requiring photo ID for voters heads to the Governor

"The Minnesota House gave final approval Saturday to a bill requiring voters to present photo ID at the polls and sent the measure to Gov. Mark Dayton and an uncertain fate. Passage came over the objections of DFLers, who said the legislation will hinder some groups from voting, and the 74-58 vote was almost entirely along party lines. Two DFLers who joined 72 Republicans in favor were the only ones to break ranks." - The Star Tribune

President Obama says the US would carry out a similar operation to that which killed Osama Bin Laden if another al-Qaeda leader was found in Pakistan - BBC

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 09.32.53 "Yemen's president said Saturday he will sign a proposal by Gulf Arab mediators for him to step down after 32 years in power, but he condemned the deal as a coup and warned al Qaeda will take control of the country." - SF Chronicle

Egypt uncensored: New TV station tackles injustice

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 09.28.01 "The revolution in Egypt now can be seen on the country's satellite television network in the form of a 24-hour news and entertainment channel. 25TV's programming is not always polished, but it is honest and uncensored — at least most of the time. Its approach to coverage is unique in a country where the government has strictly controlled the news for decades. In fact, staffers joke that their goal is to do all the stories that Egyptian state television won't touch." - NPR

"With a shocking altercation between Philadelphia police and a 25-year-old IT worker putting the spotlight back on open-carry gun laws, local authorities are warning gun owners that they will be "inconvenienced" if they carry unconcealed handguns in the city." - Fox News

In other news:

  • "The fates of eight American men are a haunting piece of unfinished business that the military will leave behind when it withdraws by the end of the year." - New York Times
  • "Former New York Gov. David Paterson won’t be charged with perjury on allegations that he lied to the state ethics board about taking free Yankees tickets for the 2009 World Series while he was in office. The Commission on Public Integrity charged in a report last year that Paterson violated ethics laws when he contradicted his staff, the Yankees and common sense by falsely claiming he always intended to pay for the tickets." - Washington Post
  • "President Obama used his weekly address to make a fresh push for an overlooked domestic priority, urging Congress move his proposed overhaul of the No Child Left Behind education law. The president highlighted progress made at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tenn., where he delivered a commencement address Monday, in calling on lawmakers to give local schools greater flexibility." - LA Times
  • "Highlighting how much the world has changed since he took office, President Obama will use his upcoming European tour to mend fences and strengthen bonds between the U.S. and its European allies." - Washington Post

Sunday morning viewing schedule - The Caucus on the New Tork Times



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