Morning Briefing for May 16, 2011

RedState Morning Briefing
 

For May 16, 2011
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1. Huckabee Is Out. The Down and Dirty on Who It Helps and Hurts.

Mike Huckabee announced on his TV show Saturdy night that he is not going to run for President in 2012.

he down and dirty analysis of who it helps:

Tim Pawlenty. He becomes the evangelical governor in the race.

Herman Cain. He remains the Huckabee of 2012.

Sarah Palin. She and Huckabee would largely be fighting for the same crowd.

Who it hurts:

All of us. Some of you won’t agree, but I think Huckabee would force the other candidates to bring their A game on message and rhetoric. Just for that alone, I wanted him in the race.

What it means:

Mitt Romney is the front runner and the field is wide open to be the anti-Mitt. If Daniels gets in,and it is increasingly likely, he will be the odds on favorite to be the anti-Mitt. Otherwise it will probably be Pawlenty. And even with Daniels in, Pawlenty’s access to the evangelical community will make him a force to be reckoned with. Those two will fight it out to be the anti-Mitt.

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2. Newt Gingrich’s Rapidly Self-Limiting Campaign Defends the Individual Mandate

Newt Gingrich appeared on Meet the Press this morning and said two things that won’t exactly endear him to the Tea Party crowd or the reform minded movement sweeping the GOP.

First, he endorsed the individual mandate and said he would not bash Mitt Romney over the individual mandate.

Second, he went after Paul Ryan’s proposal to reform Medicare. Your mileage may vary on Ryan’s plan, but he is both offering up one and using the free market, individual choice approach favored by conservatives.

Newt was not happy with the approach.

Gingrich is already going to have to overcome the apprehensiveness of evangelicals and women in the primary. To also have to overcome the free marketers’ concerns may prove problematic.

I’m still struggling to figure out what Newt’s natural constituency is. He seems to want to be the ideas guy, but that really amounts to being a conservative technocrat. If Daniels enters and Mitt is there too, it is a crowded field for the technocrats to fight over.

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3. Do Victory Laps and Spiking the Football outweigh Operational (and Personal) Security?

This month’s successful kill/capture mission in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which resulted in the death of the World’s Most Wanted Terrorist and in the recovery of a treasure trove of intelligence (and of pornography – gotta love those radical fundamentalists’ aversion to hypocrisy!) has naturally increased national and media interest in the elite special operations professionals who carried out this operation.

While the information being reported by various media outlets and individuals has often missed the accuracy bulls-eye by quite a bit (yet again demonstrating that life imitates the Onion), enough accurate-ish information has apparently been revealed to the public by the usual suspects – the administration and those members of Congress who hold security clearances because of the voters’ actions rather than for any personal character qualities they may actually possess – that some units within, and affiliated with, JSOC are reportedly being forced to consider adapting their Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) — not to mention the fact that some operators are now concerned for the safety of their families (more on this later).

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4. Who’s the Boss? AFL-CIO Affiliate Seeking to Unionize Office of Management & Budget

According to ABC News’ Jake Tapper and Rich Klein, the American Federation of Government Employees (part of the AFL-CIO) has filed (or will on Monday) a petition to unionize the employees of the Office of Management and Budget.

Now, one might think, so what’s the big deal? Another agency unionized under the most pro-union President since Franklin Roosevelt…

Well, you might harken back to a few months ago when Executive Order 13522 was brought to your attention. Executive Order 13522, signed by President Obama back in 2009 and clarified in a January, 2011 OMB letter (below), gives unions in the Executive Branch agencies the right to engage in “pre-decisional involvement” over a wide array of governmental decision making.

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5. Levantine Day of Protest Brings Attacks on Israel from All Sides

“Nabka Day” 2011 represents two major milestones: (1) the 63rd anniversary of the creation of the modern state of Israel by UN resolution, and (2) very close to the 63rd straight year of the UN doing everything it can to make up for its half-century-plus-old “mistake.” Sunday May 15, 2011 also represents the first anniversary of Israel’s establishment since the events of the “Arab Spring” began.

The results are not good. A possible terrorist attack was carried out in Tel Aviv, rioters massed in areas near Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and incursions against Israeli territory were made along three of those borders, including that with Syria – a border which could generally be considered Israel’s most secure aside from the Mediterranean coast. According to reports, “thousands of protesters stormed the fence [between Syria and Israel] and hundreds burst through, pelting soldiers with stones, the military said. Soldiers guarding the border opened fire to stop them.” The IDF says its “forces fired selectively towards rioters who were targeting security infrastructure” in the Israeli Arab village of Majdal Shams. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the IDF was ordered “to act with ‘maximum restraint’.” Four invaders were reported killed, while thirty were wounded. The latter were treated at a nearby medical center and have already been returned to Syria.

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6. House GOP Invites Diversity Mandates to Intel Agencies

Aside for oil drilling-related legislation, there weren’t any high profile partisan legislative fights on Capitol Hill last week. The major piece of legislation that was brought to the floor and ultimately passed the House last week was the highly bi-partisan reauthorization of appropriations for our intelligence agencies (H.R. 754). The bill passed 392-15. Unfortunately, it is these “non-controversial” bills that are prone to insertions of reckless amendments. After all, who is watching the banal congressional proceedings of consensus legislation?

On Thursday, Republicans allowed Democrats to offer two amendments that would mandate pilot programs and studies to facilitate diversity within the intelligence agencies. I don’t begrudge the GOP leaders for running an open process and allowing Democrats to offer amendments. The problem is that they adopted the amendments by voice vote, instead of voting them down. Well, if the timeworn bromide that “Republicans only control one-half of one-third of government” is sufficient justification for failure to pass prudent legislation, it should certainly justify their scuttling of multicultural amendments.

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7. None Dare Call it Hypocrisy: The Left’s Outrage Over Teaching Free-Enterprise in Universities

For the last few years, America has been slowly awakened to the level of Marxism taught in American classrooms. From the of taking public school students to Cuba and the NEA’s recommendation of Saul Alinsky to the most recent revelation of the University of Missouri’s “Introduction to Labor Studies” taught by two Marxists who, in addition to allegedly giving a Communist organizer two hours of class time to recruit, also shared the finer points of industrial sabotage and cat electrocutions.

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8. Rescheduling Trump

Unfortunately, I’ve just been informed that Donald Trump needs to reschedule our one on one interview. Those of you who have registered already will get a note when the rescheduled interview takes place.

Sorry about that.

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