Morning Briefing for August 23, 2011

RedState Morning Briefing
For August 23, 2011

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1. A New Day in Libya: Brief Thoughts on What Happened and What to Watch For

This weekend brought good news for those who have lived under the oppressive regime of Moammar Qaddafi for all or part of his 42 year reign of terror, as the dress-wearing perma-Colonel and his regime have been overthrown after a months-long civil war. As has been noted across the international affairs-sphere over the course of the last 24 hours, the toppling of Qaddafi’s regime was not the end of Libya’s challenges, but merely a preliminary accomplishment in what will likely be a long, hard slog toward self-determination and, hopefully, national security, stability, and success.In a statement this afternoon, President Obama took credit on NATO’s behalf for playing a significant role in this development, and called on Libya to pave a way forward that is “peaceful, inclusive, and just,” and which relies on a peaceful settling of differences rather than on reprisals for justice. Though these admonitions will likely make little difference to those on the ground in North Africa, they are correct: Libya’s future will hinge on how the aftermath of Qaddafi’s overthrow, and its accompanying unifying euphoria, is handled by the citizenry and by those who are currently carrying the guns.Please click here for the rest of the post.

2. The Entitlement Leviathan in Numbers

Immediately prior to breaking for the August recess, Congress passed a bipartisan agreement to cut spending. Well, sort of.Leaders in both parties got together to do something evil and stupid; they agreed to the largest increase in the debt ceiling, without solving our debt problem. They cut discretionary spending by $6.67 billion for FY 2012, from $1.0497 trillion to $1.043 trillion. That’s a bit more than half a percentage point. Worse, discretionary spending (budget authority) only accounts for roughly 28% of our projected $3.7 trillion in outlays for FY 2011. So we cut about 0.6% of 28% of our federal budget for next year!But, fear not; the best is yet to come. The mandatory entitlement spending reforms will be tackled by the super committee. The only problem is that a committee with such luminaries as John Kerry, Patty Murray, and James Clyburn – will never cut a dime from mandatory spending.Where does this leave us?Please click here for the rest of the post.

3. The Palin Factor

September 3rd is fast approaching and a lot of people are suddenly buzzing that she will declare her candidacy for the Presidency at that time. Karl Rove is convinced. John Fund of the Wall Street Journal thinks she will not run. A lot of Sarah Palin supporters have been telling me she’ll announce that day that she is running and I’m a fool and idiot for thinking she won’t run. Now her PAC is saying don’t believe the hype about September 3rd.The analysts, etc. are really just looking at it being roughly the anniversary of her speech to the Republican Convention in 2008 and hearing all the Palin supporters say she will announce that day and Karl Rove’s desperation to get someone in the race to stop Rick Perry’s momentum and they are coming up with September 3rd as the date Palin will announce. And yes, in the past month, each time I’ve said I did not think Palin would run, I’ve had Palin supporters email me and say she would and they kept fixating on September 3rd, though no one officially in the Palin camp has said anything. Lots of Palin’s fans hopes and Karl Rove’s desire to stay in the mix have contributed to a lot of hype. (Full disclosure: all the emails I’ve been getting could just be Karl Rove and Bill Kristol via one outsourced spammer in Mumbai)I am in the “will believe it when I see it” camp and still don’t think she will run. One factor that keeps me there is her Fox News contract. For multiple weeks prior to Mike Huckabee declaring he would not run, leaks starting coming out of Fox News that the pressure was on for him to make up his mind.We are not hearing the same about Palin and that suggests to me she will not run.But if I’m wrong and she does run, what of it? What will her impact be.Please click here for the rest of the post.