Monday, November 30, 2009

Morning Must Reads from DCExaminer

Michelle has more on ths scumbag who should never have seen the light of day.
Thanks a lot, Governor Huckabee

Seattle Times -- Suspect in Lakewood police shootings was wounded, may be dead

The man who murdered four police officers picking up coffee before their Sunday shifts in Washington State may be dead or wounded from injuries received at the scene of the crime. But in an odd twist, the suspect was granted clemency by then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 1999, an issue that Huckabee took plenty if heat for in 2008. And that was before the clementee was a suspect in the worst cop killing in recent memory “‘This is the day I've been dreading for a long time,’ Larry Jegley, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas' Pulaski County said tonight when informed that Clemmons was being sought for questioning in connection with the killings. Clemmons' criminal history includes at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington. The record also stands out for the number of times he has been released from custody despite questions about the danger he posed. Huckabee, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination last year, issued a statement tonight calling the slaying of the police officers ‘a horrible and tragic event.’”

Wall Street Journal -- Critical Decisions This Week on Batch of Obama Initiatives

For those of you just getting back into the swing of things, writer Jonathan Weisman offers a superb look ahead at a pivotal week for the Obama era: big moments on Afghanistan, unemployment, health care, diplomatic initiatives and more.

But next week will see President Obama take on climate change in Copenhagen, duck and weave his way through the acceptance of his Nobel Prize, and perhaps Senate debate on his administration’s request on raising the government’s debt limit beyond the current $12 trillion.

The Obama team has discovered in the waning weeks of 2009 that the presidency provides plenty of headaches, especially in the midst of two wars and a deep economic funk. Simultaneously proposing an energy tax, a national health program and hundreds of other smaller initiatives must have sounded like a much better idea in January.

“David Axelrod, a senior White House adviser, downplayed any immediate outcomes from the difficult week as ‘far less important than execution in the long run,’ which he said is how ‘the administration will be judged.’

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel -- who added efforts to isolate Iran's nuclear program to the week's agenda -- defended the ‘Big Bang’ approach to the administration's first year. In an interview, he contended that on each front ‘we're in a better position than we were when we began,’ citing progress on a health-care bill, shifting resources to Afghanistan from Iraq and moving toward imposing sanctions on Iran.”

Washington Post -- U.S. offers new role for Pakistan

The president’s speech on Afghanistan Tuesday night from West Point will be about advancing and retreating simultaneously – we’re getting out by going deeper in. It’s a tough sell, especially in his own party, as I argue in my column today .

If Obamian standards hold true, the speech will be a long, professorial muddle about his minutely researched strategy for Afghanistan punctuated by a few pleasant turns of phrase.

But at the heart of Obama’s strategy is the belief that he can help bring into being a strong, centralized, pro-Western government in neighboring Pakistan. Of course, Pakistan’s president has just been stripped of his access to the nuclear arsenal and Muslim hard-liners are gaining ground by accusing him of being a puppet of India and the U.S.

Writer Karen DeYoung was given a copy of the Pakistani government’s to-do list and the White House decoder ring for the Tuesday speech: when he says Afghanistan he means Pakistan.

“But despite the public and political attention focused on the number of new troops, Pakistan has been the hot core of the months-long strategy review. The long-term consequences of failure there, the review concluded, far outweigh those in Afghanistan.

‘We can't succeed without Pakistan,’ a senior administration official involved in the White House review said. ‘You have to differentiate between public statements and reality. There is nobody who is under any illusions about this.’”

Wall Street Journal -- White House, Business Leaders Split on How to Create Jobs

The president is having the boys from Google and the SEIU over to the White House again Thursday for his job creation summit. With a flaccid recovery and lots of uncertainty in the marketplace because of pending regulatory changes, getting companies to hire is going to be a tall order indeed.

Crippling deficits mean that Republicans could block the president in the Senate if he called for more federal spending, even as Democrats in the House prepare another round of stimulus.

It seems likely that what we’ll see out of the new focus on jobs at the White House is an extension of unemployment benefits to 99 weeks and some nibbling around the edges.

Writer Neil King and Gary Fields explain:

“Businesses of all sizes are brimming with proposals they say would spur economic growth. The most commonly voiced are tax cuts and boosting access to credit.

The White House, for its part, wants to discuss job growth in the clean-tech sector and shifting some stimulus spending to infrastructure projects. Obama aides are also eyeing a limited range of incentives for small businesses to create jobs.”

Washington Post -- In health-care reform, no deficit cure

Senate debate on health care will get underway Tuesday, and the cost of the president’s proposal remains a crushing burden for the Democratic leadership selling the plan -- costs to taxpayers, higher insurance costs, costs added to the deficit.

Writer Lori Montgomery looks at how no report or promise of future cuts seems able to convince skeptical senators that it would be fiscally prudent to commit the nation to trillions in new health spending.

It seems bizarre now, but the original promise was that universal coverage would be the silver bullet that would slay the deficit.

“As a whole, the CBO projects that Reid's bill would not change the trajectory of federal health spending. And a competing House bill, the CBO said, would push federal spending higher.

Obama's more conservative critics accuse him of ‘a big bait-and-switch,’ as Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute put it. ‘They said the only way to fix the budget is to cut health-care spending. And they come out with something that increases health-care spending. If it weren't such a big deal, it would be a joke.’”

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