John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
February 17th, 2011
01:13 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.

Good Thursday to all. Bahrain is front and center today as political unrest ripples across the Middle East and, though tiny, this one poses a gargantuan challenge for the Obama administration. The anti-government forces are driven not only by the powerful political and economic alienation we saw in Egypt, but the tensions are exacerbated by decades of tension between the kingdom’s Sunni rulers and majority Shiite population. Add in a US Naval Station critical to US national security interests (read: Iran and oil), and this small nation becomes a giant challenge. The administration is privately and publicly critical of a bloody government crackdown overnight, and the next 24-48 hours here should be telling. Here at home, the spending debate remains at center stage. A bipartisan group in the Senate is having those adult conversations many of us say are in too short supply here in Washington: working on a plan to force spending restraint by creating triggers for cuts and tax increases in lawmakers cant make the tough choices themselves. For now, the House GOP showdown with the Democratic White House will generate most of the sparks, but keep an eye out to see if the Senate can emerge as the circuit breaker. Erick and Mario bring their usual pointed wit to their observations today, with the budget/spending/priorities debates in Washington and in state capitals across America dominating their focus. Enjoy the day. – John King

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– Two years in, the media has seemingly forgotten Obama's promise that unemployment would not get above 8% and is instead fixated on a new report that the "new normal" for unemployment may be 6%.

– Coming soon to a Republican talking point memo near you: the Balanced Budget Amendment with a spending limitations component.

– Top story on Drudge is that the U.S. agrees to rebuke Israel in the Security Council. That's not going to help Obama with Jewish voters. In fact, it will reinforce a prevailing sentiment among Jewish voters who voted Republican in 2010 that the Obama Administration generally and Obama himself specifically are anti-Israel.

Talk Show Host and Online Editor of Mario Solis-Marich:

– Walking the Walk: Speaker Boehner losses the battle to bring hundreds of jobs to his constituents though Pentagon pork, so be it!

– Taking a Walk: Democratic Colorado Governor Hickenlooper takes the easy route and sets aside an additional 2% for a hypothetical future state “emergency” by ignoring the state’s current education catastrophe.

– Walk Like an Egyptian: Wisconsin explodes in the streets as the rhetoric of conservatism hits the reality of need.

Filed under: Bullet Points
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. jutta

    The Unrest in the middle East is quite a big challenge for the US. Oil, Oil and once more Oil

    February 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  2. jutta

    By the way, what's about the defense budget? That is really questionable, in my view.

    February 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  3. Victor

    I don't have time to read tugohrh all these comments right now. Just wanted to thank you Wordsmith for listening to the sermons. I'll read your take on them later on.

    February 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm |