HotAir Daily Express 02/01/2013


Obama administration retreating on HHS contraception mandate?
2/1/2013 10:01:49 AM  Ed Morrissey
So says CNN, which hears from two different sources that an opt-out will be created for “religiously affiliated organizations.”  While that may be good news for hospitals, charities, and schools linked to churches, it may not address the

Unspinnable: White House “disappointed” in Hagel’s performance at hearing
2/1/2013 9:31:44 AM  Allahpundit
There is a way to spin it, actually. You could throw a tantrum over how mean Republicans were to poor Chuck, like Chris Matthews did. But evidently, and uncharacteristically, the White House isn’t going that route. Why not? They’ll never

Mayor Ed Koch passes away at 88
2/1/2013 9:06:43 AM  Ed Morrissey
A rare modern politician whose legendary status didn’t just exist between his own ears, New York City Mayor Ed Koch has passed away from congestive heart failure early this morning.  Koch was 88 years old, and a ubiquitous figure on the national

January jobs report: Unemployment rises to 7.9%, 157K jobs added
2/1/2013 8:36:23 AM  Ed Morrissey
The January jobs report largely met the low expectations of the market today.  The US economy added a net 157,000 jobs, but the unemployment rate went up by a tenth of a point to 7.9%: Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January, and


Breaking: Suicide attack on US embassy in Ankara kills two
2/1/2013 8:01:15 AM  Ed Morrissey
An unknown group targeted the US embassy in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, with an explosive device.  At least two security guards were killed in the explosion and an unknown number of people wounded: A suspected suicide bomber detonated an explosive

Quotes of the day
1/31/2013 10:31:18 PM  Allahpundit
Human Events: What is your response to conservative critics, such as Ann Coulter, who called the statement of principles from the Gang of Eight the same as amnesty? Marco Rubio: I recognize and understand that people have bad memories and bad feelings

Hot new controversy: Is VW Jamaican accent Super Bowl ad racist?
1/31/2013 9:31:23 PM  Mary Katharine Ham
You be a judge. The butt of this very good-natured joke, such that it is, is a little bit the white guy for taking on his new accent— hence, the “dude, you’re from Minnesota” moment— and his uptight colleagues. In this commercial, the

Biden: Have I mentioned yet that these new gun-control measures won’t fundamentally alter the chances of a mass shooting?
1/31/2013 8:31:17 PM  Allahpundit
Time for the White House to start lowering public expectations about the big gun-control push, in case something substantial passes Congress and Obama’s inevitably forced to explain in a few months why mass shootings are still happening.

The EPA once again raises its biofuels standards — for biofuels that still do not exist
1/31/2013 7:41:20 PM  Erika Johnsen
The Environmental Protection Agency’s brazen contempt for free-market economics evidently knows no bounds. Less than a week ago, the Environmental Protection Agency received a slap on the wrist from a federal appeals court that ruled that the EPA

Chuck Schumer: I refuse to let border security become a barrier to citizenship for illegals
1/31/2013 6:51:49 PM  Allahpundit
Skip to 10:15 for the key bit. Is this endgame already for Rubio? He’s sworn up and down that unless Democrats agree to make border security the trigger for a path to citizenship — i.e. measurable security improvements first, before any path

Hagel: If confirmed, I’ll be sure to learn much more about the Defense department
1/31/2013 6:01:15 PM  Allahpundit
Watch the clip below. He’s also been reassuring senators that he won’t have a policymaking role as SecDef, in case they’re leery of tasking an unqualified incompetent with so much responsibility. He’s basically daring Democrats to

Rights group: Russia’s crackdown on dissent is getting positively Soviet
1/31/2013 5:11:31 PM  Erika Johnsen
Mitt Romney got a good deal of flak during the election season for calling Russia “our number one geopolitical foe,” but it turns out that the bigger headlines about jailing free-thinking punk rockers, seeking an international agreement on

Are you ready for Senator Geraldo?
1/31/2013 4:31:35 PM  Allahpundit
Boy, I sure am. If there’s one thing the GOP needs now, it’s another senator who’s famously soft on immigration. Imagine these words ringing off the walls in the Senate chamber: “[A]ny Latino who votes for a Republican or a

Reid: The GOP really needs to stop bad-mouthing this recovery we’re in
1/31/2013 3:51:43 PM  Erika Johnsen
As Ed pointed out this morning, the White House’s more recent attitude on the pathetic state of the American economy has run somewhere along the lines of, “Maybe if we just don’t talk about it, people will forget that it actually

Video: Lindsey Graham versus Hagel over his “Israeli lobby” comments
1/31/2013 3:11:49 PM  Allahpundit
You’ve already seen a bunch of video of Hagel today. Get ready to see a bunch more. As I’m writing this, I’m hearing on Twitter that Ted Cruz is destroying him over America supposedly being the “world’s bully.” This

The Ed Morrissey Show: Kerry Picket, Steven Crowder
1/31/2013 2:46:06 PM  Ed Morrissey
Today on The Ed Morrissey Show (4 pm ET), Kerry Picket brings us up to date on the goings-on inside the nation’s capital, and Steven Crowder returns to discuss his latest video efforts. The Ed Morrissey Show and its dynamic chatroom can be seen

Video: Stewart grills Gore on sale to oil emirs, too
1/31/2013 2:31:27 PM  Ed Morrissey
Well, grills might be too strong a word in this case.  Unlike Matt Lauer, who explicitly raised the allegation of hypocrisy — twice — Jon Stewart goes for a softer approach, one that doesn’t even use irony or satirical wit.  Instead, he

Did weekly jobless claims rise “unexpectedly”?
1/31/2013 1:51:37 PM  Ed Morrissey
Rise? Yes.  Unexpectedly? Well … that depends on whether one relied on weekly jobless claims data for the first two weeks of the month.  The past two reports showed a significant and unexpected drop in the Department of Labor’s measure, but

Good news: DOD readying to quadruple renewable energy installations
1/31/2013 1:11:33 PM  Erika Johnsen
Last summer, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lamented that, in terms of the Pentagon’s budget, the pending sequestration cuts “were designed as a meat ax… It was designed to be a disaster. Because the hope was, because it’s such

Video: McCain goes after Hagel on the surge; Update: Hagel says Iranian government “elected … legitimate”
1/31/2013 12:31:53 PM  Ed Morrissey
Presidents will nominate Senators to Cabinet positions in part to get an easy ride to confirmation, and soft treatment during confirmation hearings.  If that’s what Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel expected, they got a rude awakening, almost literally,

AP: Obama shutting down jobs council
1/31/2013 12:01:21 PM  Ed Morrissey
Remember the Jobs Council that Barack Obama created two years ago?  Stung by the loss of the House in the midterms, Obama attempted to show that he wanted input from the private sector about how to grow the economy.  Two years later, after having won

Certain Big Labor groups suddenly not so partial to ObamaCare
1/31/2013 11:31:24 AM  Erika Johnsen
Once upon a time, labor unions were all about supporting President Obama’s health-care overhaul efforts. They stood alongside him while he touted all of the phantasmogorical benefits, savings, and efficiencies that would ostensibly, effortlessly

Audio: Rand Paul on his disagreements with Rubio’s immigration plan
1/31/2013 11:04:42 AM  Allahpundit
Skip to 3:25 for the key bit. There are two early sticking points in the Senate proposal: (1) illegals get probationary legal status on day one and (2) a path to citizenship will be created for them sometime later if and only if there are measurable

Suddenly, it’s still the economy
1/31/2013 10:31:37 AM  Ed Morrissey
There was one good thing about getting the first red-ink GDP report in four years — it reminded everyone that Barack Obama has all but ignored the economy.  Even before his declaration last year that “the private sector is doing just