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Dec 30, 2011 6:57:53 AM

Newslinks for Friday 12/30/11: Romney and Santorum strengthening in Iowa campaign's last days

VOTE in our end-December survey: Who do you want to be the GOP nominee? Do you agree with Gingrich that Ron Paul is too extreme? Do you think the GOP will win the Senate? VOTE NOW.

Sensing Iowa win, Romney plans late push - WSJ

"Mitt Romney unveiled plans Thursday for an aggressive finishing sprint in Iowa designed to lock down a victory in Tuesday’s caucuses that would leave his rivals scrambling to catch up." - Washington Post

  • At Romney rally, Iowa's moderate GOP 'Silent Majority' Voters starts talking - NPR

Gingrich perseveres in Iowa despite halving of support...

"Newt Gingrich tried to shrug off his disappointing poll numbers Thursday as he began his third day of a 22-stop bus tour in one of the most conservative stretches of Iowa. In one month his support has been halved and he has fallen from first to fourth place, according to the latest CNN/Time/ORC International poll. His message to Iowans: Nothing is settled yet." - WSJ | Highlights experience - NPR

...and maintains attacks on Romney

"Gingrich said that he has always stood with the conservative wing and that Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, represents the “timid,” “moderate,” “conciliatory” wing." - Washington Post

  • The fact Bob Dole is calling friends in Iowa on behalf of Romney will confirm Gingrich's argument in the minds of some - USA Today
  • Mitt Romney didn't just give Planned Parenthood money, he gave them extra power - RedState

Voters seem to like Gingrich's pro-growth message but still have doubts about the messenger - Kimberley Strassel for the Wall Street Journal

Tea-Party groundwork does NOT pay dividents for Gingrich - WSJ

SantorumOther polls confirm Rick-Mentum - USA Today | Weekly Standard | Fox

Perry’s internal polling confirms that Santorum’s surge is real - HotAir

  • Rick Santorum Tells Ann Coulter to 'Get Her Facts Straight' - American Spectator
  • "Thanks to Rich Lowry’s column on Santorum today, I’m reminded that the former senator has called for tripling the deduction for each dependent child. This falls short of my family-friendly tax policy ideal, but (as Lowry writes) it makes Santorum’s agenda “the most pro-family of any on offer from the GOP candidates” - Ross Douthat
  • Santorum keeps offering up reminders that the high point of his political career, in many respects, was several presidencies ago - Politico

Perry RickSantorum comes under attack from Rick Perry... The Washington Times reports the Texas Governor's claim that Santorum won $1 billion in earmarks. Santorum responds.

  • ABC reports another Perry gaffe: "Perry admitted Thursday that he didn’t know about the Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas, a case decided while he was governor which struck down the state’s anti-sodomy law and similar laws in 13 others."

Mitt Romney dismissed any possibility that Ron Paul might win the Republican nomination - RCP

Ron Paul’s position that states should outlaw abortion even in “hard cases” but the federal government should not extend any rights to the unborn ought to be more disturbing to the pro-life movement than even an outright pro-abortion position - Eli Lehrer for FrumForum

Bachmann is fighting to avoid finishing dead last in the state where she was raised - Politico | Washington Post

Rollins says Bachmann eyeing VP slot avoided attacking Romney - NRO

  • "Michele Bachmann says she's delighted that she's thought of in the same regard as Queen Elizabeth." - USA Today
  • Bachmann compares herself to Margaret Thatcher - HuffPo

And on the subject of Margaret Thatcher... Her lesson is that decline is inevitable only if its self-fulfilling prophets prevail - Rich Lowry for NRO

Cato Institute finds that all candidates are light on details about what spending they'd cut - Daily Caller

  • It's all economy for GOP voters - William Galston at TNR

Some candidates have bigger entourages than others

Screen shot 2011-12-30 at 09.42.22

See the full graphic for all the candidates in the New York Times.

Peggy Noonan chooses her most memorable line of the campaign

Noonan Peggy"The most memorable line of the first phase? There's "9-9-9" and "Oops," but the best came from Mitt Romney when he was asked about the Gingrich campaign's failure to qualify for the Virginia ballot. Mr. Gingrich had compared it to Pearl Harbor, a setback, but we'll recover. Mr. Romney, breezily, to a reporter: "I think it's more like Lucille Ball at the chocolate factory." It made people laugh. It made them want to repeat it, which is the best free media of all, the line people can't resist saying in the office. And they laughed because it pinged off a truth: Gingrich is ad hoc, disorganized." - Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal

Joe Scarbourgh: GOP must now focus on independents

"Instead of calling Obama names or comparing political opponents to Joseph Stalin, Republican presidential candidates must learn to persuade swing voters in Bucks County, Pa., Tampa, Fla. and Columbus, Ohio." - Joe Scarborough for Politico

"A Gallup tracking poll released Thursday showed that Obama is once again underwater, plummeting to 41 percent approval and 50 percent disapproval, a sharp drop from earlier in the week" - The Hill

Team Obama lays out electoral map strategy - LA Times

Obama is NOT the clean guy he presents - UK Spectator

Sen. Ben Nelson's Retirement Signals Twilight of Blue Dog Democrats - Daily Beast

"Since 2000, the median income of working age households has fallen more than 10 percent. With the top 25 percent of earners grabbing a much larger slice of a shrinking pie, income losses for folks in the middle and working classes are much greater." - Peter Morici for Fox

Fox-news-logoFox is number one cable news network for tenth year running - Commentary

The tension between communitarian and market conservatism - David Brooks in the New York Times

More from Rod Dreher at the American Conservative.

Petraeus considered resigning over Afghan drawdown - Weekly Standard

And finally... Resolutions that USA Today would like to see from politicians and others...

  • stop electing politicians who promise low taxes and high benefits — The American voter
  • count to 10 before I make a bet for $10,000 — Mitt Romney
  • write my three talking points on my palm, like Sarah Palin — Rick Perry




Dec 29, 2011 7:56:02 AM

Newslinks for Thursday 12/29/11: Santorum surges but Paul still favorite to win Iowa

VOTE in our end-December survey: Who do you want to be the GOP nominee? Do you agree with Gingrich that Ron Paul is too extreme? Do you think the GOP will win the Senate? VOTE NOW.

Ron Paul has a 56% chance of winning Iowa - Nate Silver


Screen shot 2011-12-29 at 11.03.34

Romney and Santorum surge as Iowa caucuses near - Washington Post

  • "At the start of the month, Rick Santorum needed the following things to happen in order for him to be competitive in Iowa: Newt Gingrich needed to fade. Evangelicals needed to move toward his campaign. Then voters needed to see some tangible sign of momentum, in order to speed up the tortoise-like pace of his Iowa campaign. The former Pennsylvania senator has now gotten at least a dose of all three ingredients." - Politico
  • ""All of a sudden, Rick Santorum looks an awful lot like Mike Huckabee," said Craig Robinson, a former state GOP official who now runs, a political website." - Quoted by the WSJ
  • "Santorum can put himself in position to be the Mike Huckabee of 2012, giving social conservatives and Tea Partiers a more responsible protest vote against the inevitability of Romney than Paul would provide." - Commentary
  • A case for Rick Santorum is republished at NRO

Byron Yorke explains why Santorum's support may grow over coming days - Washington Examiner

Screen shot 2011-12-29 at 11.49.04VIDEO: Rick Santorum campaign video touts support of Palin, Beck and Huckabee

Rick Santorum says he'd cast vote for Ron Paul after taking 'a lot of antacid' - The Hill

The GOP's TOP priority is STOP PAUL - TIME

  • Jon Huntsman says Ron Paul is 'unelectable' - LA Times
  • There is a Ron Paul vote which has little to do with Ron Paul and Romney needs to address their concerns about the size of government - Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal
  • A penchant for conspriacy theories has been the constant theme of Ron Paul's time in politics - James Kirchick in the New York Times
  • Ron Paul praises OWS - Weekly Standard

Bachmann Iowa Chair Endorses Ron Paul - American Spectator | NPR

Ron Paul Salutes Veterans, Says He Plans to Bring the Troops Home - ABC

Marching orders for Paul’s volunteers: Do Shave, Don’t Tweet - New York Times

Screen shot 2011-12-29 at 12.53.31Two very different women endorse Romney...

  • Ann Coulter: Only Romney is right on the two big issues: Repealing ObamaCare and Stopping Illegal Immigration - TownHall | PowerLine
  • Elizabeth Dole endorses Mitt Romney - USA Today

"The key to wrapping up a nomination quickly has always been an Iowa-New Hampshire one-two punch, and the Granite State, which votes Jan. 10, seems to be a Romney fortress" - E J Dionne in the Washington Post

Gingrich uses Bolton, Forbes and Reagan to bolster ebbing campaign

  • Newt Gingrich says, he’d look to people like John Bolton and Steve Forbes to fill his cabinet - WSJ
  • "Tax reforms to maximize economic growth, a sound dollar, and smarter regulations will touch off another historic boom" - New Gingrich urges Republicans to follow Reagan in this Wall Street Journal OpEd
  • On Trail, Gingrich strains to show Nice-Guy side - New York Times
  • Gingrich campaign says it raised about $9M in fourth quarter - MSNBC
  • Gingrich wins Art Laffer's backing - NRO
  • RCP still has Newt 2.6% ahead nationwide but most recent polls have him tied with Mitt.

Corporate money poured into his nonprofit after Gingrich became pro-drilling and anti-cap-and-trade - Washington Post

What Iowans are getting in the mail...

"CBS News and National Journal collected an assortment of flyers sent to Iowans last week, many of them revealing that the other candidates were focused on chipping away at Newt Gingrich's standing in the polls."

Obama's approval numbers sink downwards again... according to PowerLine...

Screen shot 2011-12-29 at 12.32.27

...but they still look better at RCP

Obama may lose gay voters to Gary Johnson in 2012 - Daily Caller

Screen shot 2011-12-29 at 12.54.19In 12 predictions for 2012 Karl Rove predicts Republicans will win control of the Senate and keep the House - WSJ | At USA Today read Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel's predictions for 2012

In 2008 49% of new voters registering were Democrats and only 25% were Republican; now it's 32% Democrat and 34% Republican - Wall Street Journal

The Obama administration is poised to announce the sale of nearly $30 billion worth of F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia - Politico

Rising National Debt is Obama's biggest foreign policy failure - Will Inboden for Shadow Government

Many say Shia Iran and Sunni al-Qaeda can’t work together. They are wrong - Clifford May at NRO

John Stossel: Too many Americans still want free lunch

"I fear that much of the country is in agreement with the Wall Street protestors who love free stuff from government -- free health care, free college education, free lunch. Elderly Americans want no cuts to Medicare. Even after the Solyndra scandal, 62 percent of Americans say America should continue to invest in clean-energy jobs. Don’t they think about what that money would be producing if left in the hands of free, entrepreneurial individuals? No." - John Stossel for Fox

And finally... If Romney, Perry, Gingrich and Cain could be any superhero they'd be Superman, Santorum - Mr Incredible, Cain - Spiderman... WATCH THE VIDEO!



Dec 28, 2011 7:35:18 AM

Newslinks for Wednesday December 28, 2011

VIDEO: Gingrich on Ron Paul: "His views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American". The former House Speaker says he wouldn't vote for Paul if he was the GOP candidate.

VIDEO: Pro-Gingrich group attacks Republican establishment in Iowa ad

Mitt Romney in striking distance of Iowa win - Politico


  • Mark Halperin says Romney's campaign has been charmed and crafty — and is now positioned to pull off a decisive Hawkeye masterstroke - TIME
  • For Romney, stealth campaign brings real hopes of winning Iowa - Washington Post
  • In Iowa, Romney Ignores Rivals, Targets Obama - NPR

John Hinderaker at PowerLine backs Romney: "It is time for Republicans to get serious. After flirting with just about every candidate in a large presidential field, is is time to come home to the one candidate who has the demonstrated ability to run the largest organization in the United States, the Executive Branch of the federal government; who has never been touched by the slightest taint of scandal; whose success in the private sector makes him the outsider that Republicans say they are looking for; and who has by far the best chance of beating President Obama: Mitt Romney."

Gingrich NewtGingrich turns negative against Romney

  • "Newt Gingrich began his closing arguments in Iowa Tuesday afternoon by challenging former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to a 90-minute debate and comparing his experience as a champion of supply-side economics with Mr. Romney’s record as a “Massachusetts moderate.”" - WSJ
  • Gingrich Spokesman: Romney is "Flirting with European socialism" - Fox
  • Pro-Gingrich Super PAC: Romney is '2nd most dangerous man in America' - MSNBC
  • Gingrich pledges positive ad campaign, but whacks his rivals on the campaign trail - Weekly Standard

Meanwhile, at RedState, Erick Erickson backs Gingrich over Romney: "Put simply — as Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney moved the state left, socializing its healthcare system and doing nothing to stop gay marriage until he knew it was too late to do anything about it. As Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich moved the nation right with a balanced budget and welfare reform."

Jonathan S Tobin at Commentary dissents: "The argument that Gingrich — whose deviations from conservative principles over the years are too numerous to count — is more authentically conservative than Romney is unsustainable."

Paul RonIt's Get-Ron-Paul-Time

  • "Newt Gingrich said Tuesday he wouldn't vote for Ron Paul if the Texas congressman won the 2012 GOP nomination. Speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Gingrich slammed Paul as out of line with mainstream Republican viewpoints, including his stance on Israel, Iran, and September 11." - CNN
  • Republican rivals unleash broadside on Paul in Iowa - New York Times

Don't believe the mythology about Iowa, voting has tracked the national campaign - Michael Crowley for TIME

THATCHER2012 in Brief:

  • "I want to be America's Margaret Thatcher," Bachmann said. "I want to be America's Iron Lady." - CBS
  • "Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, has been touted as the sleeper candidate by none other than 2008 Iowa caucuses winner Mike Huckabee." - Fox
  • The Iowa caucus will begin to thin the Republican field as those without a solid organization will become electoral roadkill - Daily Beast
  • Perry sues Virginia elections board to gain ballot access - HotAir
  • Perry shifts abortion views: No exception for rape, incest - LA Times | CBS
  • Appealing to Evangelicals, Hopefuls Pack Religion Into Ads - New York Times
  • Hispanic Susana Martinez Has Conservative Cred, High Approval Ratings... and speculation about her being a good VP choice grows - Roll Call

What should be encouraging all of the Republican candidates is the lead a generic Republican has over President Obama in the latest polls - Pete du Pont in the Wall Street Journal

Du Pont also lists the six things that most unite the GOP candidates:

  1. Less government spending
  2. Lower taxes on businesses and individuals
  3. Repeal of ObamaCare and Medicare reform
  4. Opening up energy production to the vast U.S. resources
  5. Free-er trade
  6. And finally, getting the government out of the business of picking winners and losers

One good idea each from the seven Republican presidential candidates - Ross Douthat in the New York Times

TrumpPolitical endorsements don’t mean a lot — unless you’re Donald Trump

"To hear Donald Trump tell it, “millions of people” are waiting for him to make an endorsement in the Republican presidential primary. And at some point, he says, he’ll likely grace a candidate with one — that is, unless he decides to run himself as an independent." - Washington Post

The third party factor

  • "For all the roller-coaster tumultuousness of the primary season, the general election promises another strange jolt: the likely presence on the ballot in all 50 states of a third-party nominee — identity, and ideology, to be determined." - Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post
  • More roads lead to possible Third-Party Bid - WSJ

Obama seeks $1.2 trillion debt ceiling increase - CNN

US_Senate_Seal_29Bill Nelson's retirement as centrist Democrat in conservative-leaning Florida increases likelihood of GOP takeover of Senate - WSJ

"Nelson is the seventh member of the Democratic Caucus to announce his retirement, and his decision means Republicans can shift resources elsewhere and spend more targeting other vulnerable Senate Democrats this cycle, including Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.)." - The Hill

"Mr. Nelson's retirement means Republicans are closer to picking up the four seats they'll need to retake the Senate in 2012. It's also a reminder that when Democrats govern from the left, they do so at the cost of the red state Members needed to build a majority." - WSJ editorial

Roll Call has another way of seeing it: Senate Democrats Losing Least Supportive Member

And for some cold water on GOP hopes Hotline has this: "There are encouraging signs for Democrats. In the two races where the party stands a serious chance of picking up a seat -- Nevada and Massachusetts - recruiting has yielded candidates that have run solid campaigns so far. And the lack of top notch Republican gets in places like Florida, Missouri, and Pennsylvania have been an unexpected blessing for the party."

BARNES FRED"Achieving parity with the Democrats in campaign spending would be no small feat. Yet it appears possible." - Fred Barnes in the Wall Street Journal looks at how groups like American Crossroads are countering the way union money pushed America leftwards.

National Review goes Establishment Republican - Jeffrey Lord for the American Spectator

Paul Bremer: President Obama made a serious mistake in withdrawing all American forces from Iraq

"A residual American military presence in Iraq would have helped us achieve three security goals: striking al Qaeda and Iranian terrorists still active in Iraq; helping train Iraqi security forces; and dampening tensions along the "green line," the contested demarcation between the Kurdish north and Arab south. Our withdrawal makes all three objectives more difficult to sustain." - Paul Bremer in the Wall Street Journal

And finally... Politico has a gallery of Rick Santorum's trademark turtle necks



Dec 27, 2011 7:58:12 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday December 27, 2011

Video: Romney paints himself as a conservative businessman in Iowa ad

Video: Rick Perry's latest ad promises 50% cut in Congressmen's pay, staff and hours

Ron Paul has come under fire for racially derogatory comments in newsletters he published some two decades ago

Paul Ron Close Up

- Wall Street Journal

  • Paul disavows newsletters, but in '95 video he seems to claim credit - NPR
  • Ron Paul is a liar, at best, concludes Jonah Goldberg at NRO
  • The Washington Post notes that the newsletters were the reason the libertarian Cato Institute split from Paul.

Ex-Aide says Ron Paul is a 9/11 Truther and isolationist who thinks US shouldn't have fought Hitler - Weekly Standard

  • Paul voted for Afghanistan war after staff threatened mutiny - Daily Caller
  • Paul's "isolationism isn’t merely an expression of distaste for war but is part of a belief system that is ready to rationalize Islamist regimes and movements at war with America and American ideals. His extremism places him beyond the pale and renders him unfit for high office." - Commentary
  • Leon H Wolf at RedState doesn't think any "Ronulan" will be put off voting for Paul by these new revelations.

The dominant storyline at the Republican convention will be figuring out how to appease Paul

Peter Beinart at the Daily Beast says Paul has already changed the GOP, exposing its fundamental splits.

Ron Paul has 1.3% lead... in RCP's poll of polls for Iowa.

But Byron York at the Washington Examiner notes that Ronulans aren't necessarily registered Republicans: "Given Paul's views on the Fed, the gold standard and social issues, not to mention his isolationist foreign policy, the polls have left some politicos wondering whether Republican voters have somehow swerved off the rails. But there's another question that should be asked first: Who are Ron Paul's supporters? Are they, in fact, Republicans? In an analysis accompanying his most recent survey in Iowa, pollster Scott Rasmussen noted, "Romney leads, with Gingrich in second, among those who consider themselves Republicans. Paul has a wide lead among non-Republicans who are likely to participate in the caucus.""

Iowa caucus near, race is still up in the air - New York Times

  • For all of the media hoopla, GOP caucusgoers in the Hawkeye State have a poor record of choosing their party's eventual nominee - Michael Barone in the Wall Street Journal

Screen shot 2011-12-27 at 12.53.49Gingrich and Perry both fail to qualify for Virginia ballot - Fox

  • The American Spectator concludes that Basic Organization is one of Romney's winning strengths.
  • FrumForum investigates claims of dodgy rule changes.

"Mitt The Massachusetts Moderate" - MSNBC notes the Gingrich campaign's full throttle attack on Romney.

Gingrich once applauded the Romney healthcare plan that he now attacks - Wall Street Journal | ABC

Documents appear to contradict Gingrich’s account that his first wife sought divorce - New York Times | CNN

“The dynamics couldn’t be better for us,” says a senior Romney strategist. “I don’t see any scenario where we’re not the nominee.” - Politico

SantorumRick Santorum goes shooting with Iowa's evangelical congressman Steve King but doesn't bag an endorsement - LA Times

The Tea Party Express offered its “support” to Michele Bachmann but the leading conservative activist group stopped short of officially endorsing the Minnesotan - Roll Call

This cycle's 13 GOP White House candidates have collected nearly $90 million — about 40 percent less than the $150 million that the 10 GOP contenders had raised at the same point in the 2008 cycle - Roll Call

Those denouncing the conservative establishment don't seem to realize they're apart of it - Jonah Goldberg in the LA Times

According to the latest Gallup tracking poll, more Americans approve of the job that President Obama is doing than disapprove for the first time since this summer - Politico

BUT... "The economy in 2012 is likely to sway Mr. Obama’s fate in his fall re-election campaign, and there he still has far to go before winning an edge among voters. The WSJ-NBC poll found 39% of Americans approve of Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy, with 57% disapproving." - WSJ

  • In the Washington Post E J Dionne warns the GOP that it might beat Obama if it makes the election about the economy but lose if it promises consequential reforms.
  • Rasmussen poll shows most voters want gov’t spending reduced - HotAir

The Obama administration is wrong to compare today’s problems to those of the Great Depression

"In the progressive era, the country was young and vibrant. The job was to impose economic order. Today, the country is middle-aged but self-indulgent. Bad habits have accumulated. Interest groups have emerged to protect the status quo. The job is to restore old disciplines, strip away decaying structures and reform the welfare state. The country needs a productive midlife crisis." - David Brooks in the New York Times

CrimeThe most important social trend of the past 20 years is as positive as it is underappreciated: the United States’ plunging crime rate - Charles Lane in the Washington Post

We aren't just broke we are barren - Mark Steyn at NRO on the West's fertility problem.

"Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level"

"The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal ­e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials."

"Disturbing revelations continue to emerge about how more than half a billion dollars of taxpayer dollars were shoveled into the Solyndra solar-panel boondoggle. It is becoming increasingly clear that the only “green” involved in this scandal is money." - Washington Times



Dec 23, 2011 6:59:56 AM

Newslinks for Friday December 23, 2011

GOP caves into Obama on payroll tax

  • DebtDeal4amigos"House Republicans caved to President Barack Obama’s demand for a two-month payroll tax cut extension, ending an impasse that threatened to raise taxes on millions of Americans on Jan. 1. The capitulation came fast Thursday afternoon as House Republicans found themselves increasingly isolated in insisting that a full one-year extension was the only solution to the year-end crisis. The end of this debate will also come quickly — the House and Senate hope to clear the $33 billion legislation on a voice vote Friday morning." - Politico
  • "Particularly strange is that this is breaking within just a few hours of The One holding a presser to demand action with middle-class taxpayers lovingly arrayed behind him. Now it looks like even more of a capitulation than it is. Merry Christmas from the GOP, champ." - Hot Air
  • Payroll tax cut standoff's impact: What $40 a paycheck means to you - CNN
  • Time to end Washington's banana republic budgeting - Washington Examiner editorial
  • "Two-thirds of voters disapprove of House Republicans, while only one-quarter approve, a jump in disapproval from the 62 percent disapproval and 26 percent approval rating they had for the House GOP last month." - The Hill

Senate GOP worries tax standoff could cost them chance at upper chamber

Romney on Fox"Senate Republicans are worried the standoff over extending the payroll tax holiday could hurt their chances of winning the upper chamber next year. ... The political operative said incumbents such as Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) could pay the price. These Republican senators have spoken out against House GOP colleagues. Others lawmakers on the ballot next year have urged House members to pass the payroll tax package to avert tax hikes in January. " - The Hill

Having been a frontrunner weeks ago, now Newt Gingrich tries to lower expectations for an Iowa victory

Screen shot 2011-01-19 at 11.33.51"Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Thursday seemed to be lowering expectations for the upcoming Iowa caucuses, saying he'd be happy with a third or fourth place finish. "My goal is to be the top three or four [in Iowa]," the former House speaker said at a campaign stop in Richmond, Virginia. "I'd love to win."" - CNN

  • Newt blames Romney for his drop in support: "“There was a period when I was the frontrunner, but frankly if you get $7 [million] or $9 million in ads – most of them false – the sheer weight of negativity has a real impact,” the former House speaker told reporters." - Politico
  • "In a fresh sign in his pledge to run a positive campaign, Newt Gingrich reportedly is getting ready to unleash a "Pets with Newt" website and a music education video featuring his wife, Callista." - USA Today

Romney turns down Gingrich debate challenge out of ‘respect’ for rest of field - The Hill

President George H W Bush backs Mitt Romney

"Said Bush: "I think Romney is the best choice for us. I like Perry, but he doesn't seem to be going anywhere; he's not surging forward." As for Newt Gingrich, Bush said, "I'm not his biggest advocate."" - Political Wire

  • "New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who dashed many Republican hopes when he said he would not run for president in 2012, said on Thursday he had not ruled out running for vice president." - Reuters
  • Mitt Romney declines to release tax returns - LA Times

In an ad for his newsletter, Ron Paul forecast "race war"

Screen shot 2011-02-18 at 14.05.28"A direct-mail solicitation for Ron Paul's political and investment newsletters two decades ago warned of a "coming race war in our big cities" and of a "federal-homosexual cover-up" to play down the impact of AIDS. ... Among other things, the articles... said that AIDS sufferers "enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick." ... Paul has said that he is not sure who wrote the articles that were published under his name. He has said the articles do not reflect his views, and noted that his public stances - supporting gays in the military for example - have run counter to the incendiary statements in the newsletters." - Reuters

  • Erick Erickson: "Ten years ago, when confronted with some of the crazy stuff... Ron Paul says he wrote them, but they must be taken in their whole context to understand them. Fast forward to the present and Ron Paul never wrote them, does not know who wrote them, cannot recall the names of anyone who worked for him who might have written them, is shocked to learn he made big money off them, and people think this guy has the qualifications to be President of the United States?"
  • Six comments he needs to explain - Politico

Latest Iowa polling: Romney leads, Paul second, and Gingrich close behind

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 09.31.10"The new Rasmussen Reports survey of Iowa caucus participants shows Romney on top with 25% of the vote followed by Paul at 20% and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 17%." -Rasmussen Reports

  • "With just three in ten saying things are going well in the country today and 70% saying they are going badly, economic issues are still the main priority for the country this holiday season." - CNN

Second tier candidates fail to make ballot in Virginia primary

"Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum all missed the deadline and will not be in the running on March 6 for the commonwealth's 50 delegates. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rep. Ron Paul will all be appearing on the ballot." - National Journal

More than two million voters have left the Republican and Democratic parties since 2008

"A USA TODAY analysis of state voter registration statistics shows registered Democrats declined in 25 of the 28 states that register voters by party. Republicans dipped in 21 states, while independents increased in 18 states. The trend is acute in states that are key to next year's presidential race. In the eight swing states that register voters by party, Democrats' registration is down by 800,000 and Republicans' by 350,000. Independents have gained 325,000." - USA Today

Democrats confident they will recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

Walker Scott"Overlooked in the effort to get Walker's name on the ballot next year is the fact that Democrats are targeting four GOP state senators as well ... if they [win], it will mean another opportunity to put control of the state's upper chamber in the hands of voters (Republicans currently hold a slim 17-16 advantage) ... Here's one possibility: Walker survives a recall election, but Democrats pick up at least one seat in the state Senate. Then, the overall effort will be viewed as at least a partial victory." - National Journal

Federal judge blocks parts of South Carolina anti-immigration law

"The first section blocked makes it a felony to transport or conceal a person "with intent to further that person's unlawful entry into the United States" or to help that person avoid apprehension. A second section makes it unlawful for an adult to "fail to carry" an alien registration card or receipt. And the final section blocked would have allowed local law enforcement with "reasonable suspicion" to detain any person the officers believe is in the United States illegally." - CNN 



Dec 22, 2011 6:55:40 AM

Newslinks for Thursday December 22, 2011

Obama presses Boehner on tax impasse

  • Boehner John Blue Shirt"In a 10-minute phone call with the Ohio Republican, Mr. Obama urged the House to approve a two-month extension of the current, lower tax rate, and promised to negotiate a longer extension in the new year, according to administration and congressional officials. Mr. Boehner reiterated House GOP complaints that two months is too short for a tax-cut extension, and asked the president to lean on Senate Democrats to enter into another round of negotiations before year's end." - WSJ ($)
  • "President Obama and his aides seemed to be brimming with confidence on Wednesday." - The Hill

Senate Republican frustration mounting with House GOP

"Multiple Senate GOP sources told CNN that frustration with their counterparts in the House is mounting. "The House Republicans have painted themselves into a corner. They are on their own," a Senate GOP leadership aide told CNN. "This is a lose – lose situation for us. They've let the Democrats get the messaging advantage and more specifically we've turned one of our key issues on its head. The Republicans look like they are the ones blocking tax relief," said the Senate GOP leadership aide" - CNN

2012ers missing from House-Senate spending debate

"The latest example: far from rushing to steer the party away from a potentially disastrous showdown over the payroll tax holiday with President Barack Obama, the top Republican candidates are doing what they can to make themselves scarce." - Politico

  • "Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who is seeking the party’s presidential nomination, warned that the showdown could end badly for Republicans, citing his own experience in losing the political battle to President Bill Clinton during the 1996 government shutdown." - Washington Post

Romney says Gingrich can't take the heat, so Gingrich challenges him to a one-on-one debate

Romney Newt"Mitt Romney says if Newt Gingrich can't stand the heat coming from his allies, then just wait until President Obama starts coming after him." - USA Today

  • "A look of utter disbelief crossed Newt Gingrich’s face Wednesday when a reporter told him that Mitt Romney had suggested earlier that Mr. Gingrich could not stand the heat of a presidential campaign. Mr. Gingrich stared at the reporter for several seconds, speechless." - New York Times

Newt responds: "Newt Gingrich threw down a “debate me in Iowa’’ challenge to his chief Republican rival, Mitt Romney, on Wednesday night, hours after Mr. Romney said in a television interview that Mr. Gingrich should stop complaining about negative advertising." - New York Times

The perils of not being organized: Newt has to take time out of Iowa campaign to get on Virginia ballot

"Gingrich will campaign in the state Wednesday and Thursday, even though its GOP presidential primary isn’t until March. And therein lies the problem. The former House speaker has been struggling to amass enough signatures to get on the Virginia ballot before Thursday’s deadline. He needs 10,000—and at least 400 from every congressional district." - LA Times

George Will: Newt is an anti-conservative

Will George"Gingrich’s unsurprising descent into sinister radicalism — intimidation of courts — is redundant evidence that he is not merely the least conservative candidate, he is thoroughly anti-conservative. He disdains the central conservative virtue, prudence, and exemplifies progressivism’s defining attribute — impatience with impediments to the political branches’ wielding of untrammeled power. ... Atop the Republican ticket, Gingrich would guarantee Barack Obama’s reelection, would probably doom Republicans’ hopes of capturing the Senate and might cost them control of the House. If so, Gingrich would at last have achieved something — wreckage, but something — proportional to his swollen sense of himself." - George Will for the Washington Post

Ron Paul defends controversial newsletters

Paul Ron Close Up"When asked... whether he looked at them when they were published and decided they did not represent him accurately, he said "not all the time." Pressed on whether he read them he said, "Not all the time. Well, on occasion, yes." ... Paul, who had left Congress at the time and was practicing medicine, has repeatedly disavowed the controversial remarks in the newsletters. "I've never read that stuff. I've never read - I came - I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written"" - CNN

  • "However, in a 1995 C-SPAN interview Paul seemed to take full responsibility for their content." - PoliticalWire

Dorothy Rabinowitz: Ron Paul is a propagandist for our chief enemies in the world -  WSJ

Bachmann fans in Iowa have a dilemma: they love her, but don't think she's a credible candidate - Politico

New Hampshire observers find Huntsman's campaign confusing - Daily Caller

Karl Rove: How Obama will run in 2012

Screen shot 2010-12-04 at 10.36.26"Lacking a popular record or constructive agenda, Mr. Obama will resort to ad hominem attacks on Republicans. The president, who in 2008 spoke constantly about healing divisions, seems to relish being an attack dog. So he'll say Republicans don't just disagree with him; they want to harm the nation. He'll label any dissent as unpatriotic. ... Dividing Americans along class lines and pretending the last three years are someone else's responsibility may be therapeutic for the president and his liberal followers. But it's hard to see it working." - Karl Rove for the WSJ ($)

  • RNC chairman promises to make Fast and Furious a 2012 election theme - Daily Caller

Philip Klein: Blame Bush if you don't like the GOP 2012 field

BUSH&FLAG"Though Bush inherited a GOP-controlled Congress in 2001, eight years later his party had lost the presidency as well as both chambers of Congress -- and the Senate soon became filibuster-proof for Democrats. But it also had the detrimental effect by weakening the bench of potential conservative presidential candidates. Between 2001 and 2009, Republicans who were in the typical grooming positions for the presidency got coaxed into supporting Bush's big government policies -- all of which makes them less appealing to today's Tea Party electorate." - Philip Klein for the Washington Examiner

National Journal's 2012 Senate race rankings, Christmas edition - National Journal

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback implements real fiscal restraint

Screen shot 2010-12-15 at 21.04.04"In the past year, three state agencies have been abolished and 2,050 jobs have been cut. Funding for schools, social services and the arts have been slashed. The new Republican governor rejected a $31.5 million federal grant for a new health-insurance exchange because he opposes President Obama’s health-care law. And that’s just the small stuff. A new “Office of the Repealer” has been created to reduce the number of laws and regulations, and the Repealer is canvassing the state for more cut suggestions." - Washington Post

NRSC Outraises Democratic committee in November - Roll Call

Obama is achieving his goal of higher energy costs - Washington Examiner editorial

Jimmy Carter sends condolences to Kim Jong-un

"Former President Jimmy Carter has sent North Korea a message of condolence over the death of Kim Jong-il and wished "every success" to the man expected to take over as dictator, according to the communist country's state-run news agency." - Washington Times



Dec 21, 2011 6:04:17 AM

Newslinks for Wednesday December 21, 2011

VIDEO: Well-funded negative ad campaign is pulling Gingrich's poll ratings back to earth

Republicans in House Reject Deal Extending Payroll Tax Cut - New York Times

Boehner John Blue ShirtBoehner calls on Obama to recall Senate - The Hill

  • But Obama said Senate legislation "is the only viable way to prevent a tax hike on January 1st" - Fox
  • Why did the Senate adjourn having passed such a ridiculous thing as a two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday? - David Frum
  • "Vulnerable Senate Republicans in 2012 have also been demanding the House GOP take up the compromise, as Democrats on the other side of the dome have reveled in the apparent intraparty chaos." - Roll Call
  • Boehner has some explaining to do to Mitch McConnell over payroll tax holiday - Politico
  • Hotline looks at the Senate races that might be affected by the payroll vote

Wall Street Journal: How did Republicans manage to lose the tax issue to Obama?

"The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play." - WSJ editorial

  • Want Growth? Try Stable Tax Policy - John B Taylor in the Wall Street Journal rejects tax tweaks such as the payroll holiday

OBAMA BLUE TIEWhy is Obama doing better in the polls?

  • There is polling evidence that Obama's payroll holiday tactic is working with voters - Greg Sargent in the Washington Post 
  • PowerLine, however, explains the small Obama bounce by divisions in the GOP field: "The GOP candidates should be showing a united front, directing their fire at Obama and competing to be the most effective anti-Obama candidate in the fall."
  • Nate Silver posits better economic expectations for Obama's recovery but warns that those expectations are reversible.

Fred Barnes on Obama's big tactic

"Short of an economic turnaround and a suddenly booming housing market, Obama is wary of running on his record.  Instead, he’s trying to turn middle class Americans against Republicans, accusing them of defending the interests of the rich. And he’s shaped his policies—on taxes, especially—and his speeches to promote this division." - Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard

  • In The Hill Judd Gregg urges Republicans to call Obama's bluff on taxing millionaires: "Take away the president and his party’s primary issue of sophistry built on raising taxes on the super-rich, and make them debate what they hate — reducing the size of the government."

In A Year Of Partisan Brawls, Congress Goes One More Round - NPR

  • Not all GOP freshmen want to paint themselves as purists... Politico looks at the new congressmen who want to tout their bipartisan credentials

Gingrich NewtGingrich asks Romney to get negative ads off the air

"The Super PAC backing presidential candidate Mitt Romney, which has blistered Newt Gingrich in this state, became the center of controversy on Tuesday, when Mr. Gingrich demanded its attack ads be pulled and said Mr. Romney was being "purely dishonest" in his refusal to intervene." - WSJ

  • “I don’t object to being outspent, I object to lies,” Gingrich told reporters in a feisty press conference Tuesday after he spoke to a group of employees at a manufacturing plant  here in rural Southeast Iowa. “I object to negative smear campaigns.” - LA Times
  • "He’s running neck and neck with Romney in two national polls released yesterday: tied at 28 in the CNN poll, tied at 30 in Washington Post/ABC news sample. But he has totally collapsed in Iowa–down to the mid-teens after his feverish ascent to the mid-30s…was it only last week? In one poll, he’s even running behind Rick Perry. The difference is that Iowa has been bombarded with anti-Gingrich advertising. The ads have been brilliantly effective." - TIME

Romney: The Choice is Merit Society or “Entitlement Society” - WSJ

"Mitt Romney framed the 2012 presidential election in a speech here Tuesday night as a choice between an “entitlement society” dependent on government welfare and an “opportunity society” that enables businesses to flourish." - Washington Post

  • Romney says his 25% rating is a floor, not a ceiling: "One of the things that's sort of hard for me to figure out is why we didn't say this about John McCain four years ago. He never broke the 25%," said Mr. Romney. "I don't recall people who got 40% or 50% until the primaries began."" - Quoted by the WSJ

Paul RonThe Washington Post: Ron Paul is becoming a serious contender

"Over the past week, he has spent more than $600,000 on attack ads that are cutting into support for a fellow front-runner, former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.). And Paul has built an organization that will allow him to remain in the race well beyond the early-voting states and amass convention delegates." - Washington Post

Paul ahead in Iowa - Washington Times

'Ron Paul Nader'? He owes GOP voters a straight answer on a third-party run - WSJ editorial

But one candidate is already running as a third party libertarian...

Former two-term New Mexico governor and GOP hopeful Gary Johnson is dropping out of the Republican nomination race to run as a Libertarian candidate - MSNBC

SantorumIowa faith leaders endorse Rick Santorum - USA Today

  • Santorum is the one candidate who could do a Huckabee in Iowa - NRO
  • Why Rick Santorum is more impressive in person than Rick Perry - Walter Shapiro for The Ticket

"The RNC’s new nominating contest paves the way for a protracted delegate fight this spring, likely drying up the resources of the presumptive nominee before the general election." - Roll Call

Is a brokered convention just a fantasy? A splintered Republican field and new party rules mean it just might happen - Michael Medved for the Daily Beast

Speculation about Jeb Bush running is a sign of disappointment at current field, not a sign that the ex-Florida Governor is seriously thinking of throwing his hat in ring - Byron York in the Washington Examiner

2011 was the year in which ObamaCare began to unravel without much help from Republicans - Daily Caller

POLITIFACT, the fact-checking project of the St Petersburg Times, has got itself in trouble today for giving its "Lie of the Year" award to the Democratic claim that "Republicans voted to end Medicare" - Economist

Iraq’s fragile political order appears in danger of crumbling just days after the departure of U.S. troops - Washington Post

"Republican senators hammered President Obama on Tuesday for allowing U.S. troops to leave, blaming the renewed tensions on the lack of a U.S. deterrent. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called for the administration to re-open negotiations for a small U.S. military presence in Iraq." - The Hill



Dec 20, 2011 7:00:24 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday December 20, 2011

House GOP postpones vote on payroll tax bill...

Screen shot 2011-07-24 at 13.28.22"House Republicans postponed a planned Monday night vote on the Senate-passed payroll tax cut bill, bowing to pressure from rank-and-file lawmakers to fight the battle in a fresh media cycle, avoid a dark-of-night vote and... find a way to reject the Senate bill without voting directly against a tax cut. House leaders had hoped to vote down the Senate bill, which would extend for two months President Barack Obama’s payroll tax cut, certain unemployment insurance benefits and the current Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors. But after a long debate Monday night, it appeared more likely that they would vote to create a House-Senate conference committee rather than first rejecting the Senate bill outright." - Politico

  • "“The House Republicans’ plan to scuttle the deal to help middle-class families is irresponsible and wrong,” said Senator Scott P. Brown, Republican of Massachusetts. He was echoed by other Republican senators, including Richard G. Lugar of Indiana and Dean Heller of Nevada; all three of them face re-election in 2012." - New York Times
  • Call Senate back and pass a workable payroll tax deal - Washington Examiner editorial

...And will vote on it today

Screen shot 2011-06-25 at 11.57.25"The vote had been expected Monday night, but after a long meeting of the House Republican conference, GOP leaders said they would wait until Tuesday. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-California, told reporters that it was better to hold the vote "not in the dark of night but in the light of day."" - CNN

  • "House Republicans seem increasingly unperturbed by the potential fallout. “As to the political implications? I don’t care about political implications,” said New York Rep. Tom Reed, when asked how the public might view the House holding up the Senate bill." - Politico

Romney criticizes Gingrich on judges, outlines anti-abortion views

Screen shot 2011-10-15 at 9.01.06 AM"Appearing on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, the former Massachusetts governor said Gingrich’s proposals for taking on what he regards as excessive judicial activism -- including abolishing whole courts -- are unconstitutional. ... Romney also said his handling of abortion was probably the biggest mistake he made as governor. At that time, he decided not to change provisions in Massachusetts’s abortion-rights laws based on the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision." - National Journal

  • "The American legal establishment is not sure what to make of Newt Gingrich’s mounting attacks on the independence of the federal judiciary. Reactions vary from amusement to alarm. What is hard to find is approval." - New York Times

Gingrich in defensive mode in Iowa

Screen shot 2010-12-05 at 18.43.01"Newt Gingrich spent Monday in defensive mode in Iowa trying to shift the message away from negative attacks on the day a new poll showed momentum slipping for the Republican presidential candidate. ... Gingrich shot back at his rivals who have been questioning the competitive frontrunner’s conservative credentials." - CNN

  • "Gingrich hasn’t reached rock bottom yet but political watchers in Iowa say the former speaker has done little to take advantage of his boomlet, avoiding the hard work necessary to convert popularity into success at the notoriously difficult caucuses." - The Hill

Latest polling: Newt and Mitt in dead heat

  • "Gingrich and Romney are each favored by 30 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Running behind them is Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.), whose libertarian philosophy has attracted a strong following." - Washington Post
  • "Gingrich and Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, are also deadlocked at the top of the Republican field in a CNN/ORC International poll released on Monday. And the latest Gallup tracking poll, conducted Dec. 13-18, shows Gingrich a scant two points ahead of Romney, his smallest lead in any rolling sample since the tracking poll was launched at the start of this month." - National Journal
  • "Congress has reached a new low in job-approval ratings, with only 11% of adults giving lawmakers good marks in a new Gallup Poll." - USA Today
  • "Obama’s job-approval rating is now its highest since summer, according to a new Post-ABC poll." - Washington Post

Rick Perry tries to save his campaign during busy Iowa campaign

Screen shot 2011-08-30 at 11.23.52"Mr. Perry, aiming to reintroduce himself to voters before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, is casting himself as a political outsider equally conversant in job creation and scripture—with a heavy emphasis, at times, on the latter. ... Some here seem ready to take a second look at Mr. Perry, who led in polls in Iowa this fall before a series of stumbles drained much of his support." - Wall Street Journal ($)

  • Perry vows to appoint pro-gun justices to high court - USA Today

Sarah Palin teases, says it’s not too late for ‘folks’ to jump into presidential race

Palin Sarah black"She announced in October that she would not be a candidate herself. But she told Fox News on Sunday that she was not ready to endorse anyone. “You know, my endorsement is going to be with sincerity and enthusiasm,” she said, “and I’m just not there yet with the field as it stands.” She said she was looking for a candidate “who understands the fiscal crisis” that America faces." - New York Times

  • "Is Sarah Palin flirting with the presidential race again? Might Jeb Bush be the GOP's white knight? And shouldn't Democrats give Hillary Rodham Clinton another chance? 'Tis the season. The silly season" - LA Times
  • Jeb Bush emails Politico to say simply "Not running".

Delusional: Obama suggests he's the fourth-best President of modern times

Obama 2"With nary a mention of Solyndra or Fast & Furious, Steve Kroft's recent 60 Minutes interview of President Obama was already one of the year's finest examples of softball, newsless thumb-suckers that lead the right to tar reporters as liberals. ... "As you yourself said, Steve, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president -- with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR and Lincoln. You know, just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history," Obama said, according to a clip that never made it to broadcast." - Miami Herald

Following New York special election win for Republicans, Democrats are taking no chances in upcoming OR-1 election

"The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched a blistering, high-priced offensive aimed at cutting down Republican Rob Cornilles and boosting the party’s prospects in a race it should win easily. It has reserved around $1 million on the Portland airwaves, airing TV ads hammering Cornilles as an enemy of entitlement programs and casting him as a tea party pawn." - Politico

Supreme Court to hold Obamacare hearings in March

Supreme_court_building"If you’ve been following the battle over President Barack Obama‘s health law, set your calendar for Monday, March 26, through Wednesday, March 28. The Supreme Court, which usually gives litigants just an hour of its time, has set aside those three days to hear five and a half hours of arguments on the law passed by Congress on March 23, 2010." - Wall Street Journal

John Bolton: There's no guarantee that the North Korean military will accept another hereditary ruler - Wall Street Journal

  • US closely monitoring North Korea after Kim Jong Il dies - Fox News

And finally 1... Mitt Romney on the Late Show with David Letterman

"“Newt Gingrich… really,” joked Romney as if he were questioning the rise of his closest competitor in the race for the Republican nomination. And the big reveal came at number one, when Mitt Romney shared that his widely admired hair was “a hairpiece.” ... "What's up gangstas, it's the M-i-double tizzle,” Romney said at number 9. “My new cologne is now available at Macy's. It's Mitts-tified,” was number 5." - CNN

And finally 2... lesser-known presidential candidates debate in New Hampshire

""I am here to tell you about thorium -- an overlooked energy alternative," Democratic presidential candidate Bob Greene said. And then, there's Vermin Supreme -- a veteran candidate and consummate anti-politician. "My name is Vermin Supreme. I am a friendly fascist. I am a tyrant that you should trust," Democratic presidential candidate Vermin Supreme said." - WMUR



Dec 19, 2011 5:21:46 AM

Newslinks for Monday December 19, 2011

House set to reject Senate's short-term payroll tax fix... and Senate unlike to return from vacation to find deal - Politico | Roll Call

"In an interview on “Meet The Press” on NBC, Speaker John A. Boehner said his members broadly opposed the two-month extension that passed the Senate 89 to 10, believing that it would be “just kicking the can down the road.” “It’s time to just stop, do our work, resolve the differences and extend this for one year,” Mr. Boehner said. “How can you have tax policy for two months?”" - New York Times

John Boehner says he's not abandoned efforts to cut bipartisan deals with President Obama

Boehner John Blue Shirt""I never give up, and I'll never give up on this president and this process to try to help do what the American people sent us here to do ," Boehner declared on NBC's "Meet the Press." Boehner was responding to Obama's assertion that Republicans will oppose anything that he supports in order to see a Republican win the White House." - Politico

  • "A spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said the House would vote Monday to either request formal bargaining with the Senate or to make the legislation "responsible and in line with the needs of hard-working taxpayers and middle-class families."" - TIME

With Iowa voting just weeks away, a look at how the candidates are scrambling for support

  • Screen shot 2011-05-06 at 12.49.42 AM"Newt Gingrich heads back on Monday and Tuesday to Iowa, where his campaign is scrambling to assemble an infrastructure that can deliver"
  • "Mitt Romney will spend most of the week in New Hampshire, where he once held a commanding lead but has now slipped somewhat in recent polls"
  • "Ron Paul is splitting his time between New Hampshire and Iowa, states where he believes his campaign... can exceed expectations"
  • "Rick Perry continues his bus tour through Iowa, betting that he can recover momentum by campaigning nearly nonstop, with only a few days off for the holidays."
  • "Michele Bachmann is racing across Iowa to fulfill her pledge to visit all 99 of its counties in 10 days, with just a couple of days off for a quick trip back to Minnesota for the holiday."
  • "Jon M. Huntsman Jr. has bet his struggling campaign on New Hampshire, and that is where he will be on Monday and Tuesday, holding town-hall-style meetings"
  • "Rick Santorum also hopes to beat expectations, and will spend most of the week in Iowa."

More at the New York Times

Newt Gingrich’s assault on ‘activist judges’ draws criticism, even from right - Washington Post

Screen shot 2011-05-17 at 10.35.46"Newt Gingrich is giving fair warning to judges and courts across the country: If he becomes president, the judiciary won’t reign supreme. The former House Speaker and current Republican presidential front-runner convened a conference call with reporters on Saturday to expand on his call for Congress to subpoena judges or even abolish courts altogether if they make wrong-headed decisions. Those arguments from Gingrich at Thursday's debate in Iowa drew scrutiny and criticism from his rivals. - Fox

Andrew McCarthy questions National Review's critique of Gingrich - NRO

  • "The prospect of Newt Gingrich as the Republican presidential nominee has some people wondering whether we’re  in store for another long and ferocious argument about the wisdom–or extreme idiocy–of impeaching the President over his affair with a White House intern." - TIME
  • "Gingrich has now seen a big drop in his Iowa standing two weeks in a row.  His share of the vote has gone from 27% to 22% to 14%.  And there's been a large drop in his personal favorability numbers as well from +31 (62/31) to +12 (52/40) to now -1 (46/47)." - Public Policy Polling

After avoiding Sunday morning interview shows for nearly two years, Mitt Romney makes tame return, sticking to talking points - Politico

Screen shot 2011-07-03 at 09.02.48...but the Wall Street Journal notices a more personal Romney: "Mitt Romney, described by some as too stiff and passionless to win the presidency, opened up a bit Sunday, recounting how he and his wife, Ann, learned years ago that she had multiple sclerosis."

Romney: Obama is 'Great Divider,' doesn't get how economy works - Fox

Des Moines Register endorses Romney: "Sobriety, wisdom and judgment. Those are qualities Mitt Romney said he looks for in a leader. Those are qualities Romney himself has demonstrated in his career in business, public service and government. Those qualities help the former Massachusetts governor stand out as the most qualified Republican candidate competing in the Iowa caucuses."

Bachman MicheleSeeking Iowa rebound, Bachmann hits Gingrich on Freddie Mac - LA Times

Bachmann: Obama spending 'like a banana republic' - USA Today

  • Redistricting could turn Michele Bachmann's seat vulnerable - Roll Call

Huntsman: Everyone gets 15 minutes of fame... except for me - CNN

There are going to be a lot of institutional GOP folks doing a spit-take over this... Ron Paul is leading in Iowa - Weekly Standard

  • Paul's simple libertarianism makes us yearn for the good old days when government and big banks didn't seem to screw everything up... says Rich Galen for the Daily Beast

Rick Santorum in extended interview with... The Daily Caller

Independent groups supporting Republican presidential candidates have sprung to life, funding a flurry of new commercials in recent days to influence the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses and other early primary contests - USA Today

Evangelicals divided on whom to support in GOP presidential race - Washington Post

Four economic scenarios for 2012 - National Journal

Mark Steyn: Tweedlemitt and tweedlenewt are micromanagers when America needs radicalism

"This next term is critical for America, not just because (if the IMF is correct) it may mark the end of America’s long run as the world’s leading economy but because, if Obamacare is not repealed in the next four years, it will never be repealed. As I’ve said for years, government health care fundamentally (as Newt would say) redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state into one closer to junkie and pusher. Once the Obamacare goodies kick in, getting back across the Rubicon will be a tough job." - Mark Steyn for NRO

Jeb Bush: In freedom lies the risk of failure. But in statism lies the certainty of stagnation

Bush Jeb"Congressman Paul Ryan recently coined a smart phrase to describe the core concept of economic freedom: "The right to rise." Think about it. We talk about the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to assembly. The right to rise doesn't seem like something we should have to protect. But we do. We have to make it easier for people to do the things that allow them to rise. We have to let them compete. We need to let people fight for business. We need to let people take risks. We need to let people fail. We need to let people suffer the consequences of bad decisions. And we need to let people enjoy the fruits of good decisions, even good luck." - Jeb Bush in the Wall Street Journal

Marriage versus cohabitation - Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post

Little talk of triumph as Iraq war ends - The Hill

"On balance, it has been an extremely painful and costly decade. But it does seem possible to conclude, with cautious optimism, that America is somewhat safer. And we are certainly closer than ever to ending our current round of overseas wars." - New York Times

Blame Canada! The Right-Wing Menace To Our North


"Harper, a churchgoing evangelical... has perhaps the most doggedly right-wing temperament of any twentieth-century Canadian prime minister. A veteran of the conservative movement, Harper has been president of a prominent Canadian libertarian lobbying group and helped get the insurgent, Western Canada-based Reform Party off the ground in the late eighties by arguing for the deregulation of oil prices and lowered taxes, and against gay marriage and abortion. He’s an admirer of Friedrich Hayek and William F. Buckley. And he has devoted his life to pushing Canadian politics to the right." - TNR

Václav Havel: A man for all seasons on behalf of liberty - Wall Street Journal editorial

North Korea's Kim Jong Il reportedly dead - The Hill



Dec 16, 2011 7:00:16 AM

Newslinks for Friday December 16, 2011

VIDEO: Romney ad asks: "Is this government program so important that it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?"

VIDEO: Perry video attacks Gingrich and Romney as political insiders

Harry Reid floats idea of a two-month payroll tax cut extension in case a larger deal was out of reach - Roll Call

If the payroll tax holiday is extended, it will become permanent. Social Security will become another welfare program - Ari Fleischer for the Wall Street Journal

Congress agrees spending deal likely to avert government shutdown - Fox

  • "House Republicans made a habit of criticizing Democrats for passing 1,000-page bills in the last Congress, but the spending measure they introduced late Wednesday night resembles a dictionary itself. The $1 trillion spending package, which includes nine separate appropriations bills, came in at 1,209 pages. That excludes a five-page disaster relief bill that would be voted on separately." - The Hill

National Review: There is a surprising degree of agreement within the GOP field, the White House is winnnable... but Gingrich should not be the candidate...

Gingrich Ad Image"Gingrich’s colleagues were right to bring his tenure [as Speaker] to an end. His character flaws — his impulsiveness, his grandiosity, his weakness for half-baked (and not especially conservative) ideas — made him a poor Speaker of the House. Again and again he combined incendiary rhetoric with irresolute action, bringing Republicans all the political costs of a hardline position without actually taking one. Again and again he put his own interests above those of the causes he championed in public." - NRO Editors

The underdog candidates question the conservative credentials of Gingrich and Romney during Iowa debate - Politico

  • Mitt: 'I changed my mind' on abortion - Politico
  • As Romney steps cautiously, Gingrich duels with others - New York Times
  • Gingrich defends conservative credentials - Washington Examiner
  • Romney Regains Stride; Gingrich Shows Old Newt At Sioux City Debate - NPR
  • "This final debate leading into the Iowa caucuses was a positive one for all GOP candidates. Why? Because the questions from the Fox team were less “gotcha” questions, or questions that divide the GOP from many Americans (e.g. “Should we spend a fortune to put up a fence to keep those Hispanics out of this country?”), and more questions that allowed the candidates to attack Obama’s failed presidency and propose remedies for his errors." - NRO

R-i-c-h becomes a four letter word in GOP politics

Romney on Fox"The GOP is supposed to be the party that celebrates individual success and achievement. Leave the politics of envy to the Democrats, Republicans always say. The GOP is about dynamism, unleashing the creative forces of growth and rewarding the hard-working, job-creating wealth builders. Or they used to be. Last night saw a remarkable moment in the changing politics of wealth. One Republican candidate accused the other of being “wealthy.” And it wasn’t mean to be a compliment. Mitt Romney – net worth $190 million plus – told CBS News that rival Newt Gingrich (net worth more than $6 million)  is too wealthy to be in touch with the middle class." - WSJ

"The polling data I’ve seen over the past two or three days suggests that Newt Gingrich’s momentum has stopped — and has probably reversed itself." - Nate Silver

For Romney, no states are too small or vote too late in the primary cycle as he prepares for long fight to win nomination - WSJ

Paul Ron Close UpRon Paul: Strike against Iran would risk a repeat of 'useless' Iraq war - LA Times

  • Ron Paul's problem isn't better-funded opponent or media bias—it's his own views on foreign policy - Kimberley Strassel in the Wall Street Journal
  • "What is the point of Ron Paul in these debates? He should build a time machine and go back to the age before Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Arthur Vandenberg reoriented the GOP toward internationalism. Sorry, but as long as he is out of sync with the rest of the party on foreign policy, he'll be nothing more than a fringe candidate. He may do well in the caucuses, where turnout is low, but he will be obliterated in the primary battles, and such intensive focus on his out-of-step foreign policy views is a waste of everybody's time. On a related note, nobody is winning any points any more by even arguing with Paul's foreign policy positions. That ship sailed a long time ago. Just ignore him and move on, already." - Jay Cost in the Weekly Standard

Herman Cain sees himself running the Pentagon - CBS

Obama's appeasement of Russia and Iran has failed - Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post

"The Iraqis who loyally served us are under threat. We must give them refuge." - Kirk Johnson in the New York Times

The United States is holding about 2,500 detainees captured in operations against al Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist forces, President Obama told congressional leaders in a letter Thursday - Washington Times

Nature magazine admits that the latest climate change summit was a failure

"Of course, Nature is hoping for some kind of economy-killing super-Kyoto Protocol, but is honest enough to recognize that the latest agreement—the “Durban Platform”—is merely a fig leaf over the increasingly abject failure of this whole idiotic process, though it did achieve the most important objective of dipsomanaics diplomats, an agreement to meet again next year.  As Nature puts it, “In the search for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, we now have the Durban Platform, which comes on the heels of the Bali Road Map and the Copenhagen Accord.”" - PowerLine

And finally... A world without Christopher Hitchens - Matt LeBash in the Weekly Standard

Screen shot 2011-12-16 at 12.03.56"Hitchens is gone. And the phrase that echoes in my mind is Nehru’s at the death of Gandhi: “The light has gone out of our lives.” For every young writer – and every victim and opponent of authoritarianism – there is now darkness. To Hitchens, there was no difference between the two: he rejected the line that separates the observer from the doer. The master stylist of the English language was also the Western world’s most forceful opponent of authoritarianism. He savaged intellectuals who, obsessed with playing the thinker, refused to engage with reality and often became apologists for tyranny." - FrumForum



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