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Newslinks for Monday December 12, 2011

Posted on 12/12/2011

Spending resolution

"Working through the weekend, House-Senate negotiators substantially narrowed their differences over a $1 trillion-plus year-end spending bill shaped by the August budget accords but also a new brand of Republican earmarks — single-interest policy riders tailored to get conservative votes." - Politico

"No one doubts that the entitlement crisis is coming, and I don’t see how the contemplated holiday extension can do anything but accelerate the process. Moreover, it puts the federal government on a path toward accentuating insolvency, not–as in the past–mitigating it." - John Hinderaker for NRO

Gingrich's rise is for real

Gingrich May 2011"Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's rise is for real. He leads comfortably in the three early primary or caucus states (Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida), and is giving former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a run for his money in New Hampshire. He's got a broad base of support, from both the tea party activists and more establishment-minded voters. The compressed calendar plays into his hands as well, along with the fact that the two states after New Hampshire neighbor his home state of Georgia." - Hotline

"Given the magnitude and intractability of our problems, Newt’s willingness to think outside of the proverbial box is absolutely essential. And this helps to explain, I think, his continued appeal to Republican primary voters." - FrumForum

Stopping Newt

  • Romney and other Republicans scramble to blunt Gingrich’s momentum - Washington Post
  • "Newt Gingrich offered a robust defense of his views on the Middle East, his lucrative work after leaving Congress and his conservative credentials during a spirited debate here on Saturday night as his Republican presidential rivals urged voters to take a hard look at his candidacy." - New York Times
  • "The Romney campaign is moving next to portray the former House speaker as a reckless flamethrower who lacks the even-keeled disposition needed in the nation's highest office." - RCP
  • "Dana Milbank points out in the Washington Post that Newt suggested opponents should be demonised by labeling them "traitors", "selfish" and "sick". Milbank finishes with a brilliant line: "Now, Gingrich said he doesn't want to be 'the attack dog in the Republican Party'. But it's a bit late for purity. He's Newt Gingrich, and he approved this message." - Mark Mardell for the BBC

At least on one issue — immigration — Newt Gingrich gets it - Bill Keller in the New York Times

ROMNEY S&SPerry hit Mitt Romney as “out of touch” with voters for challenging him to a $10,000 bet - The Hill | DailyCaller

  • "One of the most memorable moments came when Mr. Romney suggested a $10,000 bet over whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry was accurately characterizing his position on health care. It was a casual suggestion, but one that may reinforce his enormous wealth at a time when the weak economy has left many American families struggling." - WSJ
  • Under fire for bet, Mitt Romney recalls more austere times when he was 19 until 21 - LA Times
  • Mormons do not bet. So now it seems Romney is even willing to treat his faith lightly for personal, political advance - RedState
  • "After a full day's fallout in the media over last night's offer to bet Texas Gov. Rick Perry $10,000 to settle who had the correct interpretation of a line in Mitt Romney's book, the former Massachusetts governor today laughed off the exchange, and said his wife suggested the wager was not his finest moment." - MSNBC

WATCH Romney offer Perry a $10,000 bet.

NPR notices that Romney is now making himself available to media, now his campaign needs help.

Paul RonIf Newt fails as the anti-Romney candidate, Ron Paul could steal Iowa - Timothy Carney for the Washington Examiner

"Ron Paul is too often written out of the horse race narrative by the media, but his local strength has the advantage of four years of snowballing policy vindication. And given the intensity of his supporters and his second place status in many polls, it is a mistake to think he could not pull off an upset and recalibrate the race entirely." - John Avlon for the Daily Beast

Toby Harnden: It's good that there's a long contest

"The road to the Republican nomination in 2012 is likely to be a long and grueling one with many unexpected twists and detours to come. Ultimately, the qualities needed to be the last man standing will include perseverance and the ability to take knocks and recover. It may seem unlikely right now given the pettiness and pratfalls of this pre-primary phase but long-term it is a process that has every chance of producing a nominee with the stature needed to take on Obama next November and win." - Toby Harnden at The Telegraph

"Romney’s well-financed campaign is also built for the long haul. He has a ton of dough to dump on 30-second spots. If Romney can survive the opening contests, he can win a war of attrition with Gingrich, whose campaign has been a shoestring affair that is just starting to attract volunteers and serious money." - Daily Beast

What about national security?

"The first big loser tonight was national security. Once again, there was almost no discussion of the critical issues the candidates would face as commander in chief — and there probably would have been no discussion at all, had Gingrich not declared the Palestinians a made-up people. The only candidate to make a substantive foreign-policy point was Rick Perry, when he criticized Obama for allowing Iran to recover our lost drone. Nothing on China, Iran, Iraq, Europe. Pathetic." - Marc Thiessen for NRO

A Flood of Jewish GOP Candidates - Roll Call

All the GOP candidates have the same philosophy says Obama - USA Today

"President Obama acknowledged Sunday that it would take more than one term in office for his administration to change a Washington political culture defined by special interests and hyperpartisanship — and that perhaps things might not shift even if he is reelected." - Washington Post

  • During the Obama presidency (still less than three years old), the number of Americans who think their country’s best days are in the future, rather than in the past, has taken a 33-point turn for the worse - Weekly Standard

The last American troops are coming home from Iraq this month, and President Obama is marking the occasion with a series of events to commemorate the conclusion of the war - NPR

  • Four political risks ios marking the end of this phase of the Iraq saga - Shadow Government

Any carbon deal to replace Kyoto would have a negligible impact on climate in coming decades - Bjorn Lomborg in the WSJ

"The annual "historic agreement" to meet again later -- wait, sorry, that's "to save the planet" -- has been agreed, to the also-annual teary-eyed hugging and standing ovations by EU delegates, at "COP-17", the negotiations to replace the expiring (after 2012) Kyoto Protocol." - American Spectator

Senator John Kyl: Margaret Thatcher should be an inspiration to America as it faces today's challenges

Thatcher&Reagan"Unique among politicians at the time was a woman who did not accept the inevitability of decline. Moreover, she rejected the cross-party consensus that accepted the advance of an ever-larger state; as she would put it in later years, “to cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukemia with leeches.” Rather, she believed that reversing decline would require convincing Britons that they — not the state — had the power to turn things around." - John Kyl for NRO

And finally... First Family Goes to Church, Rev. Tells Congregation Obama Isn't the Messiah - Fox

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