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Apr 27, 2012 7:01:37 AM

Newslinks for Friday April 27: Boehner emerges as Romney's chief ally on Capitol Hill

Boehner emerges as Romney's chief ally on Capitol Hill


"One of the more fascinating developments in the last two weeks on Capitol Hill has been the degree to which House Speaker John Boehner has gone after President Obama and helped to try and frame Obama's general election matchup against Mitt Romney. ... While Boehner may not be frequently speaking with Romney’s Boston-based campaign, he significantly assisted Romney this week by announcing he was putting a GOP version of student loan legislation on the floor." - MSNBC

  • John Boehner escalates attacks on Obama - Politico

Boehner calls Obama's travel plans 'pathetic'

"House Speaker John A. Boehner has vividly stepped up his attacks on President Obama, calling the president’s visits to college campuses a blatant campaign pitch for reelection -- and "pathetic." "This is beneath the dignity of the White House," Boehner said Thursday" - LA Times

  • Republicans clashing with Obama over election-year student loan push - Fox News

Gingrich is leaving the race - but he's taking his time to do it

Gingrich headshot(11)"“It’s pretty amazing,” he marveled. “Everywhere we’ve been, we’ve learned something new and different about how complex this country is. This is part of the reason we’re doing this.” The rest of his rationale for still campaigning is unclear, especially since he indicated after getting trounced in another five primaries this week that he would leave the race. “The campaign will go bye-bye,” he said definitively at a luncheon here Thursday." - New York Times

  • On good-bye tour, Gingrich touts ability to be Romney surrogate - MSNBC
  • "For months now, his name has gone hand-in-hand with that of Newt Gingrich. But as the former House speaker prepares to leave the Republican nomination race next week, Sheldon Adelson has to decide what political causes -- and which candidates -- to support." - CNN

Michele Bachmann: Mitt Romney endorsement is coming soon

"Michele Bachmann discussed her endorsement plans in the 2012 presidential race on Thursday, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer that she would endorse presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney soon. "As the line says in the 'Wizard of Oz,' 'All in good time, my pretty,'" Bachmann said of her coming endorsement. "It will happen."" - Huffington Post

After alienating Hispanics, Mitt Romney needs to mend fences. Marco Rubio’s immigration plan could help

Screen Shot 2012-04-26 at 11.45.33

"In Ayres’s polling for the Hispanic Leadership Network, most rank-and-file Republicans supported Rubio’s approach. But Kobach has pointedly reaffirmed his opposition to any program that provides legal status to those who arrived illegally, even though he hasn’t entirely closed the door on Rubio’s approach. That suggests other conservatives may yet recoil at it as well. If that prospect deters Romney from endorsing Rubio’s plan, such a public snub would hobble the senator’s effort to win GOP support and simultaneously deepen Romney’s problems with Hispanic voters." - Ronald Brownstein for National Journal

  • "The plan seeks to assuage concerns on all sides, Mr. Rubio added; it cannot serve as a lure to illegal immigrants but must offer eligible students genuine relief." - New York Times

Jeb Bush: The vice president pick Democrats fear most

"He’s the GOP vice presidential pick that Democrats fear most — a brassy choice who would likely deliver his crucial home state, boost the ticket with Hispanics and Catholics and appeal to both conservatives and independents. The problem: Jeb Bush apparently doesn’t want the job."- Politico

Biden attacks Romney's foreign policy

Screen shot 2011-02-24 at 10.00.26"“If you are looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it’s pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,” Biden said in what is becoming a popular campaign line. ... Biden took a page from the Republican 2008 playbook and painted Romney as inexperienced on foreign policy." - Politico

  • Obama reelection campaign to target a new voter set: military families - Washington Post

Obama 3.7% ahead RCP average

Pollster: Economy’s next 30 days crucial to Obama re-election campaign

Obama"Republican pollster Ed Goeas says the next thirty days are “going to be the most important thirty days of the framing” of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. “It takes six months of solid economic information for voters to come to the conclusion that we are in a positive growing economy,” Goeas said Thursday. “We are now at that precipice.”" - Daily Caller

  • "Maybe the 2012 election is simpler than we think. It will be about Mr. Obama. Did you like the past four years? Good, you can get four more. Do the president and his people strike you as competent? If so, you can renew his contract, and he will renew theirs. If you don't want to rehire him, you will look at the other guy. Does he strike you as credible, a possible president? Then you can hire him. Republicans should cheer up." - Peggy Noonan for the WSJ ($)
  • Meet the women actually running the Obama re-election campaign - BuzzFeed

The media is not covering the death of the moderate Blue Dog Democrats

Screen shot 2011-10-20 at 11.55.13 AM"It is worth noting that on Tuesday several moderate Democrats went down in flames in Pennsylvania, continuing a trend that has escalated since 2008... What is most interesting about it from a conservative perspective, however, is how there has not been a ton of coverage about the death of the blue dogs... Had moderate Republicans been defeated, we would have major stories on pretty much every news network and on the front page of every paper in America." - RedState

Senate votes to reauthorize domestic violence act

"The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and expand its reach to American Indians and homosexuals, after Republicans opted to sidestep an expected partisan brawl. ... The final vote, 68 to 31, including 15 Republicans, belied the partisan maneuvering that preceded Senate action on the bill" - New York Times

Senate probe finds little evidence of effective 'torture' - Reuters

  • Fresh report, 'rumors flying' of past Secret Service misconduct - CNN

Charles Krauthammer: If the U.S. is not prepared to intervene, we should be candid about it

Krauthammer"If we are not prepared to intervene, even indirectly by arming and training Syrians who want to liberate themselves, be candid. And then be quiet. Don’t pretend the U.N. is doing anything. Don’t pretend the U.S. is doing anything. And don’t embarrass the nation with an Atrocities Prevention Board. The tragedies of Rwanda, Darfur, and now Syria did not result from lack of information or lack of interagency coordination, but from lack of will." - Charles Krauthammer for National Review

David Brooks: We haven't actually learnt anything from the stimulus

"We went ahead and spent the roughly $800 billion. What have we learned? For certain, nothing. The economists who supported the stimulus now argue the economy would have been worse off without it. Those who opposed it argue that the results have been meager. It’s hard to think of anybody whose mind has been changed by what happened." - David Brooks for the NYT

And finally... Harvard Law School used to regard Elizabeth Warren as a minority employee because she's partially Native American - Boston Herald

  • Democrats say tax returns will counter Scott Brown’s regular-guy image - Boston Globe



Apr 26, 2012 6:47:57 AM

Newslinks for Thursday April 26: Romney urged to set out positive vision

Republicans have a message for Mitt Romney: it’s time to go positive.

"Prominent party leaders, unsettled by the frequently combative tone of Mr. Romney’s presidential campaign, are pressing the presumptive Republican nominee to leaven his harsh criticism of President Obama with an optimistic conservative vision that can inspire the party faithful, appeal to swing voters and set out a governing agenda should he win in November." - New York Times

  • "To win the GOP nomination, Mr. Romney has shown reserves of tenacity and discipline. To win the White House, he'll need to show a larger vision and the nerve to pursue it." - Wall Street Journal leader
  • If romney doesn't run on a positive agenda he'll lack the mandate to make the changes that American needs - NRO Editors
  • "Romney may not have the charisma or vision of Ronald Reagan, but he should adopt the Gipper's 1980 campaign slogan. Governor Romney needs to get up at every rally and ask the simple question: "Are you better-off than you were four years ago?" If that's the question on voters' minds, come the election, the Republicans may just have nominated America's 45th commander-in-chief." - Tim Montgomerie for The Guardian also says Eurozone's problems may derail Obama's economic and political recovery.

Newt Gingrich plans to end his presidential campaign and endorse Mitt Romney next week at an event in Washington - Wall Street Journal

  • NPR looks back on Gingrich's unconventional White House bid
  • The Washington Examiner on how Gingrich hurt the free market cause: "Gingrich tried to change the meaning of "free enterprise," "socialist" and "conservative" to justify his own corporate-welfare lobbying and to attack Romney's career as a capitalist. By subverting the language, he weakened the cause of limited government and free enterprise, confusing the conservative base and the news media -- and eroding the theoretical framework on which free-market arguments are made."

Rick Perry endorses Romney

Perry on Fox

“Mitt Romney has earned the Republican presidential nomination through hard-work, a strong organization, and disciplined message of restoring America after nearly four years of failed job-killing policies from President Obama and his administration. So today I join the many conservative Republicans across the nation in endorsing Mitt Romney for President and pledge to him, my constituents and the Republican Party that I will continue to work hard to help defeat President Obama. American jobs, economic stability and national security depend on electing a new president. Mitt’s vision and record of private sector success will put America back on the path of job creation, economic opportunity and limited government.” Quoted by the Washington Post.

  • New York's Peter King says Team Romney never responded to his offer to endorse - Daily Beast

Boehner calls 2012 election the most important of his lifetime - Fox

Distancing himself from some in the Tea Party, Marco Rubio takes hawkish view on foreign policy and middle ground position on immigration - The Hill

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  • Rubio blasts Republican isolationists - Commentary
  • Rubio attacks Putin in foreign policy speech - LA Times
  • "Rubio’s foreign policy falls into the proud, bipartisan tradition of Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman, Lieberman said in introducing him at the Brookings Institution in Washington on Wednesday." - National Journal
  • Unlike Reagan, Rubio eagerly encourages protracted military engagements - Daily Caller
  • "Improved trade and economic ties with Latin American countries would benefit the U.S., if we help strengthen democracy and security in the region" - Marco Rubio for the LA Times

Full text of Rubio's foreign policy speech via The Weekly Standard.

Ann Coulter urges Romney to reject any compromise on immigration issue

Coulter"Both as governor of Massachusetts and as a presidential candidate, Romney has supported a fence on the border, E-Verify to ensure that employees are legal and allowing state police to arrest illegal aliens. He is the rare Republican who recognizes that in-state tuition, driver's licenses and amnesty are magnets for more illegal immigration. These positions are totally at odds with Establishment Republicans who pander to the business lobby by supporting the cheap labor provided by illegal immigration, and then accuse Americans opposed to a slave labor class in America of racism. If this continues, America will become California and no Republican will ever be elected president again. Big business doesn't care and Establishment Republicans are too stupid to notice." - Fox

  • Government faces skepticism in arguing against Arizona Immigration Law - TIME

Underestimating the Tea Party is a mistake experienced politicians should try to avoid - Commentary

  • Club for Growth's new ad ties Lugar to Obama - Hotline

The Republican National Committee on Wednesday requested that the Government Accountability Office investigate President Obama's use of government funds for campaign trips - CBS

Obama 3.5% ahead - RCP average

  • Romney has very narrow leads in Virginia and Florida - HotAir

The New York Times notes how April polls have compared to November outcomes in previous presidential election years....

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Barack Obama will hold his first official campaign events next week - in Virginia and Ohio - with Michelle Obama at his side - The Hill

  • Michelle Obama (and Ann Romney) more popular than husband - USA Today

National Review previews how Team Obama will attack Romney: "President Obama’s first official campaign rallies will be held May 5th. And in a conference call with reporters tonight, his campaign manager Jim Messina and top strategist David Axelrod previewed how they planned to attack Mitt Romney. “Mitt Romney wants to go back to the future,” Messina said. “Mitt Romney’s economic scheme is familiar and trouble: more budget busting tax cuts for the wealthy, fewer rules for Wall street, the same formula that benefited a few, but that crashed our economy and punished the middle class.”"

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo could be Hillary's rival for the 2016 Democratic crown - Politico

Redistricting will further reduce the number of centrist Democrats known as "Blue Dogs" - Wall Street Journal

Europe’s gathering economic storm - David Ignatius for the Washington Post



Apr 25, 2012 6:46:54 AM

Newslinks for Wednesday April 25: Romney kicks off general election campaign

Romney kicks off the general election campaign after five straight victories in latest primary votes...

Romnet Crowd“Tonight is the start of a new campaign to unite every American who knows in their heart that we can do better”

- RealClearPolitics | The Hill video

"Arguing that Obama has failed in office, he added, “Because he has failed, he will run a campaign of diversions and distractions and distortions. That kind of campaign may have worked at another place and in a different time — but not here and not now.” Then, in a twist on Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign message, he added, “It’s still about the economy, and we’re not stupid.”" - Washington Post | LA Times

  • Mitt Romney throws Bill Clinton's 'economy stupid' dictum back in Barack Obama's face - Toby Harnden

Full text of Romney's "New Campaign" speech - Wall Street Journal

"The bedrock strategy for this post-primary Romney is to be aggressive. “This new phase of the campaign is marked by more direct engagement with President Obama and his campaign,” a senior Romney aide told reporters Tuesday. “Some of the exchanges we’ve had over the past seven to 10 days confirm that the general election campaign has begun. What is clear to nearly everyone is that our party is united behind Mitt Romney and we are now in a position to take our argument directly to President Obama.”" - Politico


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- USA Today

Tim Pawlenty makes more sense than you might think as a VP pick - TIME

Giuliani becomes the latest skeptic to endorse Romney

Giuliani Rudy"Just months after calling former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney the kind of "man who will say anything to become president," former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani endorsed Mr. Romney for president on Monday, arguing that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee provides a "clear contrast to President Obama."" - Washington Times

Immigration remains risky issue for Romney - Washington Examiner

90% of electorate are already "locked in" with both parties sure of 45% each - Weekly Standard

  • "Even if Romney does consolidate skeptical non-college white voters, he’ll need to make substantial inroads among college educated whites, even though many approve of the President. These patterns also hold on a state by state level: not only will Romney require an extraordinary performance among whites, the non-college white route is exceedingly difficult." - Electionate

Mark Mellman explains why polls are very volatile at present - The Hill

Gingrich Newt PurpleGingrich's Delaware hopes dashed

"Only in Delaware, where Newt Gingrich camped out in recent days and collected endorsements from top local officials, was Romney at any risk of losing... But with nearly all of the vote reported, Romney was crushing Gingrich in Delaware by a 30-percentage-point margin." - Politico

  • The New York Times reports that Gingrich will re-assess race - again.

Santorum will soon sit down with Romney but still wants to talk through some issues - WSJ

Sen. Lugar confident he'll win GOP primary - USA Today

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced on Tuesday that it is designating 14 more candidates or races as "Red to Blue," the committee's category for its most competitive opportunities for challengers and open race candidates - Hotline

Former John Edwards aide testifies about elaborate efforts to hide affair - New York Times

Edwards thought '1-in-3 chance' he was father of Rielle's unborn child, ex-aide testifies - Fox

  • Either President Obama has wings of Kevlar — or he has the most incompetent scheduling staff in White House history - Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post is amazed at Rupert Murdoch's decision to visit North Carolina this week.

Questions start again about Obama's use of Air Force One for political campaigning - NPR

Less than a third of political donations come from women - Daily Caller

It's time to end the myth that the nation's wealthy are getting rich off the backs of the poor. Instead let's figure out what they're doing right - Nina Easton for CNN Money

Europe's "debilitating consensus that government spending can conjure prosperity" - Wall Street Journal

Sarkozy’s Defeat Might be a Victory for Iran - Commentary

Bush George W Bush 2And finally... The Dalai Lama loves George W

"During an interview to be aired Tuesday evening, Morgan asked his honored guest, “Which people that you’ve ever met have really impressed you?” “I think Nelson Mandela,” responded the Dalai Lama. "Of course as individual, individual person, I love President Bush." "Which one?" asked Morgan. "The younger one," said the Dalai Lama. Morgan incredulously responded, “Really? “Really,” he clarified. "As a human being. Not as a president of America. Sometimes his policy may not be very, very successful. But as a person, as a human being, very nice person. I love him."" - Fox



Apr 24, 2012 6:41:46 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday April 24: Romney and Rubio campaign together in sign of things to come?


VIDEO: A sign of things to come? --- Rubio campaigns with Romney in Pennsylvania

  • "Over the weekend, Marco Rubio went mum. Again" - Robert Costa for NRO

Boehner says 1-in-3 chance of winning back House - WSJ | CBS

  • Redistricting further reduces number of swing contest, favoring incumbents - USA Today

The conservative groups that helped Republicans win the House in 2010 are pouring $100m this year into an aggressive campaign to capture the Senate - New York Times

  • Senators find ways of bypassing earmarks ban - Roll Call

RICERomney urged to pick Condoleezza Rice as running mate - National Journal

Christie may overshadow Romney as running mate - TIME

"The decision you make as a presidential candidate on who your running mate is going to be is the first presidential-level decision the public sees you make" - Politico reports Dick Cheney urging Romney to choose a running mate who can be president regardless of their gender, ethnicity or state

  • Rubio is latest possible running mate to join Romney on the campaign trail - New York Times
  • "The vice president is one of the only executive officials in the administration whom the president cannot get rid of during an initial term. Presidents can fire the entire Cabinet, replace all the generals, divorce a spouse and disown a child, but they have no power to act against the vice president. It is a choice that presidents have to live with — and sometimes, live down." - LA Times
  • On average since 1920, the VP candidate has produced a net gain of only about two percentage points for the top of the ticket in his home state - Nate Silver

Charlie Cook: This race is close, very close

"Even though presumptive nominee Mitt Romney has spent the last year and a half almost exclusively focused on currying favor with his party’s conservative base—quite often antagonizing other voters, including independents and swing voters—this race is very close. The RealClearPolitics average of recent polls shows a lead for President Obama of 3.1 percentage points, 47.6 percent to 44.5 percent. The Huffpost Pollster estimate is 2.2 percentage points, 47 percent to 44.8 percent." - Charlie Cook for the National Journal

President Obama sets off on a two-day tour of college campuses Tuesday to tout a plan to keep student loans more affordable - NPR

  • Romney took the rare step of agreeing with the president that interest rates on new federally subsidized student loans, which are set to double to 6.8% from 3.4% this summer, should be temporarily frozen at the lower rate - Wall Street Journal
  • Dems Still in Denial on Entitlements Doom - Commentary

Michael Patrick Leahy, co-founder of The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition: “Absolutely, the tea party can and will support Mitt Romney in the general election, and with great energy in the door-to-door ground game” - Daily Caller

Ron Paul vows to campaign despite Romney lead - USA Today

Gingrich May 2011"Five Northeastern states hold their primaries today: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut will each hold contests, with a total of 231 delegates  at stake" - ABC

  • "A Gingrich victory in Delaware would bestow 15 minutes of attention on the former Speaker, and 30 minutes of embarrassment on Romney. It would then be forgotten." - PowerLine
  • The Washington Examiner notes that Romney is picking up a good number of endorsements from Delaware Republicans.
  • But MSNBC and CBS say Gingrich has hinted he may drop out of race this week.

Will Democrats paint Romney as hollow or extreme?

Democrats pivot "from casting [Romney] as a hollow man who “lacks a core” to casting him as someone who's been sticking to a conservative, even extreme line for a while now on, among other issues, immigration, women's health care, and the Ryan budget plan, which he recently declared “marvelous.”" - TNR

Palin attacks on Obama lack a grasp of facts - DeWayne Wickham for USA Today

Obama suffers more negative press than GOP, Pew study shows - LA Times

Obama expected to side-step comment on North Carolina's far-reaching proposal to amend the state constitution to ban civil unions and domestic partnerships - Washington Post

Krauthammer on Syria: Obama hasn't lifted a finger, he gives a lot of good speeches - Fox

Resources are limited. Cost-benefit analysis can inform our environmental decisions - Bjorn Lomborg for Wall Street Journal

The power of the "second chance" - John J Dilulio on Christianity's great message for public policy - Wall Street Journal

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- Chuck Colson

At Shadow Government Will Inboden looks at Colson's foreign policy legacy: "Colson and like-minded leaders formed a coalition that achieved some notable policy and legislative successes. Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the State Department offices of International Religious Freedom, Trafficking in Persons, Global Aids Coordinator, Special Envoy for Sudan, and North Korea Human Rights would not exist today without Colson's work in generating support for their creation. In the process, Colson and his cohort helped raise the awareness of American evangelicals about a broader set of global issues beyond their traditional domestic social concerns."

Washington can expect an unwelcome return to the Jacques Chirac years if Hollande wins - American Spectator



Apr 23, 2012 7:00:16 AM

Newslinks for Monday April 23: Romney's healthcare plan may be more revolutionary than Obama's

Romney's healthcare plan may be more revolutionary than Obama's


"The centerpiece of Romney's plan would overhaul the way most Americans get their health coverage: at work. He would do so by giving Americans a tax break to buy their own health plans. That would give consumers more choices, but also more risk. Critics and independent analysts say the impact would probably leave a larger number of Americans without insurance. Conservative healthcare experts say changes along those lines would bring the benefits of competition to healthcare and that basic restructuring is needed." - LA Times

If the election comes down to jobs, Romney can win - despite having less charisma than previous candidates

Bill clinton"Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both parlayed affability and other appealing personal qualities into political success, while George W. Bush’s capacity to exude a “regular guy” charm helped him win narrow victories against Al Gore and John Kerry, both of whom were viewed by some as stiff and patrician.  Those precedents give some Republicans pause for thought when it comes to Romney’s prospects. But they argue that if Romney can ensure the 2012 race comes down to a decision about picking the most competent leader for a country facing tough economic times, he can still prevail." - The Hill

  • It's still the U.S. economy, stupid - Politico
  • "The Democrats are right to presume that if the economy improves, Barack Obama will probably get re-elected. I think so myself. Objectively though, the economy looks like it will drift back down." - Erick Erickson

Ron Paul compares his campaign to the American Revolution

"Ahead of Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary, presidential hopeful Ron Paul painted his long-shot campaign as a new American revolution at a rain-soaked event outside Independence Hall. “In our early history, we had a major undertaking overthrowing an empire,” Paul said. “And in some ways that is what we are doing now.”" - CNN

Gingrich racks up more debt as his campaign disintegrates

Screen shot 2012-01-24 at 09.28.09"Newt Gingrich... racked up nearly $3 million in new debt for private jet flights, security consultants and travel costs in March even as his campaign teetered on the edge of collapse, according to new disclosures. The former House speaker entered April with $4.3 million in total debt, up from $1.5 million the month before, according to reports filed late Friday with the Federal Election Commission." - Washington Post

Mitch Daniels rules himself out of the veepstakes...


"Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said Sunday that if Mitt Romney asked him to be his running mate, he’d send him a list of people better for the job. ... “You will remember what William F. Buckley said when he ran for mayor of New York and [was] asked what he would do if he won. He said, ‘Demand a recount.’ ” Daniels added: “I think I would demand reconsideration and send Mr. Romney a list of [other] people.”" - LA Times

...but Rubio steps back from earlier denials of VP candidacy...

Screen shot 2011-04-16 at 8.48.14 AM"Marco Rubio declined to reiterate previous denials that he might be Mitt Romney’s running mate and said Sunday he will "be respectful of the process," a response sure to fuel speculation that Rubio is at least in contention for the No. 2 slot on the Republican ticket." - LA Times

  • "What I heard was Rubio refusing to even play along with the question, although he did suggest earlier that Jeb Bush would make a great choice for Romney" - Hot Air
  • "Rubio, who dismissed talk about potentially joining the ticket during a Sunday interview, is set to campaign with Romney on Monday in Aston, Pa." - AP

...and Portman sounds indecisive

"Although he did not offer a definitive "no" when asked... if he would join the GOP ticket in the next election, he opined that Rubio and Ryan have a better chance. Ultimately, Portman said the vice presidential pick will hold little clout in November. "Frankly, people vote for the person at the top of the ticket," Portman said" - CNN

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch faces primary fight

Orrin Hatch"Sen. Orrin Hatch, a six-term Republican from Utah,  has been forced into a primary battle in June after he fell short Saturday of the votes needed for an outright nomination during balloting at the 2012 GOP state convention. Hatch, 78, who entered the Senate in 1977, will face former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, 37, in the June 26 primary." - LA Times

  • "59.1 percent sounds hopeless for Liljenquist if it’s an accurate reflection of Republican voters in Utah, but there’s bound to be a burst of tea-party enthusiasm for him now that he and Richard Mourdock are the last best chance to tilt the GOP further right at the federal level." - Hot Air
  • Can the Tea Party defeat Dick Lugar? - WSJ

Is the tea party still relevant?

"Viewed broadly, it appears that the tea party may well be a victim of its own success. In 2010, it proved its powers — beating establishment-backed candidates in Senate races in Delaware, Colorado, Florida, Utah and Alaska to name a few. The result? Candidates are far more wary of crossing the tea party this time around, moving to embrace it rather than stare it down." - Chris Cillizza

Jon Huntsman likens GOP to communists

"Huntsman, the former Utah governor and once President Barack Obama's Ambassador to China, expressed disappointment that the Republican Party disinvited him from a Florida fundraiser in March after he publicly called for a third party. "This is what they do in China on party matters if you talk off script," he said." - BuzzFeed

New book says GOP freshman class turned into ‘a monster’ for Boehner

Screen shot 2011-05-14 at 12.56.19"Time and again last year, House Republican leaders faced a nearly in­trac­table opponent: the very freshman class that propelled them into the majority with the historic 2010 midterm elections. Rebelling from the outset of the 112th Congress and later wreaking internal havoc during talks to increase the Treasury Department’s ability to borrow funds, the freshman class repeatedly created problems for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), according to a new book." - Washington Post

Obama uses executive orders to bypass Congress - and is proud of it

Screen shot 2011-03-29 at 11.13.54"But increasingly in recent months, the administration has been seeking ways to act without Congress. Branding its unilateral efforts “We Can’t Wait,” a slogan that aides said Mr. Obama coined at that strategy meeting, the White House has rolled out dozens of new policies...
Each time, Mr. Obama has emphasized the fact that he is bypassing lawmakers." - New York Times

Obama video message booed at … Fenway Park? - Hot Air

NYT Public editor: Yes, our paper is totally in the tank for Obama

"Arthur Brisbane is the public-editor of the New York Times, it is his job to be an internal critic of how the Times covers its stories. ... Brisbane notes that one study has shown that Obama got more favorable coverage in his first year than the Times ever gave to his last three predecessors. And that frequently, left-leaning political opinions sneak into stories that have nothing to do with politics." - Business Insider

Surveys: Republicans more open-minded, better informed than Democrats

"On eight of 13 questions about politics, Republicans outscored Democrats by an average of 18 percentage points, according to a new Pew survey titled “Partisan Differences in Knowledge.” The Pew survey adds to a wave of surveys and studies showing that GOP-sympathizers are better informed, more intellectually consistent, more open-minded, more empathetic and more receptive to criticism than their fellow Americans who support the Democratic Party." - Daily Caller

American professors gather in Tehran for Occupy Wall Street conference - Weekly Standard



Apr 20, 2012 6:54:24 AM

Newslinks for Friday April 20: Only 24% (RECORD LOW) think USA is on right track

VIDEO: Bill O'Reilly --- Obama, unlike Abraham Lincoln, does not understand limits of bureaucracy. "He does not live in the real world."

Today's must-read from Peggy Noonan: Something seems to be going terribly wrong in American culture

Noonan Peggy"This week Gallup had a poll showing only 24% of Americans feel we're on the right track as a nation. That's a historic low. Political professionals tend, understandably, to think it's all about the economy—unemployment, foreclosures, we're going in the wrong direction. I've long thought that public dissatisfaction is about more than the economy, that it's also about our culture, or rather the flat, brute, highly sexualized thing we call our culture. Now I'd go a step beyond that. I think more and more people are worried about the American character—who we are and what kind of adults we are raising." - Peggy Noonan for the Wall Street Journal

Republican-controlled House voted Thursday to extend new tax cuts to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, a vote designed to contrast with a Democratic push this week to impose higher taxes on those making more than $1 million a year - Washington Post

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Congressional approval up slightly from very low base - Gallup

Redistricting will make it much harder for Democrats to retake House - New York Times

Divisions in Democrat ranks

  • 69 Democrats now support House GOP on Keystone pipeline - New York Times
  • An increasing number of Democrats are taking potshots at President Obama’s healthcare law ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn it - The Hill

Romney visits empty factory to mock Obama - Wall Street Journal

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- Click here.

Obama 2.7% ahead in poll of presidential polls - RCP

  • "President Barack Obama's efforts to project himself as a protector of the middle class have strengthened him for the general election, while Mitt Romney has gained traction with his argument that he can improve the economy, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds."
  • "Drill down into the numbers of the latest CBS poll and there are ominous signs for Obama. Only 33 percent of Americans believe the economy is moving in the right direction. A mere 16 percent feel they are getting ahead financially. Some 38 percent think their situation will get worse if Obama is re-elected, 26 percent think it will get better." - Toby Harnden
  • "President Obama enjoys a narrow lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in two important battleground states, Florida and Ohio, according to a new Fox News poll, although Romney has the advantage with highly motivated voters." - National Journal

ElephantFive things the polls tell us

  1. Republicans are rallying... slowly
  2. It's the economy, stupid
  3. Romney has a women problem
  4. Obama has an enthusiasm problem
  5. Voters are less persuadable

More at the Chicago Tribune.

Why can't Romney persuade Republicans that he can win?

"Poll after poll indicates the presidential campaign is a dead heat, but you wouldn’t know it from talking to many Republican professionals. If you gave them truth serum, they would tell you they think Mitt Romney will lose." - Politico

Romney's women

  • "Republican women including Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) have become more prominent for the GOP and the campaign of presumptive nominee Mitt Romney in recent weeks, as they are deployed on conference calls, on cable networks, at press events in the Capitol and on Twitter amid the “mommy wars.”" - Roll Call
  • Ann Romney takes center stage in Tug-Of-War for female voters - NPR

Romney's National Security spokesman, Richard Grenell, is openly gay - Daily Beast

Ryan Paul 2Scott Walker urges Mitt Romney to choose Paul Ryan as running mate - Weekly Standard

Commentary agrees: "Ryan is the top ideas person in his party and a perfect foil to Romney in the sense that he can’t be accused of flip-flopping on his principles. Far from hiding him in a congressional corner, Republicans would be well advised to put him center stage where he can wage the battle for conservative principles in the limelight. Ryan may be controversial, but he’s anything but vanilla, and that may be exactly what Romney needs."

The Economist backs Rob Portman of Ohio: "If Mr Romney thinks his best chance of beating Barack Obama is to run as a solid man of business who can turn the economy round, Mr Portman would amplify the reassurance. Mr Portman seems unembarrassed about coming over as a sobersides with a head for numbers. What he lacks in charisma, he makes up for in gravitas."

Michael Barone for the Washington Examiner: "The Clinton-Gore ticket regained Southern ground for Democrats. A double-vanilla ticket might enable Republicans to regain ground in affluent suburbs this year."

Rubio dismisses importance of VP pick, “Presidential campaigns are won by the presidential nominee" - WSJ

Rubio"After Rubio’s comments Wednesday, one top Republican operative told ABC News’ Jon Karl, “Nobody believes that saying no really means no.”" - ABC

A Fox poll seems to suggest Rubio may be right. Obama's lead goes from 2% to 1% if he's added to the ticket.

  • "With Republicans increasingly concerned about losing Hispanic voters this November, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida on Thursday pressed his party to embrace a compromise measure allowing young illegal immigrants a pathway to legal status." - New York Times

Overwhelmed with advice

"Here’s some advice for Mitt Romney as he begins his general-election campaign against Barack Obama. Move quickly to the political center. No, fire up the conservative base! Talk more about your agenda. Or consider talking more about yourself. Loosen up. Maybe stick to the teleprompter. Court the right-wing media. Actually, schmooze with the mainstream media. Own your Mormonism. On second thought, conceal your Mormonism. Shake that Etch A Sketch on immigration. Then again, you need to be consistent, not a flip flopper. You cannot win without Marco Rubio. Unless maybe you can’t pick Rubio. And try dressing more casually. But, come on, don’t calculate your wardrobe, dude!" - Michael Crowley for TIME

Gingrich vowed that whether he or Mitt Romney become the nominee, they will work together to defeat President Obama in the fall - MSNBC

Rove on FoxAmerican Crossroads, Karl Rove's Super-PAC, has raised $100 million - Politico

  • "Powerful interest groups such as the Club for Growth and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have hit the airwaves in Republican congressional primaries, highlighting the sharp divide between the GOP's establishment wing and more conservative groups eager to challenge veteran lawmakers." - USA Today

The GOP’s Mainstream middle is far from dead - Tom Davis for the Washington Post

Republicans have to acknowledge the nastiness of Obama - Michelle Malkin for NRO

"President Obama has lost Afghanistan. The war is turning into a catastrophic defeat - one that will be worse than Vietnam. It is time to bring the troops home, and end this national nightmare." - Jeffrey T Kuhner in the Washington Times

In winsome form, Chris Christie insists he didn't nap at Springsteen concert - Politico

And finally...Ron Paul video game about to launch - USA Today



Apr 19, 2012 6:59:01 AM

Newslinks for Thursday April 19: Romney keeps polling level with Obama, despite class war attacks

CBS/NYT poll shows dead heat between Obama, Romney at 46%

Romney-obama"Mitt Romney has closed the gap with President Obama among registered voters, a CBS News/New York Times poll released Wednesday found, putting the former Massachusetts governor in a dead heat with the president for the White House. Mr. Obama and Romney each received support from 46 percent of registered voters when asked who they would vote for if the election were held today." - CBS News

  • "We’re at 46/46 without having hit a real “honeymoon” stage for Romney after the practical end of the Republican fight.  That’s bad news for Team Obama, especially while facing a slowing economy and rising gas prices, and having nothing to offer but Buffett Rules and nostalgia." - Hot Air
  • "My guess, for what it’s worth, is that we will see some improvement in Mr. Romney’s favorability numbers over the next month or two." - Nate Silver
  • "[I]ncumbent elections have historically looked more like referenda than choices, and so far, this election is looking like one as well. Voters who approve of the incumbent largely vote for him; those that do not approve of the incumbent vote for the challenger, except in extreme circumstances." - Sean Trende

Romney connects Obama to the Greek debt crisis

  • ""We are moving toward the Greek-type numbers. My guess is at the Democratic convention, [Obama] will not be appearing in front of columns like in Denver. He won't want to remind people of Greece," Romney said. " - National Journal
  • "Mitt Romney slammed President Obama's handling of the economy in remarks from Charlotte, where Democrats will formally nominate Obama for a second term. Obama is "in over his head, and he's swimming in the wrong direction," Romney said." - USA Today
  • Romney plans to attend Olympics in London - USA Today

Karl Rove: How Romney can beat the Buffett Rule

Rove Karl 2"We may be at a political tipping point where acts confirm impressions that become impossible to shake. Mr. Obama is in danger of being seen as weak, inept and not up to the job. If Mr. Romney calls the president out on his small-minded political games and pivots to an ambitious reform agenda, he will make it much more likely that, come next January, Mr. Obama can turn his attention to writing his third autobiography." - Karl Rove for the WSJ

Santorum likely to meet with Romney in the next two weeks 

Santorum large"Senior Strategist to the Santorum campaign John Brabender told Andrea Mitchell today on MSNBC that he just spoke with Romney’s campaign manager and started to float a few dates for a meeting to take place between the former rivals, likely in the next two weeks in Philadelphia. “It has been made clear to us that the Gov. Romney would like to have at least a discussion of a possible endorsement at that time," Brabender said." - MSNBC

  • "There’s often a lag between a candidate’s dropout announcement and his or her endorsement for president. Four years ago, Romney took a week after dropping out to endorse the eventual nominee, John McCain." - Christian Science Monitor

More signs of the conservative movement rallying around Romney

Mitch Daniels3"Not too long ago, it appeared this week's meeting of the Republican National Committee in Arizona might be consumed with squabbles about delegate math and anxious hand-wringing over the long and acrimonious presidential primary fight. Instead, it's looking more and more like a Mitt Romney pep rally in the making." - CNN

  • Ind. Gov. Daniels endorses Mitt Romney - USA Today

Important reminder: there are still plenty of primaries left

"Some commentators have asked whether or not we may see a significant protest vote against Romney in these remaining contests. With evangelical-heavy states such as Texas and North Carolina on the docket, it could be considerable in some states." - Sabato's Crystal Ball

Gingrich’s Secret Service detail likely costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a day - Daily Caller

Poll: Of select potential veeps, Condoleezza Rice has highest favorability rating among Republicans - Hot Air

House includes pipeline in transportation bill, set for Senate battle

"The Republican-controlled House on Wednesday passed a transportation bill that would advance the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, defying a White House veto threat and stoking an election-year fight over what Congress can do about gas prices." - LA Times

  • Keystone pipeline builder proposes new route  - CNN
  • What is the cost of EPA interference? - RedState

Obama plays class war in Ohio, hits Romney with ‘silver spoon’

Obama 470

"With general-election campaigns gearing up, President Obama on Wednesday aimed to craft a sharp contrast between himself and his likely GOP opponent, Mitt Romney, telling an Ohio crowd, “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.”" - The Hill

  • "If this campaign ends up being as nasty as everyone expects, by September he’ll be referring to Romney as “Moneybags.”" - Hot Air
  • Prominent environmental groups endorse Obama's reelection bid - LA Times
  • Obama campaign launches Spanish-language ads in Latino vote push - LA Times

Obama admin caught flat-footed by Argentina nationalization of Spanish oil company

"The big news last week from the Summit of the Americas was the Secret Service sex scandal, which had some in the Obama administration lamenting that no one paid much attention to Barack Obama’s efforts in Cartagena, Colombia to improve relations between the US and its allies.  Today, the White House might be hoping for a little more attention to the scandal.  After punting on an opportunity to defend the UK and the principle of self-determination over the Falkland Islands dispute with Argentina, Obama and his team got caught flat-footed by the nationalization of a Spanish oil company by Argentina’s government"- Hot Air

National Guard withdrawing 900 troops from U.S.-Mexico border - LA Times

Three Secret Service agents leaving amid prostitution inquiry - LA Times

  • House Republican calls for Secret Service director resignation - CNN

Poll finds support for Afghanistan war deteriorating among voters - LA Times



Apr 18, 2012 6:43:56 AM

Newslinks for Wednesday April 18: More evidence that Republicans are rallying to Romney

Screen Shot 2012-04-18 at 10.24.49Video: 'I am seeing our Party unite' says Michele Bachmann

REPUBLICANS HEADING FOR A LANDSLIDE! - Analyzing patterns of behavior among undecided voters Dick Morris says omens for GOP are very positive - The Hill

  • Ronald Brownstein at the National Journal, in contrast, sees persistent but not overwhelming advantage for Obama.
  • NPR says don't study the opinion polls too closely until September
  • The president hopes for a Reaganesque reelection, but the Gipper had a surging economy behind him - Jonah Goldberg for NRO
  • The FiveThirtyEight blog focuses on the ground war: "The 2012 election between Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney is shaping up as a much closer race than the 2008 contest, and a couple percentage points won by the hard work of local get-out-the-vote operations could make the difference. Mr. Obama has an early, but by no means insurmountable, lead in building such an apparatus."

Boehner JacketBoehner and McConnell endorse Romney

  • "House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Tuesday, but some conservative GOP lawmakers remained less than enthusiastic for the presumptive Republican nominee." - The Hill
  • "“It's clear now Mitt Romney is going to be our nominee,” Boehner said. “I think Mitt Romney has a set of economic policies that can put Americans back to work, and frankly, contrast sharply with the failed economic policies of President Obama. And I will be proud to support Mitt Romney and do everything I can to help him win." - LA Times

Tea PartyHOT TEA! Mere days after the primary’s fizzle, Mitt Romney is embraced by conservative activists - Robert Costa for NRO

  • Romney huddles with conservative leaders - Wall Street Journal
  • Romney favorable rating rebounds - CNN
  • "The Post-ABC News poll shows that Romney’s base has come around. (“Fully 69 percent of Republicans — including 80 percent of conservative Republicans — now hold favorable views of the former Massachusetts governor, both career highs.”) The Pew poll tells us, “As the GOP primary winds down, the party base is getting behind Mitt Romney." - Jennifer Rubin
  • Donald Lambro at the Washington Times agrees: "Remember all the pundits who warned that the poisonous Republican presidential primary battles threatened to divide the GOP and seriously weaken their nominee? They were wrong."
  • The New York Times profiles Beth Myers, the woman who will choose Romney's running mate

Romney ramped up his criticism of Obama's proposal to require people earning over $1 million to pay a minimum 30-percent tax rate, calling it a "gimmick" that is a meaningless response to the nation's mounting debt - CBS

  • So long as tax rates are high, rich people will figure out ways to protect their income - Daniel Mitchell for TownHall
  • Romney tells prez to ‘start packing’ for retirement - New York Post

Santorum largeNearly a week after ending his bid to be president, Rick Santorum still isn’t ready to make an endorsement - Wall Street Journal

  • "Rick Santorum pulled the plug on his presidential campaign a week ago, but apparently that was after his campaign sent out another round of fundraising letters warning Iowans that the former Pennsylvania senator was frightened by the prospect of Mitt Romney becoming the party's nominee." - Washington Times | MSNBC

The Republican National Committee has announced that it has appointed state directors to drum up Hispanic support in Florida, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia and North Carolina - Washington Post

Republicans lead in all Wisconsin State Senate recall races - Weekly Standard

DCCC to spend $32 million on early TV attacks on 26 GOP incumbent Congressmen - Politico

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $9.8 million in March, besting the committee charged with electing Republicans for the fifth month in a row - USA Today

  • Democrats want Hillary Clinton be their nominee in 2016 - Politico
  • "President Bill Clinton’s recent endorsements in a handful of House primaries have conjured up memories of the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, as he has sought to reward his wife’s supporters and candidates with loyalties to the couple." - Roll Call

The urban renaissance is very good for Democrats - Timothy Egan in the New York Times

John McCain says it was tough to see how the talks with Tehran on nuclear issue would accomplish anything beyond “a stalling tactic on the part of the Iranians” - The Hill

Screen Shot 2012-04-18 at 11.43.07If we had begun exploring in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in 2002, its oil and gas (and jobs and revenue) would be flowing now - Senator Lisa Murkowski in the Wall Street Journal

Why do SMALL businesses get all the political attention? - NPR

Max Boot: NO alternative to US global leadership

"Post-1945 Britain could cede the mantle gracefully to the U.S., confident that we would champion the same liberal values. To whom can the U.S. possibly pass power today? China? Russia? Iran? The question answers itself: there is no alternative to American leadership." - Max Boot for Commentary

And finally...

Obama_halo 2

"This President," says Michelle Obama, "has brought us out of the dark and into the light" - Fox

"Do Mrs. Obama and her speechwriters really not understand how discordant this sounds to most Americans? The messianic bit was over the top in 2008, but now? Now, with unemployment up, employment down, the economy stagnant, the debt exploding, the “green jobs” program a fiasco, our foreign policy in disarray? Do they seriously not comprehend that many Americans, maybe most, recall the Bush administration more as a golden age than an era of darkness?" - PowerLine

Jay Leno: "Even Obama Is Doing Worse Under President Obama" - RCP

"Obama remains ahead in his race with Romney—but just barely. So why are the president’s surrogates sounding so overconfident? Michael Tomasky on the perils of chutzpah." - Daily Beast



Apr 17, 2012 7:01:18 AM

Newslinks for Tuesday April 17: Romney leads Obama in head-to-head polling - but Obama has advantage in swing states

Obama leading Romney in all but two swing states

Screen shot 2011-08-27 at 16.01.13According to the RCP polling averages in battleground states, Romney only leads Obama in Missouri and Arizona. If the election were held today, Obama would win 347 electoral votes to Romney's 191. Even if we gave Romney every state Obama is currently leading by 5% or fewer, Obama would win 280 votes to Romney's 258. - Via Elizabeth Crum

Voters doubt Romney can beat Obama

Romney-obama"A new CNN/ORC International poll released Monday underscored the skepticism an overwhelming majority of voters feel about the putative GOP nominee's chances against the president. Sixty-one percent of respondents, when asked who they think will win in the fall regardless of which candidate they support, picked the current White House occupant. Only 35 percent thought Romney would claim victory." - National Journal

  • An important reminder from Nate Silver: "In the early stages of general election campaigns, a president’s approval ratings have often been at least as accurate a guide to his eventual performance as the head-to-head numbers. Thus, for at least the next couple of months, I would pay as much attention to Mr. Obama’s approval ratings as his head-to-head polls against Mr. Romney."
  • "A new ABC News-Washington Post poll finds Mitt Romney has emerged from the Republican primary season with the weakest favorability rating on record for a presumptive presidential nominee since 1984, trailing President Obama in personal popularity by 21 percentage points." - PoliticalWire

And yet.... Romney leads Obama in first Gallup poll to measure a head-to-head contest

"The Gallup daily tracking poll of the presidential election kicks off with Mitt Romney leading President Obama 47% to 45% among registered voters nationally. Both Obama and Romney are supported by 90% of their respective partisans, but independents break for Romney 45% to 39%." - PoliticalWire

Romney ready for November fight: “It’s going to be fun” 

 "“Yeah there are challenges and there are days that you get beat up in the newspaper and you don’t worry about it because you don’t read them – ha ha,” Romney said at a Tax Day Tea Summit, hosted by the Independence Hall Tea Party Association. ... “This campaign is just getting going. It’s going to be fun,” he told hundreds gathered at the Franklin Institute on Tuesday night." - CNN

Pro-Obama group takes aim at Romney's wealth

Screen shot 2012-01-23 at 11.50.39

"A Democratic super PAC backing President Obama is targeting Mitt Romney's wealth in a new ad running in four swing states. The ad by Priorities USA Action features a 1985 photo of Romney and some of his colleagues from Bain Capital posing with money to celebrate raising $37 million for the venture capital firm's first fund." - USA Today

  • White House: Romney has a core — and it’s deeply conservative - WSJ

Santorum: Money was not the main reason for dropping out

Santorum Green
"Santorum said it was his inability to become the sole conservative alternative in the GOP race and the delegate-rich state of Texas not holding a winner-take-all primary that were the main reasons for his exit. "I know there's been a lot of articles written that somehow we dropped out because we ran out of money.  That just is a little, very, very small piece of the story," Santorum said." - MSNBC

  • Rick Santorum declines to endorse Mitt Romney - LA Times

Romney appoints long-time aide to head VP search committee

"Myers’ high-profile assignment puts her in charge of the single biggest decision Romney has to make between now and the Republican convention...  Given her history and closeness to Romney, this appointment would have made sense under any circumstances, but in the current environment also sends a perhaps-not-so-subtle message that Romney has no problem putting women in charge of the most critical aspects of his campaign and organization." - Hot Air

  • Chris Christie: ‘I don’t expect to be asked’ to join Romney ticket - Daily Caller
  • Four categories for Romney's veep choice - National Journal

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker leads all of his Democrat opponents, taking 50 or 51% in latest polling for recall election.

Walker scott 2"Independents have flipped from our last poll, from supporting Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett by 12 to going for Walker by three. We've seen independents go back and forth on Walker several times over the last year, though I'm not certain what causes that. Walker's been very aggressive about getting on the air and that may have helped firm up his standing" - Daily Kos

  • Wisconsin's property taxes drop for the first time in 12 years - Weekly Standard

Senate Republicans block "Buffett Rule" tax

Buffett Warren"Senate Republicans have blocked debate on a bill to force people who earn more than $1 million a year to pay a 30 percent minimum tax rate, in what Democrats said will be the first of many votes this year on the so-called Buffett rule. ... 51 Democrats votes to end debate. 45 Republicans votes to stymie a vote on the Buffett rule. Senate Republicans have been aggressive in their use of the filibuster and this latest move reflects that." - National Journal

  • Obama's Buffett Rule: The art of political pandering - Washington Examiner
  • "Here’s the roll. Straight party line — with two very predictable exceptions. Belated exit question: Why didn’t Scott Brown vote yes? Elizabeth Warren’s going to bludgeon him with this. Either he strongly agrees with me that the Buffett Rule is an electoral nothingburger or he’s being a surprisingly loyal party soldier this time." - Hot Air
  • Establishment to Ron Johnson – “Get in Line” - RedState

Democrat-controlled Senate the laziest in years

Screen shot 2011-07-30 at 13.13.43"For those who need proof that the Senate was a do-nothing chamber in 2011... there is now hard evidence that it was among the laziest in 20 years. In her latest report, Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson revealed a slew of data that put the first session of the 112th Senate at the bottom of Senates since 1992 in legislative productivity, an especially damning finding considering that it wasn’t an election year when congressional action is usually lower." - Washington Examiner

Blue Dog Democrats facing extinction in next election

"Of the 24 remaining Blue Dogs, five are not seeking reelection. More than a half-dozen others are facing treacherous contests in which their reelection hopes are in jeopardy. It’s a rough time to occupy the right wing of the Democratic Party." - Politico

Barney Frank thinks Obama shouldn’t have pursued ObamaCare

"I think we paid a terrible price for health care. I would not have pushed it as hard. As a matter of fact, after Scott Brown won, I suggested going back. I would have started with financial reform but certainly not health care." - Barney Frank, quoted at Hot Air

David Brooks: Obama is not doing nearly enough to avert America's future debt crisis

Screen shot 2010-12-14 at 15.55.45"I’m not going to pass my own comprehensive judgment on this here. I’ll just say that my conversations reaffirm my conviction that Obama is a pragmatic liberal who cares about fiscal sustainability, who has been willing to compromise for its sake, but who has not offered anything close to a sufficient program to avoid a debt crisis." - David Brooks

  • Will we defuse our debt bomb? - Senator Tom Coburn for RCP

Pentagon investigating 10 military members in Colombia scandal

"The Pentagon is investigating 10 U.S. military members in a widening probe into whether an advance team of Secret Service and military personnel hired local prostitutes or engaged in other misconduct before President Obama visited Colombia for a summit last week, U.S. officials said." - LA Times

  • More military personnel might have been involved in misconduct before Obama’s trip - Washington Post

And finally... McCain says he's willing to aid 'Joe the Plumber' in House race - Toledo Blade



Apr 16, 2012 7:01:35 AM

Newslinks for Monday April 16: Hillary Clinton comes under fire for dancing in a Colombian nightclub

Hillary Clinton comes under fire for dancing the night away in Colombia

Hillary_clinton_barack_obama"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton kicked back Saturday night, dancing and drinking beer at a local hotspot after a day of summit meetings in Cartagena. ... Clinton and President Obama are spending the weekend in the resort town for the Summit of the Americas, along with the leaders of 33 Latin American countries." - ABC

  • "The overwhelmingly liberal US media is treating the story as a bit of fun, with the usually austere Mrs Clinton seen as letting her hair down. But I suspect that a lot of US taxpayers will see it differently – as a senior government official having a jolly time on an official overseas junket at taxpayers’ expense." - Nile Gardiner
  • Free trade agreement between the U.S., Colombia effective in May - LA Times

Ouch! Decade of Obamacare will cost $1,160 billion - Michael Barone for RCP

Several stories emerge of Romney selling access to big donors


  • "Former Governor Mitt Romney is already offering top donors access to a special "Presidential Inaugural retreat," planned on the assumption that he will be elected president this November. The offer... is one of several goodies offered to those who contribute more than $50,000 to the joint fundraising committee known as "Romney Victory"" - BuzzFeed
  • "Mr. Romney... said he would eliminate or limit for high-earners the mortgage interest deduction for second homes, and likely would do the same for the state income tax deduction and state property tax deduction. He also said he would look to the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for budget cuts." - WSJ
  • ""I'm going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them. Some eliminate, but I'm probably not going to lay out just exactly which ones are going to go," Romney said. "Things like Housing and Urban Development, which my dad was head of, that might not be around later. But I'm not going to actually go through these one by one. What I can tell you is, we've got far too many bureaucrats. I will send a lot of what happens in Washington back to the states."" - Romney quoted by MSNBC
  • Former Dem. congressman Kennedy alleges 'quid pro quo' for access to White House - Weekly Standard

Romney continues counter-attack against Dems, saying Obama's economy has hit women hardest

  • "On Sunday, Gillespie stood by the criticism of female job losses under Obama.  "More men than women lost jobs before President Obama took office. More women lost jobs since President Obama took office," he told "Fox News Sunday." "The fact that more men lost before he took office doesn't make it a good thing that more (women) lost since he took office. It's a bad thing and we need to reverse that."" - Fox News
  • Bachmann"Mrs. Bachmann waded into the gender wars Sunday to defend her former sparring partner, Mr. Romney, on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” She said that President Barack Obama’s economic policies have had a “disproportionate negative impact on women,” which would best be countered by casting a ballot for a “smart, successful businessman like Mitt Romney.”" - WSJ
  • "Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner ripped presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Sunday, calling Romney’s argument that women have been disproportionately hurt during the recession “a ridiculous argument.”" - The Hill
  • Romney's past views on working women, stay-at-home moms unearthed - LA Times

GOP to Mitt Romney: Embrace your Mormonism

"But now that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee, many Republicans think that the standoffish candidate actually needs to embrace his Mormonism publicly to open a window into his life. Even some Christian conservatives who never thought they could vote for a Mormon are relaxing their opposition, as they see the alternative as…. well, a living hell." - Politico

Marco Rubio: 'I'm not going to be the vice president'

Screen shot 2011-04-16 at 8.48.14 AM"A few developments over the weekend muddied the waters of the Republican vice presidential search, particularly in regards to the chances of Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. Beginning on Friday, as he sat down with CNN en Espanol's Ismael Cala, the tea party favorite denied that he would be riding shotgun on the Republican ticket. "I’m not going to be the vice president. I’m not," he said, the second such announcement this month." - LA Times

  • "We have two options. We can assume that Rubio meant to imply he wouldn’t join the 2012 GOP ticket under any circumstances — OR — we can parse his words. He didn’tsay he wouldn’t join the 2012 GOP ticket, after all. He said he’s not going to be the vice president. Maybe that means he’s still open to run with Mitt Romney — but he doesn’t think they would win." - Hot Air

Romney and Congressional GOP start coordinating

"Mitt Romney and Congressional Republicans moved last week to jump-start the coordination of political and policy messaging after Rick Santorum’s exit from the GOP presidential primary crowned the former Massachusetts governor the presumptive GOP nominee." - Roll Call

"If Obama wins any one among Florida, North Carolina, Ohio or Virginia, he will be reelected."

Screen shot 2011-08-27 at 16.01.13"Before his wins in 2008, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia had all voted for the Republican presidential nominee in the previous two elections. If all six of those states revert to their 2000/2004 form, Republicans carry Indiana (as seems likely) and Obama wins no other state that he lost in 2008 (as seems likely), the incumbent would drop to 258 electoral votes and lose the presidency. But if Obama wins any one among Florida, North Carolina, Ohio or Virginia, he will be reelected." - Washington Post

Fundraising tops on candidates' agendas ahead of primaries 

"Fresh into second quarter fundraising, both President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney will make the rounds this week in hopes of puffing up their coffers." - CNN

GOP House candidates have edge in finances

Screen shot 2011-01-20 at 11.02.45"Republicans running for the U.S. House have built a financial advantage over their Democratic opponents in many of the races that will determine which party holds a majority after the election. A review of first-quarter fundraising reports showed that Republican candidates in many of the closest races have raised more money and have more funds in the bank than their Democratic opponents." - WSJ ($)

  • "Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul who buoyed Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid, poured $5 million into a super PAC supporting establishment GOP candidates, according to new records." - Politico
  • Obama and Democrats raise $53 Million in March - National Journal

Dick Cheney speaks for an hour in public following his heart transplant

Screen shot 2011-09-04 at 11.09.52 PM"Former Vice President Dick Cheney walked onstage without any assistance and spoke for an hour and 15 minutes without seeming to tire in his first public engagement since he underwent a heart transplant three weeks ago. ... Cheney even threw in a couple of political plugs amid much reminiscing at the Wyoming Republican Party state convention in Cheyenne on Saturday." - Daily Caller

Nazi Party gets first lobbyist on Capitol Hill - ABC News



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