Evangelical Leaders Agree to Back Santorum

Yesterday around 150 evangelical leaders met at a Texas ranch to discuss a last ditch effort to deny Mitt Romney the Republican presidential nomination. In the end, a large majority agreed to support Rick Santorum, although they stopped short of asking other candidates to drop out. In anticipation of the meeting, Peter Wallsten and Karen Tumulty wrote in the Washington Post:

A near-panic has taken hold among some core conservative activists, who are now scrambling to devise a strategy to deny Mitt Romney the Republican presidential nomination….

Many of these activists see South Carolina’s primary on Jan. 21 as their last best hope of stopping Romney by consolidating in a united front against him. But many acknowledge that they have yet to figure out which of the remaining conservative rivals to rally behind and which should get out.

The Romney conundrum will be on the agenda Friday when about 150 evangelical leaders huddle at a Texas ranch to debate their next move. Likewise, the subject of consolidating conservative opposition to the former Massachusetts governor is expected to be a major point of discussion among about 500 attendees at a tea party convention set for this weekend in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where the list of speakers includes two Romney rivals seeking the conservative mantle, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

According to the Christian Broadcasting Network:

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council says conservatives are looking for a candidate who will repeal the nation’s health care law, fight for pro family values and address the national debt….

Expect conservative groups to start individually motivating their constituents to work for Santorum. Also look for more money and resources to start pouring into Santorum’s campaign. No question about it, this is excellent news for Santorum’s camp and a major blow to the Gingrich and Perry camps.

The LA Times has more from Perkins, who must be the ringleader of this uprising.

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, said the decision was reached after three rounds of balloting, with Santorum winning 85 votes in the final round, to Newt Gingrich’s 29. Texas Gov. Rick Perry had strong support at the beginning of the process, but was eliminated after the first round of balloting, Perkins said.

“The focus here was on people putting aside their preferences, putting aside the candidate they had signed up with, trying to reach a consensus,” Perkins said.

“Rick Santorum has consistently articulated the issues that are of concern to conservatives, both the economic and the social, and has woven those into a very solid platform,” Perkins said. “And he has a record of stability…He’s reliable.”

As I see it, they’ve chosen the candidate least likely to appeal to general election voters. I can’t imagine Santorum winning the nomination. I guess the real question is how many of these evangelicals will come around to voting for Romney in the end and how many of them will sit stay home on election day.


Open Thread: Stephen Colbert Enters Race for Republican Nomination

Reuters:

The Comedy Central funny man announced his intention to run for president of the “United States of America of South Carolina” at the taping of his show Thursday night and will try to compete in South Carolina’s GOP primary Jan. 21.

“I’m proud to announce I plan to form an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for my candidacy,” Colbert said….

While Colbert won’t actually compete for the GOP nomination in the general election, this may give Republicans another option beyond Mitt Romney in a pivotal state. Every Republican presidential candidate since 1980 has won South Carolina’s primary.

“Clearly my fellow South Caroliniacs see me as the only Mitternative,” Colbert said.

The decision followed the news that Colbert is polling higher than Jon Huntsman in South Carolina–at 5%.

On tonight’s Daily Show, Colbert transferred control of his super PAC to Jon Stewart, since candidates aren’t permitted to have super PAC’s

If only he could participate in the debates!


SDB Evening News Reads 010512: Insane? Is it just a state of mind?

Good Evening!

The have caught a suspect in Florida in connection with the abortion clinic that burned down in an arson fire last week. Florida – Man Held After Fire at Abortion Clinic

The authorities arrested a man on Thursday on federal charges of setting a fire on Sunday that gutted a Pensacola abortion clinic that has faced violence in the past. Bobby Joe Rogers, 41, of was being held at the Escambia County Jail, the authorities said. Investigators said tips from the community led to the arrest. In an affidavit, prosecutors said he told investigators that he made a fire bomb and threw it at the clinic early Sunday. Mr. Rogers said he was pushed to action after he saw a young woman enter the clinic for an abortion while he was standing outside the clinic with a group of protesters recently, it said. The same clinic was bombed on Christmas Day in 1984, and in 1994 a doctor and a volunteer were shot to death as they arrived.

Makes me think of the last episode of the new Beavis and Butt-Head series… Whorehouse / Going Down

Oh, just seeing these “whores…fornicators” walking into a clinic “pushed” this guy to commit a federal crime. Is this the makings of an insanity plea?

Speaking of the insane, you may remember that Breivik, the Norwegian man who committed that mass murder last year, was found to be insane by a court hearing. Well, now it seems that decision/finding has been overturned. Doctors overturn Breivik insane ruling

Psychiatrists who are monitoring Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik say that he is not psychotic, contradicting an earlier diagnosis by experts.

A court filing by the public prosecutor said four experts at Ila Prison in Oslo had not observed any signs that Breivik was insane.

It was also revealed that he was not receiving any medication and the prison had not seen any need to move him to another facility. An earlier evaluation by two court-appointed psychiatrists described him as living in a “delusional universe” – a paranoid schizophrenic who had lost touch with reality.

Lawyers representing victims of last Juky’s massacre, when Breivik left 77 people dead, demanded the Oslo District Court order a second evaluation. But prosecutor Svein Holden yesterday said he has no plans to do so, fearing Breivik could manipulate new experts.

Wow…imagine this guy manipulating the doctors into finding him insane….or is he manipulating the experts into thinking he is sane. Sometimes when I read these articles, I find myself having to read them over again.

Sticking with the question of sanity, Santorum has Raked In $2 Million In Two Days

Enjoying a wave of momentum from his near-win in the Iowa caucuses, Rick Santorum’s campaign is raising money faster than ever before. Donors have added $2 million to his campaign’s war chest in the last 48 hours alone.

And a Santorum aide tells ABC News that in the space of 10 hours — between midnight Thursday and 10 a.m. — the campaign took in $250,000 of that $2 million total. The quarter-million figure total represents online contributions only.

Other than the obvious wingnuts, who would send this guy any money? 2 million…that figure is staggering. There are some mighty rich PLUBs out there, and you know that none of them would be willing to raise that much money to help teenage mothers…

Which reminds me, yesterday I wrote about the young teenager that was “mistakenly” deported to Columbia. I posted an update in the comments but I just wanted to bring it to the front page: Teenager Mistakenly Deported To Colombia

She is pregnant…and still being held by Columbia, but what is worse…the news and media are blaming the child.

Now she is pregnant, being held in a detention facility in Bogotá. God knows what has happened to that child after she was deported and now, but whatever it is, it shouldn’t ever have happened. ICE likes to brag about their numbers and say they’re deporting criminals and repeat offenders, but it seems that they’re a bit sloppy about how they’re doing it. They fingerprinted this child, for heavens’ sake! How hard would it have been to compare her fingerprints to those of the person whose name she used before sending her out of the country? I wonder if they ever thought the absence of a Columbian accent would have been a clue? Evidently not.

Even if the Houston police screwed up, and I believe they did, the responsibility and ultimate screwup sits firmly with this administration’s immigration authorities. An apology and restitution is the least they should do.

Step up, DHS. Get this girl home. Now.

Update: CNN just ran this report at 9 AM this morning. Note how the entire story is being twisted now to blame the victim. It’s HER fault she’s in Colombia. Somehow she plotted to use someone’s name who was never in the ICE system? According to CNN, she jacked the whole system to get from Texas to Colombia. They can’t imagine why, of course, but it’s clearly this 14-year old (now 15) African-American teenager’s fault that she is being held in the system in Colombia after being deported from this country.

Lavandera makes her sound like some kind of drug dealer:

So basically, what we know so far is this 14-year old girl — 15 now — was able to fool local authorities, also the ICE agents and ICE officials and the immigration process and on top of that the Colombian government to get the necessary paperwork to get deported back into Colombia without any of her own identification.

[...]

…and then at the point of being deported, at the very last minute, why not raise her hand and say “whoa whoa whoa I’m not who I’ve been saying I am.” They don’t understand that.

[...]

The big story here is that this girl has fooled many people on many different levels and it’s absolutely bizarre.

Here’s what I think is bizarre. That a CNN reporter who admits to not having all the facts ready or at his fingertips thinks it’s just fine to go on national television and trash a 14-year old girl who might — MIGHT — have had a student identification card as her sole ID. If she ran away, she could easily have been victimized by human traffickers who told her to use that name if she were arrested. Who knows? None of us know right now. What we DO know is that a 14-year old girl who is a United States citizen was deported. That’s what we know, and Lavandera’s effort to paint her as some kind of con artist was unwarranted and simply victimizes her all over again.

It was a reprehensible report and one that seems to have had ICE agents’ fingerprints on it in an effort to cover their own behinds. Really, we can do better than this.

According to the local TV station that broke the news:

Thursday afternoon, the family had a conference call with members of the National NAACP, congressional Black Caucus leaders and her attorney. They are all demanding the U.S. Embassy gets a chance to visit Jakadrien where she is being held, and to allow her to call her family, which the Colombian government has refused to do.

“I’m looking forward to that,” Turner said. “I just want to hear my baby’s voice.”

The biggest question now is how all this happened – something civil rights leaders are also asking.

Earlier today The Boston Globe endorsed Jon Huntsman for GOP nominee. For vision and national unity, Huntsman for GOP nominee – Editorials – The Boston Globe

Most of the editorial is bashing Romney…looks like Boston Boomer isn’t the only one who really doesn’t want a Romney presidency.

And for your last link of the night, Cosmic Log – What mystifies Dr. Hawking? Women

As famed physicist Stephen Hawking turns 70, the subject that most occupies his thoughts is not how the universe arose from nothing, or how he’s been able to live with neurodegenerative disease for so long. Here’s what he thinks about most: “Women. They are a complete mystery.”

That’s the bottom line from New Scientist’s interview with Hawking, timed to coincide with this weekend’s birthday celebration at Cambridge. The theorist is almost completely paralyzed due to his decades-long struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and had to provide his answers by laboriously twitching his cheek to operate a computerized speech-translation system.

Hawking also listed what he saw as his “biggest blunder in science” (his now-repudiated insistence that information was destroyed in black holes), the most exciting development in physics during his career (the discovery of the big bang’s imprint in cosmic microwave radiation) and the potential discovery that would do the most to revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos (discovery of supersymmetric particles at the Large Hadron Collider).

But it’s his brief comment on women that attracted the most attention: How could it be that a scientist who has plumbed the deepest mysteries of the cosmos finds himself mystified by women?

Hmmm…I guess the man is brilliant enough to discover the origins of the cosmos…

The saga of the super-smart professor who is flummoxed by interpersonal relations, particularly with the opposite sex, is at least as old as Sigmund Freud (who famously wondered, “What does a woman want?”), Jerry Lewis’ fictional “Nutty Professor” and the stereotype we have of Albert Einstein. It’s as up to date as the TV astrophysicist on “The Big Bang Theory” who can’t say a word to women unless he’s under the influence.

Somehow, folks get a satisfying sense of karma from the idea that geniuses are socially stupid. But the stereotype doesn’t really hold true, particularly in Hawking’s case.

Like the real-life Einstein, Hawking has had an active romantic life, marked by two marriages. (Einstein’s second marriage ended with the death of his wife and cousin Elsa; Hawking’s ended in an ugly divorce.) Hawking’s disease does not affect his sexual ability or his potency, and the fact that he’s fathered three children is evidence of that.

“The disease only affects voluntary muscle,” Hawking’s been quoted as saying.

The article goes on to say that Hawking is an incurable flirt, and has a thing for Marilyn Monroe, who he says is the one person he would want to meet if he could go back in time.

Even as he approaches the age of 70, Hawking seems to have kept his playful, pleasant, mischievous character. That may help explain his latest comment about the mystique surrounding women, as well as his own mystique.

Here’s a classic example: Actress Jane Fonda was clearly won over last year when Hawking came backstage after her performance in a play about a woman musicologist in the early stages of neurodegenerative disease. “I took his hand and carefully uncurled the fingers one by one, wanting to see how they felt and looked … soft, pale, safe,” she recalled in a blog posting.

When Fonda asked Hawking what he thought of her performance, Hawking typed out a short response: “You were my heartthrob” — which got a big laugh. Fonda came away starstruck. “This man who cannot move or speak, can, nonetheless, comprehend the incomprehensible,” she wrote.

Hmm … Maybe women aren’t such a complete mystery to Hawking after all.

That is all for tonight…catch ya later in the comments.


Live Blog: Watching the Republican Candidates Beating a Dead Horse?

Is this really only the 13th debate? It seems like about 30, doesn’t it? Do you have the stomach for it? I plan to listen on satellite radio for as long as I can stand. I figure there could be a few laughs to be had if Mitt and Newt go for each others’ throats. The only other candidate there tonight with a sliver a chance is {eeek!} Ron Paul.

The debate will be on Fox News at 9PM. Here’s how Fox sees it: Gingrich Faces Off Against GOP Field at Iowa Debate

Newt Gingrich enters the high-stakes debate in Iowa Thursday night with a political target on his back, as Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican presidential candidates look to challenge his front-runner status ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

Gingrich, for his part, is vowing to stay positive.

On the day of the debate, his campaign aired a new Iowa ad that claimed his candidacy embodies “bold ideas and new solutions” for the country.

“Others seem to be more focused on attacks rather than moving the country forward. That’s up to them,” Gingrich said in the ad.

We’ll see how long it takes for Mr. Nasty to lash out at someone. Any bets? You can watch the live stream of the debate at Fox.com.
The coverage actually starts at 8:30PM.

Rasmussen Reports had a new poll out today with Romney taking the lead in Iowa, 23%, to Gingrich’s 20% and Paul’s 18%. So it appears that Romney still has a chance.

Business Insider says tonight’s debate is “HUGE.”

After a rollercoaster shadow primary, the stakes could not be higher this evening. With Newt Gingrich’s lead evaporating, the Iowa race is still anybody’s game. This debate is the candidates’ last chance to make an impression on voters before they hunker down for the holidays. A breakout performance — or major gaffe — tonight could actually make or break a campaign.

They ask: “Can Newt take the heat?” “Will the Mitt-bot self-destruct?” “Can Rick Perry hold it together?” “Will Ron Paul be a factor?” Plus they suggest that Jon Huntsman could be the next candidate to “surge.” I’ll believe that when I see it.

Chris Cillizza calls this “the kitchen sink debate,”

because you can bet any and every attack that the Republican candidates might have been keeping in their pocket will come out tonight. Why? Because it’s the last chance for Iowa voters — and voters nationally — to compare and contrast the candidates before an actual ballot is cast.

And brings up similar questions to those listed above from the Business Insider piece.

I’m ready to live blog, and home some of you will join me. I don’t know how long I’ll last, but I’ll hang in there as long as I can.


Late Evening News Reads: Open thread…

Good Evening

Have you even been so engrossed in something that you forget everything, even eating, until you realize..Damn, what time is it? When did it get dark?

Well, after painting all day I realized that it was 7pm, where did the day go! So tonight’s reads are going to be quick…and hopefully painless.

The big news tonight is about a press conference tomorrow:  First Read – Cain won’t preview tomorrow’s announcement

Speculation about the future of Herman Cain’s presidential campaign will likely come to an end in less than
24 hours, the candidate told supporters during a town hall here this afternoon.

“Tomorrow in Atlanta, I will be making an announcement, but nobody’s going to get me to make that announcement prematurely,” said Cain.”That’s all there is to that.  So tomorrow  we’re going to be opening our headquarters in Northwest Georgia where we will also clarify, there’s that word again, clarify exactly what the next steps are.”

Actually, I don’t really give two shits to listen to what he has to say…he just needs to go. As far as his wife is concerned, she needs to kick his ass out and tell him “Gloria Cain is doing what Gloria Cain should have done a looooong time ago!” Give Herman a bit of his own third person, charisma charmed back talk.

Next, there is yet another GOP debate set in the coming weeks, but this one is just beyond ridiculous. I had no idea that Donald Trump is one of the moderators, did you? Oh, please, as if the clown show wasn’t bad enough.

Trump to Moderate Republican Debate – NYTimes.com

It’s officially a reality television Republican primary now.

Donald Trump is pairing up with Newsmax, the conservative magazine and news Web site, to moderate a presidential debate in Des Moines on Dec. 27.

“Our readers and the grass roots really love Trump,” said Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media. “They may not agree with
him on everything, but they don’t see him as owned by the Washington establishment, the media establishment.”

Mr. Trump’s role in the debate, which will be broadcast on the cable network Ion Television, is sure to be one of the more memorable moments in a primary season that has already delivered its fair share of circus-like spectacle.

Hmmm, is Trump negotiating another reality show contract?

Newsmax sent candidates the invitation on Friday afternoon. It began, “We are pleased to cordially invite you to “The Newsmax Ion Television 2012 Presidential Debate,” moderated by a truly great American, Mr. Donald J. Trump.” Spokesmen for several candidates did not immediately respond to questions from The New York Times about whether they would accept.

Though presidential candidates may initially balk at the idea of appearing in a debate where Mr. Trump – with his bombast and The Hair – is the one posing the questions, they may ultimately see it as an invitation they can’t refuse. In fact many of the candidates have already met with him, some more publicly than others. Representative Michele Bachmann has sat down with Mr. Trump several times this year. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas had dinner with him at Jean Georges, the posh Manhattan restaurant. And Mitt Romney paid a visit but carefully avoided being photographed.

It is like Trump has become the left hand of the Almighty, which leaves the right hand for Grover Norquist…

You may have seen the how authority is shown in Medieval Art…the emperor or king would be seated in their throne, with the actual hand of God shinning upon them, as if to say, “That’s my boy!”

Charles the Bald, painted before 869 AD...See the hand? Signifying Divine Right of Kings.

Well, that is what I think of Trump, only instead of an outstretched hand, it would be his flamboyant orange squirrel tail, oops, I mean hair piece.  Imagine that kind of approval painted in the medieval style. Damn, I wish just once I could sketch this out…Oh what fun we could have!

Now see what I’ve gone and done, I got so carried away with The Donald’s rug, that I forgot to make a snarky comment about the “invite” the GOP candidates received.

All I have to do is quote one line:

“We are pleased to cordially invite you to “The Newsmax Ion Television 2012 Presidential Debate,” moderated by a truly great American, Mr. Donald J. Trump.”

Moderated by a truly great American…bwahaaahaa!

I’m sure the ass clowns all jumped at a chance to be moderated by Trump…except for Huntsman of course. Here’s The Huntsman Campaign’s Awesome RSVP To The Trump Debate

Tim Miller, a spokesman for Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign, had this response when asked if his candidate would participate in the Dec. 27 Newsmax debate moderated by Donald Trump:

“Lol. We look forward to watching Mitt and Newt suck-up to The Donald with a big bowl of popcorn,” he said in an email to Business Insider.

Oh, that is sweet!

Deciding to sit-out the debate may help Huntsman with his message that he is the only adult in the GOP field. Another reason is more practical — Huntsman is wagering everything on New Hampshire, and leaving the state for even a day to debate in Iowa detracts from time he can spend wooing Granite State voters.

Speaking of Huntsman, check this out: Christine Todd Whitman to Jon Huntsman: Run third party – Tim Mak – POLITICO.com

Former New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman, who is leading a group to draft a third-party presidential candidate, is encouraging Jon Huntsman to make an independent bid for the White House.

“I would hope he would do it, frankly. He’s someone that I would support,” Whitman said Friday in an interview with POLITICO.

Whitman, a Republican, said a third-party effort by Huntsman is the way to go because she believes it’s unlikely he has much of shot at the GOP nomination. “I don’t see that kind of traction unless he can pull off a surprise in New Hampshire, where independents are allowed to vote,” she said.

Whitman, who headed the EPA under former President George W. Bush, serves on the board of directors of Americans Elect, which is trying to get ballots lines in all 50 states and have delegates take part in an online vote to select a bipartisan presidential ticket.

It looks like the Huntsman campaign is not jumping at Todd Whitman’s suggestion…

A Huntsman spokesman told POLITICO, “Unlike most of our opponents, Jon Huntsman is a lifelong Republican and he’s going to run for president as a Republican.”

Ugh…that is enough GOP crapola to make me want to lock myself away in a dark room!

So, what you doing tonight? Come on and post some links! This is an open thread…