The ultra-conservative Manchester Union Leader, the largest and most influential newspaper in New Hampshire has endorsed Newt Gingrich in the New Hampshire Republican primary, which will be held on January 10.
America is at a crucial crossroads. It is not going to be enough to merely replace Barack Obama next year. We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing.
He did so with the Contract with America. He did it in bringing in the first Republican House in 40 years and by forging balanced budgets and even a surplus despite the political challenge of dealing with a Democratic President. A lot of candidates say they’re going to improve Washington. Newt Gingrich has actually done that, and in this race he offers the best shot of doing it again.
Interesting. The Union Leader gives credit to Gingrich for the surplus, implying that Bill Clinton fought against balancing the budget. They also don’t mention Gingrich’s ethics problems. Gingrich must be dancing a jig with Callista today. Steve Benen looked to see what the newspaper’s record is on picking primary winners.
Looking back, the track record is mixed:
1976: The paper endorsed Ronald Reagan over Gerald Ford, but Reagan lost
1980: Reagan won the endorsement and the primary
1988: The Union Leader supported Pete du Pont, who finished fourth in the primary
1992: The paper supported Pat Buchanan, who finished a competitive second against an incumbent president
1996: The Union Leader again backed Buchanan, who this time won the primary
2000: Steve Forbes won the paper’s endorsement, in advance of a third-place showing
2008: The Union Leader supported John McCain, who won the state’s primary
While the endorsement doesn’t mean Gingrich will catch up with Romney, I don’t see how it can hurt. I’m sure the White House is celebrating today too. Gingrich would certainly be an easier opponent for Obama than Romney. And Bill Clinton basically confirmed that by praising Gingrich in an interview with Newsmax. [WARNING: wingnut site!]
Former President Bill Clinton praised his erstwhile nemesis former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, crediting Gingrich’s strong debate performances with propelling him into front-runner status for the GOP presidential nomination.
“It’s not any traditional charisma,” said Clinton, who discussed his new best-seller, “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy,” in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV. Instead, Clinton believes Gingrich is emerging because “he thinks about this stuff all the time.”
The White House must be grateful to Clinton for heaping the following praise on Gingrich:
“He’s articulate and he tries to think of a conservative version of an idea that will solve a legitimate problem,” Clinton told Newsmax in the exclusive interview this week, by way of explaining the Gingrich resurgence. Gingrich holds frontrunner status in the race for the GOP nomination, as several polls have him surpassing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Clinton continued: “For example, I watched the national security debate last night. And Newt said two things that would make an independent voter say, ‘Well, I gotta consider that.’
“He said, ‘OK, I don’t want to legitimize immigrants who came here undocumented, illegally.’ On the other hand, a lot of those people have been here for years, they worked hard, they paid taxes, they’ve got kids in the schools, they’re not criminals, we’re going to have a hard time sending them all home, there’s millions of them. So, I’d like to have a process where they could be here legally but not have a path to citizenship. That sort of splits the difference between the immigration reforms proposed by President Bush and President Obama, which would give a path to citizenship, and would be a version of what President Reagan did.”
Newsmax notes that Clinton didn’t go so far as to predict Newt would be the Republican nominee.
And how are the losers in the endorsement race reacting? The Boston Globe:
Romney campaign spokeswoman Gail Gitcho declined to comment. Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union this morning, Cain blamed his failure to secure the paper’s endorsement on “false accusations” of sexual harassment from his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association and confusion over his position on abortion.
“Obviously false accusations and confusion about some of my positions has contributed to it and that was to be expected,” Cain said. “Some people are heavily influenced by perception more so than reality. The good news is most of my supporters have stayed on the Cain train, as we say.”
Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, on Fox News Sunday, shrugged off the impact.
“It once again proves how fluid and unpredictable New Hampshire is,” Huntsman said of the endorsement. “A month ago for Newt Gingrich to have been in the running to capture the Union Leader endorsement would be unthinkable.”
Cain blew it when he publicly snubbed the Union Leader by cancelling a planned candidate interview a couple of weeks ago and then rescheduled it a few days later. I imagine Romney is really grinding his teeth over this. I can’t imagine how he could win the nomination without taking the New Hampshire primary.
I’m sick and tired of the Weiner story, and I know most of you are too; but I just want to highlight a few reactions that I found interesting–all G rated.
I love this Lambert post, especially this part:
ZOMG!!!!!!! Offensive behavior online!!!!!!!! [Too tired for the riffs about the pearl clutching and the fainting couch.]
Anyhow, so Weiner’s an asshole. And so what. As William Gibson said:
“Fortunately,” he said, “it isn’t about who’s an asshole. If it were, our work would never be done.”
Love that quote! As Lambert points out, these “ethics” investigations never seem to happen to people who engage in torture, election fraud, or handing over the U.S. treasury to banksters.
Speaking of assholes, Andrew Breitbart claims he still has one more “lewd picture” of Weiner that he hasn’t released–and it’s not the one going around today. Talk about an evil human being. Breitbart is disgusting. If you read to the end of that piece, you’ll find out Breitbart’s notions of female sexuality.
One person who seems to have a little sympathy for Weiner is Charlie Rangel.
“His most serious problem is keeping his wife and family together at this time,” Rangel said in an interview on Fox Business Network set to air Wednesday evening.
Rangel did not suggest that Weiner resign. Here’s what he had to say about “ethics” investigations:
“They may do that, and God knows, I know what people feel they have to do as politicians to protect themselves. It’s totally unbelievable, but it happens,” Rangel said. “They love you, but they love themselves better and they make political decisions not to how it affects you, but to how it affects them and their reelection.”
They are all slime, yet they presume to sit in judgment on others. What Weiner did makes me sick, but the rest of them make me even sicker.
Melanie Sloan of CREW says there is a double-standard operating in the many calls for Weiner to resign.
“This is a massive overreaction and I don’t understand it,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
She points out that Charlie Rangel was censured for serious ethical breaches, yet was not forced to resign.
Sloan explained that the mounting pressure on Weiner may stem in part from the early precedent set by House Speaker John Boehner when, at the first sign of sexual misconduct, he urged Reps. Mark Souder (R, Ind.) and Chris Lee (R, N.Y.) to resign, even though their behavior didn’t appear to involve any abuse of their office.
“A lot of people really hate Weiner, too,” she said, referring to Weiner’s colleagues in the House, some of whom are said to have been rankled by his personality and frequent media appearances.
What about Weiner’s denials before he owned up?
“A politician lying is not that unusual,” Sloan said. “If the new standard is that politicians are out the second they lie to us, then a lot of politicians could be gone.”
As egregious as Weiner’s behavior was, it wasn’t a crime. Here’s an example of truly egregious behavior: U.S. pediatrician on trial for raping toddlers
A Delaware pediatrician went on trial for allegedly raping or sexually exploiting 86 young patients, all girls except one and almost all younger than three.
Earl Bradley has pleaded not guilty to 24 counts against him, and sat quietly in gray prison scrubs as a veteran state trooper spent hours Tuesday describing the doctor’s cache of home videos of the assaults.
They were so “horrible,” testified state police detective Scott Garland, a specialist in forensic computer evidence. “They were beyond anything I had ever witnessed. Nothing prepared me for it.”
And then there’s this: Casey Antony told a fellow inmate that she used chloroform to knock out her daughter Caylee when she (Casey) wanted to party.
Gaddafi bought Viagra-like pills for troops to attack women
Luis Moreno-Ocampo said he may ask for a new charge of mass rape to be made against Gaddafi following the new evidence. The chief International Criminal Court prosecutor is expecting a decision from judges within days on his request for crimes against humanity charges against the Libyan leader.
“Now we are getting some information that Gaddafi himself decided to rape and this is new,” Mr Moreno-Ocampo told reporters.
He said there were reports of hundreds of women attacked in some areas of Libya, which is in the grip of a months-long internal rebellion.
Mr Moreno-Ocampo said there was evidence that the Libyan authorities bought “Viagra-type” medicines and gave them to troops as part of the official rape policy.
“They were buying containers to enhance the possibility to rape women,” he said.
“We had doubts at the beginning but now we are more convinced that he decided to punish using rapes,” the prosecutor said. “It was very bad — beyond the limits, I would say.”
Let’s move on to the horrors of the Republican 2012 presidential field. According to a new Quinnipiac poll, voters aren’t ready for a Mormon president.
Sorry, Mitt. John Huntsman is also a Mormon. I guess voters don’t mind looney religionists as long as they claim to be Christians though. Have you heard about Tim Pawlenty’s economic plan?
Pawlenty calls for sweeping tax cuts dubbed by some as “breathtaking.” He’d cut the corporate income tax from 35 percent to 15 percent, and eliminate taxes on capital gains, interest income, dividends and inheritances. There would be two tiers of personal income taxes — 10 percent and 25 percent.
Pawlenty would require Congress to reauthorize all federal regulations and radically reshape the federal government by privatizing services such as the U.S. Postal Service and Amtrak. He also would support an ill-advised balanced budget amendment. You could almost hear the corporate special interests uttering “check, check and check!” as the South St. Paul truck driver’s son ticked off items on their wish lists and then one-upped them.
Just reading about it makes me want to run out into the street screaming and tearing my hair out.
Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann are supposedly feuding now because Ed Rollins said that Bachman is more “serious” than Palin. I had to really look around to find an article that didn’t call it a “cat fight.” Here’s Rollins, quoted by NPR:
“Well I’m going to work for Michele Bachmann if she runs. That’s the one that intrigues me the most at this point and I think to a certain extent she’s articulate, she’s a conservative. She’s got a great story to tell. She’s on the Intelligence Committee. You know, she’s unknown to the national audience, but she’ll become known and that’s the candidacy that I’m going to work for if she runs.
“Sarah has not been serious over the last couple of years. She got the vice-presidential thing handed to her. She didn’t go to work in the sense of trying gain more substance. She gave up her governorship. You know, I think Michele Bachmann and others have worked hard. She has been a leader of the Tea Party, which is a very important element here. She’s an attorney, done extraordinary things with family values and what have you. So I think she will connect. She’s a great, great communicator and I would say in the race today she is probably the best communicator.”
Kinda takes your breath away, doesn’t it? Now check this out: Santorum Calls Abortion Exceptions To Protect Health Of The Mother ‘Phony’
Longshot GOP presidential hopeful and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum stomped for votes in Iowa on Tuesday, trumpeting his “culture wars” message. A longtime anti-abortion activist, Santorum is selling himself as the leading social conservative in a crowded field. Yesterday in West Des Moines, he made an appearance at a “crisis pregnancy center” called Informed Choices that tries to talk women out of having abortions. Santorum said that he “separates [himself] from the rest of the pack” and criticized the other candidates for simply “checking the box” on anti-abortion issues.
When discussing his track record as a champion of the partial birth abortion ban, Santorum dismissed exceptions other senators wanted to carve out to protect the life and health of mothers, calling such exceptions “phony”:
SANTORUM: When I was leading the charge on partial birth abortion, several members came forward and said, “Why don’t we just ban all abortions?” Tom Daschle was one of them, if you remember. And Susan Collins, and others. They wanted a health exception, which of course is a phony exception which would make the ban ineffective.
In other stupid Republican news, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had a painting of poor and homeless children removed from the governor’s mansion. From Mother Jones:
Walker has made headlines again after he removed a painting depicting three Wisconsin children—one had been homeless, one came from low-income family, and a third who had lost family members in a drunk-driving accident. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the painting was one of numerous pieces of art commissioned by the fund that operates the governor’s mansion—works that were intended to remind the governor of the constituents he or she represents.
Here’s the Journal Sentinel on the painting by artist David Lenz:
In an interview, Lenz said he carefully selected the three children portrayed in “Wishes in the Wind.” The African-American girl, featured in a Journal Sentinel column on homelessness, spent three months at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission with her mother. The Hispanic girl is a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. And the boy’s father and brother were killed by a drunken driver in 2009.
“The homeless, central city children and victims of drunk drivers normally do not have a voice in politics,” Lenz explained in an email. “This painting was an opportunity for future governors to look these three children in the eye, and I hope, contemplate how their public policies might affect them and other children like them.”
He added: “I guess that was a conversation Governor Walker did not want to have.”
In other news, at Camp Shelby in Mississippi, 77 army cadets were struck by lightening and hospitalized. Let’s hope they’ll all be okay. The weather sure is strange this year!
I’ll end with this interesting story from the LA Times: Autism linked to hundreds of genetic mutations.
Autism is not caused by one or two gene defects but probably by hundreds of different mutations, many of which arise spontaneously, according to research that examined the genetic underpinnings of the disorder in more than 1,000 families.
The findings, reported in three studies published Wednesday in the journal Neuron, cast autism disorders as genetically very complex, involving many potential changes in DNA that may produce, essentially, different forms of autism.
The affected genes, however, appear to be part of a large network involved in controlling the development of synapses, the critical junctions between nerve cells that allow them to communicate, according to one of the three studies.
Although the work will have no immediate value to patients or their families, the insights provide a wealth of targets to pursue in developing treatments for the disorder, scientists said. Understanding the genetic causes of autism spectrum disorders may promote more accurate diagnoses, and research on synapse formation and function could yield treatments that address the flow of signals between nerve cells.
What are you reading and blogging about today? Please share!!
For the past two days, Republican movers and shakers have participated in a conference in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Faith and Freedom Coalition. The Faith and Freedom Coalition is the new face of the religious right, but the same old faces are behind the new organization. It is chaired by evil grifter and former Jack Abramoff crony Ralph Reed, who once led the Christian Coalition and is now supposedly experiencing a “political rebirth.”
Just as a reminder of how utterly slimy Ralph Reed is, here is disgraced super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff expressing an opinion about Reed.
This dishonest, repulsive man is one of the kingmakers of the Republican Party.
The Caucus blog at The New York Times had a brief writeup on the Faith and Freedom Conference and what the 2012 Republican hopefuls had to say to them. Here are some samples.
“I do not believe the Republican Party should focus solely on our economic life to the neglect of our human life,” Jon M. Huntsman Jr. told the audience of several hundred after citing antiabortion laws he signed when governor of Utah.
opened and closed his remarks with biblical quotes. He said his top four “common-sense principles” for the nation were to turn toward God, protect the unborn, support traditional marriage and keep Americans secure.
reminded the audience that she home-schooled her five children and ended with a prayer that asked a blessing for President Obama, whom she had sharply criticized moments earlier.
Bachmann also promised to repeal Obamacare.
Mitt Romney tried to convince the audience he believed in the “sanctity of human life” and hated gay marriage, Newt Gingrich didn’t show up, and Ron Paul talked about reinstating the gold standard.
Before you laugh too loudly about this parade of loons, check out what Howard Dean told The Hill today. He’s warning Democrats that the “P” woman could beat Obama in 2012. In face Dean thinks if something isn’t done about the economy and unemployment, anyone who wins the Republican nomination could win the presidency.
Dean says his fellow Democrats should beware of inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom that Obama would crush Palin in a general-election contest next year.
“I think she could win,” Dean told The Hill in an interview Friday. “She wouldn’t be my first choice if I were a Republican but I think she could win.”
Dean warns the sluggish economy could have more of a political impact than many Washington strategists and pundits assume.
“Any time you have a contest — particularly when unemployment is as high as it is — nobody gets a walkover,” Dean said. “Whoever the Republicans nominate, including people like Sarah Palin, whom the inside-the-Beltway crowd dismisses — my view is if you get the nomination of a major party, you can win the presidency, I don’t care what people write about you inside the Beltway,” Dean said.
Personally, I think Michelle Bachmann is scarier than Quitterella. And potential first
lady gentleman Mr. Michelle Bachmann Marcus Bachmann is even scarier than she is. Here he is discussing homosexuality.
This is Marcus Bachmann
swishing arriving at a radio station for an interview.
These are the kinds of people who could be running the country if the Democrats don’t get off their duffs and do something about the economy and jobs instead of playing footsie with Mich McConnell, John Boehner, and the rest of the Republican freakazoids. This is no joke, folks. I realize this isn’t a particularly politically correct post, but I do not want to be at the mercy of a bunch of self-hating closet cases and hypocritical christianists who are obsessed with fetuses and throwing old people to the wolves. Democrats need to wake the f*ck up and smell the unemployment.