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The PJ Tatler

Should Romney Convince Gingrich To Bow Out After Florida? (Update: Newt Ally Responds)

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Myra Adams

If all the polls are correct and Romney wins Tuesday’s Florida primary with double digits, he still has a Newt problem.

Which reminds me of the famous statement by Japanese Admiral Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

As we all know, Newt Gingrich has not been sleeping but some believe he is a giant of ideas, and certainly a huge loss in Florida will fill him with terrible resolve.

The last part of this statement is validated today by a Newt campaign memo that says regardless of what happens in Florida, Team Newt believes, “this race is just getting started.” Of course this is terrific news for Obama and terrible news for Romney who can not go into the national convention bleeding and scratched with Newt’s fresh claw marks.

Recently, someone who knows Newt very well, gave me some insight into his personality and how Newt sees the race at this time.

First, Newt is bitterly angry with Romney. He is so incensed that he wants to politically hurt Romney and will do anything he can to prevent Romney from becoming president.

Second, Newt badly wants a brokered convention, and believes he can keep Romney from winning the number of delegates needed.

Third, Newt Gingrich believes Romney should not be president.

So, yes, a Florida loss for Gingrich will indeed fill him with terrible resolve, but there is an opportunity for Romney…. if he acts fast.

On Tuesday night after the Florida primary, Romney, along with some influential party elders who Newt respects, should request a sit down meeting with Newt. The objective of the meeting would be to bury the hatchet and ask Newt to withdraw from the race.

To accomplish this difficult objective Romney, should be prepared to offer Newt an important cabinet post, perhaps something like Secretary of Defense.

Newt needs to be told face to face that this race is not all about him. It is obvious his personal anger towards Romney is getting in the way of what is best for the nation and that is to defeat President Obama. Most GOP insiders agree that the longer this race goes on the more it helps Obama by shortening the time Romney has to make his appeal to the general electorate.

Running against an incumbent is far different than the Obama vs. Hillary battle in 2008. A run against an incumbent requires more time, more funds and more organization and Romney needs all the time he can get…starting now.

So what if Newt does not take the offer?

How about Fox News stepping in and offering him a talk show?  That way he can remain an important power player.

What about Romney offering him the VP spot?  Most likely, Newt in his current state of anger would not make a good team player, so that option is probably off the table.

Romney, most Republicans believe, is not the perfect candidate but he is slightly leading Obama by one point among registered voters in the latest Gallup poll of swing states. Newt Gingrich on the other hand, loses to Obama by 14 points.

However, the longer Newt’s “Rage against Romney” campaign continues, the greater the negative effect turning more independent voters against both GOP candidates. The Republican Party cannot endure over a protracted period of time the kind of ferocious battle we have seen thus far.

With Obama’s popularity on the rise, Romney needs to make a deal with Newt after Florida and turn his full attention toward convincing the American people that he is ready to be the next president.

Update: In email, longtime Gingrich ally Rick Tyler responds:

Never going to happen.
Newt is ahead. Let Mitt get out.

Tyler is currently running the pro-Gingrich super PAC, Winning Our Future.

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Female Voters Are Too Emotional: And That Makes Me Very Angry!!

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Stephanie Maier

Did Susan have the hots for Millard Fillmore?

It happens every election cycle: some candidate, for whatever reason, becomes the darling of the girlie establishment, winning hearts and votes based upon the estrogen-soaked fantasies of a few ladies who suck all the intelligence right out of the room.

The latest – and not the last in this long election year, I’m sure – is the woman who called Sean Hannity last week, breathlessly extolling her support for Mitt Romney because “he looks like the kind of guy who would rub my feet.”

Now I’m not without some semblance of humor; her little servile image is cute for about two seconds. She could have had her fun and then bolstered her reasoning with facts that demonstrate she has at least two IQ points to rub together. But noooooooooooo, the giggly caller went on to explain that because she can imagine Romney rubbing her feet, he’s the kind of guy who “is all about service, and that she can’t imagine Newt Gingrich rubbing her feet” (ergo, he should not be president, obviously).

As I listened to the caller’s dizzying intellectual analysis, I almost wrecked the car because I then imagined Newt Gingrich rubbing my feet (no offense to Callista, but, YUCK) and then an image flashed of Santorum (which kind of reminded me of high school) and then a nauseating hypothetical interlude with Ron Paul, kak! peh peh! Make it stop!

The images this woman bored into my brain with her stupid analogy will surely take several election cycles to forget.  And while there’s no end to the horrors playing out in my head and I’ll probably have a PTSD flashback the next time I get a pedicure, it’s true that some women do indeed get this groupie mentality about candidates. They have ever since Kennedy came onto the scene, and perhaps even before that.

Those JFK groupies no doubt wiled away many hours just wishing they were Jackie with her cute pill-box hat and her VIP spot next to “Jack” every night (except for those nights when he was with someone else). Back then, of course, they were probably wishing they could rub Jack’s feet and not the other way around. And just as likely, no one was dreaming of rubbing Richard Nixon’s feet during his less-than-flattering debate against Kennedy, and so goes the election.

Back when Al Gore ran for president, I remember a girl in my office running around swooning and saying, “Al Gore-geous!” (which made me want to hack up something equivalent to a hairball). No doubt Bill Clinton wooed millions of female admirers when he played saxophone on the ultra-hip Arsenio Hall Show, and bada-boom-bada-bing – a few years later everyone wanted a “Lewinsky” at the office.

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Thanks for Nothing, Michael Steele

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Michael Steele was a disaster as RNC chairman. Not just mildly bad or slightly off, but disastrous. He was a walking talking gaffe machine who agreed with Democrat talking points against Republicans and also left the party disorganized and in debt. So why should we expect Steele to show any class when his successor makes a comment that gets under the skins of Democrats?

Former head of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele ripped his successor, current RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, on Monday for comparing President Obama to the Italian cruise ship captain who allegedly abandoned ship and has been arrested on multiple charges.

“I think it’s an unfortunate analogy. I mean, people died in that situation,” Steele said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday in Florida.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Priebus referred to President Obama as “Capt. Schettino.”

“We’re going to talk about our own little Capt. Schettino, which is President Obama, who’s abandoning the ship here in the United States and is more interested in campaigning than doing his job as president,” Priebus said.

Is what Priebus said out of bounds? I don’t see how, when the DNC chairman is still out there blaming the Tea Party and Republicans for inspiring the Tucson shooting:

A few weeks ago, in talking about the day a crazed gunman shot Rep. Gabby Giffords in the head, Wasserman Schultz pivoted to how “the discourse in America” had taken “a very precipitous turn towards edginess and a lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement.” Republican national chairman Reince Priebus demanded that she apologize for her “reckless comments blaming the Tea Party for the horrific Tucson shooting.”

Wasserman Schultz makes no apologies. Nibbling a sandwich in her House office, she says: “I make strongly worded statements so people pay attention a little to what I’m saying.”

Which is worse, making a useful if colorful analogy to a sea captain whose evident dereliction caused death and mayhem, or making your political opponents actual accessories to murder/assassination? It seems to me that DWS’ comments are far worse, but since the MSM invested in pushing the narrative she’s pushing, she won’t get the third degree for it in the way that Priebus is, because he’s criticizing the lightworker for loving the campaign trail more than the job that he’s campaigning to keep. Which is pretty obviously a true thing for Priebus to say, no?

Steele consistently walked into these MSM gotcha traps when he ran the RNC (into the ground) and he’s doing it now and sniping at his successor to boot, on MSNBC. Despite his reputation for being such a media maven, it turns out, Michael Steel is not very media savvy at all.

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Summer 2012: Yes, They’re Planning To Riot

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

Adbusters, the Canadian magazine credited with starting Occupy, is exhorting lefties to break things at the May Chicago G8 summit.

While the Occupiers have dwindled, don’t believe that a lost media narrative eliminated either the number of potentially violent lefties or their desire to riot this moment, or that bad press and law enforcement alone precipitated Occupy’s current failure.

Frankly, I think they’d be looting today if the East Coast was above 50 Fahrenheit.

Springtime violence is the easiest prediction of Campaign 2012. Judging from the generally iron-deficient response to Occupy, I’m not convinced any city government is prepared — or preparing — to crush it before good folks get hurt.

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Thank You, DHS, For Saving America from the Deadly Threat of Tweeting Gay Brit Twits

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Don’t all international terrorists joke about destroying America before flying to America?

Leigh Van Bryan, 26, was handcuffed and kept under armed guard in a cell with Mexican drug dealers for 12 hours after landing in Los Angeles with pal Emily Bunting.

The Department of Homeland Security flagged him as a potential threat when he posted an excited tweet to his pals about his forthcoming trip to Hollywood which read: ‘Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America’.

After making their way through passport control at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) last Monday afternoon the pair were detained by armed guards.

Despite telling officials the term ‘destroy’ was British slang for ‘party’, they were held on suspicion of planning to ‘commit crimes’ and had their passports confiscated.

They even searched his luggage for digging implements because he tweeted that he planned to dig up Marilyn Monroe. Or Marilyn Manson’s career.

One friend offered this defense:

Leigh Van Bryan says that the tweet — “Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America” — referred merely to partying. Added a friend: “He would not hurt anyone. He is gay.”

Whatever. I’d kind of like to know what became of the drug dealers the tweeter found himself incarcerated with.

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Groundhog Gingrich Sees Mitt’s Shadow in Florida, Predicts Several More Months of Primary

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

The pre-spin is on in Florida, says Matt Lewis:

An internal Gingrich campaign memo obtained by The Daily Caller shows the campaign is planning to continue long after Tuesday’s Florida primary, stating simply: “this race is just getting started.”

The memo, from National Political Director Martin Baker, notes Romney’s lack of conservative grassroots support, and stresses that Romney currently has just 33 of the 1144 needed (Gingrich has 25 of 1144).

“Regardless of who wins on Tuesday,” the memo says, “they will have less than 10% of the delegates they need to claim the nomination….”

Additionally, the memo stresses that the proportional nature of the upcoming contests “essentially guarantees that no candidate will secure the nomination anytime soon and the map quickly becomes more favorable for Gingrich.”

All of that’s true but masks a couple of hard truths for Team Newt. One, he’s lagging way behind in fundraising, and two, he can’t count on debate performances to give him another shot at a Lazarus act, since there are few debates (two, maybe three) on the schedule and Romney’s debate performance improved quite a bit during the two Florida faceoffs. And then, there’s the perception of momentum which will follow the results in Florida. That will drive some fundraising too, likely toward Romney if he wins by double digits.

Super Tuesday will also pose a challenge to any candidate who is both underfunded and lacking in national organization, as those contests disfavor Santorum’s Iowa strategy of visiting all 99 counties and Gingrich’s South Carolina strategy of bashing the media and playing to local issues. The broad geography of Super Tuesday favors a candidate who can dominate the air and get out the vote, and that’s unquestionably Mitt Romney, though within that Georgia and Tennessee may favor Gingrich. Virginia might have functioned as a sort of tie-breaker, but Gingrich isn’t on the ballot there. Only Romney and Paul are.

None of this is to say that Florida effectively ends the primary. It doesn’t. But it does push victory that much farther away for everyone who is not Mitt Romney, if he holds on and wins as seems likely.

Exit thought: It’s possible that two of the GOP’s four remaining candidates would not carry their home states in the fall election. Romney probably won’t carry Massachusetts, and based on how he fared last time he ran statewide, Santorum looks weak to carry Pennsylvania (though Obama is underwater there and has been for a while). Of the two, Santorum’s home field disadvantage would be far worse — the GOP can’t afford to give away PA and win, but it can and expects to lose in MA regardless of who the nominee is.

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The Majority of the World’s Oil Supply is in the Hands of Islamists

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Reza Kahlili

“Approximately 60 percent of the world’s oil supplies are under the control of the soldiers of Imam Khamenei,” said Major General Naghdi, the chief commander of Iran’s Basij forces.

General Mohammad-Reza Naghdi, who was born in Iraq, was a member of the Iranian Quds Force involved in international terrorism before he was appointed by Ayatollah Khamenei to the post of commander of the Basij in 2009. He previously stated that Iran has no option but to destroy Israel.

Naghdi also stated today that, not only the Strait of Hormuz, but most strategic waterways are under the control of Islamic nations. He added that now that America has removed its forces from Iraq, there is no obstacle for the final march towards Jerusalem. From the east of the subcontinent of India to the territory of Palestine, the Islamic movement is ready to mobilize and the West should know that if they dare to create instability for the region, the Islamic nations are ready to respond.

The Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, recently held several meetings with Iranian top officials ordering the Revolutionary Guards to prepare the country for war and for further suppression of the Iranian people to avoid the possibility of any uprising from within.

The Iranian oil minister, Rostam Qasemi, also announced that soon Iran will cut off oil to certain European countries in response to the oil sanctions placed on Iran by the EU member states.

According to SepahOnline, sources within the Revolutionary Guards revealed that Khamenei has also ordered the Quds forces to ratchet up their terrorist activities in Bahrain to not only destabilize its Monarch but also further destabilize the region as a warning to the U.S. to leave the Islamic regime and its nuclear program alone.

The Quds forces are to further incite the majority Shiite populace against the minority Sunni Monarch and attack the British and U.S. embassies in Bahrain. Days ago, the Bahraini government arrested several who had planned to blow up the Malek Fahad Bridge, which serves as a link between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

In the previous riots in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia sent its armed forces in order to help the Bahraini Monarch gain control.

It was announced today that the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, will lead the upcoming Friday Prayers in Tehran. This signifies the importance of the current confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program and the world should expect important announcement by Khamenei in response to the recent sanctions pressing the Iranian leaders for a negotiated solution.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior Fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).

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Syria: Can Vogue Magazine Help Poor Asma?

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Roger L Simon

According to a Reuters report that comes via the Syrian resistance, members of the the Assad Family, including Bashar’s wife Astma, attempted to escape Syria Sunday but were driven back?

Syrian security forces attempted to smuggle Syrian President Bashar Assad’s family out of the country, sources from the Syrian opposition told Al-Masry-Al-Youm Sunday evening, according to a report published by the Egyptian daily.

According to the report, security forces tried to aid the president’s wife Asma Assad, to escape via Damascus, along with his children, mother and cousin.

The sources told Al-Masry-Al-Youm that “a convoy of official vehicles was seen heading to the airport in Damascus,” before they were intercepted by brigades of army defectors.

Who knows if this is true, but as readers may recall, this is the same Asma Assad so glowingly praised in a major article by Vogue. The magazine her a “rose of the desert,” to their everlasting shame. The publishers scrubbed the article from the Internet and never made more than a perfunctory apology.

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It’s Time We Asked: How Stupid is President Obama?

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

President Obama used last week’s State of the Union address to call for a society in which “we all pay our fair share.”

“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules,” he told a joint session of Congress gathered in the chambers of the House of Representatives. “What’s at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them.”

To sell this “fair share” bit, the president had billionaire Warren Buffett’s secretary up in the audience. She allegedly pays a lower tax rate than her boss, who has been calling for his own tax rate to be increased. There’s nothing stopping Buffett from paying more than he owes in taxes, of course, any time he wants to. Just write a big check, big guy, and the IRS will say “Thankyouverymuch.” A lot of folks decided to figure out just how much the secretary must be making to have to pay a higher rate than a billionaire. Buffett’s response: You’re all guessing wrong but we’re not gonna tell you what she makes. This information is not public, and not yours.

Even though the secretary and her boss have made her income and her taxes a high profile part of the public’s dialog on taxes and “fairness.”

Meanwhile Buffett, the president’s mascot for taxing the rich, through his company owes a massive tax bill going back to 2002. Buffett reportedly owes about $1 billion in back taxes.

Related: In a time of economic strain and austerity in millions of American households, the First Lady shuts down Madison Avenue to go on a $50,000 shopping spree in a lingerie store.

Setting aside the policy for a second, how dumb must the president be to have signed off on using Buffett and his secretary when Buffett is such a terrible representation of the policy the president wants to push? President Fair Share’s poster boy for taxing the rich and leveling the playing field is a billionaire who owes a billion in taxes and is still running free. How out of touch must Obama be to allow his wife to go off on so many trips and shopping sprees that earn her comparisons to Marie Antoinette? A good, smart politician would not do what Obama keeps doing.

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Bangladesh: Fundamentalists Attempt a Coup

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Khaled Nasir

A failed plot to oust the Bangladesh government, on January 19, 2012 by what the army described as “religiously fanatic” officers, likened with Hizb-ut-Tahrir has raised questions over the level of Islamist penetration in the military. Security forces arrested five members of Hizb-ut-Tahrir but the alleged coup leader, a major, remains at large.

The army, a relatively secular institution in Bangladesh, said about 16 current and former officers were involved from Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a very radical Islamist group outlawed in Bangladesh but operating freely in many Western countries.

Intelligence officials said hundreds of pro-Islamist officers and soldiers had been drafted into the army in recent years and some had now reached the middle ranks. The crackdown on these elements within the country by the Sheikh Hasina government hasn’t gone down well with Islamist political groups. These include the Jamaat-e-Islami political party and others whose leaders are now behind bars.

Army intelligence discovered that the conspirators were operating through Facebook and by cell phone to recruit others. In February 2009, a similar two-day revolt starting in the capital, Dhaka, and spreading to a dozen other cities ended with the death of 70 people, including 51 army officers.

Bangladesh has had a history of political violence, coups and counter-coups since gaining independence in 1971. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the country’s first president and father of the current prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, was assassinated during his overthrow by the army in 1975. Rahman’s overthrow came partly due to Islamist complaints about his relative secularism and alliance with Hindu India.

Bangladesh was run by a military dictator again from 1982 to 1990. Democracy was restored in 1991, but street battles between supporters of Prime Minister Hasina and her political rival, Khaleda Zia, prompted the army to step in again in January 2007.

The fact that the country’s prime minister is a woman further infuriates the Islamists. In recent years Hizb-ut-Tahrir has changed its tactics from covert to overt, organizing seminars and demonstrations despite being outlawed by the government. Bangladeshi Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s leaders has written many books claiming that a Judeo-Christian plot caused the caliphate’s demise and criticized the form of moderate Islam in Bangladesh as “This Islam is not at all Islam.”

Next year, elections are scheduled for Bangladesh and Islamist parties are believed to have good chances for winning the election or at least doing well enough to become partners in a government coalition.

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The New “Egyptistan”

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Raymond Ibrahim

I just received an email from a friend who lives in Egypt, which ends with the following anecdote:

I went to the veggies market last Friday, I usually go on Friday anyway, but this time for the first time the merchants stopped selling anything when they heard the call for prayer!!! Most of them left their young kids to watch over the goods and they went to pray. Most of the customers also disappeared and the few like me who were oblivious to the “New Misrstan”  had to wander around aimlessly and wait for those idiots to return! It was unbelievable, suddenly we are living in Saudi or Afghanistan without the need for a passport or a visa.

“Misrstan” is a play on words meaning “Egyptistan” — as in, “Afghanistan,” “Pakistan” — you know, all those  extra “pious” Muslim nations. And of course, where Muslim prayers are practiced with rigidity, you can rest assured any number of other “pious” practices — such as hatred for infidels — are also being upheld.  Anyway, this is but another subtle example of how Egypt continues to change.

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VIDEO: Newt Gingrich in 2009 Championing Healthcare Mandate and Praising Obamacare Process

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

Via Race 4 2012:

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It’s for reasons such as this that I fail to embrace the spin promulgated by the mainstream media and Sarah Palin that the question of Romney vs Gingrich is about Corrupt GOP Insider Party Boss Establishment Ruling Class Massachusetts Moderate “Frugal Socialists” vs Authentic Washington Outsider Tea Party Grassroots Activists Who are Serious About Shrinking the Federal Government and Restoring American Greatness. There’s just too much evidence that Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich both fail their conservative ideological purity tests.

The problem the MSM and the Gingrich/Palin Camp are running into in their attempt to establish this meme is that too many trustworthy conservatives who know the Speaker’s history and temperament won’t fall in line behind it.

So now Gingrich has to turn his guns on them too. Behold Lunar Colony Gingrich appearing in a telephone interview on Fox News declaring Ann Coulter “all over the map” (emphasis mine):

Victor Garcia:  You have been taking a lot of hits from Tom Delay now, Ann Coulter some of these people that some would consider on the far right of the conservative spectrum. What is your response to the criticism of those ones? Why do you think they are attacking you?

Newt Gingrich:  Look I think there are a whole bunch of folks who represent the old order; they attacked Ronald Reagan in 1980 exactly the same way. They are looking at a national poll that shows me ahead of Romney 52-39 in a two way race and they are recognizing that if I come back as president, that I will be for very dramatic, very bold change and they are terrified. I have no interest in what Tom Delay did that got him in trouble. I thought it was wrong and a mistake, I have a very different approach to that and I have no Idea what motivates Ann Coulter but I find that she is all over the map. Basically she is for Romney and therefore anything she says about me is a reflection of the fact that she is for Romney.  I expect people who are for Romney to attack me because they are terrified because he is losing.

Doug Ross who highlighted this clip (hat tip to him) ended with this suggestion to try and explain away Coulter’s criticisms:

I have no problem whatsoever with Coulter voicing her opinion, but she should — like Karl Rove — disclose whether any financial interests are playing a part in her support for Romney.

Apparently a lot of Tea Partiers are having a hard time understanding why commentators and friends they are generally in synch with would not join them in supporting Newt Gingrich. They choose not to listen to our objections to the Speaker’s erratic, emotional temperament and instead flirt with conspiracy theories — that we’re secretly being paid to help “foist” a squishy center-right loser on an unwilling conservative grassroots. When asked point blank to try and answer Coulter’s case against Newt, they do the same as the Speaker did above, just throw up their hands and intuit that it’s some mystery or we’ll just say any nonsense to elect Romney.

Meanwhile we’re told that it’s time to stop talking.

My friend Bookworm laments the forcefulness of the debate in the conservative media and its focus on attacking opponents rather than building up candidates:

The worst thing of all, though, considering all the alleged evil the MSM keeps highlighting, is the fact that America’s premier conservative commentators aren’t doing anything to help.  Rather than building up their candidate of choice, they too are just as busy as the MSM, and the candidates themselves, in the savagery of their attacks against the candidates they don’t like.

It’s worth remembering that Newt rose to prominence during the debates because, in the beginning, he kept a laser-like focus on Obama.  He pointed out Obama’s myriad, manifest flaws and failings, and articulated ideas that promised to help America recover from her experiment with a true Leftist in the White House.  His numbers rose.  When Romney went negative, though, so did Newt — and so did everyone else.  In the last couple of months, the flesh-ripping on the debate stage is sickening, and the political commentators, rather than stepping in to help focus the voters on their chosen candidate’s attributes, are standing at the base of the stage drinking up the flowing blood.

THIS IS NOT HELPFUL.  If you’re going to have an opinion, advance useful information that helps affirmative decision-making and that helps staunch the sanguinary stream we’re currently giving as a gift to the MSM.  Yes, it’s good for the candidates to get groomed to fight the dirty fight, because it’s going to be very dirty indeed when they stand on a stage opposite Barack Obama.  I think, though, that we can comfortably conclude that the current batch has the grit to take the hits.  It’s time now to give the voters the help they need to choose the best candidate, rather than just to avoid the worst.

Bookworm does not name me directly (though earlier she mentions the variety of views among PJM’s writers) but I suspect she’s probably thinking of the kind of anti-Gingrich critique advanced by Coulter on Fox, Beck on his radio show, and me here at PJ Tatler. She’s telling us to cool it with the personal attack against Gingrich’s erratic, unreliable temperament and instead focus on the positives of Romney.

No. It’s time to relax for a moment.

This isn’t cannibalism. This isn’t bloodletting. Nobody’s going into the gulags. No real damage is being done to anyone. This is just typical, rough and tumble American politics no different than what our founders engaged in when they used pamphlets instead of blogs. Whenever we start worrying about civility in politics because too many people are saying things in too mean a way and oh no, maybe those bad words will tear apart our glorious republic, remember this wonderful Reason video on “Attack Ads circa 1800″:

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Political scientists have known and written about for a long time how voting is primarily a negative act. We are usually driven in our votes not out of enthusiasm for what our candidate will do but what terrible things the other guy will if he’s not stopped. Take that impulse and amplify it by millions of minds and 21st century new media technology and you’ve got American political life circa 2012 — by and large the same game it’s always been. And it might get ugly sometimes, friendships might occasionally get burnt or even lost, but in the end eventually the process works as intended and America continues.

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A Paradise Where Whites and Blacks Can’t Own Land

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Christian Adams

There is a place where the American flag flies where whites and blacks aren’t allowed to own land because of their race.  Find out where at my latest Rule of Law blog post “Justice Sotomayor Visits _____.”

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For Cuban Voters, Economy and Housing Issues Loom Large

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Alexis Garcia

TAMPA, FL – Looking at exit polls from four years ago, it’s easy to see why Mitt Romney’s presidential hopes ended in Florida. The Massachusetts governor, who lost to John McCain in 2008, only captured 9% of the Cuban American vote.

This time around, Mitt is focused on wooing Florida’s Cuban community. He spent Sunday making stops in Miami-Dade and Broward County in south Florida where nearly two-thirds of the state’s Cuban population is concentrated.

And the Governor’s efforts seem to be paying off. In the latest NBC/Marist poll, Romney is up 15 points over his opponent Newt Gingrich.

So how did Romney go from losing the Hispanic vote four years ago to being one of the favored candidates among Latinos this year?

Val Prieto, who runs the influential Cuban blog Babalú, thinks it might be something to do with the Governor’s economic message.

“Like all Americans, Cubans want basic freedoms and civil liberties, less government intrusion and lower taxes. We want opportunity just like everybody else,” Prieto stated.

The Cuban community makes up an influential sect of Florida Republican primary voters. They are highly engaged and often give candidates the edge in competitive races. And as The Cuba Transition Project of the University of Miami indicates, Cuban Americans are three times as likely to be Republican, making them a valuable demographic in the general election.

And while the issue of immigration is a flashpoint for many Hispanic voters in the state, Florida’s poor economy and housing market are larger issues for many Cubans who are headed to the polls.

“The immigration issue is just playing into the Left’s battlefield,” says Prieto. “Many Cuban Americans have launched small businesses out of their garages only to go on and become national and international brands. But we are struggling. Our property values are hitting rock bottom and the Miami unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country.”

While Florida has one of the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the nation, the Miami-Dade area has been hit particularly hard – unemployment is nearly 10% and the foreclosure rate in south Florida is three times the U.S. average.

Perhaps that is why Mitt Romney’s attacks on Newt Gingrich’s ties to Freddie Mac are resonating. On Sunday, Romney continued to hammer Gingrich for his work with the mortgage giant. Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd in Hialeah, Romney said, “I think the reason that you find it hard to connect with the Speaker is that you know over the last 15 years, he’s been in Washington and he’s been working for people like Freddie Mac. You want someone who is not part of Washington; you want someone who will change Washington. I will do so when I’m president.”

For his part, Gingrich has been struggling to find a strong response to the deluge of coordinated attacks coming from the Romney campaign. In a state that is struggling economically, the Speaker finds himself defending his position on moon bases and his relationship with Ronald Reagan.

For Prieto, even the attacks have become too much. “It’s a shame it has to get so personal. I don’t recall 2008 being as crazy as it is this year,” he stated. “Cuban Americans saw what Obama was going to do because they lived it for the past 50 years and they were concerned. You are going to have a large turnout this year because so many people are struggling.”

And that turnout could be just what Governor Romney needs to march on to the nomination.

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Gingrich Goes Up with Tales of Mitt

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Alexis Garcia

ORLANDO, FL – After being bludgeoned with scores of negative ads here in Florida, Newt Gingrich is fighting back. His campaign has launched TalesofMitt.com to document all of Governor Romney’s flip-flops and highlight his liberal record. Check out the new website here. 

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Now Up on the PJ Media Homepage

Monday, January 30th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

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Countdown to Florida: The Establishment Strikes Back

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 - by Alexis Garcia

ORLANDO, FL – With just under 36 hours to go before polls officially open in Florida, Mitt Romney has widened his lead over Newt Gingrich by a double digit margin. The new numbers from the NBC/Marist poll, which were released Sunday, show the former Massachusetts governor with a 15 point lead over the former Speaker of the House.

Romney’s wide lead is due in part to the endless ads he’s been running in the state attacking Gingrich’s ties to Freddie and Fannie Mac, as well as his connection with Ronald Reagan. He’s outspent Gingrich on the airwaves 5 to 1 and 15 to 1 in the state overall.

So what has helped the Mitt surge after a disappointing loss in South Carolina?

For one, I think Florida is a natural fit for Romney. It’s more moderate than South Carolina and the state’s massive size and diverse population favors campaigns with organization and money, both of which Romney has in spades.

I also believe Mitt learned another valuable lesson from South Carolina — not to underestimate a Newt comeback. Gingrich has proven to be one of the most resilient campaigners in recent memory. How many times have we thought his campaign was left for dead, only to see him rebound with astonishing victories? Romney now knows that he needs a knockout and he has shown no signs of letting Newt off the rope. The campaign has been sending surrogates to Gingrich events and making themselves available to the media to dispel the Speaker’s achievements. The tactic has caused several skirmishes between campaign staff according to reports.

Newt also hasn’t been helping himself. After dominating the South Carolina debates, the former Speaker has committed a series of unforced errors and has appeared almost flat-footed onstage. In a state which leads the country in unemployment and foreclosures, the Speaker has found himself talking about moon colonies and his ties to Ronald Reagan. It will be interesting to see if Newt can get back to his economic message in the final hours before voting.

If Newt has a chance to pulling a Florida victory out of his hat, it will be because of the Tea Party (many of which are working off-the-radar). Though the mainstream media has written off the Tea Party as dead, conservative activists will play a large part in the elections Tuesday. Romney has all but refused to meet with Tea Party activists and I’m sure many of them don’t take kindly to the news that a Romney staffer is behind efforts to redistrict Congressman Allen West out of office.

Do you think that Gingrich will be able to make it close? Or has Darth Romney won the day?

Don’t forget to enter your predictions into PJ Media’s Nostradamus contest here. You could also end up a winner Tuesday night.

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Occupy Pledge of Allegiance: “…and to the plutocracy for which it stands, the privately owned central bank, under the Jews…”

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 - by Zombie

During yesterday’s hours-long rioting at the Occupy Oakland protest, the Occupiers burned a United States flag in front of Oakland City Hall (before later breaking in and smashing up irreplaceable antique museum exhibits in the foyer). Someone posted a video of the flag-burning to YouTube, and then added narration on top of it — his own rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance in an Occupy theme:


Here’s exactly what he says as the Oakland Occupiers burn the flag:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the imperialistic capitalistic dictatorship, and to the plutocracy for which it stands, the privately owned central bank, under the Jews, with inequality and injustice for the 99.

It’s not clear who made the narration and the video — it could be one of the Occupiers themselves, or a local Occupy sympathizer, or perhaps just some random guy on the Internet getting all excited seeing the Occupiers in action.

(The YouTube channel for the narrator has this self-description: “Combination of Technical analysis, marxism, monetary history, and mainstream economic analysis,” alongside a litany of Bay Area Occupy and “evil Federal Reserve” videos.)

But even if it was just some random guy, you’ve got to ask yourself:

When rank anti-Semites are inspired by your actions to rant about evil Jews controlling the banks, isn’t it time to re-think your message?

Looks like the Occupiers have embraced their leaders’ call to spread hate.

[Hat tip to Ringo of Ringo's Pictures for digging up the video. Also reported at Moonbat Tracker and
Weasel Zippers.]

UPDATE: As of 11:45pm on Monday, Jan. 30, the video “has been removed by the user,” undoubtedly due to all the attention drawn to it.

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Bishop of Pittsburgh: Obama Says “to Hell With You”

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 - by Christian Adams

An earthquake rolled through the Catholic Church today about Obamacare, and the significance cannot be understated.  Clarice Feldman has this piece at PJ Tatler describing one part of the seismic event.  The Catholic Church seems poised to defy the parts of Obamacare which conflict with Catholic teaching.  This is nothing new for the Catholic Church, which was essentially illegal in England for centuries.  But there is more.

The Bishop of Pittsburgh, David A. Zubik, has this must read statement – “To Hell With You.”

It is really hard to believe that it happened. It comes like a slap in the face. The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, “To Hell with you!” There is no other way to put it.

Let’s be blunt. This whole process of mandating these guidelines undermines the democratic process itself.  In this instance, the mandate declares pregnancy a disease, forces a culture of contraception and abortion on society, all while completely bypassing the legislative process.

This is government by fiat that attacks the rights of everyone – not only Catholics; not only people of all religion.  At no other time in memory or history has there been such a governmental intrusion on freedom not only with regard to religion, but even across-the-board with all citizens. It forces every employer to subsidize an ideology or pay a penalty while searching for alternatives to health care coverage. It undermines the whole concept and hope for health care reform by inextricably linking it to the zealotry of pro-abortion bureaucrats.  . . .

On January 20, 2012, the Obama administration answered you and me. The response was very simple: “To Hell with You.”

Kathleen Sebelius announced that the mandate would not be withdrawn and the religious exemption would not be expanded. Instead, she stated that nonprofit groups – which include the Catholic Church – will get a year “to adapt to this new rule.” She simply dismissed Catholic concerns as standing in the way of allegedly respecting the health concerns and choices of women.

Could Catholics be insulted any more, suggesting that we have no concern for women’s health issues? The Catholic Church and the Catholic people have erected health care facilities that are recognized worldwide for their compassionate care for everyone regardless of their creed, their economic circumstances and, most certainly, their gender. In so many parts of the globe – the United States included – the Church is health care.

Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration, have said “To Hell with You” to the Catholic faithful of the United States.

  • To Hell with your religious beliefs,
  • To Hell with your religious liberty,
  • To Hell with your freedom of conscience.

This is a dangerous fight to pick for the Obama administration.  The prospect of millions of Americans participating in civil disobedience by defying the federal requirements of Obamacare is not a fight the government can win.  Mightier powers have fallen in the face of committed and conscientious resistance.  (UPDATE: Details on the letter that was read in church today across the United States.)

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The Murder of the Fogels in Israel is again in the news

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 - by Dan Miller

Remember the Fogel family in Israel, righteously murdered by some peace-loving Palestinian freedom fighters?  It’s back in the news. The jailed Palestinian martyrs are heroes!  We know that because Palestinian TV tells us.

As best we know, those heroes did not urinate on the corpses of the vile Fogel family and doing that sort of thing would be far beneath them.

Peace be upon them.

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Catholic Church Digs In Against Obama Policies

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 - by Clarice Feldman

It looks like the Administration’s requirement that Catholic organizations provide abortion, sterilization and contraception coverage for its employees and hospitals provide those services as part of their operations is meeting with strong opposition throughout the country:

From the Palm Coast this report from my friend “JIB”

Our pastor read a letter from the Bishop of St. Augustine (our diocese) saying that the Church will not obey the law and regulation set down by Sibelius in regard to offereing contraceptives, abortions and sterilization as part of Catholic Church employee health plans and hospital operations.

From “CathyF”

Here is the letter from our bishop (Jenky, Peoria). I’m not sure if any non-Catholics will appreciate the addition of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel being inserted into all Masses in the diocese — the Church is going to war. Here is the prayer:
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

UPDATE:Archishop Vlazny ,Portland Oregon:

Letter January 25, 2012 from Archbishop John G. Vlazny on the matter of freedom of conscience and decisions by HHS

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

It is important for you to know that the federal government has just dealt a heavy blow to the Catholic population and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

By this ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. Unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to violate our consciences or drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

We cannot and will not comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom.

In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision.

Thank you for all you do to build the Church and society.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend John G. Vlazny

Archbishop of Portland in Oregon

From Mary D in NH

(MANCHESTER, NH) Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, and other leaders of Catholic institutions in New Hampshire are denouncing the recent announcement that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) intends to implement a rule that mandates that coverage for sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception be included in virtually all health plans, regardless of whether the employer or the insured individual has a moral objection to such drugs and procedures. Bishop Libasci said the edict represents an untenable attack on religious liberty and a radical incursion into freedom of conscience.

“The HHS rule creates an alarming and serious concern that negatively impacts the Catholic Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith,” said Bishop Libasci. “The federal government, which claims to be ‘of, by, and for the people,’ has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people—the Catholic population—and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.”

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AG Holder’s Office Knew that BP Agent Brian Terry Had Been Killed by a Fast and Furious Weapon, the Day it Happened

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

The administration that promised to be the most transparent in history provided another late Friday docu-dump to minimize press attention to an adverse story. This one contains emails that prove that AG Eric Holder’s office was informed about the circumstances of Brian Terry’s death the very day it happened.

An email from one official, whose name has been redacted from the document, to now-former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke reads: “On December 14, 2010, a BORTAC agent working in the Nogales, AZ AOR was shot. The agent was conducting Border Patrol operations 18 miles north of the international boundary when he encountered [redacted word] unidentified subjects. Shots were exchanged resulting in the agent being shot. At this time, the agent is being transported to an area where he can be air lifted to an emergency medical center.”

That email was sent at 2:31 a.m. on the day Terry was shot. One hour later, a follow-up email read: “Our agent has passed away.”

Burke forwarded those two emails to Holder’s then-deputy chief of staff Monty Wilkinson later that morning, adding that the incident was “not good” because it happened “18 miles w/in” the border.

Wilkinson responded to Burke shortly thereafter and said the incident was “tragic.” “I’ve alerted the AG [Holder], the Acting DAG, Lisa, etc.”

Then, later that day, Burke followed up with Wilkinson after Burke discovered from officials whose names are redacted that the guns used to kill Terry were from Fast and Furious. “The guns found in the desert near the murder BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about – they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store,” Burke wrote to Wilkinson.

Holder has said that he only learned the details of Fast and Furious a few weeks before Congressional hearings on it. But the emails prove that he knew Terry had been killed the day of the killing, and that his office knew the gun involved was from Fast and Furious. Which means his deputy chief of staff, at least, knew of Fast and Furious a long time before Holder has admitted that he did.

Is it plausible that Wilkinson knew but Holder didn’t?

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The Methods to Mitt’s Madness

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Part of Romney’s closing argument in Florida centers on a pair of TV ads about Newt Gingrich’s House ethics reprimand. One of the ads uses newscast footage of NBC’s Tom Brokaw reporting on the charge at the time. NBC wants the Brokaw footage removed from the ad. This ad follows the ad featuring Pelosi’s threat to “out” some hideous Gingrich secret, also from the days of his House reprimand. Pelosi’s staff have admitted that she doesn’t actually know anything, which may be true or may be cover for the time when whatever she might know does come out in a way that’s difficult to tie to her.

But set Pelosi’s threat aside for second. Romney has two ads up in Florida that remind voters there of Newt’s reprimand. The substance of the reprimand is less than meets the eye according to Byron York. One of the ads has started a donnybrook between the Romney campaign and NBC. Gingrich has publicly and successfully battled with ABC of late, and now here’s Romney battling with NBC. The other ad takes advantage of Pelosi’s threat to show footage of that notorious ad that Gingrich did with her on the couch to tout government solutions to global warming. That ad was, by Gingrich’s own admission, one of the most foolish moments of his political life, but nevertheless, he did the ad and using it against him is fair game. Both ads together bring up the ethics charge one more time, and remind voters of one of Gingrich’s questionable reliability.

Romney is reportedly outspending Gingrich five to one on TV and 15 to 1 overall in Florida. There are no debates between now and Tuesday’s primary. Gingrich won’t be able to mount an effective counter to these ads.

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Romney Spokesman Behind Plan to Redistrict Allen West out of Office

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 - by Clarice Feldman

One of the tea party’s most effective and popular leaders is Allen West , a Republican black Congressman from Florida. Last night he rocked the house at the Lincoln dinner in Palm Beach where Newt Gingrich was the headline speaker.

Today we learn from Legal Insurrection that the effort to force him out of office through redistricting is being spearheaded by Romney’s Florida spokesman:

The establishment is fighting back, alright.

This has not received a lot of national attention, but the Republican legislature in Florida is about to push through a plan which puts Allen West at serious risk, and the person leading the effort is one of Mitt Romney’s spokesmen [Will Weatherford]

(Disclosure, I have supported West both times he ran for office.)

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Another Obama Greendoggle Bites the Dust

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Third one in a week:

Earlier this week, Stimulus beneficiary Evergreen Energy bit the dust. Then, Ener1, a manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles and recipient of Stimulus largesse, filed for bankruptcy. And today, the Las Vegas Sun reports that Amonix, Inc., a manufacturer of solar panels that received $5.9 million from the Porkulus, will cut two-thirds of its workforce, about 200 employees, only seven months after opening a factory in Nevada.

This president has an awful track record of picking winners and losers. He just keeps on picking losers.

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9-9-9 Strikes Back: Herman Cain Endorses Newt Gingrich

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle
YouTube Preview Image

The Blaze reports:

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has announced his endorsement of Newt Gingrich.

Cain joined Gingrich at the Palm Beach County Republican Party’s 2012 Lincoln Day Dinner Saturday night, where the former Speaker delivered the event’s keynote speech. Todd Starnes of Fox News Radio tweeted that Cain was greeted to huge cheers when he walked on stage with Gingrich.

“I herby officially and enthusiastically endorse Newt Gingrich for President of the United States,” NBC News campaign embed reporter Alexandra Moe quoted Cain saying.

Noteworthy detail:

The former Speaker promised that Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan would be part of the national conversation.

This reminds me of how Sarah Palin’s recent big push for Newt (which involves comparing her fellow conservatives to cannibals and Joseph Stalin) has come alongside the Speaker’s promise that she would receive a job in his administration.

Meanwhile, if Gingrich really is the authentic Tea Party alternative to the “Massachusetts moderate” Mitt Romney why is it that Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck aren’t on board? Were there not cabinet seats available for them? Why not offer Coulter a spot on the Supreme Court?

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Now Up on the PJ Media Homepage

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

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Occupy Oakland: “Now is the time to spread hate”

Saturday, January 28th, 2012 - by Zombie

The motley crew of communists, criminals and creeps who use the meaningless label “Occupy Oakland” to somehow justify their violence rioted again today for the umpteenth time. In the middle of the melée, self-styled Occupy Oakland spokesperson and former Weather Underground revolutionary Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz gave a speech enunciating the Occupy movement’s new ethos:

The first speaker, Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, took perhaps the most pointed stance, urging the crowd to fight the rich.

“Passionate, organized hatred is the element missing in all that we do to try to change the world,” said Ortiz, a retired professor from Cal State East Bay. “Now is the time to spread hate, hatred for the rich.”

Any further questions?

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The Establishment Fears Gingrich

Saturday, January 28th, 2012 - by Michael van der Galien

Dan Balz wrote  for the Washington Post today:

What is fascinating about the Republican race is that, in a matter of days and weeks, it has turned from the question of whether a stop-Romney movement would materialize to the reality that a stop-Gingrich movement now has taken shape.

That’s certainly true. It’s absolutely fascinating to see the establishment turn on Gingrich (and no, I’m not a fan of his either. For one thing he’s too erratic). Many thought that an anti-Romney movement was afoot. Well, perhaps it is. For now, however, the only anti-movement that is truly united and aggressive is anti-Newt, not anti-Mitt.

And then this:

Gingrich may lose this battle, and he could damage himself in the process. But he will not go quietly, and his old friends and enemies in the party know it.

I have no doubt that Gingrich won’t hold back anything. No, not even if you and I would prove to him that it’ll cost Republicans the elections. He often lets himself be led by his ego. Revenge and anger are two of his main driving forces.

Is that a problem for a presidential candidate in the most powerful country on earth? I believe it is. Especially a person like that should be cool and collected in all circumstances. Say what you will about Gingrich, but that he is not.

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Why We Waste Our Time Arguing About Stupid Stuff Online

Saturday, January 28th, 2012 - by Dave Swindle

A very accurate cartoon featured at Buzzfeed this morning:

This reminds me of a cartoon that I used to have up as my profile picture on facebook:

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

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Now Up on the PJ Media Homepage

Saturday, January 28th, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

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From Governor Palin’s Facebook Page

Friday, January 27th, 2012 - by Dan Miller

Here is what she says and it’s well worth reading.  The post begins,

We have witnessed something very disturbing this week. The Republican establishment which fought Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and which continues to fight the grassroots Tea Party movement today has adopted the tactics of the left in using the media and the politics of personal destruction to attack an opponent.

It goes on from there. Please read it. Don’t weep, just read it and act accordingly.

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Audio: Sen John McCain Admits Dropping the Ball on Filibuster ‘Nuclear Option,’ Pledges to Take Obama’s ‘Recess’ Appointments to Court

Friday, January 27th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) appeared on America’s Radio News today to discuss the campaign, but about 6:30 into the interview, host Chris Salcedo asked McCain a very pointed question. Back when the Republicans held the Senate, as the leadership threatened to deploy the “nuclear option” to remove the 60-vote requirement to get a bill past cloture and undo a Democratic filibuster, McCain and others created a bipartisan “Gang of 14″ to take that option off the table. They did this, they said at the time, in the name of protecting the Senate minority’s rights. But in 2011, as Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid threatened to deploy the nuclear option to undo a GOP filibuster, there was no “Gang of 14″ from McCain or anyone else. Reid eventually used the nuclear option. Salcedo asked McCain about that, and McCain agreed, calling it a “failure of us to get together and enforce what we agreed to.”

If that isn’t the story of the Republican Party in Washington over the last few years, I don’t know what is.

McCain segued from that admission to a pledge:

MCCAIN: Probably much more alarming than that, Chris, is the NLRB and Consumer Protection appointment during a, quote, recess and we were not in recess. We’ve got to fight that all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. That’s gotta be one of our highest priorities. That is abuse of executive power. And in my view, it is a clear violation of the Constitution of the United States, because we were not recessed.

Sen. McCain added that Obama’s actions constitute a “very very serious” abuse of his presidential power.

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WaPo: Associates Say Ron Paul Knew About Racist Newsletters

Friday, January 27th, 2012 - by Roger L Simon

On the heels of yesterday’s revelation of tawdry racist posts on Ron Paul’s current Campaign for Liberty website, comes this report from the Washington Post: Ron Paul signed off on racist newsletters in the 1990s, associates say. Here’s the meat:

But people close to Paul’s operations said he was deeply involved in the company that produced the newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day.

“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it,’’ said Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul’s company and a supporter of the Texas congressman.

The newsletters point to a rarely seen and somewhat opaque side of Paul, who has surprised the political community by becoming an important factor in the Republican race. The candidate, who has presented himself as a kindly doctor and political truth-teller, declined in a recent debate to release his tax returns, joking that he would be “embarrassed” about his income compared with that of his richer GOP rivals.

And then there’s this:

A person involved in Paul’s businesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid criticizing a former employer, said Paul and his associates decided in the late 1980s to try to increase sales by making the newsletters more provocative. They discussed adding controversial material, including racial statements, to help the business, the person said.

“It was playing on a growing racial tension, economic tension, fear of government,’’ said the person, who supports Paul’s economic policies but is not backing him for president. “I’m not saying Ron believed this stuff. It was good copy. Ron Paul is a shrewd businessman.’’

The articles included racial, anti-Semitic and anti-gay content. They claimed, for example, that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “seduced underage girls and boys’’; they ridiculed black activists by suggesting that New York be named “Zooville” or “Lazyopolis”; and they said the 1992 Los Angeles riots ended “when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.’’ The June 1990 edition of the Ron Paul Political Report included the statement: “Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”

Good old jovial Ron.

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Ayatollah: Iran Already an Atomic Power

Friday, January 27th, 2012 - by Reza Kahlili

In today’s Friday prayer sermon, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, a senior ayatollah and a member of the Islamic regime’s Assembly of Experts, criticized the European Union for their decision to impose oil sanctions on Iran and stated that in effect, “the EU has sanctioned itself from our oil and that it will harm their economy much more than Iran’s.”

He then focused on the recent State of the Union address by President Obama and his statement about Iran facing alienation and strong sanctions and saying that the U.S. will not allow Iran to get the nuclear bomb. Khatami responded by saying that so far four regimes — servants of America — have been toppled in the region and “Obama needs to bug off, and despite his rhetoric, Iran is already an atomic power.”

Khatami stated that what the Islamic regime in Iran is facing now is similar to what Prophet Mohammad was facing in his time, but through faith in Allah, Islam will be victorious.

Seyyed Emad Hosseini, spokesman for the Majlis (parliament) Energy Commission also said on Friday that the Islamic regime has the world’s third biggest oil reserve and cannot be eliminated from global energy equation. He added that oil sanctions imposed by European countries will only harm the European Union countries and that Iran is prepared to bring the European Union to its knees by stopping Iran’s oil exports to them as early as next week.

Iranian lawmakers are set to debate a “double-urgency” bill on Sunday to decide whether to ban oil exports to the European Union countries.

General Naghhdi, the chief commander of the Basij, the regime’s militia army, stated on Thursday that after Iranian officials received the letter from Obama begging for negotiations, they decided to show some leniency and allow the U.S. Navy ships to pass through the Strait of Hormuz.

Days ago it was reported that USS Abraham Lincoln, a nuclear-powered carrier, passed through the Strait of Hormuz and entered the Gulf without incident.

As reported on January 23rd, President Obama sent a message to the Iranian leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, stating his concern about the threats to close the Strait of Hormuz and his desire for negotiations because he does not want to take any action against the regime.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior Fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).

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