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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Al Sharpton Slams Rick Santorum After Interview: ‘I Didn’t Tell Him What I Really Thought About Him’

(Breitbart.tv) - Al Sharpton pressed Rick Santorum on his electability and made a very big deal about the fact that he was editing his questions and his comments to try to stay positive during the interview. After the interview had concluded, Sharpton made sure that everyone was aware for his distaste for the Presidential candidate.

Obama Campaign Confident About Next Election

(Breitbart.tv) - Mike Allen tells MSNBC that in his interview with Valerie Jarrett, she expressed confidence about the upcoming election cycle and that President's ability to connect with people would outweigh anything that the GOP candidate could bring to the table.

New Rick Perry ad in Iowa calls Congressional opponents “foxes guarding the henhouse”

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - I don’t disagree that sending a pork-seeking legislator to the White House will do little to reform spending in Congress. We need look no further than the man we elected the last time for a good example of that problem, after all. Rick Perry’s argument that sending a fox to guard the henhouse won’t work is correct … as far as it goes. But it’s the part that follows that doesn’t work as well:

Video: Newt Gingrich responds to Mitt Romney attacks

(By Tina Korbe, Hot Air) - As AP pointed out last night, Newt Gingrich’s decision to stay nice in the face of Mitt Romney’s incessant attacks on him was and is a perplexing one. Allah wrote: “He was famous for scorched-earth politics when he was in the House, yet when he finally got his second look as a presidential contender, he turned into a nice-ish guy. It’s probably too late now.”

It probably is — but that doesn’t mean that his supporters won’t still try to come to his defense. A pro-Newt Super PAC called Winning the Future yesterday released its first Iowa ad to defend Gingrich against the claims of the Romney and Perry camps. According to the ad, “the Republican establishment” (which seems to be code in this case for the former Massachusetts governor and current Texas governor) has outspent Gingrich 20:1 — and much of that money has been spent to ding the former Speaker of the House. The ad calls the attacks “falsehoods” and reminds viewers of all that Gingrich has definitively accomplished for the conservative cause, from balancing the budget to cutting taxes to creating 11 million jobs.

Wife Must Be Reminded of Life Every Day

(WGHP-TV) - A woman's viral brain illness means her husband has to retell their basic life story every day. But even though the husband's brain is working for two, it led him to start running. And running. And running.

Bob Buckley brings us the story of Scott and Sharon Callahan.

The virus that destroyed Sharon's memory is herpes encephalitis, the same virus that 90 percent of Americans have that, in some people, just causes cold sores.

Scott and Sharon plan to keep doing triathlons as long as their bodies hold out.

NBC News’ Ed Schultz: Tea Party Republicans Are Like ‘Sewer Rats’

"They have a sewer rat mentality. You know what sewer rats do? They go down in the hole and they don't come out. And they all hang out together. And they're comfortable in their environment."

NBC News’ Chuck Todd To Newt Gingrich: ‘What’s Your Relationship Like With Your Ex-Wives?’

(Breitbart.tv) - NBC's Chuck Todd 'went there' today and asked Newt Gingrich questions about his ex-wives.

Rick Santorum Can’t Tell Wolf Blitzer How A President Ron Paul Would Differ From Obama

(By Frances Martel, Mediaite) - With Rep. Ron Paul inching towards the Iowa caucuses in the top position, Wolf Blitzer‘s favorite question for his rivals for the Republican nomination, given Rep. Paul’s foreign policy views, has been to ask whether they can support Rep. Paul should he be the Republican nominee over President Obama. Newt Gingrich intimated that he may not be able to, while Mitt Romney could. Today, Rick Santorum got his turn, but in explaining that he would, he couldn’t seem to articulate a good reason why.

Iowa Pastors Urge GOP Candidates to Quit, Fearing Evangelical Split

DES MOINES, Iowa (Fox News) – Two politically active pastors in Iowa's robust evangelical conservative movement said Wednesday that an effort has been under way to persuade either Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann to consider quitting the Republican presidential race and endorsing the other to avoid splintering this influential voting bloc's influence in the state's caucuses.

"Otherwise, like-minded people will be divided and water down their impact," said Rev. Cary Gordon, a Sioux City minister. He said he asked Santorum several weeks ago to consider exiting the race but has since endorsed the former Pennsylvania senator, who is rising in polls.

Rev. Albert Calloway, a retired pastor from Indianola, said he asked Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, several days ago to consider quitting the race.

Rick Perry: Don’t Replace A Democrat Insider With A GOP Insider

"We know how to create jobs. And you keep the taxes low you have a regulatory climate that is fair and predictable, a legal system that doesn't allow for over-suing. Listen, if want to trade a Democratic insider for a Republican insider people know that's not going too change Washington, D. C. They're really looking for an outsider with a record of job creation and executive governing experience. And I'm the only one that is standing up on the Republican side and has those qualifications."

NASCAR Driver Kasey Kahne Apologizes For ‘Offensive’ Breastfeeding Tweets

(By James Crugnale, Mediaite) - NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne apologized late Wednesday for controversial tweets he had written criticizing public breastfeeding. “I understand that my comments regarding breastfeeding posted on Twitter were offensive to some people,” Kahne acknowledged in a statement on his Facebook page. “For that, I apologize. It was in no way my intention to offend any mother who chooses to breastfeed her child, or, for that matter, anyone who supports breast feeding children. I want to make that clear.”

Charles Krauthammer: ‘Ridiculous’ GOP Congress And ‘Embarrassing’ Candidates Are Handing Obama A Victory

(By Frances Martel, Mediaite) - President Obama’s consistent lead over most Republican contenders has taken some on the right by surprise, given his low approval ratings and the bad economy the administration can’t seem to shake. To Charles Krauthammer, none of the credit should go to President Obama, however, but to the “embarrassing” Republican candidates and the “ridiculous” behavior of the Congressional Republican leadership.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wind Power Does Not Help Economy or Environment, Experts Say

WILMINGTON (By Sara Burrows, Carolina Journal Online) — State law requires North Carolina utility companies to generate 7.5 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2018. The standard can’t be met without wind, an energy source some scientists call counterproductive.

Electricity generated from the wind is inefficient, extremely expensive, and bad for the environment, argued scientists and economists at a forum sponsored by the John Locke Foundation Dec. 5, at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

NASCAR Driver Kasey Kahne Slams Mothers Who Breastfeed In Public

(By James Crugnale, Mediaite) - NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne went on a bizarre, anti-public breastfeeding tirade on his Twitter feed yesterday, later deleting his tweets without apology. The speedway champion tweeted he was grossed out to see a woman breastfeeding in a supermarket, hashtagging #nasty and said he didn’t feel like shopping or eating anymore after seeing it. After a woman told him she disagreed, he called her a “dumb b***h.” His remarks were surprising for a participant in a sport fast becoming popular with female fans.

Going Rogue: Independent Group Runs Sarah Palin For President Radio Ads In Iowa

(Breitbart.tv) - An independent group is running radio ads on WHO in Des Moines, IA asking Iowans to "vote rogue" for Sarah Palin on caucus day.

Fla. family's Christmas surprise: 13-foot python in pool

(By Michael Winter, USA TODAY) - A Miami family had a surprise, and unwelcomed, Christmas visitor: a 13-foot Burmese python in their swimming pool, according to news reports from South Florida.

Suladie Miranda found the snake "curled up in the corner of the pool" and called 911, WSVN-TV reports.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's "venom response" team responded. (Note: Pythons are not venomous.) It took three tries to nab the slithering intruder, which slipped away and went for a swim before being captured.

Tarzan‘s ’Cheetah the Chimp’ Dies at Extraordinary Age of 80

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (TheBlaze/AP) — A Florida animal sanctuary says Cheetah the chimpanzee, sidekick in the Tarzan movies of the early 1930s, has died at age 80.

The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor announced that Cheetah died Dec. 24 of kidney failure.

Sanctuary outreach director Debbie Cobb on Wednesday told The Tampa Tribune that Cheetah was outgoing, loved finger painting and liked to see people laugh. She says he seemed to be tuned into human feelings. According to the Tribune, he was soothed by non-denominational Christian music.

Security Cam Catches Gold Store Clerk Pummeling Would-Be Robber

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Police say a would-be robber who demanded money from a store clerk got a fistful.

Before he could run off with any cash, the clerk at the We Buy Gold store in Hendersonville punched him in the nose on Friday. Sgt. Dale Patton with the Hendersonville Police Department tells the Times-News of Hendersonville that 25-year-old Mostafa Kamel Hendi dropped to the floor.

Ron Paul: Hamas Was Started By Israel

In 2008 Video, Newt Gingrich Is Passionate About The Individual Mandate

Betty White‘s ’Monday Night Football’ Opening

Newt Gingrich Releases Video: Christmas Day 1776 - 'Victory or Death'...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Newt Gingrich: "Please Don't Turn America Into Massachusetts"

(Real Clear Politics) - Newt Gingrich hosted a town hall meeting, making a none-too-subtle dig at Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, by quipping he might host a "Please don't turn America into Massachusetts" rally.

Flashback 2005: Newt Gingrich Thinks Puerto Rico Should Be A State

"I've supported, as you know, a Puerto Rican statehood bill..."

Watch Would-Be Suicide Bomber React To Video Of Failed Bomb Attempt

(By Alex Alvarez, Mediaite) - Fox News’ Leland Vittert, reporting from on location in Jerusalem, is offering the first U.S. interview with a woman who was incarcerated after unsuccessfully attempting to kill Israelis with a bomb she had strapped to her body. As Vittert sees it, the report “shatters the illusion that those who are driven by hate can have their minds changed.”

The report included footage of the would-be suicide bomber at the very moment her detonator failed outside of a hospital. After shedding her jacket, the woman can be seen crying and clutching at her neck and chest.

Tucker Carlson: GOP Should Ask Themselves Why Does This 70-ish Weird Guy Have All This Support

(By James Crugnale, Mediaite) - On Wednesday morning’s 'Red Eye', host Greg Gutfeld asked 'The Daily Caller'‘s Tucker Carlson about Ron Paul’s surge in Iowa. “What happens if Paul wins Iowa? I wrote panic!”

“Maybe Republicans (should) ask themselves why does this 70-ish weird guy have all of this support?” Carlson questioned. “What is he saying that’s resonating? And how do we address those concerns? Maybe people do care about the fed – soft money maybe they are not happy with Afghanistan. I mean, think it through a little bit!”

Weatherman Has a ‘Fit’ on Live TV When He Runs Out of Time for Forecast

(By Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze) - Quick question: Has your boss ever made you do something that was not part of your normal job duties, only to find that your normal job suffers because of it? Well that’s exactly what happened to KTLA-TV (Los Angeles) weatherman Henry DiCarlo this week. The only difference between him and you? He got to tell the world he was unhappy.

As TV Spy notes, DiCarlo was sent out to do a local interview one morning this week. Innocent enough. However, when it came time for him to deliver the weather, he was apparently told that there was no time for that. That’s when he cut loose:

Rep. Ron Paul Gets Irked By Newsletter Questions, Walks Out Of CNN Interview

(By James Crugnale, Mediaite) - Ron Paul walked out of an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger following a heated exchange over the controversy regarding racist newsletters sent in his name during the 1990s. Borger asked the Congressman if he had ever read the newsletters. “Did you ever object when you read them?”

“Why don’t you go back and look at what I said yesterday on CNN and what I’ve said for 20 something years. 22 years ago? I didn’t write them, I disavow them, That’s it.”

Related Material...

Another new Rick Perry ad pings Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich

(By Tina Korbe, Hot Air) - This ad, which 'Politico’s' Maggie Haberman reports started to run in Iowa and South Carolina today, comes from the pro-Rick-Perry Super PAC “Make Us Great Again.” It doesn’t hit Newt Gingrich for his affairs — but that’s about all it leaves out. In barely more than half a minute, the spot reminds us that Gingrich has been in Washington for decades, that Mitt Romney once campaigned as a pro-choice candidate, that Gingrich was once found guilty for ethics violations, that Romney created Romneycare, that Gingrich joined Nancy Pelosi on the loveseat, that he supported TARP and that he lobbied for Freddie Mac. Whew. It makes me exhausted just to think about all those poor showings on the part of our frontrunners. For some reason, the attacks lodged themselves deeper in my mind than the praise for Perry, which comes at the end of the ad (I was too distracted by the sudden appearance of an iPad). But, in general, the spot makes me excited for Iowa. All polls aside, who knows what might happen there? As Allah has reported before, plenty of Iowans are still undecided. The closer we come to the caucuses, the more I begin to think anyone could win. It’s the essence of elections: We the people — messy, unpredictable, mercurial, yet somehow reliably rational in the pursuit of our own self-interest — decide. Cool.

North Korean state media: Jimmy Carter sent us his condolences

(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - Via Business Insider, true or not? On the one hand, it’s North Korean state media.

On the other hand, it’s Jimmy Carter.

In the message Jimmy Carter extended condolences to Kim Jong Un and the Korean people over the demise of leader Kim Jong Il.

He wished Kim Jong Un every success as he assumes his new responsibility of leadership, looking forward to another visit to the DPRK in the future.

The Washington Times asked the Carter Center to confirm or deny but his spokesman’s out of the office until after New Year’s. Could be NorK propaganda, of course, but in that case it’s odd that Carter’s the only former president named on the KCNA website. If you’re going to lie about phantom condolences being sent, why not claim that Clinton and the Bushes and even George Washington sent theirs too? (Carter’s a special case in that he’s visited North Korea, but then so has Clinton.) Don’t forget either that he carried water for the regime earlier this year, much to Hillary’s annoyance, when he accused the U.S. and South Korea of violating North Koreans’ human rights by stopping food shipments in order to put pressure on Kim. Would a guy like that, who’s been known to literally hug Hamas members, send condolences on the death of the world’s foremost gulag operator in the name of “outreach” and “dialogue”? Well … maybe, sure. Does anyone on either side think he categorically wouldn’t?

There’s nothing like a Jimmy Carter story to get you to appreciate Obama a little more by comparison. Merry Christmas, champ.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rick Perry Takes On Fracking Myth

"I am truly offended that the American public buy stories that do not scientifically hold up."

Rep. Barney Frank Was Showing Off An… Um… Interesting Look On The House Floor Today

(By Jon Bershad, Mediaite) - Today in the House, Barney Frank took to the floor to speak about bank failures. Frank currently has a cast on his left hand and so he wore his suit over his shoulders. This both gave it the appearance of a cape and also showed off an awesome bright blue sweater. The look was…mesmerizing.

Charles Krauthammer: ‘The Republicans Have Been Entirely Outplayed’ On Payroll Tax Cut

(By James Crugnale, Mediaite) - On Tuesday night’s 'Special Report with Bret Baier', conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer conceded that President Obama had the upper hand in the payroll tax cut extension political battle. “The Republicans have been entirely outplayed,” Krauthammer admitted.

Online adultery dating site ‘endorses’ Newt Gingrich

(By C.J. Ciaramella, The Daily Caller) - Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is getting some free advertising in Pennsylvania thanks to a new endorsement, but it might not be the kind he’s looking for.

Drivers heading down Route 1 in Pennsylvania can see the billboard: A giant picture of Gingrich with text that reads, “Faithful Republican, Unfaithful Husband. Welcome to the Ashleymadison.com era.”

Ashleymadison.com is an an online dating site for people who are already married. It’s motto: “Life is short. Have an affair.”

Evangelize: Obama Campaign Releases Instructional Ad On Propagandizing Conservative Family Members

(Breitbart.tv) - In an ad titled "Home for the Holidays: Share Why You're Working to Re-elect President Obama," the campaign provides ideas on how to spread the good news of President Obama. Ideas include sharing speeches on family members' facebook walls or forwarding them in emails and starting conversations about politics while at home.

Mourners Weep At 'Escalator' Used By Kim Jong-il

(Breitbart.tv) - Video has emerged of women mourning at an escalator once used by the dictator in recent years. A woman is quoted saying, "I can't imagine how happy it would make us and our fellow citizens if he could ride on this escalator again. I still feel that he's a alive with his bright smile. I can also hear his voice."

Ron Paul in 1991: Nothing Changed Under Reagan, ‘No Difference’ Between Parties

(Breitbart.tv) - In this clip Dr. Paul praises Eastern Europe for their "total rejection" of centralized planning and praises the Soviet Union because "they reject central planning." He also says that there aren't any differences between the two parties and claims that we never saw "significant change" under Ronald Reagan.

Former Dem Gov. Doug Wilder (VA) To Obama: Take Joe Biden Off The Ticket

"The question is not if Joe Biden will make a gaffe... but is he the person that you want in place?"

The GOP's Payroll Tax Fiasco

How did Republicans manage to lose the tax issue to Obama?

(WSJ.com) -
GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell famously said a year ago that his main task in the 112th Congress was to make sure that President Obama would not be re-elected. Given how he and House Speaker John Boehner have handled the payroll tax debate, we wonder if they might end up re-electing the President before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest.

The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play.

Republicans have also achieved the small miracle of letting Mr. Obama position himself as an election-year tax cutter, although he's spent most of his Presidency promoting tax increases and he would hit the economy with one of the largest tax increases ever in 2013. This should be impossible.

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Report: Iowa evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats asked Michele Bachmann to drop out and endorse Rick Santorum

(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - I’m confused. Why should the Ames straw poll winner, who’s played a key role at some of the debates and who’s always polled higher than Santorum, give up on her home state and throw her support to him instead of vice versa?

Iowa evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats called Michele Bachmann and urged her to drop out of the race and endorse Rick Santorum, a source with knowledge of the conversation told POLITICO Tuesday…

Bachmann declined, the source said, noting to Vander Plaats that she has consistently polled ahead of Santorum in the race and still does…

“I refuse to take a swing at somebody and diminish what they think is their God-ordained role. I refuse to do that,” [Chuck Hurley, the president of the Iowa Family Policy Center] said. “What I would say instead of quote, drop-out, unquote, is why can’t the top three or so pro-family candidates come together and figure out who has the talent for president, who has the talent for other roles in the federal government, whether it’s attorney general, secretary of state, vice president, Health and Human Services secretary, and those people could quickly, with the 10-10-10 situation [in the polls], could quickly vaunt into first place, win the Iowa caucus and win the nomination.”

Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan said Perry spoke with Vander Plaats on Friday, but dropping out and backing Santorum “absolutely did not come up.”

Related Material...

Bill Clinton: Why yes, the media did favor Obama over Hillary three years ago

(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - Via Fox News Insider, this clip shouldn’t be as gratifying as it is. Surely no one needs Bill Clinton to tell them that the press was neck-deep in the tank for The Unicorn Prince in 2008. But it is gratifying, partly because of the hint of lingering resentment in Clinton’s reaction and partly because of the extra little shadow of illegitimacy it casts on Obama’s victory. It’s no secret that BC didn’t think much of O during the campaign — remember this infamous exchange he reportedly had with Ted Kennedy? — but to see him acknowledge this when we’re on the cusp of another campaign where the media will be neck-deep in the tank for Obama is oddly comforting. Forget the bit at the end where he hedges on media bias against the GOP and never mind that, if asked, he would surely say he thinks Obama would have beat Hillary without the press’s help (she did end up winning New Hampshire, after all). Those are stock answers that any good soldier would offer for his party. The one about Hillary is not, which is what makes it so striking. No one’s under any illusions about the media’s corruption, including the elder statesmen in their favored party.

I’ll bet he has a little scrapbook stashed somewhere filled with stories like this.

Newt Gingrich: Mitt Romney should be ashamed of these incredibly effective, hugely damaging Super PAC ads

(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - Why should he be ashamed, exactly? Gingrich unilaterally disarmed on negative ads, whether because he thought they’d backfire and hurt his image or because his own Super PAC can’t yet afford them, and now he’s peeved that Romney and Ron Paul haven’t followed suit. But why would they? The ads have been invaluable in deflating Gingrich’s Iowa balloon and making it a race again. And spare me the “attack ads only help Obama” lecture: The One has an army of oppo people ready to air Gingrich’s dirty laundry if he’s the nominee. Does anyone seriously think Obama needs Mitt Romney’s ad team to remind him of Gingrich’s relationship to Freddie Mac?

“Well, that makes my point,” Gingrich said. “If you see Romney, ask him to take them off the air. I mean, you know, it would be nice if candidates were responsible for the things being done by the people who know them personally who are trying to help them get elected.”

He later closed his 37-minute session with this: “Ask (your friends) if they run into one of these candidates, to tell them they ought to be ashamed of themselves, to take this junk off the air. And don’t hide behind some baloney about the superPAC that I actually have no control over that happens to be run by five of my former staff. That’s just baloney.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Federal Gov't Spending Millions in Storage Fees for 'Extra Steel' That Could Be Used to Extend SW Border Fence

(CNSNews.com) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has in storage about 27,000 tons of “extra steel” that could be used to extend the estimated 650 miles of fencing mandated by Congress along the approximately 2,000-mile long southwest border, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General (DHS IG).

An IG report released in November notes that in January 2008, the CBP -- a DHS component -- awarded an unnamed “prime contractor” a “Supply and Supply Chain Management (SSCM) task order” for storing and purchasing steel to support the construction of fence along hundreds of miles of the U.S.-Mexico border by Dec. 31, 2008 as part of the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) that was mandated by Congress.

Although the report does not name the prime contractor who was awarded the SSCM task order, the CBP reported that it “teamed up with The Boeing Company” of Chicago, Ill. to “support and facilitate the successful execution” of all fence building operations under the SSCM project mentioned in the IG report.

Pilot Mountain Employees to Take Six Furlough Days

PILOT MOUNTAIN, N.C. (WGHP) — Pilot Mountain's board of commissioners voted Monday to have employees take six furlough days off between now and the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

'The Mount Airy News' reported that Town Manager Homer Dearmin said unpaid days off would be better for employees than taking a salary reduction across the board.

Dearmin said having furlough days means that everyone can keep their jobs. He said the six furlough days will save the town $22,741.

VIDEO: Occupy Winston-Salem Protester Arrested for "Disorderly Conduct"

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) - An Occupy Winston-Salem protester was arrested for "disorderly conduct" outside city hall on Tuesday, according to police.

Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, police asked 20 protesters to leave city hall property. As the protesters left the property, William Bryant Bridge, 20, of 651 Summit Street, shouted profanities at police.

"(The suspect) caused a public disturbance by using abusive language intended and plainly likely to provoke immediate violent retaliation," police stated in the arrest warrant.

Laurence Lovette Gets Life in Prison in Killing of UNC Student Body President

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) — An Orange County jury has found Laurence Lovette guilty of murdering University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson in 2008.

The jury announced its verdict Tuesday morning, finding Lovette guilty of first-degree murder. He showed no emotion as the verdict was read.

Lovette was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was not eligible for the death penalty because he was a minor when the crime was committed.

Prosecutors say Lovette and Demario Atwater abducted Carson, of Athens, Ga., from her home in March 2008 and forced her to withdraw $1,400 from automated teller machines.

Investigators say Carson was shot five times before her body was dumped on a Chapel Hill street.

Atwater pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to life in prison.

Rick Perry: Bailout Was Single Biggest Act Of Theft in American History

(By Alex Alvarez, Mediaite) - Yesterday, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry referred to the government’s $700 billion bailout of Wall Street as “the single biggest act of theft in American history,” reminding those gathered at an Iowa Pizza Ranch of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney‘s support for it while pointing to his own status as an “outsider”:

This Wall Street bailout was the single biggest act of theft in American history. And, you know, and Newt and Mitt, they both were for it. That’s one of the reasons that I say that if you really want an individual who is an outsider, who has not been engaged in that process up, there, I hope you will take look at me.

Chris Christie Spars With Mika Brzezinski & Slams Obama on MSNBC‘s ’Morning Joe’

(By Christopher Santarelli, TheBlaze.com) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave a signature performance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe“ today. In addition to giving an expected smack down of President Obama’s performance, defending Mitt Romney, and giving his views on the 2012 campaign and gridlock on Capital Hill, Christie challenged the opinions of the shows liberal co-host, Mika Brzezinski.

Mitt Romney: Obama Not A Socialist, But A "Big Government Liberal Democrat"

(RealClearPolitics) - Presidential candidate Mitt Romney would not call President Obama a "socialist," instead saying he is "just over his head" and a "big government liberal Democrat."

"You know, I prefer to use the term that he’s just over his head,” Mitt Romney said on FOX News' "O'Reilly Factor" tonight. "I consider him a big government liberal Democrat. I think, as you look at his policies, you conclude that he thinks Europe got it right and we got it wrong. I think Europe got it wrong. I think Europe is not working in Europe, and I’ll battle him on that day in and day out. But I’m probably not going to be calling him names so much as calling him a failure."

Video: Rick Perry going full populist?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - If Rick Perry’s latest TV spot in Iowa gives any indication, look for a lot more populist rhetoric from the Texas governor in the final days before the caucuses. Perry’s team launched this attack ad, called “Three Streets,” aimed at both frontrunners in Iowa. Perry claims Main Street as his constituency, while accusing Mitt Romney of representing Wall Street and Newt Gingrich of getting rich off of K Street:

Go Inside NASA’s Atlantis Cockpit Powered Up for One of the Last Times in These Photos

(By Liz Klimas, TheBlaze.com) - Since you won‘t be able to sit in the cockpit of NASA’s Atlantis space shuttle while its on display in the Kennedy Space Center till the end of 2012, here are some insider photos. Astronauts operated all these buttons and switches until the shuttle program ended earlier this year.

collectSpace.com had the opportunity to to photograph the cockpit while the power was on for one of the last times.

Pat McCrory ‘100 percent’ in for NC governor

RALEIGH (The Rocky Mount Telegram) – Republican Pat McCrory confirmed Monday what’s been the least-disguised decision in North Carolina politics for months — the former Charlotte mayor is running for governor again.

The GOP’s 2008 gubernatorial nominee said he’s “100 percent committed” to seek the Republican nomination in May. McCrory lost to Democrat Bev Perdue in 2008 in the closest general election for the job in 36 years. A rematch seems to be the most likely outcome in 2012.

McCrory said this fall he’d say something about his plans early next year and confirmed Monday that an official announcement would still be forthcoming. Details haven’t been squared away. But McCrory said he wanted to make clear his intentions.

Bev Perdue Media Team Used Confidential Data To Spin Jobs Reports

Federal officials question legality of getting employment info before official release

RALEIGH (By Don Carrington, Carolina Journal Online) —
Since as early as January 2011, and perhaps before then, Gov. Bev Perdue’s press office has received access to confidential employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics hours if not days before its scheduled release, quite likely in violation of federal law. The governor’s staff used its early access to massage the monthly employment press release that reported jobs data to the public.

Documents and correspondence obtained by 'Carolina Journal' show that the Division of Employment Security, formerly known as the Employment Security Commission, sent a draft of the press release each month to Perdue’s press office. The governor’s spokesmen typically rewrote the text and added a positive spin, even if the data did not support Perdue’s talking points.

The glowing quotes were attributed to Lynn Holmes, director of the employment agency, but the documents show the quotes were approved and probably written by a Perdue press aide, either Chrissy Pearson or Mark Johnson.

White House Stands by Joe Biden Statement That Taliban Isn't U.S. Enemy

(FoxNews.com) - The White House on Monday defended Vice President Joe Biden for saying that the Taliban isn't an enemy of the United States despite the years spent fighting the militant Islamic group that gave a home to Al Qaeda and its leader Usama bin Laden while he plotted the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

"It's only regrettable when taken out of context," White House spokesman Jay Carney said of the vice president's remarks in an interview published Monday.

"It is a simple fact that we went into Afghanistan because of the attack on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. We are there now to ultimately defeat Al Qaeda, to stabilize Afghanistan and stabilize it in part so that Al Qaeda or other terrorists who have as their aim attacks on the United States cannot establish a foothold again in that country," Carney continued.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nancy Pelosi’s economic “experts” included son’s boss and her business partner in 2010

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Last week, Nancy Pelosi insisted that extending unemployment benefits would, er, 'save or create 600,000 jobs', and insisted that experts in macroeconomics told her so. Who are the economic experts that advise Pelosi? According to Roll Call, Pelosi hauled a few of them up to Capitol Hill to support her economic policy, but didn’t disclose her relationship with at least one of them:

In May 2010, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi took to a podium in the Capitol to introduce a half-dozen economic experts she had convened for a meeting on how to jump-start the economy. The group had met for several hours with top Democratic leaders, and Pelosi invited them to speak publicly on their perspectives on economic growth.

What Pelosi did not mention is that one of the men in the group was her son’s boss and a partner with her husband in more than a half-dozen investments, including one that generated more than $100,000 in income for the Speaker’s family last year.

It was the fourth time since 2007 that Pelosi had invited San Francisco investment banker William Hambrecht to be part of an economic policy forum on the Hill and the third time she appeared at a podium with him to speak to reporters. At none of those events did the then-Speaker reveal her financial ties to Hambrecht, and House rules did not require her to do so.

At a time when the connection between a Member of Congress’ personal finances and public role has been spotlighted by the proposed STOCK Act — which would prohibit lawmakers from trading on legislative knowledge — the case of Pelosi and her family’s investment adviser is a reminder of how few rules exist to govern these relationships.

Mitt Romney on Obamacare in 2010: Let’s “repeal the bad and keep the good”

(By Tina Korbe, Hot Air) - Just when it seems every last shred of evidence 'against' a candidate has surfaced, a new iteration of a troublesome past position will appear. This will just fuel those commenters who’re convinced I’m anti-Mitt, but it has to be posted. (I’d repeat again that I’m genuinely undecided but that would just feed those who’re convinced I have a secret bias in favor of a particular candidate that I refuse to reveal.)

When Obamacare passed in 2010, Mitt Romney didn’t exactly have the same reaction as, say, Tea Party protesters. He was less immediately concerned with what the law represented — that is, a massive overreach by the federal government, a total takeover of health care — than he was with the specifics of the law, with the question of whether they would work. And, on several occasions, he went on record in support of the individual mandate — the very mandate that might now be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States.

We already knew that Mitt Romney signed Romneycare — with its individual law and its taxpayer-subsidy-funded premium exchange — into law at the state level. If I had stopped to think about it, I might even have remembered that Romney’s original idea about Obamacare was to “repeal its worst aspects.” But that phrase — “repeal its worst aspects” — could be construed to mean Romney still thought the entire law was “bad.”

North Carolinian Town‘s New Year’s Eve Opossum Drop Under PETA Attack

(By Liz Klimas, TheBlaze.com) - In Brasstown, North Carolina, residents aren’t glued to their TV screen on New Years Eve to watch the Times Square ball drop. They are at Clay’s Corner to watch the annual Opossum Drop.

But that could all change if PETA gets its way. USA Today reports that PETA has called Clay Logan’s Opossum Drop, which has been happening for 18 years, “cruel and illegal.”

The opossum is not dropped in a free fall, but is lowered in a garland-covered Plexiglas container.

NRSC wishes Ben Nelson a happy 2nd anniversary of the Cornhusker Kickback

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - We have a cultural tendency to commemorate important anniversaries, and the NRSC has a new video out today “honoring” Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE). The 60-second spot notes the two-year anniversary of the Cornhusker Kickback, an amendment to the proposed ObamaCare bill that meant an extra $100 million for Nebraska — a change that inexplicably addressed Nelson’s pro-life concerns over the funding of abortions in the bill. Nelson’s change of position allowed the Democrats to push ObamaCare through Congress and eventually onto the docket of the Supreme Court in this term:

Rush Limbaugh: GOP Establishment Look At Conservatives Like A Bunch Of Tebows

George Will Demolishes Robert Reich: 'You Are a Pyromaniac In a Field of Strawmen'

(By Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters.org) - George Will on Sunday marvelously told liberal economist Robert Reich something that many conservatives have been dying to say for years.

During a fascinating Right vs. Left debate on ABC's 'This Week', after Reich predictably pined for higher income tax rates to solve all that ails us, Will struck back with the line of the weekend, "You are a pyromaniac in a field of strawmen":

In Praise Of Free Enterprise: Mitt Romney Makes His Case On Fox News Sunday

(Breitbart.tv) - Presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes a strong case for capitalism and free enterprise as the solutions to the world's economic woes in an exclusive interview with Chris Wallace.

Monkey Riding Dog Delights America

(SportsGrid) - During halftime of yesterday’s Broncos-Patriots game — which the Pats won, 41-23 — the crowd at Mile High was treated to a halftime show featuring… a monkey riding a dog. We don’t know, either.

Jay Carney Confronted Over First Lady's 'Extravagant' Jet Travels

QUESTION: The First Lady is going to be leaving in a few hours for Hawaii, obviously she isn't able to go with the President. But I wanted to ask you, isn't it quite an extravagence? Four people to go in two jets to Hawaii, particularly given, the state of the economy the state of the budget, and also given the directive that was just put out about limiting air travel by the adminstration?

(Fox Nation) - Jay Carney was questioned in [Friday's] press briefing over the First Lady's extravagent jet flight to Hawaii.

‘60 Minutes’ Edits Out Obama‘s Claim That He’s the Fourth Best President

(By Madeleine Morgenstern, TheBlaze.com) - President Barack Obama sat for an extensive interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” last week, though it appears the portion of the interview actually broadcast on TV left out a statement where Obama essentially declared himself the fourth best president in terms of his accomplishments.

The statement was only made available online as part of the full interview on “60 Minutes Overtime.”

According to a transcript posted on the “60 Minutes” website, Obama said he would hold his accomplishments so far as president against those of Lyndon B. Johnson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

Wild Video: Runaway Electric Cart Mows Down Coaches At Cowboys Stadium

(By Mike Opelka, TheBlaze.com) - At least one man was taken to a Dallas-area hospital after a driverless electric cart drove onto the field at Cowboys Stadium, plowing through a small group of coaches being interviewed after winning a high school football championship.

Coach Willie Amendola of Spring Dekaney High School is the man who ends up in the passenger seat after being hit from behind while speaking to reporters.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il Dead

(AP) - Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s mercurial and enigmatic longtime leader, has died of heart failure. He was 69.

In a “special broadcast” Monday from the North Korean capital, state media said Kim died of a heart ailment on a train due to a “great mental and physical strain” on Dec. 17 during a “high intensity field inspection.” It said an autopsy was done on Dec. 18 and “fully confirmed” the diagnosis.

Kim is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008, but he had appeared relatively vigorous in photos and video from recent trips to China and Russia and in numerous trips around the country carefully documented by state media. The communist country’s “Dear Leader” – reputed to have had a taste for cigars, cognac and gourmet cuisine – was believed to have had diabetes and heart disease.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rudy Giuliani On Mitt Romney: "I Have Never Seen A Guy Change His Positions On So Many Things"

(Real Clear Politics) - Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani slams Mitt Romney on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I have never seen a guy -- and I've run a lot of elections, supported a lot of people -- I've never seen a guy change his positions on so many things, so fast, on a dime. Everything."

Joe Scarborough argues that "Newt has switched pretty quickly on issues as well."

"Nothing, absolutely nothing like what Mitt Romney did from governor of Massachusetts to candidate for president," Giuliani responds. "Pro-choice, pro-life. Pro-choice because somebody, a close friend died, and he became pro-choice because this woman died of an abortion. Then he figures out there are embryos, and he changes. He was pro-gun control. Fine. Then he becomes a lifetime member of the NRA. He was pro cap-and-trade. Now he's against cap-and-trade. He was pro-mandate for the whole country, then he becomes anti-mandate and he takes that page out of his book and republishes the book. I could go on and on."

New Rick Perry ad returns to the topic of the economy

(By Tina Korbe, Hot Air) - I confess: I really want to see Rick Perry mount a comeback just so folks will start to use the Twitter hashtag #RickRolling (h/t Ben Shapiro). His debate performance last week — and this latest ad — make me think it’s still possible. Much rides on tonight — but, if he does well again, then he stands to finish reasonably well in Iowa, where his recent emphasis on social issues at least won’t be a turnoff. Who knows what will happen from there?

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Bipartisan plan for premium-support reform of Medicare?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Democrats had to have a plan to tie all Republican candidates to that crazy notion floated by Paul Ryan to transform Medicare into a premium-support plan, an idea so radical that no Democrat or even sane person could possibly support. Why, even Newt Gingrich called it “right-wing social engineering”! Barack Obama could get up on the stump all year and tell seniors that only he could hold back the hordes of crazy Tea Party activists that would throw Grandma to the mercy of — 'quelle horreur' — insurance companies. Wait, I wrote that inaccurately. It should have been 'eeeeeeeeeevil' insurance companies.

Sounds like a great plan, no? Well, at least it did until Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon decided that Paul’s idea isn’t so insane or extreme after all:

A Democratic senator, Ron Wyden of Oregon, and a Republican member of the House, Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, unveiled a bipartisan plan on Wednesday to revamp Medicare and make a fixed federal contribution to the cost of coverage for each beneficiary. …

Under the proposal, known as premium support, Medicare would subsidize premiums charged by private insurers that care for beneficiaries under contract with the government.

Congress would establish an insurance exchange for Medicare beneficiaries. Private plans would compete with the traditional Medicare program and would have to provide benefits of the same or greater value. The federal contribution in each region would be based on the cost of the second-cheapest option, whether that was a private plan or traditional Medicare.

In addition, the growth of Medicare would be capped. In general, spending would not be allowed to increase more than the growth of the economy, plus one percentage point — a slower rate of increase than Medicare has historically experienced.

To stay under the limit, Congress could cut payments to providers and suppliers responsible for the overspending and could increase Medicare premiums for high-income beneficiaries, the lawmakers said.

Unions harass teacher who dared to speak up in support of Scott Walker

(By Tina Korbe, Hot Air) - The obnoxiousness continues. Not content to picket the Capitol and petition for the recall of any and every state leader who had a hand in the passage of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill, union leaders are now harassing a teacher who appeared in an ad in support of Walker.

In a basic black-back-dropped ad, Kristi Lacroix said she wasn’t in favor of a recall.

“I’m not big on recalls and I think, at this point, in my opinion, and I’m only speaking from the ‘I,’ it feels a little like sour grapes,” she says in the spot. “It’s ‘oh, we didn’t get our way,’ and now we’re going to change the outcome.”

But she didn’t stop with a simple indictment of recalls. She also voiced a positive opinion of Walker himself — also known to the unions as “Hosni Mubarak” or “Adolf Hitler.”

“Scott Walker said from the beginning: ‘I’m going to do what’s right for Wisconsin,’” Lacroix continued. “And he did. He did.”

That ad didn’t make union leaders too happy — and you know what union leaders do when they’re not happy. Can you say “retaliation” much?

Rush Limbaugh Slams GOP Establishment: ‘We Nominate Milquetoast Moderates And We Lose’

(By James Crugnale, Mediaite) - In an exclusive interview with Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren, Rush Limbaugh slammed the Republican establishment for thinking a “conservative nominee is route to defeat” and lamented the top-tier GOP candidates were “milquetoast moderates.” Despite these reservations, he said, “I think right now anybody other than Ron Paul could beat Obama if the election were tomorrow.”

Mitt Romney: You know who’s a very wealthy man? Newt Gingrich

(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - He brought up Newt’s Tiffany expenses not once but twice today, first with CBS and then again during his radio chat with Hannity this afternoon. (Audio here.) At first blush this looks like he’s pulling a tu quoque as damage control following his dopey $10,000 bet offer at the debate on Saturday night, but I don’t think he’s worried much about that. It was tin-eared, and the competition’s bound to tweak him for it, but the election won’t turn on goofy stage theatrics. What’s panicking him, I think, was Gingrich’s attack on Monday about him “bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain.” Kennedy used that against Romney in 1994 with great success and the class-warrior-in-chief is going to hammer him relentlessly for it in the general if Mitt makes it that far. It’s not an attack on Romney’s wealth (although that’s implied) so much as a claim about his supposed callousness towards the working class, which of course has extra bite in an economy as desperate as this one. Huckabee once laid Romney out in classic Huckabee-an class-warrior style by saying that Mitt looks like the guy who laid you off whereas Huck looks like the guy you work with. That line won’t quite work for Obama — he looks like the guy whose lectures put you to sleep in class — but the part about Romney is going straight into Axelrod’s playbook, along with all the copies of this photo that Obama’s fundraising can buy. And Mitt knows it, of course, which is why Gingrich’s attack has him unnerved and jabbing back now with reminders that Newt has plenty of dough too. I don’t know why he’s hitting him for having money, which isn’t really the point of the Bain Capital criticism, instead of focusing on the fact of his connection to Freddie Mac while it was busy helping to drive the planet into recession. Maybe he thinks it’s unfair to blame Gingrich for that? We’ll see how fair he thinks it is two weeks from now when he’s still third in Iowa.

Baby Seal Breaks Into Home, Naps on Couch

Seal pup wanders into home and puts his flippers up

(By Kiri Gillespie of the Bay of Plenty Times) -
A wandering baby fur-seal wriggled through the cat-door of a Bay of Plenty house - and made himself at home on the couch.

A stunned Annette Swoffer thought she must have been hallucinating when she found the young pup hanging out with her cats in her kitchen on Sunday night.

The seal had made its way from the Welcome Bay waterfront, through the suburb's residential area, across busy Welcome Bay Rd, up a slip road, along Ms Swoffer's long driveway, under a gate, through the cat door and up some stairs before he was found in the kitchen about 9.30pm.

"I was in my office and I heard an awful racket down below... I thought the cats have brought a rabbit or something in so I went down and had a look - and there's a seal in my kitchen.

"I thought 'I'm hallucinating, this is just wrong'."

Stunned, Ms Swoffer called a friend who lives in a unit at the same property to come and verify what she was seeing.

"I'm looking and I'm definitely seeing flippers and not paws."

Calmly, the young pup then eased past Ms Swoffer's dog and cats before making himself at home on a couch and attempting to snuggle in for the night.

Flashback: Newt Gingrich Loves Individual Mandate

(Fox Nation) - Newt Gingrich at a Virginia Conservative Action PAC fundraiser in Richmond in 2007 supports four boxes for health care reform. They include mandatory 5 day a week PE class and posting a bond in you don't buy insurance.

Obama Blames Bush, Clinton and Reagan for Economy

"We didn't create the condition. We haven't solved it fully yet because it was three decades in the making," President Obama said about the economy in an interview with WVEC-TV.

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Oops: Reporter Learns the Hard Way That ‘Hoosiers’ and ‘Hooters’ Sound a Lot Alike

(The Blaze) - KUSA-TV’s Denver’s Ashton Altieri found out the hard way that the word “Hoosier” (a term for an Indiana native) is dangerously close to another word that may have something to do with chicken wings and waitresses in tight shirts. The word? Hooters.

During a recent newscast, Altieri had an unfortunate slip-up when he confused the two words. Watch the video and enjoy the awkward laughing, blushing and voice cracking that follows:

Rabbi: Tim Tebow Super Bowl Win Would Lead Christians to Burn Mosques & Banish Immigrants

(By Billy Hallowell, The Blaze) - The Tim Tebow debate took a bizarre turn this week when a Connecticut Rabbi wrote a scathing, Onion-like article for Jewish Week, a newspaper serving the Jewish community in New York City.

The piece, which was written by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman and seems more like a parody than a literal proclamation from a religious leader, claims that a Tebow Super Bowl win would lead to total and utter Christian-led chaos. And we’re not just talking angry football fans engaging in verbal outbursts — we’re talking mosque-burning hatred (among other purported antics).

Rush Limbaugh Rips Obama’s View of America: ‘Thinks of It as Criminal, Guilty’

(By Buck Sexton, The Blaze) - Rush Limbaugh let it rip at Barack Obama‘s policies and gave a scathing assessment of the President’s view of America in this interview Wednesday night with Greta Van Susteren.

Rush said that “Obama is his policies, Obama is the problem, Obama has a vision for this country that is not held by anywhere near a majority of the American people.”

In Rush’s analysis, if Obama had campaigned on what he has done during his time in office, he would have gotten around 30% of the national vote.

Of course, Limbaugh singled out Obamacare for particular criticism, which he called “dangerous and destructive.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Law Keeps Cap on Breweries’ Growth

Larger brewers can hold tastings and sell their beer onsite, but not distribute it

WHITSETT (By Sara Burrows, Carolina Journal) —
In a special session the week after Thanksgiving, the General Assembly tweaked North Carolina’s liquor laws to allow midsize and large breweries to offer tastings and sell their beer onsite. Previously only small breweries, producing fewer than 25,000 barrels a year, were allowed to do so.

The law was changed as an attempt to attract two midsize breweries — Sierra Nevada and New Belgium — to the state. The California- and Colorado-based companies are interested in creating hubs on the east coast. But neither will come to North Carolina unless the state allows them to sample and sell their beer at the brewery sites.

The owner of Red Oak Brewery — which produces 17,000 barrels per year in the Guilford County community of Whitsett — says the law change won’t help him. While Bill Sherrill appreciates the fact that he can continue offering tastings and retail sales after he crosses the 25,000-barrel threshold, he doesn’t plan to cross it anytime soon. That’s because as soon as he reaches that 25,000-barrel plateau, the law says he’ll have to hire a wholesaler to distribute his beer — every drop.

John Stossel documents his libertarian conversion for Pope Foundation audience

(Carolina Journal TV) - John Stossel of Fox News details the process that led him toward libertarian views about government and regulation. Stossel offered these featured remarks for the John W. Pope Foundation's 25th anniversary dinner Dec. 3, 2011, in Raleigh.

Republican says it's 'creepy' Obama campaign requesting GOP email addresses

(By Alicia M. Cohn, The Hill) - A House Republican thinks it's a little "creepy" that President Obama's reelection campaign is offering donors a chance to enter the email addresses of Republican friends.

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) tweeted Wednesday: "Obama campaign asking for donors to give them GOP email addresses. Tricky, yes. Creepy, definitely."

Obama's deputy campaign manager, Julianna Smoot, sent out an email on Tuesday playing on the "frustrating" partisan disagreements taking place between Obama supporters and conservative friends, family or acquaintances.

Claire McCaskill: Why don’t we give Republicans the pipeline?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - It’s not a bad question, especially since it’s become clear that at least a few Senate Democrats want to claim some credit for job creation. Unfortunately for Claire McCaskill, who has more need than most to build some moderate credibility with her constituents, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is more interesting in being “combative all the time,” and says she will press for a compromise that meets House Republicans somewhere in the middle:

Democratic Sen. McCaskill accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) of using divisive rhetoric during the payroll tax cut extension debate raging in Congress this week.

“I think if I were going to critique Harry Reid this morning, I really wish we would stop with this ‘dead on arrival, not going to go there’ and begin to have language like, ‘we’re going to take a look at it and see if there’s anything that we can agree on here and over the next couple of days try to come to an agreement,” said McCaskill on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown” Wednesday.

“That’s what’s really going to happen, and I don’t know why this place is so set on, you know, looking like we’re combative all the time,” she added.

Oops! MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Flips The Bird On Live Television

(By James Crugnale, Mediaite) - On Wednesday morning’s Morning Joe, Chuck Todd, apparently not realizing he was on live television, flipped the camera an obscene gesture.

Class Warfare Erupts in Dem Caucus, as Member Throws Nancy Pelosi's Fortune in Her Face

Dem targets Pelosi wealth over pay freeze

(POLITICO.com) -
Class warfare erupted in a House Democratic Caucus meeting Tuesday, as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s personal fortune was thrown in her face by a junior colleague angry about a proposal to freeze the pay of members of Congress.

Rep. Laura Richardson attacked Pelosi for endorsing the GOP-written pay freeze during a Tuesday caucus discussion of a possible Democratic amendment to the payroll tax cut, according to several sources who were in the room at the time. Both women are California Democrats.

The sources disagreed on the exact wording of the unusually direct shot at the party leader, but Richardson’s sentiment was clear: Pelosi, who is worth at least $40 million, doesn’t need the money as much as some of her colleagues, and she should have consulted with them before deciding to protect the GOP-written pay freeze.

It was “something like ‘Well I am sorry, Madam Leader, but some of us are not in the financial situation you are in,’” said one source.

Rick Perry hits the road

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Anyone who has watched the Republican debates knows Rick Perry’s most glaring vulnerability — including Rick Perry. However, he has steadily improved and had a good debate on Saturday, and now he’s hitting the campaign trail in a big way in Iowa. And rather than playing to his weakness, this plays right into Perry’s biggest strengths, as the National Journal reports:

Rick Perry has a reputation as a campaigner in Texas: He’s dangerous, but even more dangerous when he’s down. The next three weeks in Iowa will present him with the ultimate underdog challenge as he undertakes a last-ditch, massive effort to save his presidential bid.

Wednesday marks the beginning of a 14-day, 42-city bus tour that will see the Texas governor traverse the Hawkeye State, logging more than 1,000 miles as he strives to regain his standing among the top tier of candidates for the GOP nomination. …

His Iowa tour will begin in Council Bluffs, on the western edge of the state, and run in a semicircle across the northern half of Iowa heading east. After a leisurely break for Christmas — Perry has no events planned from the afternoon of the 22nd until the morning of the 27th — the tour will resume with a swing through the southern part of the state and snake back around to the center. Most days follow a pattern: two to four “meet-and-greets,” often at local restaurants or coffee shops, followed by a town hall meeting in the afternoon.

As he travels through the state, Perry will seek to build a coalition of evangelical and tea party voters, often attempting to pick off supporters from his rivals. He’s shown as much in the ads he’s run in the state targeting those specific groups. His fight for the Christian right, a key voting bloc during the Iowa caucuses, will put him in competition against Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Mitt Romney hits Newt Gingrich on Nancy Pelosi love seat appearance in new ad

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - I guess Mitt Romney isn’t going to agree to Newt Gingrich’s proposal for an entirely positive primary campaign. Gingrich has already called this moment “one of the single dumbest things I’ve done in years", but that hasn’t entirely defused the issue of his appearance in a TV spot with Nancy Pelosi on the need for “dialogue” on global warming, and Romney knows it. It was inevitable that Romney would play this card if things got tough — and they have:

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Charles Krauthammer: Newt's Romney Argument is Classic Left-Wing Critique of Capitalism

(Fox Nation) - Charles Krauthammer says Newt Gingrich is facing some serious problems when it comes to the Presidential race. Besides the fact that the Republican establishment thinks he is erratic, Newt's argument that Romney should give money back to the people he fired when he ran Bain Capital is a classic left-wing critique of capitalism.

Liberal Sen Barbara Boxer (D-CA): GOP giving Americans 'poison' for Christmas

(By Josiah Ryan, The Hill's Floor Action) - Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Tuesday accused Republicans of pushing legislation that would poison more than 8,000 people to death as a Christmas gift to Americans.

"They have attached a poison pill — literally, colleagues — because it will kill 8,100 more people more than would have otherwise been killed from pollution,” said Boxer, referring to a provision Republicans have included in their payroll tax cut extension bill that would delay the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) industrial boiler regulations.

“They attach that to the payroll tax cut,” said Boxer, the chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. "So have that for a Christmas gift."

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Ann Coulter: Mitt Romney The "Most Conservative" Candidate In GOP Field

"What I changed my mind about is whether -- by the way I changed my mind three months after that on a FOX News show because the economy was so bad. I said, look, I'm generally a pessimist for running against -- actually, maybe I'm not. We have a popular Democratic president, who does has an attractive family, has the entire mainstream behind him, and he's an incumbent. That is why I thought the candidate we ran would lose. I no longer think. I now think Obama has a glass jaw, and I said that a few months after that statement, by the way. It's not really that big of change -- we don't know if my prediction was wrong now -- what I am saying now is of the available candidates, Romney is by far the most conservative, tied with Michele Bachmann. And he has the proven ability to win in a state like Massachusetts," Ann Coulter said on "Hannity" on Tuesday night.

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New Rick Perry ad: “Momentum”

(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - If he shocks the world in Iowa, you know what that’ll mean? It’ll mean the Hot Gas reader poll was a leading indicator of his surge.

The new Insider Advantage poll has him back to third place in the state, up six points from November and just four points behind Paul for second. If Gingrich says something stupid in the next three weeks — the risk of which is always 'very real' — we could see the craziest caucus night in modern political history. And despite months of setbacks, Perry’s going all out to try to make it happen:

Rick Perry has a reputation as a campaigner in Texas: He’s dangerous, but even more dangerous when he’s down. The next three weeks in Iowa will present him with the ultimate underdog challenge as he undertakes a last-ditch, massive effort to save his presidential bid.

Wednesday marks the beginning of a 14-day, 42-city bus tour that will see the Texas governor traverse the Hawkeye State, logging more than 1,000 miles as he strives to regain his standing among the top tier of candidates for the GOP nomination…

Perry, the candidate who has never lost an election, has one more trick up his sleeve: the so-called Strike Force.

Starting in late December, between 500 and 700 volunteers, predominantly from Texas, will descend on Iowa to help get out Perry’s message. These volunteers will have paid their own way, and will help supplement an already strong network of supporters Perry has established in the state. The result may be an ability to out-organize most of the competition, bringing the same intensity and extensive voter contact that President Obama did in 2008.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

NC Republicans See Chance in 2012 to End Democrats’ Dominance of DPI

Incumbent Atkinson could face primary from her own party

RALEIGH (By David N. Bass, Carolina Journal Online) —
Step aside, Bev Perdue and Pat McCrory. One of the most competitive Council of State races in 2012 already is shaping up to be for state schools superintendent.

The filing deadline for next year’s primary is three months away, but seven candidates from both parties either have announced their candidacies or expressed interest in entering the race to become head of the Department of Public Instruction. So far, no other executive-level office in North Carolina has attracted that much interest.

North Carolina is one of 14 states that elects its top education official, and one of eight that conducts partisan races. A Republican victory in 2012 would mark the first time since the state Constitution of 1971 took effect that a GOP candidate would have won the office.

Mitt Romney Keeps Focus On Obama’s Failures

(Breitbart.tv) - Using the President's own words against him, Mitt Romney re-focuses his campaign message on the dangers of an Obama second term.

The Rick Perry I Know

(By Ben Howe, RedState) - A little over a month ago, I had the opportunity to put together a video honoring Veterans Day to be shown at BlogCon 2011 in Denver, Colorado. In conjunction with FreedomWorks, I was able to get a handful of questions about Veterans Day over to a handful of politicians to have them say thank you to our troops. Because of technical difficulties, it wasn’t actually uploaded and shown to anyone until one day after Veterans Day much to my disappointment. You can view that video here and I hope you do.

But there was another part of this work that hasn’t been shown. When I sent the word out to these various politicians and policy makers that I wanted them to talk about veterans, I gave some very simple instructions: “Please be yourself, try not to do it scripted, and just basically tell me your thoughts on our troops.”

Out of those who responded, all but one sent me great videos that were about a minute and a half in length and mostly scripted. The one that sent me something different was Governor Rick Perry. His was a bit longer than a minute and a half. Eleven minutes actually. And I was so taken by how natural and patriotic he came across when he was off script and not trying to ‘zing’ another candidate that I immediately knew the footage had to be seen.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and that, if nothing else, it will give you an insight into a man that is much more complex than the narrative being put out by his opposition.

Dick Cheney: Why didn’t Obama just destroy the drone when he had the chance?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - That’s a good question — and according to former VP Dick Cheney’s contacts, Barack Obama didn’t lack for options to keep the highly-classified drone from falling into the Iranian military’s hands. In an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Cheney wonders why Obama didn’t order an air strike on the downed aircraft while he still had the chance:

“The right response to that would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it,” he said on CNN’s “Out Front with Erin Burnett.”

Instead, Cheney said, “he asked nicely for them to return it. They aren’t gonna do that. … Or, they’ll send it back to us in pieces after they’ve gotten all the intelligence out of it they can.” …

Cheney, who served with former President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009, said he “was told the president had three options on his desk and he rejected all of them.” The options all involved destroying the drone on the ground.

“You can do that from the air,” he said. “And, in effect, make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone.”

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WaPo critic oddly not in love with new NBC News correspondent Chelsea Clinton

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - When NBC announced that it would hire Chelsea Clinton as a new correspondent for their 'Rock Center' show with Brian Williams, I was critical of the decision — mainly because the 32-year-old daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton had hardly been cooperative with news media, even when in the form of a 9-year-old girl looking for a quote. This was a vestige of the media blackout the younger Clinton enjoyed as a teenager in the White House, but those days were long past — although it seems as though some in the media have not forgotten it.

Clinton made her debut on 'Rock Center' last night, and the Washington Post’s Hank Steuver appears to channel a few years of frustration into a blistering critique of the cub reporter:

[W]hat was surprising to see on Monday night’s show is how someone can be on TV in such a prominent way and, in her big moment, display so very little charisma — none at all. Either we’re spoiled by TV’s unlimited population of giant personalities or this woman is one of the most boring people of her era.

Video: Newt Gingrich offers Mitt Romney a deal

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - We didn’t get to this yesterday, but it’s not too late to discuss Newt Gingrich’s pushback to Mitt Romney’s demand that he return over a million dollars from Freddie Mac for consultant services over the past decade. Ron Paul made the same demand, but the media is obviously more interested in Newt-Mitt attacks, and Gingrich didn’t disappoint reporters with his response — even if he did disappoint free-market conservatives:

If Gov. Romney would like to give back all of the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, then I would be glad to listen to him.

Mitt Romney in 2002: “My views are progressive”

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Hey, we get it. Republicans don’t win office in Massachusetts by proclaiming themselves as Ronald Reagan conservatives. When running for governor in 2002, Romney needed to sell himself as a Republican that represented the mainstream of liberal Massachusetts, which is why he told reporters in this clip that he was a “moderate” Republican who was “not a partisan,” and that “my views are progressive.” He told them what he needed in order to win the election.

The question is whether that was his strategy then and he was a secret conservative all along, or whether that’s his strategy today and he’s really a progressive: