Conservatives supporting Gingrich are being played

Newt Gingrich is the lastest Flavor of the Month for the conservative movement, which is feverishly looking for an anti-Romney candidate. But the former Speaker of the House has been forced to fight back against accusations that he lobbied for Freddie Mac, the government-created housing giant:

As he tried to leverage his recent rise in national polls into a full-fledged bid for the Republican nomination, Newt Gingrich was badly knocked off message on Wednesday by repeated inquiries about the more than $1.6 million he got in consulting fees from the mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which had a role in the housing collapse in recent years.

At a campaign event, Gingrich said that he characterized his work for the mortgage-finance entity as offering “strategic advice” and not as lobbying. He said he provided “strategic advice for a long period of time” after he resigned as speaker of the House in early 1999. The federally backed mortgage lender has been the target of a backlash since the collapse of the subprime-mortgage market and the deep recession in the housing market.

Gingrich said his lucrative association with Freddie Mac as a consultant – he has also said he was paid for his knowledge as an historian – should not trouble voters, he told reporters on Wednesday. “It reminds people that I know a great deal about Washington,” he said. “We just tried four years of amateur ignorance, and it didn’t work very well. So, having someone who actually knows Washington might be a really good thing.”

Congressional Transparency: There’s an app for that

Looking for a way to encourage transparency in Congress, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has released a new app, WhipCast, for smartphone users to track votes, receive alerts, and track issues that are being tackled in Washington:

Military coup openly discussed at Occupy DC

After spending a couple of hours at an Occupy site over the weekend, let me tell you that this “movement” is different from the Tea Party in several ways. The biggest is the respect for property, both private and public. The protesters at Tea Party rallies I went to were mostly respectful to the property they were on and those around them. Even the slight hint of criticism of the Obama Administration was classified as anti-government sentiment or hate speech.

But the Occupy site I visited in Denver, one of the organizers rallied some of his follow protesters to march on the evil corporations — including Starbucks and McDonald — at the 16th Street Mall. After all, the employees at those locations are evil bourgeois pigs that should be taken away from the fry line by the proletariat and dragged through the streets of Red Square!

But imagine if tea partyers were discussing taking over the government with aid from members of the military or speaking approvingly about soldiers in Vietnam shooting their superior officers. That’s exactly what was discussed in a meeting at Occupy DC, via Adam Kokesh:

GOP race still wide open

Earlier I noted that this weird Republican primary contest could get even crazier before the first votes are cast in Iowa on January 3, 2012. Over at Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende explains why it’s likely that we’ll see more twists and turns by drawing from the 2008 cycle in both party primaries. Here is an excerpt, but I recommend you read the entire peice for the full understanding of what Trende is getting at:

The Republican primary season seems to have had an endless succession of Republican front-runners and alternatives to Mitt Romney. But history suggests that we’re just getting started. Take a look at the RealClearPolitics average for the Republican contest in 2008:

At this point in the last cycle, the rankings were: (1) Rudy Giuliani; (2) Fred Thompson; (3) John McCain, roughly tied with Mitt Romney; (5) Mike Huckabee. Two months later, it was a McCain/Huckabee race. Giuliani wouldn’t begin to decline for another month, and McCain wouldn’t be in first place until mid-January.

Of course, the national ratings are only a small portion of what goes on in a primary. Iowa and New Hampshire are key. Here’s the RCP Average for 2008 in those two states, with Huckabee bolded for Iowa and McCain bolded for New Hampshire:

OWS protester threatens Macy’s with a Molotov Cocktail

Looks like the Occupy movement is becoming increasingly hostile as we are seeing more videos of protesters making violent threats. In the video below via Verum Serum, a protester warns that “in a few days [November 17th] you going to see what a molotov cocktail can do to Macy’s”:

Now, this is only one person (though some around him seem to act appprovingly); however, we are seeing various Occupy movements threaten or use violence as they protest. And no doubt, local officials around the country, including New York City, are concerned about safety with upcoming holiday parades concerned.

If organizers of OWS want to grasp why they are losing control of the narrative and falling out of favor, it’s because everyday Americans don’t like crazy, which from my experience is all that is left of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Gary Johnson to file complaint against CBS

Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico and current Republican presidential candidate, plans to file a complaint against CBS with the regulatory bodies — the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) — over being excluded from this GOP debate that took place on Saturday:

Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign is filing an official complaint with both the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over their candidate’s exclusion from the most recent GOP debate, Johnson’s campaign announced Tuesday.

Johnson’s complaint charges that debate sponsor CBS significantly contributed to the candidates who were allowed to participate in the debate, “directly and significantly supporting those candidates it favors, and advocating the nomination of one of their favorites and opposing the nomination of [Johnson], whom CBS evidently disfavors.”
[…]
Saturday’s debate, co-hosted by CBS and National Journal, was the first debate to air on broadcast television. According to Johnson’s complaint, “the public owns the airways over which CBS broadcasts, and the public deserves to be free from bias- favoring some candidates over others- as well as illegal support of certain presidential candidates on national network television.”

You can read the complaint here.

Four-way tie in Iowa for GOP nod (Ron Paul is a frontrunner?)

With national polls showing yet another shake-up in the race for the Republican nomination, the latest survey out of Iowa shows a four-way race among Republican caucus-goers:

Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are in a dead heat as the top choices for Iowans likely to attend the Jan. 3 Republican presidential caucuses.

A Bloomberg News poll shows Cain at 20 percent, Paul at 19 percent, Romney at 18 percent and Gingrich at 17 percent among the likely attendees with the caucuses that start the nominating contests seven weeks away.
[…]
Texas Governor Rick Perry and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, who both once were strong contenders in polls of the Republican race, have seen support plummet. Perry, who is running ads in Iowa, gets 7 percent support in the Bloomberg survey; Bachmann, who won the Iowa Straw Poll in August, is backed by 5 percent.

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who has spent the most time campaigning in Iowa, is at 3 percent. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr., who isn’t competing in Iowa, is backed by 1 percent.

Paul’s quiet rise prompted National Journal to run with this headline in their coverage of the Bloomberg’s survey: “Ron Paul Emerges as Front-Runner in Iowa.” And although straw poll results don’t translate into support at the ballot box, Paul has had a good last few weeks with grassroots support. Unforunately, he continues to be treated unfairly by the media.

Lifestyles of the rich and famous

All over the nation, people are “occupying” various cities and destinations. They’re angry over a lot of things, but one thing that I agree with them on is bailouts of banks. Many in the occupy movement argue correctly that taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to make the wealthy even wealthier.

Of course, I would love to get their take on this tidbit:

Wealthy celebrities including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Quincy Jones and Ted Turner have received federal subsidies, according to “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous,” a new report from the office of Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified several individuals receiving farm payments “whose professions had nothing to do with farming or agricultur[e],” says the report. These individuals include real-estate developer Maurice Wilder, a “part-owner of a professional sports franchise [who] received total of more than $200,000 in farm program payments in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006.”

The report also says millionaires Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Ted Turner have collected farm subsidies.

“These individuals include Scottie Pippen and Ted Turner, respectively. Millionaires also receive state tax breaks on farm land. For example, Jon Bon Jovi paid property taxes of only $100 last year on his extensive real estate holdings in New Jersey that he uses to raise bees. At the same time, Bruce Springsteen received farm subsidies because he leases his property to an organic farmer,” the report explains.

When Lambs Lay Down With (Nittany) Lions

Over the past week, we’ve been inundated with lurid details of the deviant exploits of Jerry Sandusky, former long-time defensive coordinator for the Penn State University football team under legendary coach Joe Paterno. Sandusky has been indicted on numerous counts of molestation and rape of boys as young as ten years old. According to the charges, Sandusky molested nearly a dozen boys over a fifteen year span, many of which he encountered due to his work with The Second Mile, a charity for at-risk youth. One must now wonder whether he founded the organization specifically to give himself better access to troubled boys.

As the story has developed, we learn that a graduate assistant with the football team walked in on Sandusky and a young boy in the locker room showers, with Sandusky performing sexual acts on the boy. The assistant, Mike McQueary, reported the incident to Coach Paterno, who reported it to the university president. From there the story begins to diverge, but the reported facts tell a story of a shameful abdication of moral responsibility which left numerous young boys as victims of a sexual predator. As of this writing, former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former VP of Business and Finance Gary Schultz have been criminally charged for actions relating to covering up evidence of a crime and committing perjury. University President Graham Spanier and Coach Joe Paterno were then fired on Wednesday night after a meeting of the Board of Trustees, and both may end up facing criminal charges before all is said and done.

Whiplash: Gingrich rises, Cain falls

The race for the Republican nomination for president continues to get even crazier as polls indicate that the surfacing of past accusations of sexual harassment and lack of knowledge on basic policy issues have hurt Herman Cain’s candidacy and subsequently aided Newt Gingrich in rising to contender status.

The latest poll in the race from CNN shows Gingrich within the margin of error to Mitt Romney and Cain falling back to a distant third with Rick Perry right behind him.

  • Mitt Romney: 24% (-2)
  • Newt Gingrich: 22% (+14)
  • Herman Cain: 14% (-11)
  • Rick Perry: 12% (-1)
  • Ron Paul: 8% (-1)
  • Michele Bachmann: 6% (even)
  • Jon Huntsman: 3% (+2)
  • Rich Santorum: 3% (+1)
  • Other: 1%
  • None/No opinion: 8%

Even better news for Gingrich is the latest survey from Public Policy Polling showing Gingrich with the lead, though he is within the margin of error. Romney comes in third and Perry begins the lower tier of candidates in fourth.

  • Newt Gingrich: 28% (+13)
  • Herman Cain: 25% (-5)
  • Mitt Romney: 18% (-4)
  • Rick Perry: 6% (-8)
  • Ron Paul: 5% (even)
  • Rick Santorum: 5% (+4)
  • Michele Bachmann: 5% (even)
  • Jon Huntsman: 3% (+1)
  • Gary Johnson: 1% (+1)
  • Other/Not sure: 9%

Gingrich’s rise is as odd as what we saw with Cain. Cain is inexperienced and obviously in over his head. For all the criticisms of Barack Obama not being ready for the presidency, Cain would be equally unprepared.

 


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