Daily Archives: 01/08/2012
The Hill Reports: He came to New Hampshire to help Mitt Romney conclude his argument that he offers the most hope to a beleaguered nation, but for Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), the emotion of the day was anger.
Playing bad cop to Romney’s happy warrior as Romney fended off escalating attacks from his Republican rivals, Christie said the real target was President Obama who he called the most pessimistic man to ever occupy the Oval Office.
“You listen to him, he sounds angry. I have a little suggestion for the president: He doesn’t do angry well,” said the man who has built a national brand out of his brash and straight-talking approach to public leadership.
Calling Obama’s reelection strategy a cynical ploy playing on rightful American anger over a less-than-desirable economic outlook, Christie said Obama wanted Americans to be angry at anyone but himself.
H/T Political Wire:
Reid Pillifant Writes: Of all the demonstrators assembled outside of this morning’s Republican debate, the group that seemed to elicit the most curiosity from onlookers was a group of Hasidic men who’d shown up to rally against Zionism and Israel.
One of the people who stopped by to take a closer look at their banners (“Please Speak Up for the Palestinian People’s Rights; Judaism Rejects Zionism and Any Jewish State”) and inquire about their cause was Tucker Carlson, the cable news pundit turned online news proprietor.
This was after the spin room was starting to clear out after the debate, and Carlson was making his way down Main Street, away from Concord’s Capitol Arts Center where the NBC News/Facebook-hosted event had taken place.
Carlson asked the men about their message, one that’s probably familiar to attentive Williamsburg and Monsey, N.Y. residents, and listened attentively as one of them delivered it while alternating anti-Israel chants echoed in the background: “Judaism, yes! Zionism, no! State of Israel, muuust go!”
After a few minutes, Carlson took some of their literature and a business card and moved along.
David Catanese Writes: If Rick Perry’s first few debate performances had gone as well as the two he clocked this weekend, his campaign might never have tumbled from the top of the polls.
Instead, the Texas governor finds himself coming off of a fifth-place finish in Iowa and trying to claw his way back into relevancy in a last-ditch campaign swing that starts Sunday afternoon in South Carolina.
But on the stage both Saturday night and Sunday morning, he projected confidence: He swung repeatedly at his rivals for being Washington insiders and connected that with the original argument of his candidacy; he blasted Barack Obama repeatedly and called the president a socialist. He hardly stumbled. He even made a self-deprecating reference to his infamous “oops” moment from an early November debate, when he couldn’t remember the third of three agencies he wanted to eliminate from the federal government.
“It would be those bureaucrats at the Department of Commerce and Energy and Education that we’re going to do away with,” Perry said in response to a question about cuts that would inflict pain on Americans.
As the audience burst into laughs, Rick Santorum held up three fingers and a grinning Perry returned the gesture.
Even NBC moderator David Gregory couldn’t resist a dig. “And that’s your final answer,” he quipped.
ABC Reports: Iraq’s Shiite-led government on Sunday demanded that authorities in the semiautonomous Kurdish region hand over the country’s top Sunni official to face terrorism charges, turning up the heat in a political crisis that is stoking sectarian tensions.
Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi traveled to the Kurdish north in December just as the last American troops were leaving the country and charges against him were being drawn up.
The government accuses him of running a hit squad that assassinated government and security officials years ago — allegations he denies. Fellow Sunnis, who made up the dominant political class under Saddam Hussein, see the charges as part of an effort to sideline them.
The resulting political crisis has been accompanied by a rise in coordinated car bomb and suicide attacks targeting Shiites that have claimed dozens of lives in recent weeks.
BuzzFeed Reports: Media in the filing room right after this morning’s Republican debate were surprised when an event staffer came in and told us there was a “security issue” outside. We were to be escorted out of the filing center and across Main Street to the spin room in groups of 10.
The small group of protesters included anti-Zionist Hasidic men from New York, diehard Ron Paul supporters, and a clutch of Occupy protesters. It wasn’t immediately evident that they posed a security threat.
Major Garrett Writes: Texas Gov. Rick Perry is losing and acting like he’s got nothing to lose — skewering fellow Republicans running for president as wimpy job creators and congressional Republicans who spent to much money long before before President Obama was elected.
When asked if current front-runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, was electable, Perry said: “I look from here down to Rick Santorum, I see insiders. Individuals who been big spending Republicans in Washington, D.C.” (Perry was exempting former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who stood to Santorum’s right).
By the end of the debate, Perry had clashed with Republicans on stage as unelectable, with Republicans in Congress who spent too much, and with the party nominee — John McCain — who said Obama was a patriot worthy to lead America.
In ways he hasn’t tried before, Perry also tried to tap into the tea party movement that first rattled the GOP establishment in 2010 through primary challenges and then changed Congress by helping propel Republicans to power in the House (though tea party-fueled Senate candidates failed in Delaware, Nevada and Colorado).
Ron Kampeas Writes: And where do I learn this?
On the Al Jazeera website is where.
Blogger Corey Robin makes a detailed case against liberal support for Ron Paul, but acknowledges:
It is a terrible comment – a shanda for the left – that we don’t have anyone on our side of comparable visibility launching an attack on American imperialism and warfare.
I already did the search box thing. It’s the first time Al Jazeera’s website has used “shanda.”
JTA Reports: Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the U.S. House of Representatives majority leader, said he will raise the dangers posed by Iran during a Middle East tour.
The delegation of nine lawmakers — eight Republicans and a Democrat — will head this week to France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
“I look forward to discussing a wide-range of issues, including the very concerning threat posed to the entire world by Iran’s continuing support for terrorism and its pursuit of nuclear capability,” Cantor said in a statement.
Among the trip participants are top congressional foreign policy decision-makers Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), the chairwoman of the foreign operations subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.
Ros-Lehtinen said she would push back against attempts by the Palestinians to achieve statehood recognition in the absence of talks with Israel.
POAC Reports: The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics goes to great lengths to distill the unemployment rate from the current conditions in American households, to ensure the number is completely credible and that it is released all at once – at exactly 8:30 a.m. the first Friday of each month.
Were someone to find out the number even a few minutes early, he would know whether it would boost or sink stocks and could make a quick buck with some instant electronic trades.
To prevent that from happening, James M. Borbely and his fellow BLS economists work in a secure room with secure networks and servers, and no email capability, to derive the unemployment rate from the Current Population Survey. That’s often called simply the household survey, as opposed to the bureau’s separate monthly survey of companies, government and other establishments.
“We’re basically in a locked room. They don’t even take our garbage out. We have to take it out. They don’t let cleaning people in,” said Borbely, describing the Office of Employment and Unemployment Analysis within the BLS Division of Labor Force Statistics.
To ensure the jobless rate appears on TV and websites at precisely the right moment each month, a select group of journalists get the employment report at 8 a.m. under very controlled conditions, he said.
“We give some television and news outlets access in a locked room in the Department of Labor, and no one can have a cellphone, so they get a little bit of a head start to write the story,”Borbely said. “At 8:30 exactly, they press send or move the file, and that’s under high scrutiny. We don’t give them a whole lot of time.”
That file immediately appears on websites and the Teleprompters of reporters outside the building, who start reading the key elements of the report to the nation at once.
Salt Lake Tribune Reports: Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday welcomed the U.S. Navy’s rescue of 13 Iranian fishermen held hostage by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea, calling it a humanitarian act.
But the hard-line Fars News Agency, which is close to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, dismissed the rescue as a Hollywood-style propaganda stunt intended to justify the U.S. Navy’s presence in the nearby Persian Gulf.
U.S. officials announced the rescue Friday, saying sailors from the guided-missile destroyer Kidd had boarded an Iranian dhow Thursday and detained 15 Somalis after one of the fishermen was able to reveal in a radio communication that his vessel’s crew was being held captive.
The U.S. officials pointed out that the destroyer was part of the same group of warships that Iran had said was no longer welcome in the Persian Gulf.
“We consider the actions of the U.S. forces in saving the lives of the Iranian seamen to be a humanitarian and positive act, and we welcome such behavior,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told state television’s Al Alam Arabic channel Saturday. “We think all nations should display such behavior.”
Fars said Iran’s navy has often freed foreign ships from pirates without seeking publicity.
“A U.S. helicopter filming the rescue operation from the first minute makes it look like a Hollywood movie with specific locations and specific actors,” Fars said. “It shows the Americans were trying to exploit it through the media and present the American warship as a savior.”
Romney’s arrest came in June 1981 when he proceeded to launch his motorboat at Wayland’s Lake Cochituate only moments after a park police officer had told him not to launch the craft or face a $50 fine.
The charges against Romney were dropped several days later and officially dismissed in February 1982 at Natick District Court. At Romney’s request, the judge also agreed to seal the records, making them unavailable for public inspection.
Romney said yesterday that the park ranger had overstepped his authority in arresting him and said the reason the case was dropped was that he had threatened to charge the officer and his agency, then called the Department of Environmental Affairs, with false arrest.
“He did not have the right to arrest me because I was not a disorderly person. This was an obvious case of false arrest,” Romney said. “The officer obviously agreed because he agreed to dropping the case.”
Star Ledger Reports: Democratic leaders plan to announce Monday that a bill legalizing same gender marriage will be the first measure to be introduced in the new session of the Senate and the Assembly, sources with knowledge of their intentions said last night.
The unified Democratic leadership represents the best chance supporters will have to see a bill move through both houses, according to three sources who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the plan.
State Sen. President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), who is now said to be a pivotal supporter of the legislation, abstained the last time the issue came before the Legislature in 2010 — a decision he later said he regretted more than any other in his career. A spokeman for Sweeney did not respond to questions about the plan last night.
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) will also be present at the news conference, ensuring that the proposal has the full support of the state’s two most powerful Democratic lawmakers. Oliver could not be reached for comment.
CBS Reports: San Diego police were called on Thursday after the accident. Police say Clayton had gone to a bar and brought a woman back to his apartment and was showing her guns when he put a pistol to his head, believing it was unloaded, and pulled the trigger.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Gene “Geno” Clayton, Jr. was taken off life support on Saturday. He is survived by his parents and three sisters.