Daily Archives: 01/22/2012
Political Ticker: The mood at the afternoon rally was kept light by the occasional musical interjection of a local Tea Party band, but Santorum nonetheless shifted to more serious foreign policy topics such as Iran toward the end of his remarks.
“If we reach a point where I believe the only thing that will stop them from this program being realized and having a nuclear weapon – I will make a clear declaration to the Iranian government that you either open your facilities, you begin to dismantle this nuclear program, or we will dismantle it for you,” Santorum told the crowd to much applause. He then argued that acquiring a nuclear weapon would allow Iran “carte blanche to spread a reign of terror around not just the Middle East, but here in America, here in Florida, here across western civilization.”
Quickly dismissing the idea that such aggression would be an act of war, Santorum said it would be justified, comparing the Iranian government to the terrorist organization al Qaeda.
“They’re just as radical as the people who run al Qaeda – their theology is identical. Again different strengths, but identical in their fundamentalist, Jihadist version of Islam,” Santorum said. “We cannot allow the equivalent of al Qaeda to have this weapon.”
Mark Wittington Writers: President Barack Obama has suffered the second embarrassment over oil imports within the space of a week. Brazil, whose offshore deposits of oil were sought by the Obama administration, has signed contracts with China for the product.
According to the Washington Times, Brazilian offshore crude may number about 38 billion barrels. Obama went to Brazil last month to put in a bid for the oil, offering loans and other support to develop the oil in an “environmentally responsible matter,” The Hill reported at the time. Republicans criticized that initiative, pointing out Obama has placed roadblocks in the way of domestic development of oil and gas reserves.
Brazil’s decision comes on the heels of Obama’s refusal to permit the building of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from Canada’s tar sands in Alberta to Texas oil refineries, according to the Los Angeles Times. The decision was criticized by Republicans as well as union officials who point out that 20,000 jobs the pipeline would bring would therefore not be created.
Reuters Via Yahoo Reports: The carrier USS Abraham Lincoln completed a “regular and routine” passage through the strait, a critical gateway for the region’s oil exports, “as previously scheduled and without incident,” said Lieutenant Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet.
The Lincoln, accompanied by strike group of warships, was the first U.S. aircraft carrier to enter the Gulf since late December and was on a routine rotation to replace the outgoing USS John C. Stennis.
The departure of the Stennis prompted Iranian army chief Ataollah Salehi to threaten action if the carrier passed back into the Gulf.
“I recommend and emphasize to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf. … We are not in the habit of warning more than once,” he said.
AP Via ABC Reports: The head of Libya’s transitional government on Sunday suspended delegates from Benghazi, the city that kicked off the movement that toppled ruler Moammar Gadhafi last year.
The suspension the latest sign of discord within the body that led the anti-Gadhafi uprising but has struggled to establish an effective government to replace his regime.
The move follows protests in Benghazi accusing the body of corruption and not moving fast enough on reform. It was prompted by street protests and rejected by the delegates.
The announcement came the day after protesters stormed the National Transitional Council offices in Benghazi and carted off computers, chairs and desks while Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, head of the NTC, was holed up inside.
Abdul-Jalil told The Associated Press he suspended the six representatives from Benghazi, the main city in eastern Libya. They can continue to serve only if approved by the local city council.
Tehran Times Reports: Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast deplored Sarkozy’s claim that Tehran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon, describing his remarks as “baseless and far from reality”.
- A statement of support by candidates committing the United States to ensure Israel’s security and its territorial integrity. Specific actions that reflect United States engagement with Israel through diplomatic, economic and military measures.
- A commitment to this nation’s security by ensuring the maintenance of a strong military designed to enhance homeland security and combat international terrorism while being able to challenge the enemies of the United States and Israel.
- A particular plan designed to isolate Iran, while preventing the regime in Tehran from developing or acquiring nuclear arms.
- Where appropriate, engagement with other countries to seek multi-lateral, alliance-based actions to advance our collective interests. To embrace international organizations when and where they can be effective in combating terrorism and in advancing social change and democratic values.
- Focus on a fiscal plan and tax policy that promotes sustainable economic growth while reducing government spending.
- The framing of a domestic policy that ensures core health care and social services are available to citizens.
- A commitment to equal rights and access for all citizens and the support of programs that promote economic opportunity.
- Maintaining an overarching policy of church-state separation but nonetheless open to specific programs that bring together religious institutions and the public sector in meeting core social service needs.
- Support for a woman’s right of choice by upholding Roe v. Wade.
- Leadership and management experience as demonstrated by a candidate’s ability to bring different political factions together and the capacity to manage complex issues.
A Des Moines man has been arrested after police say he used, or tried to use, the identity of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz in a scheme to falsely implicate Schultz in perceived unethical behavior in office.
Zachary Edwards was arrested Friday and charged with identity theft.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety issued a news release saying Schultz’s office discovered the scheme on June 24, 2011 and notified authorities.
The criminal complaint says Edwards fraudulently used or attempted to use the identity of Schultz or Schultz’s brother with the intent to obtain a benefit. No other details were given.
Just some background information on Edwards. He works for LINK Strategies, his bio:
Zach Edwards got started in web-based research while based in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2006 . After a stint as a part-time political blogger and local democratic volunteer, he joined the Obama campaign in early 2007 as an intern organizing North-West Las Vegas. In September 2007, Zach joined the Obama New Media department as co-director of the Nevada New Media team and then moved on to direct New Media operations in five other primary states (New Mexico, Texas, North Carolina, and South Dakota).
During the 2008 General Election, Zach was the Iowa Director of New Media. In this capacity, he worked closely with communications, research and field operations to provide cutting-edge organizing tools and new media-based opposition research; which was emulated in battleground states across the country. After the election, Zach began working at Link Strategies as the Director of New Media, where he provides innovative web-based research tools, video analysis and production, and web-based communication tools to assist our clients.
Oh, that explains it…. he worked for Obama. He can also add identity theft to his portfolio, ok maybe not since he doesn’t appear to be very good at it. LINK Strategies is a Democratic lobbying , campaign consulting, opposition research and press shop. It was founded by Jeff Link who has been around the block as a Democratic operative who was formerly U.S. Senator Tom Harkin‘s (D-IA/Bahamas) chief of staff. Harkin is also a client of his.
No, no. It is no a scoop as to what the Jewish Billonaire Sheldon Adelson wants from Newt for saving his campaign by contributing $5M to a Pro-Newt Super PAC. Instead, it’s the first thing Mr. Adelson asked from Gingrich back in 1995, when he me him for the first time.
As per the Wash Post: The way casino magnate Sheldon Adelson remembers it, he and his wife, Miriam, met then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1995 in the majestic Capitol Rotunda as they made their way through the building while lobbying for a bill to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Nearly two decades later, Gingrich, on the campaign trail, has promised that his first executive order as president would be the embassy move, long a priority of ardent Israel supporters such as the Adelsons.
It would also be a sweet jackpot for the Adelsons, who are the biggest patrons of Gingrich’s political career.
Perhaps no other major presidential candidate in recent times has had his fortunes based so squarely on the contributions of a single donor, as Gingrich has on Adelson, who has spent millions in support of Gingrich and his causes over the past five years. In a primary season dominated by the mega-spending of super PACs, Adelson’s efforts on Gingrich’s behalf provide a window into the expanding influence of the super-rich on American politics.
After putting up the seed money and ultimately $7.7 million between 2006 and 2010 for a nonprofit group that served as a precursor to Gingrich’s presidential campaign, Adelson, 78, an irascible Las Vegas billionaire, doubled down this month, giving $5 million to a political action committee run by former close aides to Gingrich.
Digitiral Journal Reports: The Christian Baylor University of Texas has completed a study that shows if a person votes or completes a survey near or in a church location, they will usually be more politically conservative.
A recent press releasehas reported that these same voters are also more negative toward non-Christians, as compared to people who vote or answer polls near government or non-Christian buildings. The new study involves individuals who were passing by churches in the Netherlands and England, not in the United States.
The Baylor study is just a small bit of growing evidence “that ‘religious priming’ can influence both religious and nonreligious people.” Published online in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, the study reflects the differences in not only the voting polls, but also the Christians vs non-Christian people.
Philly.Com Reports: The state’s nearly 640,000 Jews are just 3.4 percent of Florida’s population. But because they vote in extraordinarily high numbers, they are 6 to 8 percent of Florida’s turnout, says Ira Sheskin, who runs the University of Miami’s Jewish Demography Project.
In this part of Florida, Sheskin estimates Jewish turnout at 95 percent. “Jews aren’t just registered,” he says. “They actually vote.”
The vast majority are Democrats.
Brent Sasley has a summary of how American Jews feel about President Barack Obama and how they will vote in 2012:
American Jews don’t like Obama because they don’t feel him in their kishkes.
Jews always vote Democrat.
They don’t like him because he said Israeli-Palestinian negotiations should be based on the 1967 lines (with agreed land swaps).
They like him because he refused to let the Palestinian bid for statehood pass the UN Security Council.
They like him because he’s a liberal, and isn’t Santorum, Gingrich, Paul, or Romney.
The Orthodox sector of the Jewish population is opposed to liberal social policies, and given its increasing size in the community (due to high birthrate) will soon come to change Jewish voting patterns.
The younger generation of non-Orthodox Jews is increasingly more likely to be distressed with Israeli policy toward the Palestinians, and therefore care less about either kishkes or popular perceptions of lack of support.
Big Jewish donors are moving away from Obama.
Big Jewish donors are sticking with Obama.
Did I miss anything?
Remember reports just weeks ago that Jeb Bush will endorse Romney? Well, South Carolina happened since then. From Bloomberg: Jeb Bush, the popular former Florida governor, said he will “stay neutral” in the state’s Republican presidential primary while warning his party’s candidates to leave the “circular firing squad” of their debates behind and start appealing to a broader audience.
Bush’s remarks, in an exclusive interview, establish a challenge for his party’s candidates as the contest advances to Florida, where the Jan. 31 primary will take the race into its biggest and most diverse arena yet. The winner will be awarded all of the state’s 57 presidential convention delegates.
Josh Kazis Writes: Florida will mark the first primary state with a large number of Jewish voters. Although most of the state’s more than half a million Jews are Democrats, 2008 exit polls showed that 3% of Florida Republican primary voters were Jewish. Only a handful of South Carolina Republican primary voters are Jews.
It’s not clear whether Republican Jews’ votes will favor Romney or Gingrich. The Gingrich campaign continues its outreach to Jewish voters in Florida, with an event with the Republican Jewish Coalition scheduled in south Florida days before the January 31 primary.
But many of the state’s big-name Jewish fundraisers, including Ambassadors Ned Siegel and Mel Sembler, are Romney donors.
Romney supporter Jack Davidson, 80, a retired Ohio resident who winters in Delray Beach, conceded that Gingrich is “brilliant.” But Davidson, who votes in Ohio, said that he wouldn’t vote for the former House Speaker. “He’s nasty, in my mind. I don’t like nasty guys, even if they might be Republicans,” Davidson said.
National Journal: Mitt Romney started the week expecting to rack up his third consecutive Republican primary win in this state. Instead he belatedly lost Iowa and suffered a stinging setback here at the hands of Newt Gingrich. He heads to Florida a far from inevitable presidential nominee.
Judging from his concession speech, Romney also is now a feistier candidate resolved to fight fire with fire when it comes to Gingrich. President Obama attacks free enterprise and has never run a business or a state, Romney said, then turned that into a sharp thrust at Gingrich.
“Our party can’t be led to victory by someone who also has never run a business and never run a state,” he said. “We cannot defeat that president with a candidate who has joined in that very assault on free enterprise.” Romney then gave the knife one more twist: “Those that pick up the weapons of the left today will find them turned against us tomorrow.”
I noticed this National Journal Poll released January fifth 2012, taken among “Political Insiders,” or as others call it… the elite:
Newt Gingrich: 36%
Jon Huntsman: 1%
Ron Paul: 14%
Rick Perry: 1%
Rick Santorum: 48%