Post Primary Report: What Will Become Of Rick Santorum And Newt Gingrich?

Now that the Republican presidential primary is effectively over (sorry Ron Paul, you were always a joke, even to your own party), what will losers Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich find to while away all the free time on their hands?

Well, there will certainly be books to peddle and speaking engagements. And, of course, they can be retained as lobbyists for the one-percenters on whom their campaigns were focused. But the easiest job, because it requires no work, research, or investment, is media pundit, a role both Santorum and Gingrich played just prior to their primary candidacies.

However, the jobs that Santorum and Gingrich had at Fox News may not be waiting for them now that they are available again. Both of them have had rather uncomplimentary things to say about Fox during their campaigns:

Santorum: The media has just completely tried to shape this race. And not just the liberal media. It’s even Fox News. You know, Bill O’Reilly has refused to put me on his program. As far as he was concerned I wasn’t a worthy enough candidate to earn a spot to sit across from him and be on his program. Here you have folks supposedly in the conservative media who are saying, “You know, we’re gonna choose who are gonna win.” And then complain that the mainstream media does the same thing.

Santorum: The man has had a ten-to-one money advantage. He’s had all the organizational advantage. He has Fox News shilling for him every day — no offense, Brian, but I see it. And yet he can’t seal the deal because he just doesn’t have the goods to be able to motivate the Republican base and win this election.

Gingrich: I think FOX has been for Romney all the way through. Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than FOX this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of FOX, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of FOX. That’s just a fact. [...] We’re going to go to the White House Correspondents’ dinner because [Callista] wants to. And we’re actually going to go to CNN’s table, not FOX.

I wouldn’t be surprised if CNN or MSNBC signed these guys – disappointed, but not surprised. However, they may have better luck with GBTV, Glenn Beck’s Internet site. Especially Santorum whom Beck told during an interview that he wanted to kiss “in the mouth.”

[Update] Fox responds to Newt: “This is nothing other than Newt auditioning for a windfall of a gig at CNN—that’s the kind of man he is,” a spokeswoman for Fox News responded in a statement to Yahoo News. “Not to mention, he’s still bitter about the fact that we terminated his contributor contract.

Remember When Conservatives Were Against Unelected Judges And Judicial Activism?

In another brazen exercise in hypocrisy, conservatives have launched a coordinated attack on President Obama for remarks that were entirely reasonable and uncontroversial. The President was asked by a reporter how he would respond if the health care reform bill currently being debated by the Supreme Court were to be ruled unconstitutional. His response said in part…

“I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress. And I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint — that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step.”

This has set off a round of panic attacks in right-wing circles as knee-jerk contrarians accuse Obama of undermining the constitution, subverting democracy, and even threatening the Supreme Court. Where any objective person can find the presence of a threat in the President’s remarks is beyond incomprehensible. It’s Obama Derangement Syndrome in action. Conservatives assert that these comments were intended by the President to be a warning for the justices deliberating the case. Never mind that Obama in no way implied that there would be consequences if the justices did not arrive at a particular ruling, only that he was confidant of a favorable outcome. That’s pretty much the position taken by anyone interested in a pending judicial proceeding. And as the President said explicitly, he was just reminding conservatives of their own long-held views on judicial activism.

The Right-Wing Noise Machine has been spinning feverishly to push this issue in order to damage the President and cast him as opposed to constitutional principles. Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove called Obama a thug. Mark Levin said that he declared war on the Court. Fox Nation currently has at least eleven articles on this subject. And Fox News has been running numerous segments including one this morning that featured three former George W. Bush staffers to assert that what Obama said was unprecedented and nothing like anything that Bush ever said (see below).

Among the complaints being hurled by the right-wing, extremist opponents of the administration is that Obama’s use of the phrase “unelected judges” amounts to a form of tyranny and is an affront to judicial independence. But it is Republicans who have been more often associated with that phrase over the years as they brandish it every time a court rules against whatever pet litigation they are pushing – especially when it concerns reproductive rights or gay marriage. For example, here are a few instances when the very people lambasting Obama today used identical language when it served their purposes:

  • Mitt Romney: Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage.
  • Mitt Romney: The ruling in Iowa today is another example of an activist court and unelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of the people as expressed through Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act.
  • Rick Santorum: 7M Californians had their rights stripped away by activist 9th Circuit judges.
  • Newt Gingrich: Court of Appeals overturning CA’s Prop 8 another example of an out of control judiciary. Let’s end judicial supremacy
  • Speaker John Boehner: This latest FISA proposal from House Majority leaders is dead on arrival. It would outsource critical national security decisions to unelected judges and trial lawyers.
  • Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO): Today, the decision of unelected judges to overturn the will of the people of California on the question of same-sex marriage demonstrates the lengths that unelected judges will go to substitute their own worldview for the wisdom of the American people.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions: This ‘Washington-knows-best’ mentality is evident in all branches of government, but is especially troublesome in the judiciary, where unelected judges have twisted the words of our Constitution to advance their own political, economic, and social agendas.
  • Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL): I’m appalled that unelected judges have irresponsibly decided to legislate from the bench and overturn the will of the people.
  • George W. Bush: This concept of a “living Constitution” gives unelected judges wide latitude in creating new laws and policies without accountability to the people.
  • Thomas Sowell: Unelected judges can cut the voters out of the loop and decree liberal dogma as the law of the land.
  • Laura Ingraham: We don’t want to be micromanaged by some unelected judge or some unelected bureaucrat on the international or national level.
  • Gov. Rick Perry: [The American people are] fed up with unelected judges telling them when and where they can pray or observe the Ten Commandments.
  • Pat Robertson: We are under the tyranny of a nonelected oligarchy. Just think, five unelected men and women who serve for life can change the moral fabric of our nation and take away the protections which our elected legislators have wisely put in place.
  • Robert Bork: We are increasingly governed not by law or elected representatives but by an unelected, unrepresentative, unaccountable committee of lawyers applying no will but their own.
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch: A small minority and their judicial activist allies are seeking to usurp the will of the people and impose same-sex marriage on all of the states. Ultimately, the American people, not unelected judges, should decide policy on critical social issues such as this one.
  • Steve Forbes: You have judicial activism, where unelected Supreme Court justices are trying to impose a state income tax.
  • Glenn Beck: Even if you agree that the role of government is to take wealth from one to another, should it be the role of unelected judges and justices that do this?
  • Sen. John McCain: We would nominate judges of a different kind [...] And the people of America – voters in both parties whose wishes and convictions are so often disregarded by unelected judges – are entitled to know what those differences are.
  • Justice Antonin Scalia: Value-laden decisions such as that should be made by an entire society … not by nine unelected judges.

If the conservatives quoted above were to be consistent, they would now be pleading with the court not to overturn the health care reform bill that was passed by super-majorities in both houses of congress. Instead, the right is aghast that a Democratic president would deign to remind them of their own principles and is clamoring for a judicial resolution. It has already been demonstrated that Republicans have no problem switching positions once Obama has agreed to them. Cap and trade and insurance mandates were both originally proposed by Republicans, but as soon as Obama announced support for the concepts the GOP reconsidered and insisted they were the socialist ideas of an aspiring dictator.

Now that one of the GOP’s favorite attack lines, judicial activism, has been usurped by the President, conservatives are crawling out of the woodwork to characterize it as an assault on the judiciary. Republicans have always defined judicial activism as the act of judges ruling against them. When judges rule in favor of the conservative position they regard it as following the constitution. So hypocrisy is not a particularly surprising development in this matter. But the degree to which it is demonstrated here may set new records for shamelessness.


Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California Irvine Law School, wrote in his book, “The Conservative Assault on the Constitution” that…

Although there is no precise definition of judicial activism – it often seems to be a label people use for the decisions they don’t like – it seems reasonable to say that a court is activist if it overturns the actions of the democratically elected branches of government and if it overrules precedent. In fact, conservatives, including on the Supreme Court, often have labeled decisions striking down the will of popularly elected legislatures as ‘activist.'”

Activism is in the eye of the beholder, but there is no doubt that conservatives have been at the forefront of scolding courts for ruling against them. Taking that to the extreme is Newt Gingrich who recently told Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation that he advocated arresting judges to force them to defend unpopular decisions before Congressional hearings. If that isn’t a threat against the judiciary, what is?

The right has very little problem with violating the constitution when it comes to separation of powers. Just this week a conservative judge on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals gave a Department of Justice attorney an unusual homework assignment. In a case unrelated to the one before the Supreme Court, Judge Jerry Smith wondered whether Obama was suggesting “that it is somehow inappropriate for what he termed ‘unelected’ judges to strike acts of Congress.” Then Smith ordered the attorney to produce a three page letter “stating specifically and in detail in reference to those statements what the authority is of the federal courts in this regard in terms of judicial review. That letter needs to be at least three pages single spaced.”

It is difficult to imagine on what basis this judge has assumed authority to issue such an order. It is a blatantly political and petulant demand that can only be intended to insult and embarrass the DOJ and the President, and has no bearing on the case before him. The President never said that the Supreme Court could not overturn an unconstitutional law. He just said that he didn’t believe that this law was unconstitutional and therefore, in his view, and that of many legal experts, should not be overturned. Judge Smith is a bald-faced partisan and would be more at home on Fox News than on the bench.

The question is, what will Republicans say if the Court upholds the health care reform bill? Would that be an act of judicial tyranny against the will of the people (never mind that the bill was passed by the people’s representatives in congress with super-majorities in both houses)? And how can Republicans continue to rail against Roe v. Wade as the ultimate example of an activist judiciary now that they have established that such a charge is tantamount to tyranny and regarded as a threat?

The answer, of course, is that conservatives will do what they always do: pretend that their prior assertions never existed or don’t apply. They will trudge forward with blindfolds over their eyes and plugs in their ears, unimpeded by anything they said previously, no matter how badly it contradicts what they are saying now. It’s hypocrisy at its best and the Republican way of life.

Is President Obama A Christian? Santorum? Gingrich? Romney?

It’s always comforting to know that there is someone you can turn to who can provide answers to the perplexing spiritual problems that we all face on a daily basis. Someone with wisdom and insight and experience in the ways of the Lord.

Such a person is Rev. Franklin Graham, at least in his own mind. He is the son and heir to the Billy Graham evangelist empire, and he appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today (video below) to discuss the personal faiths of some national leaders. Here is what transpired:

Willie Geist: Do you believe that Pres. Obama is a Christian?
Graham: You have to ask Pres. Obama.

After that dodge, Graham spent several minutes evading the question by repeating the excuse that he doesn’t know what is in another person’s heart. Throughout the segment he pointedly refused to simply say that he believes that Obama is a Christian. However, he does say that he thinks Obama bends over backwards for Muslims and he finds it significant that some Muslims regard him as one of their own.

So what about Rick Santorum? Is he a Christian? Geist posed that question to Graham and got this response:

Graham: Oh, I think so. Because his values are so clear on moral issues. No question about it.

So he cannot answer the question about Obama because he can’t see into another person’s heart, but apparently he can see into Santorum’s heart. And that’s not all. Graham then volunteered this about Newt Gingrich:

Graham: I think Newt is a Christian. At least he told me he is.

Well, Obama also told Graham that he is a Christian, but that didn’t seem to stick. Graham said that what matters most is not what people say but how they live their lives. So of course he would be suspicious of an assertion of faith from Obama, a devoted husband and churchgoer, but he would accept Gingrich’s testimony, despite being a thrice-married, admitted adulterer who left his congressional post in disgrace for ethical violations.

Which brings us to Mitt Romney. When Alex Wagner asked Graham if Romney is a Christian, Graham wiggled this out:

Graham: I like him. He’s a Mormon. Most Christians would not accept Mormonism as part of the Christian faith.

Nevertheless, Graham praised Romney as a candidate. So there you have it. According to this Christian leader, being a serial sinner or a practitioner of a false religion is not an impediment to either the White House or Heaven. But God has much stricter standards for heathens like Obama who are faithful to their families, charitable to others, and ethical in their profession. It really makes you want to sing the praises of whatever brand of Christianity Graham is peddling.

Donald Trump To Endorse Mitt Romney? Gingrich Dodges A Bullet

[Editor: If this article looks familiar, it's only because everything in politics looks the same]

The InterTubes are buzzing with the news that tomorrow morning carnival barker Donald Trump has scheduled a press conference to make an “important” announcement concerning the presidential race.

Donald Trump

Some reports are already disclosing that their sources say that Trump will give his uncoveted and toxic endorsement to Mitt Romney. This is further affirmation of Trump’s political acumen as the gold-plated Trump casts his lot with the candidate who doesn’t care about the poor.

Trump’s support, if it pans out, would follow the endorsements of lunatic fringers Ann Coulter, Michael Savage and Jon Voight. The good news for Romney is that none of these epic losers managed to dampen his showing in the Florida primary this week. That may prove fortuitous because a Trump endorsement is potentially far more damaging.

As it turns out, Trump’s seal of approval could be the most severe test yet for Romney’s electoral prospects. The Pew Research Center surveyed voters last month and found that 20% said that they would be “less likely” to vote for a candidate that Trump had endorsed. Indeed, the survey showed that Trump would scare off more voters than any of the other people tested.

However, we must not assume that Trump doesn’t have an ulterior, self-serving motive. In fact, we should always assume that he does. In this case it might have something to do with his oft-stated threat that he would consider launching an independent campaign for president if his preferred candidate did not prevail in the GOP primary. Thus, by endorsing someone who the establishment has embraced, Trump provides himself the perfect excuse to stay out of a race he knows he can’t win, and to continue to earn the only income he has as a television game show host.

In the meantime, it would be useful to recall the planks in the Trump platform. When Romney accepts Trump’s endorsement and praises him for stepping forward to support his fellow one-percenter, he should be called on to comment on these issues that Trump has focused on so intently:

1) Obama’s Citizenship: This is without a doubt the cornerstone of Trump’s campaign. He talks about it at every appearance – even those where he pretends to not want to talk about it. Obama has shown the only document that the state of Hawaii issues for births. If Trump wants to continue to believe that the Obama family (and assorted communists and Muslims) hatched a plot almost fifty years ago to raise a mixed-race, foreign-born child to become an illegitimate president, that’s between him and his racist, delusional followers.

2) Obama’s Religion: Despite the fact that the President has repeatedly affirmed his devout Christianity, Trump suspects that he is secretly a Muslim and the proof may be on his birth certificate. Never mind that any religious designation on a birth certificate would be irrelevant. Obviously the baby Barack did not select his faith, but the adult has been clear and consistent.

3) Obama’s Authorship: Trump has embraced the WorldNetDaily crackpots who believe that Bill Ayers was the ghostwriter of Obama’s autobiography “Dreams From My Father.” The evidence of this fraud is the observation that both used certain phrases like going “against the current.” Well, that settles that. Trump also believes that Obama was born Barry Soetoro and later changed his name, despite the fact that he was named after his father, Barack Obama, Sr., and it wasn’t until he was four years old that his mother was remarried to Lolo Soetoro.

4) Obama’s Academics: Trump is fond of questioning Obama’s academic credentials, insisting that he was too stupid to get into Harvard. He says he is investigating this (are they the same investigators he sent to Hawaii?). Of course it is documented that Obama had graduated from Columbia before getting a scholarship to Harvard where he became the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude.

5) Foreign Policy: Trump has advocated declaring a trade war with China. He also proposed addressing the deficit by stealing the oil from Libya and Iraq. This is the sort of bravado that Trump likes to display with his own business enterprises, which have resulted in four bankruptcies. In addition he has expressed support for an actual shooting war with both Iran and North Korea. However, with international relations between sovereign nations with standing armies, he may produce even worse outcomes than he has with his failing hotels and casinos.

6) Economic Policy: While he doesn’t have a 999 plan, Trump has proposed a tax increase that might inflame the sensitivities of Grover Norquist and the Tea Party:

“I would impose a one-time, 14.25% tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million. For individuals, net worth would be calculated minus the value of their principal residence. That would raise $5.7 trillion in new revenue, which we would use to pay off the entire national debt. [...] Some will say that my plan is unfair to the extremely wealthy. I say it is only reasonable to shift the burden to those most able to pay. The wealthy actually would not suffer severe repercussions.”

That actually sounds pretty good. Too bad he has disavowed that plan that appeared in his book, and now thinks he can appropriate billions of dollars from other countries to pay down our debt (he doesn’t say how).

We’ll see tomorrow if the speculation proves to be correct and Romney is boosted by burdened with the curse of Trump love. But the one thing we know for sure is that the Gingrich camp, now in Las Vegas in advance of the Nevada caucuses, will be scrambling to explain to his Tea Party contingent why it’s really fantastic that Trump jilted him. Whether he knows it or not, he dodged a bullet, and Romney is the one who should be worried.

Donald Trump To Endorse Newt Gingrich? Champagne Flowing At Romney HQ

[Editor's Note: This article has been superseded by this one]

The InterTubes are buzzing with the news that tomorrow morning carnival barker Donald Trump has scheduled a press conference to make an “important” announcement concerning the presidential race.

Donald Trump

Some reports are already disclosing that their sources say that Trump will give his uncoveted and toxic endorsement to Newt Gingrich. This is further affirmation of Trump’s political acumen as he casts his lot with the fastest sinking ship on the sea.

Trump’s support, if it pans out, would follow the endorsements of Wrangler Rick Perry and pizza magnate Herman Cain, as well as the plea from fading Tea Hag Sarah Palin, who made it clear that she just wants to keep the hamster wheel spinning. None of these epic losers were able to boost Gingrich’s showing in the Florida primary this week.

As it turns out, no one should expect Trump’s seal of approval to have any better effect on Gingrich’s prospects. The Pew Research Center surveyed voters last month and found that 20% said that they would be “less likely” to vote for a candidate that Trump had endorsed. Indeed, the survey showed that Trump would scare off more voters than any of the other people tested.

However, we must not assume that Trump doesn’t have an ulterior, self-serving motive. In fact, we should always assume that he does. In this case it might have something to do with his oft-stated threat that he would consider launching an independent campaign for president if his preferred candidate did not prevail in the GOP primary. Thus, by endorsing someone who is almost certain to lose, Trump positions himself to step in as the savior that he envisions himself to be. And all I can say about that scenario is “please, please, dear God, please!”

In the meantime, it would be useful to recall the planks in the Trump platform. When Gingrich accepts Trump’s endorsement and praises him for stepping forward to grab some Newt-mentum, he should be called on to comment on these issues that Trump has focused on so intently:

1) Obama’s Citizenship: This is without a doubt the cornerstone of Trump’s campaign. He talks about it at every appearance – even those where he pretends to not want to talk about it. Obama has shown the only document that the state of Hawaii issues for births. If Trump wants to continue to believe that the Obama family (and assorted communists and Muslims) hatched a plot almost fifty years ago to raise a mixed-race, foreign-born child to become an illegitimate president, that’s between him and his racist, delusional followers.

2) Obama’s Religion: Despite the fact that the President has repeatedly affirmed his devout Christianity, Trump suspects that he is secretly a Muslim and the proof may be on his birth certificate. Never mind that any religious designation on a birth certificate would be irrelevant. Obviously the baby Barack did not select his faith, but the adult has been clear and consistent.

3) Obama’s Authorship: Trump has embraced the WorldNetDaily crackpots who believe that Bill Ayers was the ghostwriter of Obama’s autobiography “Dreams From My Father.” The evidence of this fraud is the observation that both used certain phrases like going “against the current.” Well, that settles that. Trump also believes that Obama was born Barry Soetoro and later changed his name, despite the fact that he was named after his father, Barack Obama, Sr., and it wasn’t until he was four years old that his mother was remarried to Lolo Soetoro.

4) Obama’s Academics: Trump is fond of questioning Obama’s academic credentials, insisting that he was too stupid to get into Harvard. He says he is investigating this (are they the same investigators he sent to Hawaii?). Of course it is documented that Obama had graduated from Columbia before getting a scholarship to Harvard where he became the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude.

5) Foreign Policy: Trump has advocated declaring a trade war with China. He also proposed addressing the deficit by stealing the oil from Libya and Iraq. This is the sort of bravado that Trump likes to display with his own business enterprises, which have resulted in four bankruptcies. In addition he has expressed support for an actual shooting war with both Iran and North Korea. However, with international relations between sovereign nations with standing armies, he may produce even worse outcomes than he has with his failing hotels and casinos.

6) Economic Policy: While he doesn’t have a 999 plan, Trump has proposed a tax increase that might inflame the sensitivities of Grover Norquist and the Tea Party:

“I would impose a one-time, 14.25% tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million. For individuals, net worth would be calculated minus the value of their principal residence. That would raise $5.7 trillion in new revenue, which we would use to pay off the entire national debt. [...] Some will say that my plan is unfair to the extremely wealthy. I say it is only reasonable to shift the burden to those most able to pay. The wealthy actually would not suffer severe repercussions.”

That actually sounds pretty good. Too bad he has disavowed that plan that appeared in his book, and now thinks he can appropriate billions of dollars from other countries to pay down our debt (he doesn’t say how).

We’ll see tomorrow if the speculation proves to be correct and Gingrich is boosted by burdened with the curse of Trump love. But the one thing we know for sure is that the Romney camp, now in Las Vegas in advance of the Nevada caucuses, will be exhausted by the time Trump has delivered his announcement. They will have been celebrating all night in Sin City. With all the vintage champagne flowing in those luxury casino suites, who knows, Romney may have a couple of new wives by morning.

The End Of The Romney Campaign, Courtesy Of George Soros

The Tea Party contingent of the right-wing Republican set has long regarded George Soros as the mastermind of every evil they imagine has been perpetrated in America for the last half century. It is full-on fixation that connects Soros to everything from the Holocaust to Global Warming. And, like most psychotic fixations, it has no basis in reality.

Consequently, what could be a more damning allegation against a Republican than that they are allied with Soros? It’s the knockout punch. It’s the death blow. It’s the Newtron bomb. And it’s what Mitt Romney is staring down this morning. In an interview in Davos, Switzerland, Soros finished Romney off with these words:

“Well, look, either you’ll have an extremist conservative, be it Gingrich or Santorum, in which case I think it will make a big difference which of the two comes in. If it’s between Obama and Romney, there isn’t all that much difference except for the crowd that they bring with them.”

That settles it. Romney is toast. How could he possibly survive such a wound?

But there must be more to this than what is observable on the surface. After all, if Soros is the evil genius the right believes him to be, then to what end would he make such a comment? He certainly knows how his opinions are magnified through his web of media minions. There can be only one possible answer. Soros is deliberately sabotaging Romney. He wants Gingrich to be the GOP nominee because he knows that Gingrich will not only lose the race for president, but he will also likely cause the loss of the GOP control of the House and much of their power in the states.

It’s a devious plot that has already taken in Gingrich, who quickly jumped on the story and is excitedly pushing this quote to the press. It will probably become a part of his stump speech, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it featured in his next TV ad. It’s just too juicy a plum to leave dangling.

The Soros Fixation is so toxic that it causes hallucinations in those infected. For instance, conservatives are convinced that Soros commands a media empire that blankets the planet despite the fact that he has zero interest in any prominent media enterprise. He may have donated large sums of money to Media Matters and NPR, but he has no editorial authority over them, and they are not exactly the equivalent of Time Warner or NBC News. That is starkly distinct from the influence of a mogul like Rupert Murdoch who is directly in charge of a worldwide criminal … I mean media conglomerate.

The depths of the Soros fixation are nearly immeasurable. Cliff Kincaid, the director of the right-wing Accuracy in Media actually argues that Soros is pursuing an acquisition of Fox News and that he is “getting his way.” Kincaid believes that it was Soros who pressured Fox to dump Glenn Beck, and he is now trying to launch an effort to force the network to rehire Beck. Says Kincaid…

“It’s time for Glenn Beck, now on Internet TV, to return to the cable channel so that he can continue his investigative journalism into the rapidly expanding influence of the Soros network of organizations.” [...He continues...] “Fox is moving to the left and filling its ranks with the kind of shallow commentators we have come to associate with the little-watched cable channel MSNBC.”

That quixotic fantasy reveals just how severely the fixation has damaged some sufferers. When someone can seriously portray Beck as an “investigative journalist” and Fox as “moving to the left,” you know it’s time to increase the dosage. And the notion that any of the brass at Fox want Beck back is belied by the fact that, in their separation announcement, they said there would be specials and documentaries from Beck, but none have materialized.

The question is: Will the right be fooled by this attempt by Soros to deep-six Romney and, subsequently, Republican hopes for retaking the White House? And the answer is: Of course they will! Once the name Soros has entered their psyche they lose what little cognitive ability they had. For Romney to recover from the devastating impact of this blow will take superhuman strength (which Romney lacks) or buckets of cash (which Romney bathes in).

Either way it affirms the mental and strategic superiority of George Soros who is capable of upending his enemies anytime he wants. Other political players could learn from this example. Nancy Pelosi, for instance, could doom the career of any Republican she chooses by simply endorsing them. And if President Obama were to come out against raising taxes for the rich, there would be a GOP drafted bill to do just that on his desk by the next morning.

Retch Against the Machine: Sarah Palin vs. Stalinist Cannibals

Now you’ve done it. Yeah you, you Republican presidential primary contenders. You’ve gone and made Sarah Palin mad. This is a day you will live to regret. After all, Palin is still the leader of a fearsome army of Facebook fanatics that worship her despite the fact that she hasn’t done a damn thing since she lost the campaign in 2008 and quit her job as governor half way through. That’s over three years as a professional slacker, leeching off of her PAC contributors and phoning in her insipid commentaries to Fox News.

Palin’s latest Facebook harangue is aimed squarely at her fellow Republicans vying for the GOP nomination. And she doesn’t like what she’s seeing. The tirade titled “Cannibals in GOP Establishment Employ Tactics of the Left,” commences with a blistering assault on the lack of civility that she has always cherished:

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

Yes, the Rogue Warrior is not about to sit still for the Republican establishment, which embraced the Tea Party so tightly, and has elevated Reagan to sainthood, as they sink down to the politics of personal destruction to attack an opponent. The woman who charged that her opponent was “pallin’ around with terrorists” would never behave so abysmally.

Palin invokes the sacred creed of Reagan’s “11th Commandment” which deemed that Republicans never speak ill of other Republicans. To sane outsiders that always seemed to be a call for self-censorship, but to GOP partisans it was simply an edict to coordinate their propaganda and speak with one robotically undifferentiated voice. While Palin says that she has “no problem with the routine rough and tumble of a heated campaign,” she never explains how to tumble roughly in a campaign limited to reciprocal pleasantries.

Palin further asserts that she has never before seen the equivalent of this past week’s political brawl in a GOP primary race. For a woman who could not answer a question about what she reads, I suppose we can forgive her for not knowing about some famous incidents in the not-to-distant past. For instance when George H. W. Bush called Reagan’s economic plan “voodoo economics.” Or when his son George W. Bush spread rumors that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child. Or when McCain likened Mitt Romney’s position on waterboarding to Pol Pot’s. Palin even resorts to the sort of incivility about which she is complaining in this Facebook post:

“What we saw with this ridiculous opposition dump on Newt was nothing short of Stalin-esque rewriting of history. It was Alinsky tactics at their worst.”

Stalin-esque? Palin is comparing Republican criticisms of Gingrich to a brutal dictatorship that was responsible for the deaths of millions of its own people. And she wants to lecture others about the politics of personal destruction? Then she throws in an Alinsky reference for good measure even though there is nothing in her remarks that is associated with any “tactic” advocated by Alinsky. Right-wingers just like to say his name every few minutes. Following that they like to pretend that they are anti-establishment crusaders. Palin asserts that…

“…this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party.”

The poor pitiful Tea Party is being persecuted by the big, bad GOP establishment. You know, the one that created it, funded it, and pandered to it during the last election cycle. And it’s now up to Palin to defend the Tea Partiers who are nothing more than a widely disliked, far right faction of her own party. She expanded on that whining in an appearance on the Tea Party Network (aka Fox News) where she inexplicably connected herself to the leftist punk rock band Rage Against the Machine. And her manner of raging means “vote for Gingrich.” The former members of Rage are surely retching upon hearing this.

Fox Nation

But Mama Grizzly isn’t through yet…

“[T]rust me, during the general election, Governor Romney’s statements and record in the private sector will be relentlessly parsed over by the opposition in excruciating detail to frighten off swing voters. This is why we need a fair primary that is not prematurely cut short by the GOP establishment using Alinsky tactics to kneecap Governor Romney’s chief rival.”

There’s Alinsky again. But more to the point, Palin is at once advocating prolonging the primary contest so that Romney’s record can be picked apart by Republican rivals, while lambasting the party for “crucifying” Gingrich. She really needs to pick an argument and stick to it. But the best part of Palin’s Facebook frenzy comes at the close:

“We will not save our country by becoming like the left. And I question whether the GOP establishment would ever employ the same harsh tactics they used on Newt against Obama. I didn’t see it in 2008.”

If she didn’t see it 2008 it was because she was blinded by the right. Her campaign was amongst the harshest purveyors of attacks on Obama that ran the gamut of absurd allegations casting him as a communist, a Muslim, a Kenyan, and more. But now she questions whether the GOP establishment would ever employ such harsh tactics against Obama. Furthermore, she resorts to portraying Romney as the establishment’s favorite son and even uses the phrase “chosen one.” Hmm, where have we heard that before?

Finally, in this Facebook offensive Palin helpfully admits that Fox News is not the fair and balanced news enterprise it pretends to be. She reminisces wistfully about “a time when conservatives didn’t have Fox News.” I wonder if her boss, Roger Ailes, minds that she is spilling her guts about the intentional bias of the network that employs her. And I wonder if he minds that she is bashing the party that the network was created to promote.

Endorsement News: Herman Cain And Jon Voight Declare

The shape of the Republican campaign is getting more abstract by the day.

At a Newt Gingrich rally today in Florida, Herman Cain popped in to announce that he was “officially and enthusiastically” endorsing the former House Speaker. This was an entirely predictable event. Who else would Cain, a serial sexual harasser, endorse other than Gingrich, a serial philanderer? If Gingrich gets the nomination he could pick Cain as his running mate and be the misogynistic ticket. The Cain endorsement also produced one of the best headlines of the season in the Los Angeles Times: “Cain endorsement could boost Gingrich campaign.” Yeah, right. Gingrich said in a statement. “I’m honored to have Herman’s support, and I look forward to working with him to help put the American people back to work…” …delivering pizzas. In order to pledge his support for Gingrich, Cain must be revoking the endorsement he gave previously. He must no longer be in favor of “The People.”

Elsewhere, Angelina Jolie’s estranged and disturbed Tea Partying father, Jon Voight, gave his support to Mitt Romney. Voight praised Romney as “strong, honest and wants to bring the country back to its exceptional place where we have been for hundreds of hundreds of years, until President Obama decided to follow his father’s footsteps and take us to socialism.” Romney was actually on the stage with Voight as he delivered that lunatic screed that managed to lie about Obama and insult his dead father whom he never knew. That’s just what Romney’s campaign needs: more Glenn Beck inspired dementia to pull in the Tea Party crowd that isn’t yet convinced by Cain’s endorsement of Gingrich.

This is just too much fun, and we haven’t even gotten started yet.

The New GOP Base: Rich, Philandering, Terrorist Symps

This election, like any election, is a contest of persuading targeted blocks of voters to support your candidacy. It’s a deceptively complex game of identifying groups of people with characteristics that are in harmony with the theme of your campaign and getting them to the polls.

Democrats typically solicit union members, middle-income families, senior citizens, and minorities, and attempt to cobble together a coalition. Republicans have been known to make appeals to business people, the white working class, and evangelicals. But this year there is something happening that is curious and perverse. This new development is observable in a couple of recent comments by GOP leaders and media.

Newt Gingrich, in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, was asked about his his multiple affairs and marriages. He responded with a rather unique justification for why behaving like a rutting pig would make him a better candidate:

“It may make me more normal than somebody who wanders around seeming perfect and maybe not understanding the human condition and challenges of life for normal people.”

Apparently Gingrich thinks that cheating on your wife, and/or wives, is “normal” and humanizing. He actually believes that his moral indecencies make him a superior candidate. And conversely, that marital fidelity exposes one’s arrogance as attempting to pass off a facade of phony perfection. By Gingrich’s ethical standards Romney would be wise to shag a BYU cheerleader if he really wants to connect with America and win the presidency.

Another peculiar comment came from Sen. Jim DeMint (Tea Party, SC). He spoke with Neil Cavuto on Fox News in response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech and the issue of tax fairness and whether the wealthy are paying their fair share:

“Well, Neil, we’ve got a challenge in America because about half the country is getting something from government, and that message is going to appeal to them. Republicans have got to appeal to the half of Americans who are paying income taxes, who are working and know better. And it’s not a matter of kind of watering down our message to appeal to those who want more from government, we’ve got to unite that part of America that understands what makes us great. It’s not going to be easy, because it sounds good to say: Let’s tax the rich.”

DeMint is suggesting that the GOP disregard the portion of the electorate that he says are not paying taxes. First of all, he is regurgitating a false argument that people who do not pay federal income taxes are not paying any taxes at all. They do, of course, pay payroll taxes, sales taxes, and state and local taxes, in amounts that raise their effective tax rates to levels comparable to the national averages. But more importantly, the “half of Americans” that DeMint is writing off are, by and large, senior citizens, students, and the working poor, because that is who generally qualify for exemptions from federal income taxes. Perhaps he’d like to tax them more to make up for the tax cuts he has given to his rich pals.

Finally, Fox News chimed in with a segment on their business network. Regular contributor Liz Trotta was called upon to offer her impressions of the State of the Union speech. What struck her was the news released after the speech about the rescue of an American held hostage by Somali pirates:

“How many times is he going to use Seal Team 6 to get out of trouble?” [...] “They are becoming political operatives. I don’t trust this guy at all.”

Seriously? Trotta is appalled that the President is sending elite commando squads to save the lives of American citizens. She is implying that it would have been better if the hostages had been left to rot in the pirates’ lair. And if her indifference to the suffering of the victims weren’t bad enough, she goes on to insult the heroes who risked their lives, freed the captives, and dispensed with the terrorists.

So yesterday was a day that saw the Republican Party cast aside vast amounts of voters who are average citizens and retirees. They rejected voters who dare to be faithful to their spouses. And they insulted heroic soldiers and the patriots who support them. Consequently, it appears that the GOP has staked out a claim for the upper-class, philandering, terrorist sympathizer vote. That’s a unique campaign strategy, to say the least. And if that’s the case, I say let them have it, and good luck in November.

Wall Street Journal On The GOP: If They Don’t Want To Lose, They Shouldn’t Run With Losers

Bret Stephens, the deputy editorial page editor for the Wall Street Journal, published an article this morning that begins…

“Let’s just say right now what voters will be saying in November, once Barack Obama has been re-elected: Republicans deserve to lose.

The column is an indictment of the whole Republican field, but with an emphasis on Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Stephens is no fan of President Obama either. He leads off with a litany of laments having to do with things that Stephens says don’t matter, but conveniently leaves out any of the administration’s accomplishments. And it all leads up to this…

“Above all, it doesn’t matter that Americans are generally eager to send Mr. Obama packing. All they need is to be reasonably sure that the alternative won’t be another fiasco. But they can’t be reasonably sure, so it’s going to be four more years of the disappointment you already know.”

Stephens goes on to compare the GOP field to a “terminal diagnosis” and says that neither Romney nor Gingrich are fit to be a serious Republican nominee. Then he turns his animus to Republicans who declined to enter the race (Daniels, Ryan, Christie, etc.) and blames them for the loss looming in November. It’s a loss that Stephens regards as inevitable. And he is crystal clear as to what he believes is the reason that Obama is certain to be reelected:

“…the U.S. will surely survive four more years. Who knows? By then maybe Republicans will have figured out that if they don’t want to lose, they shouldn’t run with losers.”

That is uncannily close to my own analysis of the GOP race. However, I’m not a deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal. Conservatives of all stripes are bemoaning their presidential slate this year. They know that Romney is a poor representative in an election year where the wealthy 1% are considered aloof and out of touch. And Gingrich is regarded as toxic to Republican’s hopes for both the White House and their hold on the House of Representatives.

You know it may be time to pack it in when Rupert Murdoch has come out against both GOP campaign leaders:

Uh oh. Who does that leave for Murdoch to support? Santorum? Paul? Obama? Or are we headed for a brokered convention? That would be sweet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Laugh-Track Republicans Need Debate Audience To Tell Them What To Think

The Republican Party has made a pariah of Hollywood, which they regard as a bastion of liberal propagandists bent on manipulating public opinion. But after the reaction to last night’s debate in Tampa, Florida, it is apparent that it is the GOP that is wedded to Tinseltown’s tactics.

Commonly known as “laugh-tracks,” the procedure used to “sweeten” the audio of television productions has conditioned audiences to rely on the cues they receive from other audience members. These emotional prompts serve to make certain the audience gets the intended message. And now the long-term effect of this technique has resulted in Republican debate audiences becoming dependent on such cues to inform them of what their own own reactions ought to be to candidates’ remarks. Absent these signals they become lost and don’t know what they are supposed to think. And this morning they are very upset about that.

As evidence of this, note some of the Twitter responses from Republican partisans to NBC’s request that the audience in Tampa refrain from interrupting the candidates with demonstrations of approval or disapproval:

Rich Lowry: if the SC debates had been like this (dull, no audience reaction), gingrich wouldnt have the SC primary

Adam Perine: wow the audience is really missing in this debate… Hurts Newt… probably intentional by NBC #FIDebate

S. E. Cupp: Wow, way to suck the air out of the room, NBC. #NoApplauseIsNoFun

Gateway Pundit: Taking the crowd out of the debate hurts Newt. Brilliant move NBC. Look for this technique in the fall. #FLDebate

Without question, most of the GOP debates thus far have allowed a raucous environment that encouraged the candidates to pander to the crowd, as opposed to articulating more substantive positions. As a result there were some notorious moments that are remembered more for their insight into the character of the GOP audience than the character of the candidates. For instance:

  • The audience gleefully cheered the mention of Rick Perry’s record-breaking number of executions.
  • The audience booed an American soldier on duty in Iraq when he asked a question about gays in the military.
  • The audience applauded when Ron Paul answered that he was content to let an ailing man die because he had no health insurance.
  • The audience went wild when Newt Gingrich evaded a question about his ex-wife’s allegations of adultery and open marriage, and instead attacked the moderator for asking the question.

Newt Gingrich has been the most aggressively solicitous candidate in the GOP field. He is adept at stirring up an audience, and he feeds off of the reactions he incites. Consequently, he is the most concerned about any effort to mute audience response. On Fox & Friends this morning, Gingrich was asked about this by host Gretchen Carlson:

Carlson: What was your reaction to last night’s debate? The audience was taken out of it and up until this point, the audience has been your fan.

Gingrich: I wish in retrospect I’d protested because Brian Williams took them out of it. I think it’s wrong. And I think he took them out of it because the media’s terrified that the audience is going to side with the candidates against the media, which is what they’ve done in every debate. And we’re gonna serve notice on future debates, we’re not going to allow that to happen. That’s wrong.

The fact that Gingrich sees the Republican primary debates as a contest between the candidates and the media, rather than the candidates themselves, is telling. The media is an easy target as it has an approval rating with the American people that is almost as low as the congress from which Gingrich emerged. No wonder he would rather debate the media than his GOP opponents. Gingrich is, in effect, admitting that he wants to use the debate audience as a weapon to advance his candidacy.

It will be interesting to see if Gingrich is successful in getting the debate sponsors to comply with his self-serving demand. Needless to say, it would be utterly irresponsible for the press to buckle under to such bullying tactics. There may be reasons, pro and con, for permitting the audience to be openly demonstrative, but it should always be a decision based on journalistic principles, not candidate preferences.

What’s more, the press should not be taking sides in the debate over whether debate audiences should be heard. But, of course, Fox News has already done just that. They have already published at least two stories that slant in favor of Gingrich’s position.

Fox Nation - NBC Debate

As an aside, audience response is also a factor during State of the Union addresses. One of the most annoying parts of these affairs is the constant interruptions and fidgeting by members of congress that can’t stay in their seats for more than two minutes. I wish that Brian Williams could drop by and tell them to sit still and listen respectfully until the speech tonight is completed.

[Update] Mitt Romney appeared on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning and affirmed my point about the media being an easy target and Gingrich’s exploitation of that fact:

“It’s very easy to talk down a moderator. The moderator asks a question and then has to sit by and take whatever you send to them. And Speaker Gingrich has been wonderful at attacking the moderators and attacking the media. That’s always a very favorite response for the home crowd. But it’s very different to have candidates going against candidates, and that’s something I’ll be doing going against President Obama if I get the chance to be our nominee.”

Fox News Adopts Newt Gingrich’s Alinsky Rhetoric

At today’s White House press briefing a question was asked that illustrates the press corps’ dedication to the news that America cares about most:

Fox Nation - Alinsky

The question that pushed this item to the top of Fox Nation was asked by none other than Fox News White House correspondent, Ed Henry. So what we have here is a Fox News reporter being featured on a Fox News web site for asking an ignorant question that nobody cares about. Here is the actual transcript:

Henry: I wonder if you could clear something up. Newt Gingrich keeps saying on the campaign trail that the President’s vision comes from Saul Alinsky, the community organizer. I haven’t heard you asked about that but I was wondering … Is there some kind of portrait of him in the White House that people look up to or is this BS?

Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary: Have I said how much fun I had as a reporter covering Congress from 1996 to 1998? There was a certain bombast to it at the time. A lot of colorful things to cover.

The President’s background as a community organizer is well documented in the President’s own books. His experience in that field obviously contributed to who he is today. But his experience is a broad-based one that includes a lot of other areas in his life. So I’ll just leave it at that.

Perhaps the reason that Henry has not heard Carney asked about an Alinsky portrait in the White House is that no one else would ask such a stupid question. This is an obvious attempt to legitimize the wing-nut rhetoric of Newt Gingrich (which he picked up from Glenn Beck). Gingrich has taken to disparaging President Obama as a European socialist and Alinsky radical in order to suck up to the Tea Party dimwits who are still suffering withdrawal symptoms since Beck was booted off of Fox News.

In fact, it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between Gingrich and Beck. A couple of years ago Gingrich was pontificating on Obama as a “Kenyan anti-colonialist” who only became president as the result of “a wonderful con.” And he featured the same subject matter in his South Carolina victory speech. Not that Romney is any better. In a 2008 campaign ad he actually preceded Beck’s insane fear-mongering of an Islamic caliphate bent on taking over the world.

The GOP candidates are desperately trying to leapfrog each other to see who can spew the most ludicrous right-wingisms, and Fox News is valiantly stepping forward to prop up their lunatic pandering. Too bad Fox can’t even accomplish that act without misspelling the name of their designated demon (Alinksky?). And their transcript of the exchange between Henry and Carney erroneously quoted Carney as saying “[Obama]‘s experiences abroad also included alot of other areas in his life.” What Carney actually said was that “[Obama]‘s experience is a broad-based one that includes a lot of other areas in his life.” I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that Fox’s mistaken version fits nicely into the Birther fantasy that Obama is a foreigner.

The more Fox News and their inbred candidates focus on irrelevancies like Alinsky, the more cheering can heard from the White House. Not because they have succeeded in concealing from the nation their secret plot to invoke Sharia law, but because they know that the American people are more concerned about jobs, income inequality, and the sort of real national security that brought about the demise of Osama Bin Laden and an end to the war in Iraq. Most Americans have no idea who Saul Alinsky is, nor could they define socialism (much less Kenyan anti-colonialism). So if these are the themes of the Republican campaign in 2012, the Democrats can rest easy as they cruise to a landslide victory in November.

Fox News Psycho Analyst: Newt Gingrich’s Adultery Means A Stronger America

The Republican Party has long sought to position itself as the party of family values. They fiercely defend what they call “traditional” marriage. They are the epitome of the faithful, sacred, one-man, one-woman, Till Death Do Us Party.

Except when it is politically inconvenient.

With the Republican primary race settling down to a two man contest between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the GOP Defense Squad (aka Fox News) is jumping out in front of a potentially devastating calamity.

By now most voters are aware that Newt Gingrich is an abhorrent slug who has cheated on multiple wives and divorced them when they were ill. He even engaged in a tryst with a young woman on his staff while he was leading the effort to impeach Bill Clinton for having a tryst with a young woman on his staff. The argument made repeatedly was that a public servant who could not be trusted to keep his marital vows, could not be trusted with the responsibility of leadership – that character matters.

Now that a Gingrich primary victory is being perceived as plausible, the martinets of virtue are coming forward with modified tenets of behavior that not only absolve Gingrich of his sins, but cast him as paragon of principle and morality.

This unexpected and unseemly turn of events is exemplified by Rush Limbaugh who related a story to his radio audience that expressed sympathy for Gingrich as the victim in his marital woes, and praised his open infidelity as “a mark of character.” But no one can come close to the Fox News editorial by alleged psychiatrist Keith Ablow titled, “Newt Gingrich’s Three Marriages Mean He Might Make A Strong President – Really!”

Keith Ablow

Ablow is the resident Fox News psychiatrist and a co-author of a book with Glenn Beck. Ablow’s treatise on the merits of infidelity commence with the assertion that the whole affair is just a creation of the media that is “trying to castrate candidates for the prurient pleasure of the public.” It’s a position that appears to defend promiscuity. How dare the media expect pious politicians to live the chaste lives of the little people they govern? Our leaders, Ablow implies, must not be rendered impotent by standards of conduct that need only apply to peasants – and Democrats. Then Ablow condescends to dictate the import of these events to the peons who populate the Fox family:

I will tell you what Mr. Gingrich’s personal history actually means for those of us who want to right the economy, see our neighbors and friends go back to work, promote freedom here and abroad and defeat the growing threat posed by Iran and other evil regimes.”

What a relief. Ablow will tell us the meaning of it all, which saves us the trouble of having to think for ourselves. And the first thing he wants us to know is that the age-old dogma of conservative politics – that character matters – is a myth:

“You can take any moral position you like about men and women who cheat while married, but there simply is no correlation, whatsoever — from a psychological perspective — between whether they can remain true to their wedding vows and whether they can remain true to the Oath of Office.”

Ablow, of course, is directly contradicting Gingrich himself, and the standard Gingrich set while he was trying to impeach Clinton. But Ablow is not deterred. He then lays out a five-point justification for how a serial adulterer is better able to make America stronger:

  • 1) Three women have met Mr. Gingrich and been so moved by his emotional energy and intellect that they decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with him.
  • 2) Two of these women felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married.
  • 3) One of them felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married for the second time, was not exactly her equal in the looks department and had a wife (Marianne) who wanted to make his life without her as painful as possible.
  • 4) Two women — Mr. Gingrich’s first two wives — have sat down with him while he delivered to them incredibly painful truths: that he no longer loved them as he did before, that he had fallen in love with other women and that he needed to follow his heart, despite the great price he would pay financially and the risk he would be taking with his reputation.
  • 5) Mr. Gingrich’s daughters from his first marriage are among his most vigorous supporters. They obviously adore him and respect him and feel grateful for the kind of father he was.

Seriously! Those are Ablow’s five points verbatim. I’m not making this up. See for yourself. Now, let’s look at them one at a time:

  • 1) Ablow thinks that it is a measure of a man’s greatness that multiple women have agreed to marry him. By that standard we should elect Larry King or Dog the Bounty Hunter president. Both have been married more times than Gingrich. And Ablow might also look into the multiple marriage proposals received by men in prison, including rapists and murderers. Is Ablow endorsing their candidacies?
  • 2) In Ablow’s professional opinion, as a psychiatrist, if the woman is a home wrecker it further validates the virtue of the adulterous man. I’m sure that’s documented in psychiatric journals and textbooks.
  • 3) If the home wrecker is hot (according to Ablow), and the man is not, then he must truly be a great leader. Obviously Ablow is unfamiliar with the romantic successes of repugnant rich and/or powerful men. I refer Ablow to billionaire oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall (married to Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith) and Henry Kissinger (who said that “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac”).
  • 4) Ablow regards the fact that Gingrich told both of his sick ex-wives that he was dumping them as evidence of honesty and moral strength. But Gingrich was hardly honest while he was engaging in his affairs for years before he got around to telling his spouses. And he was hardly moral for abandoning them when they were in need. The best that could be said for Gingrich is that if he were president he might tell us about his crimes and improprieties in office years after his term was over.
  • 5) It’s funny how people like Ablow never mention Gingrich’s gay daughter sister, Candace, when they are making a point about family harmony.

Finally, Ablow offers his psychoanalysis of Gingrich in his closing paragraph:

“So, as far as I can tell, judging from the psychological data, we have only one real risk to America from his marital history if Newt Gingrich were to become president: We would need to worry that another nation, perhaps a little younger than ours, would be so taken by Mr. Gingrich that it would seduce him into marrying it and becoming its president. And I think that is exceedingly unlikely.”

First of all, to what psychological data is Ablow referring? He has never examined Gingrich or his family. This is another in a series of irresponsible and unethical psychiatric appraisals conducted by Ablow. He has previously published his deranged opinions about President Obama and Media Matters founder, David Brock. In both of those cases, as here, Ablow is in violation of the American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics (Section 7.3), which state:

“On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.

Why this hack hasn’t had his license revoked is a mystery. Setting that aside, clearly Ablow intends his closing remarks to be a joke, but there are some very real concerns embedded in it. Gingrich’s loyalty to others is a fragile thing. While he may not leave America for a younger, prettier country, he certainly cannot be depended on to pursue the interests of this nation if they are in conflict with his own personal interests. He was ousted from his Speakership and his House seat due to the pursuit of his personal financial interests. And he has a long history of taking political positions that advance his electoral prospects. Add to that his selfishness with regard to his marital history and you have a picture of man who is morally, if not literally, treasonous.

The conclusions by “Doctor” Ablow are an obvious attempt on the part of Fox News to whitewash Gingrich’s past. If Ablow thinks that three wives and two extramarital affairs (that we know about) enhance Gingrich’s qualifications to be president, then what about a candidate with five or six wives and a membership in the Swingers Club?

The logical extension of Ablow’s theory would put Charlie Sheen atop his list of America’s best presidential aspirants. [Come to think of it, would Sheen be any worse than Perry, Bachmann, Trump, Cain, Gingrich, etc.?] And this is what the Republican Party is passing off as family values in the 21st century. Now if they could just get Sheen to come out against abortion and declare war on Iran, they’d have themselves a real dream candidate.

[Update] The good news is that Ablow is getting pummeled in the press for his idiocy. Even his own network has called his article “asinine” and “pandering slop.” Although it was just on their overnight comedy show Red Eye.

Carnage Capitalism: When Mitt Romney Came To Town

“You have to ask the question, is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of people and then walk off with the money?” (h/t TPM)

You might be wondering which ultra-progressive enemy of conservative, free market, American principles uttered that indictment of capitalism and the GOP (Greedy One Percent) model of the economy. It wasn’t Michael Moore or Nancy Pelosi or George Soros. It was former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and current floundering Republican presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich.

Seriously. Gingrich is so obsessed with cutting off his nemesis, Mitt Romney (or R*Money as his Highlife Homies call him) at the knees that he has adopted the platform of Occupy Wall Street to expose Romney’s Carnage Capitalism that permits him to profit extravagantly from the suffering of others and the destruction of businesses and jobs. There is even a devastating new video produced by a pro-Gingrich Super-Pac, Winning Our Future, that could easily be used by the Obama campaign against Romney this fall:

This is precisely the strategy that should be implemented against Romney and the rest of the congressional GOP establishment in the upcoming elections. Gingrich knows that this line of attack will be effective or he wouldn’t be using it himself. He has surely done focus groups and other polling to affirm that. Even the GOP’s top pollster/strategist, Frank Luntz warned a meeting of the Republican Governor’s Association that…

“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death. They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

It isn’t really the word capitalism that is the problem, but the corruption of it by people like Romney (and Gingrich, for that matter). But when the far right is embracing our arguments, you know that the tide has turned. And that is not a sign to relax or declare victory. It is a call to redouble our efforts and march on until our goals are achieved. This concession by Gingrich, and the video by his pals, are just the most recent indications that progressive values are on the ascendancy.

Getting Ugly: Down To The Wire For The Iowa Caucus

I’ve been saying all along that Willard Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee for president. I said it when Bachmann was the frontrunner; when Trump was the frontrunner; when Perry was the frontrunner; when Cain was the frontrunner; when Gingrich was the frontrunner; when Santorum was the frontrunner. I stand by my prediction.

However, the roller-coaster ride that the Republicans have provided has been enormous fun. And it has also provided a truck-load full of material for the Democrats to use during the general election. Including these headlines from Fox Nation this morning:

Fox Nation Disgusting Liars

Here we have the four current leaders of the Republican primary campaign slamming one another mercilessly. Gingrich calls Romney a liar. Santorum calls Paul disgusting. Perhaps it would be easier if we just called the whole bunch of them disgusting liars.

The problem for the GOP is that they are looking for a vestal conservative, but can’t find one that was immaculately conceived. And the Tea Party right is adamant about not tolerating the flip-flopping moderate, Romney. In the end they will surrender and accept the inevitable: Romney will be their nominee. Then look for the commencement of a half-hearted campaign featuring their new rallying cry: Settle For Mitt, 2012.

Judge Not: Newt Gingrich Adds Another Zany Plank To His Platform

GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich continues to adopt some of the most lunatic positions from the right-wing fringe. First it was calling child labor laws “truly stupid.” Then it was calling Palestinians an “invented people.” Now Gingrich wants to go after judges he doesn’t like.

Newt Gingrich

Gingrich was questioned about his prior comments that he would, as president, eliminate judges and courts that he regarded as overstepping their authority. As an example he suggested that the entire Ninth Circuit could be done away with. On Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer noted that Gingrich’s proposal would violate the Constitution, and asked the former Speaker how he would enforce this. Would he send the Capitol police to arrest such judges? Gingrich replied…

“If you had to. Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send a U.S. marshal.”

This may go down in history as one of the stupidest, and most dangerous, statements from a presidential contender. The notion that a president could unilaterally punish judges for decisions with which the president disagrees is fundamentally unconstitutional and anti-American. Such power would mean that judges would have to live in fear of losing their job if they displeased the White House. It would mean that they could not decide cases on the merits, but would have to decide based on the political repercussions of their ruling. That would, in effect, make the judiciary an irrelevant appendage of the White House, rather than an independent and impartial administrator of the law.

It will be interesting to see how Gingrich’s Tea Party supporters respond to this repulsive stance. The Tea Party has always tried to portray itself as opposed to big government and the encroachment of power by government institutions. There is nothing more representative of a power grab than one branch of government asserting that it has the authority to eliminate another branch. And that’s exactly what Gingrich is proposing.

But I wonder if Gingrich has thought this through. If President Obama were to adopt Gingrich’s view today, he could have Justices Thomas and Scalia arrested and thrown off the bench. Then he could appoint two new judges to take their place. Somehow I don’t think that’s what Gingrich had in mind? In fact, were Obama to try that he would be swooped on by outraged Republicans and Tea Partiers and castigated as a traitor.

And if it wasn’t disgusting enough that Gingrich would propose something so contrary to American values, Fox Nation characterizes this as Gingrich criticizing “Anti-American Judges.” That’s a loaded term that implies that any judge that makes a ruling that a president doesn’t like is anti-American and, therefore, subject to impeachment. Of course, it’s the policy advanced by Gingrich, as well as the spin given to it by Fox, that is anti-American, not the judges that Gingrich yearns to impeach.

[Update] Fox Nation doubles down with a second column on Gingrich’s dictatorial aspirations. This one sports a curious headline that lamely tries to tar Bob Schieffer of Face the Nation as having been “jacked up” by Gingrich and calls the program “Slay the Nation.”

Fox Nation

Also note that on the morning following the death of Kim Jong Il, the Fox Nationalists place this rehashed story at the top of their web site above a much smaller link to a story on the deceased leader of North Korea.

Republicans Reveal Their Top Priority For America In Iowa Debate

At a time when the nation faces some formidable challenges on critical matters of economics, employment, national defense, health care, etc., the Republican candidates for president met in Iowa to debate the issues that they regard as most important to voters and the country.

Leading off the Fox News sponsored debate, Fox anchor Bret Baier summarized just what issues the GOP held as their highest priority, and it wasn’t any of those enumerated in the paragraph above.

Bret Baier: We have received thousands of tweets, Facebook messages and emails with suggested questions. And the overall majority of them had one theme: Electability. People want to know which one of you on this stage is able to be in the best position to beat President Obama in the general election. And that’s the number one goal for Republican voters, obviously.

So there you have it. The number one goal is not restoring the nation’s economic health. It is not creating jobs or strengthening the middle-class. It is not Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Al Qaeda, or any other source of international hostility. It isn’t even Republican pet causes of guns, gays, God, or repealing ObamaCare. The number on issue is electability. Republicans are focused squarely on the singular issue of evicting the Kenyan socialist from the White House, to the exclusion of all other principles or positions. Just like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said shortly after Obama was inaugurated.

Taking this theme to heart, the debate continued with a series of question that addressed nothing substantive other than the candidate’s prospects for beating President Obama next November. Here are the first seven questions asked at Thursday’s debate:

Bret Baier: Speaker Gingrich, since our last debate your position in this race has changed dramatically. You are now physically in the center of the stage, which means that you are at the top of the polls, yet many Republicans seem conflicted about you, They say that you’re smart, that you’re a big thinker. At the same time many of those same Republicans worry deeply about your electability in a general election saying perhaps Gov. Romney is a safer bet. Can you put to rest, once and for all, the persistent doubts that you are indeed the right candidate on this stage to go up and beat President Obama?

Megyn Kelly: Cong. Paul, you have some bold ideas, some very fervent supporters, and probably the most organized ground campaign here in Iowa, but there are many Republicans, inside and outside of this state, who openly doubt whether you can be elected president. How can you convince them otherwise, and if you don’t wind up winning this nomination, will you pledge here tonight that you will support the ultimate nominee?

Megyn Kelly: Sen. Santorum, no one has spent more time in Iowa than you. You have visited every county in the state. And yet, while we have seen no fewer than four Republican candidates surge in the polls, sometimes in extraordinary ways, so far you and your campaign have failed to catch fire with the voters. Why?

Chris Wallace: Gov. Romney, I want to follow up on Bret’s line of questioning to the Speaker because many of our viewers tell us that they are supporting Newt Gingrich because they think that he will be tougher than you in taking the fight to Barack Obama in next fall’s debates. Why would you be able to make the Republican’s case against the President more effectively than the Speaker?

Chris Wallace: Cong. Bachmann, no one questions your conservative credentials, but what about your appeal to Independents who are so crucial in a general election? If you are fortunate enough to become the Republican nominee, how would you counter the efforts by the Barack Obama campaign to paint you as too conservative to moderate voters?

Neil Cavuto: Gov. Perry, by your own admission you are not a great debater. You have said as much and downplayed debating skills in general. But if you were to become your party’s nominee you would be going up against an accomplished debater in Barack Obama. There are many in this audience tonight, sir, who fear that possibility and don’t think you’re up for the fight. Allay them of their concerns.

Neil Cavuto: Gov. Huntsman, your campaign has been praised by moderates, but many question your ability to galvanize the Republicans, energize the conservative base of the party. They’re especially leery of your refusal to sign on to a “no tax hike” pledge. How can you reassure them tonight.

Nothing is more revealing of a party’s intentions than what they themselves place at the forefront of their campaigns. And nothing could be more clear than the fact that Republicans simply do not care about issues or the welfare of the American people as much as they do about their own selfish quest for power.

What’s more, the debate sponsor, Fox News, and other right-wing spokesmodels concur with the GOP’s directive on beating Obama above all else. That’s why the questions were littered with words like “worry,” “doubt,” “fear,” and “leery,” to describe the electorate’s mood toward the GOP frontrunners. And the debate amongst Republican elites is raging at an unprecedented pace. Rush Limbaugh thinks Romney is a milquetoast candidate. Glenn Beck called Gingrich a progressive (a pejorative for Beck) and the one candidate he would not vote for. Even Fox’s Chris Wallace slammed Ron Paul saying that a win by Paul in Iowa would discredit the state’s caucuses.

So what we have here is both the candidates and the media fixated on electability. All they talk about is the horse race and not the underlying issues. And of course, the reason for that is that they don’t care about the issues, only the power that comes from political control. And now they have confessed this obsession unabashedly.

Unfortunately for these polito-Narcissists, they aren’t quite smart enough to craft accurate predictions of who is or isn’t electable. They will undoubtedly make the wrong choice and their anointed candidate will suffer an embarrassing defeat. But to be honest, that’s an easy call for me to make because any of the current GOP candidates would be the wrong choice. They are all presently losing to Obama in national polls, and that’s quite a feat considering Obama’s low favorability ratings. The best thing that’s happened for Obama’s reelection prospects is that he’s running against this batch of pathetic Republicans.

The Donald Trump/NewsMax Debate: What No One Is Talking About

Donald Trump

Ever since it was announced that Donald Trump would be moderating a debate between the Republican presidential primary candidates, the focus of the press and pundits was centered on the absurdity of a clown like Trump being taken seriously in that role. After all, he is charlatan who pretends to be a successful businessman, but in reality he is fraud who has presided over four bankrupt enterprises and rescued his floundering career by becoming a TV game show host.

GOP luminaries from George Will to Karl Rove to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, have all dismissed Trump a distraction, a joke, or worse. And consistent with his pugilistic personality, Trump fired back with a barrage of petulant insults. More importantly, the candidates themselves have shunned Trump and his Narcissistic endeavor. Huntsman, Paul, Romney, Perry, and Bachmann are all officially out. When Bachmann gave notice on Fox News she complained to Gretchen Carlson that…

“…[Trump] was also on television saying that he was leaning toward one candidate. Even if he was leaning towards me it suggests the idea of bias and I just don’t know if that’s necessarily the right format.”

And just to illustrate how clueless the characters on Fox News are, Carlson responded to Bachmann saying…

“That’s interesting, because I had not thought about the latter part of what you just said as being possibly a conflict of interest if he actually is leaning towards one candidate.”

Yes, Gretchen, that is interesting (I mean the part about you having thoughts). And while Huntsman and Paul spoke candidly about their reasons for sitting out the debate, Romney, Bachmann, and Perry all polished their snub by lavishing the Donald with flagrant flattery and shameless adulation. Nevertheless, it has become glaringly apparent that Trump holds no sway with either the public or the political players. The roster for the much ballyhooed debate (mostly ballyhooed by Trump himself) is now set with only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum participating. That should make for some compelling TV drama. However, it is unlikely to result in the fulfillment of his prediction that “We will get, probably, the highest ratings of any debate.” Such grandiose hyperbole can only come from the ego of Trump.

But lost in the sublime comic relief of all of this Trumpling is any substantive review of his partner in this debasement of debate. NewsMax is a popular conservative magazine and web site. Popular among the curmudgeon crowd of over-65 conspiracy nuts, that is. Its editor, Chris Ruddy, is the author of a book that advanced the scurrilous lie that Bill Clinton’s aide, Vince Foster, did not commit suicide as all available evidence proved, but was – murdered! When Ruddy could not get his employer, Rupert Murdoch of the New York Post, to go along with this fable, Ruddy struck out on his own with the help of another right-wing media baron: Richard Mellon Scaife. It ought to be a warning sign if Murdoch is uncomfortable with your lunatic ravings.

Scaife is a stalwart anti-communist who seems to believe that anyone to the left of Barry Goldwater is a Trotskyite. His largesse extends to a who’s who of rightist foundations like the American Enterprise Institute, David Horowitz’s Freedom Center, and the Heritage Foundation. He is similarly generous to organizations that oppose public education, unions, and global warming science. But he is best known for bankrolling the investigations of sex scandals and drug-running plots that he was convinced Clinton was engaged in back in Arkansas.

So in addition to the embarrassment of being associated with Donald Trump, the two remaining participants in his debate must also account for their connection to NewsMax and Scaife. This is about more than just Trump’s ego and Birtherism. It also extends to extremist delusions about murdered White House staffers and drug traffickers. Even worse, NewsMax once published an article that was a thinly veiled call for a military coup against the Obama administration. Or as it is referred to legal circles – treason.

Santorum doesn’t have much to worry about because he isn’t going anywhere anyway. But Gingrich is the current GOP frontrunner (and the likely beneficiary/victim of a Trump endorsement), and he should be asked to comment on the appropriateness of aligning himself with these controversial figures. Sadly, it may be too much to expect the media to hold Gingrich’s feet to the fire when they haven’t even bothered to report that there is a fire. While it may be tempting to fill the airwaves with the Tales of Trump, that is only half the story. NewsMax and Scaife are as much a part of this ludicrous debate as Trump and deserve a little attention as well.

[Update] Trump spoke with Don Imus on the Fox Business Network this morning and delivered some deeply depressing news. Imus asked Trump if the debate would be going forward with only Gingrich and Santorum participating. Trump said, “I don’t know. I have to look into it.” Aside from being an enormous insult to Gingrich and Santorum, canceling the debate would eliminate one of the most eagerly anticipated comedy events of the holiday season. Come on, Donald…stick with it.

Donald Trump’s Presidential Apprentice Primer

Donald Trump

Pretend billionaire and megalomaniac, Donald Trump is making the media rounds to prop up his Apprentice spin-off program: The Republican Presidential Primary Debate, or Presidential Apprentice. The announcement last week of this momentous event has been met with near universal yawns. Already two candidates (Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul) have declined the invitation. The only candidate who has accepted to date is Newt Gingrich.

True to his character, Trump attacked Huntsman (who is in third place in New Hampshire polling) and Paul (who is in third place in Iowa polling) as joke candidates. If they were truly joke candidates, however, they would be headlining Trump’s circus. As it stands, only Gingrich is set to appear. That is most likely because the new front-runner is broke, has no staff, and desperately needs the free media that any public appearance provides.

Republican elders are dismissing Trump’s affair. George Will said that the candidates should be presidential and say that “we’re not going to be hijacked and participate in this.” Karl Rove said that it’s absurd for any candidate to participate in a debate moderated by someone who is planning to make an endorsement and has hinted at running as an Independent. He further noted that “It’s gonna be a giant ego trip.”

Should anyone else decide to join Trump and Gingrich, they should be prepared for what they might encounter in a Trump-moderated debate. So I have compiled some of the subjects that Trump has championed in order that the candidates can familiarize themselves with his platform. Studying these areas of interest will give the debaters a leg up on their campaign for Trump’s affection:

1) Obama’s Citizenship: This is without a doubt the cornerstone of Trump’s political agenda. He talks about it at every appearance – including this morning on MSNBC, where he told Chuck Todd that he is still interested in this even if others are not. He has yet to reveal the findings of the security team he sent to Hawaii to investigate the matter.

2) Obama’s Religion: Despite the fact that the President has repeatedly affirmed his devout Christianity, Trump suspects that he is secretly a Muslim and the proof may be on his birth certificate. Never mind that any religious designation on a birth certificate would be irrelevant. Obviously the baby Barack did not select his faith, but the adult has been clear and consistent.

3) Obama’s Authorship: Trump has embraced the WorldNetDaily crackpots who believe that Bill Ayers was the ghostwriter of Obama’s autobiography “Dreams From My Father.” The evidence of this fraud is the observation that both used certain phrases like going “against the current.” Well, that settles that. Trump also believes that Obama was born Barry Soetoro and later changed his name, despite the fact that his step-father Lolo Soetoro didn’t marry Obama’s mother until he was four years old.

4) Obama’s Academics: Trump is fond of questioning Obama’s academic credentials, insisting that he was too stupid to get into Harvard. He says he is investigating this (are they the same investigators he sent to Hawaii?). Of course it is documented that Obama had graduated from Columbia before getting a scholarship to Harvard where he became the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude.

5) Foreign Policy: Trump has advocated declaring a trade war with China. He also proposed addressing the deficit by stealing the oil from Libya and Iraq. This is the sort of bravado that Trump likes to display with his own business enterprises, which have resulted in four bankruptcies. In addition he has expressed support for an actual shooting war with both Iran and North Korea. However, with international relations between sovereign nations with standing armies, he may produce even worse outcomes than he has with his failing hotels and casinos.

6) Economic Policy: While he doesn’t have a 999 plan, Trump has proposed a tax increase that might inflame the sensitivities of Grover Norquist and the Tea Party:

“I would impose a one-time, 14.25% tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth over $10 million. For individuals, net worth would be calculated minus the value of their principal residence. That would raise $5.7 trillion in new revenue, which we would use to pay off the entire national debt. [...] Some will say that my plan is unfair to the extremely wealthy. I say it is only reasonable to shift the burden to those most able to pay. The wealthy actually would not suffer severe repercussions.”

That actually sounds pretty good. Too bad he has disavowed that plan that appeared in his book, and now thinks he can appropriate billions of dollars from other countries to pay down our debt (he doesn’t say how).

This primer for the Trump debate should prepare the candidates to deal with the peculiar lunacy of the Trump vision for America. It would certainly be enlightening for voters to get a clearer perspective on these important matters.

However, there is a significant obstacle that might prevent this illuminating discourse from proceeding. It is highly probable that no one will show up but Gingrich. There really doesn’t seem to be much incentive to participate in a debate between Christmas and New Year’s Day that is hosted by charlatan whom polls show would harm the candidacies of anyone that he endorsed. With only three weeks to confirm, we’ll know pretty soon if there are others in the race who are as desperate as Newt. In a pinch Trump could always call Meatloaf or LaToya Jackson and see if they would be willing to sign on again.

Newt Gingrich Slams Poor Children – Again

Last week Newt Gingrich floated a ludicrous plan to fire union janitors at schools (putting them on the unemployment rolls and devastating their families) and replacing them with school children. The brilliance of this plan is that, while impoverishing the families of the once gainfully employed janitors, it would simultaneously burden kids with responsibilities that would distract them from their studies. And of course the children of folks in Gingrich’s class would have no such impediments to their education.

Not content with declaring child labor laws “truly stupid,” this week Gingrich compounded his absurdity and insensitivity by insulting the children that he hopes to put to work scrubbing toilets.

“Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday,” Gingrich claimed.

“They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash’ unless it is illegal,” he added.

This is the current front-runner for the Republican nomination for president saying that the children of the working poor have only lazy or criminal influences in their lives. Their parents are either bums or crooks.

Obviously Gingrich has never set foot in a poor neighborhood. Had he done so he would have met people who not only show up for work, they do it at multiple jobs. Gingrich has no concept of what it means to struggle to provide for his family. He makes $60,000 to give a half hour speech, yet he maligns poor people as having “no habit of staying all day.” And he spent decades in Congress where they almost never show up on Monday (or Friday either) and take several weeks off every year.

To insinuate that poor families who earn money do so only through illegal activities is not only wrong, it belies a measure of hypocrisy that is monumental. Remember, it was Gingrich who was cast out of Congress in disgrace after having been reprimanded for misusing tax-exempt funds and being fined $300,000. Someone as ethically challenged as Gingrich has no business maligning the integrity of others. Particularly those about whom he has absolutely no knowledge.