Friday, January 27, 2012

Political Digest for January 27, 2012

The Old Jarhead Blog: Bringing you news and information the MSM is too busy covering American Idol, celebrity affairs and sensational missing person cases to cover. Please forward to friends who need to be informed.

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on. In some cases I post things sent to me by readers I might not have posted on my own, to get ideas circulating.

SOTU Message
Good cartoon. ~Bob.

Excerpt: The Republican candidates' circular firing squad now seems to be using machine guns. Whoever the eventual "last man standing" turns out to be, he may not be standing very tall or very steadily on his feet -- and he may be a pushover for Barack Obama in the general election, thanks to fellow Republicans. Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an independent, this is a very serious and historically crucial time for the United States of America.

36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes
Excerpt: A new report just out from the Internal Revenue Service reveals that 36 of President Obama's executive office staff owe the country $833,970 in back taxes. These people working for Mr. Fair Share apparently haven't paid any share, let alone their fair share. Previous reports have shown how well-paid Obama's White House staff is, with 457 aides pulling down more than $37 million last year. That's up seven workers and nearly $4 million from the Bush administration's last year. (Figures. #WeCantWait for Obama’s minions to pay their fair share. ~Bob.

Fact Check: Obama's 2012 State of the Union
Excerpt: It was a wish list, not a to-do list. President Obama's array of plans in his State of the Union speech was light on a key piece of context -- namely, that his hands are so tied ahead of the election that it is doubtful many if any of them can be done in the remainder of his term. There can be little more than wishful thinking behind his call to end oil industry subsidies -- something he could not get through a Democratic Congress, much less today's divided Congress, much less in this election year. A look at Obama's rhetoric Tuesday night and how it fits with the facts and political realities of the day:

‘The Tide of War’
Excerpt: But there’s a dangerous muddle here, in which the gutting of U.S. defense and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from overseas theaters are confused with an end to war. If the metaphor here is to be one of ocean tides, then the extension of the metaphor is that we are being invited to spread out our well-padded entitlement programs and picnic on the beach — oblivious to the signs that the water is coming back. North Korea and Iran are still working on nuclear bombs and missiles. (Not only does the administration seem set on reducing our readiness, there was that line in the State of the Union speech where Obama wants to “take half of what we’ve been spending on war and spend it on ‘infrastructure,’ and the other half to ‘pay down the national debt.’” Has he forgotten he ALREADY reduced the defense budget in anticipation of withdrawing the troops? And that there is a REQUIRED withholding of some $400B due to failure of the Super Congress to submit budget cuts? [I’m surprised none of the conservative columnists has called him on this yet.] There can’t be any “end of war surplus” because it has already been stripped out of the budget. Unless taxes are raised, of course, which tells you what the real objective has always been. Ron P.)

The Smoking Gun? Attorney General Eric Holder Gave Drug Cartels Immunity
Excerpt: Testimony in a Chicago federal court claims that the Department of Justice willingly and knowing gave Fast & Furious guns directly to the bloody Sinaloa drug cartel of Mexico. Two honorable US agents, dozens of Mexican police officers and thousands of Mexican citizens have been slaughtered with Eric Holder's Fast & Furious guns. And now it appears that Holder's guns did not simply walk across the border, but were knowingly and specifically delivered to one of the world's most vicious drug cartels.

Top Justice officials connected to mortgage banks
Excerpt: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department's criminal division, were partners for years at a Washington law firm that represented a Who's Who of big banks and other companies at the center of alleged foreclosure fraud, a Reuters inquiry shows.

Excerpt: Mitt Romney’s campaign is attacking Newt Gingrich as an “influence peddler.” But it turns out that some of Romney’s closest advisers (or the firms they lobbied for) were paid hundreds of thousands — maybe millions — of dollars on behalf of failed mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

Forget about Economic Recovery: Obama Is Toast
Excerpt: President Obama thinks that the improving economy will win him a second term, the New York Times reports today. Whatever he’s drinking, order me a double. His poll numbers look a little better because the Republicans have spent the past several months in a fratricidal bloodbath. Fortunately, the memory of the American electorate for such antics is short. Once we choose a candidate (and I am happy with Romney, Santorum, or Gingrich) and unite behind him, we will win, unless, of course, we find a way to sabotage ourselves.

Fact-checking the 2012 State of the Union speech
Excerpt: Here is a guide through some of President Obama’s more fact-challenged claims, in the order in which he made them.

Worth Reading: The Perils of Obama’s Foreign Policy: Let’s hope we don’t have to relearn the lessons of 1913, 1938, or 2000. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The mystery remaining about the Obama administration’s foreign policy is not whether it has worked, but whether its failures will matter all that much. That is no rhetorical question, given that it is hard to permanently damage, in just three years, the position abroad of the United States, given its vast military power and enormous economy.

Excerpt: Yet one week later, a poll conducted by the Marquette law school shows that unions may not have the wind at their backs. (Marquette, the Sorbonne of southeastern Wisconsin, is renowned for the quality of its alumni, including Chris Farley, Dwyane Wade, and yours truly.) In an extended City Journal piece this week, I argued that Walker’s reforms are working; it appears the Wisconsin public may already recognize that fact.

Boehner: President's politics are 'almost un-American'
Excerpt: House Speaker John Boehner Tuesday forcefully denounced the Democrats' campaign theme that they are for the middle class and Republicans are for the wealthy, saying the politics the president is running on are "almost un-American." (BO’s policies kill individual incentive, which has given us prosperity. Almost? ~Bob.)
Mystery: What Nancy Pelosi has on Newt
Excerpt: The mystery of whether Nancy Pelosi knows something about Newt Gingrich that could hurt his presidential campaign deepened on Wednesday. 
Pelosi’s office walked back comments she made Tuesday suggesting she had dirt on Gingrich, but a government watchdog group filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with two agencies for documents on the Gingrich ethics probe from the 1990s. (Lots of jokes going around at Nancy’s expense on what she knew. ~Bob.)

Gingrich Never Fined on Ethics Matter, Records Show
Excerpt: Associates of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are stepping forward to rebut accusations from Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney that he resigned in “disgrace” and paid an ethics “fine.” Gingrich insisted during a candidates debate Monday that reports he was fined $300,000 for House ethics violations are inaccurate and records back up his claim the payment was not a fine.
Philippines may allow greater U.S. military presence in reaction to China’s rise
Let’s put out some speed bumps. If things go wrong, they can always defend the Bataan Peninsula. ~Bob. Excerpt: Two decades after evicting U.S. forces from their biggest base in the Pacific, the Philippines is in talks with the Obama administration about expanding the American military presence in the island nation, the latest in a series of strategic moves aimed at China. Although negotiations are in the early stages, officials from both governments said they are favorably inclined toward a deal. They are scheduled to intensify the discussions Thursday and Friday in Washington before higher-level meetings in March. If an arrangement is reached, it would follow other recent agreements to base thousands of U.S. Marines in northern Australia and to station Navy warships in Singapore. (Ah, they sent 250 Marines to Australia, will rotate 2,500 through. Not basing thousands there. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Five-term congressman Brad Miller (D-N.C.) said Wednesday he would retire rather than face a primary challenge against Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) after redistricting redrew his congressional district into a Republican stronghold.

Bev Perdue will not seek reelection
Excerpt: First-term North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue will announce Thursday she won’t seek reelection, multiple sources have confirmed to POLITICO. Saddled with low poll ratings, Perdue, a Democrat, was the most endangered incumbent governor of the cycle and faced grim prospects in the fall against Republican Pat McCrory, a former Charlotte mayor who is expected to formally launch his bid in the coming weeks. (Or as Frank Perdue might have said, “I wouldn’t put my good vote on a bad chick.” ~Bob.)

This Is America's Moment, If Washington Doesn't Blow It
Excerpt: While the U.S. has its challenges, it is positioned to achieve a more solid long-term trajectory than its European and Asian rivals. What it lacks, however, is a strong political leadership capable of seizing this opportunity. … Since 2008 foreign direct investment to Germany, France, Japan and Korea has stagnated; in 2009 overall investment in the E.U. dropped 36%. In contrast, in 2010 foreign investment in the U.S. rose 49%, mostly coming from Canada, Europe, and Japan. Industrial investment rose $30 billion just between 2009 and 2010, while investment in the energy sector more than tripled to $20 billion. 9In response, Obama and the Democrats want to make us more like Europe. ~Bob.)

Writing checks against the future By: Emily Skarbek
Excerpt: On Jan. 9, the federal government's debt officially surpassed $15 trillion -- an amount larger than the total annual output of the U.S. economy.  Worse, the debt is increasing. Approval of the Budget Control Act last August was a thinly veiled Band-Aid. At present, the Obama administration projects total debt to increase by $26 trillion in 10 years -- more than 15 percent higher than the projected $22.5 trillion in gross domestic product.

Florida primary pits tea party vs. cocktail party
Excerpt: As the Republican race moves to a state defined by the extremes in recession-era America — where the underwater and unemployed live just a few miles from the 1 percent — a sharp class divide is emerging between the two top contenders. Mitt Romney’s crowds look like something out of the president’s suite at a University of Florida football game — prosperous, trim, Tattersall-clad, and supportive but not rowdy. Newt Gingrich supporters, with their spray-painted signs, American flag tees, flip-flops and fanny packs, more closely resemble a group that would fit in nicely playing a few bucks at the dog track.
Excerpt: Reuters is out with a tough story on Sen. Marco Rubio today, arguing that, the senator “has had significant financial problems that could keep him from passing any vetting process as a potential vice presidential choice…” Unfortunately, it appears many of the facts are either wrong or exaggerated. By my count, there were at least 7 errors or exaggerations: 1. “Rubio also voted against Sonia Sotomayor, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee who is of Puerto Rican descent…” (Rubio wasn’t even in the senate then.) (Does lying about a Hispanic senator make you racist? Not if he’s a Republican—it makes you a “journalist.” ~Bob.)

Obama’s unwelcome mat: His home refinancing plan is a major economic mistake
Excerpt: What he failed to tell us is that such a push would do nothing to turn around either the housing market or the broader economy. In fact, by continuing his trend of confusing redistribution of wealth with its creation, the effort will likely hurt both the economy and the housing market. (He’s not interested in long term economics, only in vote buying. ~Bob.)

Quiz: How thick is your cultural bubble.

In Florida, Romney stronger than Gingrich against Obama, Q poll says
Excerpt: Mitt Romney gets more support from Florida’s independent voters than Newt Gingrich and would be a stronger Republican presidential nominee against President Obama in November, a new Quinnipiac University poll says. Romney and Obama are tied at 45 percent in the poll while the president would defeat Gingrich by a 50-to-39 margin in Florida the poll says.

Excerpt: Perhaps I’m a little sensitive from having spent 7 years working in the Senate (rather than just using the Senate as a stepping stone), but when Obama makes statements in his State of the Union like:

Another Stimulus-Backed Energy Company Files for Bankruptcy by Lachlan Markay
Excerpt: The company, Ener1, received a $118 million grant from DOE in 2010 as part of the president’s stimulus package. The money, which went to Ener1 subsidiary EnerDel, aimed to promote renewable energy storage battery technology for electrical grid use. (Your tax dollars—pissed down yet another rat hole. ~Bob.)

Pentagon to Cut AF Global Hawk Program
Excerpt: Officials say Pentagon budget cuts will end the Air Force's long-range surveillance drone known as the Global Hawk but keep the Navy's version of the unmanned aircraft. Defense analyst Loren Thompson says defense officials have decided to rely on the less expensive, high-altitude U-2 spy plane, which has a shorter range but has been used in Asia, particularly to keep an eye on North Korea. (Why U-2s? Sopwith Camels are cheaper to build. ~Bob.)

President Obama Wants Eric Holder To Do For Home Loans What He Did For Drug Lords…
Excerpt: Perhaps unnoticed within the rehash of political platitudes that had been repeated the past three years, President Obama declared a desire to set up yet another government agency – this one headed by embattled Attorney General Eric Holder, to investigate home lending fraud.

Obama in Foreign Policy Hell
Excerpt: Iran’s imminent acquisition of nuclear weapons humiliates a president so committed to dialogue with the evil lunatics in Tehran that he refused to support a mass outpouring of democracy demonstrators during the summer of 2009. Obama’s closest foreign policy friendship is with the Islamist president of Turkey, who has jailed more journalists than China and steered his country towards imminent economic disaster. (…) And then there is Egypt: Even the New York Times has noticed that Egypt’s economy is collapsing, and that the country faces disaster as it runs out of money.

Fidelity and the Presidency by Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The media usually prefer liberal politicians. Washington's newspaper editors kept quiet about JFK's frolicking, a silence that became near-conspiratorial. The renegade tabloid National Enquirer alone had to pursue the sordid affair of presidential candidate John Edwards. Matt Drudge forced the mainstream media to follow up on the recurrent but ignored rumors of Bill Clinton's dalliance with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. For most in the media, why sidetrack a fellow progressive's enlightened agenda for America over an occasional hormonal urge? But conservatives should expect such extra scrutiny.

Gingrich Wants U.S. Base on the Moon
Excerpt: Appealing to residents of the state’s economically struggling “Space Coast,” Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich promised to have a permanent U.S. base on the moon by the end of his second term as president. (…) “We will have commercial near-Earth activities that include science, tourism, and manufacturing, and are designed to create a robust industry precisely on the model of the development of the airlines of the 1930s, because it is in our interest to acquire so much experience in space that we clearly have a capacity that the Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to matching.” He also said that by the end of 2020, the country would have “the first continuous propulsion system in space” capable of allowing people travel to Mars. (Some of us older guys had dreamed of retiring to the Moon. I’m sure every regular reader of TOJ knows I support a US manned-space program. I welcome this particular campaign promise, but doubt it can be delivered in the time frame stated, if at all. Manned-space projects aren’t even on the priority lists of either party, and we’re having a lot of trouble finding the money for simple day-to-day operation of our government and defense. While it may be true the Russians aren’t in much better shape, the Chinese appear to have committed vast sums to their manned-space program and have very aggressive goals. While those goals can—and will—cause us much grief in the future, I don’t think the voters will support much change to our space program. In the long run, abandoning space will be a disaster for us both commercially and strategically. Commercially? Indeed. Suppose I could offer you a metal as strong as steel, but weighing only 40% as much. Do you think you could make more efficient products from that? It can’t be done on Earth, but it can be done in zero-G. The name of this mystery metal? Steel. Foamed with evenly distributed tiny bubbles. It would retain its structural strength while weighing much less. That’s just one product thought of by amateurs; imagine the possibilities when real professionals are doing the thinking. Ron P. I’m not going until they open a Hooters there. ~Bob.)

Mitt Romney's Taxes and True Reform
Excerpt: How many times should your money be taxed? One time? Two times? Three times? Four? Sounds like a ridiculous proposition, but that's the true story of capital gains taxes in America, and it's one that's not being told in the continuing debate over Governor Mitt Romney's taxes. For more than a week, the media has focused on the subject of just how much Romney pays in taxes. On Tuesday, the governor released his tax returns indicating that he paid about 15 percent in taxes last year. At first blush, that sounds like a low rate, especially considering that Romney is admittedly worth millions. But as with all things in politics, there is more to the story.

Iran, Nukes, & Oil: The Gulf Confrontation by Barry R. Mccaffrey
General, USA (Retired)
Excerpt: In my judgment we are now in a high risk situation in the Gulf-­-­-­ with a significant probability of Iranian escalation in the coming 90 days. We are ordering three US Navy carrier battle groups into the region. A basic axiom of military operations starts with an assessment of enemy CAPABILITIES-­-­ not enemy INTENTIONS.

The New York Times Collaborates with Hamas Front Group to Suppress the Truth
by Steven Emerson
Excerpt: The New York Times cites the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as a credible source, while continuing its policy of never mentioning that CAIR was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, and operates as a Hamas support group. NYT also suppressed the facts that CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator 2007 Holy Land Foundation conspiracy trial, which resulted in the FBI cutting off all formal contact with the group and that an FBI official has described CAIR as a "front for Hamas."

(Aussie PM) Julia Gillard 'rescued' amid Australia Day protests
Excerpt: But riot police were called to the restaurant at about 14:30 local time as protesters gathered outside, with people banging on the glass yelling "shame" and "racist".

Geithner: Obama won't ask me to stay on
Time to give some other tax cheat a turn. ~Bob. Excerpt: Timothy Geithner has said he does not expect to serve a second term as US treasury secretary if President Barack Obama is re-elected. "He's not going to ask me to stay on, I'm pretty confident," Mr Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Wednesday.

Worth Reading: Obama's Big Six State of the Union Tax Myths
Excerpt: If President Obama wants to create a fairer country, shouldn't he start by fairly portraying our tax code? Instead, he used his State of the Union speech to peddle a number of blatant tax falsehoods. (Not “myths.” Lies to get votes from the ignorant. ~Bob.)

At local stops, Mitt Romney draws applause, but Newt Gingrich gets cheers: Different crowds, different tones at events for the 2 top GOP candidates
Excerpt: The two leading Republican presidential candidates came to Central Florida on Wednesday, and their events — and reception by voters — couldn't have been more different.

Romney’s Hispanic Problem: Whether or not he wins Florida, can he make inroads with this surging demographic?
Excerpt: Florida’s presidential primary next week is a crucial test of Mitt Romney’s front-runner status. But dive into the exit polls after voters have spoken their minds, because Florida will be a test of Romney’s strength among Hispanic voters—a relationship that could put him back on the road to the nomination or foretell his defeat in November. (I suspect that the Cuban Hispanic vote in Florida—pro Republican, pro-freedom, pro-free markets—is very different from the La Raza Hispanic vote, pro government, pro-handouts, pro entitlements pro illegal colonization, pro reconquista. ~Bob.)

Russian TV veers back to familiar ground
Excerpt: As thousands of protesters pushed toward Bolotnaya Square, crews from mainstream Russian television fanned out. Satellite trucks were ranged curbside, their engines running. For six days after the Duma elections last month, TV had ignored the street protests that were starting to shake the nation. Now the reporters and cameramen were ready. But still, not a peep. Finally, at 3 p.m. on Dec. 10, say those who know, the word came down: You can put this on the air.

Romney Battles Likability Deficit
Excerpt: Mitt Romney is working hard to make voters dislike Newt Gingrich and President Barack Obama. But Mr. Romney has yet to crack a tougher nut: persuading voters to like him. The likability challenge has dogged the former Massachusetts governor for years. Voters applaud his competence, his business record and his image as a family man.

Newt understands Islam 'very well'
Excerpt: U.S.-born Israeli author and expert on the Middle East is praising presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for continuing to tell the truth about sharia law.

No energy is good to the greens
Excerpt: For all of President Obama’s talk Tuesday night of boosting US energy production, he has a huge problem: The American left — a vital part of his political base — seems determined to force us down the opposite path. Indeed, the “Big Green Extreme” fights energy even when it means harming the environment. … Plus, killing the pipeline is a clear loser for the environment.

Adding up to nothing --O’s fast talk on the economy
Excerpt: Three years after the Hope and Change president took office, Hope turns out to mean high taxes and lots of regulations, and Change consists of celebrating the government’s takeover of General Motors and belittling technological progress that destroys some jobs even as it creates others. The Great Uniter is all about class warfare. Such was President Obama’s latest State of the Union Address.

Interesting: The Republicans’ Electoral College Newt-Mare
Excerpt: Republicans don’t just disagree with President Barack Obama; they viscerally dislike him. And, as Mr. Wade indicates, they don’t just want a candidate who can beat Obama. They are seeking someone who will unequivocally bash and bloody him. As has been clear from recent debates, Mitt Romney is not that candidate, at least compared to the South Carolina winner and this week’s poll leader in Florida, Newt Gingrich.

One Year Later: The Failure of the Arab Spring By Martin Peretz
Excerpt: For example, Nicholas Kristof found some Muslim Brothers who promised that even Copts and the ancient Coptic Church, among the first of history’s Christian fellowships, have no reason to fear their party’s electoral strength. “Conservative Muslims insisted that the Muslim Brotherhood is non-discriminatory and the perfect home for pious Christians—and a terrific partner for the West.” Yes, he actually wrote this silliness.

Soros’s ‘Glee’ Over OWS Violence
Excerpt: George Soros is delighted that chaos is coming to his adopted homeland.
“In the crisis period, the impossible becomes possible,” the anti-American financier told Newsweek in a recent interview, restating the Alinskyite adage that a good crisis is a terrible thing to waste. “I am not here to cheer you up. The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career,” Soros says. “We are facing an extremely difficult time, comparable in many ways to the 1930s, the Great Depression

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. –Upton Sinclair (Like a climate scientist chasing grants? ~Bob.)

Who Paid for Your Doctor's Bagel?: ObamaCare's 'Sunshine Act' will benefit only accountants, bureaucrats and lawyers. By Thomas P. Stossel
Excerpt: Embedded in ObamaCare is a toxic rule called the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. The Act requires all companies that manufacture medical products purchased by the government to disclose on a public website anything they give physicians valued above $10. Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued draft guidelines. CMS justifies this legislation by citing "conflicts of interests that may influence research, education and clinical decision-making in ways that compromise clinical integrity and patient care, and may lead to increased health care costs."

Oscar Brand sings about Vietnam War, Mariposa 2010
There were no Yellow Ribbons for us.

Excerpt: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. military will remain a force that can defeat "any adversary, anywhere, anytime," as he announced the first cuts Thursday in a 10-year $487 billion reduction in Pentagon spending. Panetta said that the new budget reflects "a series of tough budget choices," but would not "hollow out the force" as the military becomes leaner and more agile. (As always, it is not the politicians who will have to do the fighting and dying in an under-manned, under-equipped force. It will be the sons and daughters of the 99%. The dying will mostly be after these guys are getting wealthy writing books and giving speeches. Wealthier. ~Bob.)

For Young Women, a Horrifying Consequence of Mubarak’s Overthrow
Excerpt: Ali, a 34-year-old Cairo businessman who asked that his real name not be used, is weighing whether or not to circumcise his 12-year-old daughter. Female circumcision, or female genital mutilation (FGM), as it is also known, involves removing part or the entire clitoris. … Despite efforts to reduce it, the number of girls aged 15 to 17 who underwent FGM only dropped from 77 percent in 2005 to 74 percent in 2008…

Harper Builds Oil Link With China After Obama Keystone ‘Slap’
Excerpt: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is gaining support among Canadians for his plan to ship oilsands crude to China after President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Harper will meet President Hu Jintao in China next month, when he may tout Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline that would let crude flow to Asia from Alberta’s oilsands via a Canadian port. (Where it will be refined with more environmental damage. Obama—wrong either way. ~Bob.)

Helping A 13 Bronze Star War Veteran
Excerpt: After learning that a 92 yr old, 13 Bronze Star Veteran was climbing over piled snow, we took action. Gregory Blahnik a 2x combat veteran himself and Keith Kazianka who is a campaign manager helped me clear the way for this Veteran. (There still are some good guys left in the world. MasterGuns)

Excerpt: The only issue in the primary — aside from picking the candidate — is whether the current level of invective will preclude the losers from wholeheartedly endorsing the winner, and whether they have so damaged themselves that Barack Obama can simply rerun their ads against the eventual nominee. History mostly (but not always) suggests that wounds heal and unity follows as a candidate finally emerges, but while these suicidal Republican attacks continue, Obama largely has gotten a pass on the recess appointments, the debt hitting $16 trillion, the Keystone pipeline, the defense cuts, and de facto promises to various groups that federal immigration law will not be enforced.

Send Us Newt By Melissa O’Sullivan
Excerpt: Last fall, people in Washington told me, “Get over it, Melissa. Newt’s not going to be the nominee.” Later, in New York City over Thanksgiving, I was told, “Get over it, Melissa. It’s going to be Romney. There’s still so much stuff out there on Newt that’s just waiting to drop.” Well, here we are in the thick of the race, and I’m still not over it.

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