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Crossing the "teas" in dressing Mrs. Callista Gingrich (Beeler Cartoon)

I must say I like the caricatures, though I can't figure out what, or who, is hiding under the lady's skirt. I guess it could it be a water balloon full of first lady aspirations about to break?"

Gingrich, Offstage by Adam Clymer

January 25, 2012, 10:18 pm

Gingrich, Offstage
Those raucous Republicans thrilled by hearing Newt Gingrich denounce the “destructive, vicious, negative nature” of what he often calls the “elite media” during debates might be shocked to watch him on other occasions. He enjoys consorting with the enemy.

The presidential wannabe who has won ovations for attacking Juan Williams and John King plainly likes answering questions from reporters, bantering with them and, far from disdaining all things emanating from The Washington Post or The Times, quotes them as authorities when it suits him.

The amiable side of his relationship with the press may not help his campaign for the White House the way his showy denunciations do, but there is nothing new about either. More than 30 years ago, when he was still just a bumptious backbencher, he was always accessible, eager to explain his attacks on Democrats and sketch his long-term plan for a Republican House.

This continued when he was speaker. You could just wait outside his office and talk with him on his way to the House floor and get his up-to-the-minute reactions, not canned talking points.

He would also hold press conferences to denounce stories he disliked, like one I wrote in 1995 on a New York Times/CBS News Poll showing that “the American public fears plans of the Republicans to curb Medicare spending, scoffs at their tax cut and flatly does not believe that the plan would produce a balanced budget by 2002.”

He called it “a disgraceful example of misinformation” based on “deliberately rigged questions.” But the day after he was as cheerful and responsive as ever when I caught up with him outside his office.

That accessibility, despite his occasional annoyance with a particular article, continues today. As the Times political reporter Jim Rutenberg told me in an e-mail: “Gingrich will dive headlong into a scrum of press that his rivals — well, particularly Romney — will run from. So it was that as a horde of cameras and reporters descended upon him at the State Capitol building in Columbia, S.C., a few days ago, he merrily took every question that came his way, his press aide R.C. Hammond dropping his earlier attempts to shut down reporters asking to interview him. As he well knows by now, Mr. Gingrich often acts as his own press secretary; it was futile.”

Another campaign reporter suggested that the former speaker “rather enjoys answering questions, to show how wise he is.”

There are other explanations, too. Nancy Sinnott Dwight, who ran the House Republican campaign committee in his early years in the House after he arrived in 1979, admired his accessibility to the press, because it “gave him feedback, often challenging, that congressmen hardly ever get from their staffs or colleagues.”

Rich Galen, a press aide when Gingrich was speaker, said that despite what the “on-stage Newt” would say, Gingrich enjoyed “talking to people who are at an elite level” and thought reporters often were among those who qualified.

I once got a sense of his curiosity. In 1992, interviewing him on a plane, I had asked all my questions and we still had time before we landed. So he asked if he could ask me something.

I agreed. He wanted to know how The Times decided what to put on Page 1 and where. (It’s a question reporters sometimes ask, too.) He picked up that day’s paper, and while I did not know specifically about the previous afternoon’s choices, I had been to enough Page 1 meetings to offer educated guesses about why certain articles appealed to the top editors. He listened and seemed intrigued. He never used those explanations to denounce the paper.

Over the years, he has been a great interview subject, listening to questions more than most politicians, and saying interesting, sometimes surprising things, even after we broke stories about his ethics problems and we insisted that the $300,000 payment demanded of him by the House Ethics Committee in 1997 was a “fine.” Or when I concluded a magazine profile by writing that his scorched-earth tactics to win the House were the equivalent of the Air Force major who explained the devastation of Ben Tre, Vietnam, in 1968 by saying “It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.”

So new supporters drawn by his denunciation of the news media for its alleged soft treatment of President Obama or for his lines about making “it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office,” should remember something. He doesn’t hate the press as much as he makes you think.

After last week’s debate, when he blasted CNN’s King for asking about his second ex-wife’s “open marriage” charge, he went up to him and chatted amiably. Next he praised King on CNN. Then he trashed him on Fox.

So Thursday night at the next debate, whether he makes nice to Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s moderator in Jacksonville, or rips his head off, you’ll be seeing just one of the two Gingriches.

Adam Clymer was a reporter and editor for The Times for 26 years. He retired as the Washington correspondent in 2003.

What Are the Chances of a Republican White Knight? by Stuart Rothenberg

What Are the Chances of a Republican White Knight?
By Stuart Rothenberg
Roll Call Contributing Writer

Jan. 26, 2012, Midnight

Mitt Romney may be the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, but the campaign has been so bizarre that anything is possible this year, Stuart Rothenberg writes.
The idea probably is somewhere between nutty and delusional, but given the weird ups and downs this cycle, nutty isn’t impossible.

As Republican insiders of various ideological bent, from the more moderate to the uncompromisingly conservative, watch the presidential nominating process with increasing alarm, there is more than a whiff of talk about a white knight who could rescue his party from defeat by jumping into the presidential race late and riding away with the GOP nomination.
Having done this for more than three decades, I’ve heard talk of a deadlocked convention before but never actually seen one as an adult. I don’t really ever expect to witness one, with the nominating process being what it now is.
And yet, consider this year: The winner of the Ames straw poll finished last in the Iowa caucuses; a never-elected pizza entrepreneur shot to the front of the pack and almost as quickly flamed out and exited the race; and a former Speaker who was all but eliminated — twice! — as a serious candidate has suddenly re-emerged as one of the two major contenders for the nomination.
In other words, this year has been so bizarre that anyone who suggests that a white knight or a deadlocked convention is impossible simply doesn’t understand that all of the old rules have been broken and anything is possible this year.

link to the rest of the piece:


Stuart Rothenberg is editor of the Rothenberg Political Report.

stu@rothenbergpoliticalreport.com | @StuPolitics

The 10 Most Racist Moments of the GOP Primary (So Far)

The 10 Most Racist Moments of the GOP Primary (So Far)
By Chauncey DeVega, AlterNet
Posted on January 25, 2012

One cannot forget that the contemporary Republican Party was born with the Southern Strategy, winning over the former Jim Crow South to its side of the political aisle, and as a backlash against the civil rights movement. This is a formula for a politics of white grievance mongering and white victimology; a dreamworld where white conservatives are oppressed, their rights infringed upon by a tyrannical federal government and elite liberal media that are beholden to the interests of the “undeserving poor,” racial minorities, gays, and immigrants.

In keeping with this script in order to win over Red State America, the 2012 Republican presidential candidates have certainly not disappointed. Both overt racism and dog whistles are delectable temptations that the Republican presidential nominees cannot resist. With the election of the country’s first African-American president, and a United States that is less white and more diverse, the GOP is in peril. In uncertain times, you go with what you know. For the Republican Party, this means “dirty boxing,” digging deep into the old bucket of white racism, and using the politics of fear, hostility and anxiety to win over white voters by demagoguing Obama.

Racism is an assault on the common good. Racism also does the work of dividing and conquering people with common interests. While the 2012 Republican candidates are stirring the pot of white racial anxiety, this is a means to a larger end—the destruction of the country’s social safety net, in support of vicious economic austerity policies, and protecting the kleptocrats and financiers at the expense of the working and middle classes.
Here are the top 10 racist moments by the Republican presidential candidates so far.

one after the other:

"A competition of idiocy and ignorance" - Fidel Castro returns some "love" to the Candidates


Eric Randall

Jan 25, 2012
Cuba's former president, Fidel Castro, wrote an op-ed in the state-run media today with some very harsh words about the field of American Republican candidates.

 “The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is — and I mean this seriously — the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been," he writes, according to the New York Times. (Count this as the first time in recent memory a Fidel Castro op-ed has reminded us of a Bret Stephens op-ed.)
Of course, he doesn't sound any harsher than the candidates do when they talk about Castro, alternately advocating the regime's overthrow or reassuring us he's headed to Hell when he dies.

Needless to say, Castro's "critique" couldn't really hurt anyone's chances in the Florida primary, home to many Castro opponents. Nor is it likely to show up in President Obama's campaign literature anytime soon, but ... there you have it.

... And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?

Now we know: 58 000 dollars a day. Passive income from the money we are looking at. No work of any kind involved at this point. Sitting in off shore banks, creating neither trickle down goop nor jobs.

Good new talking points in our daily interaction.
Sprinkle it into the conversations. Raise some consciousness around you.
It's our job.

It's outrageous: "Obama Risks Alienating Republicans By Using Facts" Andy Borowitz' opionion

Obama Risks Alienating Republicans By Using Facts
Radical Tactic Sparks Outrage

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – In what some critics are calling the most radial tactic ever employed in a State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama risked alienating congressional Republicans last night by repeatedly using facts.

Mr. Obama stirred controversy throughout the speech with his relentless references to facts, data, and things that have actually happened, all long considered the third rail of American politics.

As the President made reference to tax rates and unemployment numbers, as well as sixteen separate mentions of Osama bin Laden, congressional Republicans’ blood began to boil.

After the speech, a furious Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, “It’s been a longstanding tradition in our politics not to use facts in a State of the Union Address, a tradition the President chose to ignore in an outrageous way tonight. I won’t stand for it and the American people won’t stand for it.”

“We want to work with the President for the good of the American people,” added House Speaker John Boehner. “But he’s going to have to take facts off the table. That’s a deal-breaker for us.”

The President did not mention any of his GOP presidential rivals by name in his speech, but at one point said that government should be “leaner,” a blatant jab at former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.


There's still time to prepare for the : "2012 State of the Union Drinking Game"

Will Durst
2012 State of the Union Drinking Game
By Will Durst | January 23rd, 2012

What you need to play:
Four taxpayers: One white, Wall Street type in full suit and yellow power tie (MBA Guy); two ordinary folks sporting jeans, one in blue work shirt, other in white shirt (the Jeans); and one person wearing clothes that look like they were used for floor covering at a tire-changing shop for a minimum of three months, with belt, shoelaces, socks and underwear confiscated (Rags). Except for MBA Guy, game is non-gender or race specific.

One large screen HDTV tuned to speech. 42-inch or larger. Game played behind coffee table three feet away.
One regulation shot glass per person. Everybody brings own, placing it on coffee table. MBA Guy gets first choice among assembled. White shirt picks next, then blue shirt. MBA Guy takes last shot glass as well, and Rags either rents it from him, finds a replacement or drinks out of own cupped hands.
Everybody antes up 20 bucks. Cash. Except MBA Guy, who tosses in hand-made voucher. Preferably crayon.
Two packages Lit’l Smokies in bowl with favorite BBQ sauce.
One package round toothpicks.
One bottle small-batch Kentucky bourbon.
Two six-packs beer apiece. Rags gets whatever is on sale, i.e. Heileman’s Old Style Ice Dry Light. MBA Guy gets choice of import. The Jeans get domestic, and must go to store to purchase and carry provisions.

Rules of the game:

1. As soon as president says “State of the Union is good, but could be better,” last person to eat three Lit’l Smokies on toothpicks has to drink three shots of beer.
2. Every time Barack H. Obama says “compromise,” first person to stop laughing is exempt from drinking two shot glasses of beer.
3. If either Vice President Biden or House Speaker Boehner gets caught napping on camera, last person to sing “Wake Up, Little Susie” drinks four shots of beer.
4. Whenever Mr. Obama says word “jobs,” everybody drinks shot of beer. If he hits 10, throw used toothpicks at TV and first to stick one within outline of his face doesn’t have to drink two shots of bourbon.
5. If Chief Executive winks and/or points at Michelle, all four players blow kisses. Drink shot of beer for every general’s star sitting within two seats of First Lady.
6. When Obama speaks about sacrifices made by our brave troops, last one to leap to attention and salute must drink shots of beer for entire duration of standing ovation.
7. Every time Barack uses phrase “offshore banking accounts,” clasp a Lit’l Smokie between the teeth and swordfight others. Losers drink 3 shots of beer and eat sausages. Winner can spit his out.
8. Whenever Obama makes reference to faith getting him through tough times, last person to fall to knees and shout “Hallelujah!” drinks shot of bourbon.
9. If president relates touching heartfelt story of somebody denied health care, Rags gets to kick everybody else once. Twice, if subject of anecdote is in audience. Three times, if he/she is sitting next to astronaut.
10. When Barack H. Obama mentions bipartisanship, last person to pretend to faint drinks three shots of beer.

Before speech, everyone writes down who they think is giving Republican response. Anybody who correctly identifies person doesn’t have to watch.
MBA Guy takes home all the money and the Jeans pay off voucher.
Leftover bourbon, beer and Lit’l Smokies go home with Rags after he/she washes dishes in front of TV.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” Check out the website: Redroom.com to buy his book or find out more about upcoming stand-up performances. Or willdurst.com. Or don’t. 

Concerned White House Aides Say Obama Has Not Stopped Laughing Since Saturday Night/Borowitz reports

January 23, 2012
Concerned White House Aides Say Obama Has Not Stopped Laughing Since Saturday Night
Staff Mystified by Uncharacteristic Giddiness

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – White House aides are alarmed by uncharacteristic behavior on the part of President Obama, who they say has been laughing uncontrollably since 7 PM Saturday night.

The aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that they heard “unusual howls” coming from the Oval Office just after the seven o’clock hour on Saturday evening, causing them to rush to the President to ascertain the cause of the uproar.

“It was weird,” one aide said. “He was just watching cable news.”

The staff members thought little of the normally reserved President’s giggle attack until it continued throughout the weekend, which saw Mr. Obama laughing uncontrollably and stopping only to gasp for air.

Ever since Saturday, Mr. Obama has been oddly giddy throughout White House staff meetings, the aide said, and has been seen doodling the initials “N.G.” in the margins of memos “like a love-struck schoolgirl.”

“The only thing we can think of that N.G. might stand for is Not Good,” the aide said. “But why would he be so happy about something that’s not good?”

Mr. Obama’s high spirits were on evidence today in a brief White House appearance, in which the President made the following statement about the administration’s energy policies: “Going forward, the United States of America will bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha.”


A heart warming photo and some words about our President. A nice reminder.

Someone just sent this to me, and should it have been shown already I apologize.
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