Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gingrich: Adelson Supports me Because of Israel

Another reason not support Gingrich. He would the crisis in the Middle East even worse:

Newt Gingrich just got asked at an Orange County Liberty Counsel Forum in Winter Park, Florida, about the money that he's been given by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and whether he can offer reassurances about where he stands on casino gambling - which is an important issue in the state, despite barely being mentioned in the campaign (for obvious reasons).

"Well, let me say up front, at the risk of offending some of my friends who've been very helpful," Gingrich began, "...I worry about the degree to which the poor are the most likely to spend a large percentage of their income gambling."

He added, sounding very much like Mitt Romney as he went to great lengths to create distance between himself and his super PAC, that he hasn't coordinated on money and all he knows of Adelson's support is what he reads in the news.

"Sheldon Adelson has clearly, according to the articles, has been very generous," he said. "Sheldon Adelson's passion in life is (the security of) Israel."
Full article

Exclusive: Romney Family Investment Group Partnered With Alleged Perpetrators Of $8 Billion Ponzi Scheme

Source: Think Progress:

Mitt Romney, his son Tagg, and Romney’s chief fundraiser, Spencer Zwick, have extensive financial and political ties to three men who allegedly participated in an $8.5 billion Ponzi scheme. A few months after the Ponzi scheme collapsed, a firm financed by Mitt Romney and run by his son and chief fundraiser partnered with the three men and created a new “wealth management business” as a subsidiary.

In an exclusive interview with ThinkProgress, Tagg Romney confirmed their business relationship, but falsely claimed that the men were cleared of any wrongdoing associated with the Ponzi scheme. Tagg Romney told ThinkProgress that his three partners collected about $15,000 from their involvement in the Ponzi scheme. Court documents obtained by ThinkProgress show that the legal proceedings are ongoing and the men made over $1.6 million selling fraudulent CDs to investors.

The Ponzi Scheme

In 2009, prosecutors announced charges against the Stanford Financial Group, which managed a portfolio of $8.5 billion, for running a “massive, ongoing fraud” against its investors. The Ponzi scheme bust was one of the largest in recent history, second only to Bernie Madoff, who perpetrated a fraud estimated to be around $17 billion. The Stanford Ponzi scheme wiped out the savings of thousands, including many American retirees across the country. In Texas, 1290 people lost their retirement savings because of the Stanford Ponzi scheme; in Louisiana, several hundred reportedly suffered the same fate.
Full article

Oakland Police Flash Grenades Against 2,000 Occupy Protesters

It seems the Oakland police have not learned their lesson. They can't seem to realize there is no intimidating of the Occupy movement:

Police used tear gas and "flash" grenades to break up hundreds of Occupy protesters in Oakland, Calif., after officers say some demonstrators threw rocks and flares at them, tore down fences and ignored orders to leave.

Police say three officers were injured and 19 people were arrested.

Oakland police said in a release that the crowd started assembling downtown Saturday morning and then marched through the streets, disrupting traffic.

The crowd walked to the vacant Henry Kaiser Convention Center, where protesters started tearing down perimeter fencing. Police say they ordered the crowd to disperse at about 3 p.m. and used tear gas after some protesters pelted them with bottles, rocks, burning flares and other objects.

Occupy protesters said earlier this week that they planned to move into a vacant building and turn it into a social center and political hub.
Full article

North Korea Reportedly Outlaws Cell Phones

The rulers in the North Korea know very well that the greatest threat to their regime is a smart phone. But is it possible to ban something so commonplace in the world? The people there might need to revert to other tools for gaining freedom. They have to resist the regime in ways that will be extremely difficult to stamp out. One way would be gain access to Western culture by way of China or Japan. Even wearing Western style clothing. This means that somehow these items have to be smuggled into the country. Another way is larger numbers of visit from free countries. The people of the North have to be exposed to the World somehow. They must be shown the contrast between their plight and that of the rest of the West. If this can be done then the people of North Korea will begin to demand that their horrendous existence change:

For everyone who protests the new internet restrictions that could have come with SOPA and might still come with ACTA, this one comes from the perspective department: North Korea has threatened to punish anyone using a cell phone as a war criminal.

Reports from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea indicate that the threat of famine is forcing more and more people to flee the country into South Korea, where an estimated 23,000 defectors have already located.

North Korea has long relied on a total restriction of information to maintain control over its isolated citizenry, and in this crucial time of transition between Kim Jong Il and his successor, Kim Jong Un, it appears that the state is clamping down even tighter than usual for fear that information about uprisings like the Arab Spring could trigger unrest, or that outside communication could assist anybody attempting to flee the country.

The North recently accepted private food aid from the South Korean "Korea Peace Foundation" even as they maintain military exercises and standing threats against their neighbor. South Korea has made it clear that they won't provide substantial, government-led food aid until the North makes steps to stop their nuclear program.
Full article

Time Magazine: Why Is No One Talking About the Poor?

For the same reason the word "poverty" never comes out of the mouth of Barack Obama:

I first learned about the World Economic Forum at Davos as a greenhorn in college. At the time, I was knee-deep in coursework on economic development, a field that extols the social and economic virtues of tending to the world’s poor. I was somewhere between Amartya’s Sen‘s 1999 Nobel Prize-winning book Development as Freedom, a cult sensation among wonky Ivy Leaguers and 20-something granolas bound for the Peace Corps, and Joseph Stiglitz‘s 2002 bestseller Globalization and Its Discontents, when I first dreamed of going to Davos to take part in the lofty mission of “solving the world’s problems.”

Those were the years when globalization really earned its bad rap. And as a result, a counter movement, rooted in aspirations of global equity and social good, began to take hold. Anti-globalization protests so disrupted the WEF in 2001 that its organizers had to relocate the event to New York the following year. The anti-globalization movement even erected its own conference, the World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to serve as a populist counterweight to the elite Davos powwow. By 2002, Porto Alegre had drawn in 50,000 people, triple the number from the previous year. Even the Economist conceded that, in light of popular backlash, the march toward globalization could yet be reversed:
The economic history of the twentieth century is full of reminders that the move towards globalisation is not inevitable. War in 1914 brought an end to a period of economic openness and integration unparalleled even today. The 1930s were more painful than necessary precisely because of beggar-thy-neighbour policies adopted in the wake of the Depression. It is not impossible that governments today will turn their backs on open trade and capital flows. Many of those in Porto Alegre would welcome such a policy reversal.
In WEF-like circles, the biggest critics of globalization then were the defenders of the world’s poor, who cited a growing gap between the fortunes of Western economies and those of the developing world. As the Economist noted:
[Anti-globalizationists] point to the 2 billion or so people who live in countries where poverty has increased, where economic growth is stagnant, and where trade has shrunk as a proportion of GDP. A large chunk of the world, home to a third of its people and including much of Africa and the Muslim world, has been marginalized. Such deterioration in the living standards of so many, argue globalization’s critics, is evidence of the selective benefits it brings: the rich minority thrive at the expense of a much larger group of desperately poor people. It is this message [the World Social Forum] will seek to develop and strengthen.
As I scurried from panel to panel at Davos this year, I realized just how dramatically the perspectives on globalization has changed since those years. No doubt, the topic of globalization is as hot as ever at the WEF. But on the question of what to do about it, on how to make it inclusive and fair, the answers have changed.
Full article

FOXNews Transcript: Newt Gingrich: Old Guard Out to Get Me

Gingrich rationalizes his beating during the last Florida debate, Thursday:

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, last night, I should tell you that we all thought you were going to come out swinging, and you seemed a little more sober to -- your responses to some of the things that Governor Romney said about your record.

GINGRICH: Well, actually, Mitt was so systematically dishonest...

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that lying?

GINGRICH: Well, I'll let you decide. But he -- the easiest example is he said that he only voted for Tsongas in the Democratic primary because there was no Republican primary. And during the debate, Larry Sabato tweeted that that was baloney, that, in fact, George H. W. Bush and Pat Buchanan were on the very same day.

VAN SUSTEREN: Could he have just a faulty memory?

GINGRICH: Well, he's said enough different things that it strikes me as implausible. I think -- I think that the governor says what he needs to say to get through this minute without remembering that there's a tomorrow.
 Which is it? The media is for you or against you:
VAN SUSTEREN: But is it enough for to you say in a debate -- and I know that have you some ads, as well -- is the media with you, do you think, or against you on this?

GINGRICH: I think on this one, oddly enough, the media's with me. And the reason is I think the media is kind of amazed at the level of dishonesty. I mean, I've done three or four interviews today where people have gone, How could he think he can get away with this? I mean, it'll be interesting to watch them when they go talk to Romney because some of these are so factually clearly false that it's very hard for him to claim anything except he just wasn't telling the truth.
Now he knows what it's like being a lawyer:
VAN SUSTEREN: What's he like to you before the debate, during breaks, and after the debate?

GINGRICH: We're collegial. I mean, it's -- you've been a lawyer. It's a little bit like lawyers in the middle of a trial.

VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, no, I never -- I mean, if I was mad at somebody, I was not collegial.


VAN SUSTEREN: I was not collegial! Believe me, if I thought someone was doing me wrong, I was not collegial. I would be in that person's face.

GINGRICH: No, I think -- I think you -- and this is part of why I debate the way I do. I think you have to, as a potential president, maintain a standard of dignity, or people think you're not capable of being president.

People want a sense of stability because the level of power we give presidents is so great that you want a sense of, This is a person -- it's a little bit like hiring a school bus driver. You don't want to hire a person who might take the bus off a cliff. You want to hire a person who's going to be safe with your children. Well, the president, in that sense, has 305 million people to be safe with.
 Read the full transcript

The Republican Establishment is Closing in on Newt Gingrich

He's still getting it from all corners:

Declaring NASA would have a moon base by the end of his second term, ormer House Speaker Newt Gingrich last week made space exploration part of his campaign.

But not everyone is impressed with Gingrich’s bold plans for the year 2020. On this weekend’s broadcast of “Inside Washington,” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said the moon base idea could be the beginning of the end for the Gingrich campaign.

“I think the moon base was Newt jumping the shark, or to use another analogy, it could have been his Dukakis in the tank moment, because it was a caricature of him,” Krauthammer said. “And Romney used it cleverly to say that Newt was going out around every state promising x, y, and z. And of course, on the space coast in Florida, he would appeal to them.”

Krauthammer went on to say that the must win debate for Gingrich in Jacksonville, Fla. Thursday, critical for his momentum going into the Florida primary next Tuesday, was instead a victory for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
The establishment might not like Romney but they hate Gingrich. Even McCain, who doesn't really like Romney, is going after Newt:
Sen. John McCain on Friday used a pointed quip to mock Newt Gingrich's plan to construct a permanent American base on the moon. "I think we ought to send Newt Gingrich to the moon and Mitt Romney to the White House," he said.

Speaking to about 75 people at a Romney office here, the Arizona Republican also said the GOP presidential debates have "deteriorated into mud-wrestling" and said they should come to an end.

Thursday night's CNN debate was the 19th debate of the primary season and the last until Feb. 22. McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, called Romney's performance Thursday "a home run" and predicted it would give Romney the momentum to carry Florida on Tuesday and win the nomination.

McCain had earlier sought to downplay debate performance in favor of record, citing Gingrich's earmarks and pork-barrel spending during his time as House speaker. Asked by National Journal/CBS News on Friday whether his focus on Gingrich means he's a threat to Romney, McCain said it's more to do with a lack of threat elsewhere.
Gingrich is left with his daughter running his campaign:
Kathy G. Lubbers says it hasn’t been difficult finding her place in the world — a world in which everyone points her out as the daughter of Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker now fighting it out for the Republican presidential nomination.

“It hasn’t been so difficult as some might think,” Lubbers, 48, says. “It would have been much more difficult if I was a son. … I don’t have to walk in his footsteps like, maybe, a son might think he would need to. I don’t have to compete with my father. I don’t have to live up to what he’s done.”

She has come to be an indispensable piece in her father’s political and promotional machinery. Gingrich’s elder daughter, Lubbers is also the senior adviser of her father’s presidential campaign.