Friday, May 20, 2011

I normally post on Saturday, but just in case it’s all over tomorrow….

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

President Barack Obama gets a big hug from Booker T. Washington graduate Tiesha Taylor after she received her diploma during the school’s commencement ceremony at the Memphis Cook Convention Center Monday afternoon.

Education equals success, President Barack Obama tells Booker T. Washington High School graduates

Booker T. Washington High School seniors react to a surprise visit from President Barack Obama as they wait in a holding area for their commencement to begin at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

The above photographs remind me of something that then-Senator Barack Obama said in November, 2006 when he was asked, what difference did he think his being elected president would have. Obama’s response was that the moment he was sworn in, African-American children would know that they live in a nation where anything is truly possible and achievable if one puts their mind to it. President Obama Speaks to BTW (Video)

X factor: 5 questions for the GOP race

Newt the Unreliable – Rich Lowry – National Review Online

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GOP Donors Deserting Newt Gingrich

“Don’t you people understand that I meant ‘radical’ and ‘right-wing social engineering’ in the nicest possible way? Oh, and by the way, the only ‘Tiffany’ I know is a stripper at Scores.”

New Newt Gingrich Campaign Slogan: “I Meant What I Said When I Said It, But That Was Sunday And This Is Now, So I Don’t Mean It Anymore. Sort of.”

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“White people of Iowa, I, Newton Leroy Gingrich, have come to save you from left-wing and right-wing social engineering, as long as it’s not connected to Paul Ryan, who I really, really love!

Dozens cheers at the shocking news that Tim Pawlenty to announce W.H. bid on Monday.

Jon Huntsman Moves To Shed Obama Brand By Aligning With House GOP On Medicare, Debt Ceiling

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What They Said This Week

“With regards to my own resources and the campaign, that’s counsel I’m going to keep with Ann and myself.” Mitt Romney on whether he’ll contribute to his campaign

“I am not going to justify this. I am not going to explain this. The attack on Paul Ryan, the support for an individual mandate in health care? Folks, don’t ask me to explain this. There is no explanation.” Rush Limbaugh on Newt Gingrich

“I’ve for two years gone around the country making speeches about ObamaCare. I’ve said over and over, ‘We should repeal it.’ And then people to go from all of that body of evidence to say, ‘Yeah, but for 25 seconds yesterday, I thought you said X,’ that’s beyond gotcha.” –Gingrich, hitting back

“The role of ‘white knight’ — pure of heart and ideologically perfect — is a Sorkinesque fantasy. Within 60 days all of the serious people considering this race need to be in it.” –GOP strategist Rick Wilson

“Donald Trump is not running for president because this is where he says he belongs — firing Meatloaf.” – John Berman, on ABC’s “World News”

In an effort to stave off future Republican attacks over Sunday’s interview, Gingrich warned detractors Tuesday night that they’d better not use his comments against him. “Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a false ad because I have said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate,” he said. Gingrich apologizes to Ryan, asks no one to quote comments While I think there’s a better chance of Kid Rock winning a BET Award next month, I’ve got to give old Newt an “A” for effort. I mean, to basically dare your opponents not to use the words you said on a national TV show against you takes some gumption.  

Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler slams the media coverage of Newt Gingrich in the aftermath of his remarks about Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan and the individual mandate. His statement to the Huffington Post:

“The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding. Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.” I can’t wait to read Tyler’s statement when Newtie drops out the race. That should be a real classic. Here’s what Newt Boy really means: “Republicans, I never meant what I said when I said what I said when you asked me that direct question about what you think I said when I said what you thought I sadly really said, unquote!”

“The only thing people in New Hampshire know about Jon Huntsman is that he worked for Obama and that’s a tough starting point.” -Republican strategist Mike Dennehy on Huntsman’s 5-day trip through the Granite State, which started Thursday  You know, it’s sort of like a guy who went to work for the Nation of Islam quitting to return and run for president of his synagogue.

“In a state that’s 50th in the country in education, the highest unemployment in the South, we have huge economic problems which put the state more in the class of a third-world nation than a state of the United States of America…she again has been attracted like a moth to the flame to camera and celebrity.” -South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian accusing Gov. Nikki Haley of being “distracted by the allure of celebrity”

While raising money in Boston on Wednesday, President Obama alluded twice to Mitt Romney’s role in enacting the Massachusetts health care law, the latest reference to the former governor’s record that has haunted him as he eyes a White House bid.

“With a little assist from the former governor of Massachusetts, we said that health care should no longer be a privilege in this country,” Obama told laughing supporters at his first fundraiser. “We said that in the United States of America, just like here in Massachusetts, you should never go broke because you get sick.”

“I think it’s going to be about whether or not this country is ready for the 21st century. We can either choose to have a lost decade… or we can choose to have an industrial revolution.” – Jon Huntsman on what he thinks the 2012 election is going to be about

“He’s trying to create a brand name that doesn’t keep ‘Utah’ and ‘Mormon’ at the forefront of people’s minds. ‘Mormon’ didn’t do a lot for Mitt Romney. I think Huntsman is deliberately trying to brand himself in a different way.” – Quin Monson, a political science professor at Brigham Young University, on Huntsman’s campaign

 “I stated during the Bush Administration that judicial nominations deserved an up or down vote, except in ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and my position has not changed simply because there is a different President making the nominations,” she said in a statement. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a vocal opponent of judicial filibusters during the Bush administration, voted “present.” Democrats were unable to overcome the first filibuster of a judicial nominee in six years, making Liu Obama’s first judicial nominee to fail in a Senate vote. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican senator to vote for cloture on the nomination of Goodwin Liu for the 9th Circuit court, another sign of her increasing independence from the GOP.

Mark Halperin (Time) answers the big questions for the week:

With Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee out, what is the current condition of the GOP battle? Anarchic. The true contenders break down into three pairs: embattled heavyweights Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, ill-defined welterweights Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman and potential superstars Mitch Daniels and Sarah Palin. Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum can scuff up (or knock out) one of the real contenders, but neither can win the crown. Romney reasserted his dominance with a one-day fundraising haul of over $10 million, while Gingrich pulled a classic Newt, raising questions about his conservative bona fides and jaw control by embracing an Obaman individual mandate for health insurance and calling the House Republicans’ Medicare proposals “radical.”

Which voters are up for grabs with a field like this? Several core GOP constituencies are in danger of being orphaned. Tea Partyers, voters with incomes below $100,000 and religious and social conservatives all don’t see a natural consensus choice. Huckabee and Trump were strong contestants for those groups; if Palin jumps in, she could draw powerfully from all three. Senior Republicans foresee a huge problem if left unsolved, including in a general election.

What are the next shoes to drop? Daniels is being pressed by party elders to get in – and soon. If he is a no-go, they may try to coax into the race another reluctant titan, like New Jersey’s Chris Christie. Then the question of fundraising prowess will come to the fore, as candidates demonstrate whether they can keep pace with Romney. Few – maybe no one – will. The most pressure will be on Gingrich – he needs some good news to avoid the dead-man-walking stench.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

I don’t care what they may say publicly, but this Mitt Romney’s money machine cranks up at a Las Vegas fundraising call-a-thon that netted his presidential bid $10.25 million Monday has to deflate the rest of the GOP field because none of them, not even Newt Gingrich, the best known of the motley bunch, can hope to even come close to raising the kind of money that Romney can and will. The only thing that will keep them in the race is the fact that the latest GOP rallying cry seems to be ANYONE BUT MITT!

The more Newt Gingrich talks about his “past failings”, the more he reminds everyone just how undisciplined a person and politician he really is. And just in case you’ve forgotten how his fellow House GOPers felt about him towards the end of his Speakership, read this Remembering the Attempted Coup Against Gingrich

Like many people who think they’re smarter than everyone else in the room, wherever that room may be and no matter who may be in the room, Newt Gingrich is about to make a HUGE mistake Gingrich returning to Sunday shows by trying to talk his way out of a bad spot that he and no one else put himself in. What he should be doing is letting his apology to Paul Ryan speak for itself and just go about his business, such as it is, running for president. But no, his bombastic bigger-than-life ego just won’t let him do that. And for that, I say, “Thank God for hubris!”

When you have to rely on MC Michael Steele to defend you and your campaign Michael Steele Defends Newt Gingrich On Ryan Plan, Suggests GOP Critics Are Being Hypocritical, it might be time to call it a wrap on your presidential hopes.

The longer Mitch Daniels doesn’t announce that he’s running for president, the less attractive a candidate he becomes. Same thing for Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin – if you don’t know by now, you’re probably not going to get in. Of course, trying to ascertain what’s going on in the cranial cavities of two loons like Bachmann and Palin is often an exercise in futility.

I think we’ve just heard Sarah Palin’s “excuse” for not running for the presidency Sarah Palin: ‘Fire in the belly’ is there when she says “It’s a matter for me of some kind of practical, pragmatic decisions that have to be made…One is, with a large family understanding the huge amount of scrutiny and the sacrifices that have to be made on my children’s part in order to see their mama run for president.” Note: Two of her children are in fact adults, Track (recently married) and Bristol (has moved to LA to star in a reality show), and on their own.

For the life of me, I can’t remember anyone ever saying this Chris Matthews strikes again: Sarah Palin ‘profoundly stupid’ about a potential presidential candidate. The sad thing is, he’s telling the truth.

I still don’t think she’ll win if she runs, but I give Michele Bachmann credit for studying for her possible campaign Michele Bachmann is studying some campaign books. The Minnesota House member and likely 2012 candidate told MinnPost.com that she’s reading “The Politician,” an embittered former John Edwards’ staffer’s story, and “Game Change,” a blow-by-blow of the 2008 presidential election. “‘Game Change’ is a book that is very difficult to put down, at least I found it difficult to put down, and it gives a person pause,” Bachmann said. “But the other thing that it does, I think, is it informed me of what I don’t want to do.” because I guarantee you Sarah Palin isn’t!

Why don’t any of the Republicans who are running or may run for president wear American flag lapel pins? Are they unpatriotic or does only a black man who runs for president have to wear one to prove his patriotism?

In his defense Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with longtime member of household staff, he never claimed to have “family values.” At least, I don’t think he did. Hell, with that accent, who knows what he may have said over the years.

Two babies – one with wife and the other with mistress – around the same time. Who does Arnold think he is, Jermaine Jackson?

I’m sure it will do quite well at the box-office this weekend without any help from me, but I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in the latest “Pirates…” film. None. I’d rather sit through a Tyler Perry double-feature in the morning, a Newt Gingrich book-reading in the afternoon and a Tim Pawlenty speech in the evening than see it.

Am I the only one totally creeped out by Carrie Fisher’s TV commercial for Jenny Craig? I mean, her voice scares the hell out of me.

If you ever wonder why I, someone who was born in Memphis, raised in San Diego and has resided in Los Angeles for over 35 years is a die-hard Tarheels basketball fan, this is the reason why: Coach Dean Smith! Dean Smith, the legendary basketball coach at North Carolina, began helping to break racial barriers in Topeka even before the Brown vs The Board of Education of Topeka decision.

JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT!

“Mr President, thanks for saying the stuff I can’t say to my people without getting killed.”

“No problem, Mr Prime Minister. Besides, the world’s going to end tomorrow, so what does it matter where your borders are?

“You make an excellent point. Now, let’s go out and find some hookers and weed!”

“Uh, you go ahead and I’ll catch up with you later.”

FINALLY

What do you think would be the most uncomfortable situation: a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar statue unveiling, Bud Selig handing the World Series trophy to Frank McCourt or a Schwarzenegger family Christmas?

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