Who knew? Presidential candidate for the GOP nomination, Newt Gingrich is like the family’s crazy uncle that gets let out for family gatherings and then gets sent back to is room. His recent emergence as the “favorite” for the nomination has met with some harsh criticism and not just from the left. Many of the right wing punditry are not happy with Newt Gingrich’s surge in the polls for the nomination. During Newt’s interview on Face The Nation with Bob Schieffer, he said he would have “activist judges” (translation: judges who disagree with Newt) hauled before Congress to answer for their decisions, if necessary arresting them:
SCHIEFFER: One of the things you say is that if you don’t like what a court has done, that Congress should subpoena the judge and bring him before Congress and hold a Congressional hearing… how would you enforce that? Would you send the Capitol Police down to arrest him?
GINGRICH: Sure. If you had to. Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send a U.S. Marshal.
I have no idea how Schieffer didn’t react with disbelieving “what?” much like Barbara Walters’ response when Herman Cain said he would want to be Secretary of Defense.
KELLY: He wants to see the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals entirely abolished, your thoughts on that?
MUKASEY: Ridiculous. . . . to say that you’re going to undo and entire court simply because you don’t like some of their decisions, when there are thousands of cases before that court, is totally irresponsible. It’s outrageous because it essentially does away with the notion that when courts decide cases the proper way to have them reviewed is to go to a higher court. It’s dangerous because, even from the standpoint of the people who put it forward, you have no guarantee that you’ll have a permanent majority. . . . It would end with having a Democratic majority that then decides to abolish the Fourth Circuit and the Eleventh Circuit. And you go on and on and on. And I guess they could then reconstitute another court. It would reduce the entire judicial system to a spectacle.
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had a similar reaction:
GONZALES: The notion or the specter of bringing judges before the Congress, like a schoolchild being brought before the principal is, to me, a little bit troubling . . . . I cannot support and I would not support efforts that appear to be intimidation or retaliation against judges.
Keep in mind that these two men, supported some if the most unconstitutionally egregious of George W. Bush’s policies, including torture.
Newt Gingrich’s campaign is rapidly imploding, and Ron Paul has now taken the lead in Iowa. He’s at 23% to 20% for Mitt Romney, 14% for Gingrich, 10% each for Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry, 4% for Jon Huntsman, and 2% for Gary Johnson.
Gingrich has now seen a big drop in his Iowa standing two weeks in a row. His share of the vote has gone from 27% to 22% to 14%. And there’s been a large drop in his personal favorability numbers as well from +31 (62/31) to +12 (52/40) to now -1 (46/47). Negative ads over the last few weeks have really chipped away at Gingrich’s image as being a strong conservative, now only 36% of voters believe that he has ‘strong principles,’ while 43% think he does not.
Paul’s ascendancy is a sign that perhaps campaigns do matter at least a little, in a year where there has been a lot of discussion about whether they still do in Iowa. 22% of voters think he’s run the best campaign in the state compared to only 8% for Gingrich and 5% for Romney. The only other candidate to hit double digits on that question is Bachmann at 19%. Paul also leads Romney 26-5 (with Gingrich at 13%) with the 22% of voters who say it’s ‘very important’ that a candidate spends a lot of time in Iowa. Finally Paul leads Romney 29-19 among the 26% of likely voters who have seen one of the candidates in person.
Iowa is no predictor of who will get the nomination and the caucuses are an undemocratic form of voting with no absentee ballots and very low voter turn out but Iowa is a predictor for early primary states. However, the recent harsh criticism from right wing politicians and pundits may keep Newt out of the Oval Office. Poor crazy Newt. Back to your room.
The United States of America, the greatest country the world has ever known.
I heard that alot growing up.
Accolades for American greatness came from politicians, foreign statesmen, artists and writers, journalists, Hollywood, my teachers. It could be heard in the crashing of generational waves of immigrants onto our shores, all wanting to become Americans. Hell, even my own kin folk broke down in sentiment on a 4th of July or two.
America’s secret to greatness was no secret: we were the land of the free. We were free and we celebrated and touted it, exported it and, we told ourselves and the rest of the world: this freedom is enduring.
Freedom defined who we were and it justified how we lived… the big ideas, the free markets, the hippies and Hollywood, helping our neighbors worldwide in times of crisis… we were great, rich, and generous.
In remembrance of our freedom and its stamp on the the American character, I give you two great Americans, Franklin Roosevelt and Norman Rockwell …
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.
In April 1803, the United States purchased from France the 828,000 square miles that had formerly been French Louisiana. The area was divided into two territories: the northern half was Louisiana Territory, the largely unsettled (though home to many Indians) frontier section that was later explored by Lewis and Clark; and the southern Orleans Territory, which was populated by Europeans.
Unlike the sprawling and largely unexplored northern territory (which eventually encompassed a dozen large states), Orleans Territory was a small, densely populated region that was like a little slice of France in the New World. With borders that roughly corresponded to the modern state of Louisiana, Orleans Territory was home to about 50,000 people, a primarily French population that had been living under the direction of a Spanish administration.
The Louisiana Purchase (French: Vente de la Louisiane “Sale of Louisiana”) was the acquisition by the United States of America of 828,800 square miles (2,147,000 km2) of France’s claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S. paid 60 million francs ($11,250,000) plus cancellation of debts worth 18 million francs ($3,750,000), for a total sum of 15 million dollars for the Louisiana territory ($219 million in today’s currency).
The Louisiana Purchase encompassed all or part of 14 current U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The land purchased contained all of present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, parts of Minnesota that were west of the Mississippi River, most of North Dakota, nearly all of South Dakota, northeastern New Mexico, the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide, and Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans. (The Oklahoma Panhandle and southwestern portions of Kansas and Louisiana were still claimed by Spain at the time of the Purchase.) In addition, the Purchase contained small portions of land that would eventually become part of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The purchase, which doubled the size of the United States, comprises around 23% of current U.S. territory. The population of European immigrants was estimated to be 92,345 as of the 1810 census.
The purchase was a vital moment in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. At the time, it faced domestic opposition as being possibly unconstitutional. Although he felt that the U.S. Constitution did not contain any provisions for acquiring territory, Jefferson decided to purchase Louisiana because he felt uneasy about France and Spain having the power to block American trade access to the port of New Orleans.
Napoleon Bonaparte, upon completion of the agreement, stated, “This accession of territory affirms forever the power of the United States, and I have given England a maritime rival who sooner or later will humble her pride.”
I have spent a number of years complaining about the interactions between Democrats and Republicans, but after the recent events involving the Keystone XL and civil liberties cave-ins, I’ve decided it’s time to stop complaining and embrace the madness.
But I also feel like there’s an ugly edge to all this…that hasn’t really been fully exploited.
I mean, Republicans have tried to force through a lot of disgusting ideas this Congress as they’ve held various bills hostage, but it seems like, if they really tried, they could do so much more.
But I’m not here to complain, I’m here to help; that’s why today we’ll be trotting out a few ideas of our own that Republicans can attach to bills throughout 2012, with the assistance of certain errant Democrats.
It’ll be fun, it’ll be festive, but most of all…it’ll be an exercise in Civic Responsibility, and in these difficult times, that’s something we could sorely use.