Tag Archives: Newt Gingrich

Watch CPAC 2014 Live With Us, Speeches (Updated regularly) Schedule

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By Isabel Matos

Live stream coverage OVER Schedule and Links to Speeches:

THURSDAY

9:00 a.m. – Sen. Ted Cruz Speech (R-TX)

9:16 a.m. – Sen. Pat Toomey Speech (R-PA)

9:24 a.m. – Rep. Paul Ryan Speech (R-WI)

9:40 a.m. – Sen. Tim Scott Speech (R-SC)

10:19 a.m. – Sen. Mitch McConnell Speech (R-KY)

10:25 a.m. – John Bolton Speech (Former U.S. Ambassador)

10:38 am-Top 10 Under 40 Conservatives honoree Dan Bongino (@3:13)

11:45 a.m. – Gov. Christ Christie Speech (R-NJ)

12:00 p.m. – Gov. Bobby Jindal Speech  (R-LA)

12:16 p.m. – Sen. Marco Rubio Speech (R-FL)

12:31 p.m. – Sen. Mike Lee Speech (R-UT)

2:45 p.m. – Donald Trump Speech 

FRIDAY

9:00 a.m. – Gov. Rick Perry Speech (R-TX)

9:16 a.m. – Sen. John Cornyn Speech (R-TX)

10:23 a.m. – Former Gov. Mike Huckabee Speech (R-AR)

11:15 a.m. – Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition

11:30 a.m. Dinesh D’Souza Panel of Discussion  Speech

2:26 p.m. – Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

2:40 p.m. – Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union

2:51 p.m. – Sen. Rand Paul Speech (R-KY)

SATURDAY

12:45 p.m. – Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker

1:12 p.m. – Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation

5:23 p.m. – Straw poll

5:45 pm. – Closing Remarks by The Honorable Al Cardenas, Chairman, American Conservative Union Potomac Ball

5:52 p.m. Chris Cox, Executive Director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action

6:00 p.m. The Honorable Sarah Palin Speech, former Governor of Alaska Potomac Ballroom

sarah seussFull CPAC Shedule of Events

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Deadbeat: Newt’s Utah Primary Check Bounces

By Gary P Jackson

While Newt was running around Tuesday saying he had Mitt Romney “right where he wanted him” [after news came that Rick Santorum was dropping out] another big story broke. It seems the $500 check Newt sent to Utah, the filing fee, bounced. This could disqualify Newt from the primary, if not taken care of in a timely manner.

Newt’s campaign is nearly $4.5 million in debt, and now he’s writing hot checks. He has no money to campaign. And yet, he still thinks he has a viable path to the nomination? Really?

From ABC News:

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich may not appear on the ballot for the June 26 Utah primary, after a $500 check — the required filing fee — bounced, an official said.

State election director Mark Thomas told ABC News that a $500 check given by the Gingrich campaign to secure his place on the Utah ballot bounced on March 27.

Our office immediately attempted to contact the campaign and the designated agent but no phone calls were returned,” Thomas said. “We also asked the state Republican Party to assist us, but they also could not get into communication with them, although I do not know how they attempted to contact them.”

One source close to the campaign told ABC News that the Gingrich campaign recently changed finance and accounting staff. The designated agent who filed the paperwork for the campaign was Wallace Woodruff “Woody” Hales, though Hales still works for the Gingrich campaign.

If the fee is not paid by April 20, Gingrich will be disqualified from the ballot.

Our office certifies the candidates to the county clerks on April 24,” Thomas said.

The check bounce comes as no surprise as Gingrich confirmed a debt of almost $4.5 million to ABC News on Tuesday. The last Federal Election Commission report from February showed a debt of less than $2 million.

Read more here.

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Newt’s “Gingrich Group” Files for Bankruptcy

By Gary P Jackson

Yet another sign that 2012 presidential campaign back-marker Newt Gingrich is done. His continually poor showing at the ballot box is just one of his problems. It seems his ability to manage a business isn’t much to write home about either.

As MSNBC is reporting, Newt’s Gingrich Group is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

In another black eye for Newt Gingrich, the flagship of what’s known in Washington as “Newt, Inc.,” has filed for bankruptcy.

In a Chapter 7 filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia, The Gingrich Group LLC, doing business as the Center for Health Transformation, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday. (Chapter 7 is “the chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for ‘liquidation,’ that is, the sale of a debtor’s nonexempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors,” as defined by the federal courts.)

The vast majority of Gingrich’s net worth is tied up in the Gingrich Group. Gingrich is worth overall between $7.1 million and $31 million, according to his financial disclosure. He lists a promissory note from Gingrich Group as being worth between $5 million and $25 million.

Gingrich was chairman of the group until May of last year, when he announced he was running for president. Since focusing his efforts on his presidential run, the “Gingrich Group” has struggled to raise money, leading to its eventual collapse.

The bankruptcy comes at a time when Gingrich’s campaign is struggling to regain any momentum. He has only won two states during his run for president — South Carolina and Georgia, his home state — and he lags far behind front runner Mitt Romney in the delegate count, in third place with just 137 out of the 1,144 needed to become the nominee.

Though he continues to pledge that he’s “going to Tampa,” the site of the Republican National Convention this summer, Gingrich is sounding increasingly like a candidate fighting for relevance rather than the presidency.

(Here are the bankruptcy filings – Part 1, Part 2.)

Read more here.

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Top Gingrich Donor Sheldon Adelson : Newt’s at the end of his line

By Gary P Jackson

Newt Gingrich’s big donor, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is now openly stating what is painfully obvious to everyone but, well Newt Gingrich: It’s over.

Newt has no path to the nomination, and with his poor showing across the nation, it’s highly unlikely that he [or any of the current candidates] would emerge the victor from a brokered convention, something itself, that is highly unlikely.

Adelson, speaking at The Jewish Federations of North America’s second annual TribeFest not only talked about Newt, but had choice words for Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, as well.

From Jewish Journal:

Sheldon Adelson, who with wife Miri, has given more than $15 million to the Newt Gingrich Super PAC Winning Our Future, said Monday he believes Gingrich is “at the end of his line” regarding the race for the Republican presidential nomination. 

Adelson was speaking informally to a small group at his Las Vegas hotel and casino, The Venetian, which hosted The Jewish Federations of North America’s second annual TribeFest, a three-day leadership and networking retreat that attracted more than 1,400 Jewish professionals.

The casino magnate, sporting a button that read “Obama…Oy Vey,” visited a TribeFest session focused on the potential 2012 Jewish vote. As he exited the session, about a dozen participants followed Adelson into the hallway.

Adelson took sharp jabs at Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, the two leading candidates in the Republican primary races.

I know Rick [Santorum]. I like him. We’re friendly. But I got to tell you something, I don’t want him running my country,” he said.

Romney is “not the bold decision maker like Newt Gingrich is,” Adelson said.

Adelson predicted it’s unlikely Gingrich will become a vice presidential candidate.

Adelson is chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., a company valued at more than $21 billion, according to Forbes magazine.  He is also a major donor to the Birthright Israel program and has been said to be single-handedly responsible for keeping Gingrich’s campaign alive in recent months.

We agree with Adelson on every point concerning Newt, Rick, and Mitt.

Obligatory …..

Adelson video courtesy Jay Firestone

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PPP: Sarah Palin Still More Popular Than Actual Candidates, Could Be Unity Choice at Brokered Convention

By Gary P Jackson

No surprise here. Sarah Palin has always had the highest favorablility among Republicans and Republican leaning independents. What’s interesting is Public Policy Polling actually reporting it!

Any time there is talk of a brokered convention, Sarah’s name is conspicuously absent, while Establishment™ types like Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Mitch Daniels are consistently bandied about. It’s funny to see the GOP Elite try and ignore the obvious …. that Sarah Palin is the only one who could unite the Republican Party and lead it to a resounding victory in November.

It’s interesting that, according to this poll, only 53% of the voters are committed to their particular candidate. Just another sign that a brokered convention might not net the results any of the current candidates hope for.

From PPP:

PPP’s newest national poll finds that Mitt Romney leads with 34% to 31% for Rick Santorum, 20% for Newt Gingrich, and 9% for Ron Paul. But if Gingrich dropped out Santorum would have a small lead with 41% to 40% for Romney and 11% for Paul.

46% of Republican primary voters actually do think it’s time for Gingrich to drop out, while 42% think he should continue on. 48% of his supporters would go to Santorum, while 33% would pick Romney. Gingrich dropping out being worth 4 points to Santorum is also what we found on our Illinois poll over the weekend- it would be a boost to Santorum, but not necessarily a game changing one.

A deeper look at the favorability numbers for the two front runners shows two campaigns headed in opposite direction. Romney’s net favorability of +19 (54/35) is up 18 points from our national poll in February, a sign of increasing acceptance with the GOP base. Santorum is actually more well liked than Romney with a net favorability of +29 (59/30). But his numbers are headed in the wrong direction, a 13 point drop from his lofty +42 (64/22) standing a month ago.

Romney has much more solid support than either Santorum or Gingrich. 61% of his supporters say they’ll definitely vote for him, compared to 48% of Santorum’s and 45% of Gingrich’s who express that sentiment. Among just voters whose minds are totally made up Romney’s lead expands to 12 points at 42-30. It’s a little remarkable that as long as this race has gone on, only 53% of voters say they’re firmly committed to a candidate right now.

The talk of a brokered convention never seems to die down and one interesting finding on this poll was that Sarah Palin is far more popular than any of the actual Republican candidates in the race. Her net favorability is +48, with 68% of voters rating her favorably to only 20% with a negative opinion. That compares favorably to +29 for Santorum, +19 for Romney, and -26 for Paul.

Palin is someone GOP delegates might be able to unify around in the case of a hopelessly deadlocked convention. She is seen positively by Gingrich voters (85/7), Santorum supporters (80/10), and Romney ones (57/27) alike. That’s a contrast to Romney who is disliked by both Santorum (38/48) and Gingrich (32/54) voters and Santorum who is disliked by Romney (38/48) voters and only seen narrowly favorably by Gingrich (46/42) backers.

One other side note after the Puerto Rico primary was in the spotlight over the weekend- only 22% of Republican primary voters support Puerto Rican statehood, while 49% are opposed to it and 29% have no opinion.

Full results here

No surprise that both Gingrich and Santorum voters think highly of Sarah Palin, it’s also no surprise that Romney supporters are less enthused, as she is a direct threat to their guy, IF a brokered convention came to be. And that’s a big if.

Both Santorum and Gingrich are admitting they have little or no chance of beating Mitt Romney in the primary process. Their focus has shifted to making sure Romney doesn’t get the 1144 delegates needed to cinch the nomination. That in itself is going to be a tough battle, as Mitt is already halfway there, with some big states and winner-take-all contests still to come.

That said, I’m one of those hoping for a brokered convention, as I’m not wild about any of these candidates, and getting less excited about them as time goes by.

I wish both Gingrich and Santorum luck in the efforts, but those two better be careful what they wish for. You can bet if Romney doesn’t win on the first ballot Sarah Palin’s name will be placed in nomination. If this happens, I think we all know what the result will be.

Sarah has also said she thought Congressman Allen West would make an awesome Vice President.

Palin/West 2012 has a nice ring to it, don’t ya think.

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Crime, Greed, Money, Corruption: The Gang of Four Starring Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum

Every Tuesday morning, Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., meets with a couple dozen Republican lobbyists. Here is how Nicholas Confessore describes the ritual in the July/August  Washington Monthly:

[T]he lobbyists present pass around a list of the [lobbying] jobs available and discuss whom to support. Santorum’s responsibility is to make sure each one is filled by a loyal Republican — a Senator’s chief of staff, for instance, or a top White House aide, or another lobbyist whose reliability has been demonstrated. After Santorum settles on a candidate, the lobbyists present make sure it is known whom the Republican leadership favors.

From a July 13, 2003, Slate Magazine column by Timothy Noah

By Gary P Jackson

With far too many people focused on the horse race and who will “save us” from “The Great Satan” Mitt Romney, one thing is continually overlooked: Just how corrupt Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are. As much hand-wringing that is going on over the possibility of Mitt Romney being the Republican nominee, few are paying attention to the alternatives.

That both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are Big Government Statists is well documented. So is Newt’s record of selling his soul to anyone with some ready cash, be it Freddy Mac who paid him $1.6 million for “history lessons” or Big Pharma and Big Insurance who paid him $37 million to shill for government mandated health care insurance.

Thing is, Rick Santorum isn’t much better.

Back in 1995 Newt, Santorum, Tom Delay, Dick Armey, and others teamed up with Grover Norquist to create the “K-Street Project,” an effort to get Republicans hired on to top positions in major lobbying firms. In turn these lobbyists would co-ordinate with lawmakers for fun and profit.

This effort was so egregious that in 2007 Congress made the practice illegal.

Santorum was the liaison between Congress and the lobbyists. Rick met weekly with corrupt lobbyists and gave them their marching orders. It was understood that if they didn’t fall in line, precious access to influential members of Congress would be denied.

In addition to this, Santorum took money from a group in Saipan that was involved in the sweatshop business.The Tan Family engaged in many human rights violations, was involved in the illegal sex trade, and forced female workers to have abortions if they wanted to keep their jobs.

That’s pure evil, and Santorum was paid, not just to look the other way, but to help defeat legislation that would have stopped much of this.

Here’s a devastating video that spells it out:

The Gang of Four is a about crime, greed, money, corruption. The power of money. Washington insiders. Influence Peddlers. How the influence of Money influences Washington, Politicians and Congress. Starring Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff. The K Street Project turns corruption into scandal, bribery, money-laundering, fraud. Lobbyist influence politicians and Politicians stacking the lobbying firms with Republican staffers. See how the sweatshops of Saipan are protected when lobbyist use their financial clout to influence Washington politicians, decision-makers in Congress, the House and/or Senate

Sickening. And yet, many voters think one of these two are the answer to our problems. That continually blows my mind.

With all of Santorum’s talk about “family values” and the like on the campaign trail, his disgraceful actions regarding Saipan are unforgivable, and just show what an absolute hypocrite he is.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.

We keep electing and re-electing the same feckless, corrupt bastards, and we wonder why the United States is on the brink of destruction!

More on Santorum:

Rick Santorum’s integral involvement in the corrupt K-Street Project is nothing less than full-on Crony Capitalism. Santorum enthusiastically kept the revolving door spinning between Lobbyist and Party Loyalists. Again, because this was in the interests of the Republican Party, perhaps the Tea Party will now gladly look the other way. However, it would smack of sell-out hypocrisy for the Tea Party, known for condemning government corruption, to now support one of its most active participants. They might want to question Sen. Santorum on his well-documented participation with, and close ties to, disgraced ex-con lobbyist Jack Abramoff – whose new book, profiled recently on 60 Minutes and The Colbert Report, condemns precisely the process Santorum coordinated for the GOP: facilitating post-Capitol Hill lobbying positions to those holding Congressional office and their staffers.

Crony Capitalism – The K-Street Project

The K Street Project is an effort by the Republican Party  to pressure Washington lobbying firms to hire Republicans in top positions, and to reward loyal GOP lobbyists with access to influential officials. It was launched in 1995 by Republican strategist Grover Norquist and then-House majority whip Tom DeLay. It has been criticized as being part of a “coziness” between the GOP and large corporations which has allegedly allowed business to rewrite government regulations affecting their own industries.

Shortly after the 1994 elections which gave a majority of seats to Republican candidates, DeLay called prominent Washington lobbyists into his office. He had pulled the public records of political contributions that they made to Democrats and Republicans. According to Texans for Public Justice, he reminded them that Republicans were in charge and their political giving had better reflect that—or else. The “or else” was a threat to cut off access to the Republican House leadership.

The project is named for K Street in Washington, D.C., where the largest lobbying firms have their headquarters. Lobbyists are, in some circles, referred to as the “fourth branch of government,” as some have great influence in U.S. national politics due to their monetary resources and the “revolving-door” practice of hiring former government officials. It is widely believed to be common practice for politicians to solicit money from lobbying firms in exchange for better access to officials, especially members of the United States Congress, and to buy favoritism in policies.

Candidates seeking to succeed DeLay as majority leader sought to distance themselves from the project, and as of January 15, 2006, all three announced candidates had vowed to dismantle it and overhaul the lobbying process. The fundamental quid pro quo at the center of the K Street Project — the withholding of policy favors from interest groups and lobbying firms that hire Democrats — is now illegal: the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, Sec 102, bans members of Congress and staffers from using their political power to influence the employment decision of any private entity “on the basis of partisan political affiliation”.

Read even more here.

Some of our readers get upset that we don’t trash Mitt Romney enough for their tastes and have the audacity to point out the sort of lying, corrupt, weasels the other candidates are. I constantly hear from readers who equate fully vetting these bottom feeders to a form of “hate speech.” All I can say is get over it!

The fact is, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are corrupt Washington insiders. Both have a long history of being “team players” when there is cash involved. Both have sold their influence, with Santorum hooking up with some down-right evil sons-a-bitches.

Ron Paul is no prize either, as he is one of the biggest porkers in Congress, collecting earmarks by the millions and feeding them to his cronies. He’s been caught double billing the taxpayers for trips, and other assorted shenanigans.

The bottom line is all three of these candidates, but most especially Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, represent everything that is wrong with American politics. They are the sort that need to be run out of politics forever if our beloved Republic is to survive.

Sadly, far too many people are willing to give these corrupt bastards a pass. Far too many are willing to look the other way, just as Santorum did when it came to the women of Saipan. What I want to know is why?

How could anyone who wants a better America support any of them?

America not only deserves better, it must have better, or it’s all over.

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Gingrich Campaign Warned 2nd Time for Financial Dealings

By Gary P Jackson

For the second time in as many months we are hearing about financial irregularities within the Gingrich campaign.

Back in January Ken Vogel wrote that Newt, through his various little companies, was basically paying himself to campaign for president:

Newt Gingrich’s campaign paid him $47,000 for a list of supporters and paid one of his companies another $67,000 for web hosting, according to a report filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.

The report paints a picture of a campaign that is working to professionalize, but continues to be based in part around the candidate himself and the network of companies and non-profits that he built after leaving Congress.

The report shows that the former House speaker’s campaign raised $9.8 million in the last three months of the year, but that it spent almost that much — $8.1 million — and finished the year with $2.1 million in the bank and $1.2 million in debt.

Gingrich’s year-end fundraising is expected to be dwarfed by that of rival Mitt Romney, who has yet to file his fourth quarter FEC report. But Gingrich’s campaign, which got new life after his strong win in the South Carolina primary, said its fundraising has surged in January, announcing it had pulled in $5 million this month.

In the fourth quarter, the campaign invested in fundraising, spending $978,000 on direct mail and Internet fundraising, and it hired more staff, paying $279,000 in salaries, and opened more offices, paying $124,000 in rent.

Still, even as the campaign professionalized, it continued to lean on the network of companies and non-profits Gingrich built after leaving Congress.
For instance, it paid $67,000 for web hosting to Gingrich Productions, which had previously received payments for web development totaling $8,400.

The campaign also paid Gingrich himself $47,000 for a list of supporters, plus another $206,000 for travel.

It’s not unusual for for campaigns to pay rent or buy lists from political committees or non-profits affiliated with the candidate, and it’s fairly common for campaigns to reimburse staffers for travel or other expenses.

But it’s unusual for a presidential candidate personally to be paid significant amounts for travel or lists — both because candidates can contribute an unlimited amount in cash or services to their own campaigns and because campaigns typically foot travel costs directly. And the Gingrich campaign did not immediately respond to questions about the payments.
Gingrich has a penchant for flying private charter jets, and the campaign appears to have reined in its payments to his charter jet company of choice, Moby Dick Airways, which was paid $133,000 in the fourth quarter for private jet air fare. Still, the campaign reported owing the company $352,000, as well as $472,000 to a phone banking company for “telemarketing program costs.”

Nice deal if you can pull it off.
Now the Washington Times is reporting the Federal Elections Commission [FEC} is warning Newt for the second time to get his act together.

Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign has received a second warning from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for widespread financial irregularities, saying the campaign must disclose why nearly $1 million was paid to the candidate, staff and a small group of fundraising consultants for questionable reimbursements.
But hours after the FEC letter on its 2011 finances became public, the campaign filed a report for a newer time period, January, that indicated that the problems have become far worse.

The campaign transferred Mr. Gingrich $88,000 last month for unspecified “travel” expenses, a pace far higher than he paid himself over the course of 2011, a federal report filed Monday showed. It was part of $220,000 in mystery money that month that went to people close to Mr. Gingrich on top of their salaries, raising the issue of potential self-dealing.

The FEC warning letter was issued the day The Washington Times documented the suspect reimbursements.

Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond had told The Times that the payments were a result of Mr. Gingrich footing bills early in the campaign and getting reimbursed because no bank would give the campaign a credit card. He had said the campaign was finally able to obtain a credit card late last year, so there would be no reason for the pattern to continue in 2012.

The January payments came in two checks over four days at the end of the month. He would not explain the discrepancy this week.
The FEC’s objections are not to the idea of a candidate and staff fronting costs and getting reimbursed, but because the technique has caused a huge segment of the campaign’s expenditures to become a black box. Rule books say every restaurant, vendor, hotel or other company that receives more than $200 in donated funds must be disclosed, even if a billing conduit is used.

A separate disclosure Monday showed that Becky Burkett, a former top official of a nonprofit Mr. Gingrich headed who now runs a pro-Gingrich super PAC called Winning Our Future, paid herself $220,000 in donated money last month — making more in 20 days than any other super PAC official has made in total since the groups exploded onto the scene, a review by The Times showed.
Super PAC spokesman Rick Tyler said the payments compensated her for November, December and part of January. The fund brought in its first donation Dec. 7. Although that rate puts the Gingrich confidante on pace for an annual salary in the millions, Mr. Tyler noted that political work isn’t assured.

In this business, we all could be out of a job next — you just don’t know,” he said. “People make more knowing that this could be a short-term contract.”

Among several other staffers, Gregg Phillips also received $90,000 in January.
Administrative responsibilities for super PAC finances are far simpler than those for campaign committees because there are only a few major checks to keep track of rather than thousands of small ones, and many are from established allies. Winning Our Future has about 100 donors.

The donations they do bring in, of course, are more sensitive. Mr. Tyler indicated that the super PAC officials receive commission for money raised.

Ms. Burkett received $100,000 for fundraising services Jan. 23, the day before longtime Gingrich supporter Sheldon Adelson, whose family has provided nearly all the PAC’s money, made out a $5 million check.

Problems extend to nonprofit

Mr. Gingrich’s presidential campaign operations are nearly identical to those of the nonprofit he left to pursue the bid, American Solutions, which Ms. Burkett, who lives in small-town Georgia, received $320,000 over 18 months for helping run.

The accounting practices that are especially fast and loose for a presidential campaign began with the older group, which raised $50 million between 2007 and 2010, but spent most of it on fundraising expenses. It spent $7 million on payments to travel-specific companies, including $3.2 million for a private jet, in addition to reimbursing staffers $1 million for unspecified travel expenses.
It paid $6 million in salary to about 30 staffers, the core crew of which is now on the campaign or super PAC.

The nonprofit’s finances also showed that the favored Gingrich explanation for payments can mean just about anything: Disbursements described simply as “travel” include $100,000 for a speaker’s fee and $650 at a Washington, D.C., bar.

Read more here.

This is not only sloppy, it goes to Newt’s character, and love of the high life. Newt seems to have no problem spending other people’s money on his extravagant lifestyle. For a so-called Conservative, this cat is burning through some money.

We need serious people leading our nation. We already have a president and first lady who think taxpayers should foot the bill for lavish vacations and house parties. Not seeing how Newt would be any different, if his current and past record are used as predictors of the future.

Obligatory:

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Rick Santorum: “Freedom’s not absolute. What rights in the Constitution are absolute?”

By Gary P Jackson

Holy Bill of Rights Batman:

Freedom’s not absolute. What rights in the Constitution are absolute? There is no right to absolute freedom. There are limitations. You might want to say the same thing about a whole variety of other things that are on the Internet — “let everybody have it, let everybody do it.” No. There are certain things that actually do cost people a lot of money, cost them their lives, cost them their fortunes that we shouldn’t have and make available, to make it that easy to do. That’s why we regulate gambling. You have a big commission here that regulates gambling, for a reason.

If the above quote from Rick Santorum doesn’t have chills running up and down your spine, there is something seriously wrong with you!

Now let me put this in context. This quote, and more, comes from an article Jim Geraghty wrote about Newt Gingrich’s sugar daddy, billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson. Santorum is talking about internet gambling, and evidently, in Rick’s world it’s evil, and the government, being our nanny, must take steps to protect the American people from itself. You can read the entire article here.

Now Rick may be right, in theory, there are some legitimate limits on freedom that are also constitutional, they are, however, few and far between.

The American experiment, as envisioned by our founders, is based on personal Liberty and Freedom, as well as personal responsibility. In other words, you are free to do pretty much as you wish, as long as you break no laws. If your actions causes you problems, well, you made your bed, now lie in it!

This is pretty much how God works as well. He gave us the ability to distinguish right from wrong, and the free will to choose. He also gave us a strong path to redemption. But, we have to live with the consequences of our actions.

Thing is, government isn’t God, and neither are our lawmakers. Government has no business trying to be the nanny of over 300 million Americans, micro managing our lives down to the last detail.

Government has no business trying to protects, from ourselves.

Yeah, there are obvious exceptions to that, but we now have government officials trying to control our ever action. That ain’t Liberty and that ain’t Freedom.

There are far too many, in both political parties, who want to do just that. Politicians who think they know what’s best for everyone.

I’ve always been rather neutral on Santorum, seeing him as a mixed bag, some good, some bad. My only real concern, since day one, is he has always seemed to be more interested in being the bedroom police, rather then Senator, or President. Other than that, I thought he was at least somewhat Conservative. That was a grave error on my part.

I’d call Santorum a “compassionate conservative” in the mold of George W Bush, but looking into Rick’s record, I see nothing particularly compassionate or conservative about the man. What I see is just another Big Government Statist. Just another person who wants to exert his power over everyone else.

There is little difference between Santorum and those who want to regulate what you can eat, what you can drink, what kind of car you can drive, what kind of toilet and shower head you must buy, and what sort of light bulb you must have.

For people like Santorum, government knows best. As a free man or woman, you don’t have the capability of exercising good judgment, so government must protect you from yourself.

There’s something inherently evil in this sort of thing. Something un-American.

Santorum’s argument on gambling, online gambling, is troubling. From the article Rick says:

I’m someone who takes the opinion that gaming is not something that is beneficial, particularly having that access on the Internet. Just as we’ve seen from a lot of other things that are vices on the Internet, they tend to grow exponentially as a result of that.

It’s one thing to come to Las Vegas and do gaming and participate in the shows and that kind of thing as entertainment, it’s another thing to sit in your home and have access to that it. I think it would be dangerous to our country to have that type of access to gaming on the Internet.

I like Vegas and since I’m not that much of a gambler, I enjoy the shows and the good eats. That said, what business is it of Santorum’s? Even more so, what business is it Rick’s what I do on the internet? If Rick is worried about gambling on the internet, folks can find a game anywhere. Don’t need the internet for that, unless you are booking a hotel!

Look, I know why Baptists don’t like gambling, they are afraid it might lead to dancing! [relax it’s just a joke] But what is Rick’s excuse?

Oh, and about those shows and fine dining in Las Vegas? Lots of folks have a problem with overeating. Vegas is a place where that is not only possible, but probable. What is Rick’s position on this?

Most Americans don’t like the idea of government telling them what they can and can’t do, within reason, and gambling, while most certainly a vice, is also reasonable.

In fact, this entire election, for the American people, is about getting away from a government that wants to control our every move.

Sarah Palin put it best when she said this election will come down to the “Freedom Party” vs the “Government Party.”

Between this latest by Santorum, and his extreme ideas about all things of a sexual nature, as well as many of his votes and positions over the years, I’m beginning to thing Santorum belongs in the “Government Party.”

I have no qualms with Rick’s personal beliefs, though I disagree with many. What I have a problem with is his desire to impose those beliefs on others.

People need to take a long, hard look at Rick Santorum. He is not what he represents himself to be. He is a progressive, not a Conservative. He’s the sort who can’t wait to get in power so he can exert his authority over the American people.

We already have a nanny state president, and a nanny state government. No use to send them re-enforcements like Rick Santorum.

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Video: Newt Gingrich in 2007: Israel to Blame for “Palestinian Suffering”

Newt Gingrich with Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat

By Gary P Jackson

This is in interesting find from Israel Matzav:

Oh dear….

Get a load of this video from @NewtGingrich on the Charlie Rose show in 2007 in which he blames Israel for ‘Palestinian suffering‘ (‘Israel has to bear the burden…).

So will Newt own up to it? Will he disavow it?

This is Newt at his professorial “best.” Some good ideas, some rambling. Newt and Charlie Rose talk about many foreign policy positions, some OK, some pretty extreme.

Two things that caught my ear. One of course, is Newt blaming Israel for “Palestinian suffering.” This is the same Newt who only last year claimed Palestinians were an “invented people, who never existed before.” Never mind Americans are an “invented people” who never existed before either. [until we kicked England’s ass, that is!]

The other thing is Newt’s solutions for Iran. One in particular, the use of labor unions.

Newt mentions all of the strong labor unions in Iran. Now don’t get me wrong, I think we should have been helping the Iranian people overthrow the government long ago, but labor unions? Man, when I think Liberty and Freedom, the last thing on my mind are labor unions! We all know what the labor unions have done to our own country, they are only one or two steps above organized crime! Why would any sane person wish that on anyone, even our worst enemy?

Foreign policy, and his position on Israel is another area where Newt seems to be “evolving.” [flip-flopping, pandering, whatever you want to call it]

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Newt’s Ties To Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Longer, Deeper, More Corrupt than You Thought

By Gary P Jackson

First we heard Newt Gingrich had gotten a few hundred thousand from mortgage giant Freddie Mac, for some unknown reason.

That actually turned into a number reportedly between $1.6 and $1.8 million.

Newt claimed he was merely playing the role of historian. No one but the mentally afflicted actually bought that load of BS though, as few historians have D.C. offices on K Street. You know who has a lot’s of offices on K Street in D.C.? Lobbyists.

Now there is a new report out that helps us understand how Newt, a lifelong politician with no history or demonstrated skills in sales, marketing, or mortgage lending, landed a $25,000 a month gig at Freddie Mac, almost immediately after he left Congress in disgrace.

According to the Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times, Newt’s ties to both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae go back to his time as Speaker of the House. Just as we’ve reported many times that Newt’s work with Freddie, after he left Congress, included trying to stop Congress from coming down hard on the corrupt lender, it now seems he played that same role as Speaker, blocking important legislation. Legislation, that had it been enacted, and enforced, might have staved off the looming housing bubble, that would eventually cause the financial crash of 2007-2008.

If you are thinking I am saying Newt played a direct role in the collapse of the American economy, you would be right.

Both as Speaker and later as a lobbyist, Newt stood with his buddies on the left to stop commonsense legislation that may have been able to stop the absolute mess we are in now.

No allegations, so far, that money changed hands while Newt was Speaker, but he was certainly wined and dined, and there was that lucrative “consulting job” just waiting for him when he left Congress.

From the Times: [emphasis mine]

WASHINGTON — On a trip to Ireland in 1998, Speaker Newt Gingrich researched his Irish roots, discussed the prospects for peace in Northern Ireland and entertained speculation about his presidential ambitions. He even donned work gloves and blue jeans to help build a home in Belfast for a good-will project.

Two of the sponsors for part of the Ireland trip were frequent partners of Mr. Gingrich: Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae — the government-backed housing industry giants that Mr. Gingrich has denounced as he fights to stay in contention against Mitt Romney in the Republican primaries.

Mr. Gingrich has faced many questions recently about the more than $1.6 million in consulting fees he got from Freddie Mac since leaving Congress in 1999. But part of the relationship started years earlier, as records and interviews show that Mr. Gingrich, as House leader in the 1990s, aligned himself with Freddie and Fannie on a number of key issues — defending them in Congress against political attacks, joining with them on housing projects and seeing top aides go work for them.

While Mr. Gingrich has minimized his past connections to the two closely related companies on the campaign trail, his Congressional record shows that his political and financial ties to the firms run deeper and farther back than he has acknowledged publicly and, in fact, set the stage for the lucrative consulting work that followed.

Mr. Gingrich, whose campaign declined to comment on his ties with Fannie and Freddie while in Congress, has been blistering in his recent criticism of the mortgage finance companies. He has blamed them in part for the 2008 housing collapse, said they should now be “broken up,” and in an October debate he declared that Representative Barney Frank should be “in jail” for associating with lobbyists close to Freddie.

But while in Congress, Mr. Gingrich had kind words for the companies. Announcing a housing partnership in Atlanta in 1995, for instance, he held up Fannie as “an excellent example of a former government institution fulfilling its mandate while functioning in the market economy.”

He was far from Fannie and Freddie’s only Congressional supporter in those years; before the stain of the 2008 housing collapse, the companies’ allies were legion.

But Mr. Gingrich’s help was seen as particularly crucial after the Republicans took control of the House in 1994, as Freddie and Fannie tried to turn back rising hostility from some Republicans over their mission, structure and financing.

Once he became speaker in 1995, Mr. Gingrich’s support loomed large as the companies sought to shore up flagging confidence among the Republicans and bolster the case for home ownership, officials said.

Whenever you could get Republicans who supported you, it was important, and the more prominent the Republican, the better,” said William Maloni, a senior vice president at Fannie Mae until 2004. “Newt would have been important.”
Mr. Gingrich’s senior advisers were important as well, with a handful of his aides and confidants going on to work for Freddie and Fannie or for lobbying groups that represented them. Of particular significance, several officials said, was Fannie’s hiring of Arne L. Christenson, Mr. Gingrich’s chief of staff, as a top executive and lobbyist in 1999.

From their perspective, hiring someone who could beef up their Republican credentials made perfect sense,” said Jack Howard, policy director for Mr. Gingrich at the time. Mr. Christenson did not return a call seeking comment.

In a showdown critical to the companies’ fortunes, Mr. Gingrich played an important behind-the-scenes role in helping block a proposal in 1995 that would have forced Fannie and Freddie — rather than taxpayers — to pay potentially billions of dollars in increased fees, according to interviews and press accounts at the time.

At the time, Representative Jim Leach, a senior Republican from Iowa who led the House banking committee and was a fierce critic of Fannie and Freddie, wanted the companies to pay the bulk of about $4.8 billion to finance a reserve for ailing savings and loan institutions.

Through their lobbyists, Freddie and Fannie fought hard against the plan, and Mr. Gingrich made his opposition to it clear in a meeting with Mr. Leach on Capitol Hill. By the time the two men emerged, the proposal was dead.

Newt was quite a pragmatist,” said a Republican official who was involved in the fee increase debate and spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid becoming embroiled in the current Republican race. In coming to the defense of Freddie and Fannie, Mr. Gingrich “was going with the consensus of his party — of both parties, really,” the official said.

A separate attempt within the House budget committee in 1995 to raise fees on Freddie and Fannie by hundreds of millions of dollars also died without a vote after Mr. Gingrich rejected it. The speaker asserted that raising fees would violate the Republicans’ oft-cited no new tax pledge.

Fannie and Freddie each declined to comment on the companies’ relationships with Mr. Gingrich in the 1990s.

Beyond his role in thwarting legislative threats, Mr. Gingrich also worked with Fannie and Freddie on a number of housing projects in the United States and overseas.

The visit to a Belfast neighborhood in 1998 to start building a home for a low-income family was part of a foreign extension of an American program called “The House that Congress Built.”

The Belfast project was sponsored principally by Fannie and Freddie, along with Habitat for Humanity and the National Association of Realtors. The Realtors’ association called the housing project “a truly unique partnership” between lawmakers and the housing industry.

Marianne Gingrich, Mr. Gingrich’s wife at the time, joined him in Ireland, as did other members of Congress. Public money was apparently used for portions of the trip, considered Congressional business, but the breakdown on the financing, and what part was covered by Fannie and Freddie, could not be determined. Congressional records indicate that Mr. Gingrich did not file a financial disclosure statement for 1998 that would show gifts and trips provided by outside groups that year, although House rules appear to require him to have filed a report within 30 days after he left Congress under an ethics cloud in January 1999.

The Gingrich campaign said he was invited on the trip by Habitat for Humanity. “Improving access to home ownership has long been an aim of his public policy,” the campaign said.

Mr. Howard, the former Gingrich aide, said he associated the housing projects more with Habitat for Humanity, a nonpartisan Christian group headquartered in Mr. Gingrich’s home state of Georgia, than with the corporate sponsors Fannie and Freddie.

It was a feel-good thing,” he said of the projects. “I think Newt probably saw this as just a good opportunity to do something for Habitat for Humanity.”

In general, Mr. Howard said, issues connected to Fannie and Freddie — whether legislative, political or civic — “were not a priority” for Mr. Gingrich during his time as speaker. “I don’t remember him being directly involved at all,” he said.

But months after Mr. Gingrich left Congress, his direct involvement became clear, as his consulting company signed a $25,000-a-month contract with Freddie. In 2006, he signed a second contract with Freddie as a strategic adviser, a role he described initially as a “historian.” Mr. Romney has branded the work as “influence peddler.”

Defending the contracts, Mr. Gingrich has contrasted the work he did for Freddie as a consultant with the work he did in Congress, when he said he was aligned with those seeking industrywide changes in housing policies.

There’s a huge difference between what you do when you’re in public office and you’re dealing with the public trust,” he said on Fox News, “and what you do as a private business person who has no direct power and no direct responsibility and you’re sitting there offering advice.

Some of Mr. Gingrich’s defenses have fallen flat, however, as when he attacked Mr. Romney in a debate last month for holding mutual fund investments in Freddie and Fannie.

Have you checked your own investments?” Mr. Romney retorted, pointing out that Mr. Gingrich also held investments in them through mutual funds.

All right,” Mr. Gingrich responded, falling silent.

It’s interesting how Newt drags Habitat for Humanity, a wonderful charity, into this as cover for his trip that was most certainly paid for by Fannie and Freddie.

Typical politician.

How Newt has conned people into thinking he is some sort of “political outsider” is beyond me. This guy is the poster boy for the corrupt, influence peddling, political insider we should be running out of politics forever. The sort Sarah Palin’s chief adviser Peter Schweizer talks about in his must have book, Throw Them All Out.

Newt is one of those who went to Washington and became a very rich man, not by producing a damned thing, but instead by manipulation and influence peddling. Thanks to Newt and his time in office we now have less Liberty, less Freedom, and less money.

I wonder if we will ever know how much Newt’s shenanigans actually cost us taxpayers.

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