Naughty. “The real estate mogul whose flirtation with the 2012 presidential race has never really ended despite announcing seven months ago he would not seek the Republican nomination has been signaling he wants to find other ways onto a presidential ticket. [Donald] Trump took another step in that direction on Thursday, switching his party affiliation from Republican to ‘unaffiliated,’ according to a source close to the reality television star.”
Nice. Josh Block should wear this as a badge of honor. “ . . . [Harry Truman] would side with Josh Block, who blew the whistle on rabidly anti-Israel and borderline anti-Jewish statements on the left, and who for his efforts has been expelled from membership in the Truman National Security Project.”
Naughty. “A new Iowa non-profit organization is circulating an online petition calling on the Federal Election Commission to investigate Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats for potentially illegal campaign coordination. [Rick] Santorum on Wednesday said Vander Plaats earlier this fall told him that he needed money to promote his eventual endorsement of a presidential candidate.”
Nice. TNR provides a public service in an effort to prevent many Republicans and the state of Iowa from shaming themselves: “For years, Ron Paul published a series of newsletters that dispensed political news and investment advice, but also routinely indulged in bigotry. Here’s a selection of some especially inflammatory passages, with links to scanned images of the original documents in which they appeared.”
Naughty. “Freshman Tea Party Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is incensed that Republicans caved in the payroll-tax debate, and is putting the blame squarely on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).” He should count his lucky starts McConnell bailed him and his colleagues out.
Nice. “ ‘Remembering how courageously . . . [Vaclav] Havel defended human rights at a time when these were systematically denied to the people of your country, and paying tribute to his visionary leadership . . . I give thanks to God for the freedom that the people of the Czech Republic now enjoy,’ Pope Benedict said in a letter read out at Friday’s mass.”
Naughty. The New Hampshire Union Leader, which endorsed Newt Gingrich and allowed him to be quoted as a “senior” aide, is now heckling for a one-on-one debate. Frankly, allowing the UL to co-moderate a debate with NBC is absurd.
Nice. Jim Pethokoukis provides the “7 most illuminating economic charts of 2011.”
Naughty. “Newt Gingrich failed to make the primary ballot in Virginia after a weeklong scramble by the former House speaker’s campaign to gather sufficient signatures in the days before . . . [Thursday’s] deadline in his adopted home state. . . . The party announced Friday evening that Rick Perry had failed to meet the qualifications as well. That leaves the race in the state between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Other candidates did not submit signatures.”
Nice. Mitt Romney defends the rule of law. “ ‘The idea of the Congress being able to draw in the judiciary, subpoena . . . and remove courts is in my view a violation of the powers that is part of our constitutional heritage,’ he says. ‘I think [former] Speaker Gingrich said that if he disagreed with the Supreme Court on an issue like gay marriage, he might decide not to carry it out. Well, if that’s the case for President Gingrich, might not that be the case for President Obama?’ He goes on to call the former House speaker’s proposals ‘unusual in the extreme.’ ”
Naughty. “During the 2011 Christmas season, NGOs such as Sabeel, War on Want (UK), Amos Trust, and Adalah-NY once again are exploiting the holiday to advance immoral anti-Israel campaigns and, in some cases, crude antisemitism. As in previous years, these ‘charities’ use offensive, inflammatory rhetoric in Christmas carols; holiday message; and cards, nativity scenes, and other products. For instance, Kairos Palestine, Adalah-NY, and Code Pink repeat the incendiary accusation of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in their campaigns.”
Nice. “The Santorum 2012 campaign certainly bears some resemblance to the Huckabee 2008 campaign. Like the former Arkansas governor, [Rick] Santorum has been the most outspoken candidate on the issues of marriage and the right to life. And Santorum’s economic message, like Huckabee’s, is attuned to the working class. He draws attention to the decline of manufacturing jobs in America and has proposed eliminating the corporate income tax on manufacturers. Santorum has also proposed a pro-growth personal income tax reform with two rates of 10 percent and 28 percent (Paul Ryan’s fiscal Roadmap proposes 10 percent and 25 percent). But even when the topic is the economy, Santorum finds a way to bring the conversation back to social issues.”