Posted on January 11, 2012 in Countdown
New Hampshire’s In…
And what was surprising about it wasn’t Romney’s victory, but how big and decisive his lead was. He got 40% of the vote, beating Rick Perry by 39 percentage points (don’t rub your eyes, yes Perry got 1%), and 17 points ahead of Ron Paul in second place. CNN points out that this is “the first time a non-incumbent Republican won both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary.” But CNN fails to mention that this is also the first time the New Hampshire Primary was won by a Mormon with a first name that starts with the 13th letter of the alphabet (see? We’re also capable of pointing out arbitrary firsts to inject baseless excitement. Ok, maybe theirs wasn’t quite that arbitrary). Ron Paul described his campaign’s performance a little strangely, noting that Romney’s was indeed “a clear-cut victory, but we're nibbling at his heels." If you just pictured Ron Paul’s supporters biting Romney’s feet, close your eyes and go to cloud nine immediately.
Here’s an Idea: Let’s Re-Invade Iraq
If you’re feeling nostalgic for the Iraq war and wish we could be occupying more countries in the Middle East, there is a candidate for you. That’s right, Rick Perry doesn’t like that President Obama withdrew U.S. forces from Iraq “to kowtow to his liberal leftist base,” and would like to send US troops back into Iraq so it doesn’t get taken over by the Iranians. In response, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he will send Iranian troops to Iraq to keep it from being taken over by the Americans. Ok, he didn’t really say that, but see how ridiculous he sounded there for a minute? The idea really doesn’t sound any less absurd when an American politician says it. Also, someone should update Perry on the fact it’s not just the “liberal leftist base” which supported the end of the Iraq war, but the overwhelming majority of Americans.
You’re Gonna Want to Sit Down for This One…
The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart asked a simple question: “Is Herman Cain getting back in the race?” If you’re thinking this is just speculative gossip, consider the evidence… Cain said that he was going to make an endorsement on the 19th of this month, but “warned” that “it will be an unconventional endorsement.” He then asked us to “underscore the word ‘unconventional.’” Think we’re reading too much into this? Listen to what he said next: “I believe that ALL of the remaining candidates are conventional. So, I’m saying my endorsement would be unconventional.” Uh oh! If the competition between your love of country and love of comedy has left you emotionally confused about the prospect of Cain returning to the race, count the Countdown team among your friends.
Daley Out, Muñoz In
So the White House just announced the abrupt departure of Chief of Staff Richard Daley yesterday, which is interesting considering Daley hasn’t even finished a year in office. The USA Today speculates that dropping Daley indicated that the President had “largely given up on compromise with the Republicans,” but the person replacing Daley, Jack Lew, had also received praise for working with Republicans. Lucky for Obama (or perhaps planned?), this sudden announcement came with the New Hampshire primary in focus, so it didn’t get too much media attention. Replacing Daley for the post is Jack Lew, Meanwhile, longtime immigration reform advocate Cecilia Muñoz was named as the Director of White House’s Domestic Policy Council. The Arab American community has had a history of working closely with Muñoz when she served at the National Council of la Raza, the largest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country, so her appointment to such a high post is welcomed news for us and all civil rights advocates.
Blacks, Blahs & Plives Should Get Off Welfare
In a rant against welfare, Rick Santorum said a few days ago that he didn’t “want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money.” Seemingly realizing how terrible that was, Santorum offered the WORST defense ever, saying he actually meant to say “blah” people. After he caught on to how ridiculous and implausible that sounds, he offered a third defense: he accidentally said “plives.” Great comeback! Now he just needs to hire a team of hackers to bring down Youtube and sabotage every website that has posted the video of his remarks (or at least alter the audio on them), and he should be all set with his new explanation.
Watch and Learn, Santorum
Elsewhere in America, Newt Gingrich said the following: “the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” And when the NAACP said that “it is a shame that the former speaker feels that these types of inaccurate, divisive statements are in any way helpful to our country," what did Gingrich do? He didn’t claim to have said “the blah plives community.” He knows what he said, and he knows everyone heard him say it, so he’s owning it. Santorum should watch and learn how to stand by terrible remarks.
10 Years Later
On a less humorous note, today marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of America’s infamous Guantanamo Bay prison, where terror suspects are held indefinitely, and from where reports of abuse and inmate suicides have emerged over the years. President Obama recognized that the prison became a symbol of America’s disregard for elementary human rights and “a rallying cry for our enemies," adding that it “likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.” Nearing the end of his first term, the President has yet to fulfill his promise to close the prison. So how much longer will this go on? Ten more years? Activists in DC will close streets today in a human chain protest. What are you going to do today?
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