Category Archives: television

Downton Not-Too-Shabby

From The Washington Post:

The Rayburn House Office Building is a labyrinth of beige offices.

And then, there’s . . . Rep. Aaron Schock’s new digs.

Bright red walls. A gold-colored wall sconce with black candles. A Federal-style bull’s-eye mirror with an eagle perched on top. And this is just the Illinois Republican’s outer office.

“It’s actually based off of the red room in ‘Downton Abbey,’ ” said the woman behind the front desk, comparing it to the luxurious set piece at the heart of the British period drama.

Aaron, Lady Rose and Lady Mary share a giggle over the bill lowly taxpayers have to foot for Aaron’s extravagance.

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Campaigning for Fun and Profit

From THE HUFFINGTON POST:

Newt Gingrich loves selling himself – both as a presidential hopeful and as a for-profit author.

As he seeks the GOP nomination, the former House speaker frequently combines traditional political campaigning with the sales job for his books and films that has earned him millions. As his rivals on Friday scheduled busy days with voters in early nominating states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, Gingrich planned a single public event: a book signing in the nation’s capital.

(Update: Gingrich’s book signing has been reportedly cancelled due to “public safety concerns.”)

Bill O’Reilly was there with an umbrella?

Gingrich, enjoying a surge in the polls just a month before the first contests are held, prides himself on his non-traditional campaign style. It isn’t clear whether it will pay off politically. But it certainly has not hurt his own income.

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Newt Gingrich on Drugs

From Chris Moody at THE TICKET at YAHOO!:

NAPLES, Fla. — The staff at Books-a-Million didn’t know what hit them.

In preparation for a Saturday morning book signing with Newt Gingrich, the bookstore printed numbered cards for the first 500 people looking for an autograph from the former House speaker and Republican presidential candidate. The store gave out its first card at 8 a.m. on Black Friday–27 hours before Gingrich was scheduled to arrive–and ran out before he stepped in the door. After that, the Gingrich fans had to fend for themselves.

Gingrich spent the two days after Thanksgiving on a campaign swing through Naples, Florida, a wealthy conservative stronghold in the Sunshine State that was, to say the least, extremely welcoming.

…snip…

After his speech, during which he took time to clarify his position on illegal immigration, Gingrich hopped over to a $1,000-per-person fundraiser at a city council member’s home and then spent four hours the next morning at a Books-a-Million, where he brought in 650 people.

After months in the middle tier, Gingrich is the latest presidential candidate not named Mitt to ascend to the top of national polls. And with just five weeks until the first caucus in Iowa, he may have the best chance at being there when it matters. On Sunday, the largest newspaper in New Hampshire, the Union Leader, endorsed Gingrich in the Republican primary.

Although he has been in the public eye for years and seen his share of crowds, this kind of attention is new for Presidential Candidate Newt.

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He even flip-flops on his name!

From THE HILL:

Early stumbles at Tuesday’s GOP foreign policy debate had little to do with policy — instead, the Republicans vying for their party’s presidential nomination struggled with names.

First, Mitt Romney tried to play off of a joke by debate moderator Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer asked candidates to give short introductions, joking, “Here’s an example of what I’m looking for:  I’m Wolf Blitzer and yes, that’s my real name. I’ll be your moderator this evening and I’m happy to welcome each one of you to our debate.”

When the introductions turned to Romney, he opened with, “I’m Mitt Romney and yes, Wolf, that’s also my first name.”

But as political watchers were quick to note, Romney’s first name is not Mitt — it’s Willard. Mitt is Romney’s middle name.

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He didn’t lobby, it was just a hobby!

From Joan Walsh at Salon:

Another day, another story about Newt Gingrich profiteering. Well, three stories, actually.

The Washington Post reported this morning that a Gingrich “think tank,” the Center for Health Transformation, collected at least $37 million from health care industry groups, who were promised “access to Newt Gingrich” and “direct Newt interaction” in exchange for their cash. Also in exchange for their cash, perhaps, Gingrich took some interesting positions on health care reform: He supported the “individual mandate” that Americans buy insurance (or post a bond to cover unanticipated illness) as well as measures to encourage “end of life” planning. He ditched both positions, of course, once he realized they were unpopular with the Republican base.

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Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Politics

From Peter Funt at The Moderate Voice:

First, President Obama accused Americans of being “soft.” Then, he said we’re “lazy.” How dare he!

If you’re a undisciplined campaigner who’s willing to take unrelated quotes out of context and combine them in one thoroughly bastardized attack, you come up with: President Obama thinks we’re all soft and lazy!

On the GOP campaign circuit, “lazy” and “soft” have quickly become the go-to words for 2012.

It’s the latest example of how unprincipled political behavior in an age of instant communications is wrecking government as well as the process of electing people to run it.

Here’s exactly what President Obama said in Honolulu the other day during a conference on international business:

“I think it’s important to remember that The United States is still the largest recipient of foreign investment in the world. And there are a lot of things that make foreign investors see the U.S. as a great opportunity — our stability, our openness, our innovative free market culture. But we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted, well, people will want to come here and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America.”

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Bronzo the Clown Has Bawls!

From THE HUFFINGTON POST:

His sniffles began during the speech, but it wasn’t until after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) stepped down from the podium during a Wednesday ceremony at the Capitol that the bawling started.

Boehner was one of several Hill leaders who gave remarks at an event honoring astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin with the Congressional Gold Medal. Congress approved the medal in July 2009 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

“Neil Armstrong was once asked: Why did you, this one man, choose to speak for all when you set foot on the lunar surface? As it turns out, there was no script, there were no notes,” Boehner said. “When the moment came, Neil’s thoughts turned to the 400,000 people who worked on the project…. He said he knew ‘it would be a big something for all those folks and a lot of others who weren’t even involved in the project.’ So it was.”

And then, as Boehner lined up to present Armstrong with his medal in front of the crowd, the weeping began.

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