by Free Britney at . Comments

Asked at last night's Florida Republican debate if Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich should return money made from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Ron Paul responded:

"That subject really doesn't interest me a whole lot."

The Texas congressman might not be #1 in the polls, but he showed last night that when given a proper forum, he's as substantive as anyone - and funny too.

Asked where he stands on Newt Gingrich's proposal to put a permanent base on the moon by 2020, Paul said, "Well, I don't think we should go to the moon."

"I think we maybe should send some politicians up there."

Paul, who at 76 would be the oldest person ever elected President of the United States also drew cheers in his response to a question about his medical records.

Noting that his records are "about one page, if even that long," Paul challenged his cohorts to "a 25-mile bike ride, any time, any day in the heat of Texas."

But, you know, there are laws against age discrimination, so if you push this too much, you better be careful," he quipped, and he wasn't done by a long shot.

Asked by CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer what he would say if Raul Castro called him in the Oval Office, Paul said, "Well, I'd ask what he called about, you know?"

Which isn't to say Paul's wit was his only asset. He routinely scored points with his strong responses, especially regarding monetary policy and civil liberties.

Florida's primary is Tuesday, January 31.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Thursday's Republican presidential debate, the 19th in this election cycle, saw Mitt Romney tried to fend off Newt Gingrich, while Ron Paul and Rick Santorum shined.

Romney came out swinging fast and when Gingrich attacked, he hit back. Much more aggressive than in the past, he's going all-in to win Tuesday's Florida primary.

In that respect, he likely succeeded in blunting some of Newt's momentum in Florida, as Gingrich was flatter Thursday than in some of the past debates he's owned.

He had some nice zingers and applause-garnering policy proposals, but not a proverbial "knockout punch" like he delivered en route to winning in South Carolina.

Gingrich received praise for his harsh attack on debate moderator John King last week and tried to double down on his strategy of attacking the host to build support.

It backfired a bit last night. Wolf Blitzer stood his ground when Gingrich would not answer a question about his apparent truce over the issue of Romney's tax return.

He called the question "nonsense" and suggested they talk about "issues that relate to the governing of America," but Wolf - and later Mitt - got the better of him.

Rick Santorum, meanwhile, had probably his strongest debate performance in a year, pointedly criticizing both Gingrich and Romney on a variety of issues.

The fourth candidate running, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, would probably be called the winner of the debate if the mainstream media would take him seriously.

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by Free Britney at . Comments

The Florida Republican primary is less than a week away and the gloves are off.

Having been whomped in South Carolina, Mitt Romney came out firing in Monday night's Florida debate and has kept up the pressure on his GOP rival all week.

New pro-Romney ads are calling Gingrich a liar who's exaggerating loose ties to Ronald Reagan and drops names instead of touting his own policy credentials.

Newt lashed out at Mitt today for questioning his conservative values. Watch:

"This is the man who stood up the other night to question my credentials as a Reaganite? This is the kind of gall they have to think we are so stupid, and we are so timid," Gingrich said at an outdoor campaign event in Orlando, Florida.

Newt has slipped a bit in recent polls since his demonstrative win. Can he shift the momentum back his way when the candidates debate again tonight?

by Free Britney at . Comments

Restore Our Future, a Super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, slams rival Newt Gingrich in a new ad for (repeatedly) claiming a connection to Ronald Reagan.

"From debates, you'd think Newt Gingrich was Ronald Reagan's vice president," a narrator says. "Gingrich exaggerates, dropping Reagan's name 50 times."

"In his diaries, Reagan mentioned Gingrich only once. Reagan criticized Gingrich, saying Newt's ideas 'would cripple our defense program.' Reagan rejected Newt's ideas."

"On leadership and character, Gingrich is no Ronald Reagan."

The question: Is Mitt questioning Newt's claims and credentials going to be enough to overcome his own conservative shortcomings in the eyes of voters?

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Roseanne Barr is mourning the death of music legend Etta James in an odd way: by talking $hit about President Obama and Beyonce.

Basing a round of criticism on Obama asking Beyonce to cover the James classic "At Last" during a 2009 inauguration ball, Roseanne Tweeted yesterday: "I lost ALL respect for Obama when he dissed Etta James in favor of Beyonce," later adding:

"I have not listened to anything Beyonce or Jay z has said or recorded since they did that to Etta. Their arrogance was disgusting."

  • Roseanne Picture
  • Bey Bey

Roseanne, who actually just had a pilot picked up by NBC, then focused her rage on those who dare to support the new mother of Blue Ivy, writing: "Beyonce’s fans are really ignorant-she should not be proud of entertaining drooling mutants!"

Soon after Beyonce serenaded the Obamas with "At Last," James herself also called her and the President out - but both she and Roseanne appear to be missing a crucial point: James did not originally record the song, either. Her version was a cover of a cover.

[Photos: WENN.com]

by Free Britney at . Comments

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer received an earful from President Obama when she met him on an airport tarmac outside Phoenix yesterday - and responded in kind.

The Democratic chief executive and Republican governor could be seen engaged in an intense conversation right at the base of Air Force One's steps.

Both could be seen smiling, but speaking forecefully at the same time. At one point, Jan Brewer pointed a finger directly in Barack Obama's face. Why?

Asked later what the conversation was about, Brewer, who recently published Scorpions for Breakfast, said, "He was a little disturbed about my book."

Something of a memoir of her years growing up, Scorpions defends her signing of Arizona's controversial law cracking down on undocumented immigrants.

Obama, who opposes that law, was objecting to Brewer's description of a meeting they had at the White House in June 2010. Bad blood has boiled since.

Brewer described Obama as lecturing her like "a little kid in a classroom, if you will, and he was this wise professor ... I felt minimized to say the least."

The Governor also said that later that year, Obama blew her off when he was in town to deliver the commencement address at Arizona State University.

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by Free Britney at . Comments

Aside from the optimistic platitudes, soaring rhetoric and feel-good proposals, President Barack Obama's 2012 State of the Union address was overtly populist and unquestionably combative as he maps a path to a second term in 2013.

Obama’s speech included no shortage of appeals to unity, bipartisanship and overriding American purpose, and he articulated plenty of vague, popular-sounding policy goals, similarly to how Bill Clinton kicked off his 1996 campaign.

His central message, though, stressed a sharp and basic philosophical contrast with his ideological opponents, clearly forming the centerpiece of his reelection effort.

President Obama

While Obama prevailed in 2008 as a change agent - a more progressive implementer of American ideals than his GOP opponents, certainly, but still a post-partisan uniter - he appears to be taking a dramatically different tack in 2012.

Can this new, 2012 version of Obama recapture the same campaign magic, however? Will independent voters return to him over the Republican alternative?

With approval ratings in the mid-40s, he's clearly banking on it, since this seemed in many respects a speech designed to align him with the "99 percent."

You tell us: President Obama in 2012?

 

by Free Britney at . Comments

Jay Leno is facing more than criticism over his recent joke at Mitt Romney's expense. A Bakersfield, Calif., resident is suing him over the Sikh comedic bit.

The punchline of the joke was that Romney, the very wealthy businessman and GOP presidential candidate, spends his summers in a solid gold palace.

Jay pulled up a photo of India's Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple of Amritsar, an extremely sacred building in the eyes of the Sikh people.

There's been a lot of outrage among Sikhs, but one man, Dr. Randeep Dhillon took his religious fervor one step further, filing a libel lawsuit against Leno.

Dhillon claims Jay is responsible for encouraging hatred and ridicule of his religion and is suing for general and punitive damages. The rationale there?

According to Randeep, Leno's Mitt Romney joke "falsely portrays the holiest place in the religion instead as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh."

LOL. Not to encourage Randeep suing us as well, but come on dog.

by Free Britney at . Comments

In his last State of the Union address before the 2012 election, President Obama called upon Congress to work together to rebuild the coveted American Dream.

Our 44th President promised, in a memorable phrase, “no bail-outs, no hand-outs, no cop-outs” to financial institutions that helped derail the U.S. economy.

Obama spoke about “fair” tax reform with a thinly-veiled reference to phrases Republican presidential candidates have used against him repeatedly in debates.

“You can call this ‘class warfare’ all you want,” he said, calling it pure fairness. Without a doubt, the 2012 State of the Union address was a campaign speech:

He said Americans must get past personal ambition and partisan obsession to "focus on the mission at hand" and keep the dream alive by restoring the economy.

"No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important," he said.

"We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules."

"Do we want to keep tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want invest in everything else? If we're serious about paying down our debt, we can't do both."

Rebuttals came quickly and predictably from political opponents.

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by Free Britney at . Comments

Mitt Romney’s tax return was finally released today as his campaign bowed to political pressure and released hundreds of pages of tax documents. What did we learn?

That he's really rich and pays a really low rate on capital gains.

Basically, while the Republican presidential candidate's tax returns offers glimpses into his sprawling investments, both in the U.S. and abroad, they don't tell voters much we didn't already know or assume was true about the former Bain Capital CEO.

Mitt Romney Picture

Romney had an effective federal income tax rate in 2010 of 13.9 percent, paying about $3 million in taxes on an adjusted gross income of $21.6 million.

The vast majority came from stocks, mutual funds and other investments, typically taxed a rate of 15 percent - significantly lower than normal income.

Of course, this is the case because the money Romney invested was, theoretically, earned via his success and already taxed at higher rates once before.

Rather than making that defense, however, Romney has been evasive about his taxes for weeks, potentially reflected in Saturday's S.C. primary results.

Both rates are much lower than the rates paid by either President Obama or Newt Gingrich, Romney’s GOP rival who released his tax returns last week.

The President earned $1,728,096 in 2010 and paid $453,770 (26.3%) in taxes. Newt earned $3,142,066 that year and was taxed $994,708 (31.7%).

The figures certainly won't help Romney make the case that he understands and fights for the issues of ordinary Americans - not his strong suit as it is.

Nevertheless, he's better off being transparent going forward and trying to use his wealth as a positive, rather than a hindrance due to his own shiftiness.

That is, if he can answer anything without focus grouping it.

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