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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Eight-Ball: Will Romney's Tiny Iowa Win Stifle Rivals?

The National Memo
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012
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The Big Story
Mitt Romney eked out a minuscule 8-vote victory over Rick Santorum in Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses on Tuesday night, bringing down the curtain on an improbable first act in the campaign to pick a challenger to President Barack Obama for next fall.

"Game on," declared Santorum, jaw set, after easily outdistancing several other contenders to emerge as Romney's unvarnished conservative rival for the primaries yet ahead. Ron Paul finished a close third -- but Santorum's true test will come in next week's New Hampshire primary, where he must contend with Romney's organization, warchest, and Super PAC ads. READ MORE
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My Front Pages, By Joe Conason
Politicians and their flacks lie every day, but it is unusual for someone prominent to utter a totally indefensible falsehood like the whopper that just sprang from the mouth of Eric Cantor's press secretary on national television. While profiling the House Majority Whip, "60 Minutes" correspondent Leslie Stahl suggested that he might consider compromise because even Ronald Reagan had raised taxes several times. Cantor's flack then burst out in protest, saying he couldn't allow her remark "to stand." Stahl was right, of course, but the rude staffer is scarcely alone in promoting this super-sized lie about Reagan's tax purity -- and it would be worth discovering which of the Republican candidates likewise rejects this fundamental truth about their party and its idol. READ MORE
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Among the students at the CIA-approved "Special Warfare Center" are U.S. Army Green Berets, Navy SEALs and Marine Corps special operators. The school illustrates how special operations and intelligence forces have reached an easier coexistence, after early clashes where CIA officers accused the military operators of ineptly trying to run their own spy rings overseas, without State Department or CIA knowledge. READ MORE
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Featured Column: Gene Lyons
Let's start at the starting place. Rep. Ron Paul has no chance whatsoever of securing the Republican nomination, nor of being elected president under any imaginable circumstances. Ain't gonna happen. Even Newt Gingrich has basically said he'd vote for President Obama over Paul. Given that Newt would probably back Vladimir Putin over Obama -- robust foreign policy, after all -- that's definitely saying something. READ MORE
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Labor Battle
Indiana's Republican House leader on Tuesday promised to move swiftly to make his state the first in more than a decade to ban labor contracts that require employees to pay union fees. If Brian Bosma, Governor Mitch Daniels, and other right-to-work supporters are successful this time around, they would give national conservatives and business groups a major victory on an issue that has recently stymied them elsewhere. It also would deal another blow to organized labor, which has seen mixed results in its fight against initiatives to curb union rights nationwide, following Republican takeovers in statehouses across the country last year. READ MORE
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Video Of The Day
Having finished a disappointing fourth in the Iowa caucuses, Newt Gingrich essentially admitted that he is giving up hope because negative advertising by Mitt Romney and the front-runner's "millionaire friends" had destroyed his candidacy. But later Gingrich vowed to go after Mitt Romney "every day" for the next weeks, fighting the good conservative fight for himself (and Rick Santorum). READ MORE
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Cartoon of the Day
Danziger Cartoon
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