“I would define Newt’s head space as: ‘Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.’”—David Lane • A conservative leader close to Gingrich. This quote is actually from before the primary, and Lane’s prediction was born out in Gingrich’s speech tonight, wherein the former Speaker pledged to plow forward despite having lost Florida tonight. The article’s author, Alexander Burns, adds that “Gingrich has made a career out of upending conventional wisdom and ignoring the establishment view that he should go to the corner and shut up.” A long, protracted primary probably won’t be any help to the eventual nominee, but it’ll sure be fun for political nerds like us. source (via • follow)
“This country is bankrupt; all great nations go down because they extend themselves overseas. …let’s defend this country, and stop pretending we can tell other people how to live!”—Ron Paul, calling for less foreign military involvement, and a rededication to strict, domestic military defense.
“This is going to be a working Presidency. I may not get as much golf in as Obama, but I’ll get a lot more job creation. And I’m not going to compete with Obama at singing… Mr. President, you cannot sing your way past the disaster of your Presidency! You know, I forgot my teleprompter. I’m having to wing this because of staff failure.”—Newt Gingrich, firing off back-to-back-to-back jibes aimed at President Obama.
“We are going to contest every place, and we are going to win, and we will be in Tampa as the nominee in August.”—Newt Gingrich, in his Florida rally speech. These are words that will likely give some heartburn to every establishment GOP strategist and political analyst — the motto on his signage tonight? “46 States To Go.”
“I just thank everybody for their prayers … thank God I was home.”—Rick Santorum • Speaking in his interview with CNN about his daughter Bella, who fell ill over the weekend. He says that Bella will be out of the hospital soon. Santorum’s hanging out in Nevada tonight, feeling he didn’t really have a shot in Florida.
It’s January 31st and it’s over. Mitt Romney has blown away the field in the Florida primary and is now the de facto Republican 2012 nominee for president.
So what does everyone do? Huge armies of “embeds” and reporters and producers and “analysts” and bloggers and talking heads have been amassed to cover the campaign. They work at cable television networks, broadcast networks, web-sites, magazines, newspapers and radio stations. And they have been spending money faster than all those dreary people in accounting can count it.
A win this epic in Florida is hard to contest. Had Gingrich done better tonight it would’ve been a bit of a dogfight.
Florida exit polls show evangelicals rare bright spot for Gingrich
36%Mitt Romney’s level of support from evangelical voters in today’s Florida GOP primary, exit polls show
40%Newt Gingrich’s level of support — better a cheater than a Mormon for Florida’s evangelicals? source
» Pardon us if that seems reductive, but how evangelical voters relate to Mitt Romney’s faith, and Newt Gingrich’s lack of faithfulness, has been a critical question in the GOP nominating process. In a barrage of exit polling coming out of Florida tonight, this seems to be one of the few positives Gingrich can take away; while not a staggering advantage by any stretch, his personal baggage risks making him deeply unpalatable to a moralistic, Christian electorate. In the short-term, however, it seems he’s staying afloat with those voters, at least enough to keep Romney at his back.
2 of 3Florida voters call debates a big factor source
» The early exit polling tells the tale, and it’s an especially concerning one for Newt Gingrich. The GOP debates held in Florida, particularly the most recent one, were widely thought have been won by Mitt Romney. Gingrich himself never had a worse debate than that, just prior to Florida voters having to make up their minds. That Gingrich is likely to lose tonight is no shocker — heading into today he was polling behind by double-digits. However, considering it was his sharp, aggressive debate demeanor that propelled him to victory in South Carolina, to now be losing that medium to Mitt Romney has to sting, and is an essential issue for his campaign going forward.
Newt Gingrich’s anti-Romney, controversial robocallhas sparked quite an uproar on Twitter today. Gingrich has offered little comment on the matter so far, beyond saying he has “no idea” that it was being used.
Petition demands humane work practices in production of Apple products
35,000sign petition for an “ethical” iPhone source
» And that’s just the first 24 hours: Apple’s production chain in China has gotten a ton of ink lately, exposing the dire workplace conditions and inhumane treatment that are present in the production of the iPhone (author’s note: in the interests of full disclosure, I’m an iPhone user, and am thus as guilty of neglecting these implications as anyone). In response, a petition has been circulating urging Apple to install hard and fast regulations for how their manufacturing workers are treated in advance of the release of the iPhone 5. Says the petition: “Can Apple do this? Absolutely. According to an anonymous Apple executive quoted in The New York Times, all Apple has to do is demand it, and it’ll happen.”
“Fred Goodwin was the dominant decision-maker at RBS at the time. In reaching this decision, it was recognised that widespread concern about Fred Goodwin’s decisions meant that the retention of a knighthood for ‘services to banking’ could not be sustained.”—A British Cabinet Office spokesman â¢ Remarking on the decision to strip Fred Goodwin, the former chief of the Royal Bank of Scotland, of the knighthood he received in 2004. Goodwin presided over RBS during its acquisition of the Dutch bank ABN Amro in 2007, during the height of the financial and banking sector crisis; a risky move that failed utterly. The British taxpayer was forced to fund a bailout of RBN thanks to Goodwin’s aggressive acquisition, to the tune of 45 billion pounds. Said Labour Party leader Ed Milliband: “…I think it is only the start of the change we need in our boardrooms. We need to change the bonus culture and we need real responsibility right across the board.” source (via • follow)
“With fragmentation, core al-Qaeda will likely be of largely symbolic importance to the movement. Regional groups, and to a lesser extent small cells and individuals, will drive the global jihad agenda both within the United States and abroad.”—Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper • Suggesting that the days of al-Qaeda being a relevant centralized group are over, while emphasizing their long-term relevance. Clapper also had some tough words about Iran worth heeding: Citing an attack on a Saudi ambassador to the U.S. last year, he says that “some Iranian officials — probably including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime.” He’s suggesting that Iran’s not afraid of attacking inside the U.S. That’s a big deal, guys.
Facebook’s “Subscribe” feature — which has taken hold like wildfire amongst journalists — has a really big problem, and it’s one not unique to Facebook. To put it simply, it’s so easy to subscribe to someone on Facebook that people have no interest in following some of these journalists other than getting in the comments and posting a spammy link, or possibly some random gibberish. Jim Romenesko’s been complaining publicly about the problem for a week, and he just got a major journalist to agree with him — the NYT’s Brian Stelter, one of the most well-known journalists on the Web. We personally haven’t focused on Facebook subscribers, but this situation sounds suspiciously like what we’re seeing with Google+: Huge numbers of followers but little to no engagement, and some spam to top it all off. Using Facebook Subscribe? Are you seeing this problem?
“The Western draft Security Council resolution on Syria does not lead to a search for compromise. Pushing this resolution is a path to civil war.”—Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov • Criticizing a draft United Nations resolution which would ask Bashar al-Assad to step aside in Syria. Gatilov suggests the resolution would lead to military conflict in Syria — much like a similar resolution did in Libya. Russia, Syria’s largest ally in the current climate, has been the sticking point for the United Nations in handling the situation in Syria: Previously, they vetoed a UN Security Council attempt to condemn the crackdown in October, and they’ll likely veto the latest resolution. source (via • follow)
Colbert's Super PAC raises over $1 million, and includes this lovely letter:
Dear Sirs and Sirettes,
Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow (ABTT) would like it entered into the record that as of January 30th, 2012, the sum total of our donations was $1,023,121.24.
Stephen Colbert, President of ABTT, has asked that I quote him as saying, ”Yeah! How you like me now, F.E.C? I’m rolling seven digits deep! I got 99 problems but a non-connected independent-expenditure only committee ain’t one!”
I would like it noted for the record that I advised Mr. Colbert against including that quote.
Shauna Polk Treasurer Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Inc.
With some still missing, authorities call off search in Costa Concordia wreck
17bodies recovered from the deadly Costa Concordia wreck near Italy earlier this month
15people are still missing; authorities have notified next-of-kin that they’ve called off the search source
» What’s the punishment? Costa Crociere, the Italian unit of Carnival Cruise Lines, will pay €11,000 ($14,500) for each person on the ship, and will still face civil suits from individual passengers affected by the January 13 incident. The lawyer who helped overturn the murder conviction of Raffaele Sollecito (Amanda Knox’s boyfriend), plans to file a criminal complaint on behalf of the people affected by the crash. Meanwhile, Francesco Schettino, the captain who allegedly caused the wreck and abandoned the ship, remains under house arrest.
“I meant what I said: if you send me your husband’s resume, I’d be interested in finding out exactly what’s happening right there.”—President Barack Obama • Speaking to a “caller” during his Google+ Hangout today. When Jennifer Wedel mentioned her husband’s lack of employment (he’s a semiconductor engineer), Obama took note. She said that, according to industry reports, her husband “should be able to find something right away.” Five people got to “Hangout” with Obama on Monday, and were offered the chance to ask the president questions about his recent State of the Union address, while other questions were pulled from YouTube videos selected by viewers and Google staff. This social experiment went well considering what new technology was being used. Did you watch? What did you think? source (via • follow)
Dentist heading to jail over botched paper clip root canal
cause In 2005, Massachusetts dentist Dr. Michael Clair performed a root canal. He used sections of a paper clip during the procedure in order to save money, something he had done on multiple occasions. This was not a good idea — it made the patient’s tooth turn black, and the tooth had to be removed.
effect As a result of this, along with allegations of illegal prescriptions and intimidating witnesses, Clair received a one-year jail sentence Monday. Prosecutors asked for more jail time, but Clair received a shorter sentence due to a lack of criminal record and “certain mental health issues.” source
How old does Google think you are? Because, um, they might be wrong
Google thinks I’m a senior citizen. Based on the websites you visit and the stuff you search for, Google infers your interests, age and gender, in order to show you more relavent ads (digression: It does this, in part, by having partner websites place a cookie on your computer; more on that here). Anyway, head on over to Google’s Ad Preferences page, and you can see what Google has inferred about you. It’s often less than accurate; for example, Google believes that I am a male above the age of 65. They got the gender right, but overshot my age by roughly 40 years (I guess I have drastically out-of-date tastes). With Google’s recent decision to allow all of its services to share users’ info with one another, it’d be nice if they had some idea of who we actually are. Or perhaps it’s better to remain shrouded in mystery? — Seth @ SFB
Indiana Democrat foils attempt to mandate drug testing of welfare recipients
the planIndiana Republican Jud McMillin (yes, just one “d”) introduced a bill in the Indiana General Assembly that would have required random drug testing of welfare recipients.
the sabotageDemocratic legislator Ryan Dvorak added an amendment to also require drug testing for elected officials in the state. McMillin withdrew the bill. source
» The nitty-gritty: ”If we’re going to impose standards on drug testing,” Dvorak said, “then it should apply to everybody who receives government money.” McMillin claimed that he had to withdraw the bill after Dvorak’s amendment was added, due to a 1997 Supreme Court ruling that it’s unconstitutional to drug test candidates for elected office…but that logic is flawed, as the Dvorak Amendment would have only required testing of officials already in office, not candidates. Surprisingly, McMillin said he plans to introduce a new version of the bill….that requires lawmaker testing as well. “Give me the cup right now and I will be happy to take the test,” McMillin said. (EDIT: corrected spelling error)