Another Standing O For Newt As He Nukes CNN’s John King Over Open Marriage Question at SC GOP Debate

Holy Moly. Sarah Palin was right. This afternoon on the Sean Hannity radio show, she said the MSM had “overplayed their hand” and  predicted that Gingrich was “gonna soar even more” as Republican voters, increasingly wise to the MSM’s unfair double standards,  rally to his side over ABC’s decision to air the interview with his ex-wife Marianne, tonight.

When John King started off the CNN debate with a question to Gingrich about the salacious, bombshell interview,  he cut loose. And the audience was with him every step of the way:

Video via Buzzfeed.

Listening to John King and the CNN panel which includes Ari Fleischer, Gloria Borger, Erick Erickson David Gergen, and Donna Brazile after the debate. They all seemed to agree that the question had to be asked – it was hanging in the air, and King said he didn’t want to sneak it in somewhere in the middle of the debate.  He made the decision to just clear the air at the outset which seems fair to me if you agree with the premise that the question was fair game for a debate. I’m not sure that I agree that it was an appropriate question for a debate. In 2007 and 2008 did anyone bother to ask Obama about his past drug use at a debate? How about the notorious Rashid Khalidi farewell dinner attended by Obama that was rumored to be an anti-Semitic hate fest. There was quite a bit of  buzz about the LA times sitting on a tape of that dinner – and maybe it would have cleared the air a little if someone had asked Obama about it. Did they bring up Obama’s membership in  the Socialist “New Party” back in in Illinois?

To his credit, George Stephanopolus did ask Obama about his relationships with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. Of course, by April 2008, Obama had carefully rehearsed answers to those questions.

Fast and Furious: Issa Issues Subpoena for AZ U.S. Attorney, Patrick J. Cunningham

AWR Hawkins, Big Government reports:

I just received an email from Congressman Darrel Issa’s office, containing a copy of a letter that was just sent Patrick J. Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona. The letter announces that Cunningham has just been subpoenaed for “repeated refusals to testify voluntarily” before the House Oversight Committee, concerning accusations that he relayed inaccurate and misleading information to the Justice Department in preparation for its initial response to Congress.

Go to Big Government to see the copy of the letter. Cunningham is required to appear before the House Oversight Committee on January 24.

Eric Holder is set to testify on Feb 4:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa today announced that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been scheduled to testify on February 2 about the Department of Justice’s knowledge of, and response to, gunwalking that occurred in Operation Fast and Furious. The Attorney General will be asked to address management deficiencies within the Department that occurred both during and after the conclusion of Operation Fast and Furious. This will include the Department’s steadfast refusal to disclose information following the February 4, 2011 letter to Senator Grassley, which the Department has withdrawn because it contained false information denying allegations made by whistleblowers about Operation Fast and Furious. The committee’s investigation has found documentation that numerous members of the Justice Department knew the letter to Congress contained false information both before it was sent and later withdrawn.

“The Department of Justice’s conduct in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious has been nothing short of shameful,” said Chairman Issa. “From its initial denials that nothing improper occurred, to efforts to silence whistleblowers who wanted to tell Congress what really happened, to its continuing refusal to discuss or share documents related to this cover-up, the Justice Department has fought tooth and nail to hide the full truth about what occurred and what senior officials knew. Attorney General Holder must explain or reverse course on decisions that appear to put the careers of political appointees ahead of the need for accountability and the Department’s integrity.”


John Hinderaker: Holder’s United Front on Fast and Furious Crumbles:

In an ominous development for the Obama administration, Patrick Cunningham, chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, has told the House Oversight Committee that he will assert his privilege against self-incrimination rather than testify before the committee next week.


… it would seem to be a bright line rule that any time a high-ranking official of the Department of Justice pleads the Fifth, a major scandal is under way.

But is some kind of fix in?

Sipsey Street Irregulars: FINALLY. Fifth Amendment Time in the Gunwalker Scandal. FOX breaks the story I knew was coming yesterday: “Federal official in Arizona to plead the fifth and not answer questions on ‘furious’” But, is the fix in? Issa staff reported to have witheld information from Grassley. “The roach motel of press inquiries.”

It is complex because this event comes at what may be a critical juncture in the investigation which some are interpreting as a reluctance on the part of the Issa committee to fully explore the many leads they have already developed because of their political sensitivity.

“I won’t say that the fix is in, but the Committee seems to be buying into the ‘Made-in-Phoenix’ line pushed by the White House,” said one source with inside knowledge of the investigator’s work. This seems to be reflected in the subpoena letter from Issa to Cunningham. From the Politico story linked above:

“Senior Justice Department officials have recently told the Committee that you relayed inaccurate and misleading information to the Department in preparation for its initial response to Congress,” wrote Issa. “These officials told us that even after Congress began investigating Fast and Furious, you continued to insist that no unacceptable tactics were used.”

The White House is happy for Issa to go after Cunningham for this is consistent with their denial that the White House had anything to do with gunwalking. Indeed, from the evidence above it would seem that the White House has determined Cunningham to be one of the designated sacrificial goats to that end.

Bob Owens:

Sure. Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler, Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich, ATF Director Kenneth E. Melson, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota/Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee/Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones, top federal prosecutors in the southwest and White House staffers were all aware of Operation Fast and Furious. So let’s blame it all on the one guy in Arizona.

Stay tuned…

Linked by Points and Figures, thanks!

Perry To Drop Out and Endorse Newt, Today, Sources Say – Update: Final Results Show Santorum With Most Votes In Iowa

I really wish he would endorse Rick “Squeaky Clean” Santorum instead of Newt “Massive Baggage” Gingrich, iykwimaityd.

The Politico is reporting:

Rick Perry is expected to drop out later this morning at an 11 a.m. press conference, two sources confirmed to POLITICO. He’s also expected to endorse Newt Gingrich, the sources confirmed.

The news of Perry’s withdrawal from the race was first reported by CNN.

It gives the surging Gingrich a huge boost heading into the final debate tonight, and the South Carolina primary on Saturday, in which he’s already closing in on Mitt Romney.

I was never able to get excited about Perry, but he was a happy warrior, and perhaps one of the strongest candidates on paper. My problem with him was always – do we really want to nominate another inarticulate, “good old boy” compassionate conservative from Texas? I think most voters just didn’t see the appeal, there.


Final Iowa tally gives Santorum edge over Romney

Santorum  appears to have won Iowa, but because of missing votes, no winner has actually been declared.

Rick Santorum edged front-runner Mitt Romney by 34 votes in a surprise flip to the final results of the Iowa caucuses, Republican officials said Thursday, but no winner was declared because some votes remain missing in the event’s closest finish ever.

Romney had initially been considered the winner — by just 8 votes — of the first contest in the GOP presidential nomination contest.

Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn announced the certified totals for the Jan. 3 caucuses at a news conference, but didn’t name an official winner because some votes can’t be counted. Results from 8 of the state’s 1,774 precincts are missing.


The Other McCain: Fear & Loathing: Breakfast of Champions UPDATE: Rick Santorum Wins Iowa; Perry Will Quit and Endorse Gingrich


Poor sports who have nothing helpful to say:

I hope the Iowa GOP at least sends Santorum a nice sweater-vest that says, “I’m Rick Santorum and I won the 2012 GOP Iowa Caucus”.

Why do we let them go first again?