John King, USA

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February 15th, 2012
12:56 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– Rick Santorum has thus far added about $41,000.00 into the ad buying coffers of Michigan networks compared to Romney's $800,000+ ad buys. Meanwhile, Romney's negatives are going up significantly. Given the lack of parity in the ad wars and the relative hostility of Romney's ads and those of his Super PAC, the logical conclusion is that Romney's wounds are mostly self-inflicted.

– European Ministers are perturbed that Greece is not actually going to adhere to the bailout terms. The reality remains that the president's re-election is largely based on the economic performance in this country and it appears more and more each day that Angela Merkel and the Greeks will have more say in his re-election than either he or the GOP nominee will.

– House Republicans are having serious problems getting a highway bill through. Leadership decided it could largely ignore conservative concerns and bring along Democrats. It is not working out that way.

Jane Hamsher: Firedoglake.com Blogger/Founder Jane Hamsher:

1. Lt. Dan Choi Tent Delivery Party at Occupy Deleware, Saturday February 18 – 2pm

Payroll Tax Cut Negotiations: Unemployment Benefits Set to Drop from 99 to 79 or Less Weeks

Santorum and Romney Effectively Tied in Most National Polls

Editor’s Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.


Filed under: Bullet Points
February 14th, 2012
01:15 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:

Senior Editor of MarioWire.com Mario Solis-Marich:

– Best Rap Artists: The conservative mag National Review calls for Gingrich to give up his presidential bid, and they worry about his vengeful nature, but don’t offer why his divisive rhetoric is appealing to even some of their own writers.

– Best Hard Rock: Santorum is looking at the next group of GOP primaries and is smiling like a canary, Romney insiders are feeling like the cat.

– Best Solo Performance: Marco Rubio is picked by CPAC as their preferred Vice-Presidential nominee, which might help the eventual GOP ticket in Florida, but whose impact would be negligible elsewhere.

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– Seriously - if you want to know what conservatives are focused on this morning it is the Daily Caller's expose on Media Matters. It's got everything: guns, sex in the office, paranoia, and enemies lists.

– Conservatives are also fired up about the House GOP's highway bill. For three years now the GOP has lamented the accounting gimmicks used to claim Obamacare reduces the deficit. Now, they've resorted to the same to defend the highway bill.

– There's also a story starting to percolate out there that hasn't gotten as much attention as it needs. The New York Times over the weekend noted something that could use a larger spotlight. In this story about the safety net, the Binyamin Applebaum and Robert Gebeloff note, "The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject poverty, but the poorest households no longer receive a majority of government benefits. A secondary mission has gradually become primary: maintaining the middle class from childhood through retirement. The share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households, the bottom fifth, has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis published last year." In other words, we are taxing the middle class to subsidize the middle class. That's a broken system.

Editor's Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.


Filed under: 2012 • Bullet Points • JKUSA • John King
February 7th, 2012
01:05 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:

Senior Editor of MarioWire.com Mario Solis-Marich:

– Vogue-Strike a Pose: The House GOP leadership is scrambling to pass a job creating infrastructure bill so that they can take credit for the lower unemployment numbers that are expected by fall.

– Holiday: The GOP primary results are raising the question of whether Tea Party conservatives are abandoning Newt or if they are just taking a break from this election all together.

– Borderline: A bi-partisan group in California will begin gathering signatures this week to pass legislation that will allow undocumented workers to pay taxes and remain in the golden state; hundreds of millions of dollars could be added to their ever dry coffers.

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– Newsweek of all places has a timely cover story on the war on Christians, and it is not talking about Barack Obama's war, but rather that in the Muslim world. There is an ongoing genocide of Jews and Christians in the Muslim world where increasingly the radicals are taking power thanks to the Arab Spring.

– What is the partisan breakdown of the ABC News/Washington Post poll that showed Barack Obama beating Mitt Romney? Thus far I haven't been able to find it. Likewise, if I asked you a handful of questions about Joe Smith that framed him in a negative light, then asked if you'd vote for him, you'd probably say no. Romney's complaints about the latest ABC News poll do have some merit.

– Is the Tea Party embracing Mitt Romney? No, far from it. They are, however, beginning to accept the inevitability. That doesn't provide him with a base of strong support.

Editor's Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.


Filed under: Bullet Points
February 3rd, 2012
11:09 AM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– Nightmare scenario for the GOP: It nominates a candidate whose message is "I can fix the economy" at the moment unemployment suddenly seems to no longer be a hot button political issue.

– One underlying data point in some very good unemployment numbers is the number of people who have fallen out of the workforce. The unemployment rate fell not just because people are getting jobs, but because people are giving up. The actual unemployment rate is much higher. But the household survey has huge political implications that are good for the President.

– A real danger for the GOP is reflected in Ann Coulter's recent column supporting Romneycare. Conservatives who threw in with George W. Bush and some rather un-conservative policies have been blamed by tea party activists as much as the Democrats for the state of the union. There is a real danger in a heightened internal GOP schism.

Firedoglake.com Blogger/Founder Jane Hamsher:

Gallup Finds Job Creation Improving Slightly

Judge Gives Occupy Pittsburgh Three Days to Vacate

Four Weeks to Payroll Tax Cut/UI Expiration, and Little Movement on Extension

Editor's Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.


Filed under: Bullet Points
January 31st, 2012
05:03 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:

Senior Editor of MarioWire.com Mario Solis-Marich:

– Memories: Gingrich vows to keep going even in the event of a humiliating loss tonight and GOP insiders remember his history of scorched earth tactics.

– Real Time Assessments: Romney has decided that he is willing to defend his much aligned tax strategy, revealing that his campaign may be more out of touch than originally believed.

– Predictions: Colorado’s top power brokering Latinas are leading a gathering on March 2nd to put muscle behind a state bill that would allow undocumented students access to in-state tuition fees – and the smart money is behind them.

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– We know Mitt Romney will win tonight. Polls are too consistent. The margin of victory is the question. Right now, he is averaging ten to twelve points ahead. If less than that, we need to wonder about two things: (1) Did Newt and his super PAC spring up a ground game quickly? or (2) with 1/6 of Florida's vote coming in early and the bulk of that right after South Carolina, does a close race mean Newt did have momentum that impacted the outcome?

– Karen Handel lost to Nathan Deal in the 2010 Republican Gubernatorial Primary runoff. She was harshly attacked in the runoff as being a closeted abortion proponent despite being pro-life. After losing, she went to work for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which today announced it would stop funding Planned Parenthood. Coincidence?

– Conventional wisdom has finally caught up with me. On JKUSA a couple of weeks ago, I noted that evangelicals probably would move from Santorum to Romney, as polls suggested at the time – not to Gingrich. Today, a Marist poll shows that probably would happen. We're just now starting to see evangelicals reacting to the Gingrich marital issues highlighted by the ABC News report. Keep an eye on the Florida Panhandle tonight to see how Florida evangelicals break.

Editor's Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.


Filed under: Bullet Points
January 23rd, 2012
01:05 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:

Senior Editor of MarioWire.com Mario Solis-Marich:

– Multiple Gains: Newt moves ahead in the GOP nomination process and heads to Florida where he believes his Latino strategy will pay off. Adios Mitt?

– Return on Investment: After two years of saying that there is no such thing as a “shovel ready project,” GOP House members are using the term to describe the Keystone pipeline, so government policies can create jobs???

– Loss: “...my lonely days are over and life is like a song” – Etta James an American Artist

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– Romney outspends Newt $7M to $.0008M in FL just to watch his 15 pt lead implode overnight.

– The attacks on Newt will first focus on his taxes and a method he took to try to underpay into Medicare — a tactic the IRS frowns on. The Gingrich response will be that Romney may do the same, but we won't know unless we see his taxes.

– During the primaries, we've focused on what had been more or less a Romney ceiling until the voting started. Does the President have a ceiling too? He seems to be perpetually below 50% unable to shake out of it. Does he need a nominee to be compared to? Probably.

Editor's Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.


Filed under: Bullet Points
January 17th, 2012
03:46 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:

Senior Editor of MarioWire.com Mario Solis-Marich:

– Best Drama (series): Gov. Scott Walker is almost certainly going to face a recall election as Wisconsin Democrats and Independents have gathered almost 450,000 more signatures than needed to pull the embattled state leader.

– Best Independent: Political junkies are keying in on LA County where one of the most prestigious DA’s seat in the country can be had by prosecutor and political newcomer Democrat Mario Trujillo, which would make him one of the most powerful Latino elected officials in the country.

– Low Box Office: New polls show Obama and Romney neck and neck, indicating that when all is said, 2012 will be about which side can move unhappy base voters to the voting booths.

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– Lots of buzz about last night's debate in the Twitterverse. Gingrich seemed to play well in South Carolina, but no one really got Romney it seems. I didn't watch it. I'm saving up for the CNN Debate on Thursday.

– The media seems to think the GOP is caught by Barack Obama's plan to realign the Executive Branch. It seems the shaping narrative is that the GOP will not do anything to help Barack Obama. But realigning the Executive Branch helps the GOP and prevents the Democrats from really saying the GOP just wants to come in as a destroyer of worlds. The Executive Branch is not sacrosanct and Barack Obama just proved it.

– Newsweek really has fallen low, hasn't it?

Editor's Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.


Filed under: Bullet Points
January 16th, 2012
05:17 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:

Senior Editor of MarioWire.com Mario Solis-Marich:

– MLK: "Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."

– MLK: "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important."

– MLK: "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– Evangelical leaders in Texas threw their weight behind Rick Santorum, though the meeting was divided. Some of the evangelical leaders who were not at the meeting, but remain quite prominent, e.g. the LaHayes, have endorsed Gingrich.

– One nugget of how not to make a pitch — the Romney camp strongly implied the evangelical leaders opposed him because of anti-Mormon bigotry and not his record. That did not go over well.

– Meanwhile, as the economy improves, the GOP has to acknowledge its improvement and awkwardly try to claim it is improving in spite of the President. That's a tough sell for any opposition party.

Editor's Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.


Filed under: Bullet Points
January 6th, 2012
02:49 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– As a small government conservative, the most galling thing about where the GOP stands right now in its primary season is that the two front runners have both advanced the social welfare state. And, because there is so much antipathy toward Mitt Romney, well meaning conservatives are trying to pretend Rick Santorum is not a big government conservative when his record proves he is.

– The jobs numbers look good for Barack Obama superficially. But 50,000 of the December jobs were in transportation and warehousing, which suggests they were seasonal jobs not likely to be repeated. Likewise there are 194,000 more people not in the workforce compared to November - 55,000 less than last month. But, with population growth, there are 194,000 more people not in the labor force.

– I don't have a problem with President Obama deciding the Senate is in recess even if the Senate has decided it is not. Think of the awesome things the GOP will be able to do with this precedent once back in the White House. Can you say "Ann Coulter for Supreme Court"? Sure, she'd only be there until the end of a congressional session, but think of the fun conservatives could have in that short time with some very big cases.

Firedoglake.com Blogger/Founder Jane Hamsher:

Pentagon’s “Austerity Budget” Ignores Second-Round Trigger Cuts

Santorum Gets an Iowa Bump

#Occupy Oakland: OPD Planting Drugs on Occupiers?

Editor's Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.


Filed under: Bullet Points
January 5th, 2012
01:54 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:

Senior Editor of MarioWire.com Mario Solis-Marich:

– And the winner is: The deep red states have their candidate in Rick Santorum! Red state Rick!

– The biggest loser: A scandal surrounding Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin is sure to cause a major distraction for the embattled governor as he faces a recall.

– It’s a tie: ICE admits it deported another U.S. citizen which emphasizes a Latino voter dilemma – is it worse to vote for somebody who says they will deport everyone or to vote for someone who actually does?

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– Newt Gingrich has released a new ad hitting Mitt Romney. It sets the perfect tone for Gingrich. It does not savage Mitt Romney, but hits him hard on the weakness he has with the base — timidity.

– Rick Perry isn't out, but can he make it? I would suggest he is going to have to clean house and do a very public reboot to show South Carolina he gets it and is serious. Even then he'll have to depend a bit on Santorum not being able to withstand media scrutiny and Gingrich/Romney going Gephardt/Dean.

– Speaking of Santorum, he was on John King USA last night and defended earmarks with a "Jim DeMint did it too" strategy. The campaign seems to think that South Carolina disagrees with DeMint, largely because of the South Carolina Ports situation. DeMint may be willing to test the theory with a public rebuke, at which point I'm guessing Santorum will realize he is wrong.

Editor's Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.


Filed under: Bullet Points
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