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    ‘Newt Gingrich’


    Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

    The SAT and ACT impose new registration rules after cheating scandals; JetBlue blames a captain’s meltdown on a “medical situation;” a newly released Human Rights Watch report covers the “moral” crimes Afghan women have been accused of; The New York Times reports on lower amounts of voter registrations in Florida after restrictions; also, the Wisconsin state Supreme Court receives challenges to the state’s voter ID law; Newt Gingrich cuts down on staffing; and George H.W. Bush endorses Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, Dr. Seuss’s home is vandalized; and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke calls himself “a nerd.”

    Kelly + Caitlin


    SAT and ACT to Tighten Rules After Cheating Scandal, http://nyti.ms/H0qQzj
    The SAT and ACT exams will now require students nationwide to provide their photograph when registering for tests. On the day of the test, students’ IDs will be checked against their photographs in order to make sure no one is taking the test for them. These new rules were laid out after dozens of Long Island high school students engaged in a cheating scandal, where high-scoring students used fake IDs to take the SAT or ACT for other students. Fifty students may have been involved in the cheating ring. The SAT and ACT will also eliminate “standby test registration,” where students can register the same day as the exam. The new ID rule will take effect this Fall.

    Passengers recount fears during captain breakdown, http://bit.ly/HeAHS3
    During an early morning flight from New York to Las Vegas, JetBlue captain Clayton Osbon had a nervous breakdown, alarming passengers and his co-pilots. Coming out of the cockpit and running down the plane’s aisles screaming about a bomb, passengers of the plan eventually tackled and restrained him while the co-pilots landed the plane in Amarillo, Texas. JetBlue airlines have called the incident a “medical situation” and insist that Osbon’s record never indicated flight risk.

    Afghanistan’s War on Women Detailed in New Human Rights Watch Report, http://bit.ly/GSJd7l
    A new Human Rights Watch report released today cites a troubling lack of justice for women in Afghanistan. The report detailed 60 cases of women and girls in prison for “moral crimes,” which include premarital sex, running away from forced marriages, and fleeing abusive husbands and homes. Of 42 married women interviewed, 22 were arrested as a direct result of running away from abusive husbands or extended family members. In follow-up interviews with their prosecutors, only one man had been arrested for the abuse.

    (via New York Times) Florida’s New Election Law Blunts Voter Drives: Florida, expected to be a vital swing state once again, is enrolling fewer new voters than it did four years ago as prominent civic organizations have suspended registration drives because of what they describe as onerous restrictions imposed last year by Republican state officials. The state’s new elections law requires groups that register voters to turn in completed forms within 48 hours or risk fines, among other things. Rock the Vote, a national organization that encourages young people to vote, began an effort last week to register high school students around the nation — but not in Florida, over fears that teachers could face fines. In the months since its new law took effect in July, 81,471 fewer Floridians have registered to vote than during the same period before the 2008 presidential election, according to an analysis of registration data by The New York Times. All told, there are 11.3 million voters registered in the state. The law in Florida also reduces the number of early voting days in the state. Last Friday, on the anniversary of the passage of the 26th Amendment, which gave 18-year-olds the right to vote, Rock the Vote opened its national program to educate and register high school students, though not in Florida. “It’s a real shame,” said Heather Smith, the president of Rock the Vote, which joined the lawsuit. “We just cannot put those high school teachers at risk,” http://nyti.ms/GWG8Sq

    (via WISN.com) Voter ID Lawsuits Sent To State Supreme Court: Appeals courts sent two lawsuits challenging Wisconsin’s blocked new voter ID law directly to the state Supreme Court on Wednesday, determining it was imperative to resolve the cases quickly given the slate of important upcoming elections, including the state’s presidential primaries next week. If the Supreme Court agrees to take the cases, it could reinstate the state’s new requirement that voters show photo identification at the polls just days before Tuesday’s election. However, attorneys challenging the law said it is unlikely a decision would come that quickly.The voter ID requirement was in effect for the February primary election and few problems were reported in the low-turnout election. But the judges’ orders blocked it for Tuesday’s spring election in which 35 percent turnout is predicted in the Republican presidential primary, http://bit.ly/Hga0tz

    Newt Gingrich cuts staff, aims for Tampa, http://politi.co/GVdRPN
    Newt Gingrich has cut about a third of his staff and has significantly reduced his campaign schedule for a “big-choice convention” strategy. Most of the layoffs affect junior and advance staff, with advance staff being contracted out from Gordon James Public Relations. Political strategists are surprised to see that Gingrich has not withdrawn from the race completely after a series of primary losses. Gingrich remains in a marginal third place and his campaign-finance report for February has shown that there is more debt than available cash-on-hand. The biggest change-up is the resignation of campaign coordinator Michael Krull and his replacement by Vince Haley, a deputy campaign manager and policy director.

    (via Huffington post) George H.W. Bush To Formally Endorse Mitt Romney: Former President George H.W. Bush plans to endorse Mitt Romney at an event Thursday in Houston. Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho says the two will appear together and speak to reporters. Formal backing from the 41st president is another sign that the Republican Party is uniting behind Romney as pressure builds on challengers Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to leave the race. The elder Bush has offered encouraging words to Romney throughout the primary season but had withheld a formal endorsement. Former first lady Barbara Bush has formally backed Romney. She recorded automated telephone calls for him during the primary in Ohio. Their son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, endorsed Romney last week, http://huff.to/HeC7aZ


    Fox pulls movie ads due to Trayvon Martin case, http://reut.rs/HcxmDZ

    Mega Millions soars to half a billion, http://nydn.us/HdmCq5

    Ben Bernanke: ‘I Am Very Proud Of My Nerd-Dom,’ http://huff.to/HnapMS

    Kris Humphries Divorce: Basketball Star Wants $8 Million From Kim Kardashian, http://huff.to/GWqdcr

    ‘Modern Family’ Cast Seeks Huge Raises As Contract Renegotiation Begins, http://bit.ly/HdwY88

    Magic Johnson-led group is picked as Dodgers’ next owner, http://lat.ms/GWMRAQ

    Lorax Statue Stolen From Dr. Seuss’ Garden, Family Hopes For Its Return, http://n.pr/HfntV6

    Justin Bieber’s Tweet Ties Up Great Grandma’s Phone, http://bit.ly/HeUJgs

    Kelly Holleran

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com


    Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrives in Afghanistan; Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith submits his resignation in a scathing op-ed; Rick Santorum wins Mississippi and Alabama; and Yahoo is suing Facebook. Meanwhile, President Obama reveals his March Madness picks; the world’s tallest man has stopped growing at 8 feet 3 inches; and Clint Eastwood experiments with reality TV.

    Kelly + Caitlin


    Goldman exec quits with scathing public rebuke of the firm, http://usat.ly/xAXfml
    Former Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith left the company in a very public fashion today. Smith wrote a critical essay published in The New York Times, explaining that his company has lost its “moral fiber” and that clients were referred to as “muppets.” In addition to his criticisms, Smith revealed details on Goldman’s unfriendly business practices towards clients. Smith used to be the head of Goldman’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Goldman has publicly disagreed with Smith’s op-ed and has not indicated whether it knew about the essay before it was published.

    Panetta arrives in Afghanistan, pledges no change in strategy, http://wapo.st/z1F9h0
    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, during his third trip to Afghanistan, said in a hearing that the U.S. would not be changing its occupation plans in Afghanistan despite rising tensions between the two countries. In preparation for Panetta’s visit, Marine commander Maj. Gen. Mark Gurganus told his 200 Marines at Camp Leatherneck to set their rifles outside of Panetta’s hearing in order not to offend America’s Afghan partners. At the hearing, Panetta explained: “Each of these incidents is deeply troubling, and we have to learn lessons from each of these incidents.” He added that the incidents are not reflective of the “overwhelming majority of ISAF troops and Afghan troops who are doing the job of protecting the country and doing it in outstanding fashion.”

    (via The Washington Post) Santorum wins in Mississippi, Alabama, but Romney’s lead in delegates grows by 6: Despite narrow primary wins in Alabama and Mississippi, Rick Santorum (Pa.) has fallen further behind in the delegate count to front-runner Mitt Romney, who won caucuses in Hawaii and American Samoa and captured about 30 percent of the vote in the two Southern states. Because delegates are awarded proportionally in both Alabama and Mississippi, Romney won 23 delegates in those two states, compared to 31 for Santorum and 24 for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Georgia). But Romney captured 14 more delegates than Santorum in Hawaii and American Samoa, AP said, for a net gain of six delegates.That allocation gives Romney 494 delegates, nearly twice as many as Santorum’s 251, http://wapo.st/y5NN4Y

    Yahoo sues Facebook for infringing 10 patents, http://reut.rs/wSDUft
    Yahoo has filed a federal suit against Facebook this week, citing violations of over 10 patents mostly concerning methods for online advertising. The suit represents one of the biggest social media lawsuits to-date. Most patent lawsuits lately have been among players such as Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Motorola over smartphones and tablets. Yahoo’s legal action follows Facebook recent announcement that it will go public for $100 billion.


    World’s tallest man finally stops growing at 8 feet 3 inches, http://on.msnbc.com/yneSid

    Obama’s Final Four picks have a swing-state feel, http://lat.ms/ywOXk9

    David Axelrod backs off Bill Maher appearance, http://thedc.com/yhaHtK

    Clint Eastwood succumbs to reality television, http://thedc.com/zU8o4m

    Obama Film Premieres Thursday, http://politi.co/Ap6dSM

    Kelly Holleran

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com


    Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

    Mitt Romney comes out victorious on Super Tuesday, but Republican commentators are still conflicted; voter ID laws are tested; the United Nations is sending humanitarian chief Valerie Amos to negotiate aid with Syria; and five Anonymous hackers have been charged with cyber assault. Meanwhile, Apple will unveil the new iPad today; celebrity chefs are caught up in court; and Peyton Manning will leave The Colts.

    Kelly + Caitlin


    Mitt Romney Wins 6 of 10 States on Super Tuesday, http://bit.ly/zPVeTx
    Alaska and Ohio, the final Super Tuesday states to report their numbers, were called this morning in favor of Mitt Romney. Romney now has won six out of ten states. Rick Santorum snagged three states: Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Dakota. Newt Gingrich won in his home state of Georgia. With Romney winning Alaska, Ohio, Idaho, Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia, he has now won significantly more delegates than any other candidate. While Romney holds a nice lead, making it difficult for other candidates to catch up to him, he still did not win enough delegates to end the primary fight. Strategists are now pointing out Romney’s trouble in the South and mid-America.  The primary may continue for another month. Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri and Louisiana still need to vote.

    Syria crisis: UN humanitarian chief arrives in Damascus, http://bbc.in/ykAnIY
    United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has arrived in Syria in order convince the government to allow aid to reach damaged cities. According to the Syria officials, the International Committee of the Red Cross has not been allowed to enter Baba Amr due to security concerns. More envoys, including the United Nations Arab League, will also try to enter Syria this week. More than 7,500 people have died during the violence that has erupted in Syria over the past year.

    5 alleged members of Anonymous hacking group charged, http://wapo.st/w9TKaT
    Five members associated with the infamous cyber hacking firm Anonymous have been charged in connection with a string of cyber-assaults on U.S. companies and government web sites. A member of the Anonymous network was “turned” by the FBI and has revealed confidential information on the five members’ activities.  In one of the most recent assaults, involved hackers obtained emails from Stratfor and sent them to Wikileaks.

    Dover mortuary pressed to avoid dumping of 9/11 remains at landfill, official says, http://wapo.st/wNaWKy
    Officials at the U.S. Dover Air Force Base wanted to have the cremated remains of unidentified 9/11 victims buried at sea. But military officials  dumped the ashes in landfills instead. Official William Zwicharowski, in an in-depth interview, regrets not pushing to have the remains placed elsewhere. Lawmakers, victims’ families, and most military officials believed that the unidentified 9/11 remains had been cremated and buried  at Arlington National Cemetery.

    HuffPo Report: “Voter ID Laws May Still Be Discriminatory Despite High Voter Turnout In Super Tuesday Primaries,” http://huff.to/A1jQoE

    (via Wisconsin State Journal) Judge grants temporary injunction barring enforcement of voter ID law in April election: A Dane County judge on Tuesday barred the enforcement of the state photo ID law at polling places during the general election on April 3, calling it an “extremely broad and largely needless” impairment of the right to vote. Circuit Judge David Flanagan said the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP and Voces de la Frontera had demonstrated that their lawsuit against Gov. Scott Walker and the state Government Accountability Board would probably succeed on its merits and had demonstrated the likelihood of irreparable harm if the photo ID law is allowed to stand. Flanagan granted a temporary injunction ordering Walker and the GAB to “cease immediately any effort to enforce or implement the photo identification requirements” of the law, pending a trial on a permanent injunction scheduled before him on April 16, http://bit.ly/x312KP

    (via Hot Air) WW2 vet fails voter ID test in Ohio: A Portage County World War II veteran was turned away because his driver’s license had expired in January and his new Veterans Affairs ID did not include his home address. “My beef is that I had to pay a driver to take me up there because I don’t walk so well and have to use this cane and now I can’t even vote,” said Paul Carroll, 86, who has lived in Aurora nearly 40 years, running his own business, Carroll Tire, until 1975. “I had to stop driving, but I got the photo ID from the Veterans Affairs instead, just a month or so ago. You would think that would count for something. I went to war for this country, but now I can’t vote in this country,” http://bit.ly/yuOGVv

    Apple Expected To Unveil New iPad, http://n.pr/AulOtX
    Apple will unveil the new iPad this afternoon in San Francisco. Apple has kept the details mum, only showing a picture of an iPad and saying “We have something you really have to see. And touch.” Tech experts suspect the new iPad will have a very sharp resolution screen and faster network speeds. Other rumors cite that Apple also may announce their exploration into TV. Since the iPad’s 2010 debut, Apple has sold 55 million iPads.


    Paula Deen’s Attorneys: Sexual Harassment Charges Are Baseless, Inflammatory, http://huff.to/xyGdbf

    Mario Batali Settles Tip Lawsuit For $5.25 Million, http://huff.to/zRxKFD

    Uma Thurman Expecting A Baby Girl, http://huff.to/wACHmX

    Source: Colts to release Peyton Manning, http://es.pn/AnikFn

    Justin Bieber’s mom to write a memoir, http://thedc.com/x9l1oW

    He’s back! You may not like it, but Maria Shriver is giving Ahhnold a second chance, http://trib.in/znNNs8

    Kelly Holleran

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    NEWS ROUND-UP: MONDAY, March 5, 2012

    Monday, March 5th, 2012

    President Obama will hold his first 2012 press conference on Super Tuesday; the POTUS will also meet today with Israel’s Prime Minister to talk about Iran; Attorney General Eric Holder discusses the justification of killing American terrorists; San Francisco has been rattled by a 4.0 earthquake early this morning; and Romney and Santorum wage interesting battles in Ohio and Tennessee. Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian will donate twice the amount of her wedding gifts to charity; Ashton Kutcher assists a local police force; and Vanessa and Nick Lachey are expecting a baby.

    Kelly + Caitlin


    (via Fox News) Obama to hold press conference on Super Tuesday: President Barack Obama will hold his first news conference of the year Tuesday, the same day his Republican rivals face off in 10 voting contests. White House spokesman Jay Carney announced the Tuesday afternoon news conference on Twitter. Obama held his last full news conference in November during the APEC summit in Hawaii. Tuesday’s news conference comes amid an uptick in the U.S. economy. But the Obama administration has found itself dealing with several pressing foreign policy concerns, including the violent government crackdown in Syria and rising tensions in the Middle East over Iran’s disputed nuclear program, http://fxn.ws/xm6ob7

    Holder expected to explain rationale for targeting U.S. citizens abroad, http://wapo.st/z6jUuM
    Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. will reveal details today on the Obama administration’s legal process for killing U.S. citizens abroad. The prime example in this case is New Mexico-born Anwar al Awlaki, who joined an al-Qaeda operative in Yemen and was killed in an airstrike this past September. Holder is expected to argue that killing an American terrorist is legal under the 2001 congressional authorization of the use of military force and that America’s self-defense is not only within traditional enemy battlefields.

    Barack Obama and Benajamin Netanyahu in Iran talks, http://bbc.in/wS1y2K
    Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet at the White House  with President Obama this morning to “discuss a range of strategic issues of mutual concern.” Obama said yesterday at a pro-Israel conference that there has been too much “loose talk” of starting war with Tehran. Israel believes that Iran is developing nuclear weapons despite the Iranian government’s denial, leading Israel to discuss possible preemptive strikes against Iran’s nuclear development.

    Bay Area Wakes Up To Magnitude 4.0 East Bay Quake, http://cbsloc.al/Ajvf3H
    A 4.0 magnitude earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay Area at 5:33 a.m. this morning. The quake was felt across much of the East bay, North Bay, and San Francisco, and only lasted a few seconds. The shallow quake was centered 13 miles from San Francisco City Hall. So far there are no major reports of damage, injuries, or power outages.

    Mitt Romney has the momentum in Ohio: Poll, http://wapo.st/w2BprE
    Quinnipiac University is giving Ohio to candidate Mitt Romney, showing him leading Rick Santorum by 34 to 31 percent. The poll cites that the lead is significant compared to Romney’s 10-point deficit last week. However, as always, another poll conflicts, with NBC/Marist projecting a dead heat between the candidates. Quinnipiac University surveyed a total of 753 likely Ohio Republican voters. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich comes in third with 15 percent; Texas Rep. Ron Paul follows with 12 percent. If Romney wins Ohio, strategists say the primary is over.

    (via CNN) Poll: All tied up in Tennessee: An American Research Group survey released Sunday indicates that 35% of likely GOP primary voters in the state are backing former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, with 31% supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 20% backing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and 9% supporting Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Santorum’s four point advantage is within the poll’s sampling error, which means it’s basically all tied up. Fifty-five delegates are up for grabs Tuesday in Tennessee, one of 10 states to hold contests on Super Tuesday, http://bit.ly/yof70f


    Egypt’s Islamist party sacks MP for getting a nose job, http://bit.ly/A57eOY

    Kim Kardashian will donate twice the value of her wedding gifts to charity, http://thedc.com/w87s2p

    Box Office: ‘The Lorax’ posts year’s biggest opening with $70.7 million, http://lat.ms/zX7KCc

    Ashton Kutcher: Child Porn Avenger, http://bit.ly/z6U6LM

    ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Patrick Dempsey And Ellen Pompeo’s Future In Question, http://huff.to/zeNEHc

    Vanessa Lachey Is Pregnant!, http://bit.ly/wehWKj

    Kelly Holleran

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

    President Obama will reveal a corporate tax reform plan; two more journalists have died in Syria; Iran relations sour over nuclear negotiation talks; and Romney and Santorum duke it out in various national voting polls. Meanwhile, Google plans to sell “Terminator” glasses to augment the smartphone; President Obama continues his singing career; and Adele joins M.I.A. in flipping the bird on television.

    Kelly + Caitlin


    Obama to offer corporate tax reform plan, http://bit.ly/z5cZfo
    President Obama’s corporate tax reform plan will be unveiled by the Treasury Department today. The plan aims to reduce the rate paid by corporations, which would lower the overall tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent. A senior administration official says that the lower rate would be funded by eliminating tax loopholes, subsidies, and expanding business taxes. The tax plan proposes more manufacturing research, development, and production of clean energy. It will also cut taxes and simplify the tax code for small U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs. The current corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world, with critics complaining that it discourages foreign investment and prohibits U.S. companies from competing internationally.

    2 Western journalists killed in Syria, opposition activists say, http://bit.ly/y74OJo
    Amid heavy shelling in the Syrian city of Homs, it’s reported that two Western journalists have been killed. The Sunday Times of London confirmed that British newspaper journalist Marie Colvin, who stayed in Syria a day later than originally planned in order to work on a story, has died. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has also confirmed that journalist Remi Ochlik was killed in a bombing. The deaths follow The New York Times’ loss of reporter Anthony Shadid, who was working in eastern Syria when he suffered a fatal asthma attack. In addition, twenty-seven Syrians were killed on Wednesday. The dead include 20 from the Bab Amr neighborhood of Homs, where Colvin and Ochlik were stationed.

    UN nuclear agency reports failed Iran talks, http://bit.ly/zU7sqn
    After a trip to Iran to investigate the country’s nuclear weapon strides, the U.N. nuclear agency is reporting failure, with an official citing not being able to “find a way forward” to talk with Iran about suspected arms. In addition to this, Tehran is resisting demands to discuss any nuclear activity even with international sanctions against Iran growing. Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency had hoped to talk to Iranian scientists about their weapons program and inspect documents related to nuclear work. Officials are reporting that they will try to remain in constructive spirits with Iran. It is now up to the 35-nation IAEA board to decide on its next response.

    NBC Poll: Romney, Santorum deadlocked in Michigan; Romney leads in Arizona, http://on.msnbc.com/wmr1HZ
    A week out before the Republican presidential primary in Michigan, a new poll shows Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are in a tie in Michigan, while Romney holds a cushioned lead in Arizona. Romney holds 37 percent of support in Michigan while Santorum holds 35 percent. Ron Paul is reported to have 13 percent and Newt Gingrich is coming in last with 8 percent.

    Santorum Up 9 Points Among Republican Voters, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Obama Edges Santorum, But Romney Is Too Close To Call, http://bit.ly/zHKdKO 
    In a national poll, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum now leads the Republican presidential race by 35 percent. Mitt Romney has scored 26 percent among nationwide Republican and Independent voters. In a November match-up, Obama shows to edge out Santorum, 47 to 44 percent, but still contends a close race with Romney, 46 percent to 44 percent. Newt Gingrich weighs in with 14 percent of support while Ron Paul holds 11 percent.

    Google to Sell Heads-Up Display Glasses by Year’s End, http://nyti.ms/z4QYPU
    Doing away with the hassle of rummaging in pockets to find a smartphone, Google is creating a pair of glasses that will be able to stream information in front of the wearer’s eyeballs in real time. The glasses will go on sale publicly by the end of the year and are expected to cost around $250 to $600. The glasses will be Android-based, with a small screen sitting a few inches from the wearer’s eye. They will have a small camera built in which will monitor the wearer’s world and relay information about surrounding locations, buildings, and friends nearby. The product is reported to resemble a pair of Oakley Thumps.


    President Obama sings ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ with B.B. King and Buddy Guy, http://wapo.st/yHYtkI

    Adele flips off producers at Brit Awards, http://bit.ly/AkcI30

    Kourtney Kardashian Reveals Sex of Baby, http://eonli.ne/A7Vap4

    ‘Amazing Race’ producer Jeff Rice found dead in Africa of suspected poisoning, http://thedc.com/xlfF3B

    Massive Pink Diamond Discovered in Australia, Worth Over $10 Million, http://huff.to/zcnjeY

    Kelly Holleran

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com