Rick Perry will end his bid

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination today and is expected to endorse former House speaker Newt Gingrich, according to two sources familiar with his thinking.

Gingrich himself said via email this morning that all he knows is “not much. Rumors.”

Perry has called a press conference at 11 a.m. today in North Charleston to announce the news, which was first reported by CNN’s Peter Hamby.

Republican presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks during the Personhood USA presidential forum in Greenville, South Carolina January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Keane

Perry’s announcement comes just hours before the candidates will gather for their 16th debate of the Republican race and just two days before the South Carolina primary.

For the last several months, it had become clear that Perry would not be a major factor in the race — hamstrung by a string of lackluster debate performances that culminated in his inability to name the three federal agencies that he would eliminate if elected president.

One early Perry fundraiser, who soured on the campaign as the candidate repeatedly stumbled, said the decision “was a foregone conclusion to what has been quite possibly the worst-run presidential campaign of our lifetimes.”

Following a fifth-place finish in Iowa, Perry said that he would return to Texas to reassess his candidacy. But, less than 24 hours later he announced — via Twitter! — that he would continue in the race.

Perry effectively skipped the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 10, where he took a meager 1 percent of the vote, to focus his time and money on South Carolina.

But polling released over the last several days made clear that Perry was gaining no traction in the Palmetto State. In an NBC/Marist survey of South Carolinians released this morning, he took just 4 percent.

View Photo Gallery: The Texas governor is dropping out of the 2012 GOP presidential race.

Gingrich, on the other hand, is gaining momentum in the Palmetto State following a strong showing in a debate on Monday night. Gingrich and Perry have known each other for quite some time; the former Speaker wrote the introduction to Perry’s book, “Fed Up!”

In October, Gingrich told the Post’s Karen Tumulty that when Perry got in the race, he had told wife and staff: “If Rick can hit major-league pitching, he’s the nominee. We won’t be able to stop him.”

But he was later “stunned,” he said, by Perry’s ineptitude at the debates. “I was surprised by the inability to adjust and modify and shift.”

Given Perry’s lack of traction in South Carolina, it’s tough to see his exit having a major effect on the dynamics of the state’s primary.

Perry was seen as pulling from the same pool of voters as Gingrich and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum — the conservative alternatives to Romney — and his exit could help Gingrich in particular if he can steer his donors and supporters in the former House speaker’s direction.

But Romney’s campaign suggested it won’t matter much.

“Perry didn’t have many votes, and they will scatter across the ballot,” said a senior Romney adviser granted anonymity to speak candidly about the race. “It doesn’t change the essential dynamic of the race, which is about finding someone who can lead on jobs and defeat Obama in the fall. On both those counts, Mitt Romney is head and shoulders above the field.”

Staff writers Karen Tumulty, Dan Eggen, Philip Rucker and Aaron Blake contributed to this report.

Read more on PostPolitics.com

Santorum edged Romney in Iowa vote

What’s Marianne Gingirich got on her ex?

Gingrich sees a South Carolina surge

Santorum’s erroneous marriage attack on Obama

Wed Day – Obama Re Election Bid – equals no oil jobs for millions of Amercian

The Obama administration rejected the application of a Canadian firm TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline. The issue has become a national political story, sparking rebukes from both left and right of Obama’s handling of the issue. As Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson reported:

President Obama, declaring that he would not bow to congressional pressure, announced Wednesday that he was rejecting a Canadian firm’s application for a permit to build and operate the Keystone XL pipeline, a massive project that would have stretched from Canada’s oil sands to refineries in Texas.

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Gallery

 The controversial Keystone XL pipeline has been under review for more than three years. Environmental groups have argued that the extraction of oil sands contributed to climate changes and the pipeline itself posed leak risks. Supporters of the pipeline say that it will create jobs and enhance energy security. Here’s a look at some of the key players in the pipeline plan and the protests against it.
Video

House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama is breaking his promise to create jobs by rejecting a plan to build an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. (Jan. 18)
Obama said that a Feb. 21 deadline set by Congress as part of the two-month payroll tax cut extension had made it impossible to do an adequate review of the pipeline project proposed by TransCanada.

“This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people,” the president said in a statement.

The decision and the language that accompanied it made clear that the White House, far from deflecting a political issue until after the election, was fully engaged in a battle with pipeline proponents. Obama said that his administration had worked to improve energy security through higher fuel-efficiency standards, and that it would explore ways to relieve the pipeline bottleneck slowing oil shipments between a major terminal in Cushing, Okla., and the nation’s gulf coast refineries.

The administration will allow TransCanada to reapply for a permit after it develops an alternate route around the sensitive habitat of Nebraska’s Sandhills. The administration’s decision includes language making it clear that TransCanada can reapply, stating, “The determination does not preclude any subsequent permit application or applications for subsequent projects.”

Industry officials and analysts said they expect TransCanada to submit a new route proposal for the Nebraska leg of the pipeline within two weeks. TransCanada declined to comment on the matter Wednesday.

So what is next for the Keystone XL pipeline after their initial failure? As Ezra Klein wrote:

As my colleagues Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson report, the Obama administration is all set to officially nix the Keystone XL pipeline, which would’ve carried oil from Canada’s tar sands down to the Gulf Coast. So why did Obama reject it? And what happens next?

White House officials have blamed Republicans in Congress for imposing an arbitrary deadline on the project that made a proper review of the pipeline all but impossible. Back in November, President Obama said that the Keystone pipeline needed to be rerouted in response to concerns that leaks could taint Nebraska’s water supplies. That process would’ve stretched into 2013, past the election. And so, in last month’s payroll tax cut extension, Republicans included a provision that forced the administration to make a final decision on the pipeline by Feb. 21 of this year. White House officials bristled at what spokesman Jay Carney called “an attempt to short-circuit the review process.” And, in the end, the administration decided to block the project outright.

Millions of Americans oppose SOPA and PIPA

Millions of Americans oppose SOPA and PIPA because these bills would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S.
Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.

The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.

Presidential hopefuls meet on Monday in a South Carolina debate

 Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney shakes hands with supporters during a campaign stop at the American Legion Post in Sumpter, South Carolina, January 14, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Keane

By John Whitesides

MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina | Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:55pm EST

MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (Reuters) – A newly trimmed field of five Republican presidential hopefuls meets on Monday in a South Carolina debate that gives front-runner Mitt Romney’s rivals one of their final chances to derail his growing momentum.

The debate comes hours after former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman dropped out of the 2012 Republican race and endorsed Romney, bolstering the former Massachusetts governor’s drive for his party’s nomination. Romney won the first two state nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire this month.

It also provides Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich a prominent stage for their battle to become the top conservative alternative to the more moderate Romney.

Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, gained valuable backing in that effort over the weekend when a group of 150 religious and social conservative leaders agreed to coalesce behind his candidacy in an effort to stop Romney.

The debate is the first of two this week in South Carolina, where a Romney win in Saturday’s primary could put him on an almost certain path to clinching the right to challenge President Barack Obama in November’s election.

Polls show Romney with a solid lead in South Carolina over Gingrich, the former U.S. House of Representatives speaker, heading into the debate. Another debate will be held in Charleston on Thursday, less than 48 hours before South Carolina Republicans start to vote.

“At this point, Romney just has to remind people that he is the one who can take on Obama and win in November,” Republican consultant Rich Galen said. “He can’t let the other guys get under his skin.”

Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Texas Governor Rick Perry and U.S. Representative Ron Paul will meet in Monday’s two-hour debate at 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT Tuesday) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The last Republican debates were back-to-back meetings within 12 hours of each other before the New Hampshire primary, which Romney won easily after narrowly winning in Iowa.

Those debates featured several sharp attacks on Romney for his work at a private equity group that critics say plundered companies and slashed jobs, but his Republican rivals have eased off those criticisms in recent days.

South Carolina’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average of 8.5 percent, making jobs and unemployment one of the most prominent topics expected to be tackled in the debate.

Santorum, Gingrich and Perry have pursued South Carolina’s large bloc of evangelical and social conservative voters, who have been split here, as they were in Iowa.

Santorum, who came in second in Iowa, and Gingrich have argued they are the most electable conservatives, but neither have shown signs in polls yet that they are breaking through in South Carolina, which could be the last chance to stop Romney.

The next battleground after South Carolina will be Florida on January 31, a huge and diverse state where Romney’s financial and organizational advantages would make him hard to stop.

“Romney seems to be pulling away if the polls are to be believed,” Galen said. “But he can’t put it on cruise control yet.”

(Editing by Paul Simao)

STOP SOPA & PIPA – Threaten the internet

SOPA

Corporate supporters of HR3261 (SOPA) and S968 (PIPA) demand the ability to take down any web site that affects their profits — without due process or judicial oversight — in the name of combating “online piracy.” Hoping you won’t notice or care, quite a few of our Public Servants want to give them that right.

Believe it or not, Monster Cable (remember “Monster Park“?) considers craigslist a “rogue site” for blacklisting and takedown under PIPA – apparently 2nd hand sales of stereo cables by CL users is reducing Monster’s sales of new cables. (reddit).

SOPA/PIPA authors and supporters insist they’re only after foreign piracy sites, but Internet Engineers understand this is an attempt to impose “Big Brother” control over our Internet, complete with DNS hijacking and censoring search results

<RANT>What could be more anti-American than jack-booted thugs throttling our free speech, poisoning that greatest of American inventions, the Internet, while devastating perhaps our most successful and competitive industry? There’s got to be a better way to sell more stereo cables.</RANT>

★ ☆ ★ Tell Congress you OPPOSE H.R. 3261 “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and S. 968 “Protect IP Act” (PIPA) ★ ☆ ★ 

Supporters of SOPA: RIAA, MPAA, News Corp, TimeWarner, Walmart, Nike, Tiffany, Chanel, Rolex, Sony, Juicy Couture, Ralph Lauren, VISA, Mastercard, Comcast, ABC, Dow Chemical, Monster Cable, Teamsters, Rupert Murdoch, Lamar Smith (R-TX), John Conyers (D-MI)

Opponents of SOPA: Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay, AOL, Mozilla, Reddit, Tumblr, Etsy, Zynga, EFF, ACLU, Human Rights Watch, Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Ron Paul (R-TX)

Where does your Member of Congress stand on SOPA? (Project SOPA Opera)

SOPA and PIPA Are Too Dangerous To Revise, They Must Be Killed Entirely 

Congress needs to hear from you, or these dangerous bills will pass – they have tremendous lobbying dollars behind them, from corporations experts say are attempting to prop up outdated, anti-consumer business models at the expense of the very fabric of the Internet — recklessly unleashing a tsunami of take-down notices and litigation, and a Pandora’s jar of “chilling effects” and other unintended (or perhaps intended?) consequences.

There is still time to be heard. Congress is starting to backpedal on this job-killing, anti-American nonsense, and the Obama administration has weighed in against these bills as drafted, but SOPA/PIPA cannot be fixed or revised — they must be killed altogether.

Sen Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep Ron Wyden (D-OR) are championing an alternative to SOPA/PIPA called Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) that addresses foreign sites dedicated to piracy, without disrupting basic Internet protocols, or threatening mainstream US sites like craigslist.

Tim O’Reilly, a publisher who is himself subject to piracy, asks whether piracy is even a problem, and whether there is even a legitimate need for any of these bills

 

Learn more about SOPA, Protect IP (PIPA), and Internet Blacklisting:

 

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