A Palestinian activist detained on the orders of the home secretary, Theresa May, was held unlawfully and is entitled to compensation, the high court has ruled.
The decision is the latest embarrassment for the government over the case of Sheikh Raed Salah, 52, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, who entered the country despite being banned.
Since his arrival on 25 June, it has emerged that no one informed him he was prohibited from coming to Britain and that a Heathrow immigration officer who scanned his passport ignored a live alert to exclude him.
Three days after entering the UK he was detained at his west London hotel, handcuffed and taken to Paddington Green police station. He had been due to address a series of public meetings, including one at the Houses of Parliament.
The home secretary subsequently served a deportation notice on him, on the grounds that his presence in the UK was “not conducive to the public good”. Salah challenged his removal and obtained bail in July. He is appealing against the decision to deport him in separate proceedings before an immigration tribunal which continues next week.
In the judgment released on Friday, Mr Justice Nicol found for Salah on one of three grounds that his detention was unlawful. He rejected his claim on two other grounds.
Any compensation is likely to be small since it only covers a period of two days until the time when the Palestinian preacher was finally informed correctly why he was being detained. The judgment says immigration officers who detained him failed to ensure information was translated and failed to include the necessary details.
Earlier this week, it emerged that senior officials at the UK Border Agency had opposed the home secretary’s decision to deport the Palestinian, warning that the evidence against him was disputed, open to legal challenge and the case “very finely balanced”. Salah had sought damages for illegal detention, arguing in an earlier hearing that he had been “confined without lawful authority” and subjected to what was essentially “false imprisonment”.
Neil Sheldon, appearing for the home secretary, had argued that she had acted reasonably and was legally entitled to order Salah’s detention pending deportation. A review of his case by the chief inspector of constabulary also revealed that overseas consular staff were not monitoring Home Office immigration alerts seven days a week.
The inquiry report by Sir Denis O’Connor found “insufficiently robust processes” led to UK Border Agency staff at home and abroad, missing six separate chances to intervene overseas, at departure to, and on arrival in, Britain.
The chief inspector even recommends that a criminal offence be created of an excluded person “knowingly travelling to the UK in contravention of an exclusion order”.
The incident was highly embarrassing for the home secretary as the Palestinian activist was the first high-profile case under her policy of broadening the definition of “non-violent extremists” who encourage terrorism that she pledged to take pre-emptive action against.
Salah is the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and has been imprisoned for funding Hamas and leading a violent demonstration. When the order banning him from entering the UK was issued, MPs were told the decision followed allegations of antisemitism and fundamentalist activities.
A group of unions and Labour MPs has lent its support to next month’s student demonstrations against education cuts, saying that “the profit motive has no place in education”.
In a letter to the Guardian, the general secretaries of the Unite, PCS, FBU, NUJ, RMT and BFAWU unions vow to oppose what they term “the government’s cuts offensive” as part of a joint fight by workers and students.
The letter, also signed by Tony Benn, and the MPs Mike Wood, Katy Clark and John McDonnell, reads: “We believe that education is a public service, which should be owned publicly, controlled democratically, and funded by taxing the rich. The profit motive has no place in education. We recognise that the fight against the coalition government’s cuts offensive is a joint fight, by workers and students, in defence of a common interest.”
It concludes: “We support students campaigning against the government’s higher education white paper; we stand alongside those school and college students who are planning to walk out; and we oppose any attempt by the authorities to curb their right to protest.”
The student demonstrations, which have been called by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, will happen in London on 9 November. Three weeks later, a massive public sector strike co-ordinated by the unions is set to take place amid growing signs that students and unions are working closely together to maximise opposition to the government’s cuts programme.
Michael Chessum, a member of the National Union of Students national executive and an organiser for the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, accused the government of “waging war” on students and young people.
“It has scrapped support for the poorest school and FE students and made millions unemployed, while making the worst cuts in the history of education,” he said. “The government’s higher education white paper is an attempt to end education as a public service. We are determined to derail it.”
Chessum predicted that tens of thousands of people would turn out to protest on 9 November, adding: “It’s clear that the movement that we built last year has grown into something much bigger, and it’s vital that we keep fighting on education as well as linking to the broader movement.”
Liam Burns, president of the NUS, which is also supporting the demonstration on 9 November, said: “The proposals in the white paper are even more damaging than the prospect of £9,000 fees. The coalition is about to create the exact opposite of the ‘pupil premium’, where students from the most debt-averse backgrounds are forced to ask for less money to be spent on their education. We’ll carry on trying to work with politicians of all parties to stop these damaging reforms, but when fees are trebled, the education maintenance allowance scrapped and even less money is spent on supporting students financially, don’t be surprised that demonstrations are here to stay.”
In his first interview this year, Fox revealed that there had been a “complete breakdown of trust” between the military and the rest of Whitehall over ballooning costs, and that this had hampered his efforts to protect the defence budget.
Fox told the Guardian that military chiefs working within the Ministry of Defence at the time have to take some of the blame for allowing the situation to get so out of control. “I think the MoD consistently dug a hole for itself that it eventually found that it could not climb out of,” he said. “It is irritating to hear some of those who helped create the problem criticising us when we try to bring in a solution.”
The crisis reached its peak at the end of Gordon Brown’s time as prime minister, he said. “I think there had been a loss [of trust] and in the latter part of the Brown government there was an almost complete breakdown between the MoD and the Treasury and the MoD and No 10.”
His combative remarks are bound to provoke a fresh row over the government’s cuts to the armed forces, though Fox made it clear the MoD had been its own worst enemy at times.
Speaking as the navy was poised to tell 1,100 sailors and support staff they are being made redundant – one third will be compulsory – Fox said he wanted the armed forces to “take the pain early” so the military can balance its books and regain lost credibility. Morale within the forces had “taken a knock” but most people understood that reform “had to be done”.
Fox also said he believed critics of the military campaign in Libya had been “silenced” and proved wrong.
He said he hoped there would be no more job losses beyond those already announced and that the Royal Navy might need to “increase in size towards the second half of the decade”. There might yet be recruitment in other areas.
Asked if would sack military or civilian commanders if costs ran out of control again, Fox said: “Yes. And I’d cancel projects that look like they are not coming to fruition.”
He made it clear that he had never considered quitting, nor would he, whatever the pressures upon him. “To walk away and let something unacceptable happen isn’t very brave,” he explained.
Fox said the problems at the MoD had been building for some time and that when he took over he had no confidence that the figures he was being given were accurate, which made negotiating with a sceptical Treasury very difficult.
The attitude towards the MoD was “here we go again”, he said. “I was never convinced in early months that the department actually knew what the cost of things were.”
He renewed his attack on Labour for letting matters spiral out of control, saying: “How anyone would allow a department of that size to operate without controls on its spending is literally beyond me.”
Fox said he believed that trust was being repaired, but at a high price. The MoD has had to make sweeping cuts to personnel and equipment to come within budget, changes that have been undertaken against a backdrop of near relentless criticism from former members of the services.
He admitted the decision to approve job cuts was the most painful he had had to make, but that he believed the worst was now over. “Debt is a strategic issue. Countries that cannot produce economic wellbeing cannot defend themselves properly in the long term. None of us knows what will happen in the economy in the next decade. But we are setting as good a course as possible without knowing what the weather will be. I am as confident as you can be that the big decisions have been taken.”
Fox did not rule out that defence spending might rise again, above and beyond the 1% increase for equipment that was announced earlier this summer.
“As the economy recovers, we will all go into the usual negotiations with the Treasury. We will all be fighting our own corner. I do think there has been a shift in Whitehall dynamic. And the MoD is held in better esteem now.”
On Libya, Fox defended the cautious approach of Nato’s military campaign, and said that he believed that this may have helped to heal some of the wounds inflicted in the region by the Iraq war.
“We stuck like glue to our initial belief that minimising civilian casualties would not only give us the high moral ground over Gaddafi, but that in the post-Gaddafi environment we have different values. And in many ways that was laying to rest some of the views in the Arab world that came out post-Iraq.”He described Labour’s recent proposals for reforms to defence as “a pointless exercise … a grotesquely crude instrument which suggests they have learned little from their appalling mismanagement of the MoD.”
A £250m fund is being set up to help local authorities in England switch from fortnightly to weekly bin rounds under plans unveiled by the communities and local government secretary.
Conservatives see the policy as delivering on a pledge the party made in opposition. In June, the coalition government faced criticism after its waste review revealed that councils would not have to bring back weekly waste collections.
Labour accused the government of breaking a pre-election promise to abandon fortnightly bin collections, describing it as a “huge missed opportunity”.
Unveiling the move ahead of the Tory party conference in Manchester, Pickles said: “Weekly rubbish collections are the most visible of all frontline services, and I believe every household in England has a basic right to have their rubbish collected every week.
“Our fund will help councils deliver weekly collections and, in the process, make it easier for families to go green and improve the local environment.”
He told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme that “most people would prefer to see a weekly collection”, but stressed that it would be up to individual local authorities to decide how they gathered their waste.
“If councils want to have a fortnightly collection and are supported by their populations, then fair enough,” he said.
Despite dismissing suggestions that the announcement was designed to attract favourable publicity in the run-up to the conference, Pickles conceded: “I may be making a passing reference to this on my speech on Monday.”
He said that while the money on offer was more than originally planned, it was still the result of careful budgeting.
“The total money available … is £1bn, so to be able to find a quarter of a billion is something that we had to put our mind to,” he said. “It’s not easy to find [these sums] – my department had been cutting down a lot on waste.”
The £250m weekly collections support scheme is expected to begin in April. Funding will be available to English councils that guarantee to retain or reinstate weekly collections for at least five years and pledge to improve recycling rates and provide improvements such as reducing fly-tipping and litter.
Councils will be able to bid for funding individually or in groups and can include the private sector “where this increases value for money”, Pickles said.
Last year, the communities secretary told the Daily Mail he was an ardent supporter of weekly bin collections, explaining: “It’s a basic right for every English man and woman to be able to put the remnants of their chicken tikka masala in their bin without having to wait a fortnight for it to be collected.”
Possible legal action by the European commission over Britain’s plans to limit benefits claims for those overseas could leave taxpayers with a £2bn bill, the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has said.
Duncan Smith told the Telegraph the move threatened to break the “vital link” that should exist between taxpayers and their own government.
He is spearheading reforms to the UK’s benefits system, bringing in the universal credit.
The commission is reportedly threatening legal action against the UK because of the “right to reside” element of the habitual residence test.
Britain has been given two months in which to fall into line with EU rules, and could face the prospect of the commission taking the case to the EU’s court of justice, it has been reported.
Duncan Smith said: “These new proposals pose a fundamental challenge to the UK’s social contract. They could mean the British taxpayer paying out over £2bn extra a year in benefits to people who have no connection to our country and who have never paid in a penny in tax.
“This threatens to break the vital link which should exist between taxpayers and their own government.”
He added: “The EU settlement is supposed to protect the right of member states to make their own social security arrangements.
“But we are now seeing a rising tide of judgments from the European institutions using other legal avenues to erode away these rights, and we should be gravely concerned.
“As if this week’s decision was not bad enough, we are also fighting increasing demands for the UK to pay benefits to those who have long since moved abroad, and who may never have made more than a token contribution to UK society.”
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President Barack Obama’s decision to seek a U.S. Supreme Court review of the 2010 Affordable Care Act was inevitable. One way or the other, the health care reform would have to go before the court.
Most observers think the court will hear the case and then make a ruling right in the middle of the 2012 presidential election. We’re not predicting what the court will say, but whatever action it takes will land the massive law in the middle of a harsh and unforgiving political debate.
The administration wants the Supreme Court to consider the decision of three judges in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges had ruled that the act exceeded the powers of Congress.
Obama’s decision to go directly to the court is a political gamble.
As Politico put it, it will mean “wall-to-wall cable news coverage that would just remind millions of voters about the least popular parts of the health care law.” That specifically means the individual mandate.
The requirement that individuals buy health insurance is both at the heart of the law’s design and its opponent’s constitutional arguments against it.
The Supreme Court’s ruling aside, it is obvious the Affordable Care Act has not been settled “politically.” That doesn’t mean the whole thing has to be thrown out. It obviously needs fixing. But take away the entire law, and what do we have? An expensive system of questionable quality. Keep in mind, many of the ideas in the law were originally devised by conservatives. The uproar over the law has more to do with partisan politics than policy. Solutions can be found, but the politics will stand in the way.
Matthew Hurt — Republican
I don’t need to tell you that unemployment in this country is ridiculously high. When you’re looking at the chance for rain during a football game, 9.1 percent may be a good number, but for unemployment that figure is downright atrocious.
Even worse are the unofficial numbers of underemployment, which include people who are currently working jobs much lower than what they are actually qualified to work. But never fear, America.
President Barack Obama has come out with a brand new jobs plan that will fix the economy and put Americans back to work. The only problem is, we’ve actually seen this before, and it didn’t work.
Call me crazy, but isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing continuously and expecting a different result? I’d like to think that the president is far from insane, but this “new” jobs plan has to make you wonder.
This plan is essentially a proposal of nearly $450 billion in new spending on various proposals, such as infrastructure projects and extending unemployment benefits. This $450 billion will be spent over the course of one year.
You may remember the stimulus plan from 2009. You know, the one the White House Council of Economic Advisors promised would keep unemployment below 8 percent even though it peaked just above 10 percent later that year?
The bill that spent $787 billion over two years? Well, the spending rate this time around is even higher, so apparently Obama’s idea of “creating jobs” is simply “adding to the national debt.”
Once you look past the fact that this president likes to spend more money than Michael Moore in a doughnut shop, you realize the bill itself won’t create jobs in the long term, or help get our economy back on track.
First, Obama wants to once again extend unemployment benefits. Of course, this is understandable, as Americans are suffering and can’t find work. However, the idea that this will somehow create jobs holds just as much water as saying textbook companies don’t rip off college students. It simply isn’t true.
Next, the president wants to spend money on infrastructure because we all know hiring someone to pave a road for a few months is creating a long-term job.
Even the new traffic circle in Blacksburg was finished eventually, so the creation of these construction jobs is not going to jumpstart the economy for years to come. Those jobs do not, and will not, last forever.
A version of this article appeared in the Sep 30 issue of the Collegiate Times.
September 30, 2011 10:29 am
Chris Christie is a presidential candidate, uncertainty over when and where the Republican presidential primaries will take place, and uncertainty over whether the GOP’s grassroots even like any of the candidates on offer:Today’s theme is uncertainty: uncertainty over whether New Jersey governor
• Christie: Since making his quasi-presidential speech on Tuesday night there has been no word from the man himself about whether or not he’s a candidate. Even his father says he doesn’t know. But “sources” say he is “considering” a run – although other “sources” say he isn’t.
• Primary calendar: Florida‘s Republicans are said to be moving up their state’s primary to the end of January – up-ending the carefully constructed schedule of elections that the national Republicans had constructed. The net result will be another shambles as in 2008, with Christmas and New Year in Iowa for the GOP candidates.
• Frontrunner?: But who will Republicans be voting for? After Rick Perry‘s debate disaster last week, the latest opinion polls show no clear picture of who the Republican favourite is, with Mitt Romney and Perry closely matched and businessman Herman Cain gaining ground.
In summary: Ron Paul to win Republican nomination after “Super Thanksgiving” primary in November 2011.
In other news, Herman Cain told CNN that African Americans are “brain-washed” into supporting the Democratic party, comments that are unlikely to prove popular with African Americans.
US politics that outsiders don’t understand is how weak the two political parties are, compared to their European counterparts. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are loose coalitions of state organisations reinforced by the primary system, in which elections are organised (and paid for, largely) at individual state level.One of the mysteries of
As a result, state parties can choose their own method and timing of primaries. Traditionally, Iowa and New Hampshire have gone first – a hallowed tradition that dates all the way back to 1976 – but other states realise that the earlier a state’s primary is held, the more influential it is.
The 2008 primary calendar saw near chaos as several states, including Florida and Michigan, edged their dates forward, with Iowa and New Hamshire retaliating. The outcome was the Iowa caucuses kicked off on 3 January.
Party leaders vowed to stop a similar result in 2012, and the Republican National Committee set up a strict structure with four states voting in February to push the calendar back.
The RNC’s deadline for state primary dates is this Saturday – and now Florida says it will decide tomorrow on moving its primary to January 28 2012, which would inevitably set off a shuffling forward by the others, and end with … Iowa holding its caucus just after New Year’s Day. In conclusion: d’oh!
explanation of the primary calendar chaos, by National Journal’s Reid Wilson:Here’s a full and excellent
Despite the best efforts of both the RNC and DNC, the 2012 calendar remains in largely the same situation as the 2008 calendar, with a host of states rushing toward the front of the line, disrupting holidays and threatening to bleed over into the previous year. The harsh threats of stiff sanctions against wayward states have deterred no one.
In fact, the only harm to come from the whole squabble has been to the parties themselves. Their grasp over the presidential nominating system has been shown to be weak, and their threats cast aside as inconsequential. The constituent states the parties represent, in effect, have cast off party leadership. Governing requires the consent of the governed, and the governed no longer follow the governors.
he told Wolf Blitzer on CNN, after being asked “Why is the Republican party poison, basically, for so many African Americans?”:More on Herman Cain’s remarks last night. Here’s what
Because many African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view. I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it’s just brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and simple.
Brain-washed? asked Wolf. Cain replied:
For two-thirds of them, Wolf, that is the case. Now the good news is I happen to believe that a third to 50% of black Americans in this country are open-minded, I meet them every day, they stop me in the airport.
So African Americans are brain-washed into voting for Democrats, except for the 50% of them that aren’t. Given that about 85% of African Americans typically voter Democrat, by Cain’s numbers even 70% of the non-brainwashed African Americans also vote Democrat.
As they say on the internet: fail.
Funnily enough, there was another Republican presidential contender who hurt himself over in a “brainwashing” controversy:
It’s George Romney, the then governor of Michigan, who was a leading contender for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination. And then in this interview he claimed he was “brainwashed” into supporting the war in Vietnam.
Hmmm: Romney, presidential campaign, flip-flopping on a major issue … yes, it’s Mitt Romney’s dad. Seriously.
The remark finished Romney’s chances and America rejoiced by electing Richard Nixon.
“sources” saying that Chris Christie being urged to run by Henry Kissinger, George Bush and Nancy Reagan – and that his announcement may come next week:The New York Post has
After months of hedging, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is giving serious thought to jumping into the ring for a GOP presidential run – and could make his decision next week, The Post has learned.
The announcement may come as soon as Monday, said sources familiar with Christie’s thinking.
The renewed consideration about a White House run came after prodding this week from some Republicans he idolizes, including former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and former President George W Bush, sources said.
Henry Kissinger! That’s the Republican youth vote in the bag.
Here’s some news: Donald Rumsfeld is to appear on Al Jazeera being interviewed by David Frost on Friday night, despite the former US defence secretary once describing the network as “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable” for its coverage of Iraq. Still, times change and so forth.
Al Jazeera have sent out some choice quotes from the interview, including this intriguing line:
Responding to a question on his previous reported comments about the “imperfectly” named War on Terror, Mr Rumsfeld described radical Islam as a danger equal to the way that “extremism in Christianity or extremism in Judaism is a danger.”
“Extremism in Judaism”? What does that mean? We’ll just have to watch the whole thing to find out.
More from Donald Rumsfeld’s interview on Al Jazeera, after being asked by Sir David about the US prison at Guantanamo:
Of course no one wanted it in the first place. The Bush administration didn’t want it and the Obama administration campaigned against it and yet it’s there. Why? Well it’s an exceedingly well run prison.
So say what you like about Guantanamo, it’s exceedingly well run.
theorises that front-loading the Republican primaries in early 2008 will help Willard Mitt Romney, as opposed to James Richard Perry:My Guardian colleague Ana Marie Cox
Of course, Romney is the “eat your vegetables” candidate (as the New York Times has it today), he’s a Mormon. He’s also as boring as starch, and as guaranteed to linger around in your system. This is why his best hope for the nomination is to grind out the somewhat flashier competition, allowing Perry to dangle from his own blowzy rhetoric and the underdogs to suffocate from a lack of funding.
Because that worked so well for Hillary Clinton in 2008. But still, it’s a good point.
Here is some actual reporting about the real difficulty Chris Christie faces if he does want to run for the Republican nomination: the legal barriers to getting on the primary ballot in all 56 states and territories.
The excellent Erin McPike of Real Clear Politics looks at the hurdles and concludes that a Christie campaign would need to get a move on:
Election lawyers, however, say it’s still possible for a late-entering candidate, such as Christie or Sarah Palin, to get ballot access in each state and territory.
“I do believe you can spend a lot of money to go through the process quickly, but the window to do that is starting to close,” said a high-profile election lawyer in Washington.
Here is why: Florida’s deadline is just around the corner, with Georgia and South Carolina right behind it on Nov 1. Missouri’s is Nov 11, and New Hampshire’s is Nov 18. Illinois has a Dec 5 deadline that requires the submission of 5,000 signatures.
The big news for the Republican race for the next few days will be the third-quarter fundraising numbers by each candidate – and the usual round of leaks and expectation-setting is starting to dribble out.
Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is on pace to raise between $11m and $13m for the latest fund-raising quarter, a haul that would be much lower than the $18.2m haul he brought in during the previous three months, according to a source familiar with the campaign’s finances.
Romney’s strong performance in a trio of recent debates had helped his fund-raising by motivating his existing supporters, but it was not enough to move some of the fence-sitters over to his camp, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the campaign has not publicly released its numbers yet.
We’ll see. Alternatively, look at some smoke through this mirror.
Washington Post has an answer from Craig Shirley, an conservative political adviser:Why don’t Republicans feel excited about Mitt Romney? The
Have you ever heard the old joke about how they had the emergency meeting at the dog-food company?” he asked.
“The president pounds the table saying, ‘We have the best marketing plan. We have the best labeling, the best delivery system, the best factory. Why aren’t we selling more dog food?’ There’s a long pause and a lowly executive says in a small voice, ‘Dogs don’t like it.’
Representative Ron Paul, the Texas Republican, is planning to report at least $5m, according to campaign manager Jesse Benton. Representative Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota Republican, is not planning to announce her figures before the Oct 15 filing deadline, according to spokeswoman Alice Stewart.
“Not planning to announce her figures” before the last possible moment? (15 October is the filing deadline for the Federal Elections Commission, which publishes campaign spending and fundraising.) That’s a sign that fundraising hasn’t been going well. And there is plenty of talk that Bachmann’s fundraising operation has collapsed. According to Politico:
“Dire” was the word one source said to describe her fundraising, which another source said would be less than the combined $4 million she reported in the second quarter – $2 million of it in low-dollar fundraising over fewer than six weeks, and another $2 million transferred from her congressional account.
And the New York Post’s Page Six (not an entirely reliable source of political news) has rumours of suppliers not being paid:
Will Michele Bachmann make it to Iowa? Insiders are whispering that the Tea Party darling’s financials are grim and she may be out of the race before she makes it to the Iowa caucus in February, even though she has a strong base in the state.
Rick Perry’s debate performances appear to have hit him hard, based on a new poll by Fox News.
The poll showed Perry dropping 10 percentage points among Republican voters, from 29% at the end of August to 19% a little over three weeks later. But the recipient wasn’t Romney – he stayed little changed, with 22% in August and 23% in September. The beneficiaries were Herman Cain, who jumped from 11% to 17%, and Newt Gingrich, up 8 points to 11%.
Michele Bachmann had won support from 13% in early August, but now notched a mere 3%. Ouch.
In all that’s bad news for Romney: he hasn’t benefitted from his debate confrontations with Perry. And when pollsters asked the voters “Which one of the Republican presidential candidates do you have the most in common with?” only 12% said Romney compared with 17% for Perry and 14% for Cain. That’s the “dog food” effect.
One caveat: the poll had a tiny sample size of just 363 primary voters.
PPP found that Perry would struggle in a general election against Barack Obama.More bad news for Rick Perry today in a poll from Florida – site of the last two debates.
In fact, Obama leads all of the Republican presidential contenders, although Ron Paul and Mitt Romney were just one percentage point behind Obama.
Herman Cain might struggle to get the conservative National Review vote:
Based on my single encounter with Mr Cain, at a meeting with National Review’s editors, I would have hesitated to hire him to run a pizza company, much less the country.
The NRO’s Kevin Williamson also rips into what he calls “The wild world of Cainonomics”:
Other than his pie-in-the-sky growth assumptions, my least favorite thing about Herman Cain is that his response to every challenge is to appoint a committee of smart guys to do the right thing. He seems incapable of appreciating the fact that moral failing is not the only reason Washington fails to do the right thing.
a clip of her blaming the “Arab spring” on Barack Obama because of his undermining of Israel.Ah Michele Bachmann – here’s
Likening Obama to Jimmy Carter’s failure to “have the back of the Shah of Iran” and so allow the rise of “radical jihad,” Bachmann told an audience in New Hampshire:
So too under Barack Obama, we saw him put a lot of daylight between our relationship with our ally Israel. And when he called on Israel to retreat to its indefensible 1967 borders, don’t think that message wasn’t lost on Israel’s 26 hostile neighbours.
You want to know why we have an Arab spring? Barack Obama has laid the table for an Arab spring by demonstrating weakness from the United States of America.
Uh. Michele Bachmann and the facts have a difficult relationship. Leaving aside her thesis, such that it is, it is worth recalling that Obama’s call for the 1967 borders to be used as the basis for a peace settlement between Israel and Palestine came in May this year, a long time after the protests were underway in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and elsewhere.
Newt Gingrich shows why he is so deeply loved by voters, in answering a question from the Los Angeles Times’s Seema Mehta:The ever-charming
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, after unveiling a 21st Century Contract with America in an attempt to breathe life into his presidential bid, grew churlish when asked how his fundraising was going in advance of a key deadline.
“See, I knew you couldn’t resist. I’m not going to answer you,” Gingrich said, speaking to reporters in an auditorium at Principal Financial Group. “You should really go home and think about why you would even ask that today.”
The Perry campaign have been pumping out attacks on Mitt Romney’s past positions and flip-flops.
In particular they have found a couple of embarrassing edits that Romney made to his book, No Apology, between the hardcover and the paperback editions:
Yesterday, Perry aides focused on Romney’s statement in the hardcover version of No Apology that aspects of the [Obama] administration’s economic stimulus program would “accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery.”
That passage was replaced in the paperback edition with the comment that the stimulus “has been a failure.”
“Governor Romney is Obama-lite – supporting the stimulus, government-mandated health care, and federal intervention into schools – but when his liberal positions are discovered, he flips with ease,” said another Perry spokesman, Mark Miner.
front page of Rick Perry’s website currently contains this subtle message:The
Our goal is 18,000 donations by September 30th — the same number of jobs that RomneyCare killed before it became ObamaCare and was forced on the American people.
Zack Martini, the 11-year-old from Springfield, NJ who asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for guidance about how to win a seat on the sixth grade council, lost the student election Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, the results from the election didn’t go our way,” Zack’s father, Ed Martini, told The Ticket. “Zack is disappointed he didn’t win but he wishes the new president, Zoe Frie, the best of luck.”
At a town hall meeting in Union Township earlier this month, Zack asked Christie for “tips” about how to run his campaign for the student council. The governor responded with four pieces of advice: Make colorful signs, ask people for your vote, find friends to campaign for you, and don’t make promises you can’t keep.
How can you lose an election with an awesome name like Zack Martini?
We’ll be back tomorrow watching the Florida GOP take an axe to the primary calendar.
Ed Miliband marked his first year as Labour leader by outlining what he called a “new bargain” for Britain. It was instantly interpreted as a shift to the left in most newspapers but on this week’s programme we dig into the Labour leaders statement of his values.
In the studio: Guardian columnists Anne Perkins and Julian Glover, and the Observer’s political editor Toby Helm.
With Miliband now able to shuffle his shadow cabinet without new elections, it seems likely he’ll freshen up his team before long. One person who needn’t worry is shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper who won rave reviews for her speech on policing. Her husband Ed Balls can also be sure that the shadow chancellor brief is his to keep after a barnstorming speech in which he called for a five-point plan for economic growth.
Meanwhile the Conservatives are preparing to meet in Manchester next week with the economy a pressing concern. There will be pressure on George Osborne to offer some hope to a population fearful about job cuts and austerity measures. There will also be an rise in the volume of the party’s Eurosceptics who still have the potential to cause trouble for David Cameron.
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