Ron Paul is clinging to a one-point lead over Mitt Romney, with Rick Santorum hard on the heels of both just before the voting in the crucial Iowa caucuses, according to Public Policy Polling survey released last night. The latest results show Paul, who surged to the lead in the PPP polling in mid-December, has lost four points since the last survey, but remains ahead of Romney 20-19 percent, with Santorum but a single point behind Romney at 18 percent. Newt Gingrich at 14 percent and Rick Perry with 10 percent are the only other candidates in double digits. Michele Bachmann (8 percent), John Huntsman (4 percent), and Buddy Roemer (two percent) remain at the back of the pack.
“The Republican caucus in Iowa is headed for a photo finish” among the three top candidates, PPP said in a statement accompanying the statistics, though the pollsters seem to be looking for a continued surge by Santorum to bring the former Pennsylvania Senator an upset win in the first major voting event in the presidential nominating process. Santorum gained eight points since the PPP survey of a week ago and among those who said they've decided in the last seven days, he is ahead of Romney 29-17 percent, with Paul and Gingrich tied at 13 percent.
The last Des Moines Register poll before Tuesday's voting in Iowa shows former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul in a virtual tie for first place and three other candidates competing for a third-place finish before the battle for the Republican nomination moves east to New Hampshire for the first-in-the-nation primary one week later. It also shows Paul well ahead of the rest of the field in attracting Independents to his candidacy. A CNN poll released last week, meanwhile, has drawn criticism for leaving out Democrats and Independents and likely underestimating Paul's strength with caucus voters.
The commander of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, Rear Admiral David Woods, has suggested a fundamental rule change regarding the military’s right to access and review written communication exchanged between Gitmo prisoners suspected of being co-conspirators in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the attorneys representing them.
According to details of the rules published by the Associated Press, all the covered correspondence sent back and forth between any of the five detainees categorized as 9/11 co-conspirators and their legal counsel would be thoroughly reviewed by law enforcement and Department of Defense personnel.
The new policy has not yet been promulgated as Woods has yet to sign it. However, he has sent a draft copy of the proposal to the appropriate lawyers and has attached thereto an order for them to sign if they agree with the changes to the currently applicable standard operating procedures.
In response to the request from Admiral Woods, the attorneys for the five prisoners have written a memo opposing the new rule based on their averment that such a scheme would violate the privilege afforded communication between attorneys and clients. Furthermore, were the rule to be enforced, their clients would be deprived of the right to counsel afforded to individuals by the U.S. Constitution.
President Barack Obama signed a law on New Year's Eve granting him power to detain Americans indefinitely.
In the final run-up to the January 3rd Iowa Caucuses, a handful of Republican presidential candidates highlighted their pro-life bona fides in a nationally simulcast “teletown hall” forum sponsored by Personhood USA and several pro-life organizations.
Significantly, all four of the participants in the National Presidential Pro-life Forum — Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry — have signed on to the Personhood Republican Presidential Candidate Pledge, which supposedly binds them as President to, among other promises, “work to advance state and federal laws and amendments that recognize the unalienable right to life of all human beings,” and to appoint federal judges and other officials who will work to uphold such federal measures.
In a decision a plaintiffs' lawyer called an effort “to put lipstick on a pig,” a panel of the in San Francisco upheld Thursday a congressional grant of immunity from law suits to telecommunications companies that had surrendered records of their customers phone calls and electronic communications to warrantless government searches. The three-judge panel unanimously affirmed a lower court ruling holding the congressional action constitutional. The case consolidated 33 lawsuits filed against various telecom companies, including AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp, on behalf of the companies' customers.
The legal battles grew out of presidential order signed by George W. Bush in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance on Americans and others inside the United States in search of evidence of terrorist activity. The presidential directive authorized searches without either the domestic court warrants required for criminal investigations or those issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for investigation of activities of foreign persons or organizations, as required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
James Williams of Matagorda County, Texas said in a pro-Ron Paul campaign advertisement released December 28 that in the early 1970s he saw "Ron Paul come to my rescue. He just stepped in and went to work with my wife." Williams' wife was pregnant and extremely ill, and until Dr. Ron Paul showed up, nobody at the hospital would care for his wife. Williams suspects the bi-racial family in the deep South may have been a factor (he's black, his wife is white) in the wait to see a doctor. But Ron Paul saw his wife immediately.
"He said, as far as the bill," Williams continued in the RevolutionPAC advertisement, "he would take care of everything. Which he did. I never got a bill from the hospital or anything. And he was a doctor of medicine and that's what he was doing, was practicing medicine. And it didn't matter who, and what, and why. He was doing it because he'd think of one human being just as much as another. He's just an honest man, and that's something we need now in this day and time."
It's a moving advertisement, but it could be argued that any SuperPAC can create an emotional ad for the candidate they back.
JBS CEO Art Thompson's weekly video news update for January 2-8, 2012.
The Republican Party of Virginia will require all citizens of the state voting in the Republican primary on March 6, 2012 to sign a loyalty oath before being permitted to cast their votes. Put plainly, anyone who shows up at the polling place must sign a form wherein he or she swears to support the Republican candidate who wins the nomination. Refusal to sign the pledge results in revocation of the right to vote in the Republican primary election.
In a front-page editorial Thursday, the publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader told readers of the statewide daily that "Ron Paul is a dangerous man." While the Republican presidential candidate's libertarian views on domestic issues are attractive to some voters, the editorial conceded, "it is Paul's position on issues of our national security that are truly dangerous."
"He has repeatedly said that we should allow Iran to continue to develop a nuclear weapon," is one of the charges against Paul in the editorial, written by publisher Joseph W. McQuaid "This is the same country whose leadership vows death to America, the 'Satanic power,' and who wants Israel wiped from the map." Yet the editorial page of the same newspaper two days earlier featured a column by Patrick J. Buchanan, in which the columnist cited the statement of Pentagon spokesman George Little in clarifying recently televised comments by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
"The secretary was clear that we have no indication that the Iranians have made a decision to develop a nuclear weapon," Little said. While statements by President Obama and the other GOP presidential candidates have either alleged or implied that Iran is right on the verge of producing a nuclear bomb, Rep. Paul has argued against forcing a military confrontation over a weapon that might not even be in the developmental stages — one that, according to the Pentagon spokesman, the Iranian government may not have even decided to build. Paul insists that our nearly nine-year war in Iraq over alleged "weapons of mass destruction" should be instructive in that regard.