Watchdog Blog

Archive for November, 2011

Gilbert Cranberg: The Union Leader’s Gingrich Endorsement

The New Hampshire Union Leader’s Nov. 27 endorsement editorial, “For President, Newt Gingrich,” drew a lot of attention. Having written and edited many endorsement editorials over the years, my take on the Union Leader’s effort may be somewhat different. For starters, it ran on the front page and was not the usual anonymous voice of [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Medicare, a Juicy Target for Privatizers

Fresh from stalemating the deficit-reduction panel, anti-tax zealots can turn their attention to their movement’s close cousin: the campaign to privatize Medicare. A preview of the battle to get rid of government-run health care can be found in Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott is determined to privatize everything in sight, including the state’s 16 publicly-financed [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Why So Slow in Reporting on Gingrich?

What took so long? Why, many months into the presidential campaign, with Newt Gingrich at or near the top in the preference polls, did the press not raise questions sooner about his character flaws and money-grubbing ways? Connie Bruck and the New Yorker waved warning flags about Gingrich many years ago, on Oct. 9, 1996, [...]

Herb Strentz: Looking for a Republican HHH, to Take on the Extremists in Iowa

Where is the like of Hubert Humphrey when the Republicans so desperately need him — particularly when it comes to the Iowa GOP caucuses? The late Democratic U.S. senator and vice president (1911-1978) came to mind because of the continuing failure of just about any Iowa Republican, save one or two maybe, to speak up [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Much Ado About Very Little in Iowa

Republican presidential candidates are flooding into Iowa attempting to reach and influence the tiny sliver of GOP voters who actually will express a candidate preference at the much-hyped Jan. 3 “first-in-the- nation” Iowa caucuses. If past experience is a guide, the press will go ga-ga over the event, but most Iowa Republicans will have nothing [...]

POGO: Senator and Representatives Question Pentagon Halt to Improvement in Contractor Oversight

By NICK SCHWELLENBACH Cross-posted on POGO’s blog. Last month, the Pentagon’s director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP) directed every part of the Department of Defense (DoD) to halt compliance with a law to improve oversight of contractors signed by the President last year, according to a DPAP memo obtained by POGO. Senator Claire [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Newt, in SC, says he and Callista are a lot like Ronnie and Nancy

Greenville, S.C. – Bolstered by his rising poll numbers and looking ahead to that night’s foreign policy debate, Newt Gingrich opened his first South Carolina campaign office with wife, Callista, at his side on Saturday. As he rises to compete in the top tier of GOP hopefuls, voters are taking a closer look, and conservatives [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: The Performance Art, or Satire, of Herman Cain

CNBC commentator Rachel Maddow believes Herman Cain is a “performance artist” and his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination is “performance art.” Could be. It could be also that Cain is a satirist and his campaign a satire on presidential politics. Satire: the use of “irony, sarcasm and ridicule to attack the follies of humankind.” [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Rick Scott, Frills, and Steve Jobs

Rick Scott, Florida’s first-term governor, recently gave students in his state free vocational guidance. His message: study useful subjects like science and engineering instead of wasting taxpayer money on frills like anthropology not likely to have a pay-off in the job market. Scott’s single-minded focus on bottom line measures reminded me of the satirical essay [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Condi Veers from the Party Line

While no one could ever say Condoleezza Rice has strayed far from Republican beliefs – in a recent appearance in Charlotte, N.C., she touted “low regulation and low taxes” as economic solutions – the views of President Bush’s Secretary of State on immigration and education reform reveal just how much the party itself has changed. [...]