Interests: Politics, Government, Media, Transportation, Space, Social Media, Civic Engagement, Washington, DC Following: The Obama Presidency, Decision 2012, The 112th Congress Work: myImpact.org- a non-profit working at the intersection of social media & citizen engagement

 

The Evening Report for Wednesday November 30, 2011

34 DAYS UNTIL IOWA

JUST IN: Virginia Attorney Governor Ken Cuccinelli will announce that he is running for governor in 2013, the Washington Post reports tonight.

Cuccinelli was elected Attorney General in 2009 and has become a hero among tea party conservatives for his positions on health care, immigration and gay rights.

Incumbent Republican Governor Bob McDonnell is not eligible to run for re-election in 2013 due to term limits. Cuccinelli is expected to face Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling in a primary.

On the Democratic side, former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe is reportedly considering a second attempt at the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

CAMPAIGN 2012:

NEWT GINGRICH ON FOX NEWS TONIGHT: “And it’s clear that across the country, people are saying, you know, I think we need Newt Gingrich,” he said. “Whereas I would have thought originally it was going to be Mitt and not-Mitt, I think it’s going to — it may turn out to be Newt and not-Newt.”

RON PAUL ATTACKS GINGRICH: In a new web video out today (that only has 301 views), the Ron Paul campaign attacks Gingrich for what they call “serial hypocrisy” and applies the same flip-flopping charge that is more often leveled against Mitt Romney, to Gingrich.

HERMAN CAIN ON FOX NEWS THIS AFTERNOON: “I can only conjecture that maybe I am the Democrats’ worst nightmare if I win the nomination … Maybe the Democrats want Newt Gingrich to win the nomination, so they can then go after his personal life.” Officially, Cain is still “reassessing” his candidacy.

AND THEN, Cain said this, via POLITICO, “On the many, many phone calls between him and the woman accusing him of having a 13-year affair Ginger White, Cain said: “I talked to a lot of people 61 times.”

STILL TONIGHT, Cain had more to say, in a 9pm news conference, he said he could not guarantee that more allegations could come forward.”I can’t say that someone won’t drum up another accusation. It just comes with the territory, he siad.

MITT ROMNEY UP WITH NH AD: The second ad of the campaign cycle put up by the Romney Campaign. Their first, last week, was widely criticized for a misleading quote from President Obama during the 2008 campaign. The ad is straightforward and attacks the President’s economic policy.

PRESIDENT OBAMA is in New York City tonight, attending four campaign fundraisers. Earlier today, the President was in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of Vice President Joe Biden (who is in Baghdad today) urging Congress to extend & expand the payroll tax cut passed last year for in 2012. He is due back at The White House at 12:30am Thursday.

ON CAPITOL HILL, there is some movement on extending the payroll tax cut, with GOP leadership emerging generally in favor of doing so, resisting the opposition of some more conservative members.

In a closed-door House Republican caucus meeting today, The Hill reports that Majority Leader Eric Cantor laid down the gauntlet, saying, “taxes are a Republican issue and you aren’t a Republican if you want to raise taxes on struggling families to fund bigger government.”

THE REPUBLICAN PLAN as it is currently being floated, would freeze pay for federal workers an additional year (it has already been frozen for two years), trim the federal workforce by roughly 10% and introduce some means-testing for federal programs such as Medicare and unemployment insurance.

Ordinarily, these proposals would be dismissed out of hand by Democrats (much like their proposal, to pay for the tax extension by charging a surtax on millionaire taxes, is being by Republicans), however, the proposals in the Republican plan are taken from the bi-partisan Simpson/Bowles Committee recommendations that many Democrats see as the basis for long-term deficit reduction.

COORDINATED ACTION BY THE FED and other central banks around the world this morning was designed to increase the amount of US dollars in circulation around the world and act as a buffer to continued anxiety over the European debt crisis.

As the New York Times reports:

"The banks announced that they would reduce by roughly half the cost of an existing program under which banks in foreign countries can borrow dollars from their own central banks, which in turn get those dollars from the Fed.  The banks also said that loans will be available until February 2013, extending a previous endpoint of August 2012."

“The purpose of these actions is to ease strains in financial markets and thereby mitigate the effects of such strains on the supply of credit to households and businesses and so help foster economic activity,” the banks said in a statement. The participants in addition to the Fed were the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Canada and the Swiss National Bank.”

WALL STREET reported its best day of 2011 as a result of the Fed’s announcement:

  • DOW up 490 to 12,045
  • NASDAQ up 105 to 2,620
  • S&P 500 up 52 to 1,247

BILLY GRAHAM was admitted to a hospital today in North Carolina, reportedly suffering from pneumonia-like symptoms. The iconic Evangelical minister is 93-years old and has been in declining health in recent years.

$9 GAS? it looks like that’s a possibility this winter in NOME, ALASKA. A historic winter storm earlier this month prevented a barge from reaching the Alaskan city best known the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and now officials are coming up with a plan to fly small quantities of gasoline into the community of 3,500 residents, at an extraordinarily high cost.

The Associated Press reports on the predicament:

"A gallon of gas was selling for $5.98 and jet fuel $6.77 a gallon on Wednesday. The next barge delivery wouldn’t be until next June. In the meantime, flying fuel to the city could increase the cost per gallon by $3 to $4, officials said."

"We are going to have to have fuel drivers picking up fuel 24 hours a day as flights are available to fly into Nome," said Jason Evans, board chairman of Sitnasuak Native Corp., which provides services to the region."

"Sitnasuak arranged in May with petroleum distributor Delta Western Inc. to have three barges deliver fuel to Nome, but only one arrived early in the summer, Evans said. That barge carried home heating fuel."

"The storm that barreled into Alaska’s western coastline in mid-November, zeroing in on Nome, prevented the arrival of a barge carrying 1.6-million gallons of gasoline and diesel."

FINALLY...the 2011 Rockefeller Christmas Tree is lit! This year’s tree is a 74-foot tall Norweigan Spruce from Miffinville, Pa. Over 34,00 lights- stretching some five miles- illuminate the tree.

The first Christmas Tree was placed in Rockefeller Plaza in 1931 and the first tree lighting ceremony was held in 1933. The 2011 tree will be illuminated each evening- and all day Christmas Day- until January 07, 2012.

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