Callista

“We respect the tribal governments as the voice of their communities and encourage federal, state, and local governments to heed those voices in developing programs and partnerships to improve the quality of life for American Indians....” —GOP draft platform, “Honoring Our Relationship With American Indians”   Earlier this month I wrote, under the rubric Pas Devant Les Enfants (“not in front of the children”) about the Romney campaign’s successful effort to keep nearly all of Romney’s primary opponents away from the podium in Tampa.

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It became clear this week that Newt Gingrich's ego trip campaign, which brought him one glorious night in South Carolina, has come at the cost of losing a very lucrative racket: the for-profit health care think tank he presided over this past decade has filed for bankruptcy. From the Washington Post: The Center for Health Transformation had promoted private-sector solutions to America’s skyrocketing health-care costs. It also became a source of significant cash for Gingrich and his wife, Callista.

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On the night of his triumph in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich boldly announced: “The centerpiece of this campaign, I believe, is American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky.” Barack Obama did once work in a Chicago project inspired by Alinsky, the legendary community organizer who died in 1972.

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A few weeks ago, before Newt Gingrich had taken his turn at the top of the Ferris wheel, I laid out in this space an issue where he had been even more jarringly hypocritical and mercurial than most others: reducing the cost of end-of-life care. The short version of it was that Gingrich had for years praised to the skies a hospital in La Crosse, Wisc.

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If Newt Gingrich holds to form in Tuesday night's GOP presidential primary debate in Nevada, he may well decide to answer a question on health care policy by invoking the threat of "death panels." He backed up Sarah Palin when she first tossed that rhetorical grenade against the Democrats' universal health care legislation in the summer of 2009 and he wielded the dread phrase again at the last debate in criticizing the new recommendations against routine testing for prostate cancer in older men. My colleague Jonathan Cohn did yeoman's work last week in rebutting Gingrich's specific attack on

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Newt Gingrich has figured out the best way to stop doing things that make Republicans hate him -- go on vacation: Following a bumpy debut as an official candidate which included fumbling an answer about his support for House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan and a report that he carried as much as $500,000 in “revolving charge account” at luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co, the former House speaker has set off for a vacation with his wife Callista. ... They had long scheduled time off early in the campaign,” said Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler.

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