ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf reports:
Before we get to the news, Good Politics – At 18 years old, Iowan Jeremy Minnier can’t drink or run for president but he won decisively in his Aredale, Iowa hometown three quarters of the 32 cast ballots this year. http://abcn.ws/swDlHo
and Bad Politics – The FBI released audio recordings of Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson telling his wife (both have pled guilty) to stuff bribe money in her underwear and walk out of their house. http://abcn.ws/uGdCTa
Can Gingrich Last? – The Newt Boom is in full effect and it remains to be seen if what makes Gingrich appealing will outweigh what could turn people off. Huma Khan reports: “Gingrich also has the advantage of being a Washington insider without being part of the current medley of politicos… Voters view him as a candidate who knows policy, understands how Washington works and has a viable economic plan.”
BUT, “Gingrich will continue to be haunted by the ghosts of the past, as scrutiny into both his political and private life grows with his rising popularity.”
She also reminds us of his Greek Islands vacation, his $500,000 Tiffany loan, suspect financing at his charities and more. http://abcn.ws/tg41XO
That pleasure cruise he took over the summer – the one that led most of his then-staff to quit? It’s now a talking point for him.
“I visited Greece in June I talked to people about what they were faced with in Greece. And I listened to them and I tried to understand they face a crisis of enormous proportions,” Gingrich said. “The Greeks can’t pay off their loans at half the value. This is an enormous collapse of their quality of life in this category.” http://abcn.ws/rXRXTb
Televise Health Law Arguments – The Supreme Court chambers seat about 450. CSPAN has a reach of hundreds of millions. Ariane de Vogue reports that “…unless the court changes current policy, none but the few Americans able to score a ticket or stand in line will be able to watch the arguments. C-Span’s Brian Lamb sent a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts today asking him to permit C-Span to televise the health care oral arguments, which pit lawyers for 26 states the federal government.” http://abcn.ws/vFBo2t
Labor War: Biden (PA) v. Romney (SC) – “Folks, you fired the first shot. It’s not about Barack Obama. It’s not about Joe Biden. It’s about whether middle-class people are going to be put back in the saddle again – because you are the people who make this country move,” Biden told the crowd of 500 in a Euclid firehouse, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Biden mentioned only one GOP presidential candidate by name, the Plain Dealer noted, subtly referencing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s endorsement of an effort by Ohio’s Republican Gov. John Kasich to curtail bargaining rights in the state. Sixty-one percent of Ohioans ultimately rejected the Kasich-sponsored law in a ballot measure last week. http://abcn.ws/sDtRe8
Mitt Romney, for his part, was in South Carolina – Ground Zero in the GOP war on the NLRB. He referred to Obama appointees to that board as “stooges.”
“I happen to think American workers deserve a number of rights,” said Romney. “I think American workers have the right to work in a non-union state, and I don’t think the federal government should be able to tell South Carolina you can’t be right-to-work and have factories.” http://abcn.ws/stL37L
Rick Perry, Uprooting Branches of Govt. – Here’s what he said during a stop in Iowa at a metal manufacturer, according to Arlette Saenz: “Washington’s too broken to be fixed by tinkering on the margins. I don’t believe that Washington just needs a new coat of paint. I think the whole place needs to be overhauled,” Perry said in a speech at the Schebler Co. plant in Iowa. “I’m a true believer that we need to uproot, tear down and rebuild Washington, D.C. and our federal institutions.” More here: http://abcn.ws/ukyojD
The Texas Governor’s speech has taken a poetic turn. Visualize uprooting branches. It is powerful stuff.
Haiku created by us from Perry’s speech:
Uproot three branches
of Government, Fire
Main Street boarded up!
Not Creatures of Washington
And Overpaid Czars
Super Committee – T-Minus 9 Days – Reid Stand By Sequestration – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was pessimistic that the 12-member Super Committee, which he said is currently in a “headlock,” would be able to broker a bipartisan deficit reduction deal by next Wednesday. But he rejected calls to bypass painful spending cuts that would result if no deal is reached. Sequestration is the process by which across-the-board cuts in government spending would be enacted starting in the 2013 spending year. The cuts will automatically kick in if the Super Committee cannot reach a deal to reduce the deficit by between $1.2 trillion. http://abcn.ws/vp98av
Boehner Likes Toomey – While Democrats rejected a recent bid from Republicans on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to create about $300 billion in new tax revenues as part of its deal to identify $1.5 trillion in savings, House Speaker John Boehner today called the proposal a “fair offer.” But he cautioned reporters that a final deal has not yet been agreed to. ”The offer that Republicans put on the table is a fair offer. Toomey, [or] something like Toomey — it’s important for us to, in my opinion, reform the tax code. We’ve got the highest business tax rate in the world,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “Reforming the code is a step in the right direction. The details of how we get there frankly are yet to be worked out.” More from John Parkinson: http://abcn.ws/vsEOjM
When a Tax Hike Isn’t a Tax Hike – On ABC’s “Top Line” today, a leading Republican lawmaker who has signed the Grover Norquist pledge said he and other signers need to consider any deal not just in terms of current taxes, but also for what it could mean for taxes down the road. “We are facing major increases in taxes in January of 2013 [with the expiration of a series of tax cuts], just a little over a year from now, and this is an opportunity to alter that path in a significant way. So you can look at it as a tax increase, but you can also view it as an agreement that avoids major tax increases in the future and instead defines a different pathway that involves lower taxes than you’d have in 2013.” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. http://abcn.ws/usesXY
Marco Rubio’s Advice to candidates – http://abcn.ws/v3Cez4
Bachmann vs. the World – Michele Bachmann is out with a tough new web ad that hits nearly every one of her adversaries. http://abcn.ws/shNdD1
Saving $18 billion, Losing $115 billion – Federal agency payouts of the wrong amount, to the wrong individuals, or for an inappropriate purpose totaled $115 billion in 2011, OMB Director Lew told reporters on a conference call. That’s a lot of money, but its $18 billion less than last year, according to the White House. “Officials attributed the savings to greater oversight of Medicare and Medicaid payments, Pell Grant applications and Food Stamp distribution by federal agencies, all following a 2010 Obama executive order that mandated improved accountability,” according to Devin Dwyer http://abcn.ws/vGTtEL
Ron Paul’s Nevada Bet – Jason Volack reports: While most of the presidential candidates have virtually ignored the early voting state of Nevada, the Ron Paul campaign is making a big push there, making more trips than any of his rivals, opening two campaign offices, and unveiling his centerpiece budget plan there in October. http://abcn.ws/usesXY
Top Line Book Corner – How does a 49-year-old woman with no journalism experience rise to become the master of the most powerful daily newspaper in all of Washington? The same way a man would – through ruthless, dogged pursuit of news that could sell. A little shameless self-promotion helped Cissy Patterson, too, according to our Sherisse Pham. “She put her stamp on everything she did – right or wrong,” Amanda Smith, author of ‘Newspaper Titan: The Infamous Life and Monumental Times of Cissy Patterson,’ told ABC’s ‘Top Line’ today. http://abcn.ws/t6PMFt
Obama Down Under – Third time’s a charm for President Obama who, after two previously scuttled attempts, will today make his first trip Down Under, according to Devin Dwyer. “Obama embarks on a 5,200-mile flight to Australia this afternoon aboard Air Force One after three days in his native Honolulu, where he hosted world leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. The Australia visit, the 7th by a U.S. president, coincides with the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-Australia alliance and highlights the countries’ increasingly close economic and military ties. It also signals the Obama administration’s effort to strengthen U.S. influence in the Asia Pacific region to counterbalance China.” http://abcn.ws/u8RexC
New Kennedy Assassination Tapes Revealed – http://abcn.ws/rIs7rq
ABC News’ Sarah Parnass contributed to this report.