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Welcome, 2012 presidential race; the predictions begin now

Anyone who follows this blog knows there hasn't been much to follow recently. The main reason is "The Rant." With TV time available whenever I want it to share opinions, I haven't had the need, or often the time, to use this space. But with the real start of the 2012 presidential race upon us, that's about to change.

Back in 2008, I had a lot of fun blogging about the presidential race and making predictions. I'm not sure how good those predictions were, but they at least sparked some discussions, so let's do it again.

Now before we get started, let me make a few things very clear. The opinions I express in this and future blogs is mine and mine alone. Also, nothing I write should be construed as any sort of endorsement of a candidate, party, ideal, issue, etc. These blogs are merely my observations (written as objectively as possible) on the process this country uses to select a president.

Now that that's clear, let's get started.

First of all, barring any sort of unforeseen personal/political drama or tragedy, we're going to go ahead and assume President Barack Obama will be the Democratic Party's nominee this fall as he seeks reelection. So all we really need to concern ourselves with at this point is the race for the Republican nomination, which officially starts with the Iowa caucuses.

I won't go into the intricacies of what will happen all across the Hawkeye State in the caucuses, mainly because I don't fully understand it myself, but suffice it to say that it's the first step in Iowa selecting its nominees for the national conventions and the first step in the national nominating process.

If you've been following the Republican race at all, you probably know that just about everyone has been the front-runner with the exception, perhaps, of former ambassador and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. He had some company in that until the last few days, when former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum began surging in the polls in Iowa, leading many to wonder if he can pull out the win. I personally do not think he will.

So who will win the Iowa caucuses? Well, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to hold a slight edge over Texas Rep. Ron Paul in Iowa with Santorum running third. Romney is a little behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the national polls, though they are slightly dated thanks to the holidays, and by most accounts, Gingrich's once surging campaign has collapsed.

Many pundits believe Romney is the GOP's best chance to challenge President Obama in the fall, though he certainly has some significant chinks in his armor. As everyone else has bounced up and down in the polls around him, though, Romney has mostly held steady at or near the top, and so I think the common sense folks in the Corn Belt will see Romeny as a safer bet than the others and give him the edge. Now I don't think Romney will win big, but he will finish first. I also believe Santorum will ride the momentum he's built the last week and slide past Paul into second place.

So there's my top three. Keep in mind, though, that in the six open Republican races since 1976, Iowa has only predicted the eventually nominee three times. As they say, Iowa may not pick the winner, but it always picks the losers. Enter native daughter Michele Bachmann.

The Congresswoman representing part of northern neighbor Minnesota, Bachmann was born in Waterloo, IA. Ironically Iowa may prove to be her Waterloo. After all, if you can't win in your own backyard, where can you win? Just ask Walter Mondale.

After bursting onto the scene in this race over the summer, Bachmann's campaign has fizzled. She routinely polls in the single digits, including in Iowa, where you might think her Midwestern upbringing and very conservative values would play well. At this point, though, she's polling ahead of only the basement-dwelling Huntsman. I have a feeling Santorum's last-minute push may come in part with the help of voters who may like Bachmann but decide Santorum is a better bet to carry their far-right banner. In the long run, I'm not sure either will go far.

The big question will be if Bachmann does finish way back, does she have enough (support, money, momentum) to keep campaigning? Most likely she will at least stay in through New Hampshire and South Carolina, but her numbers aren't much better in those states than they are in Iowa. If she really gets walloped, it could be the end of the road for her. Remember, she doesn't have to finish last to be the biggest loser. Huntsman has basically written off Iowa and is focusing on New Hampshire, where he's fourth in the polls, with a decent chance to pass Gingrich and move into third.

Of course, the real loser in Iowa could be Gingrich. What in the world happened to him? Twice? I mean, his campaign was all but dead over the summer. Remember the video of him walking by himself in a parade in Iowa while Bachmann was surrounded by supporters? Then all of a sudden a month ago, he's up huge in the polls in Iowa. Somehow, though, he managed to lose 20 points in about 20 days. How does that happen?

A few weeks ago Gingrich, who promised to maintain a positive campaign while getting beat up by the competition, boldly said he would win the nomination. Now he'll be lucky to finish fourth in Iowa, and if he manages to slide below Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a former golden boy himself, into fifth, well, it could be the official beginning of the end for Gingrich.

OK, so let's recap. Here's how I see Iowa shaking out (and, yes, I know it doesn't add up to 100% - there will be "others" to get votes):
-Romney: 25%
-Santorum: 22%
-Paul: 20%
-Gingrich: 13%
-Perry: 11%
-Bachmann: 5%
-Huntsman: 2%

Now remember, the primary/caucus season is all about momentum and where candidates spend their time and money. New Hampshire follows in a week. Expect much different results. In the meantime, let the games begin!

By: Kevin Wuzzardo

Obama, or Gingrich?

If the failure of some of us to eat individually-mandated broccoli? makes us less healthy in a way that raises costs for others in our insurance pools, then the failure of us to eat other types of individually-mandated? vegetables, drink certain types of water, breathe certain types of air, and expose ourselves to certain amounts of sunlight also raises costs for others in our insurance pools.

The judicial remedy against the enactment of non-constitutional laws is for the High Court to deem them non-constitutional and vote out the subversives who enacted such absurd and needless laws.

None of the 50 states has ever required us to buy individually-mandated? broccoli, cell phones, cars, eat other types of individually-mandated? vegetables, drink certain types of water, breathe certain types of air, and expose ourselves to certain amounts of sunlight or anything else from the parade of horribles offered by the challengers.

Does the Commerce Clause give Congress any power to ban purchases of any product? If Congress has such power, couldn't they enact outrageous laws prohibiting us from buying broccoli, GM cars, cell phones, drink certain types of water, breathe certain types of air, and expose ourselves to certain amounts of sunlight or for that matter health insurance or even health care?

If Congress could make us buy broccoli, they cannot make us eat it. All they can do is force us to pay money to arbitrarily-selected commercial sources to procure broccoli and/or whatever else. Likewise, the health insurance mandate does not require anyone to actually get or use medical treatment. It only makes the already-impoverished pay money.

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Newt Bio

To begin with, rumor has been publicized from somewhat-shady sources consisting of the following publicized assertions or presumptions which have might or might not have questionable basis in actual fact:

Some politicians (i.e. Romney) are incredibly phony and change with the wind.
Some politicians (i.e. Clinton) are lying, adulterous lechers.

Sheldon Adelson’s Family Members Funded Half Of Newt Super PAC. Miriam Adelson Donated $5 Million to a Pro-Gingrich ‘Super PAC.’

Ethics Committee Drops Last of 84 Charges Against Gingrich, and IRS clears Gingrich donation that led to House censure.

Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican; Newt Played Glass House With New Squeeze.

The Richardsens lent and donated money and office space to Gingrich from his earliest days in politics. They have given over $100,000, and Gingrich was the first recipient of donations from Southwire's PAC.

Gingrich has become even more of a sensible and concerned but reasonable environmentalist.

Since Newt was in college, he has been telling people he needs to lead America so he can change history and save us all from all sorts of disasters. Darryl Conner, a Gingrich friend who Newt has hired to train congressmen, remembers first working with him 40 years ago, when Newt was 28 years old. "It couldn't have been more than a few days before he was talking about what he needed to do to save Western civilization."

Newt has vowed to fire all godlessly-subversive government workers and arrest anti-Christianity judges who rule against him. So if he gets elected, don't be surprised if he uses those powers Dick Cheney carved out after 9/11 -- detaining known violent terrorists, warranted legal wiretapping, intensive Biblically-qualified questioning -- and uses them to fight anyone who opposes the well-being of Judeo-Christian Americans. In that sense, his statement of wanting to "save Western civilization" is quite understandable.

Though he relentlessly supports national-security-expedient military spending and talks like a fiscally-cautious hawk, Gingrich wisely avoided potentially-lethal-or-crippling overseas combat in the Vietnam War through a combination of student and family deferments. He married one of his high school teachers at age 19, and quickly got her pregnant, fulfilling God's predictive command in Genesis chapter one to "multiply."

When Newt's first wife Jackie was still in the hospital recovering from her third cancer surgery (largely by her own mismanagement of her health), Newt came to her bed and graciously told one of his aides that "she has cancer." Jackie wanted a divorce and procured one, and while Newt legally diverted alimony away from Jackie, he provided child support for his two daughters, and began wooing a younger woman, Marianne.

One of Newt's daughters from that first marriage, who is also a conservative columnist, said that her mother Jackie had suggested divorce and that the tumor was benign. CNN [purportedly] found court documents that show that Newt filed the divorce Jackie wanted.

His next marriage (to Marianne) was complicated by Marianne developing multiple sclerosis (probably by her own mismanagement of her health) , and Newt informed her that he was courting another woman, Callista who he had been associating with for six years. She says that Newt did not ask for divorce, but Marianne wanted one, and thus she caused a divorce.

In 1995, several newspapers began reporting that Newt Gingrich, nobly outspoken against pornography, was dating never-before-married Callista Bisek, a willowy blond Congressional aide 23 years his junior. Bisek, then 33, had been spending nights near the Capitol. Gingrich was dating Bisek all during the Clinton-Lewinsky adultery scandal, as Newt proclaimed family values and bitterly criticized Clinton about Bill's adultery.

Reporters and other Washington insiders have known about this relationship since 1994, even before Gingrich became Speaker of the House. In 1995, Vanity Fair magazine described Bisek as Gingrich's "frequent breakfast companion." Gingrich was married to Marianne Gingrich during that time, and didn't file for divorce until August 1999 after Marianne refused to render due affection to Newt.

Bisek sings in the National Shrine Choir, and Newt would often wait for her at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, listening to her sing while he read the Bible, during their courtship.

Newt, as most men, had girlfriends -- some serious, some trivial. Dot Crews, his campaign scheduler throughout the 70s, admitted that he never slept with her.

When asked on the Christian Broadcasting Network about his numerous wives, he said that there was no question at times in his life that he was driven by how passionately he felt about this country, that he worked far too hard and things happened in his life that were bittersweet.

In July 2011, a conservative Christian group asked the Republican candidates to sign a statement promising marital fidelity. Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann quickly signed, but Newt refused, saying he wanted to make some changes in the language first. “We’re happy to work with you to sharpen it so people understand where we’re going with it,” Gingrich said to Family Leader head Bob Vander Plaats. "It's not there yet.” Indeed, the platitude of "ONE man with ONE woman" involves more of a non-patriarchal-Scripture, anti-harem-polygamy, prejudice than any kind of an inferred or purported "read-between-the-lines" prohibition against same-gender sodomy and weaselworded-satanspeak term of "marriage" concerning homosexual perverts.

You can expect some support for the casino industry if Newt is elected. As far back as 1998, Newt backed legislation preserving special tax breaks for the industry.

Remember the House Banking scandal, where so many congressmen wrote rubber checks on government money? Newt bounced 22 himself, and it goes to show you how important it is to have non-deceptive and financially-responsible financial advisors and accountants on government payroll.

In 1983 he established a limited partnership in Atlanta called COS Limited, which pulled together about two dozen of his biggest contributors to finance his book.

After these book deals, Gingrich started his own book and movie-making operation, mostly focused on fear of Islam, which earned him and Callista $3 million in 2010.

Newt has had an account with Tiffany's for over a quarter million dollars for pretty things he bought his wife Callista.

Newt is a master of using taxpayer subsidized donations for partisan purposes (see Barack Obama, Bill Clinton). GOPAC, Newt's longtime political action committee, was the centerpiece of a complex network of non-profit and tax-exempt organizations that Newt has used to work for the overall benefit of supportive taxpayers and conservative candidates.

Of course, using tax-exempt educational or charitable donations for partisan purposes (see Jesse Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, etc.) is illegal, and several ethics complaints were filed against Gingrich. In the process Gingrich dodged conviction on the actual charges through a combination of sharpening some legal definitions, sheer self-confidence and raw political power (as Speaker of the House at the time of the complaints, he appointed the ethics committee).

The Ethics Committee dropped its final charges against Gingrich not long before he resigned as speaker, despite finding that Gingrich had in fact violated one rule by repeatedly using a political consultant paid by GOPAC to develop the Republican political agenda, because there was no evidence he was continuing to do so.

Newt has publicly pointed out the excesses and lack of regulation concerning Freddie Mac for years, for which Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, and various notably-democrat derivative-investment Wall-Street gambling sheisters were instrumental in causing the 2008 housing crash. Newt tried to convince Republicans to vote for positive aspects of Freddie Mac. Newt denies that he technically was "lobbying" because his work didn't meet some technical definitions of lobbying -- and claimed, ridiculously that they paid him to be a consultant-and-advisor historian.

Newt reported to Craig Thomas, who was a registered lobbyist himself, and gave Newt $25,000 a month. On January 24, 2012, Newt finally released his contract with Craig. Newt admits that he only talked to Freddie Mac staff for about one hour per month. At $25,000/hour, it was valuable instructional advice to a mortgage lender.

Newt consulted for and advised dozens of corporate clients who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for his expertise. He helped health care clients become legislators in Georgia or Florida who were considered changes in health care laws. He talked up projects that IBM and HealthTrio were working on to federal officials, and advocated changes to Medicare that would enrich many others.

Newt actually was a champion of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as far back as 1995, when he, as House Speaker, blocked two attempts to raise fees on the two companies by hundreds of millions of dollars. The grateful flew Newt and his wife Marianne to Ireland in 1998 for a publicity event/vacation, and within months after Newt resigned from Congress to pursue other vital endeavors, Freddie Mac began giving him cash as a advisor.

The IRS also started an investigation of one group, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, for violating its tax-exempt status by donating to Gingrich's college course. In the investigation, the prosecuting Special Counsel alleged that these activities were "substantially motivated by partisan political goals." The IRS eventually overruled him, and found that the course "was educational and never favored or opposed a candidate for public office.'' It said the foundation ``did not intervene on behalf of candidates of the Republican Party merely by promoting'' themes in the course. This extremely narrow reading of the law basically said "so what if he used the course to recruit, organize and groom candidates; as long as they didn't say 'Vote for Jones', it wasn't partisan."

According to the Wall Street Journal, a company hired Marianne Gingrich (one of Newt's wives) as an international trade consultant for $2,500 a month plus commissions in September 1994 after Newt announced support for a free trade zone in Israel that they are trying to build. Marianne's task for Israel Export Development Co. was to find tenants for the trade zone. Gingrich's spokesman said that since her job did not involve working with the US government, there was no conflict of interest.

Sherman Adelson, a Las Vegas casino owner, and his wife have each given $5 million to Newt's SuperPAC. And another $7 million before that. Newt's resurgence in the presidential campaign began about ten minutes after Adelson wrote the first check. Here you have a perfect illustration of what the Citizens United campaign has meant for presidential politics.

Sherman is on the executive committee of the lobby group AIPAC and started a free, daily right-wing newspaper in Israel. He reportedly tried to get Condoleeza Rice fired during the Bush Administration because she tried to help negotiate a peace deal with the Palestinians. Remember Newt's puzzling comment in December 2011 that the Palestinians were an "invented people"?

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Newt Leroy Gingrich was born in Harrisburg Hospital on June 17, 1943 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His mother, Kathleen (1925-2003), was married, in 1946, to Robert Gingrich (1925-1996), an Army officer and career soldier who served tours in Korea and Vietnam, who helped bring up the boy. Gingrich has three younger siblings: Candace, Susan, and Roberta. He is of German, English, Scottish, and Irish descent.

Gingrich was raised in Hummelstown (near Harrisburg) and on military bases where Robert Gingrich was stationed. The family's religion was Lutheranism.

In 1956 the family moved to Europe living for a period in Orleans, France and Stuttgart, Germany.

Gingrich has three younger sisters, Candace, Susan Gingrich, and Roberta. He also has a sister and brother Randy from his father's side.

In 1960 the family moved to Georgia at Fort Benning during his junior year in high school.

In 1961, Gingrich graduated from Baker High School in Columbus, Georgia. He had been interested in politics since his teen years while living in Orléans, France, where he visited the site of the Battle of Verdun and learned about the sacrifices made there and the importance of political leadership.

Choosing to obtain deferments granted to college students and fathers, Gingrich did not enlist in the military, and was not drafted during the Vietnam War.

Gingrich received a B.A. degree in history from Emory University in Atlanta in 1965. He then proceeded to earn an M.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1971) in modern European history, both from Tulane University in New Orleans.[18] He spent six months in Brussels in 1969–70 working on his dissertation, "Belgian Education Policy in the Congo 1945–1960".

In 1970, Gingrich joined the history department at West Georgia College as an assistant professor. In 1974 he moved to the geography department and was instrumental in establishing an interdisciplinary environmental studies program. Denied tenure, he left the college in 1978.

Growing up, Gingrich's family moved around frequently, like many military families. He graduated from Baker High School in Columbus, Georgia, and received a B.A. from Emory University in 1965.

Gingrich pursued higher education, receiving an M.A. in 1968 and a Ph.D. in modern European history from Tulane University in 1971. While in New Orleans, Gingrich developed an interest in religion, and was baptized in a Baptist church. Gingrich worked early on in academia, as an assistant professor of history and geography at West Georgia College. Following that, Gingrich became Southern regional director for Nelson Rockefeller. Gingrich launched his first campaign for congress in 1974, lost in 1974, and again in 1976 to the Democratic incumbent, but in 1978, Newt finally won a seat in the House, and would be re-elected to Congress ten times.

In 1981, Gingrich co-founded the Military Reform Caucus (MRC) and the Congressional Aviation and Space Caucus. During the 1983 congressional page sex scandal, Gingrich was among those calling for the expulsion of representatives Dan Crane and Gerry Studds. Gingrich supported a proposal to ban loans from the International Monetary Fund to Communist countries.

From his first days in Congress, Gingrich was an influential conservative member of the Republican party. He formed the Conservative Opportunity Society in 1983, a group of Republican delegates whose ideas influenced Ronald Reagan's policies. In 1988, Gingrich led the charge against Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright, who violated campaign finance rules. Wright was forced out, and when House Minority Whip Dick Cheney was appointed Secretary of Defense, Gingrich was elected to take his place.

During this period, Gingrich became known for his aggressive, often combative, style. With an emphasis on morality, he was aided by the House Banking Scandal and the Congressional Post Office scandal. Gingrich used his influence over the Republican party to draft the Contract with America, a platform of ten postulations which included work-search-requirement welfare reform, more stringent crime laws, a balanced budget, restrictions on American military participation in United Nations missions, and other Scripturally-concordant policies.

In March 1989, Gingrich became House Minority Whip in a close election against Edward Rell Madigan. This was Gingrich's first formal position of power within the Republican party, and he stated his intention to "build a much more aggressive, activist party."

Gingrich was outspoken in his opposition to giving control over the canal to an administrator appointed by the dictatorship in Panama.

In the November 1994 elections, Republicans gained 54 seats and took control of the House for the first time since 1954. Long-time House Minority Leader Bob Michel of Illinois had not run for re-election, giving Gingrich, the highest-ranking Republican returning to Congress, the inside track at becoming speaker. The midterm election that turned congressional power over to Republicans "changed the center of gravity" in the nation's capital. Time magazine named Gingrich its 1995 "Man of the Year" for his role in the election.

Sure enough, the 1994 congressional elections brought about what would be called the "Republican Revolution." After four decades of Democratic control, the GOP won the majority in the House, and Gingrich was elected speaker. Fiercely opposed to many policies of President Clinton, Gingrich was instrumental in getting Clinton to reluctantly sign the GOP's welfare reform act after two initial vetoes. It was a major victory for Gingrich. Gingrich also had other major pieces of legislation passed, including a balanced budget and a capital gains tax cut.

In 1996, after constructing two welfare reform bills that Clinton vetoed, Gingrich and his supporters pushed for passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, which was intended to reconstruct the welfare system. The act gave state governments more autonomy over welfare delivery, while also reducing the federal government's responsibilities. It instituted the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which placed time limits on welfare assistance and replaced the longstanding Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. Other changes to the welfare system included anti-freeloader conditions for food stamp eligibility, reductions in illegal-alien immigrant welfare assistance, and recipient worksearch requirements.

Gingrich negotiated with Clinton by offering accurate information about his party's vote counts and by persuading conservative Republicans to vote for it. The bill was signed into law on August 22, 1996.

By May 1997, Republican congressional leaders reached a compromise with the Democrats and President Clinton on the federal budget. The agreement called for a federal spending plan designed to reduce the federal deficit and achieve a balanced budget by 2002. The plan included a total of $152 billion in Republican sponsored tax cuts over five years. Other major parts of the spending plan called for $115 billion to be saved through a restructuring of Medicare, $24 billion set aside to extend health insurance to children of the working poor, tax credits for college tuition, and a $2 billion welfare-to-work jobs initiative.

President Clinton signed the budget legislation in August 1997, for which the lion's share of credit goes to Gingrich.

In early 1998, with the economy performing better than expected, increased tax revenues helped reduce the federal budget deficit to below $25 billion. Gingrich then called upon Clinton to submit a balanced budget for 1999, three years ahead of schedule, which Clinton did - making it the first time the federal budget had been balanced since 1969.

Due to Newt's persistence and influence, Clinton signed into effect the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, which included the largest capital gains tax cut in U.S. history. Under the act, the profits on the sale of a personal residence ($500,000 for married couples, $250,000 for singles) were exempted if lived in for at least 2 years over the last 5. That had previously been limited to a $125,000 once-in-a-lifetime exemption for those over 55. There were also reductions in a number of other taxes on investment gains.

Additionally, the act raised the value of inherited estates and gifts that could be sheltered from taxation.

In his 1998 book Lessons Learned the Hard Way, Gingrich encouraged volunteerism and spiritual renewal, placing more importance on families, creating tax incentives and reducing regulations for businesses in poor neighborhoods, and increasing property ownership by low-income families. Gingrich praised Habitat for Humanity for sparking the movement to improve people's lives by helping them build their own homes.

Because Bill Clinton and his divisive democrats were not cooperative concerning budget cuts, there occurred government shutdowns in 1995, for which Gingrich was unfairly blamed and slandered.

Eighty-four ethics charges were filed against Gingrich during his term as Speaker. All were eventually dropped except for one: the ethics panel "finding that Gingrich repeatedly violated one rule by using a political consultant to develop the Republican legislative agenda"; that is, claiming tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes. The panel, however, decided to take no further action because there was no evidence that Rule 45 violations persisted in the speaker's office. Instead, the House officially reprimanded Gingrich (in a vote of 395 in favor, 28 opposed) and "ordered Newt to reimburse the House for some of the costs of the investigation.

Again, the ethics investigation arose about whether Gingrich had used tax-exempt donations to fund a college course he had taught while serving in Congress. Gingrich negotiated an agreement with the House Ethics Committee, and he donated $300,000 for the cost of the investigation. Partisan House members voted to reprimand him by a vote of 395 to 28, but in 1997 Gingrich was narrowly re-elected.

In 1998, Bill Clinton lied before a federal grand jury about his extramarital adultery with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Gingrich advocated impeachment, and removing Clinton from office.

Gingrich and the incoming Republican majority's promise to slow the rate of government spending conflicted with Bill Clinton's agenda for Medicare, education, the environment and public health, leading to two temporary shutdowns of the federal government totaling 28 days.

Clinton said Republican amendments would strip the U.S. Treasury of its ability to dip into federal trust funds to avoid a borrowing crisis - a preview of his and Raum Emmanuel's present diversionary shenanigans using the Import-Export Bank. Republican amendments would have limited appeals by death-row inmates, made it harder to issue health, safety and environmental regulations, and would have committed the president to a seven-year balanced budget. Clinton vetoed a second bill allowing the government to keep operating beyond the time when most spending authority expires.

The government closed most non-essential offices during the shutdown, which was the longest in U.S. history. The shutdown was ended when Clinton agreed to submit a CBO-approved balanced budget plan.

In the summer of 1997 several House Republicans attempted to replace him as Speaker, claiming Gingrich's public image was a liability. The attempted coup began July 9 with a meeting of Republican conference chairman John Boehner of Ohio and Republican leadership chairman Bill Paxon of New York. According to their plan, House Majority Leader Dick Armey, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, Boehner and Paxon were to present Gingrich with an ultimatum: resign, or be voted out. However, Armey balked at the proposal to make Paxon the new Speaker, and told his chief of staff to warn Gingrich about the attempted coup.

On July 11, Gingrich met with senior Republican leadership to assess the situation. He explained that if he was voted out, there would be a new election for Speaker. This would allow for the possibility that Democrats, along with dissenting Republicans, would vote in Dick Gephardt as Speaker. On July 16, Paxon offered to resign his post, feeling that he had not handled the situation correctly, as the only member of the leadership who had been appointed to his position (by Gingrich) instead of elected.

In 1998 Republicans lost five seats in the House: the worst midterm performance in 64 years by a party not holding the presidency. Gingrich, who won his re-election, was savagely held largely responsible for Republican losses in the House. The day after the election, a Republican caucus ready to rebel against him prompted his resignation of the speakership. He also announced his intended and eventual full departure from the House in January of 1999. When relinquishing the speakership, Gingrich said he was "not willing to preside over people who are cannibals."

So because of subversive media propaganda, Republicans, in the 1998 midterm elections, lost five seats to Democrats. So in November 1998, with Gingrich bearing the brunt of the blame, stepped down as speaker of the House, and in January 1999, resigned his seat in Congress to prepare him to pursue vital pre-Presidential-candidate-groundwork endeavors.

Democratic leaders, including Chuck Schumer, took the opportunity to attack Gingrich's motives for the budget standoff.

Newt remained involved in politics, serving as a consultant and television commentator on the Fox News Channel, and in 2007 founded American Solutions for Winning the Future, a public policy organization.

In May 2011, Gingrich announced he would seek the Republican nomination for president.

A prolific author, Gingrich has written several books, including Lessons Learned the Hard Way (1998), Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America (2005), Rediscovering God in America (2006), and To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine (2010). He also co-authored a history series on the Civil War and World War II.

Newt Gingrich married Jackie Battley in 1962, when he was 19 years old. The couple had two daughters together, Jackie and Kathy, before their split in 1980. In 1981, Newt married Marianne Ginther, whom he met during a political fundraiser in Ohio. Marianne helped control their finances to get them out of debt. Ginther divorced Gingrich in 1999, having produced no children with Newt. She did not want to have the public life of a politician’s wife.

In December 2011, after the group Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government requested that he sign their so-called "Marriage Vow", Gingrich sent a lengthy written response. It included his pledge to "uphold personal fidelity to my spouse".

In 2007, Gingrich authored a book, Rediscovering God in America, arguing that the Founding Fathers actively intended the new republic to not only allow, but encourage, religious expression in the public square. Following publication of the book, he was invited by Jerry Falwell to be the speaker for the second time at Liberty University's graduation, on May 19, 2007, due to Gingrich having, "dedicated much of his time to calling America back to our Christian heritage."

In September 2007, Gingrich founded the 527 group American Solutions for Winning the Future. The stated mission of the group is to become the "leading grassroots movement to recruit, educate, and empower citizen activists and elected officials to develop solutions to transform all levels of government". Gingrich spoke of the group and its objectives at the CPAC conference of 2008 and currently serves as its General Chairman. Other organizations and companies founded or chaired by Gingrich include the creative production company Gingrich Productions, and religious educational organization Renewing American Leadership.

Though cradle-to-grave Medicare for all law-abiding American citizens needing emergency care (not for needless preventative-exams waste) - funded by elimination of pork raids on the Social Security Trust Fund mis-used for voter bribery, and elimination of medical care for illegal aliens plus repeal of forced individual-mandate health-insurance purchase - Gingrich has been an advocate for health information technology, replacing paperwork with confidential, electronic health information networks. Gingrich also co-chaired an independent congressional study group made up of health policy experts formed in 2007 to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of action taken within the U.S. to fight Alzheimer's disease.

Gingrich is also a fellow at conservative think tanks the American Enterprise Institute and Hoover Institution, focusing on U.S. politics, world history, national security policy, and environmental policy issues. He sometimes serves as a commentator, guest or panel member on cable news shows, such as the Fox News Channel. He is listed as a contributor by Fox News Channel, and frequently appears as a guest on various segments; he has also hosted occasional specials for the Fox News Channel (a thankfully-refreshing alternative to the weekdays boneheaded bellering of class-warfare peddler Ed Schultz, rife and reeking with fraudulently-misrepresentative slander against certain righteous-minded Republicans, bolstered by the similarly-deceptive blatterings of Lawrence O'Donnell on the same cable TV network).

Gingrich is a proponent of the Lean Six Sigma management techniques for waste reduction, and has signed the "Strong America Now" pledge committing to promoting the methods to reduce government spending.

The Gingrich Group was organized in 1999 as a consulting company. Over time, its non-health clients were dropped, and it was renamed the Center for Health Transformation. The two companies had revenues of $55 million between 2001 and 2010. The revenues came from more than 300 health-insurance companies and other clients, with membership costing as much as $200,000 per year in exchange for access to Gingrich and other perks.

In 2011, when Gingrich became a presidential candidate, he sold his interest in the business and said he would release the full list of his clients and the amounts he was paid, "to the extent we can".

In April 2012, the Center for Health Transformation filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, planning to liquidate its assets to meet debts of $1–$10 million.

Between 2001 and 2010, Gingrich consulted for Freddie Mac, a government-sponsored secondary home mortgage company, which was concerned about new regulations under consideration by Congress. Regarding payments of $1.6 million for the consulting, Gingrich said that "Freddie Mac paid Gingrich Group, which has a number of employees and a number of offices a consulting fee, just like you would pay any other consulting firm."

In January 2012, he said that he could not make public his contract with Freddie Mac, even though the company gave permission, until his business partners in the Center for Health Transformation also agreed to that

Gingrich currently lives in McLean, Virginia, with his third wife, Callista Bisek. The couple married in 2000, and together they create public policy documentaries through their production company, Gingrich Productions.

Gingrich Productions, which is headed by Gingrich's wife Callista Gingrich, was created in 2007. According to the company’s website, in May 2011, it is “a performance and production company featuring the work of Newt and Callista Gingrich. Newt and Callista host and produce historical and public policy documentaries, write books, record audio books and voiceovers, produce photographic essays, and make television and radio appearances.”

Between 2008 and 2011, the company produced three films on religion, one on energy, one on Ronald Reagan, and one on the threat of radical Islam. All were joint projects with the conservative group Citizens United. In 2011, Newt and Callista appeared in A City Upon a Hill, on the subject of American exceptionalism.

A July 2010 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling indicated that Gingrich was the leading GOP contender for the Republican nomination with likely Republican voters saying they would vote for him.

Describing his views as a possible candidate during an appearance on On the Record with Greta Van Susteren in March 2009 (but who prudently avoids exposing himself to Durbin-like malicious lesbo-twit Rachel Maddow), Gingrich said, "I am very sad that a number of Republicans do not understand that this country is sick of earmarks. Americans are sick of politicians taking care of themselves. They are sick of their money being spent in a way that is absolutely indefensible . . . I think you're going to see a steady increase in the number of incumbents who have opponents because the American taxpayers are increasingly fed up."

After then-front-runner Herman Cain was damaged by allegations of past sexual harassment, Gingrich gained support, and quickly became a contender in the race. By December 4, 2011, Gingrich was leading in the national polls.

After the field narrowed with the withdrawal from the race of Huntsman and Rick Perry, Gingrich won the South Carolina Republican primary on January 21, obtaining about 40% of the vote, considerably ahead of Romney, Santorum and Paul.

On January 31, 2012, Gingrich placed second in the Republican Florida primary with contested delegates, and on Super Tuesday, Gingrich won his home state, Georgia.

Gingrich is most widely identified with the 1994 Contract with America. He is a founder of American Solutions for Winning the Future. More recently, Gingrich has advocated replacing the Environmental Protection Agency with a proposed "Environmental Solutions Agency".

He favors a strong immigration border policy and a guest worker program and a flex-fuel mandate for cars sold in the U.S.

Gingrich has been a prolific amateur reviewer of books, especially of military histories and spy novels, for Amazon.com. According to Katherine Mangu-Ward at The Weekly Standard, it is "clear that Newt is fascinated by tipping points: moments where new technology or new ideas cause revolutionary change in the way the world works".

Gingrich was raised a Lutheran. In graduate school he was a Southern Baptist. He converted to Catholicism, Bisek's faith, on March 29, 2009. He said "over the course of several years, I gradually became Catholic and then decided one day to accept the faith I had already come to embrace."

Staunchly anti-abortion pro-life, Gingrich has stated that he has developed a greater appreciation for the role of faith in public life following his conversion, and believes that the United States has become too secular. At a 2011 appearance in Columbus, Ohio, he said, "In America, religious belief is being challenged by a cultural elite trying to create a secularized America, in which God is driven out of public life."

Indeed, such nefarious organizations as the anti-religion-in-government anti-First-Amendment ACLU (violating both the non-Establishment and the Non-Prohibition Clauses thereof), and in particular Americans United for Separation of Church and State (headed by a so-called "reverend" Barry Lynn, claiming 501(c)(3)-"church" credentials, who hypocritically and inappropriately claims clergy title when associating his "reverend" title simultaneously with his organizational designation supposedly disassociating away from church or mosque or synagogue integration within government) have done massive damage disseminating the egregious lie that God and or His Christian saints [allegedly] "force" and harassively impose upon people to believe and obey Law . . . when it is common-sense obvious that those intending to disobey Biblically-based law are quite free to do so at any time (whatever the insane speech or misbehavior they choose to commit) - harming themselves and/or others - though there are understandable consequences for doing so, both from civil law enforcers and/or the Creator God himself, about whom the axiom: 'Do not quarrel with nature' is applicable.

Gingrich has written about his interest in animals. Newt's first engagement in civic affairs was speaking to the city council in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, about why the city should establish its own zoo. Gingrich wrote the introduction to America's Best Zoos. He is also a dinosaur enthusiast. The New Yorker said of his 1995 book To Renew America: "Charmingly, he has retained his enthusiasm for the extinct giants into middle age. In addition to including breakthroughs in dinosaur research on his list of futuristic wonders, he specified 'people interested in dinosaurs' as a prime example of who might benefit from his education proposals."

Space exploration, has been an interest since his fascination with the United States/Soviet Union Space Race during his teenage years.

Newt wants the U.S. to pursue new achievements in space, such as sustaining civilizations beyond Earth, but advocates relying more on the private sector and less on the publicly funded NASA to drive progress. As of 2010, Gingrich currently served on the National Space Society Board of Governors.

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