Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thank you to all the readers of this blog

I meant to post this Thursday after the milestone was first reached, but this blog has now reached 17,000 hits. Why I note that and not a more traditional number like 15,000 -- I don't know. But I felt like this was a good time to say thank you to everyone who reads this blog.

In the last 30 days alone, this site has gotten 5,574 hits. (The weekends are always a little slower; the number would have been higher had I wrote this on Friday.)

My favorite discovery about how people came across this blog? I have wrote about this before, but I noticed that the search term "Pawlenty flat tax" led someone to this site. When different terms like that pop up, I oftentimes will punch them in Google just for curiosity's sake. What I found out: that my blog post criticizing Pawlenty's proposal as too bland is the top result. And still is.

Once again, if you have not, please sign up on the right side of this page.

And if you ever have any ideas, suggestions, comments, or anything else, please contact me.

Thank you for your support. We are about six months from Iowa -- maybe a little less than that, maybe a little more -- and the campaign is heading in the right direction.

If you read this on time, be sure to catch Newt on Fox & Friends Sunday morning at 8 AM ET.

Newt's campaigning in Iowa getting attention.

Newt's campaigning in Iowa -- being there 16 of 45 days -- is getting attention in the Iowa press. Jennifer Jacobs of Des Moines-Register wrote a column today highlighting Newt's recent appearances in the Hawkeye State as well as his upcoming ones.

Newt will be back in the state with the first Presidential contest next Tuesday in "in Decorah and the surrounding area."

On Aug. 4, Gingrich will be the highlight of a lawn party in Des Moines’s Waterbury neighborhood. Organizers of a five-county fundraiser say he will be at their event in Tiffin on Aug. 5. And he will be at the Iowa State Fair, his spokesman said this morning.


Since then, he was in Des Moines for the Strong America Now debt-reduction summit on June 18 and in Indianola on a tea party bus tour stop June 25.

On Fourth of July, he marched in the parade in Clear Lake and visited with political activists in that area.

Last week, Gingrich did speeches as part of a Family Leader lecture series in Pella and Iowa City. On the same day, July 11, he met with the Iowa Conservative Union in Cedar Rapids.

Later in the week, he spoke to a conservative breakfast club in Des Moines, threw the first pitch at an Iowa Cubs game (the ball did make it to the catcher, but Gingrich was in front of the mound, not on it), and spoke at a tea party event in Lamoni.

Before his Iowa visit next week, Gingrich is scheduled to be on the East Coast, campaigning in the early-voting state of New Hampshire before traveling to Georgia for several stops, including a meeting with phone bank volunteers at the Newt 2012 headquarters who call voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dennis Hastert was to Newt as Bush 41 was to Reagan

Newt was Speaker of the House from January 1995 until December 1998. Simple enough, right?

Apparently not.

One of the most bizarre criticisms of Newt I encounter online is when people are either too lazy to check the dates or are trying to deceive people by blaming Newt for things that happened when he was out of Congress.

The most common is that Newt did not live up to his promise to shrink government. They seemingly conflate Newt and his successor as Speaker, Dennis Hastert.

Fact: Federal spending under Newt's Speakership fell to its' lowest annual increase since Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s.

To confuse Gingrich and Hastert is as wrong as confusing Ronald Reagan and his successor, George H.W. Bush. Imagine someone criticizing Reagan, not Bush, for breaking his no new taxes pledge. That is the same thing people are doing by blaming Newt for excessive spending under Hastert.

If people look at Newt's four years as Speaker -- and only those four years -- they will see four of the most conservative governing years of the 20th Century. Reforming entitlements, cutting taxes, building up the military, balancing the budget, and several other policy shifts to the right.

With a Democrat President no less.

Don't blame Newt for hijacking the Gingrich Revolution of 1994 anymore than you would blame Ronald Reagan for hijacking the Reagan Revolution of 1980.

The men who succeeded them are the real culprits in interrupting the forward march of conservatism.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tired of drunk and/or sleeping air traffic controllers? Newt has a solution.

Back in April, there was a wave of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job. And in recent days, the news of a air traffic controller who had more than twice the legal amount of alcohol in his system has made headlines.

What no one in the news media is asking is: "How can this be solved?" And the answer is it can be solved by going from the antiquated radar system that governs our country's skies and moving to GPS. In no other sector of society -- besides some other government agencies -- do we still live in the past as much as in air traffic control. The radar system has largely remained the same since its' introduction in the 1950s. Would you put up with using technology from the 50s in other areas of your life?

Newt has been pushing for this change for a number of years now. He tells what the benefits would be:
You can do a space-based air-traffic-control system with half the current number of air-traffic controllers, increase the amount of air traffic in the northeast by 40 percent, allow point-to-point flights without the controllers having to have highways in the sky, and reduce the amount of aviation fuel by 10 percent. So it’s better for the environment, better for the economy. You have far fewer delays in New York, and by the way, you cut the number of unionized air-traffic controllers by 7,000.
And that last part -- the unionized workers -- is the only reason that we have not shifted from an decrepit system that leaves every American citizen who flies in the hands of a possible sleeping air traffic controller, that wastes fuel, that costs worker productivity (by being in the air, circling around the airport, instead of being able to work).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The best of Newt's GOP Twitter Debate

His opening statement via video:

Now onto the best tweets:
When you balance the budget there is no need to raise the debt ceiling. I am the only candidate who has balanced the budget. @140townhall
Balance budget again by growing economy, cutting spending and reforming govt. That’s how we did it before. We CAN do it again. @140townhall
We spend less on defense today as % of GDP than at any time since Pearl Harbor @140townhall
Controlling the border and defending America are job 1 under the Constitution. @140townhall
A three-parter:
My Jobs and Prosperity Plan: No tax increase, 100% expensing, reduce business tax to 12.5%, eliminate cap gains & death tax @140townhall

(cont.) Audit & reform Fed Reserve; repeal Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes Oxley, Comm Reinvestment Act; break up Freddie and Fannie @140townhall

(cont.) Repeal & replace Obamacare and fully develop American energy. These would all create jobs by REDUCING govt. @140townhall
Thanks again @140townhall. Earlier I asked you to be “with me,” not “for me” b/c the presidency alone cannot solve America’s challenges.
Returning America back to job creation, balanced budgets & limited govt will be a team effort. Join that team at @140townhall
You can view his Twitter feed here.


Newt later did another Google+ hangout -- his first can be seen here -- for those whose questions were not answered on Twitter.

When that video becomes available, I will post it.

P.S. I ask everyone who reads this to take a moment to sign up for the daily e-mail from this blog. It contains all the posts from the previous day, and is a more convenient way of keeping up with the news around Newt 2012.

Also, and I already linked to it, but please visit Every day. Three times.

Thanks for reading.

Twitter Debate and radio interview

Newt will be in the Twitter GOP debate starting at 3 PM ET. You can follow it at

Immediately after, Newt will be on Rusty Humphries' radio show. Humphries, who will help moderate the event, has a website you can listen to the interview on.

Back in April, Newt was a part of a Tax Day Tea Party Townhall with several major Tea Party groups participated in it. Humphries moderated the event.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Picture of the brick with Newt and Callista's name outside John Wayne's home

For those who read the daily e-mail, I realized that the picture yesterday did not show up.

So I will include the link this time.

Link to picture.

Sorry for not catching it earlier.

Newt on Strong America Now Teleforum

The Strong America Now conference call just ended. The group has about 50,000 members in Iowa, and that is where the call was based from tonight. (Its' presence in New Hampshire is also quite big.)

Newt called on those in the state with the first Presidential contest who support Lean Six Sigma (LSS) to "help make history" by pulling aside reporters and explaining it to them.

Newt, as he has been saying, believes LSS would make the FDA "dramatically" faster at getting breakthroughs to patients, lengthening lives and improving lives.

He mentioned the Boeing plant in Charleston as what can be produced with the newest technology and the focus being on efficiently delivering to consumers what they want and need.

Tim Pawlenty had a staffer call in. Herman Cain called in. No other Presidential candidate participated.

Newt was in Columbia, South Carolina, visited a Chick-fil-A

AP reports:
Gingrich spoke to the Renewal Project gathering in Columbia on Tuesday. It's an invitation-only event that had fellow GOP hopeful Michele Bachmann as a speaker on Monday night.

Gingrich said the gatherings are about helping ministers have a better understanding of their role as citizens and the historic contexts of religion and politics. He said it helps them understand what they're up against

The former U.S. House speaker then spent time at a Columbia Chick-fil-A restaurant talking with diners, autographing cups and standing for snapshots.

Gingrich said he had private meetings planned for the rest of the day before heading to Virginia.

What is Lean Six Sigma? Why is Newt the only candidate to focus on it?

Six Sigma was first used at Motorola in the middle 1980s. It attempts to increase effectivenss and reduce cost -- essentially become more efficient -- by finding the causes of defects (often using statistical analysis) and trying to make sure that when the correct process is identified that it is replicated every time. The name, in fact, is a rating of the manufacturing process. To be "Six Sigma" means 99.99966% of the output is to be free of defects.

Lean Six Sigma combines the ideas of Six Sigma with those of lean manufacturing, which when boiled down basically attempts to eliminate any use of resources that in the end will not provide value to the customer.

Businesses have long used it to great effectiveness. But starting in 2000, when Fort Wayne, Indiana, adopted it, it has been shown to be the best way of making government more efficient. (Efficiency is the goal as it means effective and low cost; effectiveness on a huge budget is not the ideal.)

The military has used to trim waste while producing greater results for the troops and the country as a whole.

Here are some of the case studies as compiled by Strong America Now.

Strong America Now, headed by Michael George, is a grassroots organization -- with 50,000 members in Iowa alone -- whose main focus is on getting candidates for office to pledge to implement Lean Six Sigma. They believe that the federal government's budget could be trimmed by 25% just by using the practices entailed in it.

Newt was the first candidate for President to sign the group's pledge. (Which I wrote about here when he did so.) And he is the only one running for the White House who is making it a central part of their campaign.

(To anyone who is a supporter of Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, or Gary Johnson: Yes, I know all three have also signed the pledge, but that does not mean they are focusing on it. All it means is that they did the political equivalent of a New Year's Resolution -- and then forgot about it January 3rd.)

What is one reason I can say that with some confidence? Newt is the only 2012 candidate confirmed to be a part of the group's Teleforum tonight. (Update: Pawlenty had a staffer call and Cain himself called in.)

Here is the page to register so you can hear it. (Registration closes at 6:00 PM Central.)

I will be posting a recap of it later tonight.

(Update: Here is the post I wrote after the teleforum.)

(Second update: Here is the audio of the event. Newt's portion starts at 22:25.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Video of Newt's tea party townhall. Can you locate me in it?


This is the event I live-tweeted, and you can see me doing that at least at one point in the video.

More on Newt's trip to Winterset, Iowa

Arlette Saenz of ABC News:
Turns out, Gingrich is a huge John Wayne fan. During his visit to the western actor’s birthplace, he bought several items from the gift shop -- including a John Wayne jigsaw puzzle for his sister, a John Wayne beer mug and a poster of the film "Hondo." In August 2009, he and Callista donated $100 for the construction of the John Wayne Birthplace Museum adjacent to his birthplace.

A staffer sent along this photo of the tribute brick engraved with the Gingrich couple’s name to commemorate their donation.


Saenz: "Gingrich’s favorite John Wayne movies is 'Hondo,' followed by 'Sands of Iwo Jima.'"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Newt talks about the Better Ohio Campaign


Video of Newt's speech to South Carolina electric cooperative leaders last week


Also, for those who have missed it (I meant to post it when it came up online), here is Newt's radio interview with Laura Ingraham about the strategy the GOP should take in the debt ceiling talks.


A Saturday Night at the Dallas County Fair in Adel, Iowa, with the Gingrich Campaign

(I wrote yesterday's post during a break. This post picks up after the break.)

On the way to Adel was the first time I had rode with Newt. (Michael, a terrific video guy, had to leave to go home between John Wayne's hometown trip and this, so everyone was able to fit in one car.)

Newt made a point of asking me to sit in the back on the driver's side so that we could talk (he, of course, was in the front passenger seat). Some of the topics were the campaign (of course) as well as the upcoming movie Moneyball, based on a book about the use of metrics in baseball. Newt refers to it quite a bit in his own book The Art of Transformation.

Once at the fair, Newt was greeted by many people even before he got to the bleachers for the dirt track. While he and I sat down, his press secretary, R.C. Hammond, began taking pictures of the track, and unbeknownst to me, this one:

In between requests for pictures and handshakes from those around us, Newt and I talked about the NASCAR track that is about an hour from where I live (and how my hometown made a huge mistake in passing up on it) as well as some political matters. He finally recommended a book I should read -- I was shocked it took this long!

We ended up leaving around 10 PM and making the thirty minute drive east back to West Des Moines.

I thank Speaker Gingrich, Michael Krull, and R.C. for allowing me a chance to travel around this weekend.

I will be back in the Hawkeye State in about a month for the State Fair.
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