1. John Bolton Eyes White House Run in 2012
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, who never has held elective office, says he is seriously considering running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.
“I don’t think the party’s anywhere close to a decision. And stranger things have happened. For example, inexperienced senators from Illinois have gotten presidential nominations,” he added, alluding to Barack Obama’s presidential success.
Bolton’s strength would be in foreign policy and national security, given his history with the U.N., the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the State Department under both presidents Bush.
“I’m obviously aware that people are quite focused on the economy rather than foreign policy issues, but that is something that should and can be altered as people see the nature of the threats around the world that we face,” Bolton said.
Since leaving the U.N. in 2006, Bolton has been a frequent Fox News commentator. He also has written Op-Ed articles and delivered speeches across the country, and is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
He favors shrinking the federal government, opposes abortion except in cases of rape or incest, and supports legalizing gay marriage and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
In August, he hinted that he might consider a White House bid in an interview with The Daily Caller.
“If I run, I will run to win,” Bolton told Politico.
“I’m going to do this because I think national security is central to America’s safety and well-being, and I don’t think this president understands that.”
2. NPR’s Totenberg Laments ‘Christmas’ Comment
NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg took political correctness to new heights when she actually apologized on-air for using the word “Christmas.”
During an appearance on the Dec. 19 edition of the TV news show “Inside Washington,” Totenberg said: “We just passed this huge tax cut in part because business said, you know, we have to plan, we have to know what kind of tax cuts we have. Well, these agencies, including the Defense Department, don’t know how much money they’ve got and for what. And I was at — forgive the expression — a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people actually were really worried about this.”
The Mediaite website observed: “Maybe in the wake of Juan Williams’ firing, [do] NPR employees, just to be safe, apologize for anything in advance?”
NPR fired Williams after he made what was viewed as a politically incorrect statement about Muslims, saying he gets “nervous” when he sees people in “Muslim garb” on an airplane.
The NewsBusters website observed that Totenberg was “seemingly embarrassed to invoke any religious terminology for Christmas. She didn’t say what she’d prefer parties this time of year to be named. Winter solstice party?”
Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly has been an outspoken opponent of what he calls the “war” on Christmas, saying in 2005 that “it’s all part of the secular progressive agenda . . . to get Christianity and spirituality and Judaism out of the public square.”
He also said: “I don’t believe most people who aren’t Christian are offended by the words ‘Merry Christmas.’ I think those people are nuts.”
3. Hispanic Activist Threatens GOP Over DREAM Act
An official with the nation’s leading Hispanic civil rights organization has issued a warning to Republicans who helped defeat the DREAM Act in the Senate, suggesting Latinos could retaliate in future elections.
Clarissa Martinez, director of immigration and national campaigns for the National Council of La Raza, said: “The most immediate repercussions are that, particularly those members in states where the Latino population has political influence, they’d better watch out.”
She went on to specify Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn of Texas, George LeMieux in Florida, and Mark Kirk in Illinois.
The DREAM Act would provide legal residency to young people who arrived in the United States illegally if they graduate from high school, complete two years of college or military service, and have no criminal record.
The House approved the bill on Dec. 8, but Senate Republicans blocked the legislation on Dec. 18.
Speaking in Spanish on Univision, Martinez said the defeat of the DREAM Act “will live in the memory of the Latino community for generations.” She described the vote with a word that can be translated as “vile,” according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
Noting that Republicans are set to take over the House in January, former La Raza official Cecilia Munoz, now director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, complained that they “want more than anything to enforce the law and try to deport all of the 10 million people who are here without papers.”
4. Most Marines Say Gays Will Harm Combat Forces
Two-thirds of U.S. Marine combat forces believe that placing gays in their units would hurt their effectiveness in the field, according to a survey the Defense Department ordered.
Westat Corp., a polling firm, surveyed more than 115,000 active duty service members, including 989 men serving in Marine combat units.
The survey was conducted before Congress voted on Dec. 18 to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law barring homosexuals from serving openly in the military, and President Barack Obama signed it into law on Dec. 22.
One question asked: “If don’t ask, don’t tell is repealed and you are working with a service member in your immediate unit who has said he or she is gay or lesbian, how, if at all, would it affect your immediate unit’s effectiveness at completing its mission?”
The results: 42.6 percent of the Marines in combat units said it would affect the unit’s effectiveness “very negatively,” and 23.9 said “negatively,” for a total of 66.5 percent negative.
Another 18.8 percent chose “equally as positively as negatively,” while just 2.9 percent chose “very positively,” 3 percent selected “positively,” and 8.7 percent said it would have no effect.
Another question asked how a gay or lesbian soldier would affect a unit’s effectiveness in completing its mission “in an intense combat situation.”
Thirty percent of respondents said “very negatively,” 17.8 said “negatively,” and 28.4 percent chose “equally as positively as negatively.”
Just 3.2 percent said “very positively.”
Retired Army Maj. Gen. John Singlaub, former commander of all U.S. forces in Korea, told Newsmax in a recent interview he is “100 percent against” the change in the don’t ask, don’t tell policy.
“In my view, and the view of every combat officer that I know,” he said, “it is a terrible mistake to change the law.”
5. We Heard...
THAT Mel Gibson has put his Costa Rica estate up for sale for $35 million because of privacy concerns.
“He bought it for a getaway. Now he goes there and paparazzi follow him,” listing agent Sandra Miller told The Hollywood Reporter.
The 500-acre oceanfront estate includes a seven-bedroom main house and a pair of two-bedroom homes, each with a pool. The “Braveheart” star reportedly paid $25.8 million for the property in 2007.
THAT the TLC network wants to sign Sarah Palin for a second season of her TV show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”
“It looks like it will all come down to money,” a network source told PopEater.com.
Palin reportedly earns more than $250,000 per episode and is hoping to sign for more.