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Tie? Romney Clinches Iowa Caucus Vote But Santorum, In Second Place, Real Winner



Perry Hints He’s Quitting GOP Race

In a dead-heat three-way tie almost the entire evening, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney all averaged about 25% each of the Iowa Caucus votes, until Romney edged out as the winner, proving that Iowa Caucus voters have no strong desire to boot President Obama out of the White House, but would rather place their egos and ideology above all else. Santorum came in a close second. Ron Paul (21%) came in third, Newt Gingrich (13%) fourth, Rick Perry (10%) fifth, and Michele Bachmann (5%) sixth. Only about 123,000 Iowa Republicans bothered to vote. By comparison, in 2008, Iowa Democrats cast about 239,000 votes at the Iowa Caucuses. And Romney, placing first at 25%, is the lowest ever, eclipsing Bob Dole’s 1996 all-time low of 26%.

At 12:50 AM Wednesday morning, only five votes had separated Romney and Santorum. At 1:35 AM, Romney was winning by one vote. At 1:40, Santorum retook the lead, by four votes, with just one precinct outstanding.

Ultimately, Romney won with about an eight vote lead, as declared at 2:32 AM by the Iowa GOP Chairman.

Santorum quoted C.S. Lewis in delivering his speech, said he attended 381 town hall meetings, and added, “I survived the challenges so far by the daily grace that comes from God… for loving me, warts and all.”

Santorum touched on the Barack Obama quote that struggling Americans are bitter and “cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

He closed mentioning his daughter with “what they call a disability” who, according to statistics Santorum quoted, say she only had a year to live when she was born.

2008 Republican nominee Senator John McCain is expected to endorse Mitt Romney Wednesday, ensuring a New Hampshire win for Romney.

Romney, delivering the final speech of the evening, acknowledged n one yet knew who had won, but graciously congratulated Santorum for his surprise showing.

Santorum, who spent more than 100 days knocking on the thousands of doors he visited in a borrowed pick-up truck, won second-place on a shoe-string budget, having never reached front-runner status. As everyone knows, Santorum has neither the infrastructure nor the fund-raising ability, nor the likeability to wage a nationwide race successfully.

Early in the evening, Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that Michele Bachmann drove her campaign through her sheer will, strongly suggesting she, along with Rick Perry, would drop out Wednesday morning. King called Santorum’s old-fashioned retail politics “the Rick Santorum method,” warning that in the future, “Democrats and Republicans will be out here running the Rick Santorum method.” King said Santorum has raised the bar of Iowa Caucus voters’ expectations.

In his concession speech, Rick Perry, taking two small counties and a mere 10% of the vote, said he was returning home to Texas, where he would “re-assess” his campaign. He is expected to pull out shortly.

Former Bush 43 Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said Newt Gingrich’s concession speech was “the most ungracious moment” he’s ever seen in politics. And Democratic political consultant James Carville called Rick Perry the “worst candidate in American political history.”

Santorum had been the butt of jokes in social media circles all night long, even from politicos like Jonathan Alter, who retweeted Paul Begala’s response to his comment, “If Santorum pulls this out, he’ll dog Romney for months.” Begala replied, “That would be dog-on-man, no?,” alluding to Santorum’s iconic comments against same-sex marriage:

“In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.”

Saying the people of Iowa have spoken, Bachmann’s concession speech indicated she would not drop out, despite the AP reporting her campaign manager wasn’t sure she would stay in. CNN’s John King noted that the people of Iowa, where Bachmann grew up but did not carry a single county did, in fact speak, loudly. Four months ago, Michele Bachmann placed first in the Iowa straw poll, with 28%. Tonight, she placed last, with 5%.

Politico notes:

Reflecting the general tone of tonight’s press coverage, the New York Times is already casting the story as a victory for Santorum, who “spoiled” Romney’s quest to lock down the nomination early “by winning over conservatives who remain skeptical of Mr. Romney,” according to Jeff Zeleny. (One piece of data working in Santorum’s favor, noted by one Michael Li, is that Santorum spent $1.65 per vote in Iowa, whereas Romney spent $113.07.)

Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall wrote, late in the evening, “the entire Republican establishment is going to be coming out in the next couple days to shut this down and say it’s Romney … The avalanche of attempted GOP establishment coronation will be one of the big things to watch over the coming days. Can they pull it off? Probably so. But now it’s from a footing of relative weakness.” marshall adde that Gingrich now “has a new goal in this campaign, maybe in life: hurt Mitt Romney. That’s dangerous for Romney. There are more debates coming. Newt’s good at debates. And reporters love drama. That’s hazardous for Romney.”

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‘Trying to Have It Both Ways’: Ivanka ‘Flailing’ as Trump Indictment Slams Family



While Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump have taken to their social media platforms to viciously lash out at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for indicting their father on a reported 30 charges, Ivanka Trump posted a rather muted statement on her Instagram account which simply said, “I love my father, and I love my country. Today, I am pained for both. I appreciate the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern.”

According to Daily Beast conservative columnist Matt Lewis, the so-called “First Daughter,” who served in the White House with her father, is trying to stay true to her former president dad, while distancing herself from his legal problems — and it is not going to work for her.

As Lewis put it, Ivanka is “flailing” in her attempts to shed the memory of her participation in the Trump administration that reached its lowest point on Jan. 6 when supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.

“It’s hard to argue with anything Ivanka says here, but it is not a statement of moral clarity. Nor is it (conversely) a statement of strong support for her father. She’s flailing and trying to have it both ways,” Lewis wrote before adding, “Now, it’s understandable that a daughter might not want to utterly condemn her father. Further, children are not responsible for their parents’ sins. Except, of course, if you consider the fact that Ivanka served as the primary weapon in the ‘Trump’s not such a belligerent pig as his four decades as a public figure would make you think’ propaganda push.”

RELATED: Trump is so ‘unmoored from reality’ he can’t act as a defense witness: ‘Art of the Deal’ ghostwriter

Noting that Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner — who has baggage of his own — both stuck with Trump in the White House for all four years, Lewis added, “As far as the former first daughter goes, she and her husband might be done with politics, but once you’ve been a party to an administration like Trump’s, it’s going to be a long time before politics is done with them.”

“So, Ivanka, you want to have a seat at the cool apolitical kids’ table? You want to be once again accepted by the socially liberal billionaires’ children you used to go to the Hamptons with and now have Miami Beach playdates with? You want to enjoy the privileges of being a Trump with none of the shame? Good luck with that,” he concluded.

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Dominion Wins ‘Blockbuster Victories’ Against Fox News – Last Legal Issue Will Be Decided by a Jury: Report



Dominion Voting Systems won what are being called “blockbuster victories” Friday afternoon when a judge ruled the company suing Fox News for $1.6 billion in a major defamation lawsuit had met its burden of proof that Rupert Murdoch‘s far-right wing cable channel had repeatedly made false statements.

The final, and likely greatest legal issue Dominion will have to prove will be actual malice. That issue will be decided in a jury trial, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis ruled Friday, according to Law & Crime.

Unlike previous cases, Fox News will reportedly not be able to argue the on-air statements its personalities made were opinion.

CNN legal analyst and Brookings senior fellow Norm Eisen calls Friday’s decision a “huge win for Dominion on their summary judgment motion against Fox News.”

READ MORE: Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’

“Dominion won partial summary judgement that what Fox said about them was false! Now they just have to prove actual malice and damages,” Eisen says. “Meanwhile Fox’s motion was totally denied.”

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, an MSNBC contributor adds: “Dominion’s evidence Fox made false statements with reckless disregard  is as strong as any I’ve seen.”

The judge was very clear in his ruling.

“While the Court must view the record in the light most favorable to Fox, the record does not show a genuine issue of material fact as to falsity,” Judge Davis wrote. “Through its extensive proof, Dominion has met its burden of showing there is no genuine issue of material fact as to falsity. Fox therefore had the burden to show an issue of material fact existed in turn. Fox failed to meet its burden.”

READ MORE: ‘Propaganda Network’: Media Reporter Says Dominion Filing Exposes Fox News as ‘Void of the Most Basic Journalistic Ethics’

Attorney and MSNBC host and legal analyst Katie Phang points to this key passage in Judge Davis’ ruling.

Court watchers and news junkies are familiar at this point with the massive legal filings Dominion has made in which it exposed how Fox News knowingly made false statements regarding the 2020 presidential election. Those filings, each hundreds of pages, also detail internal Fox News communications and bombshell conversations between the company’s top personalities, executives, and even Chairman Rupert Murdoch.


Image of Rupert Murdoch via Shutterstock

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Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’



The U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms on Friday jointly issued a statement warning they “anticipate” Trump protests across the country. The statement is not time-specific, and it states it has no information on “credible threats,” but some Democratic offices are allowing staffers to work from home Friday and Tuesday.

“The Sergeant at Arms and United States Capitol Police (USCP) anticipate demonstration activity across the country related to the indictment of former President Trump. While law enforcement is not tracking any specific, credible threats against the Capitol or state offices, there is potential for demonstration activity. USCP is working with law enforcement partners, so you may observe a greater law enforcement presence on Capitol Hill,” the statement reads.

“The SAA and USCP are monitoring the potential nationwide impacts to Senate state offices,” it adds.

The House Sergeant at Arms was conspicuously absent from the statement. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has control over that office.

READ MORE: Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor

Additionally, Axios is reporting, “several House Democrats are allowing staffers to work from home as a safety precaution,” noting that “the memory of Trump supporters ransacking the Capitol on Jan. 6 is still fresh on the mind.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is allowing staff to work from home for safety reasons. She told Axios, “I don’t ever want to see a Jan. 6 again.”

“I’ve been in the Trump hate tunnel, Donald Trump has gone after me, and quite frankly I don’t have security. I don’t have entourages.”

She’s not the only Democrat to raise concerns.

“Much of the language from the former President and his devotees is similar to what inspired Jan. 6th,” U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips said. “I’m concerned about safety for my colleagues and my staff.”

READ MORE: ‘Lighting the Match’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasted for Off the Rails Rant Defending Trump

Meanwhile, House Republicans are issuing full-throated support for Trump and calling for protests.

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was called out by name in a six-page letter Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent to Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan Friday morning, announced she will be in New York on Tuesday to support Trump when he is arraigned. She has posted several tweets since Trump was indicted.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy issued a statement Thursday seemingly designed to gin up rage and action in the MAGA base.

“Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election. As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump. The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”


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