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Romney Banks Cash And Political Capital In Israel

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“It went very well,” says Adelson. “Certainly much better than Obama, who hasn't come.”

Image by Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

JERUSALEM — Mitt Romney's 36 hours in Israel were time well spent: He made a strong and favorable impression on the residents of the Jewish State, and he wowed a key group of the donors who fund his campaign.

Israeli headlines were overwhelmingly positive on Romney’s trip, which drew banner headlines in the Hebrew and English-language press — a welcome contrast to Romney's first stop in London, where the press and politicians laid into him for doubting Britain’s readiness for the Olympic games.

Romney was greeted enthusiastically by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who he first met when they worked together at Boston Consulting Group in the 1970s. The Prime Minister who went out of his way to stress that the two men have a personal relationship, something that he'd earlier cast into doubt, and came as close to an endorsement of the Republican as any foreign leader is likely to do.

“Governor Romney, Mitt, I wanted to welcome you to Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said Sunday. “We’ve known each other for many decades, since you were a young man, but for some reason, you still look young. You’ve been a personal friend of mine and a strong friend of the state of Israel, and that’s why it’s a pleasure to welcome you here,” Netanyahu said.

And Netanyahu offered Romney bankable political capital to take home, dismissing the Obama Administration's effort to tighten sanctions on Iran, which, he said, "hasn’t stopped the country’s nuclear program by “one iota.”

Romney expressed his love for Israel in remarks Sunday night, and later to Netanyahu over a dinner breaking the Jewish fast of Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the destruction of the first and second temples in the Jewish religion. Romney drove home the point again to a group of largely American Jewish donors on Monday morning who came along for the trip.

“I am overwhelmingly impressed with the hand of providence, whenever it chooses to apply itself, and also the greatness of the human spirit, and how individuals who reach for greatness and have purpose above themselves are able to build and accomplish things that could only be done by a species created in the image of God,” he said over breakfast in an ornate dining room off the lobby of the historic King David Hotel. “I come to this place, therefore, with a sense of profound humility, as I look around here at great people who’ve accomplished a great thing, and also a sense of spiritual connection, acknowledging the hand of providence in establishing this place and making it a holy city.”

Philip Rosen, a New York lawyer and Romney bundler who gathered many of the American donors living in Israel, called the trip a “love-fest” for Israel, but the same can be said of the trip’s impact on Romney’s donors, who may in the current era of lightly-regulated cash give unlimited sums to the SuperPAC supporting him.

They were treated to a walking tour of Jerusalem on Saturday night followed by a dinner overlooking the Old City. On Sunday, many followed Romney to the Western Wall where he prayed and placed a letter in the cracks of the ancient stones, in one of the most moving moments of the trip for Romney and his aides. That evening, they were treated to front-row seats to Romney’s speech highlighting the enduring alliance between the United States and Israel. And on Monday, they met with Romney at the $1 million roundtable fundraiser — and some donors had the opportunity to pose for pictures with the former Massachusetts governor.

“He did a fantastic job, and it was a bone-chilling experience for a first-time visitor to Israel,” said Bob Pence, a real estate developer displaying a Hebrew button bearing Romney’s name and a gold donor’s pin.

Romney made fewer friends across the Green Line in the West Bank, where he drew charges of racism for contrasting Israel's wealth with Palestinian poverty.

But for the purposes of American politics, Romney appears to have accomplished what he set out to do.

“It looks like it went very well,” said Sheldon Adelson after the fundraiser, declining to comment on the financial performance of the trip. “The fact that he’s here, he’s certainly much better than Obama, who hasn’t come: His first foreign trip went to Cairo and he didn’t stop here in Israel.”

Adelson, dressed formally in a suit and tie, spoke to BuzzFeed as he emerged from the fundraiser nearly an hour after Romney departed. After Romney, the mogul was the hottest ticket for donors, who surrounded him at every opportunity.

“Israel is at an existential crossroads, we need the support of our only friend,” the billionaire casino magnate added.

Romney Infuriates Palestinians On Israel Trip

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Does Israeli “culture” explain why the country is doing better than the Occupied Territories? Kind of like Chile and Ecuador?

Image by Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

JERUSALEM — Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney weighed in on the economic disparity between Israel and the Palestinian territories, saying that the "power of culture" is responsible for Israel's success.

"And as you come here and you see the GDP per capita for instance in Israel which is about $21,000 and you compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority which is more like $10,000 per capita you notice a dramatic, stark difference in economic vitality," he said.

"And that is also between other countries that are near or next to each other. Chile and Ecuador, Mexico and the United States. I noted that part of my interest when I used to be in the world of business is I would travel to different countries was to understand why there were such enormous disparities in the economic success of various countries."

Romney told donors at a $1 million fundraiser as he visited Jerusalem that having seen the accomplishments of the Jewish people, “I recognize power of culture."

"And you look at Israel and you say you have a hard time suggesting that all of the natural resources on the land could account for all the accomplishment of the people here," he added. "Culture makes all the difference. And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things. One, I recognize the hand of providence in selecting this place,"

Romney's remark is drawing outrage of Palestinian leaders, with Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, telling the Associated Press that it was racist.

"It is a racist statement and this man doesn't realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation," he said.

Romney met with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Sunday afternoon, and only exchanged small talk about the Olympics while reporters were in the room.

Obama Promised In 2008 He Would Not Run Negative Ads

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President Obama has taken heat for the negativity of his 2012 campaign. In an April 2008 speech, Obama promised to not run negative ads saying it “was a different time” that required “a different kind of campaign.” He later ran many negative ads against John McCain.

Source: youtube.com

Mitt Romney Took Swipe At Michelle Obama In 2008 Convention Speech

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The Romney campaign attacked and fundraised off comments by Democratic strategist Hilary saying Romney's wife Ann hadn't “worked a day in her life.” But while Republicans pundits have attacked Democrats for taking aim at Romney's wife, in Romney's 2008 RNC convention address Romney himself took aim at President Obama's wife Michelle. Romney said “just like you, there has never been a day when I was not proud to be an American,” hitting Michelle Obama for saying 2008 was “the first time” in her adult life she was proud of America.

Source: youtube.com

Ron Paul Revolution Follows Romney To Poland

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Even outside the U.S., Paul's devoted followers give Mitt a hard time.

Source: @bkappCBS

Mitt Romney's public appearance was greeted by Ron Paul supporters today, according to tweets and photos from the scene. This is pretty much the norm these days — but for he fact that today's event was held in Gdansk, Poland.

Poland is one of many countries outside the U.S. that, despite never having Paul on any ballots, have Ron Paul contingents. The main website, RonPaul.pl, includes information about Ron Paul's campaign, primary dates, even the current time in Texas, where Paul is from. The banner: "Kim jest Ron Paul?" ("Who is Ron Paul?")

The group has garnered 2,000 likes on Facebook. Today won't be the last we see of them: tomorrow, when Romney will be in Warsaw, there will be a planned demonstration outside his event.

Paul supporters outside Romney's meeting with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Gdansk.

Image by Charles Dharapak / AP

Other international Paulite factions include Germans for Ron Paul, South Africans 4 Ron Paul Revolution, Australians for Ron Paul, France for Ron Paul 2012, and Serbia for Ron Paul.

According to Polish politics reporter Michal Kolanko, the banner was made by supporters of Kongres Nowej Prawicy (Congress of the New Right), which Kolanko described as a "libertarian/right wing party led by eccentric Janusz Korwin-Mikke."

"These guys are extremely vocal on the internet (as ron paul fans) and not that numerous during elections. KNP in the last parliamentary elections (October 2011) got 1,06%," Kolanko said in an email.


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Senate's Top Republican Hails The Fall Of Old Media

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Mitch McConnell talks to BuzzFeed about the Web, the election, and his plans to let Democrats take a few votes if he becomes Majority Leader. “I kind of like this new environment.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told BuzzFeed that while many of his generation mourn the fall of newspapers, he is celebrating the rise of social media — precisely because of the havoc it has wreaked on an old media landscape that, in his view, favored the Democrats.

“Let me tell you, I think the New York Times monopoly is over,” McConnell said. “Arthur Sulzberger used to have the biggest megaphone in America. And all you have to do is look at the dwindling size of newspapers, even one as big as his.”

McConnell, 70, spoke to BuzzFeed in his office overlooking the National Mall; he had tweeted of his plans for the interview earlier in the day from his iPad.

“To the extent that there isn’t media domination like there was in the days NBC, ABC, CBS the New York Times, the Washington Post, particularly since most people on my side of the aisle feel they had a pretty obvious bias … those days are over,” he said. “I kind of like this new environment. I think its much more competitive, much more balanced."

“From a conservative point of view we have a better chance of competing in the marketplace of ideas,” he said.

McConnell noted that the same disruption roiling the national media landscape has been felt in his home state of Kentucky, and particularly at the Courier-Journal, once the state’s most dominant source of political news. The paper “recently hired a business type guy. With a tech background. Totally a nontraditional type of publisher,” McConnell said, adding that, “the message is pretty clear. They’re trying to figure out how to save the business and position it for the future.”

The four-term senator, who prior to coming to Washington served as Jefferson County’s top executive, has watched as technology has shaped not only how politicians communicate with the public but also its basic operations over his 28 years in office.

“Let me tell you about 1984. We called collect. We went to a pay phone, and we called collect. And in those days, you know, you could not only get your quarter or whatever it was back, you had enough time to give ‘em the number. So we’d stop at a pay phone and call in collect, get the quarter back, leave ‘em a number and they’d call back,” McConnell recalled.

“On commercials, If you wanted to look at a rough cut, they had to overnight it you. And you’d put it in the VCR and see what you thought about it, call ‘em up and say ‘this part works, this part doesn’t seem to work.’ When they finally got the rough cut turned into a final product, they had to then overnight it to the station,” McConnell said of the multiday process.

“In the 1990 reelect, we had a car phone. But it didn’t work in most parts of the state and we were still using fax machines,” McConnell said with a laugh. “By 1996, it was sort of the beginning of some kind of use of the internet, the car phone was working better by 1996, we were still using fax machines and the way in which you transmitted your commercials to the stations still had not really changed.”

After his 1996 victory, the changes accelerated.


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Solidarity Trade Union Breaks With Walesa, Opposes Romney

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After Lech Walesa endorses Romney, the trade union co-founded by the former Polish President says he doesn't speak for them.

Democratic Party To Formally Back Marriage Equality

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After an internal debate, Democrats plan to formalize their position in the party platform. A move Obama's shift made possible.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, left, shakes hands with President Barack Obama on May 14, 2012 — days after Obama announced that he personally supports the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

Image by Richard Drew / AP

The Democratic Party took action this weekend to include marriage equality as a formal part of the party's platform — a statement of governing principles that, while not binding, is a strong sign of where the leadership of the party stands on issues great and small.

Multiple Democratic sources confirmed to BuzzFeed today that the party's Platform Drafting Committee voted unanimously this weekend to include marriage equality in the platform — a first for the party, which took no position on marriage equality in the 2008 platform.

Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank told The Washington Blade of the news this morning. Several other drafting committee members declined to comment at this point in the process.

As BuzzFeed reported exclusively this weekend, Frank had made his first on-the-record comments in support of the inclusion of such a plank following testimony by supporters of marriage equality to the committee.

Although the Platform Committee, another body than the Drafting Committee, will have to approve the language when it meets August 10-12 in Detroit and the convention delegates will have to adopt the platform in Charlotte, this weekend's action was the key step in making a change that advocates have been pressing for throughout the year.

Freedom to Marry, an advocacy organization headed by longtime marriage equality backer Evan Wolfson, launched a campaign in February of this year urging Democrats to "Say I Do" to including marriage equality in the platform.

Marc Solomon, the national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, said today he was "grateful for the Platform Drafting Committee’s unanimous vote to include the freedom to marry in its draft of the Democratic Party platform."

He added: "As I testified to the Committee on Friday, the Democratic Party has a noble history of fighting for the human and civil rights of all Americans. We are proud that the Committee is including language that will ensure the Party is leading the way forward in supporting marriage for loving and committed same-sex couples and their families.”

In 2008, the Democrats took no position on marriage equality, stating only that the party "oppose[d] the Defense of Marriage Act" and that it "supported ... equal responsibilities, benefits and protections."

Since that time, however, the landscape — from the number of states that allow same-sex couples to marry to public opinion polls to President Obama's own personal position on the issue — has changed, with Obama saying in May, "I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."

The Platform Drafting Committee was chaired by former Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio and included as members former U.S. Representative Tony Coelho, Tino Cuellar, U.S. Representative Barney Frank, Donna Harris-Aikens, Colin Kahl, Nancy Keenan, Heather Kendall Miller, Thea Lee, U.S. Representative Barbara Lee, Susan Ness, Mayor Michael Nutter, Carlos Odio, former U.S. Representative Robert Wexler and Christen Young. Serving as ex-officio members are Governor Deval Patrick, DNC Secretary Alice Germond, and Tom Wheeler.

The Platform Committee itself is co-chaired by Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker and Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy (Ret.). Booker has been an outspoken advocate for marriage equality.

Hillary Clinton: Liberals Are Disorganized

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Speaking about Egypt, the Secretary of State tells us what we sort of already knew.

Mitt Romney Often Cites Culture As The Reason For A Nation's Economic Success

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Mitt Romney has come under some fire for remarks at a fundraiser in Israel saying the “power” of “culture” was the reason for the large economic disparity between Israel and Palestine. But the remarks are nothing new for Romney, who often cites culture as the reason for the success of some nations over others. Romney says he first got the idea from reading David Landis' book The Wealth and Poverty of Nations .

Source: youtube.com

Source: youtube.com

Source: youtube.com

Adelson's Newspaper Downplays Romney's Visit

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Romney dominates the local press. But “Israel Today” appears careful not to seem too far in the tank for the publishers' guy.

TEL AVIV — Yisrael HaYom (Israel Today), the right-leaning newspaper owned by billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, downplayed Mitt Romney's visit to Israel in its Monday edition, compared to its peers.

The paper, which is universally seen as pro-Netanyahu and pro-Romney paper, only devoted a front page teaser to the former Massachusetts governor's visit with the headline "Friend in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel."

The paper's lede was focused on more local issues — newly announced nation-wide tax hikes.

By contrast, Romney's visit received dominant placement in the English and Hebrew editions of Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, and the tabloid Maariv.

Source: digital-edition.israelhayom.co.il

Source: newseum.org

Source: newseum.org


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Netanyahu In 2011: Palestinian Economy Is Booming

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Romney says “culture” is among the reasons Israelis are more productive than Palestinians.

Image by POOL / Reuters

TEL AVIV — Mitt Romney found himself in hot water with Palestinian leaders on Monday, when he suggested that their economic struggles was at least in part a result of a cultural difference between them and Israelis.

But Romney's comment sends a different message than the one Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conveyed to the U.S. Congress last May, when he declared that their economy is "booming."

"We’ve helped, on our side, we’ve helped the Palestinian economic growth by removing hundreds of barriers and roadblocks to the free flow of goods and people, and the results have been nothing short of remarkable," Netanyahu said.

He continued:

The Palestinian economy is booming. It’s growing by more than 10 percent a year. And Palestinian cities -- they look very different today than what they looked just few -- a few years ago. They have shopping malls, movie theaters, restaurants, banks. They even have e-businesses, but you can’t see that when you visit them. That’s what they have. It’s a great change. And all of this is happening without peace. So imagine what could happen with peace.

Romney also misstated the GDP figures for Israel and the Palestinian territories, noted Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of The Jerusalem Fund.

Romney listed the per-capita GDP of Israel at $21,000 and $10,000 in the Palestinian territories. In fact, in 2011, Israel's per-capita GDP was $31,005, while in 08, Palestinian per-capita GDP was just at $2,900.

45 Romney Vice Presidential Candidates

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Romney campaign VP picker Beth Myers recently tweeted a shortlist of contenders for Romney's running mate. Pictured below are some of those candidates along with a few others which are sure to spice up the campaign and distract from bad headlines.

Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty

Rob Portman

Rob Portman

Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio


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Romney Again Backs "Traditional Marriage" In Muted Response To Dem Move

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“Governor Romney has been consistent in his support for traditional marriage,” spokesman says. The Romney campaign did not, however, criticize the Democrats' move to support marriage equality in their platform.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, accompanied by his wife Ann and son Josh, visits the Solidarity Monument Site in Gdansk, Poland, Monday, July 30, 2012.

Image by Charles Dharapak / AP

The Romney campaign responded cautiously to today's news that the Democratic Party platform draft includes support for marriage equality to criticize the move, reiterating Mitt Romney's stated position on the subject.

"Governor Romney has been consistent in his support for traditional marriage," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams told BuzzFeed, when asked for the campaign and candidate's response to the news.

As previously reported at BuzzFeed, Romney has been consistent on that position. It is, rather, President Obama's position on the rights of same-sex couples to have their relationships recognized that has changed over the years.

The move by the Democrats — which would make them the first major party in the country to include marriage equality as a part of its party platform — is notable. But, given the recent history of strident Republican (and Democratic) opposition to same-sex marriage, the Romney campaign's muted response may be just as notable, coming on the heels of increasing numbers of polls showing that more and more Americans are growing comfortable with the notion of same-sex couples being treated equally under marriage laws.

Romney: Russia Is America's Number One Adversary

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In an interview that aired today with Wolf Blitzer Romney said Russia was not an enemy, but was America's number one adversary.

Source: youtube.com

The Strange Devolution Of Obama Campaign Emails: 2008 Vs. 2012

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Is it me, or have they gotten dumber? A comparison of the same thirty-day period in both cycles.

2008 Obama campaign emails: June 24 - July 24

2008 Obama campaign emails: June 24 - July 24

Back then, the Obama campaign's emails often had data, strategy and an air of knowingness.

2012 Obama campaign emails: June 24 - July 24

2012 Obama campaign emails: June 24 - July 24

The poll numbers and strategy videos are gone. Now, the campaign's emails are often hectoring, manipulative and full of angst, and there are just way more of them.

Netanyahu Breaks With Romney, Cuts Spending But Increases Taxes

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They agree on foreign policy, but not how to handle deficits.

Image by GPO / Getty Images

TEL AVIV — As Mitt Romney was leaving Israel, the country's Cabinet voted to approve a series of tax hikes and spending cuts today meant to manage the budget — a combination of deficit-reduction measures that would earn a veto from the presumptive Republican nominee.

Netanyahu, facing a budget deficit between five and six percent of GDP, executed across-the-board spending cuts, and raised a host of taxes and fees. The new measures, approved on Monday, will lower the deficit by 14.4 billion shekels ($2.56 million) to three percent of GDP — the government's target for the year.

The country's value added tax will immediately increase from 16 percent to 17 percent, Reuters reported. Additionally:

The new measures include raising income taxes by 1 percentage point on those earning more than the average salary of 8,881 shekels ($2,198) a month starting in 2013. Taxes on salaries over 67,000 shekels a month will go up 2 percentage points. Income tax rates in Israel range between 10 and 48 percent.

Romney emphasized his friendship with Netanyahu, and their agreement on a broad array of foreign policy items — but apparently the two former consultants disagree how best to handle a deficit.

“We have a friendship that spans the years,” Romney said with regards to foreign policy. “At a critical time like this, I come to learn of your perspectives and your ideas for grasping the challenges facing the region and the challenges facing the world.”

In a debate last year, Romney said he would reject any deficit reduction plan that includes tax increases, even if it was lopsided in favor of spending cuts by a 10-1 margin.

Conservatives Take Aim At Democrats' Marriage Embrace

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Democratic platform move will “kill off the institution of marriage,” National Organization for Marriage head says.

Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, speaks during a "Let Us Vote" marriage rally sponsored by The Family Leader, Tuesday, March 20, 2012, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.

Image by Charlie Neibergall / AP

Although Mitt Romney's response to Democrats' move to include marriage equality in their platform may have been muted, social conservatives went on full attack.

The National Organization for Marriage's executive director, Brian Brown, said Democrats "hope to kill off the institution of marriage at their convention in Charlotte." He called the move ironic, pointing to the May vote in North Carolina approving a constitutional amendment barring same-sex couples from marrying.

Two of the social conservatives known for sparring with pro-gay advocates on Twitter — the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer and Americans For Truth About Homosexuality's Peter LaBarbera — focused on "perversion" and "sodomy" in their 140-character critiques:


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Republican Moderates Tire of Leaders' Tea Party Tilt

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Speaker John Boehner has been trying to keep the right happy. Now he's facing restive moderates, House Republicans say.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio takes part in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 24, 2012, following a closed-door political strategy session.

Image by J. Scott Applewhite / AP

As Republicans prepare for yet another show vote on abortion Tuesday, Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team are facing a rising tide of frustration from Republican moderates angry over the rightward tack the conference has taken under his leadership.

Tuesday’s abortion vote – which would ban late term abortions in the District of Columbia – has rubbed a number of moderates wrong. Given that the bill may not pass the House – and would never be taken up by the Senate – moderates and even some conservatives have questioned leadership’s decision to force another vote on a divisive social issue rather than remain solely focused on the economy.

Those dissatisfied moderates hit Boehner with a one-two punch Monday.

First, the Columbus Dispatch reported that Rep. Steve LaTourette had abruptly decided to retire. That decision shocked many Republicans, in part because LaTourette – who like Boehner is a from Ohio – has had, at least until recently, an extremely close relationship with the Speaker.

At the same time, Syracuse Republican Rep. Hanna harshly criticized the GOP, arguing leadership has gone too far in deferring to the demands of conservatives.
“I have to say that I’m frustrated by how much we — I mean the Republican Party — are willing to give deferential treatment to our extremes in this moment in history,” Hanna told the Post-Standard.

According to Republicans, moderate members of the House GOP conference feel that Boehner, who has struggled with an often raucous and openly defiant right wing, has forced them to go along with conservative demands but has provided them little in return.

One Republican familiar with the dynamics within the GOP argued part of the difficulty for Boehner has been the fact that conservatives -- and not moderates -- have been the "squeaky wheel" within the conference, which has forced him to focus on them for much of the 112th Congress.

Rather than work with his entire conference Boehner has had to "prove to conservatives constantly that he's advocating for them and not screwing them behind their backs," the Republican said.

Boehner remains deeply popular within his conference, and despite the frustration of moderates he faces virtually no chance of an effort oust him as Speaker.

Although a spokesman for Boehner declined to comment, one Republican lawmaker privately downplayed Hanna's complaints, noting that pushing back against leadership is a favored past time of lawmakers in swing districts like Hanna's.
Nevertheless, Republicans acknowledged that unhappiness with leadership amongst the moderate ranks has been growing for months. Earlier this year LaTourette and the chamber’s “Old Bulls” – a group of old-line appropriators and other dealmakers – openly broke with Boehner over his efforts to reshape federal transportation spending.

And the decision by Majority Leader Eric Cantor to schedule several votes on abortion, reaffirming that the nation’s motto is, in fact, “In God We Trust” and other social issues has angered moderates for more than a year.

“Leadership told us that the ‘get out of town’ week messaging was ‘stop the tax hike.’ It baffles many of us that they would muddy that messaging by scheduling an abortion bill vote,” one Republican told Buzzfeed Friday of the decision to hold another abortion vote.

Still, moderate dissatisfaction appears to have been far worse than had been thought – so much so, in his interview with the Post-Standard Hanna went so far as to say that “I would say that the friends I have in the Democratic Party I find ... much more congenial — a little less anger.”

Conservative New Zealand Leader Backs Marriage For Gay Couples

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Prime Minister John Key said he would vote for marriage equality legislation. Joins U.K. Prime Minister Cameron as parts of the right embrace LGBT rights.

Via: radiolive.co.nz

Another head of government has announced his tentative support for marriage equality, with New Zealand's prime minister, John Key of the conservative National Party, saying, "My view has been that if two gay people want to get married, then I can't see why it would undermine my marriage to [his wife] Bronagh. I just don't see it, how logic applies."

Key joins the most prominent conservative leader in the English-speaking world, British Prime Minister David Cameron, in supporting marriage between same-sex couples. Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, meanwhile, has pledged not to revisit the issue in his country, which broadened its definition of marriage to include same-sex couples in 2004.

A bill legalizing same-sex marriage has been proposed by Labour Party MP Louisa Wall, but it must go through three readings before passage. When Key was asked by Radio Live New Zealand's Marcus Lush today if he would vote for it on the first reading, he said, "I'm going to."

When asked if that would change over the course of the readings and debate, he said, "No," but then he added, "We first need to go and have the debates, I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it. I'm going to give myself a little bit of room. In principle, I'm not opposed."

Of lobbying efforts for and against the effort, Key added: "For sure, there will be huge campaigns run both ways. ... You do get a lot of intensity as you get down to the wire."

Prime Minister John Key on July 30, 2012 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Image by Martin Hunter / Getty Images

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