Here is a morning linkfest, or "Daily Briefing" of what's going on that I've found interesting during my early morning prowl of the Internet.
The Republican Nomination
[C-SPAN] Newt Gingrich Takes Questions From NH Tea Party Voters
Mitt Romney 27%
Newt Gingrich 19%
Ron Paul 13%
Rick Santorum 11%
Rick Perry 6%
Jon Huntsman 2%
[The Argo Journal] Gallup 2012 Republican Nomination Daily Tracking Survey
TAMPA — After months of behind-the-scenes planning but little in-front-of-the-microphones discussion, Tampa officials Thursday provided a better glimpse of security plans for the Republican National Convention.
No word yet on where the secure perimeter around the convention will go, but officials plan to have 3,000 to 4,000 police officers on duty each day of the event, scheduled for Aug. 27-30.
[Tampa Bay Times] Tampa City Council approves police upgrades for 2012 GOP National Convention
[National Journal] Santorum & the GOP's Changing Coalition
[Newsbusters] NBC's Curry: Santorum About to Go Through 'Meat Grinder;'
[Washington Examiner] Romney wins the battle, but can he win the war?
[Red State] Another Awkward Rick Santorum Vote
So Jon Huntsman can speak Mandarin and also he adopted a little Chinese girl who was abandoned in a market. Providing us with yet more evidence that they are mostly liberal Democrats who are mad that Obama has governed too far to the right, Ron Paul supporters decided this was a good reason to produce a video putting Huntsman in a Mao hat and jacket, complete with what is I guess supposed to be a Chinese version of blackface.
[Red State] You Stay Classy, Ron Paul Supporters
[Race 4 2012] Romney vs. Santorum on Economics
[Real Clear Politics] America's Five Political Parties
[Boston Globe] For vision and national unity, Huntsman for GOP nominee
[The Caucus] Gingrich Campaign Defends Remarks on Food Stamps
[Daily Paul] Vote Fraud, Power, and Privilege in Small Town Iowa
Irredeemably or not, has America become a fascist state? How many products can you buy, services hire, or activities perform that are still utterly free from the hand of government? Where has law permitted state intrusion of dubious constitutionality, and in how many realms has law been abandoned to bureaucratic whim?
[The Imaginative Conservative] The Bill of Reichs: Is America Fascist?
[Independent Political Report] Cindy Sheehan: The Anti-war movement was co-opted by the Democrats
The Libertarian Party Platform Committee met in December in Las Vegas. It adopted 16 proposals, two of which include "pending amendments". (A pending amendment is subject to an initial majority vote by the convention delegates before the proposal it amends receives its usual up-or-down 2/3 vote.)
[Libertarian Intelligence] Libertarian Party Platform Committee Adopts Report
[Political Pistachio] National Defense Authorization Act Became More Sinister For Obama
World War IV
Kyle, the recipient of five Bronze Stars and two Silver Stars, revealed to O’Reilly why he punched former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, knocking him to the floor. Kyle said that he encountered Ventura at a bar while attending the wake of a fallen SEAL, and that Ventura started bad-mouthing America, then-President Bush, and the Iraq war. When Kyle asked him to tone it down so as not to upset the family, Ventura said, “You [the Navy SEALs] deserve to lose a few guys.” Kyle then punched him and took off running!
[Fox News] American's Most Lethal Navy SEAL Sniper Tells Gripping Tale About Killing 'Savages'
The al Qaeda-linked Ansar al Islam released a statement announcing the name of its new leader. The Iraqi terror group also announced that it would fly a new flag.
In a statement released on jihadist websites yesterday, Ansar al Islam named Abu Hashim Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman al Ibrahim as its leader. The brief statement, which was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, is dated Dec. 15, 2011 and was signed by the "Command of Ansar al Islam."
[The Long War Journal] Ansar al Islam names new leader
The new military strategy includes $487 billion in cuts over the next decade. An additional $500 billion in cuts could be coming if Congress follows through on plans for deeper reductions. The announcement comes weeks after the U.S. officially ended the Iraq War and after a decade of increased defense spending in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
[American Power] Obama Slashes Pentagon Budget Amid Growing International Danger
Mark Whittington argues that the upcoming joint exercise between the US and Israel constitutes a change in policy by the Obama administration.
The exercise represents a change in Obama administration strategy, made necessary by the failure of the old one. The Obama administration had made it a point to put distance between it and the government of Israel, going so far as to deliberately slight its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. At the same time it attempted an policy of engagement with America's enemies in the Middle East, particularly Iran. It also supported regime change in Egypt and in Libya, the latter with military force.
[Israel Matzav] Does the US-Israel joint missile exercise represent a change in US policy?
Bharti, A 15 year-old, is the 18th Hindu girl to have been reportedly abducted, forced to convert to Islam, and forced to marry a Muslim man, in the Lyari area of Karachi, a city in the south of Pakistan, the Express Tribune of India reported yesterday. The real number is probably much higher. In 2009, in the province of Sindh 18 Hindu girls had also been kidnapped.
The family of the teenage girl filed a complaint with Bhagdadi police station, and a court hearing has begun. On the first day of the hearing Bharti -- who has been renamed Ayesha, apparently after the favorite wife of Islam's prophet Mohammed -- appeared "clad in a black 'abaya' " and hardly acknowledged her parent's presence.
[People of Shambhala] Abductions of Hindu girls, forced conversions to Islam, on the rise in Pakistan
[Atlas shrugs] 19-Year Anniversary of Massacre of Serbs by Bosnian Muslim Forces
Latin American Dictators in the News
Hugo Chavez has a new theory: that the US has developed a secret technology and is using it to give cancer to left wing Latin American rulers that we don’t like. After all, Fidel Castro, the Hero of Venezuela himself, the president of Paraguay, the current and former presidents of Brazil and now Cristina Kirchner of Argentina have all come down with (quite different) cancers.
[The American Interest] Chavez Falls Off The Edge of the World
(Reuters) - Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said on Thursday the world was on an "inexorable march toward the abyss," which he blamed in part on the discovery and exploitation of vast reserves of so-called "shale gas" around the world.
Shale gas is natural gas locked in rock formations that in the past decade has been found in great abundance around the world and is now considered a top source of future energy.
Castro, 85, wrote in one of his occasional columns published in Cuban state media that "numerous dangers threaten us, but two of them - nuclear war and climate change - are decisive and both are ever further from approaching a solution."
[Reuters] Fidel Castro says world marching into abyss with shale gas
That's all I had time for this morning. I hope you enjoyed the links and clicked on through to the websites to read the full articles.