Damien Gayle
Daily Mail
February 27, 2012

Mitt Romney has had a few awkward moments throughout the primary season. But few could match his speech to the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field yesterday.

The 65,000-seat home of the National Football League’s Detroit Lions seemed like an odd choice of venue for an appearance in front of a crowd of just 1,250 people.

Mr Romney spoke from a podium on the 30-yard line of the football field in Detroit, Michigan, as the crowd, mostly men in suits, sat in chairs set up on the artificial turf.

The presidential hopeful has been turning his campaign message back to the economy as he tries to fend off rival Rick Santorum in crucial Michigan and Arizona primaries next week.

Mr Romney vowed to bring fundamental change to rebuild the U.S. economy with fiscally conservative policies, a message he hopes will help him make a comeback in the hard-hit state, where Mr Santorum is threatening to score an upset.

But the economic address became a lightning rod for Mr Romney’s odd ad libs.

In an attempt to counter his critics, Mr Romney emphasised his Michigan roots and love for the cars produced by the state’s auto industry.

The former private equity executive has taken some criticism in the state because he opposed an $81billion federal bailout credited with helping save the auto industry.

He pointed out that he drives a Ford Mustang and Chevrolet pickup truck, and that his wife, Ann ‘drives two Cadillacs, actually’ – a comment analysts said could alienate some blue-collar voters by reminding them of Mr Romney’s vast wealth.

Closing his speech, he said of Michigan: ‘You know, the trees are the right height, the streets are just right.’

The remark was met by puzzled murmurs in the otherwise silent stadium, the New York Daily News reported.

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Grace Wyler
Business Insider
February 21, 2012

Mitt Romney’s squeaky-clean presidential campaign has become embroiled in a rare scandal this week, amid reports that its Arizona campaign chairman — and the face of Romney’s hardline immigration stance — was embroiled in a gay sex scandal with an alleged illegal immigrant.

In what is definitely one of the more salacious plot twists of the 2012 race, Arizona’s Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu abruptly resigned from the Romney campaign this weekend in the wake of allegations that he threatened to have his former boyfriend deported if news of their affair went public.

The scandal has caused a major headache for Romney, just one week before Arizona’s Republican primary. Details of the alleged affair have captivated the state’s political community, not least because they read like a lurid dime-story novel:

According to the Phoenix New Times, which broke the story, Babeu and his ex, “Jose,” a man from central Mexico, met on the dating website gay.com in 2006, and carried on a secret romance until this past fall. Allegedly, their relationship soured when “Jose” learned that Babeu was meeting other men on the gay dating/hookup site adam4adam.com, using the alias “Studboi1.” Babeu later pressured “Jose” to sign a nondisclosure agreement about their relationship or face deportation, claiming that “Jose’s” visa was expired.

Immigration rights groups are now asking the Justice Department to investigate the allegations about the tough-talking border sheriff, who rivals Arizona’s infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio in his hardline stance on illegal immigration.

In a press conference Saturday, Babeu acknowledged that he is gay, but denied “Jose’s” accusations. He broke ties with the Romney camp, saying that he didn’t want to the scandal to taint the presidential candidate.

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James Crugnale
February 12, 2012

Republican hopeful Ron Paul recently told an audience that he would consider tapping former Fox Business News host Judge Andrew Napolitano as his running mate.

“One time somebody asked me who I would consider and the name Judge Napolitano jumps right out at me,” Paul said to raucous cheers of approval.

“But when you think about the danger of mentioning one or two means that you’re not going to mention quite a few others that would certainly be qualified.” he said. “That’s a great story, you know, the fact that there are a lot of people now that are well known and well educated and know the issues and would do a very good job.”

Napolitano implicitly endorsed the Texas Congressman in January, saying “Only one man remains faithful to the principles of free market and small government. To the Constitution and to personal freedom. To defending the nation without being the world’s police force. Only one. You know who he is.”

February 21, 2012

Baby Boomer’s Last Shot

Posted: February 21, 2012 in Economic Crisis, US News

Truth Never Told
February 21, 2012

February 19, 2012

(Reuters) – Iran has stopped selling crude to British and French companies, the oil ministry said on Sunday, in a retaliatory measure against fresh EU sanctions on the Islamic state’s lifeblood, oil.

“Exporting crude to British and French companies has been stopped … we will sell our oil to new customers,” spokesman Alireza Nikzad was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Petroleum website.

The European Union in January decided to stop importing crude from Iran from July 1 over its disputed nuclear program, which the West says is aimed at building bombs. Iran denies this.

Iran’s oil minister said on February 4 that the Islamic state would cut its oil exports to “some” European countries.

The European Commission said last week that the bloc would not be short of oil if Iran stopped crude exports, as they have enough in stock to meet their needs for around 120 days.

Industry sources told Reuters on February 16 that Iran’s top oil buyers in Europe were making substantial cuts in supply months in advance of European Union sanctions, reducing flows to the continent in March by more than a third – or over 300,000 barrels daily.

France’s Total has already stopped buying Iran’s crude, which is subject to fresh EU embargoes. Market sources said Royal Dutch Shell has scaled back sharply. Shell had no comment on the announcement.

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Among European nations, debt-ridden Greece is most exposed to Iranian oil disruption.

February 16, 2012