Tags: Dobbs | Weighing | Senate | Run

Lou Dobbs Weighing Senate Run

By    |   Sunday, 22 November 2009 03:01 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Lou Dobbs Weighing Senate Run
2. Damage to Iraqi Antiquities Was Media Hype
3. Top Democrats Leave News Corp
4. Healthcare Bill Would Regulate — Vending Machines!
5. Gibson Wanted Stephanopoulos for the 'Evening News' Post
6. We Heard: Mike Huckabee, Sara Palin, Bobby Jindal


1. Lou Dobbs Weighing Senate Run

Following his resignation as a CNN anchor, New Jersey resident Lou Dobbs is said to be considering a run for the U.S. Senate from the Garden State.

"The veteran anchor — whose strong views on illegal immigration, healthcare and job creation propelled him to the top of the ratings at the cable network — said yesterday he had been approached about getting into politics, but insisted he was still weighing his options," the New York Post reported on Nov. 14.

Dobb announced his departure from "Lou Dobbs Tonight" on Nov. 11, reportedly under pressure to tone down his rhetoric as CNN seeks a more centrist position among the cable news channels.

The Senate seat currently held by Democrat Robert Menendez will be up for grabs in 2012. Menendez was appointed to the seat in 2006, when Jon Corzine left the Senate to begin his term as New Jersey governor. Menendez was elected later that year, beating Republican challenger Tom Kean Jr.

A Dobbs run for the Senate "is something that has been talked about, particularly for 2012 against Senator Menendez," said Brigit Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

And Patrick Murray, a polling chief at Monmouth University in New Jersey, told the Post: "Lou Dobbs would certainly be an early front-runner" for the GOP nomination if he ran.

Dobbs would start the campaign with high name recognition, and could be expected to be an effective fund-raiser due to his national prominence, the Post observed.

Dobbs registered as a Republican in Sussex County in 1991, then switched to independent in 2006.

Back in June 2008, several Republican sources told the Newark Star-Ledger that Dobbs had inquired about the steps he would need to take if he decided to run for governor in New Jersey.

Dobbs received an $8 million severance package to leave CNN with 1 1/2 years remaining on his contract, according to the Post.

He called his departure "a very amicable parting on the best of terms."

Dobbs is now "in the process of evaluating things," spokesman Robert Dilenschneider said. "There are a lot of people talking to him right now."

Editor's Note:

2. Damage to Iraqi Antiquities Was Media Hype

American-led coalition forces were blamed for the destruction of Iraqi antiquities following the 2003 invasion, including inflicting serious damage to the ancient site of Babylon.

But reports of extensive damage have turned out to be largely media hype, according to Forbes magazine columnist Melik Kaylan.

Writing in Saturday's Wall Street Journal, Kaylan noted that John Curtis, head of the British Museum's Middle East Department, was "the single most persistent source" of reports on the supposed destruction.

In January 2005, the BBC reported that "coalition forces in Iraq have caused irreparable damage to the ancient city of Babylon," attributing the disclosure to the British Museum.

The BBC said "sandbags have been filled with precious archaeological fragments and 2,600-year-old paving stones have been crushed by tanks."

Curtis went on to say later that a coalition helicopter base had caused cracks in the bas-reliefs on Babylon's original walls.

A story the Boston Globe stated that "Iraq's U.S.-led invaders inflicted serious damage on Babylon, driving heavy machinery over sacred paths, bulldozing hilltops, and digging trenches through one of the world's greatest archaeological sites."

But this year Curtis began to step away from his earlier claims, acknowledging that Saddam Hussein "had already caused grievous harm to the site in various ways" before the invasion, Kaylan observed in The Journal.

And a memoir published in April by Emilio Marrero, who was chaplain of the Marine Expeditionary Force that first secured Babylon from looters in 2003, said the site was already in poor condition and U.S. forces worked to protect and preserve it.

Marrero told Kaylan that the helicopter base was "up to two football fields away" from the area of supposed damage and the cracks in the bas-reliefs were there before the invasion.

He also discounted allegations that tanks had crushed paving stones and archaeological fragments were used to fill sandbags, saying they were in fact filled with earth.

Kaylan disclosed that Curtis made a June 2008 trip to Iraq along with Elizabeth Stone from Stony Brook University in New York, and found "little or no post-Saddam damage" in southern Iraq's eight most important archaeological sites.

"They did not visit Babylon in the north," Kaylan wrote, "but the places they saw covered a full fifth of the entire landmass of Iraq — all relatively undamaged."

The National Museum in Iraq has now been reopened to the public, with most of its greatest treasures back on display, Kaylan adds, because "the museum's most valuable items were locked away in a vault, untouched by looters."

Editor's Note:

3. Top Democrats Leave News Corp.

News Corp. Executive Vice President Gary Ginsberg has become the second high-ranking official with Democratic ties to leave the company this year.

Peter Chernin, longtime president of Rupert Murdoch's media company, stepped down in June. Chernin was closely associated with Democratic politics and has been a frequent donor to Democratic causes.

Ginsberg, a former lawyer in the Clinton White House, became News Corp.'s director of communications in 1999, and he gradually gained control over investor relations and marketing, The New York Times reported.

In 2002, Ginsberg arranged a meeting with Bill Clinton and Murdoch. Four years later, Murdoch's New York Post endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Senate, and Murdoch held a fund-raiser for her at his company's New York headquarters.

But Ginsberg's efforts to forge a relationship between Murdoch and Barack Obama were less successful. The two met last year before the election, but the Post endorsed Republican John McCain for president.

Ginsberg said he will leave News Corp. at the end of the year to "pursue something new."

Editor's Note:

4. Healthcare Bill Would Regulate — Vending Machines!

The healthcare reform bill recently passed by the House imposes new regulations on vending machine owners that would cost the industry an estimated $56 million in the first year.

Vending machine operators would have to either install new machines that allow customers to view nutrition facts, or post nutritional information for each product near "each item of food or the selection button."

Section 2572 of the bill says, "In the case of an article of food sold from a vending machine that – (I) does not permit a prospective purchaser to examine the Nutritional Facts Panel before purchasing the article or does not otherwise provide visible nutrition information at the point of purchase; and (II) is operated by a person who is engaged in the business of owning or operating 20 or more vending machines, the vending machine operator shall provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button that includes a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the number of calories contained in the article."

The requirement applying to vendors with 20 or more machines would affect 85 to 95 percent of the industry, according to Ned Monroe, senior vice president of government affairs at the National Automatic Merchandising Association, the vending machine trade organization.

"It's a pretty substantial economic hit," said Monroe. His group estimates that complying with the bill will cost the vending machine industry $56.4 million in the first year alone, at a time when revenue is already falling.

"From our estimate, it's almost $11 per machine for the first stocking or first labeling of the machine," Monroe told CNS News. "Costs would then mount further as labels or menus had to be updated with newly stocked products.

"Our position is that our products already disclose calories. Our items have nutritional information on the back of the packaging already."

Editor's Note:

5. Gibson Wanted Stephanopoulos for the 'Evening News' Post

Last week the Insider Report disclosed that ABC News honchos are talking with George Stephanopoulos about taking over Diane Sawyer's anchor position on "Good Morning, America" after Sawyer replaces Charlie Gibson on the network's "World News" broadcast.

Now it's being reported that Gibson actually wanted Stephanopoulos to succeed him on the nightly show — and was stunned when Sawyer got the role.

Gibson had been pushing ABC News president David Westin to promote Stephanopoulos, the host of Sunday morning's "This Week," as his successor, the New York Post's Page Six column reported.

Gibson "wanted George to get the job," according to a network source. "He was shocked when he learned Diane got it."

An insider told the Post: "Charlie has always given Diane the stink eye. He bad-mouths her openly and often."

Gibson denied there was bad blood between him and Sawyer.

"This notion that there is some kind of enmity that exists between Diane and me is just silly," he told Page Six. "We've worked together for over seven years, side by side...

"We're having lunch this week to continue the conversation."

Page Six sniped: "That said, Diane might want to have someone test her food at that lunch, just to be on the safe side."

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard…

THAT former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has written a letter urging support for Marco Rubio, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in Florida.

He is opposed in the GOP by Charlie Crist, who is leaving his post as Florida governor to run for national office.

In his fund-raising letter addressed to "Fellow Conservative," Huckabee says the goal of Rubio — former speaker of the state House of Representatives — is "to bring conservative ideas and principled leadership to the Senate. His record in Florida speaks for itself and I am proud to endorse his campaign...

"We need a fighter in Congress capable of stopping the Democrats' unprecedented spending and government intervention."

Huckabee, considered a likely GOP presidential candidate in 2012, also writes: "I know we can count on Marco to fight for our ideas and put the brakes on President Obama's radical agenda."

THAT Sarah Palin has now surpassed the 1 million mark in the number of followers on her Facebook page.

Her total is about 10 times the number of followers on the Facebook page of Mitt Romney, who like Palin is considered a prospective GOP candidate for president in 2012. She also far outpaces Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich in Facebook followers.

Palin wrote on her page on Tuesday:

"I would like to thank everybody who has signed up to follow this Facebook page. We are now over one million strong! Our voices have been heard loud and clear on issues ranging from energy to health care. Your support has made this unfiltered communication medium a success. Thank you so much."

THAT Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, is among the select group the White House has invited to attend Tuesday's state dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Jindal gave the GOP response to President Barack Obama's address to Congress earlier this year.

Several Cabinet members will attend the dinner, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Politico reported.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been invited, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will be home in Nevada for Thanksgiving instead.

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Lou Dobbs Weighing Senate Run2. Damage to Iraqi Antiquities Was Media Hype3. Top Democrats Leave News Corp4. Healthcare Bill Would Regulate — Vending Machines!5. Gibson Wanted Stephanopoulos for the 'Evening News' Post6. We...
Sunday, 22 November 2009 03:01 PM
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