Monday, April 30, 2012

60 Minutes: Torture enemy detainees (Bush Administration) or kill them with Predator Drones (Obama Administration)?

Public domain: Abu Ghraib.

I came close to physical illness Sunday evening from watching Lesley Stahl’s interview of former CIA spy Jose Rodriguez on 60 Minutes. Rodriguez strenuously attempted to justify torture of enemy detainees. The details of the techniques practiced during the Bush Administration to extract information from suspected terrorists were the stuff of the worst nightmares. But as Kevin Gosztola points out in his post at FireDogLake, the interview reminded viewers that instead of capturing and torturing the suspects, the Obama Administration, simply kills them (along with any unfortunate innocents who get in the way) with Predator Drone attacks.

Gosztola writes:

Former head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Counterterrorism Center and its former Deputy Director of Operations Jose Rodriguez appeared on CBS’ “60 Minutes” to flaunt his new book Hard Measures, which details how he came to be in charge of CIA torture against terror suspects at “black site” prisons, why he believes torture was effective and why it should not be vilified.

The segment with Lesley Stahl has the same title as Rodriguez’s book. The title sounds like the name of a film starring an action movie star like Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal, which makes it appropriate because each answer from Rodriguez is dripping with bravado. From Rodriguez’s first answer to the last, one cannot help but realize he believes it is somehow unmanly to be concerned that torture of terror suspects violates the rule of law. He appears in his sleek white Camaro rolling down the highway to the CIA. And he says at one point, “We needed to get everyone in government to put their big boy pants on and give us the authorities we needed.”

Of course, like most establishment media interviews, the torture is not called torture. It is called “harsh techniques.” Or the official term Cheney coined for it—“enhanced interrogation techniques.”

*Here are both parts of the interview: Part 1 / Part 2
The first words in the segment are, “After the attacks of 9/11…” That phrase is all one needs to hear to know that this is going to be a tireless exercise in explaining away acts that historically have been considered war crimes when carried out.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hot-shot geeks at Google learn mindfulness meditation – no kidding!

As a practitioner of mindfulness meditation for the past several years, I continue to encounter skeptics who refer scornfully to contemplative types as “narcissistic navel gazers.” I heard that phrase just this week. Never mind that Vietnamese Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, now a spiritual leader for millions, was exiled from his war-torn homeland for his peace-making efforts.

So it was with great interest that I came across an article today at that describes how Google is integrating mindfulness in the workplace:

Hot-shot geeks at the world’s leading information company are taking a ground-breaking course called Search inside Yourself. As Barry Boyce reports, it’s a new model for teaching mindfulness and emotional intelligence, and its creator {Chade-Meng Tan} is thinking big.

And for all you folks who dismiss mindfulness practitioners as narcissistic navel gazers, take a look at this:

World peace—expressed with no irony—is the recurring theme for Meng, and his contemplations have led him to the firm conviction that meditation is the path to world peace, since all prior efforts, he says, have failed by “imposing social or political structures on people. They tried to create world peace from the outside in. My idea is to do the reverse, to create world peace from the inside out.” In Meng’s view, meditation is the methodology for creating peace from the inside out.

Read the entire article at – it’s well worth it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Senate passes expanded version of the Violence Against Women Act

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Democrat, Minn.) championed VAWA.

Democrats and Republicans continue their struggle to win the women’s vote. On the surface at least, this is a good thing. It suggests awareness at long last by our two major political parties that women represent 51 percent of the body politic.

And it is unquestionably good news that the senate just passed an expanded version of the Violence Against Women Act, so movingly supported by Wisc. Rep. Gwen Moore a few weeks ago on the House floor (watch the video).

David Grant at the Christian Science Monitor reports:

A new version of the Violence Against Women Act, the legislation that Democratsused as a backdrop to accuse Republicans of waging a "war on women," passed the Senate Thursday afternoon 68 to 31.

Fifteen Republicans joined every Democrat in voting for the measure. The passage reauthorizes a wide variety of services for abused women and men for five years.

"This violence must end," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) of Minnesota, one of the bill's main champions, on the Senate floor Thursday. "And so we all know that we can no longer stand and say it is someone else's problem. We can't let our own differences, minor that they may be on various provisions, get in the way."

Grant’s report continues:

Senate Democrats added provisions to VAWA that would help gays and lesbians receive domestic-abuse protections, make more temporary visas available for battered women in the United States illegally, and offer native American women more protection.
"A victim is a victim is a victim," thundered Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) of Vermont, one of the bill's lead sponsors, on the Senate floor Thursday. "You don't say we can help you if you fit in this category, but sorry battered woman, you're on your own, because you're in the wrong category. That's not America."

A Republican majority in the House, however, threatens final passage of the Senate’s version of the bill:

In the lower chamber, Republicans led by Reps. Sandy Adams of Florida and Kristi Noem of South Dakota offered the outline of their VAWA bill Wednesday. While still being drafted, the bill will all but certainly not contain the Senate's trio of controversial provisions.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Romney wins all five of Tuesday's primaries

Republicans regrouped behind Mitt Romney in Tuesday's primaries:

Mitt Romney laid claim to the fiercely contested Republican presidential nomination Tuesday night with a fistful of primary triumphs, then urged all who struggle in a shaky U.S. economy to "hold on a little longer, a better America begins tonight."

Eager to turn the political page to the general election, Romney accused President Barack Obama of "false promises and weak leadership." He declared, "Everywhere I go, Americans are tired of being tired, and many of those who are fortunate enough to have a job are working harder for less."

The former Massachusetts governor spoke as he swept primaries in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York, the first since Rick Santorum conceded the nomination.

Read more:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mitt Romney Wins Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware Primaries

And so it begins, this Tuesday, April 24, 2012:

WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney has won the Republican presidential primaries in Connecticut and Rhode Island. (Romney also won Delaware, according to the AP.)

They are the first in a string of five state primaries being held Tuesday. The others are in New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

The five primaries are the first since Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign two weeks ago – essentially conceding the GOP nomination to Romney.

Romney is still more than 400 GOP national convention delegates shy of the nominating majority he needs.
There are 209 delegates at stake in Tuesday's primaries. 

Read more: 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Elizabeth Warren needs our help!

Elizabeth Warren is struggling to hold her own against Scott Brown in the race for the late Ted Kennedy’s seat in the Massachusetts Senate. Check out Elizabeth’s latest TV ad below and then donate a few bucks to her campaign. She needs our help.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

The above picture (credited to Anou la Petite Hobo) caught my eye on my Facebook page this morning. Then I spotted guest blogger Harriett Sugarman’s post at the Christian Science Monitor. Sugarman offers some great suggestions for befriending our planet on this special day (I would also suggest that you visit Mary Lundeberg's website, Nature Connections):

Earth Day 2012: A handy list of tips and tricks to help your family go green this year, from gardening to recycling.

Harriett Sugarman
·  Get your “glee on” out in Nature – Get outside, sing a song, do a dance, have a picnic, BBQ, go camping, walk on the beach or take a hike. Whatever gets you there, gather your family and spend some time outdoors. Talk to you kids, introduce them to nature better yet, let them introduce nature to you! Remind yourself and the kids in your life of the treasures nature has given us, and why we need to fight so very hard to protect them.

·  Memory Lane Walk Down the Red Carpet “Favorite Earth Day Movies”– Watch, enjoy, lose yourself in the moment and learn something too. Movies for everyone: The Lorax, Chimpanzee, Avatar, Planet Earth, Wall-E and March of the Penguins. Documentary movies for older kids and adults: Queen of the Sun-What are the Bees Telling Us? Tapped, Gasland, Bag It, An Inconvenient Truth, Revenge of the Electric Car, Moby Duck – Learn something important., and have fun at the same time.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

George Zimmerman: guilty until proven innocent

Trayvon Martin
George Zimmeran

Americans like to boast that a person is innocent until proven guilty. But forget that when an American citizen abroad is a terrorist suspect. Then it’s okay to program a Predator drone to assassinate said suspect.

Here at home, the media has preemptively convicted George Zimmerman of the murder of Trayvon Martin, and one has to wonder how the justice system can come up with an unbiased jury in this case.

(Keep in mind that I’ve consistently supported stricter gun control laws, and I believe Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law guarantees an increase in violence in that state’s culture.)

In the meantime, Patrik Johnson, staff writer at the Christian Science Monitor, offers another  look at George Zimmerman:

George Zimmerman, charged with the murder of teenager Trayvon Martin, stood up for the downtrodden and wanted to become a magistrate judge to help society. How does this square with depictions of him as a racist vigilante?

The depictions of George Zimmerman that have emerged since he killed Trayvon Martin in the Retreat at Twin Lakes neighborhood in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26 have trended mostly around suspicions that he is a racist vigilante, a product of a “shoot first” mentality.
But as more information about Mr. Zimmerman’s past surfaces, a contrasting picture is emerging that  suggests his values may also align closely with those of social justice activists who have sought his arrest and prosecution for murder.

Suggestions by his parents that their son worked to protect society’s have-nots raise a question: Is Zimmerman, a registered Democrat of mixed ethnicity who views himself as a Hispanic, actually a different breed of citizen altogether: a social justice activist with a gun?

At a bond hearing Friday, Zimmerman’s Hispanic mother, Gladys Zimmerman, disagreed with prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda’s suggestion that a 2005 arrest for assaulting a police officer showed a violent streak in the married 28-year-old, who stands accused by the state of second degree murder

Instead, she said it fit his personality in another way: His zeal to intervene to protect a friend who was being pushed up against a wall by men who turned out to be two plain-clothes law enforcement officers. (A first time offender, Zimmerman escaped a conviction by agreeing to a judge’s request that he take an anger management course.)

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Boy Scouts of a Part of America

Jennifer Tyrrell and her son Cruz.

It’s time the Boy Scouts of America changed their name to the Boy Scouts of a Part of America. It’s a little cumbersome, but it’s an honest reflection of the bigotry that organization has come to represent. I just got the email below from Jennifer Tyrrell, and I was happy to sign and post it here at Katalusis. Please join me in this struggle for the rights of all Americans.

Virginia -
My 7-year-old son, Cruz, loves being a Cub Scout, and he really loved when I got to be his pack's den leader. But the Boy Scouts of America asked me to step down as the leader of my son's group -- just because I'm gay. Cruz doesn't understand why that matters, and frankly, neither do I.
When Cruz told us last year that he wanted to be a Boy Scout, my partner and I were concerned. We knew the organization has discriminated against families like ours before. But the other families in Cruz's group were so welcoming and supportive -- they even asked me to be a den leader on the first day.
One year later, our fears came to life. A representative of the Boy Scouts of America abruptly told me I was no longer welcome -- that because I'm gay, I didn't "meet the high standards of membership that the Boy Scouts of America seek." 
I hated feeling that my family had been discriminated against, so I started a petition on asking the Boy Scouts of America to stop discriminating against gay people. Click here to sign my petition.
During the year that I was den leader, my cubs performed volunteer service at a local soup kitchen, collected canned goods for area churches to distribute in food baskets, and worked on a conservation project for a state park. 
After I was asked to leave, other parents from my pack were outraged. Some of them even waited for hours to voice their concerns to Boy Scout officials, but they were turned away. As for Cruz, he doesn't really understand why there's a problem. He made a sign that says "I love my two gay moms." 
Other organizations like the Girl Scouts and Boys & Girls Clubs of America welcome gay kids as well as adult leaders -- I know that if thousands of people sign my petition, the Boy Scouts will see that it's time for them to adopt a policy that incorporates their own core values of compassion and respect.
Jennifer Tyrrell

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Attn. Facebook friends: “connection is not a bond”

Yvette Vickers in Attack Of The Giant Leeches. (Photo courtesy of

In an article at the Atlantic, Stephen Marche asks, Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? He convincingly concludes: “What Facebook reveals is that connection is not the same thing as a bond.”

The provocative piece begins:

Social media—from Facebook to Twitter—have made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier (or more narcissistic)—and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill. A report on what the epidemic of loneliness is doing to our souls and our society.

Yvette Vickers, a former Playboy playmate and B-movie star, best known for her role in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, would have been 83 last August, but nobody knows exactly how old she was when she died. According to the Los Angeles coroner’s report, she lay dead for the better part of a year before a neighbor and fellow actress, a woman named Susan Savage, noticed cobwebs and yellowing letters in her mailbox, reached through a broken window to unlock the door, and pushed her way through the piles of junk mail and mounds of clothing that barricaded the house. Upstairs, she found Vickers’s body, mummified, near a heater that was still running. Her computer was on too, its glow permeating the empty space.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley speaks out on behalf of veterans, seniors, and women

Rep. Shelley Berkley
Democrat Rochelle “Shelley” Berkley has served as U.S. Representative for Nevada's 1st congressional district since 1999. Berkley is currently opposing Republican Sen. Dean Heller in the Nevada Senate race. According to Shelley’s Facebook page, she’s running to create jobs in Nevada, protect Medicare, build clean energy infrastructure, and make sure we keep the promises we've made to our veterans. Shelley is also speaking out on major women’s issues.

As a United States Air Force veteran and an advocate for women's rights, I’m happy to post this email from Shelley:


Do you know what today is?

April 17th is National Equal Pay Day. Women had to work from January 1, 2011 to April 17, 2012 to match what men earned in 2011 alone.

On average, women still earn less than men across the board. And even though women make up 51% of the population in the United States, we hold only 17% of the seats in Congress.

This is just one of the many reasons that we need to keep fighting. 

There’s a simple way for you to stay involved. Just click here to join me on Facebook or here to follow me on Twitter, and keep up with everything going on in our campaign.
Middle class families are hurting. We need to create jobs, protect Medicare and Social Security, and continue to develop our renewable energy economy. That’s why I’m in this race, and I would love to keep you up to date.

So make sure you’re following our work! Join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter today.

Thank you so much for your help. I’ll be in touch.


P.S: If you’ve already followed us on Facebook and Twitter, thank you! There’s more you can do to help. Click here to pitch in a few dollars to our campaign today.
Paid for by Berkley for Senate
Contributions or gifts to Berkley for Senate are not tax deductible

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sen. Barbara Boxer calls foul after foul on GOP

Sen. Barbara Boxer  (Photo: Politics Now)
Sen. Boxer doesn’t just call a foul on Republican members of Congress. She nails them again and again even as they try to dodge the truth about their all out war on women. Heck, the Republicans are so bad, they are making women forget – temporarily at least - the backstabbing Hillary Clinton endured from her own party leaders in 08.

Boxer opines about the GOP’s anti-women onslaught over at Politico:

Suppose it’s the championship basketball game and one player is committing foul after foul. Each time, he denies he’s committed any offense.

Eventually, he fouls out. But even as he heads to the bench, he’s protesting that he did nothing wrong.

That’s what we’re seeing today from Republicans who claim there is no “war on women.” The Republican National Committee chairman likened it to a “war on caterpillars.” The Senate Republican leader claims it’s all manufactured – even as female members of his caucus warn about the growing backlash against the GOP from women.

But whether it’s sports or politics, denials don’t change the facts. So let’s look at them.

House Republicans have introduced more than 30 bills that would restrict a woman’s reproductive health care. Those same Republicans, who decry an all-too-powerful government, have no problem deciding what health care is right for our daughters, or sisters or mothers.

Read more:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tell Pres. Obama: Don't let Shell drill in the Arctic!

Shell rig on its way to Arctic.
From Credo’s Elija Zarlin:
Dear Virginia,
Right now, Shell's Kulluk drilling rig is getting towed up the Pacific Coast to the Arctic.1
The Arctic has never been drilled for oil, not even under President George W. Bush. But at the end of March, the Obama Administration approved Shell Oil's inadequate spill plan for the Beaufort Sea.2
Drilling in these pristine waters could begin as soon as this summer. This is the eleventh hour.
But President Obama still has to approve the final Permit to Drill — and a decision could come by the end of this month.
The Arctic's Beaufort and Chukchi seas are like nurseries of the earth — providing crucial breeding ground and food supply for countless species of wildlife. Upsetting this habitat would have broad ripples through the wildlife food chain literally across the globe.
Almost exactly two years after the devastating Deepwater Horizon spill, the impacts are still being felt by the Gulf Coast and Gulf marine life. In many ways, we still don't understand the long term damage caused by the massive volume of spilled oil and toxic dispersants.
In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Obama promised: "I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago."
But there is still no proven way to clean up an oil spill in the extreme arctic environment — which includes hurricane force storms, 20-foot swells, pervasive sea ice, low temperatures and months of darkness.3
President Obama says his energy plan is "all-of-the-above."
But between pushing the southern, export portion of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and now opening the Arctic to drill for oil that won't do anything to reduce gas prices,4 it seems a whole lot more like President Obama's energy plan is "oil-above-all."
President Obama needs to stand up to pressure from the oil industry, and admit what we all know: Drilling in the Arctic is a terrible, misguided idea, that's just not worth the risk to this one-of-a-kind area, or the damage we know it will do to our climate. Click below to automatically sign the petition below:
Thanks for working to move us past oil drilling.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. "New era in Alaska drilling looms," LA Times, March 4, 2012
2. "Shell Wins 'Safety' Permit From Obama Administration To Start Dangerous Drilling In Arctic Seas ," Think Progress, March 28, 2012
3. "Arctic "should remain off-limits to drilling"," Oil Change International, Feburary 6, 2012
4. "U.S. drilling won't lower gas prices, study shows," Associated Press, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hillary @tumblr

Even as I apply mindfulness meditation techniques in an effort to diminish my outrage, still easily triggered from the rampant sexism and outright misogyny unleashed against Hillary Clinton in 2008, worldwide respect and admiration for Hillary continues to soar. The latest indication of Madam Secretary’s sky-high approval ratings is the wildfire explosion on the internet of “Texts from Hillary.” And although I’m sorely tempted to say to the worst offenders from ’08, “Take that!,” I return to my practice and humbly repeat the great “OM.”

Oh, by the way, the text guys, Stacy and Adam, recently updated their site after Hillary invited the pair over to the State Department. The photo on the right is their posted evidence that she really did meet with them.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Celebrating Easter, Passover, and the onset of spring with Elizabeth Warren!

Elizabeth Warren and her grandchildren.

Hello, Katalusis readers:

The latest poll shows Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren leading Republican Scott Brown by five points in the Mass. Senate race. Public Policy Polling reports that Warren is leading Brown 46-41.

But Warren isn’t dwelling on poll numbers this Easter weekend. She’s busy dyeing eggs with her grandchildren. In her letter that I received today, she writes:


I love Easter. It's family all the way.

When I was growing up, I loved to dye eggs with my mother and grandmother. Even my Aunt Bee got in on the action. My eggs were creative, but Aunt Bee's eggs were always these beautiful pastel shades. When I was little, I insisted that we eat her eggs last because I wanted to admire them the longest.

The tradition carried on with our kids -- Amelia and Alex -- and now Bruce and I make a point of dyeing eggs every year with our grandchildren.

This week started a new tradition. For the first time ever, our granddaughters, ages six and ten, have come to town on their own to dye eggs -- and to celebrate the holiday weekend. This year's eggs have sparkles, decals, wax writing and multiple colors, including one experimental egg that turned an ugly blue-brown. (That egg has already been eaten.)

Yesterday, Bruce and I took the girls down to Plimoth Plantation -- history come to life. And we got back from visiting the penguins at the aquarium just a few minutes ago. Tonight we're joining friends at a community Seder, and tomorrow morning we'll be going to the same church where Bruce's Mom and Dad were married right after World War II.

Photo: Elizabeth, Octavia and Lavinia

Lots of memories -- both old ones and new ones.

Whether your family is celebrating Easter, Passover, or just the start of spring -- Bruce, Octavia, Lavinia, Otis and I hope you have a safe and happy weekend.

Thank you for being a part of this,


Friday, April 6, 2012

Modern day versions of crucifixion and state-sponsored revenge

 Thoughts of torture and capital punishment have been inescapable in recent years as first the Bush Administration and now the Obama Administration have sanctioned what Steve Thorngate, blogging at the Christian Century, refers to as “state-sponsored revenge.” That would include, I’m guessing, the murder on foreign soil of suspected terrorists, including American citizens, without trial.

Yes, torture, assassination of American citizens, and drone attacks that take the lives of many civilians in other nations are indeed sanctioned under the administration of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama.

Sadly, Thorngate’s post titled “Crucifixion and the News" is appropriate reading for Good Friday 2012:

Among other things, Holy Week always brings to mind the tension between thinking doctrinally about Christ and thinking historically about Jesus. The latter is particularly poignant given the news this week: Bush State Department employee Philip Zelikow apparently wrote a memo in 2006 that advised against the use of torture. What's not news, of course, is that Zelikow's wise words were not heeded.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Santorum’s poll numbers sink in PA making U.S. theocracy less likely

Rick Santorum’s early successes in the GOP primary have been worrisome. His determination to lead the nation toward a theocracy and his regressive opinions on the rights of women were scary. The impressive wins on Tuesday by the more moderate Mitt Romney were encouraging and the latest poll numbers from Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania (April 24, 2012 primary) should prompt a sigh of relief from thinking members of the electorate. Public Policy Polling reports:

Mitt Romney's taken the lead in PPP's newest poll of Rick Santorum's home state of Pennsylvania. Romney has 42% to 37% for Santorum with Ron Paul at 9% and Newt Gingrich at 6%. The numbers represent a dramatic turnaround from when PPP polled the state a month ago. Romney's gained 17 points, going from 25% to 42%. Meanwhile Santorum's dropped 6 points from 43% to 37%, for an overall swing of 23 points in the last four weeks.

Pennsylvania Republicans are expressing major doubts about Santorum's viability both in the primary and the general election. Only 36% of GOP voters think Santorum has a realistic chance at the nomination to 54% who believe he does not. And when it comes to matching up against Barack Obama in the fall only 24% of Republicans think Santorum would provide their best chance for a victory while 49% think that designation belongs to Romney.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Summing up Romney’s big wins: the delegate count

Mitt: 655 delegates
Rick: 278 delegates

Posting at The Fix (Washington Post), Aaron Blake sums up Romney’s delegate wins yesterday, April 3, compared to the few garnered by Rick Santorum:

Mitt Romney expanded his delegate lead significantly on Tuesday, taking at least 83 delegates from Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia and reinforcing that he is on a clear path for the GOP presidential nomination.

Rick Santorum, meanwhile, is projected to have won six delegates, with six yet to be determined.

Romney has expanded his delegate lead over Santorum to 655 to 278, according to the most recent AP projections. (For all the numbers, see the Post’s delegate tracker.)

The 83 delegates Romney won for sure makes Tuesday his second-biggest single-day delegate haul of the GOP primary season.

The former Massachusetts governor now has 57 percent of the delegates he needs to clinch the nomination. He only needs to win 42 percent of the remaining delegates in order to seal the victory.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Breaking; Romney takes Wisconsin

Sarah Palin’s Today Show appearance (watch video)

Courtesy of

Well, I just couldn’t resist posting this video clip of the former Alaskan governor and GOP vice-presidential candidate in 2008:

Romney projected to win Maryland and DC, leads in Wis.

Told ya I’d be back with the Mitt and Rick primary results. Mitt is projected to win in Maryland and DC, and he’s leading in Wis. From the Huffington Post:

The former Massachusetts governor went into the {Wis.} contest leading rival candidates Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, according to the latest polls.

HuffPost's Mark Blumenthal reports:
The Republican race enters April having just passed a significant milestone. As of the Louisiana primary on March 27, GOP presidential primaries or first-round caucuses have been held in 29 states and five territories, enough to account for just over half (52 percent) of the 2,286 delegates who will attend the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., in August.
Click here for a rundown on who's ahead in the race.

Kentucky Wildcats steal the spotlight (watch video)

Image courtesy of

I know. I know. You’re all sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for the GOP primary results today in Wisc., DC, and Maryland. Well, I’m no sports fan, but I have to tell you I’m more excited about the Kentucky Wildcats winning the 2012 NCAA championship - it's a family heritage thing  (I’ll get to Mitt vs. Rick after awhile). For now enjoy this video:

(Uploaded at YouTube by on Apr 2, 2012. Presentation from CBS TV of the Kentucky Wildcats victory in the 2012 NCAA Championship game!