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November 27th, 2011
04:35 AM ET

Early Bird news note for Sunday, November 27

Good morning!

Here's what we're reading this morning as we prepare for the program. Take a look so you're in the know come show time.


Herman Cain Makes Fund-Raising Pitch Off of Supercommittee’s Failure

(Wall Street Journal) - Republican White House hopeful Herman Cain sent supporters an email Tuesday bemoaning the collapse of deficit-reduction talks on Capitol Hill and blamed President Barack Obama for its failure. He included this plea for financial support:

“Please make an urgent contribution of $20, $30, $50, $100, $250 or more to my campaign right away,” Mr. Cain wrote. “The Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary are only weeks away and America desperately needs a leader who can get us out of this mess.”

The former businessman goes on to remind the “patriots and supporters” to whom the email is addressed why he is the right man for the job and why this is the time to pick a former chief executive as commander-in-chief.

“I’ve said it before many times. I am a businessman. I solve problems for a living,” he writes. “It isn’t in my nature to leave a problem as critical as cutting government and saving our economy up to a super committee made up of career politicians.”


First Romney campaign advertisement hits Iowa; stresses ‘values,’ electability

(Des Moines Register) - Mitt Romney’s first campaign advertisement in Iowa this election cycle – an oversized postcard – says he’s “the strongest Republican to beat Barack Obama and protect our values.”

So-called “values” voters – conservatives who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage – traditionally turn out in force in Iowa to cast the first votes in the GOP nominating process.

Newt Gingrich Inc.: How the GOP hopeful went from political flameout to fortune

(Washington Post) - Anyone who doesn’t believe in an afterlife must not live in Washington. Rarely, however, has reincarnation been so lucrative as it has for the man who now tops some polls for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich transfigured himself from a political flameout into a thriving business conglomerate. The power of the Gingrich brand fueled a for-profit collection of enterprises that generated close to $100 million in revenue over the past decade, said his longtime attorney Randy Evans.

Among Gingrich’s moneymaking ventures: a health-care think tank financed by six-figure dues from corporations; a consulting business; a communications firm that handled his speeches of up to $60,000 a pop, media appearances and books; a historical documentary production company; a separate operation to administer the royalties for the historical fiction that Gingrich writes with two co-authors; even an in-house literary agency that has counted among its clients a presidential campaign rival, former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).

Rivals say Gingrich stance is equivalent to amnesty

(Des Moines Register) - A stance on illegal immigration outlined last Tuesday by presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is drawing more fire from Republican rivals, who label it “amnesty.”

The latest volley came Saturday from Michele Bachmann, who released a 2004 letter signed by Gingrich calling for “additional legal avenues” to allow undocumented workers living in the United States to remain here legally.

Will demographic shifts save Obama in 2012?

(Washington Post) - Two analysts from the progressive Center for American Progress, Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin, have provided the most comprehensive examination to date of how those factors could affect the vote in 2012. The analysis is called “The Path to 270: Demographics versus Economics in the 2012 Presidential Election.”

The study examines whether the electorate in 2012 will be shaped more by the demographic changes coursing through the population, or by Republican enthusiasm to defeat the president coupled with Democratic apathy of voters hard hit by the economy and let down by Obama’s leadership.

“The stage is set for a showdown of demographics versus economics in the 2012 election,” they write. “Each side has clear strengths but also very serious weaknesses as they move into this showdown. Victory will likely go to the side most willing to acknowledge their weaknesses and attack them boldly. This will be no election for the faint-hearted.”

Democrats post big fundraising numbers for 2012 House races

(Washington Post) - House Democrats have raised $52.1 million to the Republicans’ $48.7 million. The difference is small, but it’s significant given that no minority party has been able to get such an edge in fundraising since the 1994 election cycle.

Reports released this week show that the National Republican Congressional Committee edged out the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in fundraising for October: the NRCC took in $4.5 million compared with the DCCC’s $4.1 million, not nearly enough to make up for the DCCC’s advantage. The month before, Democrats raised $6.6 million compared with $3.8 million by Republicans.

What makes the Democratic surge in fundraising so unusual is that political money tends to flow to those in power and those with momentum. In the fall of 2007, for example, a year after Republicans were kicked out of their 12-year reign in the majority, the NRCC had a negative cash balance and had raised just $40.7 million — a roughly 30 percent drop from two years earlier. Not even a year into their new power, the DCCC had pulled in nearly $57 million and had a cash balance over $27 million by the end of October 2007.


Tensions Flare Between U.S. and Pakistan After Strike

(New York Times) - Pakistani officials said on Saturday that NATO aircraft had killed at least 25 soldiers in strikes against two military posts at the northwestern border with Afghanistan, and the country’s supreme army commander called them unprovoked acts of aggression in a new flash point between the United States and Pakistan.

The Pakistani government responded by ordering the Central Intelligence Agency to vacate the drone operations it runs from Shamsi Air Base, in western Pakistan, within 15 days. It also closed the two main NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, including the one at Torkham. NATO forces receive roughly 40 percent of their supplies through that crossing, which runs through the Khyber Pass, and Pakistan gave no estimate for how long the routes might be shut down.

Egypt Braces for Fresh Clashes After Protester’s Death

(New York Times) - The killing of an unarmed demonstrator by the police on Saturday threatened to stir up new protests here as Egypt’s military rulers and political parties braced for potential chaos surrounding the parliamentary elections scheduled to start on Monday.

An outpouring of anger over the episode, in which a protester was run over by a police truck, added to fears that continued protests and violence would undermine the integrity of the vote, the first since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak nine months ago.

The episode took place at the end of a week of mounting protests across the country against Egypt’s interim military rulers, accused of threatening the revolution that brought down Mr. Mubarak by claiming permanent political powers and autonomy above a civilian government. The death recalled the event that set off the recent uprising, when the heavy-handed eviction of a small protest camp in Tahrir Square galvanized public anger against the military’s power grab.

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