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WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney coasted to victory in the Arizona primary Tuesday night and vied with rival Rick Santorum for supremacy in Michigan in a Republican presidential race as unsettled as the day it began.
Two other candidates, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, made little effort in either state, pointing instead to next week’s 10-state collection of Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses.
Romney’s Arizona triumph came in a race that was scarcely contested, and he pocketed all of the 29 Republican National Convention delegates at stake.
Michigan was as different as could be – a hard-fought and expensive race in Romney’s home state that he could ill afford to lose and Santorum made every effort to win.
Returns from 13 percent of Michigan’s precincts showed Romney at 41 percent and Santorum at 38 percent. Paul was winning 11 percent of the vote to 7 percent for Gingrich.
IF YOU ARE THE KIND OF GARDENER who buys vegetable seeds or seedlings (including tomato plants) from a local garden center, as I sometimes do, beware the varieties you select. Otherwise, you could very well be putting money into the hands of the wretched Monsanto Corporation.Forewarned is forearmed, right? Here is the list of Seminis/Monsanto home-garden vegetable varieties, and yes, it even includes zucchini:
I’m going to print out this list, and keep a copy in my wallet. This way I won’t be caught off-guard the next time I decide to impulse-shop at a big-box garden center:
Beans: Aliconte, Brio, Bronco, Cadillac, Ebro, Etna, Eureka, Festina, Gina, Goldmine, Goldenchild, Labrador, Lynx, Magnum, Matador, Spartacus, Storm, Strike, Stringless Blue Lake 7, Tapia, Tema
Broccoli: Coronado Crown, Major, Packman
Cabbage: Atlantis, Golden Acre, Headstart, Platinum Dynasty, Red Dynasty
Carrot: Bilbo, Envy, Forto, Juliana, Karina, Koroda PS, Royal Chantenay, Sweetness III
Cauliflower: Cheddar, Minuteman
Cucumber: Babylon, Cool Breeze Imp., Dasher II, Emporator, Eureka, Fanfare HG, Marketmore 76*, Mathilde, Moctezuma, Orient Express II, Peal, Poinsett 76, Salad Bush, Sweet Slice, Sweet Success PS, Talladega
Eggplant: Black Beauty, Fairytale, Gretel, Hansel, Lavender Touch, Twinkle, White Lightening
Hot Pepper: Anaheim TMR 23, Ancho Saint Martin, Big Bomb, Big Chile brand of Sahuaro, Caribbean Red, Cayenne Large Red Thick, Chichen Itza, Chichimeca, Corcel, Garden Salsa SG, Habanero, Holy Mole brand of Salvatierro, Hungarian Yellow Wax Hot, Ixtapa X3R, Lapid, Mariachi brand of Rio de Oro, Mesilla, Milta, Mucho Nacho brand of Grande, Nainari, Serrano del Sol brand of Tuxtlas, Super Chile, Tam Vera Cruz
Lettuce: Braveheart, Conquistador
Melon: Early Dew, Sante Fe, Saturno
Onion: Candy, Cannonball, Century, Red Zeppelin, Savannah Sweet, Sierra Blanca, Sterling, Vision
Pumpkin: Applachian, Harvest Moon, Jamboree HG, Orange Smoothie, Phantom, Prize Winner, Rumbo, Snackface, Spirit, Spooktacular, Trickster
Squash: Ambassador, Canesi, Clarita, Commander, Dixie, Early Butternut, Gold Rush, Grey Zucchini, Greyzini, Lolita, Papaya Pear, Peter Pan, Portofino, President, Richgreen Hybrid Zucchini, Storr’s Green, Sungreen, Sunny Delight, Taybelle PM
Sweet Corn: Devotion, Fantasia, Merit, Obession, Passion, Temptation
Sweet Pepper: Baron, Bell Boy, Big Bertha PS, Biscayne, Blushing Beauty, Bounty, California Wonder 300, Camelot, Capistrano, Cherry Pick, Chocolate Beauty, Corno Verde, Cubanelle W, Dumpling brand of Pritavit, Early Sunsation, Flexum, Fooled You brand of Dulce, Giant Marconi, Gypsy, Jumper, Key West, King Arthur, North Star, Orange Blaze, Pimiento Elite, Red Knight, Satsuma, Socrates, Super Heavyweight, Sweet Spot
Tomato: Amsterdam, Beefmaster, Betterboy, Big Beef, Burpee’s Big Boy, Caramba, Celebrity, Cupid, Early Girl, Granny Smith, Health Kick, Husky Cherry Red, Jetsetter brand of Jack, Lemon Boy, Margharita, Margo, Marmande VF PS, Marmara, Patio, Phoenix, Poseidon 43, Roma VF, Royesta, Sun Sugar, Super Marzano, Sweet Baby Girl, Tiffany, Tye-Dye, Viva Italia, Yaqui
Watermelon: Apollo, Charleston Grey, Crimson Glory, Crimson Sweet, Eureka, Jade Star, Mickylee, Olympia
* Marketmore 76 is a very old cucumber-variety. If you are ordering it from a seller of heirloom veggies, check with the dealer to make sure the seeds were not purchased from Seminis/Monsanto. If you buy the seeds from a big-box garden center, odds are they were purchased from the evil empire.
That’s quite a catalog, huh? No wonder Monsanto paid $1.4 billion in cash to acquire it. You can see the catalog for yourself on Seminis’s own website.
Don’t be embarrassed if you’ve inadvertently planted some of these varieties in your garden. As you might recall, one summer I innocently planted ‘Early Girl’ tomatoes. Believe me, I won’t be casting that vote again.
Stunned it putting it mildly, guess she saw the writing on the wall. This truly is a red letter day for America!!!! Glory, Glory, Hallelujah, Glory, Glory, Hallelujah, Glory, Glory, Hallelujah, the RINO is marching off. I thought that RINO bitch would never leave.
Sen. Olympia Snowe shocked the political world Tuesday with an announcement that she would not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate.
“After an extraordinary amount of reflection and consideration, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate,” the three-term senator said in a statement..
“After 33 years in the Congress this was not an easy decision. My husband and I are in good health. We have laid an exceptionally strong foundation for the campaign, and I have no doubt I would have won re-election.”
Snowe gave little reason for her decision, although her statement spoke to the partisan rancor that has come to characterize Washington.
The statement continued: “However, what I have had to consider is how productive an additional term would be. Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term. So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail.”
There’s a tiny priest living in Rick Santorum’s trim, toned body, struggling to get out. The rogue priest escaped Sunday and said foolish things.
The candidate most admired for plain speech made it plain and clear that he doesn’t believe in the wall between church and state and doesn’t think much of John F. Kennedy for saying he did.
“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” he told ABC News. “The idea that church can have no influence or involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.”
This should cook his goose with conservatives (and everybody else), Catholic and Protestant alike, but it probably won’t. Many voters are as ignorant as Rick Santorum about the plain meaning of the First Amendment. Mr. Santorum, no doubt listening to his inner rogue, says the First Amendment’s guarantee of “the free exercise of religion means bringing everybody, people of faith and no faith, into the public square.”
Indeed it does, and the pope, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, all the Methodist and Episcopal bishops, rabbis Orthodox and otherwise, and peaceful imams everywhere have the right to be heard. But none of them has the right, as arbiters of their faith, to compel the president of the United States to make public policy conform to religious doctrine. This is what makes America the exceptional nation. This is what Mr. Santorum appears to not understand.
John F. Kennedy, addressing the concern of the Protestant ministers of Houston in 1963, set the standard for how Catholic candidates for president (and other public office) should answer questions about how his faith would guide his secular presidency.
“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” JFK said, “where no Catholic prelate would tell the president, should he be Catholic, how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote, where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.”
No one has said it better since, but Mr. Santorum says he read the speech and it “makes me want to throw up.” Heaven probably doesn’t have Wi-Fi connections, and a good thing, because JFK would throw up if he heard Mr. Santorum’s garbled understanding of what he told the preachers in Houston half a century ago.
“Go and read the speech,” Mr. Santorum said. “[He says] ‘I will have nothing to do with faith. I won’t consult with people of faith.’ ” But JFK said nothing remotely like that. He expected, of course, to consult his conscience, as all presidents are expected to do, and in his case it would be a conscience informed by faith and the teachings of the Gospel. But he promised to listen to no prelate, however well-intentioned, telling him how he must make public policy. This distinction is so simple that even a caveman would understand it.
The doctrine of separation of church and state is taking a beating this season. In a campaign video, President Obama urges black voters to pressure their churches to suphttp://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/28/pruden-the-ignorance-of-rick-santorum/port his re-election by getting his messages out via “the faith communityhttp://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/28/pruden-the-ignorance-of-rick-santorum/.” Voters, he says, should commission themselves “congregation captains.” This is part of the launch of “African Americans for Obama,” a blatant appeal to put race to work on his behalf. “Honkies for Romney” and “Blue-Eyed Devils for Santorum” may be next.
New York Times columnist Charles Blow, in a tweet, tried to do a job on Mitt Romney’s religion, mocking the Mormon custom of wearing a “temple garment” under regular clothing as a reminder of faith, and telling “Muddle Mouth” Romney to “stick that in your underwear.” He apologized (though not as abjectly as his man routinely apologizes to angry Muslims).
The temptation of any presidential candidate is to do whatever works in a primary, figuring to tone down red-hot rhetoric later. Mr. Santorum may be unique. His appeal is based on saying whatever pops into his head, as long as he pleases his inner priest. If that upsets the congregation, tough. But it’s difficult, for Catholics, Protestants and others alike, to envision a rogue priest presiding over the White House.
“I have to tell you a lot of my Democratic friends will vote for Santorum in something they are calling Operation Hilarity,” Michael Moore said at the end of an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
According to the Daily Kos, who launched this campaign, Operation Hilarity is “an opportunity for Democrats to actually help prolong this election a little bit longer because we’ve seen that the longer this drags out, the worse it is for Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and the best it is for Barack Obama.”
Calgary-based TransCanada says the new project does not require presidential approval, since it does not cross a U.S. border. The shorter pipeline is expected to cost about $2.3 billion and be completed next year, the company said.
The Obama administration had suggested development of an Oklahoma-to-Texas line to alleviate an oil glut at a Cushing, Okla., storage hub.
“Moving oil from the Midwest to the world-class, state-of-the-art refineries on the Gulf Coast will modernize our infrastructure, create jobs, and encourage American energy production,” Carney said in a statement. “We look forward to working with TransCanada to ensure that it is built in a safe, responsible and timely manner, and we commit to take every step possible to expedite the necessary federal permits.
TransCanada said Monday it still hopes to build the full 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil derived from tar sands in Alberta, Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast. The proposed $7 billion pipeline would run through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas before reaching Oklahoma.
The company is working with Nebraska officials to find a route that avoids the environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.
Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline last month, in large part because of the uncertainty over the Nebraska route. Obama said there was not enough time for a fair review before a looming deadline forced on him by Republicans. The action did not kill the project but — for the second time in three months — put off a tough choice on the pipeline project, which has become the focus of a heated political fight.
Pipeline supporters — including congressional Republicans and many business and labor leaders– call the project a key job creator, while opponents say it would transport “dirty oil” that requires huge amounts of energy to extract. They also worry about a possible spill.
Carney said that Obama’s Jan. 18 decision “in no way prejudged future applications” by TransCanada for the full, 1,700-mile project.
“We will ensure any project receives the important assessment it deserves, and will base a decision to provide a permit on the completion of that review,” he said.
Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and CEO, said the Oklahoma-to-Texas pipeline will transport growing supplies of U.S. crude oil to meet refinery demands in Texas.
“Gulf Coast refineries can then access lower cost domestic production and avoid paying a premium to foreign oil producers,” he said, adding that the project should reduce U.S. dependence on crude from outside North America.
“We want the activists of the party, the people who make up the backbone of the Republican Party to have a say in who our nominee is as opposed to a bunch of people who don’t even identify themselves as Republicans picking our nominee,” Santorum told voters on the call held January 29. “I don’t like that. I believe that states should only allow Republicans to vote in Republican primaries.”
Mitt Romney is calling Rick Santorum’s calls to Democrats to vote in Tuesday’s primary in Michigan “outrageous” and “disgusting” but Santorum says he’s not doing anything besides getting people to vote in an open primary.
Romney complained about the automated calls Tuesday, as Michigan voters go to the polls in the Republican presidential primary. Arizona also votes Tuesday in a winner-take-all battle, but Michigan, with its proportional delegate award system, has added value since Romney was born in the state and his father served as governor there.
“I know why Obama doesn’t want me to face him but I just think it’s outrageous and a terrible dirty trick at the last hour, by the way, late in the afternoon on the day before the election, maybe hoping no one would notice, they start sending out calls to Democrats, union members telling them to go into the Republican primary and vote against Mitt Romney,” he said.
“This is a new low for his campaign and that’s saying something,” Romney told Fox News
Santorum told Fox News on Monday night that he is trying to attract the Democratic voters he’ll need in a general election campaign. He added that nothing he’s said in his robo-call is any worse than the campaign Romney has run.
“When he runs a robo-call of my voice from four years ago saying good things about him, that’s not a low moment, and when I run a call basically saying, calling Democrats that are eligible to vote here, to vote for us, that’s a low (moment)?” he said.
“And of course, you know, it’s interesting that he criticizes me for attracting Democrats because one of the things that the Governor Romney’s people say is, oh, he can’t attract Democrats. Well, guess what? We will wait and see. I think we can.”
The robocall going around Monday says Democrats should send “a loud message” to Romney by voting for Santorum. The message says it’s supported by “hard-working Democratic men and women” and paid for by the Santorum campaign.
Indeed, Democrats have made no bones about their efforts to force a Romney loss in the GOP primary. The pro-President Obama super PAC, Moveon.org and the campaign itself have all run ads against Romney in the Wolverine State.
On Monday, liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos wrote that a “million-dollar anti-Romney effort (with much of that money coming from Democrats and progressives) has dragged Romney back down to where Santorum can catch him.”
He added that “the big-money campaign” aims to drive down Romney’s numbers among independents and the Michigan Democratic Party is also engaged in getting Democrats to cast votes for Santorum, “reminding them that casting such votes in no way prohibits them from voting in Democratic contests later in the year.”
“The quicker Romney can transition to ‘general election’ mode, the quicker he can move to the center and start repairing the damage. And as long as Santorum drives the debate, he helps galvanize base Democratic constituencies. … There is no downside to dragging this contest out a month or two longer,” Kos wrote.
While the two candidates run neck-and-neck — late polling showing virtually no difference between the two — Santorum is also asking volunteers to come out Tuesday night to “help in ensuring the accuracy of ballots collected.”
Whoever wins in Michigan, the 30 delegate count will only go a small way toward gaining the 1,144 required to win the party nomination at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
So far, The Associated Press has tallied 123 delegates for Romney to 72 for Santorum. Newt Gingrich, who is focused on Washington state caucuses Saturday, with 40 delegates at stake and Super Tuesday states next week and not Tuesday’s battle in Michigan, has 32 delegates and Ron Paul has 19. Next Tuesday’s 10 primaries and caucuses will gin up another 419 delegates.
But Michigan’s battle would follow a three-state sweep by Santorum earlier in the month, which while not awarding delegates yet, forced Romney into a bit of a defensive mode in Michigan. He hosted nearly a dozen public events as he and his allies have spent more than $2 million on local television advertising.
Romney predicted victory Monday night at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, where rocker-rapper Kid Rock performed.
“I’m going to win in Michigan and I’m going to win across the country,” Romney said.
Santorum, seeing fluctuations in polling, was more reserved on Monday night.
“I think the fact that we are doing as well as we are is a pretty big deal in this state,” he said.