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Romney Victorious in New Hampshire

Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night with a broad-based coalition of both conservative and moderate voters overwhelmingly motivated by their worries about America’s economic future and wanting above all to beat President Barack Obama in November.

According to exit poll data, more than a third of voters on Tuesday said the quality that mattered most in deciding their vote was the candidate’s ability to defeat Obama. Romney won an overwhelming 62 percent of those voters.

Regardless of how they voted, 56 percent of Tuesday’s voters thought Romney would be most likely to beat Obama in November; the runner-up in that category was Rep. Ron Paul of Texas with only 15 percent and only 11 percent saw former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman as most likely to defeat Obama.

Even though Tuesday was a Republican primary, independents could request Republican ballots and vote in the primary.
Remarkably, self-described independents accounted for nearly half of all voters Tuesday – a piece of data which has implications for November. Paul won 32 percent of independents, with Romney getting 29 percent, and Huntsman picking up 23 percent of them.

In his 2000 battle with Al Gore, George W. Bush won New Hampshire by 7,211 votes out of a total of nearly 570,000 votes. If Romney is the GOP nominee that would make New Hampshire competitive this fall. Having an appeal to independents would be crucial to his hopes of carrying the state and its four electoral votes.

Among self-described Republicans Romney won a solid 49 percent of them, according to exit poll interviews. The closet contenders with appeal to Republicans were Paul with 16 percent and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 13 percent.Huntsman invested heavily in New Hampshire and will likely finish a distant third once all the votes are counted.

Republican Bill to Curtail Middle East Spending

Last Wednesday, United States Republicans moved to cut aid to “several of Israel’s neighbors” and to stiffen control of assistance to Pakistan, swearing to go medieval on militant Islamism and curtail US spending in the region, even if for security interests.

The Republican-led House Foreign Affairs Committee pushed a slew of concerns in a spending bill for the fiscal year commencing in October, including cutting US contributions to the United Nations and putting a restriction on funding for abortion.

Aid to Egypt in TroubleThe new House spending bill will end decades of security aid to Egypt – that is unless the new leaders implement a peace treaty with Israel to replace the treaty destroyed along with the ousting of Mubarak and of course forbid the Muslim Brotherhood any influence over cultural infrastructure. While Mr. Mubarak, who is now on his death bed was held by his people as a loathed dictator, his relationship with the Jewish State benefited Israel in maintaining some control over Hamas terrorism, weapons smuggling from Iran and al Qaeda and the oil trade.

The Republicans would also like to jettison security assistance to Lebanon where the Hezbollah rules, as well as the Palestinian Authority (partly ruled by the wicked Hamas) and yes, even Yemen.

The bill would also see the United States move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The United States government still does not see Jerusalem as the official capitol of the Jewish State. In 1995, Congress pushed to move the embassy to Jerusalem, from its beach front location in Tel Aviv, but three presidents deferred the shift. Under the new House bill, the president would lose that waiver right come 2014.

The Republican bill on foreign affairs would cut $6.4b from Obama’s requests. The bill would also impose tighter restrictions on assistance to Pakistan; after Obama suspended one-third of its $2.7b annual defense aid to the country that probably aided and abetted one Osama bin Laden, terrorist mastermind (his body now being held in a cryogenic freezer in a top secret CIA cell).

Obama assures Pakistan that the United States is committed to a five-year, $7.5b civilian package that was originally approved in 2009 aiming at infrastructure, building schools and other “democratic” institutions. The new Republican bill would make the civilian aid “contingent on measurable progress by Pakistan in fighting Islamic militants.” writes Shaun Tandon from the Associated Press, however, a strong argument can be made to the contrary of Pakistani progress in helping the war on terror cause, as I just mentioned.

The committee voted along party lines to curtail the $44m in US funding for the Organization of American States, a regional bloc of some 35 nations.

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) wants more than this though. He said that the bill didn’t go far enough to halt cost overruns on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and contains “unrequested pork-barrel projects…”

He said:

“This nation is at a critical juncture of decisions concerning our conduct of three wars, our record deficit spending, and the dynamic state of world affairs…I cannot, as it is currently drafted, give it my full support, but I will continue my efforts to improve the bill as it moves through the process of consideration by the Senate and conference negotiations with the House.”

He continued:

“This bill uses a similar ruse — putting hundreds of millions of dollars into what amounts to slush funds of undesignated spending to be steered by powerful members to their pet projects and special interests as a means to back door earmarks…To avoid this predictable result, I offered a series of amendments to strike all unrequested funding increases that ignored and contradicted the President’s budget request. I regret I was not more successful.”

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