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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Utah governor critical of GOP

Jon Huntsman, the Republican governor of the ruby-red state of Utah, stopped by Politico HQ this afternoon with some tough criticism of his own party.

Huntsman is in Washington this week in his role as chairman of the Western Governors' Association to promote the group’s bipartisan energy policy. Huntsman and the WGA’s vice-chairman, Montana governor Brian Schweitzer (D), are discussing their proposal with President-elect Obama's transition team tomorrow.

Huntsman has been one of the leading Republican voices on dealing with climate change, and he was blunt in criticizing elements of his party for ignoring the impact of global warming.

“If we’re going to survive as a party, we need to focus on the environment,” Huntsman said. “There’s a fundamental tone deafness with our party when it comes to the environment. ... The last place we can be as a party is be viewed as the anti-science party. That’s not a model for the future.”

Huntsman said that there’s some resistance in Utah from elements of the party base on his environmental views, but said Western conservatives also “feel deeply about the land and the legacy they’re leaving behind.”

“When you put it in words they understand like clean air, pristine lands, and pure water, they get it,” Huntsman said.

He also was critical of the Bush administration’s foreign policy, and advocated for a more multilateral approach. He attributed the Republicans’ recent political struggles to the lack of an “organizing principle” to drive voters to the party — something the Cold War accomplished for decades.

And he argued the war on terror can’t fill that role.

“The war on terror can’t be the organizing principle of the Republican party,” he said.

Huntsman, who has shown an interest in national politics, said that the future of the Republican party will come from the governorships, but declined to promote any specific names. He punted when asked if he was interested in running for president in 2012, saying he was more interested in promoting ideas over names.

“New ideas will emerge, and then the names will follow,” Huntsman said.

On Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Huntsman only said that “she’ll be in the mix” in 2012, adding that she will have appeal to some social conservatives.

Huntsman was easily reelected as Utah’s governor this year, winning 78 percent of the vote in his heavily Republican state.

Pamela Anderson's pot plea

Pamela Anderson wants marijuana to be legalised.

The former 'Baywatch' star has written an open letter to US President-elect Barack Obama, outlining ways to make the country better.

Pamela believes cultivating the illegal substance would "save children" and help the environment.

She wrote on her official blog: "I think we should legalise marijuana, tax and monitor - farm hemp etc. This would make our borders less corrupt and then I think eventually this will be a more secure option and save children in the long run - we should be able to farm hemp in America - it's just silly. It would create jobs and be good for the environment."

Pamela also controversially suggests anyone found guilty of molesting children or possessing child pornography, should be castrated for their crimes.

She continues: "Government must castrate every molester - potential molester - err on the safe side.

If any child pornography is found in anyone's possession, or anyone creating such atrocities, or if any child is brave enough to come forward (at any young age to bring attention to a potential molester - listen) they need to be taken very seriously and see that justice is served.

"The abuse is way worse than any trial could be - our children need more protection and justice seen. It needs to be PREVENTED not just punished."

U.S. attorney general back at work after fainting

U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey returned to work on Friday after a "fainting spell" during a speech sent him to hospital the night before.

Mukasey walked out of George Washington University Hospital and waved to onlookers after getting what a spokeswoman called a "clean bill of health." He then rode by car to the Justice Department to resume work.

"I feel fine," Mukasey said in a written message to department employees. "As you may have heard, I collapsed briefly last night at the conclusion of a speech. All tests at the hospital have come back with good results."

Mukasey collapsed while defending the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policies to a conservative legal group, the Federalist Society. Television footage showed him beginning to slur his words then slumping at the podium as his bodyguard and others caught him.

"It was a late-night speech under hot lights so all indications at this point are it was basically a fainting spell," Mukasey spokeswoman Gina Talamona said earlier.

Mukasey had undergone tests that ruled out a stroke-related illness or heart problems, she said, adding he had no pre-existing health issues.

Mukasey has been attorney general for about a year, dealing with issues such as terrorism, crime and corporate wrongdoing stemming from the financial crisis. He is expected to leave office in January when President-elect Barack Obama's administration takes office.

Talamona said Mukasey's power was never transferred after the incident on Thursday evening.

"Doctors have described him as fit," she said. "He is very active, you know he works out daily. He gets up early every morning and works out on the elliptical."

President George W. Bush spoke with Mukasey on Friday morning. The attorney general "sounded well and is getting excellent care," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.