If you believe pollster Frank Luntz's focus group in the post-game analysis on Fox News, Mitt Romney did himself a lot of good in Thursday's two-hour Fox News/Google GOP Debate, held in Orlando, Fla.
Nine candidates faced questions from FNC anchors Bret Baier, Chris Wallace and Megyn Kelly, and from citizens via YouTube and text messages: Gary Johnson, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Jon Huntsman Jr.
Baier mentioned Google had provided Fox News with a new "boop" sound to indicate a candidate had run over time, since the former bell raised the ire of dog owners (and apparently the volume of their pets' barking).
Speaking of dogs, former New Mexico Gov. Johnson, who hasn't been in a debate since the first one in May, got in the line of the evening, quipping, "My next-door neighbors' two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration."
It got a lot of laughs even though some people swear they've heard Rush Limbaugh tell the same yarn.
Not to be outdone in the canine arena, Georgia-born businessman Cain criticized....
For the second time since Sunday an intruder made it onto the White House grounds Tuesday night before being captured by Secret Service agents with guns drawn. It was not Joe Biden.
The incident occurred during a live CNN show, "John King USA." The capture was captured on video. Scroll down to watch.
The incident began when a man threw a backpack onto the lawn and then climbed over the fence.
Although the Salahis and before them Kevin Kline in "Dave" made entering and exiting the White House look easy, truth is it's a very secure place. Those wide open grassy areas may look empty, but they are not.
Within seconds, Secret Service agents with pistols and automatic weapons were cautiously approaching and shouting at the man to lie face down on the ground. He complied. He was frisked, handcuffed and led away under arrest.
Officials identified Tuesday's intruder as James Crudup, a 41-year-old homeless man. Due to previous incidents there, he was charged with violating a court order to stay away from the presidential residence and with unlawful entry.
Sunday night another intruder made it onto the grounds before apprehension. But she was a 6-year-old girl who slipped through the bars of the fence.
The youngster is still undergoing interrogation. No, just kidding. She was returned to her parents outside the fence.
Here's the regular Monday morning collection from the previous week:
Leno: This week is the 40th anniversary of the war on drugs. Our partner Mexicans had a moment of silence and then hours of laughter. Conan: President Obama met with Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, today. The good news is he can create new jobs. The bad news is, they're all in Farmville.
Leno: So Facebook is thinking of buying Twitter for $10 billion to combine the two companies into the biggest waste of time the world has ever seen.
"SNL": Current TV. If you're not familiar with Current TV, it's a channel founded by Al Gore. If you are familiar with Current TV, congratulations on being Al Gore.
Conan: Reports today that last year the Kardashian sisters made....
Remember last week when political commentator Tucker Carlson ignited a one-day online brushfire by suggesting that alleged NFL quarterback Michael Vick should have been executed himself for promoting dog-fighting, personally torturing dogs and manually drowning those he deemed unfit to live? We had video of TC's hyper-moment here.
Well, never mind.
After a few days of thought and, no doubt, counseling, Tucker admits he was "too emotional" and "overspoke." Now, maybe Carlson can show his face in Philadelphia again someday, though probably best to avoid Eagles games.
Vick served about 19 months in federal prison for his homicidal canine capers. What should....
Tucker Carlson, the media provocateur and recovering bow-tie wearer, has launched a new controversy in this week of otherwise slow news.
He has now suggested that Michael Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, should have been executed. Not for the awful way the guy played against Minnesota on Tuesday night, crippling his team's chances for a top playoff spot.
But for the canine homicides, maimings and tortures that Vick sanctioned, promoted and encouraged during his organized dog-fighting activities while playing for the Atlanta Falcons.
Vick spent 19 months as a member of a federal penitentiary before being picked up to try to play for the Eagles, where the ex-Virginia Tech player will be a free agent after this season. He says he would really like to have another dog "to show people that I genuinely care."
Carlson says Vick should have received the same lethal death sentence the player gave his canine victims. Here's what Carlson had to say (view video below):
"I'm a Christian. I've made mistakes myself. I believe fervently in second chances. But Michael Vick killed dogs. And he did so in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should've been executed for that."
The issue arises because it was revealed this week that President Obama inserted himself into the simmering Vick case.
In a recent phone call to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, the White House confirms, the president expressed appreciation for the businessman giving Vick a second chance in the city of Brotherly Love after Lurie had become dissatisfied with the performance of his previous quarterback, Donovan McNabb.
Obama, many recall, is a dog owner himself, albeit a reluctant one. The Obamas did not have a family pet. However, during the 2008 campaign it was noted that an overwhelming majority of American voters have household pets, that every White House resident needs a dog to look presidential and that John McCain already had 14 pets including several dogs. So Obama announced he would get a dog for his daughters if he won.
And eventually Sen. Edward Kennedy bought a dog for Obama, which they named Bo, as in Barack Obama's initials.
President Obama's words at lighting of National Christmas Tree, as provided by the White House
THE PRESIDENT: Merry Christmas, everybody!
AUDIENCE: Merry Christmas!
THE PRESIDENT: Happy holidays. We are just thrilled to have all of you here.
Thank you, Secretary Salazar, for the kind introduction and for all that you’re doing to protect our national parks and our public lands for the future generations. I also want to recognize Neil Mulholland and everyone at the National Park Foundation and at the National Park Service who helped put this event together.
I want to thank Pastor Darrell Morton for that wonderful invocation, and of course, thanks to Common and all of tonight’s performers for joining us here as we light the National Christmas Tree for the 88th time. (Applause.)
This is a very proud holiday tradition. Snow or shine, in good times and in periods of hardship, folks like....
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.