Kim Jong the Second
An email blast from the Perry camp on Monday about the death of Kim Jong-Il misspelled the North Korean dictator’s name as Kim Jong the Second (II), Think Progress reported (an image of the email can be seen here.)

“We see what happened: some sans-serif news brief on his death tripped up a Perry PR person, as a upper-case I and a lower-case l next to one another can easily be mistaken for ‘II’ — i.e., ‘the Second.’ But Kim Jong-Il was a regular old tyrant, not a monarch, which is probably something a presidential candidate (or at least the team surrounding him) should know. But Perry has excelled at not knowing things during his presidential campaign,” Dino Grandoni wrote in the Atlantic Wire.

The New Yorker‘s Philip Gourevitch noted that during his campaign for the presidency, George W. Bush called the North Korean despot “Kim Jong Two.” “Bush, of course, knew something about dynasties, and the gaffe was not illogical,” Gourevitch wrote.

Red State Bloggers Endorse Perry
Ten Red State bloggers signed a lengthy post “enthusiastically” endorsing Rick Perry for president, dubbing him the “best, most conservative potential president in the field.” They lauded Perry for being a “reliable conservative” who has not “zigzagged or flip-flopped his way through his career, and he’s not overtaken by a new enthusiasm every week.”

They cited his history of cutting taxes (67 times), the fact Texas has fewer government employees today than when he took office, and pro-life action as examples of this conservatism. They also declared the Perry has the correct “experience and temperament” to handle the presidency since he has been tested by several crises in office, including Hurricanes Rita and Ike.

As for his gaffes and poor debate performances? Those don’t matter, given his job performance. “Maybe Perry’s not Demosthenes, but he knows how build a team that gets his message out and go after his foes,” they write.

One Poll Places Perry in Third in Iowa
According to the December 18 Insider Advantage poll, Rick Perry has jumped in Iowa and is now in third place with support from sixteen percent of likely Republican voters. That’s a mere two points behind Mitt Romney. Ron Paul led that pack with 24 percent, and Newt Gingrich trailed Perry with thirteen percent.

Rick Perry related to Sam Houston, Harry Truman

Rick Perry is Sam Houston’s first cousin six times removed, according to the Hearst Washington Bureau. It is unclear how this new genealogical insight will help his flagging presidential campaign, as this is the kind of knowledge that plays better in Texas.

However, Rick Perry does have a U.S. presidential connection as well—Harry Truman is his fifth cousin (four times removed). Perry is not the only GOP candidate with presidential roots: Romney and Huntsman are distant cousins of the “two Presidents Bush.” Additionally, Huntsman is distant kin to Franklin Pierce, America’s fourteenth president.

Brit Slams Perry in Newsweek
British novelist Martin Amis took to the pages of Newsweek to slam Rick Perry, dubbing him the “gut candidate with a barrel chest.”

“‘Oops’ sounds even worse—even more sheepish and abject—if you say it with a Texan accent: something like ‘Ewps.’ It was certainly an arresting moment. When was the last time a would-be emperor denuded himself in the space of a single syllable?” Amis asked.

He also described Perry as “a shoeless farm boy from an old Rebel family, a straight-C student and Aggie yell leader, a devout Air Force pilot who rose to become the potent governor of a major state.”