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Archive for July 20th, 2011


Dilbert by Scott Adams

A wingman in business?

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These are my links for July 20th from 13:30 to 17:39:

  • Economic Recovery Stalled After Obamacare Passed – Private-sector job creation initially recovered from the recession at a normal rate, leading to predictions last year of a “Recovery Summer.” Since April 2010, however, net private-sector job creation has stalled. Within two months of the passage of Obamacare, the job market stopped improving. This suggests that businesses are not exaggerating when they tell pollsters that the new health care law is holding back hiring. The law significantly raises business costs and creates considerable uncertainty about the future. To encourage hiring, Congress should repeal Obamacare.

    n March 2010, Congress passed President Obama’s health care reform legislation. The bill had appeared in serious jeopardy, and after the upset special election victory of Senator Scott Brown (R–MA), many analysts expected the bill to fail. Instead, it became law.

    The law discourages employers from hiring in several ways:

    Businesses with fewer than 50 workers have a strong incentive to maintain this size, which allows them to avoid the mandate to provide government-approved health coverage or face a penalty;
    Businesses with more than 50 workers will see their costs for health coverage rise—they must purchase more expensive government-approved insurance or pay a penalty; and
    Employers face considerable uncertainty about what constitutes qualifying health coverage and what it will cost. They also do not know what the health care market or their health care costs will look like in four years. This makes planning for the future difficult.


    Read it all

  • The Gang of Six Disaster: The Worst Plan So Far – Confusion among congressional Republicans about their objectives in the debt-limit endgame has increased the possibility that they will stumble into a policy and political disaster over the next two weeks.

    Only ten days ago, Republicans appeared to regain their footing when House Speaker John Boehner torpedoed the disastrous “grand bargain” that President Obama was offering. That deal would have forced Republicans to accept a massive $1 trillion tax hike and left Obamacare in place. In return, the president offered more centrally planned cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and other minor entitlement adjustments. Some deal.

    But now, along comes the Gang of Six plan, and some Republicans are apparently intrigued by it. They shouldn’t be. It’s a terrible, terrible plan. It will hand the president a huge strategic victory and deliver nothing that the GOP should be seeking in this fight. It’s far, far worse than anything we have seen thus far, and certainly much worse than the McConnell plan.

    In a nutshell, the Gang of Six plan would have three parts. Let’s look at each part in turn.


    Read it all

  • Flap’s Links and Comments for July 20th on 13:25 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Links and Comments for July 20th on 13:25 #tcot #catcot
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Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., flying in a light plane over flooding from the Missouri River, near Hamburg, Iowa, Monday, July 18, 2011. Bachmann said the magnitude of flooding along the Missouri River this summer warrants a presidential visit. Bachmann and a fellow Republican House member, Steve King, R-Iowa, took an aerial tour of the flooding on Monday morning

I have had many family memebers, patients, employees, friends and acquaintances that have had a history of migraine headaches. These have been mostly female and some have had symptoms more severe than others.

Now, this cheap shot against Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann has been answered by her physician.

An insider who once worked with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R- Minn.) told ABC News he believes her migraine headaches have been a persistent and vexing problem for years, often forcing the congresswoman to cancel meetings, shut her office, turn off the lights and lie down until they pass.

“You’re probably talking once every two to four weeks where she would have severe headaches, and at times it would be more frequent,” the former insider told ABC News, speaking on the condition he not be identified because he was concerned about retribution. “They would come on in a matter of minutes. She would be down on her couch with the lights off and unable to function.”

The GOP presidential candidate confirmed to reporters Tuesday that she suffers from migraine headaches, but she said they were controlled by medication and her condition would not affect her ability to serve as president.

“I’ve maintained a full schedule between my duties as a Congresswoman and a presidential candidate traveling across this nation,” Bachmann said. “I have prescribed medication I take on occasion whenever symptoms arise and they keep my migraines under control. But I’d like to make it abundantly clear, my ability to function effectively will not affect my ability to serve as Commander in Chief.”

Here is a copy of her doctor’s note:

This kind of personal attack on Bachmann reminds me of the age old flyer under the door late at night before the next day caucus vote in Republican Party politics. No doubt that this “insider” who leaked this not so devastating revelation about Bachmann (probably a former GOP staffer in the employ of another GOP Pol) will be identified and made to pay the price – or not.

There seems to be quite a bit of sympathy for Michele Bachmann around the internets and particularly from women who frequently experience the worst form of migraine headaches and who are often stigmatized because of them.

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According to the latest PPP Poll.

For the first time since last July Barack Obama does not lead Mitt Romney in PPP’s monthly national poll on the 2012 Presidential race. Romney has now pulled into a tie with the President at 45%.

Obama’s approval rating this month is 46% with 48% of voters disapproving of him. There are 2 things particularly troubling in his numbers: independents split against him by a 44/49 margin, and 16% of Democrats are unhappy with the job he’s doing while only 10% of Republicans give him good marks. Republicans dislike him at this point to a greater extent than Democrats like him and that will be a problem for him moving forward if it persists.

Romney takes advantage of those 2 points of weakness for Obama. He leads the President by 9 points with independents at 46-37. And he earns more crossover support, getting 13% of the Democratic vote while only 8% of Republicans are behind Obama.

An extremely wide electability gap has developed between Romney and all the rest of the Republican candidates. Everyone else we tested trails Obama by at least as much as John McCain’s 2008 margin of defeat and in most cases more. Obama’s up 7 on Michele Bachmann at 48-41, 9 against Tim Pawlenty at 48-39, 12 versus Herman Cain at 48-36, and as usual has his largest lead in a match up with Sarah Palin at 53-37

Will this latest poll result, enable Romney to go on air to combat the inevitable anti-Romney candidacy of Rick Perry?


But, for now, Barack Obama, is in trouble.

So if you dig deeper into the numbers Obama’s position is a lot worse than meets the eye. There’s a very good chance Obama would lose if he had to stand for reelection today. If there’s a silver lining for Obama it’s this- he trailed Romney in our poll last July and then led him for each of the next 11 months. For whatever reason summer and particularly the month of July has not been friendly to Obama in the polls ever since he hit the national stage. So perhaps he’ll see another recovery now as he has in the past. But for now he’s in one of the weakest positions of his Presidency.

The entire poll is here.

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These are my links for July 20th from 13:25 to 13:28:

  • Ami Bera machine in gear for rematch against Dan Lungren – The new maps aren't done quite yet and he may well have to navigate a primary this time, but Democrat Ami Bera continues to post big fundraising numbers for a possible re-match for Rep. Dan Lungren's congressional seat.

    Federal campaign reports show Bera raised $534,009 through the first six months of the year. The report shows he's still carrying a $262,289 debt from his 2010 loss to Lungren, but $250,000 of that is money he lent himself. He had $450,508 in cash on hand as of June 30.

    The Elk Grove physician continues to tap donors from the medical and Indian-American communities — and family members. Sixteen donors named Bera each gave between $4,500 and $5,000 to the campaign during the first six months of the year.

    Lungren, meanwhile, raised $417,418 for the six-month period — about half of it from political action committees — and had $328,002 on hand as of June 30. The Gold River Republican's numbers are nearly identical to his fundraising output two years ago during the the first six months of 2009.

  • Michele Bachmann is going to be giving headaches – When it became known that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) gets migraine headaches, the sniping by those in the pressand Democrats reached a boil. Staunch defenders of the Americans with Disabilities Act ironically suggested that this would be a barrier to her serving as president.

    But as often happens with Bachmann, she came out a winner. She released this statement:

    “Like nearly 30 million other Americans, I experience migraines that are easily controlled with medication. I am a wife, a mother, a lawyer who worked her way through law school, a former state senator who achieved the repeal of a harmful piece of education policy in Minnesota, and a congresswoman who has worked tirelessly fighting against the expansion of government and wasteful spending.
    “Since entering the campaign, I have maintained a full schedule between my duties as a congresswoman and as a presidential candidate traveling across the nation to meet with voters in the key, early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. I have prescription medication that I take whenever symptoms arise and they keep the migraines under control. Let me be abundantly clear – my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as Commander in Chief.
    “The many questions I have received on this subject have allowed me to discuss this important condition that impacts individuals in nearly one in four households. However, as a presidential candidate and office holder, I am focused on performing my job, which has never been more important given the state of our economy and the millions of Americans that are out of work. While I appreciate the concern for me and my health, the greater concern should be the debate that is occurring in Washington over whether or not we will increase our debt, spending and taxes.”
    That’s about as pitch-perfect a response as you are going to find. She is forthright, and she makes her statement a bonding moment with ordinary Americans. Moreover, she stays on message, highlighting her battle against debt, excess spending and tax increases.

  • Michele Bachmann’s Migraines Not the Only Headache for Her Campaign – “I'm not sure the story would have gotten the same traction had it been a male candidate. My gut says it would have been treated as less of a big deal if the information pertained to, say, Mitt Romney than Michele Bachmann,” said Republican political consultant Liz Mair, who advised Republican Carly Fiorina during her unsuccessful campaign to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in 2010. “It is fair to say that women in politics often face challenges where the media is concerned that are somewhat different to those faced by men.”
    Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University, has been doing research on the media coverage for male and female political candidates for the last 20 years. Her work shows that in the 1980s and 1990s, female candidates running for office at all levels of government received markedly different treatment in the press, with a focus on their appearance, their families, and so-called “feminine issues.” Those differences in treatment have faded over the last 30 years for most all offices—except for one.
    “That doesn’t seem to be happening when a woman runs for president,” Bystrom said. “That same equity does not run over. We still see the gender stereotypes that we did in the early 1980s.”
    Perhaps one among them: delicate Minnesotan congresswomen can’t handle their headaches.

    I never heard a man's migraine headaches ever mentioned in a campaign before.

    Liz Mair has it right here.

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