These are my links for December 15th through December 20th:
- Obama’s job-approval rating is highest since summer – After a difficult summer and a contentious fall, President Obama’s job-approval ratings are showing signs of improvement — a crucial indicator of his reelection chances as he seeks to overcome voters’ doubts about his economic stewardship.A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that Americans are still broadly disapproving of Obama’s handling of the economy and jobs, the top issues, but that views of his overall performance have recovered among key groups, including independents, young adults and seniors.
- Gingrich’s Lead Dries Up in National Polls – Newt Gingrich’s lead in the GOP presidential race is disappearing as the former House speaker comes under heavy attack from his rivals, according to three new national polls.Gingrich had surged to the top of the ballot in recent weeks, leading his fellow GOP candidates in several polls by double digits. But an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday finds him tied with Romney for first. They each receive 30 percent support from registered voters. The pair, though, holds a substantial lead over the rest of the field. Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who has been running negative ads against Gingrich, has 15 percent. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann receives 7 percent, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has 6 percent, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum garners 4 percent support. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman sits at the bottom of the poll with 2 percent.
- Obama is the Fourth Best President? – President Obama told 60 Minutes — in a portion of the interview that did not air — that his accomplishments so far as president rank pretty high historically.Said Obama: “The issue here is not gonna be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do. And we’re gonna keep on at it.”
- What if Ron Paul wins Iowa? – If he should win, Iowa caucus goers will rightly be the target of widespread anger and disdain from the mainstream and conservative media as well as a great many in the party, both from establishment and Tea Party quarters. An Iowa state operative, rather defensively, insisted to me that it would be wrong to take a Ron Paul win out on Iowa or strip it of its first-in-the-nation status. “Ron Paul proves a point — if you run the three-pronged traditional caucus approach: advertise here, send mailers and visit often — anyone can do well — EVEN Ron Paul. Iowa isn’t a place that ‘wins’ the nomination it’s a place that ‘winnows’ the path to the nomination.” That’s just not going to fly when the flogging of Republicans begins, labeling Iowans as a bunch of racist loons. If Iowa can’t sniff out such characters, why put it in charge of the winnowing?As far as the race itself goes, it will certainly burst the Newt Gingrich bubble, suggesting that his 15 minutes (four or five weeks?) of fame are over and casting down on his organizational abilities. For the candidates who finish back in the back (e.g., Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum), Iowa would be a reprieve, allowing them to argue, in essence, that the whole thing was an aberration, before they move on to “real” contests in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.
- The Company Ron Paul Keeps – Yet a subsequent report by Reason found that Ron Paul & Associates, the defunct company that published the newsletters and which counted Paul and his wife as officers, reported an income of nearly $1 million in 1993 alone. If this figure is reliable, Paul must have earned multiple millions of dollars over the two decades plus of the newsletters’ existence. It is incredible that he had less than an active interest in what was being printed as part of a subscription newsletter enterprise that earned him and his family millions of dollars. Ed Crane, the president of the Cato Institute, said Paul told him that “his best source of congressional campaign donations was the mailing list for the Spotlight, the conspiracy-mongering, anti-Semitic tabloid run by the Holocaust denier Willis Carto.”This sordid history would not bear repeating but for the fact that the media love to portray Paul as a truth-telling, antiwar Republican standing up to the “hawkish” conservative establishment. Otherwise, the newsletters, and Paul’s continued failure to name their author, would be mentioned in every story about him, and he would be relegated to the fringe where he belongs. But Paul has escaped the sort of media scrutiny that would bury other political figures. A December 15 profile of Paul in the Washington Post, for instance, affectionately described his love of gardening and The Sound of Music and judged that “world events have conspired to make him look increasingly on point”—all without any mention of the newsletter controversy. Though present at nearly every Republican debate, he has yet to be asked about the newsletters. Had Paul’s persona and views changed significantly since 2008, this oversight might be understandable. But he continues to say and do things suggesting that, far from disowning the statements he has claimed “do not represent what I believe or have ever believed,” he still believes them.
- Auto-insurance researchers: ‘Cell phone bans don’t help reduce crashes’ – All those fancy in-car docks and voice navigation? Utterly pointless. At least according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, who reckons that it’s not the phone that’s the issue, but “the full spectrum of things that distract.” The IIHS (funded by a group of car insurers) compared crash data between states that had instituted cell phone bans and those that hadn’t. According to its research, while the ban had reduced phone use (whoa, really?), it hadn’t helped reduce crash rates. The National Transportation Safety Board has presented several studies linking cell phone use to an increased chance of crashing and their latest proposals would ban most hands-free systems found in major car makers’ vehicles today. Hear that? That was the sound of hundreds of third-party accessory manufacturers recoiling in horror.
The 25 Best Social Media Books of 2011 – It seems like only yesterday that I was writing my review of the best social media books of 2010, a list that included only 15 selections. Time flies so fast and 2012 is just around the corner, so it’s time to reveal my picks for best books of 2011. Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for you, I had a hard time narrowing down the list to 15 so I have increased the number to 25 books. There were simply too many great additions to literature that exists on social in 2011 to be limiting. This is certainly a reflection of both the maturity of social media in the marketplace as well as the importance that certain publishers (notably Wiley) have placed on releasing books with social media as their main subject matter.Before I start off with my recommended social media books of the year, we always must first begin with those classics that were updated and revised for 2011 that should be on anyone’s wish list for the holidays. These include:
- Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies [Expanded and Revised Edition] by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
- Engage! The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate and Measure Success in the New Web. Revised and Updated by Brian Solis
- The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly [3rd Edition] by David Meerman Scott
- The Social Media Survival Guide: Strategies, Tactics, and Tools for Succeeding in the Social Web by Deltina Hay
- Another Poll Shows Gingrich Collapse in Iowa – President 2012 GOP Iowa Poll Watch: Paul 24% Vs. Romney 18% Vs. Perry 16% Vs. Gingrich 13% Vs. Bachmann 10% #tcot
- Is There Quality of Life After Cigarettes? | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Is There Quality of Life After Cigarettes?
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Afternoon Drill: December 19, 2011 – The Afternoon Drill: December 19, 2011
- President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Newt Gingrich Poll Lead Collapses | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Newt Ginrich Poll Lead Collapses
- Day By Day December 29, 2011 – Living Room | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day December 29, 2011 – Living Room
- Day By Day December 18, 2011 – Hamlet on Wry | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day December 18, 2011 – Hamlet on Wry
- foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Chez Cole – Watching the Bronco vs. Patriots game (@ Chez Cole)
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-18 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-18
- foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – 15miles finished and it is now raining. Brunch with Alice, Tara, Mary And Nancy (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-17 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-17
- Complete Ban on Driver Cell Phones May Be Difficult to Enforce | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Complete Ban on Driver Cell Phones May Be Difficult to Enforce
- Day By Day December 16, 2011 – Whopper | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day December 16, 2011 – Whopper
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: December 16, 2011 – The Morning Drill: December 16, 2011
- GOP Debate: Fox gets glowing reviews – Given that some of those dastardly “mainstream media” reporters within the Beltway have been known to rib Fox News’ journalism from time to time, it’s been notable to see a clear trend emerge from the Republican debates in 2011: The faceoffs hosted by Fox have been some of the most lauded by media observers – even by some liberal commentators.Thursday’s debate in Sioux City, Iowa, won four-star reviews.
- President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Newt Will Win Iowa and Romney Wins the Nomination | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Newt Will Win Iowa and Romney Wins the Nomination
- In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011 – Christopher Hitchens—the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant—died today at the age of 62. Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the spring of 2010, just after the publication of his memoir, Hitch-22, and began chemotherapy soon after. His matchless prose has appeared in Vanity Fair since 1992, when he was named contributing editor.
- AP-GfK Poll: Obama Re-Election Odds Roughly 50-50 – Entering 2012, President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects are essentially a 50-50 proposition, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. It found that most Americans say the president deserves to be voted out of office even though they have concerns about the Republican alternatives.Obama’s overall standing in the poll suggests he could be in jeopardy of losing re-election even as the survey showed that public’s outlook on the economy appears to be improving. For the first time since spring, more people said the economy got better in the past month than said it got worse. The president’s approval rating on unemployment shifted upward — from 40 percent in October to 45 percent in the latest poll — as the jobless rate fell to 8.6 percent last month, its lowest level since March 2009.
The poll found Americans were evenly divided over whether they expect Obama to be re-elected next year.
For the first time, the poll found that a majority of adults, 52 percent, said Obama should be voted out of office while 43 percent said he deserves another term. The numbers mark a reversal since last May, when 53 percent said Obama should be re-elected while 43 percent said he didn’t deserve four more years.
Obama’s overall job approval stands at a new low, with 44 percent approving and 54 percent disapproving. The president’s standing among independents is worse: Thirty-eight percent approve while 59 percent disapprove. Among Democrats, the president holds steady with an approval rating of 78 percent while only 12 percent of Republicans approve of the job he’s doing.
- Nikki Haley to Endorse Romney – RT @politicalwire: Nikki Haley endorses Romney, giving him a potential boost in South Carolina…
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-16 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-16
- Carlos the Jackal sentenced to life, again – Carlos the Jackal, the flamboyant Venezuelan who symbolized Cold War terrorism, was sentenced to life in prison – again – in a Paris trial that ended late Thursday with him rallying for revolution and weeping for Moammar Gadhafi.Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, hasn’t seen freedom since French agents spirited him out of Sudan in a sack in 1994. He’s already serving a life sentence in a French prison for a triple murder in 1975, the worst punishment meted out in a country that does not have the death penalty.
Once one of world’s most-wanted men, the former gun-for-hire and self-proclaimed revolutionary was escorted out of his cell and back to court last month to face charges that he instigated four bombings in France in 1982 and 1983 that killed 11 people and injured more than 140 others.
Just before midnight Thursday, the court found Ramirez guilty in all four attacks, and sentenced him to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 18 years.
Combative and defiant throughout the six-week trial, the 62-year-old Ramirez denied any role in the attacks.
- Indefinite Detention: Cracking Freedom’s Foundation – Mr. Speaker:I rise in opposition to Section 1021 of the underlying Conference Report (H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act).
This section specifically affirms that the President has the authority to deny due process to any American it charges with “substantially supporting al Qaeda, the Taliban or any ‘associated forces’” – whatever that means.
Would “substantial support” of an “associated force,” mean linking a web-site to a web-site that links to a web-site affiliated with al-Qaeda? We don’t know. The question is, “do we really want to find out?”
We’re told not to worry – that the bill explicitly states that nothing in it shall alter existing law.
There is no existing law that gives the President the power to ignore the Bill of Rights and detain Americans without due process. There is only an assertion by the last two presidents that this power is inherent in an open-ended and ill-defined war on terrorism. But it is a power not granted by any act of Congress. At least, not until now.
What this bill says is, “What Presidents have only asserted, Congress now affirms in statute.”
- Run, Newt, Run! – Rich Lowry – National Review Online – RT @marklevinshow: Run Newt Run, said NR’s boss Rich Lowry?
(A good friend, by the way.)
- Riehl World View: Updated: Does Mitt Romney Have A Vietnam War Problem? – RT @DanRiehl: Does Mitt Romney Have A Vietnam War Problem?
- Gingrich Momentum Slows, Polls Suggest – NYTimes.com – Gingrich Momentum Slows, Polls Suggest
- US election 2012: Mitt Romney’s life as a poor Mormon missionary in France questioned – Telegraph – Mitt Romney’s life as a poor Mormon missionary in France questioned #tcot
- Gingrich Momentum Slows, Polls Suggest – National polls are less important than those in Iowa and New Hampshire, but there’s a worrying number for Mr. Gingrich here as well. The Gallup tracking poll, which has a larger sample size than most other surveys, shows Mr. Gingrich’s lead over Mr. Romney down to 5 points, 29 percent to 24 percent. A week and a half ago, when the Gallup poll made its debut, Mr. Gingrich’s lead was 15 points.What’s interesting about the Gallup poll is that Mr. Romney’s support has not increased very much; instead, the number of undecided voters has grown, which is fairly unusual at a critical stage of a primary campaign. This suggests that the race remains quite fluid, but that fluidity may no longer be working to Mr. Gingrich’s benefit.
- Untitled (http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/AboutUS/NBC/NBCNews_online_publishing_guidelines.pdf) – If you are curious about the NBC News social media standards policy; we’ve published for all to see.
- Gingrich Momentum Slows, Polls Suggest – NYTimes.com – RT @fivethirtyeight: [new article] Gingrich Momentum Slows, Polls Suggest
- Amazon selling more than 1 million Kindles a week – latimes.com – Wow! |”@latimes: Amazon selling more than 1 million Kindles a week
- The great Gingrich crash of ’11? – Primary doomsayers are a dime a dozen during the campaign season, but there’s enough evidence out this morning to suggest that Gingrich may — may — be going down in Iowa.First, the polls. On the Real Clear Politics aggregate polling data for Iowa, Gingrich has fallen from a 31-point high to 27.2. He’s still way out ahead of the pack (Romney has 18, Paul 16.7), but if history is any guide, falls in Iowa are irreversible. The three other candidates to surge in Iowa — Bachmann, Perry, and Cain — were never able to gain points on the RCP aggregate after they started losing them.
Second, the Intrade numbers: Over the last two days, Gingrich’s closing value crashed 15 points, his most precipitous fall on the online exchange site since his surge began.
- Newt’s loot: Billionaire commits $20M – Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is planning to direct $20 million to an outside group backing Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, multiple sources told POLITICO – the first answer to urgent pleas from allies to the former speaker’s long-time billionaire supporters.After leaving Congress, Gingrich cultivated a network of a few dozen uber-wealthy backers who poured tens of millions of dollars into a network of groups that helped him maintain a foothold in politics. Now, operatives supporting his presidential campaign are asking those same donors to write fat checks to a suite of new super PACs they hope can spend big on ads to offset Gingrich campaign fundraising that had lagged behind his rivals.
- Does Caffeine Improve Your Skill and Performance in Sport? | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Does Caffeine Improve Your Skill and Performance in Sport?
- U.S. Lawmakers Offer Bipartisan Proposal for Medicare With Private Option- Bloomberg – U.S. Lawmakers Offer Bipartisan Proposal for Medicare With Private Option
- (500) http://flapsblog.com/2011/12/15/the-morning-flap-december-15-2011/ – The Morning Flap: December 15, 2011