The Morning Flap: February 13, 2012
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, flanked by his wife Karen, right, and daughter Elizabeth, addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012
These are my links for February 9th through February 13th:
- Congressman wants Afghanistan study group – Citing an Army lieutenant colonel’s claims that there is no progress being made in Afghanistan, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., is urging Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to create an independent study group to review U.S. strategy in the sandbox.
In a letter dated Friday, Wolf wrote he is deeply troubled by the conclusions reached by Lt. Col. Daniel Davis and asks Panetta to immediately create an Afghanistan/Pakistan Study Group.
In 2010 and 2011, Davis traveled to Afghanistan on assignment with the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force, an organization tasked with getting urgently needed equipment to soldiers in the field.
“What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground,” Davis wrote in an opinion piece titled “Truth, lies and Afghanistan,” published online Feb. 5 by Armed Forces Journal.
Rather than the gradual progress described by top U.S. officials, Davis wrote he saw, “the absence of success on virtually every level.”
During a yearlong deployment that began in late 2010, Davis wrote, his job sent him around the country to talk, travel and patrol with troops in Kandahar, Kunar, Ghazni, Khost, Paktika, Kunduz, Balkh, Nangarhar and other provinces. It was his fourth combat deployment, and his second in Afghanistan.
Davis wrote a classified and unclassified report. He has not released either report publicly. On his website, he says he will publish the full unclassified version as soon as Army public affairs completes its review and grants permission for release.
On Feb. 10, Rolling Stone magazine published a copy of the unclassified version on its website.
Davis has provided the reports to members of Congress — both Democrats and Republicans, senators and House members. He has also sent his reports to the Defense Department’s inspector general.
He declined to comment for this story.
The Pentagon maintains that the security environment in Afghanistan continues to improve.
During a briefing this week, Army Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, deputy commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, described steady progress in the country, from local and national government to the development of Afghan security forces. Responding to a question about Davis’ report, Scaparrotti said, “it’s one person’s view of this,” adding that he thought the Defense Department’s outlook is accurate.
Wolf has written similar letters to Panetta over the past several months.
The congressman is the author of the legislation that created the Iraq Study Group and has been pushing for the Obama administration to conduct a similar review of the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- Santorum surges into the lead – Public Policy Polling – Riding a wave of momentum from his trio of victories on Tuesday Rick Santorum has opened up a wide lead in PPP’s newest national poll. He’s at 38% to 23% for Mitt Romney, 17% for Newt Gingrich, and 13% for Ron Paul.
Part of the reason for Santorum’s surge is his own high level of popularity. 64% of voters see him favorably to only 22% with a negative one. But the other, and maybe more important, reason is that Republicans are significantly souring on both Romney and Gingrich. Romney’s favorability is barely above water at 44/43, representing a 23 point net decline from our December national poll when he was +24 (55/31). Gingrich has fallen even further. A 44% plurality of GOP voters now hold a negative opinion of him to only 42% with a positive one. That’s a 34 point drop from 2 months ago when he was at +32 (60/28).
Santorum is now completely dominating with several key segments of the electorate, especially the most right leaning parts of the party. With those describing themselves as ‘very conservative,’ he’s now winning a majority of voters at 53% to 20% for Gingrich and 15% for Romney. Santorum gets a majority with Tea Party voters as well at 51% to 24% for Gingrich and 12% for Romney. And with Evangelicals he falls just short of a majority with 45% to 21% for Gingrich and 18% for Romney.
It used to be that Gingrich was leading with all these groups and Romney was staying competitive enough with them to hold the overall lead. No more- a consensus conservative candidate finally seems to be emerging and it’s Santorum.
- Labor unions left sour with President Obama set to sign FAA funding bill – Labor’s division over the bill funding the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has helped clear the way for President Obama to sign it.
Unions are split in their opposition to the measure, with some fearing its provision on union election rules endangers organizing.
Union officials say they were kept in the dark about the negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that helped pass the bill.
- Does Indiana Need a Pro-Teapot Museum GOP Senator? – By Jim Geraghty – The Campaign Spot – National Review Online – RT @jimgeraghty: In Indiana’s GOP Senate primary, Richard Mourdock releases new statewide ad hitting Lugar on earmarks:
- Day By Day February 12, 2012 – Logic | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day February 12, 2012 – Logic
- Romney and Birth Control: a Shift – WSJ.com – RT @LizMair: Rough news day for Mitt Romney on many counts, but especially this one:
- Shrinking Senate Hopes – for 2012 – Three other Democratic seats are vulnerable. No state has trended Republican in recent years more than Missouri. John McCain narrowly beat Obama in Missouri in 2008. Roy Blunt won the open Senate seat there in 2010 by 14 percentage points. So it’s no surprise that Democratic senator Claire McCaskill is in deep trouble this year. The Republican Senate primary is August 7.
Wisconsin is more Democratic, but it offers Republicans a great opportunity. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, the Democratic candidate, is gay, liberal, and a zealous campaigner. Either of the GOP candidates, former governor Tommy Thompson or ex-House member Mark Neumann, could beat her. When Neumann gave up his House seat in 1998 to run (unsuccessfully) for the Senate, by the way, he was replaced by Paul Ryan.
In Hawaii, Democrat Dan Akaka is stepping down after three terms, and there’s only one Republican with a realistic chance of winning his seat, former governor Linda Lingle. Fortunately for Republicans, Lingle is running. She didn’t have to buck a Democratic tide in a presidential year when she won the governorship in 2002 and 2006. With Obama, a native of Hawaii, leading the ticket, she’ll have to overcome a strong partisan headwind.
Where does this leave us? Duffy projects a Republican gain of three to six seats. The Rothenberg Report says two to five. A year ago, I’d have said four to seven. Today, three to six seems about right, with emphasis on the three. But my rule of politics is that the future is never a straight line projection of the present. In November, Republican prospects may look better—or worse.
- Canada’s Harper talks oil with China as U.S. faces $4 gas | Washington Examiner – RT @mtapscott: Canada’s Harper talks oil with China as U.S. faces $4 gas | Washington Examiner: #TCOT #TEAPARTY #SG …
- AD-38: California Assemblyman Cameron Smyth Endorses Scott Wilk for Assembly » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: California Assemblyman Cameron Smyth Endorses Scott Wilk for Assembly
- Media Matters | Sources | David Brock | The Daily Caller – Inside Media Matters: Sources, memos reveal erratic behavior, close coordination with White House & news organizations
- SNL Parodies of Clint Eastwood’s Half Time in America Are Really Stupid | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – SNL Parodies of Clint Eastwood’s Half time in America Are Really Stupid
- Weasel Zippers » Blog Archive » Occupy Oakland Burns The American Flag For The Third Week In A Row… – Occupy Oakland Burns The American Flag For The Third Week In A Row…
- Merkel taking Europe in wrong direction: Soros – Merkel taking Europe in wrong direction: George Soros
- Greek lawmakers approve austerity bill as Athens burns
| Reuters – Greek lawmakers approve austerity bill as Athens burns
- Day By Day February 11, 2012 – Listing | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day February 11, 2012 – Listing
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-12 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-12
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-12 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-12
- foursquare :: Gregory Flap’s Badges :: Greasy Spoon – I just unlocked the “Greasy Spoon” badge on @foursquare! Bring on the burgers!
- foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – Finished @LAMarathon 20 miler! Yay! (@ Ronnie’s Diner w/ 6 others)
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-11 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-11
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-11 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-11
- The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn’t Want You to Read – Earlier this week, the New York Times’ Scott Shane published a bombshell piece about Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis, a 17-year Army veteran recently returned from a second tour in Afghanistan. According to the Times, the 48-year-old Davis had written an 84-page unclassified report, as well as a classified report, offering his assessment of the decade-long war. That assessment is essentially that the war has been a disaster and the military’s top brass has not leveled with the American public about just how badly it’s been going. “How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding?” Davis boldly asks in an article summarizing his views in The Armed Forces Journal.
Davis last month submitted the unclassified report –titled “Dereliction of Duty II: Senior Military Leader’s Loss of Integrity Wounds Afghan War Effort” – for an internal Army review. Such a report could then be released to the public. However, according to U.S. military officials familiar with the situation, the Pentagon is refusing to do so. Rolling Stone has now obtained a full copy of the 84-page unclassified version, which has been making the rounds within the U.S. government, including the White House. We’ve decided to publish it in full; it’s well worth reading for yourself. It is, in my estimation, one of the most significant documents published by an active-duty officer in the past ten years.
- Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 10, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 10, 2012
- Poll Watch: Americans View China as Leading Economic Power | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: Americans View China as Leading Economic Power
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Afternoon Drill: February 10, 2012 – The Afternoon Drill: February 10, 2012
- Teachers union defends endorsement of Falk – The state’s largest public teachers union is standing behind its endorsement of Kathleen Falk for governor despite controversy among Democrats and some union members.
Some complained the endorsement came too early: A recall election hasn’t been ordered, and many expect other prominent candidates to join the race. Others felt the unions shouldn’t play kingmaker before a primary or give the impression that the election is about only collective bargaining rights.
Mary Bell, Wisconsin Education Association Council president, said she understood the passionate feelings but said the recommendation was made with input from union leaders throughout the state.
“It’s not surprising,” she said. “Our members have a lot invested in what’s happening.”
Though acknowledging other candidates may enter the race, Bell said she is confident the former Dane County executive is the best choice to beat Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Bell said the short and uncertain time frame of a recall made it necessary to put out a recommendation early.
Mike Tate, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said the party is proud to work closely with organized labor – which he called “the backbone” of the party – though he said the election is about much more.
“A million Wisconsinites signed a recall petition; each one has their own reason,” he said. “There’s a number of reasons to recall Scott Walker.”
He shrugged off the significance of the WEAC decision.
“Unions make endorsements,” Tate said Thursday. “That’s what they do.”
- Day By Day February 10, 2012 – The Useful | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day February 10, 2012 – The Useful
- Here’s A Peek At What Falk As Governor Would Look Like – Don’t say you haven’t been warned!
Kathleen Falk, the candidate from WEAC, says she wants to “undo the harm” that Governor Walker has done and is apparently willing to devastate Wisconsin in order to advance her agenda.
Want to see what “undoing the harm” would look like?
A year ago Pat Quinn, the ultra-liberal Governor of Illinois, faced many of the same challenges that Scott Walker faced. Instead of standing up to public employee unions and reining in spending, Quinn pushed for massive tax increases and business as usual.
So how did that work out?
In contrast to Governor Walker (who has an approval rating over 50%), Quinn has an approval rating of 30%! That’s right! 30%.
Let’s be real clear. Kathleen Falk is a slightly more opportunistic version of Pat Quinn with a Madison mailing address. The policies of Quinn have decimated Illinois. There’s absolutely no reason to think that they’d work any better in Wisconsin under Kathleen Falk.
Want to see what Wisconsin would look like one year after Kathleen Falk became Governor? Just look at Illinois today.
It’s not a pretty sight.
- Nearly 1 in 20 US adults over 50 have fake knees – Nearly 1 in 20 Americans older than 50 have artificial knees, or more than 4 million people, according to the first national estimate showing how common these replacement joints have become in an aging population.
Doctors know the number of knee replacement operations has surged in the past decade, especially in baby boomers. But until now, there was no good fix on the total number of people living with them.
The estimate is important because it shows that a big segment of the population might need future knee-related care, said Dr. Daniel Berry, president of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and chairman of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He was not involved in the research.
- Medscape: Medscape Access – Midlife smoking in men linked to more rapid cognitive decline in later life i
- Majority of Search Queries Go Mobile By 2016 — Bernstein – Peter Kafka – Mobile – AllThingsD – RT @allthingsd: Here’s What Apple and Google Are Fighting Over: Search Goes Mobile By 2016 -by @pkafka
- Report: Adelson done giving to Gingrich as funding dries up – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room – Report: Sheldon Adelson done giving to #Gingrich as funding dries up #tcot #GOP12
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-10 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-10
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-10 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-10
- ObamaCare: The Catholic Epiphany | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – ObamaCare: The Catholic Epiphany
- AD-38: Patricia McKeon to Address Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Patricia McKeon to Address Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party » Flap’s California Blog
- Untitled (https://plus.google.com/105353644409523560325/posts/VtTyPoGT4nP) – Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass it to find out what is in it,” referring to the Health Care bill
- AD-38 Video: Rep Buck McKeon Doesn’t Want to Answer Questions About Defense Contractors Contributing to His Wife Patricia McKeon’s Assembly Campaign » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38 Video: Rep Buck McKeon Doesn’t Want to Answer Questions About Defense Contractors Contributing to His Wife…
- AD-38: Patricia McKeon to Address Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party » Flap’s California Blog – (500) …
- (500) http://flapsblog.org/2012/02/09/ad-38-patricia-mckeon-to-address-simi-valley-moorpark-tea-party/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ad-38-patricia-mckeon-to-address-simi-valley-moorpark-tea-party&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter – AD-38: Patricia McKeon to Address Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party
- President 2012: The GOP Presidential Delegate Calculator | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: The GOP Presidential Delegate Calculator
- Obama administration reaffirms support for California high-speed rail – latimes.com – Obama administration reaffirms support for California high-speed rail
- Carmen Trutanich will run for L.A. district attorney – latimes.com – Carmen Trutanich will run for L.A. district attorney
- How the housing settlement might affect you | HealthyCal – How the housing settlement might affect you
- Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 9, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 9, 2012
- Sen Jim DeMint Video: Brokered GOP Convention Possible | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Sen Jim DeMint Video: Brokered GOP Convention Possible
- Poll Watch: 22 Per Cent of Americans Satisfied With the Way Things Are Going | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: 22 Per Cent of Americans Satisfied With the Way Things Are Going
- President 2012 Ohio Poll Watch: Santorum Tied With Obama While Romney Trails | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Ohio Poll Watch: Santorum Tied With Obama While Romney Trails
- Updated: President 2012 Video: Mitt Romney’s Greatest Hits | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Updated: President 2012 Video: Mitt Romney’s Greatest Hits
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Tom’s of Maine to Award Five $20K Grants to Non-Profit Dental Clinics – Tom’s of Maine to Award Five $20K Grants to Non-Profit Dental Clinics