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Archive for March 7th, 2012

share save 120 16 President 2012: State of the GOP Race
Mitt Romney Super Tuesday President 2012: State of the GOP Race

Mitt Romney had a big night last night (Super Tuesday Eve) winning 6 of 10 races but….

Mitt Romney eked out a win in Ohio over Rick Santorum which, when coupled with victories for the former Massachusetts governor in Vermont, Massachusetts, Virginia and Idaho, ensured that he would remain the frontrunner for the Republican nomination heading out of Super Tuesday.

And, Romney leads in the actual Republican Party delegate count.

A few more “bad nights” like Super Tuesday and Mitt Romney will be the Republican presidential nominee. With his haul from yesterday, according to AP, Romney now has 415 delegates, Rick Santorum 176, Newt Gingrich 105, and Ron Paul 47 out of the 1,144 needed for the GOP nomination.

To be the frontrunner, you need to kill the frontrunner. And like a poor marksman—or at least an underfunded one—Santorum keeps missing the target. First Michigan, now Ohio. Online betting market Intrade gives Romney a 90% chance of being the GOP nominee. Of course, no one has a mathematical lock on the nomination yet. The fight will continue.

But….

Mitt Romney has not closed the door on Newt, Santorum or Paul. They all will continue in the race and probably draw enough votes and delegates to deny Mitt Romney the 1,144 needed to win the Presidential nomination.

It’s far from over. Despite claiming six state wins last night and upping his delegate count to 404, Mitt Romney still does not have a lock on the nomination—or even a clear path to claiming it if his opponents don’t leave the field.

Consider this: if Mitt wins every remaining all-or-nothing state but one, and half of the remaining proportional delegates, he would likely still fall short of the magic nomination number of 1,144—which would force him to rely on unpledged delegates, the Republican version of the infamous Democratic super-delegates in 2008, to claim his party’s mantle.

After last night’s election results the chances of a “brokered Republican convention” have increased and the nomination of a candidate, like Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels or Bobby Jindal. This will probably not be a bad thing, especially looking at certain polls.

However, if Rick Santorum can beat Newt Gingrich in the upcoming Alabama and Mississippi primary elections, it is possible that Gingrich will quit the race. Santo would then compete one on one with Romney. Santorum might be able to beat Mitt or vice versa. Perhaps they just divide up the remaining delegates.

Should Gingrich prove obstinate and stay in the race (no matter what), it is very likely that NO candidate will have the 1,144 needed on the first nomination ballot. Then, hold onto your hats for backroom deals and the emergence of a “NEW” candidate.

Stay tuned….

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share save 120 16 Does Saliva Quality Play an Important Role in Meth Mouth?
Meth Mouth Does Saliva Quality Play an Important Role in Meth Mouth?

The effects of Methamphetamine on the Teeth – Meth Mouth

Perhaps, according to a new study. Here is the abstract.

Methamphetamine abuse and oral health: A pilot study of “meth mouth”

Michele C. Ravenel, DMD/Carlos F. Salinas, DDS/Nicole M. Marlow, MS/Elizabeth H. Slate, PhD/Zachary P. Evans, PhD/Peter M. Miller, PhD

Abuse of methamphetamine (meth), a potent central nervous system stimulant, has been associated with significant dental disease. Current descriptions of “meth mouth” are limited in their scope and fail to illuminate the potential pathogenic mechanisms of meth for oral disease. The purpose of this pilot study was to characterize the oral health of subjects with a history of meth abuse as compared to nonabusing control subjects. A total of 28 meth abusers and 16 control subjects were enrolled. Interviews and surveys regarding meth abuse, dental history, oral hygiene, and diet were collected. A comprehensive oral cavity examination including salivary characterization was completed. We observed significantly higher rates of decayed surfaces, missing teeth, tooth wear, plaque, and calculus among meth abusers. No significant difference in salivary flow rates were noted, yet results showed significant trends for lower pH and decreased buffering capacity. These findings suggest that salivary quality may play a more important role in meth mouth than previously considered. Salivary analysis may be useful when managing a dental patient with history of methamphetamine abuse. (Quintessence Int 2012;43:229–237)

So, what causes Meth Mouth?

Dr. Bicuspid has an excellent post here.

The ADA lists the suspected causes as dry mouth, poor oral hygiene, frequent consumption of sugary and carbonated drinks, tooth grinding and clenching, and possibly the acidic nature of MA itself.

In a study in ISRN Dentistry (June 26, 2011), street samples of MA had pH levels from 3.02 to 7.03, with 72% of samples below the critical pH point of 5.6, i.e. able to cause significant damage to tooth enamel if abused by a route that brings MA into contact with the oral cavity.

Although this would seem to indicate that injecting MA rather than smoking or snorting it may lead to less enamel damage, this hasn’t been borne out by the research. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) reported in the Journal of the American Dental Association that, among abusers of MA, IV users actually had a higher prevalence of oral disease and missing teeth than those who smoked MA, probably due to more advanced addiction and greater self-neglect.

“Those who use MA may make the transition from noninjecting drug use to injecting drug use, as their dependence on MA becomes more severe,” Vivek Shetty, DDS, DMD, professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the UCLA School of Dentistry and lead author on the JADA study (March 2010, Vol. 141:3, pp. 307-318), told DrBicuspid.com.

“The injected substance has almost 100% bioavailability, and the onset of the drug high is fairly rapid, generally 15 to 30 seconds.”

It is interesting that IV Meth users have more dental disease than those that smoke the drug. One would think that the constant heat and dehydration of the oral tissues would contribute to more dental destruction. But, perhaps, the more intense rush from IV drug use leads to more self-neglect.

In any case, salivary analysis of patients may give dentists a better idea of the mechanism of addiction and how to combat it at an early stage.

Watch below an embedded video below from a dentist colleague, Dr. Mitchell A. Goodis, DDS in Northern California and his interview of the many methamphetamine user patients, whom he has treated.

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share save 120 16 CA Sen: Ex  California POL Chuck DeVore Cannot Let Go
chuckdevoretweets CA Sen: Ex  California POL Chuck DeVore Cannot Let Go

You would think this Texas living, ex-California Assemblyman would let this year’s California U.S. Senate race just happen, right?

Wrong.

Chcuk DeVore went to my friend, Jon Fleischman’s site and penned this endorsement of Dan Hughes who is running in the California June Primary election for United States Senate. The incumbent is long time Democrat U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Dan’s leading opponent, Elizabeth Emken, ran for Congress in 2010 and placed fourth in a four person GOP primary despite putting in significant personal money. Emken’s biggest political contribution before that, other than to her own campaign, was the $1,000 she and her husband gave to liberal Republican-turned-Democrat Senator Arlen Specter in the year he ran against conservative champion Pat Toomey, now a U.S. Senator. Her main efforts in public policy have been to lobby to have more state government health insurance mandates – a policy that drives up the cost of insurance for all of us. In fact, she was even paid $151,486 to professionally lobby Democrat Members of Congress to expand what ObamaCare covers and what we taxpayers are on the hook for.

Dan Hughes has been in the race only a brief time while Elizabeth Emken has been running since last year. Yet Emken has only generated around $39,000 while Hughes is the top fundraiser among Senate GOP candidates. Dan is a committed and very hard working candidate who is spending his time and money to stand up for conservative principles and take the fight to Dianne Feinstein.

One of Hughes’ opponents on the Republican side is Elizabeth Emken, whose Senior Communications Adviser, Mark Standriff, wrote this piece in response.

For the record:

You remember, Chuck DeVore, the former Orange County based Assemblyman who wasted $ hundreds of thousands of Republican donors money in running a futile U.S. Senate primary race against former Rep. Tom Campbell and Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

Here are the results of DeVore’s last election – the one in which he received less than 20% of the vote:

CA US Senate Primary Results 2010 CA Sen: Ex  California POL Chuck DeVore Cannot Let Go

Mark Standriff in his piece talks about SOUR GRAPES from DeVore.

Chuck, isn’t it time to just let it go?

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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: March 7, 2012

Romney Finally The Morning Flap: March 7, 2012

These are my links for March 6th through March 7th:

share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: March 7, 2012

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share save 120 16 U.S. Job Creation Declines in February   Hiring Down and Firing Up
Gallup US Job Map U.S. Job Creation Declines in February   Hiring Down and Firing Up

According to the latest Gallup Poll.

Job market conditions in the United States slid back slightly in February, as Gallup’s Job Creation Index fell to +14 from +16 in January. The February score matches those recorded from October through December 2011. However, the reading last month reflects an improvement of two percentage points compared with a year ago (+12 in February 2011).


Gallup Job Creation Declines U.S. Job Creation Declines in February   Hiring Down and Firing Up


Hiring Down, Firing Up

The February Job Creation Index of +14 is based on 32% of workers nationwide saying their employers are hiring workers and expanding the size of their workforce, and 18% saying their employers are letting workers go and reducing the size of their workforce. The percentage hiring is down from 33% in January, while the percentage letting go is up from 17%. Both February percentages now match the readings recorded each month in the fourth quarter of 2011.


The chart:

Gallup Hiring Down and Firing Up U.S. Job Creation Declines in February   Hiring Down and Firing Up

What does all mean?

The American economy is NOT dramatically improving on the jobs front. With gasoline prices haven risen and rising and job creation prospects flat around the country in almost all regions – see map at the top), the Obama Administration will have a hard time making a case for success of their economic policies.

Declining consumer confidence is also generally unfavorable for the economy.

Gallup’s March numbers are looking a little better, but stay tuned since it is early in the month.

There will be no carping from the White House on these numbers, in advance of the government’s release of their numbers on Friday.

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