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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: December 13, 2012

California Blue Shield The Morning Flap: December 13, 2012

These are my links for December 12th through December 13th:

  • The Republican brand problem – One thing comes through loud and clear in the new NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll: Republicans have a major brand problem.Consider the following findings in the NBC/WSJ poll:* Asked an open-ended question as to what single word or short phrase people would use to describe the Republican Party, 65 percent of the responses were negative, while just 17 percent were positive. (For Democrats, 35 percent were positive, while 37 percent were negative.) Among the most oft-mentioned phrases used to describe Republicans: “bad/weak/negative” (8 percent), “uncompromising/need to work together” (6 percent) and “broken/disorganized/lost” (6 percent). So, that happened.* The poll tested the positive and negative ratings for 11 politicians or political institutions. The lowest rated — in terms of the differential between positive and negative ratings — was the Republican Party, with a 30 percent positive score and a 45 percent negative score. Of the five worst positive-to-negative ratios, Republicans claimed four of them. (The lone exception: Susan Rice with a 20 positive/24 percent net-negative score.)

    * When asked who they trusted more in “handling the fiscal cliff,” 38 percent named President Obama while just 19 percent named House Speaker John Boehner and Republicans in Congress. (Fourteen percent said they trusted both equally, and another 28 percent said they trusted neither side.)

    What those numbers make clear is that the Republican brand is badly damaged. It is regarded by too many people as an uncompromising relic of the past — a party that lacks new ideas and is, therefore, forced to largely serve as a blockade to the other side. (That’s the biggest reason, by the way, why Republicans should be interested in compromising on the fiscal cliff. They gap between how Obama is regarded and how they are seen is enough to make going over the cliff a genuine political loser for them.)

  • California prison phychiatrist under investigation for $800,000 pay – After raking in half a million dollars for being “on call,” California’s top paid public employee of 2011 — a prison psychiatrist from Newark — has been suspended with pay for allegedly falsifying time records, officials said Tuesday.Dr. Mohammad Safi, 54, was paid more than $803,000 last year as a supervising senior psychiatrist at a Department of State Hospitals facility within Salinas Valley State Prison in Monterey County, records show.That amount included more than $503,000 for on-call pay — in Safi’s case being available to respond quickly to emergencies.His suspension was first reported Wednesday by Bloomberg News, which published an extensive analysis of state government pay that ranked California tops in the nation. It showed Safi was paid more than twice as much as any state psychiatrist in the 12 states Bloomberg examined.
  • California lawmaker Roger Hernandez proposes benefits for undocumented immigrants – A California lawmaker wants to expand government benefits for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who qualify for a new federal work-permit program.Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) introduced legislation this week aimed at illegal immigrants who are part of an Obama administration protocol that allows undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before they were 16, and who are now 30 or younger and meet certain other criteria, to obtain work permits.The bill, AB 35, would enable those immigrants to obtain state identification cards and receive unemployment benefits and state-administered medical services. This year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that will allow that group of young immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
  • Fiscal Cliff Creates Problems That Don’t Faze Obama – Is Barack Obama bluffing when he threatens to go over the fiscal cliff if Republicans refuse to agree to higher tax rates on high earners?Some analysts think so. Keith Hennessey, a former top staffer for the Bush White House and Senate Republicans and a veteran of budget negotiations, argues that Obama’s whole second term would be blighted if he allows the fiscal cliff tax increases and sequestration budget cuts to take place next month.
  • Blue Shield of California seeks rate hikes up to 20% – Health insurer Blue Shield of California wants to raise rates as much as 20% for some individual policyholders, prompting calls for the nonprofit to use some of its record-high reserve of $3.9 billion to hold down premiums.In filings with state regulators, Blue Shield is seeking an average rate increase of 12% for more than 300,000 customers, effective in March, with a maximum increase of 20%.Some consumer advocates and healthcare economists say Blue Shield shouldn’t be raising rates that high when it has stockpiled so much cash. The company’s surplus is nearly three times as much as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assn. requires its member insurers to hold to cover future claims.”Blue Shield is sitting on a huge surplus that is beyond what is required or necessary,” said Laurie Sobel, a senior attorney for Consumers Union in San Francisco. “It should be used to hold down rate increases when it hits these extraordinary levels.”

    California officials can take into account an insurer’s amount of surplus, among many other factors, when determining whether they think a rate increase is reasonable. Both the California insurance commissioner and the state Department of Managed Health Care are reviewing the company’s proposed premiums, but neither agency has the authority to reject changes in rates

  • DeMint: Obama wants cliff dive – South Carolina GOP Sen. Jim DeMint accused President Barack Obama on Thursday of trying to take the country over the fiscal cliff.“The president campaigned on raising taxes and getting rid of the Bush-era tax cuts, and he’s gonna get his wish,” DeMint said on CBS’s “This Morning.”
    Continue Reading“I believe we’re going to be raising taxes, not just on the top earners. Everyone is going to pay more taxes next year in this country, and I think that’s what the president wants. … If you look at the facts, we don’t need more revenue, we just need to stop spending. The president is not going to stop spending. He’s proposed more spending. So it’s hard to work with someone who I think is intentionally trying to take us over this cliff.”
  • GOP tech gap needs millions – Republicans need to make a multimillion-dollar investment to close a digital gap with Democrats and President Obama, according to GOP tech experts.The party faces a growing urgency to catch up with Democrats; frustrated GOP operatives believe the party is lagging in an area widely agreed to have given Obama the edge in the last two presidential election cycles.“Everyone in the party is frustrated. I haven’t talked to one person who thinks that the Republicans were more successful online in 2012 [than in 2008 or 2010],” said Vincent Harris, a GOP strategist who ran digital campaigns for Rick Perry’s and Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaigns.“There is no doubt in my mind that this is the moment that this must be fixed. The good news, though, is that everyone seems to be open to solutions,” he said
  • The do’s and don’ts of quitting smoking – Anyone who has ever smoked and tried to quit knows how addictive nicotine can be. But what really works when it comes to quitting? Several former smokers had some hard-earned tips that might help you quit.Carla Berg, a Winship Cancer Institute addiction expert and professor at the Emory School of Public Health, had talked to hundreds of people trying to quit.”One thing I hear from people all the time is, ‘I’m just waiting to feel ready to quit,’ or, ‘I just need to want to quit and then I’ll quit.’ And what we know is that just rarely happens out of nowhere. So I always tell people if you’re waiting for the best time to quit smoking, that time is now,” said Berg.So what works? Through her Facebook Page, FOX 5′s Beth Galvin asked former smokers to share their secrets.
  • Election over, administration unleashes new rules – While the “fiscal cliff” of looming tax increases and spending cuts dominates political conversation in Washington, some Republicans and business groups see signs of a “regulatory cliff” that they say could be just as damaging to the economy.For months, federal agencies and the White House have sidetracked dozens of major regulations that cover everything from power plant pollution to workplace safety to a crackdown on Wall Street.The rules had been largely put on hold during the presidential campaign as the White House sought to quiet Republican charges that President Barack Obama was an overzealous regulator who is killing U.S. jobs.But since the election, the Obama administration has quietly reopened the regulations pipeline.
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-12 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-12
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-12 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-12 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-12 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-12
  • Poll: Obama won 71% of Asian Vote – But Not Wedded to Either Party – Asian American voters came out in droves for President Barack Obama over GOP challenger Mitt Romney, but the country’s fastest growing ethnic group is not wedded to either party, according to a new poll out Wednesday.Obama won an estimated 2.3 million of their votes to Romney’s estimated 900,000 votes, or 71 percent to 28 percent, according to the survey by the Asian American Justice Center, Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote and the National Asian American Survey
  • Mark Levin explains how a big part of Obamacare could be gutted during Obama’s second term » The Right Scoop - – RT @JedediahBila: Mark Levin explains how a big part of Obamacare could be gutted during Obama’s second term:
  • 5 ways the GOP can do better with Latinos – A coalition of conservative groups is releasing a major study of Latino voters in four key states this morning, and Republicans would be wise to heed its lessons.Resurgent Republic and the Hispanic Leadership Network are presenting the findings of their study at 9 a.m. Eastern. The polls of Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada show Republicans remain in contention for as many as half of Latino voters in those four states in 2016, but fewer than one-quarter of Latinos in each state say they are likely to vote Republican four years from now.
  • Election Integrity Activist Calls for Prop 37 Recount – Another Bay Area citizen has called for a recount on a statewide ballot measure, this time on Prop 37, and she’s being helped by the man responsible for the Prop 29 recount last summer.Lori Grace, an election integrity activist based in Tiburon, Calif., filed a formal request with the Secretary of State’s office on Monday for a recount in the contest over Prop 37, a voter initiative that would require special labels on foods containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. (There won’t be any other ballot measure recounts from the general election, since Monday was the last day to file).Having two such recounts in one year is highly unusual, if not unprecedented. The earlier effort came after the June primary, when Bay Area surgeon John Maa requested a recount for Prop 29, the cigarette tax initiative that would have helped to fund cancer research.Now Maa is imparting some of his own hard-earned (and expensive — recounts in California must be bankrolled by the requester) knowledge to Grace. Both acknowledged that Maa has given her strategical advice on how to proceed.
  • California Governor Jerry Brown has early-stage prostate cancer – Gov. Jerry Brown is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, his office announced this afternoon.The governor’s office described the condition as a “localized prostate cancer” and said Brown is continuing to work a full schedule while being treated with a short course of radiation.It released a statement from Eric Small, Brown’s oncologist at University of California San Francisco.”Fortunately, this is early stage localized prostate cancer, which is being treated with a short course of conventional radiotherapy,” Small said in the statement. “The prognosis is excellent, and there are not expected to be any significant side effects.”
  • As ‘fiscal cliff’ nears, Obama schedule loaded with photo-ops, holiday parties, golf – Since returning from a trip to southeast Asia on Nov. 21, President Obama has managed to play three rounds of golf but has met face-to-face only once with Speaker John A. Boehner, the man with whom he is trying to strike a deal on taxes and spending that could prevent another recession.With the deadline for going over the “fiscal cliff” less than three weeks away, the president’s schedule this week is exceptionally light. It does not include any time on the links with Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, who is also an avid golfer.On Monday, Mr. Obama’s only public event was a trip to Detroit, where he held a campaign-style rally with union auto workers that was ostensibly a push for middle-class tax cuts but mainly showcased Mr. Obama’s criticism of Michigan’s new “right-to-work” labor law.“It seems to me, that time would have been better spent here in Washington, D.C., working on the fiscal cliff, but he was in Michigan,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican.

    On Tuesday, Mr. Obama had lunch with Vice President Joseph R. Biden and spoke to Mr. Boehner by phone late in the day. The president spent much of his evening with first lady Michelle Obama posing for photographs with members of the White House press corps and their guests at a holiday party. (Mr. Obama actually has performed this function twice in the past week; there was another media holiday party at the White House on Dec. 5).

  • California prison health care receiver issues layoff notices – California Correctional Health Care Services has issued layoff warnings to 2,200 of its employees with a goal of axing 829 positions early next year.The cuts will touch nearly 60 job classifications around the state, from doctors to custodians and impact 38 jobs in Sacramento County. The statewide cuts take effect Mar. 31, 2013.The state normally issues three lay off warning notices for every position it cuts, and workers in danger of losing their jobs can displace less-senior counterparts in state government, so it’s not clear how many staff will actually lose work. Officials don’t have an estimate of savings from the reductions.
  • Day By Day December 12, 2012 – Figures – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day December 12, 2012 – Figures #tcot
  • Rep. Moran: Son’s Attack on Girlfriend “An Accident” – Virginia Rep. Jim Moran’s office has another statement about his son’s arrest for assaulting his girlfriend in Columbia Heights earlier this month. And it turns out it was all an accident, according to Moran, despite his son’s guilty plea to assault.”The situation was an accident,” Moran spokeswoman Anne Hughes writes in an email, adding that both Moran and his girlfriend testified to that in court. “Patrick didn’t hit or shove her.”Hughes claims that only Patrick Moran and his girlfriend were around to see the alleged attack. “They were the only two people who witnessed the scene,” writes Hughes. “In that sense, their statements are the only ones that matter.”That would contradict the police report, which describes both a Metropolitan Police Department sergeant and an Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration investigator seeing Moran slam his girlfriend’s head into a trash can cage outside the Getaway, a 14th Street NW bar.
  • Democratic senator Menendez employed illegal immigrant who was registered sex offender – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez employed as an unpaid intern in his Senate office an illegal immigrant who was a registered sex offender, now under arrest by immigration authorities, The Associated Press has learned. The Homeland Security Department instructed federal agents not to arrest him until after Election Day, a U.S. official involved in the case told the AP.Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, an 18-year-old immigrant from Peru, was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in front of his home in New Jersey on Dec. 6, two federal officials said. Sanchez, who entered the country on a now-expired visitor visa from Peru, is facing deportation and remains in custody. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of Sanchez’s immigration case.
  • Sandoval opts to expand Medicaid coverage for Nevada’s neediest – Sandoval opts to expand Medicaid coverage for Nevada’s neediest #tcot
  • Fiscal Cliff: Hundreds of Billions Apart – The bellowing on Capitol Hill about which side has offered more “specifics” to resolve the fiscal cliff showdown masks a larger problem for Washington: The two sides are still hundreds of billions of dollars apart on revenue and entitlement cuts.Not to mention, Republicans and Democrats are also light-years apart on policy details that back up those budget targets.That’s why there’s increasing skepticism in Washington that a deal actually can be reached before Jan. 1, and the country will go over the fiscal cliff.
  • Fiscal Cliff: 180 economists oppose tax hike – A letter signed by 180 economists opposed to tax increases as part of a fiscal cliff deal will be delivered to Congress on Wednesday, according to a national anti-tax group.The letter argues that hiking tax rates would have a “significant, negative impact on the economy” and is slated to be sent to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, said Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, the low-taxes advocacy group that coordinated the effort.
  • California Psychiatrists Paid $400,000 Shows Bidding War- Bloomberg – RT @BloombergNews: Why do California psychiatrists make more than $400,00? Examining a payroll system run amok |
  • War-making for Losers By Mark Steyn – The new US Army manual for troops heading east apparently blames the tendency of Afghanistan’s US-trained soldiers and policemen to shoot their western “allies” on “American cultural ignorance”. Fortunately, the manual offers a solution:The draft leaked to the newspaper offers a list of “taboo conversation topics” that soldiers should avoid, including “making derogatory comments about the Taliban”…I mean, it’s not like they’re the enemy or anything.…“advocating women’s rights,” “any criticism of pedophilia,” “directing any criticism towards Afghans,” “mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct” or “anything related to Islam.”
  • Inside the Boehner-Ryan Alliance – Robert Costa – National Review Online – Inside the Boehner-Ryan Alliance – The speaker and the former GOP veep contender are quiet partners #tcot
  • Democrats continue to find out what was in ObamaCare–and try to dismantle it | Mobile Washington Examiner – Democrats continue to find out what was in ObamaCare–and try to dismantle it | Mobile Washington Examiner #tcot
  • Inside the Boehner-Ryan Alliance – The speaker and the former GOP veep contender are quiet partners – Paul Ryan spent the summer and fall in the national spotlight, but this winter he’s a subdued presence. He’s rarely granting interviews, and his public appearances have been scattered, with the most high profile a speech at the Kemp Foundation dinner. His closest friends say that he wants to return to his work quietly, and that he’s uninterested in playing a prominent role in the fiscal-cliff debate, even though he’s the GOP’s reigning budget expert.
  • The Morning Flap: December 12, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: December 12, 2012 #tcot
  • Democrats continue to find out what was in ObamaCare–and try to dismantle it | Mobile Washington Examiner – Democrats continue to find out what was in ObamaCare–and try to dismantle it #tcot
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: December 13, 2012

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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: May 22, 2012

Targeting John Roberts The Morning Flap: May 22, 2012

Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Roberts

These are my links for May 21st through May 22nd:

  • Targeting John Roberts – The left tries to intimidate the High Court on ObamaCare- You can tell the Supreme Court is getting closer to its historic ObamaCare ruling because the left is making one last attempt to intimidate the Justices. The latest effort includes taunting Chief Justice John Roberts that if the Court overturns any of the law, he’ll forever be defined as a partisan “activist.”Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy recently took the extraordinary step of publicly lobbying the Chief Justice after oral argument but before its ruling. “I trust that he will be a Chief Justice for all of us and that he has a strong institutional sense of the proper role of the judicial branch,” the Democrat declared on the Senate floor. “The conservative activism of recent years has not been good for the Court.”
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Day By Day May 22, 2012 – Choice – Day By Day May 22, 2012 – Choice
  • Men Should Skip Common Prostate Test, Panel Says – WSJ.com – RT @WSJ: Influential health panel recommends against PSA prostate cancer tests for men -
  • Romney and the Right- This November, millions of conservatives will find themselves in the familiar position of holding their noses to vote for a problematic Republican presidential candidate, because the alternative is far worse.Although conservatives don’t exactly have fond memories of the candidacies of Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole in 1996 and Senator John McCain in 2008, the almost certain nomination of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has its own sting.In 2010, tea-party energy swept a new generation of conviction conservatives into statehouses, governors’ mansions, and the U.S. Congress. Many on the right held out hope that the big payoff would be putting a principled conservative in the White House.
  • Timing May Be Key in Romney’s VP Announcement- t Romney deliberates on his most important pre-convention political decision, the identity of whomever he selects as a running mate isn’t the only choice he and the vetting team must make.The timing of that vice-presidential unveiling can have a major impact on the race, as the experience of his 2008 predecessor demonstrated fully.
  • Obama Thinks He’s the Fairness Czar- Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, N.J., came across as a moderate, sensible Democrat when he said on “Meet the Press” Sunday that negative political ads are “nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity. Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright.”Booker, a Barack Obama surrogate, later tried to walk back his comments. He posted a video in which he explained that he was expressing his frustration with negative campaigning when he spoke out, effectively undermining the president’s re-election narrative. (Booker also referred to the biggest non-story in politics last week, about a political consultant who recommended that a super PAC use Wright in an anti-Obama ad. That ad didn’t get made.)
  • Obama Campaign Does Damage Control After Dems Question Anti-Bain Strategy- The Obama campaign is in full damage-control mode one day after Newark Mayor Cory Booker publicly derided Democrats’ assault on presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney over his record at Bain Capital.Chief Obama strategist David Axelrod today publicly rebuked Booker, a popular and high-profile surrogate for the campaign, saying he was “just wrong.”"I love Cory Booker. He’s a great mayor. If I were, if my house was on fire, I’d hope he were my next door neighbor,” Axelrod said on MSNBC, referring to Booker’s rescue of a neighbor last month.

    “I agree with what he said later. I think this was a legitimate area for discussion,” Axelrod said of Booker’s subsequent comments clarifying the issue.

    As for the criticism that the Team Obama’s Bain attack is part of “nauseating” political discourse with which Booker has become “very uncomfortable,” Axelrod said, “on this particular instance he was just wrong.”

  • ABC/WashPost Poll: Obama Still Under 50 – Among Adults – By Jim Geraghty – The Campaign Spot – National Review Online – RT @jimgeraghty: In ABC/WashPost poll, married women swung heavily towards Romney in the past month:
  • Hamid Karzai blows top over Dana Rohrabacher- Afghan President Hamid Karzai says Rep. Dana Rohrabacher will be banned from entering his country until the congressman “changes his tongue” and stops criticizing Afghanistan.“A democratically elected congressman of the United States of America should not be talking of an ethnic divide in Afghanistan, should not be interfering in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, should not be asking the Afghan people to have a federal structure as against what the Afghan constitution has asked for, should not be speaking disrespectfully about the Afghan people or the various ethnic groups in Afghanistan,” Karzai said in an interview with CNN. “If an Afghan did that from Afghanistan, how would you react to him in America?”
  • Medscape: Medscape Access – RT @Medscape: Vitamin D Supplementation and the Allergy Pandemic
  • Sarah Palin: ‘Shame’ Cory Booker backed down- Sarah Palin is applauding Cory Booker’s criticism of the Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital as “candid,” adding that it was a “shame” that the Democratic mayor retreated from his initial remarks that have touched off a firestorm.“It was a shame to see Cory kind of back down from what his answer was, which was so candid,” Palin told Sean Hannity of Fox News on Monday
  • Poll: Obama, Romney in Dead Heat – Steven Shepard – NationalJournal.com – RT @HotlineSteve: .@ABC/@washingtonpost poll shows Obama, Romney tied overall and on handling the economy:
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-05-22 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-05-22
  • El Monte school district moving to dismiss employees who have been on paid leave for months- After 10 months of investigation, the local high school district is winding down its inquiries into a dozen employees accused of stealing.Four of the El Monte Union High School District employees no longer work for the district, for undisclosed reasons, and the school board is still figuring out what to do about eight other employees, according to Superintendent Nick Salerno and Thomas Madruga, the district’s attorney.Most the workers in question were on the district’s maintenance/facilities staff.

    Several of the 12 employees have been on paid leave since late June or early July of last year. Officials would not reveal exactly how many.

    The school board was briefed about the workers during a closed-session portion of a May 2 board meeting, according to Madruga. And resolutions for the remaining employees could come soon, he said.

    Sources inside the district said the board rejected a proposal that would have let two of the employees come back to work, after facing a few days of unpaid leave as discipline.

    Madruga and Salerno said the charges relate to accusations of theft that were brought to the attention of the district at the end of the last school year.

    Some of the allegations were small, such as taking home the last few sheets of a roll of paper towels, according to Salerno and Madruga.

    But others involved using the district’s lines of credit to acquire personal property.

    “I mean costly equipment, major equipment,” Salerno said.

    Some of the employees were accused of using district finances to buy a motor home.

    Salerno said that district officials learned that a culture of taking things from the district had taken hold among a handful of employees in the district’s maintenance staff.

    He said as far as he knew, the practices had been going on for decades.

    “There seemed to be this small circle who accepted this stuff and thought it was OK,” he said.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Washington Dental Service’s CEO James Dwyer Apologizes for Calling Dentists Not Working Hard Enough – Washington Dental Service’s CEO James Dwyer Apologizes for Calling Dentists Not Working Hard Enough
  • Home – SGVTribune.com – Annual Pasadena Marathon comes off without a hitch -
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Obama’s Bain Capital Attacks on Romney Backfiring? – Obama’s Bain Capital Attacks on Romney Backfiring?
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: May 21, 2012 – The Morning Drill: May 21, 2012
  • Annual Pasadena Marathon comes off without a hitch – SGVTribune.com – RT @SGVTribune: Annual Pasadena Marathon comes off without a hitch
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: May 21, 2012 – The Morning Flap: May 21, 2012
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: May 22, 2012

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share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: May 3, 2012

Twitter The Afternoon Flap: May 3, 2012

These are my links for May 2nd through May 3rd:

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Obama’s Russia Reset: Russia Threatens Strike on Missile Defense Sites – Obama’s Russia Reset: Russia Threatens Strike on Missile Defense Sites
  • After A Twitter Win, Romney Meets The Online Right – At the Republican National Committee yesterday, conservative online writers and bloggers who arrived to meet with Romney were also shown a chart that seemed to explain the Romney campaign’s new warmth toward them. The chart (resembling, a source said, the one produced by Twitter above) illustrated the role a hyperactive conservative Twitterverse played in turning Hilary Rosen’s jab at Ann Romney into a great campaign moment for the Republican.
    The event, two bloggers told BuzzFeed, was organized by Patrick Hynes, a veteran online GOP consultant. It featured some friction on issues like health care, but a broader sense that ranks are closing against the common enemies of Obama and the liberal media.
    “It was facing reality — what are we going to do?” asked one attendee. “Everybody agrees with Romney that, policy-wise, Obama is a disaster and a threat.”
    The meeting, which included writers from RedState and Breitbart.com as well as a list of conservative publications reported by Huffington Post — National Review, Daily Caller, American Spectator, Washington Examiner, Powerline, Townhall,, RiehlWorldView, White House Dossier, and PJ Media (though not, as an early report had suggested, the conspiracist site WorldNetDaily). RNC chairman Reince Preibus also attended.
    Notably, the meeting also included some grassroots bloggers with no real institutional ties to the Washington Republican Establishment, including the Twitter virtuoso Ace of Spades and John Hawkins of Right Wing News.
  • Mitt Romney Meets With Conservative Media Off The Record – In an effort to reach out to conservative media, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney and wife Ann met for two hours Wednesday with several dozen conservative bloggers, reporters and columnists in an off-the-record gathering at a private Washington, D.C. club, according to attendees.

    Romney, who struggled with some members of the conservative media during the Republican primary, is banking on their support in his campaign against President Barack Obama, regardless of whether they were previously in his corner or not.

    The attendees came from numerous conservative sites and right-of-center publications, including National Review, Daily Caller, American Spectator, Washington Examiner, Human Events, RedState, Right Wing News, Powerline, Townhall, Ace of Spades, RiehlWorldView, White House Dossier and PJ Media. RNC chairman Reince Preibus also attended.

  • I would not have gone, so it’s a good thing you didn’t invite me – I never get invited to anything.  Not that I would go, anyway.  I have much more important things to do.

    Via Ben Smith, Buzzfeed Politics, After A Twitter Win, Romney Meets The Online Right:

    At the Republican National Committee yesterday, conservative online writers and bloggers who arrived to meet with Romney were also shown a chart that seemed to explain the Romney campaign’s new warmth toward them. The chart (resembling, a source said, the one produced by Twitter above) illustrated the role a hyperactive conservative Twitterverse played in turning Hilary Rosen’s jab at Ann Romney into a great campaign moment for the Republican….

    The meeting, which included writers from RedState and Breitbart.com as well as a list of conservative publications reported by Huffington Post — National Review, Daily Caller, American Spectator, Washington Examiner, Powerline, Townhall,, RiehlWorldView, White House Dossier, and PJ Media (though not, as an early report had suggested, the conspiracist site WorldNetDaily). RNC chairman Reince Preibus also attended.

    Notably, the meeting also included some grassroots bloggers with no real institutional ties to the Washington Republican Establishment, including the Twitter virtuoso Ace of Spades and John Hawkins of Right Wing News.

  • Flapsblog Posts / Hype and Blame…pretty much says it all.. – Hype and Blame…pretty much says it all..
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012: Republicans Call Obama’s Campaign – Hype and Blame – President 2012: Republicans Call Obama’s Campaign – Hype and Blame
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Linda Parks Again Refuses to Say With Which Party She Will Caucus If Elected to Congress – CA-26: Linda Parks Again Refuses to Say With Which Party She Will Caucus If Elected to Congress
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: May 3, 2012 – The Morning Drill: May 3, 2012
  • Barry’s Imaginary Girlfriend – There has been a lot of hilarity today over the revelation that the “New York girlfriend” who plays a significant role in Barack Obama’s autobiography Dreams From My Father did not, strictly speaking, exist. Rather, she was a composite or “compression” of several girlfriends that Obama now says he had after he graduated from college. To be fair, Obama wrote in the introduction to his book that “some of the characters that appear are composites of people I’ve known,” so the reader was forewarned. Whether a typical reader would have imagined that the “New York girlfriend” was such a composite, and that various incidents attributed to Obama’s relationship with her never happened, I don’t know.

    The revelation comes from a forthcoming biography of Obama by David Maraniss that is excerpted in next month’s Vanity Fair. Like most Vanity Fair articles it is just about interminable, and I haven’t yet had time to read it all. But already, several interesting points emerge.

    There actually was a New York girlfriend. Her name is Genevieve Cook, and Maraniss interviewed her for his book. Not only that, she kept a journal that included the time when she dated Obama, from which Maraniss quotes. She is by no means hostile to Obama, but her account of their relationship diverges from his, in Dreams From My Father, in a number of ways.

  • Obama’s Afghan Partnership Puts Symbolism Over Substance- Bloomberg – Obama’s Afghan Partnership Puts Symbolism Over Substance
  • Warren: I used minority listing to share heritage – Make friends – Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, fending off questions about whether she used her Native American heritage to advance her career, said today she enrolled herself as a minority in law school directories for nearly a decade because she hoped to meet other people with tribal roots.

    “I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am. Nothing like that ever happened, that was clearly not the use for it and so I stopped checking it off,” said Warren.

    The Harvard Law professor argued she didn’t use her minority status to get her teaching jobs, and slammed her Republican rival U.S. Sen.Scott Brown for suggesting otherwise.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Day By Day May 3, 2012 – Twice – Day By Day May 3, 2012 – Twice
  • Obama’s Afghan Partnership Puts Symbolism Over Substance – Perhaps the biggest surprise of President Barack Obama’s appearance in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday wasn’t the trip itself, but his use of the occasion to make a head-scratching speech and sign a strategic partnership accord that raises more questions than it answers.
    “Over the last three years, the tide has turned,” the president said. “We broke the Taliban’s momentum.” This triumphant note jars against a Pentagon report released this week, which warned that “the insurgency remains a resilient and determined enemy and will likely attempt to regain lost ground and influence this spring and summer.”
    Obama can be forgiven for wanting to put the best spin on the situation to Americans, but the Afghans present were probably not convinced about the tide’s turning. Civilian casualties have risen in the last year, and within hours of Obama’s departure, a suicide attack in Kabul killed at least seven. The most important audience might have been the U.S.’s allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, who needed to be assured of the White House’s intentions in Afghanistan before a NATO summit meeting this month in Chicago.
    Which brings us to the ostensible reason for Obama’s trip, the agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a “legally binding executive agreement, which does not require it to be submitted to the Senate” for approval, according to White House spokesman Tommy Vietor. What it will require from Congress, however, is annual funding of an unspecified amount to support Afghan security forces after the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops in 2014 — shaky ground on which to base an important national security priority. Congress is easily distracted, the Treasury will be stretched thin for years to come, and the U.S. annual contribution will run to the billions, not hundreds of millions, of dollars.
  • John Yoo’s Vindication – How baseless was the persecution of John Yoo by the white-shoe legal elite, which peddled the claims of a terrorist in order to harass the Bush Administration lawyer for his national-security views? So baseless that even the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has thrown the case out.

    On Wednesday a unanimous three-judge panel in the famously liberal appeals court dismissed the civil lawsuit brought by Jose Padilla, whose lawyers have besieged former Bush officials since his criminal conviction in a plot to detonate a dirty bomb on American soil.

  • Cheer Up! Romney Rebounding in Swing States – By Jim Geraghty – The Campaign Spot – National Review Online – RT @jimgeraghty: In swing states, most want Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare: 51-38 in FL, 51-37 in OH, 46-43 in PA.
  • Presidential Swing States (FL, OH & PA) Poll * May 3, 2012 * Romney Bounces Back In Two Of – Quinnipiac University ? Hamden, Connecticut – RT @TheFix: New Quinnipiac polls out! FL: Romney 44, Obama 43. OH: Obama 44, Romney 42. PA: Obama 47, Romney 39.
  • The dangerous new Obama book – Glenn Thrush and Dylan Byers – POLITICO.com – RT @TheFix: Why the White House is worried about @davidmaraniss’s new Obama book. #campaignreads
  • Poll: Romney Ties Obama in Two Big Swing States – Ohio & Florida – Mitt Romney now runs neck-and-neck with President Obama in electoral-vote-rich Ohio and Florida, according to the latest installment of the Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll, another sign that the two candidates begin the general election campaign locked in a tight battle for the White House next year.

    In both states, the race has tightened since the previous poll conducted in late March. In Pennsylvania, Obama leads Romney in the race for the Keystone State’s 20 electoral votes, the poll shows, putting the president is in a slightly stronger position there compared to the previous survey.

    Romney’s rise in two of the three critical states is fueled by voters’ perceptions of the economy. Voters in Florida and Ohio think the former Massachusetts governor would do a better job with the economy, while Pennsylvania voters are split evenly on the question. And only a slight majority of voters in each state thinks the economy is beginning to recover.

  • Da Asks Court To Order The Execution Of Two Death Row Inmates – LOS ANGELES District Attorney Steve Cooley asked the Los Angeles Superior Court today to order the execution of two long-time Death Row inmates with a court-approved single-drug protocol currently used in other parts of the country.

    In motions filed by Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee, the court was asked to order the executions of Mitchell Carleton Sims, 52, and Tiequon Aundray Cox, 46, each of whom have been on San Quentins Death Row for a quarter of a century.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-05-03 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-05-03
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Daily Extraction: May 2, 2012 – The Daily Extraction: May 2, 2012
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012 Nevada Poll Watch: Obama Surges to an 8 Point Lead – President 2012 Nevada Poll Watch: Obama Surges to an 8 Point Lead
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012: Super PAC Restore Our Future Ad Buys Reveal States Which Are in Play for Mitt Romney – President 2012: Super PAC Restore Our Future Ad Buys Reveal States Which Are in Play for Mitt Romney
  • First Read – Poll: Walker deadlocked versus Barrett in Wisconsin recall – RT @DomenicoNBC: Poll: Walker deadlocked versus Barrett in Wisconsin recall
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: May 2, 2012 – The Morning Flap: May 2, 2012
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NY%2520Post%2520Mocks%2520Obama The Morning Flap: May 2, 2012

These are my links for May 1st through May 2nd:

  • The curious resignation of Richard Grenell – The political world is buzzing over the sudden resignation of Richard Grenell, the former spokesman for John Bolton at the UN who had signed on to serve as foreign policy spokesman for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Grenell was scheduled to begin work Tuesday, May 1.  Instead, he resigned before starting the job.

    The news was broken Tuesday morning by Jennifer Rubin, a pro-Romney blogger at the Washington Post.  The headline of Rubin’s report said the openly gay Grenell had been “hounded from [the] Romney campaign by anti-gay conservatives.”  Rubin cited articles in National Review and the Daily Caller which she said “reflected the uproar by some social conservatives over the appointment.”

    Some publications on the left picked up on Rubin’s report and suggested that Grenell had been driven from his job by, among others, Bryan Fischer, a top official at the social conservative American Family Association.  Fischer is perhaps best known for a series of inflammatory statements about gays, Muslims, Mormons, and others.  Last October, Fischer was scheduled to speak after Romney at the Values Voter summit in Washington.  Knowing Fischer’s record, and already concerned by anti-Mormon comments from another attendee, Robert Jeffress, Romney decided to use his speech to condemn Fischer, although not by name.

  • El Monte Union board to vote on layoffs, administrative pay cuts – Board members Wednesday will vote on a resolution eliminating 21 classified staff positions in the El Monte Union High School District as part of a county-mandated Fiscal Stabilization Plan.

    The district is facing a potential $6.2 million deficit in the upcoming fiscal year, which amounts to approximately 7 percent of the district’s total annual expenditures of about $90 million.

    Also as part of the Fiscal Stabilization Plan, board members will also vote on a 2 percent salary reduction for classified administrators, including a pay cut for the district’s assistant superintendent of personnel and its chief business official. Board members already approved the pay cuts for certificated administrators and the superintendent.

    El Monte Union’s construction management company Del Terra will also present an update on projects taking place within the district.

    The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. at South El Monte High School’s Professional Development Center, 1001 Durfee Ave.

  • Transcript: Obama hails ‘light of a new day’ in Afghanistan – Good evening from Bagram Air Base. This outpost is more than 7,000 miles from home, but for over a decade it has been close to our hearts. Because here, in Afghanistan, more than half a million of our sons and daughters have sacrificed to protect our country.
    Today, I signed an historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries — a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation, and we build an equal partnership between two sovereign states; a future in which the war ends, and a new chapter begins.
    Tonight, I’d like to speak to you about this transition. But first, let us remember why we came here. It was here, in Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden established a safe-haven for his terrorist organization. It was here, in Afghanistan, where al Qaeda brought new recruits, trained them, and plotted acts of terror. It was here, from within these borders, that al Qaeda launched the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children.
  • Pro-Romney Super Pac Spending $4 Million on Swing State Ads – A super PAC supporting Mitt Romney is gearing up to spend nearly $4 million in a group of key swing states, Politico reports.

    Restore our Future is targeting ads in Ohio ($501,000), Iowa ($395,000), Virginia ($241,000), Colorado ($299,000), Nevada ($275,000), Florida ($857,000), North Carolina ($652,000), Michigan ($452,00) and New Hampshire ($225,000), according to a GOP source that revealed the figures to Politico.

    The ads will air in the period between May 3 and May 1

  • A Giant Leap for Richard Nixon – Imagine if President Nixon had decided to base his 1972 re-election campaign on the boast that he landed on the moon. His predecessors tried and failed for eight years. It wasn’t an easy decision–what if something went wrong? But that’s why you hire a president, to make those gutsy calls. Which path would George McGovern have taken?

    That’s analogous to President Obama’s effort to campaign on the killing of Osama bin Laden. His absurd braggadocio is turning one of the few successes to occur under his leadership into a political liability.

    Last week the Obama campaign released an advertisement featuring Bill Clinton (the president who actually did pass up opportunities to get bin Laden) praising Obama’s leadership and suggesting that Mitt Romney would have let bin Laden go. Nonsense, Romney replied: “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order,” the New York Times quotes him as saying. (James Fallows, who worked in the Carter White House, grudgingly confirms Romney’s surmise.)

  • Blahous and Capretta: Exposing the Medicare Double Count – One of the enduring mysteries of President Obama’s health law is how its spending constraints and payroll tax hikes on high earners can be used to shore up Medicare finances and at the same time pay for a massive new entitlement program. Isn’t this double counting?

    The short answer is: Yes, it is. You can’t spend the same money twice. And so, thanks to the new health law, federal deficits and debt will be hundreds of billions of dollars higher in the next decade alone.

    Here’s how it works. When Congress considers legislation that alters taxes or spending related to Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, the changes are recorded not just on the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund’s books, but also on Congress’s “pay-as-you-go” scorecard.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012: Obama Spikes the Ball in Afghanistan – President 2012: Obama Spikes the Ball in Afghanistan
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: May 1, 2012 – The Morning Flap: May 1, 2012
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share save 120 16 President 2012: Obama Spikes the Ball in Afghanistan
Obama gloats President 2012: Obama Spikes the Ball in Afghanistan

A pretty sad display by an American President.

President Barack Obama made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday, the first anniversary of the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in neighboring Pakistan.

On his third trip to Afghanistan since taking office, Obama met with President Hamid Karzai and will make a televised address at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Tuesday’s visit comes at a particularly delicate time in relations between the United States and Afghanistan, as plans to withdraw U.S.-led international forces proceed.

The countries have been negotiating a strategic agreement that would outline the basis for U.S.-Afghan cooperation after most U.S. and allied troops withdraw in 2014. Obama and Karzai are expected to sign the agreement on Tuesday, according to the senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the flight.

The Strategic Partnership Agreement provides a framework for the U.S.-Afghanistan partnership for the decade following the U.S. and allied troop withdrawal, the officials said on condition of not being identified.

Specific levels of U.S. forces and funding are not set in the agreement and will be determined by the United States in consulation with alllies, the officials said.

Noting the anniversary of the bin Laden mission, the officials called it a resonant day for the Afghan and American people.

Mission accomplished, Mr. President?

In other words, Obama ends the war in Afghanistan on Osama bin Laden’s death anniversary. Obama wins the war, before he loses it.

All symbolism and NO substance.

And, at what cost?

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