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

Obama burned in effigy The Morning Flap: March 13, 2012

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

  • Protests, attacks hit Afghanistan in wake of massacre – Thousands of people took to the streets in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday to protest the killing of 16 civilians by a U.S. soldier, burning an effigy of Barack Obama and calling for the killer to be tried in Afghanistan.

    Demonstrators in the city of Jalalabad chanted “Death to America — Death to Obama” and blocked the main highway to Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported.
    “Jihad (holy war) is the only way to get the invading Americans out of Afghanistan,” one banner read, according to the newspaper.

  • Specter says Obama ditched him after he provided 60th vote to pass health reform – Former Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) writes in a new book that President Obama ditched him in the 2010 election after he helped Obama win the biggest legislative victory of his term by passing healthcare reform.

    Specter also claims that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not uphold his promise to grant him seniority accrued over 28 years of service in the Senate as a Republican.

  • California’s Greek Tragedy – WSJ.com – Long a harbinger of national trends and an incubator of innovation, cash-strapped California eagerly awaits a temporary revenue surge from Facebook IPO stock options and capital gains. Meanwhile, Stockton may soon become the state’s largest city to go bust. Call it the agony and ecstasy of contemporary California.

    California’s rising standards of living and outstanding public schools and universities once attracted millions seeking upward economic mobility. But then something went radically wrong as California legislatures and governors built a welfare state on high tax rates, liberal entitlement benefits, and excessive regulation. The results, though predictable, are nonetheless striking. From the mid-1980s to 2005, California’s population grew by 10 million, while Medicaid recipients soared by seven million; tax filers paying income taxes rose by just 150,000; and the prison population swelled by 115,000.

    California’s economy, which used to outperform the rest of the country, now substantially underperforms. The unemployment rate, at 10.9%, is higher than every other state except Nevada and Rhode Island. With 12% of America’s population, California has one third of the nation’s welfare recipients.

  • McGurn: Bill Maher’s ‘Fatwa’ – WSJ.com – ‘I don’t like fatwas.”

    The words come from Bill Maher. The HBO comedian was tweeting his disapproval of the campaign to deprive Rush Limbaugh of his sponsors. Especially distressing for Mr. Maher is that the campaign continues even though Mr. Limbaugh has apologized for his rude remarks about the Georgetown Law student who had testified before Congress on behalf of the contraceptive mandate.

    Mr. Maher’s “defense,” of course, may have more to do with self-defense. For in the midst of the ritual denunciations of Mr. Limbaugh, it has emerged that liberals—Mr. Maher included—have long called conservative women things far more vulgar. That has led to embarrassing explanations of why Mr. Maher gets a pass, and whether the super PAC backing President Obama should return the million dollars that Mr. Maher has donated.

  • Republican Donors in Limbo – The extended Republican presidential primary has left many GOP donors paralyzed — unsure of whether to invest in the upcoming battle against President Barack Obama or focus on Congressional races.

    Party insiders increasingly believe that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will win the nomination, a development that would likely open the donor spigot for the general election. But a victory by former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) or ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) would probably have the opposite effect. A GOP money machine skeptical of the party’s White House prospects would likely spend instead on House and Senate races as the best hope for a November gain.

  • A Mere 80% Say They’re Not Better Off Than Four Years Ago
  • Did GDP and the Unemployment Rate Become De-linked?
  • Father And Daughter Run 100th Marathon Together
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-03-13 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-03-13
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Wins Santa Clarita Valley Republican Assembly Straw Poll » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk Wins Santa Clarita Valley Republican Assembly Straw Poll
  • President 2012 Poll Watch: New York Times/CBS Poll Has Obama at 41 Per Cent Approval | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Poll Watch: New York Times/CBS Poll Has Obama at 41 Per Cent Approval
  • Red meat is blamed for one in 10 early deaths – Small quantities of processed meat such as bacon, sausages or salami can increase the likelihood of dying by a fifth, researchers from Harvard School of Medicine found. Eating steak increases the risk of dying by 12%.
    The study found that cutting the amount of red meat in peoples’ diets to 1.5 ounces (42 grams) a day, equivalent to one large steak a week, could prevent almost one in 10 early deaths in men and one in 13 in women.
    The scientists said that the government’s current advice that people should eat no more than 2.5 ounces (70 grams) a day, around around the level the average Briton already consumes, was “generous”.
    Dr Frank Hu, co-author of the study, said: “Given the growing evidence that even modest amounts of red meat is associated with increased risk of chronic disease and premature death, 2.5 ounces (70 grams) per day seems generous. The bottom line is that we should make red meat only an occassional rather than regular part of our diet.”
    Red meat often contains high amounts of saturated fat, while bacon and salami contain large amounts of salt. Replacing red meat with poultry, fish or vegetables, whole grains and other healthy foods cut the risk of dying by up to one fifth, the study found.
  • Steve Schmidt: Putting Palin on the ticket taught me there are worse things than losing – Via Mediaite, Exhibit A in why John Podhoretz’s review of “Game Change” is titled “Back Stab.” Actually, scratch that; this is Exhibit Z. Schmidt’s getting more attention for it now because the movie’s getting attention but he’s been dumping on Palin publicly for more than two years and privately for who knows how long. (Leaks from unnamed staffers began less than a week after election day and Palin allies inside the campaign warned weeks earlier that they were coming.) This is his job now, I think — doing sporadic cable-news cameos as some sort of RINO Dr. Frankenstein who created a grassroots monster and has to atone by killing it. Michael Goldfarb, who left the Weekly Standard to join the McCain campaign’s communications team, has had enough:
  • Back Stab – Sarah Palin as portrayed by her disloyal staff. – Nicolle Wallace was the onetime consultant to CBS News and media aide to George W. Bush who was assigned to work with Sarah Palin after the Alaska governor was chosen as John McCain’s running mate. It was Wallace who assured the McCain campaign that her dear friend Katie Couric, a committed liberal with a history of interviewing Republicans and conservatives in a quietly nasty way, was the right journalist to conduct a major early interview with the extremely conservative vice-presidential nominee.

    Palin has only herself to blame for how horribly she came off, but as she was the most hotly sought-after interview in the world at the time, the McCain campaign could have picked and chosen and been cleverly calculating about which journalist would win the prize. Wallace was responsible for one of the great blunders in political advance work of modern media history.

    Now, imagine you’re making a movie about the Palin story, one that demonstrates a modicum of sympathy for Sarah Palin’s excoriation at the hands of the media. (I know, I’m talking crazy, but go with me here.) In such a movie, Nicolle Wallace’s catastrophic guidance could have been portrayed in several ways. It could have been played as a simple goof, a wrongheaded political calculation. Or as an example of a kind of golly-gee naïveté, with Wallace being snowed by a seductive Couric. Or as a careerist move killing two birds with one stone, with Wallace seeking to stay in the good graces of her former colleague Couric despite several years of working for Republicans.

  • Michael Goldfarb’s response to ‘A game changer for Palin’s image?’ – I can’t speak to the film, because I can’t bring myself to watch it.

    Other loyal McCain staffers I’ve spoken to have had the same reaction. While a few senior aides from the McCain campaign collaborated with the authors of Game Change and painted a picture of John McCain and Sarah Palin as so craven or ill-informed or incompetent that no handler could have gotten them elected, the reality is that John McCain was the better man and would have made a better president.

    We lost that campaign partly because of events beyond our control, and partly as a result of bad counsel given by the same people who are apparently so flatteringly portrayed in this movie. John McCain deserved better than to be betrayed by his own top aides, and true to form he has honorably stuck by Gov. Palin even as she’s been smeared in the press over and over again by the same self-serving former staffers. I only hope that the Romney campaign takes notice of what’s happened here.

    Halperin and Heilemann have gotten a $5 million contract to do the same thing to Romney that they did to McCain, and they will no doubt be looking for Romney aides the same way a con artist searches for his mark – seeking the emotionally vulnerable, the weak, the insecure, the ones who value the approval of MSNBC analysts more than the respect of their own campaign staff. Unfortunately, every Republican campaign has them – and given the opportunity Halperin and Heilemann are certain to reoffend.

  • AD-38: Patricia McKeon Upgrades Website and Lists Endorsements » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Patricia McKeon Upgrades Website and Lists Endorsements
  • Villaraigosa declines to back any of three competing tax initiatives – latimes.com – RT @LATPoliticsCA: Villaraigosa declines to back any of tax initiatives on ballot
  • President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama Approval Rate Reaches 49 Per Cent and Trending Upward | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama Approval Rate Reaches 49 Per Cent and Trending Upward
  • Center-right leaders, Bush alums form religious conscience group – A collection of prominent center-right leaders, including multiple top Bush administration officials, have founded a new advocacy group to advocate for measures exempting religious organizations from federal rules governing contraception coverage, POLITICO has learned.

    Among those involved in planning the group are former presidential adviser Mary Matalin, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, former RNC Chairman and Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson, former Rep. Bill Paxon, former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn and New York Rabbi Meir Yaakov Soloveichik.

    Their 501(c)4 organization, Conscience Cause, is aimed at “stopping the implementation of a Department of Health and Human Services regulation which would compel people and organizations to pay for drugs and services that violate their faith,” according to a statement shared with POLITICO.

    Both Nicholson and Flynn are former ambassadors to the Vatican; Flynn is the lone Democrat in the group, though he has endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

  • College board says it is addressing probation issues – The board that oversees Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges has drafted a letter to the commission that put the colleges on probation, outlining what it has done to improve and what more it plans to do.

    The Ventura County Community College District board is set to vote on the letter Tuesday..

    “We’re trying to specifically respond to their concerns, to show them what we’re doing,” said board President Stephen Blum. “We realize we can’t just tell them what we’re going to do. We have to do what we say we’re going to do. I see this as one of our first steps.”

    The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges put the three campuses on probation last month, citing problems on the board. The commission noted one trustee’s “disruptive and inappropriate behavior.” Although he is not named in the letter, that trustee is Art Hernandez, who represents Oxnard.

  • Gawker more acceptable than conservative talk radio for advertisers? – Given all the attacks on advertisers who advertise on the Rush Limbaugh show or other conservative talk radio shows, one has to wonder why the companies below — who are highlighted on Gawker Media’s advertising page — do not apply such standards of civility and civil discourse to Gawker Media?

    Of particular interest was Ford Motor Company, which was included in a list of companies which allegedly had instructed Premier Networks not to run its ads on conservative talk radio for fear of controversy.  I have e-mailed Ford both to confirm it will not advertise on conservative talk radio and that it advertises on Gawker Media sites, but have not heard back.

    At the end of the day, the point is not that advertisers should quite Gawker, it’s that there is a complete double standard.  Sexualized, unapologetic attacks on conservative women simply are part of the accepted landscape.

  • California revenues 3.2 percent shy in February – California revenues missed the mark in February by 3.2 percent, or $146.3 million, state Controller John Chiang said Monday.

    Chiang, who manages the state’s cash, said the shortfall was likely due to a spike in tax refunds going out earlier than expected in February. Income tax receipts were 5.7 percent, or $99.9 million, below the Department of Finance’s projection.

    Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers are anxiously awaiting tax receipts from March and April, two significant revenue months as taxpayers file their returns. The Democratic governor has proposed a budget to close a $9.2 billion deficit, but the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has suggested that Brown’s estimates are overly optimistic and that the deficit is likely higher than that figure.

    Though lawmakers have begun to review Brown’s budget in committee, they do not plan to take significant steps on the plan until late spring, closer to the June 15 deadline. Democratic leaders have said they want to see what tax revenues will be like in March and April before deciding how much to cut and where.

  • CA-Sen: California Republican Party Endorses Elizabeth Emken for U.S. Senate Race | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-Sen: California Republican Party Endorses Elizabeth Emken for U.S. Senate Race
  • Contact | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – @MarkStandriff The website is probably overloaded. You can go here and find my direct text address: First #. Thanks!
  • ASICS Support Your Marathoner – 2012 Honda Los Angeles Marathon – Everyone here is the direct link to the Support Your Marathoner Page for me:
  • ASICS Support Your Marathoner – 2012 Honda Los Angeles Marathon – @MarkStandriff Mark, is it the support your marathoner link?
  • Flapsblog.com Readers: Please Support @Flap – Gregory Flap Cole in the Los Angeles Marathon | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Readers: Please Support @Flap – Gregory Flap Cole in the Los Angeles Marathon
  • AD-38: Los Angeles County Republican Party Makes NO Endorsements in Assembly Race » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Los Angeles County Republican Party Makes NO Endorsements in Assembly Race
  • Social Demographics: Who’s Using Today’s Biggest Networks – More than 66% of adults are connected to one or more social media platforms, but who exactly are these people?

    The infographic below, created by Online MBA, breaks down the demographics, including education level, income, age and gender of social media users, along with other miscellaneous facts.

    Some sites’ users are more demographically alike than others. One thing is the same for most social sites — college students, or those who have completed some college, represent the majority on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg and Reddit. Among Facebook users, 57% have completed some college, and 24% have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Although, people 45 and older make up 46% of Facebook users.

    Social media sites are also seeing a gender split — women use social media more than men. More women are on Facebook and Twitter. About 57% of Facebook and 59% of Twitter users are women.

    Women gravitate toward Pinterest and young, techie men hang out on Google+. Pinterest has the heaviest gender imbalance — 82% of users are women, who pin crafts, gift ideas, hobbies, interior design and fashion. On the other spectrum, Google+ is dominated by men (71%) and early adopters, engineers and developers. About 50% of Google+ users are 24 or younger.

    LinkedIn reports an even ratio of men and women — 49% over age 45 — who use the site to connect with other business professionals.

    Most people use social media to stay in touch with friends and family, and more are doing so while on the go. About 200 million Facebook users check their Timelines from their mobile devices every day.

  • Justice Dept opposes Texas voter ID law – The Justice Department’s civil rights division on Monday objected to a new photo ID requirement for voters in Texas because many Hispanic voters lack state-issued identification.
    Texas is the second state in recent months to become embroiled in a court battle with the Justice Department over photo ID requirements for voters.
    The Justice Department said Texas officials failed to show that the newly enacted law has neither a discriminatory purpose nor effect.
    The department had been reviewing the law since last year and discussing the matter with state officials. In January, Texas officials sued U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, seeking a court judgment that the state’s recently enacted voter ID law was not discriminatory in purpose or effect.
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: March 12, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: March 12, 2012
  • The Morning Flap: March 12, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: March 12, 2012
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Dayton Ohio Veterans Administration Dental Clinic Has $6.6 Million in Outstanding Malpractice Claims – Dayton Ohio Veterans Administration Dental Clinic Has $6.6 Million in Outstanding Malpractice Claims
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: March 12, 2012 – The Morning Drill: March 12, 2012
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: March 13, 2012

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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: March 12, 2012

Gingrich and Perry The Morning Flap: March 12, 2012

A Newt Ginrich – Rick Perry GOP Ticket?

These are my links for March 9th through March 12th:

share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: March 12, 2012

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

Rick Santorum at CPAC 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:

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

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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: February 2, 2012

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

  • In Bad Break for Romney, He Wins Trump’s Endorsement – A portion of today’s Morning Jolt covers the reports last night that Donald Trump would endorse Newt Gingrich for president. Moments ago, news broke that Trump would endorse Romney.

    Sigh.

  • 2012 Michigan Republican Primary – Romney 38%, Gingrich 23%, Santorum 17%, Paul 14% – Mitt Romney, coming off his big win in the Florida Primary on Tuesday, is the clear front-runner in the first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the Republican presidential race in his home state of Michigan. Voters in this hard hit state see Romney as the much better choice to manage the economy. The Michigan Republican Primary is on February 28.

    Romney earns 38% support from Likely Republican Primary Voters in Michigan, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich a distant second with 23% of the vote. Seventeen percent (17%) prefer former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, and nearly as many (14%) favor Texas Congressman Ron Paul. One percent (1%) like some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided

  • Coulter’s shameful defense of Romneycare – Ann Coulter’s support for Mitt Romney entered a new stage today with a column offering an all out embrace of Romneycare. In the process, she insults the intelligence of conservative critics of the law and doesn’t address their actual arguments against it.

    Her first defense of the law is to name other conservatives who supported it at the time. So what? Many of us were opposed to it all along. For instance, in August 2006, before Barack Obama even announced he was seeking the presidency, I fretted that Romney’s support for universal health care made him the natural heir to President Bush’s big government “compassionate conservatism.” In July 2007, I wrote that, “It is hard to imagine anything representing a greater affront to conservative principles than using government to coerce private citizens into purchasing healthcare.” David Hogberg was another early critic, among many others.

  • Have Democrats Succeeded in Pre-Destroying Romney? - – Tuesday’s installment of the left’s crusade to destroy Mitt Romney began like this: an operator chirping, “I’d like to welcome you today to the Mitt Romney Would Destroy Social Security and Medicare Conference Call.”

    A few moments later, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was on the line. “Thanks, everybody, for joining the call today,” she began. Within minutes, she had accused Romney of “political pandering,” supporting “the extreme tea party agenda,” and lying to senior citizens, Hispanics and supporters of the space program.

    Just another day in the life of the vast left-wing conspiracy.

    Practically every day for months, Democrats and their allies have been hammering Romney like this. Unions, party committees at the national and state levels, independent groups such as American Bridge and Americans United for Change, and the Obama campaign itself have undertaken an unprecedented effort to tarnish the front-runner while virtually ignoring the rest of the GOP candidates. And it appears to be working.

    Even as he finds increasing success in the Republican primary, negative views of Romney have skyrocketed, particularly among independents, according to recent polls. An ABC News/Washington Post survey released last week, for example, found Romney viewed unfavorably by 49 percent of voters and favorably by just 31 percent. Among independents, just 23 percent viewed Romney favorably, compared to 51 percent who felt that way about President Obama.

    One emerging strain of the conventional wisdom holds that it’s the harsh attacks on Romney from Newt Gingrich — and blowback from Romney’s own brutally negative campaign — that’s causing this to happen. Democrats have been pushing this line, in fact, arguing that Romney is winning at a steep cost and will limp into the general election bruised beyond repair.

  • The National Review’s Candidate Won’t Stop Digging – It is days like today that make me thankful I think they all suck. At least I’m thankful I’m in the firmly not Romney camp.

    Having told us only Romney was viable (with half-nods to Huntsman and Santorum) and having trotted out Elliot Abrams to smear Newt Gingrich with out of context quotes, even National Review is having trouble defending their candidate today.

    This morning Mitt Romney said he wasn’t concerned about the poor. The poor, after all, have food stamps and Medicaid. But don’t worry. If the safety net is broken, Patrician Mitt Romney will fix it so the poor can stay comfortably poor. After all, just look what he did in Massachusetts. The poor can now wait 44 days to get in to see a doctor. Excelsior!

    After making sure we all understood the poor were for the Democrats to be worried about, Romney decided to keep digging his hole even bigger. By the end of the day, Jim DeMint had to rebuke him.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: February 2, 2012 – The Morning Drill: February 2, 2012
  • Romney derangement syndrome (on the right) – So what gives? Perhaps it is frustration, especially among talk-show hosts, at not being able to derail Romney. Maybe some shrill bloggers understand that Romney threatens to prove that they are less in tune with Republicans than the “squishy” Republican candidates and officeholders. And maybe conservative political journalists have more in common with their mainstream counterparts than they’d like to admit — a suspicion of wealth, ignorance of the business world and a fixation on the candidates’ interaction with them. After all, Romney never really courted and flattered conservative pundits the way Newt Gingrich did (especially by bashing the mainstream media competition).

    None of this is to say there isn’t strong and valid opposition to Romney in the conservative press. (Michelle Malkin, who recently endorsed Santorum, and staunch critics of Romneycare certainly fit this description.) But it’s hard to ignore the conclusion that for some in the conservative press there is an element of anti-Romney animosity that is not quite grounded in reason or ideological consistency — it is personal. And other than Romney’s being “handsome, rich and successful,” as Kathleen put it, it’s really hard to fathom where it comes from.

  • Day By Day February 2, 2012 – Share the Wealth | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day February 2, 2012 – Share the Wealth
  • Romney Poised for Blowout Win in Nevada – A new Las Vegas Review-Journal poll in Nevada finds Mitt Romney leading the GOP presidential race with 45%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 25%, Rick Santorum at 11% and Ron Paul at 9%.

    However, Carl Bunce, the Nevada chairman of the Paul campaign, “dismissed the poll results, saying most Paul supporters refuse to participate or lie in surveys because of a bad experience in Nevada four years ago. He said Sen. John McCain’s campaign did robocalls to identify Paul supporters and then sidelined them at the state party convention.”

  • GOP 12: Romney cruising in Nevada – RT @GOP12: Gingrich more than doubles Santorum in Nevada.
  • Report says Trump set to endorse Gingrich Thursday in Vegas – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room – RT @thehill: Report claims Trump will endorse Gingrich #tcot #GOP2012
  • (404) http://t.co/y0 – RT @jimgeraghty: Great news, President Obama! Consumer confidence is almost back up to the Carter 1980, Bush 1992 levels! …
  • Romney poised to roll, poll shows – News – ReviewJournal.com – RT @jaketapper: NV poll – Romney 45, Gingrich 25, Santorum 11, Paul 9 >
  • (404) http://t.co/3PZC – RT @WestWingReport: Gallup: 44% approve of #Obama, 49% don’t (month ago 45-47); Avg. of all recent polls: 46.5%-47.9% ( …
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-02 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-02
  • Panetta: U.S., NATO will seek to end Afghan combat mission next year – The United States and NATO will seek to end their combat mission in Afghanistan next year and shift to a role of providing support and training to Afghan security forces, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Wednesday.

    U.S. military commanders had said in recent weeks they would begin a transition this year toward taking more of an advisory role as Afghanistan’s national army and police take greater responsibility for fighting the insurgency. But Panetta’s remarks were the first time the Obama administration has said it could foresee an end to regular U.S. and NATO combat operations by the second half of next year.

  • Figures on government spending and debt – Figures on government spending and debt (last six digits are eliminated). The government’s fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.
    Total public debt subject to limit Jan. 30 15,313,699
    Statutory debt limit 16,394,000
    Total public debt outstanding Jan. 30 15,356,140
    Operating balance Jan. 30 158,596
    Interest fiscal year 2012 through December 62,662
    Interest same period 2011 56,780
    Deficit fiscal year 2012 through December 321,735
    Deficit same period 2011 368,960
    Receipts fiscal year 2012 through December 555,437
    Receipts same period 2011 531,797
    Outlays fiscal year 2012 through December 877,173
    Outlays same period 2011 900,757
    Gold assets in January 11,041
  • San Onofre Nuclear Plant Closed After Radiation Leak – A small quantity of radioactive gas leaked inside one of the buildings at San Onofre nuclear power plant north of San Diego, according to a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    The spokesman said the radiation levels were “barely measurable,” but the plant was shut down as a precaution.

    “At no point were the public or our workers in any danger,” Southern California Edison spokesman Gil Alexander told ABC News.

    Officials say the radiation leak likely occurred in the steam generator tubes of San Onofre’s reactor #3. The steam system, which is supposed to be shielded from exposure to radiation, was replaced in December 2010. Alexander said plant officials will be conducting an investigation into why the new steam tubes leaked.

  • Cities with highest and lowest unemployment rates – Nearly 90 percent of major U.S. cities had lower unemployment rates in December than the same month a year earlier, a reflection of stronger hiring nationwide.
    The Labor Department said Wednesday that unemployment rates fell in 329 cities last year. They rose in 37 cities and were unchanged in seven.
    The national unemployment rate fell in December to 8.5 percent – the lowest level in nearly three years. Employers added 200,000 net jobs, the sixth straight month of solid hiring.
    Unemployment rates rose from November to December in a majority of U.S. cities. However monthly metro area unemployment data can be volatile because they aren’t adjusted for seasonal variations, such as holiday hiring.
    The government will report Friday on U.S. hiring and unemployment in January.
    Below are the cities with the highest and lowest rates:
    Best and Worst Metro areas
    Figures are in percentages
    Highest unemployment rates December 2011
    El Centro, Calif. 26.8
    Yuma, Ariz. 23.1
    Merced, Calif. 18.7
    Yuba City, Calif. 18.1
    Visalia-Porterville, Calif. 16.2
    Fresno, Calif. 16.2
    Modesto, Calif. 16.1
    Stockton, Calif. 15.9
    Hanford-Corcoran, Calif. 15.3
    Ocean City, N.J. 15.1
    Lowest unemployment rates December 2011
    Bismarck, N.D. 3.2
    Lincoln, Neb. 3.6
    Fargo, N.D. 3.7
    Burlington, Vt. 3.8
    Logan, Utah 3.9
    Midland, Texas 3.9
    Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, La. 4.3
    Sioux Falls, S.D. 4.3
    Ames, Iowa 4.3
    Iowa City, Iowa 4.3
  • Mark Levin’s rebuttal of Ann Coulter’s “Three Cheers for RomneyCare” article » The Right Scoop - – RT @trscoop: Mark Levin’s rebuttal of Ann Coulter’s “Three Cheers for RomneyCare” article: #tcot
  • Capitol Alert: Tobacco tax backers launch campaign with swipe at opponents – RT @CapitolAlert: Tobacco tax backers launch campaign with swipe at opponents
  • Hub’s Kelly Evans Exits WSJ For CNBC – Deadline.com – Good Luck Kelly! LRT @NikkiFinke: Report: Kelly Evans Exits Wall Street Journal For CNBC
  • Ann Coulter – February 1, 2012 – THREE CHEERS FOR ROMNEYCARE! – RT @philipaklein: Coulter goes all in defending Romneycare, doesnt even address actual conservative objections
  • President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Romney Regains the National Poll Lead from Gingrich | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Romney Regains the National Poll Lead from Gingrich
  • Defense Industry Helping McKeon’s Wife’s Campaign – Influence Alley – How about bought and paid for | RT @nationaljournal: Defense Industry Helping Rep. McKeon’s Wife’s Campaign –
  • Romney supports automatic hikes in minimum wage – seattlepi.com – REAL CONSERVATIVE Mitt Romney supports automatic hikes in minimum wage #tcot
  • Romney supports automatic hikes in minimum wage – epublican presidential contender Mitt Romney renewed his support Wednesday for automatic increases in the federal minimum wage to keep pace with inflation, a position sharply at odds with traditional GOP business allies, conservatives and the party’s senior lawmakers.

    “I haven’t changed my thoughts on that,” the former Massachusetts governor told reporters aboard his chartered campaign plane, referring to a stand he has held for a decade.

    He did not say if he would ask Congress to approve the change if he wins the White House this fall.

    Congress first enacted federal minimum wage legislation in 1938 and has raised it sporadically in the years since. The last increase, approved in 2007, took effect in three installments and reached $7.25 an hour for covered workers effective July 24, 2009.

    It has never been allowed to rise automatically, as Romney envisions.

  • Capitol Alert: Fundraising totals for hot California legislative contests – Fundraising totals for hot California legislative contests
  • McCaskill numbers down – Public Policy Polling – Say Good Bye Claire | RT @ppppolls: Claire McCaskill is tied with all 3 of her potential Republican opponents at 43%:
  • Obama pushes plan to help homeowners with underwater mortgages – President Obama on Wednesday announced a string of proposals aimed at helping to rejuvenate the sagging housing market, including one plan that would allow responsible homeowners to take advantage of historically low interest rates.

    As the housing market enters its fourth year of high foreclosures and sluggish sales, the president said his proposal — targeted at the middle class — would help homeowners save about $3,000 a year, without “red tape” or a “runaround” from banks.

  • Theodore Olson: Obama’s Enemies List – How would you feel if aides to the president of the United States singled you out by name for attack, and if you were featured prominently in the president’s re-election campaign as an enemy of the people?

    What would you do if the White House engaged in derogatory speculative innuendo about the integrity of your tax returns? Suppose also that the president’s surrogates and allies in the media regularly attacked you, sullied your reputation and questioned your integrity. On top of all of that, what if a leading member of the president’s party in Congress demanded your appearance before a congressional committee this week so that you could be interrogated about the Keystone XL oil pipeline project in which you have repeatedly—and accurately—stated that you have no involvement?

    Consider that all this is happening because you have been selected as an attractive political punching bag by the president’s re-election team. This is precisely what has happened to Charles and David Koch, even though they are private citizens, and neither is a candidate for the president’s or anyone else’s office.

  • Gingrich 2012? Going, Going, Gone – Last week, New York magazine’s John Heilemann pointed out a deep truth about Newt Gingrich’s peculiar presidential campaign: The very media elite that Gingrich delights in hammering has actually been in his corner all along. The press likes a horse race; the press likes outsize personalities; the press favors an underdog; and the press even takes a strange sort of delight in being ruthlessly attacked.

    Of course most political reporters don’t want Gingrich in the White House. But they’ve had every incentive to keep him in the headlines and overrate his odds of defeating Mitt Romney for the nomination.

    Tuesday night’s Floridian drubbing won’t change those incentives, so we can expect a last burst of media chatter about how Gingrich could still recover, ride a wilderness campaign to a Super Tuesday comeback and fight Romney tooth and nail all the way to the convention. But chatter is all it will be. For Gingrich and his media enablers alike, the dream died in Florida – and here are four reasons why.

    If Gingrich can’t compete in Florida, he can’t compete nationally.

  • Komen breast cancer charity severs ties with Planned Parenthood – latimes.com – Susan G. Komen for the Cure says it will stop funding Planned Parenthood centers
  • Koch group quietly met in Indian Wells | The Desert Sun | MyDesert.com – Koch group quietly met in Indian Wells
  • U.S. Job Creation Best Since September 2008 – Poll Watch: U.S. Job Creation Best Since September 2008: via
  • The Morning Flap: February 1, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: February 1, 2012
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Day By Day by Chris Muir

Memories from Afghanistan?

Looks like Zed’s compadre from the Afghanistan War has made it to the states.

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