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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: October 25, 2012

Romney Gender Gap Gone The Morning Flap: October 25, 2012

These are my links for October 24th through October 25th:

  • AP poll: Romney erases Obama advantage among women- What gender gap?Less than two weeks out from Election Day, Republican Mitt Romney has erased President Barack Obama’s 16-point advantage among women, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows. And the president, in turn, has largely eliminated Romney’s edge among men.Those churning gender dynamics leave the presidential race still a virtual dead heat, with Romney favored by 47 percent of likely voters and Obama by 45 percent, a result within the poll’s margin of sampling error, the survey shows.After a commanding first debate performance and a generally good month, Romney has gained ground with Americans on a number of important fronts, including their confidence in how he would handle the economy and their impressions of his ability to understand their problems.

    At the same time, expectations that Obama will be re-elected have slipped: Half of voters now expect the president to win a second term, down from 55 percent a month earlier.

  • Support plunges for Prop. 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative- Support has plunged for Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to raise billions of dollars in taxes, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll shows, with less than half of voters planning to cast ballots in favor of the measure.Only 46% of registered voters now support Brown’s initiative, a 9-point drop over the last month, and 42% oppose it. The findings follow a lackluster month of campaigning by the governor, who had spent little time on the stump and found himself fighting off attacks from backers of a separate ballot measure that would raise taxes for schools.
  • Colorado remains big prize as Romney, Obama hold campaign rallies- It was after sunset as the flashing lights of Mitt Romney’s motorcade began the steep and winding climb up the hills west of Denver on Tuesday. By the time the Republican candidate arrived at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, the rocks were rocking.Blue lights bathed the rock walls flanking the seating area. The Romney campaign’s stylized “R” logo was projected in white against the rocks. At the opposite end of the vast open-air setting, five American flags were hanging high up at the back of the big stage. The stage had a faux-autumn, western setting of fence posts, artificial grass, rocks and shrubs. The night air was seasonably warm.
  • Rove: Strategies for the Stretch Run to Nov. 6- This year’s presidential election was transformed between the first debate’s opening statements in Denver and the closing statements in Boca Raton. As a result, most of the negative impressions created by the Obama campaign’s five-month, $300-million television advertising barrage were destroyed. Seen unfiltered, Gov. Mitt Romney came across as an earnest, straightforward, thoughtful conservative with a concrete plan for the nation’s future.Wednesday’s RealClearPolitics.com average of polls showed Mr. Romney with 48% support to President Barack Obama’s 47.1%. On the eve of the Denver debate, Mr. Romney had 46% and Mr. Obama 49.1%.More revealing, in the past week’s 40 national surveys, Mr. Romney was at or above 50% in 11, with Mr. Obama at or above 50% in one. Mr. Romney leads 48.9% to 46.7% in an average of these surveys. At this same point in 2004, President George W. Bush led Sen. John Kerry in this composite average, 48.9% to 45.8%.So what are each candidate’s strategies for the stretch run?

    New television spots reveal the Romney campaign’s closing message. One says another four years for Mr. Obama would mean more debt, up to 20 million people losing their employer-provided health insurance, higher taxes, rising energy prices and Medicare cuts. Other ads emphasize Mr. Romney has a plan for jobs and showcase his success as a Republican governor in a Democratic state

  • Suburbs Swing to Debate-Tested Romney- Back in May, I wrote a column laying out possible scenarios for the 2012 campaign different from the conventional wisdom that it would be a long, hard slog through a fixed list of target states like the race in 2004.I thought alternatives were possible because partisan preferences in the half dozen years before 2004 were very stable, while partisan preferences over the last half dozen years have been anything but.Now, after Mitt Romney’s big victory in the Oct. 3 debate and his solid performances in the Oct. 16 and 22 debates, there is evidence that two of my alternative scenarios may be unfolding.The list of target states has certainly not been fixed. Barack Obama’s campaign spent huge sums on anti-Romney ads to create a firewall in three states that the president won narrowly in 2008 — Florida, Ohio and Virginia. But post-debate polling shows Romney ahead in Florida and tied in Virginia.

    National Journal’s Major Garrett reported last week that Obama strategist David Plouffe omitted Florida and Virginia in a list of key states but mentioned Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. Obama carried the latter three by 10, 10 and 12 points in 2008.

  • Obama’s Blunder Was in Ceding Political Center to Romney- The third and final presidential debate did little to change the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, who are tied with just two weeks to go. Even so, this week’s inconsequential contest provides a key of sorts to understanding the election.In the first debate — which was consequential and then some — Romney abruptly changed from the severely conservative Republican he’d presented to voters during the primaries to the reassuringly pragmatic moderate he’d seemed as governor of Massachusetts. It was an audacious move, and one that strains credulity, in two respects: for the sheer distance in ideology he had to walk back, and for the timing, because he left this second outrageous pivot so late in the campaign.In the last debate, focused mainly on foreign policy, he moved further toward moderation. He struck a conciliatory tone and found little in what Obama said to disagree with, making the encounter in one sense a nonevent. He was cautious to a fault, careful to avoid seeming recklessly hawkish, allaying concerns that under his leadership the U.S. might blunder into another war. This peacemaking Romney couldn’t have won the Republican nomination. But he could very well win on Nov. 6.
  • How Bill Clinton May Have Hurt the Obama Campaign- When the histories of the 2012 campaign are written, much will be made of Bill Clinton’s re-emergence. His convention speech may well have marked the finest moment of President Obama’s re-election campaign, and his ads on the president’s behalf were memorable.But there is one crucial way in which the 42nd president may not have served the 44th quite as well. In these final weeks before the election, Mr. Clinton’s expert advice about how to beat Mitt Romney is starting to look suspect.You may recall that last spring, just after Mr. Romney locked up the Republican nomination, Mr. Obama’s team abruptly switched its strategy for how to define him. Up to then, the White House had been portraying Mr. Romney much as George W. Bush had gone after John Kerry in 2004 – as inauthentic and inconstant, a soulless climber who would say anything to get the job.
  • Paul Ryan to Campaign and Trick or Treat in Wisconsin- In a week Paul Ryan will campaign in the battleground state of Wisconsin but the visit was partially designed so the GOP vice presidential can be with his kids on Halloween.Ryan made it clear he won’t miss being with his kids on the dress-up holiday in a radio interview earlier this month.The seven-term congressman, wife Janna and three children live on the same block that Ryan grew up on in Janesville.“I’m taking my kids trick-or-treating, and so, that’s a big tradition we have in my neighborhood. We trick-or-treat at the same houses I trick-or-treated in as a kid growing up,” Ryan said in a radio interview on the Jerry Bader Show on Oct. 19. “And so, around that time, I’m going to spend a good deal of time in Wisconsin.”

    The race in Wisconsin is considered a “toss up” on CNN’s Electoral Map. The state took on greater importance after Ryan became Mitt Romney’s running mate and recent polls show President Barack Obama still has a slight edge in Ryan’s home state.

    In the same interview that aired on WTAQ in Green Bay he said, “I’m planning a swing through the state and throughout the major cities, as many as I can get.”

    A Ryan aide confirmed the Halloween-day visit but would not elaborate what stops he will make or how long the visit will be.

  • Josh Kraushaar’s post on Capitol Hill Insiders | Latest updates on Sulia – RT @HotlineJosh News of the day: Hillary Clinton says she may stay on in second term as Sec/State, post-Benghazi
  • Obama Asks for Another Chance to Meet His Goals, Including Immigration Amnesty- President Barack Obama asked the Iowans who first voted for him as president to give him another chance to accomplish his goals, including the immigration overhaul that he predicts Republicans will want to accomplish if they are defeated in the White House race.The president kicked off the busiest day of his re-election campaign with an appeal to the Iowa voters who selected him in the first-in-the-nation Democratic caucus in 2008. Obama later won the state in the general election, but it’s a toss-up this year against Republican Mitt Romney and a suffering economy. Romney planned to visit the state later Wednesday with a stop in Cedar Rapids.
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-24 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-24
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-24 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-24 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-24 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-24
  • How the Obama team views the race’s final stretch, ctd. – The Plum Line – The Washington Post – RT @philipaklein RT @ThePlumLineGS: Dem internal polling puts Obama up between 3 and 5 points in Ohio:
  • Day By Day October 24, 2012 – Government Work – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day October 24, 2012 – Government Work #tcot
  • The Electoral College: State of the Presidential Race – Flap’s Blog – The Electoral College: State of the Presidential Race #tcot
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Heartland Dental Care Worth $1.3 Billion? – Heartland Dental Care Worth $1.3 Billion?
  • Netroots Bloggers Mark 10th Birthday in Decline and Struggling for Survival- Now, however, the Netroots, which were once thought to do to the political left what evangelical Christianity was supposed to do to the professional right, are 10 years old. In that time they vaulted Howard Dean to within a scream of the presidency, helped Democrats take both houses of Congress and several statehouses across the country, and gave the party what many in the movement believed to be some much-needed spine.But with another critical election two weeks away, politicians, political operatives, and even the bloggers themselves say the Netroots are a whisper of what they were only four years ago, a dial-up modem in a high-speed world, and that the brigade of laptop-wielding revolutionaries who stormed the convention castle four years ago have all but disappeared as a force within the Democratic Party.
  • Dentists ask patients about sex lives to fight oral cancer- Dentists are being urged to probe their patients’ personal lives to help curb rising rates of oral cancer.A leading charity wants to see dentists take a more active role in fighting the disease, which is claiming increasing numbers of lives in the UK.This could mean practitioners asking patients about lifestyle risk factors such as smoking, drinking and sexual behaviour.’We would like them to be more aware of the risk factors so that they ask the right questions,’ said Hazel Nunn, head of health evidence and information at Cancer Research UK.
    ‘Dentists should be asking their patients if they smoke or drink heavily. That doesn’t necessarily mean following up with a lecture, but they should be aware.
    ‘If a dentist is looking at someone’s teeth and knows this person smokes 50 cigarettes a day and drinks well above the recommended amount, he might look that extra bit more carefully.’
  • The Morning Flap: October 24, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: October 24, 2012 #tcot
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: June 7, 2012

Scott Walker Forward The Morning Flap: June 7, 2012

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

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

  • Walker Changes Attitudes on Public Employee Unions- The results are in, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has beaten Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in the recall election. That’s in line with pre-election polling, though not the Election Day exit poll. Even before the results came in, we knew one thing, and that is that the Democrats and the public employee unions had already lost the battle of ideas over the issue that sparked the recall, Walker’s legislation to restrict the bargaining powers of public employee unions.That’s supported by a Marquette University poll showing 75 percent of Wisconsin voters favoring increases in public employees’ contributions for health care and pensions. It also showed 55 percent for limiting collective bargaining for public employees and only 41 percent opposed.
  • Forget Wisconsin. The Unions’ Biggest Loss Was in California- Bad news for teachers and other public-sector employees: America is more than ready to cut your pensions and benefits. While most politicos had been focusing this week on the Wisconsin recall, an election 2,100 miles away in San Jose, Calif., may be a bigger harbinger of the kind of austerity voters are developing a taste for.In this city of about a million residents an hour south of San Francisco,voters on Tuesday approved arguably the country’s boldest pension cuts. San Jose’s Democratic mayor, Chuck Reed, has been grappling with ballooning pension costs that have increased from $73 million to $245 million in the last decade. Retirement costs already consume more than 20% of the city’s general fund, which helps explain why Reed was pushing San Jose to pass Measure B,which would give voters the power to approve increases in pension benefits and give the city the power to suspend automatic 3% annual raises during a fiscal crisis. The measure would also make workers contribute half the cost of their pensions; employees currently pay $3 for every $8 the city contributes, and the city is financially responsible for any shortfalls. Also included are provisions to curb the abuse of disability benefits. It’s a tough package —and will certainly be challenged in court because it changes benefits not only for future workers, something everyone agrees is legal, but for current ones as well. Nonetheless, voters passed it by a stunning margin of 69.5% in favor, 30.4% opposed. A pension reform measure also passed in San Diego.
  • Romney: Obama slowed recovery to push Obamacare- In an appearance in Texas Wednesday, Mitt Romney charged that President Obama “knowingly slowed down the recovery in this country…in order to put in place Obamacare.” The president’s action, Romney said, “deserves a lot of explaining.”Speaking to an audience at USAA, an insurance and financial services company headquartered in San Antonio, Romney cited a book, “The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery,” by the liberal journalist Noam Scheiber. In the book, Scheiber discussed Obama’s thinking on the question of whether, early in his term, to focus more attention on passing a national health care law or to devote more energy to bringing about economic recovery. As Scheiber put it, Obama saw health care as a bigger long-term accomplishment. “There was a strain of messianism in Barack Obama, a determination to change the course of history,” Scheiber wrote. “And it was this determination that explained his reluctance to abandon his presidential vision.” So health care it was.”I always admired the president’s courage for recognizing that fifty years from now people would remember that all Americans had health care,” former Obama economic adviser Larry Summers told Scheiber. “And even if pursuing health care affected the pace of the recovery, which was unlikely in my view, people wouldn’t remember how fast the recovery from this recession was.”
  • Senator Asks DOJ to Investigate SWAT-ting Attacks on Conservative Bloggers- A number of conservative bloggers allege they have been targeted through the use of harassment tactics such as SWAT-ting (fooling 911 operators into sending emergency teams to their homes), in retaliation for posts they have written, and now Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., has stepped into the matter. He has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to investigate the SWAT-ting cases to see if federal laws have been violated.”I am writing with concern regarding recent reports that several members of the community of online political commentators have been targeted with harassing and frightening actions. Any potentially criminal action that incites fear, seeks to silence a dissenting opinion, and collaterally wastes the resources of law enforcement should be given close scrutiny at all levels,” Chambliss wrote in the letter.
  • Exit poll: Wisconsin in play in November – The Wisconsin exit poll evidently reported the race for governor in the recall ballot as 50%-50%. With 92% of the vote in, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s excellent website reports the score as 54%-46% Walker. Let’s say that’s the final results: only 13% of precincts from Milwaukee County and 3% of precincts from Madison’s Dane County —the Democrats’ two reservoirs of big majorities—remain uncounted. It has been emblazoned on mainstream media that the exit poll also showed Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney in the state 51%-45%. But if you think the exit poll was 4% too Democratic—and that’s in line with exit poll discrepancies with actual vote results over the last decade, as documented by the exit poll pioneer, the late Warren Mitofsky*—that result looks more like 49%-47% Romney. Or assume the remaining Milwaukee County precincts whittle Republican Governor Scott Walker’s margin over Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to 53%-47%, which looks likely, the Obama-Romney numbers would look like 48%-48%
  • Rendell: Wisconsin recall a ‘dumb political fight’ for labor to pick- Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) ripped the unions and activists who charged forward in trying to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Wednesday, calling the push a political blunder.”It was a dumb political fight — I would have waited until Walker’s reelection,” Rendell told The Hill when asked if the recall push had been a mistake. The former governor and head of the Democratic National Committee pointed to exit polls that showed a number of independents and Democrats who opposed Walker’s policies nonetheless voted for him because they opposed a recall.
  • Barney Frank: Dems, unions made ‘big mistake’ in pushing for Wisconsin recall- Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) slammed unions and liberal activists for pushing to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).”I think the people on the Democratic side made a big mistake and the funding thing was a big deal,” Frank told The Hill Wednesday afternoon, alluding to Republicans’ big cash advantage in the race. “My side picked a fight they shouldn’t have picked. The recall was upsetting to people, the rerun of the election with [Democratic Milwaukee Mayor] Tom Barrett — it’s not a fight I would have picked.”
  • Obama frets after ‘terrifying’ recall vote- President Obama will need to double down on his efforts to keep Wisconsin safely in his column after Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) resounding victory in Tuesday’s recall election.Every Democratic presidential candidate since Walter Mondale in 1984 has won Wisconsin, but the Obama campaign “can’t view Wisconsin as being in the bank for them,” said Barry Burden, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “They’re definitely going to have to put more effort here than they were initially planning.”Political observers say Obama remains the odds-on favorite to win Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes, a sentiment reflected in exit polls showing the president leading Mitt Romney by a healthy margin.
  • Romney narrows gender- Mitt Romney has significantly narrowed the gender gap with President Obama despite massive Democratic attacks on the GOP over a variety of issues.As recently as April, Obama led Romney by 18 percent among women voters in a USA Today/Gallup poll of 12 swing states. The huge advantage with women gave Obama an overall edge of 9 percent.Recent polls show Romney has sliced into that lead.
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-06-07 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-06-07
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Republicans Vote for Linda Parks Tomorrow – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Republicans Vote for Linda Parks Tomorrow
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Republicans Vote for Linda Parks Tomorrow – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Republicans Vote for Linda Parks Tomorrow
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Republicans Vote for Linda Parks Tomorrow – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Republicans Vote for Linda Parks Tomorrow
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Republicans Vote for Linda Parks Tomorrow – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Republicans Vote for Linda Parks Tomorrow
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: How Will Dentistry Be Affected By ObamaCare – The Affordable Care Act? – How Will Dentistry Be Affected By ObamaCare – The Affordable Care Act?
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Republicans Vote for Linda Parks Tomorrow – RE:  LInda Parks proved to be the weakest candidate. Now, Strickland will face the full money and labor machine of th…
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: June 6, 2012 – The Morning Flap: June 6, 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
share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: May 3, 2012

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

Palin and Couric The Morning Flap: April 2, 2012

Photo via N.Y Daily News

These are my links for March 29th through April 2nd:

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

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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: December 14, 2011

These are my links for December 12th through December 14th:

  • Christine O’Donnell: I like Mitt Romney’s flip – Christine O’Donnell, who has endorsed Mitt Romney, appeared on CNN Wednesday and inadvertently drew attention to one of the charges against the former Massachusetts governor from his critics — flip-flopping.

    “That’s one of the things that I like about him — because he’s been consistent since he changed his mind,” O’Donnell said.

    She said Romney is “humble enough” to admit he doesn’t always have the right answers and is open to making the “necessary changes” to his own view points sometimes, but maintained that he never betrays his core convictions.

    O’Donnell, who had the backing of the tea partiers in the 2010 when she ran unsuccessfully for Senate in Delaware, also had a strong warning for members of the conservative movement: Don’t choose Newt Gingrich, no matter what.

    “People are trying to paint Newt Gingrich as the anti-establishment candidate, which I think is funny because in a lot of the tea party vs. establishment campaigns in 2010, Newt Gingrich was on the side of the establishment,” said O’Donnell. “The tea party I don’t think should be behind Newt at all.”

  • The Myth of the New Newt – All that is predictable about Newt is that he is unpredictable, and, irresistibly, an election that should be about President Obama and his record will become about the heat and light generated by his electric performance. That’s the way it was as speaker, too. Eventually, he wore out his welcome in epic fashion. Benjamin Franklin said any houseguest, like a fish, stinks after three days. With the public and his colleagues, Gingrich became the houseguest who would never leave.

    More than a decade after he was cashiered as speaker, he’s back on the basis of his superlative handling of the debates. He is better informed and has more philosophical depth than any of his rivals. Despite all his meanderings through the years, he knows how to win over a conservative audience as well as anyone. The debates have held out the alluring promise of a New Newt. But beware: The Old Newt lurks.

  • Mitt Romney at Bain – A Photo – I wonder how many times the Dems and Obama will use this photo in their ads?
  • Newt Gingrich commits a capital crime – Newt Gingrich — the friend of his detractors, to whom he offers serial vindications — provided on Monday redundant evidence for the proposition that he is the least conservative candidate seeking the Republican presidential nomination: He faulted Mitt Romney for committing acts of capitalism.

    Gingrich did so when goaded by Romney regarding his, Gingrich’s, self-described service as a “historian” for Freddie Mac, which paid him more handsomely than anyone paid Herodotus. Romney was asked by an interviewer about the $1.6 million Gingrich earned, or at any rate received, from Freddie Mac, the misbegotten government-backed mortgage giant. In the service of Washington’s bipartisan certitude that too few people owned houses, Freddie Mac helped produce the housing bubble and subsequent crash. It did so even though it paid Gingrich $30,000 an hour. That is about what he received if, as he says, he worked for Freddie Mac about an hour a month, telling it that what it was doing was “insane.”

  • Christine O’Donnell Endorses Mitt Romney for President – Christine O’Donnell, the former Republican Senate candidate and a tea party favorite during the 2010 election, has officially endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

    O’Donnell made her endorsement during an appearance this evening on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

    “It was not an easy decision because I too think any of our candidates would make a great president and a great candidate going against Barack Obama,” O’Donnell said. “But I think there are certain tie breakers and I know that in making my decision I might be hurting some people but I think infrastructure and executive experience are important, and for that reason I’m endorsing Mitt Romney.”

    “I’m very happy,” she added. “This is not anti-[Newt] Gingrich or anyone else, it’s a pro Gov. Romney endorsement.

    “I’m not arrogant to think that my endorsement will make or break his candidacy,” she said, adding she hopes people just “take a second look” at Romney.

  • Scarborough: Like Beck, I’d Consider Third-Party Ron Paul Over Gingrich – Today’s Morning Joe has been one long festival of Gingrich gouging.

    Joe Scarborough set the tone early. During the opening segment Scarborough announced that, like Glenn Beck, if the choice comes down to Obama vs. Gingrich, and Ron Paul is running as a third-party candidate, “I’m going to give him a long look.”

    Last week, Scarborough criticized Gingrich’s political persona, calling him a “terrible person” when he puts on his political helmet. Today, Scarborough focused on his policy differences with Newt, saying that Gingrich is “the opposite of being a small-government conservative.” Watch Scarborough contemplate a vote that he went on to acknowledge would hand the election to Barack Obama.

  • Gingrich needs Rudy Giuliani like he needs another marriage – I must say I got a chuckle out of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments Monday night on CNN: “My gut tells me right now as I look at it that Gingrich might actually be the stronger candidate, because I think he can make a broader connection than Mitt Romney to those Reagan Democrats. . . . You won’t have this barrier of possible elitism that I think Obama could exploit pretty effectively.”

    His timing couldn’t be worse. We’re beginning to see polling (and there will be more later today) showing that Gingrich lags significantly in electability. The Gallup-USA Today race reported: “In swing states, Obama trails former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among registered voters by 5 points, 43% vs. 48%, and former House speaker Newt Gingrich by 3, 45% vs. 48%. That’s a bit worse than the president fares nationwide, where he leads Gingrich 50%-44% and edges Romney 47%-46%.”

    UPDATE (3:35 p.m.): PPP is out with details from its new poll in Iowa. Gingrich is now at 22 percent and his lead is down to one point over Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), with Romney at 16 percent. Gingrich has gone from a plus-31 favorable rating (62/31 percent) to plus-12 (52/40 percent). He’s dropped 11 points with Tea Partyers.

  • Giuliani: Gingrich may be stronger than Romney – When it comes down to the battle between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, former New York mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said Monday he thought Gingrich might have an edge.

    Speaking to CNN’s Piers Morgan, Giuliani said the former House speaker’s appeal to a wide array of voters would help him, as opposed to potential problems Romney may have in relating to average Americans.

  • Trump pulls out of GOP debate – Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he will not moderate next month’s GOP debate sponsored by Newsmax.

    The reality televison show host’s decision came after most Republican presidential candidates declined to participate in the debate, with only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum agreeing to appear.

  • Axelrod Sets Sights on Gingrich – At briefing for reporters, Chicagoan says of the Georgian: “The higher a monkey climbs on the pole the more you can see his butt.”

    AND: Doesn’t forget to sneak in a Romney tweak: “Generally his practice has been to bet other people’s money, not his own.”

    PLUS: Bonus barb from Bam 2012 spox LaBolt: “The $10,000 bet may end up being Mitt Romney’s grocery-score scanner moment.”

  • When Truth Survives Free Speech – Last week, a story came across my desk that seemed to suggest that a blogger had been unfairly nailed with a $2.5 million defamation award after a judge refused to give her standing as a journalist. A businessman who was the target of the blogger’s inquiries brought the suit.

    I went to work on a blog post, filled with filial umbrage, saddened that the Man once again had used a boot heel to crush truth and free speech. But after doing a little reporting, I began to think that what scanned as an example of a rich businessman using the power of the courts to silence his critic was actually something else: a case of a blogger using the Web in unaccountable ways to decimate the reputation of someone who didn’t seem to have it coming.

    The ruling on whether she was a journalist in the eyes of the law turned out to be a MacGuffin, a detail that was very much beside the point. She didn’t so much report stories as use blogging, invective and search engine optimization to create an alternative reality. Journalists who initially came to her defense started to back away when they realized they weren’t really in the same business.

  • Dan Kennedy: The Real Danger in That Bloggers-Aren’t-Journalists Ruling – You may have heard that a Montana blogger must pay a $2.5 million libel judgment because a federal judge ruled she was not a journalist, and was thus not entitled to protect her anonymous sources.

    In fact, that’s not quite what happened. The case actually had little to do with whether bloggers have the same right to protect their sources as traditional journalists. But U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez’s opinion nevertheless threatens to weaken long-standing protections against libel suits, and to widen the already-gaping divide between the media and the rest of society.

    Let’s take the shield-law issue first.

    Crystal Cox, a self-described “investigative blogger,” was sued for libel by Obsidian Financial Group and one of its executives, Kevin Padrick, after Cox wrote that some of their business practices were “illegal” and “fraudulent.”

    As part of the discovery process, Obsidian demanded to know the identity of the confidential sources Cox said she had relied on in the course of reporting her story. The trial was to be held in Oregon, and she invoked that state’s shield law, which gives journalists a limited ability to protect their sources.

  • More on the journalists-aren’t-bloggers ruling – The redoubtable David Carr has an interesting column in today’s New York Times in which he reports that “investigative blogger” Crystal Cox’s conduct was considerably beyond the pale of what anyone would consider journalism. (My Huffington Post commentary on the case is here.)

    But if her behavior was that egregious, then the plaintiffs should have had no problem convincing a jury that she acted negligently (or worse). The negligence standard is a vital constitutional protection regardless of whether those benefitting from it are sympathetic figures.

    In order to prove libel, a plaintiff must show that information published or broadcast about him was false and defamatory. Starting with the 1964 case of New York Times v. Sullivan, the U.S. Supreme Court began to require a third element as well: fault. The regime that’s in effect today was solidified by the 1974 case of Gertz v. Robert Welch. Here’s what the courts mean by “fault”:

    A public official or public figure must show that what was published or broadcast about him was done so with knowing falsity, or with “reckless disregard” of whether it was true or false.
    A private figure must show that the defendant acted negligently when it published or broadcast false, defamatory information about the plaintiff.

    U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez, in his pretrial ruling, obliterated the fault requirement for any defendant except those he deems to be journalists, ignoring the Supreme Court’s longstanding position that the First Amendment applies equally to all of us — for the “lonely pamphleteer” as much as for major newspaper publishers, as Justice Byron White put it in Branzburg v. Hayes (1972).

    Hernandez’s contention that journalists enjoy greater free-speech protections than non-journalists is an outrage, and should not be allowed to stand.

  • The Morning Flap: December 12, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: December 12, 2011 #tcot #catcot
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: December 14, 2011

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