These are my links for the afternoon of December 10th
The Republicans’ dour problem– But there was one breakdown by subgroup that showed a marked divide on the hope factor. By a 57-17 margin, Democrats felt California will be a better place a dozen years from now. Republicans, by a margin of 54-23, believe the state is headed downhill.To some extent, these responses may reflect a chicken-or-the-egg situation. With Democrats in control of all the state’s political offices and institutions, Democratic voters might naturally believe things are headed in the direction they believe is upward. The inverse is likely true among Republicans.But no one wins elections by being dour.As California Republicans regroup and consider a turnaround strategy that must include outreach to the minority and women voters they lost badly this fall, they might also consider taking on one other challenge. Instead of focusing so heavily on what they believe will be the inevitable negative consequences of Democratic policies, they need to begin framing their arguments on why they believe their policies will create a brighter, more hopeful future.
I love how the Left-wing Democratic Ventura County Star California State editor likes to lecture the California GOP.
Timm, California has been a Democratic state for decades.
Now, it is deeply Blue due to the exodus (decline of California Aerospace economy, businesses moving to to other less taxed and regulated states) and retirement exodus/death of white middle class voters and the influx of non-white immigrants who vote predominantly Democratic.
Republicans will be a minority of voters, like New York and Massachusetts for decades to come.
Caffeinated coffee may reduce the risk of oral cancers– A new American Cancer Society study finds a strong inverse association between caffeinated coffee intake and oral/pharyngeal cancer mortality. The authors say people who drank more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day were at about half the risk of death of these often fatal cancers compared to those who only occasionally or who never drank coffee. The study is published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The authors say more research is needed to elucidate the biologic mechanisms that could be at work.Previous epidemiologic studies have suggested that coffee intake is associated with reduced risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer. To explore the finding further, researchers examined associations of caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea intake with fatal oral/pharyngeal cancer in the Cancer Prevention Study II, a prospective U.S. cohort study begun in 1982 by the American Cancer Society.
Census Report: California lost more people to other states than it gained in 2011– About 100,000 more Californians moved to another state in 2011 than California gained from other states, a new Census Bureau report reveals.However, more than a quarter-million persons relocated into California from other countries during the year and that, coupled with what demographers call “natural increase” – births minus deaths – meant that the state still gained population.The Census Bureau calculated that 562,343 Californians moved to other states during 2011 with the most popular destinations being Texas (58,992), Arizona (49,635), Nevada (40,114), Washington (38,421), Oregon (34,214), New York (25,761), Colorado (23,234) and Florida (22,420).Meanwhile, 468,428 residents of other states moved to California during the year, with the most numerous domestic immigrants coming from Texas (37,387), Washington (36,481), Nevada (36,159), Arizona (35,650), New York (25,269) and Florida (22,094).
RNC launches official review on 2012 election– The Republican National Committee is rolling out a plan to review what worked and what didn’t for the party in the 2012 cycle, appointing five people at the top of a committee that will make recommendations on things like demographics, messaging and fundraising.The Growth and Opportunity Project is going to be chaired by RNC committee member Henry Barbour, longtime Jeb Bush adviser and political operative Sally Bradshaw, former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, Puerto Rico RNC committee member Zori Fonalledas, and South Carolina RNC member Glenn McCall. Priebus, who is running for a second term, is holding a call with committee members to roll out the plan this afternoon.The plan is to focus on: campaign mechanics, fundraising, demographics, messaging, outside groups, campaign finance, the national primary process and, last but not least, what the successful Democratic efforts revealed about the way forward, and recommend plans for the way forward, sources familiar with the plan said.
Delta Dental of California wins five-year $2.6B Defense Department contract – Delta Dental of California said Thursday that it’s been awarded a new five-year. $2.6 billion U.S. Department of Defense contract for the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program.
However, most of the $2.6 billion is paid out to dentists who provide services for enrollees in the program, according to a Delta Dental of California spokeswoman. On other contracts, Delta Dental has said it gets roughly 10 percent of the total.
The contract renews an existing five-year deal. The program, first authorized by Congress in 1997, offers voluntary dental benefits to the nation’s 5 million uniformed services’ retirees and family members, according to the company. Currently, it serves 1.3 million enrolleess.
(404) http://t.co/xgS – RT @nikkihaley: As I continue to consider the impending U.S. Senate vacancy, many have discussed the possibility of a… …
Marriage and Self-Government – National Review– The Supreme Court should reverse these lower-court rulings, and straightforwardly affirm the right of the people in any state to act, constitutionally or legislatively, to adopt the traditional view of marriage as a relationship oriented toward procreation. The justices need not themselves hold that view — they may consider it outmoded or rationally inferior to a conception of marriage that treats it first and foremost as an emotional union of adults — to see that the Constitution erects no barrier to it, and that states therefore have the freedom to act on it.Of the various arguments advanced for a constitutional “right” of same-sex marriage, none withstands even momentary scrutiny by accepted standards. Are gays and lesbians a powerless and oppressed minority? One can hardly say that after the November elections, in which the cause of same-sex marriage was victorious in four states, in a year when it was also embraced by the president of the United States and enshrined in the platform of the larger of our major parties. Is it rationally indefensible to reserve the institution of marriage to the only kind of union — one man and one woman — that is capable of procreation, and to the kind of union that is proven to be the best general setting for the rearing of children? The question answers itself.
The Sebelius Coverup – Obamacare’s insurance exchanges need scrutiny – Many states are wisely signaling that they aren’t interested in doing the Obama administration’s bidding on Obamacare. As a result, many if not most of Obamacare’s insurance exchanges — the heart of the beast — will have to be set up and run by the Obama administration at the federal level.
When Obamacare fails: The playbook for market-based reform – Amid a protracted rollout, the real-world evidence keeps mounting: the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is too costly to finance, too difficult to administer, too burdensome on doctors, and too disruptive of health care arrangements that Americans prefer. The need to replace it has never been stronger, yet full repeal is unviable in the short-term. The long-term task for reformers is to lay out a convincing case, not for a return to the former status quo, but for the kind of patient-centered health care system only a market-based model can deliver. But what policy changes would that entail? And what would they mean for patients and providers? American Enterprise Institute resident fellow Tom Miller answers these and other questions:
Notre Dame Professor: Upwardly Mobile Mexican-Americans Not Moving Right– Professor Jose E. Limon, director of the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame, made an interesting contribution to the discussion of the Latino vote Monday night at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington. He suggested that identification with the Democratic Party has solidified as an enduring feature of Mexican-American identity.Here are some excerpts from his comments, which came during a discussion of a new book, Mexico & Mexicans in the Making of the United States:After observing that the Latino vote comes “substantially” from the middle class and lower-middle class, Limon said:We have this model of political behavior that also says to us that when a class acquires middle-class status, it starts shifting to the right. That has not happened with Mexican-Americans. I can’t tell you it might not happen 30 years from now, but right now that doesn’t seem to be happening. We are seeing the emergence of a Mexican-American middle class that is decidedly bicultural in many ways, in some cases decidedly bilingual, and that is also still upholding its traditional historical adherence to the progressive Democratic Party.
November election was a tipping point for California ethnic voters– It’s no secret that California’s population has been getting more diverse for decades. More recently, the composition of the state’s electorate has begun to mirror the population. But the people who actually showed up and voted on Election Day have remained whiter, and older, than the pool of registered voters.No more.It appears that for the first time, California Latinos, Asian-Americans and blacks voted last month in numbers roughly equivalent to their share of registered voters. About 40 percent of California’s electorate is now non-white. And ethnic voters made up about 40 percent of those who mailed in their ballots or went to the polls Nov. 6.This should be a wake-up call to Republicans, here and across the country.
While white voters in California still lean conservative and will support Republican candidates, ethnic voters are overwhelmingly Democrats or independents who sympathize with that party. If Republicans can no longer count on large numbers of those voters to stay home on election day, the party is going to have to appeal to them — or risk permanent irrelevance.
No tipping point Dan.
California is a blue state that has become more blue with the decline of the white population (deaths and out migration).
The California GOP except in a few areas of the state where whites and the affluent predominate will be irrelevant – just like in New York and Illinois.
PUC set to OK free phones for homeless – Come and Get Your Obama Phone Californians– Homeless and other poor people in California are on track to soon get virtually free cell phones and service so they can keep in touch with family, potential employers and others crucial to improving their lives.The cell phones would be handed out through a federally funded Lifeline program – already operated by service provider Assurance Wireless in 36 other states – that is likely to win final approval in the next couple of weeks from the California Public Utilities Commission.========California has gone mad…..
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.
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.
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.’
Newt Gingrich will officially end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and formally express his support for Mitt Romney next week, two sources close to Gingrich tell CNN.
While details are still being worked out, Gingrich is likely to hold his final campaign event Tuesday in Washington, DC where he will make the announcement surrounded by his family and supporters.
It is not surprising that Gingrich is suspending his campaign for the White House as he has all but acknowledged it is winding down and Romney is the presumptive GOP nominee.
“When he says he is transitioning, what he means is that he is trying to determine as a citizen how he will pro-actively help Mitt Romney become president and the Republican Party win back the Senate and help (House Speaker) John Boehner keep his majority in the House,” said one of the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
It appears that Gingrich’s focus will be much broader than the presidential campaign, as the former speaker, who made his name and career in the House, plans to be actively involved in helping the GOP take back control of both sides of Capitol Hill.
The Arizona Faceoff – The Administration Tries to Nullify a State Immigration Statute – The Supreme Court hears oral arguments Wednesday in that other major case that has the political class on edge—Arizona’s immigration law. As with health care’s individual mandate, the Obama Administration is again making claims about the scope of federal power that upset the Constitution’s federalist structure—in this case, to unilaterally nullify state laws that the President happens to oppose.The Justice Department sued Arizona for its 2010 law that requires police to enforce federal immigration statutes. Justice charged that Republican Governor Jan Brewer violated the Supremacy Clause that says federal laws pre-empt state laws. And ordinarily the Administration lawyers would have a point, since the Constitution expressly tells Congress to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” and the courts have long interpreted that to mean that Congress has plenary power over immigration policy.
5 Ways to Jumpstart Cancer Prevention – Know most cancers are preventable. Cancer isn’t all genetics or bad luck. Research confirms more than half of cancer in the U.S. is preventable. The top preventable causes of cancer are lifestyle choices: smoking, obesity, diet, and lack of physical activity (PDF). In 2011, there were 572,000 deaths from cancer. That’s at least 286,000 people that could be alive today had they modified just one of those risk factors. We as a society need to make changes in the way we live and shift our thinking about cancer prevention and wellness.
PokerStars Reaches Agreement to Buy Full Tilt, Settle with DOJ – PokerStars has reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice, pokerfuse can reveal. Part of the deal involves the purchase of Full Tilt Poker and full repayment of all players.The specifics of the deal are not yet known, and no statement has yet come from any parties involved.
Rumors that PokerStars has reached a deal with the DOJ to purchase Full Tilt Poker began swirling early Tuesday morning on poker forum 2+2. Sources have corroborated the story with Pokerfuse that a deal has indeed been reached but could not confirm any specific details.
Alex Dreyfus, CEO of Chili Gaming, stated on twitter that PokerStars has paid $750m to acquire Full Tilt and settle its outstanding legal issues with the DOJ. A reported $330m of that price will go to repay Full Tilt account holders with the remainder believed to be in settlement of outstanding charges against PokerStars.
How a British Marathoner’s Death Inspired Over $825,000 in Online Donations – The death of a British runner during Sunday’s London Marathon has inspired over $825,000 in online donations for Samaritans, the charity she was was supporting.Claire Squires, 30, a hairdresser from Leicestershire, England, was just one mile away from the finish line when she collapsed. Squires was pronounced dead on the scene, and investigations into the cause of her death are expected in the coming days.
Squires’ death has sparked an outpouring of donations to her JustGiving page, which states, “I’m running the london (sic) marathon for Samaritans because they continuously support others.” As of writing, more than 45,000 individual donations have accumulated, and the number continues to grow.
Samaritans is the world’s oldest and largest suicide prevention network. According to the Daily Telegraph, Squires’ brother died from an overdose in 2001 at the age of 25. Her mother has also volunteered for the charity for more than 20 years.
The Long Stall – California’s jobs engine broke down well before the financial crisis. – Everybody knows that California’s economy has struggled mightily since the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession. The state’s current unemployment rate, 12.1 percent, is a full 3 percentage points above the national rate. Liberal pundits and politicians tend to blame this dismal performance entirely on the Great Recession; as Jerry Brown put it while campaigning (successfully) for governor last year, “I’ve seen recessions. They come, they go. California always comes back.”But a study commissioned by City Journal using the National Establishment Time Series database, which has tracked job creation and migration from 1992 through 2008 (so far) in a way that government statistics can’t, reveals the disturbing truth. California’s economy during the second half of that period—2000 through 2008—was far less vibrant and diverse than it had been during the first. Well before the crisis struck, then, the Golden State was setting itself up for a big fall.
California’s population growth is slowing dramatically, study finds – California’s population will grow much more slowly in the next few decades — and that is good news for the state’s still-struggling economy, according to new population projections by USC.The report by USC researchers John Pitkin and Dowell Myers says that through 2050, at least, the state’s population growth will not reach the boom rates of recent decades, especially the 1980s. But California’s population, now about 37 million, will still grow at “manageable” rate for years to come, Myers said.
The report, the third in a series of population projections by the Population Dynamics Research Group in USC’s public policy school, says the slowdown is mainly the result of a dramatic drop in immigration to the state, part of a nationwide trend.
The report expects the California population to grow at less than 10% for each of the next several decades. By comparison, the population surged 26% — more than 6 million people — in the 1980s, a decade the researchers now say was an anomaly. The growth rate was 14% in the 1990s and 10% in the decade just ended.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and President Obama yesterday
These are my links for January 25th through January 26th:
Apple’s iPad and the Human Costs for Workers in China – In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing. Apple and its high-technology peers — as well as dozens of other American industries — have achieved a pace of innovation nearly unmatched in modern history.
However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems.
Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors.
More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers’ disregard for workers’ health. Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant, according to a Chinese group that published that warning.
Thou Shalt Not Write Bad Things About Obama – Drudge has a story about Obama getting off of Air Force One in Arizona, greeting Republican governor Jan Brewer, and immediately giving her a piece of his mind. Evidently our president did not appreciate something Brewer wrote about him. According to the pool report, they had a testy exchange from which the president walked away as Brewer was still speaking.
Sound familiar? Bobby Jindal got the same treatment when Obama came to visit Louisiana and the governor met him on the tarmac
“He’s not going to ask me to stay on, I’m pretty confident,” Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. “I’m confident he’ll be president. But I’m also confident he’s going to have the privilege of having another secretary of the Treasury.”
Geithner, 50, has led President Barack Obama’s efforts to pull the U.S. economy out of the worst recession since World War II. Before joining the administration in 2009, Geithner was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, playing a key role in the U.S. government’s bailouts of banks including Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC), and automakers General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.
Because how unfair — indeed, un-American — it is for an office worker like, say, Warren Buffet’s secretary to dutifully pay her taxes, while some well-to-do people with better educations and higher incomes end up paying a much smaller tax rate.
Or, worse, skipping their taxes altogether.
A new report just out from the Internal Revenue Service reveals that 36 of President Obama’s executive office staff owe the country $833,970 in back taxes. These people working for Mr. Fair Share apparently haven’t paid any share, let alone their fair share.
Previous reports have shown how well-paid Obama’s White House staff is, with 457 aides pulling down more than $37 million last year. That’s up seven workers and nearly $4 million from the Bush administration’s last year.
Nearly one-third of Obama’s aides make more than $100,000 with 21 being paid the top White House salary of $172,200, each.
The IRS’ 2010 delinquent tax revelations come as part of a required annual agency report on federal employees’ tax compliance. Turns out, an awful lot of folks being paid by taxpayers are not paying their own income taxes.
There are many theories on who, over a four-day period, forked over the names of GOP Reps. Pete Sessions (Texas), Buck McKeon (Calif.) and Elton Gallegly (Calif.) to media outlets in reference to an ongoing investigation into VIP loans given to lawmakers by Countrywide.
The leaks stunned the three legislators, who have all denied accepting special rates on the loans in exchange for political favors.
Some are pointing the finger at House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) for releasing the publicly sensitive information, though his office is pushing back at that notion.
How Patrick Swayze died: Why we should care – When I finished my book on famous patients, the most common question I received was “Are the stories of sick celebrities really relevant to other patients?” My answer was that yes, with some caveats, these experiences are well-worth knowing.
The same can be said for the story of Patrick Swayze’s terminal pancreatic cancer, which has now been told by his widow, actress Lisa Niemi Swayze, in a new book, “Worth Fighting For: Love, Loss and Moving Forward.” Patrick Swayze, a dancer and actor best known for his roles in the films “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost,” was diagnosed in January 2008 and died of the disease in September 2009 at the age of 57. He was originally told he would live only a few months.
First, the caveats. Like most celebrities, Swayze had the means, as his wife says, to “think outside the box.” He enrolled in a clinical trial at Stanford University, traveling regularly to Palo Alto from Los Angeles for experimental chemotherapy. Swayze also was a VIP patient, getting first-class attention from top doctors and hospital staffs. Most patients experience greater hurdles.
Nor should pancreatic cancer patients who read “Worth Fighting For” assume that they, like Swazey, can beat the odds and survive longer if they take the same medications that he did. Every case of pancreatic cancer, like all cancers, is different.
The Buffett Ruse – WSJ.com – Remember the moment in 2008 when Charlie Gibson of ABC News asked Senator Barack Obama why he would support raising the capital gains tax even though “revenues from the tax increased” when the rate fell? Mr. Obama’s famous reply: “I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.” Well, we were warned.
Here we are four years later, and President Obama on Tuesday night linked the term “fair” to U.S. tax and economic policy seven times. The U.S. economy is still hobbling out of recession, real family incomes are falling and 14 million Americans are unemployed, but Mr. Obama declared that his top priority is not to reform the tax code to promote growth and job creation. His overriding goal is redistributing income.
Mr. Obama endorsed the political ruse he calls the Buffett rule, which asserts as a matter of moral principle that millionaires should not pay a lower tax rate than middle-class wage earners. Specifically, Mr. Obama is proposing that anyone earning more than $1 million pay at least 30% of that income to Uncle Barack.
The White House says that if a millionaire household’s effective tax rate falls below 30%, it would have to pay a surcharge—in essence a new Super Alternative Minimum Tax—to bring the tax liability to 30%. For those facing this new Super AMT, all deductions and exemptions would be eliminated except for charity.
Scott Walker leads in Wisconsin recall poll – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is ahead in his likely recall election even as his campaign raises — and spends — millions of dollars in expectation of a tough race later this year.
According to a new Marquette Law School poll the governor leads Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a likely candidate, 50 percent to 44 percent. He leads former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, the only declared Democratic candidate, 49 percent to 42 percent margin, former Rep. David Obey 49 percent to 43 percent and state Sen. Tim Cullen 50 percent to 40 percent.
Democrats started targeting Walker last year, when he spearheaded controversial legislation limiting collective bargaining for public employees. Under Wisconsin law, Walker was not eligible for a recall election until January of this year.
These are my links for November 22nd through November 23rd:
The Gingrich Amnesty – By Mark Krikorian – Missed the debate because of wrestling practice, but it’s hardly surprising that Newt would support amnesty for illegal aliens. After the Pelosi global-warming ad and Dede Scozzafava and “right-wing social engineering,” is it any surprise he’d adopt the left’s line on immigration too? He earned a career grade of D from Numbers USA (they calculate back to 1989). Heck, even Barbara Boxer has a career grade of D+.
But a couple more points are in order. First, there just aren’t very many illegal aliens who have been here 25 years, the duration Gingrich specified as warranting amnesty. The old INS estimated that there were about 5 million illegal aliens in 1996, and the growth rate had been about 300,000 a year, which means that 10 years earlier (i.e., 25 years ago), there would have been about 2 million illegal aliens. Of those, I would guess the majority have in the intervening quarter-century either gone home, died, or finagled a green card (at least one-quarter of each year’s green-card recipients — new “legal” immigrants — are illegal aliens using the federal immigration program to launder their status). So that’s fewer than 1 million people out of the current 11 million illegals who would be covered by the Gingrich Amnesty, and probably fewer than half a million.
But wait — 25 years ago. Hmmmmm. That rings a bell. Did something happen back in 1986 with regard to immigration? Oh, yeah, I remember — Congress passed the one and only amnesty for illegal immigrants, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), that legalized close to 3 million illegals (there had been about 5 million, so about 2 million remained after the amnesty, because they didn’t meet the law’s requirements). That was supposed to be followed by tough enforcement to prevent future illegal immigration and to throw out the resident illegals who didn’t qualify for the amnesty (or who failed to lie their way to a green card, since a large share of those successfully claiming amnesty, perhaps as many as one-quarter, did so fraudulently — among the liars was Mahmud “The Red” Abouhalima, a leader of the first World Trade Center attack).
So the Gingrich Amnesty would cover illegal immigrants here when Congress passed IRCA. That is to say, it would pick up where the previous amnesty left off, legalizing precisely those people who didn’t qualify for IRCA. This just underlines what a chump you have to be to support any deal offered you by amnesty supporters.
GOP Smackdown: Gingrich v. Romney – Whether the matchup between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney is the final bout on the GOP primary card is impossible to know. The whole season has been more like professional wrestling than boxing, with weird characters sporting implausible hair appearing out of nowhere to talk smack and explain why they are the greatest in the world. (I’m looking at you in particular, Mr. Trump.)
Still, let’s assume for the moment that it’s a Gingrich-Romney contest.
It’s quite a matchup. Romney has been brutalized for having too little personality, Gingrich for having way, way too much. Romney looks like the picture that comes with the frame. Gingrich looks like he should be ensconced in royal velvet as he gestures at you with a half-eaten turkey leg in one hand and a sloshing goblet of wine in the other. Romney seems terrified of fully committing to any idea. Gingrich speaks as if he just text-messaged with God.
Youjin Je, a doctoral candidate in the lab of Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD, from the Department of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues published their findings online November 22 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
“Coffee consumption may be related to endometrial cancer development due to the potential role of caffeine,” Dr. Giovannucci and colleagues write. “Several epidemiologic studies have reported an inverse association between coffee intake and endometrial cancer risk, but data from prospective studies are limited.”
Therefore, the researchers prospectively examined the link between drinking coffee and endometrial cancer risk, using prospective data from the Nurses’ Health Study.
The analysis included data from 67,470 women aged 34 to 59 years in 1980. Cumulative average coffee intake was determined by questionnaire. During 26 years of follow-up, researchers documented 672 cases of endometrial cancer.
Acetaminophen: Repeated Use of Slightly Too Much Can Be Fatal – Repeated doses of slightly too much acetaminophen (known as paracetamol in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe) can be fatal, according to the results of a large, single-center cohort study published online November 22 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
“On admission, these staggered overdose patients were more likely to have liver and brain problems, require kidney dialysis or help with breathing and were at a greater risk of dying than people who had taken single overdoses,” senior author Kenneth J. Simpson, MBChB (Hons), MD, FRCP (Edin), from the University of Edinburgh and Scottish Liver Transplant Unit in the United Kingdom, said in a news release.
“They haven’t taken the sort of single-moment, one-off massive overdoses taken by people who try to commit suicide, but over time the damage builds up, and the effect can be fatal,” he adds.
In the United Kingdom, acetaminophen hepatotoxicity is the leading cause of acute liver failure (ALF). However, the effect of a staggered overdose pattern or delayed hospital presentation on mortality or need for emergency liver transplantation was previously unknown.
About half of all voters, and 60% of evangelical Republicans, know that Mitt Romney is a Mormon. The former Massachusetts governor’s religion has implications for his nomination run but not for the general election, should he be nominated as his party’s standard bearer.
White evangelical Protestants – a key element of the GOP electoral base – are more inclined than the public as a whole to view Mormonism as a non-Christian faith. And this view is linked to opinions about Romney: Republicans who say Mormonism is not a Christian religion are less likely to support Romney for the GOP nomination and offer a less favorable assessment of him generally. But they seem prepared to overwhelmingly back him in a run against Obama in the general election.
President 2012: Senator Thune Endorses Mitt Romney – Senator John Thune of South Dakota endorsed Mitt Romney’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, making him the second conservative United States senator to declare support for Mr. Romney’s candidacy this week.
Mr. Thune, who in February decided against running for president himself, made the announcement during a morning campaign stop in downtown Des Moines with Mr. Romney. The endorsement comes as Mr. Romney is intensifying his effort to compete in the Iowa caucuses, now less than six weeks away.
“I’m so lucky he didn’t run,” Mr. Romney said, noting that more than a year ago his advisers warned that Mr. Thune could be one of the toughest potential Republican rivals. Mr. Thune was among the first in a long line of Republicans who decided against jumping into the 2012 presidential race.