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Boehner and Obama

House Speaker and President Obama

These are my links for December 10th through December 11th:

  • Scalia quizzed at NJ’s Princeton on gay issue – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday found himself defending his legal writings that some find offensive and anti-gay.
    Speaking at Princeton University, Scalia was asked by a gay student why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder.
    “I don’t think it’s necessary, but I think it’s effective,” Scalia said, adding that legislative bodies can ban what they believe to be immoral.
    Scalia has been giving speeches around the country to promote his new book, “Reading Law,” and his lecture at Princeton comes just days after the court agreed to take on two cases that challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
    Some in the audience who had come to hear Scalia speak about his book applauded but more of those who attended the lecture clapped at freshman Duncan Hosie’s question.
    “It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd,'” Scalia told Hosie of San Francisco during the question-and-answer period. “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”
    Scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing a parallel between the bans on both.
    Then he deadpanned: “I’m surprised you aren’t persuaded.”
    Hosie said afterward that he was not persuaded by Scalia’s answer. He said he believes Scalia’s writings tend to “dehumanize” gays.
    As Scalia often does in public speaking, he cracked wise, taking aim mostly at those who view the Constitution as a “living document” that changes with the times.
    “It isn’t a living document,” Scalia said. “It’s dead, dead, dead, dead.”
  • An Increasingly Polarized Nation– Gerald Seib: “Based on nearly complete results, of the 234 Republicans elected to the House, just 15 come from districts that the Democratic president carried… Of 201 Democrats elected, just nine come from districts Republican Mitt Romney carried… Not only are House members coming from reliably partisan districts, many are winning in landslides. In this fall’s election, 125 House members — 42 Republicans and 83 Democrats — won their districts with 70% or more of the vote…””The situation is similar in the Senate. There will be 45 Republican senators in the new Congress. Only 10 of them come from states President Obama won. There will be 55 Democrats and independents who caucus with Democrats. Just 11 of them come from states Mr. Romney won…””Voting in that presidential race, meanwhile, was starkly partisan. President Obama won the votes of just 6% of Republicans, exit polls indicate. Mr. Romney won just 7% of Democrats.”New York Times: “Of the 234 House Republicans who will sit in the 113th Congress, 85 percent won re-election with 55 percent of the vote; more than half of next year’s House Republican Conference won more than 60 percent. And virtually every one of them ran on holding the line against tax increases and the Obama agenda.”
  • ‘Dr. No’ of Senate says ‘yes’ to taxes– The Oklahoma senator and obstetrician known as “Dr. No” has taken on the most unlikely of roles: getting Republicans to say “yes” to tax hikes.Tom Coburn, who has blocked dozens of bills, infuriated Democratic leaders and been on the lopsided end of some 96-3 votes, has been encouraging fellow Republicans both publicly and behind the scenes to break with the anti-tax orthodoxy that has come to define — some say hamstring — the modern GOP.
  • Cliff Talks Progress Between Obama, Boehner – Budget negotiations between the White House and Republican House Speaker John Boehner have progressed steadily in recent days, people close to the process said, breathing life into talks that appeared to have stalled.
    Related VideoLast August, President Obama and Congress put the U.S. economy on course to go over a “fiscal cliff.” With the 2012 presidential election decided, WSJ’s David Wessel tells you everything you need to know about the “cliff” but were afraid to ask.Both sides still face sizable differences before any agreement might be reached by the end of the year, and talks could well falter again over such controversial issues as taxes and Medicare before any deal is reached.The people familiar with the matter say talks have taken a marked shift in recent days as staff and leaders have consulted, becoming more “serious.” Both sides have agreed to keep details private, according to the people, who declined to detail where new ground was being broken.
  • The Demographics of Mobile News– In the growing realm of mobile news, men and the more highly educated emerge as more engaged news consumers, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, in collaboration with The Economist Group. These findings parallel, for the most part, demographic patterns of general news consumption.But there are some important areas of difference between mobile and general news habits-particularly among young people. While they are much lighter news consumers generally and have largely abandoned the print news product, young people get news on mobile devices to similar degrees as older users. And, when getting news through apps, young people say they prefer a print-like experience over one with high-tech or multi-media features.These are key findings of an analysis of mobile news habits across a variety of demographic groups. This report builds off an earlier PEJ and The Economist Group report, The Future of Mobile News, which found that half of U.S. adults now own mobile devices and a majority use them for news. Both reports are based on a survey of 9,513 U.S. adults conducted from June-August 2012 (including 4,638 mobile device owners). Men, especially young men, are heavier mobile news consumers than women. More than 40% of men get news daily on either their smartphone and/or tablet, compared with roughly 30% of women. On the tablet specifically, men check in for news more frequently and are more apt to read in-depth news articles and to watch news videos. Women, on the other hand, are more likely than men to use social networks as a way to get news.
  • Report: Bill Clinton really wants Hillary to run for president again | Mobile Washington Examiner – Report: Bill Clinton really wants Hillary to run for president again #tcot
  • Report: Bill Clinton really wants Hillary to run for president again– Former president Bill Clinton really wants his wife Hillary to run for president again according to a report by Jodi Kantor of the New York Times. From the article:Bill Clinton, however, sometimes cannot keep himself from verbally gaming out another campaign for her, said a friend who recently spent time with him. “Every indication is that he would really want her to run,” the friend said.It appears that someone is anxious to be America’s first “First Gentleman” in the White House.
  • Preparing for ‘fiscal cliff,’ investors move assets to avoid higher taxes– As lawmakers struggle to agree on a plan to avert the series of tax increases looming next year, many investors are taking preemptive action to get out of harm’s way.Americans are moving to sell investment homes, off-load stocks, expand charitable donations and establish tax-sheltering gifts before the end of the year. Financial advisers and accountants say people are trying to avoid the higher taxes that will take effect in 2013 if Washington does not avert the “fiscal cliff.”For the most part, the people moving their assets are the wealthy, who have the most to lose even if a deal is struck. Ordinary Americans also are in line for higher income and payroll taxes and fewer deductions and tax credits if the nation goes over the fiscal cliff. But since most of their earnings come through wages, there is little they can do to minimize the impact. Also, the majority of investment income earned by middle-income people comes through tax-deferred vehicles such as individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s, making the possible changes in taxes on investment returns largely immaterial.
  • GOP mute as Supreme Court tackles gay marriage – GOP mute as Supreme Court tackles gay marriage #tcot
  • Rubio, McCain huddle on immigration reform
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-10 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-10
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-10 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-10 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-10 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-10
  • Boom! Obama Campaign Unleashes Its List on Congress | TechPresident – Boom! Obama Campaign Unleashes Its List on Congress | TechPresident #tcot
  • CDT Code for Resin Infiltration Gives Practices Additional Treatment and Billing Options– The American Dental Association (ADA) has announced that resin infiltration of incipient smooth surface lesions is now covered by a 2013 CDT Code classification. The newly defined classification allows practices to accurately code and bill for Icon® by DMG America, a resin infiltration technology that fills, reinforces, and stabilizes demineralized enamel for the purpose of arresting the progression of incipient carious lesions and removing cariogenic white spots. Resin infiltration is a new treatment that has been gaining popularity as an alternative treatment that ends the “wait and see” approach to caries management, without having to “drill and fill.”Icon is the first product to bridge the gap between prevention (fluoride therapy) and traditional caries restoration. Icon’s micro-invasive infiltration technology can be used to treat facial and proximal carious lesions up to the first third of dentin (D-1). Classification from the ADA gives more practices the ability to offer their patients a less invasive, pain free alternative to aggressive treatment techniques. This treatment is performed in a single visit without drilling, anesthesia or the sacrifice of healthy tooth structure. Clinicians can immediately treat upon discovery versus waiting to see whether the caries will progress.The official classification defines resin infiltration as: Application of a resin material engineered to penetrate and fill the sub-surface pore system of an incipient caries lesion to strengthen, stabilize, and limit the lesion’s progression, as well as mask visible white spots.
  • Caffeinated Coffee Reduces the Risk of Oral Cancer? – Locum Tenens Dentist – Caffeinated Coffee Reduces the Risk of Oral Cancer?
  • Boom! Obama Campaign Unleashes Its List on Congress | TechPresident – Boom! Obama Campaign Unleashes Its List on Congress #tcot
  • Boom! Obama Campaign Unleashes Its List on Congress– The Obama political operation took a big step today, sending out an email to its millions of supporters asking them to call Members of the House of Representatives to pass a Senate-approved bill aimed at preventing the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts on the bottom 98% of U.S. taxpayers. In some cases, recipients are being asked to call their own Member; in others, where their Member is already in favor of the Senate bill, Obama activists are being asked to call Obama supporters whose representatives may be a swing vote. In case there’s any doubt, these emails are aimed at putting heat directly on Republican House members.”We know we can affect change in Washington when we raise our voices together,” says the email from Stephanie Cutter, the 2012 deputy campaign manager. “So pick up the phone and make a few calls. Republicans in the House need to hear from their constituents.”This email represents a critical shift in Obama’s political strategy. Paid for by the Obama Victory Fund 2012, it is not aimed at re-electing the President–the ostensible purpose of that campaign entity–but at moving his legislative agenda. It is the President using his army to go directly in the face of Members of Congress who are perceived to stand in his way. Apparently, OFA’s lawyers have decided that they can use their email list in this manner, after some earlier doubts. (It’s not clear that this crosses any lines; for example, John Kerry continued to use his 2004 campaign email list to advance his political agenda for years after losing his run for the White House.)
  • The Afternoon Flap: December 10, 2013 – Flap’s Blog – The Afternoon Flap: December 10, 2013 #tcot
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Drudge: Romney Gender Gap Gone

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

  • Newt Gingrich Tells Piers Morgan ‘You Guys Almost Sound Like You’re An Extension of the Obama Campaign’– Piers Morgan on Monday picked the wrong guy to toss Democrat talking points at.After the CNN anchor spoke the typical liberal nonsense about Paul Ryan’s budget only benefiting rich people, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich scolded, “I do wonder sometimes if you guys all get off in a little club and learn a brand new mantra and then all repeat it mindlessly…You guys almost sound like you’re an extension of the Obama campaign”
  • BUSTED: CNN’s Soledad O’Brien Caught Using Liberal Blog To Attack Ryan Plan– In yet another classic display of the liberal media, CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien has been caught red-handed using left-wing blog Talking Points Memo to counter Virginia House of Delegates member Barbara Comstock on the House GOP budget.As Ali A. Ackbar of Viral Read discovered:Tonight, she was the substitute host for Anderson Cooper, a program that boasts of its reputation for “keeping [politicians] honest.” During her interview with Virginia House of Delegates Republican member Barbara Comstock, O’Brien became visibly flustered and was actually caught doing finger stress exercises as she attempt to insert editorial commentary while her guest, a former skilled Republican operative, defended the House GOP budget, designed by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.Accidentally, a cameraman captured O’Brien furiously flipping through notes, only to cut out seconds later. What was she viewing?

    Footage proves it was a printed email, talking points and opposition research.

  • Day By Day August 14, 2012 – Vegetables – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day August 14, 2012 – Vegetables #tcot
  • The Forgotten History of Ryan’s Medicare Reform– There was a small but instructive moment in 2010, the summer after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, that shows why Paul Ryan is so unusual for Washington.A panel at the American Enterprise Institute featured Richard Foster, the Medicare actuary who estimates that ObamaCare’s $716 billion in Medicare cuts will cause one of six hospitals to become unprofitable. In the audience was Chip Kahn, the president of a for-profit hospital trade group that lobbied for ObamaCare, who stood up to defend the bargain his industry cut in return for 30 million new subsidized customers.Mr. Foster noted that the cuts, which come via a technical change to Medicare payment rates, apply in perpetuity. But the hospitals only get the extra patients once, so the wedge between costs and benefits for hospitals widens over time.”Well,” Mr. Kahn replied, “you can say, ‘Did you make a bad deal?’ Fortunately I don’t think I’ll probably be working after 2020.” When Mr. Foster pressed him, he joked again, “I’m glad my contract only goes another six years.”

    This kind of short-range thinking—and intellectual exhaustion—dominates both parties and their many clients in Washington, in health care especially.Mr. Ryan’s political character has always been different. He saw before anyone else that one era of government was inexorably ending, and that if we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.

  • McCain Says Reid’s Claim on Romney’s taxes is Wrong– Sen. John McCain told Jon Ralston that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is wrong about his assertion that Mitt Romney did not pay taxes for 10 years, saying his team that vetted the presumptive GOP nominee in 2008 found no such thing.Said McCain: “Nothing in his tax returns showed that he did not pay taxes.”
  • Paul Ryan veep selection draws Romney closer to House GOP– Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate draws his presidential campaign closer to Congress and the House Republican leadership, an association that could carry more risk than reward in the short term.As a former executive and governor who had never served in Washington, Romney had run an outsider campaign and kept a healthy distance from a historically unpopular Congress. The presumptive GOP nominee did not support the 2011 debt ceiling deal negotiated by his party’s congressional leadership (and which Ryan backed), and he did not immediately endorse the Ryan-authored budget plan that the House has passed two years in a row.
  • Marco Rubio, Chris Christie get key speaking roles at RNC– In a showcase role on his party’s biggest stage, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will introduce Mitt Romney for his speech to accept the nomination for president on the last night of the Republican National Convention.It is an introduction aimed at giving Romney a boost from a rising star in a must-win state, but it will almost certainly further enhance Rubio’s standing, too.New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a favorite among fiscal conservatives in the party, will give the keynote address, the convention announced early Tuesday.”We have an opportunity in Tampa to make clear that if we tell each other the hard truths, tackle the big problems, and make bold choices, we will see America’s comeback,” Christie, a former federal prosecutor known for his take-no-prisoners speaking
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-14 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-14
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-14 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-14 #tcot
  • Caught: Soledad O’Brien Uses Liberal Blog to Attack Ryan Plan | Viral Read – @Soledad_OBrien should be asked to resign. What an insufferable biased hack…how about it CNN? #tcot #catcot
  • Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin raise questions by moving into expensive $3.3 million Manhattan apartment– Anthony Weiner’s wife not only took him back, she took him back in style — moving with the shamed pol into a luxurious, $3.3 million Manhattan pad owned by a deep-pocketed Democratic donor, The Post has learned.After quitting his Queens House seat amid a notorious sexting scandal, Weiner and beautiful, brainy spouse Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, landed in the sprawling, 12th-floor Park Avenue trophy residence owned by Rosen Partners LLC, which is headed by close Clinton pal Jack Rosen, records show.Rosen — who oversees the American Jewish Congress — is an influential international political force. He’s been a guest at the White House, flies the Clintons in his private plane, and has poured money into both Bill and Hillary Clinton’s election campaigns over the years, according to campaign-finance records.
  • Treasury: U.S. to lose $25 billion on auto bailout– The Treasury Department says in a new report the government expects to lose more than $25 billion on the $85 billion auto bailout. That’s 15 percent higher than its previous forecast.In a monthly report sent to Congress on Friday, the Obama administration boosted its forecast of expected losses by more than $3.3 billion to almost $25.1 billion, up from $21.7 billion in the last quarterly update.The report may still underestimate the losses. The report covers predicted losses through May 31, when GM’s stock price was $22.20 a share.On Monday, GM stock fell $0.07, or 0.3 percent, to $20.47. At that price, the government would lose another $850 million on its GM bailout.

    The government still holds 500 million shares of GM stock and needs to sell them for about $53 each to recover its entire $49.5 billion bailout. At the current price, the Treasury would lose more than $16 billion on its GM bailout.

    The steep decline in GM’s stock price has indefinitely delayed the Treasury’s sale of its remaining 26 percent stake in GM. No sale will take place before the November election.

  • Hey Paul Ryan haters, your congressional insider trader suspect actually is Sheldon Whitehouse– Paul Ryan falsely was accused today by left-wing bloggers, most notably Matthew Yglesias (formerly of Think Progress now of Slate), of insider trading based on confidential information provided by the Treasury Secretary to Congress on September 18, 2008.That day, Ryan traded Citigroup stock.The accusation fell apart when someone noticed that the congressional meeting was in the evening of September 18, after the markets closed and Ryan already had completed his trades.  Yglesias issued a retraction, and even New York Magazine defended Ryan on the charge of insider trading (which at the time would have been legal for members of Congress).If Yglesias and the rest of the left-blogosphere want to chase someone for insider trading based solely on the timing of trades around the September 18 congressional briefing, then they need look no further than their hero Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), as I detailed on November 19, 2011, Sheldon Whitehouse, luckiest investor in America?
  • Obama Trying to Rekindle Hope and Change in Iowa? – Flap’s Blog – Obama Trying to Rekindle Hope and Change in Iowa? #tcot
  • California 2012 Propositions: Democrats Vs. Republicans – Part 1 – California 2012 Propositions: Democrats Vs. Republicans – Part 1
  • Video: Paul Ryan Heckled at Iowa State Fair – Flap’s Blog – Video: Paul Ryan Heckled at Iowa State Fair #tcot
  • Poll Watch: Positive views of Ryan jump higher after pick– Little known nationally before Saturday’s announcement, favorable impressions of Ryan jumped 15 percentage points among the overall electorate with positive views soaring from 49 to 70 percent among conservative Republicans.In Wednesday through Friday interviews, fully 45 percent of Americans expressed no opinion of Ryan, dropping to 30 percent on Saturday and Sunday. The increasing familiarity all went to the positive side of the ledger, giving Ryan an initial advantage in the sprint to define his candidacy.Overall, in interviews after his selection, 38 percent of all Americans express favorable views of Ryan, 33 percent negative ones. (Before the the announcement, Ryan was somewhat underwater, scoring 23 percent favorable, 32 unfavorable.) The most recent national numbers on Vice President Joe Biden are from a July Pew Research Center poll showing a split decision, 40 percent favorable, 37 percent unfavorable.One of the largest movements on Ryan’s favorability numbers was the 21-point jump among conservative Republicans, but the initial movement was positive among independents as well, doubling from 19 to 39 percent.
  • Romney Attacks Obama Again Over Work for Welfare – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Romney Attacks Obama Again Over Work for Welfare
  • Retirees Shower Paul Ryan With Contributions– Democrats say presumptive GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan is a senior citizen’s worst nightmare, but retirees seem to have no problem writing him checks.One of the most prolific fundraisers in Congress, Ryan has drawn nearly $400,000 from retirees this election cycle, dramatically outperforming most House lawmakers, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.The seven-term Wisconsin Congressman and House Budget chairman has come under fire for the controversial budget proposal he released last year that called for dramatically reshaping Medicare and repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law. The plan would transition Medicare into a voucher-like system by 2022 and strike the 2010 health care law – two ideas that Democrats say would be devastating for older Americans.Just about 13 percent of residents of Ryan’s district, which blends the wealthy Milwaukee suburbs with some of the state’s largest industrial areas, are 65 years or older, ranking 203rd out of the 437 districts, including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, according to 2010 census data.

    By comparison, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), who represents more people over age 65 than any another Member of Congress, according to 2010 census figures, has raised just $113,000 from retirees so far this cycle.

  • Log In – The New York Times – Motorola to Cut 20% of Work Force, Part of Sweeping Change – #tcot
  • RealClearPolitics – Election 2012 – North Carolina: Romney vs. Obama – @draigun Here is the link for the RCP polling averages for NC: NC is in play.
  • Motorola to Cut 20% of Work Force, Part of Sweeping Change – NYTimes.com – Obamanomics: Motorola to Cut 20% of Work Force, Part of Sweeping Change OOPS #tcot
  • Romney in Florida Attacks Obama on Medicare – Flap’s Blog – Romney in Florida Attacks Obama on Medicare
  • Does Paul Ryan Help Mitt Romney in the Electoral College? – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – RE: @MuddyPolitics I think you underestimate the problems President Obama has with ObamaCare and the poor economy, es…
  • President 2012 Poll Watch: Paul Ryan a Mixed Reaction? – Flap’s Blog – President 2012 Poll Watch: Paul Ryan a Mixed Reaction?
  • Does Paul Ryan Help Mitt Romney in the Electoral College? – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog– RE: @MuddyPolitics Look at the Electoral Map above and you answer your own questions.Romney needs Ohio and Florida …
  • California Pension Reform: Legal pension hikes: air time, golden handshake– If the Legislature attempts pension reform this month, one of the targets may be “air time,” a decade-old policy that allows CalPERS and CalSTRS members to boost their pensions by buying up to five years of additional service credit.Another older but also colorfully named policy, the “golden handshake,” allows management to encourage early retirement by boosting pensions with two years of additional service credit.Some regard air time as an abuse, even though employees make a payment that is supposed to cover the cost. There is the question of fairness, a benefit not available to all citizens, and of taxpayer risk if long-term investment earnings are below the forecast.The golden handshake, with employers presumably paying the cost, has the same investment risk and often is offered only to higher-paid employees. The CalPERS version also gets competition from a private firm, Public Agency Retirement Services.

    Air time and the golden handshake were linked in a bill veto message in 2003 by former Gov. Gray Davis, who signed a major state worker pension increase, SB 400 in 1999, criticized for triggering unsustainable pension increases throughout the state.

  • California moving forward on plan to upgrade schools, seek 2014 bond– State officials have set to work on an ambitious plan to upgrade California’s aging and outdated school facilities and, in doing so, lay the groundwork for a 2014 bond measure to help pay for it.The goal is to transform existing school structures into 21st Century learning environments – clean, safe and technologically-advanced with sustainable, cost-efficient energy systems – for the state’s six million students.The first step, officials said, is to create a comprehensive inventory on the status of the state’s classrooms to assess what actually needs to get done.“It’s vital that we have a plan,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said during a hearing on school facility needs last week. “I think it’s going to be a springboard for action in a way that the Legislature can move to a place in 2014 where we can go to the voters to say ‘let’s re-up; let’s invest again in a program that’s even more targeted toward the needs of our students.”
  • Irish Pull Teeth as Europe Crisis Means Dental Cutbacks – Businessweek – Irish Pull Teeth as Europe Crisis Means Dental Cutbacks – Businessweek #tcot
  • President 2012 Poll Watch: Republicans Have Significantly More Voter Engagement – President 2012 Poll Watch: Republicans Have Significantly More Voter Engagement
  • Irish Pull Teeth as Europe Crisis Means Dental Cutbacks – Businessweek – Irish Pull Teeth as Europe Crisis Means Dental Cutbacks #tcot
  • Irish Pull Teeth as Europe Crisis Means Dental Cutbacks– Pedro Ruiz of Madrid, a 29-year-old unemployed plumber, has been putting off dental surgery to fix his crooked teeth.“I don’t want to spend in one visit to a dentist what it takes me 10 days to earn,” said Ruiz.In the midst of Europe’s worst financial crisis in a generation, countless other patients are making similar decisions across the continent, doing without everything from checkups to tooth implants as unemployment has surged and governments have reined in health spending. Many are putting their health at risk.Though no hard Europe-wide data on dental spending exists, the cutbacks by governments and individuals mean oral cancers and other illnesses won’t be spotted earlier, when they’re more easily treatable, said Kamini Shah, honorary secretary at the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry.

    “The mouth is a mirror to the rest of the body,” said Shah.

    The effects of the financial crisis on dental care are also evident for companies that supply equipment. Shares of the world’s biggest makers of dental implants, Nobel Biocare Holding AG (NOBN) and Straumann Holding AG (STMN), have plunged 90 percent and 67 percent, respectively, from their peaks in 2007.

    Declining sales in Europe is “the new normal,” said Ingeborg Oie, an analyst with Jefferies International Ltd.

    “If Europe continues to plod along this trajectory then we’re not going to be out of this for a few years,” she said.
    Cheaper Dentures

    In Spain, which has the highest unemployment rate among countries using the euro at 24.8 percent, patients are choosing cheaper, removable dentures costing a few hundred euros instead of permanent implants that can cost thousands of euros, Manuel “Alfonso” Villa, president of the Spanish Dental Association said in a telephone interview from his clinic in Gijon, northern Spain.

    “People are very scared about spending,” he said. “We’ve noticed a significant slowdown since 2009, but 2011 and this year have been disastrous.” Patients are delaying procedures “unless it hurts too much,” he said.

    Ruiz, the Spanish plumber, earned 2,500 euros ($3,070) a month before losing his job in January. He just finished a temporary job that paid him 1,200 euros and decided to bank it rather than spend it on his teeth because “it’s not a life-or- death matter.”

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: August 13, 2012 – The Morning Drill: August 13, 2012
  • Day By Day August 13, 2012 – Package Deals – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day August 13, 2012 – Package Deals
  • Axelrod Draws Parallel Between Ryan and Palin – Lara Seligman – NationalJournal.com – Weak analogy and wishful thinking RT @nationaljournal Axelrod draws parallel between Ryan and Palin. #tcot
  • 10 reasons why Paul Ryan could help Mitt Romney become US President – Mail Online – Toby Harnden’s blog– Until a fortnight ago, it looked like Mitt Romney wanted to make the safest, least dramatic vice-presidential pick possible, a running mate who would be the unPalin – someone who would be a news story for the day but would not alter the shape of the campaign.Someone like Tim Pawlenty or Rob Portman. Either this approach was a feint all along or something changed as the 2012 campaign descended into petty, slimy negativity and Romney began to slip slightly in the polls despite a terrible economy and unemployment rising to 8.3 percent.Choosing Ryan is a bold and surprising – though by no means as outlandish as Sarah Palin in 2008 – choice. Vice-presidential running mates seldom have a major impact on the outcome of a presidential election. But this time, Ryan might a difference – here are 10 reasons why:
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-13 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-13
  • Why Romney Chose Ryan – A Choice Between Stagnation and Renewal– Mitt Romney did much more this weekend than announce a running mate. He unveiled a significant change in strategy. The 2012 election is now a choice, not just a referendum.Conservatives have spent much of this summer reassuring themselves. They’ve pointed out the extraordinary sums President Obama has thrown at crippling Mr. Romney. They’ve noted how ugly and brutal those attacks have been. They’ve comforted themselves that, for all the smears, Mr. Romney is within a few points of the incumbent in national tracking polls.Yet the same can be said on the other side. The economy is teetering, the deficit exploding, the nation unhappy with his signature legislation. Daily, Mr. Romney beats the White House with these failures. But he has barely moved the polling dial.
  • VP candidate Ryan returns to Wisconsin to adoring crowd– Brushing aside tears and responding to raucous cheers, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan returned to Wisconsin on Sunday for an emotional homecoming in front of thousands of people on the grounds of the Waukesha County Expo Center. “It’s good to be home,” Ryan said in a speech that wove personal history and national aspiration.A day after he was named Mitt Romney’s running mate and vaulted on to the Republican Party’s biggest political stage, Ryan spoke of his family’s deep roots in Wisconsin and his ties to Janesville, where “we live on the block I grew up on.”
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-13 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-13
  • Sports / Quite simply, this was the greatest Olympic Games in USC history. Trojans set new school records by earning 12 golds and 25 total medals. See more from USC Athletics: http://say.ly/bEb3XIi – The greatest Olympic Games in USC history – new school records by earning 12 golds & 25 total medals. via @pinterest
  • Time to Start Training for the Los Angeles Marathon – Time to Start Training for the Los Angeles Marathon
  • Video: The Romney and Ryan 60 Minutes Interview – Flap’s Blog – Video: The Romney and Ryan 60 Minutes Interview
  • Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/12/4717754/dan-walters-state-gop-down-but.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) – Untitled (… #tcot
  • Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/12/4717754/dan-walters-state-gop-down-but.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walter) – Untitled (… #tcot
  • The Sunday Evening Flap: August 12, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Sunday Flap: August 12, 2012
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Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker casts his ballot Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Wauwatosa, Wis. Walker faces Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in a special recall election

These are my links for June 4th through June 5th:

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