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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: April 18, 2012

Obamas debt The Morning Flap: April 18, 2012

These are my links for April 17th through April 18th:

  • The $5 Trillion Man: Debt Has Increased Under Obama by $5,027,761,476,484.56 – In the 39 months since Barack Obama took the oath of office as president of the United States, the federal government’s debt has increased by $5,027,761,476,484.56.

    Although he has served less than a term, Obama is now the first American president to see the federal government’s debt increase by more than $5 trillion during his time in office.

    During the full eight years that George W. Bush served as president, the federal government’s debt increased by $4,899,100,310,608.44. (Rising from $5,727,776,738,304.64 to $10,626,877,048,913.08.)

    The $5,027,761,476,484.56 that the debt has increased during Obama’s presidency equals $16,043.39 for every one of the 313,385,295 people the Census Bureau now estimates live in the United States.

  • Panetta says he regrets cost of trips home – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday he regrets the cost to taxpayers for his weekend trips to his Carmel Valley home, but says it’s important “just to get your mind straight and your perspective straight.”
    Panetta said he’d try to find some savings, with each round trip costing approximately $32,000.
    “I regret … that it does add costs that the taxpayer has to pick up,” Panetta said during a Pentagon briefing Monday, speaking publicly for the first time about the flight costs. “A taxpayer would have to pick up those costs with any secretary of state or secretary of defense. But having said that, I am trying to look at what are … the alternatives here that I can look at that might possibly be able to save funds and, at the same time, be able to fulfill my responsibilities, not only to my job, but to my family.”
    The Associated Press earlier this month detailed the costs of the 27 roundtrip flights home Panetta has taken since he became Pentagon chief last July, as well as the amount he has reimbursed the government for the trips.
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Day By Day April 18, 2012 – The Game – Day By Day April 18, 2012 – The Game
  • Walker makes his case before Illinois Chamber of Commerce – Gov. Scott Walker came to the capital city of Illinois on Tuesday to make the case that he should be retained as Wisconsin’s chief executive.

    He told the Illinois Chamber of Commerce that Wisconsin made the tough decisions to close its budget deficit, while Illinois continued to be burdened by an $8.5 billion deficit despite a 66% increase in the personal income tax rate.

    “The simple reality is, Illinois and Wisconsin, like nearly every other state, had big deficits to deal with. In our case, it was a $3.6 billion deficit. . . . And we looked around, other states are going to make poor decisions, we want to avoid that in Wisconsin,” Walker said.

    “We avoided a tax increase,” he said, recalling how after Illinois passed its increase, he came to Chicago with a bumper sticker that read, “Escape to Wisconsin.”

    “When you raise taxes on individuals, on businesses, that wealth, opportunity and jobs go somewhere else,” he said.

    Walker was greeted with three standing ovations from the crowd of 250 business leaders assembled at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center.

  • The Campaign Against Systemic Sleaze: Team Romney Needs A Broom Pin – Solyndra. Fast and Furious. EPA and the Sacketts. Now GSA and the Secret Service.

    The federal government is suffering from systemic sleaze, the sort of excess that builds and builds and builds and then flows over from every corner. Chicago rules came to town and the result is a catastrophe for ethics in the public sector, a catastrophe which has many manifestations across the country in state and local government as well, with vast pension outlays resulting from swetheart deals with public employee unions and enormous expenditures on special interests and self-serving contracts, the sort of sleaze that reached a crescendo in the City of Bell, California scandals of last year.

  • Find Out How Fit You Are at Runner’s World – RT @runnersworld: How’s your overall fitness? These tests will help you determine what you need to work on.
  • Romney says ‘vast left wing conspiracy’ in media is attacking him – Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said a “vast left wing conspiracy” in the media was working with the Obama campaign to coordinate attacks against him.

    “There will be an effort by the quote vast left wing conspiracy to work together to put out their message and to attack me,” Romney said in an interview with Breitbart.com. “They’re going to do everything they can to divert from the issue people care about, which is a growing economy that creates more jobs and rising incomes. That’s what people care about.”

  • Voters like President Obama to lead but prefer Romney on economic issues – A smattering of new polls shows an important divide developing: Voters like Mitt Romney on the economy but not much else. Meanwhile, they like President Obama on everything else but not nearly as much on the economy.

    So far, polls are showing a consistent, compelling divide between President Obama and the likely Republican nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R). Romney often runs stronger than Obama on the question of who can better handle the economy, yet Obama’s favorability rating is usually higher — sometimes dramatically higher.

    In other words, they like Obama leading the country, Romney running it.

    The evidence is ample.

  • Bill Clinton enters 2012 race — to back his wife’s supporters – The congressional candidates former President Clinton is supporting in 2012 have something in common: They all backed his wife’s presidential bid four years ago.

    Sources close to Clinton said he wants to help those who put themselves on the line to support the former first lady’s campaign for the White House. But with Hillary Clinton serving in the Obama administration and Chelsea Clinton working for NBC News, Bill Clinton is the only member of the family in a position to hit the campaign trail.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-18 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-18
  • Conservatives Respond To Seamus-Gate: Barack Obama Ate A Dog – Business Insider – RT @businessinsider: Now Everyone’s Talking About How Barack Obama Ate A Dog by @grace_lightning #tcot
  • Obama Bites Dog | Dreams From My Father – Hey, if we’re going to talk about how presidential candidates treated dogs decades ago, let’s talk about how presidential candidates treated dogs decades ago.

    Can you name the author of this quote?

    “With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy). Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share.”

  • Memeorandum Colors 2012: Visualizing Bias on Political Blogs | Epicenter | Wired.com – Memeorandum Colors 2012: Visualizing Bias on Political Blogs | Epicenter |
  • Wired.com – Memeorandum Colors 2012: Visualizing Bias on Political Blogs | Epicenter |
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Video: President 2012: Who Will Be Mitt Romney’s Vice President? – Video: President 2012: Who Will Be Mitt Romney’s Vice President?
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Oral Rinse Shown to Significantly Reduce Plaque – Oral Rinse Shown to Significantly Reduce Plaque
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The AFternoon Drill: April 17, 2012 – The AFternoon Drill: April 17, 2012
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012 Poll Watch: Romney 48% Vs. Obama 43% – President 2012 Poll Watch: Romney 48% Vs. Obama 43%
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 17, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 17, 2012
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: April 17, 2012

Renounce citizenship The Morning Flap: April 17, 2012

These are my links for April 16th through April 17th:

  • Tax time pushes some Americans to take a hike – A year ago, in Action Comics, Superman declared plans to renounce his U.S. citizenship.

    “‘Truth, justice, and the American way’ – it’s not enough anymore,” the comic book superhero said, after both the Iranian and American governments criticized him for joining a peaceful anti-government protest in Tehran.

    Last year, almost 1,800 people followed Superman’s lead, renouncing their U.S. citizenship or handing in their Green Cards. That’s a record number since the Internal Revenue Service began publishing a list of those who renounced in 1998. It’s also almost eight times more than the number of citizens who renounced in 2008, and more than the total for 2007, 2008 and 2009 combined.

    But not everyone’s motivations are as lofty as Superman’s. Many say they parted ways with America for tax reasons.

    The United States is one of the only countries to tax its citizens on income earned while they’re living abroad. And just as Americans stateside must file tax returns each April – this year, the deadline is Tuesday – an estimated 6.3 million U.S. citizens living abroad brace for what they describe as an even tougher process of reporting their income and foreign accounts to the IRS. For them, the deadline is June.

    The National Taxpayer Advocate’s Office, part of the IRS, released a report in December that details the difficulties of filing taxes from overseas. It cites heavy paperwork, a lack of online filing options and a dearth of local and foreign-language resources.

    For those wishing to legally escape the filing requirements, the only way is to formally renounce their U.S. citizenship. Last year, IRS records show that at least 1,788 people did, and that’s likely
    an underestimate. The IRS publishes in the Federal Register the names of those who give up their citizenship, and some who renounced say they haven’t seen their name on the list yet.

  • A Wisconsin Vindication – Property tax bills fall as Scott Walker’s reforms start to kick in #tcot – The public employee unions and other liberals are confident that Wisconsin voters will turn out Governor Scott Walker in a recall election later this year, but not so fast. That may turn out to be as wrong as some of their other predictions as Badger State taxpayers start to see tangible benefits from Mr. Walker’s reforms—such as the first decline in statewide property taxes in a dozen years.

    On Monday Mr. Walker’s office released new data that show the property tax bill for the median home fell by 0.4% in 2011, as reported by Wisconsin’s municipalities. Property taxes, which are the state’s largest revenue source and mainly fund K-12 schools, have risen every year since 1998—by 43% overall. The state budget office estimates that the typical homeowner’s bill would be some $700 higher without Mr. Walker’s collective-bargaining overhaul and budget cuts.

    The median home value did fall in 2011, by about 2.3%, which no doubt influenced the slight downward trend. But then values also fell in 2009 and 2010, by similar amounts, and the state’s take from the average taxpayer still climbed by 2.1% and 1.5%, respectively. In absolute terms homeowners won’t see large dollar benefits year over year, but any hold-the-line tax respite is both rare and welcome in this age of ever-expanding government.

  • 2012-13 California state budget is a looming fiasco – It’s become a pattern in California. An exhausted Legislature finally completes work on a tardy state budget. Soon afterward, it becomes obvious the budget is a farce stitched together with funny numbers and delusional assumptions.

    With the 2012-13 budget, however, the process has accelerated. Even before Gov. Jerry Brown issues his May revised budget, decisions made by lawmakers, the courts and federal bureaucrats – combined with bad news on the revenue front – make it close to impossible to expect a spending plan with a shred of credibility or accounting substance.

  • Will We Defuse Our Debt Bomb? – The big question facing America now, and in the foreseeable future, is not who is going to win the next election but whether we are going to defuse a debt bomb that has put our very survival at risk.

    Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was not exaggerating when he called our debt the greatest threat to our national security. History has shown time and time again that debt can bring nations to their knees. Great powers such as Britain, Spain, France, the Ottomans, the Soviet Union, and the Roman Empire declined economically before they contracted, collapsed, or were conquered. Our founders understood this history very well: John Adams warned, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Day By Day April 17, 2012 – Zip File – Day By Day April 17, 2012 – Zip File
  • Harry Reid Pushed to Allow Government Conferences in Vegas : Roll Call News – RT @PounderFile Roll Call: “Harry Reid Pushed To Allow Government Conferences In Vegas” #tcot
  • Romney hire means shift on Hispanics – Mitt Romney’s hiring of Republican strategist Ed Gillespie is being seen as a sign the campaign will heavily court Hispanic voters — perhaps at the expense of immigration hard-liners in the party.

    Gillespie, a former head of the Republican National Committee, has long advocated an aggressive outreach to the Hispanic community. He helped found the Republican State Leadership Committee, a group that recruits and trains GOP candidates for office and has emphasized finding female and minority candidates. He also heads up Resurgent Republic, an organization focused on messaging to independents, including Hispanic swing voters.

  • Insiders Oppose Scaling Back Missile-Defense Plans Amid Russian Objections – Monday, April 16, 2012 – Three-quarters of National Journal’s National Security Insiders oppose dropping or scaling back the Obama administration’s plans to deploy missile-defense systems in Europe amid Russia’s objections — even if Moscow offered to share intelligence with Washington.

    “Russia has adamantly opposed U.S. missile-defense strategy for three decades,” one Insider said. “The Obama change in European missile-defense architecture lessened any theoretical threat to Russia from the Bush system, but Russia has stayed on the warpath against U.S. missile defense as if nothing important has changed. U.S. concessions to Russia will bring neither reward nor gratitude. The best U.S. policy toward Russia on missile defense is benign neglect.”

  • Halperin: How the Buffett Rule could work for Obama – Halperin: How the Buffett Rule could work for Obama
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-17 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-17
  • (404) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/scott-walker-leads-democratic-rivals-in-new-wisconsin-rec – (500) …
  • (500) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/scott-walker-leads-democratic-rivals-in-new-wisconsin-recall-poll/2012/04/16/gIQAeJbGMT_blog.html?tid=sm_twitter_washingtonpost – RT @washingtonpost: Scott Walker leads Democratic rivals in new Wisconsin recall poll:
  • AD-38: California State Senator Tony Strickland Endorses Patricia McKeon for Assembly » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: California State Senator Tony Strickland Endorses Patricia McKeon for Assembly via @flap
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Fundraising Totals Show Republican Tony Strickland Far in the Lead – CA-26: Fundraising Totals Show Republican Tony Strickland Far in the Lead
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 16, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 16, 2012
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: April 4, 2012

Obama Teaching Class The Morning Flap: April 4, 2012

These are my links for April 3rd through April 4th:

  • Barack Obama, Constitutional Ignoramus – I’m grateful for the favor Obama did for us yesterday of exposing his extreme constitutional ignorance, with his comments on how it would be “unprecedented” for the Court to strike down a law passed by a “strong majority” in Congress. (As if a House margin of seven votes is a “strong” majority.) True, he walked back the comment today, but surely because his statement was not merely indefensible but outright embarrassing to his media defenders.

    I’ve been growing weary of hearing people mention that he’s a “constitutional scholar,” since he never published a single thing on the subject either as editor of the Harvard Law Review or as a member of the faculty at the University of Chicago Law School. But hey—he taught constitutional law, didn’t he?

    Not really.

    His course on constitutional law, one of several constitutional law courses on the U of C curriculum, dealt exclusively with the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment—the favorite, all-purpose clause for liberal jurists to use to right wrongs and make us more equal by judicial fiat. There is no evidence that Obama ever taught courses that considered other aspects of constitutionalism, such as executive power, the separation of powers, the Commerce Clause, or judicial review itself.

  • ObamaCare Rationing Starts: Doctors call for end to five cancer tests, treatments – In a move that threatens to further inflame concerns about the rationing of medical care, the nation’s leading association of cancer physicians issued a list on Wednesday of five common tests and treatments that doctors should stop offering to cancer patients.

    The list emerged from a two-year effort, similar to a project other medical specialties are undertaking, to identify procedures that do not help patients live longer or better or that may even be harmful, yet are routinely prescribed.

    As much as 30 percent of health-care spending goes to procedures, tests, and hospital stays that do not improve a patient’s health, according to a 2008 analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget office.

    “Our goal was to improve care and improve the value of the care we deliver,” said Dr. Lowell Schnipper, a cancer physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center who led the task force assembled by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The group of more than 200 oncologists released the list from a report in its Journal of Clinical Oncology.

    Although the task force emphasized that its recommendations — winnowed from about 10 suggestions by oncologists — were driven by medical considerations, the report makes clear that expense was a major factor. A number of cancer drugs cost nearly $100,000 but extend life a few months or not at all. Widely-used imaging tests cost up to $5,000 yet do not benefit patients.

    The list has been closely guarded, with public announcements scheduled for Wednesday. Patients, advocacy groups, and policy experts contacted by Reuters were mixed in their reaction to the recommendations.

    “The American people have a much higher opinion of doctors than of government bureaucrats,” said Kate Nix, a policy analyst at the free-market Heritage Foundation. Whether the ASCO recommendations to withhold some tests and treatments will be seen as rationing “depends on how they are used. Will they inhibit the ability of doctors and patients to make the best decision in each case?”

  • Wisconsin Democrats Ready to Go to War With… Themselves – On Friday, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, by a vote of 5-0, officially certified the recall election for Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, and four GOP state senators (one of whom has resigned). Primaries to determine possible replacements will be held on May 8, with the final election taking place on June 5. The Friends of Scott Walker campaign committee estimates the recall will cost approximately $9 million in taxpayer money.

    Since January, it appeared the leading Democratic contender would be former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, who received every major endorsement and the backing of large unions representing public workers and teachers.

    But polling for Democrats haven’t been great, and former mayor Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett jumped into the race. Barrett lost narrowly to Gov. Walker in 2010.

    With the most recent polling showing Barrett and Falk are tied, Barrett is trying to get Falk to agree to a clean-campaign pledge

  • Sexy Russian spygal Anna Chapman got too close to President Obama’s inner circle, FBI official tells BBC 
  • The Explosion In Student Loan Debt – The federal student loan program seemed like a great idea back in 1965: Borrow to go to college now, pay it back later when you have a job.

    But many borrowers these days are close to flunking out, tripped up by painful real-life lessons in math and economics.

    Surging above $1 trillion, U.S. student loan debt has surpassed credit card and auto-loan debt. This debt explosion jeopardizes the fragile recovery, increases the burden on taxpayers and possibly sets the stage for a new economic crisis.

    With a still-wobbly jobs market, these loans are increasingly hard to pay off. Unable to find work, many students have returned to school, further driving up their indebtedness.

    Average student loan debt recently topped $25,000, up 25 percent in 10 years. And the mushrooming debt has direct implications for taxpayers, since 8 in 10 of these loans are government-issued or guaranteed.

  • El Monte Union board to consider administrative pay cuts – Board members on Wednesday will consider reducing the salaries of roughly 40 El Monte Union High School District certificated administrators by 2 percent in order to address budget deficits in the upcoming fiscal year.

    They will also consider extending the pay cut to Superintendent Nick Salerno’s salary by 2 percent. If the changes to his contract are approved, he would be paid $171,500 a year beginning July 1.

    The district, which faces an about $6 million budget deficit in 2012-13, made decisions on several cuts last month that mostly targeted its adult school.

    While the original plan last month included salary reductions for eight adult school administrators, however board members requested that district administrators across the board share the burden.

    The latest deficit amounts to approximately 7 percent of the district’s total annual expenditures of about $90 million.

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

  • Appeals court fires back at Obama’s comments on health care case – In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president’s bluff — ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.

    The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president’s comments yesterday about the Supreme Court’s review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was “confident” the Court would not “take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

    Overturning a law of course would not be unprecedented — since the Supreme Court since 1803 has asserted the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional. The three-judge appellate court appears to be asking the administration to admit that basic premise — despite the president’s remarks that implied the contrary. The panel ordered the Justice Department to submit a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday addressing whether the Executive Branch believes courts have such power, the lawyer said.

  • NBC issues apology on Zimmerman tape screw-up – Erik Wemple – The Washington Post
  • 300 newspapers have erected paywalls – Turns out that many of the pay plans have been fashioned by a NY company called Press+, which was started by entrepreneur Steven Brill (American Lawyer, Court TV) and former WSJ publisher Gordon Crovitz. From AP:

    The company says it has launched pay walls for 292 U.S. newspapers. Of course, convincing readers to pay for something that was once free isn’t easy. Brill recommends publishers give away enough free page views so that only the heaviest users are asked to pay. “You ease them into the idea that they’re going to be asked to pay,” Brill says. “It works much better than an abrupt message.” Many readers who realize they’re about to hit their limit sign up early to save themselves the hassle, he says. On average, a subscriber gained through Press+ pays $6.50 a month, of which Press+ keeps 20 percent.

  • Romney Wins over Donors by Warning of Huckabee-Palin Ticket at Convention – Mitt Romney raised millions in March by warning would-be donors a brokered convention could mean a Huckabee-Palin ticket:

    [O]n March 14 and 15, Romney had raised over $3 million in New York and Connecticut. … The Romney campaign had a clever pitch for the event. Schmoozing with his money pals before the events, a Romney fund-raiser pointed out that “slightly more than half the delegates” to the GOP convention at Tampa “are evangelicals.” These true-believer conservatives are averse not only to Romney but to semi-reasonable types like Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels. As a result, said this fund-raiser, the “responsible Republican guys” are “starting to realize” that at a brokered convention “it’s not going to be Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan, a ticket they could really love. It’s probably Huckabee-Palin or Palin-Huckabee.” That was enough to scare the Wall Street crowd into getting out their checkbooks.

  • DHS To Grant Illegal Aliens “Unlawful Presence Waivers” – In its quest to implement stealth amnesty, the Obama Administration is working behind the scenes to halt the deportation of certain illegal immigrants by granting them “unlawful presence waivers.”

    The new measure would apply to illegal aliens who are relatives of American citizens. Here is how it would work, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announcement posted in today’s Federal Register, the daily journal of the U.S. government; the agency will grant “unlawful presence waivers” to illegal aliens who can prove they have a relative that’s a U.S. citizen.

    Currently such aliens must return to their native country and request a waiver of inadmissibility in an existing overseas immigrant visa process. In other words, they must enter the U.S. legally as thousands of foreigners do on a yearly basis. Besides the obvious security issues, changing this would be like rewarding bad behavior in a child. It doesn’t make sense. 

  • President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Mitt Romney’s Lead Over Santorum, Gingrich and Paul Continues to Grow | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Mitt Romney’s Lead Over Santorum, Gingrich and Paul Continues to Grow
  • Sarah Palin pokes fun at herself on ‘Today’ – MJ Lee and Tim Mak – POLITICO.com – RT @Drudge_Report: Palin beats Couric…
  • The Morning Flap: April 3, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: April 3, 2012
  • Video: Newsroom, Keith Olbermann and HBO | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Video: Newsroom, Keith Olbermann and HBO
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: November 22, 2011

Michele Bachmann enters at 22:00

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

  • Michele Bachmann’s Entrance Music On Jimmy Fallon Was Fishbone’s ‘Lyin’ Ass Bitch’ | Mediaite – Earlier this morning, our own Nando Di Fino critiqued Michele Bachmann’s appearance on last night’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon by saying that that the first half of her segment, when she discussed her family life and Thanksgiving, was much better than her second, where she attempted to make “stale, rehearsed political humor.” However, it now seems that her spot on the show was tainted from the very beginning thanks to a sly commentary from Fallon’s house band, The Roots. In case anyone watching the show was curious why Bachmann’s entrance music appeared to be a rocking ska song, the song’s title, “Lyin’ Ass Bitch,” might explain things.

    Shameful…..

  • MF Global Trustee Says Shortfall Could Exceed $1.2 Billion – The amount of customer money missing from the collapsed trading firm MF Global may be more than $1.2 billion — double previous estimates — the trustee dismantling the firm’s brokerage unit said on Monday.

    But the surprise finding, which caught regulators off guard, may be overstated, according to a person briefed on the investigation. Some regulators say they believe that the trustee double-counted $220 million that had been transferred between units of MF Global, this person said.

    Still, the much higher number highlights the disarray of MF Global’s records and raises significantly the hurdle for tens of thousands of customers seeking to get their money back. The trustee’s estimate represents a significant portion of customer funds held by MF Global.

    Regulators suspect that as investors and customers fled MF Global in the last week of October, the firm used some of the customer money for its own needs — violating Wall Street rules that customers’ money be kept separate from the firm’s funds. Much of that money may never return.

  • Gingrich seeks to show staying power – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich touched down in New Hampshire on Monday to assume the title of surging presidential candidate — and to try to impart to it a staying power that has eluded those who have risen and stumbled before.

    The fifth Republican contender to climb to the top of public polls this year, Gingrich took advantage of the moment to again announce his plans to reform Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and various programs for the poor. Campaign money is coming in, he said, and a staff that shrank to a dozen after an implosion in June has grown to 40. Gingrich is even allowing himself to look ahead to a general-election contest against President Obama, because, he said, “one of the reasons people support me is because they can see me debating Obama.”

  • Mike Huckabee says conservatives may have to get behind Romney – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa presidential caucus with the backing of social conservatives in 2008, is hinting that it may be time for conservative Republicans to get behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s candidacy.

    “Mitt Romney may not be their first choice, but Mitt Romney every day of the week and twice on Sunday is going to be a much more effective president for issues that they care about than Barack Obama,” Huckabee said Sunday in an interview with WABC. “I think sometimes there is this anxiety within the Republican Party of who is the perfect candidate. The answer is there isn’t one.”

    He continued to say that conservatives have to decide “who can survive” the campaign process. “And whoever that is, if it’s Mitt Romney, then I think Republicans and conservatives and the Tea Party need to get behind him and say, ‘You may not be our first choice, but between you and Obama, I’ll vote 40 times to get you elected.’”

  • THE RETURN OF DEBTORS PRISONS: Collection Agencies Now Want Deadbeats Arrested And Sent To The Big House – As if life wasn’t already tense enough for Americans who can’t pay their debts, collection agencies are now taking advantage of archaic state laws to have some debtors arrested and sent to jail.

    More than one-third of US states allow debtors to be arrested and jailed, says Jessica Silver-Greenberg in the Wall Street Journal.

    Judges typically grant arrest warrants when the debtors have failed to show up for court dates or failed to make court-ordered payments.

    Of course, the reason debtors have failed to make court-ordered payments is often the same reason they didn’t pay their debts in the first place: They don’t have any money.

  • The consequences of presidential weakness – The supercommittee is not so much a failure of the legislative branch as it is of the president’s ability to lead the country. Each side in Congress represented its constituents well. It is, however, a very good argument indeed for dumping Obama. As Samuelson puts it, “The president won’t talk specifics, but government consists of specifics. The reason we cannot have a large budget deal is that Americans haven’t been prepared for one. The president hasn’t educated them, and so they can’t support what they don’t understand.”

    Republicans and Democrats in Congress should be crystal-clear: The president’s been AWOL from the most important domestic challenge we face. Frankly, I suspect that a stronger Democratic president would have been able to broker a deal. Actually, a stronger and more courageous president would have embraced Simpson-Bowles. But not Obama. Maybe we should get a president who doesn’t run overseas or finger-point but who leads.

  • Senate Democrats Blame Uber-Lobbyist Grover Norquist For Super Committee Failure – The super committee failed and Senate Democrats are lining up to blame Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist for the committee’s inability to reach a deal.

    In a video, Democrats warn “You didn’t elect Grover Norquist, but he blocked a deficit compromise, pressuring Republicans not to defy him.” It follows with clips of Norquist on 60 Minutes and other news shows taking credit for Republicans opposing a tax increase.

  • Sarah Palin Got Scolded by Roger Ailes for Not Announcing Her Non-Candidacy on Fox News – Sarah Palin’s announcement that she wouldn’t run for president disappointed her legions of admirers — but it infuriated Roger Ailes. The Fox News chief wasn’t angry about the decision itself. Rather, he was livid that Palin made the October 5 announcement on Mark Levin’s conservative talk-radio program, robbing Fox News of an exclusive and a possible ratings bonanza. Fox was relegated to getting a follow-up interview with Palin on Greta Van Susteren’s 10 p.m. show, after the news of Palin’s decision had been drowned out by Steve Jobs’s death. Ailes was so mad, he considered pulling her off the air entirely until her $1 million annual contract expires in 2013.
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-22 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-22 #tcot #catcot
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Fewer Americans Dying from Oral and Throat Cancer? – Fewer Americans Dying from Oral and Throat Cancer?
  • Photo of the Day: Democrat California Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi’s Booking Photo » Flap’s California Blog – Photo of the Day: Democrat California Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi’s Booking Photo
  • Super Committee Fails to Reach Deficit Agreement – Billy House – NationalJournal.com – Super Committee Fails to Reach Deficit Agreement
  • The Afternoon Flap: November 21, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Afternoon Flap: November 21, 2011 #tcot #catcot
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