Posts Tagged “Economy”
These are my links for November 27th through November 28th:
Going to be brutal and hopefully frank.
- Looking Forward to the 2012 Las Vegas Half Marathon – Looking Forward to the 2012 Las Vegas Half Marathon
- Obama public relations effort aims to avoid ‘fiscal cliff’ – Symbolism Over Substance– The White House signaled Tuesday that it will try to marshal the momentum from President Obama’s reelection triumph into another victory at the negotiating table, launching a full-fledged public relations effort to avoid a “fiscal cliff” that could jolt the nation back toward recession.Administration officials said Obama will hit the road this week for a campaign-style series of events with ordinary Americans, including a visit to a toy manufacturer in suburban Philadelphia on Friday. That trip and others will be aimed at increasing pressure on Congress to reach an agreement on heading off a series of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are scheduled to begin in January
Symbolism over substance
- Erick Erickson considering challenge to Chambliss– Popular conservative blogger and radio personality Erick Erickson said Tuesday he was considering a primary challenge to Sen. Saxby Chambliss after a host of political bigs had approached him about staging a bid of his own in the days since the incumbent broke with a vaulted no-taxes pledge.“For a week now, I’ve been getting calls to see if I would challenge Saxby Chambliss, once he really got into the whole ‘raising taxes issue,’” Erickson said in the opening segment of his radio show Tuesday. “Well, the pace quickened. I got a lot of people pledging a lot of money in the last couple of days if I did something like this. And I’ve been very adamant, I wasn’t going to do it, but after a few conversations today with a few heavy hitters in Washington, D.C. and some here in Georgia, I should at least consider it.”Erickson, a CNN political contributor and editor-in-chief of conservative haunt RedState, added he was “very flattered” and was in “prayerful consideration” about waging a possible challenge to the two-term Chambliss.Erickson was a one-term city councilman in Macon, Georgia, but resigned when his work–a radio show, television gig and editorship of highly-trafficked blog–became too great to shoulder in tandem with his public service.————-
A credible campaign against an incumbent U.S. Senator?
Going to be tough.
- Obama sells budget plan to middle class, biz leaders– For President Obama, it’s another day of focus on the “fiscal cliff.”Selling his plan to reduce the federal debt in part by raising taxes on the wealthy, Obama meets Wednesday with selected members of the middle class and the business community.Obama will speak during the event with middle class Americans, some of whom responded to an e-mail solicitation from the White House on the looming “fiscal cliff” — a package of tax hikes and budget cuts that kick in if the White House and Congress can’t strike a deal to reduce a federal debt that now tops $16 trillion.Later Wednesday, Obama and Vice President Biden meet with business leaders to “discuss the actions we need to take to keep our economy growing and find a balanced approach to reduce our deficit.”These are the latest steps in an all-out political blitz to sell Obama’s budget plans. On Friday, the president is scheduled to visit a Pennsylvania business — a toy factory near Philadelphia — to discuss the impact of the fiscal cliff.
Obama thinks he is still campaigning.
America would be better off meeting with the House GOP leaders and cutting a deal.
- After Close Election, Dems Look Like Sore Winners or Why Ken Burns is a Jerk– Post-election season is a time for healing, for putting aside the rancor of a long campaign and rediscovering what unites us. It has not been that way this year.Prudence, one would think, if not generosity of spirit, should impel Democrats to be magnanimous in victory. Romney did receive about 48 percent of the vote. A little modesty among the winners would seem to be in order.Instead, the gloating has been extravagant. Worse, liberals have gorged themselves on the same junk food they enjoyed during the campaign and cannot seem to resist under any circumstances — slandering their opponents. The smears are so casual and commonplace that we become weary of responding. But we must protest, or someone new to politics may assume that we concede the point.Appearing on “Meet the Press”, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns attributed conservative unhappiness with the election to racism. “Race is always there in America,” Burns opined. “It’s always something we don’t want to talk about. Do you think we’d have a secession movement — a faddish movement — if this president wasn’t [sic] African-American? Do you think the vitriol that came out of some elements of the tea party?”Ken Burns is a fine filmmaker. I met him once, and I found him to be engaging and amiable. It’s painful to see him descend to this kind of defamation. Some disappointed Republicans are talking secession in Texas and elsewhere. This is proof of racism? Is this the standard of evidence Burns employs for his films?
- Fiction, Poetry and Nonfiction Selected by The New York Times Book Review – NYTimes.com – Untitled (… #tcot
- Union Leaders Blanket the Hill to Lobby on Taxes, Entitlements – What a surprise RT @nationaljournal Union leaders blanket the Hill to lobby on taxes, entitlements.
- Obamacare’s Rationers Employ The “It’s Good For You” Defense– Obamacare’s backers have a plan to justify their attempts to ration medicine — by saying that it’s good for you.Through 2019, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as Obamacare — will allocate some $3.5 billion toward “Comparative Effectiveness Research,” or CER, which pits drug versus drug in tests intended to determine which treatments work best.CER advocates say that it’s designed to correct a “market failure.” Right now, they argue, drug firms need not demonstrate that their product is better than those already on the market — only that it is effective at treating the disease it targets. Drug companies have little incentive to compare their products to those made by other firms — as they may not come out on top.CER sounds innocuous enough. Who could be against research to help doctors make more informed decisions?But the truth is that CER is nothing more than a backdoor route to healthcare rationing. Such research will almost certainly be used to not-so-subtly influence treatment decisions.
- Retailers confident online sales tax has votes to pass– Retail groups are increasingly confident that they have the votes to pass a federal online sales tax in the final weeks of the 112th Congress if they can secure time on the legislative calendar.With less than five weeks to go in the year, supporters are concentrating most of their efforts on the Senate, where a measure giving states greater latitude to collect sales taxes from online purchases has a powerful backer in Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).At the same time, retail groups acknowledge that the talks over looming spending cuts and tax hikes could get acrimonious, and that Democrats and Republicans might have little appetite to deal with other measures if their negotiations run deep into December.“I think this is a question of can we get a vote, not if it can pass,” said Jason Brewer, a spokesman for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). “We feel confident about the vote count, but there’s also not a lot of time to push this across the finish line.”“When you end up with a major political situation like the ‘fiscal cliff,’ that overrides everything,” Rachelle Bernstein, tax counsel at the National Retail Federation, told The Hill. “I think we feel that we have a good piece of legislation pulled together, with lots of support. But there’s a decent chance politics could derail it.”
- Tom Cole: Join with President Obama on quick deal– Republican Rep. Tom Cole urged colleagues in a private session Tuesday to vote to extend the Bush tax rates for all but the highest earners before the end of the year — and to battle over the rest later.The Oklahoma Republican said in an interview with POLITICO that he believes such a vote would not violate Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge and that he’s not alone within Republican circles.
- Poll Watch: Taxing the rich remains popular – Poll Watch: Taxing the rich remains popular #tcot
- Hope and Exchange – The Feds Blame the States Over ObamaCare– ObamaCare is due to land in a mere 10 months—about 300 days—and the Administration is not even close to ready, so naturally the political and media classes are attacking the Governors and state legislators who decline to help out. Mostly Republicans, they’re facing a torrent of abuse in Washington and pressure from health lobbies at home.But the real story is that Democrats are reaping the GOP buy-in they earned. Liberals wanted government to re-engineer the entire health-care system and rammed the Affordable Care Act through on a party-line vote, not stopping to wonder whether it would work. Now that implementation is proving to be harder than advertised, they’re blaming the states for not making their jobs easier.
- ‘I want you to leave me alone:’ Gennifer Flowers claims Bill Clinton tried contacting her as recently as 2005 – NY Daily News – Dog! | RT @ByronYork Gennifer Flowers tells NO TV station Bill Clinton called her, wanted to get together, in 2005…
- Sen. Charles Schumer says Republicans want ‘divorce’ from Grover Norquist – Katie Glueck – POLITICO.com – Nice try Chuckie | RT @politico Sen. Charles Schumer says Republicans want ‘divorce’ from Grover Norquist:
- Bolling to drop bid for Virginia governorship – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @HotlineReid VA GOV: Bill Bolling drops bid, setting up McAuliffe-Cuccinelli showdown next year
- Senate Dems divided over cuts to benefit programs– Deep divisions among Senate Democrats over whether cuts to popular benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid should be part of a plan to slow the government’s mushrooming debt pose a big obstacle to a deal for avoiding a potentially economy-crushing “fiscal cliff,” even if Republicans agree to raise taxes.Much of the focus during negotiations seeking an alternative to $671 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts beginning in January has centered on whether Republicans would agree to raising taxes on the wealthy. President Barack Obama has insisted repeatedly that tax increases on the wealthy must be part of any deal, even as White House officials concede that government benefit programs will have to be in the package too.”It is the president’s position that when we’re talking about a broad, balanced approach to dealing with our fiscal challenges, that that includes dealing with entitlements,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-27 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-27
- Watch What Warren Buffett Does, Not What He Says– That last point is key: When taxes change, would-be investors will certainly change their decisions about where to direct capital, even “though the companies’ operating economics will not have changed adversely at all.” Buffett saw this clearly in 1986, with respect to Berkshire’s own investment decisions; it’s hard to believe that Buffett no longer believes that today, with respect to private investors.Now, none of this is to say that the capital-allocation effects of tax changes ultimately require the nation to forego tax reforms that would increase certain tax revenues. But it certainly is one consideration that must be kept in mind. When Buffett and others simply assert that tax increases don’t affect investment decisions, they’re whistling past the graveyard.
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-27 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-27
- CBS News: Rift Opening Between Obama And Liberals Over Fiscal Cliff – YouTube – RT @PounderFile: VIDEO: CBS News: Rift Opening Between Obama And Liberal Democrats Over Fiscal Cliff
- Image Problem – Republicans have a shot at improving their luck at the polls in 2014, but first they have to find a way to boost their brand appeal– Of the 13 Republican-held seats up in 2014, only one is in a state that Obama carried: Susan Collins in Maine. Indeed, Obama wasn’t even close in any GOP-held seats in other states. Other than Maine, the best Obama performances were minus 13 points in Alabama (Jeff Sessions), minus eight in Georgia (Saxby Chambliss), minus 12 in Mississippi (Thad Cochran), and minus 12 in South Carolina (Lindsey Graham). The other states ranged from minus 16 in Texas (John Cornyn) to minus 32 in Idaho (James Risch) and minus 34 in Oklahoma (James Inhofe).Conversely, Democrats have three seats up in 2014 in states that Obama lost by more than 15 points: minus 17 points in Louisiana (Mary Landrieu), minus 24 in Arkansas (Mark Pryor), and minus 27 in West Virginia (Jay Rockefeller). It should be noted that six-term Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., announced her candidacy on Monday at the State Capitol in Charleston.In three more 2014 Democratic Senate states, Obama lost by at least five but less than 15 points: minus 11 in South Dakota (Tim Johnson) and minus 13 in both Alaska (Mark Begich) and Montana (Max Baucus). Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds started an exploratory committee in September and is expected to challenge Johnson.There are three more 2014 Democratic Senate seats up in swing states, defined as such due to 2012 margins of five points or less: Obama minus two in North Carolina (Kay Hagan), plus three in Virginia (Mark Warner), and plus five in Colorado (Mark Udall).That’s nine Democratic seats that are either in demonstrably swing states or in enemy territory. This also does not take into account some states that were on the bubble: Obama won Iowa (Tom Harkin) and New Hampshire (Jeanne Shaheen) by just six points each.
The remarkable thing about Senate Democrats in 2012 was their ability to go on the offensive while, by necessity, playing defense. That will be much more difficult to replicate in 2014 given the seats up that cycle.
- Amazon.com to build third California distribution center– Internet retailer Amazon.com — after years of avoiding having any physical presence in California — is planning to open a third massive distribution center in the Golden State.The new operation is in Tracy, a distant bedroom community for the San Francisco Bay Area south of Sacramento. The facility will be only about 30 miles from a second Amazon center being built in Patterson to the south.Last month, the Seattle company cut the ribbon on a 950,000-square-foot facility in the city of San Bernardino, which started filling orders before the holiday shopping season.
- The Fiscal Cliff Is A Sideshow: It’s The Economy, Not The Budget, Stupid– Recently, using the comforting, measured and boring tones perfected by Alan Greenspan, Chairman Bernanke in a speech to the New York Economic Club observed that the best of the policy options open to us might lead us back to our economic potential by 2018. Apart from the idea that we can’t have our economy back for maybe six more years, at least three things in his speech are cause for profound worry no matter how analgesic the language is meant to sound.The presidential campaign drove the first and most serious point home. No one seems to have any sense of urgency regarding growth. The “guild” economists who advised both sides focused more on blaming various actors for why the recession won’t end rather than showing any sense of the profound costs of what a lost decade of growth means to America. President Obama’s “George did it” narrative met Mitt Romney’s mantra of “Obama doesn’t know anything about business.” Romney’s feint at growth sure sounded more like “I can manage better.”
- Red State’s Erick Erickson mulls Chambliss challenge– In a 900-word indictment of Sen. Saxby Chambliss, RedState editor and CNN contributor Erick Erickson described the Georgia Republican Tuesday as “waffling around like a dog off its leash for the first time.”Referring to Chambliss’s recent comment that he is more worried about the fiscal cliff than adhering to his anti-tax pledge, Erickson wrote:Everyone knows that Saxby meant he was happy to raise taxes. Now, under pressure back home, he is waffling. He covets his seat in Washington and is fearful of being primaries. Georgia has primary run-offs, whichs means he can be taken out. He cannot bring himself to say he wants to raise revenue through changing in the tax code that will cause taxes to go up, so he dances around. Behind the scenes, we all know he will work to structure a proposal that increases taxes on Americans, but he’ll cleverly make sure there are enough votes so he can vote against it. He is active and has been actively complicit with Mark Warner (D, VA) and others on raising taxes.
- Video: When the Democrats Loved the Filibuster – Flap’s Blog – Video: When the Democrats Loved the Filibuster #tcot
- Untitled (http://www.amazon.com/) – Christmas Shopping Bleg: If you are doing any shopping through how aboutclicking through ? Thanks!
- Day By Day November 27, 2012 – Hassle – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day November 27, 2012 – Hassle #tcot
- Political Cartoons / California Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown is a leader for the ages…..Dark Ages…. – California Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown is a leader for the ages…..Dark Ages….
- Bankrupt San Bernardino cuts $26 million, tries to stay afloat– Saying it had little choice, the San Bernardino City Council voted to cut $26 million in spending in an effort to keep the bankrupt city from dissolving and being governed by the county.The city is already in bankruptcy proceedings and facing a $45.8-million budget shortfall. The $26 million in cuts will help the troubled city stay afloat.The austerity plan is a required step in the federal bankruptcy process. It freezes vacancies in the Police Department even as the city deals with an increase in violent crime. The Fire Department’s overtime budget also was slashed by 35%.
- President 2012: The New Electoral Math, and What It Means for Polling– The exit pollsters asked which was the most important candidate quality – vision for the future (29%), shares my values (27%), cares about people like me (21%), and strong leader (18%).Mitt Romney won three of the four qualities. Voters who selected vision opted for Romney 54%-45%. Those who picked values preferred Romney 55%-42%. Voters focused on strong leadership opted for Romney 61%-38%. Romney lost 18%-81% among voters who said “cares about people like me” to Barack Obama.Thus, Romney controlled leadership, vision, and values, yet still lost, because he got blown out on the empathy dimension. This may well have been the first Presidential election where the winner on leadership lost the election anyhow. Prior to the election, if you had said that Romney would win among the 74% of voters choosing those three qualities and would still lose overall, you would not have been believed.Also, asked which of four was the most important issue, an overwhelming 59% picked the economy. Romney won those voters 51%-47%. Thus, he won the most important issue, but still lost the election.But the demographics are even more concerning for the GOP down the road. Here are some of the stunning demographic findings from the exit polls about the Presidential election:
- Mitt Romney won Independents by five points. That’s better than George W. Bush in 2004 by six net points (see more on that below).
- Mitt Romney won middle income voters ($50-100k) by six points. George W. Bush won them by twelve points in 2004, but there were far fewer voters earning more than $100k in the 2004 election (18%) than in 2012 (28%).
- Mitt Romney won white women by 56%-42% (the “war on women” is overstated; Romney got crushed with minority women but a fourteen point win is not exactly a decisive defeat with white women).
- George W. Bush won white women by eleven points in 2004, a net three points weaker than Romney.
- Mitt Romney won white voters by 59%-39%, which is better than George W. Bush in 2004 by three net points.
- Mitt Romney won voters age 40+ by five points. There is no direct comparison to Bush in 2004, but Bush did win voters 45+ by five points.
So, Romney won many of the groups that are generally considered to be the ones to decide elections – Independents, white women (by double digits), middle income, and voters age 40+. Mitt Romney put together a coalition that just eight years ago would have won the presidential election (hence the data comparisons to George W. Bush). However, instead of whites being 77% of the electorate, they were 72% of the electorate. Instead of Republicans and Democrats being equal, Democrats far outnumbered Republicans, and washed out Romney’s advantage among Independents. Bush kept it close with younger voters (under age 40), while Obama won them decisively.
- Why Republicans should have won the election (and why they didn’t)– The math, according to Bolger, is determinative. There are simply more Democrats than Republicans in the country — as we have noted before, the consistency of Democrats’ party ID edge is striking — and that means that winning independents is no longer the whole shebang for the GOP. Neither is winning the white vote since it’s hard to imagine a Democratic candidate sinking significantly lower than 39 percent among that voting bloc in future elections. (The white vote for Democratic presidential candidates has also been very consistent; since 1992, no Democratic nominee has received less than 39 percent or more than 43 percent of the white vote.)Concludes Bolger: “Thus, to have a chance, Republicans have to appeal to Hispanics. It’s simple math, but it’s hard to do. We have to start today.”He’s absolutely right — on both fronts. (Hell, we devoted an entire chapter in “The Gospel According to the Fix” to Republicans’ Hispanic problem and how it will doom them as a national party unless they can solve it.)
- How Senate Republicans could get tripped up again in 2014 (and how they are trying not to)– Welcome to the 2014 cycle, where most of the early rumblings in the Senate landscape have involved the prospect of Republican infighting. And, after back-to-back cycles in which flawed nominees in Nevada, Missouri, Colorado, Indiana and Delaware cost Republicans dearly, national strategists are already working to prevent history from repeating itself.The question is how.Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) will be the next chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and will be faced with the task of recruiting better candidates and cultivating a better relationship with conservative groups.“Unless the party is planning to get behind principled, grassroots conservatives, they’re going to continue to run into a fierce headwind,” said SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins.One of Moran’s vice chairs will be Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas, the shining star of the conservative grassroots this cycle who overcame the odds to defeat heavily favored Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) in a GOP primary/runoff. Part of Cruz’s role at the committee, according to a Republican familiar with NRSC strategy, will be to act as a go-between with conservative groups like the Club and SCF, both of which backed his candidacy this year.
- Rand Paul warns GOP ‘in danger of becoming a dinosaur’– Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) urged the Republican party to adopt a more libertarian approach to policy in order to avoid becoming “a dinosaur.”Paul, the libertarian-leaning senator, was speaking in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.”I think my party, the Republican Party, is shrinking. We’re in danger of becoming a dinosaur,” Paul said. “We’re not competitive on the West Coast, we’re not competitive in New England.”
- GOP lawmakers float immigration reform plan– Saying they want to get the conversation on immigration reform started, top Senate Republicans on Tuesday introduced a version of the so-called “Dream Act” to grant young illegal immigrants legal status in the US, though not giving them a special path to citizenship.GOP Sens. Jon Kyl and Kay Bailey Hutchison said they have introduced a bill that would reward those who take college classes or join the military.“We have got to get this ball rolling,” said Mr. Kyl, an Arizona Republican who is retiring this year. “We have to have a discussion that is sensible, that is calm.”Their bill would be more limited than the proposals Democrats have sought, which would have been more generous with a path to citizenship and broader in the number of immigrants it would apply to. But Ms. Hutchison, Texas Republican, said she and Mr. Kyl have tried to accommodate some Democratic lawmakers’ concerns.
The legislation would reward students with higher status the further along they are in pursuing their education. Those who earn a four-year college degree or complete military service could apply for a permanent visa that wouldn’t put them on a new path to citizenship, but would allow them to join existing lines by getting married to a U.S. citizen or finding another opportunity to adjust their status.
- The Afternoon Flap: November 27, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Afternoon Flap: November 27, 2012 #tcot
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These are my links for November 14th through November 16th:
- Twinkies Maker Hostess Going Out of Business– Hostess, the makers of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business after striking workers failed to heed a Thursday deadline to return to work, the company said.“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” Hostess CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said in announcing that the firm had filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to shutter its business. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”
- Details about the GOP’s alternate to the DREAM Act emerge– The Daily Caller has obtained details of an ACHIEVE Act proposal being floated by some Senate Republicans.It appears similar to the conservative alternative to the Dream Act that Sen. Marco Rubio worked on last summer (before President Obama issued his executive order, effectively tabling the issue until after the election).Essentially, the proposal involves several tiers: W-1 visa status would allow an immigrant to attend college or serve in the military (they have six years to get a degree). After doing so, they would be eligible to apply for a four-year nonimmigrant work visa (also can be used for graduate degrees.)Next, applicants would be eligible to apply for a permanent visa (no welfare benefits.) Finally, after a set number of years, citizenship “could follow…”
- Martinez criticizes Romney comments, points way forward for GOP– New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the GOP’s most prominent Latina, chastised Mitt Romney’s rhetoric Thursday and called on the Republican Party to play ball on immigration reform.“We have to start electing people who look like their communities all the way from city council to county commissioners to county clerks all the way through the state and up into national politics,” she told POLITICO and Yahoo News at the conclusion of the Republican Governors Association meeting here.
- Some Republican governors soften on taxes– Some Republican governors are softening on the party’s hard-line toward tax increases for the wealthy, suggesting that GOP congressmen at least be open to rate hikes in exchange for a comprehensive fiscal agreement on taxes and entitlements.“The people have spoken, I think we’re going to have to be [flexible] now,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, when asked if his party would now have to be open to taxes on the highest earners. “Elections do have consequences. The president campaigned on that.”
- Top California pollster says 2012 election could be a turning point– DiCamillo said the overwhelming support for President Barack Obama among ethnic voters was solely responsible for his landslide, 21 percentage-point win in California. While non-Hispanic white voters backed Republican Mitt Romney by an 8 percent margin, he noted, Obama carried Latinos by 45 points, Asian-Americans by 53 points and African-Americans by more than 90 points.”It bodes very poorly for the long-term prospects of the California Republican Party,” he said.Both pollsters agreed with the assessment of numerous national analysts that, to become more competitive among Latino voters, Republicans in Congress must support comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who have been working in the United States for a number of years.That policy change alone, however, will not be enough, DiCamillo said.
“It’s not even the one thing that I would point to as having the most to do with partisan preference,” he said.
DiCamillo said the issue that most separates ethnic voters from non-Hispanic whites in California is their perception of the role of government. His polling has found that while non-Hispanic whites are essentially divided over the question of whether government should do more to try to improve the lives of residents, ethnic voters by a 2-to-1 margin believe that it should.
- Political Cartoons / Secede???? – Secede???? via @pinterest #tcot
- Jobless Claims in U.S. Jumped Last Week After Sandy- Bloomberg – Jobless Claims in U.S. Jumped Last Week After Sandy #tcot
- Jobless Claims in U.S. Jumped Last Week After Sandy– More Americans than forecast submitted claims for unemployment insurance last week as superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the job market.Applications for jobless benefits surged by 78,000 to 439,000 in the week ended Nov. 10, the most since April 2011, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Several states said the increase was due to the storm that hit the Northeastern part of the U.S. in late October, a Labor Department spokesman said as the data were released to the press.The extent of the damage means it may take weeks for the underlying trend in firings to again become clear. Before the storm, the labor market was gaining momentum even as year-end domestic fiscal policy uncertainties raised concern among businesses.“At least a few state labor offices were shut in the prior week so it’s almost as if you have two weeks of claims in one,” said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities USA Inc. in New York. “You have a double whammy this week, where people were filing claims they were unable to previously and individuals unable to work for the storm were filing additional claims.”
- Day By Day November 14 – 15, 2012 – Underwater and Illumination – Day By Day November 14 – 15, 2012 – Underwater and Illumination #tcot
- The ObamaCare Battlefront Shifts To The States– Throughout the debate over ObamaCare – and back to HillaryCare and beyond – the fundamental question in health reform has always been this: Who will control our choices – government or individuals?Each side has won battles over the last 15 years in the tug of war between those who want a system that empowers the individual and one that cedes more and more authority to the state.Congress created the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to expand publicly-financed coverage to children.But it later created Health Savings Accounts to empower individuals in the free market.
It expanded Medicare to create a new prescription drug benefit.
But it also boosted participation by private plans in Medicare through the Medicare Advantage program.
- Doc Shortage Could Crash ObamaCare Health Care– The United States will require at least 52,000 more family doctors in the year 2025 to keep up with the growing and increasingly older U.S. population, a new study found.The predictions also reflect the passage of the Affordable Care Act — a change that will expand health insurance coverage to an additional 38 million Americans.”The health care consumer that values the relationship with a personal physician, particularly in areas already struggling with access to primary care physicians should be aware of potential access challenges that they may face in the future if the production of primary care physicians does not increase,” said Dr. Andrew Bazemore, director of the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Primary Care and co-author of the study published Monday in the Annals of Family Medicine.Stephen Petterson, senior health policy researcher at the Robert Graham Center, said the government should take steps — and quickly — to address the problem before it gets out of hand.
“There needs to be more primary care incentive programs that give a bonus to physicians who treat Medicaid patients in effort to reduce the compensation gap between specialists and primary care physicians,” said Petterson, who co-authored the study with Bazemore.
But such changes may be more easily said than done.
The problem does not appear to be one of too few doctors in general; in fact, in 2011 a total of 17,364 new doctors emerged from the country’s medical schools, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Too few of these doctors, however, choose primary care as a career — an issue that may be worsening.
- California Vehicle license fees would triple under measure planned by state Sen. Ted Lieu– Touted as a test of the new Democratic supermajority in Sacramento, South Bay state Sen. Ted Lieu plans to introduce a measure to triple vehicle license fees.The constitutional amendment would restore the 2 percent vehicle license fee slashed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger after he won office partly on that pledge.The 1.35 percent transportation system user fee increase would generate an estimated $3.5 billion to $4 billion annually for roads and public transit in yet-to-be-decided proportions, Lieu said.Buoyed by the Democratic supermajority achieved just last week, Lieu, D-Redondo Beach, plans to introduce the legislation in either December or January. He envisions the Legislature will approve the amendment and place it before voters in November 2014.
“It would be a test to see what the two-thirds (majority) Legislature means,” Lieu told the editorial board of the Los Angeles News Group. “The best way for us to lose the supermajority is to overreach.
“I’m not saying it would be an easy sell,” he added of the proposal. “I’m aware of the fact I may be attacked for it.”
- THE IMMIGRATION AMNESTY FANTASY– The networks had barely called the election for President Barack Obama before GOP elites rushed to embrace an amnesty for illegal immigrants.Getting killed by almost 3-to-1 among Latino voters understandably concentrates the mind, but it’s no reason to lose it. The post-election Republican reaction has been built on equal parts panic, wishful thinking and ethnic pandering.It’s one thing to argue that amnesty is the right policy on the merits. It’s another to depict it as the magic key to unlocking the Latino vote. John McCain nearly immolated himself within the Republican Party with his support for amnesty and did all of 4 percentage points better among Latino voters in 2008 than Mitt Romney did in 2012, according to exit polls.What is the common thread uniting McCain, the advocate of “comprehensive” immigration reform, and Romney the advocate of “self-deportation”? They are both Republicans supporting conservative economic policies. Surely, that had more to do with their showing among Latinos than anything they did or didn’t say about immigration.
According to Census Bureau data, among native-born Hispanics, 50 percent of all households with children are headed by unmarried mothers. About 40 percent of all households receive benefits from a major welfare program. This doesn’t mean that the GOP shouldn’t try to appeal to voters in these households. It does mean that they aren’t natural Republican voters.
Latinos tend to have liberal attitudes toward government. Take health care. An ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions poll of Latinos conducted on the eve of the election found that 61 percent of Latinos support leaving Obamacare in place. Sixty-six percent believe government should ensure access to health insurance. This might have something to do with the fact that 32 percent of nonelderly Latinos lack health insurance, about twice the national average.
In California, Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute noted in the aftermath of the election, “Hispanics will prove to be even more decisive in the victory of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, which raised upper-income taxes and the sales tax, than in the Obama election.”
These are facts that never intrude upon Wall Street Journal editorials scolding Republicans for supposedly turning their backs on new recruits. In the Journal’s telling, if it weren’t for Republican intransigence on immigration, Latino voters would be eagerly joining the fight for lower marginal tax rates and free-market entitlement reforms.
- John Cornyn on Senate races: GOP bungled it– Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the incoming Republican whip who led his party’s Senate campaign efforts this year, candidly acknowledged the GOP bungled a prime opportunity to take control of the chamber through a combination of poor polling, poor candidates and a poor job of selling its message.While claiming Democrats “got lucky” in gaining two Senate seats, the Texas Republican admitted his party had an image deficiency with women, minorities and disaffected voters — one that needs to be immediately addressed before suffering the consequences in the next election cycle.
- Gallup Poll: Economy, Entitlements, Iran Are Americans’ Top Priorities– Solid majorities of Americans in the Nov. 9-12 USA Today/Gallup poll also put heavy emphasis on significantly reducing the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels, making college education more affordable, making major cuts in federal spending, and simplifying the tax code by lowering rates and eliminating deductions and loopholes.Not only do at least seven in 10 Americans rate all of these goals as extremely or very important, but majorities of Republicans as well as Democrats agree on their importance. In other words, there is bipartisan consensus that these goals are important.On the reverse side of things, relatively few Americans, including fewer than four in 10 Republicans or Democrats, consider making major cuts to military and defense spending a high priority for Obama.
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-14 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-14
- Romney Blames Loss on Obama’s ‘Gifts’ to Minorities and Young Voters– Saying that he and his team still felt “troubled” by his loss to President Obama, Mitt Romney on Wednesday attributed his defeat in part to what he called big policy “gifts” that the president had bestowed on loyal Democratic constituencies, including young voters, African-Americans and Hispanics.In a conference call with fund-raisers and donors to his campaign, Mr. Romney said Wednesday afternoon that the president had followed the “old playbook” of using targeted initiatives to woo specific interest groups — “especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people.”“In each case, they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Mr. Romney said, contrasting Mr. Obama’s strategy to his own of “talking about big issues for the whole country: military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs and so forth.”Mr. Romney’s comments in the 20-minute conference call came after his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, told WISC-TV in Madison on Monday that their loss was a result of Mr. Obama’s strength in “urban areas,” an analysis that did not account for Mr. Obama’s victories in more rural states like Iowa and New Hampshire or the decrease in the number of votes for the president relative to 2008 in critical urban counties in Ohio.
- LA Governor Bobby Jindal rejects Mitt Romney’s ‘gifts’ theory– Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal forcefully rejected Mitt Romney’s claim that he lost because of President Barack Obama’s “gifts” to minorities and young voters.Asked about the failed GOP nominee’s reported comments on a conference call with donors earlier Wednesday, the incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association became visibly agitated.“No, I think that’s absolutely wrong,” he said at a press conference that opened the RGA’s post-election meeting here. “Two points on that: One, we have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote.“And, secondly, we need to continue to show how our policies help every voter out there achieve the American Dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children an opportunity to be able to get a great education. … So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that’s absolutely wrong.”
He reiterated the points for emphasis.
“I don’t think that represents where we are as a party and where we’re going as a party,” he said. “That has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election: If we’re going to continue to be a competitive party and win elections on the national stage and continue to fight for our conservative principles, we need two messages to get out loudly and clearly: One, we are fighting for 100 percent of the votes, and secondly, our policies benefit every American who wants to pursue the American dream. Period. No exceptions.”
- Gregory Flap @ Crown & Anchor – Having a birthday lunch with my son and soccer/football (@ Crown & Anchor) [pic]:
- Twitter / Dodgers: Our followers to retweet this … – RT @Dodgers: Our followers to retweet this tweet are eligible to win a @CochitoCruz autographed jersey tee! #DodgersTY
- California Legislators Take Off for Hawaii and Australia – (500) … #tcot
- Will the Senate GOP Filibuster the President’s Next Nominees? – Yes, they will if it is Rice and Kerry | Will the Senate GOP Filibuster the President’s Next Nominees? #tcot
- Obama to open ‘fiscal cliff’ talks with call for $1.6T in new revenues – So 2009– President Obama is taking a tough opening stance in talks over deficit reduction, pushing Republicans to accept a plan that calls for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue over the next ten years, according to reports.The figure is double the $800 billion last discussed by the White House and House Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio) during their 2011 negotiations on raising the debt-ceiling limit.The president’s plan is based on his most recent budget proposal, which sought the $1.6 in new revenues by targeting the wealthy and corporations. The president and congressional lawmakers are set to meet at the White House on Friday as both sides begin hammering out a deficit-cutting plan that helps the nation move past the “fiscal cliff” of rising tax rates and automatic spending cuts set to take effect in January 2013.Both sides say they hope to avoid the fiscal cliff, but are at an impasse over taxes, with the president insisting that the wealthy pay more.
House Republicans on Wednesday were incredulous at the president’s opening bid.
“That is so 2009. It’s like he is still in charge of this place,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), referring to the last time Democrats had a majority in the House.
- Look Who’s Refusing To Compromise To Avoid Going Off The Fiscal Cliff – The LEFT– Budget Talks: If President Obama wants to get a deficit deal done to avoid the fiscal cliff, his biggest challenge won’t be Republicans, but his own hard-core left-wing supporters.Two days after the election, Obama’s favorite economist, Paul Krugman, set the tone for the intransigent left in a column titled: “Let’s not make a deal.” Boiled down, his advice to Obama was this: Don’t give in to any Republican demands, even if doing so would “inflict damage on a still-shaky economy.” After all, Obama would be better positioned to “weather any blowback from economic troubles.”Krugman’s advice may be disturbingly cold and calculating, but he has plenty of company on the left.Robert Kuttner, co-founder of the liberal American Prospect magazine, suggests Obama should just sit it out, let all the Bush tax cuts expire, the automatic spending cuts kick in and expect public pressure to force Republicans to give in entirely.
The left-wing Daily Kos called any kind of “grand bargain” between Obama and the GOP a “Great Betrayal.”
- Maps of the 2012 US presidential election results – Maps of the 2012 US presidential election results
- Don’t cry now | WashingtonExaminer.com – Don’t cry now – The GOP Will Have a Better Candidate in 2016 #tcot
- Immigrants and the GOP – Debunking some talk radio myths– The GOP’s Presidential election defeat is opening up a debate in the party, with more than a few voices saying they are willing to rethink their views on immigration. This is good news, which means it’s also a good moment to address some of the frequent claims from the anti-immigration right that simply aren’t true, especially about Hispanics.One myth is that Latino voters simply aren’t worth pursuing because they’re automatic Democrats. Yet Ronald Reagan was so eager to welcome Latinos to the GOP that he described them as “Republicans who don’t know it yet.”Recall that between 1996 and 2004 the GOP doubled its percentage of the Hispanic vote to more that 40%, culminating in the re-election of George W. Bush, who won Colorado, Iowa, New Mexico and Nevada—states with fast-growing Hispanic populations that Mitt Romney lost. The notion that Hispanics are “natural” Democrats and not swing voters is belied by this history.
- The Morning Flap: November 14, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: November 14, 2012 #tcot
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Comments Off on The Morning Flap: November 16, 2012
These are my links for November 13th through November 14th:
- Don’t cry now – The GOP Will Have a Better Candidate in 2016– Yes, it’s all sad — and grim, and depressing — but is Election 2012 truly the end of the GOP universe? Perhaps. But before giving way to unseemly hysterics, here are some thoughts to peruse:* Timing is everything: This year, the Republicans needed new and appealing young talents to take on Obama, and that, as it happened, was just what they had. The upside was that in 2009 and 2010 they had a crop of new stars, all born to run on a national ticket. The downside was that they would be ready to start running in 2014 at the earliest. And so the most crucial of all nominations would go to one of a number of has-beens or retreads, whose experience was either old or irrelevant, and whose talent at best underwhelmed.Mitt Romney, the best, left office six years ago, and had a liberal past, a financial career that had netted him millions, and, as the son of another ex-governor, seemed the image of white and upper-class privilege, minus the military heroics, medical problems, or personal tragedies that humanized the Roosevelt cousins, the Kennedy brothers and the elder George Bush.
Near the end, Romney became a good candidate, but he was always less than a good politician; a speaker in tongues that were not his first language, and a technocrat in a profession in which visionaries tend to win the big prize. His loss deprives the country of an effective executive, but it allows the next generation of the GOP, which would have been pushed aside for eight years or more if he had triumphed, to step forward now and make over the party — a moment that can’t come soon enough.
* The country has changed, but the next Republican ticket will have at least one, and possibly two, brownish-skinned children of immigrants, with inspiring stories of rising from nowhere to live the American dream. He and/or she (and “she” must be seen as a real possibility) will never have fired hundreds of people, will not be rich, will not be dogged by multiple changes on issues, will understand modern conservatism from having run and won on it, and also will be a career politician, unlikely to make the unforced verbal errors that haunted this campaign just ended. There are few such “diverse” stars in the Democrats’ stable. Hillary Clinton, if she runs in 2016, will be 69, and unlikely to get the nation’s young in a tizzy. In the next cycle, the dynamic that worked this year in the Democrats’ favor — race, youth and gender — may be turned on its head.
- White House ‘secede’ petitions reach 660,000 signatures, 50-state participation– Less than a week after a New Orleans suburbanite petitioned the White House to allow Louisiana to secede from the United States, petitions from seven states have collected enough signatures to trigger a promised review from the Obama administration.By 6:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, more than 675,000 digital signatures appeared on 69 separate secession petitions covering all 50 states, according to a Daily Caller analysis of requests lodged with the White House’s “We the People” online petition system.A petition from Vermont, where talk of secession is a regular feature of political life, was the final entry.
Petitions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas residents have accrued at least 25,000 signatures, the number the Obama administration says it will reward with a staff review of online proposals.
The Texas petition leads all others by a wide margin. Shortly before 9:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, it had attracted 94,700 signatures.
But a spokesperson for Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday afternoon that he does not support the idea of his state striking out on its own. “Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it. But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.
A backlash Monday night saw requests filed with the White House to strip citizenship rights from Americans who signed petitions to help states secede.
- Krauthammer: White House ‘Held Affair Over Petraeus’s Head’ For Favorable Testimony On Benghazi– Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Tuesday said the White House used David Petraeus’s affair to get the CIA director to give testimony about the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that was in line with the administration’s position on the matter.Appearing on Fox News’s Special Report, Krauthammer said, “The sword was lowered on Election Day”
- Greetings from the Single-Party State of California! – Dental Care for the Poor– Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is already putting his wish list together. Note the sheer lack of much to do with fiscal solvency:Steinberg talked of using the supermajority to reinvest in public schools and colleges, restore adult dental care for the poor, and alter the initiative process in a way that makes it harder for millionaires to impose their will by spending vast sums qualifying a measure for the ballot.The Senate leader said he might be willing to consider overhauling the state’s income tax structure to lower rates but broaden the base, and to consider a constitutional amendment laying the groundwork for same-sex marriage.
Adult dental care for the poor! Exactly what we need with a cash deficit somewhere around $20 billion, according to the state controller.
There are two races in Orange County and Sacramento County that are very close, and the GOP is not willing to concede as yet. There is a possibility that the ability to keep the Democratic legislature from overruling the Democratic governor rests in the hands of two Republicans.
- Hooray! Bankrupt California Is Now a One-Party State!– I might dislike the state GOP even more than Harold Meyerson does, but there are some other numbers that prevent me from celebrating what Meyerson hails as “the political transformation of California.” For instance:The last Republican turned off the lights* Democrats have controlled all eight statewide executive offices since 2011, for only the second time since the 19th century.* Democrats have a 28-12 edge in the state Senate, tied for its largest advantage since the 19th century. The party has held a majority there since the late 1950s.
* Democrats have a 54-26 edge in the state Assembly, its largest advantage since 1978. The party has run the Assembly since 1997.
* California has been represented in the U.S. Senate by Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for two decades.
* That 38-15 congressional delegation advantage, if it indeed holds, will be by far the largest spread in state history, and almost the largest percentage advantage as well (there was that 3-1 moment in the 1870s). Republicans last held more California congressional seats than Democrats in the late 1950s.
So what has all this enlightened Democratic governance produced? Here’s one way of looking at it: The last month that California had an unemployment rate of less than 10% was January 2009. The last month its unemployment was lower than the national rate was April 1990. The 2010 Census marked the first time California didn’t gain a seat in the House of Representatives since basically ever. For the first time since the Gold Rush, a majority of California residents were born in the state. The ultimate migration-magnet in a nation of immigrants is just no longer so, however strange that may be to accept.
- California to GOP: Adios– here are many ways to illustrate the descent of the California Republican Party into oblivion. A starting point is the demographic breakdown of the members of Congress elected last week in the state.Assuming the leaders in the few remaining close races hold their leads, there will be 38 Democrats and 15 Republicans representing California in Congress come January. Of those 38 Democrats, 18 are women, nine are Latinos, five are Asian Americans, three are African Americans, four are Jews and at least one is gay. Just 12 are white men. Of the 15 Republicans, on the other hand, all are white men — not a woman, let alone a member of a racial minority or a Jew, among them.The composition of the state’s new Democratic congressional delegation merely reflects the state’s demographic changes. Latinos (72% of whom backed Obama) were 23% of the California electorate in 2012, up from 18% in 2008. The share of Asian voters (who voted for Obama at a 79% rate) doubled, from 6% to 12%, between those two elections. Voters under 30 increased their share of state ballots cast from 20% in 2008 to 27% in 2012, and backed Obama at a 71% rate. The state’s proportion of white voters, meanwhile, fell from 65% in 2004 to 63% in 2008 to just 55% last week.
More sentient Republicans now say the party needs to modify its position on immigration. But a deeper look into the politics of the increasingly young and multicolored electorate suggests that the GOP is estranged from this new America on more issues than just immigration. The exit polling on Proposition 30, the tax hike on the wealthy promoted by Gov. Jerry Brown to keep the state’s schools and universities from further disastrous budget cuts, shows key elements of the Democrats’ new majority consigning the old Howard-Jarvis-no-tax-hike California to history’s dustbin. Voters under 30 supported Proposition 30 at a 67% rate, and Asian Americans gave it 61% support.
- Majority Supports Path to Citizenship; Greater Division on Other Social Issues – ABC News– Most Americans support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, an issue that may be high on the agenda of newly re-elected President Obama and the 113th Congress, given the increased importance of nonwhites – including Hispanic voters – in the nation’s political equation.On two other prominent social issues in last week’s voting, a bare majority continues to support legalizing gay marriage, and this ABC News/Washington Post poll finds a new high, 48 percent, in support for legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use.A PATH – Fifty-seven percent of Americans in this survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, with 39 percent opposed. That’s virtually identical to results of a similar question last asked in mid-2010, with support up from its earlier levels, as low as 49 percent in late 2007.
Debate on the issue was heightened by restrictive immigration policies enacted in Arizona in 2010 and Alabama in 2011, and, in June, when Obama moved in another direction, granting immunity from deportation to many undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children.
Hispanics accounted for 10 percent of voters in Tuesday’s presidential election, reaching double-digits for the first time, and Obama won them by 71-27 percent, improving on his 2008 margin in this group. In the exit poll, voters overall, by more than 2-1, said illegal immigrants working here should be offered a chance to apply for legal status rather than being deported.
In this survey, support for a path to citizenship peaks at 82 percent among Hispanics, 71 percent among Democrats and liberals alike and 69 percent among young adults, all key Obama groups. Support’s at 68 percent among nonwhites overall, compared with 51 percent among non-Hispanic whites. Obama lost white voters by 20 points last week, but won nonwhites — who accounted for a record 28 percent of the electorate – by 61 points. It was a record racial gap.
- The Fiscal Cliff: Will Obama and Congress Cut a Budget Deal?– Five people will gather Friday inside the White House to begin making decisions that could affect the pocketbooks of 315 million Americans.When President Obama sits down with the Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress, only 46 days will remain before the nation risks plunging over the “fiscal cliff” — a pileup of scheduled tax increases and spending cuts that threaten to drain $560 billion out of the economy next year and derail the recovery.It will be high-stakes poker, holding the promise of great rewards for an economic rebound if Washington succeeds and the peril of another recession if it fails.
Promise or peril, some Americans are going to feel the pinch. Should Obama get his way, those with annual incomes above $250,000 will face higher tax bills. If Republicans come out on top, tax rates and defense spending will remain the same, but social programs will face budget cuts.
A compromise portends discomfort, most likely in the form of reduced paychecks, jobless benefits and business tax breaks. And a stalemate means higher taxes and reduced federal spending across the board, including at the Pentagon.
- Hard questions await Obama at news conference– This is not what the White House wanted for President Barack Obama’s first news conference of his second term.He won’t be able to dwell much on his stronger-than-expected victory or even press his agenda for the next four years. Instead, he’ll be diverted by a Washington sex scandal.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-13 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-13
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-13 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-13 #tcot
- for-2012-11-13&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-13
- Petraeus and Broadwell attempted to conceal affair using Gmail drafts | The Verge – RT @verge: Petraeus and Broadwell attempted to conceal affair using Gmail drafts
- Michael Ramirez: Free Stuff is Not Overrated – Flap’s Blog – Michael Ramirez: Free Stuff is Not Overrated #tcot
- Day By Day November 13, 2012 – Dive, Dive! – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day November 13, 2012 – Dive, Dive! #tcot
- Broad Concern about ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Consequences | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press – Pew Poll: Broad Concern about ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Consequences – Blame Congressional GOP More #tcot
- Video – Austan Goolsbee says that there is no way the fiscal cliff can be avoided. – WSJ.com – RT @WSJ: Can the fiscal cliff be avoided? Here’s what three of the top economic professors in the U.S. think: VIDEO
- Pew Poll: Broad Concern about ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Consequences – Blame Congressional GOP More– As the president and congressional leaders begin negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff” deadline at the end of the year, there is widespread public concern about the possible financial consequences. More say the automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January would have a major effect on the U.S. economy than on their own finances. But nearly identical majorities say the effect of the changes would be mostly negative for the economy (62%) and their personal financial situation (60%).The public is skeptical that President Obama and congressional Republicans will reach an agreement by the end of the year to avoid the fiscal cliff. About half (51%) say the two sides will not reach an agreement, while just 38% say they will. If no deal is reached, more say that congressional Republicans would be more to blame than President Obama (53% vs. 29%).
- Pew Poll: Hispanic Household Wealth Fell by 66% from 2005 to 2009– Median household wealth among Hispanics fell from $18,359 in 2005 to $6,325 in 2009. The percentage drop—66%—was the largest among all racial and ethnic groups, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project. During the same period, median household wealth declined 53% among black households and 16% among white households.The Pew Research report provides the first look at how the Great Recession impacted household wealth. It finds that plummeting house values were the principal cause of the erosion in wealth among all groups. However, because Hispanics derived nearly two-thirds of their net worth in 2005 from home equity and a disproportionate share reside in states that were in the vanguard of the housing meltdown, Hispanics were hit hardest by the housing market downturn.The Pew Research analysis also finds that the median wealth of white households is 18 times that of Hispanic households and 20 times that of black households. These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest in the quarter century since the government first published such data, and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession.
- Public Opinion Strategies: Three Keys From the Exit Polls– Given the demographics of the 2008 and 2012 elections, the Republican Party is in danger of becoming the “Win In Off Years Only Party” unless we make a full-throated improvement with Hispanic voters. And, we have to admit it is us, not them.Want proof? That’s easy – as of this writing, Mitt Romney is getting 48.7% of the vote, while House Republicans are getting 48.4% of the vote. The House majority for 2014 (and beyond) is not built on winning the vote, but on fabulous drawing of the congressional district lines. So even the battleground we won on (congressional) was tilted for us, which we may not be able to count on in ten years.
- Republican polling firm explains what went wrong– On Election Day, Mitt Romney had a victory speech prepared — but not a concession. He believed he would win. His confidence was based in part on internal polls showing an electorate that favored Republicans. Many Republican Senate candidates also got false optimism from their numbers.In a memo, the firm of Romney pollster Neil Newhouse, Public Opinion Strategies, explains its mistakes and suggests how to fix them going forward.As a part of the Republican polling community, our prescription includes doing at least one-third of the interviews with cell phone respondents going forward, adjusting as required, ensuring that we include enough younger voters in our sampling, and (in many cases) polling until the final weekend of the campaign. This is going to cost campaigns and organizations more money on polling, but it is necessary to have a more accurate representation of the electorate.
- President 2012: Gallup defends itself– Gallup’s Frank Newport posted a memo online defending the organization’s 2012 polling, which gave Mitt Romney the lead in the presidential race from mid-October to the end of the month.Newport notes that the final pre-election Gallup poll, taken after a hiatus due to Hurricane Sandy, showed a dead heat, not so far off the final popular vote results.“In the end, Gallup’s national popular vote estimate was that the popular vote was too close to call, a statistical tie — 50% for Mitt Romney, 49% for Barack Obama,” Newport wrote. “When the dust settled, Romney got 48% of the popular vote and Obama received 50%, meaning that Gallup’s percentage-point estimate was within two percentage points for Romney and within one point for Obama.” (Further counting has boosted Obama’s total closer to 51 percent.)
However, he added, “it is clear that voting today is subject to new pushes and pulls” and that changes to the pollsters’ likely voting model might be necessary.
Newport also takes what appears to be a veiled shot at The New York Times’s Nate Silver, who argued that a mid-October Gallup poll showing Romney ahead was likely wrong.
“It’s not easy nor cheap to conduct traditional random sample polls,” Newport writes. “It’s much easier, cheaper, and mostly less risky to focus on aggregating and analyzing others’ polls.”
- Upcoming 5K,10K and Other Ventura County Area Running and Fitness Events! – Welcome! – Conejo Valley Guide – RT @ConejoJoe: Upcoming Ventura County area 5Ks, 10Ks and other running events
- 2012 Malibu Marathon Yesterday Was My 30th Marathon – Marathon Training Blog – Conejo Valley Guide – Congratulations Joe – see you at LA! RT @ConejoJoe: My 30th marathon on Sunday was not my best one but happy to finish
- Kathy Sullivan: For NH Republicans, some advice from the winning side | New Hampshire OPINION02 – RT @CPHeinze: Former New Hampshire Dem party chair gives state GOP some post-election advice: “Retire John H. Sununu.”
- Who’s who in the Gen. Petraeus scandal – Photos – 1 of 5 – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: PHOTOS: Who’s who in the Gen. Petraeus scandal:
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Fake California Dentist Esteban Campos Pleads Guilty – Fake California Dentist Esteban Campos Pleads Guilty
- 53% Favor Bush Tax Cuts For All But The Wealthy – Rasmussen Reports™ – Boehneer will cave – earlier the better RT @RasmussenPoll: 53% Favor #Bush Tax Cuts For All But The Wealthy… #taxcuts
- The Morning Flap: November 13, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: November 13, 2012 #tcot
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These are my links for October 18th through October 19th:
- Barack Obama on Benghazi: ‘If four Americans get killed, it’s not OPTIMAL’: Obama’s extraordinary response to security fiasco after Benghazi massacre– President Barack Obama, during an interview to be shown on Comedy Central, has responded to a question about his administration’s confused communication after the Benghazi attack, by saying: ‘If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.’Obama was speaking to Jon Stewart of The Daily Show for a programme to be broadcast tonight.Stewart, a liberal whose young audience is full of potential voters prized by the Obama campaign, asked the president about his handling of the aftermath of the Benghazi attack.Ambassador Chris Stevens, diplomat Sean Smith and security men and former U.S. Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed by terrorists on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 – an attack that the White House initially blamed on a spontaneous protest about an anti-Islam movie made in California.
Stewart asked: ‘Is part of the investigation helping the communication between these divisions? ‘Not just what happened in Benghazi, but what happened within.
‘Because I would say, even you would admit, it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people, as far as all of us being on the same page.’
Obama responded: ‘Here’s what I’ll say. If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.’
He continued: ‘We’re going to fix it. All of it. And what happens, during the course of a presidency, is that the government is a big operation and any given time something screws up.
‘And you make sure that you find out what’s broken and you fix it.
‘Whatever else I have done throughout the course of my presidency the one thing that I’ve been absolutely clear about is that America’s security comes, and the American people need to know exactly how I make decisions when it comes to war, peace, security, and protecting Americans.
‘And they will continue to get that over the next four years of my presidency.’
The word ‘optimal’ was first used by Stewart in the question. But Obama’s use of it in a sound bite that could be used to portray him as somewhat casual about the deaths, lit up conservatives on twitter after it was first reported in a White House pool report by Mike Memoli of the ‘Los AngelesTimes’.
Obama’s slip could help Mitt Romney recover from an awkward moment in the presidential debate in Long Island, New York on Tuesday when he challenged Obama over whether he had initially characterised the Benghazi attack as terrorism.
- ‘Hating Breitbart’ to open this weekend– After a protracted battle with Hollywood censors over the politically-motivated “R” rating imposed on it by ex-Democrat Senator Chris Dodd’s MPAA that delayed its release, the long-awaited documentary film, “Hating Breitbart” opens at a limited number of movie theaters this weekend. The film chronicles the life and very strange times of crusading arch-conservative activist, web journalist, and new media promoter Andrew Breitbart who died suddenly and unexpectedly this past spring at the age of 43. DC area screenings will initially take place exclusively at the Regal Cinema in Ballston Commons Mall in Arlington.Like Dinesh D’Souza’s runaway documentary hit, “2016,” the Breitbart documentary will begin its rollout in limited release, gradually opening greater numbers of theaters on successive weekends. The limited release idea, as with the D’Souza film on the background of Barack Obama, is meant to thwart the usual preplanned barrage of negative reviews typically prepared in advance by left-wing critics who have yet to actually see the film in pre-screenings. Such coordinated attacks are routinely deployed to torpedo opening weekend box office receipts of newly released conservative films.
- The Great Gaffe at Hofstra – – Krauthammer– Fight night at Hofstra. The two boxers, confined within a ring of spectators —circling, feinting, taunting, staring each other down — come several times, by my reckoning, no more than one provocation away from actual fisticuffs, of the kind that on occasion so delightfully break out in the Taiwanese parliament. Think of it: The Secret Service storming the ring, pinning Mitt Romney to the canvas as Candy Crowley administers the ten count.The actual outcome was somewhat more pedestrian. President Obama gained a narrow victory on points, as borne out by several flash polls. The margin was small, paling in comparison to Romney’s 52-point victory in the first debate.At Hofstra, Obama emerged from his previous coma to score enough jabs to outweigh Romney’s haymaker, his dazzling takedown of the Obama record when answering a disappointed 2008 Obama voter.That one answer might account for the fact that in two early flash polls Romney beat Obama on the economy by 18 points in one poll, 31 in the other. That being the overriding issue, the debate is likely to have minimal effect on the dynamics of the race.
- Obama spinning toward a loss– President Obama is losing. So says the latest Gallup poll, and so do those swelling numbers in key states like Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia and Ohio.Democrats say wait, he won the second debate. They are holding their breath, hoping polls next week will show that this week’s debate brought the herky-jerk of the campaign back full swing, with Obama back to his September lead in the swing states and poised to win. But with two weeks to go, a sudden surge in voter support for a president as unpopular as this one, in an economy this weak, is simply hard to believe. Conservatives like Karl Rove note that this late in October, no candidate with support higher than 50 percent (see Mitt Romney: Gallup) has ever gone on to lose.Perhaps Obama lost the presidency weeks ago, on Oct. 3, when he sleepwalked and scribbled through the first debate and helped make Romney a new candidate overnight. It was Obama’s night to finish Romney off; behind in the polls, even Romney likely woke up that morning thinking it was over. But Obama underestimated the task, the challenger and the electorate — all in 90 minutes. So a win this week was critical but perhaps not decisive. There is no obvious reason for Obama’s performance to reverse the course of the campaign and blunt Romney now. And though there is one final debate next week, a back-and-forth on national security and foreign policy isn’t likely to make the sale for anyone who still cannot make up his or her mind.Romney is arguing Obama has still failed to articulate a reason, plan or purpose for a second term. He is correct. But Obama has indeed, late in the game, come up with a more forceful defense of his first term, and an argument about the economy growing from the middle out instead of the top down.
- Obama on Benghazi attack: ‘When four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal’– President Obama vowed Thursday to fix any problems that contributed to the deaths of four American foreign service personnel during last month’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, saying that “when four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.”Obama’s comments, referring to the Sept. 11 terror attack, came during an interview with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. The interview, first reported in a White House media pool report, airs Thursday night.Stewart asked Obama whether the investigation would address communication problems that contributed to confusion about the circumstances of the attack in Benghazi.”Because I would say, even you would admit, it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people, as far as all of us being on the same page,” Stewart said.
“Here’s what I’ll say. When four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal. We’re going to fix it. All of it,” Obama replied.
“The government is a big operation and any given time something screws up. And you make sure that you find out what’s broken and you fix it.
“Whatever else I have done throughout the course of my presidency, the one thing that I’ve been absolutely clear about is that America’s security comes first, and the American people need to know exactly how I make decisions when it comes to war, peace, security, and protecting Americans. And they will continue to get that over the next four years of my presidency.”
Since the attack, Republicans have accused the Obama administration of hiding key details such as how and why the attack started. The GOP has also questioned whether a failure to address security concerns at the consulate contributed its vulnerability.
- GOP Points to Early Vote Gains in Ohio– They got smoked in the early voting game in 2008, but this time around Republicans are closing the gap with Democrats.Most observers here expect the early vote to tilt toward President Barack Obama, as it did in 2008. The Obama campaign has worked overtime to get their supporters to vote early and successfully sued the Ohio secretary of state to keep early voting locations open through the weekend preceding Election Day.Since early and absentee voting began on October 2, more than 1.4 million Ohio voters have voted or requested an absentee ballot. Almost a third of Ohio voted early in 2008, and Democrats expect that number to be even higher in 2012.But Republicans have polished their early vote operation since 2008.
Four years ago, Democrats made up about 42% of the early and absentee vote while Republicans made up 22% — a dismal 20-point deficit that contributed to Sen. John McCain’s defeat in Ohio.
Through Wednesday, however, the margin has narrowed: Democrats account for 36% of the early and absentee vote while Republicans make up for 29%.
Republicans are outperforming their voter registration in several of the state’s biggest counties.
- LAPD probing Manson family link to 12 unsolved homicides– The Los Angeles Police Department disclosed Thursday that it has open investigations on a dozen unsolved homicides that occurred near places where the Manson family operated during its slew of murders four decades ago.The Police Department made the revelation amid a legal battle to obtain hours of audio tapes recorded in 1969 between Charles Manson follower Charles “Tex” Watson and his attorney. The LAPD has said detectives believe tapes could shed more light on the activities of Manson’s group.Watson has been fighting to limit the LAPD’s access to the tapes. This month, a federal judge in Texas granted an emergency order preventing the police from executing a search warrant at an office where the tapes are kept.
- 12 Unsolved Murders Possibly Linked to Manson– The LAPD on Thursday announced it has open investigations on a dozen unsolved homicides near known Manson Family hangouts around Los Angeles.The revelation came amid a legal battle to obtain hours of audio tape recordings between former Charles Manson follower and convicted murderer Charles “Tex” Watson and his lawyer.”We have an obligation to the families of these victims,” Cmdr. Andy Smith told NBC4. “Our detectives need to listen to these tapes. The tapes might help with solving these murders.”News of the open investigation was first reported by the Los Angeles Times Thursday and confirmed to NBC4 by LAPD officials. Smith told the Times the 12 murders they are investigating “are similar to some of the Manson killings.”
Manson and his followers shot to infamy in 1969 after the murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others at a Benedict Canyon home in the hills above Los Angeles. That rampage was followed the next night by the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Feliz home.
The unheard recordings sought by the LAPD were made more than four decades ago, after Watson’s arrest for his role in the Tate-LaBianca slayings.
- CIA found militant links a day after Libya attack– he CIA station chief in Libya reported to Washington within 24 hours of last month’s deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate that there was evidence it was carried out by militants, not a spontaneous mob upset about an American-made video ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, U.S. officials have told The Associated Press.It is unclear who, if anyone, saw the cable outside the CIA at that point and how high up in the agency the information went. The Obama administration maintained publicly for a week that the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was a result of the mobs that staged less-deadly protests across the Muslim world around the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S.Those statements have become highly charged political fodder as the presidential election approaches. A Republican-led House committee questioned State Department officials for hours about what GOP lawmakers said was lax security at the consulate, given the growth of extremist Islamic militants in North Africa.
- Obama under pressure to spell out his agenda for a second term– President Obama is taking heat from his Republican rivals and some members of his own party for being vague about his agenda for a second term.On Thursday, Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a crowd at a campaign event in Florida that Obama “is not telling you what his second-term plan would be.”“He’s not saying that he is offering anything new,” the Wisconsin lawmaker said during a town hall. “All he is offering is four more years of the same.”Republicans are using the critique to parry Democratic attacks against Romney’s tax-reform plan, but they aren’t the only ones questioning what Obama’s priorities would be on Day One of term two.
“What would make my heart leap is to see him offer a forward-looking speech that encompasses all the things that he’s been talking about in little bits into a big thematic package, and one, big, second-term-agenda speech,” said Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-18 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-18
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-18 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-18 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-18 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-18
- Poll shows Romney leading in blue Pennsylvania | WashingtonExaminer.com – Poll shows Romney leading in blue Pennsylvania | #tcot
- Poll Watch: Romney Takes the Lead in the Electoral College for First Time – Poll Watch: Romney Takes the Lead in the Electoral College for First Time #tcot
- Poll shows Romney leading in blue Pennsylvania– A new poll shows Republican Mitt Romney leading in Pennsylvania, a state that Republicans had all but written off just weeks ago but which is now listed as a toss up by the Real Clear Politics website.Susquehanna Polling and Research provided The Washington Examiner with a poll it conducted for state party officials that shows Romney with a 49 percent to 45 percent lead over President Obama.It’s the first poll to show Romney leading among likely voters in the Keystone State.”The polling is very clear that the race is certainly up for grabs and Republicans have a tendency to never believe it,” Susquehanna President James Lee told The Examiner.
- Must-see: Special preview of ‘Hating Breitbart’ to stream at Big Hollywood tonight | Twitchy – RT @michellemalkin Must-see: Special preview of @HatingBreitbart to stream at Big Hollywood tonight ==> #tcot
- Election 2012 Likely Voters Trial Heat: Obama vs. Romney – Gallup Presidential Tracking Poll: Romney now leading Obama 52% Vs. 45% – 7 point lead . #tcot
- Welfare spending jumps 32% in four years– Welfare spending has grown substantially over the past four years, reaching $746 billion in 2011 — or more than Social Security, basic defense spending or any other single chunk of the federal government — according to a new memo by the Congressional Research Service.The steady rise in welfare spending, which covers more than 80 programs primarily designed to help low-income Americans, got a big boost from the 2009 stimulus and has grown, albeit somewhat more slowly, in 2010 and 2011. One reason is that more people are qualifying in the weak economy, but the federal government also has broadened eligibility so that more people qualify for programs.Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, who requested the Congressional Research Service report, said it underscores a fundamental shift in welfare, moving away from a Band-Aid and toward a more permanent crutch.
- Heller leads comfortably in two new polls – The Hill’s Ballot Box – NV-Senate RT @thehill: .@DeanHeller leads comfortably in two new polls (by @cam_joseph) #tcot
- Trooth.Com – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Three – Flap’s Blog – – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Three #tcot
- The Morning Flap: October 18, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: October 18, 2012 #tcot
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These are my links for October 17th through October 18th:
- Obama needs to win back the hearts of the country – Obama Needs to Win the Not-So-Optomistic– Barack Obama won the hope vote in 2008. Now, to keep the White House, President Obama needs to win back the disappointed.Michael Jones is one of them. Jones, one of the questioners during Tuesday night’s debate, wanted to know what the president has done to earn his support in 2012. This time around, “I’m not that optimistic,” said Jones.Obama’s answer to a critical voter concern was one of his weakest and one of challenger Mitt Romney’s strongest. It’s partly because Obama never got a chance to respond to his rival, but also because Obama didn’t seize the opportunity when Jones first presented to him.You could picture Bill Clinton telling the citizen-questioner in deeply personal terms how hard he is working on his behalf and how hard he would continue to work in a second term. Candidate Clinton showed how that’s done in a 1992 town hall debate that came to symbolize his unique ability to connect viscerally with ordinary people — even as it illustrated President George H.W. Bush’s inability to do so.
- Rove: Obama Won the Debate but Is Losing the Argument– Americans on Tuesday night watched what was the most ferocious presidential debate ever. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney circled and interrupted each other, jabbed fingers, got into each other’s space, and exchanged verbal body blows for 90 minutes at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.Yet it did not change the campaign’s dynamic. President Obama won the postdebate polls, but he’s losing the argument.In CNN’s insta-poll, 46% said Mr. Obama did the “best job” while 39% chose Mr. Romney. And in CBS’s survey of uncommitted voters, 37% said Mr. Obama won the night while 30% gave it to Mr. Romney. But to reverse the GOP challenger’s momentum, the president required nearly as big a victory Tuesday as Mr. Romney had last week. He didn’t get it.
- Massive study finds only 3.4% of American adults identify as LGBT– A massive new survey published this morning reveals that only 3.4% of American adults publicly identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, with the highest percentage coming among the younger, less-educated non-whites.The new Gallup Poll of more than 121,000 adult, the largest of its kind on record, wass conducted during the past four months. It finds the percentage of self-reported LGBT Americans to be much smaller than a general impression derived from their presence in popular culture and their perceived influence in liberal American politics.The special report found 3.4% of adult Americans publicly reporting themselves as personally identifying with those categories, 92.2% saying they do not and 4.4% refusing to say or claiming not to know.Given the stigma often attached by some to those categories, some unknown portion of the Didn’t Say’s and No’s presumably are choosing to remain in the closet, holding down the LGBT number somewhat.
“This initial analysis,” Gallup reports, “reveals new insights into the composition of the LGBT community in the U.S. In particular, the findings challenge both media and cultural stereotypes to reveal that the LGBT population is in a number of ways not that different from the broader U.S. population.”
- In full-page newspaper ad, 13 Iowa voters apologize for supporting Obama in 2008– A full-page Mitt Romney campaign ad in today’s Cedar Rapids Gazette takes the form of an open letter from 13 Iowans who say they voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 but regret their choice and won’t do so again in 2012.The letter is phrased as an apology, and lays out a case for why Romney, the Republican nominee is a better choice this time around.“Mitt Romney will deliver the real recovery that President Obama has failed to bring, he’ll get Americans working again, and he’ll turn our economy around,” the letter says
- Report: Obama campaign turning grim on Florida, Virginia, North Carolina — and Colorado? – It’s not that Romney has insurmountable leads in FL, VA, and NC, it’s that Team O has to decide how to allocate what’s left of its campaign treasury down the stretch and there are better bets for them than those three states. Triage, in other words. Mitt’s up 4.7 points on average in North Carolina, which would be tough for O to make up, and 2.5 points in Florida, which might be doable but would be hugely expensive in terms of reserving enough ad time to make a dent. I’m a little surprised to see Virginia included — O actually leads there by eight-tenths of a point, although Romney’s (narrowly) won the last three polls, so maybe Obama’s campaign figures it’s not worth resisting that momentum in a state they don’t really need. They do kind of need Colorado, though, and that actually looks tougher than Virginia for them at the moment: Romney leads by seven-tenths of a point and has won six of the nine polls taken since the first debate. If I had to guess, I’d bet they’re looking at Virginia and Colorado now as an either/or situation; if Romney’s lead opens a bit in one rather than the other, that one will be written off and an investment made in the closer state.
- Terrorist arrested after trying to ‘destroy America’ with Fed Reserve Bank attack– A young Bangladeshi on a mission to “destroy America” tried to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan Wednesday with what he thought was a 1,000-pound van bomb, according to a criminal complaint.Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, allegedly wanted to kill scores of people, wreak havoc on the US economy and stop the presidential election when he parked on Liberty Street around 8 a.m. and repeatedly dialed into the cellphone detonator from a nearby hotel room.But all he did was set off an indicator in the van that proved he tried to set off the explosion. He was promptly arrested, with his grand plans up in smoke.“I don’t want something that’s like small. I just want something big,” Nafis, 21, told an undercover agent during a recorded August meeting in Central Park.
“Something very big. Very very very very big, that will shake the whole country . . . that will make us one step closer to run the whole world. I want to do something that brothers coming after us can be inspired by us.”
The al Qaeda-obsessed terrorist — who was living with relatives in Queens — also recorded a video addressed to Americans right before he tried to detonate the bomb.
- A Turn of the Page for Newsweek – Out of Print– We are announcing this morning an important development at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013. As part of this transition, the last print edition in the United States will be our Dec. 31 issue.Meanwhile, Newsweek will expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business.Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.Four years ago we launched The Daily Beast. Two years later, we merged our business with the iconic Newsweek magazine—which The Washington Post Company had sold to Dr. Sidney Harman. Since the merger, both The Daily Beast and Newsweek have continued to post and publish distinctive journalism and have demonstrated explosive online growth in the process. The Daily Beast now attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70 percent increase in the past year alone—a healthy portion of this traffic generated each week by Newsweek’s strong original journalism.
- Scott Adams Blog: Firing Offense – Endorses Romney– Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration. But he’s enough of a chameleon and a pragmatist that one can’t be sure. And I’m fairly certain he’d want a second term. He might find it “economical” to use federal resources in other ways than attacking California voters. And he is vocal about promoting states’ rights, so he’s got political cover for ignoring dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.So while I don’t agree with Romney’s positions on most topics, I’m endorsing him for president starting today. I think we need to set a minimum standard for presidential behavior, and jailing American citizens for political gain simply has to be a firing offense no matter how awesome you might be in other ways.
- The schedule becomes the story– e are at the point now in the race for the White House where decisions must be made by both campaigns on where to spend precious time in the final days of this race, as what seems like a simple decision not to campaign in a certain state can quickly blossom into a major story.The number of swing states I have been watching is ten – New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.With 19 days until Election Day, how many times will the President and Mitt Romney get to those states? Will any of them go wanting?The President spent the day after the second Obama-Romney debate in Iowa and Ohio; as I wrote earlier in the week, don’t underestimate the importance of Iowa’s six Electoral Votes.
“We’re in Iowa and Ohio today specifically because early voting has already started,” Obama Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One. “As you know, that’s a key part of our strategy.”
Reporters then asked about speculation that the Obama campaign might be easing off the pedal in some southern states – specifically, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
“The same states that were in play and that we’re competing in every single day are the same states today as they were three weeks ago,” Psaki said. “And that includes Florida, and that includes North Carolina.”
But the schedule already tells a story about North Carolina.
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-17 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-17
- Gallup: Mid-October U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.3 Per Cent – Flap’s Blog – Gallup: Mid-October U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.3 Per Cent #tcot
- The Morning Flap: October 17, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: October 17, 2012 #tcot
- Trooth.Com – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Two – Flap’s Blog – – The David Nicholls DDS Interview Part Two #tcot
- A President Without a Plan– President Obama bounced off the canvas with a more spirited debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday night, as everyone expected he would. He was animated and on the attack. The question we kept asking as the evening wore on, however, is what does he want to do for the next four years?At least two questioners put the point directly, yet Mr. Obama never provided much of an answer. Sure, he wants to hire 100,000 more teachers, as if there is the money to hire them or it would make much difference to student outcomes.He wants to invest in “solar and wind and biofuels, energy-efficient cars,” which probably means more Solyndras and A123s (see nearby). He wants to raise taxes on the rich—that’s one thing he’s really passionate about. Oh, and he does want to pass the immigration reform he said he’d propose four years ago but never did propose in his first two years when his party controlled Congress and he might have passed it.But otherwise, what’s his case for four more years? Judging by Tuesday’s debate, the President’s argument for re-election is basically this: He’s not as awful as Mitt Romney. Mr. Obama spent most of his time attacking either Mr. Romney himself (he invests in Chinese companies), his tax plan as a favor for the rich (“that’s been his history”) or this or that statement he has made over the last year (“the 47%,” which Mr. Obama saved for the closing word of the entire debate).
- Record High Enrollment for Food Stamps: 46,681,833 Million– Food stamps enrollment has hit a new record high. 46,681,833 million are now enrolled in the social welfare program, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the federal department that runs the program.As the chart shows, when President Obama took office, enrollment in the food stamps program was 31.98 million. Now, not even four years later, it’s a whopping 46.48 million. (In 2002, as the chart states, “19.1 million Americans received food stamps.”)In fact, the newly released data represents enrollment in July (the last month for which data is available). Assuming the program remained on its projected path, the number of those enrolled in food stamps is likely now larger by several hundreds of thousands.”USDA has engaged in an aggressive outreach and promotional campaign to boost food stamp enrollment. Among these efforts are an ongoing partnership with the Mexican government to advertise food stamps to Mexican nationals, migrant workers, and non-citizen immigrants. Partly as a result of these efforts, the number of non-citizens on food stamps has quadrupled since 2001,” explains the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee.
And the cost, the committee explains, is astronomical. “Total spending on food stamps is projected to reach nearly $800 billion over the next 10 years, with no fewer than 1 in 9 people on the program at any given time. Neither food stamp participation nor spending on the program are ever projected to return to pre-recession levels at any point in the next 10 years.”
- A new, improved Barack Obama shows up for the second debate but fails to halt Mitt Romney’s momentum– President Barack Obama needed a game-changing night here in Hampstead, New York and Mitt Romney made sure he didn’t get it. Over the 90 minutes, Obama might have edged it – just – but strategically he did little if anything to blunt Romney’s growing advantage.Just as Al Gore over-compensated for his poor first debate in 2000, we saw a completely different Obama this time around. He had clearly had some intensive coaching from his debate prep team and was acting under orders to do change everything. Romney strategist Stuart Stevens quipped afterwards that he became ‘Joe Biden without the charm’.The problem is that the difference was so stark it was jarring. And by throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Romney – we had tax rates, Bain, big bird and the 47 per cent – there was more than a whiff of desperation. While Obama flung mud, Romney was intent on dismantling Obama’s record in office.
- Windows Pushes Into the Tablet Age – WSJ.com – Windows Pushes Into the Tablet Age – #tcot
- ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports – RT @darrenrovell BREAKING: Nike has terminated the contract of Lance Armstrong. More to come on .
- Twitter / waltmossberg: Here’s a visual guide to the … – Here’s a visual guide to the new Windows 8 interface. Read my full review at .
- Windows Pushes Into the Tablet Age – WSJ.com – Here’s a visual guide to the new Windows 8 interface. Read my full review at .
- The Hill’s 50 races to watch – The Hill’s Ballot Box – RT @thehill The Hill’s 50 congressional races to watch #tcot
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