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share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: November 21, 2011

These are my links for November 21st from 08:13 to 14:38:

  • Boehner blames Obama for failure of supercommittee to reach a deal – House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is blaming President Obama for the failure of the congressional supercommittee to reach a deal for cutting the federal deficit.The Speaker’s office sent out a memo Monday morning that says the supercommittee “was unable to reach agreement because President Obama and Washington Democrats insisted on dramatic tax hikes on American job creators, which would make our economy worse.”The memo from Boehner’s office says Obama set the deficit panel up for failure by demanding it become the vehicle for economic stimulus.

    “The President designed a political strategy that doomed the committee to failure first by insisting the committee include $450 billion of his failed stimulus policies in any agreement, making deficit reduction much harder and second by issuing a veto threat warning he would not accept an agreement that did not include a job-killing tax increase,” the memo obtained by The Hill states.

    The memo was not signed by the Speaker, as is customary for messages that come directly from him.

  • Super Committee Fails to Reach Deficit Agreement – The bipartisan congressional committee tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction announced on Monday it cannot reach agreement by the Wednesday deadline, a stark if not unexpected admission that its efforts have ended in failure.”After months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee’s deadline,” the co-chairs, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said.The declaration came late Monday afternoon in a written statement from the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction despite last-second discussions in closed-door meetings.

    The committee, in the end, could not resolve that Republicans would not go as far as Democrats wanted on allowing more revenue raisers, and Democrats did not want to move on entitlement reforms. Intense messaging by both political parties on which was more to blame is surely to spill out for days, if not months.

    The super panel was created with extraordinary, fast-track powers this summer under the law agreed to by Republicans and Democrats during the debt ceiling crisis. That same law now says its failure will trigger $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts over 10 years, starting in 2013. That so-called sequestration is to include cuts to Pentagon spending.

  • When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable? – If we trace liberal disappointment with President Obama to its origins, to try to pinpoint the moment when his crestfallen supporters realized that this was Not Change They Could Believe In, the souring probably began on December 17, 2008, when Obama announced that conservative Evangelical pastor Rick Warren would speak at his inauguration. “Abominable,” fumed John Aravosis on AmericaBlog. “Obama’s ‘inclusiveness’ mantra always seems to head only in one direction—an excuse to scorn progressives and embrace the Right,” seethed Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow rode the story almost nightly: “I think the problem is getting larger for Barack Obama.” Negative 34 days into the start of the Obama presidency, the honeymoon was over.Since then, the liberal gloom has only deepened, as Obama compromise alternated with Obama failure. Liberals speak of Obama in unceasingly despairing terms. “I’m exhausted [from] defending you,” one supporter confessed to Obama at a town-hall meeting last year.“We are all incredibly frustrated,” Justin Ruben, MoveOn’s executive director, told the Washington Post in September. “I’m disappointed in Obama,” complained Steve Jobs, according to Walter Isaacson’s new biography. The assessments appear equally morose among the most left-wing and the most moderate of Obama’s supporters, among opinion leaders and rank-and-file voters. In early 2004, Democrats, by a 25-point margin, described themselves as “more enthusiastic than usual about voting.” At the beginning of 2008, the margin had shot up to over 60 percentage points. Now as many Democrats say they’re less enthusiastic about voting as say they’re more enthusiastic.
  • We’ve All Gone Crazy – Unlike David Brooks — I walk out of room the minute he starts talking — David Frum is someone I consider a friend, which causes me to get a lot of heat from some of my conservative friends, including those friends whom Frum has attacked by name.Frum stubbornly believes he’s right (and also, Right), and any attempt to argue him out of his position is doomed to failure, simply because it’s his position and he feels honor-bound to defend it. Being rather mule-headed myself, I can relate to that, even when I know Frum is wrong, wrong, wrong (as is anyone who disagrees with me). However, I believe the point of arguments among conservatives is always to find the best way to stomp liberalism into smithereens. And I wish Frum would stop carping so much about conservatives, and start stomping some liberals.Read it all
  • David Frum on the GOP’s Lost Sense of Reality – It’s a very strange experience to have your friends think you’ve gone crazy. Some will tell you so. Others will indulgently humor you. Still others will avoid you. More than a few will demand that the authorities do something to get you off the streets. During one unpleasant moment after I was fired from the think tank where I’d worked for the previous seven years, I tried to reassure my wife with an old cliché: “The great thing about an experience like this is that you learn who your friends really are.” She answered, “I was happier when I didn’t know.”It’s possible that my friends are right. I don’t think so—but then, crazy people never do. So let me put the case to you.I’ve been a Republican all my adult life. I have worked on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, at Forbes magazine, at the Manhattan and American Enterprise Institutes, as a speechwriter in the George W. Bush administration. I believe in free markets, low taxes, reasonable regulation, and limited government. I voted for John ­McCain in 2008, and I have strongly criticized the major policy decisions of the Obama administration. But as I contemplate my party and my movement in 2011, I see things I simply cannot support.
  • Gallup poll: Is the Gingrich surge overrated? – In the latest Gallup GOP national poll, Mitt Romney (21 percent) and Newt Gingrich (22 percent) are in a statistical tie among registered Republican and Republican-leaning voters. Herman Cain has dropped to third (16 percent), with Texas Gov. Rick Perry (8 percent) now behind even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) (9 percent).What is interesting is the Gingrich surge at the onset of his first round of rigorous scrutiny has him much lower than the peak for Perry (29 percent). A GOP operative says he’s not surprised. “[Gingrich is] more of a known commodity, and not always in a good sense. Therefore he’s less likely to see a full-scale swoon.” Republican consultant Tony Fratto says the terrain is also different now than when Perry entered with a splash. He tells me, “Perry and Cain haven’t lost all of their elevated support, just part. So there’s less for Gingrich to capture. And Romney’s support stays fairly consistent.”Probably……
  • Will GOP NLRB Member Resign to Shut Down Labor Agency? – On November 30, the National Labor Relations Board is scheduled to vote on proposed rule changes that would speed up union elections by disallowing some appeals until after a workplace vote occurs. Employers typically aim to delay an election so that they can use the time to intimidate employees to voting against a union.But that vote may never take place, because some conservative members of Congress are pushing a plan that would force the NLRB, which is an independent federal agency tasked with enforcing labor law, to shut down. There are currently three people serving on the NLRB; if that is reduced by one, the body will be unable to issue valid rulings.In New Process Steel, L.P. vs National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that the NLRB cannot decide cases with only two members on the NLRB. For 27 months, during the last year of President Bush’s term and the first 14 months of the Obama administration, the NLRB only had two members (a Democrat and a Republican). The two members agreed to work together on common sense cases where they could easily agree on a ruling; they passed judgment in nearly 600 cases.

    But the Supreme Court invalidated all those rulings because they were made with only two members. Therefore, some conservative politicians such as South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and prominent right-wing blogs such as RedState.com are pushing for Republican NLRB Board Member Brian Hayes to resign before the vote for the rules is issued on November 30, which would effectively shut down the agency.

  • Spirit Airlines’ deceptive Tweets land a U.S. fine – MarketWatch – Oh MY! | RT @WSJ:Spirit Airlines has been fined $50,000 for tweets advertising $9 fares that didn’t disclose add’l fees
  • Federal lawmakers restore $12.5 million to program for methamphetamine lab cleanup – The war on methamphetamine has gotten some support from Congress — millions of dollars to clean up the toxic waste generated by clandestine meth labs.President Barack Obama signed a wide-ranging appropriations bill Friday that included the restoration of $12.5 million for meth lab cleanup.0

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    “It’s an awesome thing,” said Tommy Farmer, state meth task force coordinator for Tennessee, the state that led the nation in the number of meth labs in 2010. “It keeps us in the fight so we can combat these things.”

    The measure restores funding lost in February, when federal meth lab cleanup money through the Community Oriented Policing Services program ran out, and was not renewed. The program provided $19.2 million for meth lab cleanup in 2010.

  • Why Can’t Newspapers Make Money Online? – The bottom line is this: the reason that newspapers can’t make money is because they’re pricing themselves out of the market. It’s true that newspaper circulation has declined due to competition of various new media (check out Newspaper Death Watch if you really want to get depressed), and newspaper ad expenditures have declined along with them since 2001. But the real problem seems to be that newspapers have been way too slow in responding to competitive pressures by lowering their ad rates to a competitive level. Lulled into complacency by decades (if not centuries) of dominating the advertising industry, they’ve failed to recognize that when it comes to advertiser value, they’ve long since fallen from the top spot. The advantages they once had based on geographic exclusivity, readership, and exclusive content have been eliminated by the rise of the web. Today you can get your news from a huge number of sources other than the local bundle of papers tossed on your doorstep; and you (as a consumer) can get it for free. Craigslist and Facebook and Yelp and blogs and job listing sites and myriad other sources of local content have drained away readership and, more importantly, have all but negated the exclusive lock that newspapers used to have on local content. Advertisers who want to reach local audiences now have a huge amount of options and don’t have to be held hostage to the rates newspapers got used to charging.“News” has now become a commodity, yet the papers continue to charge premium prices. Unless they can figure out how to pare down costs, price themselves competitively, and, more importantly, offer content that’s worth paying for (see The Wall Street Journal), desperation tactics such as paywalls are only going to hasten the inevitable decline.
  • Dilbert November 20, 2011 – To Catch a Thief » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert November 20, 2011 – To Catch a Thief
  • President 2012: Newt Gingrich – Really? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Newt Gingrich – Really? #tcot #catcot
  • George Will | Newt Gingrich | Ron Paul | Mediaite – George Will Dismisses Newt Gingrich, Scoffs At Idea That He Is A ‘Historian’ #tcot
  • Democrats Pray for Newt – Democrats Pray for Newt #tcot
  • (500) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/conservatives-shouldnt-kid-themselves-about-newt/2011/11/20/gIQA9RhhhN_blog.html – Conservatives shouldn’t kid themselves about Newt #tcot #teaparty
  • Only 12% Expect Value of Their Home To Increase In Next Year – Rasmussen Reports™ – Poll Watch: Only 12% Expect Value of Their Home To Increase In Next Year #tcot
  • Untitled (http://www.nytimes.com/glogin?URI=http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/21/us/politics/deficit-deal-fell-apart-after-seeming-agreement.html&OQ=_rQ3D4Q26adxnnlQ3D1Q26pagewantedQ3DallQ26adxnnlxQ3D1321891541-qqfPM1wiKQ51yi2VQ2BBJWqRqAQ26utm_sourceQ3Dtwitt – Deficit Deal Fell Apart After Seeming Agreement
  • Do Overweight People Eat LESS Often? | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Do Overweight People Eat LESS Often?
  • Where Michigan stands on 2012 race for president | Detroit Free Press | freep.com – President 2012 Michigan Poll Watch: Romney 46% Vs. Obama 41%
  • The Morning Flap: November 21, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: November 21, 2011 #tcot #catcot

share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: November 21, 2011

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share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for May 25th on 18:08

These are my links for May 25th from 18:08 to 18:28:

  • OBAMA’S MEDICARE HYPOCRISY – Piously posturing as the savior of Medicare, President Obama lashed out at the House Republicans for embracing the budget proposed by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). But a comparison of the president’s own plans for Medicare with those in the Ryan budget shows that the Democratic cuts are far more immediate and drastic than anything in the GOP proposal.

    While the Republican Medicare changes only take effect in 2021, Obama’s cuts will begin hurting seniors right away. The president’s healthcare legislation imposed a hard spending cap on Medicare ?– the first time it has ever had one — which he has just proposed lowering by another one-half of 1 percent of GDP (a further cut of about $70 billion a year).

    Obama’s cuts, which will take effect immediately, are to be administered by his newly created Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) of 15 members appointed by the president. Its recommendations for cuts in Medicare services or for reductions in reimbursement will not be subject to congressional approval but will take effect by administrative fiat. Right now.

    The IPAB will be, essentially, the rationing board that will decide who gets what care. Its decisions will be guided by a particularly vicious concept of Quality Adjusted Life Years (QUALYS). If you have enough QUALYS ahead of you, you’ll be approved for a hip replacement or a heart transplant. If not, you’re out of luck. Perforce, many of these cuts will fall on those at the end of their lives, reducing their options to accommodate Obama’s mandate to cut costs. If death comes sooner, well, that’s the price of aging in Obama’s America.

    Ryan’s approach is totally different.

    ======

    Read it all

  • NEWT’S RIGHTabout Ryan’s Medicare Cuts – In the 1980s, the pre-Blair leftist Labor Party issued its campaign manifesto to oppose Thatcher’s Conservatives in the coming national election. Its loony, leftist proposals were so extreme that the Tory media promptly dubbed it “the longest suicide note in history.”

    The Republican proposal to shift Medicare from the current system to a voucher-based program of private insurance – in TEN years – falls into the same category. Don’t blame Newt Gingrich for saying so. In fact, we have to hope that Romney, Bachmann, Daniels and the other candidates join him in distancing himself from the plan if we have a hope of electing any of them president!

    Worse, the Ryan budget continues the $500 billion in Medicare cuts which formed the basis of the Republican critique of Pelosi and Obama in the 2010 election. It keeps the money in the Medicare system rather than spending it on other entitlements as Obama did, but that is scant compensation for someone seeking care now to stay alive!

    (When I first endorsed Ryan’s plan in a column and video, I was under the impression – as he had told me – that he would eliminate the $500 billion cut. I must have misunderstood him because his plan keeps that very cut on which we based our entire 2012 campaign. When I found that out, I switched to opposing his plan).

  • Paul Ryan: 2012’s Goldwater? – I used to worry that Sarah Palin would be the Barry Goldwater of 2012. My bad. Paul Ryan is the Barry Goldwater of 2012.

    The Goldwater effect continues on this morning after the NY-26 debacle. Henry Olsen of AEI, as smart a political numbers guy as can be found on the political right, crunches the numbers to compare the performance of the 2011 special election candidates with the district-wide performance of all other GOP and Democratic candidates in 2010. He finds:

    Republican congressional candidate Jane Corwin is running 18 points behind the worst-performing Republican of 2010
    Democrat Kathy Hochul is running even with Barack Obama’s performance in the district in 2008 – the best Democratic showing in NY-26 in three decades.
    The Republicans suffered their worst losses in the least-educated portions of the District, where former GOP voters seem to have deserted the party for an independent candidate, Jack Davis.

    What should make this race all the more alarming for Republicans is that NY-26 turned into a referendum on the Ryan plan for Medicare. As Henry Olsen says:

    blue-collar voters react differently to issues than the GOP base does. They are more supportive of safety-net programs at the same time as they are strongly opposed to large government programs in general. These voters crave stability and are uncertain of their ability to compete in a globalized economy that values higher education more each year. They are also susceptible to the age-old Democratic argument that the secret Republican agenda is to eviscerate middle-class entitlements to fund tax cuts for the wealthy.

    The Ryan budget is uniquely vulnerable to that attack because it fuses very tough Medicare reforms with big tax cuts in the same document.

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    Read it all.

    Frum is right in part and the GOP should not in lockstep endorse the entirety of the Paul Ryan Budget Plan.

  • Bill Clinton to Paul Ryan on Medicare Election: ‘Give me a Call’ – The day after the stunning upset in the special congressional election in upstate New York, Rep. Paul Ryan is a man under fire.

    But ABC News was behind the scenes with the Wisconsin Congressman and GOP Budget Committee Chairman when he got some words of encouragement none other than former President Bill Clinton.

    "So anyway, I told them before you got here, I said I’m glad we won this race in New York," Clinton told Ryan, when the two met backstage at a forum on the national debt held by the Pete Peterson Foundation. But he added, “I hope Democrats don't use this as an excuse to do nothing.”

    Ryan told Clinton he fears that now nothing will get done in Washington.

    “My guess is it’s going to sink into paralysis is what’s going to happen. And you know the math. It’s just, I mean, we knew we were putting ourselves out there. You gotta start this. You gotta get out there. You gotta get this thing moving,” Ryan said.

    Clinton told Ryan that if he ever wanted to talk about it, he should “give me a call.” Ryan said he would.

    ======

    Better start the discussion because the numbers will become real soon enough.

  • Five GOP senators jump ship in Ryan budget vote – Five Republican senators jumped ship and voted against House Republicans' 2012 budget on Wednesday.

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) joined four other Republican senators who'd previously announced their opposition to the budget, which has sustained withering criticism by Democrats who say it would end Medicare as Americans currently know it.

    Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) voted against it as they'd previously said they would, largely because of the reforms contained within the budget to Medicare, transforming it into a voucher-based system for Americans under the age of 55.

    Also as expected, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voted against the plan because he views it as not going far enough.

    The budget, crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), had been the subject of scrutiny from Democrats, who credited its Medicare provision for a victory on Tuesday night in a special election to an upstate New York congressional district.

    The underlying bill failed in a 40-57 vote, with 60 votes being needed to bring up the Ryan budget for debate. Two Republican senators did not vote.

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for May 25th on 18:08

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