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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: October 30, 2012

acebb3ce7bb34842a11c1e9 The Morning Flap: October 30, 2012

These are my links for October 25th through October 30th:

  • Gallup: Obama’s Early Vote Advantage Collapses 22-Points Over 2008 – My pal Guy Benson found a juicy nugget that helps to bring more clarity to the news from Gallup yesterday that shows Romney leading Obama in the early vote by a full seven points, 52-45%. Almost exactly four years ago (October 28, 2008),  according to Gallup, Obama was massacring John McCain among early voters with a fifteen-point lead, 55-40%. That means, at least according to Gallup, that Obama’s early vote advantage has dropped 22 points when compared to ’08.
  • NPR: 8-point swing puts Romney in front- A new National Public Radio poll, which had President Obama leading Mitt Romney 51 percent to 44 percent four weeks ago, now has Mitt Romney on top, 48 percent to 47 percent, with the Republican benefiting from his debate performances.The poll found that among likely voters, 34 percent said Romney’s debate performances made them more likely to vote for the challenger while 28 percent said they now are more likely to vote for the president. Among critical independent voters, though, Romney won big, with 37 percent saying they are now more likely to chose him compared to 21 percent for Obama.
  • AUTO BAILOUT BOMBSHELL: Fiat Says Chrysler, Jeep Production May Move to Italy- Coming hot on the heels of speculation that some Jeep production may be moved to China comes a bombshell from a Bloomberg report. Fiat is now considering moving Chrysler and Jeep production to Italy.According to the piece, “To counter the severe slump in European sales, (Fiat CEO Sergio) Marchionne is considering building Chrysler models in Italy, including Jeeps, for export to North America. The Italian government is evaluating tax rebates on export goods to help Fiat. Marchionne may announce details of his plan as soon as Oct. 30, the people said.”So, let’s be real clear here, we are talking about vehicles that will be built in Italy and exported to America. The evidence is clear that Fiat is looking at ways to move production of vehicles from the US to elsewhere, whether it be China or Italy, costing American jobs. This is becoming indisputable, despite outcries from certain parties to the contrary.
  • Presidential Race Dead Even; Romney Maintains Turnout Edge | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press – Presidential Race Dead Even; Romney Maintains Turnout Edge | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press #tcot
  • Day By Day October 29 & 30, 2012 – Mommie Dearest and Trick – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day October 29 & 30, 2012 – Mommie Dearest and Trick #tcot
  • AD-48: More Trouble for Roger Hernandez – Woman Files for Protective Order – AD-48: More Trouble for Roger Hernandez – Woman Files for Protective Order
  • Presidential Race Dead Even; Romney Maintains Turnout Edge | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press – Presidential Race Dead Even; Romney Maintains Turnout Edge #tcot
  • Barack Obama and Other Has-Beens -- And so to Barack Obama.When the history of this administration is written, maybe someone will note the dissonance between the president’s hip persona and his retro ideology. Here was a man who promised a “transformative” presidency. Yet when transformation came, it amounted to a two-pronged attempt to impose, from one side, a version of European social democracy by way of ObamaCare, and from the other side a version of Chinese state-directed “capitalism” by way of the stimulus.As a political matter it may have been Mr. Obama’s good luck that the bankruptcy of both models became obvious only after he had gotten his way legislatively on both. Yet the president’s sagging fortunes have everything to do with his buying into an ideological enthusiasm too late. In a different age, Mr. Obama would have been the guy who went out and bought an Edsel. In this age, Mr. Obama is the guy demanding that you buy an Edsel, too. That car is today called the Volt.Mr. Obama might still squeak by. He has, in addition to incumbency and a vestige of likability, the benefit of a challenger who only found his stride very late in the campaign. But a second term will mean four years of spent ideas packaged in shopworn rhetoric, to be shoved down the national throat by a president with nothing politically to lose.

    Sound appealing?

  • Presidential Race Dead Even; Romney Maintains Turnout Edge- As the presidential campaign enters its final week, Barack Obama has failed to regain much of the support he lost in the days following the first presidential debate and the race is now even among likely voters: 47% favor Obama while an identical percentage supports Mitt Romney.The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 24-28 among 1,678 registered voters, including 1,495 likely voters, finds Obama holding a statistically insignificant two-point edge among registered voters: 47% to 45%. This is little different from the 46% to 46% standoff among registered voters observed in early October, in the days following the first debate.When the sample is narrowed to likely voters, the balance of opinion shifts slightly in Romney’s direction, as it did in early October. This reflects Romney’s turnout advantage over Obama, which could loom larger as Election Day approaches. In both October surveys, more Republicans and Republican leaners than Democrats and Democratic leaners are predicted to be likely voters. In September, the gap was more modest.
  • Mark Halperin: Democrats Are Playing Defense On Electoral Map – YouTube – RT @PounderFile VIDEO: Mark Halperin: Democrats Are Playing Defense On Electoral Map #tcot
  • Poll: Romney, Obama locked in 49-49 tie- President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney are tied with only a week left before election day, according to the latest Washington Post/ABC News daily tracking poll.The new poll finds each candidate receiving support from 49 percent of likely voters. That represents a 1-point bump for the president who trailed Romney 49-48 in Sunday’s numbers.Romney also has the edge among independent voters who back him 53 to 43 for the president.
  • Early voting 2012: Poll: Neither has edge – Fifteen percent of registered voters have already cast their ballots, according to a poll released Tuesday.
    Neither candidate has an edge among early voters nationally, the Gallup survey found. One-third of Barack Obama backers plan to vote early, as do 34 percent of Romney supporters. So far, 15 percent of Obama voters have shown up at the polls, compared to 17 percent of Romney voters.
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-29 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-29
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-29 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-29 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-29 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-29
  • In U.S., 15% of Registered Voters Have Already Cast Ballots – Gallup: Romney currently leads Obama 52% to 45% among voters who say they have already cast their ballots #tcot
  • GetGlue – Your app for TV, Movies, and Sports – Co-watching the World Series of Poker final table. #GetGlue #MondayNightFootball
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Canadian Dentistry Expose: Money Where Your Mouth Is – Canadian Dentistry Expose: Money Where Your Mouth Is
  • CA-26: Julia Brownley Ups Staff Pay While California Budget Deficit Soars – Flap’s Blog – CA-26: Julia Brownley Ups Staff Pay While California Budget Deficit Soars #tcot
  • House elections spell a Republican story and victory- President Obama remains at least an even bet to win reelection. Democrats are favored to hold on to the Senate — an outcome few prognosticators envisioned at the beginning of the year. And yet, with a little more than a week to go, the party holds almost no chance of winning back the House.“They called the fight. It’s over. We’re going to have a House next year that’s going to look an awful lot like the last House,” Stuart Rothenberg, the independent analyst who runs the Rothenberg Political Report, said.The outlines of a comeback for Democrats seemed possible. From its opening act, the 112th Congress was dominated by a raucous class of House freshmen who pushed Washington to the brink of several government shutdowns and almost prompted a first-ever default on the federal debt. It became the most unpopular Congress in the history of polling and, by some measures, the least productive.
  • Changing Demographics Won’t Mean the End of Republican Party- When reading one of the endless stories about a just-released poll Thursday night, a pair of numbers struck my eye: 60 and 37.Those were the percentages of white voters supporting Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in the ABC/Washington Post tracking poll. Overall, the poll showed Romney leading Obama 50 to 47 percent.The reason those two numbers struck my eye is that they are identical to the percentages of white voters supporting Republicans and Democrats in elections for the House of Representatives in the 2010 exit poll. Overall, Republicans won the House popular vote by a margin of 52 to 45 percent, tied with 1994 for the best Republican showing since 1946.In fact, it’s the Republicans’ biggest margin among white voters in House elections ever since the party was formed in 1854. Republican presidential candidates have won by bigger margins among whites only in 1920, 1972 and 1984.

    Some will ascribe this to racism. But Barack Obama won enough votes from whites to win with 53 percent in 2008, more than any other Democratic nominee except Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.

    Why are whites more one-sidedly partisan than just about ever before? Maybe because they’re constantly being told that they’re headed toward becoming a minority of the electorate. Self-conscious minorities tend to vote more cohesively.

    Or because they’re the objects of racial discrimination in, among other things, university admissions, as documented by Richard Sandler and Stuart Taylor in their recent book, “Mismatch.”

  • Obama’s Independent Problem- President Obama has a problem with independents. And it’s not a small problem.In the last three releases of the tracking poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News, Obama has trailed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among independent voters by between 16 and 20 percentage points.That’s a striking reversal from 2008, when Obama won independent voters, who made up 29 percent of the electorate, by eight points over Sen. John McCain of Arizona.And if Romney’s large margin among independents holds, it will be a break not just from 2008 but also from 2000 and 2004. In 2000, Texas Gov. George W. Bush won independents by 47 percent to 45 percent over Vice President Al Gore. Four years later, Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts essentially split unaffiliated voters, according to exit polls — 48 percent for Bush to 49 percent for Kerry. (Independents made up 27 percent of the vote in 2000 and 26 percent in 2004.)
  • GOP surprise? Party says Pennsylvania in play- The Republican campaign bus roared into the party headquarters parking lot in this northwestern Pennsylvania town on a chilly afternoon for a rally that had all the trappings of a close contest.Hundreds of people, wearing Romney/Ryan buttons and hats plus one man carrying a “NObama” sign crammed inside the headquarters and cheered loudly as party officials blasted President Barack Obama. Volunteers busily manned telephone banks imploring people to vote.Why the Republican hubbub in a state that’s voted Democratic in presidential elections for two decades? They think it might be in play. Obama leads Romney in Pennsylvania polls by an average of 4.8 percentage points, according to the nonpartisan Web site RealClearPolitics.com. He led by as much as 12 points earlier this year. And he led by 10.8 points at this stage four years ago.
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-28 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-28
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-28 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-28 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-28 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-28
  • Photo by owenpaun • Instagram – Congratulations! RT @owenpaun: She said yes! (w/ Nansi Ninova)
  • Gallup daily: Romney leads Obama 50-46 among likely voters- Mitt Romney leads President Obama by 4 points, according to the latest Gallup daily tracking poll, released Sunday.The survey finds Romney at 50 percent support among likely voters to Obama’s 46. The numbers show a 1-point drop over Saturday’s 51 to 46 lead for the GOP nominee.The poll finds Obama up among registered voters, though, with a 48-47 advantage. That figure reflects a 1-point loss for Romney from Saturday, where the two presidential contenders were tied at 48 percent.Gallup’s poll is a rolling seven-day average through Saturday Oct. 27 and includes 5 days of survey data after the third and final presidential debate held last Monday in Boca Raton, Fla.

    The Gallup survey has shown larger leads for Romney compared to other polls of likely voters, with surveys putting Romney ahead by 5 to 7 points for much of last week.

    The Real Clear Politics Average of polls on Sunday showed Romney ahead, but by a slimmer 47.9 percent to 47 margin.

  • Day By Day October 28, 2012 – Call Forward – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day October 28, 2012 – Call Forward #tcot
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-27 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-27
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-27 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-27 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-27 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-27
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-26 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-26
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-26 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-26 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-26 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-26
  • Political Cartoons / Disgraceful…..but not surprising! – Disgraceful…..but not surprising! via @pinterest #tcot
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-25 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-25
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-25 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-25 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-25 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-25
  • Capitol Alert: Food labeling initiative Proposition 37 sliding in the polls – Capitol Alert: Food labeling initiative Proposition 37 sliding in the polls #tcot
  • Food labeling initiative Proposition 37 sliding in the polls- Proposition 37, which asks voters to require labels on genetically engineered food sold in California, is dropping in the polls as the well-funded opposition campaign pounds airwaves and mailboxes with arguments against the measure.A USC Dornsife / Los Angeles Times poll released today shows 44 percent of surveyed voters support the initiative, down from 61 percent in September. The same poll shows those opposing it growing from 25 percent to 42 percent.Those results are similar to recent polls released by Pepperdine University and the California Business Round Table, which showed support this month at 48 percent, down from 67 percent in September.The No on 37 campaign has raised $35.6 million, according to MapLight, while the Yes campaign has raised $7.7 million. The opposition is funded largely by companies that make pesticides and genetically modified seeds that contain pesticides. They are running multiple television ads arguing that Proposition 37 would raise grocery prices and that genetically engineered food is safe.

    In response to the polls, the No campaign sent a press release saying, “the more voters know about what Prop 37 would really do, the more they take a dim view of it.”

  • The Morning Flap: October 25, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: October 25, 2012 #tcot
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: October 24, 2012

0 The Morning Flap: October 24, 2012

These are my links for October 23rd through October 24th:

  • Clint Eastwood: ‘Obama’s Second Term Would be a Rerun of the First’- Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood says “when someone doesn’t get the job done, you gotta hold them accountable” in a new ad from conservative super PAC American Crossroads. Eastwood famously endorsed Mitt Romney earlier this year at the Republican National Convention with an unconventional address.”Obama’s second term would be a rerun of the first, and our country just couldn’t survive that,” Eastwood says. “We need someone who can turn it around fast, and that man is Mitt Romney.”The New York Times reports that the ad will be airing on TV in seven critical swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia.
  • Study: People Who Exercise Have Larger Brains Later in Life – Lindsay Abrams – The Atlantic – The Big Head RT @TheAtlanticHLTH Study: Exercise minimizes brain shrinkage.
  • Des Moines Register editor: Obama off-the-record comments deserve to be shared with voters- The Des Moines Register’s publisher and I spoke with President Barack Obama this morning — but we can’t tell you what he said.Just four days before the Register’s presidential endorsement is released, Laura Hollingsworth and I received a phone call from the president. He was calling from Florida, on the heels of a morning campaign appearance and about 14 hours after his debate with GOP nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.The conference call lasted nearly 30 minutes and was an incredibly informative exchange of questions, answers and an insightful glimpse into the president’s vision for a second term. He made a genuine and passionate case for our endorsement and for reelection.Just two weeks before Election Day, the discussion, I believe, would have been valuable to all voters, but especially those in Iowa and around the country who have yet to decide between the incumbent Democrat and his Republican opponent.

    Unfortunately, what we discussed was off-the-record. It was a condition, we were told, set by the White House.

  • White House told of militant claim two hours after Libya attack: emails- Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.
  • Gallup: Gender Gap in Election Fueled More by Men Than Women – Despite the great attention paid to the importance of the women’s vote in the 2012 election, there has been a larger change in men’s than in women’s preferences compared with 2008. Barack Obama’s support is down seven percentage points among men versus three points among women. In Gallup’s latest 21-day rolling average of likely voter preferences, based on interviewing conducted Oct. 1-21, Romney leads Obama by 14 points among men, whereas Obama and John McCain were tied among men in Gallup’s final pre-election estimate in 2008. Obama currently leads Romney by eight percentage points among women, whereas he led McCain by 14 among women in 2008.
  • Senate Control May Hinge on Presidential Race – NationalJournal.com – RT @HotlineJosh The 4 prez battlegrounds to decide control: NV, WI, VA, OH –with PA as a possible sleeper (2/2) #tcot
  • Clint Eastwood Is Back in a Campaign Ad for Romney- Clint Eastwood is back on the Republican stage. But this time there’s a script, a 30-second time limit and none of the potential tripwires of live television.Mr. Eastwood, whose long and sometimes incoherent monologue at the Republican National Convention in August left many ardent Republicans cheering but others dumbfounded, is the star of a new commercial from the “super PAC” American Crossroads.But if he was all jokes in Tampa, Fla., Mr. Eastwood is nothing but serious in this new advertisement, in which he indicts President Obama’s term as a failure and urges people to vote for Mitt Romney.“Obama’s second term would be a rerun of the first, and our country just couldn’t survive that,” he says. “We need someone who could turn it around fast, and that man is Mitt Romney. There’s not much time left, and the future of our country is at stake.”

    Steven Law, the president of American Crossroads, said he had heard before the convention that Mr. Eastwood might be interested in starring in an ad. But he said he did not actually pursue the acclaimed director and actor until after his performance in Tampa.

  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-23 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-23
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-23 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-23 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-23 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-23
  • Shouldn’t Jack O’Connell Pay the State for His Hearst Castle Birthday Party? – Flap’s Blog – Shouldn’t Jack O’Connell Pay the State for His Hearst Castle Birthday Party? #tcot
  • Trooth.Com – The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part Two – Flap’s Blog – – The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part Two #tcot
  • The Morning Flap: October 23, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: October 23, 2012 #tcot
  • Day By Day October 23, 2012 – Foreigner – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day October 23, 2012 – Foreigner #tcot
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: October 24, 2012
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: October 16, 2012

Obama Women Turning Away The Morning Flap: October 16, 2012

These are my links for October 15th through October 16th:

  • Poll: Romney, narrows gap with women, leads Obama in the swing states- Mitt Romney leads President Obama by four percentage points among likely voters in the nation’s top battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and he has growing enthusiasm among women to thank.As the presidential campaign heads into its final weeks, the survey of voters in 12 crucial swing states finds female voters much more engaged in the election and increasingly concerned about the deficit and debt issues that favor Romney. The Republican nominee has pulled within one point of the president among women who are likely voters, 48%-49%, and leads by 8 points among men.The battle for women, which was apparent in the speakers spotlighted at both political conventions this summer, is likely to help define messages the candidates deliver at the presidential debate Tuesday night and in the TV ads they air during the final 21 days of the campaign. As a group, women tend to start paying attention to election contests later and remain more open to persuasion by the candidates and their ads.

    That makes women, especially blue-collar “waitress moms” whose families have been hard-hit by the nation’s economic woes, the quintessential swing voters in 2012′s close race.

    “In every poll, we’ve seen a major surge among women in favorability for Romney” since his strong performance in the first debate, veteran Democratic pollster Celinda Lake says. “Women went into the debate actively disliking Romney, and they came out thinking he might understand their lives and might be able to get something done for them.”

    While Lake believes Obama retains an edge among women voters, the changed views of Romney could be “a precursor to movement” to the Republican candidate, she says. “It opens them up to take a second look, and that’s the danger for Obama.”

  • THE NAYS HAVE IT: When Public Sector Unions Win in California – This November, California voters must decide two policy questions of great concern to public-sector unions. One is a tax hike to stave off further cuts to state spending (there are two versions on the ballot with a chance of passing). The other is a “paycheck protection” measure that would ban the practice of unions’ deducting money from member paychecks to spend on political activism. Public-sector union members stand to benefit from the tax increase, and they are campaigning heavily for one version, Proposition 30, which is being promoted by Governor Jerry Brown. Conversely, the unions stand to lose money and power if paycheck protection passes, and they are working hard to defeat it.
  • Unions dominate California ballot propositions- Unions representing public workers in California have remarkable success achieving their desired outcomes for California ballot propositions—call it success by defeat. In some instances unions have outspent adversaries in California’s initiative process 8 to 1. This may come as no shock for those of us who live in the Golden State especially considering the well-entrenched power of unions here, but the rate of success unions have had in the initiative process is not only surprising, but staggering.Reviewing more than 30 years of data, a new study conducted by Daniel DiSalvo for the Manhattan Institute found that since 1980, public employee unions have been successful in defeating 75 percent of the ballot initiatives they opposed and have won in 50 percent of the initiatives they supported. That means unions possess an uncanny record when it comes to playing defense, “using initiative campaigns to block proposals that threaten their interests.” And when on offense they get what they want half of the time, a record that would make any special interest group in the country envious.The Manhattan Institute study release is well timed as public employee unions in California have invested heavily in the passage of Prop 30, Governor Jerry Brown’s initiative that would increase the state’s sales tax and also the state income tax for some earners. Conversely, unions are actively opposing Prop 32, which would stop unions and corporations from making direct contributions to legislators and change the way they would collect money for political spending.
  • Romney Holds Advantage Tonight, Regardless of Format- The first thing to know about a “town-hall-style” presidential debate is that it bears as much resemblance to an actual campaign town-hall event as a marble statue does to its animated subject.Real town halls are usually unscripted and unpredictable and often raucous events. Town-hall debates are orderly, with the questions from the audience screened — selected to represent questions the moderator would ask if they were doing the questioning. Moderators are likely to reframe some questions and ask their own follow-ups in the language of Sunday morning talk shows. The candidates’ answers are subject to short time limits. The venue is disconcertingly quiet, as the audience is instructed to be unresponsive, with none of the cheers, boos, laughs and groans that are the soundtrack of real town halls.
  • As Swing State Races Narrow, Debate Looms Large- The election cycle has reached the stage where there is such a torrent of polls released each day that the flipping leads could give many poll watchers whiplash. And Tuesday night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University could make the race even more volatile.On Monday morning, the RealClearPolitics Average of national polls found President Obama and Mitt Romney tied at 47.3 percent apiece; by the afternoon, Romney had ticked up a tenth of a point. And that’s after Romney had wrested the lead from Obama last Tuesday for the first time in more than a year.But the real movement has been in the battleground states. RCP currently counts 11 such battlegrounds (amounting to 146 electoral votes) as true tossups; Obama leads the electoral vote count in the other states, 201-191.

    Those numbers are significant because at this point in the 2008 election, candidate Barack Obama was leading John McCain in every single one of those battlegrounds, including conservative-leaning North Carolina. In many of them, he was ahead by double digits, whereas his biggest battleground-state lead now is just 4.8 percentage points, according to the RCP Average — and that is in the usually reliable Democratic state of Pennsylvania.

  • Our Awful Economy, In One Chart – Michelle Obama says we are “in the midst of a huge recovery.” That claim is laughable to anyone who has lived through the last four years; this simple chart from the Senate Budget Committee highlights one of the central failings of Obamanomics: people are leaving the labor force faster than they are entering it. Since Obama became president ten times as many people have been added to the roster of those not in the labor force, than have been added to the labor force:

Powerline Employment chart The Morning Flap: October 16, 2012

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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: April 19, 2012

Obama and Bo the Dog The Morning Flap: April 19, 2012

The Obamas and Bo, their dog – A Chilling Photo?

These are my links for April 18th through April 19th:

  • Bam Bites Dog – The political perils of personal attacks – One time Barack Obama went to an Indian restaurant and ordered the lassi. Was he ever disappointed when the waiter brought him a yogurt drink!

    We’ll be here all week. But seriously, folks, we have a man-bites-dog story for you today.

    First, some background. Last week Byron York of the Washington Examiner reported that “some Obama staffers are reportedly obsessing over a nearly 30-year-old story about [Mitt] Romney’s dog”:

    In 1983, Romney took his family on vacation and, faced with a packed station wagon, put his Irish setter Seamus in a travel kennel strapped to the roof of the car. Romney constructed a special windshield in an effort to make the dog more comfortable, but Seamus ended up relieving himself on the roof, which reportedly caused much consternation among the Romney boys. Ever since the story got out–it was reported by the Boston Globe in 2007, during Romney’s first run for president–Romney opponents have used it in semiserious and sometimes fully serious ways to portray him as insensitive.
    “I have heard, in focus groups, the dog story totally tanks Mitt Romney’s approval rating,” Chris Hayes said on his MSNBC show. The Washington Post reported last month that the Seamus story “is ballooning into a narrative of epic proportions”:

    Late-night host David Letterman has been giving the dog near-nightly shout-outs. There are parody Web videos, “Dogs Aren’t Luggage” T-shirts and Facebook groups. (“Dogs Against Romney,” which protested outside last month’s Westminster dog show, has more than 38,000 Facebook fans.) The New Yorker featured a cartoon, with Rick Santorum riding in Romney’s rooftop dog carrier, on its cover last week. In the five years since the story was revealed, New York Times columnist Gail Collins has mentioned Seamus in at least 50 columns.

  • The Dog Days of the Presidential Campaign Begin – I would note that in 2008, John McCain’s presidential campaign wouldn’t have touched this anecdote with a ten-foot pole. Between this and the Romney camp’s rapid response to the Rosen comments, we are seeing a Republican presidential campaign that is exponentially faster on its feet and way more nimble than the previous general-election campaign against Obama.
  • IN-Sen: Don’t Believe the Anti-Incumbent Narrative – A few weeks after that primary, on May 8, Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar will either lose to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock or squeeze by him in the GOP primary.

    Lugar’s problems, however, have nothing to do with the “anti-incumbent” mood or Congress’ poor reputation. Instead, they have everything to do with his record and his horrible campaign.

    Lugar’s record and style don’t fit comfortably with where his party now is, yet he made little or no effort to sooth conservatives or to prepare for a battle. If he had, he might, for example, have purchased a house or condo in the state so that he wouldn’t need to stay in a hotel when he returns to the state to campaign.

    More than a year ago, I wrote in this space about Lugar’s vulnerability in a possible one-on-one primary. Almost immediately, I received a call from a Lugar staffer telling me how wrong I was and pointing out that the Senator was hugely popular and had a large campaign war chest.

    In other words, Lugar’s team didn’t understand what could happen if voters were presented with a credible opponent who either had money or would be supported by outside groups willing to spend heavily to defeat the Senator. And later, the campaign didn’t understand why anyone would care that Lugar didn’t own a residence in the state.

  • Weiner a jerk before crotchgate, craved media attention: book – Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner was behaving like a jerk long before the world got a glimpse of his crotch.

    A new book offering an inside look at the US House of Representatives depicts Weiner as a desperately ambitious loudmouth who berated his staff and would do or say anything for TV airtime.

    Weiner “would enter his office in the Rayburn Building screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Why the f–k am I not on MSNBC?!’” journalist Robert Draper wrote in “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives.”

    He finally got his wish, Draper wrote, when Weiner pushed to become the liberal spokesman for ObamaCare.

    “He was now on MSNBC every week, sometimes every day — to the point where he was carrying his own makeup kit. (Or rather, his press guy was.)” Draper wrote.

    Excerpts of the book, due out Tuesday, surfaced yesterday on the Web site Politico.

  • Daily exercise can reduce risk of developing Alzheimer¿s, study finds – latimes.com – RT @latimesmost: You’re never too old to reduce Alzheimer’s risk with exercise
  • Hydration for Runners – Run to Your Best – RT @Racerunningtips: Hydration for Runners: Hydrating for Optimal Performance
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-19 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-19
  • The Top 10 Most Expensive Obamacare Taxes and Fees – Yesterday was tax day, serving as a special reminder of how big the federal government has become. As Heritage has warned before, Obamacare is on track to makes things a lot worse.

    The President’s health law will be partially paid for by tax increases and the creation of new taxes. When Obamacare first passed, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that its tax hikes would total $502 billion over the next 10 years. But most of the new, higher taxes don’t kick in until later in the decade, which means that once all of the law is fully implemented, the taxpayers’ tab will be much bigger than originally estimated.

    A new study by the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) revealed today that Obamacare will impose higher taxes totaling $4 trillion between now and 2035, with substantial hits on working Americans. That works out to more than $1.7 trillion over a decade—more than triple the original 10-year score.

    Below is a list of 10 of Obamacare’s most costly taxes and fees, drawn from research by Heritage tax policy expert Curtis Dubay:

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » R.I.P. Dick Clark 1929-2012 – R.I.P. Dick Clark 1929-2012
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Study: No Independent Association of Periodontal and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease? – Study: No Independent Association of Periodontal and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease?
  • In-Sen: Mourdock Leads Lugar in Internal Poll – Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock leads Senator Dick Lugar by one point according to a poll commissioned by the Mourdock campaign. Conducted between April 16 and 17 by the firm McLaughlin and Associates, the poll surveyed 400 likely Republican primary voters and found Mourdock in the lead, 42–41, against Lugar. The poll had a 4.9 percent margin of error.

    Since January, Lugar’s favorability rating has fallen ten points, from 57 to 47 percent, while Mourdock’s has risen by eleven, from 35 to 46 percent. “These results clearly demonstrate that Richard Mourdock has the momentum to win,” a memo from pollsters John McLaughlin and Stuart Polk notes.

  • Is stagnation good enough for Obama’s reelection? « The Enterprise Blog – RT @JimPethokoukis: I plugged in Citi’s new econ forecast into 2 election models. Obama losses under both
  • Untitled (http://www.laobserved.com/biz/2012/04/la_churches_being_fo.php) – RT @LAObserved: L.A. churches being foreclosed on in record numbers. @LABizObserved
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk Signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge » Flap’s California Blog
  • Gallup Presidential Election Trial Heat Results: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney – RT @gallupnews: Presidential Election: Romney 48% (+1), Obama 44% (+1). Get the full trend… #Gallup
  • Gavin Newsom Gets Current TV Show — What About the Equal Time Rule? | TheWrap TV – California’s Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom gets a TV show on Current TV – whether you like it or not #catcot #tcot
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012: Romney Up With Web Ad About Unemployment in Key Battleground State of North Carolina – President 2012: Romney Up With Web Ad About Unemployment in Key Battleground State of North Carolina
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge » Flap’s California Blog – RE:  Yes, last August seems a long time ago for Senator Tony Strickland…
  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Menthol Cigarettes Double Stroke Risk
  • Menthol Cigarettes Double Stroke Risk – Menthol cigarettes more than double the risk for stroke compared with regular cigarettes, a new study shows. In women and nonblack smokers, the risk for stroke was more than tripled.

    No significant associations were observed between the tobacco additive and other forms of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

    The mechanism by which menthol may increase stroke risk remains unclear.

    One potential mechanism is that menthol stimulates upper-airway cold receptors, which can increase breath-holding time, which may in turn facilitate the entrance of cigarette particulate matter into the lungs, notes Nicholas Vozoris, MD, from St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    Another possibility is that menthol cigarettes exert some selective effects on the cerebrovascular system.

  • Potential VP pick Mitch Daniels endorses Mitt Romney – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, frequently mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate, is the latest Republican leader to formally endorse Mitt Romney.

    “It must be a slow news day if this has made the air,” Daniels told Fox News on Wednesday. “But for what it’s worth, I did send a congratulatory note to Gov. Romney the other day offering to anything I could to help him, and here I am.”

    It didn’t come across as a particularly strong endorsement, and the Fox News anchor noted that Daniels has a dry, self-deprecating manner.

    “He’s already won our nomination,” Daniels continued. “He’s earned it, he’s proven himself the best nominee we could put forward, and I’m just happy to sign on and help him.”

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 18, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 18, 2012
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: February 9, 2012

GOP Convention The Morning Flap: February 9, 2012

These are my links for February 8th through February 9th:

  • Where’s the Rest of Them? – The biggest problem with the GOP Presidential field is that each of the candidates seems to be running to represent only part of the Republican coalition. Mr. Romney sounds like he thinks conservatives can be won over with a few poll-tested lines like “I’ll repeal ObamaCare,” while Mr. Santorum sounds like he only needs conservative votes to become President. To adapt Ronald Reagan’s famous line, Where’s the rest of them?
  • Path to a Brokered GOP Convention Emerges – For many conservative Republicans, the dream outcome of the primary season is a brokered convention. Disappointed in the four remaining choices, they hope to change horses in August, and draft their preferred candidate, be it Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, or Paul Ryan.

    I’ve been adamant that such an outcome is extremely unlikely. For a brokered convention to occur, there has to be an almost perfect storm of events; the GOP elites can’t just declare shenanigans on the primary season and select a new nominee. Instead, something has to prevent any of the current candidates from clinching a majority of the delegates; if one of them amasses that majority, he will be the nominee on the first ballot at the convention in Tampa.

    My assumption — and the assumption of many — was that the GOP fight would eventually degenerate into an ideological battle between the very conservative and somewhat conservative/moderate wings of the party, with Romney on one side and a single alternative on the other. Unless there was a late entrant or Ron Paul caught fire in the caucus states, someone was virtually assured of claiming the requisite number of delegates in that scenario. But for the first time, the two way faceoff doesn’t seem inevitable, and a viable path to a brokered convention is beginning to emerge. Let’s start with something else I overlooked. The GOP does have super-delegates of a sort, in the form of the 63 RNC members. They aren’t as numerous as they are in the Democratic Party, but they are still there. While many of them have already declared allegiance to one candidate or another, those commitments can evaporate quickly, as Hillary Clinton learned to her sorrow in 2008.

  • 20% of Republicans leaning to Obama! – For critics of Barack Obama, 2012 has been portrayed as a do-or-die year for the country – an election that will determine whether America stays on the road to European-style socialism or veers right to reclaim its positions as the most vibrant economy in the world and the home of individual liberty.

    But the 2012 election is looking more like a replay of 2008 than a do-over.

    The latest WND/Wenzel Poll shows none of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates has solidified the base of the party, with one in five GOP voters leaning toward support of Obama in November.

    The results are from the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies. The poll was conducted by telephone Feb. 1-3, 2012, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.44 percentage points.

  • News from The Associated Press – RT @AP: U.S. Justice Department plans to announce a settlement between states, top mortgage lenders in 15 minutes: -EF
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Pennsylvania Dental Patient Sentenced to Prison for Stealing a Wisdom Tooth Extraction – Pennsylvania Dental Patient Sentenced to Prison for Stealing a Wisdom Tooth Extraction
  • Day By Day February 9, 2012 – Bone | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day February 9, 2012 – Bone
  • Apple to Announce iPad 3 First Week in March – John Paczkowski – Mobile – AllThingsD – RT @allthingsd: Apple to Announce iPad 3 First Week in March -by @JohnPaczkowski
  • Obama’s Economic Approval Rating Improves – RT @gallupnews: Obama’s Economic Approval Rating Improves… #Gallup #Obama
  • IT’S OFFICIAL: GREEK AGREEMENT DONE, STATEMENT COMING SHORTLY – RT @businessinsider: REPORT: GREEK AGREEMENT DONE, STATEMENT COMING SHORTLY
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-09 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-09
  • Log In – The New York Times – RT @ByronYork: Douthat link:
  • Plan of Attack | Washington Free Beacon – RT @FreeBeacon: .@kredo0 reports: What an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities might look like
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-09 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-09
  • Keep an Eye on Ryan – Tomorrow night, Paul Ryan will speak at CPAC. National Review Online has obtained an embargoed copy of the speech. It’s powerful stuff. He’ll talk about how Republicans share responsibility for the fiscal crisis. And he’ll detail President Obama’s dismal record. But the big theme is that Republicans need to make 2012 more than a “referendum.” He wants it to be a “choice.”

    “The easy way is always tempting,” he’ll tell conservatives, urging them to avoid a victory “by default.” Bold ideas, he’ll say, are the only way to win a mandate:

  • Missile Defense Program Weakened under the Obama Administration – Abstract: In passing the FY 2012 defense authorization and appropriations bills, Congress missed an ideal opportunity to reverse the damage that the Obama Administration inflicted on U.S. missile defense programs in 2010. Congress specifically failed to move the U.S. toward a more defensive nuclear posture, protect U.S. missile defense options against the President’s arms control agenda, or prepare layered U.S. missile defenses against potential threats, including an EMP attack or an Iranian attack on the East Coast. To properly defend against the missile threat, the U.S. needs to build on the Navy’s proven Aegis missile defense system, integrate other vital components into the missile defense system, and develop and deploy space-based missile defenses.
  • Mike Huckabee to Start New Radio Show | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Mike Huckabee to Start New Radio Show
  • Santorum | Gary Varvel | The Indianapolis Star | IndyStar.com – Santorum | Gary Varvel | The Indianapolis Star |
  • Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers – Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers
  • Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers – Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers
  • The State Worker: California pension reform group suspends initiative campaign – The State Worker: California pension reform group suspends initiative campaign
  • Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers – Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers
  • (404) http://t.co/47gpLH – RT @AP: Wash. state lawmakers OK gay marriage; state would be seventh in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed: …
  • Don’t Worry! Coffee is Not Going to Hurt Your Heart | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Don’t Worry! Coffee is Not Going to Hurt Your Heart
  • The State Worker: California pension reform group suspends initiative campaign – The State Worker: California pension reform group suspends initiative campaign
  • Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers – Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate
  • Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 8, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 8, 2012
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Chez Cole – Checking out the updated Foursquare Android app (@ Chez Cole)
  • The State Worker: California pension reform group suspends initiative campaign – California pension reform group suspends initiative campaign
  • Assembly speaker wants to trade tax breaks for scholarships – latimes.com – Assembly speaker wants to trade tax breaks for scholarships
  • It’s California time for Newt Gingrich – Ginger Gibson – POLITICO.com – It’s California time for Newt Gingrich
  • Untitled (https://plus.google.com/105353644409523560325/posts/6j9nVaLqSSH) – Justice Ginsburg should have retired decades ago…. talk about being out of step..
  • Updated: AD-38: Rep. Buck McKeon Caught Covering His Bases for Himself and California Assembly Candidate Wife Patricia McKeon » Flap’s California Blog – Updated: AD-38: Rep. Buck McKeon Caught Covering His Bases for Himself and California Assembly Candidate Wife Pa…
  • Thoughts on the Ninth Circuit’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision – 1. This is going up to the Supreme Court. I suspect that the backers of Prop. 8 won’t even ask for en banc review by the Ninth Circuit, since they’re unlikely to win there. Depending on how quickly they file their petition for certiorari, the Court will either decide in late September to hear the case, or will decide this late this Spring. Either way, the Court will hear the case next Term, though probably not before the election. Though, for reasons I describe below, the decision only applies to states, like California, that recognized civil unions but not same-sex marriages, it’s still a conclusion of national importance, one on which the Supreme Court is likely want to speak. And even if, as described below, the decision is limited just to California, I think the Court will still think it’s important for it to resolve the question.

    2. The Ninth Circuit did not decide that all opposite-sex-only marriage recognition rules are unconstitutional. Rather, it concluded that when a state has already recognized same-sex civil unions that are functionally equivalent or nearly equivalent to marriage, denying the symbolic recognition provided by the label “marriage” is no longer rationally related to a legitimate government interest. The court did not decide whether the general constitutional right to marry that applies to same-sex couples, or whether opposite-sex-only recognition rules are generally unconstitutional on the grounds that discrimination based on sexual orientation requires “strict scrutiny” or “intermediate scrutiny” and fails that scrutiny. It only applied the rational basis test, and held that the regime of civil unions but not same-sex marriage lacks a rational basis.

  • Government Employer Free to Fire Human Resources Officials Who Publicly Criticize the Propriety of Gay Rights Laws – So holds Dixon v. University of Toledo (N.D. Ohio Feb, 6, 2012). (I blogged about this case when it was filed.) A few thoughts:

    (1) Some of the analysis seems limited to high-level “policymaking” employees, such as a university Associate Vice President.

    (2) But some of the argument suggests that any time any government manager with hiring and firing authority — or even with substantial input into hiring and firing decisions — speaks out in opposition to civil rights laws protecting gays, the government may fire the manager on the grounds that the speech (a) “could disrupt the … [d]epartment by making homosexual employees uncomfortable or disgruntled,” (b) might lead “homosexual prospective employees [to] reconsider applications,” and (c) might “lead to challenges to her personnel decisions.”

    (3) This in turn highlights the danger to government managerial employees who want to participate in, for instance, campaigns opposing same-sex marriage or proposed laws banning sexual orientation discrimination. If you’re such an employee, you’d be wise to keep your mouth shut on such matters, whether it comes to letters to the editor, to blog posts, to yard signs, to campaign donations, or to signatures on initiative or referendum petitions (in states that disclose such signatures). After all, any of these might be noticed by people who will publicize what you said or did, and who will directly or indirectly inform your supervisors about it.

  • Poll Watch: Congressional Approval at New Low of 10% – Disapproval is 86% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: Congressional Approval at New Low of 10% – Disapproval is 86%
  • Archbishop of San Francisco says Obama ruling strikes at religious freedom – Catholic Archbishop George Niederauer of the Archdiocese of San Francisco has written a letter that will be distributed at all Masses this weekend about the Obama administration’s decision to require Catholic institutions to administration would require Catholic institutions such as hospitals and universities to provide contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act. See Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ statement here.

    The ruling has raised a huge row with many Catholics, who make up 27 percent of the electorate and constitute a large share of independents. They are also concentrated in the battleground states that will decide the presidential election. Catholic hospitals serve an estimated one sixth of the population. The Archdiocese of San Francisco includes San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties and includes, according to the Archdiocese, more than 550,000 Catholics.

  • Babs Boxer Comes up with the Dumbest Defense (So Far) of the ObamaCare Abortifacient Mandate – This policy is among the most illiberal ever foisted on the American public by its elected officials. They literally lied, even to members of their own party, to get this policy passed along purely partisan lines. Their own leadership told us that we have to pass the bill even to find out what’s in it. One must be a fellow traveling liar, or simply intolerant to the core, to defend this affront.

    Liberals claim the mantle of tolerance, but this policy is deeply intolerant. It forces aactions on a sizable number of Americans who disagree with undertaking those actions for reasons explicitly protected in the Constitution. The numerous ObamaCare waivers, granted mainly to unions that have supported Democrats with campaign cash, open up equal protection issues and expose the politics at the core of what was sold as a “health care” bill. It was a government power bill, from the start. And this mandate has placed the administration in a very awkward political spot. Continue the abortifacient policy to appease Boxer et al, but risk losing millions of votes that went Obama’s way in 2008. Or, scuttle it, and dispirit the illiberal, intolerant progressive mob.

  • President Obama: ‘I Don’t Want Them Punished With A Baby’
    – YouTube
    – Video: President Obama: ‘I Don’t Want Them Punished With A Baby’
  • Barbara Boxer weighs in on Catholic contraception controversy – Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., probably the Senate’s leading pro-choice voice, stepped into the debate over the Obama administration’s rule requiring Catholic institutions to provide birth-control coverage. The Archdiocese of San Francisco has called the rule an assault on religious freedom and the Obama administration is in damage-control mode with a critical voting bloc. Obama reportedly weighed the politics before approving the decision.

    One analysis of these politics calculates that Obama’s decision will help him with young, secular women, Catholic or not, and that’s why the White House is standing firm while making noises about a compromise. Obama is touting the decision on his campaign website.

    Writing in the Wall Street Journal, where the lead editorial lambasts the rule, Boxer and Democratic colleagues Patty Murray of Washington and Jeanne Shaheen, defend the decision and accuse its critics (led by the Catholic bishops and joined by GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich) of mounting “an aggressive and misleading campaign to deny this benefit to women,” that is “being waged in the name of religious liberty.”

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Not For Profit Delta Dental Executive Pay and Perks Exposed – Not For Profit Delta Dental Executive Pay and Perks Exposed
  • Medicaid may stop covering visits to ER later deemed ‘unnecessary’ – Medicaid soon might stop covering emergency-room treatment that state officials decide afterward was “not medically necessary.”

    A state Health Care Authority rule putting a three-visit limit on unnecessary ER use by poor patients was blocked in court on procedural grounds. The agency has replaced it with a new policy planned to take effect April 1 that would reduce the number of conditions deemed non-emergencies but would forbid even a single unnecessary visit.

    The doctors and hospitals who sued over the old rule blasted the new plan Tuesday, saying it would leave it up to a “faceless bureaucrat” to decide what’s an emergency. They weren’t ready to say they’ll go to court again over it.

    Medical providers would foot the bill if they treat patients and the state doesn’t pay. They couldn’t bill the patients, as was possible under the old rule, the Health Care Authority says.

    “The client is not at risk anymore for the ER bills,” said Dr. Jeffery Thompson, chief of the state’s Medicaid program. “This is invisible to the client. The client’s going to get treatment regardless.”

    The move is part of an ongoing attempt by state government to crack down on excessive ER use. Other kinds of treatment have such limits, Thompson says.

    He points to patients seeking ER treatment for diaper rash and other ailments better treated by a primary-care doctor, and to hospital frequent fliers who show up twice a day, as he said one patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder did recently. The hope is to divert such patients to other providers.

  • Dependent Nation: Dependency Index Surges 23% Under President Obama; 67 Million Get Aid – The American public’s dependence on the federal government shot up 23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program, according to a newly released study by the Heritage Foundation.

    The conservative think tank’s annual Index of Dependence on Government tracks money spent on housing, health, welfare, education subsidies and other federal programs that were “traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families.”

    The increase under Obama is the biggest two-year jump since Jimmy Carter was president, the data show.

    The rise was driven mainly by increases in housing subsidies, an expansion in Medicaid and changes to the welfare system, along with a sharp rise in food stamps, the study found.

  • President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Romney 37% Vs. Gingrich 21% Vs. Santorum 17% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Romney 37% Vs. Gingrich 21% Vs. Santorum 17%
  • AD-38: Why is Patricia McKeon Protecting Her Assembly Candidacy Tweets? » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Why is Patricia McKeon Protecting Her Assembly Candidacy Tweets?
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Receives the Endorsement of California Young Republicans » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk Receives the Endorsement of California Young Republicans
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 8, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 8, 2012
  • The Morning Flap: February 8, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: February 8, 2012
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