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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: February 15, 2012

GOP Presidential contenders The Morning Flap: February 15, 2012

These are my links for February 14th through February 15th:

  • How Likely Is a Brokered Convention? – Last week, I wrote that a path to a brokered convention was beginning to emerge in the Republican electorate. I was purposely vague as to how likely such an occurrence is. I called the path “very narrow” and said it is “beginning to emerge,” outlining the various contingencies required. But the truth is, at this point, the entire endeavor is pretty speculative; we won’t really know how viable the path is until after Super Tuesday.

    But with polls now showing Rick Santorum running well in Michigan — a key state if he really is going to dominate in the Midwest — the topic is worth revisiting. Because if Santorum can win Michigan and Mitt Romney can take Arizona without knocking Newt Gingrich into irrelevance, then a brokered convention becomes much more likely.

  • Department of Home-Lunch Security – By Mark Steyn – The home-made lunch having been ruled illegal by officials*, the preschooler was given a federally-approved lunch, for which her mother has been sent a bill. The girl didn’t care for the substitute lunch, ate only the three chicken nuggets, and left everything else on her tray untouched. It may not have worked out all that nutritious for her, but at least it’s compliant with DCDEE/DHHS/USDA paperwork, and that’s what matters.
  • The GOP’s emerging Bob Dole problem – A flood of new data points to one clear conclusion: At least for now, President Obama and his Republican opponents are heading in opposite directions.

    A CBS News/New York Times poll released last night puts Obama’s approval rating at 50 percent — his best performance in that survey since the spring of 2010 (not counting last May’s brief bin Laden bounce). The poll also shows Obama enjoying his best score since the summer of ’10 on his handling of the economy and his best score since at least late 2009 (when the question was first asked) on job creation, and finds voters voters more optimistic than they’ve been in nearly two years on the overall direction of the economy.

  • Why Republicans Don’t Trust Romney – Why can’t Mitt Romney make the sale to conservatives? And why is Rick Santorum, the ultimate long shot at the start of this race, now in a position to be a viable alternative?

    Mitt Romney used the word conservative and conservatism more than two dozen times, according to the Washington Post’s Dan Balz , in his speech last week at the CPAC convention. That rhetoric is quite different from ten years ago when he was running for Governor of Massachusetts. 

    He stated during that campaign that he was “not a partisan Republican” but rather a “moderate” with “progressive” views.” 

  • Michael Boskin: Washington’s Knack for Picking Losers – WSJ.com
  • Rivkin and Whelan: Birth-Control Mandate—Unconstitutional and Illegal – WSJ.com
  • Romney Surrogate Attacks Santorum for Voting the Same Way He Did – Mitt Romney’s campaign is now targeting GOP rival Rick Santorum as a big-spending Washington insider. On a conference call Tuesday afternoon, former Missouri senator and Romney surrogate Jim Talent criticized Santorum’s support for expanding government spending, including his vote for the Medicare Part D in 2003—a program for which Talent himself voted.

    “Senator Santorum is running in Missouri as a trusted and comprehensive conservative,” Talent said. “He certainly has been outspoken on social issues, and we honor his record in that regard, but when you get outside those issues into fiscal, spending, regulatory issues, his record shows that he’s been in the liberal wing of the Republican party.”

    Talent continued, pointing to a few votes that show Santorum’s “liberal” spending record. “I want to note that Senator Santorum voted for No Child Left Behind, which was a big expansion of federal power over local education,” he said. “He voted for Medicare Part D, a big expansion of a federal entitlement.”

  • President 2012 Video: Romney Super PAC Hits Rick Santorum in Michigan, Arizona and Ohio | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Video: Romney Super PAC Hits Rick Santorum in Michigan, Arizona and Ohio
  • Energy Conversion Devices files for bankruptcy as solar energy lags – In the latest setback for the solar energy industry, Auburn Hills-based Energy Conversion Devices said today that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and intends to sell its assets, including its main subsidiary United Solar Ovonic.

    “We firmly believe there is a strong and sustainable commercial market for Uni-Solar products,” Julian Hawkins, ECD’s CEO and president, said in a statement. “However our current capital structure and legacy costs are preventing USO from making the investments necessary for the future of the business without restructuring through the bankruptcy process.”

    The maker of solar roofing materials, which will continue to operate, employs 750 workers, 60% of them in Michigan. They will remain active employees during the sales process though some have been furloughed, said company spokesman Michael Schostak.

    ECD also said it has sold its Ovonic Battery Co. to BASF Corp. for $58 million in cash before transaction fees and other factors. The battery subsidiary’s 35 employees have been hired by BASF.

  • Cold Hands During Runs | Ask the Sports Doc – RT @runnersworld: What to do about cold hands during a run: #runningtips
  • Nuking our Nukes – Obama and Cutting America’s Nuclear Forces – President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to consider cutting U.S. strategic nuclear forces to as low as 300 deployed warheads—below the number believed to be in China’s arsenal and far fewer than current Russian strategic warhead stocks.

    Pentagon and military planners were asked to develop three force levels for the U.S. arsenal of deployed strategic nuclear warheads: a force of 1,100 to 1,000 warheads; a second scenario of between 700 and 800 warheads; and the lowest level of between 300 and 400 warheads.

    A congressional official said no president in the past ever told the Pentagon to conduct a review based on specific numbers of warheads.

    “In the past, the way it worked was, ‘tell me what the world is like and then tell me what the force should be,’” the official said. “That is not happening in this review.”

    The plan for a radical cut in warheads is contained in a review of nuclear weapons ordered by the president in an August directive. The review called the Nuclear Posture Review Implementation Study is nearing completion and could be presented to the president as early as next month.

  • US weighing steep nuclear arms cuts – The Obama administration is weighing options for sharp new cuts to the U.S. nuclear force, including a reduction of up to 80 percent in the number of deployed weapons, The Associated Press has learned.

    Even the most modest option now under consideration would be an historic and politically bold disarmament step in a presidential election year, although the plan is in line with President Barack Obama’s 2009 pledge to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons.

  • Politico reporter Ben Smith withheld information about liberal Media Matters For America – About a year ago, the organization Media Matters For America gave Politico reporter Ben Smith a 2010 planning memo for a profile he was writing on the liberal advocacy group.

    But Smith curiously withheld key parts of the 89-page document when he published his story, “Media Matters’ war against Fox,” in March 2011.

    The Daily Caller became aware of this after obtaining the same document while reporting the series “Inside Media Matters,” which debuted here late Sunday night.

    Smith made no mention of Media Matters targeting organizations other than Fox News, such as the libertarian Cato Institute and the conservative Heritage Foundation. Nor does he reveal that, according to the memo, Media Matters was intent on researching Republican political figures like Republican former U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina and Republican Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, and the prominent libertarian political donor Peter Thiel.

    “An opposition research team will serve to hold Thiel and others like him accountable,” the memo states. Smith made no mention of such efforts in his story.

    He also failed to disclose Media Matters’ interest in marginalizing political news websites including Newsmax and Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government, saying only that the organization had narrowed its focus to “Fox and a handful of conservative websites.”

  • Peggy Noonan Schools Mika Brzezinski on Obama Contraception Mandate During ‘Morning Joe’ Panel Discussion | Video | TheBlaze.com – Peggy Noonan Schools Mika Brzezinski on Obama ‘Mischievously’ Misinforming Public About Contraceptives
  • Fox News ‘course correction’ rankles some – Keach Hagey – POLITICO.com – Fox News ‘course correction’ rankles some
  • President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Is Mitt Romney Electable? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Is Mitt Romney Electable?
  • Poll Watch: 46 Per Cent of Catholics Approve of President Obama | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: 46 Per Cent of Catholics Approve of President Obama
  • Poll Watch: 59 Per Cent of Catholics Disapprove of President Obama | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: 59 Per Cent of Catholics Disapprove of President Obama
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: California Legislature Pushes Dentistry For All Socialism – California Legislature Pushes Dentistry For All Socialism
  • (404) http://t.co/x9C – RT @ppppolls: Gingrich would be the biggest GOP general election disaster trailing Obama 52-40, incl. 19 pts with indys: …
  • AD-38: Rep Buck McKeon’s Staff Says Memo Leak Was a Computer HACK » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Rep Buck McKeon’s Staff Says Memo Leak Was a Computer HACK
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 14, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 14, 2012
  • The Morning Flap: February 14, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: February 14, 2012
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: February 14, 2012

Dogs Against Romney The Morning Flap: February 14, 2012

These are my links for February 13th through February 14th:

  • “Dogs Against Romney”? Democrats Say Unleash the Hound! – Tomorrow outside the Westminster dog show at Madison Square Garden at noon the group “Dogs Against Romney” will protest “to ensure pet lovers are aware that Mitt Romney is mean to dogs,” according to the group’s press release.

    While it may seem silly to some, Democrats are have every intention of making sure – if Romney wins the GOP nomination – that every voting American knows about the story of Romney putting his family dog Seamus in a kennel on top of his roof and driving from Boston to Canada, with said canine Seamus making his displeasure known in a rather scatological way. “I have a yellow Lab named Winston,” Fox News’ Chris Wallace said to Romney. “I would no sooner put him in a kennel on the roof of my car than I would one of my children. Question: What were you thinking?” “This is a completely airtight kennel, mounted on the roof of our car,” Romney replied. “He climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself. He was in a kennel at home a great deal of the time as well. We loved the dog. It was where he was comfortable.” “When Seamus crapped all over the car I’m fairly certain he wasn’t expressing pleasure,” one top Democrat told ABC News.

    “31 million dog-owners vote,” said another.

  • Media Matters memo called for hiring private investigators ‘to look into the personal lives’ of Fox employees – A little after 1 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2009, Karl Frisch emailed a memo to his bosses, Media Matters for America founder David Brock and president Eric Burns. In the first few lines, Frisch explained why Media Matters should launch a “Fox Fund” whose mission would be to attack the Fox News Channel.

    “Simply put,” Frisch wrote, “the progressive movement is in need of an enemy. George W. Bush is gone. We really don’t have John McCain to kick around any more. Filling the lack of leadership on the right, Fox News has emerged as the central enemy and antagonist of the Obama administration, our Congressional majorities and the progressive movement as a whole.”

    “We must take Fox News head-on in a well funded, presidential-style campaign to discredit and embarrass the network, making it illegitimate in the eyes of news consumers.”

    What Frisch proceeded to suggest, however, went well beyond what legitimate presidential campaigns attempt. “We should hire private investigators to look into the personal lives of Fox News anchors, hosts, reporters, prominent contributors, senior network and corporate staff,” he wrote.

    After that, Frisch argued, should come the legal assault: “We should look into contracting with a major law firm to study any available legal actions that can be taken against Fox News, from a class action law suit to defamation claims for those wronged by the network. I imagine this would be difficult but the right law firm is bound to find some legal ground for us to take action against the network.”

  • Down in Michigan Polls, Romney Needs to Find His Base
  • No money for D.C. voucher program in Obama’s gigantic new budget, of course; Update: Meanwhile, White House to boost subsidies for Chevy Volt
  • Obama’s ‘rosy’ budget scenario doubles down on class warfare « The Enterprise Blog
  • Laura Richardson’s ethics woes mount – Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson instructed taxpayer-funded House aides to work on political redistricting last year, sources familiar with the situation told POLITICO.

    Such activities could amount to a violation of prohibitions against lawmakers pressuring aides to do political work, as well as rules against using official resources, including staff, for campaign purposes.

    The redistricting work, which has not previously been disclosed, allegedly occurred after it became clear Richardson was under investigation over another set of allegations that she forced House aides to perform political and personal tasks in violation of House rules. Richardson did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

    Sources told POLITICO that Richardson’s congressional aides collected information about communities outside her district, organized a workshop to train constituents in advance of a public meeting of California’s independent redistricting commission, and wrote talking points for those constituents to deliver during the public-comments portion of the meeting at Long Beach City Hall in April 2011.

    The redistricting work was done at Richardson’s direction — rather than on a voluntary basis — these sources said.

    A spokesman for the Ethics Committee declined to comment on the Richardson case, but several sources indicated that investigators have expanded the probe and are now looking into the redistricting angle.

  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-14 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-14
  • Iranians’ Internet access blocked temporarily: experts – Most computer users in Iran were blocked from accessing email, social networking and other services in recent days, U.S.-based Internet experts said on Monday, raising fears the government is extending the reach of its surveillance on ordinary citizens.

    Internet service providers presumed to be acting at the Iranian government’s behest began blocking the most common form of secure connections on Friday, according to the outside experts and Iranian bloggers. Traffic rebounded to normal levels on Monday.

    The cutoff apparently affected all encrypted international websites outside of Iran that depend on the Secure Sockets Layer protocol, which display addresses beginning with https, according to Earl Zmijewski of Renesys, a U.S. company that tracks Internet traffic worldwide.

  • California lawmaker writes ‘Public Employees Bill of Rights’ – Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento,(right) has introduced legislation that would give unionized state workers more workplace discipline protections and first dibs on state government work.

    SEIU Local 1000 and the Union of American Physicians and Dentists support AB 1655, the “Public Employees Bill of Rights Act.” Here’s what it would do:

    • Gives unionized state employees priority over outside contractors and excluded state workers to fill permanent, overtime and on-call positions.
    • Sets a one-year statute of limitations for employers to take an adverse action against a state employee. (The current law allows disciplinary actions up to three years after the discovery of fraud, embezzlement or records falsification.)
    • Establishes a peer review committee to provide workplace operations input.
    • Guarantees that the state won’t impose “unreasonable quotas” on employees.
    • Bans extra work created by vacancies, furloughs of layoffs without “fair compensation.”
    • Gives priority to workplace safety and health grievances.
    • Explicitly bans workplace discrimination.
    • Strengthens whistleblower protections.
    • Requires employers exercise “preventive and corrective” actions before administering harsher employee discipline.
    • Settles grievances in favor of the employee if the employer misses contractual deadlines for response.
    • Defines protections and performance and merit evaluation processes for professionally licensed employees.
    • Guarantees independent legal representation for professionally licensed workers named as codefendants in litigation against their employers.

  • Will Overeating Contribute to Memory Loss? | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Will Overeating Contribute to Memory Loss?
  • Steinberg seeks state review of Sacramento Co. dental program – Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is calling for a state review of a Sacramento County pilot program that provides state-funded dental coverage for low-income children.

    A Center for Health Reporting article published in The Bee over the weekend detailed the shortcomings of the managed care program, including long wait times and comparatively low rates of dental care among the more than 110,000 Sacramento County children covered by the program.

    In a letter to California Department of Health Care Services Director Toby Douglas, Steinberg called for immediate action to address what he called a “crisis in prevention and treatment services.”

    “Despite that state funding, disturbing specific patient cases as well as the department’s own data cited in the article make it abundantly clear that prevention and treatment services are woefully inadequate for those children most in need,” the Sacramento Democrat wrote in the letter.

    In addition to the investigation, Steinberg asked the administration to step up its monitoring of dental plans under contract with the program and withhold payments or cancel contracts with plans that fail to provide proper access to care or meet other performance standards.

  • President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Santorum SURGES to Catch Romney | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Santorum SURGES to Catch Romney
  • AD-38: Antelope Valley Press Picks Up On Buck McKeon Countrywide Financial Stall Game » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Antelope Valley Press Picks Up On Buck McKeon Countrywide Financial Stall Game
  • George Will Video: Catholic Bishops “It Serves Them Right” Re: ObamaCare Contraception Mandate | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – George Will Video: Catholic Bishops “It Serves Them Right” Re: ObamaCare Contraception Mandate
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Food and Drug Administration Shuts Down Dental Implant Manufacturer – Food and Drug Administration Shuts Down Dental Implant Manufacturer
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: February 13, 2012 – The Morning Drill: February 13, 2012
  • Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney Tied Nationally As Romney Struggles with Base, New Polls Show – Despite a victory in the Maine caucuses on Saturday, Mitt Romney has more to worry about after two new polls released Monday show him fighting to keep his lead among Republicans nationally and struggling to win favor from the conservative base.

    A new Pew Research Center poll found Santorum and Romney neck-and-neck, with Santorum winning 30 percent of the support among Republican registered voters to Romney’s 28 percent — a difference that falls well within the poll’s five percentage point margin of error. Separately, Gallup’s latest tracking survey of the Republican race found Romney with 32 percent support and Santorum right on his heels with 30 percent.

    Of concern for Romney, the Pew poll shows him struggling among the conservative groups that make up the Republican base. Among self-identified conservatives, Santorum leads Romney by an 11 percent margin, 36 percent to 25 percent. Among Tea Party supporters, Santorum leads 42 percent to 23 percent.

    Romney’s support among Tea Party supporters is essentially unchanged from last month, when he received 26 percent support from Tea Party supporters to 24 percent each for Santorum and Newt Gingrich. But Santorum’s lead among the group may be a sign that they have begun to see him as the alternative to Romney.

  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 13, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 13, 2012
  • Obama proposes $800 million in aid for Arab Spring
    | Reuters
    – Obama proposes $800 million in aid for “Arab Spring”
  • The State Worker: CA prison officers spent more than $1 million on political advice – RT @TheStateWorker: CA prison officers spent more than $1 million on political advice
  • Election 2012 Polling and News, Republican Presidential Candidates, Obama, Interactive Polling Data – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Romney 32% Vs. Santorum 30% Vs. Gingrich 16% Vs. Paul 8%
  • Why America Keeps Getting More Conservative – Politics – The Atlantic Cities – Because it is the RIGHT thing to do….
  • Jack Lew’s misleading claim about the Senate’s failure to pass a budget resolution – The Washington Post – Jack Lew’s misleading claim about the Senate’s failure to pass a budget resolution
  • Dem lawmaker: Obama budget is a ‘nervous breakdown on paper’ – The Hill’s Video – Dem lawmaker: Obama budget is a ‘nervous breakdown on paper’
  • CA-26: Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett Out as Candidate for Congress | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-26: Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett Out as Candidate for Congress
  • The American Spectator : Can Mitt Close the Deal? – Cold, bleak February has turned into a happy time for us. It’s given us a short break from the constant barrage of debates, speeches and “crucial” primaries in the Republican presidential nomination contest. February has given us, and the candidates, a bit of time to think. Let’s make the most of it.
    The nomination is still up for grabs. Mitt Romney has the clearest path to it but Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul are all promising to take it all the way to the convention. To those who natter about how cool a “brokered” convention would be, I say don’t wish for something because you might get it. (Among other frightful questions, who can be the brokers? It’ll be a food fight that benefits only the media.) The Republican Party is too weak and fractured to come out of such an event united and strong enough to win in November.
    So let’s assume that Romney is the nominee. The arithmetic is pretty simple. Mitt Romney plus an energized Republican base can beat Obama in November. Romney without an energized base will lose. But the Republican base is conservative, and Romney hasn’t closed the deal with conservatives. Can he?
    Let’s face it: Romney isn’t one of us. At CPAC last Friday he said he governed Massachusetts as a “severely conservative” Republican in the tone of voice my late maternal grandmother used to say she was severely constipated. We know his record as state candidate and governor, and national candidate since 2007. We need not rehearse it here. Suffice it to say that it defines him as a transactional conservative. He will apply conservative principles as a business owner might apply production scenarios and estimated profit margins to negotiating a deal. They aren’t part of his core, but will be useful tools for him in campaigning and, if he wins, governing.
  • National Review calls on Gingrich to bow out of presidential race – The National Review is calling on Newt Gingrich to drop out of the Republican presidential race, arguing the former House Speaker should clear the way for Rick Santorum to seize the mantle as the Anti-Romney choice for conservatives.

    “It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader. When he led Santorum in the polls, he urged the Pennsylvanian to leave the race. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit,” the editors of the influential conservative online magazine wrote in an op-ed posted Monday.

  • Santorum moves ahead in Michigan – Rick Santorum’s taken a large lead in Michigan’s upcoming Republican primary. He’s at 39% to 24% for Mitt Romney, 12% for Ron Paul, and 11% for Newt Gingrich.

    Santorum’s rise is attributable to two major factors: his own personal popularity (a stellar 67/23 favorability) and GOP voters increasingly souring on Gingrich. Santorum’s becoming something closer and closer to a consensus conservative candidate as Gingrich bleeds support.

    Santorum’s winning an outright majority of the Tea Party vote with 53% to 22% for Romney and 10% for Gingrich. He comes close to one with Evangelicals as well at 48% to 20% for Romney and 12% for Gingrich. And he cracks the 50% line with voters identifying as ‘very conservative’ at 51% to 20% for Romney and 10% for Gingrich.

  • Untitled (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/budget.pdf) – RT @markknoller: The president’s 2013 federal budget now posted at
  • Ill. man bilks Medicaid of $2M for erectile pumps — Health — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine – Illinois man bilks Medicaid of $2M for penis erectile pumps
  • Santorum’s Turn – The Editors – National Review Online – Santorum’s Turn – really all that is left or it’s Romney
  • The Morning Flap: February 13, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: February 13, 2012
  • IN-Sen: Richard Mourdock Attacks Sen Richard Lugar for Support of Teapot Museum | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – IN-Sen: Richard Mourdock Attacks Sen Richard Lugar for Support of Teapot Museum
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-13 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-13
  • AD-38: Details Emerge on Buck and Patricia McKeon’s Countrywide Home Loans » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Details Emerge on Buck and Patricia McKeon’s Countrywide Home Loans
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