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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap Featuring Brett Kimberlin for May 24, 2012

Brett Kimberlin The Morning Flap Featuring Brett Kimberlin for May 24, 2012

Brett Kimberlin

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

share save 120 16 The Morning Flap Featuring Brett Kimberlin for May 24, 2012

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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: April 17, 2012

Renounce citizenship The Morning Flap: April 17, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Halperin: How the Buffett Rule could work for Obama – Halperin: How the Buffett Rule could work for Obama
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-17 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-17
  • (404) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/scott-walker-leads-democratic-rivals-in-new-wisconsin-rec – (500) …
  • (500) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/scott-walker-leads-democratic-rivals-in-new-wisconsin-recall-poll/2012/04/16/gIQAeJbGMT_blog.html?tid=sm_twitter_washingtonpost – RT @washingtonpost: Scott Walker leads Democratic rivals in new Wisconsin recall poll:
  • AD-38: California State Senator Tony Strickland Endorses Patricia McKeon for Assembly » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: California State Senator Tony Strickland Endorses Patricia McKeon for Assembly via @flap
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Fundraising Totals Show Republican Tony Strickland Far in the Lead – CA-26: Fundraising Totals Show Republican Tony Strickland Far in the Lead
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 16, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 16, 2012
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: March 27, 2012

These are my links for March 26th through March 27th:

  • Frustrated Senator Olympia Snowe Gives Obama an ‘F’ – If there were ever a Republican for President Obama to work with, it was Maine Senator Olympia Snowe. She was one of just three Republicans in the entire Congress to vote for his economic stimulus plan in 2009 and even tried to work with him on health care, but in an interview with ABC’s Senior Political Correspondent Jonathan Karl, Snowe makes a remarkable revelation: She hasn’t spoken to President Obama in nearly two years.

    Snowe said that if she had to grade the President on his willingness to work with Republicans, he would “be close to failing on that point.” In fact, Snowe, who was first elected to Congress in 1976, claims that her meetings with President Obama have been less frequent than with any other President.

  • Republicans seeking out Hispanics – Rubio Writing Modified DREAM ACT – Senate Republicans want to alter DREAM Act legislation to steal away Hispanic voters from Democrats.

    Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), the only Senate Republican of Hispanic heritage and a possible vice presidential pick, is working on an alternative version of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the country at a young age and serve in the military or attend college. 

    He declined to provide any details, but confirmed he hopes to have legislation soon.

  • CA-26: Independent Could Make History in California – Parks has been a registered Democrat and Republican and has won three terms for the high-profile but nonpartisan position of county supervisor.

    A new internal poll conducted for the Parks campaign indicates she is favored to advance to the general election along with Republican state Sen. Tony Strickland, with four Democrats as the odd ones out. As the only Republican, Strickland is practically assured of moving beyond June 5.

    “She’s the Democrats’ problem,” Strickland consultant Joe Justin said flatly.

    Indeed, establishment Democrats are beginning to coalesce around state Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, widely seen as the most viable candidate, in an effort to avoid a splintered vote. Brownley, who lives in Santa Monica but represents a small portion of the district, entered the race after Democratic frontrunner Steve Bennett abruptly dropped out at the state party convention in February.

  • Is Google launching a blog commenting system? | The Verge – Is Google launching a blog commenting system?
  • Obama: I’m not ‘hiding the ball’ on defense shield talks with Russia – President Obama denied Tuesday that he is “hiding the ball” when it comes to negotiating with Russia over U.S. plans for a defense shield, saying his positions on the issue are “on record.”

    A day after a live microphone picked up a private conversation where he asked Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for “space” and “patience” on the missile defense issue until after November’s election, Obama sought to clarify his remarks and make his position known.

    “I think everybody understands — if they don’t, they haven’t been listening to my speeches — that I want to reduce nuclear stockpiles,” Obama said Tuesday, on the final day of a nuclear security summit in South Korea. “And one of the barriers to doing that is building trust and cooperation around missile defense issues. And so this is not a matter of hiding the ball.

  • Tea Party converges on court for main event in healthcare debate – In the three-day legal fight over President Obama’s healthcare law, Tuesday is the main event.

    The Supreme Court will tackle the biggest question at stake in the landmark healthcare case — whether the law’s individual mandate is constitutional. And a massive Tea Party protest could take the public battle outside the courthouse to a new level, as well.

    The justices opened their healthcare arguments Monday with debate over a procedural issue. Tuesday, they’ll move on to the core question of whether Congress has the power to make almost every U.S. citizen buy health insurance or pay a fine.

  • CA-26: Linda Parks Avoids Question Who She Will Support for House Speaker | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-26: Linda Parks Avoids Question Who She Will Support for House Speaker
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-03-27 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-03-27
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Daily Extraction Costa Rica Edition: March 19-21, 2012 – The Daily Extraction Costa Rica Edition: March 19-21, 2012
  • Untitled (http://getglue.com/topics/p/los_angeles_dodgers?s=tch&ref=Fullosseousflap) – Just a Spring training game but it is baseball… @GetGlue #LosAngelesDodgers
  • Wisconsin Judges discarded impartiality by signing recall petitions, say journalists who signed recall petitions – A Gannett Media executive was red-faced this weekend after nine of her employees were caught doing exactly what their paper had exposed 29 circuit judges for doing: trying to bring down Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

    The Post-Crescent newspaper in Wisconsin posted a story earlier this month revealing that about 12 percent of Wisconsin’s county-level judiciary had signed a petition to recall the governor. That’s a problem because the trial-level judges are supposed to remain above the political fray.

    Genia Lovett, the president and publisher of The Post-Crescent newspaper, called the story “watchdog journalism” at its finest.

    But just days after the big article, Lovett admitted in an open letter that 25 supposedly unbiased Gannett Wisconsin Media employees, including nine at the Post-Crescent, also had signed recall petitions. Gannett Wisconsin Media owns the Post-Crescent newspaper.

    “It was wrong, and those who signed were in breach of Gannett’s Principles of Ethical Conduct for Newsrooms,” Lovett wrote. “The principle at stake is our core belief that journalists must make every effort to avoid behavior that could raise doubts about their journalistic neutrality.”

  • CA-25: Rep Buck McKeon Defends Paying Wife Patricia McKeon for Campaign Work | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-26: Rep Buck McKeon Defends Paying Wife Patricia McKeon for Campaign Work
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: March 26, 2012 – The Morning Drill: March 26, 2012
  • The Morning Flap: March 26, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: March 26, 2012
  • President 2012: Missile Defense Becomes Campaign Issue As Obama Is Caught on Open Mic | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Missile Defense Becomes Campaign Issue As Obama Is Caught on Open Mic
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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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share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for March 15th on 11:04

These are my links for March 15th from 11:04 to 11:07:

  • Joseph R. Biden Jr.: The Case for Ratifying New Start – In September 2009, when President Obama decided to alter his predecessor's plans for missile defense in Europe, some critics claimed that we had sacrificed our allies in the interest of the "reset" with Russia. Others thought that we would derail the reset by proceeding with the new plan. The skeptics were wrong on both counts.

    At NATO's summit in Lisbon last weekend, President Obama united Europe behind our missile-defense plans and received strong support for the New Start Treaty that is currently before the Senate. In doing so, he proved that missile defense and arms control can proceed hand-in-hand.

    It's hard to remember how much relations between the United States and our European allies had frayed before this administration took office. U.S. leadership was viewed negatively by many foreign publics, and U.S. policies often met with opposition from our traditional partners. The positive atmosphere in Lisbon—and the substantial progress on priorities like missile defense, arms control and the Russia reset—simply would not have been possible without nearly two years of intensive diplomacy.

    NATO's adoption of territorial missile defense as a new mission shows that President Obama has rebuilt the alliance's underlying consensus about the threats we face and how to meet them. Once considered an insurmountable political, technical and financial challenge, NATO's decision to embrace territorial missile defense demonstrates the alliance's determination to meet 21st-century threats.

    The ballistic missile threat to our allies, partners and deployed forces is real and growing, particularly from Iran. Unlike previous approaches, this NATO missile-defense system will protect all NATO allies in Europe, not just some. And it will protect more European territory sooner than the system it replaced. The capability will improve over time, addressing existing and near-term threats first, then expanding to provide greater coverage and protection as the threat and technology evolve.

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    Read it all.

    What a difference 10 years makes

  • Senator Joseph Biden on "Missile Defense Delusion" from 2001 – Op-ed column from The Washington Post on 12/19/01) (880)
    19 December 2001

    (This column by Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., chairman of the Senate
    Foreign Relations Committee, first appeared in the Washington Post
    December 19, 2001 and is in the public domain. No republication
    restrictions.)

    Missile Defense Delusion
    By Joseph R. Biden Jr.

    Washington being what it is, the idea that politics and ideology
    should be set aside for a higher purpose may seem a quaint, naive
    sentiment. But few would argue with the statement that the ultimate
    test in deciding to scrap a treaty that has helped keep the peace for
    30 years is whether it makes the United States more or less secure. In
    that light, President Bush's decision to unilaterally walk away from
    the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty is a serious mistake.

    No one doubts we live in a dangerous world and that our enemies are
    ruthless. But a "Star Wars" defense, assuming it could be made to
    work, would address only what the Joint Chiefs of Staff argue is the
    least likely threat to our national security.

    One of the lessons we should have learned from the devastating attack
    of Sept. 11 is that terrorists determined to do this nation harm can
    employ a wide variety of means, and that weapons of mass destruction
    – chemical, biological or even nuclear — need not arrive on the tip
    of an intercontinental ballistic missile with a return address. That's
    why the Joint Chiefs of Staff argue that an ICBM launch ranks last on
    the "Threat Spectrum," while terrorist attacks constitute the greatest
    potential threat to our national security.

    The administration's obsession with missile defense — with a price
    tag in excess of a quarter-trillion dollars for the layered program on
    the president's wish list — is doubly troubling because of the
    attention and resources being diverted from critical efforts to
    address genuine threats. While the president says nonproliferation is
    a high priority, his actions speak louder. Notwithstanding promises of
    new efforts, the fiscal year 2002 budget that he requested would have
    cut more than $100 million out of programs designed to corral Russia's
    "loose nukes," provide help that Russia has requested to destroy its
    chemical weapons stockpile and prevent unemployed Russian scientists
    from selling their services to terrorist organizations.

    Only when it comes to missile defense is the administration pushing
    hard. But nothing could be more damaging to global nonproliferation
    efforts than to go forward with Star Wars. Russia has enough offensive
    weapons to overwhelm any system we could devise, so the real issue is
    what happens in China and throughout Asia.

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    VP Joe Biden as a Senator had never been a fan of national missile defense, but now?

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