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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: December 27, 2012

Obama Over the Cliff The Morning Flap: December 27, 2012

These are my links for December 22nd through December 27th:

  • Why States May Want to Fall off the ‘Cliff’ – Falling off the “fiscal cliff” is a bad thing, right? Not necessarily for some state governments that could begin collecting more in estate taxes on wealth left to heirs if the United States goes over the “cliff,” allowing sharp tax increases and federal spending cuts to take effect in January.In an example of federal and state tax law interaction that gets little notice on Capitol Hill, 30 states next year could collect $3 billion more in estate taxes if Congress and President Barack Obama do not act soon, estimated the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

    The reason? The federal estate tax would return with a vengeance and so would a federal credit system that shares a portion of it with the 30 states. They had been getting their cut of this tax revenue stream until the early 2000s. That was when the credit system for payment of state estate tax went away due to tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush.

  • The Year the Dreams Died – 2012 – Barack Obama in 2008 won an election on an upbeat message of change amid hopes that the first black president would mark a redemptive moment in American history. Four years later, the fantasies are gone. In continuing dismal economic times, Obama ran for reelection neither on his first-term achievements — Obamacare, bailouts, financial stimuli, and Keynesian mega-deficits — nor on more utopian promises.Instead, Obama’s campaign systematically reduced his rival, Wall Street financier Mitt Romney, to a conniving, felonious financial pirate who did dastardly things, from letting the uninsured die to putting his pet dog Seamus in a cage on top of the family car.

    Obama once had mused that he wished to be the mirror image of Ronald Reagan — successfully coaxing America to the left as the folksy Reagan had to the right. Instead, 2012 taught us that a calculating Obama is more a canny Richard Nixon, who likewise used any means necessary to be reelected on the premise that his rival would be even worse. But we know what eventually happened to the triumphant, pre-Watergate Nixon after November 1972; what will be the second-term wages of Obama’s winning ugly?

  • Obama’s Numbers Went Down, but Romney Never Inspired Voters to Vote | RealClearPolitics – The 2012 election was different. Barack Obama got 6 percent fewer popular votes than he had gotten in 2008. And Mitt Romney got only 1 percent more popular votes than John McCain had four years before.In retrospect, it looks like both campaigns fell short of their turnout goals. Yes, examination of election returns and exit polls indicates that the Obama campaign turned out voters where it really needed them.

    That enabled him to carry Florida by 1 percent, Ohio by 3 percent, Virginia by 4 percent, and Colorado and Pennsylvania by 5 percent. Without those states, he would have gotten only 243 electoral votes and would now be planning his presidential library.

    But the conservative bloggers who argued that the Obama campaign’s early voting numbers were below target may have been right. If Mitt Romney had gotten 16 percent more popular votes than his predecessor, as John Kerry did, he would have led Obama by 4 million votes and won the popular vote 51 to 48 percent.

    Romney, like Kerry, depended on voters’ distaste for the incumbent; he could not hope to inspire the devotion Bush enjoyed in 2004 and that Obama had from a diminished number in 2008.

    But to continue this counterfactual scenario, if Obama had won 23 percent more popular votes this year than in 2008, he would have beaten Romney by 85 million to 69 million votes and by 54 to 44 percent.

    In reality, Obama’s vote and percentage went down. Considering what happened in Bush’s second term, that suggests a course of caution and wariness for the re-elected president and his party.

  • Piers Morgan: Bible And Constitution ‘Inherently Flawed,’ ‘Time For An Amendment To Bible’ – On Monday, CNN host Piers Morgan invited Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren on his program to discuss gay marriage and the bible. Fresh off his feud with Second Amendment rights activists following his full-throated defense of stricter gun control laws in the wake of the Newtown massacre, Morgan inspired further outrage among the religious when he told the pastor he thought it was time for an “amendment to the bible.” In Morgan’s opinion, the bible, like the American Constitution, is “inherently flawed.”
  • Supreme Court won’t block Obama health law’s contraception mandate – he Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to block the Obama administration’s contraception mandate from taking effect.Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected a request for an emergency injunction that would have shielded employers from the mandate.

    by Hobby Lobby, an arts-and-crafts chain. The company’s Catholic owners say the contraception mandate violates their religious freedom.

    Hobby Lobby might eventually win on that point, Sotomayor said, but the company didn’t meet the standard for an injunction blocking the mandate from taking effect.

    The administration’s policy requires most employers to include contraception in their employees’ healthcare policies, without charging a co-pay or deductible. Churches and houses of worship are exempt, and religious affiliated institutions such as Catholic hospitals don’t have to cover contraception directly. (Their insurance companies cover the cost of making it available at no cost to the employee.)

    But some Catholic employers say they should be able to opt out of the mandate simply because it violates their personal faith, no matter what type of business they run.

  • Poll: 46% say Obama’s second term will be better – President Barack Obama looks primed to do a “better job” in his second term than he did in his first term, a plurality of Americans say.According to a CNN/ORC poll out Thursday, 46 percent of Americans think the president’s job performance will improve this time around, while 22 percent say Obama will do a worse job. Another three in 10 see Obama offering “about the same” performance as he did during his first administration.
  • When will the right start hating Hillary Clinton again? – Her poll numbers are staggering. Fellow Democrats fear her. So do some Republicans. The main question now is, when will the right start hating Hillary Clinton again and kick a “Stop HRC” movement into high gear?You could hear the sounds of the ignition being turned during the past 10 days as an illness that led to a concussion (under circumstances that the public still knows little about) forced Clinton to cancel Senate testimony about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. That led to charges of a cover-up from some dependably anti-Clinton quarters, such as the New York Post and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.
  • Obama looks to retain upper hand as ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations resume – President Obama will strive to retain the political upper hand in negotiations over deficit reduction when he returns to Washington Thursday morning.Obama had been in Hawaii with his family since Saturday but is scheduled to arrive back at the White House just before noon as the nation approaches the year-end fiscal cliff.
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-26 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-26
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-26 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-26 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-26 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-26
  • Ed Driscoll » The Howard Kurtz Recursion – RT @rsmccain: Wow, @EdDriscoll is all over David Gregory like a cheap suit
  • U.S. to Hit Debt Limit Monday | Fox Business – LOL Obama, you really put it to the House GOP, now didn’t you? #tcot
  • Where’s Hillary? | The Weekly Standard – I she isn’t in a hospital having surgery then is she in the Middle East?
  • Day By Day December 26, 3012 – The Princess American – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day December 26, 3012 – The Princess American #tcot
  • Jerry Brown pushes new funding system for California schools – After California schools eliminated art programs and increased class sizes to survive budget cuts, they are finally on the verge of getting more money thanks to voter-approved taxes and economic recovery.But K-12 districts may not share equally in the expanding budget pie.

    Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing hard to overhaul California’s convoluted school funding system. His plan has two major objectives: Give K-12 districts greater control over how they spend money, and send more dollars to impoverished students and English learners.

  • Labor beat Prop. 32 via social media – Leaders of the California unions that spent $75 million to defeat Proposition 32′s union-busting campaign in November discovered something during the bruising battle: 40 percent of likely voters were not watching any Prop. 32-related TV commercials, even though the spots droned on nonstop throughout the fall.So the forces opposed to the measure, which would have banned the use of union payroll deductions for political contributions, changed tactics.

    Fusing a sophisticated data-mining operation with messages sent through social media platforms such as Facebook, the unions changed how they were singling out voters younger than 40 who don’t watch TV. Within weeks, they saw support for their position among younger voters climb from 40 percent to 60 percent.

  • In 2013, Millions Of Americans Face Obamacare Tax Hikes – As part of the negotiations over the fiscal cliff, Congress and President Obama are battling over whether to raise marginal tax rates at the very top of the income ladder.Regardless of how these talks turn out, millions of Americans are already facing tax hikes thanks to Obamacare.

    Obamacare’s authors chose to offset about half of the trillion-dollar cost of the law through higher taxes. Since the Supreme Court upheld the law’s individual mandate and allowed states to opt out of its Medicaid expansion, though, the cost estimate has swelled to $1.76 trillion between 2012 and 2021.

    In 2013, a number of Obamacare’s taxes will go into effect. Each will increase the cost of health care, yield job losses, and deprive our struggling economy of investment. These are the true costs of Obamacare.

  • FreedomWorks tea party group nearly falls apart in fight between old and new guard – The day after Labor Day, just as campaign season was entering its final frenzy, FreedomWorks, the Washington-based tea party organization, went into free fall.Richard K. Armey, the group’s chairman and a former House majority leader, walked into the group’s Capitol Hill offices with his wife, Susan, and an aide holstering a handgun at his waist. The aim was to seize control of the group and expel Armey’s enemies: The gun-wielding assistant escorted FreedomWorks’ top two employees off the premises, while Armey suspended several others who broke down in sobs at the news.

    The coup lasted all of six days. By Sept. 10, Armey was gone — with a promise of $8 million — and the five ousted employees were back. The force behind their return was Richard J. Stephenson, a reclusive Illinois millionaire who has exerted increasing control over one of Washington’s most influential conservative grass-roots organizations.

    Stephenson, the founder of the for-profit Cancer Treatment Centers of America and a director on the FreedomWorks board, agreed to commit $400,000 per year over 20 years in exchange for Armey’s agreement to leave the group.

  • Gallup poll: Public’s fear of falling over ‘fiscal cliff’ grows – A new poll finds the public’s fears over the looming “fiscal cliff” growing, as the year-end deadline for a deficit deal nears.Fifty percent of those surveyed in a new Gallup poll released Wednesday believe President Obama and lawmakers will reach an agreement to avoid January’s set of tax increases and automatic spending cuts. Forty-eight percent are doubtful a deal will be reached in time.
  • Starbucks makes political push on fiscal cliff – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @PoliticalTicker Starbucks makes political push on fiscal cliff -
  • Fiscal Cliff: Fears mount over dive, poll says – POLITICO.com – RT @politico Poll: Americans are rapidly becoming more pessimistic about averting the fiscal cliff
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-25 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-25
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-25 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-25 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-25 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-25
  • Affordable Care Act presents many unknowns for California officials – As California positions itself at the vanguard of the national healthcare overhaul, state officials are unable to say for sure how much their implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act will cost taxpayers.The program, intended to insure millions of Americans who are now without health coverage, takes states into uncharted territory. California, which plans to expand coverage to hundreds of thousands of people when the law takes effect in 2014, faces myriad unknowns. The Brown administration will try to estimate the cost of vastly more health coverage in the budget plan it unveils next month, but experts warn that its numbers could be way off.

    =========

    The costs will be astronomical and the POLS will be scrambling to pay for it all.

  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-24 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-24
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-24 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-24 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-24 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-24
  • Merry Christmas 2012 – Flap’s Blog – Merry Christmas 2012 #tcot
  • Realignment’s unintended consequence: No supervision, rehabilitation for criminals – The first wave of felons sent to county jails instead of state prisons under Gov. Jerry Brown’s public safety realignment plan are back on the streets after serving their sentences, and local law enforcement officials are worried they will trigger a spike in crime.Almost all of the felons are under no obligation to report to a parole agent or probation officer, and many did not get job training and other rehabilitation services while behind bars.

    “Of those 9,000 who have been sentenced to jail in lieu of prison, about 90 percent of them are going to come out without supervision by a probation officer or a parole agent,” county Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers said during a recent meeting of the Southern California Association of Governments.

  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-23 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-23
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-23 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-23 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-23 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-23
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-22 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-22
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-22 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-22 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-22 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-22
  • Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – The pre- Christmas 10 miles is finished. Now, the protein plate at Ronnie’s! (@ Ronnie’s Diner) [pic]:
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-21 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-21
  • President Obama’s dilemma – Carrie Budoff Brown – POLITICO.com – President Obama’s dilemma – Carrie Budoff Brown – #tcot
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: August 14, 2012

These are my links for August 12th through August 14th:

  • Newt Gingrich Tells Piers Morgan ‘You Guys Almost Sound Like You’re An Extension of the Obama Campaign’- Piers Morgan on Monday picked the wrong guy to toss Democrat talking points at.After the CNN anchor spoke the typical liberal nonsense about Paul Ryan’s budget only benefiting rich people, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich scolded, “I do wonder sometimes if you guys all get off in a little club and learn a brand new mantra and then all repeat it mindlessly…You guys almost sound like you’re an extension of the Obama campaign”
  • BUSTED: CNN’s Soledad O’Brien Caught Using Liberal Blog To Attack Ryan Plan- In yet another classic display of the liberal media, CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien has been caught red-handed using left-wing blog Talking Points Memo to counter Virginia House of Delegates member Barbara Comstock on the House GOP budget.As Ali A. Ackbar of Viral Read discovered:Tonight, she was the substitute host for Anderson Cooper, a program that boasts of its reputation for “keeping [politicians] honest.” During her interview with Virginia House of Delegates Republican member Barbara Comstock, O’Brien became visibly flustered and was actually caught doing finger stress exercises as she attempt to insert editorial commentary while her guest, a former skilled Republican operative, defended the House GOP budget, designed by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.Accidentally, a cameraman captured O’Brien furiously flipping through notes, only to cut out seconds later. What was she viewing?

    Footage proves it was a printed email, talking points and opposition research.

  • Day By Day August 14, 2012 – Vegetables – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day August 14, 2012 – Vegetables #tcot
  • The Forgotten History of Ryan’s Medicare Reform- There was a small but instructive moment in 2010, the summer after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, that shows why Paul Ryan is so unusual for Washington.A panel at the American Enterprise Institute featured Richard Foster, the Medicare actuary who estimates that ObamaCare’s $716 billion in Medicare cuts will cause one of six hospitals to become unprofitable. In the audience was Chip Kahn, the president of a for-profit hospital trade group that lobbied for ObamaCare, who stood up to defend the bargain his industry cut in return for 30 million new subsidized customers.Mr. Foster noted that the cuts, which come via a technical change to Medicare payment rates, apply in perpetuity. But the hospitals only get the extra patients once, so the wedge between costs and benefits for hospitals widens over time.”Well,” Mr. Kahn replied, “you can say, ‘Did you make a bad deal?’ Fortunately I don’t think I’ll probably be working after 2020.” When Mr. Foster pressed him, he joked again, “I’m glad my contract only goes another six years.”

    This kind of short-range thinking—and intellectual exhaustion—dominates both parties and their many clients in Washington, in health care especially.Mr. Ryan’s political character has always been different. He saw before anyone else that one era of government was inexorably ending, and that if we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.

  • McCain Says Reid’s Claim on Romney’s taxes is Wrong- Sen. John McCain told Jon Ralston that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is wrong about his assertion that Mitt Romney did not pay taxes for 10 years, saying his team that vetted the presumptive GOP nominee in 2008 found no such thing.Said McCain: “Nothing in his tax returns showed that he did not pay taxes.”
  • Paul Ryan veep selection draws Romney closer to House GOP- Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate draws his presidential campaign closer to Congress and the House Republican leadership, an association that could carry more risk than reward in the short term.As a former executive and governor who had never served in Washington, Romney had run an outsider campaign and kept a healthy distance from a historically unpopular Congress. The presumptive GOP nominee did not support the 2011 debt ceiling deal negotiated by his party’s congressional leadership (and which Ryan backed), and he did not immediately endorse the Ryan-authored budget plan that the House has passed two years in a row.
  • Marco Rubio, Chris Christie get key speaking roles at RNC- In a showcase role on his party’s biggest stage, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will introduce Mitt Romney for his speech to accept the nomination for president on the last night of the Republican National Convention.It is an introduction aimed at giving Romney a boost from a rising star in a must-win state, but it will almost certainly further enhance Rubio’s standing, too.New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a favorite among fiscal conservatives in the party, will give the keynote address, the convention announced early Tuesday.”We have an opportunity in Tampa to make clear that if we tell each other the hard truths, tackle the big problems, and make bold choices, we will see America’s comeback,” Christie, a former federal prosecutor known for his take-no-prisoners speaking
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-14 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-14
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-14 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-14 #tcot
  • Caught: Soledad O’Brien Uses Liberal Blog to Attack Ryan Plan | Viral Read – @Soledad_OBrien should be asked to resign. What an insufferable biased hack…how about it CNN? #tcot #catcot
  • Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin raise questions by moving into expensive $3.3 million Manhattan apartment- Anthony Weiner’s wife not only took him back, she took him back in style — moving with the shamed pol into a luxurious, $3.3 million Manhattan pad owned by a deep-pocketed Democratic donor, The Post has learned.After quitting his Queens House seat amid a notorious sexting scandal, Weiner and beautiful, brainy spouse Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, landed in the sprawling, 12th-floor Park Avenue trophy residence owned by Rosen Partners LLC, which is headed by close Clinton pal Jack Rosen, records show.Rosen — who oversees the American Jewish Congress — is an influential international political force. He’s been a guest at the White House, flies the Clintons in his private plane, and has poured money into both Bill and Hillary Clinton’s election campaigns over the years, according to campaign-finance records.
  • Treasury: U.S. to lose $25 billion on auto bailout- The Treasury Department says in a new report the government expects to lose more than $25 billion on the $85 billion auto bailout. That’s 15 percent higher than its previous forecast.In a monthly report sent to Congress on Friday, the Obama administration boosted its forecast of expected losses by more than $3.3 billion to almost $25.1 billion, up from $21.7 billion in the last quarterly update.The report may still underestimate the losses. The report covers predicted losses through May 31, when GM’s stock price was $22.20 a share.On Monday, GM stock fell $0.07, or 0.3 percent, to $20.47. At that price, the government would lose another $850 million on its GM bailout.

    The government still holds 500 million shares of GM stock and needs to sell them for about $53 each to recover its entire $49.5 billion bailout. At the current price, the Treasury would lose more than $16 billion on its GM bailout.

    The steep decline in GM’s stock price has indefinitely delayed the Treasury’s sale of its remaining 26 percent stake in GM. No sale will take place before the November election.

  • Hey Paul Ryan haters, your congressional insider trader suspect actually is Sheldon Whitehouse- Paul Ryan falsely was accused today by left-wing bloggers, most notably Matthew Yglesias (formerly of Think Progress now of Slate), of insider trading based on confidential information provided by the Treasury Secretary to Congress on September 18, 2008.That day, Ryan traded Citigroup stock.The accusation fell apart when someone noticed that the congressional meeting was in the evening of September 18, after the markets closed and Ryan already had completed his trades.  Yglesias issued a retraction, and even New York Magazine defended Ryan on the charge of insider trading (which at the time would have been legal for members of Congress).If Yglesias and the rest of the left-blogosphere want to chase someone for insider trading based solely on the timing of trades around the September 18 congressional briefing, then they need look no further than their hero Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), as I detailed on November 19, 2011, Sheldon Whitehouse, luckiest investor in America?
  • Obama Trying to Rekindle Hope and Change in Iowa? – Flap’s Blog – Obama Trying to Rekindle Hope and Change in Iowa? #tcot
  • California 2012 Propositions: Democrats Vs. Republicans – Part 1 – California 2012 Propositions: Democrats Vs. Republicans – Part 1
  • Video: Paul Ryan Heckled at Iowa State Fair – Flap’s Blog – Video: Paul Ryan Heckled at Iowa State Fair #tcot
  • Poll Watch: Positive views of Ryan jump higher after pick- Little known nationally before Saturday’s announcement, favorable impressions of Ryan jumped 15 percentage points among the overall electorate with positive views soaring from 49 to 70 percent among conservative Republicans.In Wednesday through Friday interviews, fully 45 percent of Americans expressed no opinion of Ryan, dropping to 30 percent on Saturday and Sunday. The increasing familiarity all went to the positive side of the ledger, giving Ryan an initial advantage in the sprint to define his candidacy.Overall, in interviews after his selection, 38 percent of all Americans express favorable views of Ryan, 33 percent negative ones. (Before the the announcement, Ryan was somewhat underwater, scoring 23 percent favorable, 32 unfavorable.) The most recent national numbers on Vice President Joe Biden are from a July Pew Research Center poll showing a split decision, 40 percent favorable, 37 percent unfavorable.One of the largest movements on Ryan’s favorability numbers was the 21-point jump among conservative Republicans, but the initial movement was positive among independents as well, doubling from 19 to 39 percent.
  • Romney Attacks Obama Again Over Work for Welfare – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Romney Attacks Obama Again Over Work for Welfare
  • Retirees Shower Paul Ryan With Contributions- Democrats say presumptive GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan is a senior citizen’s worst nightmare, but retirees seem to have no problem writing him checks.One of the most prolific fundraisers in Congress, Ryan has drawn nearly $400,000 from retirees this election cycle, dramatically outperforming most House lawmakers, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.The seven-term Wisconsin Congressman and House Budget chairman has come under fire for the controversial budget proposal he released last year that called for dramatically reshaping Medicare and repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law. The plan would transition Medicare into a voucher-like system by 2022 and strike the 2010 health care law – two ideas that Democrats say would be devastating for older Americans.Just about 13 percent of residents of Ryan’s district, which blends the wealthy Milwaukee suburbs with some of the state’s largest industrial areas, are 65 years or older, ranking 203rd out of the 437 districts, including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, according to 2010 census data.

    By comparison, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), who represents more people over age 65 than any another Member of Congress, according to 2010 census figures, has raised just $113,000 from retirees so far this cycle.

  • Log In – The New York Times – Motorola to Cut 20% of Work Force, Part of Sweeping Change – #tcot
  • RealClearPolitics – Election 2012 – North Carolina: Romney vs. Obama – @draigun Here is the link for the RCP polling averages for NC: NC is in play.
  • Motorola to Cut 20% of Work Force, Part of Sweeping Change – NYTimes.com – Obamanomics: Motorola to Cut 20% of Work Force, Part of Sweeping Change OOPS #tcot
  • Romney in Florida Attacks Obama on Medicare – Flap’s Blog – Romney in Florida Attacks Obama on Medicare
  • Does Paul Ryan Help Mitt Romney in the Electoral College? – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – RE: @MuddyPolitics I think you underestimate the problems President Obama has with ObamaCare and the poor economy, es…
  • President 2012 Poll Watch: Paul Ryan a Mixed Reaction? – Flap’s Blog – President 2012 Poll Watch: Paul Ryan a Mixed Reaction?
  • Does Paul Ryan Help Mitt Romney in the Electoral College? – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog- RE: @MuddyPolitics Look at the Electoral Map above and you answer your own questions.Romney needs Ohio and Florida …
  • California Pension Reform: Legal pension hikes: air time, golden handshake- If the Legislature attempts pension reform this month, one of the targets may be “air time,” a decade-old policy that allows CalPERS and CalSTRS members to boost their pensions by buying up to five years of additional service credit.Another older but also colorfully named policy, the “golden handshake,” allows management to encourage early retirement by boosting pensions with two years of additional service credit.Some regard air time as an abuse, even though employees make a payment that is supposed to cover the cost. There is the question of fairness, a benefit not available to all citizens, and of taxpayer risk if long-term investment earnings are below the forecast.The golden handshake, with employers presumably paying the cost, has the same investment risk and often is offered only to higher-paid employees. The CalPERS version also gets competition from a private firm, Public Agency Retirement Services.

    Air time and the golden handshake were linked in a bill veto message in 2003 by former Gov. Gray Davis, who signed a major state worker pension increase, SB 400 in 1999, criticized for triggering unsustainable pension increases throughout the state.

  • California moving forward on plan to upgrade schools, seek 2014 bond- State officials have set to work on an ambitious plan to upgrade California’s aging and outdated school facilities and, in doing so, lay the groundwork for a 2014 bond measure to help pay for it.The goal is to transform existing school structures into 21st Century learning environments – clean, safe and technologically-advanced with sustainable, cost-efficient energy systems – for the state’s six million students.The first step, officials said, is to create a comprehensive inventory on the status of the state’s classrooms to assess what actually needs to get done.“It’s vital that we have a plan,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said during a hearing on school facility needs last week. “I think it’s going to be a springboard for action in a way that the Legislature can move to a place in 2014 where we can go to the voters to say ‘let’s re-up; let’s invest again in a program that’s even more targeted toward the needs of our students.”
  • Irish Pull Teeth as Europe Crisis Means Dental Cutbacks – Businessweek – Irish Pull Teeth as Europe Crisis Means Dental Cutbacks – Businessweek #tcot
  • President 2012 Poll Watch: Republicans Have Significantly More Voter Engagement – President 2012 Poll Watch: Republicans Have Significantly More Voter Engagement
  • Irish Pull Teeth as Europe Crisis Means Dental Cutbacks – Businessweek – Irish Pull Teeth as Europe Crisis Means Dental Cutbacks #tcot
  • Irish Pull Teeth as Europe Crisis Means Dental Cutbacks- Pedro Ruiz of Madrid, a 29-year-old unemployed plumber, has been putting off dental surgery to fix his crooked teeth.“I don’t want to spend in one visit to a dentist what it takes me 10 days to earn,” said Ruiz.In the midst of Europe’s worst financial crisis in a generation, countless other patients are making similar decisions across the continent, doing without everything from checkups to tooth implants as unemployment has surged and governments have reined in health spending. Many are putting their health at risk.Though no hard Europe-wide data on dental spending exists, the cutbacks by governments and individuals mean oral cancers and other illnesses won’t be spotted earlier, when they’re more easily treatable, said Kamini Shah, honorary secretary at the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry.

    “The mouth is a mirror to the rest of the body,” said Shah.

    The effects of the financial crisis on dental care are also evident for companies that supply equipment. Shares of the world’s biggest makers of dental implants, Nobel Biocare Holding AG (NOBN) and Straumann Holding AG (STMN), have plunged 90 percent and 67 percent, respectively, from their peaks in 2007.

    Declining sales in Europe is “the new normal,” said Ingeborg Oie, an analyst with Jefferies International Ltd.

    “If Europe continues to plod along this trajectory then we’re not going to be out of this for a few years,” she said.
    Cheaper Dentures

    In Spain, which has the highest unemployment rate among countries using the euro at 24.8 percent, patients are choosing cheaper, removable dentures costing a few hundred euros instead of permanent implants that can cost thousands of euros, Manuel “Alfonso” Villa, president of the Spanish Dental Association said in a telephone interview from his clinic in Gijon, northern Spain.

    “People are very scared about spending,” he said. “We’ve noticed a significant slowdown since 2009, but 2011 and this year have been disastrous.” Patients are delaying procedures “unless it hurts too much,” he said.

    Ruiz, the Spanish plumber, earned 2,500 euros ($3,070) a month before losing his job in January. He just finished a temporary job that paid him 1,200 euros and decided to bank it rather than spend it on his teeth because “it’s not a life-or- death matter.”

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: August 13, 2012 – The Morning Drill: August 13, 2012
  • Day By Day August 13, 2012 – Package Deals – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day August 13, 2012 – Package Deals
  • Axelrod Draws Parallel Between Ryan and Palin – Lara Seligman – NationalJournal.com – Weak analogy and wishful thinking RT @nationaljournal Axelrod draws parallel between Ryan and Palin. #tcot
  • 10 reasons why Paul Ryan could help Mitt Romney become US President – Mail Online – Toby Harnden’s blog- Until a fortnight ago, it looked like Mitt Romney wanted to make the safest, least dramatic vice-presidential pick possible, a running mate who would be the unPalin – someone who would be a news story for the day but would not alter the shape of the campaign.Someone like Tim Pawlenty or Rob Portman. Either this approach was a feint all along or something changed as the 2012 campaign descended into petty, slimy negativity and Romney began to slip slightly in the polls despite a terrible economy and unemployment rising to 8.3 percent.Choosing Ryan is a bold and surprising – though by no means as outlandish as Sarah Palin in 2008 – choice. Vice-presidential running mates seldom have a major impact on the outcome of a presidential election. But this time, Ryan might a difference – here are 10 reasons why:
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-13 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-13
  • Why Romney Chose Ryan – A Choice Between Stagnation and Renewal- Mitt Romney did much more this weekend than announce a running mate. He unveiled a significant change in strategy. The 2012 election is now a choice, not just a referendum.Conservatives have spent much of this summer reassuring themselves. They’ve pointed out the extraordinary sums President Obama has thrown at crippling Mr. Romney. They’ve noted how ugly and brutal those attacks have been. They’ve comforted themselves that, for all the smears, Mr. Romney is within a few points of the incumbent in national tracking polls.Yet the same can be said on the other side. The economy is teetering, the deficit exploding, the nation unhappy with his signature legislation. Daily, Mr. Romney beats the White House with these failures. But he has barely moved the polling dial.
  • VP candidate Ryan returns to Wisconsin to adoring crowd- Brushing aside tears and responding to raucous cheers, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan returned to Wisconsin on Sunday for an emotional homecoming in front of thousands of people on the grounds of the Waukesha County Expo Center. “It’s good to be home,” Ryan said in a speech that wove personal history and national aspiration.A day after he was named Mitt Romney’s running mate and vaulted on to the Republican Party’s biggest political stage, Ryan spoke of his family’s deep roots in Wisconsin and his ties to Janesville, where “we live on the block I grew up on.”
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-13 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-08-13
  • Sports / Quite simply, this was the greatest Olympic Games in USC history. Trojans set new school records by earning 12 golds and 25 total medals. See more from USC Athletics: http://say.ly/bEb3XIi – The greatest Olympic Games in USC history – new school records by earning 12 golds & 25 total medals. via @pinterest
  • Time to Start Training for the Los Angeles Marathon – Time to Start Training for the Los Angeles Marathon
  • Video: The Romney and Ryan 60 Minutes Interview – Flap’s Blog – Video: The Romney and Ryan 60 Minutes Interview
  • Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/12/4717754/dan-walters-state-gop-down-but.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) – Untitled (… #tcot
  • Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/12/4717754/dan-walters-state-gop-down-but.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walter) – Untitled (… #tcot
  • The Sunday Evening Flap: August 12, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Sunday Flap: August 12, 2012
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