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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: February 22, 2013

Sequestration The Morning Flap: February 22, 2013

Sequestration from Wall Street Journal

These are my news headlines for February 21st through February 22nd:

  • With Axelrod At NBC News, The Marriage Of Media And Politics Becomes Complete – What’s more, Team Obama has declared it has no intention of dismantling its campaign apparatus post re-election. Put Axelrod in the catbird seat at a news outlet and the “narrative” continues. Combine that with Team Obama’s masterful manipulation of journalists, its command of social media, and an ugly picture emerges of a press indistinguishable from the political establishment.This has happened in banana republics, but never in a Western democracy. Already it’s making old-school journalists who value news gathering over politics, such as the New York Times’ Roger Cohen, ABC’s Ann Compton and the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, uncomfortable. The one thing that will stop it is a press that won’t cooperate. So where is that press?
  • Budget hawks question Pentagon’s doomsday scenarios – But perhaps the biggest example of the Washington Monument maneuver is coming from the Defense Department, where it goes by another name. Over many decades of defense budget battles, the Pentagon has often used a tactic known as a “gold watch.” It means to answer a budget cut proposal by selecting for elimination a program so important and valued — a gold watch — that Pentagon chiefs know political leaders will restore funding rather than go through with the cut.So now, with sequestration approaching, the Pentagon has announced that the possibility of budget cuts has forced the Navy to delay deployment of the carrier USS Harry S. Truman to the Persian Gulf. With tensions with Iran as high as they’ve ever been, that would leave the U.S. with just one carrier, instead of the preferred two, in that deeply troubled region.
  • What Unites Obama’s Coalition — and What Could Divide It – Overall, the survey put Obama’s approval rating at 51 percent — almost exactly replicating his share of the vote last November. For all of his key groups, his approval ratings today remain close to his vote shares against Republican Mitt Romney. The survey put his approval among African-Americans at 91 percent (compared to his vote of 93 percent in November), among Hispanics at 68 percent (compared to 71 percent in November), college-educated white women at 48 percent (compared to 46 percent), and adults ages 18 to 29 at 57 percent (compared to 60 percent). Considering that several percent of those in each group described themselves as undecided on Obama’s performance, those numbers suggest almost no change from his support in the election.
  • Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? – Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? #tcot
  • Noonan: Government by Freakout – The president’s sequester strategy is like Howard Beale in “Network”: “Woe is us. . . . And woe is us! We’re in a lot of trouble!”It is always cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes with Barack Obama. It is always government by freakout.
    That’s what’s happening now with the daily sequester warnings. Seven hundred thousand children will be dropped from Head Start. Six hundred thousand women and children will be dropped from aid programs. Meat won’t be inspected. Seven thousand TSA workers will be laid off, customs workers too, and air traffic controllers. Lines at airports will be impossible. The Navy will slow down the building of an aircraft carrier. Troop readiness will be disrupted, weapons programs slowed or stalled, civilian contractors stiffed, uniformed first responders cut back. Our nuclear deterrent will be indefinitely suspended. Ha, made that one up, but give them time.Mr. Obama has finally hit on his own version of national unity: Everyone get scared together.
  • Is President Obama overplaying sequestration hand? – President Barack Obama’s greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn’t the Republican leadership in Congress — it’s his confidence in his own ability to force a win.He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn’t open a line of communication with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell until Thursday, a week before the spending ax hits. And when they did finally hear from Obama, the calls were perfunctory, with no request to step up negotiations or invitations to the White House.
  • Why Obama and Rove Should Sit Down and Keep Quiet
  • Fewer Americans Getting Health Insurance From Employer – Fewer Americans reported having employer-based health insurance in 2012 than did in 2008, 2009, and 2010, but at 44.5% it is unchanged from 2011. At the same time, more Americans continue to report having a government-based health plan — Medicare, Medicaid, or military or veterans’ benefits — with the 25.6% who did so in 2012 up from 23.4% in 2008.
  • H.R. 6684: Spending Reduction Act of 2012 – Legislative Digest – GOP.gov – RT @robertcostaNRO Text: the GOP’s sequester replacement, which was passed in Dec. 2012
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 #tcot
  • Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid » The Right Scoop - – RT @trscoop: Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid
  • A Tax By Another Name – Writing in the New York Times yesterday, Yuval Levin made the case for means-testing Social Security and Medicare. As you’d expect from Yuval the case is well made and elegantly thought-through. It’s also, if I may respectfully say so, misguided. Partly as a consequence of the refusal to make consumption take its fair share of the tax load, the US already taxes income on a pretty progressive basis (even more so, I suspect, if, just for the sake of argument, you excluded the very richest from the equation—highly taxed wage income generally makes up a lower percentage of their total take). Means-testing these two programs would only tighten the screws still further.
  • Capitol Alert: Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move – Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move
  • Charles Krauthammer: Immigration — the lesser of two evils – The president suggested he would hold off introducing his own immigration bill as long as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace — until his own immigration bill mysteriously leaked precisely as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace.A naked political maneuver and a blunt warning to Republicans: Finish that immigration deal in Congress, or I’ll propose something I know you can’t accept — and flog the issue mercilessly next year to win back the House.
  • The 60th vote: Republican Richard Shelby to vote for cloture on Hagel; Update: Deb Fischer too? « Hot Air – Looks like Chuck Hagel is the next Sec Defense. Let the sequestration begin:
  • 6 Questions for the Immigration Reformers – From border security to H1-B visas, much needs to be answered in the looming immigration debate.
  • Obama reaches out to Boehner, McConnell as sequester cuts loom – The Hill – Obama symbolism over substance: #tcot
  • DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider – DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider #tcot
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case – Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse? – Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse?
  • Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United – Flap’s Blog – Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United #tcot
  • ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ – ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ #tcot
  • The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors – NYTimes.com – The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors #tcot
  • Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years – Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years #tcot
  • Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery – latimes.com – Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery #tcot
  • Harry Reid says he’ll run for re-election in 2016; won’t comment on Sandoval as opponent – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the capital press corps at the Nevada Legislature Wednesday night that he will seek re-election in 2016.The news conference came after he gave a speech to state lawmakers, like Reid does every legislative session.When asked if he would run for re-election, Reid said, “Sure, why not?”

    When asked if he thought Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval would run against him, Reid said, “Oh, I don’t know.”

    When asked if he could beat Sandoval, Reid said, “Hey, I don’t get involved in fights I don’t have to.”

    When reminded that he was a boxer in his youth, Reid replied, “But I’m not stupid.”

  • 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw:
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: February 22, 2013
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: November 13, 2012

Four Star Circus The Morning Flap: November 13, 2012These are my links for November 9th through November 13th:

  • David Petraeus sex scandal: FBI agent who began probing disgraced spy chief allegedly sent shirtless photos of himself to whistleblower Jill Kelley- David Petraeus’stunning downfall took another salacious turn Monday as it was revealed the FBI agent who began investigating the disgraced spy chief allegedly sent shirtless photos of himself to the woman who sparked the probe.The unnamed agent was a friend of Jill Kelley, the raven-haired knockout whom Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell jealously suspected of having the hots for the former CIA director, The Wall Street Journal reported.Broadwell bombarded Kelley with anonymous, threatening emails accusing her of having a relationship with the spy chief, with whom she had previously had an extramarital affair. In one email, Broadwell “claimed to have watched Ms. Kelley touching ‘him’ provocatively underneath a table,” according to the paper.The get-away-from-my-man emails so unnerved Kelley that she complained to an FBI pal of hers. But as the investigation gained momentum, the FBI agent who knew Kelley was taken off of the case by superiors who were worried “he might have grown obsessed with the matter,” the paper reported.

    And it appeared their concern was justified.

  • Jerry Brown delivers with Proposition 30- Voters approved Jerry Brown’s $6billion tax hike last week because California has changed and Brown hasn’t. Lots of help from organized labor didn’t hurt.First, give the governor his due. In a state that spawned the tax revolt 34 years ago, Proposition 30’s passage by what could end up being 10 percentage points is an extraordinary turn of events.Issues win and lose for many reasons. In this instance, the right salesman made the right pitch, and the opposition stumbled. The governor and his consultants understood the electorate and gave voters what they wanted.Brown’s message, ultimately, was simple: Government has made cuts. School kids have suffered. A “yes” vote would allow California to begin restoring public education and other services, and bring the budget into balance.
  • GOP Grapples With Embarrassing Polling Failures- In the weeks before Election Day, both Republicans and Democrats were nervous about their poll numbers. Both sides of the aisle have smart pollsters, they reasoned, so how could the numbers that Democrats were seeing diverge so sharply from the numbers the Republicans were seeing? Deep down, I wrote at the time, both parties secretly worried that their side was missing the boat.Now we know which side needed its polls unskewed. Before Election Day, Republicans confidently predicted they would pick up seats in both chambers of Congress, and that Mitt Romney would win the White House. The results shattered those predictions, and with them any sense of security in the numbers coming out of some of the best-regarded polling firms on the right.”Everyone thought the election was going to be close. How did [Republicans] not know we were going to get our ass kicked?” lamented Rob Jesmer, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “I don’t understand how we didn’t know. That’s the part that’s most puzzling and frustrating and embarrassing.”The underlying causes of the errant numbers are the assumptions that the pollsters made about the nature of the electorate. Most pollsters believed the electorate would look something like the voters who turned out in 2008, just with slightly lower numbers of African-Americans, younger people, and Hispanics heading to the polls.

    But exit polls actually showed a much more diverse electorate than the one forecast. Black turnout stayed consistent with 2008, Hispanic turnout was up, and younger voters made up a higher percentage of the electorate than they had four years ago. White voters made up 72 percent of the electorate, according to the exits, down 2 points from 2008 and a continuation of the two-decade long decline in their share of the electorate.

    That meant that even though Mitt Romney scored 59 percent of the white vote — a higher percentage than George W. Bush won in 2000 and 2004, higher than Ronald Reagan in 1980 and matching George H.W. Bush’s 1988 score, when he won 426 electoral votes in 40 states — it wasn’t enough to overcome the 80 percent support that Obama scored among nonwhite voters.

  • How the Republican party How the Republican party can rebuild — in 4 not-so-easy steps – How the Republican party How the Republican party can rebuild — in 4 not-so-easy steps #tcot
  • Petraeus helps whistleblower’s ‘unstable’ twin in nasty custody fight – Petraeus helps whistleblower’s ‘unstable’ twin in nasty custody fight #tcot
  • David Petraeus mired in custody fight on behalf of friend in mistress flap – NYPOST.com – RT @NewYorkPost Petraeus helps whistleblower Jill Kelley’s ‘unstable’ twin in nasty custody fight EXCLUSIVE!
  • Exit polls skip Texas, missing key demographic data | Mobile Washington Examiner – Exit polls skip Texas, missing key demographic data #tcot
  • Jindal, Paul call for populist, smart GOP- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told Politico in separate interviews Monday that the Republican Party must be the Party of the people, with the aim of increasing freedoms, not the other way around.“We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything,” Jindal said. “We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”He asserted the GOP doesn’t have to retreat from the matters of abortion and gay marriage, though he advised them to ease their tone and rhetoric.“It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that,” Jindal said. “It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party.”

    An injection of intelligence and specificity is in order, instead of “dumbed-down conservatism,” he added, urging “the party of ideas, details and intelligent solutions” to end the tactic of “reducing everything to mindless slogans, tag lines, 30-second ads that all begin to sound the same.”

    “We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters,” Jindal said.

    He added: “Simply being the anti-Obama party didn’t work. You can’t beat something with nothing. The reality is we have to be a party of solutions and not just bumper-sticker slogans but real detailed policy solutions.”

  • Congress starts lame duck session | Jamie Dupree Washington Insider – RT @jamiedupree QUACK QUACK – The Lame Duck Congress convenes today, needing a deal on taxes & budget cuts #tcot
  • Exit polls skip Texas, missing key demographic data- Everyone is looking for bipartisan agreement in the aftermath of the election, and we’ve found a rare example of it. Sen.-elect Ted Cruz, a Republican, recently said this to the New Yorker about his state of Texas: “If Republicans do not do better in the Hispanic community, in a few short years Republicans will no longer be the majority party in our state.” And President Obama, a Democrat, put it this way at a Texas fundraiser in May: “You’re not considered one of the battleground states, although that’s going to be changing soon.”Unfortunately, the news media evidently don’t agree that big changes are underway in Texas. Ahead of last week’s election, the National Election Pool — which does exit polls for the Associated Press and the news networks — announced it would not be conducting full state-level surveys in 19 states, including Texas.Certainly, there are many states where this money-saving omission makes sense. But by omitting Texas, even while polling in politically settled states like Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, the exit pollsters pre-emptively missed the biggest story of the election — the continued shift of Hispanic voters back toward Democrats since the George W. Bush era.
  • Who Is Jill Kelley, The Second Woman In The Petraeus-Allen Sex Scandal – Business Insider – RT @businessinsider What We Know About Jill Kelley, The Florida Woman Whose Inbox Took Down Two Four-Star Generals
  • GOP and Immigration: The Grover Plan: More Cowbell!- We’ll dilute our way out of it! Republicans did poorly among Hispanics last week. How to address that problem? The answer, they’re told by Washington savants, is to back an immigration reform that … increases the number of Hispanics! It’s a plan so crazy it just might be crazy.Joshua Culling, who works for Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, elaborates on the plan elsewhere on this site. It turns out the idea–let’s call it the Grover Plan, just to be annoying–isn’t as wacky as I you might think. It’s wackier.Suppose Republicans conspire with Dems to bring amnesty to the 10 or 11 million unauthorized immigrants who are already here. Eventually they become citizens. Will they be ready to wipe the slate clean and vote Republican? Or will the Dems figure out new ways to gin up their ethnic base at election time? Cullings denies they’ll be able to do that–at least by “promising direct subsidies to immigrants or an expanded welfare state:”
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-12 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-12
  • Greensboro News and Weather | Winston-Salem, NC – High Point, NC – Piedmont Triad | digtriad.com – FBI Agents Raiding NC Home Of Woman In Petraeus Scandal | #tcot
  • Photo by katieharbath • Instagram – Happy Birthday, Katie! RT @katieharbath: Birthday dessert.
  • FBI Agents Raiding NC Home Of Woman In Petraeus Scandal | digtriad.com – Ahhh Yes….RT @janewells: Certainly glad the FBI is all over domestic terrorist Paula Broadwell…
  • The Doobie Brothers 1996 #6-South City Midnight Lady – YouTube – Yup! RT @DanRiehl: The Doobie Brothers 1996 South City Midnight Lady: via @youtube
  • Own It: Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit lays off 500 employees- Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal entertainment unit is laying off about 500 employees at cable channels, Jay Leno’s late-night TV show and the Universal Pictures movie studio, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.The cuts add up to about 1.5 percent of the company’s workforce of 30,000 employees, the source said.A large portion of the layoffs occurred at the G4 cable channel, a network about video games and the gaming culture, the source said. Two of the network’s shows were recently canceled.
  • Day By Day November 11, 2012 – Bread & Circuses – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day November 11, 2012 – Bread & Circuses #tcot
  • No Meat on Mondays in Los Angeles = Meatless Mondays to Save the Planet- The Los Angeles City Council is urging all residents to observe “meatless Mondays” from now on.A resolution adopted on Oct. 24 reads: “Be it resolved, that the Council of the City of Los Angeles hereby declares all Mondays as ‘Meatless Mondays’ in support of comprehensive sustainability efforts as well as to further encourage residents to eat a more varied plant-based diet to protect their health and protect animals.”Councilwoman Jan Perry, who introduced the resolution, also wants to ban new fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles.”While this is a symbolic gesture, it is asking people to think about the food choices they make. Eating less meat can reverse some of our nation’s most common illnesses,” press reports quoted Perry as saying.
  • Sarah Westwood: Advice From a Lonely College Republican- If the election results told us anything, it’s that the GOP has some serious soul searching to do. On paper, Mitt Romney’s history of accomplishment towered over President Obama’s train wreck of a record, so his loss seemed nearly inexplicable. But Mr. Obama carried his key groups so easily that Republicans should give him props for such a feat— and start taking notes.In politics, as in life, perception is key. The Chicago machine and the Democratic National Committee as a whole have perfected the art of marketing, even when they’ve got nothing to sell. They’re like a used-car salesman who pushes lemons on unsuspecting drivers and never gets caught. Democrats can home in on Latinos, blacks, single women, young voters—and have them chanting “Four more years!” before they know what hit them.I happen to be one of the latter, a college student at a time when youth is a hot political commodity. Most kids my age bristle at the word “conservative,” and I don’t blame them. The right has done nothing to welcome young people.If Republicans hope to win in 2016 and beyond, they need to change everything about the way they sell themselves. They’re viewed by the 18-24 set as the “party of the rich” and as social bigots. That harsh, flawed opinion could be rectified if Republicans started presenting their positions in a different way. The GOP is like a supermodel who has been doing photo shoots under fluorescent bulbs without any makeup. But fix the lighting, dab on some foundation and highlight her good side, and she can take the most attractive picture.
  • The Republican Party’s Candidate Problem in Two Charts- Two days after a wholly disappointing election for the National Republican Senatorial Committee that saw the party not only fail to gain the majority but actually lose seats, a soul-searching of how it happened has begun.The blame, as it often is, has been thrust on the candidates. And, at least in this case, for good reason. After all, Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin essentially gave away seats with their comments on rape and pregnancy.But the trouble for the GOP wasn’t just in Indiana and Missouri.In fact, as the chart below details, Republican Senate candidates under-performed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in most of the important races of 2012.
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-11 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-11
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-11 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-11 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-11 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-11
  • California’s Liberal Supermajority – Taxpayers are going to get all the government they ever wanted- For Republicans unhappy with Tuesday’s election, we have good news—at least most of you don’t live in California. Not only did Democrats there win voter approval to raise the top tax rate to 13.3%, but they also received a huge surprise—a legislative supermajority. Look out below.The main check on Sacramento excess has been a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority of both houses to raise taxes. Although Republicans have been in the minority for four decades, they could impose a modicum of spending restraint by blocking tax increases. If Democratic leads stick in two races where ballots are still being counted, liberals will pick up enough seats to secure a supermajority. Governor Jerry Brown then will be the only chaperone for the Liberals Gone Wild video that is Sacramento.
  • Gregory Flap’s Badges – Mall Rat – I just reached Level 2 of the “Mall Rat” badge on @foursquare. I’ve checked in at 5 different malls!
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-10 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-10
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-10 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-10
  • The PJ Tatler » FBI Probe of Petreaus Triggered by Threatening Emails Sent by Mistress – RT @PJTatler FBI Probe of Petreaus Triggered by Threatening Emails Sent by Mistress #tcot
  • GOP Collapses in California – RT @politicalwire The Rep. party has essentially collapsed in California as Democrats now control just about everything
  • Bonus Quote of the Day – Ha! 1 month RT @politicalwire Hillary Clinton on what she’ll do next: “I would like to see whether I can get untired.”
  • Rep. Allen West is apparently defeated – He should RT @TheFix Final vote tally shows Rep. Allen West lost by 2,000 votes. He still hasn’t conceded.
  • Utah News, Sports, Weather and Classifieds | ksl.com – RT @JoeTrippi Whoa – AP story points to Huntsman Jr. as Secretary of State candidate |
  • AP story points to Huntsman Jr. as Secretary of State candidate | ksl.com – RT @JoeTrippi Whoa – AP story points to Huntsman Jr. as Secretary of State candidate |
  • 2012 Florida Election Watch – Federal Offices – RT @jamiedupree Obama officially wins Florida with 50.01% of the vote to 49.13% for Romney
  • Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – 12 miles of LA Marathon training done. Now, some repair at Ronnie’s. (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-09 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-09
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-09 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-09 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-09 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-09
  • Romney Failed to Make Sizeable Gains in Swing States – So why did Romney underperform in these swing states? It is hard to say for sure. The Obama team may have utilized more effective television ads. They may also have enjoyed a superior get-out-the-vote operation. There may have been idiosyncratic factors that limited Republican gains in these states. However, there is a good chance that this group of eight states will prove pivotal in future elections. As such, the Republicans party would do well to identify strategies for both mobilizing Republican voters and expanding the Republican base in these states.
  • Where Obama did better in 2012 than in 2008 (in one map)- President Obama was reelected on Tuesday, but he won by significantly smaller margins across the entire country — except for a handful of places.One of those places just happens to be the Eastern part of New Jersey, which was rocked by Hurricane Sandy a week before the election.Voters up and down the counties along the Jersey Shore and in the New York City area voted for Obama by more than they voted for him in 2008. Obama did better in 2012 in Ocean County, Middlesex County, Union County and Passaic County, along with nearby Richmond County, N.Y. — a.k.a. Staten Island.Here’s the map showing where Obama did better and worse
  • Gen. David Petraeus resignation letter (full text) – POLITICO.com – Something smells rotten here! RT @politico: Text of Gen. David Petraeus’s resignation letter: #tcot
  • California Democrats amass control over unruly state – California Becomes a One Party State- Governor Jerry Brown and his Democratic allies on Tuesday won a mandate that might be the envy of President Barack Obama, turning the nation’s bluest state into one in which Democrats will likely have all but complete political control.Voters approved a tax hike championed by Brown and soundly rejected a measure that would have gutted union political power. Perhaps most importantly, if initial vote totals hold in several very close legislative races as the final absentee ballots are counted, they will have handed Democrats supermajority control of both houses of the state legislature for the first time in 79 years.rown, who largely failed to gain cooperation from Republicans over the last two years, now owns the field. He has the opportunity to overhaul the tax code, reform the Byzantine governmental processes that have hobbled Sacramento for decades, and even potentially touch the “third rail” of California politics, the low-property-tax measure known as Proposition 13.”I guess you might say it’s our time,” Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told a news conference.

    The ascendance of Democrats and their union backers may give more than a little pause to businesses and wealthy individuals, who now face higher taxes and the prospect of even more new taxes and regulations.

    The state’s top personal income tax rate was already the second highest in the nation at 10.3 percent before Tuesday’s vote, and will now rise to 13.3 percent for the next seven years.

  • Obamacare Forever? – What Barack Obama’s second term means for the president’s signature health law- Since debate about health care reform began, voters have been consistently wary of the law that has become known as Obamacare; as of today, Pollster.com’s aggregate shows that 47.8 percent of the public opposes the law while just 39.2 percent approve. Yet in voting to give President Barack Obama a second term yesterday, America also implicitly voted to keep the health law that bears his name in place. So is Obamacare here to stay?Yes, at least for now. But big questions still remain. We know we’ll keep Obamacare on the books, at least for the foreseeable future. What we don’t know is whether it will work.That’s because the law still faces huge legal and logistical hurdles. Tops on the list are challenges to the law’s insurance exchanges, starting with a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma’s attorney general. That case, which revolves around legal problems examined in a paper by Case Western Reserve law professor Jonathan Adler and Cato Institute Health Policy Direct Michael Cannon, may decide whether employers in states that do not set up their own health insurance exchanges can be taxed under the law, as well as whether it is legal for the federal government to offer insurance subsidies through exchanges it runs in states that opt out. The law, which taxes employers that don’t offer insurance in order to fund those subsidies, states that subsidies are only available in state-run exchanges.If Oklahoma’s suit prevails, states will have a large incentive to opt out of creating exchanges in order to protect employers from the tax penalty. And the federal exchanges will be largely useless. “No one would go to those exchanges. The whole structure created by the health care reform law starts to fall apart,” Gretchen Young, senior vice president-health policy at the ERISA Industry Committee told Business Insurance.
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: November 13, 2012
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: April 11, 2012

Google Plus Redesign The Morning Flap: April 11, 2012

These are my links for April 6th through April 11th:

  • Google+ gets major redesign with simpler UI and more customization Google announced this morning that Google+ is set to receive a massive redesign over the next few days that will make it easier to use and much more intuitive. The company has been innovating quickly with its social network, and this is just another example of their commitment to the platform.   For starters, the main page has seen a complete overhaul. Rather than your tabs bring up top as well as along the side, you’ll get icons along the left panel. These are also customizable, so if you don’t want the Games icon, you can simply move it. There are also quick actions that you can access for each icon by hovering over them.   Posting photos and videos is getting an upgrade as well. Larger content will appear in your Stream now whether you’re sharing it yourself or viewing pictures from your friends. Google is adding a feature that they’re calling ‘cards’, which are streams of conversations that you can join. There will also be an activity drawer to highlight important content.

  • ObamaCare Poll Watch: Health Care Law Support Slides – The recent Supreme Court arguments over the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law have not helped the public’s perception of the landmark legislation. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds just 39% of Americans support the reforms, it’s lowest percentage ever.

    “Only about half of Democrats want the entire law upheld. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans want all of it thrown out. “

  • The Obama Rule – Forget Warren Buffett, or whatever other political prop the White House wants to use for its tax agenda. This week the Administration officially endorsed what in essence is the Obama Rule: Taxes must be high simply to spread the wealth, never mind the impact on the economy or government revenue. It’s all about “fairness,” baby.

    This was long apparent to those fated to closely watch the 2008 campaign, but some voters might have missed the point amid the gauzy rhetoric about hope and change. Now we know without any doubt. White House aides made it official Tuesday in their on-the-record briefing on the new federal minimum tax that travels under the political alias known as the “Buffett rule.”

  • Online sales tax battle pits Amazon against Norquist and Sen. DeMint – Proponents of an online sales tax aren’t letting up in their push to move legislation through Congress this year, despite the opposition of conservative heavyweights.

    Retailers have been lobbying aggressively for legislation that would help states collect sales taxes from online purchases. Joining in the effort are state and local governments and some unions, which see an opportunity to raise more revenue.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012: Rick Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign – President 2012: Rick Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Day By Day April 8 – 10 Win One for the Zimmer, Smokin’ and Rush Job – Day By Day April 8 – 10 Win One for the Zimmer, Smokin’ and Rush Job
  • Parent Center Opens on El Monte High School Campus – More than 80 parents, students, staff and community members came together in celebration of the grand opening of El Monte High School’s new Parent Center. The center was realized through a partnership between the school and L.E.A.R.N.’s (Learning, Enrichment & Academic Resources Network) GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) program which is designed to increase the number of low income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.{
    According to El Monte High School principal Keith Richardson, the center will provide resources enabling parents to partner with their children in academic success throughout their high school years as well as encourage them to seek post-secondary education.
  • El Monte Union weighs proposal to manage its own bond program to cut contractor costs – Months after a major controversy surrounding its bond construction management company, the El Monte Union High School District may begin overseeing its $148 million bond program internally instead.

    Board members last week postponed the decision until they could get more information on the proposal, which would eliminate the need to hire outside consultants and save the district roughly $1 million a year, according to district documents.

    “A lot of districts use construction management firms that have a large staff with different expertise,” said El Monte Union’s Chief Business Official Ryan Di Giulio. “There’s a cost associated with that. There’s a certain protection provided with that expertise. That’s what each district has to weigh.”

    The district is currently contracting with Industry-based Del Terra to manage several construction projects following the district’s fallout with former bond management company Alsaleh Project Management (APM).

    The two entities officially parted ways in October following allegations by the district that APM misused public funds. The district later retracted those accusations, settled with APM – paying $150,000 in outstanding invoices and agreeing not to elaborate on any of the issues.

    The contract with APM was never reinstated.

    School board member Salvador Ramirez said the changes could result in a big cost savings to the district as well as better oversight.

  • Health-care law will add $340 billion to deficit, new study finds – President Obama’s landmark health-care initiative, long touted as a means to control costs, will actually add more than $340 billion to the nation’s budget woes over the next decade, according to a new study by a Republican member of the board that oversees Medicare financing.

    The study is set to be released Tuesday by Charles Blahous, a conservative policy analyst whom Obama approved in 2010 as the GOP trustee for Medicare and Social Security. His analysis challenges the conventional wisdom that the health-care law, which calls for an expensive expansion of coverage for the uninsured beginning in 2014, will nonetheless reduce deficits by raising taxes and cutting payments to Medicare providers.

  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-10 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-10
  • With my daughter, Ashley and son Jesse at Saugus Cafe for lun… on Twitpic – With my daughter, Ashley and son Jesse at Saugus Cafe for lunch
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-09 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-09
  • Ultra-Training FAQ, Part 2 | runner’s rambles – How do you build up mileage / keep high mileage without getting burned out?
  • With my grandson, James Phillip in San Diego for Easter
    on Twitpic
    – With my grandson, James Phillip in San Diego for Easter
  • yfrog Photo : http://yfrog.com/hsrz1gjj Shared by Flap – With my daughter, Anna, son Scott in Irvine, California. Happy Easter. Anna is expecting in August
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-08 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-08
  • Happy Easter 2012: He is Risen | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Happy Easter 2012: He is Risen
  • Parting Ways – Anyone who has read Derb in our pages knows he’s a deeply literate, funny, and incisive writer. I direct anyone who doubts his talents to his delightful first novel, “Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream,” or any one of his “Straggler” columns in the books section of NR. Derb is also maddening, outrageous, cranky, and provocative. His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways. Derb has long danced around the line on these issues, but this column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation. It’s a free country, and Derb can write whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Just not in the pages of NR or NRO, or as someone associated with NR any longer.
  • NBC Fires Producer of Misleading Zimmerman Tape – NBC News has fired a producer who was involved in the production of a misleading segment about the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.

    The person was fired on Thursday, according to two people with direct knowledge of the disciplinary action who declined to be identified discussing internal company matters. They also declined to name the fired producer. A spokeswoman for NBC News declined to comment.

    The action came in the wake of an internal investigation by NBC News into the production of the segment, which strung together audio clips in such a way that made George Zimmerman’s shooting of Mr. Martin sound racially motivated. Ever since the Feb. 26 shooting, there has been a continuing debate about whether race was a factor in the incident.

    The segment in question was shown on the “Today” show on March 27. It included audio of Mr. Zimmerman saying, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”

  • Day By Day April 7, 2012 – Voice-Overs | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day April 7, 2012 – Voice-Overs
  • CA-26: Fundraising wrap-up: Big hauls for Democrat House contender Julia Brownley – California Democrat Julia Brownley will post $280,000 in her first fundraising report and has $250,000 in the bank. Brownley is running in a Democrat-friendly district in Florida left open by the retirment of Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.).
  • Untitled (http://getglue.com/Fullosseousflap/stickers/fan?s=ts&ref=Fullosseousflap) – I’m a Fan of Los Angeles Dodgers on @GetGlue
  • Santorum moves fuel predictions he will exit – Rick Santorum’s campaign insisted Friday the former Pennsylvania senator is still in the race despite mounting pressure even from voters in his home state that he pull out before the Keystone State’s primary April 24.

    But Santorum has scheduled no public events over the holiday weekend and has made no major media buys, fueling speculation that he might quit. Polling in Pennsylvania that shows him slipping against front-runner Mitt Romney raises the prospect of an embarrassing home-state loss that could hurt his chances if he were to make a run for the nomination in 2016.

    A Santorum campaign spokesman said the candidate had a busy slate of events scheduled for next week and promised that a list would be released soon.

  • Giuliani Close to Endorsing Romney – The Washington Post reports that Rudy Giuliani (R), who ran in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries, is about to endorse his former opponent Mitt Romney, according to the Romney campaign’s New York state director Guy Molinari.

    Said Molinari, “He’s about to… He wants to do it for the sake of the country, so he is willing to put his own feelings aside.”

    Liz Benjamin points out that Giuliani is the last “high-profile holdout” in New York and “hasn’t been terribly kind to his erstwhile opponent, calling the former Massachusetts governor a flip-flopperon national TV back in February.”

  • Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – foursquare – After our 8 miler I am here with Mary, Alice, Nancy and Tara (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-07 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-07
  • Updated With Video: CA-26: Linda Parks Avoids Question Who She Supports for President | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Updated With Video: CA-26: Linda Parks Avoids Question Who She Supports for President
  • The Afternoon Flap: April 6, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Afternoon Flap: April 6, 2012
  • CA-26: Linda Parks Avoids Question Who She Supports for President | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-26: Linda Parks Avoids Question Who She Supports for President
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: April 4, 2012

Obama Teaching Class The Morning Flap: April 4, 2012

These are my links for April 3rd through April 4th:

  • Barack Obama, Constitutional Ignoramus – I’m grateful for the favor Obama did for us yesterday of exposing his extreme constitutional ignorance, with his comments on how it would be “unprecedented” for the Court to strike down a law passed by a “strong majority” in Congress. (As if a House margin of seven votes is a “strong” majority.) True, he walked back the comment today, but surely because his statement was not merely indefensible but outright embarrassing to his media defenders.

    I’ve been growing weary of hearing people mention that he’s a “constitutional scholar,” since he never published a single thing on the subject either as editor of the Harvard Law Review or as a member of the faculty at the University of Chicago Law School. But hey—he taught constitutional law, didn’t he?

    Not really.

    His course on constitutional law, one of several constitutional law courses on the U of C curriculum, dealt exclusively with the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment—the favorite, all-purpose clause for liberal jurists to use to right wrongs and make us more equal by judicial fiat. There is no evidence that Obama ever taught courses that considered other aspects of constitutionalism, such as executive power, the separation of powers, the Commerce Clause, or judicial review itself.

  • ObamaCare Rationing Starts: Doctors call for end to five cancer tests, treatments – In a move that threatens to further inflame concerns about the rationing of medical care, the nation’s leading association of cancer physicians issued a list on Wednesday of five common tests and treatments that doctors should stop offering to cancer patients.

    The list emerged from a two-year effort, similar to a project other medical specialties are undertaking, to identify procedures that do not help patients live longer or better or that may even be harmful, yet are routinely prescribed.

    As much as 30 percent of health-care spending goes to procedures, tests, and hospital stays that do not improve a patient’s health, according to a 2008 analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget office.

    “Our goal was to improve care and improve the value of the care we deliver,” said Dr. Lowell Schnipper, a cancer physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center who led the task force assembled by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The group of more than 200 oncologists released the list from a report in its Journal of Clinical Oncology.

    Although the task force emphasized that its recommendations — winnowed from about 10 suggestions by oncologists — were driven by medical considerations, the report makes clear that expense was a major factor. A number of cancer drugs cost nearly $100,000 but extend life a few months or not at all. Widely-used imaging tests cost up to $5,000 yet do not benefit patients.

    The list has been closely guarded, with public announcements scheduled for Wednesday. Patients, advocacy groups, and policy experts contacted by Reuters were mixed in their reaction to the recommendations.

    “The American people have a much higher opinion of doctors than of government bureaucrats,” said Kate Nix, a policy analyst at the free-market Heritage Foundation. Whether the ASCO recommendations to withhold some tests and treatments will be seen as rationing “depends on how they are used. Will they inhibit the ability of doctors and patients to make the best decision in each case?”

  • Wisconsin Democrats Ready to Go to War With… Themselves – On Friday, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, by a vote of 5-0, officially certified the recall election for Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, and four GOP state senators (one of whom has resigned). Primaries to determine possible replacements will be held on May 8, with the final election taking place on June 5. The Friends of Scott Walker campaign committee estimates the recall will cost approximately $9 million in taxpayer money.

    Since January, it appeared the leading Democratic contender would be former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, who received every major endorsement and the backing of large unions representing public workers and teachers.

    But polling for Democrats haven’t been great, and former mayor Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett jumped into the race. Barrett lost narrowly to Gov. Walker in 2010.

    With the most recent polling showing Barrett and Falk are tied, Barrett is trying to get Falk to agree to a clean-campaign pledge

  • Sexy Russian spygal Anna Chapman got too close to President Obama’s inner circle, FBI official tells BBC 
  • The Explosion In Student Loan Debt – The federal student loan program seemed like a great idea back in 1965: Borrow to go to college now, pay it back later when you have a job.

    But many borrowers these days are close to flunking out, tripped up by painful real-life lessons in math and economics.

    Surging above $1 trillion, U.S. student loan debt has surpassed credit card and auto-loan debt. This debt explosion jeopardizes the fragile recovery, increases the burden on taxpayers and possibly sets the stage for a new economic crisis.

    With a still-wobbly jobs market, these loans are increasingly hard to pay off. Unable to find work, many students have returned to school, further driving up their indebtedness.

    Average student loan debt recently topped $25,000, up 25 percent in 10 years. And the mushrooming debt has direct implications for taxpayers, since 8 in 10 of these loans are government-issued or guaranteed.

  • El Monte Union board to consider administrative pay cuts – Board members on Wednesday will consider reducing the salaries of roughly 40 El Monte Union High School District certificated administrators by 2 percent in order to address budget deficits in the upcoming fiscal year.

    They will also consider extending the pay cut to Superintendent Nick Salerno’s salary by 2 percent. If the changes to his contract are approved, he would be paid $171,500 a year beginning July 1.

    The district, which faces an about $6 million budget deficit in 2012-13, made decisions on several cuts last month that mostly targeted its adult school.

    While the original plan last month included salary reductions for eight adult school administrators, however board members requested that district administrators across the board share the burden.

    The latest deficit amounts to approximately 7 percent of the district’s total annual expenditures of about $90 million.

    The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the South El Monte High School Professional Development Center, located at 1001 Durfee Ave., South El Monte.

  • Appeals court fires back at Obama’s comments on health care case – In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president’s bluff — ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.

    The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president’s comments yesterday about the Supreme Court’s review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was “confident” the Court would not “take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

    Overturning a law of course would not be unprecedented — since the Supreme Court since 1803 has asserted the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional. The three-judge appellate court appears to be asking the administration to admit that basic premise — despite the president’s remarks that implied the contrary. The panel ordered the Justice Department to submit a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday addressing whether the Executive Branch believes courts have such power, the lawyer said.

  • NBC issues apology on Zimmerman tape screw-up – Erik Wemple – The Washington Post
  • 300 newspapers have erected paywalls – Turns out that many of the pay plans have been fashioned by a NY company called Press+, which was started by entrepreneur Steven Brill (American Lawyer, Court TV) and former WSJ publisher Gordon Crovitz. From AP:

    The company says it has launched pay walls for 292 U.S. newspapers. Of course, convincing readers to pay for something that was once free isn’t easy. Brill recommends publishers give away enough free page views so that only the heaviest users are asked to pay. “You ease them into the idea that they’re going to be asked to pay,” Brill says. “It works much better than an abrupt message.” Many readers who realize they’re about to hit their limit sign up early to save themselves the hassle, he says. On average, a subscriber gained through Press+ pays $6.50 a month, of which Press+ keeps 20 percent.

  • Romney Wins over Donors by Warning of Huckabee-Palin Ticket at Convention – Mitt Romney raised millions in March by warning would-be donors a brokered convention could mean a Huckabee-Palin ticket:

    [O]n March 14 and 15, Romney had raised over $3 million in New York and Connecticut. … The Romney campaign had a clever pitch for the event. Schmoozing with his money pals before the events, a Romney fund-raiser pointed out that “slightly more than half the delegates” to the GOP convention at Tampa “are evangelicals.” These true-believer conservatives are averse not only to Romney but to semi-reasonable types like Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels. As a result, said this fund-raiser, the “responsible Republican guys” are “starting to realize” that at a brokered convention “it’s not going to be Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan, a ticket they could really love. It’s probably Huckabee-Palin or Palin-Huckabee.” That was enough to scare the Wall Street crowd into getting out their checkbooks.

  • DHS To Grant Illegal Aliens “Unlawful Presence Waivers” – In its quest to implement stealth amnesty, the Obama Administration is working behind the scenes to halt the deportation of certain illegal immigrants by granting them “unlawful presence waivers.”

    The new measure would apply to illegal aliens who are relatives of American citizens. Here is how it would work, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announcement posted in today’s Federal Register, the daily journal of the U.S. government; the agency will grant “unlawful presence waivers” to illegal aliens who can prove they have a relative that’s a U.S. citizen.

    Currently such aliens must return to their native country and request a waiver of inadmissibility in an existing overseas immigrant visa process. In other words, they must enter the U.S. legally as thousands of foreigners do on a yearly basis. Besides the obvious security issues, changing this would be like rewarding bad behavior in a child. It doesn’t make sense. 

  • President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Mitt Romney’s Lead Over Santorum, Gingrich and Paul Continues to Grow | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Mitt Romney’s Lead Over Santorum, Gingrich and Paul Continues to Grow
  • Sarah Palin pokes fun at herself on ‘Today’ – MJ Lee and Tim Mak – POLITICO.com – RT @Drudge_Report: Palin beats Couric…
  • The Morning Flap: April 3, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: April 3, 2012
  • Video: Newsroom, Keith Olbermann and HBO | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Video: Newsroom, Keith Olbermann and HBO
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: April 4, 2012
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: November 14, 2011

These are my links for November 10th through November 14th:

  • CHELSEA CLINTON TO SHARE “MAKING A DIFFERENCE” STORIES FOR “NBC NIGHTLY NEWS” AND “ROCK CENTER WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS”- Chelsea Clinton is teaming up with “Rock Center with Brian Williams” and “NBC Nightly News” as a Special Correspondent, the network announced today. Clinton’s role with the shows and the network will be to highlight stories within the “Making a Difference” franchise.”Making a Difference” segments have a history of profiling organizations and individuals who represent the best of what works in the United States and around the world, frequently emphasizing stories about everyday people doing extraordinary things. Clinton’s dedication to public service, solution-based advocacy and focus on empowering people across the country and around the globe resonates with the purpose and content of “Making a Difference.” Her position with NBC News will still allow Clinton to continue her work with the Clinton Foundation and her studies in parallel.

    “Chelsea is a remarkable woman who will be a great addition to NBC News. Given her vast experiences, it’s as though Chelsea has been preparing for this opportunity her entire life,” said Steve Capus, President of NBC News. “We are proud she will be bringing her considerable, unique talents and dedication to NBC News.”

    “Our Making a Difference segments have become a signature of the broadcast. They adhere to a simple goal of highlighting the good works being done across the country and around the world,” said Brian Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor of Nightly News and Rock Center. “Chelsea Clinton has led a remarkable life. She possesses an uncommon understanding of humanity — on city streets, across this country and around the globe. We are so excited she’s joining us to tell the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

  • Friday question answered – The Pros and Cons of Newt Gingrich- Yet there are still conservatives entranced with his patter and admiring of his intellect. PBS727 declares, “You bet he can. Strongest candidate out there. To hell with with his personal baggage. Just look at [Bill] Clinton, [John F.] Kennedy.” Carldahlmann argues: “Gingrich knows history, and he knows Congress. He’s smart and quick — he would kill Obama in any debate. In spite of his personal baggage, I think he’d make a dynamite President, and would create a very effective troika with Boehner and McConnell — this would be the Democrats’ worst nightmare, which is why I like it.”I agree that Gingrich will benefit for some time from Herman Cain’s and Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s woes. It is ironic that the feisty base, which wants to fight, fight, fight against the Democrats, would consider the last GOP speaker of the House to get badly rolled by the White House. But in short order not only his personal baggage but his embrace of decidedly unconservative ideas and ethical problems will become a turnoff for many evangelicals, the group the not-Romney candidate must capture. For all of his flash and humor, Gingrich remains a loose cannon and an inconsistent conservative — not exactly what the not-Romney crowd is looking for.
  • Democrats obsessed with Romney?- Borrowing the title from a popular new wave song from the 1980s, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is out Monday with an email that highlights the numerous recent attacks on the Republican presidential candidate by national Democrats.In an email with the heading “You’re My Obsession,” the Romney campaign states that “President Obama’s political machine has developed an obsession with attacking Governor Romney.”

    The former Massachusetts governor, who’s making his second bid for the White House, has been at or near the top of most national polls this year in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, and he’s also currently at or near the top in surveys in crucial early voting states.

    For months, Romney’s been the target of Web videos and emails from the Obama re-election campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and Priorities USA, an independent group that is supporting the president’s re-election bid. But the efforts seem to have stepped up in recent weeks.

    Many of the emails and Web videos highlight what the Democrats call Romney’s “flip-flop” on numerous issues.

  • Canada Will Sell Oil To China If US Keeps Delaying The Pipeline – The Obama administration put off the decision to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline until 2013.
    But that won’t stop Canada from trying to find another buyer, namely China, according to AFP.
    Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has already spoken with Chinese President Hu Jintao about possible oil exports this past Saturday.
    Harper told reporters, “This does underscore the necessity of Canada making sure that we are able to access Asian markets for our energy products.”
    With plans for the Keystone XL oil pipeline on the rocks, and China looking to diversify its energy supplier portfolio, this might be the perfect opportunity for Canada to get its foot in the door of the Chinese energy market.
  • Poll Watch: Voters split on harassment charges, favor lie detector test- Likely voters are split over whether to believe Herman Cain or the women who accused him of sexual harassment, but a plurality would like him to take a lie detector test to help decide the issue.According to The Hill Poll, likely voters are split, 39 percent to 40 percent respectively, on whether they believe Cain or his accusers. Another 21 percent aren’t sure whom to believe.

    Forty-seven percent of likely voters would like him to follow through on his professed willingness to take a lie detector test, while 35 percent said he should not and 18 percent were not sure.

  • Obama says U.S. has been ‘lazy’ about attracting business- Does President Obama believe the country he leads has the right stuff?Every now and then Obama lets slip that he doesn’t believe his countrymen are all that tough.

    Back in September he told a TV station that the U.S. had “gotten a little soft’’ when it came to competing in international markets.

    On Saturday, speaking at a business forum on the sidelines of an economic summit in Honolulu, he said the U.S. had been “lazy’’ when it came to enticing businesses to invest in America.

    “But we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades,’’ the president said. “We’ve kind of taken for granted — well, people will want to come here and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America.”

    Soft and lazy. Sounds like America could use a few months on Parris Island.

    Not that he’s lost hope. In the first year of his term, he gave a healthcare speech and proclaimed that “we can do great things.’’

    This year, in his State of the Union speech, he was no less optimistic.

    Americans, he said, are a people who “do big things.’’

    “Lazy’’ is a strong word, though, and in a staid talk about trade and currency policy, it caused a bit of a stir.

  • Washington’s unwelcome delay in the Keystone XL pipeline project- EARLY LAST WEEK, as the Obama administration prepared to announce a delay in deciding whether to permit the construction of the Canada-U.S. Keystone XL oil pipeline, Joe Oliver, Canada’s natural resources minister, was in Asia to discuss cooperation with the energy-hungry and cash-flush Chinese on extracting his nation’s oil reserves. Given that China already has an $11 billion stake in Canadian oil production, Mr. Oliver should have little trouble getting the help.Despite the passion among environmentalists against Keystone XL, Mr. Oliver’s travels illustrate the critical point: Canada’s oil will come out of the ground, and someone somewhere will refine it and burn it.
  • Video: FINALLY: Warren Buffett Reveals What HIS Tax Plan Would Look Like – Warren Buffett is on CNBC this morning talking about the Buffett tax.
    As he’s indicated before, what Obama calls the “Buffett Rule” (higher taxes on the rich, basically) differs from his real proposal for such a tax.
    His idea is really simple.
    He says his tax would require earners making over $1 million to pay 30% of their income in taxes and those making more than $10 million to pay 35%—something he admits most people are already doing.
    The difference between the current progressive system, and his idea is that his scheme wouldn’t give any breaks to people who get much of their money from capital gains.
  • President Newt?- Newt Gingrich did very well for himself in the foreign policy debate Saturday, especially when he put down a smug Scott Pelley on the issue of whether killing Al-Awlaki comported with the “rule of law.”  …  Jennifer Rubin and I discuss what a Gingrich Presidency might be like in our most recent Ricochet podcast here (starting about 4:20 in).  Rubin also has a detailed post on why Gingrich is not a “conservative dreamboat.”  … A key point not addressed by issues papers is his firmness in negotiation, or lack thereof. During the welfare reform debate of 1995-6, my impression was that Gingrich always wants to be the hero who walks into the room and cuts the grand deal. As a result he is all-too-ready to make dramatic concessions, which is one reason Clinton cleaned his clock in the post-1994 budget negotiations. Fastest sellout in the West! …KEYWORDS: INFANTILE, EGOMANIAC
  • Some Democrats refuse to back President Obama- Sen. Joe Lieberman was treated like an outcast back in 2008 when he broke from the Senate Democratic Caucus and openly opposed Barack Obama’s bid for the White House.Asked last week if he’d back Obama in 2012, the Connecticut independent said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

    This time around, there may be more Liebermans.

    A number of moderate Democrats like Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar and liberals like Sen. Bernie Sanders are declining to give their unqualified support for the president, saying they’re either too focused on their own races or are calling on the White House to cater to their agendas before they will offer an endorsement. Some up for reelection in red states or in swing districts fear that even showing up on stage with Obama will give their opponents an image to seize upon — much as Democrats did in 2008 when they repeatedly flashed shots of Sen. John McCain hugging President George W. Bush.

    So as the president faces the dual challenges of energizing his base while wooing moderates, some Democrats in Congress are keeping their distance, with the president’s approval rating hovering in the mid-40s — and even lower in states like West Virginia, where moderate Sen. Joe Manchin is up for reelection.

  • Obama Dings Republicans On Waterboarding, Says Jobs Bill May Have To Wait Until After Election – President Barack Obama took one of his first swings at his Republican opponents on Sunday, criticizing Rep. Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain for supporting the use of waterboarding.
    In an afternoon press conference at the APEC summit in Hawaii, Obama was read comments from the two aspiring presidents, and set aside his vow not to comment on the Republican race until they have a nominee to categorically defend his administration’s stance on the issue:
    “Let me just say this: They’re wrong. Waterboarding is torture,” he said. “It’s contrary to America’s traditions. It’s contrary to our ideals. That’s not who we are. That’s not how we operate. We don’t need it in order to prosecute the war on terrorism. And we did the right thing by ending that practice. ”
    “If we want to lead around the world, part of our leadership is setting a good example. And anybody who has actually read about and understands the practice of waterboarding would say that that is torture. And that’s not something we do — period.”
    But Obama refused to attack former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for criticizing his record dealing with Iran, saying only that it’s a complicated issue — and anyone who says otherwise “is either politicking or doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-14 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-14 #tcot #catcot
  • Run For Her 5K Part 2
    – YouTube
    – I uploaded a @YouTube video Run For Her 5K Part 2
  • Anti-Newt Gingrich chatter begins- A conservative source forwards an anti-Newt Gingrich email making the rounds this weekend, drawing Republicans’ attention to the former House speaker’s history of off-message and ideologically erratic comments.The email is a reminder of the challenge Gingrich faces ahead of him, if he really has to go through the same level of vetting as other credible GOP presidential candidates — like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann did when they were on the upswing in the polls. But it’s also a sign that Gingrich’s rise is being taken seriously by his opponents inside the party. The email reads, in part:

    Fellow Conservatives I urge all of to take a hard look at the real Newt Gingrich. Take 10 minutes of your time to read this email and pass it around as we can’t afford another faux president.

    Continue Reading
    *The Newt Gingrich Files: Does he know where he stands?*

    *MUST KNOW QUOTES*

    • Gingrich: “There Are Parts Of The DREAM Act That Are Actually Quite Useful.” (“Newt And Callista Gingrich On Al Punto With Jorge Ramos,” Newt.org, 10/13/10)

    • In A 2007 Interview With PBS, Gingrich Came Out In Favor Of A Cap And Trade System, Saying “It’s Something I Would Strongly Support.” (PBS’ “Frontline,” 4/24/07)

  • How Gingrich Can Win- Rich Galen explains how Newt Gingrich can win the GOP presidential nomination.”The two candidates who are stable in their numbers are Romney (with a ceiling of about 25 percent of GOP voters) and Ron Paul (who will stay between six and 10 percent). That leaves about 65 percent of Republican voters looking for a home. Cain will continue to drift downward (my words, not Newt’s); Santorum, Huntsman, and Bachman are, and will continue to be minor players.”

    “So, Newt’s thinking goes, he doesn’t need to beat Romney — he needs to consolidate the non-Romney vote and he’s the only one who can do that.”

    An example from recent history: “Sixty-two percent of Iowa voters wanted someone other than Barack Obama four years ago. The only reason he won was because Hillary and Edwards almost precisely split 60 percent of the votes.”

  • Run for Her Part 1
    – YouTube
    – Run for Her Part 1
    – YouTube
  • Run for Her Part 1
    – YouTube
    – I uploaded a @YouTube video Run for Her Part 1
  • run for her 2011 – 5K Run & Friendship Walk – Home – Off soon to run a 5K for Run for Her supporting ovarian cancer research in Los Angeles
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-13 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-13 #tcot #catcot
  • foursquare:: Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner

    – Breakfast after 8 miles with Alice Tara, Nancy, Mary and 4 more from Roadrunners (@ Ronnie’s Diner)

  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-12 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-12 #tcot #catcot
  • The Daily Extraction: Dr. Tommy Murph’s Costa Rica Extraction Courses | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – The Daily Extraction: Dr. Tommy Murph’s Costa Rica Extraction Courses
  • Day By Day November 11, 2011 – The Mean | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day November 11, 2011 – The Mean #tcot #catcot
  • The Daily Extraction: Dr. Tommy Murph’s Costa Rica Extraction Courses | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Daily Extraction: Dr. Tommy Murph’s Costa Rica Extraction Courses #tcot #catcot
  • Dilbert November 9, 2011 – Full Body » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert November 9, 2011 – Full Body
  • Happy Veterans Day – 2011 » Flap’s California Blog – Happy Veterans Day – 2011
  • President 2012: Is Newt Gingrich the Next Conservative Anti-Romney Candidate? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Is Newt Gingrich the Next Conservative Anti-Romney Candidate? #tcot #catcot
  • Happy Veterans Day – 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Happy Veterans Day – 2011 #tcot #catcot
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-11 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-11 #tcot #catcot
  • The American Spectator : Charlie Hebdo, Free Speech, and Islam – Unfortunately, the persistence of such sentiments only invites one to state principles that might seem obvious, but never grow unworthy of affirmation. There is no moral equivalence between those exercising their right to free speech and Islamists who wish to impose the standards of traditional Sharia (Islamic law) on society and are prepared to harm physically others and their property to achieve that end.
    More generally, this affair — along with the attack on a Tunisian TV station for broadcasting the film Persepolis, and the  death threats that forced the flight from Pakistan of the judge who convicted the assassin of Salman Taseer, the Punjab governor who opposed the blasphemy law — demonstrates that Islam as a whole still has a long way to go to come towards accepting basic standards of toleration of criticism.
    In short, one hopes that the following principle — well summed up by a prominent Melkite Greek Catholic deacon — will come to be accepted as mainstream in Islam: ‘[O]ne’s response to someone else’s provocative action is entirely one’s own responsibility. If you do something that offends me, I am under no obligation to kill you, or to run to the United Nations to try to get laws passed that will silence you. I am free to ignore you, or laugh at you, or to respond with charity, or any number of reactions.’
  • After Firebombing French Magazine Returns with Gay Muhammad Cover | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – After Firebombing French Magazine Returns with Gay Muhammad Cover #tcot #catcot
  • Facing Eurocollapse – As the world financial crisis deepens, it is unlikely that it can be alleviated without carefully reviewing the infelicitous confluence of mistakes in Europe and the United States that has brought it to its present extreme state. The European Monetary Union, involving 17 countries, was based on a number of generally admirable premises, but also on a couple of false assumptions. All civilized people were grateful at the extension of European cooperation to this new level of intimacy, as ancient foes led by France and Germany reached an ever-closer community of national interest. For German chancellor Helmut Kohl, who did not trust Germany’s political instincts to cause his country to act responsibly when alone and not in the company of allies of less erratic recent history, an ever-closer union was an insurance policy of constructive peer-group thinking. He was sincere in espousing “a European Germany and not a German Europe.”
  • Romney and Gingrich Shine; Perry Doesn’t – No one touched Romney. He was unflappable and knowledgeable. He again showed the right political instinct to want to address the struggles of the middle class, although his tax plan doesn’t do it. His China-bashing will probably play well in the Midwest, although it’s foolhardy on the merits. He consistently got applause. I remember one of the early debates when Romney was flying above the other candidates and Pawlenty — I think — attacked him and he declined to reply, saying “that’s fine.” He said the same thing tonight when Santorum went after him. After all the churning in the race, Romney is in the same basically comfortable place he was in several months ago.
  • Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites – As social media use has become pervasive in the lives of American teens, a new study finds that 69% of the teenagers who use social networking sites say their peers are mostly kind to one another on such sites. Still, 88% of these teens say they have witnessed people being mean and cruel to another person on the sites, and 15% report that they have been the target of mean or cruel behavior on social network sites.
  • Chewing Xylitol Gum Decreases Risk for Ear Infection in Children | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Chewing Xylitol Gum Decreases Risk for Ear Infection in Children
  • Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: November 10, 2011 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: November 10, 2011
  • Effort to repeal new Senate districts advances – Total Buzz : The Orange County Register – Effort to repeal new Senate districts advances -
  • Capitol Alert: Controller John Chiang says California has $1.5 billion cash gap – Controller John Chiang says California has $1.5 billion cash gap
  • Poll Watch: Americans Ability to Afford Food Falls to Near Three Year Low | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: Americans Ability to Afford Food Falls to Near Three Year Low #tcot #catcot
  • (500) http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2011/11/do-local-tax-election-results-foreshadow-2012-state-tax-fight/?utm_source=rss&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter – Do Local Tax Election Results Foreshadow 2012 State Tax Fight?
  • Police arrest UC Berkeley students, professor over Occupy camp – San Jose Mercury News – Police arrest UC Berkeley students, professor over Occupy camp – San Jose Mercury News
  • Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/09/4040604/dan-walters-new-california-senate.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) – Dan Walters: New California Senate maps still not settled
  • GOP senators praise Boxer on highway bill – GOP senators praise Boxer on highway bill
  • GOP senators praise Boxer on highway bill- California Sen. Barbara Boxer won rare praise from Republicans on Wednesday for unanimously passing an overhaul of federal highway programs bill out of her committee.Boxer, a liberal Democrat who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, worked hand-in-hand with conservative Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe to consolidate 90 federal highway programs into 30, grant states more flexibility in spending highway money and expand a pilot program to leverage taxpayer money with private investment.

    The two-year, $84 billion bill has no earmarks for pet projects and aims to offset all new spending with trims in other areas of the government. The 18-0 vote was a rare moment in the bitterly partisan climate on Capitol Hill and provides a template for infrastructure investment that has been sought by the Obama administration but rebuffed by Republicans.

    The Senate last week defeated President Obama’s proposal for $50 billion in infrastructure spending.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The United States to Have Policy Goal to Wipe Out AIDS – The United States to Have Policy Goal to Wipe Out AIDS
  • Poll Watch: Most Republicans See Mitt Romney as the Presidential Nominee | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: Most Republicans See Mitt Romney as the Presidential Nominee #tcot #catcot
  • Former Football Players Prone to Late-Life Health Problems? | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Former Football Players Prone to Late-Life Health Problems?
  • Occupy Protest Movement to Focus on New Year’s Rose Parade? » Flap’s California Blog – Occupy Protest Movement to Focus on New Year’s Rose Parade?
  • Cain Sinking in Iowa – Cain Sinking in Iowa
  • The Morning Flap: November 10, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: November 10, 2011 #tcot #catcot
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