These are my links for February 24th through February 27th:
The State of the Twitterverse 2012 – Brian Solis – The first time I wrote about Twitter was March 2007. My, how time and Tweets fly. With 500 million registered users and 33 billion Tweets flying across the Twitterverse every day, Twitter has become a fabric of our digital culture. Twitter is now ingrained in our digital DNA and is reflected in our lifestyle and how we connect and communicate with one another.
While many struggle to understand its utility or its significance in the greater world of media, it is the most efficient global information network in existence today. News no longer breaks, it Tweets. People have demonstrated the speed and efficacy of social networking by connecting to one another based on interests (interest graph) rather then limiting connections to relationships (social graph). Twitter represents a promising intersection of new media, relationships, traditional media and information to form one highly human network.
I recently stumbled upon a well done infographic created by Infographic Labs to communicate the state of of the Twitterverse. It’s quite grand in its design. So, to help get the most out of it, I’ve dissected it into smaller byte-sized portions.
U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb – Even as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.
Stages in Developing a Nuclear Nation – A report by international nuclear inspectors offers new details about Iran’s nuclear program. While Iran has increased production of a type of fuel needed to create the core of a nuclear bomb, it stops short of crossing that line
55% Oppose Affirmative Action Policies for College Admissions – The U.S. Supreme Court last week agreed to hear a case involving the use of race as a factor in college admissions. Most voters oppose the use of so-called affirmative action policies at colleges and universities and continue to believe those policies have not been successful despite being in place for 50 years.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 24% of Likely U.S. Voters favor applying affirmative action policies to college admissions. Fifty-five percent (55%) oppose the use of such policies to determine who is admitted to colleges and universities. Twenty-one percent (21%) are undecided.
EPA Needs More Time to Reconsider Boiler MACT Rules – American workers and the industries that employ them face an ill-thought out and incomplete set of Boiler MACT regulations costing $14 billion to implement. Given current economic realities, these regulations place at risk the jobs of your constituents and 200,000 working Americans across the country. With the economic climate as it is now, we cannot afford to lose too many more American manufacturing jobs.
The EPA asked for proper time to reconsider the Boiler MACT rules, and even attempted to stay the rules to have more time to clarify them. The forest products industry, for example, is compiling additional data at the EPA’s request, but may not have time to complete needed testing. The courts have made it clear that only Congress can give the EPA the time they have asked for and need to provide clarity. As a result, this legal uncertainty is a cloud over American businesses, which must be able to plan for the future in these uncertain economic times. Our communities deserve environmental rules that have been fully considered, and will hold up scientifically in the long term
“Cutting the Bureaucratic Gridlock” by Senator Tony Strickland – While I was visiting Teixeira Farms to discuss agricultural issues, the owners told me that one state agency said they needed to recycle all their water, while another state agency said they couldn’t recycle any of their water. The owners of the farm told me they were happy to do whatever was needed, but they couldn’t recycle all their water and none of their water at the same time.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Constituents and small business owners in my district often call my office, telling me that one state agency has given them the run-around about an issue and referred them to yet another state agency. Round and round they go, from agency to agency, until they finally give up.
Cleary, California’s vast bureaucracy is not working. There has to be a way to make government more efficient and maximize your precious tax dollars that come to Sacramento.
This is why I’ve authored Senate Bill 953. SB 953 would create the Bureaucracy Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). SB 953 is modeled and named after the successful Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program, which was established by the federal government after the end of the Cold War. The Federal BRAC program successfully identified and closed obsolete military bases, saving an estimated $20 billion annually.
State party chief wants GOP candidates to rally around statewide theme – Tacitly acknowledging that the California Republican Party will likely be strapped for funds to support candidates in the tough new districts in which many of them will be running this fall, Chairman Tom Del Beccaro said Friday he hopes GOP candidates will rally around “statewide themes” to maximize the party’s efforts.
“We need to make this a statewide election around an issue that coalesces voters,” he said at a news conference at the opening of the state GOP convention. “We can’t be the party of no. Parties become more attractive when they have positive ideas.”
In an email obtained by TheDC, Meckler told the state coordinators of Tea Party Patriots on Thursday night that he “fought long and hard” to maintain the group “as an organization that is run from the bottom up, with the intent of serving the grassroots.”
“Unfortunately, it is my belief that I have lost this fight,” Meckler said. “I probably fought the internal fight longer than I should have, but I wanted to give absolutely every possible effort to preserving what I believe was the unique nature of the TPP organization.”
Since the organization’s founding, Meckler has shared the role of national coordinator with co-founder Jenny Beth Martin. But Meckler wrote in the email that he had lost “influence in the leadership of the organization, and it has been that way for quite some time.”
Meckler said the board granted Martin “almost complete power over the day-to-day operations” in November 2011 after a “protracted fight in which I was complaining about the direction, operation (top-down) and finances of the organization.”
A talk with Scott Walker – For many conservatives frustrated with the Republican Party, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been a bright spot. After taking office last year in a bluish state, Walker set out to close a $3.6 billion budget hole, in part, by reforming public sector unions. His reforms, which gave workers choices as to whether they wanted to join a union and curbed union collective bargaining powers that were crippling local budgets, sparked a wave a protests. But Walker stood firm and prevailed. Now unions plan to spend tens of millions of dollars on a campaign to recall him, with an election anticipated by June.
On Thursday, the Washington Examiner spoke with Walker by telephone about his reforms, the upcoming recall election, his decision to reject Obamacare funding, his views about the proper role of government and the extended Republican presidential primary.
Starting March 5, online readers will be asked to buy a digital subscription at an initial rate of 99 cents for four weeks. Readers who do not subscribe will be able to read 15 stories in a 30-day period for free.
Separately, The Times announced plans to launch a new weekly lifestyle section called Saturday for its print subscribers.
Other news outlets that have begun charging for online journalism include the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Dallas Morning News. Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper company, this week announced plans to launch a similar program at 80 publications, saying it could boost earnings by $100 million in 2013.
U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bomb – As U.S. and Israeli officials talk publicly about the prospect of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, one fact is often overlooked: U.S. intelligence agencies don’t believe Iran is actively trying to build an atomic bomb.
A highly classified U.S. intelligence assessment circulated to policymakers early last year largely affirms that view, originally made in 2007. Both reports, known as national intelligence estimates, conclude that Tehran halted efforts to develop and build a nuclear warhead in 2003.
The most recent report, which represents the consensus of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, indicates that Iran is pursuing research that could put it in a position to build a weapon, but that it has not sought to do so.
Although Iran continues to enrich uranium at low levels, U.S. officials say they have not seen evidence that has caused them to significantly revise that judgment. Senior U.S. officials say Israel does not dispute the basic intelligence or analysis.
Could California swing the Republican nomination? – If no clear front-runner in the delegate count emerges by the end of April, Texas and California will move to the center of the political universe. These two gigantic, expensive states could then hold the keys to the nomination and determine whether we are headed for a brokered convention.
What would a hotly contested California Republican primary campaign, unseen in decades, look like? Certainly it would be very expensive, and waged almost entirely on television. The state is too big to quickly organize on a district level (ask anyone who has run for statewide office in California), making broadcast media critical. A quick bus tour, some fly-arounds and earned media stops would make up the rest. An insurgent candidate could also conceivably attempt to organize the small number of Republicans who live in heavily Democratic congressional districts in Los Angeles to score a few delegates.
California’s primary is “closed,” meaning only registered Republicans may participate. This results in a more conservative electorate than in “open” primary states where voters of other affiliations may vote in the Republican primary.
Although California votes late enough to be winner-take-all, it isn’t. Under rules adopted in 2000 and first put into effect in 2004, the California Republican Party will allocate delegates proportionally by congressional district. In 2008, John McCain won in 48 of 53 districts, with Mitt Romney winning in the remaining five.
These are my links for February 14th through February 15th:
How Likely Is a Brokered Convention? – Last week, I wrote that a path to a brokered convention was beginning to emerge in the Republican electorate. I was purposely vague as to how likely such an occurrence is. I called the path “very narrow” and said it is “beginning to emerge,” outlining the various contingencies required. But the truth is, at this point, the entire endeavor is pretty speculative; we won’t really know how viable the path is until after Super Tuesday.
But with polls now showing Rick Santorum running well in Michigan — a key state if he really is going to dominate in the Midwest — the topic is worth revisiting. Because if Santorum can win Michigan and Mitt Romney can take Arizona without knocking Newt Gingrich into irrelevance, then a brokered convention becomes much more likely.
Department of Home-Lunch Security – By Mark Steyn – The home-made lunch having been ruled illegal by officials*, the preschooler was given a federally-approved lunch, for which her mother has been sent a bill. The girl didn’t care for the substitute lunch, ate only the three chicken nuggets, and left everything else on her tray untouched. It may not have worked out all that nutritious for her, but at least it’s compliant with DCDEE/DHHS/USDA paperwork, and that’s what matters.
The GOP’s emerging Bob Dole problem – A flood of new data points to one clear conclusion: At least for now, President Obama and his Republican opponents are heading in opposite directions.
A CBS News/New York Times poll released last night puts Obama’s approval rating at 50 percent — his best performance in that survey since the spring of 2010 (not counting last May’s brief bin Laden bounce). The poll also shows Obama enjoying his best score since the summer of ’10 on his handling of the economy and his best score since at least late 2009 (when the question was first asked) on job creation, and finds voters voters more optimistic than they’ve been in nearly two years on the overall direction of the economy.
Why Republicans Don’t Trust Romney – Why can’t Mitt Romney make the sale to conservatives? And why is Rick Santorum, the ultimate long shot at the start of this race, now in a position to be a viable alternative?
Mitt Romney used the word conservative and conservatism more than two dozen times, according to the Washington Post’s Dan Balz , in his speech last week at the CPAC convention. That rhetoric is quite different from ten years ago when he was running for Governor of Massachusetts.
He stated during that campaign that he was “not a partisan Republican” but rather a “moderate” with “progressive” views.”
Romney Surrogate Attacks Santorum for Voting the Same Way He Did – Mitt Romney’s campaign is now targeting GOP rival Rick Santorum as a big-spending Washington insider. On a conference call Tuesday afternoon, former Missouri senator and Romney surrogate Jim Talent criticized Santorum’s support for expanding government spending, including his vote for the Medicare Part D in 2003—a program for which Talent himself voted.
“Senator Santorum is running in Missouri as a trusted and comprehensive conservative,” Talent said. “He certainly has been outspoken on social issues, and we honor his record in that regard, but when you get outside those issues into fiscal, spending, regulatory issues, his record shows that he’s been in the liberal wing of the Republican party.”
Talent continued, pointing to a few votes that show Santorum’s “liberal” spending record. “I want to note that Senator Santorum voted for No Child Left Behind, which was a big expansion of federal power over local education,” he said. “He voted for Medicare Part D, a big expansion of a federal entitlement.”
“We firmly believe there is a strong and sustainable commercial market for Uni-Solar products,” Julian Hawkins, ECD’s CEO and president, said in a statement. “However our current capital structure and legacy costs are preventing USO from making the investments necessary for the future of the business without restructuring through the bankruptcy process.”
The maker of solar roofing materials, which will continue to operate, employs 750 workers, 60% of them in Michigan. They will remain active employees during the sales process though some have been furloughed, said company spokesman Michael Schostak.
ECD also said it has sold its Ovonic Battery Co. to BASF Corp. for $58 million in cash before transaction fees and other factors. The battery subsidiary’s 35 employees have been hired by BASF.
Pentagon and military planners were asked to develop three force levels for the U.S. arsenal of deployed strategic nuclear warheads: a force of 1,100 to 1,000 warheads; a second scenario of between 700 and 800 warheads; and the lowest level of between 300 and 400 warheads.
A congressional official said no president in the past ever told the Pentagon to conduct a review based on specific numbers of warheads.
“In the past, the way it worked was, ‘tell me what the world is like and then tell me what the force should be,’” the official said. “That is not happening in this review.”
The plan for a radical cut in warheads is contained in a review of nuclear weapons ordered by the president in an August directive. The review called the Nuclear Posture Review Implementation Study is nearing completion and could be presented to the president as early as next month.
US weighing steep nuclear arms cuts – The Obama administration is weighing options for sharp new cuts to the U.S. nuclear force, including a reduction of up to 80 percent in the number of deployed weapons, The Associated Press has learned.
Even the most modest option now under consideration would be an historic and politically bold disarmament step in a presidential election year, although the plan is in line with President Barack Obama’s 2009 pledge to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons.
But Smith curiously withheld key parts of the 89-page document when he published his story, “Media Matters’ war against Fox,” in March 2011.
The Daily Caller became aware of this after obtaining the same document while reporting the series “Inside Media Matters,” which debuted here late Sunday night.
Smith made no mention of Media Matters targeting organizations other than Fox News, such as the libertarian Cato Institute and the conservative Heritage Foundation. Nor does he reveal that, according to the memo, Media Matters was intent on researching Republican political figures like Republican former U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina and Republican Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, and the prominent libertarian political donor Peter Thiel.
“An opposition research team will serve to hold Thiel and others like him accountable,” the memo states. Smith made no mention of such efforts in his story.
He also failed to disclose Media Matters’ interest in marginalizing political news websites including Newsmax and Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government, saying only that the organization had narrowed its focus to “Fox and a handful of conservative websites.”
Many Democrats have high hopes for the Southwest in Election 2012 and some even think that President Obama even has a decent shot to move Arizona from Republican to Democrat in the Electoral College column this November. However, the president may have an uphill fight to achieve that goal as most voters in the Grand Canyon State disapprove of the way he’s done his job.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone poll found that just 41% of Likely Voters in Arizona approve of the way President Obama has performed his role. Fifty-six percent (56%) disapprove. Those figures are significantly lower than the president’s national ratings. They include 28% who Strongly Approve and 48% who Strongly Disapprove.
Romney up in Colorado, close race in Minnesota – Last night’s results in Nevada were bad news for Newt Gingrich and PPP’s first day of polling in Colorado and Minnesota indicates things may only get worse for him in the coming days.In Colorado Mitt Romney looks primed for another big Western win to match his one in Nevada. He leads with 40% there to 26% for Rick Santorum, 18% for Gingrich, and 12% for Ron Paul.
Minnesota looks like a toss up with any of the four candidates having some shot at winning. Santorum holds a small edge there with 29% to 27% for Romney, 22% for Gingrich, and 19% for Paul.
What both states have in common is that Gingrich has fallen precipitously since our last polls in them. In Colorado Gingrich was in first place with a 19 point lead in early December. His support has declined 19 points since then and his net favorability has dropped 33 points from +41 (64/23) to only +8 (49/41). Gingrich has had a similarly large decline in Minnesota, but there it’s much more abrupt. We polled the state only two weeks ago but in that time he’s dropped 14 points from 36% to 22%, and his favorability has 26 points from +34 (59/25) to +8 (47/39). That after glow from South Carolina has worn off real fast.
Romney tops 50% in final Nevada tally – Mitt Romney won Saturday’s Nevada caucuses with his highest portion of a state’s vote yet, just over 50%, according to certified results released Monday by the Nevada Republican Party.Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich finished in second place with just over 21% of the vote. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas placed third at 18.7%, and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania earned 9.9%.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who also won the state’s GOP caucuses in 2008, received more than twice the votes of his closest opponent.
Obama: I’m getting ‘better as time goes on’ – During an interview that aired Monday on NBC’s “Today” show, President Obama said that he gets “better as time goes on” at his job and that he believes the grassroots movement that propelled him to victory in 2008 will help him win a second term.”What’s frustrated people is that I’ve not been able to implement every aspect of what I said in 2008. Well, it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes. But what we have been able to do is move in the right direction,” Obama said.
“And you know what? One of the things about being president is you get better as time goes on,” he added.
Iran mass producing anti-ship cruise missile – Iran has begun mass production of an anti-ship cruise missile, state television’s website said on Saturday.The Zafar missile, as it is dubbed in the report, “is a short-range, anti-ship cruise missile capable of destroying small- and medium-sized targets with high precision.”
It can be mounted on speed boats and other light vessels, can withstand electronic warfare, and is able to fly in low altitudes to avoid detection, the report said.
Iran has a fleet of speed boats that often challenge US and allied warships in the Gulf.
The vessels are usually controlled by the elite Revolutionary Guards and can be equipped with missiles.
Nearly half of California jobless workers considered ‘long-term’ – Not only does California have more than 2 million unemployed workers, but nearly half of them have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, according to new data assembled by the state Department of Employment Development.”Between May 2007 and February 2011, the number of people who were jobless 27 weeks or more in California rose an astounding 620 percent,” says the EDD report.
Those who are called “long-term unemployed” grew from 15.9 percent of the jobless population in late 2007 to 46.8 percent last March, remaining over 46 percent in December.
“The rapid rise in long-term unemployment can be directly tied to the collapse of the housing bubble in California,” the report continues. “This event had dramatic effects on the construction and finance industries and on the duratio
These are my links for August 14th from 12:49 to 20:46:
Iran vows to protect nuclear scientists after assassinations – Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced last week that the regime will increase security around its research staff, according to the Iranian news agency. This is said to be a first step in a series of measures to protect Iran's nuclear scientists.
The announcement is a first indicator that the regime is concerned about the fact that four key individuals involved in the development of the Iranian military's nuclear program were assassinated over the past two years, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday.
The latest incident occurred on July 23, when Darioush Rezaei, who was identified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a physicist working on the development of components used in nuclear weapon systems, was shot dead by a motorcyclist in Tehran.
Despite international media reports on Rezaei's background, the Iranian authorities claimed that it was a physics student who was mistakenly shot.
The Iranian media reported recently that the assassination was carried out by internal elements, further suggesting that the regime has been shaken by the incident, since admitting that a foreign body was behind the assassination would have caused a bigger embarrassment.
The action is the latest incident to underscore the increasingly complicated relationship and lack of trust between Islamabad and Washington following the raid.
"The US now has information that Pakistan, particularly the ISI, gave access to the Chinese military to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad," said one person in intelligence circles, referring to the Pakistani spy agency. The Chinese engineers were allowed to survey the wreckage and take photographs of it, as well as take samples of the special "stealth" skin that allowed the American team to enter Pakistan undetected by radar, he said.
President Barack Obama's national security council had been discussing this incident and trying to decide how to respond. A senior official said the situation “doesn't make us happy”, but that the administration had little recourse.
Read it all.
And, what will be the Obama Administration's response?