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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: January 3, 2013

Boehner and Cantor The Morning Flap: January 3, 2013

These are my links for January 2nd through January 3rd:

  • Does Eric Cantor’s no vote on the fiscal cliff bill spell trouble for John Boehner? – It’s rare for the top two members of the House leadership to split on an important vote. Bob Michel, the hapless leader of the House Republicans during a long period in the minority, and Newt Gingrich voted differently on the 1990 “read my lips” tax increase. They split again over the 1994 assault weapons ban.Even less common is a House speaker and majority leader going their separate ways on big-ticket legislation. The last major example is when the Democratic-controlled House debated funding President George W Bush’s surge in Iraq. House speaker Nancy Pelosi allowed the measure to proceed to the floor and voted no. House majority leader Steny Hoyer voted yes.House speakers typically don’t even vote at all unless it is necessary to break a tie. So it may have been a clarifying moment when speaker of the House John Boehner and House majority leader Eric Cantor parted ways on the deal that ended the long national nightmare known as the fiscal cliff. Boehner voted for the bipartisan agreement negotiated between Vice-President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell; Cantor breathed the final moments of life into the opposition.
  • Fiscal Cliff Deal Only Whetted Obama’s Appetite for More Taxes – Taxes: Anyone who thinks the fiscal cliff deal will end President Obama’s soak-the-rich campaign isn’t paying attention. Even before the ink had dried on his $620 billion tax hike, Obama was talking up his desire for more.Obama hinted at this on Sunday on “Meet the Press,” when he told David Gregory that “you are not only going to cut your way to prosperity” and that “one of the fallacies” was that “deficit reduction is only a matter of cutting programs.”But as the fiscal cliff agreement looked increasingly likely, Obama started talking more specifically about additional tax hikes. On Monday, he told a White House rally that “revenues have to be part of the equation in turning off the sequester.”

    Translation: If Republicans want to prevent devastating defense cuts from automatically kicking in two months from now, they’ll have to choke down another round of tax hikes.

    And he made it clear any future deficit cuts will have to include still more new taxes. “If Republicans think that I will finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts alone,” he said, “then they’ve got another thing coming.”

  • Nothing Is Certain Except More Debt and Taxes – Whatever ultimately emerges from the fiscal-cliff negotiations over the past 48 hours, the country will survive. But the damage can’t be undone. Taxes are going up for all working Americans. And so is the size of government.Businesses have been waiting to see whether a second Obama administration will encourage the economy. During the fiscal-cliff negotiations, however, the president made clear that his goal isn’t to get business going again but instead to expand government and redistribute income. He offered no real spending cuts and instead used the year-end deadline to divide America into classes—to the point of campaigning on New Year’s Eve against higher earners. Though the president talks about fairness, his policies penalize profit and investment. This hurts aspiring Americans more than it hurts those who have already made it.The deal that emerged from the Senate early Tuesday morning is being sold as a tax cut for the middle class, but the expiration of the two-percentage-point payroll tax holiday means that working Americans’ take-home pay will drop. The bill reduces the value of tax deductions for upper incomes and, with the new open-ended 3.8% Medicare tax that was enacted under ObamaCare, income-tax rates on families and small business owners earning over $450,000 have been pushed above 44%.
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-02 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-02 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-02 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-02
  • Dems will need new game plan to score tax revenue – The fiscal cliff deal handed Democrats a tax victory years in the making, but it also means the party will need a new playbook for the budget battles that lie ahead.That’s because many Democrats readily acknowledge that they’ve exhausted their ability to raise taxes on the richest Americans by jacking up their rates.The historic tax agreement passed by Congress this week raises rates on top earners from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. Meanwhile, provisions from the 2010 health care law kicked in Jan. 1, increasing rates on investment income from 15 percent to almost 24 percent for the most affluent taxpayers.

    Winning these levies was hard enough. With Republicans licking their wounds in the wake of the fiscal cliff deal, Democrats know that politically speaking, there’s virtually no way to keep increasing marginal tax rates.

    “This does settle the issue of rates for individuals,” Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) told POLITICO. “That’s good. That certainty and predictability is one of the gains” of the fiscal cliff legislation.

    Michigan Rep. Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, agreed. When asked whether more rate increases are in the offing, he responded, “I don’t foresee that.”

  • Al Jazeera acquires Current TV, will rebrand channel – LA Observed – Al Jazeera acquires Current TV, will rebrand channel – LA Observed #tcot
  • Capitol Alert: California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s cable TV show going off air – Capitol Alert: California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s cable TV show going off air #tcot
  • Capitol Alert: California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s cable TV show going off air – Capitol Alert: California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s cable TV show going off air #tcot
  • Phillip Klein: Past the ‘cliff,’ debt ceiling promises a more brutal fight | WashingtonExaminer.com – Phillip Klein: Past the ‘cliff,’ debt ceiling promises a more brutal fight | #tcot
  • Al Jazeera acquires Current TV, will rebrand channel – LA Observed – Al Jazeera acquires Current TV, will rebrand channel – LA Observed #tcot
  • Capitol Alert: California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s cable TV show going off air – Capitol Alert: California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s cable TV show going off air #tcot
  • Al Jazeera acquires Current TV, will rebrand channel – LA Observed – Al Jazeera acquires Current TV, will rebrand channel – LA Observed #tcot
  • Phillip Klein: Past the ‘cliff,’ debt ceiling promises a more brutal fight | WashingtonExaminer.com – Phillip Klein: Past the ‘cliff,’ debt ceiling promises a more brutal fight | #tcot
  • Capitol Alert: California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s cable TV show going off air – RT @CapitolAlert: California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s cable TV show going off air
  • Al Jazeera acquires Current TV, will rebrand channel – LA Observed – Al Jazeera acquires Current TV, will rebrand channel #tcot
  • Phillip Klein: Past the ‘cliff,’ debt ceiling promises a more brutal fight | WashingtonExaminer.com – Past the ‘cliff,’ debt ceiling promises a more brutal fight #tcot
  • Tim Carney: How corporate tax credits got in the ‘cliff’ deal | WashingtonExaminer.com – Tim Carney: How corporate tax credits got in the ‘cliff’ deal | #tcot
  • Past the ‘cliff,’ debt ceiling promises a more brutal fight – As a weary Washington assesses the “fiscal cliff” deal, a debt-ceiling showdown looms on the horizon. There are a number of reasons to believe that the standoff — expected sometime in February or March — will be even more difficult to resolve than the last debt-ceiling impasse in the summer of 2011.In the 2011 showdown, House Speaker John Boehner established the principle that every dollar increase in the debt limit would have to be accompanied by a dollar cut in government spending. The final deal allowed for at least $2.1 trillion in debt-limit increases offset by promised spending cuts and did not raise taxes.
  • McConnell: Fiscal cliff deal not great, but it shields Americans from tax hike – The first day of a new Congress always represents a fresh start. This year, it also presents a perfect opportunity to tackle the single-greatest challenge facing our nation: reining in the out-of-control federal spending that threatens to permanently alter our economy and dim the prospects and opportunities of future generations of Americans.Earlier this week, I helped negotiate an imperfect solution aimed at avoiding the so-called “fiscal cliff.” If I had my way taxes would not have gone up on anyone, but the unavoidable fact was this if we had sat back and done nothing taxes would have gone up dramatically on every single American, and I simply couldn’t allow that to happen.By acting, we’ve shielded more than 99% of taxpayers from a massive tax hike that President Obama was all-too willing to impose. American families and small businesses that would have seen painfully smaller paychecks and profits this month have been spared. Retirement accounts for seniors won’t be whittled down by a dramatic increase in taxes on investment income. And many who’ve spent a lifetime paying taxes on income and savings won’t be slammed with a dramatically higher tax on estates.

    Was it a great deal? No. As I said, taxes shouldn’t be going up at all. Just as importantly, the transcendent issue of our time, the spiraling debt, remains completely unaddressed. Yet now that the President has gotten his long-sought tax hike on the “rich,” we can finally turn squarely toward the real problem, which is spending.

    Predictably, the President is already claiming that his tax hike on the “rich” isn’t enough. I have news for him: the moment that he and virtually every elected Democrat in Washington signed off on the terms of the current arrangement, it was the last word on taxes. That debate is over. Now the conversation turns to cutting spending on the government programs that are the real source of the nation’s fiscal imbalance. And the upcoming debate on the debt limit is the perfect time to have that discussion.

    We simply cannot increase the nation’s borrowing limit without committing to long overdue reforms to spending programs that are the very cause of our debt.

  • Tim Carney: How corporate tax credits got in the ‘cliff’ deal | WashingtonExaminer.com – Tim Carney: How corporate tax credits got in the ‘cliff’ deal | #tcot
  • Caps on class sizes could be eliminated in Jerry Brown’s budget – latimes.com – Caps on class sizes could be eliminated in Jerry Brown’s budget #tcot
  • Weintraub: California’s quality of life is a mixed bag | percent – News – The Orange County Register – California’s quality of life is a mixed bag #tcot
  • How corporate tax credits got in the ‘cliff’ deal – The “fiscal cliff” legislation passed this week included $76 billion in special-interest tax credits for the likes of General Electric, Hollywood and even Captain Morgan. But these subsidies weren’t the fruit of eleventh-hour lobbying conducted on the cliff’s edge — they were crafted back in August in a Senate committee, and they sat dormant until the White House reportedly insisted on them this week.The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012, which passed through the Senate Finance Committee in August, was copied and pasted into the fiscal cliff legislation, yielding a victory for biotech companies, wind-turbine-makers, biodiesel producers, film studios — and their lobbyists. So, if you’re wondering how algae subsidies became part of a must-pass package to avert the dreaded fiscal cliff, credit the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s lobbying last summer.
  • White House eases path to residency for some illegal immigrants – The Obama administration eased the way Wednesday for illegal immigrants who are immediate relatives of American citizens to apply for permanent residency, a change that could affect as many as 1 million of the estimated 11 million immigrants unlawfully in the U.S.A new rule issued by the Department of Homeland Security aims to reduce the time illegal immigrants are separated from their American families while seeking legal status, immigration officials said.Beginning March 4, when the changes go into effect, illegal immigrants who can demonstrate that time apart from an American spouse, child or parent would create “extreme hardship,” can start the application process for a legal visa without leaving the U.S.

    Once approved, applicants would be required to leave the U.S. briefly in order to return to their native country and pick up their visa.

  • Clinton discharged from hospital after treatment for blood clot – The Washington Post – RT @washingtonpost: Clinton discharged from hospital
  • Christie Craving Pork-Filled Sandy Bill | The Weekly Standard – RT @DRUDGE_REPORT: STORM BILL STUFFED WITH PORK…
  • Video: Chris Christie Melts Down Over Pork-Laden Sandy Relief Bill – Video: Chris Christie Melts Down Over Pork-Laden Sandy Relief Bill #tcot
  • Boehner tells GOP he’s through with one-on-one Obama talks – The Hill – RT @philipaklein: RT @thehill: Boehner tells GOP he’s through with one-on-one negotiations with Obama
  • The Obesity Paradox: Weigh More and Live Longer – Flap’s Blog – The Obesity Paradox: Weigh More and Live Longer #tcot
  • Capitol Alert: Unlicensed California drivers have high fatality rates – Capitol Alert: Unlicensed California drivers have high fatality rates #tcot
  • Patti Page R.I.P – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Patti Page R.I.P. #tcot
  • Capitol Alert: Unlicensed California drivers have high fatality rates – Unlicensed California drivers have high fatality rates #tcot
  • Untitled (http://mashable.com/2013/01/02/fiscal-cliff-calculator/) – RT @mashable: This Calculator Shows How Much Fiscal Cliff Deal Will Cost You
  • Why the Obama tax hikes have only just begun – But what leverage will Obama have to make good on his tax-hike threats? As The Wall Street Journal editorial page notes today, “The President has had unusual leverage over Republicans because he just won re-election and because taxes were going to go up even if they did nothing.”One potential Obama bargaining chip is the sequester, particularly the $500 billion in defense cuts that many GOPers loathe. So perhaps Obama can offer to turn off the defense cuts in exchange for $500 billion from limiting tax breaks for the rich. And then maybe another $300 billion in corporate tax hikes for agreeing to change how Social Security benefits are calculated. Many scenarios are possible. What’s for sure is that the Obama desires vastly higher taxes to pay for his expanded welfare state. Desires and needs them. And it’s now Democrat economic theology that tax rates could return to pre-Reagan levels without hurting growth.Tax hikes? Obama is only just getting started.
  • Hillary Angst – The Daily Beast – RT @kausmickey: Something very off (Mooniesh) about this tone. Tina Brown is an adult, right? #arthurschlesingerblu …
  • Top Blogger Andrew Sullivan Wants Your Cash – Maybe he will find Trig’s mother? RT @mashable: Top Blogger Andrew Sullivan Wants Your Cash #tcot
  • Grimm may oppose Speaker Boehner – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: Rep. Michael Grimm may oppose Speaker Boehner:
  • Day By Day January 2, 2013 – The Party Line – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day January 2, 2013 – The Party Line #tcot
  • Study: Smoking Does NOT Relieve Stress – Study: Smoking Does NOT Relieve Stress
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: January 2, 2013 – The Morning Drill: January 2, 2013
  • Primary care doctors growing scarce – SFGate – California Primary Care Doctors Growing Scarce #tcot
  • Capitol Alert: California gets federal approval to close Healthy Families – California gets federal approval to close Healthy Families #tcot
  • 10 stories to watch in California politics for 2013 | news10.net – 10 stories to watch in California politics for 2013 #tcot
  • The California Flap: January 2, 2013 – Flap’s California Blog – The California Flap: January 2, 2013
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: January 3, 2013
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: January 2, 2013

Obama laughing over Fiscal Cliff The Morning Flap: January 2, 2013

These are my links for December 29th through January 2nd:

share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: January 2, 2013
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: December 27, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    =========

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

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

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

  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-23 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-23
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-23 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-23 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-23 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-23
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-22 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-22
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-22 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-22 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-22 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-22
  • Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – The pre- Christmas 10 miles is finished. Now, the protein plate at Ronnie’s! (@ Ronnie’s Diner) [pic]:
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-21 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-21
  • President Obama’s dilemma – Carrie Budoff Brown – POLITICO.com – President Obama’s dilemma – Carrie Budoff Brown – #tcot
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: December 27, 2012
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: December 20, 2012

0 The Morning Flap: December 20, 2012

These are my links for December 19th through December 20th:

  • Dec. 21, 2012: Fearful ‘end of world’ callers flood NASA – If there’s one government agency really looking forward to Dec. 22, it’s NASA.The space agency said it has been flooded with calls and emails from people asking about the purported end of the world — which, as the doomsday myth goes, is apparently set to take place on Dec. 21, 2012.The myth might have originated with the Mayan calendar, but in the age of the Internet and social media, it proliferated online, raising questions and concerns among hundreds of people around the world who have turned to NASA for answers.Dwayne Brown, an agency spokesman, said NASA typically receives about 90 calls or emails per week containing questions from people. In recent weeks, he said, that number has skyrocketed — from 200 to 300 people are contacting NASA per day to ask about the end of the world.

    “Who’s the first agency you would call?” he said. “You’re going to call NASA.”

  • House set to vote on Boehner’s Plan B – A scheduled showdown vote Thursday evening in the U.S. House will determine how Congress and the White House proceed on fiscal cliff negotiations.With less than two weeks until the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts of the fiscal cliff take effect, the House will consider two measures proposed by Speaker John Boehner in the latest wrinkle of tense negotiations with President Barack Obama.One of the proposals would amount to both a concession by Republicans and a hard-line stance against the president on taxes. It would extend tax cuts scheduled to expire at the end of the year for most people while allowing rates to increase to 1990s levels on income over $1 million.A second proposal would change the automatic spending cuts set to kick in next year under the fiscal cliff, replacing cuts to the military with reductions elsewhere.

    The White House threatened Wednesday to veto Boehner’s tax plan, saying it would achieve little and diverted the focus from efforts to negotiate a broader agreement to reduce the nation’s chronic federal deficits and debt.

    While considered a negotiating tactic to pressure Obama to make more concessions, the vote also seeks to turn public opinion that now backs the president over Republicans in the talks.

  • Day By Day December 20, 2012 – As Good as it Gets – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day December 20, 2012 – As Good as it Gets #tcot
  • Here’s What to Watch in Debate on GOP’s Plan B – Welcome to the preview of the debate on the Plan B bill—or is that bills?— where the drama will unfold according to an unacknowledged script of party politics.One of the leading actors in the recitation, House Speaker John Boehner, was not even in the room when the Rules Committee debated well into Wednesday night, before voting to send to the floor the speaker’s fiscal cliff proposal that extends Bush-era rates on people who earn $1 million or less as well as on spending cuts, a late addition to the agenda and a retread of a bill the House passed earlier this year.The spending-cut measure, dubbed the “magical mystery bill” by Democratic Rep. James McGovern of Massachusetts, because it was not added to the agenda until late Wednesday, is evidence that the speaker did not have the support in his conference for Plan B alone. Spending cuts were needed to sweeten the deal for the restive members of the conference.”Of course, spending cuts were a very important part of this and we passed the reconciliation package last May, and there were members who were concerned that this didn’t have spending cuts in it and so that’s why the inclusion of this will allow that to happen,” Chairman David Dreier said in an interview.
  • As Election Sting Lingers, Republicans’ Recalibration Advances – An influential Republican operative lamented that Jindal cast light on something that had fallen out of the national dialogue, complaining that there’s no reason to remind the public of an issue that caused Republicans fits this past year. But Jindal, who is widely expected to consider a 2016 presidential bid, observed that the Democrats successfully painted the GOP as opposing the use of birth control. That misconception is something high-level Romney campaign aides Katie Gage and Rich Beeson have said was a tough one for them to refute during the election, noting that it hindered their candidate’s electoral prospects.In addition to losing support among women, Republicans lost the Latino vote by historic margins on Election Day. While officials on both sides of the aisle have cautioned that the Hispanic population doesn’t rise and fall based solely on the nation’s immigration policies, the optics of a legislative fight on the issue do hold significance.In March, the American Conservative Union will host its annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. And while the country’s largest gathering of conservatives typically boasts a speaker roster peppered with controversial firebrands, the ACU unveiled a lineup of young and diverse headliners for the 2013 confab.Among the speakers are Tim Scott, the 47-year-old African-American congressman from South Carolina who was appointed to the Senate this week; Ted Cruz, a 41-year-old Canadian-born Latino who was elected to the Senate from Texas last month; Marco Rubio, also 41 and a Cuban-American senator from Florida; and Susana Martinez, the 53-year-old Mexican-American governor of New Mexico. The 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, will also speak, as will Ron Paul, Jim DeMint and noted immigration reform champion Jeb Bush.
  • The Auto Bailout Failure Is Now Complete – You may recall that during the presidential election, the Treasury Department refused requests by General Motors to unload the government’s stake in the giant automaker.Taxpayers had sunk $50 billion into a union bailout in 2009 and were now proud owners of 26.5 percent of the struggling company. Reportedly, GM had growing concerns that the stigma of “Government Motors” was hurting sales in the United States. At the time, any transaction would have come at a steep loss to taxpayers and undermined the president’s questionable campaign assertions that the auto union rescue had been a huge success.Well, now that the election is over and the Treasury Department is freed of political considerations, it plans to sell its 500 million shares of stock over the next 12 to 15 months and ease its way out of the company. GM will buy around 200 million shares at $27.50 per share by the end of the year. GM’s buy brings taxpayers back to around $5.5 billion of the $27 billion the company still owes. The special inspector general for TARP estimated in October that the Treasury would need to sell the remaining 500 million shares at $53.98 per share just to break even on its investment.Once GM buys its 200 million shares, the taxpayer stake in the company will drop to 19 percent, but the price to break even on the remaining 300 million shares will be around $70 per — or, in other words, probably never. As of this writing, GM shares are trading at around $27 per share. That, in the Obama era, is considered a successful transaction between the state and private industry. So successful that you’ll also remember that during the campaign, Obama maintained that “what we did with the auto industry, we can do in manufacturing across America.”

    Taxpayer funds and unions for everyone.

  • Fiscal Cliff’s Dirty Secret: It’s Not About Taxes At All, But Too Much Spending – There’s a lot of talk right now about an impending fiscal cliff. But we already went over a cliff economically in this country a long time ago.The current debate over tax hikes is an empty one built upon a false premise. The debate is whether raising tax rates will address our current crisis. The premise is that it is a lack of taxation that has led to the crisis. Both are hopelessly wrong.President Obama’s proposed tax increases on the top 2% of earners would fund the federal government for about eight days. Even if we taxed Americans earning over $1 million on 100% of their income, we would raise only about $600 billion in revenue.Taxing citizens at this level is a tyranny even Europe hasn’t reached, and still it would only address about one-third of our deficit.

    If one actually does the math, “taxing the rich” turns out to be no real solution at all, only fantasyland rhetoric.

    Every dollar the government takes is another dollar used unproductively. Every dollar removed from the private sector and wasted in the hands of bureaucrats is a dollar that will not be used to purchase goods, to pay for services or to meet a payroll.

  • Examiner Editorial: Boehner’s Plan B is conservatives’ best hope | WashingtonExaminer.com – You are wrong, sir | RT @JohnCornyn Examiner: Plan B is conservatives best option
  • Mass. poll: Scott Brown for John Kerry’s seat – Kevin Robillard – POLITICO.com – Brown beats all Dems handily | RT RT @politico New Massachusetts poll: Scott Brown for John Kerry’s seat:
  • Here’s What to Watch in Debate on GOP’s Plan B – Hopefully failure RT @HotlineJosh RT @mikecatalini: What to watch for in today’s Plan B floor debate in the House
  • Examiner Editorial: Boehner’s Plan B is conservatives’ best hope | WashingtonExaminer.com – No way! RT @ByronYork RT @conncarroll: Examiner Editorial: Boehner’s Plan B is conservatives’ best hope #tcot
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-19 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-19
  • Is the Handwriting on the Wall for Rep. Buck McKeon? – Flap’s Blog – Is the Handwriting on the Wall for Rep. Buck McKeon? #tcot
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-19 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-19 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-19 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-19
  • Philip Klein: How to evaluate ‘fiscal cliff’ proposals | WashingtonExaminer.com – Philip Klein: How to evaluate ‘fiscal cliff’ proposals | #tcot
  • Philip Klein: How to evaluate ‘fiscal cliff’ proposals – After weeks of relative calm, America’s “fiscal cliff” drama has now been overtaken by a flurry of proposals, counterproposals and legislative maneuvering.As various ideas have been floated, they have triggered two main reactions among conservatives. One is to insist that if Republicans firmly stand their ground long enough, they will eventually get what they want from President Obama. Another is to side with House Speaker John Boehner and to act as if anybody who rejects any of his proposals is completely detached from reality.If Republicans refuse to back any deal that doesn’t preserve all of the Bush-era rates in hopes of protecting the GOP’s reputation as the low-tax party, they risk accomplishing the exact opposite. Americans would likely blame the GOP for taxes going up on everybody — as would happen automatically on Jan. 1 if no deal is struck. At that point, Obama could propose a massive tax cut for those making less than $250,000 per year, and it would be difficult for Republicans to resist. If they continued to do so, their reputation as tax cutters would be deeply damaged.
  • Obama Digital Team Say Mobile Ads Targeting Young, Females and Hispanics Worked – Obama Digital Team Say Mobile Ads Targeting Young, Females and Hispanics Worked #tcot
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: New Prophylatic Antibiotic Guidelines for Joint Replacements Issued by the American Dental Association – New Prophylatic Antibiotic Guidelines for Joint Replacements Issued by the American Dental Association
  • Judge Robert H. Bork – R.I.P. – Flap’s Blog – Judge Robert H. Bork – R.I.P. #tcot
  • The Morning Flap: December 19, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: December 19, 2012 #tcot
  • Day By Day December 18, 2012 – The Environmentalists – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day December 18, 2012 – The Environmentalists #tcot
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Time POTY Cover The Morning Flap: December 19, 2012

These are my links for December 18th through December 19th:

  • A Bad Budget Deal – Higher taxes now for notional reform later is worse than nothing – It’s clear by now that the budget talks are drifting in a drearily familiar Washington direction: Tax and spending increases now, in return for the promise of spending cuts and tax and entitlement reform later. This is a bad deal for everyone except the politicians who want more money to spend.Consider the tax increase now being touted as a sign of “compromise.” Speaker John Boehner has moved from opposing higher tax rates to offering higher rates for incomes above $1 million a year. While that’s better than the scheduled increase on incomes above $200,000 a year (for singles), it would still put the GOP on record as endorsing a tax increase, in particular on small businesses that file individual returns.President Obama has countered with a ceiling of $400,000. If they compromise at $500,000, we are all supposed to thank the two sides for their reasonableness. Yet both parties will have declared that raising tax rates is no big economic deal. This will hurt the economy, and it further advances Mr. Obama’s political goal of separating the middle class from the affluent on tax policy.

    What about tax reform next year? A final judgment on this prospect depends on the fine print, but it’s already looking grim. The GOP has prepared the ground for a genuine tax reform, on the Simpson-Bowles model, that lowers rates in return for fewer deductions. In what is shaping up as this budget deal’s prototype, tax reform looks like it means both higher rates and fewer deductions.

    This isn’t reform. It’s another tax increase next year disguised as reform. The Fortune 500 CEOs who are lobbying Republicans don’t mind because they hope to get a cut in the corporate tax rate. But small businesses will be stuck with a huge immediate tax increase, at least until their owners can scramble to reorganize as corporations instead of Subchapter S companies or LLCs.

  • How Do We Know an ‘Assault Weapon’ Ban Would Not Have Stopped Adam Lanza? Because It Didn’t – Although Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has prompted renewed calls for reinstating the federal “assault weapon” ban, we know for a fact that such a law would not have stopped Adam Lanza or made his attack less deadly, because it didn’t. The rifle he used, a .223-caliber Bushmaster M4 carbine, was legal under Connecticut’s “assault weapon” ban, which is similar to the federal law that expired in 2004. Both laws, in addition to listing specifically prohibited models, cover semiautomatic rifles that accept detachable magazines and have at least two out of five features: 1) a folding or telescoping stock, 2) a pistol grip, 3) a bayonet mount, 4) a grenade launcher, and 5) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor. The configuration of the rifle used by Lanza, which his mother legally purchased and possessed in Connecticut, evidently was not covered by that definition.
  • Democrats Dismiss Boehner’s “Plan B” on Budget – With one eye on the clock and the other on the White House, House Speaker John Boehner introduced a “fiscal cliff” backup plan Tuesday that would only address taxes — an apparent attempt to pressure President Obama into moving Boehner’s way in deficit-reduction negotiations.“Plan B” would permanently extend current tax rates on those with annual incomes below $1 million, a concession by Boehner from his earlier opposition to any rate increase. The speaker insisted he was not walking away from the negotiating table, but said he wants to move faster to ensure that most Americans’ taxes won’t rise starting Jan. 1.
  • Benghazi review slams State Department on security – The leaders of an independent panel that blamed systematic State Department management and leadership failures for gross security lapses in the deadly Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya will explain their findings to Congress on Wednesday.The two most senior members of the Accountability Review Board are set to testify behind closed doors before the House and Senate foreign affairs committees on the classified findings of their harshly critical report.An unclassified version released late Tuesday said serious bureaucratic mismanagement was responsible for the inadequate security at the mission in Benghazi where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed.

    “Systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place,” the panel said.

    Despite those deficiencies, the board determined that no individual officials ignored or violated their duties and recommended no disciplinary action. But it also said poor performance by senior managers should be grounds for disciplinary recommendations in the future.

    Wednesday’s classified testimony from the review board – retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering and a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen – will set the stage for open hearings the next day with Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, who is in charge of policy, and Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, who is in charge of management.

  • Inquiry Into Libya Attack Is Sharply Critical of State Department – An independent inquiry into the attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11 sharply criticized the State Department for a lack of seasoned security personnel and for relying on untested local militias to safeguard the compound, according to a report by the panel made public on Tuesday night.
  • 2012 Person of the Year: Barack Obama, the President | TIME.com – Why of course. He won decisively RT @TIME Barack Obama is TIME’s 2012 Person of the Year | #POY2012
  • Resolutions: So Irresistible, So Hard to Keep – WSJ.com – RT @WSJ More than half of the 45 million smokers in the U.S. tried to quit in 2010, but < 10% of them managed to stop.
  • Sleep’s Surprising Effects on Hunger – WSJ.com – RT @WSJ Study: sleep deprivation triggers hormonal changes that can lead to overeating, weight gain.
  • Obama to Announce Gun Task Force – President Barack Obama will on Wednesday announce the first step on gun control following the Newtown school shootings: an interagency task force, led by Vice President Joe Biden, charged with guiding the administration’s continuing response.The announcement will be the third time in five days Obama has addressed the massacre that killed 20 first-graders and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. And it will follow a call on Friday for “meaningful action” and his Sunday pledge to use the White House to “engage” Americans to prevent mass shootings.
  • Magazine Clips, Background Checks Lead Gun Talk – All of a sudden a dam broke, and it’s OK for members of Congress to talk about guns. The discussion is civil and calm for now, and everyone hopes that means sanity will prevail when it comes to new firearms policies.“I think elected officials are thinking about trying a little experiment. They might try to get the policy right in the hopes that the politics will take care of themselves,” said Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization run by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.In an incredibly divided Congress, it seems ridiculous to assume lawmakers would focus on policy before politics. (For Exhibit A of political gamesmanship, look at the back and forth on a fiscal-cliff deal on Tuesday.) But on guns, it turns out there is a lot of rational agreement among even gun enthusiasts about trying to protect innocent people from being killed by them.

    New rules being tossed around by lawmakers include banning high-capacity magazine clips, the kind that allow hundreds of rounds to be fired at a time, and tightening up background checks for gun purchases. Existing gun laws could also be enforced with greater regularity, such as compelling or enticing states to do a better job of reporting red flags like drug abuse or domestic violence to a national crime database.

  • New GOP polling firm goal: Catch up with Dems – The Republican polling community is about to get a shake-up.With the GOP still reeling from its defeats in the 2012 election, a new Republican polling firm is seeking to help the party bounce back with a fresh stream of data on the state of the electorate.The outfit, Harper Polling, launches this week with the goal of putting the party on parity with Democrats in the field of IVR polling – a term that stands for interactive voice response polling, commonly known as “robo-polling.”

    For several cycles now, Democrats have benefited from a high-volume, relatively inexpensive flow of survey data from the company Public Policy Polling, which takes hundreds of polls in any given cycle checking up on individual races and national issue debates. Some of those surveys are released to the public, while others are conducted for private purposes by Democratic campaigns and interest groups.

  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-18 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-18
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-18 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-18 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-18 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-18
  • Behind the Curtain: Grand old white male party gets diversity memo – Republicans are in full panic mode about being the party of old, white, straight, conservative men for years to come — and struggling big time with how to change things.Under pressure from party leaders, most Republicans have chucked the anti-gay marriage, anti-illegal immigrant hostility — at least in public — that defined the party the past three elections. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other prominent Republicans are privately warning conservatives to put a sock in it when it comes to arguments that turn off large swaths of voters, sources tell us. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is doing the same on the House side.
  • The Morning Flap: December 18, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: December 18, 2012 #tcot
  • Byron York: Anxiety rises as Americans face start of Obamacare | Mobile Washington Examiner – Anxiety rises as Americans face start of Obamacare #tcot
  • Log In – The New York Times – President Delivers a New Offer on the Fiscal Crisis to Boehner #tcot
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