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share save 120 16 The Obesity Paradox: Weigh More and Live Longer

Weighing in The Obesity Paradox: Weigh More and Live Longer

The health blogosphere is awash with the new study that says overweight people may indeed live longer.

But, wait.

The counterintuitive findings that people who are overweight live longer, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, couldn’t have been more perfectly timed, coming as it has right when people are resolving to be healthier — which involves, for many, losing weight.

In many places where this story has been picked up, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time, the implication seems to be that the push to get people down to a “healthy” weight has been overblown.

But that being overweight is associated with increased lifespan isn’t new. It’s called the “obesity paradox,” and studies documenting it have lead to widespread speculation about the potential “protective benefits” of excess body fat.

For some health advocates, the implication is downright offensive. Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health, for example, lost his cool this morning on NPR, declaring, “This study is really a pile of rubbish and no one should waste their time reading it.”

But the study’s author, Katherine Flegal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mounted a solid defense: “It’s statistically significant.” Those three words carry weight — if an association has been found to be significant, it tells us that if nothing else, we need to acknowledge that the results are in some way legitimate and warrant our attention.

The findings are without doubt interesting, which on its own makes the study worth reading. The problem is that despite the grandness of the meta-analysis — it takes into account over 3 million people! — it still has an extremely limited scope. It looks at BMI, and only BMI, in relation to death, regardless of cause. It’s impossible to report on its baseline conclusion without taking into account substantial caveats.

Just remember your weight is only one metric to your overall health.

It is very important, and do not think you can slack because of this study. But, do keep the context in mind.

share save 120 16 The Obesity Paradox: Weigh More and Live Longer
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: November 26, 2012

Shelley Moore Capito The Morning Flap: November 26, 2012

West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito

These are my links for November 21st through November 26th:

  • Democrats Unlikely to Regain House in 2014- “In midterm election years since World War II, the president’s party has lost an average of 26 seats in the House … The president’s party gained seats only twice, in 1998 and 2002. … [W]hat we observe in the data … is a ‘reverse coattails’ effect. When a party wins the presidency by a large margin, it usually benefits from voters who are mainly interested in the presidential election itself, and then vote for the same party in races down the ballot. These types of voters may not show up to vote in midterm years. Thus, the more a party benefits from presidential coattails in the presidential election year, the more it stands to lose two years later. … Midterm losses for the president’s party have been somewhat more modest in recent years than during the middle part of the 20th century. This potentially reflects the fact that more Congressional districts have strongly partisan makeups now, leaving fewer seats in play. As 2010 demonstrated, however, no firewall is all that robust in the event of a wave election year.”That Mr. Obama won the presidency by a relatively narrow margin this year and that Democrats do not control the House would argue against a wave election … This year, there were only 11 House seats that Democrats lost by five or fewer percentage points. Thus, even if they had performed five points better across the board, they would still have come up … short of controlling the chamber. In other words, Democrats would have to perform quite a bit better in House races in 2014 than they did in 2012 to win control of the chamber … And … Democrats … have become increasingly reliant upon voters, like Hispanics and those under the age of 30, who do not turn out reliably in midterm election years. Democrats have a broader coalition than Republicans do in high-turnout environments, so perhaps this will benefit them in 2016. But these are not the voters you would want to depend upon to make gains in midterm election years, when turnout is much lower. “
  • How Hillary Clinton’s choices predict her future- On a recent Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walked with her husband onto a stage at the New York Sheraton to cheers and whoops and a standing ovation that only got louder as she tried to quiet things down.It was a friendly crowd — the annual meeting of her husband’s foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative — and people may have been eager to hear her speech about using U.S. aid to target investment barriers such as old land tenure laws. But really, they were there to see her.“She’s just looked so sad and so tired,” said Ritu Sharma, a women’s rights activist, referring to Clinton’s appearances in the days after the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.They wanted to defend her, to rave about her, to say how sick they were of people talking about her hair, and then to talk about her hair, which, several men and women offered, definitely looked best in a simple chignon.

    Mostly, though, people wondered what the woman walking across the stage — now smiling as a soaring, presidential-sounding score began playing — would choose to do next. Maybe now, in her final months in office, she would provide a clue.

  • Democratic super PACs get jump on 2014, 2016- Winning changes everything.It took Democrats a while to warm up to super PACs, but their glee over 2012 is — for now — eclipsing any moral qualms about big money eroding democracy, and they’re already busy at work courting their wealthiest supporters and planning even more ambitious efforts for future elections.Shortly after Election Day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and top White House aides spoke at a three-day secret meeting of major Democratic donors and officials from liberal outside groups gearing up for 2014, POLITICO has learned.Among the groups represented: Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that is vowing to remain a player in Democratic politics, even though President Barack Obama won’t run for office again; American Bridge 21st Century, the oppo shop that helped sink Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s GOP Senate bid; the Pelosi-backed House Majority PAC; the secret-money organizing nonprofit America Votes; and the pro-choice group EMILY’s List.
  • Obama faces huge challenge in setting up health insurance exchanges- The Obama administration faces major logistical and financial challenges in creating health insurance exchanges for states that have declined to set up their own systems.The exchanges were designed as the centerpiece of President Obama’s signature law, and are intended to make buying health insurance comparable to booking a flight or finding a compatible partner on Match.com.Sixteen states — most of them governed by Republicans — have said they will not set up their own systems, forcing the federal government to come up with one instead.Another five states said they want a federal-state partnership, while four others are considering partnerships.

    It’s a situation no one anticipated when the Affordable Care Act was written. The law assumed states would create and operate their own exchanges, and set aside billions in grants for that purpose.

  • ObamaCare Faces the Implementation Iceberg- Defenders of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, can be forgiven for some post-election triumphalism. But their joy is likely to be short lived. Because the law put off implementation of most key provisions until after the 2012 election, voters cast their ballots on November 6 without knowing what Obamacare’s true effect will be on their tax bills, insurance costs, or access to care.Delaying implementation until 2014 helped the president win re-election, but now the bill is coming due. The administration can’t forestall Obamacare’s massive regulatory impact any longer, and the result will keep Congress and the media occupied for months and years to come.
  • How the Implementation of Obamacare Will Make the GOP a Majority Party- As we get closer to the day when Obamacare moves from threat to reality, it seems probable that the resulting catastrophe for tens of thousands of businesses, as well as the massive increase in premiums for many families, will propel Republicans to majority status in 2014.How many businesses will be forced to close shop? How many will cut back on the number of employees to stay in business? How many will refuse to expand, unable to handle the increased costs?How many jobs will Obamacare cost?
  • House elections 2014: Democrats face uphill slog- Nancy Pelosi decided to take one more crack at winning back the House, but a big obstacle stands between the Democratic leader and the speaker’s gavel in 2014: the six-year itch.Pelosi’s party will be swimming against the riptide of history. The party controlling the White House during a president’s sixth year in office has lost seats in every midterm election but one since 1918, when Woodrow Wilson occupied the Oval Office. And the setbacks typically aren’t small: The average loss in these elections was 30 seats. The exception was 1998, when a soaring economy and Republicans’ focus on President Bill Clinton’s affair helped Democrats buck the trend and pick up a handful of seats.
  • West Virginia Sen: GOP’s Capito Plans 2014 Rockefeller Challenge- West Virginia Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito will announce Monday morning that she is running in 2014 for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Jay Rockefeller.Capito has long considered a run for the Senate, and passed on the most recent opportunity following the death of long-time Senator Robert Byrd. She’s expected to say, among other things, that the timing is now right for her run.The announcement sets up a potential race between two West Virginia political heavyweights.Rockefeller, 75, is serving his fifth term in the Senate. Prior to that he served two terms as Governor. In Washington, he has championed issues affecting children and families.

    Rockefeller has indicated that he plans to run for re-election in 2014, but there continues to be speculation that he may retire at the end of this term.

  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-25 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-25
  • GetGlue – Your app for TV, Movies, and Sports – I unlocked the Homeland: Two Hats sticker on #GetGlue!
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-24 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-24
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-24 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-24 #tcot
  • Medscape: Medscape Access – High Obesity, Caries Documented in Homeless Children #tcot
  • Rahm Emanuel: How to rebuild America – The Democratic Agenda- Too much post-election analysis has focused on voter demographics and campaign mechanics, leaving Democrats in danger of drawing the wrong lessons from our electoral success.Demographics alone are not destiny. There is nothing in this year’s election returns that guarantees Democrats a permanent majority in the years to come. President Obama and the Democratic Party earned the support of key groups — young people, single women, Latinos, African Americans, auto workers in the Rust Belt and millions of other middle-class Americans — because of our ideas.But we cannot expect Republicans to cede the economic argument so readily, or to fall so far short on campaign mechanics, the next time around.So, instead of resting on false assurances of underlying demographic advantages, the Democratic Party must follow through on our No. 1 priority, which the president set when he took office and reemphasized throughout this campaign: It is time to come home and rebuild America.
  • High Obesity, Caries Documented in Homeless Children- Homeless children have higher rates of caries and obesity than children in the general population, a new study shows.The study, published online November 13 in the Journal of Pediatric Healthcare, showed that rates of caries among children living in shelters for the homeless increased with body mass index (BMI), but this correlation did not reach statistical significance ( P = .08).The researchers speculated that similar dietary factors might contribute to both caries and obesity. “Poor kids don’t have access to nutritious foods,” Marguerite DiMarco, PhD, RN, CPNP, told Medscape Medical News.DiMarco said she had spent decades working with very poor children. “Some families don’t even have a refrigerator to keep milk,” she said. “Some families might not even have running water.”
  • Medical marijuana for a child with leukemia | OregonLive.com – Medical marijuana for a child with leukemia While Parents Live Off of Her Disability Income and Food Stamps #tcot
  • Medical marijuana for a child with leukemia While Parents Live Off of Her Disability Income and Food Stamps- Mykayla Comstock’s family says marijuana helps her fight an especially aggressive form of leukemia, keeps infection at bay and lifts her weary spirit. Twice a day she swallows a potent capsule form of the drug. Some days, when she can’t sleep or eat, she snacks on a gingersnap or brownie baked with marijuana-laced butter.Mykayla is one of 2,201 cancer patients authorized by the state of Oregon to use medical marijuana.She is 7.
  • Larry Hagman | 1931-2012 – latimes.com – RT @latimes: From “Jeannie” to “Dallas”: A Larry Hagman photo gallery
  • The Great Society’s Next Frontier – RT @ByronYork Liberals outline post-Obamacare wish list for welfare state expansion. It’s huge. Read this:
  • Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – 9 miles finished – - ready for the Las Vegas Half Marathon next week. (@ Ronnie’s Diner) [pic]:
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-23 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-23
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-23 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-23 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-23 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-23
  • Actor Larry Hagman, notorious and beloved as ‘Dallas’ villain J.R. Ewing, dies- Larry Hagman, the North Texas native who played the conniving and mischievous J.R. Ewing on the TV show Dallas, died Friday at a Dallas hospital. He was 81.Mr. Hagman died at 4:20 p.m. Friday at Medical City Dallas Hospital from complications of his recent battle with cancer, members of his family said.“Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most,” the family said in a statement. “Larry’s family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for. The family requests privacy at this time.”The iconic role of J.R. Ewing metamorphosed Mr. Hagman’s life. He rocketed from being a merely well-known TV actor on I Dream of Jeannie and the son of Broadway legend Mary Martin, to the kind of transnational fame known only by the likes of the Beatles and Muhammad Ali.
  • Twitter / WSJ: College dropouts btw. 25 and … – RT @WSJ: College dropouts btw. 25 and 34 earn on average $32,900. College grads, $45,000.
  • The Cost of Dropping Out – WSJ.com – RT @WSJ: College dropouts btw. 25 and 34 earn on average $32,900. College grads, $45,000.
  • Saxby Chambliss takes aim at Grover Norquist- Sen. Saxby Chambliss took aim at Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist on Wednesday, telling a local television station he’s not worried about a potential primary challenge if he votes to raise taxes.“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” said Chambliss, who signed Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” when he first ran for Senate. “If we do it his way, then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”
  • Gallup Poll: Americans Continue to Adjust Their Ideal Weight Upward – Americans, on average, say their ideal weight is 162 pounds, continuing a trend of increasing estimates of ideal weight since Gallup first asked about it in 1990. The trend in Americans’ self-reported actual weight — now averaging 176 pounds — has shown a similar increase over time.
  • Restaurant Industry Already Preparing for Obamacare Consequences- Will the restaurant business survive a second Obama term? Can it? Since the president’s reelection earlier this month, four large restaurant chains, Papa Johns, Applebee’s, Denny’s and Darden Restaurants (the company that owns the Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and LongHorn Steakhouse chains) have all recently released statements about their companies’ plans to respond to the increased costs of complying with Obamacare regulations. According to the healthcare law, every full-time employee must be provided with comprehensive medical coverage if the company employs more than 50 full-time workers. If a company refuses to comply, they will be faced with fines of $2,000 per year, per employee, as of January 1, 2014.The announcements from companies grappling with the increased costs of Obamacare have, expectedly, been met with disbelief and consternation by the left, still seemingly unaware of basic economics. Appearing on Fox News Business early last week, Applebee’s CEO Zane Tankel explained the steps his business would have to take in order to stay in operation:The costs of fines or healthcare for dozens of employees per restaurant have the potential to bankrupt individually owned chains across the country. The Applebee’s in New York City would face fines of $600,000 per year if insurance isn’t provided for full-time staff, and estimates for offering federally approved insurance would cost “some millions” across the Applebee’s system. Both scenarios, according to Tankel, “[would] roll back expansion, roll back hiring more people. In the best case scenario [it] would only shrink the labor force minimally.” The restaurant industry, already operating with razor thin margins, doesn’t have the ability to absorb tens of thousands more in healthcare expenditures without a considerable increase in sales. It’s a basic realty of economics: more has to be coming in than going out.The only solution for restaurants that want to stay open and maintain competitive pricing would be to cut employee hours to part-time status. This is the conclusion already reached by several large chains–companies that provide jobs to tens of thousands of working class Americans.
  • Fake Dentist Preyed on Immigrants, Kissed Patient’s Buttocks- A man accused of sexual battery has been charged for practicing dentistry without a license.Wednesday morning, Davie Police issued a search warrant and arrested the alleged unlicensed dentist, 47-year-old John Collazos, at a warehouse located at 5071 S State Road 7. Police said the Collazos owned and operated a dental supply company out of the warehouse and also performed dental services in the back of the warehouse.Carlos Mier works nearby. “Six months ago, this gentleman opened a dental shop, and I started seeing people come in,” he said. “He always was wearing his mask, and his scrub, like a dental scrub.”According to police, Collazos preyed on undocumented immigrants, and when one woman went to him to have some dental work done he allegedly made kissed her buttocks. Davie Police Captain Dale Engle said, “Back in July, we had a female come forward, hesitantly, but she was concerned about her immigration status, but she was was referred to this individual through an acquaintance. When she came on one of the visits, he made some sexually overt comments and ultimately touched her inappropriately, so she did finally come forward.”
  • Marco Rubio and the Age of the Earth- Those believers whose sensibilities Rubio was presumably trying to avoid offending would do well to meditate on the words of Saint Augustine, who like most of the greatest minds of historic Christianity insisted that biblical interpretation take place in the light of reason as well as faith:Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of the world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics, and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn … If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren …It is not Marco Rubio’s task in life to solve this problem. But it is a problem, in our age even more than in Augustine’s, and his answer didn’t help.
  • Waiting for the GOP’s Populist Turn- Dozens of explanations are circulating for why Mitt Romney and a number of Republican Senate candidates lost in the 2012 election.The Republican Party is supposedly too white, too male, and too old. It purportedly does not reach out to minorities, women, and the young. Romney cared more about job creators rather than employees. The Republicans gratuitously picked social fights on abortion and homosexuality that needlessly alienated women, gays, and the young who otherwise might have supported its more important fiscal and national security agendas.It apparently did not get out the white working class vote that wished not just to oppose Obama, but also to rally behind a likeable and personable conservative alternative of like nature. With half of the country on some sort of assistance, 47 million now on food stamps, and with disability insurance morphing into a de facto extension of unemployment insurance, too many voters are invested in the welfare state to vote against its purveyors.
  • The Illegal Immigration Amnesty Delusion- The amnesty signed into law by the charismatic and popular President Reagan did not bring Hispanic voters into the Republican party; Republican congressional leaders who believe that sending one to President Obama would redound to their benefit are engaged in a defective political calculus. Nor are Hispanics the only group of voters to consider. Blue-collar whites do not appear to have turned out for Republicans in the usual numbers last week. Support for amnesty will not bring them back. If the policy advanced the national interest, that consideration might not matter. It does when supposed political advantage is the argument for the policy.The Republican party and the conservative movement simply are not constituted for ethnic pandering, and certainly will not out-pander the party of amnesty and affirmative action. Republicans’ challenge is to convince Hispanics, blacks, women, gays, etc., that the policies of the Obama administration are inimical to their interests as Americans, not as members of any collegium of grievance. That they have consistently failed to do so suggests that Republican leadership is at least as much in need of reform as our immigration code.
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-22 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-22
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-22 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-22 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-22 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-22
  • Colin replies to Dr. Howard Farran on DentalTown RE: Dr. Michael Gibbons, Scottsdale, AZ – YouTube – Colin replies to Dr. Howard Farran on DentalTown RE: Dr. Michael Gibbons, Scottsdale, AZ – YouTube #tcot
  • Colin replies to Dr. Howard Farran on DentalTown RE: Dr. Michael Gibbons, Scottsdale, AZ – YouTube – I liked a @YouTube video from @creceveur Colin replies to Dr. Howard Farran on DentalTown RE: Dr. Michael
  • Happy Thanksgiving 2012 – Flap’s California Blog – Happy Thanksgiving 2012
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-21 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-21
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-21 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-21 #tcot
  • No Reversal in Decline of Marriage | Pew Social & Demographic Trends – No Reversal in Decline of Marriage | Pew Social & Demographic Trends #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-21 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-21
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: November 26, 2012
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: August 20, 2012

 The Morning Flap: August 20, 2012

These are my links for August 16th through August 20th:

share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: August 20, 2012
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share save 120 16 Nanny State: NYC Bans BIG Soda

NYC Bans Big Soda Nanny State: NYC Bans BIG SodaHow stupid is this NANNY STATE intervention of banning big soda (sugary drinks) by New York City?

New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.

The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.

The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’ ” Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview on Wednesday in the Governor’s Room at City Hall.

“New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something,” he said. “I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”

A spokesman for the New York City Beverage Association, an arm of the soda industry’s national trade group, criticized the city’s proposal on Wednesday. The industry has clashed repeatedly with the city’s health department, saying it has unfairly singled out soda; industry groups have bought subway advertisements promoting their cause.

“The New York City health department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top,” the industry spokesman, Stefan Friedman, said. “It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity. These zealous proposals just distract from the hard work that needs to be done on this front.”

Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal requires the approval of the Board of Health, a step that is considered likely because the members are all appointed by him, and the board’s chairman is the city’s health commissioner, who joined the mayor in supporting the measure on Wednesday.

Here is who is affected:

Bloomberg Soda Limits Nanny State: NYC Bans BIG Soda

Does anyone really think this loss of liberty will contribute ANYTHING to the nationwide obesity problem?

This is an example of symbolism over substance in the extreme and is just plain stupid.

share save 120 16 Nanny State: NYC Bans BIG Soda
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: March 8, 2012

Romney and Santorum3 The Morning Flap: March 8, 2012

These are my links for March 7th through March 8th:

  • New poll shows Rick Santorum leading in Alabama GOP primary – A new poll released on the eve of Rick Santorum’s first campaign visit to Alabama shows the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania leading in the state Republican Party presidential primary.

    The statewide poll conducted by Alabama State University’s Center for Leadership and Public Policy showed 22.7 percent of likely Republican voters supported Santorum, who is scheduled to make campaign appearances Thursday in Huntsville and Mobile.

    Former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney trailed Santorum with 18.7 percent, followed by Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House from neighboring Georgia, with 13.8 percent.

  • Armed Forces Chairman Levin wants Limbaugh dropped from military radio – The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Wednesday that he would “love” to see controversial conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh dropped from the Armed Forces Network.

    Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) called Limbaugh’s show “offensive” and told CNN he has been “delighted” to see advertisers drop the program in the wake of outrage over Limbaugh calling a Georgetown University law student a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Sandra Fluke, the student, had testified for House Democrats in favor of the White House’s contraception coverage mandate.

  • Rubio ‘not concerned’ about long GOP primary, says no one should be told to drop out – Many Republicans are worried about the presidential primary dragging on for weeks or more, a battle that has already inflicted wounds. Not Sen. Marco Rubio.

    “We’re all impatient. We all want to know who the nominee is so we can get to work,” he said in an interview with the Buzz. “So certainly, yeah, the sooner the better. But I’m not concerned. This is the process and the process will work its way through. What I think is very important for Republicans is not to talk ourselves into this idea that somehow because we’re having a longer primary than we’ve had in past years that we’re somehow doomed to failure in November. We are going to have a nominee whether it’s next week, next month of three months from now. At that point, the election will be reframed. It will no longer be about the super PACs, or supporting Santorum vs. Romney or Gingrich or Paul. The election will become a choice between two very different people, between two very different views of America. And the election will become about the president’s record.”

    Do you think it’s time for Newt Gingrich to drop out?

    “I don’t think anybody should be told to drop out. I think people should run until they feel that either they don’t want to continue or they don’t see a path to victory. I’ve never been a believer in asking people to drop out of a race because I had a bunch of people ask me to drop out of a race.”

  • Gingrich’s future hangs on successful Southern state strategy – Republican insiders believe Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign is on its last legs and say the former House Speaker could leave the race after Tuesday’s primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.

    But they also said the famously unpredictable Gingrich could confound expectations and continue on, despite pleas from some conservatives to step aside and give Rick Santorum a head-to-head matchup with Mitt Romney.

  • Dementia To Cost $200 Billion in 2012, Report Finds – Thursday, March 8, 2012
  • Hispanic Vote Not The Game Changer You Might Think It Is – Thursday, March 8, 2012 – If your family hails from Latin America and you live in a battleground state, brace yourself: politicians have finally woken up to the importance of your vote. President Obama’s re-election, pundits say, may depend on an outpouring of support from the barrios of the West and Southwest.

    Yet attracting Hispanic votes may require more investment, in more places, than either party anticipates. For all the hype about the Hispanic vote in 2012, the aftershocks of the recession may have created a logistical barrier in many states for voter registration.

    New numbers suggest that previous predictions of between 11 and 12 million Hispanic citizens voting in 2012 might be overly optimistic, said Antonio Gonzalez, president of the William C. Velasquez Institute and the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. Barring a major investment in registration, turnout, or both, that’s about 10.5 million votes cast.

  • Larry Sabato: Six Days on the Road to Tampa – WSJ.com – Unlike many presidential races in recent history, there probably won’t be a “eureka” moment for this GOP nomination. But there are six decisive days that will be worth watching on the road to the Republican nominating convention in Tampa. Three favor Mitt Romney and three favor his opponents.

    • March 13: Primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, caucuses in Hawaii—Mr. Romney not favored.

    In the initial nine weeks of primaries, Mr. Romney has shown a political equivalent of Wall Street’s dead-cat bounce: Victories in one week guarantee no momentum in the next. It may be about to happen again. While Mr. Romney may win moderate Hawaii, losses probably loom for him in Alabama and Mississippi.

  • Closing Tehran’s Sanctions Loopholes
  • The Chinese Military’s Great Leap Forward – China’s announcement of a more than 11 percent increase in declared military spending – following two full decades of double-digit increases – raises several uncomfortable questions for Asia and the West. It is natural for a rising power like China to develop capabilities to defend its expanding array of interests. On the other hand, China’s ascent has been made possible by a benign security environment that well served China’s goal of “peaceful development.” China’s growing military capabilities now threaten to upset that order in ways that, ironically, could complicate China’s security environment at the same time as slowing economic growth intensifies its internal challenges.
  • Republicans fear rough primary could cost them the House and the Senate – Republicans are worried the long, drawn-out presidential primary could cost them the House and the Senate.

    For months, Republicans had been bullish about their prospects for widening their margin in the House and picking off Democratic senators. But some are now questioning whether they could be done in if Mitt Romney limps out of the primary a severely weakened nominee.

  • Poll: Slim majority support Jerry Brown’s tax plan – Even though most Californians think the budget remains a big problem, just a slim majority of likely voters say they support Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax initiative for the November ballot, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California.

    Using the Democratic governor’s ballot title and summary for the first time, the poll found 52 percent of likely voters support temporarily raising the state sales tax and income tax on high-wage earners while 40 percent oppose doing so. Another 8 percent said they are undecided. That’s a drop from past surveys,which found majority support for his plan to temporarily raise taxes. PPIC found Brown’s proposal had 68 percent support in January, before the ballot language was finished.

  • Rush Limbaugh’s insincere critics—Michael Kinsley – Consumers who are avoiding products by Limbaugh’s advertisers are engaged in what’s known in labor law as a secondary boycott. This means boycotting a company you have no grievance with, except that it does business with someone you do have a grievance with.

    Secondary boycotts are generally frowned upon, or in some cases (not this one) actually illegal, on the grounds that enough is enough. There’s sense to that outside the labor context, too. Do we want conservatives organizing boycotts of advertisers on MSNBC, or either side boycotting companies that do business with other companies who advertise on Limbaugh’s show, or Rachel Maddow’s?

    As we all know, Limbaugh’s First Amendment rights aren’t involved here — freedom of speech means freedom from interference by the government. But the spirit of the First Amendment, which is that suppressing speech is bad, still applies. If you don’t care for something Rush Limbaugh has said, say why and say it better. If you’re on the side of truth, you have a natural advantage.

    And if you’re taking on Rush Limbaugh, you’re probably on the side of truth.

  • AD-38: Are Nuclear Weapons Buying a California Assembly Seat for Patricia McKeon? » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Are Nuclear Weapons Buying a California Assembly Seat for Patricia McKeon?
  • News from The Associated Press – RT @AP: How does the new iPad compare to the older model? Here’s a look: -EF
  • Does Saliva Quality Play an Important Role in Meth Mouth? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Does Saliva Quality Play an Important Role in Meth Mouth?
  • More Than 15% Obese in Nearly All U.S. Metro Areas – Adult obesity rates were higher than 15% in all but three of the 190 metropolitan areas that Gallup and Healthways surveyed in 2011. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, residents were the most likely to be obese, at 38.8%, while people living in Boulder, Colo., were the least likely, at 12.1%.
  • CA-Sen: Ex- California POL Chuck DeVore Cannot Let Go | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – RE:  Chuck, your comment was held in moderation because of the link you posted, which is the same as the original pie…
  • Video: No Love Lost Between California Governor Jerry Brown and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom? » Flap’s California Blog – Video: No Love Lost Between California Governor Jerry Brown and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom?
  • Pingree Will Not Make Senate Bid – Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) said she won’t run for the U.S. Senate, a decision that could boost the independent Senate bid of former Gov. Angus King (I), the Portland Press Herald reports.

    Said Pingree: “This isn’t the right time for me to run for the U.S. Senate.”

    “Pingree’s decision was not unexpected. After King said Monday night that he would run as an independent, Pingree acknowledged that she shared widely discussed concerns that she and King might divide the Democratic base, thus paving the way for victory by a Republican contender.”

  • 43% Say New Candidate Should Enter GOP Race; Most Republicans Disagree – Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney may be winning the Republican presidential race, although he appears to be making himself a little less popular in the process. A plurality of voters think it would be better for the GOP if a new candidate jumped in the race, but most Republicans don’t agree.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters now hold at least a somewhat favorable opinion of Romney, but that includes just nine percent (9%) with a Very Favorable view of him. Forty-nine percent (49%) regard Romney at least somewhat unfavorably, with 23% who share a Very Unfavorable opinion.

  • CA-Sen: Ex- California POL Chuck DeVore Cannot Let Go | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @MarkStandriff Hope you enjoy this: Running LA on the 18th
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: March 7, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: March 7, 2012
  • California State Senator Sharon Runner Released from the Hospital » Flap’s California Blog – California State Senator Sharon Runner Released from the Hospital
  • The Morning Flap: March 7, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: March 7, 2012
  • U.S. Job Creation Declines in February – Hiring Down and Firing Up | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – U.S. Job Creation Declines in February – Hiring Down and Firing Up
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: March 7, 2012 – The Morning Drill: March 7, 2012
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