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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: April 20, 2012

Obama and Keystone The Morning Flap: April 20, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline, on March 22, in Cushing, Oklahoma. Obama was pressing federal agencies to expedite the section of the Keystone XL pipeline between Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast.

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

  • Obama faces defeat on Keystone pipeline – While much of the political world obsesses over Twitter fights and Seamus the dog, Barack Obama has set himself up for a high-profile defeat on one of the most important issues of the campaign.

    The president has put his feet in cement in opposition to the Keystone oil pipeline. But on Capitol Hill, more and more Democrats are joining Republicans to force approval of the pipeline, whether Obama wants it or not.

    The latest action happened Wednesday, when the House passed a measure to move the pipeline forward. Before the vote, Obama issued a veto threat. The House approved the pipeline anyway — by a veto-proof majority, 293 to 127. Sixty-nine Democrats abandoned the president to vote with Republicans. That’s a lot of defections.

    When the House voted on the pipeline in July of last year, 47 Democrats broke with the president. Now that it’s an election year and the number is up to 69, look for Republicans to hold more pipeline votes before November. GOP leaders expect even more Democrats to join them.

  • Tommy Christopher: Don’t Say Obama Is Not Working, Or You Are a Racist – Ah, good old Tommy Christopher. Don’t criticize the black president, you damn racists!

    Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney rolled out a new accessory at a speech in Ohio today, delivering his remarks in front of a black banner that said “Obama Isn’t Working,” which is also the name of a website his campaign set up several months ago (in case you didn’t get the message from the banner, it was also on the front of Romney’s podium).

    The slogan is a multiple entendre, but one of those entendres, intentionally or not, is evocative of a nasty racial stereotype about black men.

  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 20, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 20, 2012 via @flap
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Montana Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer Calls Out Mitt Romney’s Mormon “Polygamy” Past – Montana Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer Calls Out Mitt Romney’s Mormon “Polygamy” Past
  • Brian Schweitzer: Mitt Romney’s ‘Family Came From a Polygamy Commune in Mexico’ – The Daily Beast – Some Civility: Democrat Montana Gov Brian Schweitzer: Mitt Romney’s ‘Family Came From a Polygamy Commune in Mexico’
  • Mitt Romney’s challenge: Convincing GOP he can win – An increasing number of Democrats are taking potshots at President Obama’s healthcare law ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn it.

    The public grievances have come from centrists and liberals and reflect rising anxiety ahead of November’s elections.

  • High Testosterone – Charlie Cook – NationalJournal.com – RT @nationaljournal: Cook: Romney’s Got Men in the Bag; Time to Focus on Women.
  • Democrats expressing buyers’ remorse on Obama’s healthcare law – An increasing number of Democrats are taking potshots at President Obama’s healthcare law ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn it.

    The public grievances have come from centrists and liberals and reflect rising anxiety ahead of November’s elections.

  • Matthew Tully: Daniels has a few suggestions | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com – RT @chucktodd: Mitch Daniels critiques Romney for not talking enough about folks who haven’t yet “achieved.” // #of …
  • RNC looks to Facebook for political edge – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @PoliticalTicker: RNC looks to Facebook for political edge
  • Romney’s Father Came from “Polygamy Commune” – Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) told the Daily Beast that Mittt Romney would have a “tall order to position Hispanics to vote for him” even though his father was born in Mexico.

    Schweitzer admitted that it is “kinda ironic given that his family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico, but then he’d have to talk about his family coming from a polygamy commune in Mexico, given the gender discrepancy.”

    Schweitzer noted that women are “not great fans of polygamy, 86 percent were not great fans of polygamy. I am not alleging by any stretch that Romney is a polygamist and approves of [the] polygamy lifestyle, but his father was born into [a] polygamy commune in Mexico.”

  • Mickey Kaus: No Romney Immigration Pivot Needed – Thank You! – No Pivot Needed: Mitt Romney has taken a harder line on illegal immigration than expected, which has led many commentators to declare that the primaries have hurt his chances by drawing him too far in that direction (costing him support among Latino voters, especially). Yet today’s Quinnipiac poll finds Romney favored over Obama on the issue of … immigration (by a margin of 43% to 39%, about the same lead that Romney has on “the economy”). He’s ahead by fifteen points on the immigration issue among independents. … So why is a “pivot” on immigration needed, again? … What good is Hispandering if it wins Romney New Mexico but costs him Ohio? …
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Announces Republican Assembly Endorsements » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk Announces Republican Assembly Endorsements via @flap
  • California Lottery “Lady Luck” Ad Under Fire from Legislative Women’s Caucus » Flap’s California Blog – California Lottery via @flap
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » California Fair Political Practices Commission Chairwoman Ann Ravel Calls for Blogger Political Disclosure – California Fair Political Practices Commission Chairwoman Ann Ravel Calls for Blogger Political Disclosure
  • The 2012–13 California Budget: Unwinding Redevelopment – On February 1, 2012, all redevelopment agencies in California were dissolved and the process for unwinding their financial affairs began. Given the scope of these agencies’ funds, assets, and financial obligations, the unwinding process will take time. Prior to their dissolution, redevelopment agencies (RDAs) received over $5 billion in property tax revenues annually and had tens of billions of dollars of outstanding bonds, contracts, and loans.

    This report reviews the history of RDAs, the events that led to their dissolution, and the process communities are using to resolve their financial obligations. Over time, as these obligations are paid off, schools and other local agencies will receive the property tax revenues formerly distributed to RDAs.

    The report discusses these major findings:

    Although ending redevelopment was not the Legislature’s objective, the state had few practical alternatives.
    Ending redevelopment changes the distribution of property tax revenues among local agencies, but not the amount of tax revenues raised.
    Decisions about redevelopment replacement programs merit careful review.
    The decentralized process for unwinding redevelopment promotes a needed local debate over the use of the property tax.
    Key state and local choices will drive the state fiscal effect.
    The report recommends the Legislature amend the redevelopment dissolution legislation to address timing issues, clarify the treatment of pass–through payments, and address key concerns of redevelopment bond investors.

  • California Recovery: No, It Is Not East vs. West – There are two reasonable measures of recovery, jobs and real estate values. You can forget the real estate values measure. Values throughout California are down from pre-recession highs. They are down a lot. Only San Francisco and Marin counties, with median home prices down 27.7 percent and 32.3 percent, respectively, have seen net median home price declines of less than 40 percent. Monterey and Madera counties top the state in median home price declines, in excess of 67 percent.

    So let’s use jobs. An area has recovered if it has as many jobs today as it had at the beginning of the recession, December 2008.

    We monitor 37 California MSAs. Combined they represent about 96 percent of California’s population. By jobs, only one of California’s larger MSAs has recovered, and that county does not fit the story. Not only is Kings County not on the ocean, it doesn’t even border or have a naturally occurring year-round piece of water. Kings County, with 37,700 jobs, has about 900 more jobs than it had at the beginning of the recession. Still, Kings County’s unemployment rate is 17 percent. Some recovery!

  • Power of Direct Mail to Qualify Initiatives Highlighted in Brown’s Desperate Move – Jerry Brown’s decision to mail petitions in support of his tax Increase ballot measure, discussed by George Skelton in a recent column, was made out of fear or desperation. Fear that the street gathered signatures would fall short of those needed, or desperation because they know there will otherwise be a shortfall.

    For Brown the last minute decision to go with a compromise initiative prohibited a choice on the use of direct mail. However, foolishly for most ballot measure proponents, fear or desperation is now the moving factor in virtually all use of large-scale ballot qualification petition mailings.

    Even when time permits, ballot measure proponents rarely even test mailed petitions. Why? Because it is just so bloody easy to place one call to any of several very capable companies that handle every aspect of paid signature qualification. For the consultants, no muss, no fuss, virtually no work and probably the same fees will be realized. And it is an easy sell to the measure’s proponents, as the initial cost of paid signature gathering is often lower. Paid signatures are the conventional, accepted way to go…no need to think or act outside the box.

    But the hidden price paid is very dear indeed!

    My former partners Arnold Forde and Stu Mollrich and I started using mailed petitions as a first option, and were the first to entirely qualify ballot measures by mail. The reason we did so was simply because it so much better served our client’s interests.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Periodontal Disease Causing Heart Disease: Not Worth Stressing Out About It – Periodontal Disease Causing Heart Disease: Not Worth Stressing Out About It
  • Police: Woman arrested for biting during parking spot fight in San Francisco – San Jose Mercury News – Not More Dog Stuff – no, wait…Police: Woman arrested for biting during parking spot fight in San Francisco
  • Christie Would Help Romney the Most – Abs. Correct RT @politicalwire: New poll finds the running mate who would help Mitt Romney the most is Chris Christie
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Video: Civility in the Wisconsin Recall of Scott Walker? Uh No… – Video: Civility in the Wisconsin Recall of Scott Walker? Uh No…
  • Penis picture, gay sex descriptions among sexual harassment allegations against NC Democrat – A bombshell letter from the former North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) communications staffer to now-former NCDP Executive Director Jay Parmley detailing the allegations of sexual harassment has surfaced.

    In the letter, dated Dec. 8, 2011 — which local news outlet WRAL first published with redactions of alleged victim Adriadn Ortega’s name — Ortega alleges that Parmley “frequently gave me unwanted shoulder rubs despite my verbal objections” and that Parmley “often solicited my opinion on his clothes.”

    “He would point both hands to his crotch area and ask me how his crotch looked in those pants that day,” Ortega wrote, adding that Parmley “would frequently pretend to punch my crotch and make a popping noise with his mouth.”

    “On July 28, 2011, the executive director discussed, in detail, his sexual activities from the past when he was living in South Carolina,” Ortega then said. “In addition, he discussed in detail his sexual activities from when he moved to North Carolina, where he solicited sex from gay websites such as [REDACTED].”

    The next day — on July 29, 2011 — Ortega alleged that Parmley “showed me a picture of a penis.”

  • Cantor: GOP will expand majority – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Thursday he is confident that Republicans will not just hold but will expand their majority in the lower chamber in November.

    “I’m very bullish on the House,” Cantor said at an event in downtown Washington. “I am very confident that we will strengthen our majority.”

    The second-ranking House Republican said he believes the GOP will be on offense in 30 to 40 districts with the goal of adding to its 242 House seats. His comments stand in contrast to those of many political analysts, who project that Democrats will gain seats in November but fall short of wresting back control of the House.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012: The Coming Conservative Landslide? – President 2012: The Coming Conservative Landslide?
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 19, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 19, 2012
  • Marco Rubio Says He Would Turn Down VP Slot If Asked – Sen. Marco Rubio said today he would decline any offer from Mitt Romney to be a part of the GOP ticket this fall.

    “I don’t want to be the vice president,” the Florida Republican said during an interview with Major Garrett of the National Journal.

    “So, if Mitt Romney asks, you will you say no?” Garrett asked.

    “Yes. But you know he’s not going to ask. That doesn’t work. He’s watching this interview right now,” Rubio, 40, responded.

    Rubio even went as far as suggesting another U.S. Senator for Romney to consider in his VP vetting – Ohio Senator Rob Portman.

    “The bigger point is we’ve got a lot of really talented people out there that Mitt Romney can get to pick from. And I think a lot, Senator Rob Portman would be a phenomenal choice for vice president, that’s where I would encourage him to look because I’m enjoying my service in the senate.”

    Rubio’s name is often floated in the top tier list of potential vice presidential candidates, but the Florida senator has not been shy about his disinterest in the position. Rubio instead says he wants to focus on advancing policy in the senate, joking that if he were running as vice president, he’d have to answer a lot of questions about dogs, a topic which has consumed both parties in the past week.

  • Obama and Romney campaigns go to dogs with canine cracks – NYPOST.com – Ha Ha Bam Bites Dog RT @jamestaranto: The Sean Delonas cartoon is sublime.
  • Rubio: Arizona Immigration Law is Not Model for Nation – Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday that he did not view Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration as a “model,’’ distancing himself from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has embraced the legislation.

    The Cuban-American senator, who spoke at The University of Phoenix/National Journal’s Next America’ forum in Washington, D.C., is viewed as a top name on Romney’s vice presidential shortlist.

    Rubio said he understood why frustration with illegal immigration led Arizona to pass a law allowing local police to demand proof of citizenship. He also disagreed with the Obama administration’s contention that the law is unconstitutional. But he added, “I do not believe (laws like the one in Arizona) should be a model for the country.’’

    As a Senate candidate in 2010, Rubio vacillated on the Arizona law. He initially expressed some concerns but later said he would have voted for it.

    Rubio’s reservations about the law come at a time when polls show the Republican Party facing a yawning deficit of support among Hispanic voters. Both national parties have launched national campaigns to reach out to the Hispanic community, the fastest growing part of the electorate and the key to victory in a number of swing states.

    Democrats have been zealously attacking Republican opposition to the DREAM Act, potentially popular legislation that would grant citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants who go to college or enroll in the military. In recent weeks, Rubio has started countering the criticism by proposing an alternative that would allow these children to obtain legal status but not citizenship.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: April 19, 2012 – The Morning Drill: April 19, 2012
  • Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/19/4425366/calderon-family-looks-to-extend.html#mi_rss=State%20Politics) – Calderon family looks to extend legacy in California Legislature #catcot
  • Rasmussen Consumer Index – Rasmussen Reports™ – RT @RasmussenPoll: 13% Rate U.S. #Economy As Good or Excellent…
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Day By Day April 19, 2012 – What is it Good For? – Day By Day April 19, 2012 – What is it Good For?
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: April 20, 2012

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share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for April 20th on 14:10

These are my links for April 20th from 14:10 to 14:20:

  • MLB Commissioner Bud Selig confirms appointment of Dodgers trustee, investigation into club finances – MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced Wednesday that his office will assume control of the Dodgers' operations. Owner Frank McCourt needed a personal loan from Fox in order to meet the Dodgers' payroll last week.

    The official statement from Commissioner Bud Selig:

    "Pursuant to my authority as Commissioner, I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club.  I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the Club, its great fans and all of Major League Baseball. My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt's ownership.  I will announce the name of my representative in the next several days. The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future."

    =====

    Put a fork in Frank McCourt – he is done.

  • University of Iowa Professor Tells College Republicans to “F” Off – A University of Iowa professor felt the need to reply to a blast email by the College Republicans on Monday morning. Ellen Lewin, a professor of Anthropology and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies in the Department of Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies, sent a vulgar response to a College Republican email about the group’s, “Conservative Coming Out Week.”

    The College Republican email, which was sent to the entire University of Iowa Community, had been approved by a number of university officials before being sent out.

    Lewin responded to email by writing, “#*@% [F-Word] YOU, REPUBLICANS” from her official university email account.

    Natalie Ginty, a University of Iowa Student and Chairwoman of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans, demanded an apology from Lewin’s supervisors. “We understand that as a faculty member she has the right to express her political opinion, but by leaving her credentials at the bottom of the email she was representing the University of Iowa, not herself alone,” Ginty wrote to James Enloe, the head of the Department of Anthropology.

    “Vile responses like Ellen’s need to end. Demonizing the other party through name-calling only further entrenches feelings of disdain for the other side. I am sure you understand that nothing is ever accomplished by aimless screams of attack,” Ginty concluded.

    =======

    And, then she later tried to apologize as the leftists usually do.

    Pretty standard here.

  • Liberals attack Paul Ryan because his father died young, resulting in survivor benefits – But the Daily Kos blog is now using his father's early death against Ryan. A Daily Kos diary attacks Ryan in a post entitled, “Entitlement-hating Paul Ryan collected Social Security benefits until he was 18.” Never mind that Ryan’s recent budget proposal doesn’t in fact seek to abolish entitlements, much less get rid of Social Security. It merely seeks to cut the rate of growth of exploding Medicare costs by eventually giving its recipients vouchers they can use to shop around for medical care.

    Not all Daily Kos diaries reflect the views of Daily Kos as a whole, but this one does, since it was briefly featured on the top of the front page of Daily Kos, and is still listed as a “recommended” blog post in the sidebar on the right side of Daily Kos's main page. More than 183 Daily Kos readers have commented in response to it – virtually all in agreement with its hateful sentiments.

    Even if Ryan’s recent proposal cut Social Security, rather than just reforming a different program – Medicare — there would be nothing hypocritical about his wanting to rein in the costs of an increasingly costly program simply because he received modest benefits under that program as a child, when financial decisions were presumably made for him by his parent or guardian (people who had themselves paid into that very program with their tax dollars). Social security payments have risen faster than inflation since Ryan was a child, and have increased radically as a percentage of our economy.

    Liberal bloggers frequently smear conservatives and libertarians as hypocrites for seeking to collect social security and other benefits. For example, Ayn Rand was attacked by the liberal blog Balloon Juice as being a “welfare queen” for receiving Medicare benefits even though she had contributed lots of tax money in her lifetime through income and self-employment taxes she paid based on her best-selling books.

    ======

    Paul Ryan has proposed reforming MEDICARE.

    Guess those leftists at Daily Kos cannot read so well.

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share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for April 18th on 18:41

These are my links for April 18th from 18:41 to 18:49:

  • Speaker John Boehner asks Dem Nancy Pelosi to join him in cutting funds from the DoJ to defend DOMA – Speaker John Boehner asked House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's for her support to cut funds for the Department of Justice and use them to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

    In a letter sent to Pelosi (D-Calif.) Monday, Boehner (R-Ohio) wrote that the funds Justice would have used to protect the law should be used by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to protect the act.

    "The burden of defending DOMA, and the resulting costs associated with any litigation that would have otherwise been born by DoJ, has fallen to the House," Boehner wrote. "Obviously, DoJ’s decision results in DoJ no longer needing the funds it would have otherwise expended defending the constitutionality of DOMA. It is my intent that those funds be diverted to the House for reimbursement of any costs incurred by and associated with the House, and not DoJ, defending DOMA."

    The speaker also argued the funds Justice would have used to defend DOMA should be used by BLAG so that taxpayers aren't burdened with the additional expenses.

    =====

    Yeah and pigs fly.

    By the way, Nancy Pelosi represents most of San Francisco where a large gay population resides.

  • Illinois-based Amazon affiliates go dark because of Amazon Internet Sales Tax – JEREMY HOBSON: Today is the day thousands of retailers in Illinois had been dreading. That's because they'll lose their affiliation with online retailers like Amazon and Overstock.com, thanks to a new state sales tax for online purchases.

    But as Tony Arnold reports from Chicago Public Radio, Amazon and others have already found a way around the tax.

    TONY ARNOLD: Brad Wilson runs the aptly named BradsDeals.com — a coupon web site based in downtown Chicago.

    BRAD WILSON: Ultimately, Amazon and Overstock hold the trump card in this situation.

    Wilson says after today — Amazon will boycott business with BradsDeals — and roughly 9,000 other retailers in Illinois to skirt the tax. Illinois residents can still go online and get the latest best seller from Amazon, they just won't be getting that book from any Amazon affiliate in Illinois.

    WILSON: We're looking at a lot of options that I wouldn't want to have ever had to think of, unfortunately.

    Wilson says he's considering picking up shop and relocating to another state to make up for the money he'll lose. He wouldn't say how much.

    One Amazon affiliate — FatWallet.com — has already moved its headquarters from Illinois to Wisconsin which doesn't have the online tax. Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

    Meantime, Overstock.com's president Jonathan Johnson confirmed his company plans to cut off Illinois affiliates on May 1st. Others like Zappos and Shoes.com are planning a similar move.

    =====

    Just like they will do in California if the California Democrats have their way with imposing a California based Amazon Tax.

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for April 18th on 18:41

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share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for April 18th on 13:43

These are my links for April 18th from 13:43 to 13:47:

  • Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement will defend DOMA – Speaker John Boehner announced that former Bush administration Solicitor General Paul Clement will defend the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives, in the wake of the Justice Department's decision to no longer defend the law.

    "At last we have a legal eagle on this case who actually wants to win in court! Paul Clement is a genuinely distinguished lawyer, a former solicitor general of the United States, who we are confident will win this case. Thanks to Speaker Boehner's actions, President Obama's attempt to sabotage the legal defense of DOMA is not going to work," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, in a release.

    ======

    See President Obama's pattern?

    Fight like mad for legislation and when you lose either ignore the law with signing statements or refuse to defend it when the Left challenges it on court.

    How Undemocratic, right?

  • Arthur B. Laffer: The 30-Cent Tax Premium – WSJ.com – There is a lot more to taxes than simply paying the bill. Taxpayers must spend significantly more than $1 in order to provide $1 of income-tax revenue to the federal government.

    To start with, individuals and businesses must pay the government the $1 in revenue plus the costs of their own time spent filing and complying with the tax code; plus the tax collection costs of the IRS; plus the tax compliance outlays that individuals and businesses pay to help them file their taxes.

    In a study published last week by the Laffer Center, my colleagues Wayne Winegarden, John Childs and I estimate that these costs alone are a staggering $431 billion annually. This is a cost markup of 30 cents on every dollar paid in taxes. And this is not even a complete accounting of the costs of tax complexity.

    Like taxes themselves, tax-compliance costs change people's behavior. Taxpayers, whether individuals or businesses, respond to taxes and tax-compliance costs by changing the composition of their income, the location of their income, the timing of their income, and the volume of their income. So long as the cost of changing one's income is lower than the taxes saved, the taxpayer will engage in these types of tax-avoidance activities.

    A complete accounting of compliance costs would also include the efficiency losses created when individuals and businesses invest in tax-avoidance activities that lower their tax liability at the expense of creating more jobs and economic growth. These lost opportunities are impossible to measure but could be the largest cost of all.

    =====

    Read it all

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for April 18th on 13:43

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