Posts Tagged “Pentagon”
Sequestration from Wall Street Journal
These are my news headlines for February 21st through February 22nd:
- With Axelrod At NBC News, The Marriage Of Media And Politics Becomes Complete – What’s more, Team Obama has declared it has no intention of dismantling its campaign apparatus post re-election. Put Axelrod in the catbird seat at a news outlet and the “narrative” continues. Combine that with Team Obama’s masterful manipulation of journalists, its command of social media, and an ugly picture emerges of a press indistinguishable from the political establishment.This has happened in banana republics, but never in a Western democracy. Already it’s making old-school journalists who value news gathering over politics, such as the New York Times’ Roger Cohen, ABC’s Ann Compton and the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, uncomfortable. The one thing that will stop it is a press that won’t cooperate. So where is that press?
- Budget hawks question Pentagon’s doomsday scenarios – But perhaps the biggest example of the Washington Monument maneuver is coming from the Defense Department, where it goes by another name. Over many decades of defense budget battles, the Pentagon has often used a tactic known as a “gold watch.” It means to answer a budget cut proposal by selecting for elimination a program so important and valued — a gold watch — that Pentagon chiefs know political leaders will restore funding rather than go through with the cut.So now, with sequestration approaching, the Pentagon has announced that the possibility of budget cuts has forced the Navy to delay deployment of the carrier USS Harry S. Truman to the Persian Gulf. With tensions with Iran as high as they’ve ever been, that would leave the U.S. with just one carrier, instead of the preferred two, in that deeply troubled region.
- What Unites Obama’s Coalition — and What Could Divide It – Overall, the survey put Obama’s approval rating at 51 percent — almost exactly replicating his share of the vote last November. For all of his key groups, his approval ratings today remain close to his vote shares against Republican Mitt Romney. The survey put his approval among African-Americans at 91 percent (compared to his vote of 93 percent in November), among Hispanics at 68 percent (compared to 71 percent in November), college-educated white women at 48 percent (compared to 46 percent), and adults ages 18 to 29 at 57 percent (compared to 60 percent). Considering that several percent of those in each group described themselves as undecided on Obama’s performance, those numbers suggest almost no change from his support in the election.
- Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? – Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? #tcot
- Noonan: Government by Freakout – The president’s sequester strategy is like Howard Beale in “Network”: “Woe is us. . . . And woe is us! We’re in a lot of trouble!”It is always cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes with Barack Obama. It is always government by freakout.
That’s what’s happening now with the daily sequester warnings. Seven hundred thousand children will be dropped from Head Start. Six hundred thousand women and children will be dropped from aid programs. Meat won’t be inspected. Seven thousand TSA workers will be laid off, customs workers too, and air traffic controllers. Lines at airports will be impossible. The Navy will slow down the building of an aircraft carrier. Troop readiness will be disrupted, weapons programs slowed or stalled, civilian contractors stiffed, uniformed first responders cut back. Our nuclear deterrent will be indefinitely suspended. Ha, made that one up, but give them time.Mr. Obama has finally hit on his own version of national unity: Everyone get scared together.
- Is President Obama overplaying sequestration hand? – President Barack Obama’s greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn’t the Republican leadership in Congress — it’s his confidence in his own ability to force a win.He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn’t open a line of communication with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell until Thursday, a week before the spending ax hits. And when they did finally hear from Obama, the calls were perfunctory, with no request to step up negotiations or invitations to the White House.
- Why Obama and Rove Should Sit Down and Keep Quiet
- Fewer Americans Getting Health Insurance From Employer – Fewer Americans reported having employer-based health insurance in 2012 than did in 2008, 2009, and 2010, but at 44.5% it is unchanged from 2011. At the same time, more Americans continue to report having a government-based health plan — Medicare, Medicaid, or military or veterans’ benefits — with the 25.6% who did so in 2012 up from 23.4% in 2008.
- H.R. 6684: Spending Reduction Act of 2012 – Legislative Digest – GOP.gov – RT @robertcostaNRO Text: the GOP’s sequester replacement, which was passed in Dec. 2012
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 #tcot
- Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid » The Right Scoop – – RT @trscoop: Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid
- A Tax By Another Name – Writing in the New York Times yesterday, Yuval Levin made the case for means-testing Social Security and Medicare. As you’d expect from Yuval the case is well made and elegantly thought-through. It’s also, if I may respectfully say so, misguided. Partly as a consequence of the refusal to make consumption take its fair share of the tax load, the US already taxes income on a pretty progressive basis (even more so, I suspect, if, just for the sake of argument, you excluded the very richest from the equation—highly taxed wage income generally makes up a lower percentage of their total take). Means-testing these two programs would only tighten the screws still further.
- Capitol Alert: Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move – Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move
- Charles Krauthammer: Immigration — the lesser of two evils – The president suggested he would hold off introducing his own immigration bill as long as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace — until his own immigration bill mysteriously leaked precisely as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace.A naked political maneuver and a blunt warning to Republicans: Finish that immigration deal in Congress, or I’ll propose something I know you can’t accept — and flog the issue mercilessly next year to win back the House.
- The 60th vote: Republican Richard Shelby to vote for cloture on Hagel; Update: Deb Fischer too? « Hot Air – Looks like Chuck Hagel is the next Sec Defense. Let the sequestration begin:
- 6 Questions for the Immigration Reformers – From border security to H1-B visas, much needs to be answered in the looming immigration debate.
- Obama reaches out to Boehner, McConnell as sequester cuts loom – The Hill – Obama symbolism over substance: #tcot
- DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider – DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider #tcot
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case – Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse? – Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse?
- Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United – Flap’s Blog – Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United #tcot
- ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ – ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ #tcot
- The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors – NYTimes.com – The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors #tcot
- Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years – Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years #tcot
- Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery – latimes.com – Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery #tcot
- Harry Reid says he’ll run for re-election in 2016; won’t comment on Sandoval as opponent – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the capital press corps at the Nevada Legislature Wednesday night that he will seek re-election in 2016.The news conference came after he gave a speech to state lawmakers, like Reid does every legislative session.When asked if he would run for re-election, Reid said, “Sure, why not?”
When asked if he thought Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval would run against him, Reid said, “Oh, I don’t know.”
When asked if he could beat Sandoval, Reid said, “Hey, I don’t get involved in fights I don’t have to.”
When reminded that he was a boxer in his youth, Reid replied, “But I’m not stupid.”
- 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw:
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Ann Romney, former Poland President Lech Walesa and Mitt Romney
These are my links for July 27th through July 30th:
- A Trip to Poland, With an Eye on Swing States– Mitt Romney’s arrival in Poland on Monday provides an opportunity for the Republican candidate to embrace the ideals and values of one of America’s closest allies in front of a global audience.His campaign hopes they are watching in the Rust Belt.Mr. Romney arrived in Gdansk for the start of two days of talks with Polish leaders, to be capped off by remarks from Warsaw on Tuesday. Aides have signaled that he will focus on the relationship between the two countries and strategic concerns about Russia.But at home — where votes count — the trip’s imagery may be more important than the specifics of Mr. Romney’s policy pronouncements.
Polish voters make up large chunks of the electorate in several swing states that Mr. Romney must win if he wants to capture the White House in November. His campaign is clearly hoping that the high-profile visit this week will help woo those voters.
- Walesa Endorses Romney– Lech Walesa today endorsed Mitt Romney for president, saying he hoped the Republican presidential candidate is “successful.”From the pool report:Flash: Lech Walesa, the Nobel Prize winner and former Polish president, has effectively endorsed RomneyYour pool was brought in at the end of the meeting and heard Walesa say the below thru a translator:
Walesa: “I wish you to be successful because this success is needed to the United States, of course, but to Europe and the rest of the world, too. Gov Romney, get your success — be successful!”
- Flap’s California Morning Collection: July 30, 2012 – Flapsblog.org – Flap’s California Morning Collection: July 30, 2012
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: July 30, 2012 – The Morning Drill: July 30, 2012
- Poll Watch: Presidential To Do List – Jobs and Government Corruption – Poll Watch: Presidential To Do List – Jobs and Government Corruption
- Day By Day July 30, 2012 – Normal – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day July 30, 2012 – Normal
- Cheney: Obama Worse Than Carter – One of Our Weakest Presidents – Cheney: Obama Worse Than Carter – One of Our Weakest Presidents
- Obama Canceled Bin Laden Raid Three Times at Urging of Valerie Jarrett – Obama Canceled Bin Laden Raid Three Times at Urging of Valerie Jarrett
- 2012 Campaign Very Different Than Kerry vs. Bush– Does the 2012 campaign look a lot like the 2004 campaign? Many Democrats think so.And there are some resemblances. As in 2004, current polling suggests a close race and shows only about a dozen states in contention.As in 2004, the incumbent has been running negative ads against the challenger, hoping to disqualify him as Bill Clinton disqualified Bob Dole in 1996. Many Democrats think that Barack Obama’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s business career will have the same effect that they think the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads had on John Kerry in 2004.But, as William Galston of the Brookings Institution, an alumnus of the Clinton White House, writes in The New Republic, “the evidence in favor of all these propositions is remarkably thin.”
Galston points out that in 2004 no single issue was as prominent as the economy is this year and that on most significant issues George W. Bush had a clear edge by the end of the campaign. He cites polling evidence that the Swift Boat ads hurt Kerry less than did Bush ads replaying his March statement that “I did actually vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”
Also, he points out that many more voters this year think the nation is seriously off on the wrong track and that the economy is in trouble. Obama’s job rating now is weaker than Bush’s was then.
Galston, as usual, is on target. His analysis tracks with the statement of Democratic pollster Peter Hart (for whom I worked from 1974 to 1981) that Obama’s chances are “no better than 50 percent.”
- GOP 12: VIDEO: McCain hammers Cheney for Palin comments – RT @CPHeinze Wow — McCain pulls out the torture card on Dick Cheney after being asked about his Palin comments.
- U.S. crackdown on online-poker companies forces many players to flee the country– From his oceanfront balcony, Tyler Forrester glanced out at the Pacific surf on the beach. Palm trees rustled in the breeze.“Tough life I’m living,” Forrester said, cackling at his own humor.Forrester, 28, makes his living in a bedroom before two computer monitors playing online games of Texas Hold ’Em for hours on end. He’s a professional poker player, and a very successful one at that.Forrester, who grew up in Dillon, Mont., is one of probably 150 American professional online-poker players who flooded Costa Rica after U.S. federal prosecutors went after the founders of the three largest online-poker companies.
- Paul Ryan’s Influence on the G.O.P. – ne day in March, 2009, two months after the Inauguration of President Obama, Representative Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, sat behind a small table in a cramped meeting space in his Capitol Hill office. Hunched forward in his chair, he rattled off well-rehearsed critiques of the new President’s policies and America’s lurch toward a “European” style of government. Ryan’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all died before their sixtieth birthdays, so Ryan, who is now forty-two, could be forgiven if he seemed like a man in a hurry. Tall and wiry, with a puff of wavy dark hair, he is nearly as well known in Washington for his punishing early-morning workouts as he is for his mastery of the federal budget. Asked to explain his opposition to Obama’s newly released budget, he replied, “I don’t have that much time.”
- Cheney: Obama worse than Carter, ‘one of our weakest presidents’– Former Vice President Dick Cheney, in his first interview since a heart transplant operation in March, blasted President Obama calling him “one of our weakest presidents.”“Obviously, I’m not a big fan of President Obama,” said Cheney in an excerpt from an interview with ABC News aired Monday on “Good Morning America.” “I think he’s been one of our weakest presidents. I fundamentally disagree with him philosophically, be hard put to find any Democratic president I disagree with more.”Asked by ABC’s Jonathan Karl if Obama was “worse than Jimmy Carter in your perspective,” Cheney responded “yes.”
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-30 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-30
- Bill Clinton to Have Marquee Role at Democratic Convention– Former President Bill Clinton is set to play a central part in the Democratic convention, aides said, and will formally place President Obama’s name into nomination by delivering a prime-time speech designed to present a forceful economic argument for why Mr. Obama deserves to win a second term.The prominent role of Mr. Clinton, which is scheduled to be announced on Monday, signals an effort by the Obama campaign to pull out all the stops to rally Democrats when they gather for their party’s national convention in Charlotte, N.C. An even more important audience will be the voters across the country who will see the address carried by television networks
- Voters say Romney, Obama equal on issues of character– Mitt Romney holds thin advantages over President Obama on leadership, personal values and honesty, according to a new poll for The Hill.The poll, conducted for The Hill by Pulse Opinion Research, suggests voters see little difference between the candidates on character issues that Democrats have cited as key to Obama’s appeal.It found 48 percent of voters consider Romney the stronger leader, compared to 44 percent who favored Obama.
- Americans Want Next President to Prioritize Jobs, Corruption – Creating good jobs, reducing corruption in the federal government, and reducing the federal budget deficit score highest when Americans rate 12 issues as priorities for the next president to address. Americans assign much less importance to increasing taxes on wealthy Americans and dealing with environmental concerns.
- Capitol Alert: California Democratic Party endorses Jerry Brown tax initiative – Capitol Alert: California Democratic Party endorses Jerry Brown tax initiative
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-30 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-30
- Capitol Alert: California Democratic Party endorses Jerry Brown tax initiative – Capitol Alert: California Democratic Party endorses Jerry Brown tax initiative
- Capitol Alert: California Democratic Party endorses Jerry Brown tax initiative – Capitol Alert: California Democratic Party endorses Jerry Brown tax initiative
- Capitol Alert: California Democratic Party endorses Jerry Brown tax initiative – As if these taxes will do anything RT @CapitolAlert: California Democratic Party endorses Jerry Brown tax initiative
- Cheney: Choosing Sarah Palin as Vice President Nominee Was a Mistake – Cheney: Choosing Sarah Palin as Vice President Nominee Was a Mistake
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-29 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-29
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-29 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-29
- Sports / Muhammed Ali at the 2012 London Olympics – Muhammed Ali at the 2012 London Olympics
- Sports / Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte shows off his American flag grills and gold medal after winning the Men’s 400m Individual Medley for the U.S. at the London 2012 Olympics Aquatic Center. – Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte shows off his American flag grills and gold medal after winning th
- Sports / My Great Aunt Babe and the Javelin at 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. She wins the Gold Medal – My Great Aunt Babe and the Javelin at 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. She wins the Gold Medal
- Sports / A photo of my Great Aunt Babe during the 1932 Olympics. She won gold in the javelin. – A photo of my Great Aunt Babe during the 1932 Olympics. She won gold in the javelin.
- Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – foursquare – 10 miles finished and now we eat! (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-28 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-28
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-28 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-28
- Romney screwed up in London. Does it matter?– What’s undeniable: former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s trip to London did not go as planned. Let’s review:* He called security problems for the Olympics “disconcerting.” The gaffe led to jabs from Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson. Romney, who has promised a “No Apologies” approach to the world, was forced to repeatedly backtrack.* He talked about his meeting with the leader of MI6, Britain’s secret intelligence service. Such meetings are normally kept secret.* Anonymous officials snarked to the Daily Mail that Romney was a “total car crash,” “worse than Sarah Palin,” and “apparently devoid of charm, warmth, humour or sincerity.”
* The trip spawned a trending Twitter topic: #romneyshambles.
What’s less clear: whether anyone (outside of the “small island” of England) cares.
“We’re not worried about overseas headlines. We’re worried about voters back here at home in America,” Louisisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said Thursday in Romney’s defense. He makes a good point.
- Destinations / 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in London before night fall… – 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in London before night fall…
- Political Cartoons / Eat more beef? – Eat more beef?
- Team Romney Readies For “Saturday Obama Surprise”– After a disastrous 48-hour news cycle in London, the Romney campaign “wants the world to know” that they are prepared for a “Saturday Obama Surprise,” of unknown specifications.”We want to communicate to the world that we are ready for whatever they throw at us,” a Romney adviser told BuzzFeed unsolicited. “After poor economic numbers today, we are preparing for them to throw out absurdities, distractions, and anything else they can to divert from the economy.”When asked why Romney’s camp expected a sneak attack from the Obama campaign, the advisor said their guard was up because of “how they’ve conducted themselves in the past.”So far, the campaign’s preparations have entailed assembling an army of surrogates to fill the message void while Romney is out of the country, unable to attack Obama himself because “politics end at the water’s edge.”
- The Opening Hypocrisies – However, especially in turbulent and chaotic times, when nations are choosing whether to pursue freedom or religious zealotry, civil war or reconciliation and respect for human rights or inhumanity, I wish we’d stop perpetrating the idea that all you have to do to be part of the “international community” is to show up. No, to be part of the “global community” and to encourage “common humanity and universal ideals” countries must foster liberty, abhor violence, practice tolerance and defend human rights. We shouldn’t blur the distinction between those who uphold those values and those who threaten them.
- Untitled (http://atdhenet.tv/45736/watch-olympics-2012-opening-ceremony) – Watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies here: and no it is not NBC – sheesh
- AD-48: Independent Mike Meza Endorses Republican Joe Gardner – AD-48: Independent Mike Meza Endorses Republican Joe Gardner
- Strip Clubs in Tampa Are Ready to Cash In on G.O.P. Convention – NYTimes.com – Strip Clubs in Tampa Are Ready to Cash In on G.O.P. Convention
- Strip Clubs in Tampa Are Ready to Cash In on G.O.P. Convention– Over at the back door of the 2001 Odyssey, a limo-size tent with flaps — especially designed for discretion and camera-shy guests — is ready to go up. Déjà Vu is welcoming extra “talent” from around the country in its V.I.P. rooms.And Thee DollHouse is all Americana: women plan to slip out of red, white and blue corsets and offer red, white and blue vodka. The headliner that week is expected to bear an uncanny resemblance to a certain ex-governor from a wilderness state, known for her strong jaw and devotion to guns and God.“She’s a dead ringer for her,” said Warren Colazzo, co-owner of Thee DollHouse. “It’s just a really good gimmick to get publicity.”As Tampa gears up for the Republican National Convention, the biggest party it has ever held, the city and its businesses are primping and polishing for the August arrival of tens of thousands of visitors. Like it or not — mostly not, for city officials — Tampa’s well-known strip clubs have joined the welcome wagon.
- PETA: Let’s bet on Chuck Grassley’s death– Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley is chewing out the Agriculture Department for promoting “Meatless Mondays” for their employees, promising to eat more meat to make up the difference — a move PETA says it will counter by taking “informal bets” on when the Republican senator will die.“Shame USDA. One has to wonder whether the Dept of Ag supports Iowa farmers since it is promoting ‘meatless Monday’ for USDA employees,” Grassley said Wednesday night on Twitter. “I will eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation abt a meatless Monday.”
- Preisdent 2012 Poll Watch: Romney Leading Obama by 5 Points Nationally – President 2012 Poll Watch: Romney Leading Obama by 5 Points Nationally
- The Morning Flap: July 27, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: July 27, 2012
- Log In – The New York Times – Once a Rebel, McCain Now Walks the Party Line
- Marco Rubio to raise cash for Mitt Romney in Texas– Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will head to Texas next month to raise cash for Mitt Romney.Rubio, a rising Republican star, and Romney’s brother, Scott, will headline two fundraising events for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee on Aug. 15 in San Antonio, according to an invitation obtained by POLITICO.On behalf of the Romney Victory Fund, the two will host receptions at the Marriott Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio. Guests can get a photo with Rubio and Scott Romney for $5,000 per person. The general reception costs $250 per person.Later that night, Rubio and Scott Romney will be on hand at a $25,000-per-couple dinner at the San Antonio home of Nancy and Edward Steves, who previously backed the failed presidential campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
The fundraising trip will come two-and-a-half weeks after Rubio stumps for Romney this weekend at the senator’s former elementary school in Las Vegas.
Saturday’s visit to Ronnow Elementary School, where Rubio attended as a child, represents the first solo campaign event for the vice presidential prospect. In recent days, close Rubio allies — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Romney adviser Al Cardenas — have urged the presidential hopeful to tap the freshman senator for the No. 2 job.
But most pundits believe Romney will go with a safer pick, such as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty or Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.
- Mitt Romney Namedrops Marco Rubio On Piers Morgan, Fueling Veep Speculation– Mitt Romney randomly mentioned Sen. Marco Rubio during a Piers Morgan interview, reigniting speculation that the Florida Republican will be the former Massachusetts governor’s running mate.n an advance clip posted on CNN from an interview airing Thursday night, Romney mentioned Rubio while discussing folks who “attack success.” The pushbacks against supposed attacks on achievement has been Romney’s answer to President Barack Obama and his surrogates’ attempts at labeling him as “out of touch” with middle-class America.In addressing the attacks, Romney, with wife Ann in tow, said, “I heard Marco Rubio the other day. He said, you know, we were poor living in Miami. We saw these homes across town. My parents never said to us, ‘Gee, why don’t those people gives us some of what they have?’
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“They said, instead, ‘Aren’t we lucky to live in a country where with education and hard work we might be able to achieve that ourselves?'”
Speculation around Romney’s veep pick is heating up with the Republican National Covention in Tampa, Fla., just over a month away, when the presumptive nominee will be take up the party’s standard.
- Once a Rebel, McCain Now Walks the Party Line– As Election Day edges close and most members of Congress yearn to flee Washington, Senator John McCain of Arizona is more present than ever.Only there is a new iteration of the Republican lawmaker and defeated presidential candidate who has been a constant in the capital even as he regularly transforms himself. Absent is the maverick who bucked his party on the environment and campaign finance, and verbally towel-snapped Republicans and Democrats alike on the Senate floor.Gone, too, is the far-right leaning Mr. McCain of 2010, who found himself in a primary fight back home that caused him to retreat from his stances on immigration and global warming.Mr. McCain instead appears to have entered Version 3 of his long and multipronged Senate career — partisan warrior and party stalwart. He takes to the Sunday TV talk shows, the Senate floor and the Capitol hallways that are filled with more reporters than mosquitoes at a garden party to press his party’s agenda on taxes, military spending and national security.
- Pentagon official says civilian workforce could get layoff notices 4 days before election– Tens of thousands of civilian employees in the Defense Department could receive warnings about potential layoffs four days before the November election if impending spending cuts aren’t averted, hitting presidential battleground states such as Virginia and Florida hard.The alerts would come in addition to any that major defense contractors might send out at the same time to their workers under an often-overlooked law, a prospect that is unnerving the White House roughly three months before voters go to the polls.
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: July 27, 2012 – The Morning Drill: July 27, 2012
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Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, flanked by his wife Karen, right, and daughter Elizabeth, addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012
These are my links for February 9th through February 13th:
- Congressman wants Afghanistan study group – Citing an Army lieutenant colonel’s claims that there is no progress being made in Afghanistan, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., is urging Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to create an independent study group to review U.S. strategy in the sandbox.
In a letter dated Friday, Wolf wrote he is deeply troubled by the conclusions reached by Lt. Col. Daniel Davis and asks Panetta to immediately create an Afghanistan/Pakistan Study Group.
In 2010 and 2011, Davis traveled to Afghanistan on assignment with the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force, an organization tasked with getting urgently needed equipment to soldiers in the field.
“What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground,” Davis wrote in an opinion piece titled “Truth, lies and Afghanistan,” published online Feb. 5 by Armed Forces Journal.
Rather than the gradual progress described by top U.S. officials, Davis wrote he saw, “the absence of success on virtually every level.”
During a yearlong deployment that began in late 2010, Davis wrote, his job sent him around the country to talk, travel and patrol with troops in Kandahar, Kunar, Ghazni, Khost, Paktika, Kunduz, Balkh, Nangarhar and other provinces. It was his fourth combat deployment, and his second in Afghanistan.
Davis wrote a classified and unclassified report. He has not released either report publicly. On his website, he says he will publish the full unclassified version as soon as Army public affairs completes its review and grants permission for release.
On Feb. 10, Rolling Stone magazine published a copy of the unclassified version on its website.
Davis has provided the reports to members of Congress — both Democrats and Republicans, senators and House members. He has also sent his reports to the Defense Department’s inspector general.
He declined to comment for this story.
The Pentagon maintains that the security environment in Afghanistan continues to improve.
During a briefing this week, Army Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, deputy commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, described steady progress in the country, from local and national government to the development of Afghan security forces. Responding to a question about Davis’ report, Scaparrotti said, “it’s one person’s view of this,” adding that he thought the Defense Department’s outlook is accurate.
Wolf has written similar letters to Panetta over the past several months.
The congressman is the author of the legislation that created the Iraq Study Group and has been pushing for the Obama administration to conduct a similar review of the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- Santorum surges into the lead – Public Policy Polling – Riding a wave of momentum from his trio of victories on Tuesday Rick Santorum has opened up a wide lead in PPP’s newest national poll. He’s at 38% to 23% for Mitt Romney, 17% for Newt Gingrich, and 13% for Ron Paul.
Part of the reason for Santorum’s surge is his own high level of popularity. 64% of voters see him favorably to only 22% with a negative one. But the other, and maybe more important, reason is that Republicans are significantly souring on both Romney and Gingrich. Romney’s favorability is barely above water at 44/43, representing a 23 point net decline from our December national poll when he was +24 (55/31). Gingrich has fallen even further. A 44% plurality of GOP voters now hold a negative opinion of him to only 42% with a positive one. That’s a 34 point drop from 2 months ago when he was at +32 (60/28).
Santorum is now completely dominating with several key segments of the electorate, especially the most right leaning parts of the party. With those describing themselves as ‘very conservative,’ he’s now winning a majority of voters at 53% to 20% for Gingrich and 15% for Romney. Santorum gets a majority with Tea Party voters as well at 51% to 24% for Gingrich and 12% for Romney. And with Evangelicals he falls just short of a majority with 45% to 21% for Gingrich and 18% for Romney.
It used to be that Gingrich was leading with all these groups and Romney was staying competitive enough with them to hold the overall lead. No more- a consensus conservative candidate finally seems to be emerging and it’s Santorum.
- Labor unions left sour with President Obama set to sign FAA funding bill – Labor’s division over the bill funding the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has helped clear the way for President Obama to sign it.
Unions are split in their opposition to the measure, with some fearing its provision on union election rules endangers organizing.
Union officials say they were kept in the dark about the negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that helped pass the bill.
- Does Indiana Need a Pro-Teapot Museum GOP Senator? – By Jim Geraghty – The Campaign Spot – National Review Online – RT @jimgeraghty: In Indiana’s GOP Senate primary, Richard Mourdock releases new statewide ad hitting Lugar on earmarks:
- Day By Day February 12, 2012 – Logic | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day February 12, 2012 – Logic
- Romney and Birth Control: a Shift – WSJ.com – RT @LizMair: Rough news day for Mitt Romney on many counts, but especially this one:
- Shrinking Senate Hopes – for 2012 – Three other Democratic seats are vulnerable. No state has trended Republican in recent years more than Missouri. John McCain narrowly beat Obama in Missouri in 2008. Roy Blunt won the open Senate seat there in 2010 by 14 percentage points. So it’s no surprise that Democratic senator Claire McCaskill is in deep trouble this year. The Republican Senate primary is August 7.
Wisconsin is more Democratic, but it offers Republicans a great opportunity. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, the Democratic candidate, is gay, liberal, and a zealous campaigner. Either of the GOP candidates, former governor Tommy Thompson or ex-House member Mark Neumann, could beat her. When Neumann gave up his House seat in 1998 to run (unsuccessfully) for the Senate, by the way, he was replaced by Paul Ryan.
In Hawaii, Democrat Dan Akaka is stepping down after three terms, and there’s only one Republican with a realistic chance of winning his seat, former governor Linda Lingle. Fortunately for Republicans, Lingle is running. She didn’t have to buck a Democratic tide in a presidential year when she won the governorship in 2002 and 2006. With Obama, a native of Hawaii, leading the ticket, she’ll have to overcome a strong partisan headwind.
Where does this leave us? Duffy projects a Republican gain of three to six seats. The Rothenberg Report says two to five. A year ago, I’d have said four to seven. Today, three to six seems about right, with emphasis on the three. But my rule of politics is that the future is never a straight line projection of the present. In November, Republican prospects may look better—or worse.
- Canada’s Harper talks oil with China as U.S. faces $4 gas | Washington Examiner – RT @mtapscott: Canada’s Harper talks oil with China as U.S. faces $4 gas | Washington Examiner: #TCOT #TEAPARTY #SG …
- AD-38: California Assemblyman Cameron Smyth Endorses Scott Wilk for Assembly » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: California Assemblyman Cameron Smyth Endorses Scott Wilk for Assembly
- Media Matters | Sources | David Brock | The Daily Caller – Inside Media Matters: Sources, memos reveal erratic behavior, close coordination with White House & news organizations
- SNL Parodies of Clint Eastwood’s Half Time in America Are Really Stupid | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – SNL Parodies of Clint Eastwood’s Half time in America Are Really Stupid
- Weasel Zippers » Blog Archive » Occupy Oakland Burns The American Flag For The Third Week In A Row… – Occupy Oakland Burns The American Flag For The Third Week In A Row…
- Merkel taking Europe in wrong direction: Soros – Merkel taking Europe in wrong direction: George Soros
- Greek lawmakers approve austerity bill as Athens burns
| Reuters – Greek lawmakers approve austerity bill as Athens burns
- Day By Day February 11, 2012 – Listing | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day February 11, 2012 – Listing
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-12 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-12
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-12 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-12
- foursquare :: Gregory Flap’s Badges :: Greasy Spoon – I just unlocked the “Greasy Spoon” badge on @foursquare! Bring on the burgers!
- foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – Finished @LAMarathon 20 miler! Yay! (@ Ronnie’s Diner w/ 6 others)
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-11 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-11
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-11 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-11
- The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn’t Want You to Read – Earlier this week, the New York Times’ Scott Shane published a bombshell piece about Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis, a 17-year Army veteran recently returned from a second tour in Afghanistan. According to the Times, the 48-year-old Davis had written an 84-page unclassified report, as well as a classified report, offering his assessment of the decade-long war. That assessment is essentially that the war has been a disaster and the military’s top brass has not leveled with the American public about just how badly it’s been going. “How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding?” Davis boldly asks in an article summarizing his views in The Armed Forces Journal.
Davis last month submitted the unclassified report –titled “Dereliction of Duty II: Senior Military Leader’s Loss of Integrity Wounds Afghan War Effort” – for an internal Army review. Such a report could then be released to the public. However, according to U.S. military officials familiar with the situation, the Pentagon is refusing to do so. Rolling Stone has now obtained a full copy of the 84-page unclassified version, which has been making the rounds within the U.S. government, including the White House. We’ve decided to publish it in full; it’s well worth reading for yourself. It is, in my estimation, one of the most significant documents published by an active-duty officer in the past ten years.
- Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 10, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 10, 2012
- Poll Watch: Americans View China as Leading Economic Power | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: Americans View China as Leading Economic Power
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Afternoon Drill: February 10, 2012 – The Afternoon Drill: February 10, 2012
- Teachers union defends endorsement of Falk – The state’s largest public teachers union is standing behind its endorsement of Kathleen Falk for governor despite controversy among Democrats and some union members.
Some complained the endorsement came too early: A recall election hasn’t been ordered, and many expect other prominent candidates to join the race. Others felt the unions shouldn’t play kingmaker before a primary or give the impression that the election is about only collective bargaining rights.
Mary Bell, Wisconsin Education Association Council president, said she understood the passionate feelings but said the recommendation was made with input from union leaders throughout the state.
“It’s not surprising,” she said. “Our members have a lot invested in what’s happening.”
Though acknowledging other candidates may enter the race, Bell said she is confident the former Dane County executive is the best choice to beat Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Bell said the short and uncertain time frame of a recall made it necessary to put out a recommendation early.
Mike Tate, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said the party is proud to work closely with organized labor – which he called “the backbone” of the party – though he said the election is about much more.
“A million Wisconsinites signed a recall petition; each one has their own reason,” he said. “There’s a number of reasons to recall Scott Walker.”
He shrugged off the significance of the WEAC decision.
“Unions make endorsements,” Tate said Thursday. “That’s what they do.”
- Day By Day February 10, 2012 – The Useful | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day February 10, 2012 – The Useful
- Here’s A Peek At What Falk As Governor Would Look Like – Don’t say you haven’t been warned!
Kathleen Falk, the candidate from WEAC, says she wants to “undo the harm” that Governor Walker has done and is apparently willing to devastate Wisconsin in order to advance her agenda.
Want to see what “undoing the harm” would look like?
A year ago Pat Quinn, the ultra-liberal Governor of Illinois, faced many of the same challenges that Scott Walker faced. Instead of standing up to public employee unions and reining in spending, Quinn pushed for massive tax increases and business as usual.
So how did that work out?
In contrast to Governor Walker (who has an approval rating over 50%), Quinn has an approval rating of 30%! That’s right! 30%.
Let’s be real clear. Kathleen Falk is a slightly more opportunistic version of Pat Quinn with a Madison mailing address. The policies of Quinn have decimated Illinois. There’s absolutely no reason to think that they’d work any better in Wisconsin under Kathleen Falk.
Want to see what Wisconsin would look like one year after Kathleen Falk became Governor? Just look at Illinois today.
It’s not a pretty sight.
- Nearly 1 in 20 US adults over 50 have fake knees – Nearly 1 in 20 Americans older than 50 have artificial knees, or more than 4 million people, according to the first national estimate showing how common these replacement joints have become in an aging population.
Doctors know the number of knee replacement operations has surged in the past decade, especially in baby boomers. But until now, there was no good fix on the total number of people living with them.
The estimate is important because it shows that a big segment of the population might need future knee-related care, said Dr. Daniel Berry, president of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and chairman of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He was not involved in the research.
- Medscape: Medscape Access – Midlife smoking in men linked to more rapid cognitive decline in later life i
- Majority of Search Queries Go Mobile By 2016 — Bernstein – Peter Kafka – Mobile – AllThingsD – RT @allthingsd: Here’s What Apple and Google Are Fighting Over: Search Goes Mobile By 2016 -by @pkafka
- Report: Adelson done giving to Gingrich as funding dries up – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room – Report: Sheldon Adelson done giving to #Gingrich as funding dries up #tcot #GOP12
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-10 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-10
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-10 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-10
- ObamaCare: The Catholic Epiphany | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – ObamaCare: The Catholic Epiphany
- AD-38: Patricia McKeon to Address Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Patricia McKeon to Address Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party » Flap’s California Blog
- Untitled (https://plus.google.com/105353644409523560325/posts/VtTyPoGT4nP) – Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass it to find out what is in it,” referring to the Health Care bill
- AD-38 Video: Rep Buck McKeon Doesn’t Want to Answer Questions About Defense Contractors Contributing to His Wife Patricia McKeon’s Assembly Campaign » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38 Video: Rep Buck McKeon Doesn’t Want to Answer Questions About Defense Contractors Contributing to His Wife…
- AD-38: Patricia McKeon to Address Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party » Flap’s California Blog – (500) …
- (500) http://flapsblog.org/2012/02/09/ad-38-patricia-mckeon-to-address-simi-valley-moorpark-tea-party/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ad-38-patricia-mckeon-to-address-simi-valley-moorpark-tea-party&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter – AD-38: Patricia McKeon to Address Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party
- President 2012: The GOP Presidential Delegate Calculator | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: The GOP Presidential Delegate Calculator
- Obama administration reaffirms support for California high-speed rail – latimes.com – Obama administration reaffirms support for California high-speed rail
- Carmen Trutanich will run for L.A. district attorney – latimes.com – Carmen Trutanich will run for L.A. district attorney
- How the housing settlement might affect you | HealthyCal – How the housing settlement might affect you
- Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 9, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 9, 2012
- Sen Jim DeMint Video: Brokered GOP Convention Possible | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Sen Jim DeMint Video: Brokered GOP Convention Possible
- Poll Watch: 22 Per Cent of Americans Satisfied With the Way Things Are Going | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: 22 Per Cent of Americans Satisfied With the Way Things Are Going
- President 2012 Ohio Poll Watch: Santorum Tied With Obama While Romney Trails | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Ohio Poll Watch: Santorum Tied With Obama While Romney Trails
- Updated: President 2012 Video: Mitt Romney’s Greatest Hits | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Updated: President 2012 Video: Mitt Romney’s Greatest Hits
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Tom’s of Maine to Award Five $20K Grants to Non-Profit Dental Clinics – Tom’s of Maine to Award Five $20K Grants to Non-Profit Dental Clinics
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These are my morning flap links for November 7th:
- Contact Your Senator: This Week We Overturn Obama Administration Net Neutrality Internet Power Grab – From most appearances, the Senate will this week vote on Senate Joint Resolution (S.J.Res) 6 – the Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval of the Obama Administration Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s illegal Internet Net Neutrality power grab.
Only 51 votes are required for passage – which means only 4 Democrats are needed. There are 23 Democrat Senate seats up for reelection next year. A few of these folks aren’t running. The rest are – many in Center or Center-Right states. Additionally. there are a few other Senators that should also be subject to Constitutional reason, and thusly contacted.
Behold a list of some of these Senators – and their contact information. Reach out and tell them to vote Yes on S.J.Res 6. And Tweet it all out – with the hashtag #freethenet.
- Gallegly one of targeted 25 in new DCCC radio ads – One year before Election Day 2012, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched radio ads in the districts of 25 targeted Republicans nationwide, including Rep. Elton Gallegly of Simi Valley.
The extent of the buy was not divulged, but Republican operatives told the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call that they believed the buy was very minimal — an attempt to gain some news coverage, rather than actually make impressions on voters with repetitive ads on multiple stations.
Gallegly — who has not yet announced whether he intends to run for re-election — would most likely run in the new 26th Congressional District, which includes all of Ventura County except for most of the city of Simi Valley and small coastal strip in the city of Ventura. The voting makeup and history of that district suggest it is one that Democrats can classify as a “pickup” — one in which most the territory is now represented by Gallegly and could be won by a Democrat in the fall. If Democrats win 25 such districts nationally next year and hold onto the seats they now hold, they will regain majority control of the House of Representatives.
The inclusion of Gallegly in the 25 selected targets is the latest evidence that the new district will put Ventura County squarely on the map in national congressional campaign politics next fall.
- Best College Majors for a Career – Choosing the right college major can make a big difference in students’ career prospects, in terms of employment and pay. Here’s a look at how various college majors fare in the job market, based on 2010 Census data. Some popular majors, such as nursing and finance, do particularly well, with unemployment under 5% and high salaries during the course of their careers.
- New Woman Accusing Herman Cain Of Sexual Harassment Hires Gloria Allred – A new woman alleging sexual harassment by presidential hopeful Herman Cain will break her silence at a news conference with her powerhouse attorney Gloria Allred Monday afternoon in New York City, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
The embattled GOP nominee has admitted that several women who worked at the National Restaurant Association during his tenure as president of the organization received settlements. Politico has reported that the settlements were given because of sexual harassment allegations.
PHOTOS: Celebrity Cheaters
The woman, who will be the first to go public on Monday, sought Cain’s help with an employment issue and was allegedly sexually harassed by him. Allred and her client will discuss, in detail, what she alleges occurred with Cain.
The Tea Party darling had hoped the scandal would die down, but that’s not happening. Once again, he clashed with reporters on Saturday night after a debate with Newt Gingrich. Cain refused to answer questions about the allegations, and said, “You see what I mean? I was gonna do something that my staff told me not to do and try to respond, okay? What I’m saying is this — we are getting back on message, end of story. Back on message. Read all of the other accounts. Read all of the other accounts where everything has been answered in the story. We’re getting back on message, okay?”
- President 2012 GOP Iowa Poll Watch: Cain Leads in Iowa, Gingrich Surges – A new We Ask America poll in Iowa finds Herman Cain leading the GOP presidential field with 22%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 18%, Mitt Romney at 15%, and Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at 11%.
No other candidate gets more than 5%.
Here comes Newt.
- Romney Will Play in Iowa – The Hotline: “After months of debate inside the Romney camp over whether to compete in Iowa, it seems the decision has been made: Romney will play in Iowa, and he will play to win. The most recent evidence: Romney will hold campaign events Monday in Iowa, his second trip in three weeks after visiting the state only twice in the previous 12 months; His son Josh and wife Ann have quietly canvassed the state in recent weeks, and both have campaigned vigorously there for the Republican candidate in a crucial state Senate race; and Romney just launched aggressive robocalls in Iowa attacking Perry over his immigration policies, throwing the first punch in what could be a heavyweight Hawkeye State bout.”
“The question is no longer whether Romney competes in Iowa; the question is how much time and money he’ll invest in the state that so wounded his candidacy in 2008.”
- Byron York: Why Santorum runs – If sheer effort determined the winner of the Iowa caucuses, Rick Santorum would win in a walk. His stop in Fairfield marks the 97th Iowa county Santorum has visited in his run for the Republican presidential nomination. The state has 99 counties in all, and before this day is over, Santorum will reach his goal of visiting them all. None of Santorum’s rivals has even come close.
The problem is Santorum isn’t close to the lead here in Iowa. According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, he is the choice of 3.5 percent of Iowa Republicans — seventh in a field of eight candidates. No matter who has led the field — Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain — Santorum has stayed near the bottom.
Yet Santorum is the most powerful voice on behalf of the conservative social positions that many Iowa Republicans hold dear. It’s his bad luck to be running in a year dominated by economic concerns and to face opponents who more or less share his views on social issues but are perceived as stronger candidates on economic matters. Santorum is stuck in a moment that’s just not made for him.
It’s a problem Santorum has struggled with, and he’s come up with two ways to address it. The first is by talking about the economy in a way that is unique among Republican candidates. And the second is by arguing that economic recovery and economic strength simply aren’t possible without the emphasis on strong families that has been a key part of his campaign.
- Report: Pentagon Weighing Base Closures, Military Benefits in Face of Budget Cuts – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in an effort to find $450 billion to cut from the Pentagon’s budget, is considering wide-ranging measures that could include base closures, hikes in the cost of military health insurance, and possible cuts in retirement pay, The New York Times reported Sunday.
Panetta’s comments about budget reductions come nearly three weeks before the so-called congressional super committee reaches a key deadline. The Pentagon stands to see $600 billion in automatic cuts if the committee does not come up with an alternative plan.
“There will be some huge political challenges,” Panetta told the Times in an interview that took place Friday. “When you reduce defense spending, there’s likely to be base closures, possible reduction in air wings,” he said.
The days of a counterinsurgency-focused force might be coming to a close.
The Times reported that Panetta “did not envision maintaining a ground force large enough to conduct a long, bloody war and then stability operations in North Korea or Iran, as the United States did in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Among the proposals he was considering, Panetta told the Times that the Pentagon was considering raising fees for the military’s health insurance program. Military retirees and families, who are guaranteed the military benefit for life, pay only $460 a year in fees, the Times said.
- Romney, seen as most electable, still struggles to break out of pack, poll shows – Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has a significant advantage over his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination in only one area — electability — and will approach the next round of candidate debates with several potential liabilities, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Often described as the candidate to beat in the GOP race, Romney remains stuck in place in national polls — he is at 24 percent in the Post-ABC survey — despite the fact that one of his main challengers, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, has stumbled and several high-profile potential candidates decided not to enter the race to challenge President Obama.
- IAEA says foreign expertise has brought Iran to threshold of nuclear capability – Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.
Documents and other records provide new details on the role played by a former Soviet weapons scientist who allegedly tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction, the officials and experts said. Crucial technology linked to experts in Pakistan and North Korea also helped propel Iran to the threshold of nuclear capability, they added.
- Census: 49 million in poverty – New estimates released Monday show that the number of Americans living in poverty was higher than previously estimated, and stands at 49.1 million, according to the Census Bureau.
The nearly-50 million people who live below the poverty line represents 16 percent of all Americans.
The numbers that were released were adjustments to the official 2010 poverty figures of 46.2 million, or 15.1 percent of Americans, that were released in September. The supplemental figure is higher than the official figure because it considers higher costs of living on expenses that aren’t factored into the official rate.
Hispanic poverty rose to 28.2 percent, affecting 14.1 million, surpassing that of blacks for the first time. Still, 9.9 million African-Americans suffered from poverty, a rate of 25.4 percent. The Asian poverty rate was 16.7 percent, affecting 2.4 million people.
Meanwhile, non-Hispanic whites had a lower poverty rate of 11.1 percent, or 21.9 million people.
- Flap’s Blog.Com Links and Comments for November 6th through November 7th | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Links and Comments for November 6th through November 7th #tcot #catcot
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