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These are my links for December 21st from 08:15 to 13:30:

  • Perry Super PAC Smashes Mitt, Newt in New Ad – Texas-topper-backing “Make Us Great Again” buys IA and SC TV time for new 30-second spot dumping the oppo file on the two frontrunners.

    Announcer: “Decades ago Gingrich goes to Washington. Romney runs pro-choice campaign for Senate.”

    Read the script below.

    SCRIPT: Decades ago Gingrich goes to Washington. Romney runs pro-choice campaign for Senate. Gingrich found guilty of ethics violations. Mitt creates Romneycare. Gingrich joins Pelosi in support of global warming. Support TARP bank bailout. Collects big bucks from Freddie Mac. Rick Perry creates a million new jobs, cuts taxes, reduces regulations; the proven conservative.

  • Make a deal on the payroll tax, and come back for more – The Journal editors suggest: “At this stage, Republicans would do best to cut their losses and find a way to extend the payroll holiday quickly. Then go home and return in January with a united House-Senate strategy that forces Democrats to make specific policy choices that highlight the differences between the parties on spending, taxes and regulation. Wisconsin freshman Senator Ron Johnson has been floating a useful agenda for such a strategy. The alternative is more chaotic retreat and the return of all-Democratic rule.”

    Johnson is suggesting implementing seven of the spending-cut ideas from the Simpson-Bowles debt commission, which amount to a cut of $655 billion over 10 years. These are relatively noncontroversial items such as reducing congressional and White House budgets by 15 percent, imposing a three-year freeze on federal workers’ pay, reducing the size of the federal workforce and selling excess government real estate. In other words, Johnson is asking if his colleagues can’t at the very least agree to chop the low-hanging fruit in the budget.

    Well, it would have been nice if the supercommittee could have managed that, or if that kind of package of cuts could have been presented as a full year offset for the payroll tax reduction. But that’s for next year.

    The GOP, if it has not the wherewithal to oppose a payroll tax reduction (When will Congress ever have the nerve to increase it and stem further hemorrhaging of funds available for Social Security? Why not cut the entire tax, according to the Democrats’ logic?), then cut a deal and come back to finish the work in 2012. If the Democrats want another 10 months of payroll tax relief, then Republicans should get something for that (e.g. more cuts, a definitive decision on the pipeline). Just not now. In January.

  • Capitol Stand-off: Republicans Caving? – My prediction: House Republicans will soon – probably within 24 hours – cave in and accept the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut passed last week by the Senate.
    I base this on conversations with House Republicans who know they are losing the public relations battle and losing it badly. They know they are taking the blame for a stand-off that threatens to raise taxes on 160 million Americans. And they cannot let that happen.
    As one top House Republican aide just told me: “I do not expect taxes to go up on January 1st.”
    At this point, there is really only one way for taxes not to go up on January 1st: House Republicans need to fold. Democrats won’t give in because they are completely confident that House Republicans will take the blame for the impasse. And Republicans don’t disagree.
    Republicans are now searching for a face-saving way to give up. The most likely scenario would be for Democrats to agree to negotiations on a full-year extension to begin as soon as next week – but only after the House passes the two-month extension.
  • (404) http://t.co/tVY9GezF%E2%80%9D – I think that is HIGH “@RasmussenPoll: 22% Say U.S. Heading In Right Direction…
  • House GOP hearing it from all sides over payroll tax cut – That sound you hear in Washington is … silence.

    The Senate is gone. The House has left behind a few stragglers to sit on a conference committee that may never meet. The president’s still around but itching to go to Hawaii to be with his family. Christmas is coming. Hanukkah is here.

    The decision by House Republicans to deep-six a bipartisan deal to extend a payroll tax cut has left that party divided and given Democrats an issue with which to hammer them throughout the holidays. House leaders insist theirs is the principled stand because they want a year-long extension, not a two-month one.

    But right now, they are hearing it from all sides, including the influential Wall Street Journal editorial board, no friend to Democrats.

  • Texas Gains the Most in Population Since the Census – Texas gained more people than any other state between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011 (529,000), followed by California (438,000), Florida (256,000), Georgia (128,000) and North Carolina (121,000), according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates for states and Puerto Rico. Combined, these five states accounted for slightly more than half the nation’s total population growth.

        “These are the first set of Census Bureau population estimates to be published since the official 2010 Census state population counts were released a year ago,” said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves. “Our nation is constantly changing and these estimates provide us with our first measure of how much each state has grown or declined in total population since Census Day 2010.”

         The United States as a whole saw its population increase by 2.8 million over the 15-month period, to 311.6 million. Its growth of 0.92 percent between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011, was the lowest since the mid-1940s.

        “The nation’s overall growth rate is now at its lowest point since before the baby boom,” Groves said.

        California remained the most populous state, with a July 1, 2011, population of 37.7 million. Rounding out the top five states were Texas (25.7 million), New York (19.5 million), Florida (19.1 million) and Illinois (12.9 million).

  • Gingrich to House GOP: Give In on Payroll Tax – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who famously lost budget battles to President Bill Clinton amid two government shutdowns, had some advice to House Republicans at loggerheads with another Democratic president: Give in.

    “Incumbent presidents have enormous advantages. And I think what Republicans ought to do is what’s right for America. They ought to do it calmly and pleasantly and happily,” Mr. Gingrich said when asked about the clash between President Barack Obama and House Republicans over extension of the payroll tax cut.

    Mr. Gingrich made it clear he favored a one-year extension of the two-percentage point payroll tax cut, which expires Jan. 1, not the two-month extension that passed the Senate with bipartisan support. He called the Senate bill “an absurd dereliction of duty.”

    “Obama is so inept as a president, and the Congress is so dysfunctional as an institution, that we are lurching from failure to failure to failure,” Mr. Gingrich said.

    He offered sympathy to House Speaker John Boehner for having to negotiate with “a Senate majority leader who is totally disruptive and a president who is basically campaigner-in-chief, who has no interest in solving the problems of the American people.”

    But he said resistance was doomed.

    “It’s very hard for the legislative branch to outperform the president in communications,” he said. “He has all the advantages of being one person. He has all the advantages of the White House as a backdrop, and my experience is presidents routinely win.”

  • Who is a Ron Paul supporter? – Ron Paul supporters are certainly their own breed.

    Despite the candidate’s success in expanding his political brand in recent weeks and months, those who support him remain a very distinct segment of the Republican electorate, as evidenced by a new poll in Iowa.

    The Iowa State University/Gazette/KCRG survey is the latest poll to show Paul leading in the Hawkeye State’s caucuses. His 27.5 percent-to-25.3 percent lead on Newt Gingrich is within the margin of error, but it reflects a race that appears to be headed in the good doctor’s direction.

  • News from The Associated Press – OUCH “@AP: France ponders drastic move: telling 30,000 women to remove risky breast implants: -CC”
  • TechCrunch – Google+ – Scribd protests SOPA by making a billion pages on the web… – Scribd protests SOPA by making a billion pages on the web disappear.TechCrunch | Scribd Protests SOP
  • Scribd Protests SOPA By Making A Billion Pages On The Web Disappear – The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is delayed in Congress, but it is definitely not dead. The media company lobbyists and their Congressmen (hello, Lamar Smith!) are simply regrouping. Some of the more controversial aspects of the bill include transferring liability for copyright infringement to sites that host user-generated content and blocking that content via DNS servers.

    To highlight the chilling effect this legislation could have on free speech on te Internet, today document-sharing site Scribd is protesting SOPA by making every document disappear word-by-word when you vist the site. All in all, there are a billion pages of documents on the Scribd. “With this legislation in place, entire domains like Scribd could simply vanish from the web,” warns Jared Friedman, CTO and co-founder, Scribd.

  • (404) http://t.co/ugw0J0k5%E2%80%9D – Why, of course he does…“@thehill: Obama calls Boehner, urges him to allow vote on Senate payroll bill
  • GOP shuts down House on Dems’ payroll-tax gambit – House Democrats tried Wednesday to force a vote on the Senate’s two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut, but Republicans gaveled the House closed to prevent them from having a chance, as top GOP leaders huddled down the hall to try to figure a way out of the mess.

    The House was set to hold a pro forma session, but two top Democrats, Reps. Steny H. Hoyer and Chris Van Hollen, demanded to be recognized to try to force a vote on the two-month extension. House Republicans have blocked that deal, which is strongly backed by President Obama, and are holding out for an extension that covers all of 2012.

    Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican who was serving as the presiding officer, banged his gavel to close the session Wednesday morning even as the two Democrats were demanding to be recognized.

    “You’re walking out, you’re walking away, just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle-class taxpayers,,” Mr. Hoyer shouted after Mr. Fitzpatrick as he marched off the floor, leaving the two Democrats, both from Maryland, to themselves in the cavernous chamber.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: December 21, 2011 – The Morning Drill: December 21, 2011
  • The Morning Flap: December 21, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: December 21, 2011
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These are my links for December 14th through December 15th:

  • Payroll tax cut and spending bill stall in Senate, raising threat of shutdown – Negotiations over how to extend a payroll tax holiday for 160 million Americans and avoid a government shutdown this weekend ground to a halt Wednesday after a standoff in the Senate over how to proceed.

    Amid the gridlock, Cabinet secretaries for the first time formally alerted affected federal workers Wednesday to the possibility of a shutdown — indicating in an ­e-mail that they would determine later which staffers are “essential” to maintain operations in the event of a funding disruption.

  • Iraq war draws to a quiet close – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta paid solemn tribute on Thursday to an “independent, free and sovereign Iraq” and declared the official end to the Iraq war, formally wrapping up the U.S. military’s mission in the country after almost nine years.

    “After a lot of blood spilled by Iraqis and Americans, the mission of an Iraq that could govern and secure itself has become real,” Panetta said at a ceremony held under tight security at Baghdad’s international airport. “To be sure, the cost was high — in blood and treasure for the United States, and for the Iraqi people. Those lives were not lost in vain.”

  • U.S. Lawmakers Offer Bipartisan Proposal for Medicare With Private Option – A bipartisan proposal to give the elderly a choice between the government’s Medicare program and private insurance plans is intended as a “framework” to overhaul the entitlement, Representative Paul Ryan said today.

    Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who heads the House Budget Committee, proposed replacing Medicare with a private insurance system in the spring. He has now teamed with Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, on a new plan to amend the U.S. health program for the elderly and disabled.

    The proposal, presented today by the lawmakers, may alter the debate in next year’s congressional campaign as both parties hope to sway voters with their arguments on Medicare’s future. The plan gives people turning 65 starting in 2022 the ability to choose between the existing system, where the government pays hospital and doctors’ bills for seniors, and an alternative system of regulated private insurance plans.

  • Paul Ryan-Ron Wyden: Bipartisan Medicare reform – In an extraordinary policy and political breakthrough, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced a bipartisan reform deal. In doing so, they eviscerated the Democrats’ Medicare gambit, undermined President Obama complaints that progress is impossible with Republicans in Congress and gave Mitt Romney a huge political shot in the arm.

    The Post reports: “ Working with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the Wisconsin Republican is developing a framework that would offer traditional, government-run Medicare as an option for future retirees along with a variety of private plans.”

    In a press release, the duo explained the key elements of the bill:

  • Obama nominates 2 for labor board – President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced plans to nominate two Democrats to the National Labor Relations Board, despite a Republican threat to block any appointments to the agency.

    The president intends to nominate Sharon Block, deputy secretary for congressional affairs at the Labor Department, and Richard Griffin, currently the general counsel for the International Union of Operating Engineers, to fill two vacancies on the board.

    The move comes just days after the board’s top lawyer dropped a controversial lawsuit that charged Boeing with illegally retaliating against union members in Washington state by opening a new plant in South Carolina. That case — along with other union-friendly decisions — has made the board a target of Republicans who contend it has acted too favorably toward unions.

    Obama’s nominees would have to be confirmed by the Senate, but Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said last week he would block Obama from making any further appointments to the board. The agency usually has five members but has operated for months with three. It will lose another member by the end of the year, leaving it without enough members to conduct business.

  • The Supremes v. Obamacare: Will the Court Decide the 2012 Presidential Election? – At least four justices recently agreed to review the centerpiece of President Obama’s domestic policy. Presuming for the moment that the court divided into its usual liberal and conservative quartets, what strategies might they have employed in deciding to determine the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPAACA)? U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th and 6th Circuits had upheld the law’s individual mandate, which requires all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty for not doing so. Congress believed it had the authority to impose such a mandate under its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. Liberals assert that health care, constituting nearly one-fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product, is demonstrably within Congress’s economic regulatory purview. On the other hand, the 11th Circuit (in a Florida case brought by officials from 26 states) voided the individual mandate, while upholding the PPAACA’s expansion of Medicaid, employer mandates and insurance exchanges. Although all of these circuit decisions were appealed to the nation’s highest court, the justices accepted only the 11th Circuit decision for review. The Supremes have asked both sides to address the constitutionality of the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion, as well as whether the entire law falls if they void only one part of it. The court will also tackle whether the individual mandate penalty can even be legally challenged prior to its implementation.
  • Romney boosters want a Republican campaign about nothing? – Kudos to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for a terrific discussion Thursday morning between William Bennett (who seems to support Romney) and Rudy Giulaini (who had harsh words for Romney and kind words for Gingrich).

    When the topic of conversation turns to, whom should win the Republican nomination? — I think we can agree their opinions are more relevant than having Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington weigh in (which happens all too frequently).

    During the discussion, Bill Bennett made a point several times — which I found quite telling — inasmuch as it seems to be a key rationale for nominating Mitt Romney.

    “What do we want the conversation to be about this summer and fall?,” Bennett asked rhetorically. “I’m worried the conversation will be about [Newt] … rather than about Barack Obama and his policies.”

    This is an argument I’ve heard a lot, lately. And it strikes me as silly for a variety of reasons.

    First, it is utterly naive to think Republicans can make this election solely a referendum on Barack Obama. Of course, they should attempt it, but the truth is that neither Obama (who might have a billion dollars to run in negative ads) nor the media will ever let that happen.

    Whomever Republicans nominate will endure bitter attacks. If Newt Gingrich is the nominee, he will be cast as an insane and erratic cad. If Romney is the nominee, he will be cast as a rich flip-flopper who fired people for a living and belongs to a “weird” religion. I’m not sure which attack is better or worse for Republicans. In this economy, one might argue that the rich “Wall Street” attack on Romney would be more harmful in terms of attracting independent voters. But who knows?

  • Giuliani slams Romney, likens Newt to Reagan – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani slammed Mitt Romney as an unelectable flip-flopper, and said Newt Gingrich, who he compared to Ronald Reagan, offers Republicans the best shot at unseating President Obama.

    Speaking Thursday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Giuliani recalled his GOP candidacy in 2008 in which he ran against Romney.

    “I’ve never seen a guy change his positions on so many things, so fast, on a dime, on everything,” Giuliani said. “Pro-choice, pro-life. And pro-choice because somebody, a close friend died, and he became pro-choice because this woman died of an abortion. Then he figures out there are embryos and he changes.”

    “Then he was pro-gun control,” Giuliani continued. “Fine. Then he becomes a lifetime member of the NRA. Then he was pro cap-and-trade. Now he’s against cap-and-trade. He was pro-mandate for the whole country, then he becomes anti-mandate and he takes that page out of his book and republishes the book. I could go on and on.”
    Giuliani said this opens Romney to an attack from President Obama in the general election that “this is a man without a core,” “a man without substance,” and “a man that will say anything to become President of the United States.”

  • Newt Gingrich’s general election prospects look bleak – If former House Speaker Newt Gingrich manages to win the Republican presidential nomination, he could jeopardize his party’s chances of ousting President Obama next November, according to several new national polls released this week.

    Surveys from the NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, AP/GfK and Reuters/Ipsos all show former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney running better than Gingrich in general election matchups against Obama.

    “Electability will come into play for many Republican votes,” said one neutral GOP consultant who preferred to speak anonymously. “It’s going to become problematic. I think you’re starting to signs of it.

  • Playbook 2012: The Right Fights Back (Politico Inside Election 2012) – Two of America’s most perceptive political reporters join forces for an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the race for the White House in POLITICO’s Playbook 2012, a series of four instant digital books on the 2012 presidential election. The first edition, The Right Fights Back, follows the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
  • Is Newt Gingrich taking Iowa seriously enough? – Newt Gingrich’s improbable comeback may fall short if he doesn’t win Iowa — and there are signs he’s not taking the threat seriously enough.

    Gingrich is getting pounded on Iowa TV by both a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC and Ron Paul’s campaign and is doing little to fight back against ads which take direct aim at him. Less than three weeks before the caucuses, the former speaker is airing a single commercial with little money behind it.

  • Mark Levin calls out Krauthammer, Will, Coulter, and Rubin – Mark Levin says that the attacks on Newt Gingrich reminds him of how Sarah Palin has been attacked, and he specifically criticizes Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Ann Coulter, and Jennifer Rubin for basically being over the top in their criticism of Newt and their silence on Romney:
  • Winnowing the Field – National Review Online – RT @EWErickson: So I guess we go for Gingrich then. Or Perry or Huntsman.
  • Washington Examiner backs Romney – Also Pans Newt Gingrich – OP White House hopeful Mitt Romney picked up the endorsement of the Washington Examiner Wednesday, a boost from an editorial page with a long history in conservative politics.

    In an editorial that spends as much space slamming Newt Gingrich as it does praising Romney, the Examiner declares Obama “the only Republican who can beat Obama,” citing recent polls that show the former Massachusetts governor faring better against President Barack Obama than Gingrich.

    “The Washington Examiner believes Romney can defeat Obama, but Gingrich cannot,” the newspaper wrote. “And Romney the businessman is far better suited to the nation’s highest office – by temperament, experience, and cast of mind – than Gingrich the consummate Washington insider. By fits and starts over the years, Romney has become the reliable conservative that America so badly needs at this crucial moment in her history.”

    The editorial goes on to deride Gingrich’s role consulting with Freddie Mac after he left Congress.

    “The fact is, Gingrich is part of the problem, not part of the solution,” the newspaper wrote. “He has tried mightily to shift attention away from his Washington insider status, saying, ‘I have never done lobbying of any kind.’ But that claim simply does not square with the facts, especially concerning Gingrich’s lobbying Republicans in Congress for a new Medicare entitlement in 2003.”

  • Winnowing the Field – National Review Pans Newt Gingrich – We fear that to nominate former Speaker Newt Gingrich, the frontrunner in the polls, would be to blow this opportunity. We say that mindful of his opponents’ imperfections — and of his own virtues, which have been on display during his amazing comeback. Very few people with a personal history like his — two divorces, two marriages to former mistresses — have ever tried running for president. Gingrich himself has never run for a statewide office, let alone a national one, and has not run for anything since 1998. That year he was kicked out by his colleagues, the most conservative ones especially, who had lost confidence in him. During his time as Speaker, he was one of the most unpopular figures in public life. Just a few months ago his campaign seemed dead after a series of gaffes and resignations. That Gingrich now tops the polls is a tribute to his perseverance, and to Republicans’ admiration for his intellectual fecundity.
  • Romney Plays Tiffany’s Card – Romney Plays Tiffany’s Card
  • Romney Plays Tiffany’s Card – In an interview with Sean Hannity ahead of tomorrow’s GOP presidential debate, Mitt Romney sought to neutralize the gaffe he made in last weekend’s debate by taking a shot at Newt Gingrich.

    Said Romney: “As for him trying to reference a $10,000 rhetorical bet, the Speaker, as I recall, probably shouldn’t be talking about that given a $500,000 bill at Tiffany’s.”

  • MSNBC Likens Romney To The KKK With His “Keep America American” – MSNBC daytime anchor Thomas Roberts says Mitt Romney’s “Keep America American” slogan plays homage to the Ku Klux Klan. The patriotic slogan, which is used in this ad, was apparently used by the KKK in the early 1900s.

    Somehow the folks at MSNBC believe Mitt Romney is acknowledging his Klan roots by using the slogan in his 2012 campaign for the presidency.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Daily Extraction: December 14, 2011 – The Daily Extraction: December 14, 2011
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: December 14, 2011 – The Morning Drill: December 14, 2011
  • Rick Perry, Mitt Romney internals show Newt Gingrich slippage, sources say – A weeklong blitz of negative ads from Ron Paul and “Restore Our Future,” the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC, have taken a toll on Newt Gingrich’s standing in Iowa, internal numbers from the Rick Perry and Romney camps show, according to multiple sources.

    Sources didn’t provide specific numbers on how far he’s slipped, but it’s perceptible in both camps’ numbers, the sources said.

    Perry has been inching up, the sources said – in part thanks to his faith-based push but largely because of his controversial anti-gay rights ad, and the big question is whether he draws at all from Romney and pushes him down out of the top three finishers in the state.

    The person who is holding strong, according to the internal numbers, is Paul, who has a true shot of winning the caucuses, according to several Iowa Republican insiders surveying ground games and energy.

  • Romney Warns of Nominating ‘Zany’ Gingrich – Updated Mitt Romney is sharpening his warning to Republicans about the consequences of nominating Newt Gingrich, declaring in an interview on Wednesday: “Zany is not what we need in a president.”

    “Zany is great in a campaign. It’s great on talk radio. It’s great in print, it makes for fun reading,” Mr. Romney told The New York Times. “But in terms of a president, we need a leader, and a leader needs to be someone who can bring Americans together.”

    With 20 days before the voting begins at the Iowa caucuses, Mr. Romney is intensifying his forceful attack on the credibility of Mr. Gingrich, who has emerged as his leading rival in the Republican nominating fight. He has shed his year-long reluctance against doing interviews, hoping to change the narrative surrounding his candidacy before the holidays.

  • L.A. International Is Facebook’s Most Social Airport – L.A. International Is Facebook’s Most Social Airport #fb
  • Obama looking good in Virginia – Public Policy Polling – RT @ppppolls: Obama leads Romney by 6 and Gingrich by 7 in Virginia, just as much as he won the state by in 2008:
  • The Study of Orangutans Deliver Insight Into Obesity of Homo Sapiens | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – The Study of Orangutans Deliver Insight Into Obesity of Homo Sapiens
  • » Maharaj named Los Angeles Times editor JIMROMENESKO.COM – Russ Stanton has resigned as Los Angeles Times editor. Davan Maharaj , formerly managing editor = new editor
  • Uh Oh! Obama 49% Vs. Gingrich 39% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Uh Oh! Obama 49% Vs. Gingrich 39% #tcot #catcot
  • At Least for Reid, Gingrich Is the 2012 Republican Pick – NYTimes.com – RT @RalstonFlash: So Harry Reid now says Newt is “the presumptive Republican nominee.” via @jestei. #kissofdeath
  • The Morning Flap: December 14, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: December 14, 2011 #tcot #catcot
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These are my links for December 9th through December 12th:

  • U.S. Supreme Court blocks court-drawn Texas map in win for Republicans – The U.S. Supreme Court has again thrown Texas’s new congressional map into a state of flux, temporarily blocking a court-drawn redistricting map late Friday and announcing that it would rule on the constitutionality of the map early next year.

    The ruling is a win for Republicans who had sought to hold up the map of the state’s 36 congressional districts. The map was drawn by a three-judge panel after a map drawn by Texas Republicans got caught up in the courts.

    The court also put a temporary hold on the state legislative districts drawn by the panel, and will decide on the constitutionality of those maps.

    The Supreme Court has called for an expedited hearing and will hear arguments on Jan. 9.

  • Supreme Court to decide Arizona immigration law – The Supreme Court said on Monday that it would decide whether Arizona’s tough law cracking down on illegal immigrants can take effect, a case arising from the fierce national debate on immigration policy ahead of next year’s presidential election.

    The high court agreed to review a ruling that put on hold the key parts of the law signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer in April 2010. The case has been closely watched because several other states have adopted similar laws.

    The law requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they detained and suspected of being in the nation illegally. Other parts require immigrants to carry their papers at all times and ban people without proper documents from soliciting for work in public places.

    The justices are likely to hear arguments in the case in April, with a ruling due by July. It could produce another contentious election-year ruling for the court, which also will decide President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul law.

  • BuzzFeed Adds Politico Writer – Ben Smith – BuzzFeed, a site where the editors and algorithms sift the Web in search of viral articles elsewhere, has decided that it needs articles of its own.

    In a move that is sure to surprise the political and journalistic classes, the site is hiring Ben Smith, one of the foremost writers at Politico, to build a new breed of social news organization.

    As editor in chief, Mr. Smith will hire more than a dozen reporters right away, said Jonah Peretti, who founded BuzzFeed with Kenneth Lerer, “and then we will keep growing from there.” The reporters will be scoop generators, Mr. Peretti said. “By breaking scoops and drawing attention,” he added, they will help increase traffic and, by extension, advertising sales.

    It is a tenet of BuzzFeed that the Web pages users like to click are different from the pages they like to share with others. BuzzFeed encourages the second case, the sharing of links, articles and photos on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. The reporting by Mr. Smith and his staff will be produced with that sharing strategy in mind.

    “I already write for the social Web and consume most of my news on the social Web,” said Mr. Smith, who calls Twitter his main source of news.

  • Gingrich Ahead in Iowa by Double-Digits – A new University of Iowa Hawkeye poll shows Newt Gingrich leading among likely Iowa caucus-goers with 30%, followed by Mitt  Romney 20%, Ron Paul at 11%, Michele Bachmann at 9%, Rick Perry at 8% and Rick Santorum at 5%.

    Another 11% of likely caucus goers remain undecided.

  • Rick Perry going for broke in Iowa with 3 weeks to go – Seen just four months ago as conservatives’ potential savior, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is fighting for his life in Iowa.

    With three weeks until Iowa’s leadoff caucuses, the Texas governor has retooled his message from the strict jobs focus he began with in August to one promoting him as a conservative outsider.
    And he’s doubled down on television advertising for the home stretch, having already spent more than $2 million in Iowa only to see his support remain in single digits.

    Perry’s revamped charge to the Jan. 3 caucuses is a sign of the pressure he faces to revive his faltering national campaign. And it’s far from clear whether it’s working.

  • Record 64% Rate Honesty, Ethics of Members of Congress Low – Sixty-four percent of Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress as “low” or “very low,” tying the record “low”/”very low” rating Gallup has measured for any profession historically. Gallup has asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethics of numerous professions since 1976, including annually since 1990. Lobbyists also received a 64% low honesty and ethics rating in 2008.
  • Under fire for bet, Mitt Romney recalls more austere times – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has faced criticism over the years for being too guarded and impersonal on the campaign trail.

    But on Sunday afternoon in Hudson, N.H., prompted by a voter who asked him to share an experience that had changed his world view, he opened up about how his experience as a Mormon missionary in France had given him an appreciation for the privileges of his upbringing.
     
    Romney – a wealthy former business consultant who has been under fire for offering rival Rick Perry a $10,000 bet in Saturday night’s debate – noted that he had grown up “with a great deal of affluence” as the son of an auto executive who became Michigan’s three-term governor.

  • William Jefferson Appeal Could Weaken Corruption Statute – A federal prosecutor warned Friday that if the conviction of former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) is reversed on appeal, it would place many fraudulent acts committed by lawmakers outside the scope of current bribery law.
    Jefferson was convicted of 11 corruption charges in 2009, but his legal team is arguing that since the former Congressman’s scheme to connect businesses in which he had a financial stake with foreign governments was not related to his formal legislative duties, his activities are not covered by the bribery statute under which he was prosecuted.
    Government prosecutors say agreeing with Jefferson’s argument would require a narrow interpretation of the law that is unprecedented.
  • President 2012: Rick Perry calls ‘Solynda’ a country – Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) stumbled over Solyndra, mispronouncing the company’s name and calling it a country.

    Perry was hitting President Obama for his green energy policy when the slip occurred at a campaign event Sunday in Iowa.

    “No greater example of it than this administration sending millions of dollars into the solar industry, and we lost that money,” he said. “I want to say it was over $500 million that went to the country Solynda.”

    Solyndra is a solar energy company that went bankrupt after receiving over $500 million in federal loan guarantees.

    The gaffe was the latest in what has become a pattern of verbal miscues for the Republican presidential candidate.

  • (404) http://shar.es/o9kaL–and – RT @jpodhoretz: Put the 10K line together with Jonathan Last’s piece in Standard today– Romney has had better days
  • TRENDING: Gingrich won’t use surrogates to go negative – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @PoliticalTicker: Gingrich won’t use surrogates to go negative
  • foursquare :: Ronnie’s Diner :: Los Angeles, CA – I just ousted Dan M. as the mayor of Ronnie’s Diner on @foursquare!
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – Post 10 miler brunch with Alice, Tara, Mary And Nancy (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
  • | www.theacornonline.com | The Acorn Online – In Print and on the Web – | | The Acorn Online – In Print and on the Web
  • | www.theacornonline.com | The Acorn Online – In Print and on the Web – Santa’s elves | | Camarillo Acorn | | Camarillo Acorn
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-10 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-10 #tcot #catcot
  • Feds crack down on HCG weight loss claims – latimes.com – Firms warned by Feds over sale of weight-loss hormone HCG
  • Poll Watch: Americans Health Habits Decline as Winter Approaches | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Poll Watch: Americans Health Habits Decline as Winter Approaches
  • Santa’s elves | www.thecamarilloacorn.com | Camarillo Acorn | www.thecamarilloacorn.com | Camarillo Acorn – Congressman Elton Gallegly and friends deliver toys to local military families #catcot #tcot #cagop
  • Like Father, Like Daughters – Charles C. W. Cooke – National Review Online – OUCH |Like Father, Like Daughters Jon Huntsman’s girls merely amplify his nondescript persona #tcot
  • Americans Set “Rich” Threshold at $150,000 in Annual Income – Americans Set “Rich” Threshold at $150,000 in Annual Income
  • Is Perry Moving Up in Iowa? – Is Perry Moving Up in Iowa?
  • Austin dentist gets 5 years for child porn possession |
    kvue.com Austin
    – Austin dentist gets 5 years for child porn possession
  • Americans Favor Televising Supreme Court Healthcare Case – RT @gallupnews: Americans Favor Televising Supreme Court Healthcare Case… #Supremecourt #Healthcare #Gallup
  • PSA testing: Information is better than ignorance – RT @kevinmd: PSA testing: Information is better than ignorance
  • Dilbert December 9, 2011 – Wrong Side » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert December 9, 2011 – Wrong Side
  • The Morning Flap: December 9, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: December 9, 2011 #tcot #catcot
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These are my links for December 1st through December 6th:

  • Senate Republican filibuster blocks Obama D.C. Circuit nominee Caitlin Halligan – Tuesday’s vote is notable in that it marks the second time that Senate Republicans have blocked an Obama judicial nominee. In May, Republicans filibustered Obama’s nomination of Goodwin Liu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit following a protracted battle over what GOP senators cited as the University of California at Berkeley law professor’s liberal views.

    Six years ago, a bipartisan “Gang of 14” senators negotiated an agreement aimed at preventing filibusters of judicial nominees except under what they termed “extraordinary circumstances.” On Tuesday, as in May’s vote on Liu, the four Republican members of that group who remain in the Senate – Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Olympia Snowe (Maine) – voted “no,” a sign that Republicans as well as Democrats have now come to view filibusters of judicial nominations as fair game.

  • Glenn Beck the latest GOPer to take on Gingrich – Conservative radio host Glenn Beck became the latest Republican to go after newly minted presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich Tuesday.

    After saying the radio segment would not be a “gotcha interview,” Beck aggressively questioned the former House speaker over issues including climate change and health care reform.

    Gingrich somewhat famously recorded a public service announcement in 2008 with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about steps to combat climate change, something Beck in the interview called “the dumbest moment.” In response, Gingrich toed the line on the issue, saying he believed “in the environment in general,” and that evidence exists on both sides of the climate change argument.

    “I never believed in Al Gore’s fantasies,” Gingrich said, before adding that he worked against cap and trade legislation as a member of Congress.

    Criticism of his long record in public office has increased with his recent rise in polling of Republican voters, something Beck perpetuated during his questioning over Gingrich’s stance on health care, and more specifically the changes to Medicare he would or would not support.

    Gingrich said he promotes a practical approach to changing the program, instead of completely overhauling or dismantling it, as some, including House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan and Beck have suggested.

    “I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options, not one where you suddenly impose upon,” Gingrich said. “I’m against ‘ObamaCare,’ which is imposing radical change and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.”

  • Heartbreak Awaits Republicans Who Love Gingrich – Before Republicans put Newt Gingrich at the top of their party, they should consider what happened the last time he led it.
    In the mid-1990s, Gingrich was the de facto head of the Republican Party. He helped lead it to victory in the congressional elections of 1994, which brought about real accomplishments such as welfare reform. But once he attained power, both his popularity and that of his party started to plummet. In the aftermath of his leadership, a Republican was able to take the presidency only by pointedly distancing himself from Gingrich.
    Conservatives who dislike George W. Bush’s compassionate conservatism have Gingrich to thank for it. After Gingrich lost the budget battles with President Bill Clinton, it took 15 years for any politician to take up the cause of limited-government conservatism that he had discredited.
    Although Gingrich isn’t solely responsible for the Republican policy defeats of those years, his erratic behavior, lack of discipline and self-absorption had a lot to do with them. He explained that one reason the federal government shut down in 1995 was that he was angry that Clinton had snubbed him during an international flight. The Clinton White House then released pictures of the two men gabbing on the plane. Later negotiations didn’t go well, with Gingrich saying, “I melt when I’m around him.”
  • Poll Shows Age Gap in G.O.P. on Immigration – With immigration now a front-burner issue in the Republican presidential contest, a new poll shows a substantial age gap among Republican voters over whether there should be a path to citizenship for immigrants who are in the country illegally.

    A majority – 57 percent — of Republicans who are 65 and older say that tighter border security and tough law enforcement should be the only focus of immigration policy, with no path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, a nonpartisan group in Washington. Only about one-quarter of this group, or 24 percent, favor combining strict enforcement with a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

    Among Republicans who are younger than 30, the poll found, 42 percent favor a combined approach of tough enforcement against illegal immigration with a path to citizenship, while 30 percent wanted only enforcement. Among these younger Republicans, another 26 percent said that opening a path to citizenship should be the immigration priority, with or without tougher enforcement.

    The poll showed other differences. Among Republican voters who agreed with the Tea Party, 52 percent favored a policy based only on tougher enforcement. Among Republicans who disagreed with the Tea Party or had no opinion, 36 percent wanted only enforcement, while 44 percent favored policies pairing enforcement with a path to citizenship.

  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2011/12/06/president-2012-gop-poll-watch-gingrich-37-vs-romney-22-vs-paul-8-vs-perry-7/ – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Gingrich 37% Vs. Romney 22% Vs. Paul 8% Vs. Perry 7% #tcot #catcot
  • Bachmann: Newt Gingrich is a frugal socialist – Responding to Newt’s justification of his support of the Prescription Drug entitlement that was passed under the Bush administration, Bachmann said:

    It doesn’t help to have a frugal socialist. That’s really what we’re talking about is managing socialism and trying to be a frugal socialist.

    Beck, recognizing that a headline had just been made sought to clarify, asking Bachmann “Did you just say that Newt Gingrich is a socialist?” Bachmann responded:

    What I’m saying is that – I’m saying a frugal socialist, yes! Because you’re looking at proposals and programs that are in effect redistribution of wealth and socialism-based, and are we going to have real change in the country or are we going to have frugal socialists?

  • Why Newt Gingrich is an easy target—John Podhoretz – One of the pithiest quotes in American history may also be the dumbest: “There are no second acts in American lives.”

    F. Scott Fitzgerald said it and promptly died before he could have a second act — but he would have had one, because that’s what tends to happen to famous and accomplished people in the United States. It’s happening to Newt Gingrich right now.

    For those of us who live and breathe politics and make our livings in and around it, the words “Newt Gingrich” mean something entirely different than they do to the Republican primary voters who are now shifting over to him in droves.

  • President 2012 GOP Iowa Poll Watch: Gingrich Leading in Yet Another Poll | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – RE: Good question. But, Gingrich’s baggage has been around for a long time.
  • Dilbert December 4, 2011 – Carpool Poser » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert December 4, 2011 – Carpool Poser
  • President 2012 GOP Iowa Poll Watch: Gingrich Leading in Yet Another Poll | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Iowa Poll Watch: Gingrich Leading in Yet Another Poll #tcot #catcot
  • Osteoporosis drugs helped astronauts, scientists say – Researchers have confirmed that five astronauts who stayed long term at the International Space Station were able to prevent bone-density loss by taking osteoporosis drugs.

    Astronauts in a weightless environment usually lose 5 to 7 percent of their bone density in six months even while exercising two hours a day. In the study conducted by researchers of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tokushima University and others, five astronauts who stayed in space for up to 163 days exercised daily and took bisphosphonates used to treat osteoporosis once a week during their stay on the space station. As a result, researchers found almost no bone-density loss in the astronauts.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: December 6, 2011 – The Morning Drill: December 6, 2011
  • Day By Day December 6, 2011 – Proud | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day December 6, 2011 – Proud #tcot #catcot
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-06 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-06 #tcot #catcot
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Starbucks – On the way home from Vegas (@ Starbucks)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Cancun Resort – Soon will leave Las Vegas to return home in Thousand Oaks (@ Cancun Resort)
  • foursquare :: Cancun Resort :: Las Vegas, NV – I just ousted Ryry as the mayor of Cancun Resort on @foursquare!
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-05 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-05 #tcot #catcot
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Cancun Resort – Up, Starbucks completed & ready for Las Vegas Half Marathon. #rnrlv #stripatnight (@ Cancun Resort)
  • First Read – Gingrich takes control in Iowa – RT @ZekeJMiller: NBC Marist poll in NH: Romney 29, Gingrch 23, Paul 16, Huntsman 9.
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-04 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-04 #tcot #catcot
  • The Cain Solutions – RT @katieharbath: now up
  • The Cain Solutions – RT @katieharbath: now up
  • (500) http://www.hermancain.com/livestream – RT @THEHermanCain Team HC: Livestream coverage of Mr. Cain’s announcement begins at 1:00 pm ET. #tcot
  • Barbour Says Perry Still Has a Chance – Barbour Says Perry Still Has a Chance
  • Romney and Gingrich, from bad to worse – Republicans are more conservative than at any time since their 1980 dismay about another floundering president. They are more ideologically homogenous than ever in 156 years of competing for the presidency. They anticipated choosing between Mitt Romney, a conservative of convenience, and a conviction politician to his right. The choice, however, could be between Romney and the least conservative candidate, Newt Gingrich.

    Romney’s main objection to contemporary Washington seems to be that he is not administering it. God has 10 commandments, Woodrow Wilson had 14 points, Heinz had 57 varieties, but Romney’s economic platform has 59 planks — 56 more than necessary if you have low taxes, free trade and fewer regulatory burdens. Still, his conservatism-as-managerialism would be a marked improvement upon today’s bewildered liberalism.

  • Barbour Says Perry Still Has a Chance – Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) tells the New York Times that it’s not clear Mitt Romney will be the Republican presidential nominee.

    Said Barbour: “I don’t think it’s clear. I think people make the mistake of writing off Rick Perry and believe he can’t come back. He’s got a mountain to get over, but I don’t think it’s impossible. Both Newt and Romney have a lot of support, but I don’t think it’s a two-man race. I think Perry could get back in it with Gingrich and Romney. I can’t look you in the eye and say nobody else can come up. You’ve got to learn your lesson this year not to say that about anybody.”

    He added: “I haven’t decided who is the best nominee for the party. I can see how either one of them could be the best nominee. But I think it is premature to write off Perry. He is a very successful governor. This is very unpredictable. I’ve never seen a nomination on our side like this.”

  • Mitt Romney looks to outlast and outwork Gingrich to GOP nomination – The Romney campaign believes organization will be particularly critical because of changes in the nominating process. In the past, the winner of a state — or, in some cases, the top vote-getter in each congressional district — won all the delegates. But in 2012, most of the 30 states that hold contests before April 1 will award delegates proportionally. The ones that will come after will still be winner-takes-all.

    That means a candidate could lose a number of states but still remain competitive in the race to gain the majority of the 2,427 delegates at stake.

    As a reminder to take the long view, Romney’s political director, Rich Beeson, walks around headquarters carrying a matrix in his pocket charting which states award delegates proportionally and which are winner-takes-all.

    “We’re not Kentucky Fried Chicken,” Beeson said. “We don’t have the luxury to just do one thing and do it right.”

  • Day By Day December 3, 2011 – Weaning | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day December 3, 2011 – Weaning #tcot #catcot
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Cancun Resort – Drinking Starbucks with Alice listening to the Las Vegas wind. (@ Cancun Resort)
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-03 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-03 #tcot #catcot
  • yfrog Photo : http://yfrog.com/ntl8kej Shared by Flap – At Las Vegas Rock and Roll Expo
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Sands Convention Center – Rock and Roll Expo is very big and full of runners #rnrlv (@ Sands Convention Center w/ 21 others)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Sands Expo Convention Center Hall B – At the Rock and Roll Expo #rnrlv (@ Sands Expo Convention Center Hall B)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap’s Badges :: Overshare – I just unlocked the “Overshare” badge on @foursquare!
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ The Palazzo Resort Hotel & Casino – Almost at the Rock and Roll Expo #rnrlv (@ The Palazzo Resort Hotel & Casino w/ 5 others)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Mandalay Bay Casino – Where the half marathon will start on Sunday night #rnrlv (@ Mandalay Bay Casino)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ M Resort Spa Casino – We have arrived in Vegas. Heading to Rock n Roll Expo #rnrlv (@ M Resort Spa Casino w/ 2 others)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ I See Vegas!! – I see it (@ I See Vegas!!)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Almost Vegas Baby! – Almost…. (@ Almost Vegas Baby!)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap’s Badges :: Mall Rat – I just unlocked the “Mall Rat” badge on @foursquare! Time for a fancy pretzel.
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Primm Fashion Outlet – On our way to Las Vegas Rock n Roll Expo #rnrlv (@ Primm Fashion Outlet)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Baker, CA – Civilization? (@ Baker, CA)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Zzyzzx, Solve For Z – On the road to Vegas (@ Zzyzzx, Solve For Z)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Starbucks – On the way to Vegas with Tara and Alice (@ Starbucks)
  • President 2012: The Question – Mitt or Newt? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: The Question – Mitt or Newt? #tcot #catcot
  • U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.6 % From 9% – But…. | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.6 % From 9% – But…. #tcot #catcot
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-02 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-02 #tcot #catcot
  • Unauthorized Immigrants: Length of Residency, Patterns of Parenthood – Nearly two-thirds of the 10.2 million unauthorized adult immigrants in the United States have lived in this country for at least 10 years and nearly half are parents of minor children, according to new estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

    These estimates are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2010 Current Population Survey, augmented with the Center’s analysis of the demographic characteristics of the unauthorized immigrant population using a “residual estimation methodology”1 that the Center has employed for many years.

  • Leno Ad
    – YouTube
    – I like this ad from Rick Perry Can Perry make a come back, if Newt heads downward in the polls?
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