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

0 The Morning Flap: December 20, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Taxpayer funds and unions for everyone.

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

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

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

  • Examiner Editorial: Boehner’s Plan B is conservatives’ best hope | WashingtonExaminer.com – You are wrong, sir | RT @JohnCornyn Examiner: Plan B is conservatives best option
  • Mass. poll: Scott Brown for John Kerry’s seat – Kevin Robillard – POLITICO.com – Brown beats all Dems handily | RT RT @politico New Massachusetts poll: Scott Brown for John Kerry’s seat:
  • Here’s What to Watch in Debate on GOP’s Plan B – Hopefully failure RT @HotlineJosh RT @mikecatalini: What to watch for in today’s Plan B floor debate in the House
  • Examiner Editorial: Boehner’s Plan B is conservatives’ best hope | WashingtonExaminer.com – No way! RT @ByronYork RT @conncarroll: Examiner Editorial: Boehner’s Plan B is conservatives’ best hope #tcot
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-19 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-19
  • Is the Handwriting on the Wall for Rep. Buck McKeon? – Flap’s Blog – Is the Handwriting on the Wall for Rep. Buck McKeon? #tcot
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-19 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-19 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-19 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-19
  • Philip Klein: How to evaluate ‘fiscal cliff’ proposals | WashingtonExaminer.com – Philip Klein: How to evaluate ‘fiscal cliff’ proposals | #tcot
  • Philip Klein: How to evaluate ‘fiscal cliff’ proposals – After weeks of relative calm, America’s “fiscal cliff” drama has now been overtaken by a flurry of proposals, counterproposals and legislative maneuvering.As various ideas have been floated, they have triggered two main reactions among conservatives. One is to insist that if Republicans firmly stand their ground long enough, they will eventually get what they want from President Obama. Another is to side with House Speaker John Boehner and to act as if anybody who rejects any of his proposals is completely detached from reality.If Republicans refuse to back any deal that doesn’t preserve all of the Bush-era rates in hopes of protecting the GOP’s reputation as the low-tax party, they risk accomplishing the exact opposite. Americans would likely blame the GOP for taxes going up on everybody — as would happen automatically on Jan. 1 if no deal is struck. At that point, Obama could propose a massive tax cut for those making less than $250,000 per year, and it would be difficult for Republicans to resist. If they continued to do so, their reputation as tax cutters would be deeply damaged.
  • Obama Digital Team Say Mobile Ads Targeting Young, Females and Hispanics Worked – Obama Digital Team Say Mobile Ads Targeting Young, Females and Hispanics Worked #tcot
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: New Prophylatic Antibiotic Guidelines for Joint Replacements Issued by the American Dental Association – New Prophylatic Antibiotic Guidelines for Joint Replacements Issued by the American Dental Association
  • Judge Robert H. Bork – R.I.P. – Flap’s Blog – Judge Robert H. Bork – R.I.P. #tcot
  • The Morning Flap: December 19, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: December 19, 2012 #tcot
  • Day By Day December 18, 2012 – The Environmentalists – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day December 18, 2012 – The Environmentalists #tcot
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: December 20, 2012

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share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: December 7, 2011

These are my links for December 6th through December 7th:

  • Alec Baldwin: A Farewell to Common Sense, Style, and Service on American Airlines – First off, I would like to apologize to the other passengers onboard the American Airlines flight that I was thrown off of yesterday. It was never my intention to inconvenience anyone with my “issue” with a certain flight attendant.

    I suppose a part of my frustration lay with the fact that I had flown American for over 20 years and was brand loyal, in the extreme. The ticketing agents and Admiral’s Club staff have always been nothing but abundantly helpful to me, as I have flown hundreds of thousands of miles with the one carrier.

    My confusion began when the flight, already a half hour behind schedule, boarded, the door closed, and we proceeded to sit at the gate for another fifteen minutes. I then did what I have nearly always done and that was to pull out my phone to complete any other messaging I had to do before take off. In nearly all other instances, the flight attendants seemed to be unbothered by and said nothing about such activity, by me or anyone else, until we actually were pulling away from the gate.

  • Sarah Palin Won’t Endorse Before Iowa Caucuses – Sarah Palin told Fox Business Network today that she will not be endorsing a candidate in the next few weeks.

    “Not before Iowa,” Palin said, in an interview set to air at 10 p.m. EST on FBN. “And Iowa’s not the end of the road. It’s the beginning of the road really. Newt Gingrich, I believe, has risen in the polls because he has been a bit more successful than Romney in reaching out to that base of constitutional conservatives who are part of the tea party movement. He hasn’t been afraid of that movement. He has been engaged in that movement most recently in order for them to hear his solutions and there’s been some forgiveness then on the part of Tea Party Patriots for some of the things in Gingrich’s past.”

  • Obama administration refuses to relax Plan B restrictions – The federal government Wednesday rejected a request to let young teenage girls buy the controversial morning-after pill Plan B directly off drugstore and supermarket shelves without a prescription.

    In a rare public split among federal health officials, the Health and Human Services Department overruled a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to make the drug available to anyone of any age without a restriction.

    In a statement, FDA Administrator Margaret A. Hamburg said she had decided the medication could be used safely by girls and women of all ages. But she added that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had rejected the move.

    “I agree … there is adequate and reasonable, well-supported, and science-based evidence that Plan B One-Step is safe and effective and should be approved for nonprescription use for all females of child-bearing potential,” Hamburg said.

    “However, this morning I received a memorandum from the Secretary of Health and Human Services invoking her authority under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to execute its provisions and stating that she does not agree with the Agency’s decision to allow the marketing of Plan B One-Step nonprescription for all females of child-bearing potential,” she said.

  • Death penalty dropped against Mumia Abu-Jamal – Prosecutors on Wednesday abandoned their 30-year pursuit of the execution of convicted police killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther whose claim that he was the victim of a racist legal system made him an international cause celebre.

    Abu-Jamal, 58, will instead spend the rest of his life in prison. His writings and radio broadcasts from death row had put him at the center of an international debate over capital punishment.

    Flanked by Officer Daniel Faulkner’s widow, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced his decision two days short of the 30th anniversary of the white policeman’s killing.

    He said continuing to seek the death penalty could lead to “an unknowable number of years” of appeals, and that some witnesses have died or are unavailable after nearly three decades.

    “There’s never been any doubt in my mind that Mumia Abu-Jamal shot and killed Officer Faulkner. I believe that the appropriate sentence was handed down by a jury of his peers in 1982,” said Williams, the city’s first black district attorney. “While Abu-Jamal will no longer be facing the death penalty, he will remain behind bars for the rest of his life, and that is where he belongs.”

    Abu-Jamal was originally sentenced to death. His murder conviction was upheld through years of appeals. But in 2008, a federal appeals court ordered a new sentencing hearing on the grounds that the instructions given to the jury were potentially misleading.

    After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to weigh in two months ago, prosecutors were forced to decide whether to pursue the death penalty again or accept a life sentence without parole.

    Williams said he reached the decision with the blessing of Faulkner’s widow, Maureen.

  • Poll Watch: A Majority of California Voters Favor Governor Jerry Brown’s Pension Reform Plans » Flap’s California Blog – Poll Watch: A Majority of California Voters Favor Governor Jerry Brown’s Pension Reform Plans
  • Anti-union “paycheck protection” measure qualifies for Nov. 2012 ballot | Politics Blog | an SFGate.com blog – Anti-union “paycheck protection” measure qualifies for Nov. 2012 California ballot #catcot
  • President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Newt Gingrich Leads BIG in 3 Early States – Is Newt the Nominee? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Newt Gingrich Leads BIG in 3 Early States – Is Newt the Nominee? #tcot #catcot
  • Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire – RT @pwire: New polls from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida will be out within the hour…
  • O’Grady v. Superior Court – 139 Cal. App. 4th 1423, 2006 WL 1452685 (Cal. App. , 6th Dist., May 26, 2006) – Apple Barred From Obtaining Source Of Blog’s Article

    Reversing the court below, the California Court of Appeals holds that the Stored Communications Act prohibits an ISP that hosted a blog’s email account from disclosing e-mails sent to the blog in response to a subpoena issued in a civil litigation.  The subpoena sought production of e-mails that would permit Apple Computer (“Apple”) to identify the individual(s) who transmitted trade secret information about an as yet unreleased Apple product to the blog/website Power Page, which information was the source of articles Power Page subsequently published on its blog/website.

    The Court further held that petitioners, who acted as publishers of, and/or editors or reporters for, the news blogs that published the stories at issue about this Apple product, were entitled to a protective order against their disclosure of the confidential sources of their stories.  Notwithstanding Apple’s claim that the information petitioners received from these services constituted trade secrets disclosed in violation of confidentiality agreements each of its employees had signed, the Court held such disclosure barred by both California’s Reporter’s Shield Law and the First Amendment.  The Court held that the Shield Law, which prohibits a court from holding in contempt a publisher, editor or reporter of “a newspaper, magazines or other periodical publication” for failing to disclose the source of a published story, protected petitioners, publishers and/or reporters of news blogs, from having to disclose the sources of the stories at issue.  The First Amendment similarly provided protection, given Apple’s failure to fully exhaust other avenues of disclosure before pursuing discovery from petitioners.

  • Crystal Cox, Oregon Blogger, Isn’t a Journalist, Concludes U.S. Court–Imposes $2.5 Million Judgement on Her – A U.S. District Court judge in Portland has drawn a line in the sand between “journalist” and “blogger.” And for Crystal Cox, a woman on the latter end of that comparison, the distinction has cost her $2.5 million.
    Speaking to Seattle Weekly, Cox says that the judgement could have impacts on bloggers everywhere.

     

    “This should matter to everyone who writes on the Internet,” she says.

    Cox runs several law-centric blogs, like industrywhistleblower.com, judicialhellhole.com, and obsidianfinancesucks.com, and was sued by investment firm Obsidian Finance Group in January for defamation, to the tune of $10 million, for writing several blog posts that were highly critical of the firm and its co-founder Kevin Padrick.

    Representing herself in court, Cox had argued that her writing was a mixture of facts, commentary and opinion (like a million other blogs on the web) and moved to have the case dismissed. Dismissed it wasn’t, however, and after throwing out all but one of the blog posts cited by Obsidian Financial, the judge ruled that this single post was indeed defamatory because it was presented, essentially, as more factual in tone than her other posts, and therefore a reasonable person could conclude it was factual.

    The judge ruled against Cox on that post and awarded $2.5 million to the investment firm.

  • Unlike Oregon, Bloggers Are Journalists in Washington State, Do Qualify for Legal Protections – This morning we told you about the troubling case of Crystal Cox, the Oregon blogger who was successfully sued for defamation, thanks in part to a federal court ruling that she isn’t a “journalist” and therefore doesn’t qualify for the state’s media shield laws. Now, the man who wrote the shield laws in Washington state has weighed in on whether such a ruling would fly here.
    Bruce E. H. Johnson, attorney with Davis Wright Tremaine, is a veteran litigator in the field of free speech and media law. In 2006 he drafted Washington state’s media shield legislation, and in 2007 the state legislature passed it into law.

     

    He says that had Cox’s case been heard in a Washington court, the outcome (at least in regards to the shield law) would have most likely been different.

    “I believe the shield law would have been applied [in Washington state],” Johnson tells Seattle Weekly. “Oregon’s law was probably written before blogging was accounted for

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: December 7, 2011 – The Morning Drill: December 7, 2011
  • President 2012: Newt Gingrich the Worst of Both Worlds? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Newt Gingrich the Worst of Both Worlds? #tcot #catcot
  • Blagojevich gets 14 years in prison for corruption – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @PoliticalTicker: BREAKING: Blagojevich sentenced to 14 years in prison -
  • Dilbert December 7, 2011 – Lower the Expectations? » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert December 7, 2011 – Lower the Expectations?
  • Day By Day December 7, 2011 – In Your Face Politics | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day December 7, 2011 – In Your Face Politics #tcot #catcot
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-07 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-07 #tcot #catcot
  • Getting to a Brokered Convention | RedState – RT @fivethirtyeight: Some Republican donors still trying to draft new candidate.
  • No TR: The Limits of Obama’s Bully Pulpit – 2012 Decoded – Sorry but Prez Obama is NO Teddy Roosevelt – not even close -
  • Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: December 6, 2011 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: December 6, 2011
  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2011/12/06/the-afternoon-flap-december-6-2011/ – The Afternoon Flap: December 6, 2011 #tcot #catcot
  • Heartbreak Awaits Republicans Who Love Gingrich: Ramesh Ponnuru- Bloomberg – Heartbreak Awaits Republicans Who Love Gingrich
share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: December 7, 2011

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