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share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: December 22, 2011

Ron Paul The Afternoon Flap: December 22, 2011

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas speaks during a campaign stop in Fort Madison, Iowa, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011

These are my links for December 21st through December 22nd:

  • Grappling With Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters – Did you know about the racist newsletters published in the late 1980s and early 1990s under Ron Paul’s name? As the Texas Congressman surges in the GOP primary, the story of the newsletters is garnering headlines, as it did during his 1996 House campaign and his 2008 presidential run. He’s always insisted that he didn’t write the egregiously offensive material, and long ago repudiated it (though not as soon as he should have). Is this an old story voters will look beyond, like Newt Gingrich’s affairs? Or a new story for the vast majority of voters and the plurality of journalists who are less familiar with Paul than the other GOP frontrunners? Is it coming up now “for political reasons”? Or because it’s a legitimate subject of inquiry despite having been aired before in the media?

    It seems to me that the story’s reemergence was inevitable and necessary to fully inform primary voters about their choices. This level of scrutiny is rightly what comes with contending for the presidency.

  • Mayor Calls For Budget Cuts To Offset Millions In Occupy LA Costs – The City of Los Angeles reportedly faces millions of dollars in expenses brought about by the Occupy LA movement.

    City agencies have been ordered to calculate what was spent on the Occupy LA protests.

    Repairs to City Hall’s lawn where the Occupy group set up camp on Oct. 1 will require an estimated $400,000. The police action to clear out the encampment on Nov. 30 cost more than $700,000.

    Additional expenses are attributed to hauling away debris from the camp, and cleaning up graffiti that defaced City Hall marble walls and trees.

  • Romney refines comments about deporting Obama’s uncle – Mitt Romney was more nuanced Thursday when questioned about radio show comments he made regarding deporting President Barack Obama’s uncle.

    According to The Hill, the former Massachusetts governor was asked by radio host Howie Carr if Onyango Obama, who is allegedly in violation of his immigration status and was arrested for drunk driving this summer, should be deported.

    In the Wednesday interview, Romney said the law must be followed.

    “Well, if the laws of the United States say he should be deported, and I presume they do, then of course we should follow those laws,” he said.

    Asked to clarify those comments in a press conference Thursday, Romney said his stance was not affected by the man’s relationship to the president.

  • Bush I: Read my lips, Romney’s the best choice – Former President George H.W. Bush, while stopping short of a formal endorsement, declared that Mitt Romney was the “best choice” for Republicans in 2012.

    The Houston Chronicle reports:

    “I think Romney is the best choice for us,” former President Bush told the Houston Chronicle this week. “I like Perry, but he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere; he’s not surging forward.”

    Bush said he had known Romney for many years and also knew his father, George Romney, a former Republican governor of Michigan who ran for president in 1968.

    Bush said he supported Romney because of his “stability, experience, principles.

    He’s a fine person,” he said. “I just think he’s mature and reasonable – not a bomb-thrower.”

  • Huffington Post Miami accused of over-aggregating – When Huffington Post Miami launched late last month, Arianna Huffington promised to “dig deeper in an effort to tell the stories of all the people who make up this unique city.”

    And how many Miami-based HuffPo journalists are doing that? Two, according to Bill Cooke. He reports that Miami Herald staffers are complaining that the HuffPo duo are rewriting their newspaper stories for Huffington Post Miami.

    Miami Herald managing editor Rick Hirsch declined to discuss this with Cooke. “I’ll say what I have to say directly to the Huffington Post. There are some things we’ll be discussing soon.”

  • McConnell offers a way out of the payroll tax cut thicket – As I predicted, the perennial adult in Washington, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), has stepped forward with a way out of the payroll tax box into which the House Republicans have climbed. He sent out this statement:

    “The House and Senate have both passed bipartisan bills to require the President to quickly make a decision on whether to support thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs through the Keystone XL pipeline, and to extend unemployment insurance, the temporary payroll tax cut and seniors’ access to medical care. There is no reason why Congress and the President cannot accomplish all of these things before the end of the year. House Republicans sensibly want greater certainty about the duration of these provisions, while Senate Democrats want more time to negotiate the terms. These goals are not mutually exclusive. We can and should do both. Working Americans have suffered enough from the President’s failed economic policies and shouldn’t face the uncertainty of a New Year’s Day tax hike. Leader Reid should appoint conferees on the long-term bill and the House should pass an extension that locks in the thousands of Keystone XL pipeline jobs, prevents any disruption in the payroll tax holiday or other expiring provisions, and allows Congress to work on a solution for the longer extensions.”

  • Ron Paul’s story changes on racial comments – Rep. Ron Paul has tried since 2001 to disavow racist and incendiary language published in Texas newsletters that bore his name, denying he wrote them and even walking out of an interview on CNN Wednesday. But he vouched for the accuracy of the writings and admitted writing at least some of the passages when first asked about them in an interview in 1996.

    Some issues of the newsletters included racist, anti-Israel or anti-gay comments, including a 1992 newsletter in which he said 95% of black men in Washington “are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
    Paul told TheDallas Morning News in 1996 that the contents of his newsletters were accurate but needed to be taken in context. Wednesday, he told CNN he didn’t write the newsletters and didn’t know what was in them.

  • Video: Ron Paul in 1995: Say, have you read my newsletters? – Mitt Romney can breathe a sigh of relief, because Andrew Kaczynksi has shifted his attention to Ron Paul this week. Andrew dug up a 1995 interview with C-SPAN, a year before running for Congress after a decade out of office. Paul tells C-SPAN that he was ready after the long hiatus to return to Washington, but that’s not the big catch in this clip. Starting at 1:45, Ron Paul explains that his private sector efforts are keeping him too busy — and starts plugging his newsletters:
  • What Ron Paul Thinks of America – Ron Paul’s supporters are sure of one thing: Their candidate has always been consistent—a point Dr. Paul himself has been making with increasing frequency. It’s a thought that comes up with a certain inevitability now in those roundtables on the Republican field. One cable commentator genially instructed us last Friday, “You have to give Paul credit for sticking to his beliefs.”

    He was speaking, it’s hardly necessary to say, of a man who holds some noteworthy views in a candidate for the presidency of the United States. One who is the best-known of our homegrown propagandists for our chief enemies in the world. One who has made himself a leading spokesman for, and recycler of, the long and familiar litany of charges that point to the United States as a leading agent of evil and injustice, the militarist victimizer of millions who want only to live in peace.

  • (404) http://t.co/ceSW4wND%E2%80%9D – Shocker Flip Flop Mitt strikes again “@ByronYork: Romney changes stance on Iraq invasion. #tcot
  • Flipper: Romney changes stance on Iraq invasion – Romney’s statement on MSNBC is not only a change from what he said on Fox a few days ago.  It’s also a change from his position during his first run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2007-2008.  In a January 2008 GOP debate in Florida, Romney was asked, “Was the war in Iraq a good idea worth the cost in blood and treasure we have spent?”  Romney answered: “It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time; I support it now.”
  • Paul abandons interview concerning controversial newsletters – Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) took off his microphone and left a contentious interview on Wednesday when a CNN reporter asked repeatedly about racist articles published in his newsletter in the 1980s and 1990s.

    “It’s been going on 20 years that I’ve been pestered about this and CNN does it every time,” Paul said, clearly adjitated by the line of questioning. “When are you going to wear yourself out?”

    The Texas congressman said that the articles – which did not carry a byline – were written by his publishing staff and that he did not know about them at the time.

    “I didn’t write them, I didn’t read them at the time, and I disavow them. That is the answer,” Paul said.

    When CNN reporter Gloria Berger defended her questioning as legitimate – noting that some of the articles were “pretty incendiary” – Paul began to remove his microphone.

    The newsletters, mainly a forum for essay’s on Paul’s brand of libertarianism, once referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as “the world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours” and who “seduced underage girls and boys.”

    In another article, the author writes that “given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.” 

  • Mitt Romney Says ‘Yes’ To Deporting President Obama’s Uncle – Presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a Boston talk radio host on Wednesday that he supports the deportation of President Obama’s Kenyan-born uncle who was arrested this fall on drunken driving charges in Massachusetts.
    When asked by Boston radio personality Howie Carr whether the president’s relative, Onyango Obama, should be deported, Romney said, “the answer is ‘yes.’”
    “Well, if the laws of the United States say he should be deported, and I presume they do, then of course we should follow those laws,” Romney said. “And the answer is ‘yes.’”
    When Carr brought up Onyango Obama case, Romney first sought clarification: “Who is Uncle Omar, Howie?” the former Massachusetts governor asked the radio host.
    Carr explained that the uncle, nicknamed “Omar,” was recently arrested in Framingham, Mass.
    “Now he’s claiming he’s got a Social Security number and drivers’ license and no one knows how he got them,” Carr told Romney, “but they’re apparently legit even though he’s in the country illegally.” (Onyango Obama had reportedly defied a 1992 deportation order.)
  • Oh My! Gingrich Challenges Romney to Debate – In an interview with NBC News, Newt Gingrich responded to Mitt Romney’s comments that he can’t take the heat of negative ads.

    Said Gingrich: “I’ll tell you what. If he wants to test the heat, I’ll meet him anywhere in Iowa next week, one-on-one, 90 minutes no moderator, just a timekeeper. He wants to try out the kitchen? I’ll debate him anywhere. We’ll bring his ads, and he can defend [them].”

  • Ron Paul Storms Out Of CNN Interview – Ron Paul walked out of an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger, following a heated exchange over the controversy regarding racist newsletters sent in his name during the 1990s. Borger asked the Congressman if he had ever read the newsletters. “Did you ever object when you read them?”

    “Why don’t you go back and look at what i said yesterday on CNN and what I’ve said for 20 something years. 22 years ago? I didn’t write them, I disavow them, That’s it.”

    “But you made money off them,”

    “I was still practicing medicine,” Paul responded. “That’s probably why I wasn’t a very good publisher, I had to make a living.”

  • Tom Del Beccaro, Chairman of the California Republican Party Response to ProPublica Report – “The ProPublica report vindicates my repeated contention that the redistricting process was hijacked. That report, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. The corruption of the process went far beyond what was disclosed in that report. No fair minded person can now say the process or the result was fair. I am calling for an immediate and thorough investigation, by Congressional and State authorities, to get to the bottom of this obviously corrupted process. Beyond that, the Congressional and Senate lines as drawn by the Commission should not be used in any way for the upcoming elections.”
  • How Democrats Fooled California’s Redistricting Commission – This spring, a group of California Democrats gathered at a modern, airy office building just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. The meeting was House members only — no aides allowed — and the mission was seemingly impossible.

    In previous years, the party had used its perennial control of California’s state Legislature to draw district maps that protected Democratic incumbents. But in 2010, California voters put redistricting in the hands of a citizens’ commission where decisions would be guided by public testimony and open debate.

  • Democrats skew redistricting effort to their benefit, investigation finds – California’s congressional Democrats ran a secret effort earlier this year to manipulate the work of the independent citizen’s panel that drew the state’s new political districts, foiling the intent of reformers who sought to remove the redistricting process from the control of party bosses.

    Democrats met behind closed doors at the party’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, hired consultants, drew their ideal districts and presented maps to the panel through proxies who never disclosed their party ties or “public interest” groups created specifically for the purpose. In many cases, the panel responded by doing just what the Democrats wanted.

    The New York-based nonprofit investigative foundation ProPublica released findings Wednesday from a months-long reconstruction of the Democrats’ stealth redistricting strategy, relying on internal memos, emails, interviews and map analysis.

    The success of the strategy has Democrats projecting they may pick up as many as seven congressional seats in 2012 under new district boundaries adopted last summer, far more than had been expected originally.

    “Every member of the Northern California Democratic Caucus has a ticket back to D.C.,” crowed one internal memo. “This is a huge accomplishment that should be celebrated by advocates throughout the region.”

  • All the Companies Supporting SOPA, the Awful Internet Censorship Law—and How to Contact Them – Who’s officially on the record backing what could be the worst thing to ever happen to the internet? All of these companies listed below. Don’t take our word for it—this list comes straight from Congress. Just FYI.

    If you want to get in touch, we’ve provided a contact list below. Maybe you want to let them know how you feel about SOPA.

  • Shocker: Californa Democrats Manipulated Citizen’s Redistricting Commission » Flap’s California Blog – Shocker: Californa Democrats Manipulated Citizen’s Redistricting Commission
  • Rove: Republicans should fold in payroll tax cut standoff – The Hill’s Video – RT @TheRReport: Rove: Republicans should fold in payroll tax cut standoff
  • (404) http://t.co/Q5Xc08br%E2%80%9D – IDIOTS “@politico: .@marincogan reports: GOP frosh dig in hard on payroll tax cut:
  • NRSC Outraises Democratic Committee in November : Roll Call Politics – RT @rollcall: NRSC Outraises Democratic Committee in November. via @RollCallAbby
  • The Afternoon Flap: December 21, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Afternoon Flap: December 21, 2011
share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: December 22, 2011
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: November 29, 2011

These are my links for November 25th through November 29th:

  • BREAKING: Cain ‘Reassessing’ Candidacy – In a conference call this morning, Herman Cain told his senior staff that he is “reassessing” whether to remain in the race. He will make his final decision “over the next several days.”

    UPDATE: National Review was on the call. It lasted 5 minutes.

    “Obviously, you’re all aware of this recent firestorm that hit the news yesterday,” Cain began, his voice somber. “First thing I want to do is say to you what I have said publicly: I deny those charges, unequivocally. Secondly, I have known this lady for a number of years. And thirdly, I have been attempting to help her financially because she was out of work and destitute, desperate. So thinking that she was a  friend, and I have helped many friends, I now know that she wasn’t the friend that I thought she was. But it was a just a friendship relationship.”

  • Why Mitt Romney needs Herman Cain – The latest allegation swirling around businessman Herman Cain — that he conducted a 13-year long extramarital affair with a woman named Ginger White — could well amount to a political death blow for his already-reeling presidential campaign. And that’s bad news for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
  • Federal suit challenges California’s new congressional districts – Rebuffed by the California Supreme Court, a former Republican congressman and four others filed suit this week in federal court to overturn the state’s newly drawn congressional maps.

    The lawsuit by Mariposa Republican George Radanovich, who left Congress in January, marks the latest of numerous attacks by GOP interests against districts drawn for the first time by an independent citizens commission.

    Radanovich’s federal suit contends that the panel violated federal voting-rights law and the U.S. Constitution by seeking to protect three African American incumbents in the drawing of three Los Angeles congressional districts.

  • What if the individual mandate was unconstitutional? – An alarming article in Politico.com looks at what could happen if the Supreme Court determines that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate provision is unconstitutional—something that the current conservative leaning of the Court seems to indicate is somewhat more likely than not.

    Assuming that such a possible decision by the Court follows that of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in ruling that the mandate is unconstitutional but the remainder of the ACA may stand, the Politico.com article anticipates some potentially disastrous consequences.

    The provisions of the ACA—some of them already in force—include guaranteed issue, elimination of annual and lifetime limits, and a ban on basing premiums on health status, essentially decoupling coverage and premiums from insurance risk. Without the requirement for almost everyone to have coverage, there will be nothing to ensure that the risk pool contains a large percentage of individuals in good health as well as those with medical problems, and nothing to stop anyone from waiting until they’re sick or injured to demand coverage.

  • Dilbert November 27, 2011- The Lesser of Two Evils » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert November 27, 2011- The Lesser of Two Evils
  • Day By Day November 28, 2011 – Here Come the Drones | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day November 28, 2011 – Here Come the Drones #tcot #catcot
  • Chris Christie: President Obama’s just a ‘bystander’ – Gov. Chris Christie on Monday tore into President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the supercommittee’s failure to reach an agreement on debt reduction last week, asking the president, “What the hell are we paying you for?”

    Calling Obama “a bystander in the Oval Office,” the outspoken New Jersey governor said the White House spent the weekend tossing out a whole lot of “spin” about the supercommittee’s inability to come to an agreement before the Nov. 23 deadline.

    “I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration, about the failure of the supercommittee, and that the president knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn’t get involved. Well then what the hell are we paying you for?” Christie said during a press conference in Camden, N.J. “It’s doomed for failure so I’m not getting involved? Well, what have you been doing, exactly?”

  • Obama Abandons the Working Class – The timing may be a little embarrassing, appearing as it does on the eve of Mr. Obama’s visit to Scranton. Still, the authors are probably correct. For all of Joe Biden’s nostalgia about the blue-collar virtues of his home town (where he hasn’t lived since the early days of the Eisenhower administration), the coal mines shut down years ago and many in the white working class have been drifting to the Republican Party.

    The authors therefore suggest that Mr. Obama’s best demographic bet for 2012 lies in holding white college graduates. They are also up front about the vulnerability. Mostly they phrase it politely—”the perceived inability of the Obama administration’s policies to spark real recovery”; “serious doubts about Democratic stewardship of the economy”; or “disenchantment on the economy.”

    That shouldn’t be a hard sell in places like Scranton, where the 9.7% unemployment rate is the worst in the state. When the Obama stimulus came, Lackawanna County spent nearly half of the $39 million it received on education, which means teachers. The city has been deemed “finally distressed” for two decades, and just this month the mayor released a new budget that includes a 29% hike in property taxes.

  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Chez Cole – Breakfast first and then a day of writing/blogging. (@ Chez Cole)
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-29 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-29 #tcot #catcot
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Moorpark, California Metrolink Station – Waiting to pick up Alice from the train. (@ Moorpark, California Metrolink Station)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Department of Motor Vehicles – Waiting to complete Lexus registration. Oh my! (@ Department of Motor Vehicles)
  • Day By Day November 27, 2011 – The Ride | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day November 27, 2011 – The Ride #tcot #catcot
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-28 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-28 #tcot #catcot
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Chez Cole – Waiting for more turkey… (@ Chez Cole)
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-27 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-27 #tcot #catcot
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – A nice tapering 10 miles at Venice Beach today. Now with Alice, Tara and Nancy at Ronnie’s (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-26 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-26 #tcot #catcot
  • An Electronic Eye on Hospital Hand-Washing – NYTimes.com – An Electronic Eye on Hospital Hand-Washing -
  • An Electronic Eye on Hospital Hand-Washing – NYTimes.com – An Electronic Eye on Hospital Hand-Washing -
  • An Electronic Eye on Hospital Hand-Washing – NYTimes.com – An Electronic Eye on Hospital Hand-Washing -
  • The Afternoon Flap: November 25, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Afternoon Flap: November 25, 2011 #tcot #catcot
  • An Electronic Eye on Hospital Hand-Washing – NYTimes.com – An Electronic Eye on Hospital Hand-Washing
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: November 29, 2011
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share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: November 25, 2011

These are my links for November 23rd through November 25th:

  • An Electronic Eye on Hospital Hand-Washing – Beeps and blinking lights are the constant chatter of a hospital intensive care unit, but at the I.C.U.’s in North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., the conversation has some unusual contributors. Two L.E.D. displays adorn the wall across from each nurses’ station. They show the hand hygiene rate achieved: last Friday in the surgical I.C.U., the weekly rate was 85 percent and the current shift had a rate of 91 percent. “Great Shift!!” the sign said. At the medical I.C.U. next door, the weekly rate was 81 percent, and the current shift 82 percent.

    That’s too low for a “Great Shift!!” message. But by most standards, both I.C.U.’s are doing well. Those L.E.D. displays are very demanding — health care workers must clean their hands within 10 seconds of entering and exiting a patient’s room, or it doesn’t count. Three years ago, using the same criteria, the medical I.C.U.’s hand hygiene rate was appalling — it averaged 6.5 percent. But a video monitoring system that provides instant feedback on success has raised rates of hand-washing or use of alcohol rubs to over 80 percent, and kept them there.

  • First 5 LA chief to get sizable severance despite having quit – The board of First 5 LA will give its former chief executive officer an expensive severance package even after she resigned earlier this month following a critical audit of the agency.

    Evelyn V. Martinez submitted a letter on Nov. 10, saying the commissioners had required her to resign instead of being fired without cause from the independent Los Angeles County agency, which uses state cigarette taxes to fund health, safety and educational programs for children from birth to age 5.

    In her letter, Martinez said she was entitled to a lump sum payment equal to 12 months of salary and health benefits and her unused vacation. Martinez, who earned more than $240,000 annually, also said she should receive an additional month of pay and health benefit costs because she was not given a 30-day written notice.

  • Push against California’s redistricting maps moves forward – Republican activists trying to overturn some new voting districts cleared a significant hurdle toward putting the issue on the ballot by turning in petitions bearing hundreds of thousands of signatures.

    But the next step — verification of those names by county elections officials — could take long enough to stymie the proponents’ goal of getting new state Senate districts drawn by the state Supreme Court in time for next year’s elections.

    Secretary of State Debra Bowen has said that vetting all the signatures could take until mid-March, after the Feb. 23 deadline for some candidates to file for the June primary. The timing could mean that the maps drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission would be used until voters could weigh in on the November ballot.

    The referendum would allow voters the final word on the Senate maps. Dave Gilliard, a consultant who oversaw the $2.5-million signature drive for a group called Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting (FAIR), said the activists believe the state’s high court could act in time for the June elections. He said FAIR’s attorneys believe current redistricting law gives the court the authority to create new maps once signed petitions for the referendum have been filed.

  • NYT Claims Increasing Bipartisan Support for Plans that Could Raise the Cost of Medicare Policies by $34 Trillion – The NYT claims that plans that could raise the cost of Medicare equivalent policies for seniors by $34 trillion are gaining increasing support in Congress. These plans involve replacing Medicare with a voucher. This leads to higher costs both because the administrative costs of private plans are far higher than Medicare and they are likely to be less effective in controlling costs.

    The Congressional Budget Official projected that a Republican plan along these lines, that was approved by House earlier in this year, would raise the cost of Medicare equivalent polices by $34 trillion over the program’s 75-year planning horizon. While this plan would save the government money by reducing its payments for Medicare, it would mean that future generations of workers would pay far more for health care in their retirement. The cost of Medicare equivalent policies would far exceed the typical retiree’s income by 2050.

  • Support Builds for Premium Support Plan for Medicare – Though it reached no agreement, the special Congressional committee on deficit reduction built a case for major structural changes in Medicare that would limit the government’s open-ended financial commitment to the program, lawmakers and health policy experts say.

    Members of both parties told the panel that Medicare should offer a fixed amount of money to each beneficiary to buy coverage from competing private plans, whose costs and benefits would be tightly regulated by the government.

    Republicans have long been enamored of that idea. In the last few weeks, two of the Republican candidates for president, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, have endorsed variations of it.

    The idea faces opposition from many Democrats, who say it would shift costs to beneficiaries and eliminate the guarantee of affordable health insurance for older Americans. But some Democrats say that — if carefully designed, with enough protections for beneficiaries — it might work.

    The idea is sometimes known as premium support, because Medicare would subsidize premiums charged by private insurers that care for beneficiaries under contract with the government.

    “This is an idea that could easily resurface in the future as Congress seeks additional Medicare savings for deficit reduction,” said Patricia H. Neuman, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-25 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-25 #tcot #catcot
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Chez Bev Webb – Alice’s mom’s home for Thanksgiving – watching football (@ Chez Bev Webb)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap’s Badges :: Superstar – I just unlocked the “Superstar” badge on @foursquare!
  • U.S. ranks 28th in life expectancy while we pay the MOST for health care | Mail Online – U.S. ranks 25th in life expectancy — lower than Chile and Greece…
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-24 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-24 #tcot #catcot
  • News from The Associated Press – RT @AP: #Bachmann receives apology from NBC after off-color song was played during her appearance on ‘Late Night’:
  • NationalJournal.com
  • Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving: November 24, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving: November 24, 2011 #tcot #catcot
  • NationalJournal.com – Timeline of 2012 Presidential Primaries and Caucuses – Kenneth Chamberlain -
  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Medscape: Medscape Access
  • Timeline of 2012 Presidential Primaries and Caucuses – Kenneth Chamberlain – NationalJournal.com – RT @nationaljournal: TIMELINE: 2012 Presidential Primaries and Caucuses:
  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Coffee Linked to Lower Endometrial Cancer Risk
  • The Afternoon Flap: November 23, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Afternoon Flap: November 23, 2011 #tcot #catcot
share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: November 25, 2011
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share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for July 21st on 10:55

These are my links for July 21st from 10:55 to 16:42:

  • Poll shows Californians prefer easing prison terms to paying more – Cash-strapped Californians would rather ease "third-strike" penalties for some criminals and accept felons as neighbors than dig deeper into their pockets to relieve prison overcrowding, a new poll shows.

    In the wake of a court order that the state move more than 33,000 inmates out of its packed prisons, an overwhelming number of voters oppose higher taxes — as well as cuts in key state services — to pay for more lockup space.

    The survey, by The Times and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, shows a clear shift in attitude by residents forced to confront the cost of tough sentencing laws passed in recent decades.

    The poll canvassed 1,507 registered California voters between July 6 and July 17, about six weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an earlier court order requiring the inmate numbers to be cut. It was conducted by two firms in the Washington, D.C., area: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a Democratic firm, and American Viewpoint, a Republican firm. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.52 percentage points.

    The ailing economy far outweighs crime as the top concern for most people today, the pollsters said. That, along with the court order, could help explain voters' new receptivity to changes long sought by prisoner-rights advocates:

    — More than 60% of respondents, including majorities among Democrats, Republicans and those who declined to state a party preference, said they would support reducing life sentences for third strike offenders convicted of property crimes such as burglary, auto theft and shoplifting.

    — Nearly 70% said they would sanction the early release of some low-level offenders whose crimes did not involve violence.

    — About 80% said they approve of keeping low-level, nonviolent offenders in county custody — including jails, home detention or parole — instead of sending them to state prisons. The same percentage favors paroling inmates who are paralyzed, in comas or so debilitated by advanced disease that they no longer pose a threat to public safety.

    The pollsters noted that people don't generally favor the release of convicted criminals. But "when it comes to prisons," said Linda DiVall of American Viewpoint, "voters are looking for solutions that don't raise taxes or take money from other priorities like education."

    ======

    Read it all…..

    Just wait until some horrendous crime by a just released felon occurs.

    Want to bet whether poll results change?

  • For California redistricting commissioners, what’s a conflict of interest? – In the spring of 2010, when he applied to become a member of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, Gabino Aguirre of Santa Paula described himself as a "community activist" who had been an "advocate for a variety of causes."

    Aguirre survived the rigorous screening process conducted by the State Auditor's Office and was ultimately chosen as one of 14 commissioners selected from a pool that originally included 25,000 applicants.

    Now, with the commission poised to adopt political district maps that are certain to displease many Californians, Aguirre, one of five Democrats on the panel, has become the subject of sharp attacks from Republican Party leaders who accuse him of being a community activist who has been an advocate for a variety of causes.

    The attacks raise anew questions that the State Auditor Elaine Howle struggled with in 2009 as she developed guidelines and regulations for the selection of commissioners, a task with which she was charged under Proposition 11, the initiative that created the independent redistricting process.

    Kim Alexander, president and founder of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation, said she believes the auditor "struck the right balance" in disqualifying those whose political connections were so strong as to make them potentially beholden to a particular party or politician while at the same time keeping the process open to those who had been engaged in civic activities.

    "No one involved in crafting this commission expected you to have applicants who had zero political involvement in their history," she said.

    Indeed, a review of applications reveals a history of civic and political activism on the part of several commissioners. Some examples:

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    Read it all…..

    The California Citizen's Redistricting Commission is a disaster. The law should be changed to empower the California supreme Court to draw the lines.

  • See which areas have the most unauthorized immigrants in California – Undocumented immigrants comprise about 7 percent of the state's population and 9 percent of its workforce, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. The number of unauthorized immigrants in the state has held fairly steady at just below 3 million for the past five years — even shrinking slightly — as immigrants settle more often in states other than California, according to the report, which is based largely on federal tax returns. Undocumented immigrants are heavily concentrated in farming areas and urban coastal communities. This map shows which areas have the highest proportion of undocumented immigrants.

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    The map is at the link….

  • Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone takes California Secession Online – PE.com – Politics – Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone, who proposed that 13 counties secede from California, has taken his effort online.

    Stone's wants to create South California. And although he tempered the secession talk at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting, he did convince his colleagues to give him the go ahead to put together a summit on state issues — provided no county funds or staff went toward the effort.

    In a statement today, Stone proposed the summit for September or October and wants local officials to discuss ways to change the state. Stone, a Republican, wants a part-time Legislature, a balanced-budget requirement and changes to public employee pensions.

    He has launched both a website — californiarebellion2012.com — and a Facebook page to bolster his efforts.

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    Never going to happen….

  • Meth Addict with Flame Thrower to Be Spared Prison as States Cut Spending – Zackariah Lehnen, a 30-year-old transient, was paroled from a California prison in November after serving five months of a 16-month sentence for drug possession. He left under a program intended to reduce state costs by freeing nonviolent prisoners without supervision.
    Six months later he was arrested and charged with murder in the torture and stabbing deaths of an 89-year-old man and a 27- year-old woman in a Los Angeles suburb, according to court documents. He’s in jail, with a plea hearing set for July 28.
    Lehnen’s case, reminiscent of Willie Horton, the Massachusetts inmate who committed rape in 1987 after failing to return from a weekend pass, is an extreme illustration of the risks states face when they look to reduce prison spending by locking up fewer convicts.
    “It’s a perfect example of what goes wrong when you prioritize saving money over public safety,” said Ted Lieu, a former military prosecutor who’s now a Democratic state senator from Torrance, in a telephone interview.
    U.S. crime has dropped in the past two decades, a period when the number of state prison inmates doubled to 1.4 million and correctional spending more than tripled to $52.3 billion in 2009, according to the Pew Center on the States and the National Association of State Budget Officers, respectively. Now deficits, and a rethinking of how convicts are handled, are prompting states to reduce the number of convicts they hold.

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    Read it all….

    If they start letting these criminals out of prison, there will be more violent crime eventually.

    Then, the media will show the outrage that built all of the prisons in the fist place.

    But, at what cost…..

  • Mexico seizes over 800 tons of methamphetamine chemicals – The Mexican army has seized just under 840 tons of chemicals used for manufacturing methamphetamine in a raid in central Mexico, one of the biggest finds of its kind ever made in the country.

    The seizure in a warehouse took place in an industrial area in Queretaro, about 125 miles (200 km) north of Mexico City, the Mexican defense ministry said in a statement late on Wednesday.

    The seizure, which the army made on Monday, included 787 tons of phenylacetamide and 52.5 tons of tartaric acid, all in 25 kilogram (55 pound) packets. Both chemicals can be used in the manufacture of meth.

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share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for June 3rd on 12:32

These are my links for June 3rd from 12:32 to 12:50:

  • Proposed political district maps would sever most of Thousand Oaks from county – Most of Thousand Oaks would be politically detached from the rest of Ventura County under staff proposals presented Thursday to the Citizens Redistricting Commission.

    The proposals, the first maps to emerge from the commission, were presented as the panel prepares to release its full set of draft legislative and congressional districts next week.

    Under these first-draft ideas, the commission's line-drawers suggest Thousand Oaks be split in Assembly, Senate and congressional districts, with most of the city being grouped with portions of Los Angeles County.

    Perhaps most significant was the line-drawers' proposal to place about three-quarters of Thousand Oaks' population in an L.A. County-centered congressional district. If that recommendation were to be adopted, it would create a Ventura County-only district to the west that retains Simi Valley, the home and political base of incumbent Republican Rep. Elton Gallegly, who has represented most of the county for more than two decades.

    Earlier this week, commissioners suggested that most of Simi Valley —– rather than Thousand Oaks — be detached in order to meet the population requirements for a district that would contain nearly all the remainder of the county.

  • Obama’s Economic Debacle – Major news outlets are suddenly all agog because the vaunted Obama economic recovery not only never was much of a recovery at all, but also seems to be disappearing. “We are on the verge of a great Great Depression!” screams Drudge’s massive headline in red. The Wall Street Journal reports the bad news that the private-sector economy added only 38,000 jobs last month. The Washington Post announces that “U.S. economic recovery is faltering.” CNBC says Wall Street is “baffled.”

    The only thing that should be baffling is why anybody at all is surprised.

    This is what happens when government becomes too big, too intrusive, too debt-ridden and too unpredictable. Almost every root of the current economic distress – the longest post-WWII recession on record – stretches down to rotten government policy. The reasoned compassion of Jack Kemp’s promotion of home ownership was shifted by the Clinton Administration into forced lending practices. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while paying exorbitant salaries and bonuses to Clinton cronies, ran amuck. Lending standards were eviscerated at government’s behest.

  • Greenspan ‘Scared’ Over Deficit; Calls for Debt Ceiling Rise – The debt and deficit problem in the US is so serious that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan finds himself in the position of recommending the highest tax rates in more than a decade.

    In an interview with CNBC, the former central bank chief described himself as a "small government, free-market economist" who nonetheless believes that in order to raise revenue and close the debt gap, 1990s-era taxes must be reinstituted.

    It's a measure, he said, of how serious the problem has become.

    "The fact that I am in favor of going back to the Clinton tax structure is merely an indicator of how scared I am of this debt problem that has emerged and its order of magnitude," he said.

  • Economic Recovery Is Languishing as Americans Await Signal of Better Times – In 1901, William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal launched a cartoon featuring two overly polite friends named Alphonse and Gaston. Each insisted with conspicuous courtesy that the other go first. Amid elaborate bowing, scraping, and apres-vous-ing, Alphonse and Gaston never managed to make it through an open doorway.

    Now, 110 years later, economists have a name for the Alphonse and Gaston routine that’s hobbling the U.S. economy: “coordination failure,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its June 6 edition. Companies won’t hire because customers won’t spend. Customers won’t spend because companies won’t hire. This stare-down has been going on since approximately December 2007, when the worst slump since the Great Depression took hold. Many Americans would like someone to make a move so they can get back to prosperity. Yet they’ve lost confidence in the actions that were designed to build confidence and restore growth –namely, near-zero overnight interest rates, the bailout of the financial system, a weakening dollar, and stimulus measures that add to the federal budget deficit and the national debt.

  • When Will Economy Recover? 2014, If Ever, Survey Says – Americans are growing increasingly doubtful about direction of the US economy, according to the latest survey from business-advisory firm AlixPartners.

    In fact, an increasing number, some 61 percent, say they don't expect to return to their respective pre-recession lifestyles until the spring of 2014, if ever.

    What's worse, a full 10 percent said they expect they will never return to pre-recession spending.

    That's a more pessimistic view than last year, when those surveyed expected that they could be back to pre-recession spending levels by the middle of 2013.

    "Americans continue to push their expectations for return to a pre-recession 'normal' further and further into the future—close enough for comfort, but far enough away to seem realistic," said Fred Crawford, CEO of AlixPartners. "But as that happens, more and more it seems normal is actually where we are right now."

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    Not until Obama is gone….

  • Obamanomics in a Nutshell – The Auto Bailouts – It's a sign of grim times indeed when the Obama administration is touting a potential $14 billion loss to the taxpayers as a great economic success.

    The White House is running on its auto bailouts as courageous acts that saved the industrial Midwest. To critics of government intervention, the administration holds up the revival of General Motors and Chrysler as proof of the efficacy – nay, the necessity – of bailout economics.

    It's a telling point of pride. In bragging about the bailouts, the administration is boasting of a process shot through with lawlessness and political favoritism, not to mention reckless disregard for taxpayer dollars. Few acts have so powerfully captured Pres. Barack Obama's corporatism.

    The administration believes it trumps all criticism with one data point: GM and Chrysler are still with us. GM has even been making money, and had the biggest IPO in American history last November.

    Yet, as Megan McArdle of The Atlantic tartly observes, it shouldn't have been in doubt that if government threw $80 billion at two companies, not expecting to get all of it back, it could save them. She points out that the loss from the bailouts (the administration's estimate is $14 billion) will be close to the entire market capitalization of GM in 2007. It will be several times as big as the company's 2008 market capitalization.

    McArdle figures that, at a cost of roughly $10 billion to $20 billion, we might as well have given GM's pre-bankruptcy workforce of 75,000 hourly workers $250,000 each and called it a day.

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    Read it all

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