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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: August 2, 2012

Chick The Morning Flap: August 2, 2012

Over 200 folks lined up at this Waco, Texas Chick-fil-A to show their support of family values and free speech

These are my links for August 1st through August 2nd:

  • Obamacare Robs Medicare of $716 Billion to Fund Itself – Last week, a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report updated the amount of money Obamacare robs out of Medicare from $500 billion to a whopping $716 billion between 2013 and 2022.
    According to the CBO, the payment cuts in Medicare include:
    A $260 billion payment cut for hospital services.
    A $39 billion payment cut for skilled nursing services.
    A $17 billion payment cut for hospice services.
    A $66 billion payment cut for home health services.
    A $33 billion payment cut for all other services.
    A $156 billion cut in payment rates in Medicare Advantage (MA); $156 billion is before considering interactions with other provisions. The House Ways and Means Committee was able to include interactions with other provisions, estimating the cuts to MA to be even higher, coming in at $308 billion.
    $56 billion in cuts for disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments.* DSH payments go to hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients.
    $114 billion in other provisions pertaining to Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP* (does not include coverage-related provisions).
  • Chick-fil-A not alone in touting religion alongside products- Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy is not the only business tycoon who refuses to hide his faith under a bushel — top executives from some of America’s biggest companies are born-again Christians who talk about their beliefs more often than their balance sheets.Major corporations like Tyson Foods, Interstate Batteries and Hobby Lobby were either founded or are now led by outspoken and deeply religious bosses. While some of the companies distinguish between their corporate identities and their leaders’ faith, others embrace it.—Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries, discusses his faith and salvation at length on the company’s website, even inviting people to write him for advice on prayer;—Tyson Foods, the Arkansas food processing giant, offers chaplains to counsel its employees on life issues like deaths or family emergencies;

    —In-N-Out Burger, the popular California-based hamburger chain, prints “John 3:16” on the bottom of its cups;

  • Chick-fil-A: Hundreds line up in support, don’t mind long wait- A line of hundreds of people formed outside a Northridge Chick-fil-A on Wednesday afternoon as crowds flocked to the restaurant on “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”Gwilym McGrew, who drove to the fast-food restarauant from Woodland Hills, said more than 100 cars were waiting along Tampa Avenue to pull into the parking lot. “A couple hundred” people had lined up on foot, he said, some drinking water distributed by employees.”It’s very calm madness,” McGrew said. “Everybody’s very orderly.”McGrew was one of many people who ventured to the restaurant to show support for Chick-fil-A, which drew criticism after chief executive Dan Cathy said in a recent interview he and his company were against gay marriage. The comments drew strong reactions as customers pledged to boycott the chain and some mayors proclaimed they would not allow Chick-fil-A to open within their cities.

    In response, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee declared Wednesday “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” calling on people to eat at the restaurant to show support.

    McGrew said he came to the restaurant to support Cathy’s religious beliefs, even though he said he himself is not religious.

    “I’m not getting myself involved in the issue of gay marriage and all that, I’m not getting involved in a religious debate,” he said. “I’m getting involved in the government putting their thumb on a businessperson for his religious beliefs.”

  • Boycott fail redux: Citizens, Santa unite for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day; Photos show huge success; Update: #OutOfChicken? -
  • Chick-fil-A’s president shows dangers of corporate outspokenness- Sometimes politics intercede where you may not expect it. Corporations of all types have supported Planned Parenthood for years, presumably on the grounds that helping deliver inexpensive healthcare to underprivileged women was a good thing and one that fit in with corporate principles such as diversity and fairness. Then one morning they woke up to discover that their longtime beneficiary had become transformed into a gigantic political football. (Apologies to Franz Kafka.) The next thing they knew, they were on an anti-abortion organization’s boycott list.Corporate executives surrounded by yes men telling them how wise they are will probably continue to try sharing their wisdom on subjects well outside their core competencies. Sometimes they’ll tailor their words to what they think are their target markets. Sometimes, like Cathy, they’ll discover that there are bigger markets out there where customers may not care for what they have to say. We should defend to the death their right to speak, and also our own right to make them pay for it, or not, at the cash register.
  • Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day brings out supporters, protesters- It used to be that taking a bite of a chicken sandwich just meant you were hungry. Now it has become a symbol of whether you stand for or against same-sex marriage, or – alternately – the right to express your personal views without fear of retaliation.At Chick-fil-A locations across the country, people voted with their wallets today, coming out to express support for the fast-food chain after CEO Dan Cathy said in an interview that he is a firm backer of traditional marriage.“I believe what the Bible says (about marriage),” Chauncy Fields told us after wolfing down a breakfast of chicken and biscuits.  “So I came out here to support Chick-fil-A and the movement.”Chris Johnson sees a double standard. “He (Dan Cathy) said the exact same thing that President Obama said,” Johnson told Fox News — referring to the president’s past opposition to gay marriage – “And he gets negativity, and Obama gets positivity.”

    At one Atlanta location, the restaurant was packed, while the line for the drive-thru looped twice around the building and out into the street.

  • Wendy’s Sign Angers Liberals; Wendy’s Tweet Angers Conservatives- he sign, and its implied support of Chick-fil-A’s stance on gay marriage, was the work of Jim Furmen, who owns 86 Wendy’s franchises in North Carolina. When pictures of the signs were posted on Reddit and began circulating online, Wendy’s quickly took to Twitter to say the franchise owner did not represent the views of the entire company, saying “We proudly serve ALL customers” and adding that the signs had been taken down.Conservative bloggers and writers then took issue with the insinuation that Chick-fil-A did not serve all customers (even its critics haven’t made that charge), whereupon Wendy’s backtracked. “Not our intention at all,” Wendy’s said repeatedly to users that criticized them. “We’re simply saying that an independent franchisee posted the sign.”
  • Rick Warren: Chick-fil-A’s owner told me they set a new world record in sales today – Not a word about today’s activities has been whispered on Chick-fil-A’s feed even though CFA has been trending on Twitter off and on all day. As noted in the earlier post, the suspicion is that the company’s lying low about what’s happening in order to extricate itself from the front line of the culture war, but I wonder if today’s outpouring will draw some sort of recognition tomorrow. If Dan Cathy’s willing to tout the numbers to Rick Warren, presumably an official acknowledgment and thank you is on the way.
  • The Great Chick-fil-A War of 2012 – Ed goes on to point out the obvious: in a free country, any citizen has a right to protest or boycott a business, and any officeholder is free to express their personal support or opposition to the views of a company or its leaders. But once officials start using the power of the state to punish companies for expressing views they disagree with, well… that’s fundamentally anti-American, and sliding towards a fascist view of how society should operate. Your ability to run your business should not depend upon mayoral approval of your personal views
  • Why August Will Determine Senate Control- August is usually a sleepy month in politics. Congress leaves Washington for its annual summer recess, and campaigning takes a back seat as voters, more concerned with their own vacations than with statewide elections, tune out. But that’s not the case this year. When the 113th Congress gavels into session in January, the party that controls the Senate will credit key primaries this month with handing them power.The stakes are high for Republicans. Four states with competitive races hold GOP primaries over the next four weeks. And while the tone of a primary campaign rarely dictates the outcome in the fall, the candidates who emerge from those primaries will either help or hinder their party’s chances to win the four seats necessary to take over the upper chamber.That makes the Republican primaries in Wisconsin, Missouri, Connecticut, and Arizona worth watching.
  • Rep. Capps didn’t report rent income to IRS for a decade | The Daily Caller- In a possible congressional ethics violation, California Democratic Rep. Lois Capps rented a room in her personal home to one of her congressional staffers for years and did not report the income to the IRS —during that time, or for more than a decade — until 2012. Capps also withheld that information from the proper congressional authorities for five years — from 2001 until early 2006.The staffer in question was Jeremy Tittle, a “case worker” in Capps’ district office from late 2000 until late 2004. According to Federal Election Commission records, Tittle was also a staffer for Capps’ political campaigns from as early as 2001 to as late as 2004.
  • Possible VP Rob Portman was ‘frustrated’ at Bush budget office- Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who served as former President George W. Bush’s budget director, sought this week to distance himself from his former boss by saying he was “frustrated” in the high-profile post.Pressed on his record with Bush, Portman — a leading GOP vice presidential contender — agreed to an exclusive interview with The Hill in his Senate office.
  • Amazon joins Walmart in push for online sales tax- Congressmen in both parties want you to pay more taxes on your online purchases, and once again, big business is lobbying for bigger government, which would hurt Mom and Pop.Online sales taxes have been a battlefield for lobbying titans for years, pitting Walmart and the rest of the brick-and-mortar retail lobby against Amazon and other online retailers. But now Amazon has changed its business model and also its lobbying position, joining the rest of the retail giants in calling on Congress to aid states in collecting sales tax from online sales.Here’s the background:
  • Destinations / Man sitting outside his front door in Northern India….by Trey Ratcliff – Man sitting outside his front door in Northern India….by Trey Ratcliff via @pinterest
  • Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day Apparently a Big Hit – Flap’s Blog – Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day Apparently a Big Hit
  • SD-27: Fran Pavley Leads Todd Zink in Fundraising – Flapsblog.org – SD-27: Fran Pavley Leads Todd Zink in Fundraising
  • AD-66: Craig Huey is a Top California Republican Assembly Fundraiser – AD-66: Craig Huey is a Top California Republican Assembly Fundraiser
  • Sen. Rubio introduces Olympic medal tax exemption bill – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room – RT @briefingroom: Sen. Rubio introduces Olympic medal tax exemption bill
  • Should You Tweet While on Vacation? – Locum Tenens Dentist – Should You Tweet While on Vacation?
  • July Job Creation Index Slips – Flap’s Blog – July Job Creation Index Slips
  • Cal Fire losing inmate volunteers – SFGate – Cal Fire losing inmate volunteers – SFGate
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Daily Exraction: Why Use Grooved Forceps? – The Daily Exraction: Why Use Grooved Forceps?
  • Cal Fire losing inmate volunteers – SFGate – Cal Fire losing inmate volunteers
  • Cal Fire losing inmate volunteers- The number of state prison inmates available to perform crucial, labor-intensive tasks in battles against wildfires could soon drop dramatically, due to California’s shift of low-level offenders from state prisons to county jails.When wildfires ignite in California, some of the first crews on the scene are not state firefighters, but inmates who undergo training to handle such jobs as creating containment lines.There are more than 4,000 prisoners statewide trained for the work now, but prison officials said they expect that number to shrink by 1,500 by June as inmates are sent to county jails instead of prison.
  • Ethics Committee: reprimand Rep. Laura Richardson- The House Ethics Committee says California Democratic Congresswoman Laura Richardson should be reprimanded for misusing her staff.The committee found she improperly compelled staff to perform campaign work and obstructed the internal investigation by altering or destroying evidence, failing to produce subpoenaed documents and attempting to influence testimony of witnesses.The committee announced Wednesday that Richardson agreed to admit to all seven counts against her. The committee recommended that the House adopt its report, and said doing so would serve as a reprimand. Richardson also agreed to pay a $10,000 fine, to be paid by Dec. 1.
  • Villaraigosa says he’d like to be governor of California- As Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa prepares to take the gavel for the Democratic National Committee’s national convention in Charlotte this summer, Yahoo! News asked whether the termed-out mayor could be the nation’s first Latino president.Villaraigosa assured his interviewer that he has no interest in national office, but he does have another job in mind after 2013, when he will be forced from Getty House.”The job I’ve said to people I would like is I would like to be governor of the state of California,” he said.Villaraigosa spokesman Teddy Davis was not immediately available to comment on the mayor’s statement.

    Villaraigosa opted not to run for the job when it was last open in 2010. Gavin Newsom briefly challenged Jerry Brown in the Democratic primary before dropping out of the race, eventually running for lieutenant governor.

  • Giving a boost to the Latino vote- Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer of SEIU International and widely regarded as one of the nation’s most influential Latino leaders, was back in his home state last week to give a California lift to the national “Todos a Votar (Let’s Vote)” campaign that aims to inspire 2 million more Latinos to vote this fall than voted in the 2008 presidential campaign.He thinks that goal is realistic, as do officials with eight largest Latino organizations in the nation that are coalescing behind the effort. If it is reached, the National Association of Latino Elected Officials estimates that the total Latino vote will rise by 26 percent and that nearly 1 of 11 voters in November will be Latinos.NALEO estimates that 3.9 million California Latinos will vote in the fall, or more than a quarter of this state’s electorate.
  • Former Service Employees International Union leader indicted- Not long ago, Tyrone Freeman was a rising young star in the national labor movement, already the head of California’s biggest union local and a force in Democratic politics from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.Freeman’s quick climb up the ranks of the powerful Service Employees International Union burnished his reputation as an effective advocate for the disadvantaged, a man who helped improve the lot of about 190,000 workers paid about $9 an hour to provide in-home care for the infirm.On Tuesday, however, Freeman was indicted on federal charges of stealing from those workers to enrich himself, including by billing the union for costs from his Hawaii wedding.The 15-count indictment secured by the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles also alleges that Freeman violated tax laws and gave false information to a mortgage lender. If convicted on all counts, he could face maximum prison sentences in excess of 200 years.
  • California State School Employees Party in Las Vegas – Urge California Voters to Increase Taxes – California State School Employees Party in Las Vegas – Urge California Voters to Increase Taxes
  • The Morning Flap: August 1, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: August 1, 2012
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: February 14, 2012

Dogs Against Romney The Morning Flap: February 14, 2012

These are my links for February 13th through February 14th:

  • “Dogs Against Romney”? Democrats Say Unleash the Hound! – Tomorrow outside the Westminster dog show at Madison Square Garden at noon the group “Dogs Against Romney” will protest “to ensure pet lovers are aware that Mitt Romney is mean to dogs,” according to the group’s press release.

    While it may seem silly to some, Democrats are have every intention of making sure – if Romney wins the GOP nomination – that every voting American knows about the story of Romney putting his family dog Seamus in a kennel on top of his roof and driving from Boston to Canada, with said canine Seamus making his displeasure known in a rather scatological way. “I have a yellow Lab named Winston,” Fox News’ Chris Wallace said to Romney. “I would no sooner put him in a kennel on the roof of my car than I would one of my children. Question: What were you thinking?” “This is a completely airtight kennel, mounted on the roof of our car,” Romney replied. “He climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself. He was in a kennel at home a great deal of the time as well. We loved the dog. It was where he was comfortable.” “When Seamus crapped all over the car I’m fairly certain he wasn’t expressing pleasure,” one top Democrat told ABC News.

    “31 million dog-owners vote,” said another.

  • Media Matters memo called for hiring private investigators ‘to look into the personal lives’ of Fox employees – A little after 1 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2009, Karl Frisch emailed a memo to his bosses, Media Matters for America founder David Brock and president Eric Burns. In the first few lines, Frisch explained why Media Matters should launch a “Fox Fund” whose mission would be to attack the Fox News Channel.

    “Simply put,” Frisch wrote, “the progressive movement is in need of an enemy. George W. Bush is gone. We really don’t have John McCain to kick around any more. Filling the lack of leadership on the right, Fox News has emerged as the central enemy and antagonist of the Obama administration, our Congressional majorities and the progressive movement as a whole.”

    “We must take Fox News head-on in a well funded, presidential-style campaign to discredit and embarrass the network, making it illegitimate in the eyes of news consumers.”

    What Frisch proceeded to suggest, however, went well beyond what legitimate presidential campaigns attempt. “We should hire private investigators to look into the personal lives of Fox News anchors, hosts, reporters, prominent contributors, senior network and corporate staff,” he wrote.

    After that, Frisch argued, should come the legal assault: “We should look into contracting with a major law firm to study any available legal actions that can be taken against Fox News, from a class action law suit to defamation claims for those wronged by the network. I imagine this would be difficult but the right law firm is bound to find some legal ground for us to take action against the network.”

  • Down in Michigan Polls, Romney Needs to Find His Base
  • No money for D.C. voucher program in Obama’s gigantic new budget, of course; Update: Meanwhile, White House to boost subsidies for Chevy Volt
  • Obama’s ‘rosy’ budget scenario doubles down on class warfare « The Enterprise Blog
  • Laura Richardson’s ethics woes mount – Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson instructed taxpayer-funded House aides to work on political redistricting last year, sources familiar with the situation told POLITICO.

    Such activities could amount to a violation of prohibitions against lawmakers pressuring aides to do political work, as well as rules against using official resources, including staff, for campaign purposes.

    The redistricting work, which has not previously been disclosed, allegedly occurred after it became clear Richardson was under investigation over another set of allegations that she forced House aides to perform political and personal tasks in violation of House rules. Richardson did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

    Sources told POLITICO that Richardson’s congressional aides collected information about communities outside her district, organized a workshop to train constituents in advance of a public meeting of California’s independent redistricting commission, and wrote talking points for those constituents to deliver during the public-comments portion of the meeting at Long Beach City Hall in April 2011.

    The redistricting work was done at Richardson’s direction — rather than on a voluntary basis — these sources said.

    A spokesman for the Ethics Committee declined to comment on the Richardson case, but several sources indicated that investigators have expanded the probe and are now looking into the redistricting angle.

  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-14 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-14
  • Iranians’ Internet access blocked temporarily: experts – Most computer users in Iran were blocked from accessing email, social networking and other services in recent days, U.S.-based Internet experts said on Monday, raising fears the government is extending the reach of its surveillance on ordinary citizens.

    Internet service providers presumed to be acting at the Iranian government’s behest began blocking the most common form of secure connections on Friday, according to the outside experts and Iranian bloggers. Traffic rebounded to normal levels on Monday.

    The cutoff apparently affected all encrypted international websites outside of Iran that depend on the Secure Sockets Layer protocol, which display addresses beginning with https, according to Earl Zmijewski of Renesys, a U.S. company that tracks Internet traffic worldwide.

  • California lawmaker writes ‘Public Employees Bill of Rights’ – Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento,(right) has introduced legislation that would give unionized state workers more workplace discipline protections and first dibs on state government work.

    SEIU Local 1000 and the Union of American Physicians and Dentists support AB 1655, the “Public Employees Bill of Rights Act.” Here’s what it would do:

    • Gives unionized state employees priority over outside contractors and excluded state workers to fill permanent, overtime and on-call positions.
    • Sets a one-year statute of limitations for employers to take an adverse action against a state employee. (The current law allows disciplinary actions up to three years after the discovery of fraud, embezzlement or records falsification.)
    • Establishes a peer review committee to provide workplace operations input.
    • Guarantees that the state won’t impose “unreasonable quotas” on employees.
    • Bans extra work created by vacancies, furloughs of layoffs without “fair compensation.”
    • Gives priority to workplace safety and health grievances.
    • Explicitly bans workplace discrimination.
    • Strengthens whistleblower protections.
    • Requires employers exercise “preventive and corrective” actions before administering harsher employee discipline.
    • Settles grievances in favor of the employee if the employer misses contractual deadlines for response.
    • Defines protections and performance and merit evaluation processes for professionally licensed employees.
    • Guarantees independent legal representation for professionally licensed workers named as codefendants in litigation against their employers.

  • Will Overeating Contribute to Memory Loss? | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Will Overeating Contribute to Memory Loss?
  • Steinberg seeks state review of Sacramento Co. dental program – Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is calling for a state review of a Sacramento County pilot program that provides state-funded dental coverage for low-income children.

    A Center for Health Reporting article published in The Bee over the weekend detailed the shortcomings of the managed care program, including long wait times and comparatively low rates of dental care among the more than 110,000 Sacramento County children covered by the program.

    In a letter to California Department of Health Care Services Director Toby Douglas, Steinberg called for immediate action to address what he called a “crisis in prevention and treatment services.”

    “Despite that state funding, disturbing specific patient cases as well as the department’s own data cited in the article make it abundantly clear that prevention and treatment services are woefully inadequate for those children most in need,” the Sacramento Democrat wrote in the letter.

    In addition to the investigation, Steinberg asked the administration to step up its monitoring of dental plans under contract with the program and withhold payments or cancel contracts with plans that fail to provide proper access to care or meet other performance standards.

  • President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Santorum SURGES to Catch Romney | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Santorum SURGES to Catch Romney
  • AD-38: Antelope Valley Press Picks Up On Buck McKeon Countrywide Financial Stall Game » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Antelope Valley Press Picks Up On Buck McKeon Countrywide Financial Stall Game
  • George Will Video: Catholic Bishops “It Serves Them Right” Re: ObamaCare Contraception Mandate | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – George Will Video: Catholic Bishops “It Serves Them Right” Re: ObamaCare Contraception Mandate
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Food and Drug Administration Shuts Down Dental Implant Manufacturer – Food and Drug Administration Shuts Down Dental Implant Manufacturer
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: February 13, 2012 – The Morning Drill: February 13, 2012
  • Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney Tied Nationally As Romney Struggles with Base, New Polls Show – Despite a victory in the Maine caucuses on Saturday, Mitt Romney has more to worry about after two new polls released Monday show him fighting to keep his lead among Republicans nationally and struggling to win favor from the conservative base.

    A new Pew Research Center poll found Santorum and Romney neck-and-neck, with Santorum winning 30 percent of the support among Republican registered voters to Romney’s 28 percent — a difference that falls well within the poll’s five percentage point margin of error. Separately, Gallup’s latest tracking survey of the Republican race found Romney with 32 percent support and Santorum right on his heels with 30 percent.

    Of concern for Romney, the Pew poll shows him struggling among the conservative groups that make up the Republican base. Among self-identified conservatives, Santorum leads Romney by an 11 percent margin, 36 percent to 25 percent. Among Tea Party supporters, Santorum leads 42 percent to 23 percent.

    Romney’s support among Tea Party supporters is essentially unchanged from last month, when he received 26 percent support from Tea Party supporters to 24 percent each for Santorum and Newt Gingrich. But Santorum’s lead among the group may be a sign that they have begun to see him as the alternative to Romney.

  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 13, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 13, 2012
  • Obama proposes $800 million in aid for Arab Spring
    | Reuters
    – Obama proposes $800 million in aid for “Arab Spring”
  • The State Worker: CA prison officers spent more than $1 million on political advice – RT @TheStateWorker: CA prison officers spent more than $1 million on political advice
  • Election 2012 Polling and News, Republican Presidential Candidates, Obama, Interactive Polling Data – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Romney 32% Vs. Santorum 30% Vs. Gingrich 16% Vs. Paul 8%
  • Why America Keeps Getting More Conservative – Politics – The Atlantic Cities – Because it is the RIGHT thing to do….
  • Jack Lew’s misleading claim about the Senate’s failure to pass a budget resolution – The Washington Post – Jack Lew’s misleading claim about the Senate’s failure to pass a budget resolution
  • Dem lawmaker: Obama budget is a ‘nervous breakdown on paper’ – The Hill’s Video – Dem lawmaker: Obama budget is a ‘nervous breakdown on paper’
  • CA-26: Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett Out as Candidate for Congress | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-26: Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett Out as Candidate for Congress
  • The American Spectator : Can Mitt Close the Deal? – Cold, bleak February has turned into a happy time for us. It’s given us a short break from the constant barrage of debates, speeches and “crucial” primaries in the Republican presidential nomination contest. February has given us, and the candidates, a bit of time to think. Let’s make the most of it.
    The nomination is still up for grabs. Mitt Romney has the clearest path to it but Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul are all promising to take it all the way to the convention. To those who natter about how cool a “brokered” convention would be, I say don’t wish for something because you might get it. (Among other frightful questions, who can be the brokers? It’ll be a food fight that benefits only the media.) The Republican Party is too weak and fractured to come out of such an event united and strong enough to win in November.
    So let’s assume that Romney is the nominee. The arithmetic is pretty simple. Mitt Romney plus an energized Republican base can beat Obama in November. Romney without an energized base will lose. But the Republican base is conservative, and Romney hasn’t closed the deal with conservatives. Can he?
    Let’s face it: Romney isn’t one of us. At CPAC last Friday he said he governed Massachusetts as a “severely conservative” Republican in the tone of voice my late maternal grandmother used to say she was severely constipated. We know his record as state candidate and governor, and national candidate since 2007. We need not rehearse it here. Suffice it to say that it defines him as a transactional conservative. He will apply conservative principles as a business owner might apply production scenarios and estimated profit margins to negotiating a deal. They aren’t part of his core, but will be useful tools for him in campaigning and, if he wins, governing.
  • National Review calls on Gingrich to bow out of presidential race – The National Review is calling on Newt Gingrich to drop out of the Republican presidential race, arguing the former House Speaker should clear the way for Rick Santorum to seize the mantle as the Anti-Romney choice for conservatives.

    “It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader. When he led Santorum in the polls, he urged the Pennsylvanian to leave the race. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit,” the editors of the influential conservative online magazine wrote in an op-ed posted Monday.

  • Santorum moves ahead in Michigan – Rick Santorum’s taken a large lead in Michigan’s upcoming Republican primary. He’s at 39% to 24% for Mitt Romney, 12% for Ron Paul, and 11% for Newt Gingrich.

    Santorum’s rise is attributable to two major factors: his own personal popularity (a stellar 67/23 favorability) and GOP voters increasingly souring on Gingrich. Santorum’s becoming something closer and closer to a consensus conservative candidate as Gingrich bleeds support.

    Santorum’s winning an outright majority of the Tea Party vote with 53% to 22% for Romney and 10% for Gingrich. He comes close to one with Evangelicals as well at 48% to 20% for Romney and 12% for Gingrich. And he cracks the 50% line with voters identifying as ‘very conservative’ at 51% to 20% for Romney and 10% for Gingrich.

  • Untitled (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/budget.pdf) – RT @markknoller: The president’s 2013 federal budget now posted at
  • Ill. man bilks Medicaid of $2M for erectile pumps — Health — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine – Illinois man bilks Medicaid of $2M for penis erectile pumps
  • Santorum’s Turn – The Editors – National Review Online – Santorum’s Turn – really all that is left or it’s Romney
  • The Morning Flap: February 13, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: February 13, 2012
  • IN-Sen: Richard Mourdock Attacks Sen Richard Lugar for Support of Teapot Museum | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – IN-Sen: Richard Mourdock Attacks Sen Richard Lugar for Support of Teapot Museum
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-13 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-13
  • AD-38: Details Emerge on Buck and Patricia McKeon’s Countrywide Home Loans » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Details Emerge on Buck and Patricia McKeon’s Countrywide Home Loans
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share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: November 4, 2011

These are my links for November 4th PM.

  • Cain accuser stands by sexual harassment complaint- One of the women who accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of sexual harassment released a statement through her lawyer Friday stating that she “stands by” her complaint, which was made “in good faith about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances.”There was “more than one incident” of harassment involving Cain and his client over the span of a couple of months in 1999, attorney Joel Bennett said.

    Bennett said his client, married for 26 years, will not reveal her identity because “she and her husband see no value in revisiting this matter now nor in discussing the matter any further publicly or privately.”

    “In fact,” he added, “it would be extremely painful for her to do so.”

    Bennett released the statement after reaching an agreement to do so with the National Restaurant Association, the organization headed by Cain during the time of the alleged harassment. The group had reached an agreement with the alleged victim that included a series of confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions.

    Dawn Sweeney, the current head of the association, issued a statement confirming that in July 1999, Bennett’s client “filed a formal internal complaint, in accordance with the association’s existing policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment.”

    Cain, she noted, “disputed the allegations in the complaint.”

    The controversy has dominated Cain’s front-running campaign for the past week. A defiant Cain insists he did nothing wrong, and will not let the issue deter him.

    For its part, Cain’s campaign said earlier Friday it is considering filing a lawsuit against Politico, the news organization which broke the harassment story last Sunday.

  • Laura Richardson to be proved by House Ethics Committee- The House Ethics Committee has approved a full-scale investigation into allegations against Rep. Laura Richardson, rejecting the California Democrat’s efforts to head off the probe.The decision is a serious blow to Richardson’s already troubled reelection chances in 2012. And it also likely to reignite the debate in some circles whether African-American lawmakers are targeted for ethical or criminal probes at a higher rate than their white counterparts. Richardson raised the race issue in a statement Friday, saying she would explore whether the Ethics Committee “has engaged in discriminatory conduct.”
  • State of the blogosphere 2011: Using social networks for self-promotion – For its annual look at the blogging world, Technorati surveyed 4,114 bloggers in 45 countries. This year, the focus was on why and how they blog, their connections with brands and how they use social media.
    Meet the bloggersThose surveyed are mostly hobbyists (61 percent) who don’t post daily. In fact, only 11 percent of surveyed bloggers were posting on a daily basis. Thirteen percent of bloggers are doing it for extra income on the side, and only 5 percent are bonafide professional full-timers bloggers. Of the pros, 37 percent say it makes up the majority of their income. The remainder of the bloggers are doing it to promote a brand or company — 13 percent are entrepreneurs and 8 percent are corporate.

    For the most part, the bloggers are educated, married parents between 25 and 44 years old. Though still mostly male (59 percent), there was a gender shift from last year when 64 percent were men.

    Eighty percent have been blogging for over two years, and half for over four years. Bloggers are juggling an average of three different blogs, up from two last year. It’s interesting that bloggers are maintaining or increasing the amount of time they put into their blogs after launching, instead of losing interest or moving onto the next new thing.

  • Another poll shows Gingrich on the rise- If you need more evidence that Newt Gingrich’s bid for the GOP presidential nomination is on the rise, check out a new poll by ABC News and the Washington Post.According to the survey, out Friday morning, 12% of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP say they support the former House Speaker for their party’s presidential nomination. That’s up five points from one month ago. Gingrich is in fourth place in the new poll, one percentage point behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

    Gingrich was in third place at 10% support in a Quinnipiac University national poll released Wednesday, up seven points from late August. He stands at 12% in a recent Fox News Poll and at 10% in a recent CBS/New York Times survey.

    And it’s not just national polling. In Iowa, the first state to vote in the primary and caucus calendar, Gingrich is in fourth place, at 10%, according to a recent CNN/Time/ORC International Poll of registered Republicans.

    Gingrich’s campaign was left for dead by many in late spring, after a number of top advisers and staffers quit and the campaign faced financial difficulties.

    But the former House Speaker has performed well in eight presidential debates held this year, acting as the elder statesman while many of his rivals for the nomination attacked each other. And his fundraising appears to be picking up. Gingrich says he raised more money in October than the $800,000 he brought in during the previous three months.

  • House to launch ethics investigation of Rep. Laura Richardson- The House Ethics Committee voted Thursday to launch an investigation into whether Rep. Laura Richardson pressured her congressional staff to work on her campaign, adding to her political troubles as she faces a tough reelection campaign next year.The investigation is expected to be announced Friday. The panel, equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, largely operates in secret. Members voted unanimously to form a four-member investigative subcommittee — with power to subpoena witnesses and documents — to examine whether the Long Beach Democrat violated House standards of conduct. The investigation is likely to take months.

    A source familiar with the preliminary inquiry discussed it on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. At least eight current and former Richardson staff members told investigators they felt compelled to work on her 2010 reelection campaign on their own time, the source said. Some said House resources, such as congressional phones and copying machines, were used in the campaign, the source said.

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