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VP Biden Rope A Dope

These are my links for October 9th through October 11th:

  • Biden: ‘You Ever See Me Rope-a-Dope?’– Joe Biden, on his way to tonight’s vice presidential debate in Kentucky, asks the press, “You ever see me rope-a-dope?”From the pool report:Vice President Biden arrived at about 10:50 a.m. at New Castle Airport. He climbed out of a gray SUV, greeted some military (see below) and then walked toward the press gathered near the wing.Asked about tonight’s debate he said, “Looking forward to it.”

    Asked about his strategy, whether it was rope-a-dope, he responded:
    “You ever see me rope-a-dope?”

    A bunch of Bidens are joining the VP, including: sons Hunter and Beau, daughter Ashley, sister Valerie. Debate partner Rep. Chris Van Hollen and former Sen. Ted Kaufman are on board, as is Shaleigh Murray, who played moderator Martha Raddatz in debate practice.

  • GOP Turnout Effort Tests Obama Campaign’s Prowess– Republicans are narrowing Democrats’ organizational advantage in critical swing states, but the latter say they are on track to improve upon President Obama’s 2008 early-vote count.Now that the election has moved full-throttle into get-out-the-vote mode, both campaigns are tracking the daily tabulation of absentee ballots requested in key battlegrounds along with the number of early votes already cast. In half of the most critical swing states — Colorado, Florida and North Carolina — Republicans have requested more absentee ballots than have their counterparts. And in Nevada, the two sides are nearly even.
  • ObamaCare: Health Care Direction Awaits Verdict of Presidential Race– Joyce Beck, who runs a small hospital and network of medical clinics in rural Nebraska, is reluctant to plan for the future until voters decide between President Obama and Mitt Romney. The candidates’ sharply divergent proposals for Medicare, Medicaid and coverage of the uninsured have created too much uncertainty, she explained.“We are all on hold, waiting to see what the election brings,” said Ms. Beck, chief executive of Thayer County Health Services in Hebron, Neb.When Americans go to the polls next month, they will cast a vote not just for president but for one of two profoundly different visions for the future of the country’s health care system. With an Obama victory on Nov. 6, the president’s signature health care law — including the contentious requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty — will almost certainly come into full force, becoming the largest expansion of the safety net since President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed through his Great Society programs almost half a century ago.If Mr. Romney wins and Republicans capture the Senate, much of the law could be repealed — or its financing cut back — and the president’s goal of achieving near-universal coverage could take a back seat to Mr. Romney’s top priority, controlling medical costs.

    Given the starkness of the choice, historians and policy makers believe this election could be the most significant referendum on a piece of social legislation since 1936, when the Republican Alf M. Landon ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal programs. (Nearly eight decades have passed, but the debate sounds strikingly familiar: Landon described the Social Security Act, passed in 1935, as “the largest tax bill in history” and called for its repeal.)

  • California gas prices are a warning– California’s record gasoline prices and long service station lines are a warning to all of us about what green energy can do to our pocketbooks.On Monday, California gasoline cost $4.67 per gallon, compared with the $3.81 U.S. average. California’s environmental standards are the most stringent in the country, and Californians are paying the price.The price spike started with an August fire in Chevron’s Richmond refinery. Then, two other refineries, operated by Tesoro and Exxon Mobil, went down for maintenance. Because California requires different blends of gasoline from other states, and pipelines across the Rockies are limited, gasoline can’t be shipped in from elsewhere.On Sunday, in an attempt to lower gasoline prices, Gov. Jerry Brown suspended the environmental regulations that kept California prices above those in the rest of the United States.
  • Hating Breitbart – The Documentary in Select Theaters Soon – Hating Breitbart – The Documentary in Select Theaters Soon #tcot
  • Rove: The Dividends of Romney’s Debate Victory– How big an impact did Mitt Romney’s performance in last week’s debate have? Huge. Mr. Romney not only won the night, he changed the arc of the election—and perhaps its outcome. Surveys have him leading the RealClearPolitics average of polls for the first time since securing the GOP nomination in mid-April.Prior to Oct. 3, Mr. Romney trailed President Barack Obama by an average of 3.1 points in national polls tallied by RealClearPolitics. Since the debate, Mr. Romney now leads Mr. Obama in the RCP average by a point, 48.2% to 47.2%, and the bounce is likely to grow. By comparison, Sen. John Kerry was widely seen to have bested President George W. Bush in the first 2004 debate (held on Sept. 30 of that year), but he never led in the RCP average in October.In seven of the past nine presidential debate series, the challenger has gained more in the polls than the incumbent (or the candidate of the party in power). The first debate generally frames the series and establishes whether the bounce will be large or modest. Mr. Romney’s bounce is significant.
  • Greek Unemployment Rises Above 25 per cent– The unemployment rate in Greece rose to 25.1 percent in July, from 24.8 percent the month before, as the financial crisis continued to destroy jobs.Greece’s statistical authority says in a statement Thursday that 1.26 million Greeks were jobless in July, with more than 1,000 jobs lost every day over the past year.In the worst-affected 15-24 age group, unemployment was 54.2 percent.In July 2008, a year before Greece’s acute financial crisis broke, there were only about 364,000 registered unemployed.

    Greece is surviving on international bailout loans, granted on condition of harsh austerity measures to curtail the country’s large budget deficits. The economy is set to enter a sixth year of recession in 2013.

  • CBS 5 Poll: Romney Gains 8 Points On Faltering Obama In California– The effects of President Barack Obama’s falter in the first debate with Mitt Romney are not just being felt in battleground states, according to KPIX-TV CBS 5?s latest tracking poll of California which shows Romney slicing eight points off Obama’s lead.Obama had led by 22 points in the CBS 5 tracking poll released four weeks ago. Obama now leads by only 14 points, an 8-point improvement for Romney. At the same time, the poll found U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s support for her re-election bid remained largely unchanged, month-on-month, suggesting that the erosion in Democratic support is not across-the-board, but contained to Obama. Unclear is whether the Obama erosion is fleeting or long-lasting.
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-10-11 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-10-11
  • Poll: Most troubled by Libya claim – Kevin Robillard – POLITICO.com – RT @politico Poll: 46 percent of voters disapprove of how Obama is handling Libya: #tcot
  • AP IMPACT: Cartels flood US with cheap meth – Another Obama failure RT @AP Mexican meth pours into US cities, negates effort to curb US drug production: #tcot
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-10-11 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-10-11 #tcot
  • “The Lid”: UPDATE: Video of Lara Logan’s Obama is Lying Speech – RT @yidwithlid: @ali Video of Lara Logan’s Obama is Lying to Us About the Middle East Speech
  • Good Oral Hygiene Prevents Tooth Loss | Josie Dovidio, DDS – RT @SimiDentist: Learn how to keep your teeth into your golden years.
  • Vice President Debate Moderator Martha Raddatz Has Ties to Obama – Vice President Debate Moderator Martha Raddatz Has Ties to Obama #tcot
  • Video: The Obama White House Disinformation Campaign On Libya – Flap’s Blog – Video: The Obama White House Disinformation Campaign On Libya #tcot
  • Capitol Alert: Molly Munger opens separate committee to attack Prop. 30 – Tax increases are both going to fail RT @CapitolAlert: Molly Munger opens separate committee to attack Prop. 30
  • Bill Clinton works Las Vegas crowd, criticizing Romney for Obama – latimes.com – Bubba Bill Clinton mocks Mitt Romney in order to save Obama’s ass in Las Vegas #tcot
  • 11 Of Lance Armstrong’s Teammates Testified Against Him To The USADA– The USADA is releasing a full report of evidence that Lance Armstrong was doping during his cycling career.Eleven of Armstrong’s former teammates testified against the seven-time Tour de France winner saying he used performance enhancing drugs.The teammates who testified against Armstrong were: Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters, and David Zabriskie.
  • Lawyer who filed complaint has ties to multiple anti-ALEC groups– The lawyer who filed an IRS whistleblower complaint against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) on behalf of a shadowy organization known as “Clergy Voice” has ties to Common Cause, the liberal government watchdog group and renowned ALEC foe.Marcus Owens, former director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS from 1990 to 2000, filed a whistleblower complaint in July against ALEC, alleging the group was violating IRS tax law.“ALEC has deliberately and repeatedly failed to comply with some of the most fundamental federal tax requirements applicable to public charities,” Owens wrote in his complaint against the influential free-market group. “The information in this submission also suggests, quite strongly, that the conduct of ALEC and certain of its representatives violates other civil and criminal tax laws and may violate other federal and state criminal statutes as well.”As reported by the Free Beacon, the “grassroots” movement against ALEC is a well-coordinated campaign orchestrated by well-funded and often secretive progressive groups.
  • Frank Schubert and the Fight Against Gay Marriage – NYTimes.com – One Man Guides the Fight Against Gay Marriage: Frank Schubert #tcot
  • Wynn On Obama: “I’ll Be Damned If I Want To Have Him Lecture Me” | RealClearPolitics – Las Vegas’ Steve Wynn On Obama: “I’ll Be Damned If I Want To Have Him Lecture Me”
    #tcot
  • Review & Outlook: Big Bird, Small President – WSJ.com – Big Bird, Small President – As of fiscal 2011, Sesame Workshop had assets of $289 million #tcot
  • Pelosi offers debate advice to Biden – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room – This ought to be good! | Pelosi offers debate advice to Biden #tcot
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: October 10, 2012 – The Morning Drill: October 10, 2012
  • Barack Obama, VP debate moderator wedding guest– President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, The Daily Caller has learned. Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review.After TheDC made preliminary inquiries Monday to confirm Obama’s attendance at the wedding, ABC leaked a pre-emptive statement to liberal-leaning news outlets including Politico and The Daily Beast Tuesday, revealing what may have been internal network pressure felt just days before Raddatz was scheduled to moderate the one and only vice-presidential debate Thursday night.
  • Day By Day October 10, 2012 – Close Enough for Government – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day October 10, 2012 – Close Enough for Government #tcot
  • Obama Campaign Stands By Big Bird Ad – NationalJournal.com – RT @nationaljournal Obama campaign appears to be standing by its Big Bird ad. #tcot
  • Suffolk pollster: We’re not polling Florida, Virginia, or North Carolina anymore, because Romney’s going to win them « Hot Air – RT @TabithaHale Suffolk pollster: We’re not polling FL, Virginia, or NC anymore, because Romney’s going to win them
  • Jack Welch: I Was Right About That Strange Jobs Report– Imagine a country where challenging the ruling authorities—questioning, say, a piece of data released by central headquarters—would result in mobs of administration sympathizers claiming you should feel “embarrassed” and labeling you a fool, or worse.Soviet Russia perhaps? Communist China? Nope, that would be the United States right now, when a person (like me, for instance) suggests that a certain government datum (like the September unemployment rate of 7.8%) doesn’t make sense.Unfortunately for those who would like me to pipe down, the 7.8% unemployment figure released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last week is downright implausible. And that’s why I made a stink about it.Before I explain why the number is questionable, though, a few words about where I’m coming from. Contrary to some of the sound-and-fury last week, I do not work for the Mitt Romney campaign. I am definitely not a surrogate. My wife, Suzy, is not associated with the campaign, either. She worked at Bain Consulting (not Bain Capital) right after business school, in 1988 and 1989, and had no contact with Mr. Romney.

    The Obama campaign and its supporters, including bigwigs like David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, along with several cable TV anchors, would like you to believe that BLS data are handled like the gold in Fort Knox, with gun-carrying guards watching their every move, and highly trained, white-gloved super-agents counting and recounting hourly.

    Let’s get real. The unemployment data reported each month are gathered over a one-week period by census workers, by phone in 70% of the cases, and the rest through home visits. In sum, they try to contact 60,000 households, asking a list of questions and recording the responses.

  • State Dept reveals new details of Benghazi attack– All was quiet outside the U.S. Consulate as evening fell on Benghazi and President Barack Obama’s envoy to Libya was retiring after a day of diplomatic meetings.There was no indication of the harrowing events that night would bring: assailants storming the compound and setting its buildings aflame, American security agents taking fire across more than a mile of the city, the ambassador and three employees killed and others forced into a daring car escape against traffic.Senior State Department officials on Tuesday revealed for the first time certain details of last month’s tragedy in the former Libyan rebel stronghold, such as the efforts of a quick reaction force that rushed onto the scene and led the evacuation in a fierce gun battle that continued into the streets. The briefing was provided a day before department officials were to testify to a House committee about the most serious attack on a U.S. diplomatic installation since al-Qaida bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania 14 years ago.The account answers some questions and leaves others unanswered. Chief among them is why for several days the Obama administration said the assault stemmed from a protest against an American-made Internet video ridiculing Islam, and whether the consulate had adequate security.
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-10-10 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-10-10
  • State Department: No video protest at the Benghazi consulate– Prior to the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi late in the evening on Sept. 11, there was no protest outside the compound, a senior State Department official confirmed today, contradicting initial administration statements suggesting that the attack was an opportunistic reaction to unrest caused by an anti-Islam video.In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, two senior State Department officials gave a detailed accounting of the events that lead to the death of Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The officials said that prior to the massive attack on the Benghazi compound by dozens of militants carrying heavy weaponry, there was no unrest outside the walls of the compound and no protest that anyone inside the compound was aware of.
  • The liberal media loved Obama to death – It was in Denver one week ago that the long-running romance between Barack Obama and the national press — aka the “Slobbering Love Affair,” as Bernard Goldberg put it — hit the wall. The motel bill, unpaid these many long months and ages, at long last came due.
    It had been the real thing, not a commonplace fling with your generic Democrat, but the love of a lifetime, the genuine article, the sum of all dreams: He was not just a Democrat, he was also a liberal. He was not just a liberal, he also biracial, also multinational; also hip, cool, and clever. He was themselves as they wanted to be. Like them, he was gifted at writing and talking (and, as it turned out, not much beyond that), like them, he stood up for Metro America; like them, he viewed the people outside it with a not-very-measured disdain. “I divide people into people who talk like us and people who don’t talk like us,” said David Brooks, speaking for all of them. “You could see him as a New Republic writer … he’s more talented than anyone in my lifetime … he IS pretty dazzling when he walks into a room.”Dazzled indeed, they turned on their old flames, Bill and Hillary Clinton. They dumped John McCain, with whom they had flirted; and when Romney appeared — rich, square, and looking like Dad in a mid-50s sitcom — it was clear the long knives would be out.
  • The LEFT melts down over Obama Debate Performance– Let me suggest something that many conservatives realized after the debate: Obama did not do that badly. For Obama. He was the same listless, droning, exhausted-of-ideas scold we have seen for at least two years now (and maybe three).He was Obama. This is what he is. He is not quick-witted. He is not, as I think I saw Mickey Kaus note, a wonk. He has never been a wonk, a detailed-policy guy.He is a guy who speaks vacuously of hopes and dreams and change and fairness.He always has been.

    The problem, for the liberals, is not Obama. This is what you bought. This is your guy. It wasn’t his A game, but it was something close to his B+ game.

    The problem was Romney, who was commanding, fluent, reasonable, articulate, sharp-witted, warm, occasionally funny, full of ideas, full of facts, full of thoughtful, detailed criticisms of Obama policy (who the hell expected him to bring up, as an afterthought, Dodd-Frank’s failure to specify what a “reasonably qualified” mortgage applicant was, and how that chilled lending? Obama sure didn’t!), and, therefore, ultimately, full of qualification for the job and yes, full of gravitas.

    That’s the problem.

    Not Obama. I repeat: This is who Obama is. He has never been this brilliant intellect and keen policy analysts liberals have, in their BubbleWorld, dreamed him as.

  • After Debate, Obama Protection Dam Breaks– President Obama might think sagging polls are his biggest post-debate problem. But it’s really people like Buzz Bissinger, Stacey Dash and Bill Maher showing it’s now acceptable in polite society to attack The One.In an eye-opening piece Monday on the Daily Beast, “Friday Night Lights” author and lifelong Democrat Buzz Bissinger announced he was voting for Romney.The tipping point, he wrote, “was last week’s debate in Denver,” which showed Obama out of energy and out of ideas. Obama is “no longer the chosen one. He is just too cool for school in a country desperate for the infectiousness of rejuvenation.”
  • Angst grows among Obama supporters– First came the nausea. Then came the anxiety.After months of watching Mitt Romney twist in the media glare, a growing number of President Barack Obama’s supporters — though confined for now to a noisy minority of liberals — are peering into the Obama-might-actually-lose abyss for the first time after last week’s disastrous first debate.
  • ‘E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial’ Turns 30 – Speakeasy – WSJ – RT @WSJ “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” was released 30 years ago It remains the 4th most successful U.S. film of all time
  • NASA – NASATV – RT @NASA on @SpaceX #Dragon capture: “Looks like we’ve tamed the Dragon. We’re happy she’s on-board with us.”
  • Rep. Issa closes in on Clinton on Libya– Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is setting his sights on his biggest political target yet: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is treading more carefully than he did with his investigation of Attorney General Eric Holder and the Fast and Furious gun-tracking program, which led to a House vote placing Holder in contempt.Issa has not called on Clinton to testify at a hearing Wednesday morning meant to investigate security lapses at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.Issa’s staff has also praised Clinton for vowing to cooperate with the investigation of how an attack on the consulate left U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American diplomats dead.

    “After dealing with the Department of Justice’s stonewalling in Operation Fast and Furious, the State Department and Secretary Clinton have been a breath of fresh air,” said Frederick Hill, a spokesman for Issa, in an interview with The Hill. “They pledged their cooperation when we

  • Josh Kraushaar’s post on Election 2012 | Latest updates on Sulia – Pres. Obama himself incorrectly blamed Libya attacks on video 9 days later in Univision forum, AFTER Susan Rice
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-10-10 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-10-10 #tcot
  • RealClearPolitics – Election 2004 – General Election: Bush vs. Kerry – RealClearPolitics – Election 2004 – General Election: Bush vs. Kerry #tcot
  • Obama Steps Into It with Big Bird Campaign Ad – Flap’s Blog – Obama Steps Into It with Big Bird Campaign Ad #tcot
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Comments Comments Off on The Morning Flap: October 11, 2012

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These are my links for The Morning Flap – August 2nd through August 3rd:

  • July jobs report: America’s labor market depression continues– Only in a world of lowered, New Normal expectations was the July jobs report anything less than another disaster for U.S. workers. Nonfarm payrolls rose 163,000 last month as the unemployment rate rose to 8.3%. In addition, employment for May and June was revised by 6,000 jobs.– Not only is the 8.3% unemployment rate way above the 5.6% unemployment rate that Team Obama predicted for July 2012 if Congress passed the $800 billion stimulus plan. It’s way above the 6.0% unemployment rate they predicted if no stimulus was passed.– Job growth, as measured by nonfarm payrolls, has average about 75,000 jobs a month during the Obama recovery for a total of 2.7 million jobs. Context: During the first three years of the Reagan Recovery, job growth averaged 273,000 a month for a total of 9.8 million. If you adjust for the larger U.S. population today, the Reagan Recovery averaged 360,000 jobs a month for a three-year total of 13 million jobs.– This continues to be the longest stretch of 8% or higher unemployment since the Great Depression, 42 straight months.– If the labor force participation rate was the same as when Obama took office in January 2009, the unemployment rate would be 11.0%.

    – Even if you take into account that the LFP should be declining as America ages, the unemployment rate would be 10.6%.

    – If labor force participation rate hadn’t declined since just last month, unemployment rate would have risen to 8.4%.

    – The broader U-6 unemployment rate, which includes “all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons,” ticked up to 15.0%.

    – Two years ago, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wrote his now-infamous “Welcome to the Recovery” op-ed for the New York Times. During those two years, the economy has added an average of just 137,000 jobs a month.

    – Not only is the 8.3% unemployment rate way above the 5.6% unemployment rate that Team Obama predicted for July 2012 if Congress passed the $800 billion stimulus plan. It’s way above the 6.0% unemployment rate they predicted if no stimulus was passed.

  • 195,000 Fewer Americans Had Jobs in July; 150,000 Dropped Out of Labor Force– There were 195,000 fewer people employed in the United States in July than in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the national unemployment rate ticked up from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent.Meanwhile, 150,000 people simply dropped out of the labor force during the month and did not seek to find a job.In June, according to BLS, there had been 142,415,000 people employed in the United States. In July, that dropped to 142,220,000–a decline of 195,000.Similarly, in June, there were 155,163,000 people in the civilian labor force in the United States. To be counted in the civilian labor force, person must be 16 years old or older, not be in the military, prison or a mental institution, and either have a job or have actively looked for a job in the past four weeks.In July, the number of people in the civilian labor force was 155,013,000–a decline of 150,000 from June.
  • Economy Creates 163,000 New Jobs but Rate Rises to 8.3%– The U.S. economy followed up a weak second quarter by creating more jobs than expected with 163,000 new positions added in July, but the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent.Markets reacted positively to the announcement, with the stock market surging at the open and safe-haven bond prices plunging. Economists had been expecting 100,000 new jobs.As the country struggles to gain growth traction, the unemployment rate held above 8 percent for the 41st consecutive month, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”I’d call this a soft 163,” said Steve Blitz, chief economist at investment research firm ITG in New York. “If you want to take from this the notion that the economy is not heading to a recession or something more ominous, that’s fine. But if you want to take from this the idea that the economy is about to accelerate, I think that would be a big mistake.”
  • CA Gov. Brown Allegedly Took $3 Million from 9/11 Fund– As California teeters near default in many areas, news is breaking that Gov. Jerry Brown may have taken up to $3 million from a fund created “in honor of the victims of the 2001 terror attacks” to make up for shortfalls.The fund, which was raised by the sale of specialized plates within the state, totals approximately $250 million, and the AP reports that both Brown and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger each allegedly dipped into the monies in an effort to make ends meet.
  • GAO: Tax cheats get millions in Medicaid money– One in every 20 health providers getting taxpayer money from Medicaid is delinquent on their federal taxes, and in some cases the tax cheats are years behind in paying the IRS, according to a new audit by Congress’s investigators.The Government Accountability Office looked at about 7,000 providers in three large states who Medicaid reimbursed more than $6 billion in 2009 and found that they had nearly $800 million in unpaid federal taxes.In two cases, the health companies — which range from dentists and doctors to private ambulances and medical supply companies — had been under criminal investigation, including for medical billing fraud.“It is outrageous that heath care providers who cheat on their taxes are getting paid with taxpayer dollars through the Medicaid program,” said Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate’s investigative subcommittee.He called for the government to prohibit companies with unpaid taxes from Medicaid money.
  • Tax Scam: IRS Pays Out Billions in Fraudulent Refunds– The IRS is paying out billions of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds to identity thieves; a problem that the tax service’s inspector general told CNBC is a “growing problem” involving numbers that are increasing “exponentially.”In a new report to be issued Thursday, the inspector general for the IRS says that tax thieves are stealing the identities of taxpayers and then filing bogus returns on their behalf and collecting fraudulent refunds as a result.The inspector general estimates that the IRS could issue as much as $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds over the next five years.
  • Pelosi, Dems push Homeland Security for clarity on LGBT deportations– Scores of House Democrats called on the Obama administration this week to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples when considering deportations.Behind Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the lawmakers want the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to state explicitly that LGBT “family ties” will be deemed “a positive factor” discouraging deportation as DHS agents gauge whether to pursue cases.
  • Defense Lawyers Say Prop 37 Will Bring Bumper Crop of Litigation– With recent polling suggesting Californians want labels on genetically modified food, defense attorneys warn that an upcoming ballot initiative could generate a bumper crop of litigation.Proposition 37, also known as the Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, would require labels on edibles containing ingredients whose DNA was tweaked to increase yield, to fight off disease or for any other reason. If voters approve the initiative in November, California would become the first state in the nation to employ such a far-reaching consumer alert system.Proponents say their measure has a simple rationale: Californians should know what’s in the food they buy and eat. But legal critics say compliance would be a far more complex task. And they point to an enforcement provision authorizing private consumer lawsuits, something defense lawyers compare less than flatteringly to Prop 65, the 1986 law that requires businesses to warn consumers about chemicals they use.”When I used to go and talk about Prop 65 when it was on the ballot, I would say the biggest beneficiaries would be lawyers. I think that goes double for Prop 37,” said Michele Corash, a environmental defense partner with Morrison & Foerster.James Wheaton, the Oakland attorney who helped draft Prop 37, said such claims amount to scare tactics.
  • Majority of Californians say they know nothing about emissions cap-and-trade program– California’s landmark global-warming bill was a white-hot topic in the 2010 governor’s race and remains former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature environmental achievement.But as the state prepares to unroll the law’s cap-and-trade program in November with the first state auctions of emissions permits, a new poll finds that 57 percent of Californians say they have never heard anything about the program.The statewide poll by the Public Policy Institute of California further found that 30 percent of respondents said they had heard “a little,” while just 12 percent said they had heard “a lot.”
  • Police Chief’s $204,000 Pension Shows How Cities Crashed– Stockton, California, Police Chief Tom Morris was supposed to bring stability to law enforcement when he was appointed to the job four years ago.He lasted eight months and left the now-bankrupt city at age 52 with an annual pension that pays more than $204,000 — the third of four chiefs who stayed in the position for less than three years and retired with an average of 92 percent of their final salaries.Stockton, which filed for bankruptcy protection on June 28, is among California cities from the Mexican border to the San Francisco Bay confronting rising pension costs as they contend with growing unemployment and declining property- and sales-tax revenue. The pensions are the consequence of decisions made when stock markets were soaring, technology money flooded the state, and retirement funds were running surpluses.“We didn’t have very many people looking out for the taxpayers when these deals were negotiated,” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, 63, said in a telephone interview. San Jose, the state’s third-largest city, approved a ballot measure in June to contain annual retirement costs that soared to $245 million from $73 million in the past decade.
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Comments Comments Off on The Morning Flap: August 3, 2012

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These are my links for July 18th through July 19th:

  • Post Office Might Miss Retirees’ Payment– While lawmakers continue to fight over how to fix the ailing U.S. Postal Service, the agency’s money problems are only growing worse.The Postal Service repeated on Wednesday that without congressional action, it will default—a first in its long history, a spokesman said—on a legally required annual $5.5 billion payment, due Aug. 1, into a health-benefits fund for future retirees. Action in Congress isn’t likely, as the House prepares to leave for its August recess.The agency said a default on the payment, for 2011, wouldn’t directly affect service or its ability to pay employees and suppliers. But “these ongoing liquidity issues unnecessarily undermine confidence in the viability of the Postal Service among our customers,” said spokesman David Partenheimer.

    The agency says it will default on its 2012 retiree health payment as well—also roughly $5.5 billion, due Sept. 30—if there is no legislative action by then.

  • Economic Fears Hurting Obama, Poll Indicates – Declining confidence in the nation’s economic prospects appears to be the most powerful force influencing voters as the presidential election gears up, undercutting key areas of support for President Obama and helping give his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, an advantage on the question of who would better handle the nation’s economic challenges, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.
  • Obama, Romney in dead heat in presidential race– President Obama and Mitt Romney are effectively tied in the race for the presidency, according to a new CBS News/New York Times survey.Forty-seven percent of registered voters nationwide who lean towards a candidate back Romney, while 46 percent support the president. Four percent are undecided. The one percentage point difference is within the survey’s three point margin of error.Romney leads by eight points among men; the president leads by five points among women.

    The president’s supporters are more likely to strongly back their candidate. Fifty-two percent strongly favor Mr. Obama, while just 29 percent of Romney voters strongly back the presumptive Republican nominee.

    More than one in three Romney voters say they are supporting Romney primarily because they dislike Mr. Obama. Only eight percent of Obama supporters say their support for the president is tied to their dislike of Romney.

  • Weekly Unemployment Benefit Claims Post Rebound; Jobs Market Still in Doldrums– The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rebounded last week, pushing them back to levels consistent with modest job growth after a seasonal quirk caused a sharp drop the prior period.Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 34,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 352,000 from the previously reported 350,000.Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 365,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, fell 1,500 to 375,500.

    Claims data is volatile in July because of the timing of the annual auto plant shutdowns for retooling.

  • Day By Day July 19, 2012 – Frankenstein – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day July 19, 2012 – Frankenstein
  • U.S. weekly jobless claims climb 34,000 to 386,000 – MarketWatch – RT @BreakingNews US weekly initial jobless claims climb to 386,000 – @MarketWatch
  • Obama Believes Success Is a Gift From Government– Perhaps the rain made the teleprompter unreadable. That’s one thought I had on pondering Barack Obama’s comments to a rain-soaked rally in Roanoke, Va., last Friday.Perhaps he didn’t really mean what he said. Or perhaps — as is often the case with people — when unanchored from a prepared text he revealed what he really thinks.”There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back,” he began, defending his policy of higher tax rates on high earners. “They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
  • In Fight for the House, the Trajectory Is Clear– House races often don’t start getting attention until after Labor Day. But with the presidential contest sucking the air out of the political environment and defining the electoral landscape, House candidates may find they have an even harder time than usual defining themselves and their opponents.That means the existing trajectory of the fight for the House may be harder and harder to change as Labor Day approaches, creating a growing problem for House Democrats who continue to insist that the House is “in play.”Democratic strategists need a dramatic shift in the House playing field if they are going to have any chance of netting the 25 seats they need to regain a majority in the House of Representatives. And that outcome looks increasingly remote.

    Right now, the outlook for the House is anywhere from a small GOP gain to a modest Democratic gain in the single digits — not close to what Democrats hoped for as the cycle began

  • The chart that shows just how much reelection trouble Obama is in– A daisy chain of political disaster seems to be forming for President Obama, says political analyst Dan Clifton at Strategas Research. Clifton suggests that “there seems to be a relationship between consumer confidence and whether a president gets reelected. The current levels of confidence are consistent with Carter and George H. W. Bush when they lost reelection.”That conclusion is displayed in the above chart.
  • Governor Brown signs California high-speed rail bill, calls critics ‘NIMBYs,’ ‘fearful men’– With his most public cheerleading yet for California’s bullet train, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed the $8 billion bill to kick off high-speed rail construction and showed no sign he was worried about voters’ increasing skepticism for the rail line.Calling naysayers “NIMBYs,” “fearful men,” and “declinists,” the governor celebrated a project that he first signed a bill to study 30 years ago.”It’s taken that long to get this going,” he said, flanked by dignitaries and construction workers at the site of San Francisco’s future Transbay Terminal. “You may not be around when it’s finished.”

    Brown’s day-long, dual-city signature event began at Union Station in Los Angeles and was followed by the gala in San Francisco. The locations were fitting in many ways since the stations will serve as the two endpoints of the $69 billion line, though Brown had to fly between events.

  • GOP 12: Enthusiasm favors Romney in Virginia – RT @CPHeinze Virginia: The income groups Obama leads are the least enthusiastic about election. Reverse for Romney.
  • American Crossroads Comes to Romney’s Defense– The super PAC American Crossroads is giving Mitt Romney a helping hand with a new ad, criticizing President Obama on his “misleading” attacks on the presumptive Republican nominee, the Wall Street Journal reports.The 30-second ad is part of an $8.8 million buy that is going out in nine states. Most of the group’s attacks on the president have focused on his record and government spending. The Journal reports this is the first such ad from Crossroads that comes to Romney’s defense.“What happened to Barack Obama?” the narrator asks. “The press, and even Democrats, say his attacks on Mitt Romney’s business record are ‘misleading, unfair and untrue.’”

    With high unemployment numbers, the ad says that Obama “can’t run on that record.”

  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-19 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-19
  • DNC to stop using Romney horse in attack videos– In the future, the Democratic National Committee will longer use the Romney’s Olympic-bound dressage horse to portray Mitt Romney as “dancing around the issues” because it could be seen as offensive to the GOP candidate’s wife Ann.Nearly 17 hours after they promoted a video linking the GOP presidential candidate’s unwillingness to release years of tax returns to Rafalca, the dancing show horse co-owned by Mrs. Romney attending this summer’s London Olympics, Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said the DNC will no longer “invoke the horse any further to avoid misinterpretation.”
  • Only 17 or 3 % of lawmakers disclose tax records– With members on both sides of the aisle clamoring for Mitt Romney to release more than two years of tax returns, an overwhelming majority of congressmen are declining to release their own.Over the past three months, McClatchy Newspapers asked all 535 members of the House and Senate to release their tax records. Only 17 — or just over 3 percent — handed over the documents. Another 19 percent said they wouldn’t release them. The remainder didn’t respond to McClatchy’s request.
  • Poll: Republicans want Condoleezza Rice– Republican voters say former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is their top choice as Mitt Romney’s running mate, a new poll found.Rice garnered 30 percent support, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (19 percent), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (8 percent) and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (8 percent).
  • Virginia (VA) Poll * July 19, 2012 * Romney Catches Obama In Virgin – Quinnipiac University ? Hamden, Connecticut – RT @QuinnipiacPoll VA 07/19/12 Romney Catches Obama In Virginia, Poll Finds; U.S. Senate Race Remains Too Close To Call
  • These Hands | Mitt Romney for President – RT @JimMerrillNH Powerful new @MittRomney video ‘These Hands’ featuring Jack Gilchrist of Hudson, NH. #tcot
  • Romney closes 12-point gap to tie Obama in Virginia, poll finds – POLITICO.com – A key battleground state which Romney must win RT @politico Mitt Romney closes a 12-point gap to tie Obama in Virginia:
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-19 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-19
  • The Morning Flap: July 18, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: July 18, 2012
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: July 18, 2012 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: July 18, 2012
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: July 18, 2012 – The Morning Drill: July 18, 2012
  • (404) http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/07/oops-obamas-top-bundler-jonathan-lavine-was-in-charge-of-bain-duri – (403) …
  • (403) http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/07/oops-obamas-top-bundler-jonathan-lavine-was-in-charge-of-bain-during-gst-steel-layoffs/ – RT @DRUDGE_REPORT: REPORT: Top Obama Bundler Was In Charge of Bain During Steel Layoffs… #tcot
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