These are my links for February 22nd through February 23rd:
- Rand Paul Says ‘It Would Be An Honor’ if Romney Asked Him to Be VP – Kentucky’s junior senator says it would be an honor to be considered as a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Senator Rand Paul first discussed his higher aspirations at the beginning of this year. He said he wouldn’t close the door on being a Vice Presidential candidate. After a speech in Louisville today, Paul held that door firmly open, saying he wants to be part of the national debate.
Paul’s name has swirled as a possible pick that would give Romney points with the Tea Party. When asked directly what he would say if Romney made the offer, Paul tried to punt.
“I don’t know if I can answer that question, but I can say it would be an honor to be considered,” he said.
- Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 23, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 23, 2012
- New Anti-Obesity Drug Qnexa Receives FDA Advisory Panel Approval | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – New Anti-Obesity Drug Qnexa Receives FDA Advisory Panel Approval
- Bonuses given after raises at Solyndra – Washington Times – Several of the nearly two dozen employees at bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra LLC who were approved for bonuses Wednesday had months earlier received pay raises as high as 70 percent, a fact the company never disclosed in its request for bonus cash.
The company’s bankruptcy attorneys sought permission for the bonuses in a court hearing, arguing that the extra cash is needed to keep key employees from fleeing only to be replaced by more expensive outside consultants.
With little chance of stable employment and officials moving to liquidate assets, the workers needed to wind down the company have little incentive to stay, the Solyndra attorneys argued.
But an attorney for fired Solyndra workers railed against the plan, saying several of the proposed bonus recipients had received significant salary increases even after the company went bankrupt.
- Romney not winning over grumpy pundits – Right Turn – The Washington Post – The media’s coverage, unless you are Mitt Romney, is almost comical in their aversion to him and exaggerated portrayal of him as unlikable. You’d never guess it from the media, both mainstream and conservative, but Republican voters like Romney quite a lot.
The Post-ABC News poll reports that 69 percent of Republicans have a favorable impression of him, the highest among all the GOP contenders. Even among “very conservative voters” he draws a 62 percent favorable rating. Rick Santorum scores a 74 percent rating (although this may change after his dreadful debate performance), but the numbers suggest that these voters don’t dislike Romney. They simply like (or liked) Santorum better.
In part, voters see perhaps what the right-wing bloggers, with visions of flat taxes and privatized Social Security ( i.e., ideal but unachievable conservative purity) dancing in their heads, miss: Romney is running on a rather conservative agenda. Not hardcore or angry conservatism, but definitely right of center.
- President 2012 Poll Watch: Romney and Santorum Within Striking Distance of Obama in National Polling | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Poll Watch: Romney and Santorum Within Striking Distance of Obama in National Polling
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: February 23, 2012 – The Morning Drill: February 23, 2012
- AD-38: Scott Wilk Formally Announces California Assembly Campaign » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk Formally Announces California Assembly Campaign
- Video: Santorum on No Child Left Behind: I took one for the team » The Right Scoop – – Video: Santorum on No Child Left Behind: I took one for the team » The Right Scoop –
- Santorum Keeps Lead in Michigan – A new American Research Group poll in Michigan finds Rick Santorum continues to lead the GOP presidential field with 38%, followed by Mitt Romney at 34%, Ron Paul at 12% and Newt Gingrich at 7%.
- Day By Day February 23, 2012 – Shotgun Wedding | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day February 23, 2012 – Shotgun Wedding
- Los Angeles News and Video for Southern California – KTLA.COM – KTLA 5 – ktla.com – Illegal Immigrants Driver’s Licenses: LAPD Chief Backs Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants –
- Illegal Immigrants Driver’s Licenses: LAPD Chief Backs Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants – ktla.com – Illegal Immigrants Driver’s Licenses: LAPD Chief Backs Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants –
- National (US) Poll * February 23, 2012 * American Voters Hum, ‘happy Da – Quinnipiac University ? Hamden, Connecticut – RT @PounderFile: Q Poll: “Voters Support 64 – 23 Percent The Proposed Keystone Pipeline”
- Senate Democrats hammer opponents over social issues – The Hill’s Ballot Box – Senate Democrats hammer opponents over social issues – The Hill’s Ballot Box
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-23 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-23
- Colonoscopy May Halve Colon Cancer Deaths, Long Term Study – Colonoscopy May Halve Colon Cancer Deaths, Long Term Study
- Mitt Romney DESTROYED Rick Santorum Last Night – Mitt Romney DESTROYED Rick Santorum Last Night
- Once-hot Santorum up in smoke –
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-23 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-23
- Santorum campaign suggests Mitt Romney may have done deal to make Ron Paul his running mate – After tonight’s debate, in which Ron Paul and Mitt Romney repeatedly attacked Rick Santorum over his 16-year record in Congress, the former Pennsylvania hinted that something nefarious was going on.
“You have to ask Congressman Paul and Governor Romney what they’ve got going together,” Santorum told reporters in the spin room in Mesa, Arizona. “Their commercials look a lot alike and so do their attacks.”
Santorum’s top strategist John Brabender went even further, charging that the two men had “joined forces” and were coordinating attacks against his man
“Clearly there’s a tag team strategy between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. For all I know, Mitt Romney might be considering Ron Paul as his running mate. Clearly there is now an alliance between those two and you saw that certainly in the debate.”
The was also coordination in their attack ads, he charged. “Ron Paul for all practical purposes has pulled out of Michigan. Correct? Where’s he running negative ads against Rick Santorum? Michigan.
“It was interesting to me that if you watch Ron Paul when he came into the debate wrote negative things about Rick Santorum down because when he started to get questions he would immediately pick up his paper and start mentioning Santorum stuff.”
He added: “What is amazing to me this shows a remarkable ability by Romney, who has already proven to be the most negative man in history on TV, now he’s even training his opponents to be negative for his benefit and actually I think that takes remarkable skill.”
The Romney campaign ridiculed the notion there was any coordination. “If ever there was an iconoclast who got up there and said what he believed it’s Ron Paul,” said Stuart Stevens, Romney’s chief strategist.
- Falk: Pay for worker training with corporate taxes – Recall candidate Kathleen Falk wants to increase taxes on multi-state companies to pay for worker training.
The plan would roll back tens of millions of dollars in spending cuts for the Wisconsin Technical College System as well as a corporate tax cut passed by Republicans last year. Falk, a Democrat and former Dane County executive, is seeking to challenge Gov. Scott Walker in a likely recall election.
“My ‘Invest in Success’ plan will create jobs and spur economic growth by supporting what worked in Wisconsin for 100 years – investing in education and training workers through our technical college system,” Falk said in a statement.
To help balance the state budget, Walker and GOP lawmakers in June of last year cut nearly $73 million, or 25%, from the Technical College System budget over two years. To undo part of that, Falk wants to roll back a tax cut on multi-state corporations approved by Walker and GOP lawmakers in the budget.
- California Poll Watch: Rival Tax Increase Measures Blocking Jerry Brown » Flap’s California Blog – California Poll Watch: Rival Tax Increase Measures Blocking Jerry Brown
- Capitol Alert: Sen. Sharon Runner announces she won’t run for re-election – California Sen. Sharon Runner announces she won’t run for re-election
- California Sen. Sharon Runner announces she won’t run for re-election – Republican Sen. Sharon Runner, who is awaiting a lung transplant for a rare autoimmune disease, announced today that she will not seek re-election in November.
Runner has been absent from the upper house since January, when she disclosed that complications related to her condition required her to work outside of Sacramento. She said today that she expects to make a full recovery and will focus on “business and philanthropic efforts” after leaving office.
“Serving the people of our community over my lifetime has been an amazing blessing and I am so very thankful for their support throughout each of my elections and my tenure in office,” Runner said in a statement. “In the coming years, I will be working on behalf of the community that I love, but not in the role as an elected official.”
- Untitled (http://maristpoll.marist.edu/wp-content/misc/AZpolls/AZ120219/Republican%20Primary%202012/Complete%20February%2022nd%202012%20Arizona%20NBC%20News-Marist%20Poll%20Tables.pdf) – RT @HotlineJosh: Buried in NBC AZ poll: Immigration hurting Obama Only 57% of DEMS approve; 29/57 approval w/ indies
- President 2012: GOP Debate in Arizona Tonight – A Season Finale? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: GOP Debate in Arizona Tonight – A Season Finale?
- The Morning Flap: February 22, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: February 22, 2012
- Poll Watch: Obese Americans Report Higher Rates of Daily Pain | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Poll Watch: Obese Americans Report Higher Rates of Daily Pain
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Newly Identified Oral Bacteria Linked to Heart Disease – Newly Identified Oral Bacteria Linked to Heart Disease
- Obama’s Dividend Assault – A plan to triple the tax rate would hurt all shareholders – WSJ.com – President Obama’s 2013 budget is the gift that keeps on giving—to government. One buried surprise is his proposal to triple the tax rate on corporate dividends, which believe it or not is higher than in his previous budgets.
Mr. Obama is proposing to raise the dividend tax rate to the higher personal income tax rate of 39.6% that will kick in next year. Add in the planned phase-out of deductions and exemptions, and the rate hits 41%. Then add the 3.8% investment tax surcharge in ObamaCare, and the new dividend tax rate in 2013 would be 44.8%—nearly three times today’s 15% rate.
Keep in mind that dividends are paid to shareholders only after the corporation pays taxes on its profits. So assuming a maximum 35% corporate tax rate and a 44.8% dividend tax, the total tax on corporate earnings passed through as dividends would be 64.1%.
- Why Obama’s corporate tax plan is a total bust – The current U.S. economic recovery is arguably the worst in modern American history. Incomes are flat, housing is moribund, and the past three years have seen the longest stretch of high unemployment in this country since the Great Depression. Yet President Barack Obama—with the backing of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner—has the temerity to propose a corporate tax reform plan that would actually raise the tax burden on American business by $250 billion over a decade (and de facto on workers, too) without lowering rates to an internationally competitive level. This is a terrible, terrible plan:
1. The Obama-Geithner plan would lower the statutory corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 35 percent, currently the second-highest among advanced economies. But that would still leave the combined U.S. corporate tax rate—state and federal—at 32.2 percent, far above the OECD combined average of 25 percent. The U.S. combined rate would be a bit below slow-growing Japan and France but above the U.K. and Germany. That’s not nearly good enough. Canada just lowered its corporate tax rate, for instance, to 15 percent. So instead of having the second highest corporate tax rate in the world, the United States would probably be fourth behind Japan, France, and Belgium.
- Chris Christie tells Warren Buffett: ‘Shut up’ – Chris Christie has heard enough about Warren Buffett, and in typical fashion, the New Jersey governor had a certain blunt way of putting it.
“He should just write a check and shut up,” Christie said Tuesday on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.” “Really, and just contribute. The fact of the matter is that I’m tired of hearing about it. If he wants to give the government more money, he’s got the ability to write a check — go ahead and write it.”
- Racial Preferences Redux – The Supreme Court revisits discrimination and government – When the Supreme Court last upheld racial preferences in college admissions, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote that she “expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary.” That was 2003. By agreeing to hear a challenge to the University of Texas’s admissions policies yesterday, the Justices may have pushed up that deadline.
- Dependency Is On The Rise, Despite Gov’t Attempts To Tell Us Things Are Getting Better – The government is at full throttle to present the economy as improving especially in light of the upcoming election. At the same time, there has been a stunning rise in dependency as most recently presented by the Heritage Foundation.
Heritage defines dependency as significantly depending on the government for help in two of the following basic expense items: housing, food, shelter, income security or higher education.
At the end of 2007, Heritage conservatively estimates there were 59.4 million Americans significantly dependent on the government.
By the end of 2010, this number had risen to 67.3 million, an increase of nearly 8 million. It is likely that another two or three million were added in 2011, for a net increase of 10 million to 11 million over the past four years.
It is not a coincidence that the number of people participating in the labor force has comparably declined over the same period.
- Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 22, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 22, 2012
- California rates health plans on quality measures – California’s largest health plans have improved their care for diabetic patients, but many need to do better at treating children with throat infections, testing for lung disease and helping people overcome drug and alcohol addictions.
These are among the findings of the 11th annual report card released Wednesday by the state Office of the Patient Advocate.
The report card is meant to give consumers an easy-to-use tool to compare the quality of care delivered by the state’s nine largest health maintenance organizations, six largest preferred provider organizations and 212 medical groups.
Each plan is ranked in categories of care with one to four stars, depending on how well it meets national standards or how its members rate it in such areas as ease of getting appointments and customer service.
“Publicly reporting is one tool to keep plans accountable,” said Sandra Perez, director of the Patient Advocate’s Office.
“The report card helps educate everyone on what types of treatment they should be receiving from their health plan,” she said.
As in previous years, Kaiser Permanente outshone its competitors, receiving the top ranking of four stars in most categories. Most other HMO or PPO plans had no categories with four stars.
Among medical groups, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation also earned top scores, with four stars in both patient rankings and meeting national standards of care.
- CA-30: Sen Barbara Boxer Endorses Rep Howard Berman » Flap’s California Blog – CA-30: Sen Barbara Boxer Endorses Rep Howard Berman
- Tightening Arizona Race Heightens Pressure on Romney – With polls showing Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum within the margin of error of each other in Arizona and Michigan, both candidates have some tough decisions to make ahead of the states’ primaries on Tuesday.
Just a few weeks ago, Romney seemed headed for big wins in both races. Now he finds himself trailing Santorum in his native Michigan, and Santorum creeping up on him in Arizona. That means the top rivals have to carefully figure out how to best divide their time and energy over the next six days.
- Obama to propose lowering corporate tax rate to 28 percent – President Obama on Wednesday plans to propose a major overhaul of the nation’s corporate tax code, an election-year gambit that is likely to draw a contrast over a key policy issue with the Republicans vying to replace him.
Obama will propose lowering the nation’s corporate tax rate to 28 percent. At the same time, however, he will seek to increase the amount of revenues raised overall through corporate taxation by eliminating numerous deductions and loopholes that save companies tens of billions of dollars a year on their tax bills, according to a senior administration official.
- Chris Christie: Rick Santorum’s Satan Comments Are Relevant – Rick Santorum says his 2008 comments that “Satan has set his sights on the United States of America” are “not relevant” to the 2012 presidential race, but Chris Christie told me on “GMA” that Santorum is wrong.
“Listen, I think anything you say as a presidential candidate is relevant. It is by definition relevant. You’re asking to be president of the United States. I don’t think [Santorum’s] right about that. I think it is relevant what he says. I think people want to make an evaluation, a complete evaluation of anyone who asks to sit in the Oval Office,” the New Jersey governor said.
Adding to the religious discussion on the campaign trail, yesterday Santorum said he would “defend everything” he says and Mitt Romney said the Obama administration has “fought against religion.”
But Christie doesn’t think a debate over religion is a conversation the Republican Party wants to engage in.
“Do I think it’s the things we should be as a party talking about and emphasizing at the moment? No,” he said.
- Valerie Jarrett: ‘People Who Receive that Unemployment Check Go Out and Spend It and Help Stimulate the Economy’ – This evening, speaking at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said that folks getting and spending unemployment checks is a healthy thing . . . because it stimulates the economy: