The Morning Flap: February 29, 2012
A Barred Owl is shown near Mount Vernon, Va. To save the endangered spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a plan to shoot barred owls, a rival bird that has shoved its smaller cousin aside. The plan is the latest government attempt to protect the northern spotted owl, the meek, one-pound bird that sparked an epic battle over logging in the Pacific Northwest two decades ago.
These are my links for February 28th through February 29th:
- Rules Chairman Dreier announces retirement after 16 House terms – House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) on Wednesday morning announced from the House floor that he would not seek reelection this year.
“We all know that this institution has an abysmally low approval rating, and the American people are asking for change in Congress, and so I’m announcing today that I will leave the Congress at the end of this year,” the 16-term member joked.
- Students, police clash in Spanish city Barcelona – Spanish students angry over austerity measures have clashed with police in Barcelona and set fire to garbage containers.
Police said officers in riot gear charged against a crowd of students outside the stock market in Spain’s second largest city in the country’s northeast and made an unspecified number of arrests. They had broken away from a larger rally of thousands of striking students.
The fire set to the containers spread to a car and protesters smashed a bank window.
Some later made their way toward the University of Barcelona and took refuge in a plaza inside the campus.
- Obama administration plan would kill rival bird to save spotted owl – To save the imperiled spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a controversial plan to shoot barred owls, a rival bird that has shoved its smaller cousin aside.
The plan is the latest federal attempt to protect the northern spotted owl, the passive, one-pound bird that sparked an epic battle over logging in the Pacific Northwest two decades ago.
- Catholic school fires gay teacher planning wedding – The Rev. Bill Kempf, St. Ann’s pastor, said in an emailed statement that the parish was “recently informed by one of its teachers of his plan to unite in marriage with an individual of the same sex. With full respect of this individual’s basic human dignity, this same-sex union opposes Roman Catholic teaching as it cannot realize the full potential a marital relationship is meant to express. As a violation of the Christian Witness Statement that all Catholic educators in the Archdiocese of St. Louis are obliged to uphold, we relieved this teacher of his duties.”
The Christian Witness Statement, which educators sign when applying for Archdiocese work, says all who serve in Catholic education should, among other requirements, “not take a public position contrary to the Catholic Church” and “demonstrate a public life consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
The Roman Catholic Church does not condemn homosexuals who remain “chaste,” but it takes a strong stance against same-sex marriage and homosexual acts.
Robin said his partner did, indeed, sign a witness statement. “We just didn’t realize we were making a ‘public’ stand,” Robin said. “There’s nothing that’s been hidden about our relationship at any point. I go to the staff parties. I show up at the school concerts. … It doesn’t matter until somebody with the Archdiocese is sitting in the room.”
- Romney Camp Will Haunt Santorum With Robocall Story – Mitt Romney’s campaign will spend the next two weeks reminding Republicans around the country of Rick Santorum’s last-minute attempt to convince Democrats to vote for him her ein Michigan, a Romney aide said Tuesday night.
“It’s a major issue. [Santorum is] trying to pass himself off as the true conservative in the race, but he’s supporting the liberal Democrat line against Governor Romney,” said Ryan Williams, a spokesman for the Romney campaign.
He added of Santorum’s efforts to find Democratic help in the state’s open primary: “This isn’t going anywhere.”
A campaign aide said Romney may even work Santorum’s courting of Democrats into Romney’s stump speech going forward.
- Worried Dems pressing Obama on gas prices – Congressional Democrats are ramping up pressure on President Obama to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to prevent rising gas prices from threatening the economy and their election-year prospects.
They are growing anxious that the price of fuel could reverse their political fortunes, which had been improving due to signs of growth in the economy.
Republicans have hammered Democrats on the price spike, repeatedly noting that gas prices — now at $3.72 per gallon for regular — have doubled since Obama won the White House.
- AD-38 Video: Patricia McKeon Tells the Tea Party Why She is Running for the California Assembly » Flap’s California Blog – RE: Dude, Patricia McKeon is an embarrassment to the Republican Brand.
No, wonder GOP registration has fallen to 30…
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-29 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-29
- Day By Day February 29, 2012 – Par for the Course | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day February 29, 2012 – Par for the Course
- Romney’s sigh of relief – Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball – Phew!
The sound you hear is the loud sigh of relief from the Romney campaign. A great deal was on the line in the oddest of places — the state of his birth, the state where his dad served as governor, the state he won against John McCain four years ago. A few months ago, no one could have imagined Mitt Romney being hard-pressed in Michigan, and yet it happened.
Rick Santorum may have lost by a few points, but he scored a moral victory by making Romney work for the Wolverine State. This was a real contest that Santorum might have won had Romney not put the pedal to the metal. After all, based on pre-primary surveys and exit polling, Santorum won the actual Election Day vote, suggesting both that Romney’s superior organization delivered for him again in absentee balloting but also that among the party faithful who simply showed up on Election Day, Romney continues to have considerable problems.
- 53% of Self-Identified Democrats Voted for Santorum – CBS News’ Exit Poll finds that 9 percent of respondents identified themselves as Democrats. Among that group, 3 percent voted for New Gingrich, 17 percent each for Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, and 53 percent for Rick Santorum.
- How Can Twitter Possibly Help Small Businesses? | Networking Exchange Blog – How Can Twitter Possibly Help Small Businesses? | Networking Exchange Blog
- Analysis: Super Tuesday won’t help clear up GOP race – Analysis: Super Tuesday won’t help clear up GOP race
- Romney regains footing, shifts focus to Obama – Romney regains footing, shifts focus to Obama
- Memo to Republicans: Ignore Ron Paul at your peril – Memo to Republicans: Ignore Ron Paul at your peril
- Today in Research: Universal Flu Vaccines Might Actually Work – The Atlantic Wire – Health – The Atlantic – RT @TheAtlanticHLTH Minty nicotine mouth sprays may help smokers quit:
- Christie As VP Doesn’t Help Romney – Quinnipiac University Poll – Romney will need to balance his ticket with either Marco Rubio, Susan Martinez, Gary Sandoval or Rand Paul
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-29 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-29
- Can You Balance California’s Budget? » Flap’s California Blog – Can You Balance California’s Budget?
- President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins the Michigan Primary Election | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins the Michigan Primary Election
- Update: Romney Wins Michigan – President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Big in Arizona – Michigan Too Close to Call | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Update: Romney Wins Michigan – President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Big in Arizona – Michigan Too Close to Call
- The Mounting Minuses at Google+ – WSJ.com – To hear Google Inc. Chief Executive Larry Page tell it, Google+ has become a robust competitor in the social networking space, with 90 million users registering since its June launch.
But those numbers mask what’s really going on at Google+.
- President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Big in Arizona – Michigan Too Close to Call | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Big in Arizona – Michigan Too Close to Call
- World business, finance, and political news from the Financial Times – FT.com – Democrats grow confident of House win –
- Democrats grow confident of House win – FT.com – Democrats grow confident of House win
- Democrats grow confident of House win – Democrats say they are optimistic that they can regain control of the House of Representatives in the November election, an outcome that would mark a sharp reversal from the thumping defeat dealt to the party in 2010.
“We’ve gone from a gale force wind against us to a sustained breeze at our backs,” said Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on Tuesday.
- Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe to retire in blow to GOP – In announcing her plans, Snowe, 65, emphasized that she is in good health and was prepared for the campaign ahead. But she said she was swayed by the increasing polarization in Washington.
“Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,” Snowe said in a statement. “So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail.”
Snowe’s retirement represents a major setback for the GOP’s efforts to regain a majority in the Senate. As a moderate Republican, she may be the party’s only hope to hold a seat in the strongly blue state.
Republicans did get some traction in the state in 2010, including electing Republican Paul LePage as governor.
But in a more neutral political environment, and in a federal race, Democrats will be heavy favorites to steal this seat from Republicans — their best pickup opportunity in the country, for sure.
- Low Michigan turnout blamed on little interest, ballot confusion | Detroit Free Press | freep.com – Low Michigan turnout blamed on little interest, ballot confusion
- AD-38: Patricia McKeon Answers Questions from The Simi Valley Tea Party » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Patricia McKeon Answers Questions from The Simi Valley Tea Party
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The National Association of Dental Laboratories Honors Award Winners at Vision 21 Meeting in Las Vegas – The National Association of Dental Laboratories Honors Award Winners at Vision 21 Meeting in Las Vegas
- The Afternoon Flap: February 28, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Afternoon Flap: February 28, 2012
- President Obama Suggests Romney Shoveling ‘A Load of You-Know-What’ – As Michigan Republicans headed to the polls Tuesday morning, President Obama delivered an aggressive defense of the bailout of the auto industry and his presidency in general, harshly criticizing GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney – though he never mentioned him by name.
“I’ve got to admit, it’s been funny to watch some of these folks completely try to rewrite history now that you’re back on your feet,” the president said to a raucous crowd at the United Auto Workers Convention. “The same folks who said if we went forward with our plan to rescue Detroit, ‘you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.’”
- Reid blasts Romney on Senate floor – There’s no mistake who Harry Reid’s political target is as Republican voters head to the polls today in Arizona and Michigan.
On Monday, the Senate majority leader held a conference call blasting GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for touting endorsements from immigration “extremists” like Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. And on the Senate floor Tuesday, Reid attacked Romney’s opposition to President Barack Obama’s bailouts that many credit for saving the Detroit auto industry.
“I’m sorry to say that life support system that the Detroit auto industry was surviving on, Republicans wanted to pull the plug. One man who is now seeking the Republican nomination for president of the United States said, ‘We should kiss the automobile industry goodbye,’” Reid said, without naming Romney.
“He called the death of American auto manufacturers ‘virtually guaranteed,’ another direct quote. And so he argued we should just let Detroit go bankrupt,” he added. “But he wasn’t alone. Republicans in this chamber agreed, many of them agreed, Democrats weren’t willing to give up on American manufacturing” and manufacturing jobs.
- The Michigan primary: Five counties to watch – Voters in Michigan head to the polls today, carrying the fate of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s presidential bid in their hands. Win Michigan and, as expected, Arizona, and Romney almost certainly reasserts himself as the clear frontrunner in the Republican race. Lose Michigan and the calls for Romney to reconsider his candidacy will begins. It’s that simple.
- Low Michigan turnout blamed on little interest, ballot confusion – Turn-out in today’s presidential primary election looks to be about the same or less than it was four years ago, according to a sampling of clerks in key precincts the Free Press is using to analyze the vote.
“The absentee voter ballot requests are pretty much the same as last time,” said Farmington Hills City Clerk Pam Smith. “We’re right on par with that and we’re planning for that kind of turnout.”
Smith said there were no reported problems at precincts this morning and she expected to get updates later in the day on how many people voted in person.