• Del.icio.us Links,  The Evening Flap

    The Evening Flap: January 3, 2013

    These are my links for January 3rd.

    • Biden: Republicans had ‘epiphany’ on immigration – Vice President Joe Biden said Republicans have had a major realization in their approach to immigration reform in recent weeks.”Have you ever seen a time when Republicans have had a more rapid epiphany about immigration than they have this last election?” Biden said Thursday while speaking at an event for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington.
    • There’s No ‘I’ in ‘Kumbaya’ – A Uniquely Polarizing President – We’re all talking about Republicans on the Hill and their manifold failures. So here are some things President Obama didn’t do during the fiscal cliff impasse and some conjecture as to why.He won but he did not triumph. His victory didn’t resolve or ease anything and heralds nothing but more congressional war to come.

      He did not unveil, argue for or put on the table the outlines of a grand bargain. That is, he put no force behind solutions to the actual crisis facing our country, which is the hemorrhagic spending that threatens our future. Progress there—even just a little—would have heartened almost everyone. The president won on tax hikes, but that was an emotional, symbolic and ideological victory, not a substantive one. The higher rates will do almost nothing to ease the debt or deficits.

    • Charles Krauthammer: Return of the real Obama – The rout was complete, the retreat disorderly. President Obama got his tax hikes — naked of spending cuts — passed by the ostensibly Republican House of Representatives. After which, you might expect him to pivot to his self-proclaimed “principle” of fiscal “balance” by taking the lead on reducing spending. “Why,” asked The Post on the eve of the final fiscal-cliff agreement, “is the nation’s leader not embracing and then explaining the balanced reforms the nation needs?”Because he has no interest in them. He’s a visionary, not an accountant. Sure, he’ll pretend to care about deficits, especially while running for reelection. But now that he’s past the post, he’s free to be himself — a committed big-government social democrat.
    • Boehner reelected as Speaker; nine Republicans defect in vote – Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was reelected Speaker of the House on Thursday after a week of rumors of a possible GOP revolt.Boehner won a bare majority in a vote that saw nine Republicans vote for other GOP members, and several others who abstained from voting or voted “present.” Two years ago, Boehner won all 241 available GOP votes.
  • Del.icio.us Links

    links for 2011-06-24

    • California lawmakers thought they were targeting Amazon.com, the out-of-state giant, when they voted last week to force Internet retailers to collect sales tax.
      It turns out eBay Inc., California's own golden child of e-commerce, isn't so thrilled about it, either.

      The San Jose online auction company says the legislation would hurt its business model, which relies on thousands of entrepreneurs who sell goods on its site.

      The intent may have been to go after Amazon, but "we're literally caught in the crossfire," said David London, senior director for state government relations at eBay.

      And they say it was written in a way to prevent any harm to eBay.


      Yeah right…..this tax is a lose- lose for California

      (tags: Amazon_Tax)
    • California's attempt to corral more revenue from Internet sales would address a real inequity, but the effort could just as easily harm as help the state. A disjointed, state-by-state approach to collecting online sales taxes will not work. Congress needs to provide a comprehensive national solution instead.

      The budget plan the Legislature passed last week included a bill designed to boost sales tax collection by Internet retailers. The bill, ABx1 28, would generate an estimated $200 million a year for the state's deficit-ridden general fund. And the legislation would ease the competitive advantage distant online sellers have over in-state retailers. While Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the main budget bill last week, the online sales tax legislation remains alive.


      Read it all

      (tags: Amazon_Tax)
  • Del.icio.us Links

    links for 2011-02-18

    • Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar has been preparing for an intra-party challenge since he was first elected, but recently, questions have popped up about his residency and commitment to Indiana.

      Asked if Lugar lived in a hotel when he returned to Indiana, Lugar chief of staff Mark Helmke said, "That's correct."

      Lugar owns a farm in the Hoosier State that he's been tending for decades. His siblings own parts of the farm, but he still works on it once a month with his son, even though he doesn't live there.

      As for the living conditions on the farm, Helmke joked, "The place is pretty rustic."

      Asked how Lugar's team would respond if challenged about his residency, Helmke shot back, "We'll be happy to talk about the farm."

      "It's not an issue. They can try to make it an issue. We'll be happy to talk about the farm and what it means to him," Helmke said.


      Not like Rham Emanuel and Chicago but Lugar really should have a residence in the state he represents.

    • House Republicans and Democrats started Friday morning's debate over whether to defund last year's healthcare law, and as part of this debate sparred over whether members should be allowed to call that law "ObamaCare."

      After two House Republicans called it "ObamaCare," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) asked the chairman whether these "disparaging" remarks should be allowed on the House floor.

      "That is a disparaging reference to the president of the United States; it is meant as a disparaging reference to the president of the United States, and it is clearly in violation of the House rules against that," she said.

      Because Wasserman Schultz only asked if it would be appropriate to curb the use of the term "ObamaCare," the chairman said he would not rule on a hypothetical. But he did urge members to "refrain from engaging in personalities or descriptions about personalities in general."


      Well, what should be call it?

      Obama's attempt to ruin American medicine?

      How's that?

  • Del.icio.us Links

    links for 2011-02-17

    • Amid the third straight day of chaotic but largely peaceful protests at the Capitol, Democratic senators Thursday boycotted a Senate vote on Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair plan, forcing Republicans to put off further action in that house until Friday at the earliest.

      With Democrats hiding out just over the Illinois border and drawing national media attention, Republicans had too few lawmakers to take a vote Thursday and had to adjourn. With thousands of demonstrators swarming the Capitol Square, GOP lawmakers vowed to come back Friday morning to try to take up the proposal, which would help solve a state budget shortfall by cutting public employee benefits and most public union bargaining rights.

      Democrats holed up in the Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center in Rockford, Ill., while Republicans said they wanted law enforcement to bring them to the Capitol if they were still in Wisconsin.
      A mockery of their oath of office.

      Come on……

    • Sarah Palin addressed a variety of issues Thursday at a gathering of business officials in Long Island, New York including her 2012 plans, first lady Michelle Obama, President Obama's proposed budget, the crisis in Egypt, and her feelings on the media.

      Here's a snapshot of what she had to say:

      On her 2012 ambitions:
      "I am still thinking of leading this country. I am still thinking about it. I haven't made up my mind. We hired a chief of staff because Todd is getting tired of doing it for me."

      When asked who else she might envision at the top of the GOP ticket Palin responded, "No one is more qualified to multi-tasking and doing all the things you need to do as a President than a woman."

      She then began reciting from her resume, listing her experience as a mayor and running for Vice President.


      Sarah Palin can't let it go…..always setting herself up to be the victim.

    • Tennessee was a rare state where Barack Obama performed worse in 2008 than John Kerry did in 2004, albeit by less than one point on the margin. But the state now joins red-turned-blue neighbors North Carolina and Virginia as states where Obama has actually improved since the last election. While he lost to John McCain by 15 points last time, he now trails next year's crop of Republican frontrunners by no more than 12.

      Neighboring Arkansas' Mike Huckabee typically does best against the president in Southern states, and he comes closest to matching McCain's margin of victory here, 53-41. The other candidate who usually runs closest to Obama, Mitt Romney, beats him here, 48-41. But neighboring Georgia's Newt Gingrich can manage only a 46-43 lead, and Sarah Palin actually ties the president at 45%.


      Tennessee is solidly red….

    • While most of the Democratic establishment is visibly encouraging Tim Kaine to dive into the Virginia Senate race, the same cannot be said for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in Arizona.

      In fact, top Democrats are unenthusiastic about a Napolitano Senate candidacy for retiring Sen. Jon Kyl's seat, according to those familiar with the race and Arizona politics.

      Beyond the routine calls that are made to any potential candidate, one source noted that there's been little outreach from typical Democratic players to urge the former governor to run.

      "There's not much interest in her. She has a long, long, long record, closely tied to President Obama. She's got a lot of baggage," said a Democrat involved in the race.

      Dubbed derisively as "Big Sis" by Matt Drudge, Napolitano also took a considerable amount of heat for declaring that "the system worked" after the Christmas bomber was able to board a plane.
      Time has passed Big Sis by and Jeff Flake will be the next Sen

    • Rather than call a “truce” on social issues as possible presidential contender Mitch Daniels suggests, Sen. John Thune tells The Brody File that, “I don’t think we can minimize those in the debate.”

      Thune is mulling a presidential run and The Brody File spent the whole day with him on Capitol Hill this past Tuesday. The Brody File received exclusive access into certain meetings Thune was holding that day. All of that will be part of a feature airing on The 700 Club in a few weeks.

      Thune told me, “For any conservative or any Republican to get elected to office, you have to have the support and hopefully the energetic support of people who care passionately about the social issues. So, they’re important. And we shouldn’t trivialize that.”

      Not exactly what Mitch Daniels said but is the CW that opponents will use against him – should he decide to run

    • Gov. Mitch Daniels is recovering at home after surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

      The governor's office says the outpatient surgery Thursday morning at Indiana Orthopedic Hospital Northwest in Indianapolis was successfully performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Sandy Kunkel.

      Daniels is expected to return to his office at the Statehouse sometime next week.

      Spokesman Jacob Oakman says he's back in charge of the executive branch of Indiana government after temporarily handing those duties to Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman.


      Get well Governor – Spring Training is just around the corner.

  • Del.icio.us Links

    links for 2011-02-16

    • The problem is politicians haven’t done a very good job of explaining this to the American public. Daniels declines to speculate on whether or not he’ll run for president next year. But if he does, his aim will be to build support for a tough, specific fiscal agenda bolstered by sustainable, affordable health policy. Without that support, he says, there’d be little point in running: “Winning an election without a consensus is not worth very much.”


      Read it all

      A perspective from a Republican governor who knows America is in trouble

    • Republicans took the FCC to task for enacting a net neutrality order without any sound market-based analysis to justify it at a House hearing Wednesday.

      “The FCC has done nothing to specifically quantify any harm requiring intervention, or the potential harm to consumers, innovation or the economy from the proposed rules,” Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said during his opening remarks.


      What Obama cannot do legilsatively he is attempting an end-around with executive regulations.

      I don't think the Congress is going to let this stand.

    • When will my dear friend Ann start to address the substantive problems with Christie's actual positions or are we going to get another year of "only Christie can win" fortune cookie logic?

      Does she support his positions on: gun control, amnesty, the appointment of an Islamist to the bench, the green agenda, his campaigning for Mike Castle, his MIA on health care litigation, etc.; and how does she think this would energize the base outside of New Jersey? Has the Tea Party even in NJ been pushing for his candidacy? No. Yes, he's solid in his YouTube battles with teachers and his efforts to try and address NJ's budget problems, the outcome of which have yet to be determined. But the federal government is a vast enterprise that requires a solid conservative at the helm, especially now.

      Oh, and Ann, I backed Fred Thompson. He lost. I reluctantly wound up voting for McCain like millions of my fellow conservatives. Who did you back?
      Mark Levin has a point.

    • Nevertheless, this year’s Republican field is on the low end of popularity as compared to most recent ones — and early primary polls are meaningful enough that this is worth considering, along with other factors. The way that I would recommend thinking about Mr. Obama’s re-election chances, at this early stage, is to start with the baseline re-election rate for incumbent presidents (which is about 70 percent), and then make a list of other factors that might lead one to believe that this figure overestimates or underestimates them. Under the list of favorable factors for Mr. Obama, I would include a bullet-point for “Public has tepid view of Republican candidates; Republican nominee might be weaker than average.”

      Something for Republican strategists to worry about? Sure, if they enjoy worrying. But probably not something for them to lose any sleep over until and unless they are on the verge of nominating one of their more unpopular alternatives.
      GOP operatives are watching

    • The political press is eagerly awaiting the results of the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which is supposed to serve as a barometer of the presidential candidate preferences of conservative elites. Unfortunately, if you look at CPAC's track record, the straw poll is not a meaningful predictor of eventual GOP presidential nominees.


      CPAC is worthless as an indicator but who shows up is an important show of organization.

    • At this stage of the presidential contest, "favorability" reflects public familiarity with the candidates. As the presidential race heats up, and candidates enter the public eye, partisan affiliations will kick in, and Republican-leaning voters will contribute to higher favorability ratings for the GOP slate. By the time the nominee is chosen, partisan rallying will ensure that the candidate has high favorability ratings, even if they began as a virtual unknown. At best, current polling for GOP candidates makes for interesting trivia, and Republicans should ignore it.


      I disagree.

      Early favorability polling will not only set the GOP Presidential Field but direct party resources vis a vis Congressonal/Senate races

  • Del.icio.us Links

    links for 2011-02-15

    • A few days ago, when news broke that Sarah Palin had hired a chief of staff, many took it as a sign that the former Alaska governor was finally stamping a formal structure on her freewheeling political operation. The arrival of Palin's new chief of staff, Michael Glassner, a GOP political operative from New Jersey, ignited renewed speculation that she was planning a 2012 White House run. But rather than indicating an increasingly focused organization ramping up for a campaign, the real story may be that the operation is running pretty much the way it always has, which, this being Sarah Palin, is barely controlled chaos. More than two years after her national debut, Palin is still having trouble retaining key advisers: Glassner's arrival comes not long after Palin had a falling out with one of her most loyal aides.


      Read it all

      Certainly a defect in her operation

      (tags: sarah_palin)
    • Obama's game is transparent, isn't it? He is playing a game of chicken. He puts forward a series of proposals that he knows are more or less insane; but he also believes that Republicans will come to his rescue. They, not being wholly irresponsible, will come up with plans to reform entitlements–like, for example, the Ryan Roadmap. Ultimately, some combination of those plans will be implemented because the alternative is the collapse, not just of the government of the United States, but of the country itself. But Obama thinks the GOP's reforms will be unpopular, and he will be able to demagogue them, thus having his cake and eating it too. Is that leadership? Of course not. But it is the very essence of Barack Obama.


      Read it all.

      Obama cares about ONLY one thing – RE-ELECTION – so he kicks the budget can down the road.

      (tags: barack_obama)
    • Are you a loser? If you are the Heritage Foundation, Media Research Center, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, the American Principles Project, Jim DeMint, Jim Jordan, Rush Limbaugh (given his comments yesterday on CPAC), and others — you are losers.

      Grover Norquist says so. Norquist, last week, called those who chose not to participate in CPAC and those who share those views “losers.”

      But wait . . . there’s more.

      I’m not even going to get into Americans for Tax Reform suddenly opposing an end to the ethanol subsidy on the grounds that it would be a tax hike.


      Read it all

      And, I agree.

  • Del.icio.us Links

    links for 2011-02-11

    • I want to give you the clip because this is, for all intents and purposes, his national political debut and there’s bound to be some curiosity among the readership after all the hype. He told a group of students today that there’s an excellent chance he won’t run, but this doesn’t sound like a speech from a guy who’s considering retirement after his term as governor ends. He plates plenty of red meat about America’s lurch towards socialism, but per Weigel, he stayed away from social issues and attacks on Obama to focus on fiscal catastrophe. Mary Katharine Ham and our Townhall cousin Guy Benson were there in the room and applauded him afterward on Twitter for the gravity of the message and lack of grandstanding. Judge for yourselves: Click the image to watch at CSPAN or scroll down below and read the transcript of his remarks as prepared for delivery.


      Read it all

      A good speech but Sarah Palin hiring a chief of staff, Mitch will probably be frozen out – but VP??

    • Sarah Palin has added a veteran Republican strategist to serve as chief-of-staff for her political action committee, Sarah PAC, CNN has learned.
      Michael Glassner, an attorney and longtime adviser to former Kansas senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole, has signed on to steer the former Alaska governor's political operation as she considers a possible 2012 presidential bid.

      During the 2008 presidential campaign, Glassner managed vice presidential operations during John McCain's unsuccessful White House bid.


      Guess Palin is going to go…..or at least preparing to do so

    • I stand by my assertion that Governor Daniels dropped the ball on the most important judicial issue he faced as governor of Indiana when he stated that the Missouri Plan for judicial selection in his state “is a model to be emulated, not discarded. It is not broken; it requires no repair.” Until he retracts that statement or issues a straightforward condemnation of Indiana’s selection method, I will take him at his word.

      1. If the reform legislation Daniels vetoed was “little more” than a ploy by liberal Democrats, his veto statement should have said so. Instead, it went the extra mile to say that the Missouri Plan “is a model to be emulated, not discarded. It is not broken; it requires no repair.” By adopting rhetoric that could have been drafted by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor or one of several Soros-funded groups, he indicated willingness to align himself with the liberal legal establishment.


      Read it all.

      Is Daniels a judicial conservative?

    • In an expansion of their political footprint, the billionaire Koch brothers plan to contribute and steer a total of $88 million to conservative causes during the 2012 election cycle, according to sources, funding a new voter micro-targeting initiative, grass-roots organizing efforts and television advertising campaigns.

      In fact, as the annual Conservative Political Action Conference meets this week in Washington and conservatives assess the state of their movement, the Koch network of nonprofit groups, once centered on sleepy free-enterprise think tanks, seems to be emerging as a more ideological counterweight to the independent Republican political machine conceived by Bush-era GOP operatives Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie before the 2010 midterm elections.


      Read it all

  • Del.icio.us Links

    links for 2011-02-10

    • Gov. Mitch Daniels refused to answer this morning when asked if he will stay as governor if he runs for president.

      Asked by The Indianapolis Star if he would resign to pursue the GOP nomination for the presidency, Daniels first said: “There’s too many ifs in that question for me to answer it.”

      Pressed again, he said: “I haven’t even thought about it.”

      Daniels spoke briefly to Indiana reporters this morning after a Statehouse memorial to President Ronald Reagan, for whom Daniels worked as political director. Daniels left immediately afterward to fly to Washington, D.C., where he is speaking on Friday evening to the Conservative Political Action Conference.


      I would assume he would stay in office due to the scheduling of Indiana's Legislative sessions.

  • Del.icio.us Links

    links for 2011-02-09

    • In the wake of the PATRIOT Act reauthorization defeat last night, the conventional wisdom has held that it was the Tea Party freshmen who played a crucial role in preventing it from passing. But in reality, the Republican opposition was much more mainstream – and was joined by two Republicans who have their eyes on the Senate in 2012.

      Both Reps. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) were among the 26 Republicans who voted against the reauthorization. Mack is seriously mulling a Senate campaign, and has been positioning himself as a center-right candidate on immigration as he prepares for a race. Nonetheless, he has a solid conservative voting record in the House – with a 100 percent ACU score in 2008.


      Read it all

      Both solid candidates for U.S. Senate

  • Del.icio.us Links

    links for 2011-02-08

    • Deepening a rift ahead of the largest annual gathering of conservative activists in Washington this week, some of the movement’s top leaders have circulated a private memo urging that conservatism’s founding principles be recast to exclude gay rights groups from the Reagan coalition of economic, defense and social conservatives.

      The memo, obtained by The Washington Times, was signed by about two dozen leaders, and was released just as the Conservative Political Action Conference is set to begin its most contentious session in years, riven with divisions over a gay rights Republican group that is helping sponsor the conference and the social conservatives who are trying to keep it out.


      Read it all

      I don't think this impasse will be easily resolved

    • The company that fired Reagan for speaking out against big government is celebrating the seminal speech in which he does the same, while the company’s CEO enjoys his spot in President Obama’s inner circle.

      Reagan mythology comes from across the political spectrum and we will likely never agree on his political legacy. But Reagan was a clear and outspoken critic of government-driven corporatism. GE’s misappropriation of Reagan’s iconic speech reveals just how far they’ve strayed from his message. It’s representative of either a company that has gone entirely tone deaf or an acrobatic attempt at a revisionist Reagan history.


      Ge is all over the place as long as there is $$$ in it for them.

    • The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on whether to block funding for President Barack Obama's signature healthcare overhaul when it takes up a budget plan next week, House Republican Leader Eric Cantor said on Tuesday.

      "I expect to see one way or other the product coming out of the House to speak to that and to preclude any funding to be used for that," Cantor said at a news conference, referring to an effort to block implementation of the health-care law.

      House Republicans aim to pass a spending measure next week that would immediately cut at least $32 billion from the government's $3.7 trillion budget in an effort to trim record budget deficits.

      Republican lawmakers are expected to unveil details of the spending-cut package on Thursday ahead of a wide-ranging debate on the House floor next week.


      Three prong effort to repeal ObamaCare: Repeal, Courts,Funding

      (tags: Obamacare)
    • Even as the pressure intensifies on him to consider a 2012 bid, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush indicated that he's not reconsidering his decision to not run for president.

      "Yes," Bush wrote in an email when asked if the door remained firmly shut on a White House campaign next year.

      Continue Reading
      Unhappy with the presidential field as it appears now and increasingly nervous about finding a candidate who can unite the party and beat Pres. Obama, high-profile conservatives have begun going public with their pleas for the Floridian to run.


      And, no it should be

      (tags: jeb_bush)
    • While this would be slightly less bad than ObamaCare, it's important to realize that it still wouldn't do much to alleviate the significant problems with the law that Daniels' outlines at the start of the piece. Nearly all of the spending in the national health care law comes from expanding Medicaid and offering subsidies to individuals to purchase insurance on these government-run exchanges, and this wouldn't change that. And while getting rid of benefit mandates would provide individuals with more choice in the exchanges, it would still be hard to contain the growth of premiums as long as there's a requirement that insurers cover those with pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, given the raft of new regulations introduced by the law, you aren't going to get anything close to aproximating a consumer-driven system. What this article really does is reinforce why repealing the law is so crucial.


      The best course of action is to repeal ObamaCare