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    The Morning Flap: July 25, 2012

    President Obama thanking Terry Bean

    These are my links for July 24th through July 25th:

    • Obama Thanks ‘Gay-Porn Kingpin’– “I want to thank someone who put so much work into this event, Terry Bean,” President Obama said as the crowd began to cheer. “Give Terry a big round of applause.”Terry Bean is, according to the New York Post, a “gay-porn kingpin.””ONE of the ‘bundlers’ who has raised $50,000 to $100,000 for the Barack Obama presidential campaign is Terrence Bean, who once controlled the biggest producer of gay porn in America,” the Post reported in 2008, during the president’s first run the office. “Bean, the first gay on Sen. Obama’s National Finance Committee, is the sole trustee of the Charles M. Holmes Foundation, which owned Falcon Studios, Jock Studios and Mustang Studios, the producers of about $10 million worth of all-male pornography a year.”

    • Too Big To Fail, Obama and Dodd-Frank– The two-year anniversary of Dodd-Frank has come and gone, and Too Big To Fail is only growing.Sure, President Obama assured us the sweeping law would reform the sleaze and mindless risk-taking of the banking business — but all it’s given us is the certainty of future bailouts.Actually, that’s not fair: It’s also producing reams and reams of rules and regulations that force banks out of certain profitable lines of business, like proprietary trading, that had little to do with the shenanigans that led the financial crisis.But the biggest problem is the expansion of the largest single contributor to the banking collapse: The government’s protection of the remaining big financial institutions, a k a Too Big To Fail.The reason Too Big To Fail is so dangerous is that it provides a level of comfort to the Wall Street risk takers — enabling them to act like riverboat gamblers and simply bet more and more until the system comes crashing down, as it did four years ago. Why fear, when the taxpayer is on the hook for your losses?

      Dodd-Frank was supposed to end the bank-protection racket. Everyone from the president to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (who’s due up on Capitol Hill this week to discuss the law) to its chief sponsors, then-Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank, said so.

      They tell us the law makes certain that the next time the big banks take too much risk, there will no taxpayer bailout: The bankers (and those who trusted them) will have to pay for their risk-taking sins in bankruptcy court, just like any other business in America.

      Don’t buy it. A relatively open secret on Wall Street is that the megabanks that survived the financial crisis — JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo — are still very much protected by the federal government and the American taxpayer.

    • California cities’ bankruptcies: Blame the housing bust– The reporting and commentary on the bankruptcies of California cities over the last month haven’t been journalism’s finest hour. From reading the voluminous accounts of the fiscal woes of Stockton and San Bernardino, you’d think that municipal unions and feckless city officials are primarily what led these cities down the path to fiscal ruin.But you’d be wrong. What bankrupted Stockton and San Bernardino were the most severe housing busts in the nation. What bankrupted those two cities were banks peddling subprime mortgages to poorly paid workers.That story has been missing from most accounts of the debacle, which instead focus on the preferred narrative of the right and center-right: that of fiscal irresponsibility and overpaid public employees. “Another city sinks in pension morass,” the Orange County Register editorialized. The problem common to the cities, wrote Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters, is that “elected leaders and appointed managers succumbed to hubris and political pressure, particularly from their employee unions.”Even most of the straightforward reporting has emphasized the errors of city managers and the burdens of having to pay city workers andBut that narrative is “Hamlet” without the prince. Yes, some elected and appointed officials were indifferent or insensible to their city’s fiscal plight. But lots of cities have negligent public officials, and even more have police officers and firefighters with those demonized defined-benefit pensions. What sets Stockton and San Bernardino apart is a far narrower set of circumstances: They were at the epicenters of the American housing bubble and the American housing bust.
    • To Move Polls, Romney Needs to Go Positive– Every once in a blue moon, a pollster asks exactly the right questions and brings some clarity to a number of important “big picture” issues in an election. Such is the case with the latest Pew poll. In particular, this survey helps us answer:– Is this election a choice or a referendum?
    • Marijuana Dispensaries Banned in L.A. Per City Council Vote– The L.A. City Council today voted to put an end to the city’s infamous and numerous marijuana dispensaries, citing neighborhood concerns and court rulings that have questioned a city’s right to regulate the retailers.Most of all, however, the council argued that L.A’s for-profit pot shop scene was never envisioned by state lawmakers whom the City Attorney says wanted to legalize the nonprofit growing and sharing of cannabis among the seriously ill.That interpretation, of course, is up for debate, but …… for now the city of L.A. is having things its way: No more weed retailers in the pot shop capital of the nation. Maybe. (See more below).At one point LA Weekly counted about 550 of them, and in light of a lack of city regulation, it seems that the number has remained fairly constant to us. In fact sources have told us that some rogue shops have taken advantage of City Hall’s lack of action –it has been trying to regulate dispensaries since at least 2007 — to open illicit pop-up shops that come and go quickly.
    • Gov. Scott Walker knocks Mitt Romney’s campaign– Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker criticized Mitt Romney’s campaign Wednesday for being too cautious and for assuming the election could just be a referendum on the president.“I think there’s a lot of caution. I think the mistake that they’ve made is the feeling like it can just be a referendum on the president,” said Walker, a Republican, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It’s certainly a part of it for any incumbent, it’s got to be a referendum on, do you like or dislike, not just the president, but his policies… but there’s got to be something more. People don’t just vote somebody out, they’ve got to vote somebody in
    • Nearly one in 10 employers to drop health coverage– About one in 10 employers plan to drop health coverage when key provisions of the new health care law kick in less than two years from now, according to a survey to be released Tuesday by the consulting company Deloitte.Nine percent of companies said they expect to stop offering coverage
      to their workers in the next one to three years, the Wall Street Journal reported. Around 81 percent said they would continue providing benefits and 10 percent said they weren’t sure.
    • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-25 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-07-25
    • California Appeals Court Upholds Proposition 13 – Yet Again – California Appeals Court Upholds Proposition 13 – Yet Again
    • Brian Ross at ABC News – Hitting the Lazy Button – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Brian Ross at ABC News – Hitting the Lazy Button
    • Flap’s California Morning Collection: July 24, 2012 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: July 24, 2012
    • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Daily Extraction: Guatemala Hands On Extraction Courses with Dr. Tommy Murph – The Daily Extraction: Guatemala Hands On Extraction Courses with Dr. Tommy Murph
    • The Morning Flap: July 24, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: July 24, 2012