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Flap’s Links and Comments for March 8th from 10:21 to 10:46

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These are my links for March 8th from 10:21 to 10:46:

  • Is Chuck DeVore Making A Comeback in OC 3rd Supervisoral District? – The FlashReport.org today released an intriguing poll of the 3rd Supervisor District that revealed some surprising results.

    There are, as yet, no definitively declared candidates. The closest is former 3rd District Supervisor Todd Spitzer. Couple of weeks ago, I saw an e-mail from a wealthy donor soliciting support for Spitzer and stating he would be announcing about now, but no word as yet.

    Former Assemblyman and U.S. Senate candidate Chuck DeVore is actively looking at the race, as well.

    But let’s get to the poll, conducted for FR by SmithJohnson Research. The survey was conducted March 1-2 of 300 registered voters in the 3rd District. The margin of error is 5.6%.

    The poll tests a five-candidate field of Spitzer, DeVore, Orange Mayor Carolyn Cavecche, Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang and Anaheim Councilman Harry Sidhu but the most interesting stuff comes from the one-on-one poll testing of a Spitzer-DeVore contest.

    +++++++

    This will be a race to watch.

  • Sen. John McCain back fundraising in California this week – Former 2008 presidential candidate John McCain, a strong supporter of gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman, is back fundraising in the Bay Area this month — this time at a pricey benefit to fund campaigns to win a 2012 Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.

    The Arizona U.S. Senator stars at a what's being touted as "an intimate roundtable breakfast" on March 22 for the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the venture capital enclave of Menlo Park.

    The invites specifically say the purpose of the McCain fundraising is "to gain a majority in the Senate in 2012!"

    McCain's CA visit comes the weekend after the state GOP's big convention in Sacramento, where Mississipi Gov. Haley Barbour will deliver the Saturday night keynote address; but so far, McCain has no announced plans to visit the 3-day statewdie party gathering starting March 18.

    +++++++

    The California ATM foe the GOP has already started a new cycle

  • California Tax and Budget Debate – Fact, Fancy and Fudges – As the rhetoric heats up, it may be useful to explore some of the main talking points.

    Anti-tax groups contend that voting to place taxes before voters would violate GOP legislators' no-new-taxes pledges. There is, however, an obvious difference between enacting taxes directly and placing them on the ballot. And since anti-tax groups routinely insist that taxes should require voter approval, chalk up one for hypocrisy.

    Likewise, the anti-tax groups also insist that voters have already spoken when they rejected a 2009 budget package that would have kept the temporary taxes in place for a longer period.

    Wrong. The length of the income, sales and car tax increases was not directly before voters in 2009; the election hinged largely on other issues.

    Brown and supporters of the taxes stress that they are temporary – an additional five years – and that the proceeds would go to local governments and schools.

    In fact, however, they would go to local agencies only because those agencies would be taking on functions that are being shifted from the state, so the net effect of the added revenues would be to take pressure off the state budget.

    The argument that the taxes would be temporary is also suspect, since under Brown's plan the state would be constitutionally obligated to pay for the programmatic shifts to local governments even after the tax extensions expired.

    A permanent obligation financed by a temporary revenue stream is folly; it's a better than 50-50 bet that were Brown's plan adopted, five years later he or his successor would be seeking to extend the taxes again or make them permanent.

    Brown also contends that the tax extensions would fill only half the budget hole, with sharp spending cuts, especially in health and welfare, filling the rest.

    But many of the cuts are actually funding shifts; Democrats are scaling back the real cuts and many of them would either require federal waivers, be subject to litigation, or both.

    +++++++++

    The GOP doesn't want to raise taxes and wants cuts in California's State Budget.

    Jerry Brown and the Democrats don't want to cut spending and wish to shift responsibilities and funding tothe cities and counties who have no easy way to pay for them.

    Looks like a stalemate to me.

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Flap’s Links and Comments for March 7th through March 8th

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These are my links for March 7th through March 8th:

  • Redevelopment agencies: California State controller reports numerous failings by redevelopment agencies – City redevelopment agencies improperly shortchanged schools by more than $40 million last year while allocating millions of dollars in public money for such things as a luxury golf course and a lobbyist, state Controller John Chiang said in a report released Monday.

    Chiang's report, adding fuel to the argument that redevelopment agencies are sucking up precious funds with little to show for their efforts, was immediately condemned by redevelopment advocates as politically motivated. A furious battle is playing out between the state and cities over the governor's proposal to scrap redevelopment entirely.

    Cities launched a statewide radio ad blitz and petition-gathering campaign Monday urging legislators to protect the state's approximately 400 municipal redevelopment agencies. Gov. Jerry Brown is recommending that much of the $5 billion a year in property taxes they collect be sent instead to schools, counties and the state.

    One ad called the move "a scheme" that will "put thousands more out of work."

    The California Professional Firefighters and the California School Employees Assn. countered with a campaign on radio stations in Sacramento. "While deputies are facing layoffs, fire stations are closing and local school funding is slashed, redevelopment agencies are spending taxpayer money for stadiums, parking garages and 'mermaid bars,' " one declared.

    +++++++

    Read the entire article.

    California Redevelopment Agencies have been full of abuse for decades. Before there was plenty of tax base to steal from the state, so the California Legislature turned a blind eye.

    No longer.

    I mean look at Thousand Oaks and its blighted Civic Arts Plaza and new City Hall.

    Then, look at the surrounding Thousand Oaks Blvd area which the Redevelopment Agency was formed to help.

  • NPR Executives Caught On Video – Better off without Federal Funding – Later in the lunch, Schiller explains that NPR would be better positioned free of federal funding. “Well frankly, it is clear that we would be better off in the long-run without federal funding,” he says. “The challenge right now is that if we lost it all together we would have a lot of stations go dark.”

    When one of O’Keefe’s associates asked, “How confident are you, with all the donors that are available, if they should pull the funding right now that you would survive?,” Schiller answered this way: “Yes, NPR would definitely survive and most of the stations would survive.”

    That is precisely the opposite answer Schiller’s boss, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation), gave at a press conference Monday in Washington. “We take [federal defunding] very, very seriously,” she said. “It would have a profound impact we believe on our ability – of public broadcasting’s ability – to deliver news and information.”

    At the Café Milano lunch, Schiller said he’s “very proud of” how NPR fired Juan Williams. “What NPR stood for is non-racist, non-bigoted, straightforward telling of the news and our feeling is that if a person expresses his or her opinion, which anyone is entitled to do in a free society, they are compromised as a journalist,” he said. “They can no longer fairly report.”
    With that, Schiller once again directly contradicted NPR’s public statements. At her Monday press conference, Vivian Schiller apologized for the way it handled the Williams matter. “We handled the situation badly,” she said. “We acted too hastily and we made some mistakes. I made some mistakes.”

    +++++++

    Read the entire piece.

    Defund these idiots and they should fire this idiot for being a moron, especially with regards to Juan Williams.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Millionaire Michigan Dentist Richard Ludwig Finds Credit Card in Florida Parking Lot, Uses it To Buy Pizza – ARRESTED – Millionaire Michigan Dentist Richard Ludwig Finds Credit Card in Florida Parking Lot, Uses it To Buy Pizza – ARRESTED
  • President 2012 Pennsylvania Poll Watch: Obama 43% Vs Romney 36% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Pennsylvania Poll Watch: Obama 43% Vs Romney 36% #tcot #catcot
  • Day By Day March 8, 2011 – Bean There | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day March 8, 2011 – Bean There #tcot #catcot
  • Wisconsin GOP President 2012 Poll Watch: Ryan 30% Vs Huckabee 17% Vs Gingrich 12% Vs Palin and Romney 9% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Wisconsin GOP President 2012 Poll Watch: Ryan 30% Vs Huckabee 17% Vs Gingrich 12% Vs Palin and Romney 9% #tcot #catcot
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-03-08 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-03-08 #tcot #catcot
  • Capitol Alert: Amazon sales tax bill stalls in Assembly committee – Amazon sales tax bill stalls in Assembly committee – Probably Temporarily
  • Amazon sales tax bill stalls in Assembly committee – Probably Temporarily – Hotly contested legislation aimed at compelling Amazon and other on-line retailers to collect California sales taxes stalled Monday — probably temporarily — in the the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.

    Committee chairman Henry Perea, a Fresno Democrat, placed the bill on the committee's "suspense file" after a lengthy hearing but the committee's majority Democrats appear from their comments to be ready to approve it. Perea said the vote may come within a few weeks.

    Backed by a coalition of public employee unions and California's brick-and-mortar retailers, including Wal-Mart and The Home Depot, Assembly Bill 153 is patterned after a New York law that is now undergoing judicial scrutiny. State tax officials say it could raise as much as a billion dollars a year if enacted.

    Technically, Californians who buy goods from out-of-state on-line sellers are liable for "use taxes," equivalent to sales taxes, on their purchases, and there's a line on personal income tax returns for reporting such purchases. But very few buyers pay use taxes, and state officials say there's no practical way to collect them.

    The Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that states cannot compel mail order retailers to collect sales taxes unless they have a "physical presence" in the state, such as a store. New York's law contends that when Amazon or another on-line retailer uses "affiliates" in the state to serve customers, it creates a "nexus" that satisfies the Supreme Court decision.

    Amazon, however, warned in a letter to state officials last week that if Skinner's bill, or one of the other similar measures, becomes law, it will cancel its contracts with thousands of California affiliates. Other mail order networks have made similar threats, the committee was told.

    +++++++

    The Dems will pass this bill but since this is a tax increase, they will need a 2/3rds vote to pass the full Assembly and Senate

  • Flap’s Links and Comments for March 7th from 14:53 to 16:13 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Links and Comments for March 7th from 14:53 to 16:13 #tcot #catcot
  • President 2012: Sarah Palin to Forego NBC-Politico GOP Presidential Debate for Colorado Tribute to the Troops | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Sarah Palin to Forego NBC-Politico GOP Presidential Debate for Colorado Tribute to… #tcot #catcot
  • Video: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – The Choice | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Video: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – The Choice | Flap's Blog – FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
  • Video: The Game Is On, No, Not for President – Sarah Palin Vs. Kathy Griffin | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Video: The Game Is On, No, Not for President – Sarah Palin Vs. Kathy Griffin | Flap's Blog – FullosseousFlap's D…
  • Flap’s Links and Comments for March 7th from 14:20 to 14:26 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Links and Comments for March 7th from 14:20 to 14:26 | Flap's Blog – FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
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Flap’s Links and Comments for March 6th from 16:00 to 18:56

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These are my links for March 6th from 16:00 to 18:56:

  • ObamaCare: Number of healthcare reform law waivers climbs above 1,000 – The number of temporary healthcare reform waivers granted by the Obama administration to organizations climbed to more than 1,000, according to new numbers disclosed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    HHS posted 126 new waivers on Friday, bringing the total to 1,040 organizations that have been granted a one-year exemption from a new coverage requirement included in the healthcare reform law enacted almost a year ago. Waivers have become a hot-button issue for Republicans, eager to expose any vulnerabilities in the reform law.

    In order to avoid disruption in the insurance market, the healthcare overhaul gives HHS the power to grant waivers to firms that cannot meet new annual coverage limits in 2011. The waivers have typically been granted to so-called "mini-med" plans that offer limited annual coverage — as low as $2,000 — that would fall short of meeting the new annual coverage floor of $750,000 in 2011.

    "We don't want to take away people's health insurance before they have some realistic other choices,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an interview with The Hill earlier this year.

    Republican lawmakers have seized on the waivers as proof that the law they want to see repealed is flawed, and they have accused the administration of giving them waivers as gifts to union allies. The administration has rejected both claims as Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have asked HHS for in-depth details about every waiver decision and request.

    ++++++++

    Crony ObamaCare for their pal union buddies.

    Repeal this bad law – repeal it all.

  • Wisconsin Union protests: Why conservatives are having mixed luck getting video of angry, violent liberals. – Even the protesters outside Wisconsin have figured this out. FreedomWorks' Tabitha Hale, who was shoved by an unidentified Communication Workers of America protester as she filmed him outside the organization's Washington offices, recounted the scene at RedState.com. She had a new, key detail: "The concern from a bystander was that 'You'll get on the news, stop it!' Unfortunately for him, he did not know who he was dealing with. I will ensure that this happens."

    The shove did make the news, and the video of it is lurching toward 300,000 views on YouTube. It confirmed, for conservatives, that union thugs were fighting back over Wisconsin. Every reasonably solid video of a shove or insult made it to Breitbart.tv. They just haven't broken into the narrative about the protests the way that 2009 videos of rebellion at congressional town halls did, or even Hartsock's Palm Springs video did. (This week, some congressional Republicans called for an investigation of Common Cause because the group had organized the event where those activists embarrassed themselves on camera.) There hasn't been any dip in support for unions; there has been a dip in support for Scott Walker.

    The videographers have not given up. FreedomWorks activists are on the ground in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah "this weekend through the next two weeks," according to the group. They want to supplement the FlipCam videos they've already been getting. They want documentary evidence of union anger out there so powerful that the media can't avoid it. But who doesn't know that he's venturing into the view of tiny cameras every time he attends a rally? Who trusts the media? Who wants to wind up as the face of Violence Breaking Out and wrecking his cause? The new age of protests is bringing on more self-consciousness and more détente.

    ++++++++++

    Journolister Weigel has it wrong.

    Didn't he check the Wisconsin weather vs. the Koch Protests in Palm Springs?

    It is tough to do anything with it cold and snowing.

    Of course, the LEFT and Unions knew they were being filmed and this is why their type of Saul Alinsky protests will have to be re-worked to be effective.

    The Union thuggery/ridicule days are indeed over – at least while someone is paying attention.

  • California Budget: Tax vote a worry for GOP – Republican lawmakers say they don't want a set of tax extensions to go before California voters in a June special election.

    While lawmakers say that's because voters rejected a nearly identical slate of taxes two years ago, making another election a waste of time and money, some Republican legislators and strategists say there's another reason: because voters might approve the taxes this time.

    "I think it's going to be a much closer vote than the last one," said Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucaipa.

    Gov. Jerry Brown's budget plan calls for solving the state's $26 billion budget deficit by cutting spending, taking money from special government funds and extending a set of tax increases approved by the Legislature in 2009. Specifically, the proposal calls for extending increases in sales tax, income tax and the vehicle license fee – some of those increases lapsed on Jan. 1 – for five years, raising about $11 billion this year.

    In May 2009, voters overwhelmingly rejected a plan to extend those tax increases by two years. But despite that, Cook and others say there's good reason to believe the tax measure could pass.

    "It depends on the different special-interest groups and how much they buy in to this election," Cook said. "Right now, I think they're all in. You're going to see a lot of money."

    Republicans are specifically concerned about public employee unions, which would likely offer plenty of money and support to pass the tax

    +++++++

    Read it all

    The California GOP should stand form and not let Jerry Brown have his election in June.

    But, as usual, somebody will sell out – much to the demise of the California economy.

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Flap’s Links and Comments for March 2nd from 15:05 to 15:09

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These are my links for March 2nd from 15:05 to 15:09:

  • Money Train – Story of California High Speed Rail – "Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail," President Obama declared in his State of the Union address, making it the most ambitious element of his vision for "winning the future."

    Invoking national pride, Obama mused that "America is the nation that built the transcontinental railroad, brought electricity to rural communities, constructed the interstate highway system." Sadly, he lamented, the U.S. now lags behind Europe, Russia, and China in modern transportation infrastructure.

    If the nation met his goal for high-speed rail adoption, he said, "This could allow you to go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying — without the pat-down. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already under way."

    To most Americans, the passing reference to California was likely an afterthought, lost amid all the dreamy rhetoric of rebuilding the nation. But upon closer inspection, the state's proposed high-speed rail system serves as a perfect example of the gap between the promise of transformational liberalism and the reality of big government. Taxpayers everywhere should pay attention, because the project has already been granted $3.2 billion in federal funds, mostly through Obama's economic stimulus package — and its backers hope to gobble up billions more over the next decade.

    The $43 billion transportation project to link Los Angeles to San Francisco with a bullet train by 2020 would be considered grandiose during the plushest of times, yet it's being pursued during an era when governments at all levels are mired in deep fiscal crises. The plan has been subject to a series of scathing reports by independent analysts, raising concerns about everything from its cost estimates to its business model. The University of California at Berkeley has questioned its lofty ridership projections. And even the Washington Post has editorialized against it.

    ++++++++

    Read it all

  • The lunacy of California’s high-speed rail – Perhaps I can make my point more concretely. Suppose you work in Century City on the west side of Los Angeles and you want to commute to a business meeting on Sand Hill Road in Palo Alto. Would you want to drive to Union Station in downtown LA (over the ever-clogged Santa Monica Freeway or faster Olympic Avenue), then take a train for two hours and 40 minutes to downtown San Francisco, then drive nearly another hour down the Bayshore or I-280 to Sand Hill Road? Or would you prefer to drive to LAX, wait some annoying length of time (probably 15 minutes) in the security lines, then fly 50 minutes in the air to SFO, and drive the considerably shorter distance down the Bayshore or I-280 to Sand Hill Road? The rail trip is door-to-door five to six hours and maybe more; the airline trip is door-to-door is three to four hours door-to-door. I know which one I'd pick (if I couldn't manage to get out of the meeting altogether).

    They’re estimating an average speed of 143mph and a fare of only $105—I don’t think so.

    +++++++

    Not going to fly – pardon the pun.

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