House Speaker and President Obama
These are my links for December 10th through December 11th:
- Scalia quizzed at NJ’s Princeton on gay issue – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday found himself defending his legal writings that some find offensive and anti-gay.
Speaking at Princeton University, Scalia was asked by a gay student why he equates laws banning sodomy with those barring bestiality and murder.
“I don’t think it’s necessary, but I think it’s effective,” Scalia said, adding that legislative bodies can ban what they believe to be immoral.
Scalia has been giving speeches around the country to promote his new book, “Reading Law,” and his lecture at Princeton comes just days after the court agreed to take on two cases that challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
Some in the audience who had come to hear Scalia speak about his book applauded but more of those who attended the lecture clapped at freshman Duncan Hosie’s question.
“It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd,'” Scalia told Hosie of San Francisco during the question-and-answer period. “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”
Scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing a parallel between the bans on both.
Then he deadpanned: “I’m surprised you aren’t persuaded.”
Hosie said afterward that he was not persuaded by Scalia’s answer. He said he believes Scalia’s writings tend to “dehumanize” gays.
As Scalia often does in public speaking, he cracked wise, taking aim mostly at those who view the Constitution as a “living document” that changes with the times.
“It isn’t a living document,” Scalia said. “It’s dead, dead, dead, dead.”
- An Increasingly Polarized Nation– Gerald Seib: “Based on nearly complete results, of the 234 Republicans elected to the House, just 15 come from districts that the Democratic president carried… Of 201 Democrats elected, just nine come from districts Republican Mitt Romney carried… Not only are House members coming from reliably partisan districts, many are winning in landslides. In this fall’s election, 125 House members — 42 Republicans and 83 Democrats — won their districts with 70% or more of the vote…””The situation is similar in the Senate. There will be 45 Republican senators in the new Congress. Only 10 of them come from states President Obama won. There will be 55 Democrats and independents who caucus with Democrats. Just 11 of them come from states Mr. Romney won…””Voting in that presidential race, meanwhile, was starkly partisan. President Obama won the votes of just 6% of Republicans, exit polls indicate. Mr. Romney won just 7% of Democrats.”New York Times: “Of the 234 House Republicans who will sit in the 113th Congress, 85 percent won re-election with 55 percent of the vote; more than half of next year’s House Republican Conference won more than 60 percent. And virtually every one of them ran on holding the line against tax increases and the Obama agenda.”
- ‘Dr. No’ of Senate says ‘yes’ to taxes– The Oklahoma senator and obstetrician known as “Dr. No” has taken on the most unlikely of roles: getting Republicans to say “yes” to tax hikes.Tom Coburn, who has blocked dozens of bills, infuriated Democratic leaders and been on the lopsided end of some 96-3 votes, has been encouraging fellow Republicans both publicly and behind the scenes to break with the anti-tax orthodoxy that has come to define — some say hamstring — the modern GOP.
- Cliff Talks Progress Between Obama, Boehner – Budget negotiations between the White House and Republican House Speaker John Boehner have progressed steadily in recent days, people close to the process said, breathing life into talks that appeared to have stalled.
Related VideoLast August, President Obama and Congress put the U.S. economy on course to go over a “fiscal cliff.” With the 2012 presidential election decided, WSJ’s David Wessel tells you everything you need to know about the “cliff” but were afraid to ask.Both sides still face sizable differences before any agreement might be reached by the end of the year, and talks could well falter again over such controversial issues as taxes and Medicare before any deal is reached.The people familiar with the matter say talks have taken a marked shift in recent days as staff and leaders have consulted, becoming more “serious.” Both sides have agreed to keep details private, according to the people, who declined to detail where new ground was being broken.
- The Demographics of Mobile News– In the growing realm of mobile news, men and the more highly educated emerge as more engaged news consumers, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, in collaboration with The Economist Group. These findings parallel, for the most part, demographic patterns of general news consumption.But there are some important areas of difference between mobile and general news habits-particularly among young people. While they are much lighter news consumers generally and have largely abandoned the print news product, young people get news on mobile devices to similar degrees as older users. And, when getting news through apps, young people say they prefer a print-like experience over one with high-tech or multi-media features.These are key findings of an analysis of mobile news habits across a variety of demographic groups. This report builds off an earlier PEJ and The Economist Group report, The Future of Mobile News, which found that half of U.S. adults now own mobile devices and a majority use them for news. Both reports are based on a survey of 9,513 U.S. adults conducted from June-August 2012 (including 4,638 mobile device owners). Men, especially young men, are heavier mobile news consumers than women. More than 40% of men get news daily on either their smartphone and/or tablet, compared with roughly 30% of women. On the tablet specifically, men check in for news more frequently and are more apt to read in-depth news articles and to watch news videos. Women, on the other hand, are more likely than men to use social networks as a way to get news.
- Report: Bill Clinton really wants Hillary to run for president again | Mobile Washington Examiner – Report: Bill Clinton really wants Hillary to run for president again #tcot
- Report: Bill Clinton really wants Hillary to run for president again– Former president Bill Clinton really wants his wife Hillary to run for president again according to a report by Jodi Kantor of the New York Times. From the article:Bill Clinton, however, sometimes cannot keep himself from verbally gaming out another campaign for her, said a friend who recently spent time with him. “Every indication is that he would really want her to run,” the friend said.It appears that someone is anxious to be America’s first “First Gentleman” in the White House.
- Preparing for ‘fiscal cliff,’ investors move assets to avoid higher taxes– As lawmakers struggle to agree on a plan to avert the series of tax increases looming next year, many investors are taking preemptive action to get out of harm’s way.Americans are moving to sell investment homes, off-load stocks, expand charitable donations and establish tax-sheltering gifts before the end of the year. Financial advisers and accountants say people are trying to avoid the higher taxes that will take effect in 2013 if Washington does not avert the “fiscal cliff.”For the most part, the people moving their assets are the wealthy, who have the most to lose even if a deal is struck. Ordinary Americans also are in line for higher income and payroll taxes and fewer deductions and tax credits if the nation goes over the fiscal cliff. But since most of their earnings come through wages, there is little they can do to minimize the impact. Also, the majority of investment income earned by middle-income people comes through tax-deferred vehicles such as individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s, making the possible changes in taxes on investment returns largely immaterial.
- GOP mute as Supreme Court tackles gay marriage – GOP mute as Supreme Court tackles gay marriage #tcot
- Rubio, McCain huddle on immigration reform –
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-10 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-10
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-10 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-10 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-10 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-10
- Boom! Obama Campaign Unleashes Its List on Congress | TechPresident – Boom! Obama Campaign Unleashes Its List on Congress | TechPresident #tcot
- CDT Code for Resin Infiltration Gives Practices Additional Treatment and Billing Options– The American Dental Association (ADA) has announced that resin infiltration of incipient smooth surface lesions is now covered by a 2013 CDT Code classification. The newly defined classification allows practices to accurately code and bill for Icon® by DMG America, a resin infiltration technology that fills, reinforces, and stabilizes demineralized enamel for the purpose of arresting the progression of incipient carious lesions and removing cariogenic white spots. Resin infiltration is a new treatment that has been gaining popularity as an alternative treatment that ends the “wait and see” approach to caries management, without having to “drill and fill.”Icon is the first product to bridge the gap between prevention (fluoride therapy) and traditional caries restoration. Icon’s micro-invasive infiltration technology can be used to treat facial and proximal carious lesions up to the first third of dentin (D-1). Classification from the ADA gives more practices the ability to offer their patients a less invasive, pain free alternative to aggressive treatment techniques. This treatment is performed in a single visit without drilling, anesthesia or the sacrifice of healthy tooth structure. Clinicians can immediately treat upon discovery versus waiting to see whether the caries will progress.The official classification defines resin infiltration as: Application of a resin material engineered to penetrate and fill the sub-surface pore system of an incipient caries lesion to strengthen, stabilize, and limit the lesion’s progression, as well as mask visible white spots.
- Caffeinated Coffee Reduces the Risk of Oral Cancer? – Locum Tenens Dentist – Caffeinated Coffee Reduces the Risk of Oral Cancer?
- Boom! Obama Campaign Unleashes Its List on Congress | TechPresident – Boom! Obama Campaign Unleashes Its List on Congress #tcot
- Boom! Obama Campaign Unleashes Its List on Congress– The Obama political operation took a big step today, sending out an email to its millions of supporters asking them to call Members of the House of Representatives to pass a Senate-approved bill aimed at preventing the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts on the bottom 98% of U.S. taxpayers. In some cases, recipients are being asked to call their own Member; in others, where their Member is already in favor of the Senate bill, Obama activists are being asked to call Obama supporters whose representatives may be a swing vote. In case there’s any doubt, these emails are aimed at putting heat directly on Republican House members.”We know we can affect change in Washington when we raise our voices together,” says the email from Stephanie Cutter, the 2012 deputy campaign manager. “So pick up the phone and make a few calls. Republicans in the House need to hear from their constituents.”This email represents a critical shift in Obama’s political strategy. Paid for by the Obama Victory Fund 2012, it is not aimed at re-electing the President–the ostensible purpose of that campaign entity–but at moving his legislative agenda. It is the President using his army to go directly in the face of Members of Congress who are perceived to stand in his way. Apparently, OFA’s lawyers have decided that they can use their email list in this manner, after some earlier doubts. (It’s not clear that this crosses any lines; for example, John Kerry continued to use his 2004 campaign email list to advance his political agenda for years after losing his run for the White House.)
- The Afternoon Flap: December 10, 2013 – Flap’s Blog – The Afternoon Flap: December 10, 2013 #tcot
President Obama and House Speaker Boehner
These are my links for December 5th through December 10th:
- Options narrow to avert fiscal cliff– Time is running short — and so are the options available to avert the fiscal cliff.President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have just 21 days to resolve their differences over how to handle more than $500 billion in expiring tax rates and steep spending cuts.Although they met Sunday for the first time in more than three weeks — signaling a new, potentially more productive stage of the negotiations — there was no progress on the staff level ahead of that sit-down, according to Democratic and Republican sources.The White House and Capitol Hill are now staring at a narrow set of options fraught with political and policy peril. The course they choose will set the tone for the 113th Congress, Boehner’s speakership and Obama’s second term.
Here is POLITICO’s rundown of the most likely scenarios:
- Go over the cliff
- Big deal
- Partial deal
- Jim DeMint’s move and the growing frustration inside the GOP | Mobile Washington Examiner –
- The GOP’s immigration jam
- Dick Armey: John Boehner should vote on fiscal cliff plan– Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey suggested on Monday that House Speaker John Boehner should allow a vote on Republican and Democratic tax-and-spending plans to avert the fiscal cliff and force President Barack Obama to “live with the consequences” of his plan.“Unless the president shows some real negotiating, let’s say vigor, commitment, what I would do if I was John Boehner is I would take my version of what I think is the best policy for America to the floor, offer the Democrats, on behalf of the president, a chance to offer a substitute,” Armey, a Texas Republican who was majority leader from 1995 to 2003, said on CBS’s “This Morning.”
- The Journal’s Tax Advice– he The Wall Street Journal editors are are unhappy about the present correlation unhappy about the present correlation of political forces. Who isn’t? They’re of political forces. Who isn’t? They’re also, I gather, unhappy about “Beltway also, I gather, unhappy about “Beltway sages” who, facing the fact that the sages” who, facing the fact that the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year, have suggested Republicans year, have suggested Republicans accept a modest increase in tax rates accept a modest increase in tax rates for the wealthy while leading the for the wealthy while leading the charge to keep taxes from rising for 98 charge to keep taxes from rising for 98 percent of the American people. percent of the American people.It would be great if the It would be great if the Journal Journal editors editors had a better idea of what Republicans had a better idea of what Republicans could do. They don’t.
- Doctors: We Gave at the Office, and Then Some– As a physician who treats Medicare patients, the fiscal cliff is all too familiar territory. Living under the current Medicare reimbursement system, known as the Sustainable Growth Rate, the viability of my practice is under threat.At least once a year, I am taken to a precipice known as the SGR cliff, which mandates that reimbursement rates are reduced by significant levels unless Congress steps in with its “doc fix” and staves off the cut. This year is no different. The SGR rate will be cut by nearly 27 percent on Jan. 1 unless Congress acts.This threatened cut, coupled with rate reductions and penalties already codified under the 2010 health care law and sequestration amount to a systematic targeting of Medicare doctors to pay for deficit reduction.To be clear, our SGR cliff is not merely an annual exercise. In 2010, we faced no less than five cliffs, sometimes going over, then fixed retroactively after a few weeks of panic and confusion among us and our patients.
If this weren’t enough, the grand promise made to physicians to fix the SGR in the 2010 law actually worsened the situation by once again targeting reimbursement rates and adding reporting and electronic health record mandates. For good measure, the law created the Independent Payment Advisory Board as a means to further reduce reimbursements.
- ObamaCare: Businesses Face Wrenching Choice– The president’s health care law presents the nation’s employers with a number of extremely difficult decisions. Perhaps nothing illustrates the selection of no-good-choices better than the requirement that businesses offer expensive insurance or pay a penalty.Recent news media coverage has highlighted larger businesses reducing employee hours below 30 hours per week in order to avoid the employer-mandate requirements or penalties. Smaller businesses, too, might be forced to reduce employment below the 50 full-time equivalent employee threshold, or resist growing above the threshold, to avoid the mandate. None of these options is productive, and they ultimately harm employees and the economy. Replacing one full-time position with two part-time positions is not job creation. Further, money that must go toward increased benefits or non-tax deductible penalties will crowd out wage increases and business investment.
- The Republican Tax Panic– If any Republicans thought that President Obama would respond with magnanimity in victory, they now know better. He is determined to rout them on taxes, give as a little as possible on spending, and blame them for any economic damage in the bargain. The question for the GOP is how to minimize the harm to the economy, as well as to their chances of a political and policy comeback in 2014 and beyond.So it’s a shame that Republicans are playing into Mr. Obama’s hands, negotiating in public among themselves, prematurely giving up on the tax issue and undermining House Speaker John Boehner in the process. Mr. Obama isn’t going to blink on the budget if he thinks Republicans are going to blink first, and so far the emerging GOP position seems to be to surrender on taxes first and hope Mr. Obama will have mercy on them later on entitlements.
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-09 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-09 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-09 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-09
- GetGlue – Your app for TV, Movies, and Sports – I unlocked the Homeland: In Memoriam sticker on #GetGlue!
- Humor / The Golden Rule explained….. – The Golden Rule explained…..
- How Obama’s data scientists built a volunteer army on Facebook– No matter how good your social media team is, the chances are it’s never done anything like this. Rather than just using Facebook as a channel for posting messages and tracking its followers’ feelings, the Obama for America data science team turned social media into a tool for efficiently recruiting the human resources it needed leading into the election’s home stretch.The key was a model for determining who among its followers were the best messengers, who they might be able to persuade, and what actions they might be willing to take. So, rather than blast all of President Obama’s 30 million Facebook fans or 20 million Twitter followers with the same plea for cash or neighborhood organizers, the campaign was able to make informed decisions about who it asked for what, and how it asked them.
- GOP Rep. Cole: Take Obama’s offer to gain tax cuts for ‘98 percent’– Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Sunday that House Republicans should agree to extending tax cuts for the majority of U.S. taxpayers.Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Cole continued to champion his case that the GOP caucus should take the deal that President Obama is offering: keeping tax rates in place for those making less than $250,000 a year, while allowing rates to increase on the wealthy.
- White House could protect middle class from looming tax hikes– The White House has the power to temporarily protect taxpayers from middle-class tax hikes even as upper income rates rise if Congress does nothing and all of the Bush-era tax rates expire in January.Experts and lawmakers alike agree that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has the power to adjust how much is withheld from paychecks for tax purposes — for all taxpayers or just for some.
- GOP seeks to up its online game – Emily Schultheis – POLITICO.com – GOP seeks to up its online game – Emily Schultheis – #tcot
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-08 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-08
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-08 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-08 #tcot
- GOP seeks to up its online game – Emily Schultheis – POLITICO.com – GOP seeks to up its online game – Emily Schultheis – #tcot
- GOP seeks to up its online game – Emily Schultheis – POLITICO.com – GOP seeks to up its online game #tcot
- GIF: Juan Manuel Marquez knocks out Manny Pacquaio at end of … on Twitpic – RT @BuzzFeedAndrew: Out cold. RT @samir: GIF of the knockout
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-08 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-08
- GOP seeks to up its online game– Republican digital gurus are starting to chart a path forward for 2014 and beyond after conceding that they were badly outgunned by Barack Obama’s campaign in cyberspace this past November.About 50 top Republicans, both staffers for the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee as well as outside GOP digital consultants, huddled in Washington Thursday morning to rehash what Mitt Romney did wrong, digitally speaking.
- Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – 8 mile race recovery run is finished. Now waiting for a table at Ronnie’s. (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-07 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-07
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-07 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-07 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-07 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-07
- Do Not Have Sex with This Man | Sexuality/Gender | Religion Dispatches – Stupid 2 RT @EWErickson This is one of the funniest damn things I’ve ever read @DouthatNYT inspires comedic brilliance
- Steve Smith: Fleetwood Mac to tour; Clapton jams with The Stones; the 12-12-12 TV concert; and Led Zep’s honor – SGVTribune.com – Steve Smith: Fleetwood Mac to tour; Clapton jams with The Stones; the 12-12-12 TV concert; and Led Zep’s honor: …
- SCOTUS To Hear Gay Marriage Cases – Flap’s Blog – SCOTUS To Hear Gay Marriage Cases #tcot
- Supreme Court To Hear Gay Couples’ Marriage Cases – RT @chrisgeidner: UPDATE: The Supreme Court’s order in the #DOMA & #Prop8 cases:
- Charles Krauthammer: It’s nothing but a power play– What should Republicans do? Stop giving stuff away. If Obama remains intransigent, let him be the one to take us over the cliff. And then let the new House, which is sworn in weeks before the president, immediately introduce and pass a full across-the-board restoration of the George W. Bush tax cuts.Obama will counter with the usual all-but-the-rich tax cut — as the markets gyrate and the economy begins to wobble under his feet.Result? We’re back to square one, but with a more level playing field. The risk to Obama will be rising and the debt ceiling will be looming. Most important of all, however, Republicans will still be in possession of their unity, their self-respect — and their trousers.———–
The Fiscal Cliff does not look so bad, now does it?
- Day By Day December 7, 2012 – Take A Bow – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day December 7, 2012 – Take A Bow #tcot
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-06 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-06
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-06 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-06
- Sen. Rand Paul: We Should Let Dems Raise Taxes And Then Let Them Own It– SEN. RAND PAUL: I have yet another thought on how we can fix this. Why don’t we let the Democrats pass whatever they want? If they are the party of higher taxes, all the Republicans vote present and let the Democrats raise taxes as high as they want to raise them, let Democrats in the Senate raise taxes, let the president sign it and then make them own the tax increase. And when the economy stalls, when the economy sputters, when people lose their jobs, they know which party to blame, the party of high taxes. Let’s don’t be the party of just almost as high taxes.LARRY KUDLOW, CNBC: Some people have called that the doomsday scenario. Others have said, ‘Look, it’s a strategic retreat on the Republicans’ behalf.’ WWould you vote present for that in the Senate if that came up?RAND PAUL: Yes, I don’t think we have to in the Senate. In the House, they have to because the Democrats don’t have the majority. In the Senate, I’m happy not to filibuster it, and I will announce tonight on your show that I will work with Harry Reid to let him pass his big old tax hike with a simple majority if that’s what Harry Reid wants, because then they will become the party of high taxes and they can own it.=========
Senator Paul has a point….
- California Republicans look to Jim Brulte to lead comeback– Following a catastrophic election for the California Republican Party, influential members of the party have recruited a prominent former legislator, Jim Brulte, to lead a comeback.The former Senate Republican leader has been discussing his interest in the party chairmanship with members of the party since the election a month ago. Brulte is a giant in GOP circles, having helped Republicans in the 1990s win a majority in the state Assembly for the first time in nearly 25 years.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-05 – Flap’s California Blog – (500) … #tcot
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-04 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-04
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-05 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-05 #tcot
- Online sales tax to be added to defense authorization bill– This may be the last Christmas of online shopping without paying sales tax.A proposed online sales tax has been offered as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, much to the ire of opponents.The Computer and Communications Industry Association, a group that opposes this move, says that an online sales tax will burden small businesses, “some of the most promising candidates for future economic growth.”
- The House Fiscal Cliff Strategy: Shut Up and Pass a Bill – Flap’s Blog – The House Fiscal Cliff Strategy: Shut Up and Pass a Bill #tcot
- The Troubles with ObamaCare Implementation – Flap’s Blog – The Troubles with ObamaCare Implementation #tcot
- American Dental Association Releases Updated Dental Radiograph (X-Ray) Recommendations – American Dental Association Releases Updated Dental Radiograph (X-Ray) Recommendations #tcot
These are my links for November 27th through November 28th:
Going to be brutal and hopefully frank.
- Looking Forward to the 2012 Las Vegas Half Marathon – Looking Forward to the 2012 Las Vegas Half Marathon
- Obama public relations effort aims to avoid ‘fiscal cliff’ – Symbolism Over Substance– The White House signaled Tuesday that it will try to marshal the momentum from President Obama’s reelection triumph into another victory at the negotiating table, launching a full-fledged public relations effort to avoid a “fiscal cliff” that could jolt the nation back toward recession.Administration officials said Obama will hit the road this week for a campaign-style series of events with ordinary Americans, including a visit to a toy manufacturer in suburban Philadelphia on Friday. That trip and others will be aimed at increasing pressure on Congress to reach an agreement on heading off a series of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are scheduled to begin in January
Symbolism over substance
- Erick Erickson considering challenge to Chambliss– Popular conservative blogger and radio personality Erick Erickson said Tuesday he was considering a primary challenge to Sen. Saxby Chambliss after a host of political bigs had approached him about staging a bid of his own in the days since the incumbent broke with a vaulted no-taxes pledge.“For a week now, I’ve been getting calls to see if I would challenge Saxby Chambliss, once he really got into the whole ‘raising taxes issue,’” Erickson said in the opening segment of his radio show Tuesday. “Well, the pace quickened. I got a lot of people pledging a lot of money in the last couple of days if I did something like this. And I’ve been very adamant, I wasn’t going to do it, but after a few conversations today with a few heavy hitters in Washington, D.C. and some here in Georgia, I should at least consider it.”Erickson, a CNN political contributor and editor-in-chief of conservative haunt RedState, added he was “very flattered” and was in “prayerful consideration” about waging a possible challenge to the two-term Chambliss.Erickson was a one-term city councilman in Macon, Georgia, but resigned when his work–a radio show, television gig and editorship of highly-trafficked blog–became too great to shoulder in tandem with his public service.————-
A credible campaign against an incumbent U.S. Senator?
Going to be tough.
- Obama sells budget plan to middle class, biz leaders– For President Obama, it’s another day of focus on the “fiscal cliff.”Selling his plan to reduce the federal debt in part by raising taxes on the wealthy, Obama meets Wednesday with selected members of the middle class and the business community.Obama will speak during the event with middle class Americans, some of whom responded to an e-mail solicitation from the White House on the looming “fiscal cliff” — a package of tax hikes and budget cuts that kick in if the White House and Congress can’t strike a deal to reduce a federal debt that now tops $16 trillion.Later Wednesday, Obama and Vice President Biden meet with business leaders to “discuss the actions we need to take to keep our economy growing and find a balanced approach to reduce our deficit.”These are the latest steps in an all-out political blitz to sell Obama’s budget plans. On Friday, the president is scheduled to visit a Pennsylvania business — a toy factory near Philadelphia — to discuss the impact of the fiscal cliff.
Obama thinks he is still campaigning.
America would be better off meeting with the House GOP leaders and cutting a deal.
- After Close Election, Dems Look Like Sore Winners or Why Ken Burns is a Jerk– Post-election season is a time for healing, for putting aside the rancor of a long campaign and rediscovering what unites us. It has not been that way this year.Prudence, one would think, if not generosity of spirit, should impel Democrats to be magnanimous in victory. Romney did receive about 48 percent of the vote. A little modesty among the winners would seem to be in order.Instead, the gloating has been extravagant. Worse, liberals have gorged themselves on the same junk food they enjoyed during the campaign and cannot seem to resist under any circumstances — slandering their opponents. The smears are so casual and commonplace that we become weary of responding. But we must protest, or someone new to politics may assume that we concede the point.Appearing on “Meet the Press”, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns attributed conservative unhappiness with the election to racism. “Race is always there in America,” Burns opined. “It’s always something we don’t want to talk about. Do you think we’d have a secession movement — a faddish movement — if this president wasn’t [sic] African-American? Do you think the vitriol that came out of some elements of the tea party?”Ken Burns is a fine filmmaker. I met him once, and I found him to be engaging and amiable. It’s painful to see him descend to this kind of defamation. Some disappointed Republicans are talking secession in Texas and elsewhere. This is proof of racism? Is this the standard of evidence Burns employs for his films?
- Fiction, Poetry and Nonfiction Selected by The New York Times Book Review – NYTimes.com – Untitled (… #tcot
- Union Leaders Blanket the Hill to Lobby on Taxes, Entitlements – What a surprise RT @nationaljournal Union leaders blanket the Hill to lobby on taxes, entitlements.
- Obamacare’s Rationers Employ The “It’s Good For You” Defense– Obamacare’s backers have a plan to justify their attempts to ration medicine — by saying that it’s good for you.Through 2019, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as Obamacare — will allocate some $3.5 billion toward “Comparative Effectiveness Research,” or CER, which pits drug versus drug in tests intended to determine which treatments work best.CER advocates say that it’s designed to correct a “market failure.” Right now, they argue, drug firms need not demonstrate that their product is better than those already on the market — only that it is effective at treating the disease it targets. Drug companies have little incentive to compare their products to those made by other firms — as they may not come out on top.CER sounds innocuous enough. Who could be against research to help doctors make more informed decisions?But the truth is that CER is nothing more than a backdoor route to healthcare rationing. Such research will almost certainly be used to not-so-subtly influence treatment decisions.
- Retailers confident online sales tax has votes to pass– Retail groups are increasingly confident that they have the votes to pass a federal online sales tax in the final weeks of the 112th Congress if they can secure time on the legislative calendar.With less than five weeks to go in the year, supporters are concentrating most of their efforts on the Senate, where a measure giving states greater latitude to collect sales taxes from online purchases has a powerful backer in Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).At the same time, retail groups acknowledge that the talks over looming spending cuts and tax hikes could get acrimonious, and that Democrats and Republicans might have little appetite to deal with other measures if their negotiations run deep into December.“I think this is a question of can we get a vote, not if it can pass,” said Jason Brewer, a spokesman for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). “We feel confident about the vote count, but there’s also not a lot of time to push this across the finish line.”“When you end up with a major political situation like the ‘fiscal cliff,’ that overrides everything,” Rachelle Bernstein, tax counsel at the National Retail Federation, told The Hill. “I think we feel that we have a good piece of legislation pulled together, with lots of support. But there’s a decent chance politics could derail it.”
- Tom Cole: Join with President Obama on quick deal– Republican Rep. Tom Cole urged colleagues in a private session Tuesday to vote to extend the Bush tax rates for all but the highest earners before the end of the year — and to battle over the rest later.The Oklahoma Republican said in an interview with POLITICO that he believes such a vote would not violate Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge and that he’s not alone within Republican circles.
- Poll Watch: Taxing the rich remains popular – Poll Watch: Taxing the rich remains popular #tcot
- Hope and Exchange – The Feds Blame the States Over ObamaCare– ObamaCare is due to land in a mere 10 months—about 300 days—and the Administration is not even close to ready, so naturally the political and media classes are attacking the Governors and state legislators who decline to help out. Mostly Republicans, they’re facing a torrent of abuse in Washington and pressure from health lobbies at home.But the real story is that Democrats are reaping the GOP buy-in they earned. Liberals wanted government to re-engineer the entire health-care system and rammed the Affordable Care Act through on a party-line vote, not stopping to wonder whether it would work. Now that implementation is proving to be harder than advertised, they’re blaming the states for not making their jobs easier.
- ‘I want you to leave me alone:’ Gennifer Flowers claims Bill Clinton tried contacting her as recently as 2005 – NY Daily News – Dog! | RT @ByronYork Gennifer Flowers tells NO TV station Bill Clinton called her, wanted to get together, in 2005…
- Sen. Charles Schumer says Republicans want ‘divorce’ from Grover Norquist – Katie Glueck – POLITICO.com – Nice try Chuckie | RT @politico Sen. Charles Schumer says Republicans want ‘divorce’ from Grover Norquist:
- Bolling to drop bid for Virginia governorship – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @HotlineReid VA GOV: Bill Bolling drops bid, setting up McAuliffe-Cuccinelli showdown next year
- Senate Dems divided over cuts to benefit programs– Deep divisions among Senate Democrats over whether cuts to popular benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid should be part of a plan to slow the government’s mushrooming debt pose a big obstacle to a deal for avoiding a potentially economy-crushing “fiscal cliff,” even if Republicans agree to raise taxes.Much of the focus during negotiations seeking an alternative to $671 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts beginning in January has centered on whether Republicans would agree to raising taxes on the wealthy. President Barack Obama has insisted repeatedly that tax increases on the wealthy must be part of any deal, even as White House officials concede that government benefit programs will have to be in the package too.”It is the president’s position that when we’re talking about a broad, balanced approach to dealing with our fiscal challenges, that that includes dealing with entitlements,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-27 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-27
- Watch What Warren Buffett Does, Not What He Says– That last point is key: When taxes change, would-be investors will certainly change their decisions about where to direct capital, even “though the companies’ operating economics will not have changed adversely at all.” Buffett saw this clearly in 1986, with respect to Berkshire’s own investment decisions; it’s hard to believe that Buffett no longer believes that today, with respect to private investors.Now, none of this is to say that the capital-allocation effects of tax changes ultimately require the nation to forego tax reforms that would increase certain tax revenues. But it certainly is one consideration that must be kept in mind. When Buffett and others simply assert that tax increases don’t affect investment decisions, they’re whistling past the graveyard.
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-27 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-27
- CBS News: Rift Opening Between Obama And Liberals Over Fiscal Cliff – YouTube – RT @PounderFile: VIDEO: CBS News: Rift Opening Between Obama And Liberal Democrats Over Fiscal Cliff
- Image Problem – Republicans have a shot at improving their luck at the polls in 2014, but first they have to find a way to boost their brand appeal– Of the 13 Republican-held seats up in 2014, only one is in a state that Obama carried: Susan Collins in Maine. Indeed, Obama wasn’t even close in any GOP-held seats in other states. Other than Maine, the best Obama performances were minus 13 points in Alabama (Jeff Sessions), minus eight in Georgia (Saxby Chambliss), minus 12 in Mississippi (Thad Cochran), and minus 12 in South Carolina (Lindsey Graham). The other states ranged from minus 16 in Texas (John Cornyn) to minus 32 in Idaho (James Risch) and minus 34 in Oklahoma (James Inhofe).Conversely, Democrats have three seats up in 2014 in states that Obama lost by more than 15 points: minus 17 points in Louisiana (Mary Landrieu), minus 24 in Arkansas (Mark Pryor), and minus 27 in West Virginia (Jay Rockefeller). It should be noted that six-term Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., announced her candidacy on Monday at the State Capitol in Charleston.In three more 2014 Democratic Senate states, Obama lost by at least five but less than 15 points: minus 11 in South Dakota (Tim Johnson) and minus 13 in both Alaska (Mark Begich) and Montana (Max Baucus). Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds started an exploratory committee in September and is expected to challenge Johnson.There are three more 2014 Democratic Senate seats up in swing states, defined as such due to 2012 margins of five points or less: Obama minus two in North Carolina (Kay Hagan), plus three in Virginia (Mark Warner), and plus five in Colorado (Mark Udall).That’s nine Democratic seats that are either in demonstrably swing states or in enemy territory. This also does not take into account some states that were on the bubble: Obama won Iowa (Tom Harkin) and New Hampshire (Jeanne Shaheen) by just six points each.
The remarkable thing about Senate Democrats in 2012 was their ability to go on the offensive while, by necessity, playing defense. That will be much more difficult to replicate in 2014 given the seats up that cycle.
- Amazon.com to build third California distribution center– Internet retailer Amazon.com — after years of avoiding having any physical presence in California — is planning to open a third massive distribution center in the Golden State.The new operation is in Tracy, a distant bedroom community for the San Francisco Bay Area south of Sacramento. The facility will be only about 30 miles from a second Amazon center being built in Patterson to the south.Last month, the Seattle company cut the ribbon on a 950,000-square-foot facility in the city of San Bernardino, which started filling orders before the holiday shopping season.
- The Fiscal Cliff Is A Sideshow: It’s The Economy, Not The Budget, Stupid– Recently, using the comforting, measured and boring tones perfected by Alan Greenspan, Chairman Bernanke in a speech to the New York Economic Club observed that the best of the policy options open to us might lead us back to our economic potential by 2018. Apart from the idea that we can’t have our economy back for maybe six more years, at least three things in his speech are cause for profound worry no matter how analgesic the language is meant to sound.The presidential campaign drove the first and most serious point home. No one seems to have any sense of urgency regarding growth. The “guild” economists who advised both sides focused more on blaming various actors for why the recession won’t end rather than showing any sense of the profound costs of what a lost decade of growth means to America. President Obama’s “George did it” narrative met Mitt Romney’s mantra of “Obama doesn’t know anything about business.” Romney’s feint at growth sure sounded more like “I can manage better.”
- Red State’s Erick Erickson mulls Chambliss challenge– In a 900-word indictment of Sen. Saxby Chambliss, RedState editor and CNN contributor Erick Erickson described the Georgia Republican Tuesday as “waffling around like a dog off its leash for the first time.”Referring to Chambliss’s recent comment that he is more worried about the fiscal cliff than adhering to his anti-tax pledge, Erickson wrote:Everyone knows that Saxby meant he was happy to raise taxes. Now, under pressure back home, he is waffling. He covets his seat in Washington and is fearful of being primaries. Georgia has primary run-offs, whichs means he can be taken out. He cannot bring himself to say he wants to raise revenue through changing in the tax code that will cause taxes to go up, so he dances around. Behind the scenes, we all know he will work to structure a proposal that increases taxes on Americans, but he’ll cleverly make sure there are enough votes so he can vote against it. He is active and has been actively complicit with Mark Warner (D, VA) and others on raising taxes.
- Video: When the Democrats Loved the Filibuster – Flap’s Blog – Video: When the Democrats Loved the Filibuster #tcot
- Untitled (http://www.amazon.com/) – Christmas Shopping Bleg: If you are doing any shopping through how aboutclicking through ? Thanks!
- Day By Day November 27, 2012 – Hassle – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day November 27, 2012 – Hassle #tcot
- Political Cartoons / California Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown is a leader for the ages…..Dark Ages…. – California Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown is a leader for the ages…..Dark Ages….
- Bankrupt San Bernardino cuts $26 million, tries to stay afloat– Saying it had little choice, the San Bernardino City Council voted to cut $26 million in spending in an effort to keep the bankrupt city from dissolving and being governed by the county.The city is already in bankruptcy proceedings and facing a $45.8-million budget shortfall. The $26 million in cuts will help the troubled city stay afloat.The austerity plan is a required step in the federal bankruptcy process. It freezes vacancies in the Police Department even as the city deals with an increase in violent crime. The Fire Department’s overtime budget also was slashed by 35%.
- President 2012: The New Electoral Math, and What It Means for Polling– The exit pollsters asked which was the most important candidate quality – vision for the future (29%), shares my values (27%), cares about people like me (21%), and strong leader (18%).Mitt Romney won three of the four qualities. Voters who selected vision opted for Romney 54%-45%. Those who picked values preferred Romney 55%-42%. Voters focused on strong leadership opted for Romney 61%-38%. Romney lost 18%-81% among voters who said “cares about people like me” to Barack Obama.Thus, Romney controlled leadership, vision, and values, yet still lost, because he got blown out on the empathy dimension. This may well have been the first Presidential election where the winner on leadership lost the election anyhow. Prior to the election, if you had said that Romney would win among the 74% of voters choosing those three qualities and would still lose overall, you would not have been believed.Also, asked which of four was the most important issue, an overwhelming 59% picked the economy. Romney won those voters 51%-47%. Thus, he won the most important issue, but still lost the election.But the demographics are even more concerning for the GOP down the road. Here are some of the stunning demographic findings from the exit polls about the Presidential election:
- Mitt Romney won Independents by five points. That’s better than George W. Bush in 2004 by six net points (see more on that below).
- Mitt Romney won middle income voters ($50-100k) by six points. George W. Bush won them by twelve points in 2004, but there were far fewer voters earning more than $100k in the 2004 election (18%) than in 2012 (28%).
- Mitt Romney won white women by 56%-42% (the “war on women” is overstated; Romney got crushed with minority women but a fourteen point win is not exactly a decisive defeat with white women).
- George W. Bush won white women by eleven points in 2004, a net three points weaker than Romney.
- Mitt Romney won white voters by 59%-39%, which is better than George W. Bush in 2004 by three net points.
- Mitt Romney won voters age 40+ by five points. There is no direct comparison to Bush in 2004, but Bush did win voters 45+ by five points.
So, Romney won many of the groups that are generally considered to be the ones to decide elections – Independents, white women (by double digits), middle income, and voters age 40+. Mitt Romney put together a coalition that just eight years ago would have won the presidential election (hence the data comparisons to George W. Bush). However, instead of whites being 77% of the electorate, they were 72% of the electorate. Instead of Republicans and Democrats being equal, Democrats far outnumbered Republicans, and washed out Romney’s advantage among Independents. Bush kept it close with younger voters (under age 40), while Obama won them decisively.
- Why Republicans should have won the election (and why they didn’t)– The math, according to Bolger, is determinative. There are simply more Democrats than Republicans in the country — as we have noted before, the consistency of Democrats’ party ID edge is striking — and that means that winning independents is no longer the whole shebang for the GOP. Neither is winning the white vote since it’s hard to imagine a Democratic candidate sinking significantly lower than 39 percent among that voting bloc in future elections. (The white vote for Democratic presidential candidates has also been very consistent; since 1992, no Democratic nominee has received less than 39 percent or more than 43 percent of the white vote.)Concludes Bolger: “Thus, to have a chance, Republicans have to appeal to Hispanics. It’s simple math, but it’s hard to do. We have to start today.”He’s absolutely right — on both fronts. (Hell, we devoted an entire chapter in “The Gospel According to the Fix” to Republicans’ Hispanic problem and how it will doom them as a national party unless they can solve it.)
- How Senate Republicans could get tripped up again in 2014 (and how they are trying not to)– Welcome to the 2014 cycle, where most of the early rumblings in the Senate landscape have involved the prospect of Republican infighting. And, after back-to-back cycles in which flawed nominees in Nevada, Missouri, Colorado, Indiana and Delaware cost Republicans dearly, national strategists are already working to prevent history from repeating itself.The question is how.Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) will be the next chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and will be faced with the task of recruiting better candidates and cultivating a better relationship with conservative groups.“Unless the party is planning to get behind principled, grassroots conservatives, they’re going to continue to run into a fierce headwind,” said SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins.One of Moran’s vice chairs will be Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas, the shining star of the conservative grassroots this cycle who overcame the odds to defeat heavily favored Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) in a GOP primary/runoff. Part of Cruz’s role at the committee, according to a Republican familiar with NRSC strategy, will be to act as a go-between with conservative groups like the Club and SCF, both of which backed his candidacy this year.
- Rand Paul warns GOP ‘in danger of becoming a dinosaur’– Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) urged the Republican party to adopt a more libertarian approach to policy in order to avoid becoming “a dinosaur.”Paul, the libertarian-leaning senator, was speaking in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.”I think my party, the Republican Party, is shrinking. We’re in danger of becoming a dinosaur,” Paul said. “We’re not competitive on the West Coast, we’re not competitive in New England.”
- GOP lawmakers float immigration reform plan– Saying they want to get the conversation on immigration reform started, top Senate Republicans on Tuesday introduced a version of the so-called “Dream Act” to grant young illegal immigrants legal status in the US, though not giving them a special path to citizenship.GOP Sens. Jon Kyl and Kay Bailey Hutchison said they have introduced a bill that would reward those who take college classes or join the military.“We have got to get this ball rolling,” said Mr. Kyl, an Arizona Republican who is retiring this year. “We have to have a discussion that is sensible, that is calm.”Their bill would be more limited than the proposals Democrats have sought, which would have been more generous with a path to citizenship and broader in the number of immigrants it would apply to. But Ms. Hutchison, Texas Republican, said she and Mr. Kyl have tried to accommodate some Democratic lawmakers’ concerns.
The legislation would reward students with higher status the further along they are in pursuing their education. Those who earn a four-year college degree or complete military service could apply for a permanent visa that wouldn’t put them on a new path to citizenship, but would allow them to join existing lines by getting married to a U.S. citizen or finding another opportunity to adjust their status.
- The Afternoon Flap: November 27, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Afternoon Flap: November 27, 2012 #tcot
These are my links for November 26th through November 27th:
- Romney’s final share of the vote? You guessed it: 47 percent.– Call it irony or call it coincidence: Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race is very likely to be 47 percent.Romney’s campaign, of course, was doomed in large part by comments made on a hidden camera in which he suggested that 47 percent of the country was so reliant on government services that those people would never vote for him.The words ’47 percent’ came to define what was already evident: that Romney struggled to connect with lower- and middle-income voters and with groups such as Latinos. And in the end, it looks like 47 percent also just happens to be the share of the vote that Romney will get.
- Hillary Clinton’s 2016 run is not inevitable – If I had to bet, I’d bet that she decides to run, if only because she will feel that destiny and circumstance have put her in the right place at the right time. She may feel that she owes it to young women and those who supported her to finish the marathon of American politics. But she might well decide that her legacy is secure, her popularity is intact, her financial prospects are bright, and her future lies with advocacy from the outside and grand-mothering.
- Ready? Fire Ames! – The Editors – National Review Online – Ready? Fire Ames! – The Editors – National Review Online #tcot
- Should California Republicans Be Optimistic About 2014? Flapsblog.Org – Should California Republicans Be Optimistic About 2014?
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Another Christmas Toothbrush Gift: Emmi-dent – Another Christmas Toothbrush Gift: Emmi-dent
- Ready? Fire Ames! – The Editors – National Review Online – Ready? Fire Ames! – The Iowa straw poll is good for little #tcot
- Will the fiscal cliff break Grover Norquist’s hold on Republicans?– Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge has been a sacred and unchallenged keystone of the Republican platform for more than two decades, playing a central role in almost every budget battle in Congress since 1986. But Norquist and his pledge, signed by 95 percent of congressional Republicans, are now in danger of becoming Washington relics as more and more defectors inch toward accepting tax increases to avert the “fiscal cliff.”On Monday, Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.) became the latest in a handful of prominent Republican lawmakers to take to the airwaves in recent days and say they are willing to break their pledge to oppose all tax increases.
- Ready? Fire Ames! – The Iowa straw poll is good for little– Iowa governor Terry Branstad, a Republican, has suggested that the days of the Ames straw poll — the Midwest summer spectacle that takes the temperature of an idiosyncratic slice of the Republican party months before the first binding primaries — might be numbered.“I think the straw poll has outlived its usefulness,” Branstad told the Wall Street Journal. “It has been a great fundraiser for the party, but I think its days are over.” Though Branstad will not ultimately decide whether the poll returns in 2015 — that decision is up to the state’s party and the candidates, among others — we hope that he’s prescient. Ames does more damage than justice to the nominating process, and ensures that the country’s first view of the Grand Old Party’s latest presidential crop is through a distorted lens.
- The Daily Dish | American Action Forum – RT @djheakin I wish Warren Buffett would stop writing op-eds and just write a check to assuage his guilty conscience.
- Buffett Says Wealthy Avoiding Taxes Among Romney’s 47%- Bloomberg – Jumped the Shark RT @BloombergNews Warren Buffett puts wealthy tax-avoiders in the ‘47%’: “They were the moochers” |
- What Should the GOP House Do About The Fiscal Cliff? – Flap’s Blog – What Should the GOP House Do About The Fiscal Cliff? #tcot
- What Should Speaker Boehner Do?– Were the average Republican asked for a succinct statement of his views on taxation, he or she might respond thus:”U.S. tax rates are too high for the world we must compete in. The tax burden — federal, state, local, together — is too heavy. We need to cut tax rates to free up our private and productive sector and pull this economy out of the ditch.”This core conviction holds the party together.Yet today the leadership is about to abandon this conviction to sign on to higher tax rates or revenues, while the economy is nearing stall speed. Yet, two years ago, President Obama himself extended the Bush tax cuts because, he said, you do not raise taxes in a recovering economy.Why are Republicans negotiating this capitulation?
- How to Approach the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ – Negotiations between congressional Republicans and the White House will intensify this week as the deadline for steering clear of the year-end “fiscal cliff” approaches. Like the 2011 showdown over the debt limit, these talks will be a high-stakes affair for both parties, with the potential for lasting political effects. With so much at stake, how should the GOP approach the talks? The following are a few suggestions for navigating the treacherous political waters that lie ahead.
- Our Enemy, the Payroll Tax – The payroll tax holiday that passed Congress in the winter of 2010 was a rare exception to this pessimistic rule. Cutting the payroll tax was good short-term politics for both Democrats and Republicans: it was a tax cut that liberals hoped would double as stimulus, and a boost to the middle class that conservatives could support without embracing new federal spending. But more important, it opened the door to what would be good long-term policy as well — because more than almost any feature of the American tax code, the payroll tax deserves to be pared away into extinction.
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-26 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-26 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-26 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-26
- WH: Obamacare ‘reduces the deficit considerably,’ won’t be touched in fiscal cliff deal | WashingtonExaminer.com – WH: Obamacare ‘reduces the deficit considerably,’ won’t be touched in fiscal cliff deal | #tcot
- Jeb Bush 2016: Is There Any Doubt? – Flap’s Blog – Jeb Bush 2016: Is There Any Doubt? – Flap’s Blog #tcot
- WH: Obamacare ‘reduces the deficit considerably,’ won’t be touched in fiscal cliff deal– House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, notwithstanding, the White House would rather go over the fiscal cliff than touch any part of Obamacare, President Obama’s spokesman indicated today.“The Affordable Care Act reduces the deficit considerably,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters today. “I would simply point out to you that the Supreme Court has spoken, the American people have spoken, congressional leaders of both parties have spoken, and we’re going to continue with implementation.”
- SCOTUS sends Liberty lawsuit to lower court – Could Open Door for ObamaCare Review– The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to examine the constitutionality of the health care reform law’s employer requirements and mandatory coverage of contraceptives without a co-pay.The move could open the door for President Barack Obama’s health law to be back in front of the Supreme Court late next year. But legal experts say there’s no guarantee that the justices would actually take the case — or that they’d strike down those pieces of the law if they did.
- Karen Handel vs. Saxby Chambliss? It’s possible– Friends of former secretary of state Karen Handel tell us that Rob Simms, once her chief of staff – now a D.C. media consultant, wasn’t blowing smoke when he said Handel was considering a 2014 challenge to U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.She is.Simms dropped Handel’s name last week in a Weekly Standard roundup of potential primary rivals to Chambliss – a well-timed piece, given the senator’s decision to renew his fight with Grover Norquist as the Thanksgiving recess began. Other possibilities included U.S. Reps. Tom Price, R-Roswell; Paul Broun, R-Athens; and Tom Graves, R-Ranger. (U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey sent word to Chambliss and state GOP Chairman Sue Everhart weeks ago that he’s not considering it.)
- Chris Christie will make 2013 bid for reelection– New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will run for reelection in 2013, a top political adviser has confirmed to The Fix.Christie political adviser Mike DuHaime said the Republican incumbent filed paperwork earlier Monday to run for a second term. The governor’s decision is not a surprise, though until now, he had not officially said whether or not he would pursue a second term.Christie’s decision was first reported by the AP.Christie, who unseated Democrat Jon Corzine in 2009, is one of the most recognizable faces in the Republican Party. The outspoken governor has been oft-mentioned as a possible 2016 presidential candidate and was reportedly on Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate short list earlier this year. Christie was recently tapped to lead the Republican Governors Association in 2014, ramping up speculation that he would run for reelection.
- Leland Yee to run for California secretary of state– State Sen. Leland Yee, a San Francisco Democrat who has made voter access and open government among his main priorities as a lawmaker, will run for secretary of state when he is termed out of the Legislature in two years.Yee, a former San Francisco supervisor who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year, plans to announce his candidacy Monday morning. The secretary of state is California’s chief election officer and oversees the state’s campaign disclosure database, maintaining records of all lobbying and election spending in the Golden State.
- Plunge over fiscal cliff could turn California’s ray of economic sunshine into gloom– The ray of sunshine on the Golden State’s slowly recovering economy could turn to gloom if Congress and President Barack Obama are unable to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, and taxpayers could end up paying the price.Unless a deal is struck, the state’s first projected budget surpluses in a decade could vanish into an $11 billion deficit triggered by a national recession, the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office said in its annual fiscal outlook.Like states around the country, California would be forced to contend with across-the-board federal tax rate hikes and massive spending cuts, dampening the state’s economic rebound.
- Feds Say 8 Years in Prison for Convicted Democratic Treasurer Kinde Durkee – Feds Say 8 Years in Prison for Convicted Democratic Treasurer Kinde Durkee
- Former Mayor Richard Riordan drops his pension ballot initiative – LA Daily News – Former Los Angeles Mayor Riordan pulls pension reform measure under heavy barrage from public employee unions #catcot
- The Democratic Party’s Problem with White Folks– Demographics cuts both ways. While numerous commentators have skewered Republicans for alienating Latino and other minority voters in 2012, and the GOP is paying a huge price for it, there is another important demographic story: the collapse of the Democratic Party among white voters throughout America’s heartland. That collapse cost Democrats control of the House of Representatives this cycle.President Obama’s Electoral Vote landslide and the surprising surge for Democrats in the Senate were not replicated in the House. While Democrats made modest gains, they fell well short of reversing their 2010 losses that gave Republicans control of the House. If anything, the 2012 results suggest Republicans now have a lock on the House of Representatives.
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Daily Extraction: November 26, 2012 – The Daily Extraction: November 26, 2012
- Hillary Clinton 2016: Is There Any Doubt? – Flap’s Blog – Hillary Clinton 2016: Is There Any Doubt? #tcot
- Sen. Bob Corker: A plan to dodge the ‘fiscal cliff’ – The Sell Out Begins – I have shared with House and Senate leaders as well as the White House a 242-page bill that, along with other agreed-upon cuts that are to be enacted, would produce $4.5 trillion in fiscal reforms and replace sequestration. While I know this bill can be improved, it shows clearly that we can do what is necessary, today, with relatively simple legislation. The proposal includes pro-growth federal tax reform, which generates more static revenue — mostly from very high-income Americans — by capping federal deductions at $50,000 without raising tax rates. It mandates common-sense reforms to the federal workforce, which will help bring its compensation in line with private-sector benefits, and implements a chained consumer price index across the government, a more accurate indicator of inflation. It also includes comprehensive Medicare reform that keeps in place fee-for-service Medicare without capping growth, competing side by side with private options that seniors can choose instead if they wish. Coupled with gradual age increases within Medicare and Social Security; the introduction of means testing; increasing premiums ever so slightly for those making more than $50,000 a year in retirement; and ending a massive “bed tax” gimmick the states use in Medicaid to bilk the federal government of billions, this reform would put our country on firmer financial footing and begin to vanquish our long-term deficit.
- Charles Murray: Why aren’t Asians Republicans?– Further, there are reasons for Asian Americans not to like Democrats. Asians who became successful because everyone in the family worked two or three jobs (a common strategy behind Asian success) are likely to be offended by the liberal “You didn’t build that” mentality. Unlike every other minority group, Asians owe nothing to the Democrats for affirmative action. On the contrary, Asians are penalized by affirmative action, especially in the universities, where discrimination against Asian applicants (relative to their superb academic qualifications) has been documented in the technical literature.And yet something has happened to define conservatism in the minds of Asians as deeply unattractive, despite all the reasons that should naturally lead them to vote for a party that is identified with liberty, opportunity to get ahead, and economic growth. I propose that the explanation is simple. Those are not the themes that define the Republican Party in the public mind. Republicans are seen by Asians—as they are by Latinos, blacks, and some large proportion of whites—as the party of Bible-thumping, anti-gay, anti-abortion creationists. Factually, that’s ludicrously inaccurate. In the public mind, except among Republicans, that image is taken for reality.
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Using Dental Floss is Worthless? – Using Dental Floss is Worthless?
- New Senate’s First Task Will Likely Be Trying to Fix Itself– As a result, the first fight of the next Senate, which convenes in January, is not likely to be over a fiscal crisis, immigration, taxes or any issue that animated the elections of 2012. It will instead probably be over how and whether to change a troubled Senate, members and aides say.With his majority enhanced and a crop of frustrated young Democrats pushing him hard, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, says he will move on the first day of the 113th Congress to diminish the power of Republicans to obstruct legislation. “We need to change the way we do business in the Senate,” said Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico. “Right now, we have gridlock. We have delay. We have obstruction, and we don’t have any accountability.”The pressure leaves Mr. Reid with a weighty decision: whether to ram through a change in the rules with a simple majority that would significantly diminish Republicans’ power to slow or stop legislation.
- Republicans face unexpected challenges in coastal South amid shrinking white vote– Late on election night, a small melee erupted at the University of Mississippi here when a group of white students frustrated by the reelection of President Obama marched outside and began shouting racial slurs at African American students. Several hundred people gathered to watch as two white students were arrested.“Mississippi still has a lot of work to do in race relations,” said Kimbrely Dandridge, an African American Obama supporter and president of the student body.
- The Morning Plum: Republicans whitewash history of filibuster – The Plum Line – The Washington Post – Harry Reid – Hands off the Filibuster – in a classic overreach – #tcot
West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito
These are my links for November 21st through November 26th:
- Democrats Unlikely to Regain House in 2014– “In midterm election years since World War II, the president’s party has lost an average of 26 seats in the House … The president’s party gained seats only twice, in 1998 and 2002. … [W]hat we observe in the data … is a ‘reverse coattails’ effect. When a party wins the presidency by a large margin, it usually benefits from voters who are mainly interested in the presidential election itself, and then vote for the same party in races down the ballot. These types of voters may not show up to vote in midterm years. Thus, the more a party benefits from presidential coattails in the presidential election year, the more it stands to lose two years later. … Midterm losses for the president’s party have been somewhat more modest in recent years than during the middle part of the 20th century. This potentially reflects the fact that more Congressional districts have strongly partisan makeups now, leaving fewer seats in play. As 2010 demonstrated, however, no firewall is all that robust in the event of a wave election year.”That Mr. Obama won the presidency by a relatively narrow margin this year and that Democrats do not control the House would argue against a wave election … This year, there were only 11 House seats that Democrats lost by five or fewer percentage points. Thus, even if they had performed five points better across the board, they would still have come up … short of controlling the chamber. In other words, Democrats would have to perform quite a bit better in House races in 2014 than they did in 2012 to win control of the chamber … And … Democrats … have become increasingly reliant upon voters, like Hispanics and those under the age of 30, who do not turn out reliably in midterm election years. Democrats have a broader coalition than Republicans do in high-turnout environments, so perhaps this will benefit them in 2016. But these are not the voters you would want to depend upon to make gains in midterm election years, when turnout is much lower. “
- How Hillary Clinton’s choices predict her future– On a recent Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walked with her husband onto a stage at the New York Sheraton to cheers and whoops and a standing ovation that only got louder as she tried to quiet things down.It was a friendly crowd — the annual meeting of her husband’s foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative — and people may have been eager to hear her speech about using U.S. aid to target investment barriers such as old land tenure laws. But really, they were there to see her.“She’s just looked so sad and so tired,” said Ritu Sharma, a women’s rights activist, referring to Clinton’s appearances in the days after the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.They wanted to defend her, to rave about her, to say how sick they were of people talking about her hair, and then to talk about her hair, which, several men and women offered, definitely looked best in a simple chignon.
Mostly, though, people wondered what the woman walking across the stage — now smiling as a soaring, presidential-sounding score began playing — would choose to do next. Maybe now, in her final months in office, she would provide a clue.
- Democratic super PACs get jump on 2014, 2016– Winning changes everything.It took Democrats a while to warm up to super PACs, but their glee over 2012 is — for now — eclipsing any moral qualms about big money eroding democracy, and they’re already busy at work courting their wealthiest supporters and planning even more ambitious efforts for future elections.Shortly after Election Day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and top White House aides spoke at a three-day secret meeting of major Democratic donors and officials from liberal outside groups gearing up for 2014, POLITICO has learned.Among the groups represented: Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that is vowing to remain a player in Democratic politics, even though President Barack Obama won’t run for office again; American Bridge 21st Century, the oppo shop that helped sink Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s GOP Senate bid; the Pelosi-backed House Majority PAC; the secret-money organizing nonprofit America Votes; and the pro-choice group EMILY’s List.
- Obama faces huge challenge in setting up health insurance exchanges– The Obama administration faces major logistical and financial challenges in creating health insurance exchanges for states that have declined to set up their own systems.The exchanges were designed as the centerpiece of President Obama’s signature law, and are intended to make buying health insurance comparable to booking a flight or finding a compatible partner on Match.com.Sixteen states — most of them governed by Republicans — have said they will not set up their own systems, forcing the federal government to come up with one instead.Another five states said they want a federal-state partnership, while four others are considering partnerships.
It’s a situation no one anticipated when the Affordable Care Act was written. The law assumed states would create and operate their own exchanges, and set aside billions in grants for that purpose.
- ObamaCare Faces the Implementation Iceberg– Defenders of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, can be forgiven for some post-election triumphalism. But their joy is likely to be short lived. Because the law put off implementation of most key provisions until after the 2012 election, voters cast their ballots on November 6 without knowing what Obamacare’s true effect will be on their tax bills, insurance costs, or access to care.Delaying implementation until 2014 helped the president win re-election, but now the bill is coming due. The administration can’t forestall Obamacare’s massive regulatory impact any longer, and the result will keep Congress and the media occupied for months and years to come.
- How the Implementation of Obamacare Will Make the GOP a Majority Party– As we get closer to the day when Obamacare moves from threat to reality, it seems probable that the resulting catastrophe for tens of thousands of businesses, as well as the massive increase in premiums for many families, will propel Republicans to majority status in 2014.How many businesses will be forced to close shop? How many will cut back on the number of employees to stay in business? How many will refuse to expand, unable to handle the increased costs?How many jobs will Obamacare cost?
- House elections 2014: Democrats face uphill slog– Nancy Pelosi decided to take one more crack at winning back the House, but a big obstacle stands between the Democratic leader and the speaker’s gavel in 2014: the six-year itch.Pelosi’s party will be swimming against the riptide of history. The party controlling the White House during a president’s sixth year in office has lost seats in every midterm election but one since 1918, when Woodrow Wilson occupied the Oval Office. And the setbacks typically aren’t small: The average loss in these elections was 30 seats. The exception was 1998, when a soaring economy and Republicans’ focus on President Bill Clinton’s affair helped Democrats buck the trend and pick up a handful of seats.
- West Virginia Sen: GOP’s Capito Plans 2014 Rockefeller Challenge– West Virginia Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito will announce Monday morning that she is running in 2014 for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Jay Rockefeller.Capito has long considered a run for the Senate, and passed on the most recent opportunity following the death of long-time Senator Robert Byrd. She’s expected to say, among other things, that the timing is now right for her run.The announcement sets up a potential race between two West Virginia political heavyweights.Rockefeller, 75, is serving his fifth term in the Senate. Prior to that he served two terms as Governor. In Washington, he has championed issues affecting children and families.
Rockefeller has indicated that he plans to run for re-election in 2014, but there continues to be speculation that he may retire at the end of this term.
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-25 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-25
- GetGlue – Your app for TV, Movies, and Sports – I unlocked the Homeland: Two Hats sticker on #GetGlue!
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-24 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-24
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-24 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-24 #tcot
- Medscape: Medscape Access – High Obesity, Caries Documented in Homeless Children #tcot
- Rahm Emanuel: How to rebuild America – The Democratic Agenda– Too much post-election analysis has focused on voter demographics and campaign mechanics, leaving Democrats in danger of drawing the wrong lessons from our electoral success.Demographics alone are not destiny. There is nothing in this year’s election returns that guarantees Democrats a permanent majority in the years to come. President Obama and the Democratic Party earned the support of key groups — young people, single women, Latinos, African Americans, auto workers in the Rust Belt and millions of other middle-class Americans — because of our ideas.But we cannot expect Republicans to cede the economic argument so readily, or to fall so far short on campaign mechanics, the next time around.So, instead of resting on false assurances of underlying demographic advantages, the Democratic Party must follow through on our No. 1 priority, which the president set when he took office and reemphasized throughout this campaign: It is time to come home and rebuild America.
- High Obesity, Caries Documented in Homeless Children– Homeless children have higher rates of caries and obesity than children in the general population, a new study shows.The study, published online November 13 in the Journal of Pediatric Healthcare, showed that rates of caries among children living in shelters for the homeless increased with body mass index (BMI), but this correlation did not reach statistical significance ( P = .08).The researchers speculated that similar dietary factors might contribute to both caries and obesity. “Poor kids don’t have access to nutritious foods,” Marguerite DiMarco, PhD, RN, CPNP, told Medscape Medical News.DiMarco said she had spent decades working with very poor children. “Some families don’t even have a refrigerator to keep milk,” she said. “Some families might not even have running water.”
- Medical marijuana for a child with leukemia | OregonLive.com – Medical marijuana for a child with leukemia While Parents Live Off of Her Disability Income and Food Stamps #tcot
- Medical marijuana for a child with leukemia While Parents Live Off of Her Disability Income and Food Stamps– Mykayla Comstock’s family says marijuana helps her fight an especially aggressive form of leukemia, keeps infection at bay and lifts her weary spirit. Twice a day she swallows a potent capsule form of the drug. Some days, when she can’t sleep or eat, she snacks on a gingersnap or brownie baked with marijuana-laced butter.Mykayla is one of 2,201 cancer patients authorized by the state of Oregon to use medical marijuana.She is 7.
- Larry Hagman | 1931-2012 – latimes.com – RT @latimes: From “Jeannie” to “Dallas”: A Larry Hagman photo gallery
- The Great Society’s Next Frontier – RT @ByronYork Liberals outline post-Obamacare wish list for welfare state expansion. It’s huge. Read this:
- Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – 9 miles finished – – ready for the Las Vegas Half Marathon next week. (@ Ronnie’s Diner) [pic]:
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-23 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-23
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-23 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-23 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-23 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-23
- Actor Larry Hagman, notorious and beloved as ‘Dallas’ villain J.R. Ewing, dies– Larry Hagman, the North Texas native who played the conniving and mischievous J.R. Ewing on the TV show Dallas, died Friday at a Dallas hospital. He was 81.Mr. Hagman died at 4:20 p.m. Friday at Medical City Dallas Hospital from complications of his recent battle with cancer, members of his family said.“Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most,” the family said in a statement. “Larry’s family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for. The family requests privacy at this time.”The iconic role of J.R. Ewing metamorphosed Mr. Hagman’s life. He rocketed from being a merely well-known TV actor on I Dream of Jeannie and the son of Broadway legend Mary Martin, to the kind of transnational fame known only by the likes of the Beatles and Muhammad Ali.
- Twitter / WSJ: College dropouts btw. 25 and … – RT @WSJ: College dropouts btw. 25 and 34 earn on average $32,900. College grads, $45,000.
- The Cost of Dropping Out – WSJ.com – RT @WSJ: College dropouts btw. 25 and 34 earn on average $32,900. College grads, $45,000.
- Saxby Chambliss takes aim at Grover Norquist– Sen. Saxby Chambliss took aim at Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist on Wednesday, telling a local television station he’s not worried about a potential primary challenge if he votes to raise taxes.“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” said Chambliss, who signed Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” when he first ran for Senate. “If we do it his way, then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”
- Gallup Poll: Americans Continue to Adjust Their Ideal Weight Upward – Americans, on average, say their ideal weight is 162 pounds, continuing a trend of increasing estimates of ideal weight since Gallup first asked about it in 1990. The trend in Americans’ self-reported actual weight — now averaging 176 pounds — has shown a similar increase over time.
- Restaurant Industry Already Preparing for Obamacare Consequences– Will the restaurant business survive a second Obama term? Can it? Since the president’s reelection earlier this month, four large restaurant chains, Papa Johns, Applebee’s, Denny’s and Darden Restaurants (the company that owns the Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and LongHorn Steakhouse chains) have all recently released statements about their companies’ plans to respond to the increased costs of complying with Obamacare regulations. According to the healthcare law, every full-time employee must be provided with comprehensive medical coverage if the company employs more than 50 full-time workers. If a company refuses to comply, they will be faced with fines of $2,000 per year, per employee, as of January 1, 2014.The announcements from companies grappling with the increased costs of Obamacare have, expectedly, been met with disbelief and consternation by the left, still seemingly unaware of basic economics. Appearing on Fox News Business early last week, Applebee’s CEO Zane Tankel explained the steps his business would have to take in order to stay in operation:The costs of fines or healthcare for dozens of employees per restaurant have the potential to bankrupt individually owned chains across the country. The Applebee’s in New York City would face fines of $600,000 per year if insurance isn’t provided for full-time staff, and estimates for offering federally approved insurance would cost “some millions” across the Applebee’s system. Both scenarios, according to Tankel, “[would] roll back expansion, roll back hiring more people. In the best case scenario [it] would only shrink the labor force minimally.” The restaurant industry, already operating with razor thin margins, doesn’t have the ability to absorb tens of thousands more in healthcare expenditures without a considerable increase in sales. It’s a basic realty of economics: more has to be coming in than going out.The only solution for restaurants that want to stay open and maintain competitive pricing would be to cut employee hours to part-time status. This is the conclusion already reached by several large chains–companies that provide jobs to tens of thousands of working class Americans.
- Fake Dentist Preyed on Immigrants, Kissed Patient’s Buttocks– A man accused of sexual battery has been charged for practicing dentistry without a license.Wednesday morning, Davie Police issued a search warrant and arrested the alleged unlicensed dentist, 47-year-old John Collazos, at a warehouse located at 5071 S State Road 7. Police said the Collazos owned and operated a dental supply company out of the warehouse and also performed dental services in the back of the warehouse.Carlos Mier works nearby. “Six months ago, this gentleman opened a dental shop, and I started seeing people come in,” he said. “He always was wearing his mask, and his scrub, like a dental scrub.”According to police, Collazos preyed on undocumented immigrants, and when one woman went to him to have some dental work done he allegedly made kissed her buttocks. Davie Police Captain Dale Engle said, “Back in July, we had a female come forward, hesitantly, but she was concerned about her immigration status, but she was was referred to this individual through an acquaintance. When she came on one of the visits, he made some sexually overt comments and ultimately touched her inappropriately, so she did finally come forward.”
- Marco Rubio and the Age of the Earth– Those believers whose sensibilities Rubio was presumably trying to avoid offending would do well to meditate on the words of Saint Augustine, who like most of the greatest minds of historic Christianity insisted that biblical interpretation take place in the light of reason as well as faith:Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of the world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics, and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn … If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren …It is not Marco Rubio’s task in life to solve this problem. But it is a problem, in our age even more than in Augustine’s, and his answer didn’t help.
- Waiting for the GOP’s Populist Turn– Dozens of explanations are circulating for why Mitt Romney and a number of Republican Senate candidates lost in the 2012 election.The Republican Party is supposedly too white, too male, and too old. It purportedly does not reach out to minorities, women, and the young. Romney cared more about job creators rather than employees. The Republicans gratuitously picked social fights on abortion and homosexuality that needlessly alienated women, gays, and the young who otherwise might have supported its more important fiscal and national security agendas.It apparently did not get out the white working class vote that wished not just to oppose Obama, but also to rally behind a likeable and personable conservative alternative of like nature. With half of the country on some sort of assistance, 47 million now on food stamps, and with disability insurance morphing into a de facto extension of unemployment insurance, too many voters are invested in the welfare state to vote against its purveyors.
- The Illegal Immigration Amnesty Delusion– The amnesty signed into law by the charismatic and popular President Reagan did not bring Hispanic voters into the Republican party; Republican congressional leaders who believe that sending one to President Obama would redound to their benefit are engaged in a defective political calculus. Nor are Hispanics the only group of voters to consider. Blue-collar whites do not appear to have turned out for Republicans in the usual numbers last week. Support for amnesty will not bring them back. If the policy advanced the national interest, that consideration might not matter. It does when supposed political advantage is the argument for the policy.The Republican party and the conservative movement simply are not constituted for ethnic pandering, and certainly will not out-pander the party of amnesty and affirmative action. Republicans’ challenge is to convince Hispanics, blacks, women, gays, etc., that the policies of the Obama administration are inimical to their interests as Americans, not as members of any collegium of grievance. That they have consistently failed to do so suggests that Republican leadership is at least as much in need of reform as our immigration code.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-22 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-22
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-22 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-22 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-22 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-22
- Colin replies to Dr. Howard Farran on DentalTown RE: Dr. Michael Gibbons, Scottsdale, AZ – YouTube – Colin replies to Dr. Howard Farran on DentalTown RE: Dr. Michael Gibbons, Scottsdale, AZ – YouTube #tcot
- Colin replies to Dr. Howard Farran on DentalTown RE: Dr. Michael Gibbons, Scottsdale, AZ – YouTube – I liked a @YouTube video from @creceveur Colin replies to Dr. Howard Farran on DentalTown RE: Dr. Michael
- Happy Thanksgiving 2012 – Flap’s California Blog – Happy Thanksgiving 2012
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-21 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-21
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-21 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-21 #tcot
- No Reversal in Decline of Marriage | Pew Social & Demographic Trends – No Reversal in Decline of Marriage | Pew Social & Demographic Trends #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-21 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-21
These are my links for November 16th through November 19th:
- OBAMA ORGANIZATION TO REMAIN ACTIVE NATIONWIDE – DEMS GETTING DATA JUMP ON 2016– The Obama campaign continues to refine, update and expand its vast database, working the muscle to increase its value for 2014 and 2016. The organization wants to avoid a post-2008 lull, when Obama’s high command was so focused on building a government and staving off a depression that some in the grassroots network felt neglected. This time, supporters are already being asked if they are interested in running for office, and “how many hours per week” they would be willing “to volunteer in your community as part of an Obama organization.”Campaign manager Jim Messina blasted a 24-question email to the campaign’s tens of millions of supporters and eavesdroppers last evening, with the subject line, “Your feedback needed: Take this quick survey.” Participants must enter email address, first and last name, ZIP code, birthdate and gender. This question makes it clear that Obama’s brain trust will keep the machine oiled and cranking: “What would you choose as the top priority for this organizations [sic] in the weeks and years to come?” Choices are: 1) “Passing the President’s legislative agenda”… 2) “Supporting candidates in upcoming elections” … 3) “Training a new generation of leaders and organizers” … 4) “Working on local issues that affect our communities.”
- Requiem for the Twinkie? – Hostess Brands goes Ding Dong dead, leaps into the Dumpster– Friday’s news that the company making Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread is preparing to liquidate touched off a blame game among Americans shocked that these iconic products are in danger of going away forever.The move follows a strike that began Nov. 9 by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. It refused to swallow additional wage and benefit concessions to keep the bankrupt Hostess Brands afloat. Its 5,000 members were nearly unanimous in rejecting the company’s final contract offer.As a result, the company said, most of the 18,500 Hostess employees will lose their jobs. That includes members of the largest union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which did agree to the company’s concession demands.The bakery union’s self-defeating refusal to accept financial reality is only part of the story however. For Hostess, the strike was the final blow of many. High commodity costs hurt the company. Not only did it pay a fortune for food ingredients, but also for the energy to run its facilities and fuel its delivery trucks.
The recession hurt too. Hostess was unprepared to meet difficult business conditions that prevailed in 2009, when it emerged from a previous bankruptcy reorganization in which it obtained big concessions from its workforce. It had been, in fact, a poorly managed company for a long time. A string of short-sighted executives were quick to take money out of the business and slow to make the capital investments it needed to stay competitive.
Perhaps most damaging, the company failed to innovate in response to changing consumer tastes. Hostess didn’t have to make Ho Ho’s out of tofu to stay relevant. Food companies such as Kraft, Sara Lee and Nabisco have long understood their success depends on sophisticated market research, product development and creative marketing. It doesn’t come cheap.
- The GOP’s Latino Opportunity– In winning re-election, President Obama carried nearly all the same demographic groups as in 2008, but by smaller margins. The major exception: Hispanics, America’s fastest-growing bloc. Having given Mr. Obama 67% of their votes in 2008, they gave him 71% this time.This has alarmed Republicans. Mr. Obama had offered Hispanics little more than a broken promise to reform immigration in his first term, yet he scored the largest victory among them since Gerald Ford visited Texas in 1976 and tried to eat a tamale without removing its husk.Mitt Romney’s margin of defeat among Hispanics in Nevada (47 points) and Colorado (52 points) made those states unwinnable. In Florida, where Republican winners routinely carry the Hispanic vote, he lost it by 21 points. Mr. Romney carried Arizona but lost Hispanic voters there by an astonishing 55 points. In 2004, George W. Bush lost Arizona Hispanics by only 13 points.Republicans—even outspoken ones like talk-radio and Fox News host Sean Hannity—are now claiming to have changed their views on immigration. Columnist Charles Krauthammer was frank with his prescription: “Yes, amnesty. Use the word. . . . The other party thinks it owns the demographic future—counter that in one stroke by fixing the Latino problem.”
Such open-mindedness is laudable and probably necessary, but the immigration issue is no silver bullet. And Mr. Krauthammer’s phrase—”the Latino problem”—helps illustrate the real problem. For too long, Republicans have been content to cram Hispanics into gerrymandered Democratic districts and forget about them. Some GOP candidates consciously avoid targeting Hispanics too aggressively, lest they actually turn out to vote.
In 1983, Republican pollster Lance Tarrance wrote a private memo urging the Republican National Committee to “redouble our efforts to attract the Mexican-American populations. We need to ‘double our budget’ in this area if we stand any chance for the future.” This warning went unheeded.
In 1999, when I worked in the RNC press shop, Chairman Jim Nicholson told me the GOP deserved an “F” for its outreach efforts to date. Republican presidential contender Bob Dole had won just 21% of Hispanics in 1996. A Univision survey from 1998 had shown that Hispanics overwhelmingly believed the Republican Party either “ignores me” (41%) or “takes me for granted” (22%). This left plenty of low-hanging fruit.
- Why ObamaCare Is Still No Sure Thing– Champions of ObamaCare want Americans to believe that the president’s re-election ended the battle over the law. It did no such thing. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act won’t be fully repealed while Barack Obama is in office, but the administration is heavily dependent on the states for its implementation.Republicans will hold 30 governorships starting in January, and at last week’s meeting of the Republican Governors Association they made it clear that they remain highly critical of the health law. Some Republican governors—including incoming RGA Chairman Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Ohio’s John Kasich, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Maine’s Paul LePage—have already said they won’t do the federal government’s bidding. Several Democratic governors, including Missouri’s Jay Nixon and West Virginia’s Earl Ray Tomblin, have also expressed serious concerns.Talk of the law’s inevitability is intended to pressure these governors into implementing it on the administration’s behalf. But states still have two key choices to make that together will put them in the driver’s seat: whether to create state health-insurance exchanges, and whether to expand Medicaid. They should say “no” to both.
- Can conservatives prevent the U.S. from becoming California?– As bad as last Tuesday night was for the national Republican Party, it was far, far worse for the California Republican Party. Not only did Golden State Democrats maintain control of every statewide elected office; not only did Gov. Jerry Brown’s $6 billion Proposition 30 tax hike pass by solid margins; but Democrats also secured supermajorities in both state legislative chambers. Now, Brown and the Democrats can raise taxes by as much as they want.The California Republican Party is functionally dead. And how is California doing, now that liberals have successfully terminated the state’s remaining conservatives?For starters, it’s still in debt. Despite Brown’s historic tax hike, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office announced this week that the state still faces a $2 billion budget deficit just for the next fiscal year. California’s liberal electorate has already racked up an additional $370 billion in state and local debt over that last decade. That is more than 20 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.According to the California State Budget Crisis Task Force, that comes to more than $10,000 in debt for every Californian. And because the state’s credit rating is so low, California taxpayers must fork over about $2 for every new dollar borrowed. In 2012 alone, the state budget included more than $7.5 billion in debt service — more than most states’ budgets.
Don’t think for a second that California’s chronic deficits are caused by low taxes. Even before last Tuesday’s tax hikes, California had the most progressive income tax system in the nation, with seven brackets, and the second-highest top marginal rate. Now it has the nation’s highest top marginal rate and the nation’s highest sales tax. And the budget still isn’t balanced.
The real cause for California’s fiscal crisis is simple: They spend too much money. Between 1996 and 2012, the state’s population grew by just 15 percent, but spending more than doubled, from $45.4 billion to $92.5 billion (in 2005 constant dollars).
- Gallup Blew Its Presidential Polls, but Why?– Last week’s presidential election has widely been seen as a victory for pollsters who, on balance, saw President Obama as the favorite before Election Day. But that wasn’t the case for the esteemed Gallup Organization. Its polling showed Republican Mitt Romney with a significant lead among likely voters 10 days before Nov. 6 and marginally ahead of Obama on the eve of an election that Obama won by about 3 percentage points.At an event on Thursday at Gallup’s downtown Washington offices, Gallup Editor in Chief Frank Newport told a gathering of fellow pollsters that the organization was reviewing its methodology in light of these inaccuracies. But its fairly consistent Republican bias in 2012 and its overestimation of the white portion of the electorate raise important questions about sampling and the way Gallup determines which respondents are registered and likely to vote.”We don’t have a definitive answer,” Newport said.The day before Election Day, Gallup released data culled from the four previous days, showing Romney with a 1-point lead among likely voters, 49 percent to 48 percent. Before that final survey, Gallup had suspended polling for three days in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, when nearly 10 million Americans were without electricity.
Immediately before the storm hit, Gallup showed Romney ahead by 5 points, 51 percent to 46 percent, and Romney led by as many as 7 points in mid-October. All the while, most other national polls showed a neck-and-neck race.
- Are the DREAMers a Special Case? – DREAMERS vs. COMPREHENSIVISTS– Now that the GOP leadership has signaled its eagerness to again support the Democrat drive for amnesty and open borders, a fight has broken out on the other side. This is a revival of the public spitting match between the “comprehensive” amnesty crowd in D.C., who want amnesty for all illegal aliens or nothing, and the DREAMers, illegal aliens who came here as children, who are willing to cut a separate deal for themselves.The fight has resurfaced on NBC Latino’s website (why is there such a thing?), where a professor Stephen Nuno has written that “Immigration reform should not focus on Dreamers” because “I think Dreamers can be detrimental to the goal of immigration reform.”
- Republicans at a crossroads – Stay the Course?– Republican governors are torn between essentially staying the course in the wake of Mitt Romney’s loss and a more proactive strategy aimed at radically shaking up their party in an effort to reach out to young and minority voters.Some governors believe that Romney’s loss two weeks ago to President Barack Obama was just that — a loss by a single candidate who ran a defensive campaign pummeled by negative ads and lacking in vision. They advocate sticking to a tried-and-true formula of running their own races and hewing to local instead of national dynamics.
- Tribal America – Mark Steyn on our suddenly race-obsessed politics– To an immigrant such as myself (not the undocumented kind, but documented up to the hilt, alas), one of the most striking features of election-night analysis was the lightly worn racial obsession. On Fox News, Democrat Kirsten Powers argued that Republicans needed to deal with the reality that America is becoming what she called a “brown country.” Her fellow Democrat Bob Beckel observed on several occasions that if the share of the “white vote” was held down below 73 percent Romney would lose. In the end, it was 72 percent and he did. Beckel’s assertion — that if you knew the ethnic composition of the electorate you also knew the result — turned out to be correct.This is what less enlightened societies call tribalism: For example, in the 1980 election leading to Zimbabwe’s independence, Joshua Nkomo’s ZAPU-PF got the votes of the Ndebele people while Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF secured those of the Shona — and, as there were more Shona than Ndebele, Mugabe won. That same year America held an election, and Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory. Nobody talked about tribal-vote shares back then, but had the percentage of what Beckel calls the “white vote” been the same in 2012 as it was in 1980 (88 percent), Mitt Romney would have won in an even bigger landslide than Reagan. The “white vote” will be even lower in 2016, and so, on the Beckel model, Republicans are set to lose all over again.
- White House denies editing talking points on Benghazi attack, contradicting Petraeus– The White House yesterday denied it edited talking points about the terrorist attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya — contradicting remarks made a day earlier by disgraced ex-CIA chief David Petraeus.“The only edit that was made by the White House and also by the State Department was to change the word ‘consulate’ to the word ‘diplomatic facility,’ since the facility in Benghazi was not formally a consulate,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters aboard Air Force One.“Other than that, we were guided by the points that were provided by the intelligence community. So I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made.”
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-17 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-17
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-17 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-17 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-17 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-17
- Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – Half Marathon training run with L A Roadrunners is finished. Now, some food and USC Trojan football (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-16 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-16
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-16 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-16 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-16 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-16
- Newt Gingrich on Romney’s “Gifts”– The former Speaker in colloquy with the Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith:EVAN SMITH: So Governor Romney said yesterday now somewhat famously, that “the reason that the president won is because he gave gifts to minorities in the form of healthcare or to young people in the form of preferable college loan…”NEWT GINGRICH: I am very disappointed…EVAN SMITH: With Governor Romney saying that?
NEWT GINGRICH: With Governor Romney’s analysis, which I believe is insulting and profoundly wrong.
EVAN SMITH: Can you talk about that? Why is that?
NEWT GINGRICH: Well first of all, we didn’t lose Asian-Americans, because they got any gifts. He did worse with Asian-Americans than he did with Latinos.
EVAN SMITH: Right, seventy-three percent of Asian-Americans, seventy-one percent of Latinos.
NEWT GINGRICH: This is the hardest working and most successful ethnic group in America, okay. They ain’t into gifts. Second, it’s an insult to all Americans. It reduces us to economic entities who have no passion, no idealism, no dreams, no philosophy, and if it had been that simple, my question would have been “Why didn’t you out bid him?”
- Politics with LisaV: California GOP vs. Dem. party registration trends – RT @lvorderbrueggen: California GOP vs. Dem. party registration trends in a cool Google Fusion table. @lvorderbrueggen
- The Yeshiva World BRINK OF WAR: Israel Taking Steps To Mobilize Up To 75,000 Reservists [PHOTOS] « » Frum Jewish News – The Yeshiva World BRINK OF WAR: Israel Taking Steps To Mobilize Up To 75,000 Reservists [PHOTOS] « » Frum… #tcot
- The Yeshiva World BRINK OF WAR: Israel Taking Steps To Mobilize Up To 75,000 Reservists [PHOTOS] « » Frum Jewish News – RT @JedediahBila: Israel Taking Steps To Mobilize Up To 75,000 Reservists:
- An Awakened Giant: The Hispanic Electorate is Likely to Double by 2030– The record number1 of Latinos who cast ballots for president this year are the leading edge of an ascendant ethnic voting bloc that is likely to double in size within a generation, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis based on U.S. Census Bureau data, Election Day exit polls and a new nationwide survey of Hispanic immigrants.The nation’s 53 million Hispanics comprise 17% of the total U.S. population but just 10% of all voters this year, according to the national exit poll. To borrow a boxing metaphor, they still “punch below their weight.”
- California Unemployment Rate Dips To 10.1 Percent « CBS San Francisco – RT @KNX1070: California #Unemployment Rate Dips To 10.1 Percent « CBS San Francisco @knx1070
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: November 16, 2012 – The Morning Drill: November 16, 2012