The Morning Flap: August 3, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for The Morning Flap – August 2nd through August 3rd:

  • July jobs report: America’s labor market depression continues– Only in a world of lowered, New Normal expectations was the July jobs report anything less than another disaster for U.S. workers. Nonfarm payrolls rose 163,000 last month as the unemployment rate rose to 8.3%. In addition, employment for May and June was revised by 6,000 jobs.– Not only is the 8.3% unemployment rate way above the 5.6% unemployment rate that Team Obama predicted for July 2012 if Congress passed the $800 billion stimulus plan. It’s way above the 6.0% unemployment rate they predicted if no stimulus was passed.– Job growth, as measured by nonfarm payrolls, has average about 75,000 jobs a month during the Obama recovery for a total of 2.7 million jobs. Context: During the first three years of the Reagan Recovery, job growth averaged 273,000 a month for a total of 9.8 million. If you adjust for the larger U.S. population today, the Reagan Recovery averaged 360,000 jobs a month for a three-year total of 13 million jobs.– This continues to be the longest stretch of 8% or higher unemployment since the Great Depression, 42 straight months.– If the labor force participation rate was the same as when Obama took office in January 2009, the unemployment rate would be 11.0%.

    – Even if you take into account that the LFP should be declining as America ages, the unemployment rate would be 10.6%.

    – If labor force participation rate hadn’t declined since just last month, unemployment rate would have risen to 8.4%.

    – The broader U-6 unemployment rate, which includes “all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons,” ticked up to 15.0%.

    – Two years ago, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wrote his now-infamous “Welcome to the Recovery” op-ed for the New York Times. During those two years, the economy has added an average of just 137,000 jobs a month.

    – Not only is the 8.3% unemployment rate way above the 5.6% unemployment rate that Team Obama predicted for July 2012 if Congress passed the $800 billion stimulus plan. It’s way above the 6.0% unemployment rate they predicted if no stimulus was passed.

  • 195,000 Fewer Americans Had Jobs in July; 150,000 Dropped Out of Labor Force– There were 195,000 fewer people employed in the United States in July than in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the national unemployment rate ticked up from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent.Meanwhile, 150,000 people simply dropped out of the labor force during the month and did not seek to find a job.In June, according to BLS, there had been 142,415,000 people employed in the United States. In July, that dropped to 142,220,000–a decline of 195,000.Similarly, in June, there were 155,163,000 people in the civilian labor force in the United States. To be counted in the civilian labor force, person must be 16 years old or older, not be in the military, prison or a mental institution, and either have a job or have actively looked for a job in the past four weeks.In July, the number of people in the civilian labor force was 155,013,000–a decline of 150,000 from June.
  • Economy Creates 163,000 New Jobs but Rate Rises to 8.3%– The U.S. economy followed up a weak second quarter by creating more jobs than expected with 163,000 new positions added in July, but the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent.Markets reacted positively to the announcement, with the stock market surging at the open and safe-haven bond prices plunging. Economists had been expecting 100,000 new jobs.As the country struggles to gain growth traction, the unemployment rate held above 8 percent for the 41st consecutive month, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”I’d call this a soft 163,” said Steve Blitz, chief economist at investment research firm ITG in New York. “If you want to take from this the notion that the economy is not heading to a recession or something more ominous, that’s fine. But if you want to take from this the idea that the economy is about to accelerate, I think that would be a big mistake.”
  • CA Gov. Brown Allegedly Took $3 Million from 9/11 Fund– As California teeters near default in many areas, news is breaking that Gov. Jerry Brown may have taken up to $3 million from a fund created “in honor of the victims of the 2001 terror attacks” to make up for shortfalls.The fund, which was raised by the sale of specialized plates within the state, totals approximately $250 million, and the AP reports that both Brown and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger each allegedly dipped into the monies in an effort to make ends meet.
  • GAO: Tax cheats get millions in Medicaid money– One in every 20 health providers getting taxpayer money from Medicaid is delinquent on their federal taxes, and in some cases the tax cheats are years behind in paying the IRS, according to a new audit by Congress’s investigators.The Government Accountability Office looked at about 7,000 providers in three large states who Medicaid reimbursed more than $6 billion in 2009 and found that they had nearly $800 million in unpaid federal taxes.In two cases, the health companies — which range from dentists and doctors to private ambulances and medical supply companies — had been under criminal investigation, including for medical billing fraud.“It is outrageous that heath care providers who cheat on their taxes are getting paid with taxpayer dollars through the Medicaid program,” said Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate’s investigative subcommittee.He called for the government to prohibit companies with unpaid taxes from Medicaid money.
  • Tax Scam: IRS Pays Out Billions in Fraudulent Refunds– The IRS is paying out billions of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds to identity thieves; a problem that the tax service’s inspector general told CNBC is a “growing problem” involving numbers that are increasing “exponentially.”In a new report to be issued Thursday, the inspector general for the IRS says that tax thieves are stealing the identities of taxpayers and then filing bogus returns on their behalf and collecting fraudulent refunds as a result.The inspector general estimates that the IRS could issue as much as $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds over the next five years.
  • Pelosi, Dems push Homeland Security for clarity on LGBT deportations– Scores of House Democrats called on the Obama administration this week to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples when considering deportations.Behind Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the lawmakers want the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to state explicitly that LGBT “family ties” will be deemed “a positive factor” discouraging deportation as DHS agents gauge whether to pursue cases.
  • Defense Lawyers Say Prop 37 Will Bring Bumper Crop of Litigation– With recent polling suggesting Californians want labels on genetically modified food, defense attorneys warn that an upcoming ballot initiative could generate a bumper crop of litigation.Proposition 37, also known as the Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, would require labels on edibles containing ingredients whose DNA was tweaked to increase yield, to fight off disease or for any other reason. If voters approve the initiative in November, California would become the first state in the nation to employ such a far-reaching consumer alert system.Proponents say their measure has a simple rationale: Californians should know what’s in the food they buy and eat. But legal critics say compliance would be a far more complex task. And they point to an enforcement provision authorizing private consumer lawsuits, something defense lawyers compare less than flatteringly to Prop 65, the 1986 law that requires businesses to warn consumers about chemicals they use.”When I used to go and talk about Prop 65 when it was on the ballot, I would say the biggest beneficiaries would be lawyers. I think that goes double for Prop 37,” said Michele Corash, a environmental defense partner with Morrison & Foerster.James Wheaton, the Oakland attorney who helped draft Prop 37, said such claims amount to scare tactics.
  • Majority of Californians say they know nothing about emissions cap-and-trade program– California’s landmark global-warming bill was a white-hot topic in the 2010 governor’s race and remains former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature environmental achievement.But as the state prepares to unroll the law’s cap-and-trade program in November with the first state auctions of emissions permits, a new poll finds that 57 percent of Californians say they have never heard anything about the program.The statewide poll by the Public Policy Institute of California further found that 30 percent of respondents said they had heard “a little,” while just 12 percent said they had heard “a lot.”
  • Police Chief’s $204,000 Pension Shows How Cities Crashed– Stockton, California, Police Chief Tom Morris was supposed to bring stability to law enforcement when he was appointed to the job four years ago.He lasted eight months and left the now-bankrupt city at age 52 with an annual pension that pays more than $204,000 — the third of four chiefs who stayed in the position for less than three years and retired with an average of 92 percent of their final salaries.Stockton, which filed for bankruptcy protection on June 28, is among California cities from the Mexican border to the San Francisco Bay confronting rising pension costs as they contend with growing unemployment and declining property- and sales-tax revenue. The pensions are the consequence of decisions made when stock markets were soaring, technology money flooded the state, and retirement funds were running surpluses.“We didn’t have very many people looking out for the taxpayers when these deals were negotiated,” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, 63, said in a telephone interview. San Jose, the state’s third-largest city, approved a ballot measure in June to contain annual retirement costs that soared to $245 million from $73 million in the past decade.

The Morning Flap: July 27, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for July 26th through July 27th:

  • US economic growth slowed to 1.5 pct. rate in Q2– The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of just 1.5 percent from April through June, as Americans cut back sharply on spending. The slowdown in growth adds to worries that the economy could be stalling three years after the recession ended.The Commerce Department also said Friday that the economy grew a little better than previously thought in the January-March quarter. It raised its estimate to a 2 percent rate, up from 1.9 percent.Growth at or below 2 percent isn’t enough to lower the unemployment rate, which was 8.2 percent last month. And most economists don’t expect growth to pick up much in the second half of the year. Europe’s financial crisis and a looming budget crisis in the U.S. are expected to slow business investment further.Stock futures rose slightly after the report was released. Some economists had thought the estimate would be lower.

    Still, the lackluster economy is raising pressure on President Barack Obama in his re-election fight with Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

  • California GOP faces money woes– November election, the California Republican Party is so awash in red ink that its board has approved laying off staff and vacating the party’s main headquarters in Sacramento, The Chronicle has learned.The crisis emerged after state party officials, facing an $850,000 shortfall in late June, fell behind in rent, phone bills, payments to Internet vendors and printers, and worried they would have to cut employees’ health care insurance payments, according to several Republican sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.Since then, party officials have reportedly negotiated down the debt, but campaign finance reports to be released Tuesday are expected to show the California GOP to be at least $450,000 in the red, multiple sources said.
  • The Chicken Inquisition – Rahm Emanuel has been many things in life — ballet dancer, investment banker, congressman, White House chief of staff, now mayor of Chicago — and he apparently wishes to add another title to his curriculum vitae: Grand Inquisitor. He has denounced the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A and endorsed a Chicago alderman’s plan to block construction of a new outlet because the company’s executives do not share his politics. This is a gross abuse of power: Imagine if the mayor of Provo, Utah, had tried to punish a business for supporting same-sex marriage — the Left would demand his resignation, etc. The powers of government are not to be used for parochial political ends. Even in Chicago.
  • Four Little Words – Why the Obama Campaign is so worried– What’s the difference between a calm and cool Barack Obama, and a rattled and worried Barack Obama? Four words, it turns out.”You didn’t build that” is swelling to such heights that it has the president somewhere unprecedented: on defense. Mr. Obama has felt compelled—for the first time in this campaign—to cut an ad in which he directly responds to the criticisms of his now-infamous speech, complaining his opponents took his words “out of context.”
  • ‘You didn’t build that’ remarks won’t change Obama’s strategy– The Obama campaign has no plans to change the president’s style on the stump in the wake of his “you didn’t build that” remark, which Republicans have seized upon in recent days to argue the president is out of touch on the economy.Obama made the impromptu remark during a Virginia campaign address earlier this month when he was speaking without a teleprompter, referring occasionally to a binder of notes on his podium. The Hill reported last week that Obama would rely on the teleprompter less so that he could be more spontaneous and interact with his supporters at campaign appearances instead of reading from two glass panes.
  • Mitt Romney’s Olympics comments trigger response from Cameron, British press– British Prime Minister David Cameron and England’s famously tough media tweaked Mitt Romney Thursday after the presumptive Republican presidential nominee suggested that London might not be ready for its Olympic moment.“It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” said Romney, who ran the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. “There are a few things that were disconcerting: the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging.”Those comments prompted a quick rebuke from Cameron. “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world,” Cameron told reporters after visiting the venues where the 2012 Summer Olympics will begin Friday. “Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere” — an apparent reference to Salt Lake City.
  • Google+ traffic soars: 66 percent increase in nine months– Traffic analytics site ComScore has revealed a large increase in visits to Google+. According to ComScore, the number of unique visitors to the social network has increased by 66 percent over the last nine months, with an estimated 110.7 million international visitors in June. In the US, traffic increased from 15.2 million to 27.7 million visitors over the same period. While the stats aren’t official, they do align with figures released by other traffic analysts earlier this month.ComScore also detailed Facebook’s US figures from November through to June, noting a drop from 166 million to 159.8 million over the period. PR consultant Morten Myrstad, who shared the figures, appropriately, on Google+, points out that although Facebook’s lead has dropped slightly, the unique visitor numbers don’t take into account how long users spend on the site, or return visits.
  • Chicago Alderman: I Will Deny Business Permit Because “There Are Consequences for [Its Owner’s] Statements and Beliefs,” and They Should Include Denial– This is just appalling. A government official thinks that the proper “consequence” for a business owner’s “statements and beliefs” is the denial of the ability to do business. Because he’s “sure the majority of” his constituents find the owner’s “comments and attitudes repugnant,” it’s just fine for him to use the coercive power of the government to block the business from opening up a store. His “belief in equality is resolute,” and that apparently justifies him discriminating against businesspeople for exercising their First Amendment rights to speak out. They “should really reconsider [their] platform on gay issues,” or else the government of Chicago will exclude them from the alderman’s ward.As I noted before, such a viewpoint-based denial of a business permit is a blatant violation of the First Amendment. But that doesn’t seem to bother Alderman Moreno, because his “principles” seem to demand this sort of unconstitutional behavior. As I said, just appalling.
  • President 2012 Nevada Poll Watch: Obama Leads Romney By 5 Points – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Nevada Poll Watch: Obama Leads Romney By 5 Points
  • AD-45: Roger Hernandez Moves to Throw Out DUI Evidence – AD-45: Roger Hernandez Moves to Throw Out DUI Evidence
  • Hosted Email – CA-30: New poll has Brad Sherman beating Howard Berman by 17 points in Dem on Dem Conngressional race #catcot
  • Video: Immigration Officials Describe Chaos with Obama “Dreamer” Immigration Policy – Video: Immigration Officials Describe Chaos with Obama “Dreamer” Immigration Policy
  • WMPS AM 1210 – Homepage – Going on the radio to be interviewed about California politics: #tcot #catcot
  • Does Democrat Voter Enthusiasm Spell Trouble for Obama? – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Does Democrat Voter Enthusiasm Spell Trouble for Obama?
  • CA-26: Tony Strickland to Host Coastal Clean Up – Flap’s Blog – CA-26: Tony Strickland to Host Coastal Clean Up
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: July 26, 2012 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: July 26, 2012
  • The Morning Flap: July 26, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: July 26, 2012
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: July 26, 2012 – The Morning Drill: July 26, 2012
  • Day By Day July 26, 2012 – The Dickens of an Election – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day July 26, 2012 – The Dickens of an Election
  • Editorial: Obamacare falling short already | health, states, insurance – Opinion – The Orange County Register – Obamacare falling short already

The Morning Flap: June 29, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for June 27th through June 29th:

  • Nancy Pelosi Botches Brian Terry’s Name While Addressing Congress on Holder Contempt Charges– House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), while speaking on the House floor opposing the contempt charges of Attorney General Eric Holder, actually botched the name of slain border patrol agent Brian Terry.As she expressed condolences to his family, Pelosi called him “Brian Tay, Tay, Terry” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
  • House could arrest Holder with inherent contempt power– Despite voting to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress, there’s little House Republicans can do in the short term to compel him to turn over documents — unless it wanted to revisit a long-dormant power and arrest him.The thought is shocking, and conjures up a Hollywood-ready standoff scene between House police and the FBI agents who protect the attorney general. It’s a dramatic and unlikely possibility not least because Congress doesn’t even have a jail any longer. But in theory it could happen.Republicans say it’s not even under consideration, with House Speaker John A. Boehner’s spokesman flatly ruling it out.But the process, known as inherent contempt, is well-established by precedent, has been confirmed by multiple Supreme Court rulings, and is available to any Congress willing to force such a confrontation.
  • Holder controversies could weigh on Obama in 2012 race– The contempt vote Thursday against Attorney General Eric Holder could spell trouble for President Obama — not just for his administration’s efforts to lock down Fast and Furious documents, but also for his re-election campaign.Holder over the past three-and-a-half years has become, according to one polling outfit, the most unpopular member of Obama’s Cabinet. The attorney general is associated with a string of controversial decisions — from his response to the Fast and Furious probe to his department’s suits against state immigration laws to the campaign to halt GOP-led voter ID laws in Florida and elsewhere — that have riled conservatives, even some Democrats.The contempt vote, for his critics, is one more notch against Holder. And it could fuel his becoming a divisive figure during the presidential campaign as opponents try to cast him as an albatross around Obama’s neck.”I think that it’s the biggest non-economic story (in 2012),” GOP pollster Adam Geller said of Fast and Furious. “You can bet that it’s going to certainly get some mention, as it should, as a political issue.”
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: June 29, 2012 – The Morning Drill: June 29, 2012
  • Day By Day June 29, 2012 – Eat Your Vegetables – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day June 29, 2012 – Eat Your Vegetables
  • It’s Up to the Voters Now – The last chance to stop ObamaCare is in November– If there is a modicum of hope in Chief Justice John Roberts’s inglorious one-man opinion Thursday, it is that Americans were reminded again that they cannot count on others to protect their liberty. Certainly judges aren’t reliable. They can be turned by the pressure of the media and the whims of vanity. If Americans want to repeal ObamaCare, their only recourse is to demand it at the ballot box in November.The Affordable Care Act is more unpopular now than when it passed, yet it will grind on toward implementation in a second Obama term. The President made that clear in his remarks Thursday, deploying the usual half-truths he used to jam the law through Congress. He continued to claim that no one will lose his current health insurance, though millions are sure to do so as they are dropped from business coverage and tossed into Medicaid or government exchanges.
  • WashingtonPost – Krauthammer: Why Roberts Did It
  • Congress moves highway, student loan bills | Jamie Dupree Washington Insider – RT @jamiedupree DEEP IN THE DETAILS OF THE HIGHWAY BILL: A section on “Roll-your-own cigarette machines” #tcot
  • GOP 12: Halperin: “Real possibility” tea party could now prove decisive– On MSNBC this morning, Mark Halperin called yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling a “substantive win” for Barack Obama, but nevertheless, a political wildcard.”I’m not sure it’s a long-term political win for him. He lost the midterms largely over this.If you look at Republicans who aren’t focused on Roberts as much as they are on what the political implications are, and they say the tea party giant which had kind of been slumbering is now going to be awakened, and will be that decisive force in this election.I’m not predicting that, but I think it’s a real possibility.”
  • Need a Refill? at Runner’s World – RT @runnersworld Take this hydration refresher course before your next hot run:
  • Krauthammer: Why Roberts Did It– It’s the judiciary’s Nixon-to-China: Chief Justice John Roberts joins the liberal wing of the Supreme Court and upholds the constitutionality of Obamacare. How? By pulling off one of the great constitutional finesses of all time. He managed to uphold the central conservative argument against Obamacare, while at the same time finding a narrow definitional dodge to uphold the law —and thus prevented the court from being seen as having overturned, presumably on political grounds, the signature legislation of this administration.Why did he do it? Because he carries two identities. Jurisprudentially, he is a constitutional conservative. Institutionally, he is chief justice and sees himself as uniquely entrusted with the custodianship of the court’s legitimacy, reputation and stature.
  • Did Republicans lose the health care battle but win the health care war?– But, even as Democrats celebrated, Republicans insisted that their rivals — and members of the media — couldn’t see the forest through the trees.Jonathan Collegio, communications director for American Crossroads, a leading conservative outside group, called the ruling a “millstone” around the neck of any Democrat running for federal office this fall.“The Supreme Court’s decision forces Obamacare to be litigated in the 2012 elections, and in virtually every case where Obamacare has been litigated by voters in an election, the law and its supporters lose,” added Collegio.“This ruling is the kiss of death for the Democrat majority in the U.S . Senate as health care just became a tax increase on the middle class in one of the worst economies Americans have ever faced,” added longtime Republican strategist Chris LaCivita
  • Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s Comments On His Home, California – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-06-29
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: Waiting for ObamaCare Ruling – Flap’s California Morning Collection: Waiting for ObamaCare Ruling
  • Twitter / Wimbledon: The #Wimbledon grounds are – RT @Wimbledon: The #Wimbledon grounds are at full capacity and the gates are closed.
  • Adelson pledges $10M to Koch effort
  • Tick tock: Minute-by-minute replay of court’s historic health ruling – TheHill.com – ObamaCare RT @iswanTheHill Tick Tock: A minute-by-minute recap of an historic day:
  • High court gives GOP new weapon on taxes– Republicans have seized on the Supreme Court’s decision that the health insurance mandate is a tax, believing it will help them argue a second term for President Obama would be devastating for the economy.Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney employed the line of attack shortly after the ruling came down, asserting “Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion.”Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a top contender to be Romney’s running mate, drove home the point, arguing Obama has been freed to unleash an army of tax collectors on the public.“If you do not buy health insurance, the IRS is going to be on your back and chasing you,” Rubio said.

    The tactic of hitting Obama as tax-raising liberal was used in the wake of an otherwise stinging defeat for conservatives at the hands of Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s liberal wing.

    In a 5-4 decision, Roberts ruled the mandate is a permissible use of Congress’ taxing powers, upholding a law that

    conservatives fought as a breathtaking expansion of the federal government.

    But the ruling on the mandate also provided support for Republicans who had long argued that the mandate was a tax increase in disguise

  • Dems grapple with feelings about Roberts court after health decision– Congressional Democrats who had feared the worst from the Supreme Court were left grappling with a new reality Thursday after Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote to uphold President Obama’s landmark healthcare law.Democrats for years have charged that the Roberts Court has made decisions guided more by partisan politics than the Constitution, most notably by ruling in Citizens United that corporations could spend unlimited amounts in political campaigns.After Roberts sided with them on the even more high-profile and politically contentious healthcare ruling, some liberals felt more charitable both about Roberts and the Supreme Court in general.Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), who was holding a sign that read “Obama-Roberts 2012” as he left a Democratic caucus meeting, said Roberts has “rebranded himself” with Thursday’s healthcare ruling.

    “We certainly agree with his, in this case, very principled position. In one fell swoop he’s burnished his legacy,” Ackerman said. “This is almost a revocation of the Bush v. Gore decision, where [conservative justices] went completely the opposite way.

  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-06-29 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-06-29
  • Humor / Oh My! For the man who has everything? – Oh My! For the man who has everything?
  • ObamaCare – The Affordable Care Act Survives Supreme Court Challenge – ObamaCare – The Affordable Care Act Survives Supreme Court Challenge
  • Untitled (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-210d4e9.pdf) – Supreme Court ObamaCare Affordable Care Act Opinion is here:
  • President Obama Tells Judas Stephanopoulos Health Insurance Mandate IS NOT Tax Increase – YouTube – President Obama Tells Judas Stephanopoulos Health Insurance Mandate IS NOT Tax Increase
  • President Obama Tells Judas Stephanopoulos Health Insurance Mandate IS NOT Tax Increase
    – YouTube
    – RT @aviksaroy: Obama telling Stephanopoulos mandate is not a tax:
  • Stockton bankruptcy: Southland cities try to avoid similar fate – latimes.com – RT @LANow: Stockton bankruptcy: Southland cities try to avoid similar fate
  • Untitled (http://www.scotusblog.com/cover-it-live/) – ObamaCare watch: Twitter, Drudge and SCOTUSBlog live blog: #tcot
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: Waiting for the Supreme Court ObamaCare Ruling – The Morning Drill: Waiting for the Supreme Court ObamaCare Ruling
  • Day By Day June 28, 2012 – Profiles in Lavage – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day June 28, 2012 – Profiles in Lavage
  • ‘Fast and Furious’: honesty vs. hypocrisy– The House of Representatives is expected to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress on Thursday for his refusal – backed by President Barack Obama – to provide documents that might explain why Holder’s Justice Department chose to lie to Congress in February 2011 about high-level officials’ involvement in the “Fast and Furious” fiasco, and why it stood by those lies for most of the year.If ever a scandal illustrated political hypocrisy, it is this.We start with the president’s baffling decision to assert executive privilege in denying the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, access to the documents. The White House says it and top Justice Department officials had nothing to do with the “gun-walking” program in which weapons were allowed to be sold to Mexican cartels to try to gain insight into how drug and arms traffickers operate. Then the White House says top administration officials’ deliberative processes need to be kept private on a matter in which they weren’t involved. Huh?
  • How to end the Holder stand-off: Fire him– If he were a first-year law student asked to explain how the president could refuse to allow House oversight on a botched operation in which Americans and Mexicans died and the administration has twice had to cop to providing erroneous information to Congress, Eric Holder’s letter would get an “F.” He doesn’t set out the nature of the document being withheld, the type of privilege being asserted, or the argument as to why it supersedes the right of Congress to oversee executive branch misconduct.Congress is certainly within it rights to hold him in contempt. But really the president should can Holder. He’s a lousy lawyer.
  • Untitled (http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/06/anticipating-the-health-care-decision-in-plain-english/#more-147840) – Anticipating the health-care decision: In Plain English
  • For SCOTUSblog, one goal: ‘Beat everybody’ and break news of health-care ruling – The Washington Post – For SCOTUSblog, one goal: ‘Beat everybody’ and break news of health-care ruling #tcot
  • Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s Comments On His Home, California – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-06-28
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: June 27, 2012 – Flapsblog.org – Flap’s California Morning Collection: June 27, 2012
  • Untitled (http://www.rules.house.gov/Media/file/PDF_112_2/LegislativeText/CRPT-112hrpt-HR4348.pdf) – RT @jamiedupree: Final language of highway bill/student loan deal at – full explanation at
  • Untitled (http://www.rules.house.gov/Media/file/PDF_112_2/PDF/HR4348crJES.pdf) – RT @jamiedupree: Final language of highway bill/student loan deal at – full explanation at
  • Timeline of the health care law – CNN.com – RT @cnnhealth: Timeline of the health care law
  • Uncertainty crippling the struggling economy– Uncertainties are crippling the U.S. economy, and there’s a good chance Thursday’s Supreme Court decision will add to the problem.U.S. businesses are stacking up profits on their balance sheets, but they’re not investing in new workers and plants.The No. 1 reason is that executives just don’t see the demand, but this is compounded by policymakers in Washington and Brussels dithering over taxes and government spending, according to Wall Street analysts.None of this is good news for President Obama, who has had a good fortnight in the presidential race as the topic of discussion has switched to immigration.

    As the subject moves back to the economy and jobs, which it surely will do next week with the release of a June jobs report, the weakness of the underlying economy will retake center stage. And fingers will be pointed at both the White House and Congress.

  • Democrats defect on AG Holder– Several Democrats on Wednesday said they would vote to place Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, giving Republicans an opportunity to tout bipartisan support for the effort against President Obama’s attorney general.At least four Democrats in GOP-leaning districts said they’d side with Republicans and back the contempt measure in the wake of the National Rifle Association’s decision to score the vote.The support from Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and John Barrow (D-Ga.) is key for Republicans as they try to defend the legitimacy of the contempt measure to voters and parry counterattacks from Democrats stating that they are leading a “witch hunt.”The contempt measure is expected to pass mostly along partisan lines, but there is intense pressure on Democrats in conservative-leaning districts to side with the NRA against Obama’s chief law enforcement officer.
  • Five scenarios: Health care options before the justices – CNN.com – Five scenarios: Health care options before the justices
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Comments on Politics, the Dental World and Much More – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-06-28
  • How to Empower Your Dental Practice with Social Media – Flap’s Blog – How to Empower Your Dental Practice with Social Media
  • Why the Whole Health Care Law Is in Jeopardy– The real Supreme Court news on Tuesday wasn’t the Arizona immigration decision or even the summary reversal of the Supreme Court of Montana in the “Citizens United 2” case. It was that the chief justice of the United States didn’t write any of these opinions.This is critically important, because we can now deduce with a reasonably high degree of certainty that John Roberts is writing the lead health care opinion. If we are right about this, then the law is in even deeper trouble that most observers imagined.
  • The Morning Flap: June 27, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: June 27, 2012
  • Texas Attorney General Files Suit Over Dental Medicaid Fraud – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Texas Attorney General Files Suit Over Dental Medicaid Fraud

The Morning Flap: June 1, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for May 31st through June 1st:

The Morning Flap: April 30, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for April 26th through April 30th:

  • Occupy Wall Street plans mass May Day demonstration to shut down NYC – The NYPD is bracing for an attempt by Occupy Wall Street protesters to shut down traffic at arteries across the city during a mass demonstration Tuesday.

    Using websites and pamphlets, OWS organizers are urging people to help block traffic at bridge and tunnel ports to slow people going to work on May Day.

    Protesters — who also plan action in front of several financial buildings — are using the date to strengthen their numbers since the labor movement traditionally holds rallies that day.

    “No work, no school, no shopping, now housework, no compliance,” reads a posting on one OWS-related website. “If you can’t strike call in sick. If you can’t call in sick hold a slow down.”

    Other Occupy websites say protesters will try to blockade city crossings as they did the Brooklyn Bridge in October — when more than 700 people were arrested for marching on the span’s roadway.

    One website also calls for marchers to swarm financial buildings, including the offices of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange.

    Mayor Bloomberg said the city is prepared to thwart any actions that could cause serious delays in people’s commutes.

    He declined to discuss how authorities have been training to handle any OWS action. But sources said the NYPD conducted a major exercise at Floyd Bennett Field on Wednesday.

  • Occupy Wall Street Plans Global Protests in May Day Resurgence – Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, whose anti-greed message spread worldwide during an eight-week encampment in Lower Manhattan last year, plan marches across the globe today calling attention to what they say are abuses of power and wealth.

    Organizers say they hope the coordinated events will mark a spring resurgence of the movement after a quiet winter. Calls for a general strike with no work, no school, no banking and no shopping have sprung up on websites in Toronto, Barcelona, London, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, among hundreds of cities in North America, Europe and Asia.

    In New York, Occupy Wall Street will join scores of labor organizations observing May 1, traditionally recognized as International Workers’ Day. They plan marches from Union Square to Lower Manhattan and a “pop-up occupation” of Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue, across the street from Bank of America’s Corp.’s 55-story tower.

    “We call upon people to refrain from shopping, walk out of class, take the day off of work and other creative forms of resistance disrupting the status quo,” organizers said in an April 26 e-mail.

    Occupy groups across the U.S. have protested economic disparity, decrying high foreclosure and unemployment rates that hurt average Americans while bankers and financial executives received bonuses and taxpayer-funded bailouts. In the past six months, similar groups, using social media and other tools, have sprung up in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Day By Day April 30, 2012 – Nudge,Nudge – Day By Day April 30, 2012 – Nudge,Nudge
  • After Last Night – WH Correspondent’s Dinner – Politically, the most interesting phenomenon last night was the dog jokes. The President himself made three jokes about eating dogs. This represents a victory for new media and especially for Jim Treacher, since liberal news sources like the New York Times and Jon Stewart had studiously tried to pretend that the dog controversy didn’t exist. Obama and Kimmel evidently recognized that Twitter made such pretense impossible. (The New York Times, however, is still holding out.)

    Events like last night’s always leave me feeling in need of a shower. Partly it is because there some truth to Kimmel’s joke, after noting that the room was full of politicians, members of the media and celebrities, that “Everything that is wrong with America is here in this room.” Partly is is due to the sense that everyone involved in the event is pretending. The politicians pretend to engage in self-deprecation that shows they don’t take themselves too seriously. The comics pretend that they are just trying to be funny, lampooning politicians impartially in search of laughs. But, even though some of the lines are indeed funny, the premise of the event is fundamentally false. In fact, politicians, comedians and even the celebrities present are pursuing an agenda that is both self-aggrandizing and political. That is why, I think, such events always leave me feeling unclean.

  • The Auto Bailout Bust – President Barack Obama has made the auto bailout a centerpiece of his reelection campaign, using it to bash Republican nominee Mitt Romney. But the tactic may backfire as the general election heats up, public opinion surveys suggest.

    Recent polling from Rasmussen indicates that 59 percent view the bailouts as a “failure” and only 44 percent think the bailouts were “good for America.”

    The administration has already written off $7 billion in taxpayer losses in the American takeover of Chrysler and General Motors; those losses are expected to climb as high as $23 billion—27 percent of the $85 billion spent on the bailout.

    While the bailout is widely credited with saving the two companies, increasing taxpayer losses have made it nearly as unpopular in 2012 as it was when Obama was elected. More than half of Americans still disapprove of the auto bailout compared with 61 percent in 2008.

  • On Second Thought, Maybe N.C. Was a Mistake – If national Democratic strategists chose Charlotte, N.C., for the party’s national convention because they liked the facilities, the hotel accommodations or the weather in early September, then I guess I can’t yet quibble with the choice.

    But if David Axelrod and the president’s other political advisers picked the Tar Heel State to make some broader political point, then they goofed.

    Simply put: North Carolina looks like a mess for Democrats.

  • Barnes & Noble to spin off digital Nook business, Microsoft will invest $300 million into it | The Verge – RT @verge: Barnes & Noble to spin off digital Nook business, Microsoft will invest $300 million into it
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-30 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-30
  • Untitled (http://getglue.com/Fullosseousflap/stickers/amc/the_killing_openings?s=ts&ref=Fullosseousflap) – I unlocked the The Killing: Openings sticker on @GetGlue!
  • Maybe no housing rebound for a generation: Shiller – The Housing market is likely to remain weak and may take a generation or more to rebound, Yale economics professor Robert Shiller told Reuters Insider on Tuesday.

    Shiller, the co-creator of the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index, said a weak labor market, high gas prices and a general sense of unease among consumers was outweighing low mortgage rates and would likely keep a lid on prices for the foreseeable future.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Day By Day April 29, 2012 – Man of Steal – Day By Day April 29, 2012 – Man of Steal
  • Sweet revenge: Dentist pulls ALL of ex-boyfriend’s teeth out after getting dumped  – NY Daily News – Sweet revenge: Dentist pulls ALL of ex-boyfriend’s teeth out after getting dumped  – NY Daily News
  • Sweet revenge: Dentist pulls ALL of ex-boyfriend’s teeth out after getting dumped  – NY Daily News – Sweet revenge: Dentist pulls ALL of ex-boyfriend’s teeth out after getting dumped  – NY Daily News
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-29 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-29
  • Sweet revenge: Dentist pulls ALL of ex-boyfriend’s teeth out after getting dumped  – NY Daily News – Sweet revenge: Dentist pulls ALL of ex-boyfriend’s teeth out after getting dumped 
  • Sweet revenge: Dentist pulls ALL of ex-boyfriend’s teeth out after getting dumped  – Revenge is a dish best served with novocaine.

    A dentist in Poland, dumped by her boyfriend, got payback by removing all of her former lover’s teeth — leading his new lady to dump him, too.

    Anna Mackowiak could face three years in jail after she agreed to treat her ex-boyfriend, Marek Olszewski, when he asked her to help with a toothache just days after he broke up with her.

    “I tried to be professional and detach myself from my emotions,” Mackowiak, 34, told the Daily Mail. “But when I saw him lying there I just thought, ‘What a bastard.’”

    Mackowiak then allegedly gave Olszewski, 45, a massive dose of anaesthetic and coldly plucked out his teeth one by one.

    She then wrapped his jaw in bandages to prevent him from opening his mouth — and then simply walked away.

    “I knew something was wrong because when I woke up I couldn’t feel any teeth and my jaw was strapped up with bandages,” Olszewski told the British newspaper.

    But he did not realize the horror of what happened until he got back to his Wroclaw apartment.

  • Political Cartoons / Obama is just too cool….. – Obama is just too cool…..
  • Amazon Softens Stance on Taxes – Amazon.com Inc. reached an agreement with Texas officials Friday to begin collecting sales taxes in the state starting in July and appears to be backing away from its long-held opposition to tax collection in states where it has warehouses and other facilities.
    With the deal, the Seattle-based company is on track to collect sales taxes in 12 states, which make up about 40% of the U.S. population, by 2016. Amazon currently collects taxes in five states. Since 2011, it has reached agreements with seven other states, including Texas, to begin tax collection over the next four years.
  • “Amazon tax” struck down in Illinois in boost for affiliates – GeekWire – “Amazon tax” struck down in Illinois in boost for affiliates
  • Amazon settles with Texas over sales tax – Amazon has reached another settlement over state taxes, this time with Texas.

    Reuters reports that the giant e-tailer will start collecting sales tax in Texas come July 1, as part of a settlement that requires Amazon to bring 2,500 jobs and $200 million in capital investment to the state over the next four years.

    In exchange for the jobs and money, Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs is dropping the state’s demand for $269 million to cover sales taxes from 2005 to 2009, Reuters reports.

    Amazon struck a deal with the state of Nevada earlier in the week whereby it will begin collecting sales taxes there on January 1, 2014. It also reached an agreement with California last September that gave it another year before it has to begin collecting sales taxes in that state.

    Things went the other way in Illinois yesterday, when a judge there called unconstitutional a law designed to let the state collect sales tax from out-of-state, online retailers.

  • “Amazon tax” struck down in Illinois in boost for affiliates – The state of Illinois has lost a lawsuit against the state’s attempt to collect sales tax from out-of-state, online retailers — a law often called the “Amazon tax.”

    The Performance Marketing Association, which represents affiliate marketers such as those working with Amazon, had challenged the 2011 law that created the Illinois Affiliate Nexus Tax. A Cook County Circuit judge ruled the law unconstitutional because, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, “simply having an affiliated company in the state that makes sales or refers customers to an online retailer doesn’t create enough of a presence, or nexus, for tax purposes.”

    The judge also said the law was unenforceable because of a federal Internet tax moratorium that is in place through 2014.

  • Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – foursquare – 8 miler in the books. Now at Ronnie’s with Alice and Nancy (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-28 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-28
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » IN-Sen: Sarah Palin Endorses Richard Mourdock – IN-Sen: Sarah Palin Endorses Richard Mourdock
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Day By Day April 27, 2012 – Fantasy Friday-Public Served – Day By Day April 27, 2012 – Fantasy Friday-Public Served
  • CA-26: NRCC gives 3 ‘contender’ status – The National Republican Congressional Committee has given three GOP House challengers “contender” status, the third out of four steps in the “Young Guns” program to recruit new and viable Republican candidates.

    Republicans Tony Strickland in California, Jason Plummer in Illinois and Matt Doheny in New York were all elevated to the next level of the program Thursday.

    The candidates will face new benchmarks for fundraising and recruiting before attaining “Young Guns” status.

  • CA-26: Dog Is as Dog Does – How a live-free-or-die dude like Strickland came to be a born-again Nanny State zealot, however, is not so mysterious. It turns out he’s now running for a congressional seat in Ventura, and his chief Democratic rival, Julia Brownley, led the charge to ban plastic bags statewide while in the Assembly. Not only that, but Brownley is now pushing a much softer and kinder bill to define what constitutes a reusable bag. Brownley’s bill would require such bags be strong enough to carry 22 pounds more than 100 times for a distance of 175 feet. Rather than require a warning label designed to scare off possible users, Brownley’s bill would mandate bags to come with a tag identifying its country of origin and stating no lead, cadmium, other toxic heavy metals designed to sap one’s wits were used in its manufacture.

    Just remember there are 41 shopping days left between now and the June primary. I’ll do my part by shopping with a cross-contaminated, lead-based bag. You can spot me huffing by the broccoli section at Trader Joe’s. Please do not disturb. I already am.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Linda Parks and Her Cable Television ONLY Campaign Strategy – CA-26: Linda Parks and Her Cable Television ONLY Campaign Strategy
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 26, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 26, 2012

The Morning Flap: April 20, 2012

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

President Barack Obama speaks at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline, on March 22, in Cushing, Oklahoma. Obama was pressing federal agencies to expedite the section of the Keystone XL pipeline between Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast.

These are my links for April 19th through April 20th:

  • Obama faces defeat on Keystone pipeline – While much of the political world obsesses over Twitter fights and Seamus the dog, Barack Obama has set himself up for a high-profile defeat on one of the most important issues of the campaign.

    The president has put his feet in cement in opposition to the Keystone oil pipeline. But on Capitol Hill, more and more Democrats are joining Republicans to force approval of the pipeline, whether Obama wants it or not.

    The latest action happened Wednesday, when the House passed a measure to move the pipeline forward. Before the vote, Obama issued a veto threat. The House approved the pipeline anyway — by a veto-proof majority, 293 to 127. Sixty-nine Democrats abandoned the president to vote with Republicans. That’s a lot of defections.

    When the House voted on the pipeline in July of last year, 47 Democrats broke with the president. Now that it’s an election year and the number is up to 69, look for Republicans to hold more pipeline votes before November. GOP leaders expect even more Democrats to join them.

  • Tommy Christopher: Don’t Say Obama Is Not Working, Or You Are a Racist – Ah, good old Tommy Christopher. Don’t criticize the black president, you damn racists!

    Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney rolled out a new accessory at a speech in Ohio today, delivering his remarks in front of a black banner that said “Obama Isn’t Working,” which is also the name of a website his campaign set up several months ago (in case you didn’t get the message from the banner, it was also on the front of Romney’s podium).

    The slogan is a multiple entendre, but one of those entendres, intentionally or not, is evocative of a nasty racial stereotype about black men.

  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 20, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 20, 2012 via @flap
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Montana Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer Calls Out Mitt Romney’s Mormon “Polygamy” Past – Montana Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer Calls Out Mitt Romney’s Mormon “Polygamy” Past
  • Brian Schweitzer: Mitt Romney’s ‘Family Came From a Polygamy Commune in Mexico’ – The Daily Beast – Some Civility: Democrat Montana Gov Brian Schweitzer: Mitt Romney’s ‘Family Came From a Polygamy Commune in Mexico’
  • Mitt Romney’s challenge: Convincing GOP he can win – An increasing number of Democrats are taking potshots at President Obama’s healthcare law ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn it.

    The public grievances have come from centrists and liberals and reflect rising anxiety ahead of November’s elections.

  • High Testosterone – Charlie Cook – NationalJournal.com – RT @nationaljournal: Cook: Romney’s Got Men in the Bag; Time to Focus on Women.
  • Democrats expressing buyers’ remorse on Obama’s healthcare law – An increasing number of Democrats are taking potshots at President Obama’s healthcare law ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn it.

    The public grievances have come from centrists and liberals and reflect rising anxiety ahead of November’s elections.

  • Matthew Tully: Daniels has a few suggestions | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com – RT @chucktodd: Mitch Daniels critiques Romney for not talking enough about folks who haven’t yet “achieved.” // #of …
  • RNC looks to Facebook for political edge – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @PoliticalTicker: RNC looks to Facebook for political edge
  • Romney’s Father Came from “Polygamy Commune” – Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) told the Daily Beast that Mittt Romney would have a “tall order to position Hispanics to vote for him” even though his father was born in Mexico.

    Schweitzer admitted that it is “kinda ironic given that his family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico, but then he’d have to talk about his family coming from a polygamy commune in Mexico, given the gender discrepancy.”

    Schweitzer noted that women are “not great fans of polygamy, 86 percent were not great fans of polygamy. I am not alleging by any stretch that Romney is a polygamist and approves of [the] polygamy lifestyle, but his father was born into [a] polygamy commune in Mexico.”

  • Mickey Kaus: No Romney Immigration Pivot Needed – Thank You! – No Pivot Needed: Mitt Romney has taken a harder line on illegal immigration than expected, which has led many commentators to declare that the primaries have hurt his chances by drawing him too far in that direction (costing him support among Latino voters, especially). Yet today’s Quinnipiac poll finds Romney favored over Obama on the issue of … immigration (by a margin of 43% to 39%, about the same lead that Romney has on “the economy”). He’s ahead by fifteen points on the immigration issue among independents. … So why is a “pivot” on immigration needed, again? … What good is Hispandering if it wins Romney New Mexico but costs him Ohio? …
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Announces Republican Assembly Endorsements » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk Announces Republican Assembly Endorsements via @flap
  • California Lottery “Lady Luck” Ad Under Fire from Legislative Women’s Caucus » Flap’s California Blog – California Lottery via @flap
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » California Fair Political Practices Commission Chairwoman Ann Ravel Calls for Blogger Political Disclosure – California Fair Political Practices Commission Chairwoman Ann Ravel Calls for Blogger Political Disclosure
  • The 2012–13 California Budget: Unwinding Redevelopment – On February 1, 2012, all redevelopment agencies in California were dissolved and the process for unwinding their financial affairs began. Given the scope of these agencies’ funds, assets, and financial obligations, the unwinding process will take time. Prior to their dissolution, redevelopment agencies (RDAs) received over $5 billion in property tax revenues annually and had tens of billions of dollars of outstanding bonds, contracts, and loans.

    This report reviews the history of RDAs, the events that led to their dissolution, and the process communities are using to resolve their financial obligations. Over time, as these obligations are paid off, schools and other local agencies will receive the property tax revenues formerly distributed to RDAs.

    The report discusses these major findings:

    Although ending redevelopment was not the Legislature’s objective, the state had few practical alternatives.
    Ending redevelopment changes the distribution of property tax revenues among local agencies, but not the amount of tax revenues raised.
    Decisions about redevelopment replacement programs merit careful review.
    The decentralized process for unwinding redevelopment promotes a needed local debate over the use of the property tax.
    Key state and local choices will drive the state fiscal effect.
    The report recommends the Legislature amend the redevelopment dissolution legislation to address timing issues, clarify the treatment of pass–through payments, and address key concerns of redevelopment bond investors.

  • California Recovery: No, It Is Not East vs. West – There are two reasonable measures of recovery, jobs and real estate values. You can forget the real estate values measure. Values throughout California are down from pre-recession highs. They are down a lot. Only San Francisco and Marin counties, with median home prices down 27.7 percent and 32.3 percent, respectively, have seen net median home price declines of less than 40 percent. Monterey and Madera counties top the state in median home price declines, in excess of 67 percent.

    So let’s use jobs. An area has recovered if it has as many jobs today as it had at the beginning of the recession, December 2008.

    We monitor 37 California MSAs. Combined they represent about 96 percent of California’s population. By jobs, only one of California’s larger MSAs has recovered, and that county does not fit the story. Not only is Kings County not on the ocean, it doesn’t even border or have a naturally occurring year-round piece of water. Kings County, with 37,700 jobs, has about 900 more jobs than it had at the beginning of the recession. Still, Kings County’s unemployment rate is 17 percent. Some recovery!

  • Power of Direct Mail to Qualify Initiatives Highlighted in Brown’s Desperate Move – Jerry Brown’s decision to mail petitions in support of his tax Increase ballot measure, discussed by George Skelton in a recent column, was made out of fear or desperation. Fear that the street gathered signatures would fall short of those needed, or desperation because they know there will otherwise be a shortfall.

    For Brown the last minute decision to go with a compromise initiative prohibited a choice on the use of direct mail. However, foolishly for most ballot measure proponents, fear or desperation is now the moving factor in virtually all use of large-scale ballot qualification petition mailings.

    Even when time permits, ballot measure proponents rarely even test mailed petitions. Why? Because it is just so bloody easy to place one call to any of several very capable companies that handle every aspect of paid signature qualification. For the consultants, no muss, no fuss, virtually no work and probably the same fees will be realized. And it is an easy sell to the measure’s proponents, as the initial cost of paid signature gathering is often lower. Paid signatures are the conventional, accepted way to go…no need to think or act outside the box.

    But the hidden price paid is very dear indeed!

    My former partners Arnold Forde and Stu Mollrich and I started using mailed petitions as a first option, and were the first to entirely qualify ballot measures by mail. The reason we did so was simply because it so much better served our client’s interests.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Periodontal Disease Causing Heart Disease: Not Worth Stressing Out About It – Periodontal Disease Causing Heart Disease: Not Worth Stressing Out About It
  • Police: Woman arrested for biting during parking spot fight in San Francisco – San Jose Mercury News – Not More Dog Stuff – no, wait…Police: Woman arrested for biting during parking spot fight in San Francisco
  • Christie Would Help Romney the Most – Abs. Correct RT @politicalwire: New poll finds the running mate who would help Mitt Romney the most is Chris Christie
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Video: Civility in the Wisconsin Recall of Scott Walker? Uh No… – Video: Civility in the Wisconsin Recall of Scott Walker? Uh No…
  • Penis picture, gay sex descriptions among sexual harassment allegations against NC Democrat – A bombshell letter from the former North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) communications staffer to now-former NCDP Executive Director Jay Parmley detailing the allegations of sexual harassment has surfaced.

    In the letter, dated Dec. 8, 2011 — which local news outlet WRAL first published with redactions of alleged victim Adriadn Ortega’s name — Ortega alleges that Parmley “frequently gave me unwanted shoulder rubs despite my verbal objections” and that Parmley “often solicited my opinion on his clothes.”

    “He would point both hands to his crotch area and ask me how his crotch looked in those pants that day,” Ortega wrote, adding that Parmley “would frequently pretend to punch my crotch and make a popping noise with his mouth.”

    “On July 28, 2011, the executive director discussed, in detail, his sexual activities from the past when he was living in South Carolina,” Ortega then said. “In addition, he discussed in detail his sexual activities from when he moved to North Carolina, where he solicited sex from gay websites such as [REDACTED].”

    The next day — on July 29, 2011 — Ortega alleged that Parmley “showed me a picture of a penis.”

  • Cantor: GOP will expand majority – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Thursday he is confident that Republicans will not just hold but will expand their majority in the lower chamber in November.

    “I’m very bullish on the House,” Cantor said at an event in downtown Washington. “I am very confident that we will strengthen our majority.”

    The second-ranking House Republican said he believes the GOP will be on offense in 30 to 40 districts with the goal of adding to its 242 House seats. His comments stand in contrast to those of many political analysts, who project that Democrats will gain seats in November but fall short of wresting back control of the House.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012: The Coming Conservative Landslide? – President 2012: The Coming Conservative Landslide?
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 19, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 19, 2012
  • Marco Rubio Says He Would Turn Down VP Slot If Asked – Sen. Marco Rubio said today he would decline any offer from Mitt Romney to be a part of the GOP ticket this fall.

    “I don’t want to be the vice president,” the Florida Republican said during an interview with Major Garrett of the National Journal.

    “So, if Mitt Romney asks, you will you say no?” Garrett asked.

    “Yes. But you know he’s not going to ask. That doesn’t work. He’s watching this interview right now,” Rubio, 40, responded.

    Rubio even went as far as suggesting another U.S. Senator for Romney to consider in his VP vetting – Ohio Senator Rob Portman.

    “The bigger point is we’ve got a lot of really talented people out there that Mitt Romney can get to pick from. And I think a lot, Senator Rob Portman would be a phenomenal choice for vice president, that’s where I would encourage him to look because I’m enjoying my service in the senate.”

    Rubio’s name is often floated in the top tier list of potential vice presidential candidates, but the Florida senator has not been shy about his disinterest in the position. Rubio instead says he wants to focus on advancing policy in the senate, joking that if he were running as vice president, he’d have to answer a lot of questions about dogs, a topic which has consumed both parties in the past week.

  • Obama and Romney campaigns go to dogs with canine cracks – NYPOST.com – Ha Ha Bam Bites Dog RT @jamestaranto: The Sean Delonas cartoon is sublime.
  • Rubio: Arizona Immigration Law is Not Model for Nation – Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday that he did not view Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration as a “model,’’ distancing himself from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has embraced the legislation.

    The Cuban-American senator, who spoke at The University of Phoenix/National Journal’s Next America’ forum in Washington, D.C., is viewed as a top name on Romney’s vice presidential shortlist.

    Rubio said he understood why frustration with illegal immigration led Arizona to pass a law allowing local police to demand proof of citizenship. He also disagreed with the Obama administration’s contention that the law is unconstitutional. But he added, “I do not believe (laws like the one in Arizona) should be a model for the country.’’

    As a Senate candidate in 2010, Rubio vacillated on the Arizona law. He initially expressed some concerns but later said he would have voted for it.

    Rubio’s reservations about the law come at a time when polls show the Republican Party facing a yawning deficit of support among Hispanic voters. Both national parties have launched national campaigns to reach out to the Hispanic community, the fastest growing part of the electorate and the key to victory in a number of swing states.

    Democrats have been zealously attacking Republican opposition to the DREAM Act, potentially popular legislation that would grant citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants who go to college or enroll in the military. In recent weeks, Rubio has started countering the criticism by proposing an alternative that would allow these children to obtain legal status but not citizenship.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: April 19, 2012 – The Morning Drill: April 19, 2012
  • Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/19/4425366/calderon-family-looks-to-extend.html#mi_rss=State%20Politics) – Calderon family looks to extend legacy in California Legislature #catcot
  • Rasmussen Consumer Index – Rasmussen Reports™ – RT @RasmussenPoll: 13% Rate U.S. #Economy As Good or Excellent…
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Day By Day April 19, 2012 – What is it Good For? – Day By Day April 19, 2012 – What is it Good For?