The Morning Flap: October 24, 2012

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[youtube]http://youtu.be/klXTb-s7d9A[/youtube]

These are my links for October 23rd through October 24th:

  • Clint Eastwood: ‘Obama’s Second Term Would be a Rerun of the First’– Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood says “when someone doesn’t get the job done, you gotta hold them accountable” in a new ad from conservative super PAC American Crossroads. Eastwood famously endorsed Mitt Romney earlier this year at the Republican National Convention with an unconventional address.”Obama’s second term would be a rerun of the first, and our country just couldn’t survive that,” Eastwood says. “We need someone who can turn it around fast, and that man is Mitt Romney.”The New York Times reports that the ad will be airing on TV in seven critical swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia.
  • Study: People Who Exercise Have Larger Brains Later in Life – Lindsay Abrams – The Atlantic – The Big Head RT @TheAtlanticHLTH Study: Exercise minimizes brain shrinkage.
  • Des Moines Register editor: Obama off-the-record comments deserve to be shared with voters– The Des Moines Register’s publisher and I spoke with President Barack Obama this morning — but we can’t tell you what he said.Just four days before the Register’s presidential endorsement is released, Laura Hollingsworth and I received a phone call from the president. He was calling from Florida, on the heels of a morning campaign appearance and about 14 hours after his debate with GOP nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.The conference call lasted nearly 30 minutes and was an incredibly informative exchange of questions, answers and an insightful glimpse into the president’s vision for a second term. He made a genuine and passionate case for our endorsement and for reelection.Just two weeks before Election Day, the discussion, I believe, would have been valuable to all voters, but especially those in Iowa and around the country who have yet to decide between the incumbent Democrat and his Republican opponent.

    Unfortunately, what we discussed was off-the-record. It was a condition, we were told, set by the White House.

  • White House told of militant claim two hours after Libya attack: emails– Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.
  • Gallup: Gender Gap in Election Fueled More by Men Than Women – Despite the great attention paid to the importance of the women’s vote in the 2012 election, there has been a larger change in men’s than in women’s preferences compared with 2008. Barack Obama’s support is down seven percentage points among men versus three points among women. In Gallup’s latest 21-day rolling average of likely voter preferences, based on interviewing conducted Oct. 1-21, Romney leads Obama by 14 points among men, whereas Obama and John McCain were tied among men in Gallup’s final pre-election estimate in 2008. Obama currently leads Romney by eight percentage points among women, whereas he led McCain by 14 among women in 2008.
  • Senate Control May Hinge on Presidential Race – NationalJournal.com – RT @HotlineJosh The 4 prez battlegrounds to decide control: NV, WI, VA, OH –with PA as a possible sleeper (2/2) #tcot
  • Clint Eastwood Is Back in a Campaign Ad for Romney– Clint Eastwood is back on the Republican stage. But this time there’s a script, a 30-second time limit and none of the potential tripwires of live television.Mr. Eastwood, whose long and sometimes incoherent monologue at the Republican National Convention in August left many ardent Republicans cheering but others dumbfounded, is the star of a new commercial from the “super PAC” American Crossroads.But if he was all jokes in Tampa, Fla., Mr. Eastwood is nothing but serious in this new advertisement, in which he indicts President Obama’s term as a failure and urges people to vote for Mitt Romney.“Obama’s second term would be a rerun of the first, and our country just couldn’t survive that,” he says. “We need someone who could turn it around fast, and that man is Mitt Romney. There’s not much time left, and the future of our country is at stake.”

    Steven Law, the president of American Crossroads, said he had heard before the convention that Mr. Eastwood might be interested in starring in an ad. But he said he did not actually pursue the acclaimed director and actor until after his performance in Tampa.

  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-23 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-23
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-23 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-23 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-23 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-23
  • Shouldn’t Jack O’Connell Pay the State for His Hearst Castle Birthday Party? – Flap’s Blog – Shouldn’t Jack O’Connell Pay the State for His Hearst Castle Birthday Party? #tcot
  • Trooth.Com – The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part Two – Flap’s Blog – – The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part Two #tcot
  • The Morning Flap: October 23, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: October 23, 2012 #tcot
  • Day By Day October 23, 2012 – Foreigner – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day October 23, 2012 – Foreigner #tcot

The Morning Flap: October 16, 2012

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Drudge Screencap of Obama and cut out model

These are my links for October 15th through October 16th:

  • Poll: Romney, narrows gap with women, leads Obama in the swing states– Mitt Romney leads President Obama by four percentage points among likely voters in the nation’s top battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and he has growing enthusiasm among women to thank.As the presidential campaign heads into its final weeks, the survey of voters in 12 crucial swing states finds female voters much more engaged in the election and increasingly concerned about the deficit and debt issues that favor Romney. The Republican nominee has pulled within one point of the president among women who are likely voters, 48%-49%, and leads by 8 points among men.The battle for women, which was apparent in the speakers spotlighted at both political conventions this summer, is likely to help define messages the candidates deliver at the presidential debate Tuesday night and in the TV ads they air during the final 21 days of the campaign. As a group, women tend to start paying attention to election contests later and remain more open to persuasion by the candidates and their ads.

    That makes women, especially blue-collar “waitress moms” whose families have been hard-hit by the nation’s economic woes, the quintessential swing voters in 2012’s close race.

    “In every poll, we’ve seen a major surge among women in favorability for Romney” since his strong performance in the first debate, veteran Democratic pollster Celinda Lake says. “Women went into the debate actively disliking Romney, and they came out thinking he might understand their lives and might be able to get something done for them.”

    While Lake believes Obama retains an edge among women voters, the changed views of Romney could be “a precursor to movement” to the Republican candidate, she says. “It opens them up to take a second look, and that’s the danger for Obama.”

  • THE NAYS HAVE IT: When Public Sector Unions Win in California – This November, California voters must decide two policy questions of great concern to public-sector unions. One is a tax hike to stave off further cuts to state spending (there are two versions on the ballot with a chance of passing). The other is a “paycheck protection” measure that would ban the practice of unions’ deducting money from member paychecks to spend on political activism. Public-sector union members stand to benefit from the tax increase, and they are campaigning heavily for one version, Proposition 30, which is being promoted by Governor Jerry Brown. Conversely, the unions stand to lose money and power if paycheck protection passes, and they are working hard to defeat it.
  • Unions dominate California ballot propositions– Unions representing public workers in California have remarkable success achieving their desired outcomes for California ballot propositions—call it success by defeat. In some instances unions have outspent adversaries in California’s initiative process 8 to 1. This may come as no shock for those of us who live in the Golden State especially considering the well-entrenched power of unions here, but the rate of success unions have had in the initiative process is not only surprising, but staggering.Reviewing more than 30 years of data, a new study conducted by Daniel DiSalvo for the Manhattan Institute found that since 1980, public employee unions have been successful in defeating 75 percent of the ballot initiatives they opposed and have won in 50 percent of the initiatives they supported. That means unions possess an uncanny record when it comes to playing defense, “using initiative campaigns to block proposals that threaten their interests.” And when on offense they get what they want half of the time, a record that would make any special interest group in the country envious.The Manhattan Institute study release is well timed as public employee unions in California have invested heavily in the passage of Prop 30, Governor Jerry Brown’s initiative that would increase the state’s sales tax and also the state income tax for some earners. Conversely, unions are actively opposing Prop 32, which would stop unions and corporations from making direct contributions to legislators and change the way they would collect money for political spending.
  • Romney Holds Advantage Tonight, Regardless of Format– The first thing to know about a “town-hall-style” presidential debate is that it bears as much resemblance to an actual campaign town-hall event as a marble statue does to its animated subject.Real town halls are usually unscripted and unpredictable and often raucous events. Town-hall debates are orderly, with the questions from the audience screened — selected to represent questions the moderator would ask if they were doing the questioning. Moderators are likely to reframe some questions and ask their own follow-ups in the language of Sunday morning talk shows. The candidates’ answers are subject to short time limits. The venue is disconcertingly quiet, as the audience is instructed to be unresponsive, with none of the cheers, boos, laughs and groans that are the soundtrack of real town halls.
  • As Swing State Races Narrow, Debate Looms Large– The election cycle has reached the stage where there is such a torrent of polls released each day that the flipping leads could give many poll watchers whiplash. And Tuesday night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University could make the race even more volatile.On Monday morning, the RealClearPolitics Average of national polls found President Obama and Mitt Romney tied at 47.3 percent apiece; by the afternoon, Romney had ticked up a tenth of a point. And that’s after Romney had wrested the lead from Obama last Tuesday for the first time in more than a year.But the real movement has been in the battleground states. RCP currently counts 11 such battlegrounds (amounting to 146 electoral votes) as true tossups; Obama leads the electoral vote count in the other states, 201-191.

    Those numbers are significant because at this point in the 2008 election, candidate Barack Obama was leading John McCain in every single one of those battlegrounds, including conservative-leaning North Carolina. In many of them, he was ahead by double digits, whereas his biggest battleground-state lead now is just 4.8 percentage points, according to the RCP Average — and that is in the usually reliable Democratic state of Pennsylvania.

  • Our Awful Economy, In One Chart – Michelle Obama says we are “in the midst of a huge recovery.” That claim is laughable to anyone who has lived through the last four years; this simple chart from the Senate Budget Committee highlights one of the central failings of Obamanomics: people are leaving the labor force faster than they are entering it. Since Obama became president ten times as many people have been added to the roster of those not in the labor force, than have been added to the labor force:

Labor Force Employment chart

The Morning Flap: April 19, 2012

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The Obamas and Bo, their dog – A Chilling Photo?

These are my links for April 18th through April 19th:

  • Bam Bites Dog – The political perils of personal attacks – One time Barack Obama went to an Indian restaurant and ordered the lassi. Was he ever disappointed when the waiter brought him a yogurt drink!

    We’ll be here all week. But seriously, folks, we have a man-bites-dog story for you today.

    First, some background. Last week Byron York of the Washington Examiner reported that “some Obama staffers are reportedly obsessing over a nearly 30-year-old story about [Mitt] Romney’s dog”:

    In 1983, Romney took his family on vacation and, faced with a packed station wagon, put his Irish setter Seamus in a travel kennel strapped to the roof of the car. Romney constructed a special windshield in an effort to make the dog more comfortable, but Seamus ended up relieving himself on the roof, which reportedly caused much consternation among the Romney boys. Ever since the story got out–it was reported by the Boston Globe in 2007, during Romney’s first run for president–Romney opponents have used it in semiserious and sometimes fully serious ways to portray him as insensitive.
    “I have heard, in focus groups, the dog story totally tanks Mitt Romney’s approval rating,” Chris Hayes said on his MSNBC show. The Washington Post reported last month that the Seamus story “is ballooning into a narrative of epic proportions”:

    Late-night host David Letterman has been giving the dog near-nightly shout-outs. There are parody Web videos, “Dogs Aren’t Luggage” T-shirts and Facebook groups. (“Dogs Against Romney,” which protested outside last month’s Westminster dog show, has more than 38,000 Facebook fans.) The New Yorker featured a cartoon, with Rick Santorum riding in Romney’s rooftop dog carrier, on its cover last week. In the five years since the story was revealed, New York Times columnist Gail Collins has mentioned Seamus in at least 50 columns.

  • The Dog Days of the Presidential Campaign Begin – I would note that in 2008, John McCain’s presidential campaign wouldn’t have touched this anecdote with a ten-foot pole. Between this and the Romney camp’s rapid response to the Rosen comments, we are seeing a Republican presidential campaign that is exponentially faster on its feet and way more nimble than the previous general-election campaign against Obama.
  • IN-Sen: Don’t Believe the Anti-Incumbent Narrative – A few weeks after that primary, on May 8, Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar will either lose to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock or squeeze by him in the GOP primary.

    Lugar’s problems, however, have nothing to do with the “anti-incumbent” mood or Congress’ poor reputation. Instead, they have everything to do with his record and his horrible campaign.

    Lugar’s record and style don’t fit comfortably with where his party now is, yet he made little or no effort to sooth conservatives or to prepare for a battle. If he had, he might, for example, have purchased a house or condo in the state so that he wouldn’t need to stay in a hotel when he returns to the state to campaign.

    More than a year ago, I wrote in this space about Lugar’s vulnerability in a possible one-on-one primary. Almost immediately, I received a call from a Lugar staffer telling me how wrong I was and pointing out that the Senator was hugely popular and had a large campaign war chest.

    In other words, Lugar’s team didn’t understand what could happen if voters were presented with a credible opponent who either had money or would be supported by outside groups willing to spend heavily to defeat the Senator. And later, the campaign didn’t understand why anyone would care that Lugar didn’t own a residence in the state.

  • Weiner a jerk before crotchgate, craved media attention: book – Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner was behaving like a jerk long before the world got a glimpse of his crotch.

    A new book offering an inside look at the US House of Representatives depicts Weiner as a desperately ambitious loudmouth who berated his staff and would do or say anything for TV airtime.

    Weiner “would enter his office in the Rayburn Building screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Why the f–k am I not on MSNBC?!’” journalist Robert Draper wrote in “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives.”

    He finally got his wish, Draper wrote, when Weiner pushed to become the liberal spokesman for ObamaCare.

    “He was now on MSNBC every week, sometimes every day — to the point where he was carrying his own makeup kit. (Or rather, his press guy was.)” Draper wrote.

    Excerpts of the book, due out Tuesday, surfaced yesterday on the Web site Politico.

  • Daily exercise can reduce risk of developing Alzheimer¿s, study finds – latimes.com – RT @latimesmost: You’re never too old to reduce Alzheimer’s risk with exercise
  • Hydration for Runners – Run to Your Best – RT @Racerunningtips: Hydration for Runners: Hydrating for Optimal Performance
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-19 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-19
  • The Top 10 Most Expensive Obamacare Taxes and Fees – Yesterday was tax day, serving as a special reminder of how big the federal government has become. As Heritage has warned before, Obamacare is on track to makes things a lot worse.

    The President’s health law will be partially paid for by tax increases and the creation of new taxes. When Obamacare first passed, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that its tax hikes would total $502 billion over the next 10 years. But most of the new, higher taxes don’t kick in until later in the decade, which means that once all of the law is fully implemented, the taxpayers’ tab will be much bigger than originally estimated.

    A new study by the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) revealed today that Obamacare will impose higher taxes totaling $4 trillion between now and 2035, with substantial hits on working Americans. That works out to more than $1.7 trillion over a decade—more than triple the original 10-year score.

    Below is a list of 10 of Obamacare’s most costly taxes and fees, drawn from research by Heritage tax policy expert Curtis Dubay:

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » R.I.P. Dick Clark 1929-2012 – R.I.P. Dick Clark 1929-2012
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Study: No Independent Association of Periodontal and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease? – Study: No Independent Association of Periodontal and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease?
  • In-Sen: Mourdock Leads Lugar in Internal Poll – Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock leads Senator Dick Lugar by one point according to a poll commissioned by the Mourdock campaign. Conducted between April 16 and 17 by the firm McLaughlin and Associates, the poll surveyed 400 likely Republican primary voters and found Mourdock in the lead, 42–41, against Lugar. The poll had a 4.9 percent margin of error.

    Since January, Lugar’s favorability rating has fallen ten points, from 57 to 47 percent, while Mourdock’s has risen by eleven, from 35 to 46 percent. “These results clearly demonstrate that Richard Mourdock has the momentum to win,” a memo from pollsters John McLaughlin and Stuart Polk notes.

  • Is stagnation good enough for Obama’s reelection? « The Enterprise Blog – RT @JimPethokoukis: I plugged in Citi’s new econ forecast into 2 election models. Obama losses under both
  • Untitled (http://www.laobserved.com/biz/2012/04/la_churches_being_fo.php) – RT @LAObserved: L.A. churches being foreclosed on in record numbers. @LABizObserved
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk Signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge » Flap’s California Blog
  • Gallup Presidential Election Trial Heat Results: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney – RT @gallupnews: Presidential Election: Romney 48% (+1), Obama 44% (+1). Get the full trend… #Gallup
  • Gavin Newsom Gets Current TV Show — What About the Equal Time Rule? | TheWrap TV – California’s Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom gets a TV show on Current TV – whether you like it or not #catcot #tcot
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012: Romney Up With Web Ad About Unemployment in Key Battleground State of North Carolina – President 2012: Romney Up With Web Ad About Unemployment in Key Battleground State of North Carolina
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge » Flap’s California Blog – RE:  Yes, last August seems a long time ago for Senator Tony Strickland…
  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Menthol Cigarettes Double Stroke Risk
  • Menthol Cigarettes Double Stroke Risk – Menthol cigarettes more than double the risk for stroke compared with regular cigarettes, a new study shows. In women and nonblack smokers, the risk for stroke was more than tripled.

    No significant associations were observed between the tobacco additive and other forms of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

    The mechanism by which menthol may increase stroke risk remains unclear.

    One potential mechanism is that menthol stimulates upper-airway cold receptors, which can increase breath-holding time, which may in turn facilitate the entrance of cigarette particulate matter into the lungs, notes Nicholas Vozoris, MD, from St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    Another possibility is that menthol cigarettes exert some selective effects on the cerebrovascular system.

  • Potential VP pick Mitch Daniels endorses Mitt Romney – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, frequently mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate, is the latest Republican leader to formally endorse Mitt Romney.

    “It must be a slow news day if this has made the air,” Daniels told Fox News on Wednesday. “But for what it’s worth, I did send a congratulatory note to Gov. Romney the other day offering to anything I could to help him, and here I am.”

    It didn’t come across as a particularly strong endorsement, and the Fox News anchor noted that Daniels has a dry, self-deprecating manner.

    “He’s already won our nomination,” Daniels continued. “He’s earned it, he’s proven himself the best nominee we could put forward, and I’m just happy to sign on and help him.”

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 18, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 18, 2012

The Morning Flap: February 9, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for February 8th through February 9th:

  • Where’s the Rest of Them? – The biggest problem with the GOP Presidential field is that each of the candidates seems to be running to represent only part of the Republican coalition. Mr. Romney sounds like he thinks conservatives can be won over with a few poll-tested lines like “I’ll repeal ObamaCare,” while Mr. Santorum sounds like he only needs conservative votes to become President. To adapt Ronald Reagan’s famous line, Where’s the rest of them?
  • Path to a Brokered GOP Convention Emerges – For many conservative Republicans, the dream outcome of the primary season is a brokered convention. Disappointed in the four remaining choices, they hope to change horses in August, and draft their preferred candidate, be it Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, or Paul Ryan.

    I’ve been adamant that such an outcome is extremely unlikely. For a brokered convention to occur, there has to be an almost perfect storm of events; the GOP elites can’t just declare shenanigans on the primary season and select a new nominee. Instead, something has to prevent any of the current candidates from clinching a majority of the delegates; if one of them amasses that majority, he will be the nominee on the first ballot at the convention in Tampa.

    My assumption — and the assumption of many — was that the GOP fight would eventually degenerate into an ideological battle between the very conservative and somewhat conservative/moderate wings of the party, with Romney on one side and a single alternative on the other. Unless there was a late entrant or Ron Paul caught fire in the caucus states, someone was virtually assured of claiming the requisite number of delegates in that scenario. But for the first time, the two way faceoff doesn’t seem inevitable, and a viable path to a brokered convention is beginning to emerge. Let’s start with something else I overlooked. The GOP does have super-delegates of a sort, in the form of the 63 RNC members. They aren’t as numerous as they are in the Democratic Party, but they are still there. While many of them have already declared allegiance to one candidate or another, those commitments can evaporate quickly, as Hillary Clinton learned to her sorrow in 2008.

  • 20% of Republicans leaning to Obama! – For critics of Barack Obama, 2012 has been portrayed as a do-or-die year for the country – an election that will determine whether America stays on the road to European-style socialism or veers right to reclaim its positions as the most vibrant economy in the world and the home of individual liberty.

    But the 2012 election is looking more like a replay of 2008 than a do-over.

    The latest WND/Wenzel Poll shows none of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates has solidified the base of the party, with one in five GOP voters leaning toward support of Obama in November.

    The results are from the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies. The poll was conducted by telephone Feb. 1-3, 2012, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.44 percentage points.

  • News from The Associated Press – RT @AP: U.S. Justice Department plans to announce a settlement between states, top mortgage lenders in 15 minutes: -EF
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Pennsylvania Dental Patient Sentenced to Prison for Stealing a Wisdom Tooth Extraction – Pennsylvania Dental Patient Sentenced to Prison for Stealing a Wisdom Tooth Extraction
  • Day By Day February 9, 2012 – Bone | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day February 9, 2012 – Bone
  • Apple to Announce iPad 3 First Week in March – John Paczkowski – Mobile – AllThingsD – RT @allthingsd: Apple to Announce iPad 3 First Week in March -by @JohnPaczkowski
  • Obama’s Economic Approval Rating Improves – RT @gallupnews: Obama’s Economic Approval Rating Improves… #Gallup #Obama
  • IT’S OFFICIAL: GREEK AGREEMENT DONE, STATEMENT COMING SHORTLY – RT @businessinsider: REPORT: GREEK AGREEMENT DONE, STATEMENT COMING SHORTLY
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-09 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-09
  • Log In – The New York Times – RT @ByronYork: Douthat link:
  • Plan of Attack | Washington Free Beacon – RT @FreeBeacon: .@kredo0 reports: What an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities might look like
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-09 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-09
  • Keep an Eye on Ryan – Tomorrow night, Paul Ryan will speak at CPAC. National Review Online has obtained an embargoed copy of the speech. It’s powerful stuff. He’ll talk about how Republicans share responsibility for the fiscal crisis. And he’ll detail President Obama’s dismal record. But the big theme is that Republicans need to make 2012 more than a “referendum.” He wants it to be a “choice.”

    “The easy way is always tempting,” he’ll tell conservatives, urging them to avoid a victory “by default.” Bold ideas, he’ll say, are the only way to win a mandate:

  • Missile Defense Program Weakened under the Obama Administration – Abstract: In passing the FY 2012 defense authorization and appropriations bills, Congress missed an ideal opportunity to reverse the damage that the Obama Administration inflicted on U.S. missile defense programs in 2010. Congress specifically failed to move the U.S. toward a more defensive nuclear posture, protect U.S. missile defense options against the President’s arms control agenda, or prepare layered U.S. missile defenses against potential threats, including an EMP attack or an Iranian attack on the East Coast. To properly defend against the missile threat, the U.S. needs to build on the Navy’s proven Aegis missile defense system, integrate other vital components into the missile defense system, and develop and deploy space-based missile defenses.
  • Mike Huckabee to Start New Radio Show | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Mike Huckabee to Start New Radio Show
  • Santorum | Gary Varvel | The Indianapolis Star | IndyStar.com – Santorum | Gary Varvel | The Indianapolis Star |
  • Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers – Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers
  • Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers – Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers
  • The State Worker: California pension reform group suspends initiative campaign – The State Worker: California pension reform group suspends initiative campaign
  • Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers – Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers
  • (404) http://t.co/47gpLH – RT @AP: Wash. state lawmakers OK gay marriage; state would be seventh in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed: …
  • Don’t Worry! Coffee is Not Going to Hurt Your Heart | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Don’t Worry! Coffee is Not Going to Hurt Your Heart
  • The State Worker: California pension reform group suspends initiative campaign – The State Worker: California pension reform group suspends initiative campaign
  • Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate | Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers – Another Shot at Tax Break Democrats Love to Hate
  • Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 8, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 8, 2012
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Chez Cole – Checking out the updated Foursquare Android app (@ Chez Cole)
  • The State Worker: California pension reform group suspends initiative campaign – California pension reform group suspends initiative campaign
  • Assembly speaker wants to trade tax breaks for scholarships – latimes.com – Assembly speaker wants to trade tax breaks for scholarships
  • It’s California time for Newt Gingrich – Ginger Gibson – POLITICO.com – It’s California time for Newt Gingrich
  • Untitled (https://plus.google.com/105353644409523560325/posts/6j9nVaLqSSH) – Justice Ginsburg should have retired decades ago…. talk about being out of step..
  • Updated: AD-38: Rep. Buck McKeon Caught Covering His Bases for Himself and California Assembly Candidate Wife Patricia McKeon » Flap’s California Blog – Updated: AD-38: Rep. Buck McKeon Caught Covering His Bases for Himself and California Assembly Candidate Wife Pa…
  • Thoughts on the Ninth Circuit’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision – 1. This is going up to the Supreme Court. I suspect that the backers of Prop. 8 won’t even ask for en banc review by the Ninth Circuit, since they’re unlikely to win there. Depending on how quickly they file their petition for certiorari, the Court will either decide in late September to hear the case, or will decide this late this Spring. Either way, the Court will hear the case next Term, though probably not before the election. Though, for reasons I describe below, the decision only applies to states, like California, that recognized civil unions but not same-sex marriages, it’s still a conclusion of national importance, one on which the Supreme Court is likely want to speak. And even if, as described below, the decision is limited just to California, I think the Court will still think it’s important for it to resolve the question.

    2. The Ninth Circuit did not decide that all opposite-sex-only marriage recognition rules are unconstitutional. Rather, it concluded that when a state has already recognized same-sex civil unions that are functionally equivalent or nearly equivalent to marriage, denying the symbolic recognition provided by the label “marriage” is no longer rationally related to a legitimate government interest. The court did not decide whether the general constitutional right to marry that applies to same-sex couples, or whether opposite-sex-only recognition rules are generally unconstitutional on the grounds that discrimination based on sexual orientation requires “strict scrutiny” or “intermediate scrutiny” and fails that scrutiny. It only applied the rational basis test, and held that the regime of civil unions but not same-sex marriage lacks a rational basis.

  • Government Employer Free to Fire Human Resources Officials Who Publicly Criticize the Propriety of Gay Rights Laws – So holds Dixon v. University of Toledo (N.D. Ohio Feb, 6, 2012). (I blogged about this case when it was filed.) A few thoughts:

    (1) Some of the analysis seems limited to high-level “policymaking” employees, such as a university Associate Vice President.

    (2) But some of the argument suggests that any time any government manager with hiring and firing authority — or even with substantial input into hiring and firing decisions — speaks out in opposition to civil rights laws protecting gays, the government may fire the manager on the grounds that the speech (a) “could disrupt the … [d]epartment by making homosexual employees uncomfortable or disgruntled,” (b) might lead “homosexual prospective employees [to] reconsider applications,” and (c) might “lead to challenges to her personnel decisions.”

    (3) This in turn highlights the danger to government managerial employees who want to participate in, for instance, campaigns opposing same-sex marriage or proposed laws banning sexual orientation discrimination. If you’re such an employee, you’d be wise to keep your mouth shut on such matters, whether it comes to letters to the editor, to blog posts, to yard signs, to campaign donations, or to signatures on initiative or referendum petitions (in states that disclose such signatures). After all, any of these might be noticed by people who will publicize what you said or did, and who will directly or indirectly inform your supervisors about it.

  • Poll Watch: Congressional Approval at New Low of 10% – Disapproval is 86% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: Congressional Approval at New Low of 10% – Disapproval is 86%
  • Archbishop of San Francisco says Obama ruling strikes at religious freedom – Catholic Archbishop George Niederauer of the Archdiocese of San Francisco has written a letter that will be distributed at all Masses this weekend about the Obama administration’s decision to require Catholic institutions to administration would require Catholic institutions such as hospitals and universities to provide contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act. See Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ statement here.

    The ruling has raised a huge row with many Catholics, who make up 27 percent of the electorate and constitute a large share of independents. They are also concentrated in the battleground states that will decide the presidential election. Catholic hospitals serve an estimated one sixth of the population. The Archdiocese of San Francisco includes San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties and includes, according to the Archdiocese, more than 550,000 Catholics.

  • Babs Boxer Comes up with the Dumbest Defense (So Far) of the ObamaCare Abortifacient Mandate – This policy is among the most illiberal ever foisted on the American public by its elected officials. They literally lied, even to members of their own party, to get this policy passed along purely partisan lines. Their own leadership told us that we have to pass the bill even to find out what’s in it. One must be a fellow traveling liar, or simply intolerant to the core, to defend this affront.

    Liberals claim the mantle of tolerance, but this policy is deeply intolerant. It forces aactions on a sizable number of Americans who disagree with undertaking those actions for reasons explicitly protected in the Constitution. The numerous ObamaCare waivers, granted mainly to unions that have supported Democrats with campaign cash, open up equal protection issues and expose the politics at the core of what was sold as a “health care” bill. It was a government power bill, from the start. And this mandate has placed the administration in a very awkward political spot. Continue the abortifacient policy to appease Boxer et al, but risk losing millions of votes that went Obama’s way in 2008. Or, scuttle it, and dispirit the illiberal, intolerant progressive mob.

  • President Obama: ‘I Don’t Want Them Punished With A Baby’
    – YouTube
    – Video: President Obama: ‘I Don’t Want Them Punished With A Baby’
  • Barbara Boxer weighs in on Catholic contraception controversy – Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., probably the Senate’s leading pro-choice voice, stepped into the debate over the Obama administration’s rule requiring Catholic institutions to provide birth-control coverage. The Archdiocese of San Francisco has called the rule an assault on religious freedom and the Obama administration is in damage-control mode with a critical voting bloc. Obama reportedly weighed the politics before approving the decision.

    One analysis of these politics calculates that Obama’s decision will help him with young, secular women, Catholic or not, and that’s why the White House is standing firm while making noises about a compromise. Obama is touting the decision on his campaign website.

    Writing in the Wall Street Journal, where the lead editorial lambasts the rule, Boxer and Democratic colleagues Patty Murray of Washington and Jeanne Shaheen, defend the decision and accuse its critics (led by the Catholic bishops and joined by GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich) of mounting “an aggressive and misleading campaign to deny this benefit to women,” that is “being waged in the name of religious liberty.”

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Not For Profit Delta Dental Executive Pay and Perks Exposed – Not For Profit Delta Dental Executive Pay and Perks Exposed
  • Medicaid may stop covering visits to ER later deemed ‘unnecessary’ – Medicaid soon might stop covering emergency-room treatment that state officials decide afterward was “not medically necessary.”

    A state Health Care Authority rule putting a three-visit limit on unnecessary ER use by poor patients was blocked in court on procedural grounds. The agency has replaced it with a new policy planned to take effect April 1 that would reduce the number of conditions deemed non-emergencies but would forbid even a single unnecessary visit.

    The doctors and hospitals who sued over the old rule blasted the new plan Tuesday, saying it would leave it up to a “faceless bureaucrat” to decide what’s an emergency. They weren’t ready to say they’ll go to court again over it.

    Medical providers would foot the bill if they treat patients and the state doesn’t pay. They couldn’t bill the patients, as was possible under the old rule, the Health Care Authority says.

    “The client is not at risk anymore for the ER bills,” said Dr. Jeffery Thompson, chief of the state’s Medicaid program. “This is invisible to the client. The client’s going to get treatment regardless.”

    The move is part of an ongoing attempt by state government to crack down on excessive ER use. Other kinds of treatment have such limits, Thompson says.

    He points to patients seeking ER treatment for diaper rash and other ailments better treated by a primary-care doctor, and to hospital frequent fliers who show up twice a day, as he said one patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder did recently. The hope is to divert such patients to other providers.

  • Dependent Nation: Dependency Index Surges 23% Under President Obama; 67 Million Get Aid – The American public’s dependence on the federal government shot up 23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program, according to a newly released study by the Heritage Foundation.

    The conservative think tank’s annual Index of Dependence on Government tracks money spent on housing, health, welfare, education subsidies and other federal programs that were “traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families.”

    The increase under Obama is the biggest two-year jump since Jimmy Carter was president, the data show.

    The rise was driven mainly by increases in housing subsidies, an expansion in Medicaid and changes to the welfare system, along with a sharp rise in food stamps, the study found.

  • President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Romney 37% Vs. Gingrich 21% Vs. Santorum 17% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Romney 37% Vs. Gingrich 21% Vs. Santorum 17%
  • AD-38: Why is Patricia McKeon Protecting Her Assembly Candidacy Tweets? » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Why is Patricia McKeon Protecting Her Assembly Candidacy Tweets?
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Receives the Endorsement of California Young Republicans » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk Receives the Endorsement of California Young Republicans
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 8, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 8, 2012
  • The Morning Flap: February 8, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: February 8, 2012

The Morning Flap: February 6, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

These are my links for February 3rd through February 6th:

Many Democrats have high hopes for the Southwest in Election 2012 and some even think that President Obama even has a decent shot to move Arizona from Republican to Democrat in the Electoral College column this November. However, the president may have an uphill fight to achieve that goal as most voters in the Grand Canyon State disapprove of the way he’s done his job.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone poll found that just 41% of Likely Voters in Arizona approve of the way President Obama has performed his role. Fifty-six percent (56%) disapprove. Those figures are significantly lower than the president’s national ratings. They include 28% who Strongly Approve and 48% who Strongly Disapprove.

The Morning Flap: January 11, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for January 5th through January 11th:

  • Rush Loves Mitt; Hates Newt – Master-talk-master continues finger on the scale for frontrunner on Wednesday’s show.

    Praises the Bay Stater: “Romney gave what may be his best speech ever last night.”

    And/but: El Rushbo bashes Romney — GM/Obama comparison from CBS “This Morning” Wednesday interview.

    Pans Gingrich: “Newt is so ticked off over the negative ad campaign…that right now, he is solely focused on taking Romney out, making sure Romney doesn’t win this thing.”

  • Gregory Flap Cole – Google+ – Iran: What me worry?

    From Michael Ramirez…… – Iran: What me worry?

    From Michael Ramirez……Michael Ramirez Cartoon

  • Savings from ‘3 strikes’ reform may be smaller than claimed | California Watch – Savings from California ‘3 strikes’ reform may be smaller than claimed
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: January 11, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: January 11, 2012
  • Will Mindful Eating Help Curb Obesity? | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Will Mindful Eating Help Curb Obesity?
  • Journalists’ campaign trail secrets revealed – The Washington Post – Journalists’ campaign-trail secrets revealed
  • The Bain Capital Bonfire – About the best that can be said about the Republican attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital is that President Obama is going to do the same thing eventually, so GOP primary voters might as well know what’s coming. Yet that hardly absolves Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and others for their crude and damaging caricatures of modern business and capitalism.

    Bain’s business model is little more than “rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company,” says Mr. Gingrich, whose previous insights into free enterprise include years of defending the taxpayer-fed business of corn ethanol.

    A super PAC supporting the former House Speaker plans to spend $3.4 million in TV ads in South Carolina portraying Mr. Romney as Gordon Gekko without the social conscience. The financing for these ads will come from a billionaire who made his money in the casino business, which Mr. Gingrich apparently considers morally superior to investing in companies in the hope of making a profit.

    Mr. Perry, who has no problem using taxpayer financing to back his political allies in Texas, chimes in that “I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips, whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out. Because his company Bain Capital, with all the jobs that they killed, I’m sure he was worried he’d run out of pink slips.”

  • President 2012: Conservatives Scrambling to Block Romney | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Conservatives Scrambling to Block Romney
  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2012/01/11/day-by-day-janaury-11-2012-reality-show/ – Day By Day Janaury 11, 2012 – Reality Show
  • Riehl World View: Romney Has Lied, Maligned And Danced Away For Years, It’s Time He Paid For It – GOP will pay | RT @DanRiehl Romney Has Lied, Maligned And Danced Away For Years, It’s Time He Paid For It
  • (404) http://t.co/DqN – RT @jpodhoretz: Romney may win the easiest nomination victory ever–even though he’s as weak a candidate as we’ve seen: …
  • In Florida, Obama Trails Mitt By 3, Leads Rick By 2 – By Jim Geraghty – The Campaign Spot – National Review Online – Closer than you would expect RT @jimgeraghty In Florida, Obama Trails Mitt By 3, Leads Rick By 2 #tcot
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-11 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-11
  • Log In – The New York Times – Log In – The New York Times
  • Log In – The New York Times – Log In – The New York Times
  • Log In – The New York Times – As Romney Advances, Private Equity Becomes Part of the Debate
  • As Romney Advances, Private Equity Becomes Part of the Debate – A working paper released in September shows that private equity-owned companies shed slightly more jobs than similar companies, though the difference was quite small. In total, they shed about 1 percent more jobs.

    The study — by Steven J. Davis of the University of Chicago; John C. Haltiwanger of the University of Maryland; Josh Lerner of Harvard, and Ron S. Jarmin and Javier Miranda of the Census Bureau — looked at about 3,200 buyouts conducted between 1980 and 2005.

    It found that companies bought by private equity firms let go a larger proportion of workers than similar firms, shrinking their work forces about 6 percent more over a five-year window. But companies bought by private equity firms also tend to open more new branches, offices and factories and hire more new staff members, partly offsetting the job losses.

    Some economists also argue that private equity takeovers make good economic sense in the long term, even if they result in more layoffs in the short term, by making companies more efficient.

  • Gingrich’s Own Close Tie to Buyout Industry – Newt Gingrich has ramped up his attacks on Mitt Romney as a heartless leveraged buyout executive for his years at Bain Capital, asking reporters in Manchester on Monday, “Is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of other people and walk off with the money? Or is that, somehow, a little bit of a flawed system?”

    But Mr. Gingrich was himself on an advisory board for a major investment firm that had a similar business model, Forstmann Little, a pioneering private equity firm co-founded in 1978 by Theodore J. Forstmann that was, along with Mr. Romney’s Bain Capital and Henry R. Kravis’s Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, among the leading private equity firms during the 1980s and 1990s.

    Forstmann Little earned billions of dollars in profits from its investments in companies including General Instrument and Gulfstream Aerospace. But the firm shut down most of its operations a decade ago after suffering losses from ill-timed bets on high-flying telecommunications companies at the height of that industry’s bubble.

    Mr. Gingrich’s involvement with the firm could complicate his attacks on Mr. Romney.

    Still, to be fair, Mr. Forstman bristled at some of the more aggressive tactics of his rivals, and once described them as “barbarians at the gate.” That phrase was used as the title of a bestselling book that detailed Mr. Forstmann’s buyout battle with Mr. Kravis for RJR Nabisco, a contest K.K.R. eventually won.

  • President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins New Hampshire But…. | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins New Hampshire But….
  • Film Attacking Romney Leaked Early – Film Attacking Romney Leaked Early – 0n to South Carolina #tcot
  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/?s=Romney+and+Kennedy&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter – Romney And Kennedy | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog:

    Annotations:

  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2012/01/10/president-2012-when-mitt-romney-came-to-town-or-will-come-crashing-down/ – President 2012: When Mitt Romney Came to Town or Will Come Crashing Down?
  • The Wait Is Over: All Time Warner Cable Customers With HBO Can Now Use HBO GO/MAX GO « Time Warner Cable Untangled – RT @jeffTWC: The Wait Is Over: All Time Warner Cable Customers Can Now Use HBO GO/MAX GO – (Please RT)
  • CA-26: Rep Elton Gallegly to Retire – Tony Strickland, Steve Bennett and Linda Parks to Run | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-26: Rep Elton Gallegly to Retire – Tony Strickland, Steve Bennett and Linda Parks to Run
  • Day By Day January 10, 2012 – Horse | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day January 10, 2012 – Horse
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-10 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-10
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-09 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-09
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-08 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-08
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Harrah’s Laughlin – Eating dinner and then football or poker. What debate? (@ Harrah’s Laughlin w/ 2 others)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Arizona State line – On the way to Nevada! (@ Arizona State line)
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-07 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-07
  • MapMyRUN – Map New Run – MapMyRUN – Map New Run:

    Annotations:

  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Santa fe, NM – Leaving Santa Fe in the morning. Laughlin and poker here I come. (@ Santa fe, NM)
  • Unemployment Rate Drop Is for Real – now 8.5% – The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 8.5% in December, while a broader measure dropped even further to 15.2% from 15.6% the prior month, both at their lowest levels since February 2009.

    While the unemployment rate has been falling in part due to people leaving the labor force, a large portion of this month’s number appears to come from people finding jobs.

    The unemployment rate is calculated based on people who are without jobs, who are available to work and who have actively sought work in the prior four weeks. The “actively looking for work” definition is fairly broad, including people who contacted an employer, employment agency, job center or friends; sent out resumes or filled out applications; or answered or placed ads, among other things. The rate is calculated by dividing that number by the total number of people in the labor force.

    In December, the household survey showed the number of people employed rose by 176,000, as the population increased by 143,000 over the month. So even though the labor force — the number of people working or looking for work — fell by 50,000, job growth is outpacing the increase in the population.

  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-06 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-06
  • Brown Seeks 7% California Spending Boost- Bloomberg – Brown Seeks 7% California Spending Boost
  • Brown Seeks 7% California Spending Boost – Governor Jerry Brown proposed $92.6 billion in spending for the year starting in July, an increase of about 7 percent, which will count on voters approving $7 billion of higher taxes in November.

    The spending plan foresees a deficit of $9.2 billion through the next 18 months. Almost half of that is in the current fiscal year, he said. He called for $4.2 billion in cuts, mostly to welfare and programs for the poor. If the tax increase isn’t passed, Brown’s plan would cut another $4.8 billion in support for public schools and community colleges.

    California is Standard & Poor’s lowest-rated state, at A-, six levels below AAA. Moody’s Investment Service grades it A1, four steps below the top rating, tied with Illinois (STOIL1) for the worst credit rating among states.

  • Small Business: Doctors going broke – Doctors in America are harboring an embarrassing secret: Many of them are going broke.

    This quiet reality, which is spreading nationwide, is claiming a wide range of casualties, including family physicians, cardiologists and oncologists.

    Industry watchers say the trend is worrisome. Half of all doctors in the nation operate a private practice. So if a cash crunch forces the death of an independent practice, it robs a community of a vital health care resource.

    “A lot of independent practices are starting to see serious financial issues,” said Marc Lion, CEO of Lion & Company CPAs, LLC, which advises independent doctor practices about their finances.

    Doctors list shrinking insurance reimbursements, changing regulations, rising business and drug costs among the factors preventing them from keeping their practices afloat. But some experts counter that doctors’ lack of business acumen is also to blame.

  • Employers close door on smokers – More job-seekers are facing an added requirement: no smoking — at work or anytime.

    As bans on smoking sweep the USA, an increasing number of employers — primarily hospitals — are also imposing bans on smokers. They won’t hire applicants whose urine tests positive for nicotine use, whether cigarettes, smokeless tobacco or even patches.

    Such tobacco-free hiring policies, designed to promote health and reduce insurance premiums, took effect this month at the Baylor Health Care System in Texas and will apply at the Hollywood Casino in Toledo, Ohio, when it opens this year.

  • New Pentagon strategy stresses Asia, cyber, drones – President Barack Obama unveiled a defense strategy on Thursday that would expand the U.S. military presence in Asia but shrink the overall size of the force as the Pentagon seeks to reduce spending by nearly half a trillion dollars after a decade of war.

    The strategy, if carried out, would significantly reshape the world’s largest military from the one that executed President George W. Bush’s “war on terrorism” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Cyberwarfare and unmanned drones would continue to grow in priority, as would countering attempts by China and Iran to block U.S. power projection capabilities in areas like the South China Sea and the Strait of Hormuz.

    But the size of the U.S. Army and Marines Corps would shrink. So too might the U.S. nuclear arsenal and the U.S. military footprint in Europe.

  • Obama: the US can no longer fight the world’s battles – The mighty American military machine that has for so long secured the country’s status as the world’s only superpower will have to be drastically reduced, Barack Obama warned yesterday as he set out a radical but more modest new set of priorities for the Pentagon over the next decade.

    After the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that defined the first decade of the 21st century, Mr Obama’s blueprint for the military’s future acknowledged that America will no longer have the resources to conduct two such major operations simultaneously.

    Instead, the US military will lose up to half a million troops and will focus on countering terrorism and meeting the new challenges of an emergent Asia dominated by China. America, the President said, was “turning the page on a decade of war” and now faced “a moment of transition”. The country’s armed forces would in future be leaner but, Mr Obama pointedly warned both friends and foes, sufficient to preserve US military superiority over any rival – “agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats”.

  • Mitt Romney’s the nominee: The Republican primary race is over. – Is there anyone not annoyed by Mitt Romney’s narrow win in the Iowa caucus? Conservatives are disappointed because they recognize that the former Massachusetts governor, who used to be pro-choice and was for Obamacare before it was called that, is only pretending to be one of them. Seventy-five percent of Iowa’s Republican voters wanted someone further to the right. But because their votes were divided among too many weak and weird candidates, the only moderate running in their state came out on top.

    Liberals are bummed because Romney is the strongest potential challenger to President Obama. This shows up clearly in head-to-head polls, which put Romney tied with or slightly ahead of Obama, while other Republican contenders trail by 10 points or more. It was hard for Obama campaign officials to suppress their glee last month when Newt Gingrich, the only even remotely plausible alternative to Romney, briefly ran at the head of the pack. But even they knew this was a momentary aberration. Short of Republicans committing collective suicide by picking someone else, Democrats would like to see Romney win the nomination after a protracted, costly struggle that would deplete his financial resources, sully his image, and drag him further to the right. Today, that scenario looks less likely.

  • Richard Cordray & the Use and Abuse of Executive Power – Some think me a zealous advocate of executive power, and often I am when it comes to national security issues. But I think President Obama has exceeded his powers by making a recess appointment for Richard Cordray (whom I respect and have no problems with as a nominee) to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Any private party can challenge this nomination by refusing to obey any regulation issued by the agency as the act of an unconstitutional officer. As a result, this may be the first time that Richard Epstein and I get to represent someone in court together!
  • Day By Day January 4, 2012 – Bupkis | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day January 4, 2012 – Bupkis
  • Obama Begins 2012 at 46% Job Approval – Obama Begins 2012 at 46% Job Approval
  • Obama Begins 2012 at 46% Job Approval – Obama Begins 2012 at 46% Job Approval
  • Obama Begins 2012 at 46% Job Approval – RT @gallupnews: Obama Begins 2012 at 46% Job Approval… #Obama #Gallup
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Alburquerque, NM – On to Santa Fe (@ Alburquerque, NM)
  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2012/01/05/flap-twitter-updates-for-2012-01-05/ – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-05
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Grants – Albuquerque here we come (@ Grants)