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 8, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

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

The Morning Flap: February 7, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for February 6th through February 7th:

  • Obama super PAC decision: President blesses fundraising for Priorities USA Action – President Barack Obama — in an act of hypocrisy or necessity, depending on the beholder — has reversed course and is now blessing the efforts of a sputtering super PAC, Priorities USA Action, organized to fight GOP dark-money attacks.

    On Monday morning, Obama reviled the “negative” tone of the super PACs, a dominant fundraising source in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. But by the evening, word leaked to POLITICO that Obama had offered his support for Priorities USA Action, which thus far has raised a fraction of what GOP-backed groups have raked in.

    Obama’s top campaign staff and even some Cabinet members will appear at super PAC events. The president himself will not address super PAC donors, although there’s nothing to legally prohibit the president, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden from expressing their support for the group — as GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney has done for the super PAC that backs him.

    “We decided to do this because we can’t afford for the work you’re doing in your communities, and the grass-roots donations you give to support it, to be destroyed by hundreds of millions of dollars in negative ads,” campaign manager Jim Messina told supporters in an email Monday night.

    The timing of the announcement seemed rushed, several Democrats told POLITICO. It was made in a 10 p.m. call to Obama’s top bundlers, known as the National Finance Committee. Several party fundraisers raised the possibility that the campaign wanted to offset bad publicity generated by a Monday New York Times story, which reported that the campaign had returned $200,000 to the family of a wealthy Mexican fugitive seeking a pardon for drug and other criminal convictions.

  • Obama campaign to support super PAC fundraising – In a change of position, Barack Obama’s reelection campaign will begin using administration and campaign aides to fundraise for Priorities USA Action, a super PAC backing the president.

    Obama has been an outspoken critic of current campaign financing laws, in particular a Supreme Court ruling that allowed the creation of super PACs. Until now he has kept his distance from Priorities USA Action.

    But in the wake of the group’s anemic fundraising, made public last week, the campaign decided to change its position, and announced the new stance to members of its national finance committee Monday evening.

    Two Obama campaign aides confirmed that senior campaign and administration officials who participate at fundraising events for the president’s campaign will also appear at events for Priorities USA Action, the PAC supporting Obama.

    “This decision was not made overnight,” one campaign official said. “ The money raised and spent by Republican super PACs is very telling. We will not unilaterally disarm.”

    The president, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will not appear at super PAC events, the aides said.

    In an e-mail to supporters, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said the decision was a reaction to massive fundraising posted by super PACs supporting GOP presidential candidates.

  • Judge Michael Hawkins Is No “Moderate” – Lyle Denniston’s SCOTUSblog preview of tomorrow’s Ninth Circuit ruling in the Prop 8 case includes the assertion that one of the panel members, Clinton appointee Michael D. Hawkins, “is considered to be a moderate.” Hawkins has described himself that way—“I think of myself as being entirely moderate in all things”—but even he has hastened to add the disclaimer, “but others might say otherwise.” Indeed, they might.

    As I reported when the panel members were initially made public, a source I trust told me that of the nearly 50 active and senior judges then on the Ninth Circuit, there were only five or six other judges who were as aggressively and reflexively leftist as Hawkins and his fellow panel member, the ultraliberal Stephen Reinhardt.

  • Prop. 8: Final ruling due – The Ninth Circuit Court will issue a ruling tomorrow — apparently, in a single opinion — to decide the challenge to California’s ban on same-sex marriage, approved by the state’s voters more than three years ago. In a brief announcement Monday, the Circuit Court said it would issue an opinion at 1 p.m. Tuesday Washington time (10 a.m. in San Francisco) dealing both with the constitutionality of the measure (“Proposition 8″) and with the issue of whether the trial judge should have disqualified himself from the case.

    The three-judge panel actually has three issues before it: whether the backers of Proposition 8 had a legal right to appeal the District Court ruling striking down Proposition 8 (the “standing” issue), whether — if “standing” to appeal did exist — the ballot measure is unconstitutional, and whether now-retired District Judge Vaughn R. Walker should have recused and thus whether his ruling should now be vacated by the Circuit Court.

    Although the wording of the announcement Monday was not entirely clear and made no promises about the scope of the ruling, it could be interpreted as indicating that the panel will find that the measure’s proponents did have the right to appeal, and thus the panel would be free to move on to rule on the merits and on the disqualification issue. Given the makeup of the panel and the past records of the three judges, the chances would appear to be quite strong that Proposition 8 would be struck down.

  • Michelle Malkin » Fisker Auto Announces Layoffs; Requests Expedited Access to Full Dept. of Energy Loan Guarantee – Fisker Automotive, which was granted a $529 million US Dept. of Energy loan guarantee and then announced they would assemble the first line of cars in Finland, has announced layoffs at a Delaware plant that has yet to produce a single car:

    The company says 26 Fisker employees have been let go from the Delaware factory where renowned automotive engineer Henrik Fisker promised to one day begin producing affordable electric sedans. A Delaware newspaper also reported that subcontractors working on the car venture have been let go.

    “It’s temporary,” said Roger Ormisher, a company spokesman. “We’re being prudent and sensible as a company.”

    Because the initial phase sounds like it’s been such an unqualified success, the company is asking for terms of the federal loan to be altered so the company can have faster access to their line of time-released taxpayer-backed credit:

  • Continetti: Combat Journalism | Washington Free Beacon – We can pinpoint the moment that foretold the arrival of combat journalism. At 11:59 p.m. on September 8, 2004, a pseudonymous blogger on FreeRepublic.com accused 60 Minutes of publicizing forged documents to cast suspicion on President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard in the early 1970s. The charge was publicized by conservative new media and soon proved correct: CBS was flaunting materials that had been produced using technology unavailable during the twilight of the Vietnam War. The ensuing backlash claimed the jobs of four at CBS and pushed anchor Dan Rather into early retirement. Conservatives had used the techniques of investigative journalism—documentary research, interviews, detailed reporting on the minutiae of typography and word processing—to debunk a media smear and force CBS and the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry into a defensive crouch.
  • Religious conservatives play culture war defense – Between the media’s uproar after a cancer-research charity temporarily suspended grants to the nation’s leading abortion provider, and the Obama administration’s recent decision to force Catholic schools to pay for 100 percent of their employees’ contraception, the last two weeks have helped clarify the shape of the culture war in America today.

    The battleground is this: The Secular Left is on the offensive, while the oft-demonized Religious Right is mostly playing defense, trying to preserve the liberty of religious adherents to conduct their lives according to their own consciences.

    “The right’s recent jihad against Planned Parenthood is about as loathsome as anything I’ve ever seen come out of them,” seethed Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum after Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a leading breast-cancer charity, briefly decided to not give new grants to Planned Parenthood for the coming year.

    Drum was writing about conservatives’ opposition to taxpayer subsidies for Planned Parenthood, and, in this case, a charity under pressure from pro-lifers temporarily suspending funding for the abortion provider. It’s a peculiar “jihad” whose main weapon is refusing to give away your money to the enemy.

  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-07 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-07
  • Vital Signs: Egg Recall; Overweight Pets; the Health of Football Players – Nicholas Jackson – Health – The Atlantic – 53 — Percentage of adult dogs in U.S. homes that are classified as overweight or obese: #VitalSigns
  • Big Day for Santorum? – Public Policy Polling – RT @ppppolls: Santorum likely to win Missouri where he has 45% to 32% for Mitt Romney and 19% for Ron Paul:
  • California Proposition 8 on Gay Marriage to Be Ruled Unconstitutional Tomorrow? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – California Proposition 8 on Gay Marriage to Be Ruled Unconstitutional Tomorrow?
  • Prop 8 Merits Ruling Tomorrow – The Ninth Circuit has announced that it expects to issue tomorrow—by 10 a.m. Pacific time, 1 p.m. Eastern—its ruling on the merits of the Prop 8 appeal. Its opinion will address both the constitutionality of Prop 8 and the question whether former judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling should be vacated because of his failure to recuse.

    As I’ve said, I think that it’s a sure thing that Judge Reinhardt and Judge Hawkins will vote to affirm Walker’s ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. I expect that they will stay their ruling from taking effect until the process of Supreme Court review is complete.

  • Los Angeles Roadrunners Run/Walk 5 at Dodger Stadium – February 4, 2012 | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Los Angeles Roadrunners Run/Walk 5 at Dodger Stadium – February 4, 2012
  • High-speed rail tapped state funds for unusual lobbying contract – In an extremely unusual use of taxpayer money, the leaders behind California’s $99 billion high-speed train quietly hired a lobbyist to sway the Legislature — the same politicians who appointed them to build the project in the first place.
    Documents filed this week show the California High-Speed Rail Authority last year paid $161,103 to one of the country’s biggest public relations firms to lobby the state’s politicians as they consider spending $2.7 billion to launch the polarizing bullet train project.
    Rail officials paid the lobbyists by issuing debt that will total about $300,000 with interest. It must be paid back through California’s impoverished general fund budget.
    High-speed rail officials defended the spending as a “vital need” when their staff was too small. But both Democratic and Republican lawmakers and even die-hard bullet train backers decried the lobbying as a wasteful and unethical use of taxpayer funds, saying it essentially amounts to the state spending money to lobby itself.
    “That is appalling to me. I’ve never heard of such a thing,” said Quentin Kopp, who helped launch the rail authority and was its longtime chairman before retiring in March. He said he never approved the expenses and that the state should go to court to keep the money. “That’s nonsense, absolutely nonsense. It’s embarrassing.”
  • Obama administration rejects California’s Medi-Cal copays – Federal health officials rejected California’s bid to charge Medi-Cal copayments for everything from drugs to hospital visits, dealing a new blow to the state budget but relief to low-income patients and their providers.

    Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers relied on mandatory Medi-Cal copayments to save $511 million in last year’s state budget and presumed that the state would continue saving in future years.

    The governor’s latest budget, which estimates a $9.2 billion deficit, acknowledges the lost savings in 2011-12. But it is relying on $296 million to help balance next year’s budget, according to Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer.

  • Who is Bankrolling Governor Jerry Brown’s November Tax Initiative? » Flap’s California Blog – Who is Bankrolling Governor Jerry Brown’s November Tax Initiative? #catcot #tcot
  • Why Did Ann Coulter Bother to Endorse Mitt Romney? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Why Did Ann Coulter Bother to Endorse Mitt Romney?
  • Ventura City Councilman Neal Andrews to Announce for Ventura County Supervisor » Flap’s California Blog – Ventura City Councilman Neal Andrews to Announce for Ventura County Supervisor » Flap’s California Blog –
  • The American Spectator : Who Castrated Ann Coulter? – Who Castrated Ann Coulter? #tcot
  • State of Texas Encouraging Teens to Get Pregnant for Orthodontic Braces? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – State of Texas Encouraging Teens to Get Pregnant for Orthodontic Braces?
  • Crooked Teeth Video: The Investigative Story of the Texas Orthodontic Medicaid FLAP | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Crooked Teeth Video: The Investigative Story of the Texas Orthodontic Medicaid FLAP
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 6, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 6, 2012 #tcot #catcot
  • CA-26 Video: An Interview with Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks » Flap’s California Blog – CA-26 Video: An Interview with Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks » Flap’s California Blog
  • Greeks Inch Closer to Default – Megan McArdle – Business – The Atlantic – Greeks Inch Closer to Default – Megan McArdle – Business – The Atlantic –
  • The Morning Flap: February 6, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: February 6, 2012
  • In Arizona, Obama Approval at 41% – 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.

Flap’s Links and Comments for March 9th on 15:22

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for March 9th from 15:22 to 15:28:

  • California Census 2010: Where the Children Aren’t – Children are a disappearing presence in the Bay Area, the 2010 census shows, with slow growth or a net loss of the under-18 set in the region's nine counties, as families with young children move to areas with cheaper housing and better job opportunities. But diversity of the youth population is increasing as white and black families leave and are replaced by Asian and Latino families with young kids.

    The drop in the overall population of children in the Bay Area would have been greater if not for the increased numbers of two particular groups: Asians and Latinos. In several counties, in fact, the loss of black and white children was mostly balanced out by the increase of Asian and Latino children.

    ======

    Not too many children in San Francisco with all of the gays who have migrated there either.

  • CA GOP issues formal invite to Jerry Brown: Come out from "behind your picnic table" and debate Norquist – In a move that ramps up a high profile battle of words over the state budget, the California State Republican Party has formally issued an invitation to Gov. Jerry Brown to "come out from your office picnic table" and attend the party's upcoming state convention in Sacramento — to debate anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist.

    We just got hold of the letter being delivered to Brown's office from state party chair Ron Nehring, who says Americans for Tax Reform President Norquist has already agreed to debate the governor, if it can be arranged at the three day state GOP convention scheduled March 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento. Democrats, including Brown and state party chair John Burton, have been engaged in a verbal tug of war with Norquist over the issue of a special election to let voters decide on tax extensions.

    ========

    Jerry Brown just might do it but I would rather have John Burton since he would try to fight Grover after the word exchange. and, I would like to see that.

  • Will Another Dream Fade? Obama Should Endorse Same-Sex Marriages for Immigration Purposes – The way out of this inequity is the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). UAFA would allow U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration to the United States. In the last Congress, UAFA was introduced in the House by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Mike Honda (D-CA) and in the Senate by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Over 120 co-sponsors signed on in House and more than 20 co-sponsors in the Senate.

    UAFA would amend the immigration laws by simply adding the term "permanent partner" in sections where "spouse" appears, thus ensuring that a non-citizen permanent partner may receive the same immigration benefits that a non-citizen spouse now receives.

    In the lame-duck session of Congress this past December, the DREAM Act that would have legalized undocumented youngsters who have graduated from high school in the United States went down in a disappointing defeat. The Obama Administration's late, but strong, support for the measure proved insufficient. With little hope for comprehensive immigration reform on the horizon, will the administration at the very least step forward to announce support for UAFA and get the ball rolling on this important effort? Let's hope so.

    =======

    It is called the Defense of Marriage Act and unless it is repealed or SCOTUS declares it uncosntitutional, it is the law of the land.

    End of story.

    This legislation will never become law with a GOP House – thank goodness.

Flap’s Links and Comments for February 28th from 09:52 to 09:56

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for February 28th from 09:52 to 09:56:

  • Speaker Boehner: House likely to defend Defense of Marraige Act since Justice Dept. won’t – The House is likely to take steps to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in an interview posted Monday.

    Boehner, the leader of the Republican-held House, said he and and his members are considering a number of options to defend DOMA after President Obama ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the 1990s law in court.

    ++++++++

    As they should.

  • Dem Rep. david Wu says he was hospitalized in 2008 for reaction to mental-health drug – U.S. Rep. David Wu says he was hospitalized after his 2008 campaign for symptoms that later were diagnosed as a reaction to a common mental health drug.

    The Oregon Democrat said he felt dizzy and confused on Election Day that year, a period of time when his staff and family have said they were unable to find him.

    "It came up that afternoon, and it knocked me off my can," Wu said, referring to the symptoms.

    Wu discussed his mental health Sunday in an interview with The Associated Press at his Portland office, offering more details of his psychiatric treatment since reports first surfaced last month of bizarre behavior.

    +++++

    Read it all.

    Of course, he will NOT resign.

Flap’s Links for February 24th from 14:06 to 14:17

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for February 24th from 14:06 to 14:17:

  • Follow the Money – Who Benefits from the Public Employee Unions? – Everyone has priorities. During the past week, Barack Obama has found no time to condemn the attacks that Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi has launched on the Libyan people.

    But he did find time to be interviewed by a Wisconsin television station and weigh in on the dispute between Republican governor Scott Walker and the state’s public-employee unions. Walker was staging “an assault on unions,” he said, and added that “public employee unions make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens.”

    Enormous contributions, yes — to the Democratic party and the Obama campaign. Unions, most of whose members are public employees, gave Democrats some $400 million in the 2008 election cycle. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the biggest public-employee union, gave Democrats $90 million in the 2010 cycle.

    “Follow the money,” Washington reporters like to say. The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every penny of dues paid to public-employee unions — who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all of it for Democrats. In effect, public-employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic party.

    So, just as the president complained in his 2010 State of the Union address about a Supreme Court decision that he feared would increase the flow of money to Republicans, he also found time to complain about a proposed state law that could reduce the flow of money to Democrats.

    And, according to the Washington Post, he had time enough to get the Democratic National Committee to organize protests against the proposed Wisconsin law — protests that showed contempt for the law, with teachers abandoning classrooms, doctors writing phony medical excuses, Democratic legislators fleeing the state and holing up in a motel. The lawmakers played hooky without losing any salary, which is protected by the state constitution.

    It’s true that Walker’s proposals would strike hard at the power of the public-employee unions. They would no longer have the right to bargain for fringe benefits, which are threatening to bankrupt the state government, and they would no longer be able to count on government withholding dues money and passing it along to them.

    But what are the contributions that public-employee unions make to our states and our citizens? Their incentives are to increase the cost of government and reduce toward zero the accountability of public employees — both contrary to the interests of taxpaying citizens.

    ++++++

    Read it all

  • Obama’s Gay-Marriage Striptease – The Obama administration’s announcement today that it regards the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional and will not defend it in court is the latest act in a striptease. President Obama favors same-sex marriage — favors its judicial imposition — and is casting off the disguises that have hidden that position one by one.

    The portion of the Defense of Marriage Act on which the administration just opined defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman for the purposes of federal law. So if a state court declares that in Massachusetts men can marry each other, its edict does not require the federal government to provide spousal benefits under Social Security to such couples. Obama, while claiming to oppose same-sex marriage, has also favored repeal of this act.

    ++++++

    Read it all

  • President 2012: Mike Huckabee defends Obama on Jeremiah Wright – In an interview with Christianity Today, Mike Huckabee denounces the line of attack that Republicans opened up against Obama in 2008 concerning his controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright. Huckabee, on Obama:

    He's been very expressive in his statements, even at the Saddleback Forum when he ran in 2008. He spelled out very clearly what his view was, and frankly, it's inappropriate , wrong-headed, and not helpful to the overall discussion when people try to say he doesn't have a birth certificate or he's a Muslim. To me that demeans the entire real discussion—what is he proposing and whether it's good for the country—that ought to be the centerpiece for our entire conversation, not what did he hear when he sat in church. If people went back and heard every sermon I heard when I was a little kid and some of the more fundamentalist pastors were yelling from the pulpit at me, if they took every one of those sermons and lifted out of them certain phrases and things, it could be scandalous, but only out of the context of the bigger picture. That's why I thought that a lot of the focus on Jeremiah Wright was misplaced.

    ++++++

    Still think Huckabee is running for President in 2012?

    Mike will have a hard time winning the GOP nomination and he will not readily give up his fat paycheck at Fox News.

  • Watchdog calls for criminal probe of Governor Walker over prank Koch call – A Washington-based campaign finance watchdog group is calling on Wisconsin prosecutors to launch an investigation of Governor Scott Walker, alleging potentially illegal fundraising activity in an exchange with the prankster who posed as billionaire David Koch, the group says.

    The Public Campaign Action Fund provided me with a letter it has sent to the Dane County District Attorney, who has jurisdiction over state government matters, asking him to probe whether Walker engaged in an effort to solicit "illegal coordinated political spending," as well as whether he illegally did so from state property, i.e., his office.

    +++++++

    Greg Sargent is a lackey for the Far Left and what else do you expect from the Fleebag LEFT.

    This is as stupid as it is moronic.