The Morning Flap: February 29, 2012

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

A Barred Owl is shown near Mount Vernon, Va. To save the endangered spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a plan to shoot barred owls, a rival bird that has shoved its smaller cousin aside. The plan is the latest government attempt to protect the northern spotted owl, the meek, one-pound bird that sparked an epic battle over logging in the Pacific Northwest two decades ago.

These are my links for February 28th through February 29th:

  • Rules Chairman Dreier announces retirement after 16 House terms – House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) on Wednesday morning announced from the House floor that he would not seek reelection this year.

    “We all know that this institution has an abysmally low approval rating, and the American people are asking for change in Congress, and so I’m announcing today that I will leave the Congress at the end of this year,” the 16-term member joked.

  • Students, police clash in Spanish city Barcelona – Spanish students angry over austerity measures have clashed with police in Barcelona and set fire to garbage containers.

    Police said officers in riot gear charged against a crowd of students outside the stock market in Spain’s second largest city in the country’s northeast and made an unspecified number of arrests. They had broken away from a larger rally of thousands of striking students.

    The fire set to the containers spread to a car and protesters smashed a bank window.

    Some later made their way toward the University of Barcelona and took refuge in a plaza inside the campus.

  • Obama administration plan would kill rival bird to save spotted owl – To save the imperiled spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a controversial plan to shoot barred owls, a rival bird that has shoved its smaller cousin aside.

    The plan is the latest federal attempt to protect the northern spotted owl, the passive, one-pound bird that sparked an epic battle over logging in the Pacific Northwest two decades ago.

  • Catholic school fires gay teacher planning wedding – The Rev. Bill Kempf, St. Ann’s pastor, said in an emailed statement that the parish was “recently informed by one of its teachers of his plan to unite in marriage with an individual of the same sex. With full respect of this individual’s basic human dignity, this same-sex union opposes Roman Catholic teaching as it cannot realize the full potential a marital relationship is meant to express. As a violation of the Christian Witness Statement that all Catholic educators in the Archdiocese of St. Louis are obliged to uphold, we relieved this teacher of his duties.”

    The Christian Witness Statement, which educators sign when applying for Archdiocese work, says all who serve in Catholic education should, among other requirements, “not take a public position contrary to the Catholic Church” and “demonstrate a public life consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

    The Roman Catholic Church does not condemn homosexuals who remain “chaste,” but it takes a strong stance against same-sex marriage and homosexual acts.

    Robin said his partner did, indeed, sign a witness statement. “We just didn’t realize we were making a ‘public’ stand,” Robin said. “There’s nothing that’s been hidden about our relationship at any point. I go to the staff parties. I show up at the school concerts. … It doesn’t matter until somebody with the Archdiocese is sitting in the room.”

  • Romney Camp Will Haunt Santorum With Robocall Story – Mitt Romney’s campaign will spend the next two weeks reminding Republicans around the country of Rick Santorum’s last-minute attempt to convince Democrats to vote for him her ein Michigan, a Romney aide said Tuesday night.
    “It’s a major issue. [Santorum is] trying to pass himself off as the true conservative in the race, but he’s supporting the liberal Democrat line against Governor Romney,” said Ryan Williams, a spokesman for the Romney campaign.
    He added of Santorum’s efforts to find Democratic help in the state’s open primary: “This isn’t going anywhere.”
    A campaign aide said Romney may even work Santorum’s courting of Democrats into Romney’s stump speech going forward.
  • Worried Dems pressing Obama on gas prices – Congressional Democrats are ramping up pressure on President Obama to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to prevent rising gas prices from threatening the economy and their election-year prospects.

    They are growing anxious that the price of fuel could reverse their political fortunes, which had been improving due to signs of growth in the economy.

    Republicans have hammered Democrats on the price spike, repeatedly noting that gas prices — now at $3.72 per gallon for regular — have doubled since Obama won the White House. 

  • AD-38 Video: Patricia McKeon Tells the Tea Party Why She is Running for the California Assembly » Flap’s California Blog – RE: Dude, Patricia McKeon is an embarrassment to the Republican Brand.

    No, wonder GOP registration has fallen to 30…

  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-29 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-29
  • Day By Day February 29, 2012 – Par for the Course | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day February 29, 2012 – Par for the Course
  • Romney’s sigh of relief – Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball – Phew!

    The sound you hear is the loud sigh of relief from the Romney campaign. A great deal was on the line in the oddest of places — the state of his birth, the state where his dad served as governor, the state he won against John McCain four years ago. A few months ago, no one could have imagined Mitt Romney being hard-pressed in Michigan, and yet it happened.

    Rick Santorum may have lost by a few points, but he scored a moral victory by making Romney work for the Wolverine State. This was a real contest that Santorum might have won had Romney not put the pedal to the metal. After all, based on pre-primary surveys and exit polling, Santorum won the actual Election Day vote, suggesting both that Romney’s superior organization delivered for him again in absentee balloting but also that among the party faithful who simply showed up on Election Day, Romney continues to have considerable problems.

  • 53% of Self-Identified Democrats Voted for Santorum – CBS News’ Exit Poll finds that 9 percent of respondents identified themselves as Democrats. Among that group, 3 percent voted for New Gingrich, 17 percent each for Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, and 53 percent for Rick Santorum.
  • How Can Twitter Possibly Help Small Businesses? | Networking Exchange Blog – How Can Twitter Possibly Help Small Businesses? | Networking Exchange Blog
  • Analysis: Super Tuesday won’t help clear up GOP race – Analysis: Super Tuesday won’t help clear up GOP race
  • Romney regains footing, shifts focus to Obama – Romney regains footing, shifts focus to Obama
  • Memo to Republicans: Ignore Ron Paul at your peril – Memo to Republicans: Ignore Ron Paul at your peril
  • Today in Research: Universal Flu Vaccines Might Actually Work – The Atlantic Wire – Health – The Atlantic – RT @TheAtlanticHLTH Minty nicotine mouth sprays may help smokers quit:
  • Christie As VP Doesn’t Help Romney – Quinnipiac University Poll – Romney will need to balance his ticket with either Marco Rubio, Susan Martinez, Gary Sandoval or Rand Paul
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-29 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-02-29
  • Can You Balance California’s Budget? » Flap’s California Blog – Can You Balance California’s Budget?
  • President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins the Michigan Primary Election | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins the Michigan Primary Election
  • Update: Romney Wins Michigan – President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Big in Arizona – Michigan Too Close to Call | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Update: Romney Wins Michigan – President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Big in Arizona – Michigan Too Close to Call
  • The Mounting Minuses at Google+ – WSJ.com – To hear Google Inc. Chief Executive Larry Page tell it, Google+ has become a robust competitor in the social networking space, with 90 million users registering since its June launch.

    But those numbers mask what’s really going on at Google+.

  • President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Big in Arizona – Michigan Too Close to Call | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Big in Arizona – Michigan Too Close to Call
  • World business, finance, and political news from the Financial Times – FT.com – Democrats grow confident of House win –
  • Democrats grow confident of House win – FT.com – Democrats grow confident of House win
  • Democrats grow confident of House win – Democrats say they are optimistic that they can regain control of the House of Representatives in the November election, an outcome that would mark a sharp reversal from the thumping defeat dealt to the party in 2010.

    “We’ve gone from a gale force wind against us to a sustained breeze at our backs,” said Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on Tuesday.

  • Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe to retire in blow to GOP – In announcing her plans, Snowe, 65, emphasized that she is in good health and was prepared for the campaign ahead. But she said she was swayed by the increasing polarization in Washington.

    “Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,” Snowe said in a statement. “So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail.”

    Snowe’s retirement represents a major setback for the GOP’s efforts to regain a majority in the Senate. As a moderate Republican, she may be the party’s only hope to hold a seat in the strongly blue state.

    Republicans did get some traction in the state in 2010, including electing Republican Paul LePage as governor.

    But in a more neutral political environment, and in a federal race, Democrats will be heavy favorites to steal this seat from Republicans — their best pickup opportunity in the country, for sure.

  • Low Michigan turnout blamed on little interest, ballot confusion | Detroit Free Press | freep.com – Low Michigan turnout blamed on little interest, ballot confusion
  • AD-38: Patricia McKeon Answers Questions from The Simi Valley Tea Party » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Patricia McKeon Answers Questions from The Simi Valley Tea Party
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The National Association of Dental Laboratories Honors Award Winners at Vision 21 Meeting in Las Vegas – The National Association of Dental Laboratories Honors Award Winners at Vision 21 Meeting in Las Vegas
  • The Afternoon Flap: February 28, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Afternoon Flap: February 28, 2012
  • President Obama Suggests Romney Shoveling ‘A Load of You-Know-What’ – As Michigan Republicans headed to the polls Tuesday morning, President Obama delivered an aggressive defense of the bailout of the auto industry and his presidency in general, harshly criticizing GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney – though he never mentioned him by name.

    “I’ve got to admit, it’s been funny to watch some of these folks completely try to rewrite history now that you’re back on your feet,” the president said to a raucous crowd at the United Auto Workers Convention. “The same folks who said if we went forward with our plan to rescue Detroit, ‘you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.’”

  • Reid blasts Romney on Senate floor – There’s no mistake who Harry Reid’s political target is as Republican voters head to the polls today in Arizona and Michigan.

    On Monday, the Senate majority leader held a conference call blasting GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for touting endorsements from immigration “extremists” like Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. And on the Senate floor Tuesday, Reid attacked Romney’s opposition to President Barack Obama’s bailouts that many credit for saving the Detroit auto industry.

    “I’m sorry to say that life support system that the Detroit auto industry was surviving on, Republicans wanted to pull the plug. One man who is now seeking the Republican nomination for president of the United States said, ‘We should kiss the automobile industry goodbye,’” Reid said, without naming Romney.

    “He called the death of American auto manufacturers ‘virtually guaranteed,’ another direct quote. And so he argued we should just let Detroit go bankrupt,” he added. “But he wasn’t alone. Republicans in this chamber agreed, many of them agreed, Democrats weren’t willing to give up on American manufacturing” and manufacturing jobs.

  • The Michigan primary: Five counties to watch – Voters in Michigan head to the polls today, carrying the fate of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s presidential bid in their hands. Win Michigan and, as expected, Arizona, and Romney almost certainly reasserts himself as the clear frontrunner in the Republican race. Lose Michigan and the calls for Romney to reconsider his candidacy will begins. It’s that simple.
  • Low Michigan turnout blamed on little interest, ballot confusion – Turn-out in today’s presidential primary election looks to be about the same or less than it was four years ago, according to a sampling of clerks in key precincts the Free Press is using to analyze the vote.

    “The absentee voter ballot requests are pretty much the same as last time,” said Farmington Hills City Clerk Pam Smith. “We’re right on par with that and we’re planning for that kind of turnout.”

    Smith said there were no reported problems at precincts this morning and she expected to get updates later in the day on how many people voted in person.

The Morning Flap: December 27, 2011

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for December 22nd through December 27th:

  • Gingrich ’06 Memo: “Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney” on Health Care – To conservatives, the biggest strike against Mitt Romney is the health care plan he put in place in Massachusetts, but Newt Gingrich lavished praise on Romney’s plan after it was passed in 2006.

    “We agree entirely with Governor Romney and Massachusetts legislators that our goal should be 100 percent insurance coverage for all Americans,” Gingrich wrote in 2006.

    And, Gingrich wrote, the key to achieving that goal was doing what Romney did in Massachusetts: Requiring everybody who could afford it to buy health insurance. In fact, Gingrich makes an impassioned case for the so-called individual mandate — which is also at the center of President Obama’s health plan — on conservative grounds.

    “We also believe strongly that personal responsibility is vital to creating a 21st Century Intelligent Health System,” Gingrich wrote in the memo which was found on an old Gingrich website by the Wall Street Journal’s Brody Mullins and Janet Adamy.
    ”Individuals who can afford to purchase health insurance and simply choose not to place an unnecessary burden on a system that is on the verge of collapse; these free-riders undermine the entire health system by placing the onus of responsibility on taxpayers.”

  • Gingrich Defended Individual Mandate – A newly-unearthed video from 2008 shows Newt Gingrich passionately defending the individual health care insurance mandate.
  • How Can Romney Lose? – The conventional wisdom on the Republican nomination race has once again shifted. In the span of just two weeks, Mitt Romney has gone from seeming quite vulnerable to the near-inevitable Republican nominee. The odds attributed to Mr. Romney winning the nomination at the betting market Intrade, which closed at a low of 42 percent on Dec. 13, had shot up to 72 percent as of Monday night.

    I don’t know that Mr. Romney’s stock is mispriced — if anything, it might be a little cheap. It’s not that Mr. Romney is all that strong a candidate. But for him to fail to win the nomination, someone else has to, and it’s hard to see who that is.

  • Job Creation Is Price for New U.S. Health Law – I am not an expert on health-care policy, but I do know something about job creation. So when a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee asked me to testify about the effect on employers of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes known as Obamacare, I thought I could offer some insights.

    As I told the committee in a July 28 hearing, it is critical that Congress does a good job of balancing the benefits of new legislation against the costs of that legislation. That process begins with recognizing that laws like Obamacare come at a price.

    Our company, CKE Restaurants Inc., employs about 21,000 people (our franchisees employ 49,000 more) in Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants. For months, we have been working with Mercer Health & Benefits LLC, our health-care consultant, to identify Obamacare’s potential financial impact on CKE. Mercer estimated that when the law is fully implemented our health-care costs will increase about $18 million a year. That would put our total health-care costs at $29.8 million, a 150 percent increase from the roughly $12 million we spent last year.

    The money to cover our increased expenses will have to come from somewhere. We are a profitable company and, after paying our obligations, we reinvest our earnings in the business. Reinvesting in the business is how we grow, create jobs and opportunity. This is true for most U.S. businesses.

  • Obama to ask for debt limit hike: Treasury official – The White House plans to ask Congress by the end of the week for an increase in the government’s debt ceiling to allow the United States to pay its bills on time, according to a senior Treasury Department official on Tuesday.
    The approval is expected to go through without a challenge, given that Congress is in recess until later in January and the request is in line with an agreement to keep the U.S. government funded into 2013.
    The debt is projected to fall within $100 billion of the current cap by December 30, when the United States has $82 billion in interest on its debt and payments such as Social Security coming due. President Barack Obama is expected to ask for authority to increase the borrowing limit by $1.2 trillion, part of the spending authority that was negotiated between Congress and the White House this summer.
  • How to Ace a Google Interview – Imagine a man named Jim. He’s applying for a job at Google. Jim knows that the odds are stacked against him. Google receives a million job applications a year. It’s estimated that only about 1 in 130 applications results in a job. By comparison, about 1 in 14 high-school students applying to Harvard gets accepted.

    Jim’s first interviewer is late and sweaty: He’s biked to work. He starts with some polite questions about Jim’s work history. Jim eagerly explains his short career. The interviewer doesn’t look at him. He’s tapping away at his laptop, taking notes. “The next question I’m going to ask,” he says, “is a little unusual.”

    You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and thrown into a blender. Your mass is reduced so that your density is the same as usual. The blades start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?

  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-25 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-25
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – Breakfast after 8 miles in Santa Monica with Tara, Alice, Nancy and Mary (@ Ronnie’s Diner w/ 2 others)
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-24 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-24
  • Merry Christmas 2011 » Flap’s California Blog – Merry Christmas 2011
  • Dilbert December 23, 2011 – Green Paradox » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert December 23, 2011 – Green Paradox
  • (404) http://t.co/EjvcenT6%E2%80%9D – What?????| “@EWErickson: RT @allahpundit: Romney: I won’t rule out a VAT
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Merry Christmas 2011 – Merry Christmas 2011
  • Google Doodles: 12 Years of Holiday Magic [PICS] – RT @mashable: Google Doodles: 12 Years of Holiday Magic [PICS] –
  • Day By Day December 23, 2011 – Hue Back When | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day December 23, 2011 – Hue Back When
  • Google – Google:

    Annotations:

  • Las Vegas News, Business, Entertainment Information – ReviewJournal.com – Obama the one to beat in Nevada, poll shows – News –
  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2011/12/23/flap-twitter-updates-for-2011-12-23-2/ – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-23
  • Untitled (http://www.techmeme.com/111222/p72#a111222p72) – A Step-by-Step Guide to Transfer Domains Out Of GoDaddy (@jeff_epstein / livin’ the dream)
  • livin’ the dream · A Step-by-Step Guide to Transfer Domains Out Of GoDaddy – A Step-by-Step Guide to Transfer Domains Out Of GoDaddy (@jeff_epstein / livin’ the dream)
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Social Media Persecution of Dr. Edward Dove Continues – The Social Media Persecution of Dr. Edward Dove Continues
  • Obama the one to beat in Nevada, poll shows – News – ReviewJournal.com – Obama the one to beat in Nevada, poll shows & Romney has small edge over Gingrich
  • House GOP Blinks and Accepts Senate Passed Two Month Extension of Payroll Tax Cut | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – House GOP Blinks and Accepts Senate Passed Two Month Extension of Payroll Tax Cut
  • Congress considers anti-piracy bills that could cripple Internet industries – Imagine a world where YouTube, Flickr, Facebook or Twitter had never been created due to the cost of regulatory compliance. Imagine an Internet where any website where users can upload text, pictures or video is liable for copyrighted material uploaded to it. Imagine a world where the addresses to those websites could not be found using search engines like Google and Bing, even if you typed them in directly.
    Imagine an Internet split into many sections, depending upon where you lived, where a user’s request to visit another website was routed through an addressing system that could not be securely authenticated. Imagine a world where a government could require that a website hosting videos of a bloody revolution be taken down because it also hosted clips from a Hollywood movie.

     

    Imagine that it’s 2012, and much of that world has come to pass after President Obama has signed into law an anti-online piracy bill that Congress enacted in a rare show of bipartisan support. In an election year, after all, would Congress and the President risk being seen as “soft on cybercrime?”

    Yes, the examples above represent worst-case scenarios, but unfortunately, they’re grounded in reality. In a time when the American economy needs to catalyze innovation to compete in a global marketplace, members of the United States Congress have advanced legislation that could lead to precisely that landscape.

  • (404) http://t.co/CRtXUelb%E2%80%9D – House GOP Gives Up| “@BretBaier: RT @postpolitics House agrees to Senate #payroll tax extension deal
  • The Afternoon Flap: December 22, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Afternoon Flap: December 22, 2011

The Morning Flap: November 15, 2011

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for November 14th through November 15th:

  • Dr. Coburn Releases Report Exposing Billions in Giveaways for Millionaires – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released a new report “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous” illustrating how, under the current tax code, the federal government is giving billions of dollars to individuals with an Annual Gross Income (AGI) of at least $1 million, subsidizing their lavish lifestyles with the taxes of the less fortunate.

    “All Americans are facing tough times, with many working two jobs just to make ends meet and more families turning to the government for financial assistance. From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes, and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Multi-millionaires are even receiving government checks for not working.

    “This welfare for the well-off – costing billions of dollars a year – is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet, and IOUs to be paid off by future generations. We should never demonize those who are successful. Nor should we pamper them with unnecessary welfare to create an appearance everyone is benefiting from federal programs,” Dr. Coburn said.

    These billions of dollars for millionaires include $74 million of unemployment checks, $316 million in farm subsidies, $89 million for preservation of ranches and estates, $9 billion of retirement checks, $75.6 million in residential energy tax credits, and $7.5 million to compensate for damages caused by emergencies to property that should have been insured. All and all, over $9.5 billion in government benefits have been paid to millionaires since 2003. Additionally, millionaires borrowed $16 million in government backed education loans to attend college. On average, each year, this report found that millionaires enjoy benefits from tax giveaways and federal grant programs totaling $30 billion. As a result, almost 1,500 millionaires paid no federal income tax in 2009.

  • ObamaCare and the Limits of Government – The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether ObamaCare is constitutional, granting certiorari in a case brought by 26 states shortly after that law was enacted in March of last year. In so doing, it will be ruling upon the very nature of our federal union.

    The Constitution limits federal power by granting Congress authority in certain defined areas, such as the regulation of interstate and foreign commerce. Those powers not specifically vested in the federal government by the Constitution or, as stated in the 10th Amendment, “prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The court will now determine whether those words still have meaning.

    As we argued two years ago in these pages, the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (aka ObamaCare) is unconstitutional. First and foremost, the law requires virtually every American to have health insurance. Congress purported to impose this unprecedented “individual mandate” pursuant to its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce, but the requirement is not limited to those who engage in any particular commercial or economic activity (or any activity at all). Rather, the mandate applies to everyone lawfully present in the United States who does not fall within one of the law’s narrow exclusions.

  • Dems fear Supreme Court will rule against Obama on healthcare reform – Democrats on Capitol Hill are worried that the Supreme Court will rule against President Obama’s healthcare reform law. 

    Over the last couple weeks, congressional Democrats have told The Hill that the law faces danger in the hands of the Supreme Court, which The New York Times editorial page recently labeled the most conservative high court since the 1950s.

    While the lawmakers are not second-guessing the administration’s legal strategy, some are clearly bracing for defeat.

    “Of course I’m concerned,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). The justices “decide for insurance companies, they decide for oil companies, they decide for the wealthy too often.”

    The pessimism is fueled in part by the John Roberts court’s decision in the 2010 Citizens United case on corporate spending in elections, which Brown has called the “worst” in his memory.

    The comments underscore the gamble the White House took when it opted not to seek to delay the high court’s review until after the 2012 election. That decision leaves the fate of Democrats’ signature domestic achievement in the hands of a right-leaning court that has consistently ruled against liberals on everything from campaign finance to the District of Columbia’s gun ban to Bush v. Gore.

  • Kagan to Tribe on Day Obamacare Passed: ‘I Hear They Have the Votes, Larry!! – On Sunday, March 21, 2010, the day the House of Representatives passed President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan and famed Supreme Court litigator and Harvard Law Prof. Laurence Tribe, who was then serving in the Justice Department, had an email exchange in which they discussed the pending health-care vote, according to documents the Department of Justice released late Wednesday to the Media Research Center, CNSNews.com’s parent organization, and to Judicial Watch.

    “I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing,” Kagan said to Tribe in one of the emails.

    The Justice Department released a new batch of emails on Wednesday evening as its latest response to Freedom of Information Act requests filed by CNSNews.com and Judicial Watch. Both organizations filed federal lawsuits against DOJ after the department did not initially respond to the requests. CNSNews.com originally filed its FOIA request on May 25, 2010–before Elena Kagan’s June 2010 Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

    The March 2010 email exchange between Kagan and Tribe raises new questions about whether Kagan must recuse herself from judging cases involving the health-care law that Obama signed–and which became the target of legal challenges–while Kagan was serving as Obama’s solicitor general and was responsible for defending his administration’s positions in court disputes.

    According to 28 USC 455, a Supreme Court justice must recuse from “any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” The law also says a justice must recuse anytime he has “expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy” while he “served in governmental employment.”

  • Occupy Wall Street – How Long, How Many, Which Cities? – How is Occupy Wall Street faring—not broadly, but at this very moment? Below, we’ve compiled a few indicators that attempt to answer this question, from conditions in Zuccotti Park to the movement’s global spread. The metrics, which update every five minutes, are admittedly imperfect and far from comprehensive, but we hope they give you a sense of how things are going. If you would like to see a particular datapoint included, let us know in the comments.
  • The real Wall Street occupation is online – The Occupy Wall Street movement, now that it has broadened in scope beyond the financial district of Manhattan to attain a truly national — even global — scale has the potential to lay the groundwork for a new generation of start-ups capable of reshaping the financial system in radically new ways. These tech start-ups, while officially unaffiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement, are nonetheless responding to the unmet needs of these protesters, individuals who feel abandoned by the current financial system.

    The breakout company of the Occupy Wall Street movement thus far has been Palo Alto-based WePay, a start-up largely unknown until the protest movement began September 17. Over the past 45 days, WePay has become the de facto official way to send money to the “Occupy” protesters while simultaneously bypassing the largest financial institutions. At a time when many payment alternatives already exist, it’s more than a coincidence that an unknown technology player, free of any associations with the banking establishment, has emerged as the financial intermediary of choice. Just a few months ago, the obvious choice for sending money to an organization like Occupy Wall Street would have been PayPal, but that was before the company decided to cooperate with the financial embargo against WikiLeaks.

  • Immigration from Mexico in fast retreat, data show – North of the U.S.-Mexico border, Republican presidential candidates are talking tough on illegal immigration, with one proposing — perhaps in jest — an electrified fence to deter migrants.

    But data from both sides of the border suggest that illegal immigration from Mexico is already in fast retreat, as U.S. job shortages, tighter border enforcement and the frightening presence of criminal gangs on the Mexican side dissuade many from making the trip.

    Mexican census figures show that fewer Mexicans are setting out and many are returning — leaving net migration at close to zero, Mexican officials say. Arrests by the U.S. Border Patrol along the southwestern frontier, a common gauge of how many people try to cross without papers, tumbled to 304,755 during the 11 months ended in August, extending a nearly steady drop since a peak of 1.6 million in 2000.

    The scale of the fall has prompted some to suggest that a decades-long migration boom may be ending, even as others argue that the decline is only momentary.

    “Our country is not experiencing the population loss due to migration that was seen for nearly 50 years,” Rene Zenteno, a deputy Mexico interior secretary for migration matters, has said.

    Douglas Massey, an immigration scholar at Princeton University, said surveys of residents in Mexican migrant towns he has studied for many years found that the number of people making their first trip north had dwindled to near zero.

  • Some Residents Cheer the Clearing of Zuccotti Park – Some Residents Cheer Clearing of Zuccotti Park
    As residents and office workers woke to a Zuccotti Park cleared of its protest encampment, some cheered the removal while others objected to the tough police action that brought it about, my colleague Cara Buckley reports:

     

    One young father, pushing his toddler son in a stroller, gave police officers guarding Zuccotti Park a thumbs up. Another man, rushing by in a cream suit, flashed them a mega-watt grin. The sight of the park, freshly cleared and washed, stopped a blonde woman walking by in her tracks. “Ooooooh, good,” she cooed.

    The clearing of Zuccotti Park struck a deep blow to the Occupy Wall Street movement, which had used the site as its physical and spiritual heart. But as the newly ousted protesters gathered in Foley Square to decide what to do next, many residents, workers and business owners near the park felt deep relief. ” Super ecstatic,” said a young office worker. “Definitely relieved,” said a young woman working behind the counter at Panini & Co., a cafe overlooking the park.

    Paul Bruno, 54, who lives in the Bronx but has serviced elevators in Lower Manhattan for 30 years, had lunched daily in the park. He agreed with the protesters’ message, he said, but not their means. “The movement is the right movement,” he said, “but the movement got lost.”

    Another man, who worked nearby and said he could not give his name because it was against his company’s rules, said it was time for the park to be cleared.

    “It started out as a cool grassroots movement, he said, ” and then it turned into a big homeless camp.”

    Still residents described a frightening scene last night, with police rushing into the park, bright lights glaring and helicopters whirring above. Mark Scherzer, a lawyer who lives half a block from the park, said he found the clearing deeply upsetting.

    “I think the protesters were doing a valuable service,” he said, “And I think it was lawful for them to be there.”

  • More Republicans say Cain allegations are “serious matter” – Most Republicans now see the allegations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain as a serious matter, according to a new Post-ABC poll, a switch from a poll taken just after the charges were first reported. And while two-thirds continue to say the accusations are not going to determine their vote, there’s also still a deep split between GOP men and women.

    Just after the harassment allegations surfaced publicly, 54 percent of all Republicans were skeptical of their seriousness. Now, by contrast, 64 percent assess the situation as a serious one, with the biggest shift among women.

    Fully 74 percent of Republican women call the charges serious, up from 39 percent in early November. Men are also reflecting the trend, but less dramatically so, rising from 36 to 53 percent.

  • Why Do I Need a Google+ Business Page? – Yesterday Google+ rolled out the much-anticipated Google+ Page feature, and now businesses, brands, products, entertainers, and lots of other entities can have their own accounts.

    I know what you’re thinking: Great, another social media page I have to manage for my company.

    Hey, I’m with you — just when you think you’ve figured out how to make business gains from Twitter and Facebook, along comes Google+, another widespread social tool that’s a big, wide-open question mark.

    But you know what? Reserving your spot for your brand now is probably a good idea, even if you haven’t figured out what you’re doing with it. I did.

    You can register a Google+ business page here, but keep in mind that you have to have a personal Google+ account first. Only one user per account so far, and vanity URLs are not available yet. But why?

  • Court order allows Occupy Wall St. protesters back – Hundreds of police officers in riot gear raided Zuccotti Park early Tuesday, evicting dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters from what has become the epicenter of the worldwide movement protesting corporate greed and economic inequality.

    Hours later, the National Lawyers Guild obtained a court order allowing Occupy Wall Street protesters to return with tents to the park. The guild said the injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules on Occupy Wall Street protesters.

    At a morning news conference at City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city knew about the court order but had not seen it and would go to court to fight it. He said the city wants to protect people’s rights, but if a choice must be made, it will protect public safety.

    About 70 people were arrested overnight, including some who chained themselves together, while officers cleared the park so that sanitation crews could clean it.

    By 9 a.m., the park was power-washed clean. Police in riot gear still ringed the public space, waiting for orders to reopen it.

  • Gingrich: I’m auditioning to be “conservative alternative” to Romney – On Fox News this morning, Newt Gingrich jabbed Mitt Romney while responding to polls showing him vaulting into the top-tier.

    “I think you’ve had a series of people — it started with Tim Pawlenty, and then Michele Bachmann, and then Rick Perry, then Herman Cain — there’ve been a series of people who’ve, sort of, auditioning for being the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.

    And Mitt Romney’s being very stable and very steady, and now, we’re in a situation where — to some extent — people are looking at Newt Gingrich and having to decide: do they like the solutions I’m offering?”

    So far, Gingrich has shown great restraint in hitting Romney, but this might be the beginnings of his case.

    Yesterday, a Public Policy Polling survey showed Newt leading Romney by 10%, while a CNN poll had Romney up by 2%.

    That earned Gingrich the rare distinction of being the lead story on both The Drudge Report and Huffington Post at the same time.

  • Twitter Can Predict Who’s Winning the GOP Presidential Race [Study] – Political candidates do better in the polls when they gain more Twitter followers, new research reveals. National polls happen all the time but it’s possible to predict when certain candidates will climb in the rankings based the rate they are followed.

    Zach Green, CEO of Twitter election researcher 140elect, wrote in a blog post Friday that he anticipated this trend, but now has the stats to prove it.

    “A lot of people were surprised [Newt] Gingrich is now in second place, but we’ve seen that coming since Sep. 7,” Green told Mashable. “Twitter indicates he’ll continue to pick up.”

    Gingrich (visualized below) gained a slew of new followers when he announced his candidacy on May 11 and on Sept. 7 after an impressive GOP debate performance. Both events led to poll gains. The candidate’s Twitter momentum has steadily increased over the last two months, which Green predicts will lead to continued poll gains.

  • Day By Day November 13, 2011 – Zombies | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day November 13, 2011 – Zombies #tcot #catcot
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-15 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-15 #tcot #catcot
  • Dilbert November 13, 2011 – The Invisible Man » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert November 13, 2011 – The Invisible Man
  • The Afternoon Flap: November 14, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Afternoon Flap: November 14, 2011 #tcot #catcot

Flap’s Links and Comments for August 31st on 17:48

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for August 31st from 17:48 to 17:51:

  • Coincidences don’t happen in presidential politics. Ever. – There are no coincidences in presidential politics.

    Strategists spend hours poring over every word a president utters, every policy position he takes and every state he visits, a level of attention to detail that makes happenstance virtually nonexistent.

    And so, when the White House announced today that President Obama would deliver his much-anticipated jobs speech on Sept. 7 at 8 pm — the exact same day and time that the 2012 Republican candidates are scheduled to debate in California — the idea that the timing was purely coincidental was, well, far-fetched.

    It’s clear that this White House saw an opportunity to drive a major — and direct — contrast between President Obama and his potential Republican rivals and took it.

    As to whether that’s a good idea, strategists — even within the Democratic party — are divided.

    =======

    Petty HardBall even for Chicago politics.

  • Google Quietly Rolls Out The Chrome Extension To Bring +1 To The Entire Web – You may recall that back in May, we spotted something in Google’s “Dear Sophie” commercial: an unreleased +1 Chrome extension. This was pre-Google+, when the +1 button still didn’t do a whole lot, so even I forgot about the extension over the past few months. But very quietly, Google actually launched it yesterday.

    There was no blog post, no featured placement in the Chrome Web Store — pretty much no fanfare beyond Google SVP of Chrome, Sundar Pichai, posting a link to it on Google+. But it has the potential to be a bigger deal than it seems on the surface.

    As the tagline indicates, the Google +1 Button extension allows you to “+1 a web page, anywhere you go on the web”. That’s important. You no longer have to rely on a site to implement the +1 Button, you can invoke the functionality through your browser. Imagine if Facebook made their own browser and offered an extension to “Like” any page on the web through it — same idea (and one that I still suspect will happen sooner or later).

    Right now, the +1 Button just shares content you like on the web. But eventually, the plan is to look at this data as a way to affect Google Search itself potentially. That’s huge.

    And while the +1 Buttons for websites just added the functionality to share your Google+ Circles, the extension doesn’t yet offer that — but I assume it will. It does offer +1 counts though already, which is nice.

Flap’s Links and Comments for July 3rd on 15:46

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for July 3rd from 15:46 to 16:03:

  • ????????? ?? ???????????? Nansen Malin – It seems Google+ is open to everyone now
  • How to Transfer your Facebook photos to Google Plus – So Guys how is your big switch to Google plus network, I feel other then some minor glitches Google Plus is a big winner. Google has changed few other services with the launch of Google Plus, One major change was with =Google’s photo storing service ‘Picasa’. Going forward Picasa will offers unlimited free storage for photos and videos (under 15 minutes). The difference is that Google+ users can upload higher resolution photos to only Picasa users. I am sure now you are thinking how to get your photos from facebook, do you want to download one photo at a time from Facebook and then upload it to Google+.
    No there is a much better solution, Pick&Zip is a totally free backup online tool that will allow you downloading photos from Facebook in a single zip file. to get your your photos from facebook head over to picknzip.com and click the button which says ‘login with facebook’.
    Once you click the login button, it will ask you to Authorize the application by clicking the Allow button,

Day By Day by Chris Muir July 1, 2008

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Blogger, Blogosphere, Day By Day, Google
daybyday070108

Day By Day by Chris Muir

Google and the Blogger platofrm definitely have egg on its face for their treatment of the anti-Obama blogs. But, do they have a valid “EXCUSE” for their incompetence?

A “kerfuffle” over the blocking of some blogs by Google — all of them “anti-Obama” — seems to be mostly over. The blogs have been unblocked and Simon Owens at Bloggasm, who had followed the developments, says that those who suspected a conspiracy led by supporters of Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama to shut down blogs critical of their man “might be feeling a little silly right now.” Google’s explanation for the blockings is that it’s spam filters mistakenly got tripped.

Google owned Blogger’s explanation is here:

Hi there,
On behalf of the Blogger Team, I want to apologize for the recent trouble you’ve had with your locked blog. Automated spam detection is not yet a perfect science, and although we are constantly working to improve our tools, it appears that our filters have caused some Blogger accounts to mistakenly be blocked from creating new posts.

While we are still investigating, we believe this may have been caused by mass spam e-mails mentioning the “Just Say No Deal” network of blogs, which in turn caused our system to classify the blog addresses mentioned in the e-mails as spam.

Regardless, we have restored posting rights to your blog, and it is very important to us that Blogger remain a tool for political debate and free expression.

So once again, we apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience as we looked into the problem.

Sincerely,
The Blogger Team

Flap loathes censorship and disruptions. And, I moved to my own blog hosting over three years ago so that I could be the master of my own blog destiny.

If bloggers want a “FREE” platform then they need to remember that there is no free lunch.

The will need to move their blog.

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