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The Morning Flap: April 25, 2012

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These are my links for April 24th through April 25th:

Newt Gingrich will officially end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and formally express his support for Mitt Romney next week, two sources close to Gingrich tell CNN.

While details are still being worked out, Gingrich is likely to hold his final campaign event Tuesday in Washington, DC where he will make the announcement surrounded by his family and supporters.

It is not surprising that Gingrich is suspending his campaign for the White House as he has all but acknowledged it is winding down and Romney is the presumptive GOP nominee.

“When he says he is transitioning, what he means is that he is trying to determine as a citizen how he will pro-actively help Mitt Romney become president and the Republican Party win back the Senate and help (House Speaker) John Boehner keep his majority in the House,” said one of the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

It appears that Gingrich’s focus will be much broader than the presidential campaign, as the former speaker, who made his name and career in the House, plans to be actively involved in helping the GOP take back control of both sides of Capitol Hill.

  • The Arizona Faceoff – The Administration Tries to Nullify a State Immigration Statute – The Supreme Court hears oral arguments Wednesday in that other major case that has the political class on edge—Arizona’s immigration law. As with health care’s individual mandate, the Obama Administration is again making claims about the scope of federal power that upset the Constitution’s federalist structure—in this case, to unilaterally nullify state laws that the President happens to oppose.The Justice Department sued Arizona for its 2010 law that requires police to enforce federal immigration statutes. Justice charged that Republican Governor Jan Brewer violated the Supremacy Clause that says federal laws pre-empt state laws. And ordinarily the Administration lawyers would have a point, since the Constitution expressly tells Congress to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” and the courts have long interpreted that to mean that Congress has plenary power over immigration policy.
  • 5 Ways to Jumpstart Cancer Prevention – Know most cancers are preventable. Cancer isn’t all genetics or bad luck. Research confirms more than half of cancer in the U.S. is preventable. The top preventable causes of cancer are lifestyle choices: smoking, obesity, diet, and lack of physical activity (PDF). In 2011, there were 572,000 deaths from cancer. That’s at least 286,000 people that could be alive today had they modified just one of those risk factors. We as a society need to make changes in the way we live and shift our thinking about cancer prevention and wellness.
  • PokerStars Reaches Agreement to Buy Full Tilt, Settle with DOJ – PokerStars has reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice, pokerfuse can reveal. Part of the deal involves the purchase of Full Tilt Poker and full repayment of all players.The specifics of the deal are not yet known, and no statement has yet come from any parties involved.

    Rumors that PokerStars has reached a deal with the DOJ to purchase Full Tilt Poker began swirling early Tuesday morning on poker forum 2+2. Sources have corroborated the story with Pokerfuse that a deal has indeed been reached but could not confirm any specific details.

    Alex Dreyfus, CEO of Chili Gaming, stated on twitter that PokerStars has paid $750m to acquire Full Tilt and settle its outstanding legal issues with the DOJ. A reported $330m of that price will go to repay Full Tilt account holders with the remainder believed to be in settlement of outstanding charges against PokerStars.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Lawsuit Seeks Drug Protocol Change to Resume Executions in California – Lawsuit Seeks Drug Protocol Change to Resume Executions in California
  • How a British Marathoner’s Death Inspired Over $825,000 in Online Donations – The death of a British runner during Sunday’s London Marathon has inspired over $825,000 in online donations for Samaritans, the charity she was was supporting.Claire Squires, 30, a hairdresser from Leicestershire, England, was just one mile away from the finish line when she collapsed. Squires was pronounced dead on the scene, and investigations into the cause of her death are expected in the coming days.

    Squires’ death has sparked an outpouring of donations to her JustGiving page, which states, “I’m running the london (sic) marathon for Samaritans because they continuously support others.” As of writing, more than 45,000 individual donations have accumulated, and the number continues to grow.

    Samaritans is the world’s oldest and largest suicide prevention network. According to the Daily Telegraph, Squires’ brother died from an overdose in 2001 at the age of 25. Her mother has also volunteered for the charity for more than 20 years.

  • The Long Stall – California’s jobs engine broke down well before the financial crisis. – Everybody knows that California’s economy has struggled mightily since the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession. The state’s current unemployment rate, 12.1 percent, is a full 3 percentage points above the national rate. Liberal pundits and politicians tend to blame this dismal performance entirely on the Great Recession; as Jerry Brown put it while campaigning (successfully) for governor last year, “I’ve seen recessions. They come, they go. California always comes back.”But a study commissioned by City Journal using the National Establishment Time Series database, which has tracked job creation and migration from 1992 through 2008 (so far) in a way that government statistics can’t, reveals the disturbing truth. California’s economy during the second half of that period—2000 through 2008—was far less vibrant and diverse than it had been during the first. Well before the crisis struck, then, the Golden State was setting itself up for a big fall.
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Daily Extraction: April 24, 2012 – The Daily Extraction: April 24, 2012
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk and Rep Tom McClintock Event Details Finalized » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk and Rep Tom McClintock Event Details Finalized via @flap
  • California’s population growth is slowing dramatically, study finds – California’s population will grow much more slowly in the next few decades — and that is good news for the state’s still-struggling economy, according to new population projections by USC.The report by USC researchers John Pitkin and Dowell Myers says that through 2050, at least, the state’s population growth will not reach the boom rates of recent decades, especially the 1980s. But California’s population, now about 37 million, will still grow at “manageable” rate for years to come, Myers said.

    The report, the third in a series of population projections by the Population Dynamics Research Group in USC’s public policy school, says the slowdown is mainly the result of a dramatic drop in immigration to the state, part of a nationwide trend.

    The report expects the California population to grow at less than 10% for each of the next several decades. By comparison, the population surged 26% — more than 6 million people — in the 1980s, a decade the researchers now say was an anomaly. The growth rate was 14% in the 1990s and 10% in the decade just ended.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 24, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 24, 2012
  • Google boosts Docs storage to 5GB; today could be Google Drive day – latimes.com – RT @latimes: Google boosts Docs storage to 5GB; today could be Google Drive day
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The Morning Flap: April 24, 2012

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A US Border vehicle drives along the US and Mexico border fence in Naco, Arizona, Photo: Reuters

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

  • For first time since Depression, more Mexicans leave U.S. than enter – A four-decade tidal wave of Mexican immigration to the United States has receded, causing a historic shift in migration patterns as more Mexicans appear to be leaving the United States for Mexico than the other way around, according to a report from the Pew Hispanic Center.

    It looks to be the first reversal in the trend since the Depression, and experts say that a declining Mexican birthrate and other factors may make it permanent.

  • Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less | – The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants—more than half of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped—and may have reversed, according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries.

    The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico.

    The report is based on the Center’s analysis of data from five different Mexican government sources and four U.S. government sources. The Mexican data come from the Mexican Decennial Censuses (Censos de Población y Vivienda), the Mexican Population Counts (Conteos de Población y Vivienda), the National Survey of Demographic Dynamics (Encuesta Nacional de la Dinámica Demográfica or ENADID), the National Survey of Occupation and Employment (Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo or ENOE), and the Survey on Migration at the Northern Border of Mexico (Encuesta sobre Migración en la Frontera Norte de México or EMIF-Norte). The U.S. data come from the 2010 Census, the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

  • California’s Demographic Revolution by Heather Mac Donald – California is in the middle of a far-reaching demographic shift: Hispanics, who already constitute a majority of the state’s schoolchildren, will be a majority of its workforce and of its population in a few decades. This is an even more momentous development than it seems. Unless Hispanics’ upward mobility improves, the state risks becoming more polarized economically and more reliant on a large government safety net. And as California goes, so goes the nation, whose own Hispanic population shift is just a generation or two behind.

    The scale and speed of the Golden State’s ethnic transformation are unprecedented. In the 1960s, Los Angeles was the most Anglo-Saxon of the nation’s ten largest cities; today, Latinos make up nearly half of the county’s residents and one-third of its voting-age population. A full 55 percent of Los Angeles County’s child population has immigrant parents. California’s schools have the nation’s largest concentration of “English learners,” students from homes where a language other than English is regularly spoken. From 2000 to 2010, the state’s Hispanic population grew 28 percent, to reach 37.6 percent of all residents, almost equal to the shrinking white population’s 40 percent. Nearly half of all California births today are Hispanic. The signs of the change are everywhere—from the commercial strips throughout the state catering to Spanish-speaking customers, to the flea markets and illegal vendors in such areas as MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, to the growing reach of the Spanish-language media.

  • Are Hispanics moving up or down the social scale? – Arguably, Hispanics received the most benefit and the most harm from subprime lending during the Housing Bubble.

    A 2005 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of 75,744 minority subprime loan borrowers found the largest percentage was Hispanic (15,647 loans or 20.7 percent). This study found no evidence of adverse pricing of subprime loans by race or ethnicity and minority borrowers paid lower rates.

    A 2008 study by the U.S. Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C. found Southern California was the hot spot for the most subprime loans in all of the United States in 2005. And out of the top 10 cities with the most subprime loans, six were in California (percent of Hispanic population in parentheses): Riverside (45 percent), Bakersfield (45.5 percent), Stockton (37.6 percent), Modesto (35.5 percent), Fresno (50.3 percent) and Visalia (46.0 percent). Where Hispanics got into trouble had more to do with home equity loans than primary home purchase loans.

    Hispanics were hit hardest with foreclosures after the Housing Bubble popped.

    If the Housing Bubble demonstrated anything, it is that Hispanics suffered not from too little, but too much, upward mobility by government-induced home ownership policies.

  • Boston Qualifying Rate Drops by a Third – Some interesting data-crunching from Ray Charbonneau, who blogs at Y42K?: If you compare the 2011 and 2012 fields of some major marathons, you’ll find the Boston qualifying rate on average has dropped by about a third. Charbonneau excludes the results from this year’s Houston Marathon—where qualifying rates actually went up—assuming that the Olympic Marathon Trials helped attract some higher-caliber athletes than the 2011 race. He also excludes results from this year’s exceptionally warm Boston Marathon and National Marathon in Washington, D.C., where qualifying rates dropped even more than a third. The stricter qualifying standards the B.A.A. put into place for the 2013 Boston Marathon (which went into effect last September) lowered qualifying times across all age groups by five minutes and 59 seconds. Based on Charbonneau’s results, this drop should eliminate about a third of all previous qualifiers.
  • Rethinking the Hispanic Vote – For Republicans, the illegal immigration litmus test, forcing conservative candidates to toe a hardline on the issue, could very well recede in the near future. A January Pew poll showed the number of Republicans considering illegal immigration as a top issue has plummeted, dropping from 69 percent in 2007 to 48 percent at the beginning of this year. The future Republican positioning on immigration could very well be closer to the policy views of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio than that of hardliners like Iowa Rep. Steve King.

    The long-term political implications are equally significant. Democrats have counted Hispanics as a pivotal part of their coalition, but there’s no guarantee that as first-generation immigrants assimilate, they will remain reliable partisan voters. Indeed, a complementary Pew Hispanic Center study, released last month, showed immigrants becoming more Republican the longer they’ve been in this country — a similar narrative to other first-generation ethnic groups.

  • Protest by Catholic activists may hamper Obama reelection bid – President Obama has seen his standing among Catholic voters, a crucial segment of the electorate, slip in recent weeks, and a looming confrontation with Catholic activists could make it worse.

    Democrats want voters this year to focus on what they have branded a war on women, but the flip side of the debate — the so-called war on religion — is not going away anytime soon.

    Earlier this month, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called for two weeks of public protest in June and July against what it sees as growing government encroachment on religious freedom.

    The protests are expected to include priests and nuns and thousands of Catholic parishioners. Some activists expect civil disobedience, which could lead to powerful images of priests and nuns being led away in hand restraints.

  • Capitol Alert: Measure to repeal death penalty in California qualifies for ballot – Capitol Alert: Measure to repeal death penalty in California qualifies for ballot
  • Pew: immigration from Mexico drops to net zero – Immigration from Mexico has reached a net zero, with as many Mexicans moving back to Mexico as are entering the United States, according to the Pew Research Center’s Jeffrey Passel, a highly regarded demographer who used data from both countries.

    The report released Wednesday cited several possible reasons, including, “the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico.”

  • California prisons detail plan to downsize, cut costs – The California prison system on Monday unveiled an extensive plan to cut spending by billions of dollars, close a prison and return inmates being housed out of state — all while meeting court-ordered benchmarks on medical care and overcrowding.

    In three years, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is expected to be 7.5% of the state’s total budget, down from an estimated 9.4% in the upcoming fiscal year. This is largely because of realignment, the process of sending low-level offenders to local jails instead of state prisons to comply with a court order to reduce chronic overcrowding.

    “California is finally getting its prison costs under control and taking the necessary steps to meet federal court mandates,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement.

    Some parts of the state’s plan will require consent from the Legislature, and its success also hinges in part on court approval. Although the court ordered California to reduce its inmate population to 137.5% of prison capacity, the state expects to fall slightly short, at 141% — a difference of up to 6,000 inmates — by the June 2013 deadline.

    Corrections Secretary Matt Cate said the state will ask the court to raise its benchmark next year.

  • Measure to repeal death penalty in California qualifies for ballot – Californians voters going to the polls in November will again decide the fate of the death penalty.

    A measure to abolish the death penalty and replace it with a maximum sentence of life behind bars without parole has qualified for the Nov. 6 ballot, the Secretary of State confirmed today. The measure, backed by a coalition that includes the American Civil Liberties Union and some law enforcement and victims rights groups, would apply to inmates currently on death row.

    Supporters say capital punishment, which voters added to the state’s books in 1978, costs California more than $100 million a year while leading to very few executions because of the time it takes to go through the appeals process.

  • The politics of death penalty heads to November ballot – Almost 34 years to the day California voters decided that the state’s worst crimes should be punished by execution, the repeal of that same punishment will be back on the statewide ballot.

    State elections officials confirmed late Monday that an initiative to abolish capital punishment in California has qualified for the November ballot, with supporters having gathered more than enough voter signatures to call the question.

    The initiative would not only repeal the death penalty but would also convert the sentences of all 724 inmates currently on Death Row to life without the possibility of parole. It would further commit $30 million a year for three years to local law enforcement efforts on unsolved murder and rape crimes.

  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Medscape: Medscape Access
  • Poll: Obama ahead in battleground New Hampshire – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @PoliticalTicker: Poll: Obama ahead in battleground New Hampshire –
  • Doctors say teens go to hospitals after drinking hand sanitizer – Doctors are warning parents about a dangerous new trend after six teenagers drank hand sanitizer and ended up in San Fernando Valley emergency rooms with alcohol poisoning.

    Teenagers are using salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer, doctors said.

    “It’s essentially a shot of hard liquor,” said Cyrus Rangan, director of the toxicology bureau for the Los Angeles County public health department and a medical toxicology consultant for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “All it takes is just a few swallows and you have a drunk teenager.”

    Although there have been only a few cases, Rangan said the practice could easily become a larger problem. Bottles of hand sanitizers are inexpensive and accessible and teens can find instructions on distillation on the Internet.

  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Unexplained Infant Deaths Often Linked to Bed Sharing
  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Big Tobacco Groups Fear Spread of Plain Packaging
  • Humor / Not the ol’ bag over the head trick…. – Not the ol’ bag over the head trick….
  • Unexplained Infant Deaths Often Linked to Bed Sharing – Among infants who have died suddenly and unexpectedly, most were sharing a sleep surface with another child or adult, and only one fourth were sleeping in a crib or on their back when found, according to a new report.

    Results were published in the American Journal of Public Health online April 19. The study was conducted by Patricia G. Schnitzer, PhD, from the Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri, Columbia, and colleagues.

    According to the researchers, more than 4000 infants without prior known illness or injury die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the United States.

    The researchers found that only about one fourth of infants were sleeping in a crib or on their back when found, but 70% were on a surface not intended for infant sleep, such as an adult bed. Of note, 64% of infants were sharing a sleep surface, and of those, nearly half were sleeping with an adult.

    One study limitation, among others, is the possible lack of generalizability because the data were as drawn from only 9 states.

    “Infants whose deaths were classified as suffocation or undetermined cause were significantly more likely than were infants whose deaths were classified as SIDS to be found on a surface not intended for infant sleep and to be sharing that sleep surface,” Dr. Schnitzer and colleagues note.

  • Big Tobacco Groups Fear Spread of Plain Packaging – The world’s top tobacco groups fear if new rules on plain packaging take hold in Australia and Britain they may spread to higher-growth and potentially more lucrative emerging markets and put a curb on their future profits growth.

    Health campaigners are pushing for tobacco companies to package their cigarettes in plain packs displaying the product name in a standard typeface and with graphic health warnings as a way of discouraging youngsters from taking up smoking.

    Australia aims to become the first nation in the world to force tobacco groups to sell cigarettes in these plain, brand-free packets by December this year, while Britain this week launched a three-month consultation over the issue.

  • Smoking Cessation Worth It Despite Dim Outcomes – Drugs and counseling to help patients stop smoking typically double the odds of success relative to solo cold-turkey attempts, but success rates still seldom exceed 20%, a researcher said here.

    The bottom-line message: “Keep trying,” said Michael K. Ong, MD, PhD, of the University of California Los Angeles, in a presentation at the American College of Physicians’ annual meeting.

    Existing approaches to smoking cessation will remain the best available for the foreseeable future, Ong suggested, and even though their effectiveness is modest at best, they are better than letting patients fend for themselves.

    He noted that clinicians are often reluctant to assist patients with these problems. A recent CDC survey found that only about half of smokers who saw a health professional in the previous year reported being advised to quit.

    An earlier survey identified a series of reasons that physicians had for not offering to help with smoking cessation, such as they’re too busy; the services are not billable; it’s a futile effort; and patients may be scared away.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Video: Rudy Giuliani Finally Endorses Mitt Romney on Eve of New York Primary Election – Video: Rudy Giuliani Finally Endorses Mitt Romney on Eve of New York Primary Election
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012 Poll Watch: Arizona in Play? – President 2012 Poll Watch: Arizona in Play?
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ramirez for U.S. Senate – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ra…
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ramirez for U.S. Senate – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ra…
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ramirez for U.S. Senate – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ra…
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ramirez for U.S. Senate – RE:  No, I don’t see much support out there for Dr. Orly.

    But, does it matter much who the candidate is, when runnin…

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Linda Parks Fights Back Against Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – CA-26: Linda Parks Fights Back Against Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 23, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 23, 2012
  • AT&T wields enormous power in Sacramento – As the sun set behind Monterey Bay on a cool night last year, dozens of the state’s top lawmakers and lobbyists ambled onto the 17th fairway at Pebble Beach for a round of glow-in-the-dark golf.

    With luminescent balls soaring into the sky, the annual fundraiser known as the Speaker’s Cup was in full swing.

    Lawmakers, labor-union champions and lobbyists gather each year at the storied course to schmooze, show their skill on the links and rejuvenate at a 22,000-square-foot spa. The affair, which typically raises more than $1 million for California Democrats, has been sponsored for more than a decade by telecommunications giant AT&T.

    At the 2010 event, AT&T’s president and the state Assembly speaker toured Pebble Beach together in a golf cart, shaking hands with every lawmaker, lobbyist and other VIP in attendance.

    The Speaker’s Cup is the centerpiece of a corporate lobbying strategy so comprehensive and successful that it has rewritten the special-interest playbook in Sacramento. When it comes to state government, AT&T spends more money, in more places, than any other company.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ramirez for U.S. Senate – CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ramirez for U.S. Senate
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 23, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 23, 2012 via @flap
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The Morning Flap: March 13, 2012

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These are my links for March 12th through March 13th:

  • Protests, attacks hit Afghanistan in wake of massacre – Thousands of people took to the streets in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday to protest the killing of 16 civilians by a U.S. soldier, burning an effigy of Barack Obama and calling for the killer to be tried in Afghanistan.

    Demonstrators in the city of Jalalabad chanted “Death to America — Death to Obama” and blocked the main highway to Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported.
    “Jihad (holy war) is the only way to get the invading Americans out of Afghanistan,” one banner read, according to the newspaper.

  • Specter says Obama ditched him after he provided 60th vote to pass health reform – Former Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) writes in a new book that President Obama ditched him in the 2010 election after he helped Obama win the biggest legislative victory of his term by passing healthcare reform.

    Specter also claims that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did not uphold his promise to grant him seniority accrued over 28 years of service in the Senate as a Republican.

  • California’s Greek Tragedy – WSJ.com – Long a harbinger of national trends and an incubator of innovation, cash-strapped California eagerly awaits a temporary revenue surge from Facebook IPO stock options and capital gains. Meanwhile, Stockton may soon become the state’s largest city to go bust. Call it the agony and ecstasy of contemporary California.

    California’s rising standards of living and outstanding public schools and universities once attracted millions seeking upward economic mobility. But then something went radically wrong as California legislatures and governors built a welfare state on high tax rates, liberal entitlement benefits, and excessive regulation. The results, though predictable, are nonetheless striking. From the mid-1980s to 2005, California’s population grew by 10 million, while Medicaid recipients soared by seven million; tax filers paying income taxes rose by just 150,000; and the prison population swelled by 115,000.

    California’s economy, which used to outperform the rest of the country, now substantially underperforms. The unemployment rate, at 10.9%, is higher than every other state except Nevada and Rhode Island. With 12% of America’s population, California has one third of the nation’s welfare recipients.

  • McGurn: Bill Maher’s ‘Fatwa’ – WSJ.com – ‘I don’t like fatwas.”

    The words come from Bill Maher. The HBO comedian was tweeting his disapproval of the campaign to deprive Rush Limbaugh of his sponsors. Especially distressing for Mr. Maher is that the campaign continues even though Mr. Limbaugh has apologized for his rude remarks about the Georgetown Law student who had testified before Congress on behalf of the contraceptive mandate.

    Mr. Maher’s “defense,” of course, may have more to do with self-defense. For in the midst of the ritual denunciations of Mr. Limbaugh, it has emerged that liberals—Mr. Maher included—have long called conservative women things far more vulgar. That has led to embarrassing explanations of why Mr. Maher gets a pass, and whether the super PAC backing President Obama should return the million dollars that Mr. Maher has donated.

  • Republican Donors in Limbo – The extended Republican presidential primary has left many GOP donors paralyzed — unsure of whether to invest in the upcoming battle against President Barack Obama or focus on Congressional races.

    Party insiders increasingly believe that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will win the nomination, a development that would likely open the donor spigot for the general election. But a victory by former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) or ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) would probably have the opposite effect. A GOP money machine skeptical of the party’s White House prospects would likely spend instead on House and Senate races as the best hope for a November gain.

  • A Mere 80% Say They’re Not Better Off Than Four Years Ago
  • Did GDP and the Unemployment Rate Become De-linked?
  • Father And Daughter Run 100th Marathon Together
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-03-13 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-03-13
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Wins Santa Clarita Valley Republican Assembly Straw Poll » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk Wins Santa Clarita Valley Republican Assembly Straw Poll
  • President 2012 Poll Watch: New York Times/CBS Poll Has Obama at 41 Per Cent Approval | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Poll Watch: New York Times/CBS Poll Has Obama at 41 Per Cent Approval
  • Red meat is blamed for one in 10 early deaths – Small quantities of processed meat such as bacon, sausages or salami can increase the likelihood of dying by a fifth, researchers from Harvard School of Medicine found. Eating steak increases the risk of dying by 12%.
    The study found that cutting the amount of red meat in peoples’ diets to 1.5 ounces (42 grams) a day, equivalent to one large steak a week, could prevent almost one in 10 early deaths in men and one in 13 in women.
    The scientists said that the government’s current advice that people should eat no more than 2.5 ounces (70 grams) a day, around around the level the average Briton already consumes, was “generous”.
    Dr Frank Hu, co-author of the study, said: “Given the growing evidence that even modest amounts of red meat is associated with increased risk of chronic disease and premature death, 2.5 ounces (70 grams) per day seems generous. The bottom line is that we should make red meat only an occassional rather than regular part of our diet.”
    Red meat often contains high amounts of saturated fat, while bacon and salami contain large amounts of salt. Replacing red meat with poultry, fish or vegetables, whole grains and other healthy foods cut the risk of dying by up to one fifth, the study found.
  • Steve Schmidt: Putting Palin on the ticket taught me there are worse things than losing – Via Mediaite, Exhibit A in why John Podhoretz’s review of “Game Change” is titled “Back Stab.” Actually, scratch that; this is Exhibit Z. Schmidt’s getting more attention for it now because the movie’s getting attention but he’s been dumping on Palin publicly for more than two years and privately for who knows how long. (Leaks from unnamed staffers began less than a week after election day and Palin allies inside the campaign warned weeks earlier that they were coming.) This is his job now, I think — doing sporadic cable-news cameos as some sort of RINO Dr. Frankenstein who created a grassroots monster and has to atone by killing it. Michael Goldfarb, who left the Weekly Standard to join the McCain campaign’s communications team, has had enough:
  • Back Stab – Sarah Palin as portrayed by her disloyal staff. – Nicolle Wallace was the onetime consultant to CBS News and media aide to George W. Bush who was assigned to work with Sarah Palin after the Alaska governor was chosen as John McCain’s running mate. It was Wallace who assured the McCain campaign that her dear friend Katie Couric, a committed liberal with a history of interviewing Republicans and conservatives in a quietly nasty way, was the right journalist to conduct a major early interview with the extremely conservative vice-presidential nominee.

    Palin has only herself to blame for how horribly she came off, but as she was the most hotly sought-after interview in the world at the time, the McCain campaign could have picked and chosen and been cleverly calculating about which journalist would win the prize. Wallace was responsible for one of the great blunders in political advance work of modern media history.

    Now, imagine you’re making a movie about the Palin story, one that demonstrates a modicum of sympathy for Sarah Palin’s excoriation at the hands of the media. (I know, I’m talking crazy, but go with me here.) In such a movie, Nicolle Wallace’s catastrophic guidance could have been portrayed in several ways. It could have been played as a simple goof, a wrongheaded political calculation. Or as an example of a kind of golly-gee naïveté, with Wallace being snowed by a seductive Couric. Or as a careerist move killing two birds with one stone, with Wallace seeking to stay in the good graces of her former colleague Couric despite several years of working for Republicans.

  • Michael Goldfarb’s response to ‘A game changer for Palin’s image?’ – I can’t speak to the film, because I can’t bring myself to watch it.

    Other loyal McCain staffers I’ve spoken to have had the same reaction. While a few senior aides from the McCain campaign collaborated with the authors of Game Change and painted a picture of John McCain and Sarah Palin as so craven or ill-informed or incompetent that no handler could have gotten them elected, the reality is that John McCain was the better man and would have made a better president.

    We lost that campaign partly because of events beyond our control, and partly as a result of bad counsel given by the same people who are apparently so flatteringly portrayed in this movie. John McCain deserved better than to be betrayed by his own top aides, and true to form he has honorably stuck by Gov. Palin even as she’s been smeared in the press over and over again by the same self-serving former staffers. I only hope that the Romney campaign takes notice of what’s happened here.

    Halperin and Heilemann have gotten a $5 million contract to do the same thing to Romney that they did to McCain, and they will no doubt be looking for Romney aides the same way a con artist searches for his mark – seeking the emotionally vulnerable, the weak, the insecure, the ones who value the approval of MSNBC analysts more than the respect of their own campaign staff. Unfortunately, every Republican campaign has them – and given the opportunity Halperin and Heilemann are certain to reoffend.

  • AD-38: Patricia McKeon Upgrades Website and Lists Endorsements » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Patricia McKeon Upgrades Website and Lists Endorsements
  • Villaraigosa declines to back any of three competing tax initiatives – latimes.com – RT @LATPoliticsCA: Villaraigosa declines to back any of tax initiatives on ballot
  • President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama Approval Rate Reaches 49 Per Cent and Trending Upward | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama Approval Rate Reaches 49 Per Cent and Trending Upward
  • Center-right leaders, Bush alums form religious conscience group – A collection of prominent center-right leaders, including multiple top Bush administration officials, have founded a new advocacy group to advocate for measures exempting religious organizations from federal rules governing contraception coverage, POLITICO has learned.

    Among those involved in planning the group are former presidential adviser Mary Matalin, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, former RNC Chairman and Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson, former Rep. Bill Paxon, former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn and New York Rabbi Meir Yaakov Soloveichik.

    Their 501(c)4 organization, Conscience Cause, is aimed at “stopping the implementation of a Department of Health and Human Services regulation which would compel people and organizations to pay for drugs and services that violate their faith,” according to a statement shared with POLITICO.

    Both Nicholson and Flynn are former ambassadors to the Vatican; Flynn is the lone Democrat in the group, though he has endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

  • College board says it is addressing probation issues – The board that oversees Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges has drafted a letter to the commission that put the colleges on probation, outlining what it has done to improve and what more it plans to do.

    The Ventura County Community College District board is set to vote on the letter Tuesday..

    “We’re trying to specifically respond to their concerns, to show them what we’re doing,” said board President Stephen Blum. “We realize we can’t just tell them what we’re going to do. We have to do what we say we’re going to do. I see this as one of our first steps.”

    The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges put the three campuses on probation last month, citing problems on the board. The commission noted one trustee’s “disruptive and inappropriate behavior.” Although he is not named in the letter, that trustee is Art Hernandez, who represents Oxnard.

  • Gawker more acceptable than conservative talk radio for advertisers? – Given all the attacks on advertisers who advertise on the Rush Limbaugh show or other conservative talk radio shows, one has to wonder why the companies below — who are highlighted on Gawker Media’s advertising page — do not apply such standards of civility and civil discourse to Gawker Media?

    Of particular interest was Ford Motor Company, which was included in a list of companies which allegedly had instructed Premier Networks not to run its ads on conservative talk radio for fear of controversy.  I have e-mailed Ford both to confirm it will not advertise on conservative talk radio and that it advertises on Gawker Media sites, but have not heard back.

    At the end of the day, the point is not that advertisers should quite Gawker, it’s that there is a complete double standard.  Sexualized, unapologetic attacks on conservative women simply are part of the accepted landscape.

  • California revenues 3.2 percent shy in February – California revenues missed the mark in February by 3.2 percent, or $146.3 million, state Controller John Chiang said Monday.

    Chiang, who manages the state’s cash, said the shortfall was likely due to a spike in tax refunds going out earlier than expected in February. Income tax receipts were 5.7 percent, or $99.9 million, below the Department of Finance’s projection.

    Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers are anxiously awaiting tax receipts from March and April, two significant revenue months as taxpayers file their returns. The Democratic governor has proposed a budget to close a $9.2 billion deficit, but the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has suggested that Brown’s estimates are overly optimistic and that the deficit is likely higher than that figure.

    Though lawmakers have begun to review Brown’s budget in committee, they do not plan to take significant steps on the plan until late spring, closer to the June 15 deadline. Democratic leaders have said they want to see what tax revenues will be like in March and April before deciding how much to cut and where.

  • CA-Sen: California Republican Party Endorses Elizabeth Emken for U.S. Senate Race | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-Sen: California Republican Party Endorses Elizabeth Emken for U.S. Senate Race
  • Contact | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – @MarkStandriff The website is probably overloaded. You can go here and find my direct text address: First #. Thanks!
  • ASICS Support Your Marathoner – 2012 Honda Los Angeles Marathon – Everyone here is the direct link to the Support Your Marathoner Page for me:
  • ASICS Support Your Marathoner – 2012 Honda Los Angeles Marathon – @MarkStandriff Mark, is it the support your marathoner link?
  • Flapsblog.com Readers: Please Support @Flap – Gregory Flap Cole in the Los Angeles Marathon | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Readers: Please Support @Flap – Gregory Flap Cole in the Los Angeles Marathon
  • AD-38: Los Angeles County Republican Party Makes NO Endorsements in Assembly Race » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Los Angeles County Republican Party Makes NO Endorsements in Assembly Race
  • Social Demographics: Who’s Using Today’s Biggest Networks – More than 66% of adults are connected to one or more social media platforms, but who exactly are these people?

    The infographic below, created by Online MBA, breaks down the demographics, including education level, income, age and gender of social media users, along with other miscellaneous facts.

    Some sites’ users are more demographically alike than others. One thing is the same for most social sites — college students, or those who have completed some college, represent the majority on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg and Reddit. Among Facebook users, 57% have completed some college, and 24% have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Although, people 45 and older make up 46% of Facebook users.

    Social media sites are also seeing a gender split — women use social media more than men. More women are on Facebook and Twitter. About 57% of Facebook and 59% of Twitter users are women.

    Women gravitate toward Pinterest and young, techie men hang out on Google+. Pinterest has the heaviest gender imbalance — 82% of users are women, who pin crafts, gift ideas, hobbies, interior design and fashion. On the other spectrum, Google+ is dominated by men (71%) and early adopters, engineers and developers. About 50% of Google+ users are 24 or younger.

    LinkedIn reports an even ratio of men and women — 49% over age 45 — who use the site to connect with other business professionals.

    Most people use social media to stay in touch with friends and family, and more are doing so while on the go. About 200 million Facebook users check their Timelines from their mobile devices every day.

  • Justice Dept opposes Texas voter ID law – The Justice Department’s civil rights division on Monday objected to a new photo ID requirement for voters in Texas because many Hispanic voters lack state-issued identification.
    Texas is the second state in recent months to become embroiled in a court battle with the Justice Department over photo ID requirements for voters.
    The Justice Department said Texas officials failed to show that the newly enacted law has neither a discriminatory purpose nor effect.
    The department had been reviewing the law since last year and discussing the matter with state officials. In January, Texas officials sued U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, seeking a court judgment that the state’s recently enacted voter ID law was not discriminatory in purpose or effect.
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: March 12, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: March 12, 2012
  • The Morning Flap: March 12, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: March 12, 2012
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Dayton Ohio Veterans Administration Dental Clinic Has $6.6 Million in Outstanding Malpractice Claims – Dayton Ohio Veterans Administration Dental Clinic Has $6.6 Million in Outstanding Malpractice Claims
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: March 12, 2012 – The Morning Drill: March 12, 2012
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The Morning Flap: March 8, 2012

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

  • New poll shows Rick Santorum leading in Alabama GOP primary – A new poll released on the eve of Rick Santorum’s first campaign visit to Alabama shows the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania leading in the state Republican Party presidential primary.

    The statewide poll conducted by Alabama State University’s Center for Leadership and Public Policy showed 22.7 percent of likely Republican voters supported Santorum, who is scheduled to make campaign appearances Thursday in Huntsville and Mobile.

    Former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney trailed Santorum with 18.7 percent, followed by Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House from neighboring Georgia, with 13.8 percent.

  • Armed Forces Chairman Levin wants Limbaugh dropped from military radio – The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Wednesday that he would “love” to see controversial conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh dropped from the Armed Forces Network.

    Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) called Limbaugh’s show “offensive” and told CNN he has been “delighted” to see advertisers drop the program in the wake of outrage over Limbaugh calling a Georgetown University law student a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Sandra Fluke, the student, had testified for House Democrats in favor of the White House’s contraception coverage mandate.

  • Rubio ‘not concerned’ about long GOP primary, says no one should be told to drop out – Many Republicans are worried about the presidential primary dragging on for weeks or more, a battle that has already inflicted wounds. Not Sen. Marco Rubio.

    “We’re all impatient. We all want to know who the nominee is so we can get to work,” he said in an interview with the Buzz. “So certainly, yeah, the sooner the better. But I’m not concerned. This is the process and the process will work its way through. What I think is very important for Republicans is not to talk ourselves into this idea that somehow because we’re having a longer primary than we’ve had in past years that we’re somehow doomed to failure in November. We are going to have a nominee whether it’s next week, next month of three months from now. At that point, the election will be reframed. It will no longer be about the super PACs, or supporting Santorum vs. Romney or Gingrich or Paul. The election will become a choice between two very different people, between two very different views of America. And the election will become about the president’s record.”

    Do you think it’s time for Newt Gingrich to drop out?

    “I don’t think anybody should be told to drop out. I think people should run until they feel that either they don’t want to continue or they don’t see a path to victory. I’ve never been a believer in asking people to drop out of a race because I had a bunch of people ask me to drop out of a race.”

  • Gingrich’s future hangs on successful Southern state strategy – Republican insiders believe Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign is on its last legs and say the former House Speaker could leave the race after Tuesday’s primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.

    But they also said the famously unpredictable Gingrich could confound expectations and continue on, despite pleas from some conservatives to step aside and give Rick Santorum a head-to-head matchup with Mitt Romney.

  • Dementia To Cost $200 Billion in 2012, Report Finds – Thursday, March 8, 2012
  • Hispanic Vote Not The Game Changer You Might Think It Is – Thursday, March 8, 2012 – If your family hails from Latin America and you live in a battleground state, brace yourself: politicians have finally woken up to the importance of your vote. President Obama’s re-election, pundits say, may depend on an outpouring of support from the barrios of the West and Southwest.

    Yet attracting Hispanic votes may require more investment, in more places, than either party anticipates. For all the hype about the Hispanic vote in 2012, the aftershocks of the recession may have created a logistical barrier in many states for voter registration.

    New numbers suggest that previous predictions of between 11 and 12 million Hispanic citizens voting in 2012 might be overly optimistic, said Antonio Gonzalez, president of the William C. Velasquez Institute and the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project. Barring a major investment in registration, turnout, or both, that’s about 10.5 million votes cast.

  • Larry Sabato: Six Days on the Road to Tampa – WSJ.com – Unlike many presidential races in recent history, there probably won’t be a “eureka” moment for this GOP nomination. But there are six decisive days that will be worth watching on the road to the Republican nominating convention in Tampa. Three favor Mitt Romney and three favor his opponents.

    • March 13: Primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, caucuses in Hawaii—Mr. Romney not favored.

    In the initial nine weeks of primaries, Mr. Romney has shown a political equivalent of Wall Street’s dead-cat bounce: Victories in one week guarantee no momentum in the next. It may be about to happen again. While Mr. Romney may win moderate Hawaii, losses probably loom for him in Alabama and Mississippi.

  • Closing Tehran’s Sanctions Loopholes
  • The Chinese Military’s Great Leap Forward – China’s announcement of a more than 11 percent increase in declared military spending – following two full decades of double-digit increases – raises several uncomfortable questions for Asia and the West. It is natural for a rising power like China to develop capabilities to defend its expanding array of interests. On the other hand, China’s ascent has been made possible by a benign security environment that well served China’s goal of “peaceful development.” China’s growing military capabilities now threaten to upset that order in ways that, ironically, could complicate China’s security environment at the same time as slowing economic growth intensifies its internal challenges.
  • Republicans fear rough primary could cost them the House and the Senate – Republicans are worried the long, drawn-out presidential primary could cost them the House and the Senate.

    For months, Republicans had been bullish about their prospects for widening their margin in the House and picking off Democratic senators. But some are now questioning whether they could be done in if Mitt Romney limps out of the primary a severely weakened nominee.

  • Poll: Slim majority support Jerry Brown’s tax plan – Even though most Californians think the budget remains a big problem, just a slim majority of likely voters say they support Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax initiative for the November ballot, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California.

    Using the Democratic governor’s ballot title and summary for the first time, the poll found 52 percent of likely voters support temporarily raising the state sales tax and income tax on high-wage earners while 40 percent oppose doing so. Another 8 percent said they are undecided. That’s a drop from past surveys,which found majority support for his plan to temporarily raise taxes. PPIC found Brown’s proposal had 68 percent support in January, before the ballot language was finished.

  • Rush Limbaugh’s insincere critics—Michael Kinsley – Consumers who are avoiding products by Limbaugh’s advertisers are engaged in what’s known in labor law as a secondary boycott. This means boycotting a company you have no grievance with, except that it does business with someone you do have a grievance with.

    Secondary boycotts are generally frowned upon, or in some cases (not this one) actually illegal, on the grounds that enough is enough. There’s sense to that outside the labor context, too. Do we want conservatives organizing boycotts of advertisers on MSNBC, or either side boycotting companies that do business with other companies who advertise on Limbaugh’s show, or Rachel Maddow’s?

    As we all know, Limbaugh’s First Amendment rights aren’t involved here — freedom of speech means freedom from interference by the government. But the spirit of the First Amendment, which is that suppressing speech is bad, still applies. If you don’t care for something Rush Limbaugh has said, say why and say it better. If you’re on the side of truth, you have a natural advantage.

    And if you’re taking on Rush Limbaugh, you’re probably on the side of truth.

  • AD-38: Are Nuclear Weapons Buying a California Assembly Seat for Patricia McKeon? » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Are Nuclear Weapons Buying a California Assembly Seat for Patricia McKeon?
  • News from The Associated Press – RT @AP: How does the new iPad compare to the older model? Here’s a look: -EF
  • Does Saliva Quality Play an Important Role in Meth Mouth? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Does Saliva Quality Play an Important Role in Meth Mouth?
  • More Than 15% Obese in Nearly All U.S. Metro Areas – Adult obesity rates were higher than 15% in all but three of the 190 metropolitan areas that Gallup and Healthways surveyed in 2011. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, residents were the most likely to be obese, at 38.8%, while people living in Boulder, Colo., were the least likely, at 12.1%.
  • CA-Sen: Ex- California POL Chuck DeVore Cannot Let Go | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – RE:  Chuck, your comment was held in moderation because of the link you posted, which is the same as the original pie…
  • Video: No Love Lost Between California Governor Jerry Brown and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom? » Flap’s California Blog – Video: No Love Lost Between California Governor Jerry Brown and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom?
  • Pingree Will Not Make Senate Bid – Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) said she won’t run for the U.S. Senate, a decision that could boost the independent Senate bid of former Gov. Angus King (I), the Portland Press Herald reports.

    Said Pingree: “This isn’t the right time for me to run for the U.S. Senate.”

    “Pingree’s decision was not unexpected. After King said Monday night that he would run as an independent, Pingree acknowledged that she shared widely discussed concerns that she and King might divide the Democratic base, thus paving the way for victory by a Republican contender.”

  • 43% Say New Candidate Should Enter GOP Race; Most Republicans Disagree – Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney may be winning the Republican presidential race, although he appears to be making himself a little less popular in the process. A plurality of voters think it would be better for the GOP if a new candidate jumped in the race, but most Republicans don’t agree.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters now hold at least a somewhat favorable opinion of Romney, but that includes just nine percent (9%) with a Very Favorable view of him. Forty-nine percent (49%) regard Romney at least somewhat unfavorably, with 23% who share a Very Unfavorable opinion.

  • CA-Sen: Ex- California POL Chuck DeVore Cannot Let Go | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @MarkStandriff Hope you enjoy this: Running LA on the 18th
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: March 7, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: March 7, 2012
  • California State Senator Sharon Runner Released from the Hospital » Flap’s California Blog – California State Senator Sharon Runner Released from the Hospital
  • The Morning Flap: March 7, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: March 7, 2012
  • U.S. Job Creation Declines in February – Hiring Down and Firing Up | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – U.S. Job Creation Declines in February – Hiring Down and Firing Up
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: March 7, 2012 – The Morning Drill: March 7, 2012
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