Sequestration from Wall Street Journal
These are my news headlines for February 21st through February 22nd:
- With Axelrod At NBC News, The Marriage Of Media And Politics Becomes Complete – What’s more, Team Obama has declared it has no intention of dismantling its campaign apparatus post re-election. Put Axelrod in the catbird seat at a news outlet and the “narrative” continues. Combine that with Team Obama’s masterful manipulation of journalists, its command of social media, and an ugly picture emerges of a press indistinguishable from the political establishment.This has happened in banana republics, but never in a Western democracy. Already it’s making old-school journalists who value news gathering over politics, such as the New York Times’ Roger Cohen, ABC’s Ann Compton and the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, uncomfortable. The one thing that will stop it is a press that won’t cooperate. So where is that press?
- Budget hawks question Pentagon’s doomsday scenarios – But perhaps the biggest example of the Washington Monument maneuver is coming from the Defense Department, where it goes by another name. Over many decades of defense budget battles, the Pentagon has often used a tactic known as a “gold watch.” It means to answer a budget cut proposal by selecting for elimination a program so important and valued — a gold watch — that Pentagon chiefs know political leaders will restore funding rather than go through with the cut.So now, with sequestration approaching, the Pentagon has announced that the possibility of budget cuts has forced the Navy to delay deployment of the carrier USS Harry S. Truman to the Persian Gulf. With tensions with Iran as high as they’ve ever been, that would leave the U.S. with just one carrier, instead of the preferred two, in that deeply troubled region.
- What Unites Obama’s Coalition — and What Could Divide It – Overall, the survey put Obama’s approval rating at 51 percent — almost exactly replicating his share of the vote last November. For all of his key groups, his approval ratings today remain close to his vote shares against Republican Mitt Romney. The survey put his approval among African-Americans at 91 percent (compared to his vote of 93 percent in November), among Hispanics at 68 percent (compared to 71 percent in November), college-educated white women at 48 percent (compared to 46 percent), and adults ages 18 to 29 at 57 percent (compared to 60 percent). Considering that several percent of those in each group described themselves as undecided on Obama’s performance, those numbers suggest almost no change from his support in the election.
- Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? – Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? #tcot
- Noonan: Government by Freakout – The president’s sequester strategy is like Howard Beale in “Network”: “Woe is us. . . . And woe is us! We’re in a lot of trouble!”It is always cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes with Barack Obama. It is always government by freakout.
That’s what’s happening now with the daily sequester warnings. Seven hundred thousand children will be dropped from Head Start. Six hundred thousand women and children will be dropped from aid programs. Meat won’t be inspected. Seven thousand TSA workers will be laid off, customs workers too, and air traffic controllers. Lines at airports will be impossible. The Navy will slow down the building of an aircraft carrier. Troop readiness will be disrupted, weapons programs slowed or stalled, civilian contractors stiffed, uniformed first responders cut back. Our nuclear deterrent will be indefinitely suspended. Ha, made that one up, but give them time.Mr. Obama has finally hit on his own version of national unity: Everyone get scared together.
- Is President Obama overplaying sequestration hand? – President Barack Obama’s greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn’t the Republican leadership in Congress — it’s his confidence in his own ability to force a win.He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn’t open a line of communication with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell until Thursday, a week before the spending ax hits. And when they did finally hear from Obama, the calls were perfunctory, with no request to step up negotiations or invitations to the White House.
- Why Obama and Rove Should Sit Down and Keep Quiet
- Fewer Americans Getting Health Insurance From Employer – Fewer Americans reported having employer-based health insurance in 2012 than did in 2008, 2009, and 2010, but at 44.5% it is unchanged from 2011. At the same time, more Americans continue to report having a government-based health plan — Medicare, Medicaid, or military or veterans’ benefits — with the 25.6% who did so in 2012 up from 23.4% in 2008.
- H.R. 6684: Spending Reduction Act of 2012 – Legislative Digest – GOP.gov – RT @robertcostaNRO Text: the GOP’s sequester replacement, which was passed in Dec. 2012
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 #tcot
- Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid » The Right Scoop – – RT @trscoop: Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid
- A Tax By Another Name – Writing in the New York Times yesterday, Yuval Levin made the case for means-testing Social Security and Medicare. As you’d expect from Yuval the case is well made and elegantly thought-through. It’s also, if I may respectfully say so, misguided. Partly as a consequence of the refusal to make consumption take its fair share of the tax load, the US already taxes income on a pretty progressive basis (even more so, I suspect, if, just for the sake of argument, you excluded the very richest from the equation—highly taxed wage income generally makes up a lower percentage of their total take). Means-testing these two programs would only tighten the screws still further.
- Capitol Alert: Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move – Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move
- Charles Krauthammer: Immigration — the lesser of two evils – The president suggested he would hold off introducing his own immigration bill as long as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace — until his own immigration bill mysteriously leaked precisely as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace.A naked political maneuver and a blunt warning to Republicans: Finish that immigration deal in Congress, or I’ll propose something I know you can’t accept — and flog the issue mercilessly next year to win back the House.
- The 60th vote: Republican Richard Shelby to vote for cloture on Hagel; Update: Deb Fischer too? « Hot Air – Looks like Chuck Hagel is the next Sec Defense. Let the sequestration begin:
- 6 Questions for the Immigration Reformers – From border security to H1-B visas, much needs to be answered in the looming immigration debate.
- Obama reaches out to Boehner, McConnell as sequester cuts loom – The Hill – Obama symbolism over substance: #tcot
- DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider – DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider #tcot
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case – Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse? – Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse?
- Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United – Flap’s Blog – Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United #tcot
- ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ – ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ #tcot
- The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors – NYTimes.com – The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors #tcot
- Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years – Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years #tcot
- Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery – latimes.com – Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery #tcot
- Harry Reid says he’ll run for re-election in 2016; won’t comment on Sandoval as opponent – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the capital press corps at the Nevada Legislature Wednesday night that he will seek re-election in 2016.The news conference came after he gave a speech to state lawmakers, like Reid does every legislative session.When asked if he would run for re-election, Reid said, “Sure, why not?”
When asked if he thought Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval would run against him, Reid said, “Oh, I don’t know.”
When asked if he could beat Sandoval, Reid said, “Hey, I don’t get involved in fights I don’t have to.”
When reminded that he was a boxer in his youth, Reid replied, “But I’m not stupid.”
- 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw:
These are my news headlines for February 21st:
- Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us | TIME.com – 1. Routine Care, Unforgettable Bills
When Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old from Lancaster, Ohio, was told last March that he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife Stephanie knew she had to get him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Stephanie’s father had been treated there 10 years earlier, and she and her family credited the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson with extending his life by at least eight years.Because Stephanie and her husband had recently started their own small technology business, they were unable to buy comprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean.
- GOP Has Trouble Settling on Candidates Who Can Win – One of the interesting things about recent elections is that Republicans have tended to do better the farther you go down the ballot.They’ve lost the presidency twice in a row, and in four of the last six contests. They’ve failed to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, something they accomplished in five election cycles between 1994 and 2006.But they have won control of the House of Representatives in the last two elections, and in eight of the last 10 cycles.And they’ve been doing better in elections to state legislatures than at any time since the 1920s.
One reason for this is that, as I have written, Democratic voters are clustered in large metropolitan areas, which helps them in the Electoral College but hurts in legislatures with equal-population districts.
But there’s another reason, which has been particularly glaring in races for the U.S. Senate: candidate quality.
- The future of free-market healthcare – Over nearly a century, progressives have pressed for a national, single-payer healthcare system. When it comes to health reform, what have conservatives stood for?For far too long, conservatives have failed to coalesce around a long-term vision of what a free-market healthcare system should look like. Republican attention to healthcare, in turn, has only arisen sporadically, in response to Democratic initiatives.Obamacare is the logical byproduct of this conservative policy neglect. President Barack Obama’s re-election was a strategic victory for his signature healthcare law. Once the bulk of the program begins to be implemented in 2014 — especially its trillions of dollars in new health-insurance subsidies — it will become politically impossible to repeal. And as the baby boomers retire and Obamacare is fully operational, government health spending will reach unsustainable levels.The great irony of Obama’s triumph, however, is that it can pave the way for Republicans to adopt a comprehensive, market-oriented healthcare agenda. The market-oriented prescription drug program in Medicare has controlled the growth of government health spending. Similarly, conservatives can use Obamacare’s important concession to the private sector — its establishment of subsidized insurance marketplaces — as a vehicle for broader entitlement reforms.
- The Pro-Growth Sequester – The Obama administration is whipping up hysteria over the sequester budget cuts and their impact on the economy, the military, first providers, and so forth and so on. Armageddon. But if you climb into the Congressional Budget Office numbers for 2013, you see a much lighter and easier picture than all the worst-case scenarios being conjured up by the administration.For example, the $85 billion so-called spending cut is actually budget authority, not budget outlays. According to the CBO, budget outlays will come down by $44 billion, or one quarter of 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP is $15.8 trillion). What’s more, that $44 billion outlay reduction is only 1.25 percent of the $3.6 trillion government budget.
- Ted Cruz knocks Obama on immigration – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) says President Barack Obama wants to “scuttle” immigration reform by injecting a path to citizenship into the debate so Democrats can keep the issue alive for political gain.“The president has been focusing on amnesty — a path to citizenship that skips ahead of the line,” the freshman tea party senator said Wednesday at a speech in Dallas, according to The Dallas Morning News. “That, he knows, is a position not supported by a great many Americans and not a position that will achieve bipartisan cooperation. It’s designed to scuttle the bill.”
- Foreign Buyers Hop on Rental Trend – US Masters, a real-estate investment trust that has raised $276 million, primarily from Australian retirees, is one of a handful of foreign firms that are betting on the U.S. housing recovery by buying houses at discount prices.The business of buying-and-renting houses, long dominated by local mom-and-pop investors, has morphed over the past two years into one of the hottest investments on Wall Street. Dozens of pension investors and private-equity firms, such as Blackstone Group LP BX -2.19% and Colony Capital LLC, are clamoring to buy homes in beaten-up markets, sometimes using money from foreign co-investors.
- Majority of U.S. citizens say illegal immigrants should be deported – More than half of U.S. citizens believe that most or all of the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants should be deported, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday that highlights the difficulties facing lawmakers trying to reform the U.S. immigration system.The online survey shows resistance to easing immigration laws despite the biggest push for reform in Congress since 2007.
- Missile Defense Tests Successful, but Future of Program in Doubt – The unanswered question is whether the Missile Defense Agency will be permitted to advance this space-based missile defense capability—whether through the STSS program or the PTSS program—to a deployed constellation at all. There should be little doubt that arms control advocates, both inside the Administration and out, are livid that this test took place at all, let alone that it was successful. This is because a space-based missile defense capability is incompatible with the Administration’s arms control agenda.
- Gov. Scott agrees to expand Florida Medicaid program – Gov. Rick Scott announced plans Wednesday to expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 900,000 more people under the federal health overhaul, a surprise decision from the vocal critic of President Barack Obama’s plan.Scott said he will ask the Legislature to expand the program under a bill that would expire in three years, after which it would require renewed legislative support. He’s the seventh Republican governor so far to propose expanding the taxpayer-funded health insurance program.
- Tea Party and Republican groups launch Hispanic outreach – Tea Party and Republican groups launch Hispanic outreach #tcot
- How former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Spent His Campaign Funds – Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) pleaded guilty today “to a conspiracy to siphon about $750,000 in federal campaign funds for their personal use,” the Chicago Tribune reports.”About 3,100 personal purchases were made on campaign credit cards, totaling $582,772.58… Prosecutors said $60,000 was spent on restaurants, nightclubs and lounges; $31,700 on personal airfare; $16,000 on sports clubs and lounges; $17,000 on tobacco shops; $5,800 on alcohol; $14,500 on dry cleaning; $8,000 on grocery stores and $6,000 at drug stores.””In one of the more exotic purchases, Jackson used campaign funds in the spring of 2011 to pay a taxidermist in Montana $7,058 for two mounted elk heads to be shipped to his office in Washington. This was the beginning of an FBI sting, according to court documents.”
- California Dept. of Transportation: ‘Be Sure to Black Out the ‘United States’ and [the] Motto’ | The Weekly Standard – California Dept. of Transportation: ‘Be Sure to Black Out the ‘United States’ and [the] Motto’
- Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilians – Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilians #tcot
- The sequester blame game – Much depends on the timing of any economic turndown. If it occurs this year, but is followed by improvement in 2014, the political consequences are not likely to be significant. If the economy is in trouble in mid-2014, then all bets are off. For this reason, among others, Republicans should reject out of hand the president’s efforts to postpone the sequester for a year. In any event, the sequester would make the Republicans a full partner with Obama when it comes to the state of the economy.In the end, though, Republicans are committed, as they should be, to cutting government spending. This is never a politically risk-free proposition. But it’s better to get a head start now, when blame might well be shared, than to save all the work for when (if) Republicans gain control of the government and will absorb all of the blame.JOHN adds: My own view is that Republicans should happily take credit for the spending cuts represented by the sequester. They aren’t anywhere near enough, but they are the most substantial spending cuts, I believe, in my lifetime. I think 75% of the population will be pleasantly surprised to learn that Congress is actually capable of cutting spending.
- The GOP’s astonishingly bad message on sequester cuts – None of which addresses the Republican problem on the sequester. If the problem is one of substance — that is, if GOP leaders truly believe the cuts threaten national security but are nevertheless supporting them — then Republicans have put themselves into an untenable situation. If, as is more likely, the problem is one of message — that is, if Republicans believe the cuts are not only manageable without threatening national security but are also desirable as a first step toward controlling spending — then the Boehner article is sending all the wrong signals.
- Video: John McCain Gets Testy With Arizona Voter Questioning Immigration Amnesty – Flap’s Blog – Video: John McCain Gets Testy With Arizona Voter Questioning Immigration Amnesty #tcot
- Mistake in First California Carbon Auction Raises Questions About Secrecy | KQED News Fix – Mistake in First California Carbon Auction Raises Questions About Secrecy
- Second cap and trade auction needs big bucks | news10.net – Second cap and trade California auction needs big bucks
- We predicted there was no tax ‘windfall’ | CalWatchDog – We predicted there was no California tax ‘windfall’
- The Morning Flap: February 20, 2013 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: February 20, 2013 #tcot
- A Mighty Wind by Ben Boychuk – City Journal – A Mighty Wind – California Flatulence Jokes
The United States Supreme Court is under watch for imminent decisions on the constitutionality of ObamaCare – the Affordable Care Act and the Arizona Immigration Law among other cases
These are my links for June 20th through June 21st:
- The Private Cost of Public Queues– The measurement of health care waiting times, or the examination of the absolute delay Canadians must endure in order to receive medically necessary care, is only one way of looking at the burden of waiting for health care. We can also calculate the privately borne cost of waiting: the value of the time that is lost while waiting for treatment. One way of estimating the privately borne cost of waiting for care in Canada was originally developed by Steven Globerman and Lorna Hoye (1990). They calculated the cost of waiting by estimating the amount of time that could not be used productively by a patient while waiting for treatment.The estimated cost of waiting for care in Canada for patients who were in the queue in 2011, according to calculations based on the methodology produced by Globerman and Hoye, was $1.08 billion—an average of about $1,144 for each of the estimated 941,321 Canadians waiting for treatment in 2011. Alternatively, that cost works out to roughly $10,399 for each individual among the 11.0% of patients in the queue who were suffering considerable hardship while waiting for care.
- How Long Do Canadians Wait for Healthcare?– According to a new study by Canada’s Fraser Institute, surgical waitlists are costing the nation about $1 billion each year in lost productivity. The average Canadian can now expect to wait 9.5 weeks for treatment with a medical specialist, this number up from 9.3 weeks last year.While most stories report on the personal pain of waiting for care, Fraser’s new report “The Private Cost of Public Queues,” breaks ground in assigning a specific monetary value to the Canadian economy’s loss each year due to the rationing in its single-payer healthcare system.Based on a 2011 Statistics Canada finding, the study makes the assumption that 11% of patients “were adversely affected by their wait for non-emergency surgery.” Dividing the cost individually, health rationing for Canada’s 941,321 patients seeking specialized surgery came out to $3,500 per patient in lost wage hours.
- Romney Campaign Said to Ask Scott to Downplay Job Gains– Mitt Romney ’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama,according to two people familiar with the matter.Scott, a Republican, was asked to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, according to the people, who asked not to be named.What’s unfolding in Florida highlights a dilemma for the Romney campaign: how to allow Republican governors to take credit for economic improvements in their states while faulting Obama’s stewardship of the national economy. Republican governors in Ohio, Virginia , Michigan and Wisconsin also have highlighted improving economies.Scott should follow the advice of the Romney campaign and it won’t undermine his own message, said Mac Stipanovich, a political strategist and lobbyist in Florida.
“This is one of those situations where you could have it both ways and there’s enough truth in it that it would resonate,” Stipanovich said. “It would be better if everybody was singing from the same hymnal.”
New Poll Romney’s campaign is eager to sell its economy message in Florida, one of the most competitive electoral battlegrounds, where the past three presidential races were decided by 5 percentage points or less. Obama leads Romney, 46 percent to 42 percent, in a Quinnipiac University poll released today, a shift from May when the Republican was in the lead, 47 percent to 41 percent.
- Murdered Border Agent’s Family Says President Obama ‘Compounding This Tragedy’ with Executive Privilege Assertion– The family of slain U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, who was killed with guns tied to the Fast and Furious program, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon accusing President Obama of compounding their family tragedy by invoking executive privilege.President Obama invoked executive privilege to shield the Justice Department from having to release documents sought by House Republican investigating the secret law enforcement program, wherein weapons smugglers were permitted to buy guns so law enforcement could trace them to drug cartels. Law enforcement lost track of hundreds of the guns, which began showing up at crime scenes, most tragically in December 2010, where Terry was killed.
- Fast And Furious: Executive Privilege Is Illegitimate to Shield Wrongdoing– As a strong defender of executive power (when properly exercised) and executive privilege (when properly invoked), I am concerned when claims of executive power or privilege are abused for any reason—especially if they are invoked to shield potential wrongdoing. In addition to shielding the wrongdoing, it jeopardizes the very executive power that the President is entrusted with when Congress and the courts react—as they did in the post-Watergate era—to the abuse of power.The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is rightfully investigating the Fast and Furious debacle, in which the Administration allowed thousands of guns to flow across the Mexican border, resulting in the death of one U.S. border patrol agent and at least 200 Mexican citizens—according to the Mexican attorney general. The most glaring violation of executive power in that investigation prior to today was the refusal of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to turn over 1,300 pages of documents subpoenaed by the committee without even an assertion of executive privilege. Attorney General Eric Holder simply refused on his own initiative in a blatant act of stonewalling.
- Those Fast and Furious documents must be dynamite– My friend Bill Otis was a Justice Department lawyer for many years. He spent a good portion of those years as a prosecutor. He also served as an attorney in the White House Counsel’s shop, so he knows all about dealing with unpleasant congressional inventigations and demands for documents.In short, Bill is extremely very well positioned to comment knowledgably on the dispute between Rep. Issa’s Committee and Eric Holder, and on the White House’s decision to assert executive privilege. Here is what Bill had to say:Even with his fawning press, [Presdient Obama] will pay a price for this one. He knows this, meaning that the documents now to be withheld must be dynamite. They have to show either that Holder knew what was going on with Fast and Furious and approved it, or that he directly committed perjury in his Congressional testimony, or both. I just can’t see any other explanation for such a risky move.Wasn’t the Washington Post just covering big time the 40th anniversary of Watergate? I wonder how much coverage this one will get.
- Obama weaves Fast and Furious fight into his re-election narrative– President Obama escalated a battle between his administration and the Republican House over Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday in ways that could benefit his reelection campaign.By asserting executive privilege over “Fast and Furious” documents sought by the House GOP, Obama inserted himself directly into the fight between Holder and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman. He also made it easier to run against not only Mitt Romney, but a Republican House he hopes to portray as divisive and overly extreme.
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Comments on Politics, the Dental World and Much More – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-06-21
- The Morning Flap: June 20, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: June 20, 2012
- House panel recommends Holder contempt citation – CNN.com – Obama asserts executive privilege on Fast and Furious documents
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: June 20, 2012 – The Morning Drill: June 20, 2012
These are my links for December 9th through December 12th:
- U.S. Supreme Court blocks court-drawn Texas map in win for Republicans – The U.S. Supreme Court has again thrown Texas’s new congressional map into a state of flux, temporarily blocking a court-drawn redistricting map late Friday and announcing that it would rule on the constitutionality of the map early next year.
The ruling is a win for Republicans who had sought to hold up the map of the state’s 36 congressional districts. The map was drawn by a three-judge panel after a map drawn by Texas Republicans got caught up in the courts.
The court also put a temporary hold on the state legislative districts drawn by the panel, and will decide on the constitutionality of those maps.
The Supreme Court has called for an expedited hearing and will hear arguments on Jan. 9.
- Supreme Court to decide Arizona immigration law – The Supreme Court said on Monday that it would decide whether Arizona’s tough law cracking down on illegal immigrants can take effect, a case arising from the fierce national debate on immigration policy ahead of next year’s presidential election.
The high court agreed to review a ruling that put on hold the key parts of the law signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer in April 2010. The case has been closely watched because several other states have adopted similar laws.
The law requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they detained and suspected of being in the nation illegally. Other parts require immigrants to carry their papers at all times and ban people without proper documents from soliciting for work in public places.
The justices are likely to hear arguments in the case in April, with a ruling due by July. It could produce another contentious election-year ruling for the court, which also will decide President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul law.
- BuzzFeed Adds Politico Writer – Ben Smith – BuzzFeed, a site where the editors and algorithms sift the Web in search of viral articles elsewhere, has decided that it needs articles of its own.
In a move that is sure to surprise the political and journalistic classes, the site is hiring Ben Smith, one of the foremost writers at Politico, to build a new breed of social news organization.
As editor in chief, Mr. Smith will hire more than a dozen reporters right away, said Jonah Peretti, who founded BuzzFeed with Kenneth Lerer, “and then we will keep growing from there.” The reporters will be scoop generators, Mr. Peretti said. “By breaking scoops and drawing attention,” he added, they will help increase traffic and, by extension, advertising sales.
It is a tenet of BuzzFeed that the Web pages users like to click are different from the pages they like to share with others. BuzzFeed encourages the second case, the sharing of links, articles and photos on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. The reporting by Mr. Smith and his staff will be produced with that sharing strategy in mind.
“I already write for the social Web and consume most of my news on the social Web,” said Mr. Smith, who calls Twitter his main source of news.
- Gingrich Ahead in Iowa by Double-Digits – A new University of Iowa Hawkeye poll shows Newt Gingrich leading among likely Iowa caucus-goers with 30%, followed by Mitt Romney 20%, Ron Paul at 11%, Michele Bachmann at 9%, Rick Perry at 8% and Rick Santorum at 5%.
Another 11% of likely caucus goers remain undecided.
- Rick Perry going for broke in Iowa with 3 weeks to go – Seen just four months ago as conservatives’ potential savior, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is fighting for his life in Iowa.
With three weeks until Iowa’s leadoff caucuses, the Texas governor has retooled his message from the strict jobs focus he began with in August to one promoting him as a conservative outsider.
And he’s doubled down on television advertising for the home stretch, having already spent more than $2 million in Iowa only to see his support remain in single digits.
Perry’s revamped charge to the Jan. 3 caucuses is a sign of the pressure he faces to revive his faltering national campaign. And it’s far from clear whether it’s working.
- Record 64% Rate Honesty, Ethics of Members of Congress Low – Sixty-four percent of Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress as “low” or “very low,” tying the record “low”/”very low” rating Gallup has measured for any profession historically. Gallup has asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethics of numerous professions since 1976, including annually since 1990. Lobbyists also received a 64% low honesty and ethics rating in 2008.
- Under fire for bet, Mitt Romney recalls more austere times – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has faced criticism over the years for being too guarded and impersonal on the campaign trail.
But on Sunday afternoon in Hudson, N.H., prompted by a voter who asked him to share an experience that had changed his world view, he opened up about how his experience as a Mormon missionary in France had given him an appreciation for the privileges of his upbringing.
Romney – a wealthy former business consultant who has been under fire for offering rival Rick Perry a $10,000 bet in Saturday night’s debate – noted that he had grown up “with a great deal of affluence” as the son of an auto executive who became Michigan’s three-term governor.
- William Jefferson Appeal Could Weaken Corruption Statute – A federal prosecutor warned Friday that if the conviction of former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) is reversed on appeal, it would place many fraudulent acts committed by lawmakers outside the scope of current bribery law.
Jefferson was convicted of 11 corruption charges in 2009, but his legal team is arguing that since the former Congressman’s scheme to connect businesses in which he had a financial stake with foreign governments was not related to his formal legislative duties, his activities are not covered by the bribery statute under which he was prosecuted.
Government prosecutors say agreeing with Jefferson’s argument would require a narrow interpretation of the law that is unprecedented.
- President 2012: Rick Perry calls ‘Solynda’ a country – Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) stumbled over Solyndra, mispronouncing the company’s name and calling it a country.
Perry was hitting President Obama for his green energy policy when the slip occurred at a campaign event Sunday in Iowa.
“No greater example of it than this administration sending millions of dollars into the solar industry, and we lost that money,” he said. “I want to say it was over $500 million that went to the country Solynda.”
Solyndra is a solar energy company that went bankrupt after receiving over $500 million in federal loan guarantees.
The gaffe was the latest in what has become a pattern of verbal miscues for the Republican presidential candidate.
- (404) http://shar.es/o9kaL–and – RT @jpodhoretz: Put the 10K line together with Jonathan Last’s piece in Standard today– Romney has had better days
- TRENDING: Gingrich won’t use surrogates to go negative – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @PoliticalTicker: Gingrich won’t use surrogates to go negative
- foursquare :: Ronnie’s Diner :: Los Angeles, CA – I just ousted Dan M. as the mayor of Ronnie’s Diner on @foursquare!
- foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – Post 10 miler brunch with Alice, Tara, Mary And Nancy (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
- | www.theacornonline.com | The Acorn Online – In Print and on the Web – | | The Acorn Online – In Print and on the Web
- | www.theacornonline.com | The Acorn Online – In Print and on the Web – Santa’s elves | | Camarillo Acorn | | Camarillo Acorn
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-10 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-10 #tcot #catcot
- Feds crack down on HCG weight loss claims – latimes.com – Firms warned by Feds over sale of weight-loss hormone HCG
- Poll Watch: Americans Health Habits Decline as Winter Approaches | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Poll Watch: Americans Health Habits Decline as Winter Approaches
- Santa’s elves | www.thecamarilloacorn.com | Camarillo Acorn | www.thecamarilloacorn.com | Camarillo Acorn – Congressman Elton Gallegly and friends deliver toys to local military families #catcot #tcot #cagop
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Canadian physician Dr. Brian Day discusses the Canadian Socialized healthcare system
A new website is up: The Faces of Government Healthcare
Before Congress considers any form of government-run health care, they should hear the voices of patients denied care because the government deemed it too costly or delayed care because of long waiting lists for surgery or diagnostic tests.
Any serious discussion of health care reform that does not include choice, competition, accountability and responsibility â€” the four “pillars” of patients’ rights â€” will result in our government truly becoming a “nanny-state,” making decisions based on what is best for society and government rather than individuals deciding what is best for each of us.
Check it out…..