These are my links for January 4th through January 7th:
- Democrats look for up to $1 trillion in new tax revenues this year – Democrats say they want to raise as much as $1 trillion in new revenues through tax reform later this year to balance Republican demands to slash mandatory spending.Democratic leaders have had little time to craft a new position for their party since passing a tax deal Tuesday that will raise $620 billion in revenue over the next ten years.The emerging consensus, however, is that the next installment of deficit reduction should reach $2 trillion and about half of it should come from higher taxes.
- Despite New Health Law, Some See Sharp Rise in Premiums – Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.
- Red state Senate Dems face tough early votes – “I think you need to put everything on the table,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D, told ABC News ‘ George Stephanopoulos this past Sunday, “but what I hear from the administration – and if the Washington Post is to be believed – that’s way, way in extreme of what I think is necessary or even should be talked about. And it’s not going to pass.”The Washington Post article Heitkamp was referring to, reported that President Obama would soon seek to pass legislation “that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors.” And Obama wants all of this “by the end of January” according to The Boston Herald.While this ambition agenda and timing may be music to blue state Democrat ears, it can only be a headache for red state Democrats like Heitkamp … and she isn’t even up for reelection this cycle. A total of seven Democratic Senators from states that Mitt Romney carried in 2012 are up for election in 2014. And six of those Senators (Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Max Baucus, D-Mont., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Jay Rockefeler, D-W.V.) hail from states that Romney carried by double-digits. Only North Carolina’s Kay Hagan will face an electorate that Obama even came close to winning in 2012 (Romney +2) … and the only other Democrat on the ballot statewide in North Carolina in 2012 lost by 11.
- Hagel’s Mideast blunder–not on Israel – Does Kaplan really think there is any case that the situation after Petraeus’ surge isn’t much better than the situation that would have existed if there had been no surge? I doubt it. And remember, Hagel didn’t just oppose the surge. He declared that it was “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam”– the sort of emotionalized MSM-pleasing misjudgment that seems to have endeared him to so many GOP colleagues (who, as Marc Ambinder notes, ”think he’s a showboat and turncoat”).Can’t Obama find a “anti-Israel” … Likud-skeptical figure who didn’t flamboyantly and self-righteously get wrong the most important military decision since the original 2003 Iraq invasion (which Hagel, by the way, voted to authorize)? Sure, Hillary and Kerry opposed the surge too. But not everyone did–not even everyone who opposed the war. Gen. Anthony Zinni, for example, isn’t someone likely to please Bill Kristol and AIPAC–but after opposing Bush’s invasion he had the balls to say that a surge was worth trying.
- Six Reasons Obama Chose Chuck Hagel – Back at the 2004 Republican convention, when then-Sen. Chuck Hagel was weighing whether to run for president, he paid a call on the Iowa delegation. His obligatory joke about his devotion to ethanol went over well. But then, to the puzzlement of some in the room, he started talking to his conservative breakfast audience about the United Nations and the need for multilateralism in tackling world problems.Needless to say, that wasn’t quite what we were hearing from the convention stage, or for that matter from anyone else in the GOP. Hagel didn’t run for president. But as it turns out, his remarks ended up laying groundwork for a different kind of future – as a potential defense secretary in the Obama administration.There are well known controversies associated with Hagel’s expected nomination, involving everything from climate change and gay rights to Israel, Iraq and Iran. But unlike the case of U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, who withdrew as a potential secretary of state nominee amid criticism from Republicans, President Obama is pressing forward with Hagel.
- LA Times – Critics slam Chuck Hagel’s likely nomination as Defense secretary #tcot
- Bill Kristol’s big plans start with Hagel nomination – Kenneth P. Vogel – POLITICO.com – RT @DHBerman Bill Kristol-linked group planning a “substantial” paid-media campaign opposing the Hagel DOD nomination
- Video – Fla. Governor Jeb Bush Considering Run for President – Video – Fla. Governor Jeb Bush Considering Run for President #tcot
- Bill Kristol’s big plans start with Hagel nomination – Bill Kristol’s big plans start with Hagel nomination #tcot
- Critics slam Chuck Hagel’s likely nomination as Defense secretary – With former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Defense secretary imminent, conservatives denounced his views on Israel and Iran as out of step with mainstream foreign policy, underscoring the difficulty he is likely to face winning Senate confirmation.An administration official said Sunday that Hagel — a decorated Vietnam veteran, a Republican and a former two-term senator from Nebraska — would be nominated Monday to succeed Leon E. Panetta. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House planning.
- Obama Expected to Pick Chuck Hagel for Defense Post – When President Obama nominates Chuck Hagel, the maverick Republican and former senator from Nebraska, to be his next secretary of defense, he will be turning to a trusted ally whose willingness to defy party loyalty and conventional wisdom won his admiration both in the Senate and on a 2008 tour of war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- JOHN BRENNAN TAPPED TO LEAD CIA – President Barack Obama will announce Monday that he’s nominating the White House’s point person on counterterrorism, John Brennan, to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, White House officials told POLITICO.Brennan, a 25-year veteran of the CIA, currently holds the title of Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. He’s expected to appear with Obama later Monday at a White House event where the president will also announce his nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to be the next defense secretary.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-06 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-06
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-06 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-06
- Boehner Coup Attempt Larger Than First Thought – A concerted effort to unseat Speaker John A. Boehner was under way the day of his re-election to the position, but participants called it off 30 minutes before the House floor vote, CQ Roll Call has learned.A group of disaffected conservatives had agreed to vote against the Ohio lawmaker if they could get at least 25 members to join the effort. But one member, whose identity could not be verified, rescinded his or her participation the morning of the vote, leaving the group one person short of its self-imposed 25-member threshold. Only 17 votes against Boehner were required to force a second ballot, but the group wanted to have insurance.
- Poll: Few people know obesity can cause more harm to health than just heart disease, diabetes – The Washington Post – Poll: Few people know obesity can cause more harm to health than just heart disease, diabetes #tcot
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Parents of Marissa Kingery Sue Others in Dental Procedure Death – Parents of Marissa Kingery Sue Others in Dental Procedure Death
- Mexican drug gangs dig into mining industry – On October 7, Mexican marines swooped in on one of the most powerful men in organised crime. But as the navy triumphantly announced the death of Heriberto Lazcano, leader of the Zetas gang, there was puzzlement over where he had been found. Far from the Zeta’s strongholds and practically unprotected, he had been watching a baseball game in the small mining village of Progreso.Theories abounded as to what exactly Lazcano had been doing in Progreso, a one horse town in the wide open spaces of the sorthern state of Coahuila. Humberto Moreira, ex-governor of Coahuila says that he has the answer: “Heriberto Lazcano changed from being a killer, kidnapper and drug dealer to something still more lucrative: mining coal. That’s why he lived in the coal region, in a little village called Progreso.”Speaking to Al Jazeera, Moreira says that the Zetas gang is fast discovering that illegal mining is an even more lucrative venture than drug running.
- White House to Go on Offense for Hagel Pick – WSJ.com – So what? Hagel’s Done RT @ZekeJMiller: White House to Go on Offense for Hagel Pick – via @WSJ
- Sen. Ted Cruz: “I’m A Conservative Because Conservative Policies Work” – SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TEXAS): The reason why I’m a conservative is because conservative policies work and they improve opportunities. They are the avenue for climbing the economic dream. And what I have been talking about for many years is opportunity conservatism, that every policy should focus like a laser on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder. That we should be championing the 47%, to take that now infamous comment.Look, the great thing about Americans — Americans don’t want to be dependent upon government. Dependency saps the spirit, it doesn’t work. Americans want to stand on their own two feet and the best way to do that is to have policies that allow entrepreneurs and small business to thrive and to create jobs and advance the American dream.
- Social Security – It’s Worse Than You Think – CONGRESS and President Obama have pushed through a relatively modest stopgap measure to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” but over the coming years, the United States will confront another huge cliff: Social Security.In the first presidential debate, Mr. Obama described Social Security as “structurally sound,” and Mitt Romney said that “neither the president nor I are proposing any changes” to the program. It was a rare issue on which both men agreed — and both were utterly wrong. For the first time in more than a quarter-century, Social Security ran a deficit in 2010: It spent $49 billion dollars more in benefits than it received in revenues, and drew from its trust funds to cover the shortfall.Those funds — a $2.7 trillion buffer built in anticipation of retiring baby boomers — will be exhausted by 2033, the government currently projects. Those facts are widely known.
What’s not is that the Social Security Administration underestimates how long Americans will live and how much the trust funds will need to pay out — to the tune of $800 billion by 2031, more than the current annual defense budget — and that the trust funds will run out, if nothing is done, two years earlier than the government has predicted.
- Feud over Obama health care reforms to intensify in coming months – The spotlight on President Obama’s health care overhaul will intensify in coming months as states and businesses gear up for sweeping changes that could determine whether the public embraces the president’s signature legislative achievement or decries it as government overreach.After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the new health care law, the politics evolved from arguments over the reforms’ constitutionality to a debate over whether the massive system can be implemented effectively.The president has long assured critics that once the reforms are fully enacted, the public will embrace them. Yet, while voters gave Obama a second term in November, polls show they are wary of the looming changes. A Rasmussen poll last month showed that nearly half of the respondents expect the health care system “to get worse over the next couple of years.”
- The Education of John Boehner – GOP willingness to let the spending sequester take effect – What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: “At one point several weeks ago,” Mr. Boehner says, “the president said to me, ‘We don’t have a spending problem.’ “I am talking to Mr. Boehner in his office on the second floor of the Capitol, 72 hours after the historic House vote to take America off the so-called fiscal cliff by making permanent the Bush tax cuts on most Americans, but also to raise taxes on high earners. In the interim, Mr. Boehner had been elected to serve his second term as speaker of the House. Throughout our hourlong conversation, as is his custom, he takes long drags on one cigarette after another.Mr. Boehner looks battle weary from five weeks of grappling with the White House. He’s frustrated that the final deal failed to make progress toward his primary goal of “making a down payment on solving the debt crisis and setting a path to get real entitlement reform.” At one point he grimly says: “I need this job like I need a hole in the head.”
- McConnell: Any gun proposals will take back seat to solving country’s financial problems – The Washington Post – RT @washingtonpost: McConnell: Any gun proposals will take back seat to solving country’s financial problems
- Getting around Prop. 13 | prop, tax, percent – Opinion – The Orange County Register – Getting around California Proposition 13
- Video: Pelosi: More tax revenues must be part of next deficit deal – Pushing back against the Republicans’ deficit-reduction strategy, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said this weekend that more tax revenues – not just spending cuts – must be a part of Congress’s effort to rein in deficits.Pelosi said the tax hikes in the recent “fiscal-cliff” deal are a start, but don’t go far enough to generate the revenues the government needs to run the country effectively.
- Video: There Would Be A Revolution in this Country If the Government Confiscated Guns – Video: There Would Be A Revolution in this Country If the Government Confiscated Guns #tcot
- Day By Day January 6, 2013 – The Law: Bend it like Becket – Day By Day January 6, 2013 – The Law: Bend it like Becket #tcot
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-05 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-05
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-04 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-04
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-05 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-05 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-05 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-05
- @ToddKincannon/TwitterGulagDefNet4 on Twitter – RT @ToddKincannon: #TGDN Please follow ALL: | | | | …
- @ToddKincannon/TwitterGulagDefNet3 on Twitter – RT @ToddKincannon: #TGDN Please follow ALL: | | | | …
- @ToddKincannon/TwitterGulagDefNet2 on Twitter – RT @ToddKincannon: #TGDN Please follow ALL: | | | | …
- @ToddKincannon/TwitterGulagDefNet5 on Twitter – RT @ToddKincannon: #TGDN Please follow ALL: | | | | …
- What is #TGDN ? « Foolish Reporter’s Foolish Thoughts on the Foolish State of Things – RT @ToddKincannon: Hey #TGDN, read this please! RT @FoolishReporter
- Todd Kincannon (ToddKincannon) on Twitter – @gkenn99 Follow and check it out….
- The Twitter Gulag Defense Network #TGDN – the New TCOT? | Iron Mill News Service – RT @Politisite: the New #TCOT ? The Twitter Gulag Defense Network #TGDN
- @ToddKincannon/TwitterGulagDefNet1 on Twitter – Click these 4 links & follow ALL #TGDN members: & & &
- Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – 15. 4 miles finished for marathon training. Now, some carbs! (@ Ronnie’s Diner w/ 2 others)
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-04 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-04 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-04 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-04
- Genetically modified food labeling measure to qualify for Washington state ballot – A measure to require special labeling of genetically modified foods appeared virtually certain to qualify for the ballot in Washington state on Friday, two months after voters in California rejected a similar initiative.Sponsors of the measure turned in petitions signed by an estimated 350,000 registered voters – at least 100,000 more signatures than required – on Thursday, a day ahead of deadline, said David Ammons, a spokesman for the Washington secretary of state.The submission all but assures that the GMO-labeling initiative would be certified by the secretary and sent on to the state legislature, which could adopt the measure or leave it to a popular vote on the November 2013 election ballot, Ammons said.
- Early flu season accelerates; no peak yet, CDC says – Vitals – Early flu season accelerates; no peak yet, CDC says #tcot
- Video: Arnold on Chris Christie and his Water Retention Problem – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Video: Arnold on Chris Christie and his Water Retention Problem #tcot
Day By Day by Chris Muir
Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas speaks during a campaign stop in Fort Madison, Iowa, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011
These are my links for December 21st through December 22nd:
- Grappling With Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters – Did you know about the racist newsletters published in the late 1980s and early 1990s under Ron Paul’s name? As the Texas Congressman surges in the GOP primary, the story of the newsletters is garnering headlines, as it did during his 1996 House campaign and his 2008 presidential run. He’s always insisted that he didn’t write the egregiously offensive material, and long ago repudiated it (though not as soon as he should have). Is this an old story voters will look beyond, like Newt Gingrich’s affairs? Or a new story for the vast majority of voters and the plurality of journalists who are less familiar with Paul than the other GOP frontrunners? Is it coming up now “for political reasons”? Or because it’s a legitimate subject of inquiry despite having been aired before in the media?
It seems to me that the story’s reemergence was inevitable and necessary to fully inform primary voters about their choices. This level of scrutiny is rightly what comes with contending for the presidency.
- Mayor Calls For Budget Cuts To Offset Millions In Occupy LA Costs – The City of Los Angeles reportedly faces millions of dollars in expenses brought about by the Occupy LA movement.
City agencies have been ordered to calculate what was spent on the Occupy LA protests.
Repairs to City Hall’s lawn where the Occupy group set up camp on Oct. 1 will require an estimated $400,000. The police action to clear out the encampment on Nov. 30 cost more than $700,000.
Additional expenses are attributed to hauling away debris from the camp, and cleaning up graffiti that defaced City Hall marble walls and trees.
- Romney refines comments about deporting Obama’s uncle – Mitt Romney was more nuanced Thursday when questioned about radio show comments he made regarding deporting President Barack Obama’s uncle.
According to The Hill, the former Massachusetts governor was asked by radio host Howie Carr if Onyango Obama, who is allegedly in violation of his immigration status and was arrested for drunk driving this summer, should be deported.
In the Wednesday interview, Romney said the law must be followed.
“Well, if the laws of the United States say he should be deported, and I presume they do, then of course we should follow those laws,” he said.
Asked to clarify those comments in a press conference Thursday, Romney said his stance was not affected by the man’s relationship to the president.
- Bush I: Read my lips, Romney’s the best choice – Former President George H.W. Bush, while stopping short of a formal endorsement, declared that Mitt Romney was the “best choice” for Republicans in 2012.
The Houston Chronicle reports:
“I think Romney is the best choice for us,” former President Bush told the Houston Chronicle this week. “I like Perry, but he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere; he’s not surging forward.”
Bush said he had known Romney for many years and also knew his father, George Romney, a former Republican governor of Michigan who ran for president in 1968.
Bush said he supported Romney because of his “stability, experience, principles.
He’s a fine person,” he said. “I just think he’s mature and reasonable – not a bomb-thrower.”
- Huffington Post Miami accused of over-aggregating – When Huffington Post Miami launched late last month, Arianna Huffington promised to “dig deeper in an effort to tell the stories of all the people who make up this unique city.”
And how many Miami-based HuffPo journalists are doing that? Two, according to Bill Cooke. He reports that Miami Herald staffers are complaining that the HuffPo duo are rewriting their newspaper stories for Huffington Post Miami.
Miami Herald managing editor Rick Hirsch declined to discuss this with Cooke. “I’ll say what I have to say directly to the Huffington Post. There are some things we’ll be discussing soon.”
- McConnell offers a way out of the payroll tax cut thicket – As I predicted, the perennial adult in Washington, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), has stepped forward with a way out of the payroll tax box into which the House Republicans have climbed. He sent out this statement:
“The House and Senate have both passed bipartisan bills to require the President to quickly make a decision on whether to support thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs through the Keystone XL pipeline, and to extend unemployment insurance, the temporary payroll tax cut and seniors’ access to medical care. There is no reason why Congress and the President cannot accomplish all of these things before the end of the year. House Republicans sensibly want greater certainty about the duration of these provisions, while Senate Democrats want more time to negotiate the terms. These goals are not mutually exclusive. We can and should do both. Working Americans have suffered enough from the President’s failed economic policies and shouldn’t face the uncertainty of a New Year’s Day tax hike. Leader Reid should appoint conferees on the long-term bill and the House should pass an extension that locks in the thousands of Keystone XL pipeline jobs, prevents any disruption in the payroll tax holiday or other expiring provisions, and allows Congress to work on a solution for the longer extensions.”
- Ron Paul’s story changes on racial comments – Rep. Ron Paul has tried since 2001 to disavow racist and incendiary language published in Texas newsletters that bore his name, denying he wrote them and even walking out of an interview on CNN Wednesday. But he vouched for the accuracy of the writings and admitted writing at least some of the passages when first asked about them in an interview in 1996.
Some issues of the newsletters included racist, anti-Israel or anti-gay comments, including a 1992 newsletter in which he said 95% of black men in Washington “are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
Paul told TheDallas Morning News in 1996 that the contents of his newsletters were accurate but needed to be taken in context. Wednesday, he told CNN he didn’t write the newsletters and didn’t know what was in them.
- Video: Ron Paul in 1995: Say, have you read my newsletters? – Mitt Romney can breathe a sigh of relief, because Andrew Kaczynksi has shifted his attention to Ron Paul this week. Andrew dug up a 1995 interview with C-SPAN, a year before running for Congress after a decade out of office. Paul tells C-SPAN that he was ready after the long hiatus to return to Washington, but that’s not the big catch in this clip. Starting at 1:45, Ron Paul explains that his private sector efforts are keeping him too busy — and starts plugging his newsletters:
- What Ron Paul Thinks of America – Ron Paul’s supporters are sure of one thing: Their candidate has always been consistent—a point Dr. Paul himself has been making with increasing frequency. It’s a thought that comes up with a certain inevitability now in those roundtables on the Republican field. One cable commentator genially instructed us last Friday, “You have to give Paul credit for sticking to his beliefs.”
He was speaking, it’s hardly necessary to say, of a man who holds some noteworthy views in a candidate for the presidency of the United States. One who is the best-known of our homegrown propagandists for our chief enemies in the world. One who has made himself a leading spokesman for, and recycler of, the long and familiar litany of charges that point to the United States as a leading agent of evil and injustice, the militarist victimizer of millions who want only to live in peace.
- (404) http://t.co/ceSW4wND%E2%80%9D – Shocker Flip Flop Mitt strikes again “@ByronYork: Romney changes stance on Iraq invasion. #tcot
- Flipper: Romney changes stance on Iraq invasion – Romney’s statement on MSNBC is not only a change from what he said on Fox a few days ago. It’s also a change from his position during his first run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2007-2008. In a January 2008 GOP debate in Florida, Romney was asked, “Was the war in Iraq a good idea worth the cost in blood and treasure we have spent?” Romney answered: “It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time; I support it now.”
- Paul abandons interview concerning controversial newsletters – Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) took off his microphone and left a contentious interview on Wednesday when a CNN reporter asked repeatedly about racist articles published in his newsletter in the 1980s and 1990s.
“It’s been going on 20 years that I’ve been pestered about this and CNN does it every time,” Paul said, clearly adjitated by the line of questioning. “When are you going to wear yourself out?”
The Texas congressman said that the articles – which did not carry a byline – were written by his publishing staff and that he did not know about them at the time.
“I didn’t write them, I didn’t read them at the time, and I disavow them. That is the answer,” Paul said.
When CNN reporter Gloria Berger defended her questioning as legitimate – noting that some of the articles were “pretty incendiary” – Paul began to remove his microphone.
The newsletters, mainly a forum for essay’s on Paul’s brand of libertarianism, once referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as “the world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours” and who “seduced underage girls and boys.”
In another article, the author writes that “given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
- Mitt Romney Says ‘Yes’ To Deporting President Obama’s Uncle – Presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a Boston talk radio host on Wednesday that he supports the deportation of President Obama’s Kenyan-born uncle who was arrested this fall on drunken driving charges in Massachusetts.
When asked by Boston radio personality Howie Carr whether the president’s relative, Onyango Obama, should be deported, Romney said, “the answer is ‘yes.’”
“Well, if the laws of the United States say he should be deported, and I presume they do, then of course we should follow those laws,” Romney said. “And the answer is ‘yes.’”
When Carr brought up Onyango Obama case, Romney first sought clarification: “Who is Uncle Omar, Howie?” the former Massachusetts governor asked the radio host.
Carr explained that the uncle, nicknamed “Omar,” was recently arrested in Framingham, Mass.
“Now he’s claiming he’s got a Social Security number and drivers’ license and no one knows how he got them,” Carr told Romney, “but they’re apparently legit even though he’s in the country illegally.” (Onyango Obama had reportedly defied a 1992 deportation order.)
- Oh My! Gingrich Challenges Romney to Debate – In an interview with NBC News, Newt Gingrich responded to Mitt Romney’s comments that he can’t take the heat of negative ads.
Said Gingrich: “I’ll tell you what. If he wants to test the heat, I’ll meet him anywhere in Iowa next week, one-on-one, 90 minutes no moderator, just a timekeeper. He wants to try out the kitchen? I’ll debate him anywhere. We’ll bring his ads, and he can defend [them].”
- Ron Paul Storms Out Of CNN Interview – Ron Paul walked out of an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger, following a heated exchange over the controversy regarding racist newsletters sent in his name during the 1990s. Borger asked the Congressman if he had ever read the newsletters. “Did you ever object when you read them?”
“Why don’t you go back and look at what i said yesterday on CNN and what I’ve said for 20 something years. 22 years ago? I didn’t write them, I disavow them, That’s it.”
“But you made money off them,”
“I was still practicing medicine,” Paul responded. “That’s probably why I wasn’t a very good publisher, I had to make a living.”
- Tom Del Beccaro, Chairman of the California Republican Party Response to ProPublica Report – “The ProPublica report vindicates my repeated contention that the redistricting process was hijacked. That report, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. The corruption of the process went far beyond what was disclosed in that report. No fair minded person can now say the process or the result was fair. I am calling for an immediate and thorough investigation, by Congressional and State authorities, to get to the bottom of this obviously corrupted process. Beyond that, the Congressional and Senate lines as drawn by the Commission should not be used in any way for the upcoming elections.”
- How Democrats Fooled California’s Redistricting Commission – This spring, a group of California Democrats gathered at a modern, airy office building just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. The meeting was House members only — no aides allowed — and the mission was seemingly impossible.
In previous years, the party had used its perennial control of California’s state Legislature to draw district maps that protected Democratic incumbents. But in 2010, California voters put redistricting in the hands of a citizens’ commission where decisions would be guided by public testimony and open debate.
- Democrats skew redistricting effort to their benefit, investigation finds – California’s congressional Democrats ran a secret effort earlier this year to manipulate the work of the independent citizen’s panel that drew the state’s new political districts, foiling the intent of reformers who sought to remove the redistricting process from the control of party bosses.
Democrats met behind closed doors at the party’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, hired consultants, drew their ideal districts and presented maps to the panel through proxies who never disclosed their party ties or “public interest” groups created specifically for the purpose. In many cases, the panel responded by doing just what the Democrats wanted.
The New York-based nonprofit investigative foundation ProPublica released findings Wednesday from a months-long reconstruction of the Democrats’ stealth redistricting strategy, relying on internal memos, emails, interviews and map analysis.
The success of the strategy has Democrats projecting they may pick up as many as seven congressional seats in 2012 under new district boundaries adopted last summer, far more than had been expected originally.
“Every member of the Northern California Democratic Caucus has a ticket back to D.C.,” crowed one internal memo. “This is a huge accomplishment that should be celebrated by advocates throughout the region.”
- All the Companies Supporting SOPA, the Awful Internet Censorship Law—and How to Contact Them – Who’s officially on the record backing what could be the worst thing to ever happen to the internet? All of these companies listed below. Don’t take our word for it—this list comes straight from Congress. Just FYI.
If you want to get in touch, we’ve provided a contact list below. Maybe you want to let them know how you feel about SOPA.
- Shocker: Californa Democrats Manipulated Citizen’s Redistricting Commission » Flap’s California Blog – Shocker: Californa Democrats Manipulated Citizen’s Redistricting Commission
- Rove: Republicans should fold in payroll tax cut standoff – The Hill’s Video – RT @TheRReport: Rove: Republicans should fold in payroll tax cut standoff
- (404) http://t.co/Q5Xc08br%E2%80%9D – IDIOTS “@politico: .@marincogan reports: GOP frosh dig in hard on payroll tax cut:
- NRSC Outraises Democratic Committee in November : Roll Call Politics – RT @rollcall: NRSC Outraises Democratic Committee in November. via @RollCallAbby
- The Afternoon Flap: December 21, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Afternoon Flap: December 21, 2011
These are my links for December 14th through December 15th:
- Payroll tax cut and spending bill stall in Senate, raising threat of shutdown – Negotiations over how to extend a payroll tax holiday for 160 million Americans and avoid a government shutdown this weekend ground to a halt Wednesday after a standoff in the Senate over how to proceed.
Amid the gridlock, Cabinet secretaries for the first time formally alerted affected federal workers Wednesday to the possibility of a shutdown — indicating in an e-mail that they would determine later which staffers are “essential” to maintain operations in the event of a funding disruption.
- Iraq war draws to a quiet close – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta paid solemn tribute on Thursday to an “independent, free and sovereign Iraq” and declared the official end to the Iraq war, formally wrapping up the U.S. military’s mission in the country after almost nine years.
“After a lot of blood spilled by Iraqis and Americans, the mission of an Iraq that could govern and secure itself has become real,” Panetta said at a ceremony held under tight security at Baghdad’s international airport. “To be sure, the cost was high — in blood and treasure for the United States, and for the Iraqi people. Those lives were not lost in vain.”
- U.S. Lawmakers Offer Bipartisan Proposal for Medicare With Private Option – A bipartisan proposal to give the elderly a choice between the government’s Medicare program and private insurance plans is intended as a “framework” to overhaul the entitlement, Representative Paul Ryan said today.
Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who heads the House Budget Committee, proposed replacing Medicare with a private insurance system in the spring. He has now teamed with Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, on a new plan to amend the U.S. health program for the elderly and disabled.
The proposal, presented today by the lawmakers, may alter the debate in next year’s congressional campaign as both parties hope to sway voters with their arguments on Medicare’s future. The plan gives people turning 65 starting in 2022 the ability to choose between the existing system, where the government pays hospital and doctors’ bills for seniors, and an alternative system of regulated private insurance plans.
- Paul Ryan-Ron Wyden: Bipartisan Medicare reform – In an extraordinary policy and political breakthrough, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced a bipartisan reform deal. In doing so, they eviscerated the Democrats’ Medicare gambit, undermined President Obama complaints that progress is impossible with Republicans in Congress and gave Mitt Romney a huge political shot in the arm.
The Post reports: “ Working with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the Wisconsin Republican is developing a framework that would offer traditional, government-run Medicare as an option for future retirees along with a variety of private plans.”
In a press release, the duo explained the key elements of the bill:
- Obama nominates 2 for labor board – President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced plans to nominate two Democrats to the National Labor Relations Board, despite a Republican threat to block any appointments to the agency.
The president intends to nominate Sharon Block, deputy secretary for congressional affairs at the Labor Department, and Richard Griffin, currently the general counsel for the International Union of Operating Engineers, to fill two vacancies on the board.
The move comes just days after the board’s top lawyer dropped a controversial lawsuit that charged Boeing with illegally retaliating against union members in Washington state by opening a new plant in South Carolina. That case — along with other union-friendly decisions — has made the board a target of Republicans who contend it has acted too favorably toward unions.
Obama’s nominees would have to be confirmed by the Senate, but Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said last week he would block Obama from making any further appointments to the board. The agency usually has five members but has operated for months with three. It will lose another member by the end of the year, leaving it without enough members to conduct business.
- The Supremes v. Obamacare: Will the Court Decide the 2012 Presidential Election? – At least four justices recently agreed to review the centerpiece of President Obama’s domestic policy. Presuming for the moment that the court divided into its usual liberal and conservative quartets, what strategies might they have employed in deciding to determine the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPAACA)? U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th and 6th Circuits had upheld the law’s individual mandate, which requires all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty for not doing so. Congress believed it had the authority to impose such a mandate under its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. Liberals assert that health care, constituting nearly one-fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product, is demonstrably within Congress’s economic regulatory purview. On the other hand, the 11th Circuit (in a Florida case brought by officials from 26 states) voided the individual mandate, while upholding the PPAACA’s expansion of Medicaid, employer mandates and insurance exchanges. Although all of these circuit decisions were appealed to the nation’s highest court, the justices accepted only the 11th Circuit decision for review. The Supremes have asked both sides to address the constitutionality of the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion, as well as whether the entire law falls if they void only one part of it. The court will also tackle whether the individual mandate penalty can even be legally challenged prior to its implementation.
- Romney boosters want a Republican campaign about nothing? – Kudos to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for a terrific discussion Thursday morning between William Bennett (who seems to support Romney) and Rudy Giulaini (who had harsh words for Romney and kind words for Gingrich).
When the topic of conversation turns to, whom should win the Republican nomination? — I think we can agree their opinions are more relevant than having Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington weigh in (which happens all too frequently).
During the discussion, Bill Bennett made a point several times — which I found quite telling — inasmuch as it seems to be a key rationale for nominating Mitt Romney.
“What do we want the conversation to be about this summer and fall?,” Bennett asked rhetorically. “I’m worried the conversation will be about [Newt] … rather than about Barack Obama and his policies.”
This is an argument I’ve heard a lot, lately. And it strikes me as silly for a variety of reasons.
First, it is utterly naive to think Republicans can make this election solely a referendum on Barack Obama. Of course, they should attempt it, but the truth is that neither Obama (who might have a billion dollars to run in negative ads) nor the media will ever let that happen.
Whomever Republicans nominate will endure bitter attacks. If Newt Gingrich is the nominee, he will be cast as an insane and erratic cad. If Romney is the nominee, he will be cast as a rich flip-flopper who fired people for a living and belongs to a “weird” religion. I’m not sure which attack is better or worse for Republicans. In this economy, one might argue that the rich “Wall Street” attack on Romney would be more harmful in terms of attracting independent voters. But who knows?
- Giuliani slams Romney, likens Newt to Reagan – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani slammed Mitt Romney as an unelectable flip-flopper, and said Newt Gingrich, who he compared to Ronald Reagan, offers Republicans the best shot at unseating President Obama.
Speaking Thursday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Giuliani recalled his GOP candidacy in 2008 in which he ran against Romney.
“I’ve never seen a guy change his positions on so many things, so fast, on a dime, on everything,” Giuliani said. “Pro-choice, pro-life. And pro-choice because somebody, a close friend died, and he became pro-choice because this woman died of an abortion. Then he figures out there are embryos and he changes.”
“Then he was pro-gun control,” Giuliani continued. “Fine. Then he becomes a lifetime member of the NRA. Then he was pro cap-and-trade. Now he’s against cap-and-trade. He was pro-mandate for the whole country, then he becomes anti-mandate and he takes that page out of his book and republishes the book. I could go on and on.”
Giuliani said this opens Romney to an attack from President Obama in the general election that “this is a man without a core,” “a man without substance,” and “a man that will say anything to become President of the United States.”
- Newt Gingrich’s general election prospects look bleak – If former House Speaker Newt Gingrich manages to win the Republican presidential nomination, he could jeopardize his party’s chances of ousting President Obama next November, according to several new national polls released this week.
Surveys from the NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, AP/GfK and Reuters/Ipsos all show former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney running better than Gingrich in general election matchups against Obama.
“Electability will come into play for many Republican votes,” said one neutral GOP consultant who preferred to speak anonymously. “It’s going to become problematic. I think you’re starting to signs of it.
- Playbook 2012: The Right Fights Back (Politico Inside Election 2012) – Two of America’s most perceptive political reporters join forces for an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the race for the White House in POLITICO’s Playbook 2012, a series of four instant digital books on the 2012 presidential election. The first edition, The Right Fights Back, follows the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
- Is Newt Gingrich taking Iowa seriously enough? – Newt Gingrich’s improbable comeback may fall short if he doesn’t win Iowa — and there are signs he’s not taking the threat seriously enough.
Gingrich is getting pounded on Iowa TV by both a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC and Ron Paul’s campaign and is doing little to fight back against ads which take direct aim at him. Less than three weeks before the caucuses, the former speaker is airing a single commercial with little money behind it.
- Mark Levin calls out Krauthammer, Will, Coulter, and Rubin – Mark Levin says that the attacks on Newt Gingrich reminds him of how Sarah Palin has been attacked, and he specifically criticizes Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Ann Coulter, and Jennifer Rubin for basically being over the top in their criticism of Newt and their silence on Romney:
- Winnowing the Field – National Review Online – RT @EWErickson: So I guess we go for Gingrich then. Or Perry or Huntsman.
- Washington Examiner backs Romney – Also Pans Newt Gingrich – OP White House hopeful Mitt Romney picked up the endorsement of the Washington Examiner Wednesday, a boost from an editorial page with a long history in conservative politics.
In an editorial that spends as much space slamming Newt Gingrich as it does praising Romney, the Examiner declares Obama “the only Republican who can beat Obama,” citing recent polls that show the former Massachusetts governor faring better against President Barack Obama than Gingrich.
“The Washington Examiner believes Romney can defeat Obama, but Gingrich cannot,” the newspaper wrote. “And Romney the businessman is far better suited to the nation’s highest office – by temperament, experience, and cast of mind – than Gingrich the consummate Washington insider. By fits and starts over the years, Romney has become the reliable conservative that America so badly needs at this crucial moment in her history.”
The editorial goes on to deride Gingrich’s role consulting with Freddie Mac after he left Congress.
“The fact is, Gingrich is part of the problem, not part of the solution,” the newspaper wrote. “He has tried mightily to shift attention away from his Washington insider status, saying, ‘I have never done lobbying of any kind.’ But that claim simply does not square with the facts, especially concerning Gingrich’s lobbying Republicans in Congress for a new Medicare entitlement in 2003.”
- Winnowing the Field – National Review Pans Newt Gingrich – We fear that to nominate former Speaker Newt Gingrich, the frontrunner in the polls, would be to blow this opportunity. We say that mindful of his opponents’ imperfections — and of his own virtues, which have been on display during his amazing comeback. Very few people with a personal history like his — two divorces, two marriages to former mistresses — have ever tried running for president. Gingrich himself has never run for a statewide office, let alone a national one, and has not run for anything since 1998. That year he was kicked out by his colleagues, the most conservative ones especially, who had lost confidence in him. During his time as Speaker, he was one of the most unpopular figures in public life. Just a few months ago his campaign seemed dead after a series of gaffes and resignations. That Gingrich now tops the polls is a tribute to his perseverance, and to Republicans’ admiration for his intellectual fecundity.
- Romney Plays Tiffany’s Card – Romney Plays Tiffany’s Card
- Romney Plays Tiffany’s Card – In an interview with Sean Hannity ahead of tomorrow’s GOP presidential debate, Mitt Romney sought to neutralize the gaffe he made in last weekend’s debate by taking a shot at Newt Gingrich.
Said Romney: “As for him trying to reference a $10,000 rhetorical bet, the Speaker, as I recall, probably shouldn’t be talking about that given a $500,000 bill at Tiffany’s.”
- MSNBC Likens Romney To The KKK With His “Keep America American” – MSNBC daytime anchor Thomas Roberts says Mitt Romney’s “Keep America American” slogan plays homage to the Ku Klux Klan. The patriotic slogan, which is used in this ad, was apparently used by the KKK in the early 1900s.
Somehow the folks at MSNBC believe Mitt Romney is acknowledging his Klan roots by using the slogan in his 2012 campaign for the presidency.
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Daily Extraction: December 14, 2011 – The Daily Extraction: December 14, 2011
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: December 14, 2011 – The Morning Drill: December 14, 2011
- Rick Perry, Mitt Romney internals show Newt Gingrich slippage, sources say – A weeklong blitz of negative ads from Ron Paul and “Restore Our Future,” the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC, have taken a toll on Newt Gingrich’s standing in Iowa, internal numbers from the Rick Perry and Romney camps show, according to multiple sources.
Sources didn’t provide specific numbers on how far he’s slipped, but it’s perceptible in both camps’ numbers, the sources said.
Perry has been inching up, the sources said – in part thanks to his faith-based push but largely because of his controversial anti-gay rights ad, and the big question is whether he draws at all from Romney and pushes him down out of the top three finishers in the state.
The person who is holding strong, according to the internal numbers, is Paul, who has a true shot of winning the caucuses, according to several Iowa Republican insiders surveying ground games and energy.
- Romney Warns of Nominating ‘Zany’ Gingrich – Updated Mitt Romney is sharpening his warning to Republicans about the consequences of nominating Newt Gingrich, declaring in an interview on Wednesday: “Zany is not what we need in a president.”
“Zany is great in a campaign. It’s great on talk radio. It’s great in print, it makes for fun reading,” Mr. Romney told The New York Times. “But in terms of a president, we need a leader, and a leader needs to be someone who can bring Americans together.”
With 20 days before the voting begins at the Iowa caucuses, Mr. Romney is intensifying his forceful attack on the credibility of Mr. Gingrich, who has emerged as his leading rival in the Republican nominating fight. He has shed his year-long reluctance against doing interviews, hoping to change the narrative surrounding his candidacy before the holidays.
- L.A. International Is Facebook’s Most Social Airport – L.A. International Is Facebook’s Most Social Airport #fb
- Obama looking good in Virginia – Public Policy Polling – RT @ppppolls: Obama leads Romney by 6 and Gingrich by 7 in Virginia, just as much as he won the state by in 2008:
- The Study of Orangutans Deliver Insight Into Obesity of Homo Sapiens | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – The Study of Orangutans Deliver Insight Into Obesity of Homo Sapiens
- » Maharaj named Los Angeles Times editor JIMROMENESKO.COM – Russ Stanton has resigned as Los Angeles Times editor. Davan Maharaj , formerly managing editor = new editor
- Uh Oh! Obama 49% Vs. Gingrich 39% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Uh Oh! Obama 49% Vs. Gingrich 39% #tcot #catcot
- At Least for Reid, Gingrich Is the 2012 Republican Pick – NYTimes.com – RT @RalstonFlash: So Harry Reid now says Newt is “the presumptive Republican nominee.” via @jestei. #kissofdeath
- The Morning Flap: December 14, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: December 14, 2011 #tcot #catcot
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, right, meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Friday during a congressional delegation’s visit that has stirred up Iraqi resentment
The suggestion by a California congressman that Iraq repay the United States for the money it has spent in the country has stirred outrage, with an Iraqi lawmaker ridiculing the idea as “stupid” and others saying Iraqis should be compensated for the hardships they’ve endured.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from Huntington Beach (Orange County), suggested during a trip to Baghdad with fellow lawmakers Friday that once Iraq becomes a rich and prosperous country, it could repay the United States.
That comment triggered fury among an Iraqi public and political establishment that had little or no say in the U.S.-led invasion of 2003. Iraqis are largely glad to be rid of Saddam Hussein but blame the United States for the chaos and sectarian violence that followed the invasion.
“We as a government reject such statements, and we have informed the American Embassy that these congressmen are not welcome in Iraq,” government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Sunday.
President George W. Bush made a BIG mistake invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein. The war was eventually “not lost,” but the peace has NOT really been won.
I imagine most Americans would want us to pull out completely from Iraq and not give the country another thought.
And, as far as foreign aid, their oil is pumping so they can pay market price for American goods and services, otherwise – no.