• Pinboard Links,  The Morning Flap

    The Morning Flap: April 20, 2012

    President Barack Obama speaks at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline, on March 22, in Cushing, Oklahoma. Obama was pressing federal agencies to expedite the section of the Keystone XL pipeline between Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast.

    These are my links for April 19th through April 20th:

    • Obama faces defeat on Keystone pipeline – While much of the political world obsesses over Twitter fights and Seamus the dog, Barack Obama has set himself up for a high-profile defeat on one of the most important issues of the campaign.

      The president has put his feet in cement in opposition to the Keystone oil pipeline. But on Capitol Hill, more and more Democrats are joining Republicans to force approval of the pipeline, whether Obama wants it or not.

      The latest action happened Wednesday, when the House passed a measure to move the pipeline forward. Before the vote, Obama issued a veto threat. The House approved the pipeline anyway — by a veto-proof majority, 293 to 127. Sixty-nine Democrats abandoned the president to vote with Republicans. That’s a lot of defections.

      When the House voted on the pipeline in July of last year, 47 Democrats broke with the president. Now that it’s an election year and the number is up to 69, look for Republicans to hold more pipeline votes before November. GOP leaders expect even more Democrats to join them.

    • Tommy Christopher: Don’t Say Obama Is Not Working, Or You Are a Racist – Ah, good old Tommy Christopher. Don’t criticize the black president, you damn racists!

      Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney rolled out a new accessory at a speech in Ohio today, delivering his remarks in front of a black banner that said “Obama Isn’t Working,” which is also the name of a website his campaign set up several months ago (in case you didn’t get the message from the banner, it was also on the front of Romney’s podium).

      The slogan is a multiple entendre, but one of those entendres, intentionally or not, is evocative of a nasty racial stereotype about black men.

    • Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 20, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 20, 2012 via @flap
    • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Montana Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer Calls Out Mitt Romney’s Mormon “Polygamy” Past – Montana Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer Calls Out Mitt Romney’s Mormon “Polygamy” Past
    • Brian Schweitzer: Mitt Romney’s ‘Family Came From a Polygamy Commune in Mexico’ – The Daily Beast – Some Civility: Democrat Montana Gov Brian Schweitzer: Mitt Romney’s ‘Family Came From a Polygamy Commune in Mexico’
    • Mitt Romney’s challenge: Convincing GOP he can win – An increasing number of Democrats are taking potshots at President Obama’s healthcare law ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn it.

      The public grievances have come from centrists and liberals and reflect rising anxiety ahead of November’s elections.

    • High Testosterone – Charlie Cook – NationalJournal.com – RT @nationaljournal: Cook: Romney’s Got Men in the Bag; Time to Focus on Women.
    • Democrats expressing buyers’ remorse on Obama’s healthcare law – An increasing number of Democrats are taking potshots at President Obama’s healthcare law ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn it.

      The public grievances have come from centrists and liberals and reflect rising anxiety ahead of November’s elections.

    • Matthew Tully: Daniels has a few suggestions | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com – RT @chucktodd: Mitch Daniels critiques Romney for not talking enough about folks who haven’t yet “achieved.” // #of …
    • RNC looks to Facebook for political edge – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @PoliticalTicker: RNC looks to Facebook for political edge
    • Romney’s Father Came from “Polygamy Commune” – Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) told the Daily Beast that Mittt Romney would have a “tall order to position Hispanics to vote for him” even though his father was born in Mexico.

      Schweitzer admitted that it is “kinda ironic given that his family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico, but then he’d have to talk about his family coming from a polygamy commune in Mexico, given the gender discrepancy.”

      Schweitzer noted that women are “not great fans of polygamy, 86 percent were not great fans of polygamy. I am not alleging by any stretch that Romney is a polygamist and approves of [the] polygamy lifestyle, but his father was born into [a] polygamy commune in Mexico.”

    • Mickey Kaus: No Romney Immigration Pivot Needed – Thank You! – No Pivot Needed: Mitt Romney has taken a harder line on illegal immigration than expected, which has led many commentators to declare that the primaries have hurt his chances by drawing him too far in that direction (costing him support among Latino voters, especially). Yet today’s Quinnipiac poll finds Romney favored over Obama on the issue of … immigration (by a margin of 43% to 39%, about the same lead that Romney has on “the economy”). He’s ahead by fifteen points on the immigration issue among independents. … So why is a “pivot” on immigration needed, again? … What good is Hispandering if it wins Romney New Mexico but costs him Ohio? …
    • AD-38: Scott Wilk Announces Republican Assembly Endorsements » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk Announces Republican Assembly Endorsements via @flap
    • California Lottery “Lady Luck” Ad Under Fire from Legislative Women’s Caucus » Flap’s California Blog – California Lottery via @flap
    • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » California Fair Political Practices Commission Chairwoman Ann Ravel Calls for Blogger Political Disclosure – California Fair Political Practices Commission Chairwoman Ann Ravel Calls for Blogger Political Disclosure
    • The 2012–13 California Budget: Unwinding Redevelopment – On February 1, 2012, all redevelopment agencies in California were dissolved and the process for unwinding their financial affairs began. Given the scope of these agencies’ funds, assets, and financial obligations, the unwinding process will take time. Prior to their dissolution, redevelopment agencies (RDAs) received over $5 billion in property tax revenues annually and had tens of billions of dollars of outstanding bonds, contracts, and loans.

      This report reviews the history of RDAs, the events that led to their dissolution, and the process communities are using to resolve their financial obligations. Over time, as these obligations are paid off, schools and other local agencies will receive the property tax revenues formerly distributed to RDAs.

      The report discusses these major findings:

      Although ending redevelopment was not the Legislature’s objective, the state had few practical alternatives.
      Ending redevelopment changes the distribution of property tax revenues among local agencies, but not the amount of tax revenues raised.
      Decisions about redevelopment replacement programs merit careful review.
      The decentralized process for unwinding redevelopment promotes a needed local debate over the use of the property tax.
      Key state and local choices will drive the state fiscal effect.
      The report recommends the Legislature amend the redevelopment dissolution legislation to address timing issues, clarify the treatment of pass–through payments, and address key concerns of redevelopment bond investors.

    • California Recovery: No, It Is Not East vs. West – There are two reasonable measures of recovery, jobs and real estate values. You can forget the real estate values measure. Values throughout California are down from pre-recession highs. They are down a lot. Only San Francisco and Marin counties, with median home prices down 27.7 percent and 32.3 percent, respectively, have seen net median home price declines of less than 40 percent. Monterey and Madera counties top the state in median home price declines, in excess of 67 percent.

      So let’s use jobs. An area has recovered if it has as many jobs today as it had at the beginning of the recession, December 2008.

      We monitor 37 California MSAs. Combined they represent about 96 percent of California’s population. By jobs, only one of California’s larger MSAs has recovered, and that county does not fit the story. Not only is Kings County not on the ocean, it doesn’t even border or have a naturally occurring year-round piece of water. Kings County, with 37,700 jobs, has about 900 more jobs than it had at the beginning of the recession. Still, Kings County’s unemployment rate is 17 percent. Some recovery!

    • Power of Direct Mail to Qualify Initiatives Highlighted in Brown’s Desperate Move – Jerry Brown’s decision to mail petitions in support of his tax Increase ballot measure, discussed by George Skelton in a recent column, was made out of fear or desperation. Fear that the street gathered signatures would fall short of those needed, or desperation because they know there will otherwise be a shortfall.

      For Brown the last minute decision to go with a compromise initiative prohibited a choice on the use of direct mail. However, foolishly for most ballot measure proponents, fear or desperation is now the moving factor in virtually all use of large-scale ballot qualification petition mailings.

      Even when time permits, ballot measure proponents rarely even test mailed petitions. Why? Because it is just so bloody easy to place one call to any of several very capable companies that handle every aspect of paid signature qualification. For the consultants, no muss, no fuss, virtually no work and probably the same fees will be realized. And it is an easy sell to the measure’s proponents, as the initial cost of paid signature gathering is often lower. Paid signatures are the conventional, accepted way to go…no need to think or act outside the box.

      But the hidden price paid is very dear indeed!

      My former partners Arnold Forde and Stu Mollrich and I started using mailed petitions as a first option, and were the first to entirely qualify ballot measures by mail. The reason we did so was simply because it so much better served our client’s interests.

    • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Periodontal Disease Causing Heart Disease: Not Worth Stressing Out About It – Periodontal Disease Causing Heart Disease: Not Worth Stressing Out About It
    • Police: Woman arrested for biting during parking spot fight in San Francisco – San Jose Mercury News – Not More Dog Stuff – no, wait…Police: Woman arrested for biting during parking spot fight in San Francisco
    • Christie Would Help Romney the Most – Abs. Correct RT @politicalwire: New poll finds the running mate who would help Mitt Romney the most is Chris Christie
    • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Video: Civility in the Wisconsin Recall of Scott Walker? Uh No… – Video: Civility in the Wisconsin Recall of Scott Walker? Uh No…
    • Penis picture, gay sex descriptions among sexual harassment allegations against NC Democrat – A bombshell letter from the former North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) communications staffer to now-former NCDP Executive Director Jay Parmley detailing the allegations of sexual harassment has surfaced.

      In the letter, dated Dec. 8, 2011 — which local news outlet WRAL first published with redactions of alleged victim Adriadn Ortega’s name — Ortega alleges that Parmley “frequently gave me unwanted shoulder rubs despite my verbal objections” and that Parmley “often solicited my opinion on his clothes.”

      “He would point both hands to his crotch area and ask me how his crotch looked in those pants that day,” Ortega wrote, adding that Parmley “would frequently pretend to punch my crotch and make a popping noise with his mouth.”

      “On July 28, 2011, the executive director discussed, in detail, his sexual activities from the past when he was living in South Carolina,” Ortega then said. “In addition, he discussed in detail his sexual activities from when he moved to North Carolina, where he solicited sex from gay websites such as [REDACTED].”

      The next day — on July 29, 2011 — Ortega alleged that Parmley “showed me a picture of a penis.”

    • Cantor: GOP will expand majority – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Thursday he is confident that Republicans will not just hold but will expand their majority in the lower chamber in November.

      “I’m very bullish on the House,” Cantor said at an event in downtown Washington. “I am very confident that we will strengthen our majority.”

      The second-ranking House Republican said he believes the GOP will be on offense in 30 to 40 districts with the goal of adding to its 242 House seats. His comments stand in contrast to those of many political analysts, who project that Democrats will gain seats in November but fall short of wresting back control of the House.

    • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012: The Coming Conservative Landslide? – President 2012: The Coming Conservative Landslide?
    • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 19, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 19, 2012
    • Marco Rubio Says He Would Turn Down VP Slot If Asked – Sen. Marco Rubio said today he would decline any offer from Mitt Romney to be a part of the GOP ticket this fall.

      “I don’t want to be the vice president,” the Florida Republican said during an interview with Major Garrett of the National Journal.

      “So, if Mitt Romney asks, you will you say no?” Garrett asked.

      “Yes. But you know he’s not going to ask. That doesn’t work. He’s watching this interview right now,” Rubio, 40, responded.

      Rubio even went as far as suggesting another U.S. Senator for Romney to consider in his VP vetting – Ohio Senator Rob Portman.

      “The bigger point is we’ve got a lot of really talented people out there that Mitt Romney can get to pick from. And I think a lot, Senator Rob Portman would be a phenomenal choice for vice president, that’s where I would encourage him to look because I’m enjoying my service in the senate.”

      Rubio’s name is often floated in the top tier list of potential vice presidential candidates, but the Florida senator has not been shy about his disinterest in the position. Rubio instead says he wants to focus on advancing policy in the senate, joking that if he were running as vice president, he’d have to answer a lot of questions about dogs, a topic which has consumed both parties in the past week.

    • Obama and Romney campaigns go to dogs with canine cracks – NYPOST.com – Ha Ha Bam Bites Dog RT @jamestaranto: The Sean Delonas cartoon is sublime.
    • Rubio: Arizona Immigration Law is Not Model for Nation – Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday that he did not view Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration as a “model,’’ distancing himself from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has embraced the legislation.

      The Cuban-American senator, who spoke at The University of Phoenix/National Journal’s Next America’ forum in Washington, D.C., is viewed as a top name on Romney’s vice presidential shortlist.

      Rubio said he understood why frustration with illegal immigration led Arizona to pass a law allowing local police to demand proof of citizenship. He also disagreed with the Obama administration’s contention that the law is unconstitutional. But he added, “I do not believe (laws like the one in Arizona) should be a model for the country.’’

      As a Senate candidate in 2010, Rubio vacillated on the Arizona law. He initially expressed some concerns but later said he would have voted for it.

      Rubio’s reservations about the law come at a time when polls show the Republican Party facing a yawning deficit of support among Hispanic voters. Both national parties have launched national campaigns to reach out to the Hispanic community, the fastest growing part of the electorate and the key to victory in a number of swing states.

      Democrats have been zealously attacking Republican opposition to the DREAM Act, potentially popular legislation that would grant citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants who go to college or enroll in the military. In recent weeks, Rubio has started countering the criticism by proposing an alternative that would allow these children to obtain legal status but not citizenship.

    • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: April 19, 2012 – The Morning Drill: April 19, 2012
    • Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/19/4425366/calderon-family-looks-to-extend.html#mi_rss=State%20Politics) – Calderon family looks to extend legacy in California Legislature #catcot
    • Rasmussen Consumer Index – Rasmussen Reports™ – RT @RasmussenPoll: 13% Rate U.S. #Economy As Good or Excellent…
    • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Day By Day April 19, 2012 – What is it Good For? – Day By Day April 19, 2012 – What is it Good For?
  • Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for September 14th on 09:07

    These are my links for September 14th from 09:07 to 15:15:

    • The Nevada Special Election: Where the Mediscare Attacks Went to Die? – But in Nevada's special election yesterday, the Medicare attacks failed to drive votes. Republican Mark Amodei defeated Democrat Kate Marshall 58% to 36%. The district gave McCain 49% of the vote in 2008 and 57% to Bush in 2004 (as you may recall, 2004 was a pretty good year for Republicans).

      The attacks also failed, as Mickey Kaus and David Weigel point out, in New York's special election. But NV-2 was a better test case of the Medicare attacks than NY-9. After all, the New York special election was quirky–it was precipitated by a Democratic scandal and a couple of unique factors divided the Democratic party (Weprin's vote for gay marriage and unhappiness in the sizable Jewish community over Obama's Israel policy). Turner would have voted "no" on the Ryan budget.

      On the other hand, Nevada Republican Mark Amodei, while saying he wouldn't have voted for the GOP budget because it didn't cut enough, gave his opponents a lot more grist for their Medicare attack ads:

      Amodei countered the Medicare attacks by pointing out that he wants Medicare reimbursement rates to be higher. That's pretty consistent with the GOP position that Obama's plan to reform Medicare through rationing is bad, and the Republican plan to reform Medicare through choice and competition for future beneficiaries is good.

      It wouldn't be accurate to say that the Nevada election proves Medicare will be a non-issue in 2012. It's always easy to read too much into a special election–that was certainly the case when Democrats heralded the NY-26 race as a "referendum" on GOP Medicare reform.

      What we do know is that in this case, Amodei didn't directly vote for Ryan's Medicare reform, but he did praise it. In the Democrats' minds that should have been enough to sink him in a district that was evenly divided between McCain and Obama in 2008. It didn't work.

    • Obama’s Medicare blunder – Early this year, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) dug a huge hole for the Republican Party by proposing dramatic changes in the Medicare system. True, the changes would extend the life of the program. True, they would not affect current retirees. True, they won’t take effect for 10 years. But no matter. President Obama seized on the Ryan plan as a key element of his 2012 campaign.

      Then the House leadership compounded the problem by passing the Ryan plan with all but four House Republicans in support. All the rest just followed Ryan off the cliff, putting themselves on record in favor of a plan Americans overwhelmingly opposed. Democrats, reeling from the 2010 defeats, were jubilant. The Republicans had just, in their view, given away the 2012 election.

      Well, in Obama’s jobs speech, he gave it right back to the Republicans by embracing his own version of Medicare cuts.

      As I heard Obama blundering, my mind cast back to a conversation I had with George Stephanopoulos in 1995 when he was opposing my suggestion that President Clinton lay out his own plan to balance the federal budget. George was concerned that if we proposed our own budget cuts, we would lose the ability to attack those being pushed by Newt Gingrich and the Republicans.

      I countered that as long as we did not propose to cut Medicare, we would be OK and could still use the Medicare issue against the GOP. We did so with great success.

      Now Obama has run afoul of what would have been George’s advice and has nullified the advantage Ryan’s mistake afforded him. More than any other, this false step on the president’s part was the most important political outcome of the Wednesday jobs speech.

      How the Republicans respond should hinge on the details of Obama’s Medicare cuts. If the president wants to raise premiums or increase deductibles or means-test benefits, the GOP should agree. Obama will face plenty of flak in his own party and probably could only pass such a program in the Senate with Republican votes, but that’s his problem.

      If there is a bipartisan deal over these kinds of Medicare cuts, the Republicans will be off the hook over the Ryan plan. Congress will have acted, and the issue will be off the table in the 2012 election.

      But if Obama outlines cuts along the lines of his ObamaCare program, he will again be raising the rationing issue. Talk of death panels will resurface. In that case, Republicans must not let themselves be maneuvered into backing Obama’s program. To do so would be to break faith with their 2010 majority.

      If Obama wants to control healthcare delivery and prescribe what doctors can and cannot do, Republicans must take him on over the issue. That will set the stage for a rerun of the 2010 election, and we all know how that came out.

      In that case, the GOP will still come out ahead because the Medicare issue du jour won’t be the Ryan plan anymore, but the Obama Medicare cuts, and the Republicans will again be on the right side of the fight.

    • What really terrifies Dems about NY-9 – It’s the possibility that the Democrats favorite issue–Social Security–didn’t work to save them because Obama, too, has embraced cutting Social Security and Medicare in “some undefined ‘everything on the table’ entitlement reform,” as Weigel puts it. Could it be that the differences between Obama’s Medicare cuts and GOP Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare cuts–differences that seem so significant to policy analysts in Washington (and to me)–don’t have much salience in the crude argumentation of direct-mail electioneering? Now that’s scary for a Dem. After decades of pledging not to touch the two sacred programs, it’s beginning to look as if Democrats can’t just suddenly agree to pull trillions out of Social Security and Medicare and expect voters to maintain their reflexive loyalties.

      According to the unforgiving traditional Dem appeal, after all, trillions in cuts are trillions in cuts. Dems oppose them because Dems are “fighting” on “your side”! If older voters won”t abandon that crudely combative formula as easy as positioning politicians, that has dire implications for Democrats running in every district in the land, not just those with 40% Jewish electorates. Scaring voters about Paul Ryan and the Tea Partiers’s entitlement cuts was what was going to save Obama’s party from being dragged down even if Obama himself goes the way of Jimmy Carter. Now it looks as if that life preserver won’t float. …

      At the very least, Democrats (starting with Obama) need to do a much better job of explaining why their cuts are so different from Ryan’s cuts. That’s something even Bill Clinton might have difficulty doing, though he’d be better at it than Obama will be. …

      Of course, President Obama may be able to save himself without the entitlement issue (if, for example, he draws a flawed opponent). But it’s hard to see how the Dems retake Congress without it. And without a friendlier Congress, Obama’s second term could look a lot like the past 9 months.


      Read it all

    • Rick Perry’s kinder, gentler view on illegal immigrants: Will it cost him? – Perry finds himself in the unusual situation of sharing common ground with California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who is poised to sign a bill that expands his state’s tuition law for illegal immigrant students by allowing them to apply for publicly funded financial aid. The California Assembly voted Friday to send the governor the bill, a companion to a bill Brown signed in July that allows illegal immigrant students access to privately funded college aid.

      California's financial aid incentives for students in the US illegally are the most generous in the US. In states that allow such students to pay the same tuition rates as legal state residents, they must prove they have lived in the state at least three years, received their high school diploma or G.E.D. in the state, and sign an affidavit promising to seek legal status.

      Texas and California were the first states to offer in-state tuition rates to such students. During the past decade, 11 states followed their lead: Utah, New York, Washington, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Connecticut. In 2008, however, Oklahoma revoked its law, which had been on the books for five years.

      Advocates of the legislation say that by offering in-state tuition rates to children who bear no responsibility for the fact that their parents entered the US illegally, states are making higher education more available to young people who cannot afford the higher out-of-state price tags at public colleges. Critics say the allowance is a burden to taxpayers and unfairly takes resources from potential students who are legal residents.

      “These states are recognizing that these are the best of the best – kids who have overcome illegal status and have graduated high school and have gotten into competitive state universities. The states want to hold onto these kids and not have them lost into the underground economy,â€

      But the trend of states granting such tuition benefits to such undocumented students may have peaked, adds DeSipio, especially now that Republican majorities won many statehouses in the 2010 elections and made immigration reform a legislative priority.

      Since its passage in 2001, the Texas legislation has applied to 12,138 students, or 1 percent of all Texas college students, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reported in 2010.

    • President 2012: Pennsylvania Considering Change of Electoral College Vote Process | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The states have discretion to change how their Electoral College Votes are apportioned.:
    • Proposition 13 Proponents Crafting New California Pension Reform Initiative » Flap’s California Blog – Proposition 13 Proponents Crafting New California Pension Reform Initiative
    • Poll Watch: Three Years After Economic Crisis Little Sign of Amercian Relief | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: Three Years After Economic Crisis Little Sign of Amercian Relief #tcot #catcot
    • California Field Poll: President Obama Not So Much » Flap’s California Blog – California Field Poll: President Obama Not So Much
    • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: September 14, 2011 – The Morning Drill: September 14, 2011
    • Government Regulation | Polls | Government regulation could be Democrats’ Achilles heel in 2012 | The Daily Caller – Government regulation could be Democrats’ Achilles heel in 2012
    • Flap’s Links and Comments for September 13th through September 14th | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Links and Comments for September 13th through September 14th #tcot #catcot
  • Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for March 29th on 09:39

    These are my links for March 29th from 09:39 to 09:51:

    • Did Welfare Reform Cause “Black Flight”? – Walter Russell Mead sees the flight of blacks from Northern and Midwestern cities to suburbs in the South as a repudiation of the liberal “blue state” social model (unionism, regulation, taxes). Which it may well be. But there’s another angle: the 1996 welfare reform, and the message it sent. Working hypothesis: Welfare–specifically the old AFDC program–in essence told blacks in the North it was OK to stay put in their declining former ghetto communities. If people stayed, instead of moving in search of jobs, the checks would keep coming.  The ‘96 Clinton/Gingrich reform said: don’t count on welfare to be there for you. It is time-limited. You’ll have to work. If there are no jobs where you live, better move somewhere else. Result: Blacks moved to where the jobs are, which is the red states and the suburbs. …


      Read it all

    • Mitch Daniels Supportive Of Sen. Lugar GOP Challenger – Richard Mourdock – Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock was never expecting Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) to endorse him as he mounts a primary challenge against Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.). But he said that Daniels offered encouragement for him to run–an important factor in his decision to challenge the longtime senator.

      "Before I decided to do this, he and I had three different conversations about it," Mourdock said in an interview with Hotline On Call. "And every time, he said, 'Richard Mourdock, don't you ever, ever, ever let anyone tell you don't have every right to do this. You've earned the right. You worked 31 years in the business world. We don't have that kind of experience very often in Washington."

      Earlier this month in an appearance on Meet the Press, Daniels said he planned to vote for Lugar, but the governor stopped short of endorsing the longtime senator and called Mourdock a friend. Mourdock said Daniels told him the same thing, and never discouraged him from challenging Lugar. Daniels has a long history with Lugar, having served as his top aide as a young political operative.

      "I'm very comfortable with what the governor did given his position," Mourdock said. "Why shouldn't they be friends? Why shouldn't he vote for him? I get that." Mourdock called himself a Daniels ally and said he would support him if he ran for president.

      "Our country needs him," Mourdock said.

      Daniels' spokesman Jane Jankowski said the governor neither encouraged nor discouraged Mourdock from launching a Senate run.


      As I hav said before, Sen. Richard Lugar should just retire and enjoy the rest of his life.

    • Howard Dean: Democrats Should Be ‘Quietly Rooting’ for Government Shutdown – Howard Dean, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, sees an upside to a looming government shutdown – at least politically.
      “If I was head of DNC, I would be quietly rooting for it,” said Dean, speaking on a National Journal Insider’s Conference panel Tuesday morning. “I know who’s going to get blamed – we’ve been down this road before.”
      The former Vermont governor and presidential candidate was alluding to 1995 and 1996, when two government shutdowns under a Republican Congress helped improve President Clinton’s reelection chances. The scenario could repeat this year as budget negotiations continue to falter, and Dean said he thinks the public will blame Republicans again.
      “From a partisan point of view, I think it would be the best thing in the world to have a shutdown,” said Dean. He added that as a statesman, he is not rooting for a shutdown because of its harmful effect on the country.
      Predicting who would get the blame for a government shutdown has been a favorite parlor game of Washington pundits since the new wave of House GOP freshmen demanded deep spending cuts to this year’s budget. Dean’s prediction that the fallout would be toxic to Republicans drew a rebuke from former Rep. Vin Weber, who joined Dean on the panel. The Minnesota Republican argued that 2011 is a different time, and that voters are more focused on government spending than they were 16 years ago.


      Read it all

      Pretty standard….

  • Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for March 17th on 15:02

    These are my links for March 17th from 15:02 to 15:07:

    • DeMint walks back his Romney support — after the right attacks him – (“Is DeMint going to risk his Tea Party status for ROMNEY??”) Very shortly thereafter, a DeMint aide contacted The Hill to walk back DeMint’s comments, claiming DeMint “never considered backing Romney again unless he admits that his Massachusetts health-care plan was a colossal mistake.” That’s a flip-flop worthy of, well, Mitt Romney.

      The answer to Right Turn’s question is: No, DeMint is not going to throw away his standing with the Tea Party to give Romney cover for a plan that is an anathema to the base. The problem for Romney now is: If DeMint won’t let him get away with defending RomneyCare with spurious arguments, who will?


      Well, nobody I know.

    • Willie Sutton Never Met a Payroll or How the GOP Can Make Federal Budget Arguments – “Hey, look over there! There are some really expensive programs over there!” Mike Kinsley criticizes one of the most annoying liberal arguments against cutting the fat in government–the Willie Sutton argument, or “Why bother to cut the fat in these agencies and programs when the really big budget busters are entitlements like Medicare and Social Security”:

      It’s also true, but unconvincing, that the whole budget debate is focusing on the smallest part of federal spending — discretionary spending — and ignoring the big bucks, which are in inexorably rising health care costs. Given all past experience, a perfectly adequate reaction to the Obama administration’s claims that health care reform will save the government money is, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But that is no reason not to show more discipline on smaller matters. Every little bit helps.

      You’d think a good GOP  budget-cutting argument would be: “They’re talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare costs to control the deficit, but it would be wrong to cut even a dollar from someone’s Social Security checks or Medicare to pay for unnecessary bureaucrats in Washington.”


      Well, argued.