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The Morning Flap: April 19, 2012

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The Obamas and Bo, their dog – A Chilling Photo?

These are my links for April 18th through April 19th:

  • Bam Bites Dog – The political perils of personal attacks – One time Barack Obama went to an Indian restaurant and ordered the lassi. Was he ever disappointed when the waiter brought him a yogurt drink!

    We’ll be here all week. But seriously, folks, we have a man-bites-dog story for you today.

    First, some background. Last week Byron York of the Washington Examiner reported that “some Obama staffers are reportedly obsessing over a nearly 30-year-old story about [Mitt] Romney’s dog”:

    In 1983, Romney took his family on vacation and, faced with a packed station wagon, put his Irish setter Seamus in a travel kennel strapped to the roof of the car. Romney constructed a special windshield in an effort to make the dog more comfortable, but Seamus ended up relieving himself on the roof, which reportedly caused much consternation among the Romney boys. Ever since the story got out–it was reported by the Boston Globe in 2007, during Romney’s first run for president–Romney opponents have used it in semiserious and sometimes fully serious ways to portray him as insensitive.
    “I have heard, in focus groups, the dog story totally tanks Mitt Romney’s approval rating,” Chris Hayes said on his MSNBC show. The Washington Post reported last month that the Seamus story “is ballooning into a narrative of epic proportions”:

    Late-night host David Letterman has been giving the dog near-nightly shout-outs. There are parody Web videos, “Dogs Aren’t Luggage” T-shirts and Facebook groups. (“Dogs Against Romney,” which protested outside last month’s Westminster dog show, has more than 38,000 Facebook fans.) The New Yorker featured a cartoon, with Rick Santorum riding in Romney’s rooftop dog carrier, on its cover last week. In the five years since the story was revealed, New York Times columnist Gail Collins has mentioned Seamus in at least 50 columns.

  • The Dog Days of the Presidential Campaign Begin – I would note that in 2008, John McCain’s presidential campaign wouldn’t have touched this anecdote with a ten-foot pole. Between this and the Romney camp’s rapid response to the Rosen comments, we are seeing a Republican presidential campaign that is exponentially faster on its feet and way more nimble than the previous general-election campaign against Obama.
  • IN-Sen: Don’t Believe the Anti-Incumbent Narrative – A few weeks after that primary, on May 8, Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar will either lose to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock or squeeze by him in the GOP primary.

    Lugar’s problems, however, have nothing to do with the “anti-incumbent” mood or Congress’ poor reputation. Instead, they have everything to do with his record and his horrible campaign.

    Lugar’s record and style don’t fit comfortably with where his party now is, yet he made little or no effort to sooth conservatives or to prepare for a battle. If he had, he might, for example, have purchased a house or condo in the state so that he wouldn’t need to stay in a hotel when he returns to the state to campaign.

    More than a year ago, I wrote in this space about Lugar’s vulnerability in a possible one-on-one primary. Almost immediately, I received a call from a Lugar staffer telling me how wrong I was and pointing out that the Senator was hugely popular and had a large campaign war chest.

    In other words, Lugar’s team didn’t understand what could happen if voters were presented with a credible opponent who either had money or would be supported by outside groups willing to spend heavily to defeat the Senator. And later, the campaign didn’t understand why anyone would care that Lugar didn’t own a residence in the state.

  • Weiner a jerk before crotchgate, craved media attention: book – Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner was behaving like a jerk long before the world got a glimpse of his crotch.

    A new book offering an inside look at the US House of Representatives depicts Weiner as a desperately ambitious loudmouth who berated his staff and would do or say anything for TV airtime.

    Weiner “would enter his office in the Rayburn Building screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Why the f–k am I not on MSNBC?!’” journalist Robert Draper wrote in “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives.”

    He finally got his wish, Draper wrote, when Weiner pushed to become the liberal spokesman for ObamaCare.

    “He was now on MSNBC every week, sometimes every day — to the point where he was carrying his own makeup kit. (Or rather, his press guy was.)” Draper wrote.

    Excerpts of the book, due out Tuesday, surfaced yesterday on the Web site Politico.

  • Daily exercise can reduce risk of developing Alzheimer¿s, study finds – latimes.com – RT @latimesmost: You’re never too old to reduce Alzheimer’s risk with exercise
  • Hydration for Runners – Run to Your Best – RT @Racerunningtips: Hydration for Runners: Hydrating for Optimal Performance
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-19 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-19
  • The Top 10 Most Expensive Obamacare Taxes and Fees – Yesterday was tax day, serving as a special reminder of how big the federal government has become. As Heritage has warned before, Obamacare is on track to makes things a lot worse.

    The President’s health law will be partially paid for by tax increases and the creation of new taxes. When Obamacare first passed, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that its tax hikes would total $502 billion over the next 10 years. But most of the new, higher taxes don’t kick in until later in the decade, which means that once all of the law is fully implemented, the taxpayers’ tab will be much bigger than originally estimated.

    A new study by the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) revealed today that Obamacare will impose higher taxes totaling $4 trillion between now and 2035, with substantial hits on working Americans. That works out to more than $1.7 trillion over a decade—more than triple the original 10-year score.

    Below is a list of 10 of Obamacare’s most costly taxes and fees, drawn from research by Heritage tax policy expert Curtis Dubay:

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » R.I.P. Dick Clark 1929-2012 – R.I.P. Dick Clark 1929-2012
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Study: No Independent Association of Periodontal and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease? – Study: No Independent Association of Periodontal and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease?
  • In-Sen: Mourdock Leads Lugar in Internal Poll – Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock leads Senator Dick Lugar by one point according to a poll commissioned by the Mourdock campaign. Conducted between April 16 and 17 by the firm McLaughlin and Associates, the poll surveyed 400 likely Republican primary voters and found Mourdock in the lead, 42–41, against Lugar. The poll had a 4.9 percent margin of error.

    Since January, Lugar’s favorability rating has fallen ten points, from 57 to 47 percent, while Mourdock’s has risen by eleven, from 35 to 46 percent. “These results clearly demonstrate that Richard Mourdock has the momentum to win,” a memo from pollsters John McLaughlin and Stuart Polk notes.

  • Is stagnation good enough for Obama’s reelection? « The Enterprise Blog – RT @JimPethokoukis: I plugged in Citi’s new econ forecast into 2 election models. Obama losses under both
  • Untitled (http://www.laobserved.com/biz/2012/04/la_churches_being_fo.php) – RT @LAObserved: L.A. churches being foreclosed on in record numbers. @LABizObserved
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk Signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge » Flap’s California Blog
  • Gallup Presidential Election Trial Heat Results: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney – RT @gallupnews: Presidential Election: Romney 48% (+1), Obama 44% (+1). Get the full trend… #Gallup
  • Gavin Newsom Gets Current TV Show — What About the Equal Time Rule? | TheWrap TV – California’s Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom gets a TV show on Current TV – whether you like it or not #catcot #tcot
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012: Romney Up With Web Ad About Unemployment in Key Battleground State of North Carolina – President 2012: Romney Up With Web Ad About Unemployment in Key Battleground State of North Carolina
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge » Flap’s California Blog – RE:  Yes, last August seems a long time ago for Senator Tony Strickland…
  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Menthol Cigarettes Double Stroke Risk
  • Menthol Cigarettes Double Stroke Risk – Menthol cigarettes more than double the risk for stroke compared with regular cigarettes, a new study shows. In women and nonblack smokers, the risk for stroke was more than tripled.

    No significant associations were observed between the tobacco additive and other forms of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

    The mechanism by which menthol may increase stroke risk remains unclear.

    One potential mechanism is that menthol stimulates upper-airway cold receptors, which can increase breath-holding time, which may in turn facilitate the entrance of cigarette particulate matter into the lungs, notes Nicholas Vozoris, MD, from St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    Another possibility is that menthol cigarettes exert some selective effects on the cerebrovascular system.

  • Potential VP pick Mitch Daniels endorses Mitt Romney – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, frequently mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate, is the latest Republican leader to formally endorse Mitt Romney.

    “It must be a slow news day if this has made the air,” Daniels told Fox News on Wednesday. “But for what it’s worth, I did send a congratulatory note to Gov. Romney the other day offering to anything I could to help him, and here I am.”

    It didn’t come across as a particularly strong endorsement, and the Fox News anchor noted that Daniels has a dry, self-deprecating manner.

    “He’s already won our nomination,” Daniels continued. “He’s earned it, he’s proven himself the best nominee we could put forward, and I’m just happy to sign on and help him.”

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 18, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 18, 2012
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Flap’s Links and Comments for March 30th on 11:06

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These are my links for March 30th from 11:06 to 14:25:

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

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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. …

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    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.

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    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.

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    Read it all

    Pretty standard….

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