These are my (Flap) links for June 18th through June 19th:
A White House mess– One little-known fact about the world of journalism is that news organizations prepare obituaries of famous people while those people are still alive, so that packages of material will be ready to go when a death is announced.Over the past week, journalists have been writing articles that have the quality of these sorts of pre-obituaries — only the event they’re anticipating isn’t the last breath of an individual but the defeat of President Obama’s re-election bid.Even more striking, these journalists aren’t conservatives indulging in their deepest wish, but rather liberals who admire Obama and want to see him win a second term.Al Hunt, who was for decades the voice of liberal conventional wisdom as the Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, declared yesterday in his Bloomberg column that Obama “needs an intervention.”
The Sad Demise of the Occupy Movement– Remember when the Democratic Party saw the Occupy movement as the Left’s equivalent of the Tea Party? That lasted until it became obvious that 1) Occupy wasn’t actually much of a movement, and 2) to the extent it existed, it was an embarrassment. Occupy is in the process of fading away, not with a bang but a whimper, and with more criminal prosecutions to its credit than normal citizens converted to the leftist cause.But, much as a dead frog’s legs will continue kicking for a while, a few remnants of Occupy cling to a fitful existence. To see what the “movement” is up to these days, check out this online diary that documents the Occupy Caravan. The Caravan is a group of nine leftists who are driving, in two minivans, from California to Philadelphia. The diary, by one James Jennison, is hilarious but sad. You can’t help feeling sorry for this ragtag band of misfits who evidently think they are making some kind of political statement
Another Ridiculous Lie From Liberal Media – Distorting Romney’s “WAWAs” Hoagie Speech– Another example of how ridiculous the media is in their uncompromising struggle to distort the truth in order to make sure Obama wins and Conservatives lose.Today it’s being widely reported that Romney had a moment were he was amazed at the existence of WAWAs, a convenience/gas store, and the electronic touchtone ordering of sandwiches. They have spun this to make it seem like he’s out of touch – BUT THE VIDEO IS EDITED DECEPTIVELY:
MSNBC mischaracterizes Romney remarks– MSNBC aired footage today that inaccurately portrayed Mitt Romney’s remarks at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania.Discussing how the public sector suffers from a lack of competition, Romney told the audience about an optometrist who wanted to change his address and subsequently received 33 pages of paperwork from the federal government, which begat a months-long bureaucratic nightmare during which the optometrist in question wasn’t receiving his checks. “That’s how government works,” Romney said.Then, to illustrate the advantages of competition in the private sector, Romney shared an anecdote from his visit to the local WaWa chain store. “I was at WaWas, I went in to order a sandwich. You press a little touchtone keypad — you touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier — there’s your sandwich. It’s amazing. People in the private sector have learned how to compete. It’s time to bring some competition to the federal government.”
Will GOP demand Plame-style leak investigation?– A lot of lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, are angry about the damaging national security leaks that have come out of the Obama administration. But Republicans are probably angrier, and their feelings can be explained in two words: Valerie Plame.The Plame affair was a complicated, tortured episode in which the George W. Bush White House was accused of having deliberately leaked classified information — the identity of an undercover CIA agent — to score political points during a particularly intense time in the Iraq war. Now, many Republicans believe the Barack Obama White House has deliberately leaked classified information — among other things, details of the U.S. cyberwar against Iran — to score political points during a particularly intense time in the presidential campaign.
Dem hopes of taking House dim– Democratic hopes of recapturing the House are dimming as a series of race-by-race setbacks and economic uncertainty suggest that the 25 seats they need to net might be out of reach.The Hill projects that Democrats will net somewhere between 10 and 15 seats, assuming the presidential election remains a close contest.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given her party a better than 50-50 chance of wresting control of the lower chamber — but missed opportunities in specific races and increasing economic worries have put that prediction in doubt.“The environment certainly isn’t as good as it was six months ago for Democrats,” a senior Democratic strategist who works on House races told The Hill, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to comment candidly.“Democrats are way off track of where they need to be to regain the majority,” said David Wasserman, the House race editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report
Marco Rubio Not Being Vetted to Be Mitt Romney’s Running Mate– Even before the Republicans chose a presidential nominee it was widely assumed that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., would be at the top of anybody’s list of vice presidential candidates. The reasons are obvious: Not only is he young, charismatic and wildly popular with conservatives, but he could also help Republicans win a key state (Florida) and make inroads with Hispanics.But knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.
After spat with former construction management company, officials get projects back on track– Months after the El Monte Union High School District cut ties with its former construction management company, details are emerging about related issues that have come at a hefty expense to the district.A construction update last week revealed that the district is paying the price for design plans that didn’t have the required state approval before the construction work began at several campuses.In one case, work began on a new two-story classroom building without the plans getting state approved, resulting in the district being forced to make extensive revisions.In another a much publicized case, the state didn’t sign off on plans for new heating and air conditioning systems in two high school auditoriums before they were installed. The buildings have been closed for months as officials work to rectify the issue.The projects are part of a $148 million bond measure approved by voters in 2008. After parting ways with its construction management company Alsaleh Project Management (APM) last year and hiring another firm, officials have been working to get projects back on track. But it hasn’t been easy, or cheap.The costs of some construction projects under the bond measure have increased by up to 36 percent over what was originally budgeted, according to last week’s construction update.
While some of the rising costs were the result of upgrades desired by district leaders, part of the increase is related
A Guide to How Obama’s New Immigration Policy Will Work, And a Word of Caution– The policy memo directs ICE and Customs to begin using their on-the-ground discretion immediately. Citizenship and Immigration Services is ordered to implement what is known as “deferred action” for this category of immigrants within 60 days. It’s a good sign that the administration is moving quickly. But bear in mind, deferred action is exactly what it sounds like. It means the federal government isn’t placing you in removal proceedings now. In fact, the memo says specifically that the deferral is good for two years before the next re-evaluation. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. “The question becomes: What if the person is granted deferred action and then they turn 30,” Schwamkrug asks. “Does that mean it won’t be renewed?”If it isn’t, and that person doesn’t have some sort of legal status, current policy is to automatically forward them to immigration court for removal proceedings. Two years-worth of work authorization may be small recompense for imminent deportation.Perhaps the biggest wild card here is the November presidential election. Obama’s policy is just that. It doesn’t amount to citizenship, nor is it law, enacted by Congress. You can bet one of Mitt Romney’s first acts as president would be to rescind Napolitano’s memo. And then what? Young people who have lived their lives as Americans announce their presence as undocumented immigrants and become subject to removal proceedings. “You’re luring people out, dangling a carrot of employment authorization in exchange for putting themselves on the radar,” Schwamkrug says. “As attorneys, we’d have to lay everything out to our clients and let the clients make the choice. We can’t tell them what to do. But I personally think there’s cause for concern.”In other words, the undocumented American may rejoice, but must remain mindful that there’s no permanence to Obama’s extended hand. And in just five short months, it may be snatched away altogether.
Scalia and Ginsburg Drop Hints about Obamacare’s Fate at the Supreme Court– The Supreme Court is set to issue its ruling on the epic Obamacare case, Florida v. HHS, at the end of June. Two of the High Court’s justices, Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dropped hints this weekend as to what the Court might do. Between what they said, and the scuttlebutt I’ve been hearing, we can start to think about what the Court may do—and when.On Friday, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at the annual Court review of the American Constitution Society, a group “dedicated to…countering the activist conservative legal movement.” Ginsburg said that she was quite aware of the controversy surrounding the Obamacare case. “Some have described the controversy as unprecedented and they may be right if they mean the number of press conferences, prayer circles, protests, counter protests, going on outside the court while oral argument was under way inside.”
Obama and Romney Neck and Neck in Nevada– In the battle for Nevada’s six electoral votes, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are very competitive. Obama receives 48% to 46% for Mitt Romney, among registered voters in Nevada including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate. One percent supports another candidate, and 5% are undecided.“President Obama is nowhere near the twelve percentage point victory he had in Nevada four years ago, but at 48%, he remains within striking distance to carry the state,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Drilling down into the numbers, there is a gender gap and a generational divide which may tell the story on Election Day.”
Obama and Romney Tied in Iowa– In Iowa, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are in a dead heat. Among registered voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Obama receives 44% while Romney garners the same proportion — 44%. Two percent support another candidate, and 10% are undecided.“Both Obama and Romney are far from fifty percent in Iowa and have a lot of ground to cover,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “But, Obama’s supporters are less enthusiastic and less interested than Romney’s, and this poses a special problem for the incumbent president.”
Obama and Romney Vie for Lead in Colorado– President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are neck and neck in Colorado, a state Obama won by nine points in 2008. Among registered voters statewide including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Obama receives 46% to 45% for Romney. One percent plans to vote for someone else, and 8% are undecided.“This is a state George W. Bush carried in 2000 and 2004 and has trended Republican in party registration since 2008,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “President Obama broke through four years ago and is countering the partisan difference this time by being plus ten among independents.”
NBC-Marist polls: Obama, Romney deadlocked in three key states– President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney are deadlocked in three key presidential battleground states, according to a new round of NBC-Marist polls.In Iowa, the two rivals are tied at 44 percent among registered voters, including those who are undecided but leaning toward a candidate. Ten percent of voters in the Hawkeye State are completely undecided.In Colorado, Obama gets support from 46 percent of registered voters, while Romney gets 45 percent.
And in Nevada, the president is at 48 percent and Romney is at 46 percent.
These three states are all battlegrounds that Obama carried in 2008, but George W. Bush won in 2004.
Quote of the Day – RT @politicalwire: Biden says he’s been “assigned to” PA, DE, OH, IA, NH and FL. Possible additions: VA, NV, NC…
Elizabeth Warren acknowledges telling Harvard, Penn of Native American status– Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren acknowledged for the first time late Wednesday night that she told Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania that she was Native American, but she continued to insist that race played no role in her recruitment.“At some point after I was hired by them, I . . . provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard,’’ she said in a statement issued by her campaign. “My Native American heritage is part of who I am, I’m proud of it and I have been open about it.’’Warren’s statement is her first acknowledgment that she identified herself as Native American to the Ivy League schools. While she has said she identified herself as a minority in a legal directory, she has carefully avoided any suggestion during the last month that she took further actions to promote her purported heritage.
Republicans Target Dental Bill That Private Equity Hates #FB– The likes of Jeb Bush, William Frist, Tommy Thompson and Haley Barbour aren’t typically heard from in the office of Thom Tillis, the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives.Yet the four Republican Party stalwarts, none of them a Carolina resident, have contacted Tillis’s office over a little- known bill to toughen state regulation of dental companies. They’ve been joined by Grover Norquist , the Tea Party favorite and anti-tax crusader who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Americans for Tax Reform.“It’s not terribly common to have these types of names” intervening on a state bill, said Jordan Shaw, a spokesman for Tillis.
Their interest marks the Tar Heel State as the front line in a national struggle over dental management companies. Fueled by Wall Street money, at least six such firms are under scrutiny by two U.S. senators and authorities in five states over allegations that they soak taxpayers through excessive Medicaid billings, abuse patients via needless treatments and run afoul of laws that say only licensed dentists can practice dentistry.
Nanny State Eatch: Bloomberg Plans a Ban on Large Sodas– New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces – about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle – would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.
MSNBC host: NYC big soda ban a ‘great idea’– On MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning, co-host Mika Brzezinski defended New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 oz. from restaurants.”I think it’s a great idea,” she said. “Does anyone want to challenge me on that?”Brzezinski added that there was no reason for kids to get large drinks, pointing out that the large drinks were like “drinking a big glass of sugar, of poison.”
“Does anyone think their kid should drink this entire thing in the course of the day? How about every day? How about three times a week?” she asked during the segment. “Well, guess what’s happening out there? That’s what’s happening. And that’s why the majority of the nation’s children are obese.”