The Morning Flap: February 22, 2013

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

Sequestration

Sequestration from Wall Street Journal

These are my news headlines for February 21st through February 22nd:

  • With Axelrod At NBC News, The Marriage Of Media And Politics Becomes Complete – What’s more, Team Obama has declared it has no intention of dismantling its campaign apparatus post re-election. Put Axelrod in the catbird seat at a news outlet and the “narrative” continues. Combine that with Team Obama’s masterful manipulation of journalists, its command of social media, and an ugly picture emerges of a press indistinguishable from the political establishment.This has happened in banana republics, but never in a Western democracy. Already it’s making old-school journalists who value news gathering over politics, such as the New York Times’ Roger Cohen, ABC’s Ann Compton and the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, uncomfortable. The one thing that will stop it is a press that won’t cooperate. So where is that press?
  • Budget hawks question Pentagon’s doomsday scenarios – But perhaps the biggest example of the Washington Monument maneuver is coming from the Defense Department, where it goes by another name. Over many decades of defense budget battles, the Pentagon has often used a tactic known as a “gold watch.” It means to answer a budget cut proposal by selecting for elimination a program so important and valued — a gold watch — that Pentagon chiefs know political leaders will restore funding rather than go through with the cut.So now, with sequestration approaching, the Pentagon has announced that the possibility of budget cuts has forced the Navy to delay deployment of the carrier USS Harry S. Truman to the Persian Gulf. With tensions with Iran as high as they’ve ever been, that would leave the U.S. with just one carrier, instead of the preferred two, in that deeply troubled region.
  • What Unites Obama’s Coalition — and What Could Divide It – Overall, the survey put Obama’s approval rating at 51 percent — almost exactly replicating his share of the vote last November. For all of his key groups, his approval ratings today remain close to his vote shares against Republican Mitt Romney. The survey put his approval among African-Americans at 91 percent (compared to his vote of 93 percent in November), among Hispanics at 68 percent (compared to 71 percent in November), college-educated white women at 48 percent (compared to 46 percent), and adults ages 18 to 29 at 57 percent (compared to 60 percent). Considering that several percent of those in each group described themselves as undecided on Obama’s performance, those numbers suggest almost no change from his support in the election.
  • Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? – Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? #tcot
  • Noonan: Government by Freakout – The president’s sequester strategy is like Howard Beale in “Network”: “Woe is us. . . . And woe is us! We’re in a lot of trouble!”It is always cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes with Barack Obama. It is always government by freakout.
    That’s what’s happening now with the daily sequester warnings. Seven hundred thousand children will be dropped from Head Start. Six hundred thousand women and children will be dropped from aid programs. Meat won’t be inspected. Seven thousand TSA workers will be laid off, customs workers too, and air traffic controllers. Lines at airports will be impossible. The Navy will slow down the building of an aircraft carrier. Troop readiness will be disrupted, weapons programs slowed or stalled, civilian contractors stiffed, uniformed first responders cut back. Our nuclear deterrent will be indefinitely suspended. Ha, made that one up, but give them time.Mr. Obama has finally hit on his own version of national unity: Everyone get scared together.
  • Is President Obama overplaying sequestration hand? – President Barack Obama’s greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn’t the Republican leadership in Congress — it’s his confidence in his own ability to force a win.He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn’t open a line of communication with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell until Thursday, a week before the spending ax hits. And when they did finally hear from Obama, the calls were perfunctory, with no request to step up negotiations or invitations to the White House.
  • Why Obama and Rove Should Sit Down and Keep Quiet
  • Fewer Americans Getting Health Insurance From Employer – Fewer Americans reported having employer-based health insurance in 2012 than did in 2008, 2009, and 2010, but at 44.5% it is unchanged from 2011. At the same time, more Americans continue to report having a government-based health plan — Medicare, Medicaid, or military or veterans’ benefits — with the 25.6% who did so in 2012 up from 23.4% in 2008.
  • H.R. 6684: Spending Reduction Act of 2012 – Legislative Digest – GOP.gov – RT @robertcostaNRO Text: the GOP’s sequester replacement, which was passed in Dec. 2012
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 #tcot
  • Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid » The Right Scoop – – RT @trscoop: Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid
  • A Tax By Another Name – Writing in the New York Times yesterday, Yuval Levin made the case for means-testing Social Security and Medicare. As you’d expect from Yuval the case is well made and elegantly thought-through. It’s also, if I may respectfully say so, misguided. Partly as a consequence of the refusal to make consumption take its fair share of the tax load, the US already taxes income on a pretty progressive basis (even more so, I suspect, if, just for the sake of argument, you excluded the very richest from the equation—highly taxed wage income generally makes up a lower percentage of their total take). Means-testing these two programs would only tighten the screws still further.
  • Capitol Alert: Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move – Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move
  • Charles Krauthammer: Immigration — the lesser of two evils – The president suggested he would hold off introducing his own immigration bill as long as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace — until his own immigration bill mysteriously leaked precisely as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace.A naked political maneuver and a blunt warning to Republicans: Finish that immigration deal in Congress, or I’ll propose something I know you can’t accept — and flog the issue mercilessly next year to win back the House.
  • The 60th vote: Republican Richard Shelby to vote for cloture on Hagel; Update: Deb Fischer too? « Hot Air – Looks like Chuck Hagel is the next Sec Defense. Let the sequestration begin:
  • 6 Questions for the Immigration Reformers – From border security to H1-B visas, much needs to be answered in the looming immigration debate.
  • Obama reaches out to Boehner, McConnell as sequester cuts loom – The Hill – Obama symbolism over substance: #tcot
  • DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider – DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider #tcot
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case – Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse? – Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse?
  • Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United – Flap’s Blog – Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United #tcot
  • ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ – ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ #tcot
  • The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors – NYTimes.com – The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors #tcot
  • Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years – Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years #tcot
  • Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery – latimes.com – Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery #tcot
  • Harry Reid says he’ll run for re-election in 2016; won’t comment on Sandoval as opponent – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the capital press corps at the Nevada Legislature Wednesday night that he will seek re-election in 2016.The news conference came after he gave a speech to state lawmakers, like Reid does every legislative session.When asked if he would run for re-election, Reid said, “Sure, why not?”

    When asked if he thought Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval would run against him, Reid said, “Oh, I don’t know.”

    When asked if he could beat Sandoval, Reid said, “Hey, I don’t get involved in fights I don’t have to.”

    When reminded that he was a boxer in his youth, Reid replied, “But I’m not stupid.”

  • 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw:

The Morning Flap: February 21, 2013

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

brill.pill9.indd

These are my news headlines for February 21st:

  • Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us | TIME.com – 1. Routine Care, Unforgettable Bills
    When Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old from Lancaster, Ohio, was told last March that he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife Stephanie knew she had to get him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Stephanie’s father had been treated there 10 years earlier, and she and her family credited the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson with extending his life by at least eight years.Because Stephanie and her husband had recently started their own small technology business, they were unable to buy comprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean.
  • GOP Has Trouble Settling on Candidates Who Can Win – One of the interesting things about recent elections is that Republicans have tended to do better the farther you go down the ballot.They’ve lost the presidency twice in a row, and in four of the last six contests. They’ve failed to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, something they accomplished in five election cycles between 1994 and 2006.But they have won control of the House of Representatives in the last two elections, and in eight of the last 10 cycles.And they’ve been doing better in elections to state legislatures than at any time since the 1920s.

    One reason for this is that, as I have written, Democratic voters are clustered in large metropolitan areas, which helps them in the Electoral College but hurts in legislatures with equal-population districts.

    But there’s another reason, which has been particularly glaring in races for the U.S. Senate: candidate quality.

  • The future of free-market healthcare – Over nearly a century, progressives have pressed for a national, single-payer healthcare system. When it comes to health reform, what have conservatives stood for?For far too long, conservatives have failed to coalesce around a long-term vision of what a free-market healthcare system should look like. Republican attention to healthcare, in turn, has only arisen sporadically, in response to Democratic initiatives.Obamacare is the logical byproduct of this conservative policy neglect. President Barack Obama’s re-election was a strategic victory for his signature healthcare law. Once the bulk of the program begins to be implemented in 2014 — especially its trillions of dollars in new health-insurance subsidies — it will become politically impossible to repeal. And as the baby boomers retire and Obamacare is fully operational, government health spending will reach unsustainable levels.The great irony of Obama’s triumph, however, is that it can pave the way for Republicans to adopt a comprehensive, market-oriented healthcare agenda.  The market-oriented prescription drug program in Medicare has controlled the growth of government health spending. Similarly, conservatives can use Obamacare’s important concession to the private sector — its establishment of subsidized insurance marketplaces — as a vehicle for broader entitlement reforms.
  • The Pro-Growth Sequester – The Obama administration is whipping up hysteria over the sequester budget cuts and their impact on the economy, the military, first providers, and so forth and so on. Armageddon. But if you climb into the Congressional Budget Office numbers for 2013, you see a much lighter and easier picture than all the worst-case scenarios being conjured up by the administration.For example, the $85 billion so-called spending cut is actually budget authority, not budget outlays. According to the CBO, budget outlays will come down by $44 billion, or one quarter of 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP is $15.8 trillion). What’s more, that $44 billion outlay reduction is only 1.25 percent of the $3.6 trillion government budget.
  • Ted Cruz knocks Obama on immigration – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) says President Barack Obama wants to “scuttle” immigration reform by injecting a path to citizenship into the debate so Democrats can keep the issue alive for political gain.“The president has been focusing on amnesty — a path to citizenship that skips ahead of the line,” the freshman tea party senator said Wednesday at a speech in Dallas, according to The Dallas Morning News. “That, he knows, is a position not supported by a great many Americans and not a position that will achieve bipartisan cooperation. It’s designed to scuttle the bill.”
  • Foreign Buyers Hop on Rental Trend – US Masters, a real-estate investment trust that has raised $276 million, primarily from Australian retirees, is one of a handful of foreign firms that are betting on the U.S. housing recovery by buying houses at discount prices.The business of buying-and-renting houses, long dominated by local mom-and-pop investors, has morphed over the past two years into one of the hottest investments on Wall Street. Dozens of pension investors and private-equity firms, such as Blackstone Group LP BX -2.19% and Colony Capital LLC, are clamoring to buy homes in beaten-up markets, sometimes using money from foreign co-investors.
  • Majority of U.S. citizens say illegal immigrants should be deported – More than half of U.S. citizens believe that most or all of the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants should be deported, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday that highlights the difficulties facing lawmakers trying to reform the U.S. immigration system.The online survey shows resistance to easing immigration laws despite the biggest push for reform in Congress since 2007.
  • Missile Defense Tests Successful, but Future of Program in Doubt – The unanswered question is whether the Missile Defense Agency will be permitted to advance this space-based missile defense capability—whether through the STSS program or the PTSS program—to a deployed constellation at all. There should be little doubt that arms control advocates, both inside the Administration and out, are livid that this test took place at all, let alone that it was successful. This is because a space-based missile defense capability is incompatible with the Administration’s arms control agenda.
  • Gov. Scott agrees to expand Florida Medicaid program – Gov. Rick Scott announced plans Wednesday to expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 900,000 more people under the federal health overhaul, a surprise decision from the vocal critic of President Barack Obama’s plan.Scott said he will ask the Legislature to expand the program under a bill that would expire in three years, after which it would require renewed legislative support. He’s the seventh Republican governor so far to propose expanding the taxpayer-funded health insurance program.
  • Tea Party and Republican groups launch Hispanic outreach – Tea Party and Republican groups launch Hispanic outreach #tcot
  • How former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Spent His Campaign Funds – Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) pleaded guilty today “to a conspiracy to siphon about $750,000 in federal campaign funds for their personal use,” the Chicago Tribune reports.”About 3,100 personal purchases were made on campaign credit cards, totaling $582,772.58… Prosecutors said $60,000 was spent on restaurants, nightclubs and lounges; $31,700 on personal airfare; $16,000 on sports clubs and lounges; $17,000 on tobacco shops; $5,800 on alcohol; $14,500 on dry cleaning; $8,000 on grocery stores and $6,000 at drug stores.””In one of the more exotic purchases, Jackson used campaign funds in the spring of 2011 to pay a taxidermist in Montana $7,058 for two mounted elk heads to be shipped to his office in Washington. This was the beginning of an FBI sting, according to court documents.”
  • California Dept. of Transportation: ‘Be Sure to Black Out the ‘United States’ and [the] Motto’ | The Weekly Standard – California Dept. of Transportation: ‘Be Sure to Black Out the ‘United States’ and [the] Motto’
  • Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilians – Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilians #tcot
  • The sequester blame game – Much depends on the timing of any economic turndown. If it occurs this year, but is followed by improvement in 2014, the political consequences are not likely to be significant. If the economy is in trouble in mid-2014, then all bets are off. For this reason, among others, Republicans should reject out of hand the president’s efforts to postpone the sequester for a year. In any event, the sequester would make the Republicans a full partner with Obama when it comes to the state of the economy.In the end, though, Republicans are committed, as they should be, to cutting government spending. This is never a politically risk-free proposition. But it’s better to get a head start now, when blame might well be shared, than to save all the work for when (if) Republicans gain control of the government and will absorb all of the blame.JOHN adds: My own view is that Republicans should happily take credit for the spending cuts represented by the sequester. They aren’t anywhere near enough, but they are the most substantial spending cuts, I believe, in my lifetime. I think 75% of the population will be pleasantly surprised to learn that Congress is actually capable of cutting spending.
  • The GOP’s astonishingly bad message on sequester cuts – None of which addresses the Republican problem on the sequester. If the problem is one of substance — that is, if GOP leaders truly believe the cuts threaten national security but are nevertheless supporting them — then Republicans have put themselves into an untenable situation. If, as is more likely, the problem is one of message — that is, if Republicans believe the cuts are not only manageable without threatening national security but are also desirable as a first step toward controlling spending — then the Boehner article is sending all the wrong signals.
  • Video: John McCain Gets Testy With Arizona Voter Questioning Immigration Amnesty – Flap’s Blog – Video: John McCain Gets Testy With Arizona Voter Questioning Immigration Amnesty #tcot
  • Mistake in First California Carbon Auction Raises Questions About Secrecy | KQED News Fix – Mistake in First California Carbon Auction Raises Questions About Secrecy
  • Second cap and trade auction needs big bucks | news10.net – Second cap and trade California auction needs big bucks
  • We predicted there was no tax ‘windfall’ | CalWatchDog – We predicted there was no California tax ‘windfall’
  • The Morning Flap: February 20, 2013 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: February 20, 2013 #tcot
  • A Mighty Wind by Ben Boychuk – City Journal – A Mighty Wind – California Flatulence Jokes

The Morning Flap: January 31, 2013

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

Obama Jobs Council

These are my links for January 30th through January 31st:

  • The Chuck Hagel confirmation whip count
  • Obama’s jobs council shutting down Thursday – President Barack Obama will let his jobs council expire this week without renewing its charter, winding down one source of input from the business community even as unemployment remains stubbornly high.When Obama in January 2011 formed his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, unemployment was hovering above 9 percent. Two years president later, more than 12 million people in the U.S. are out of work. The unemployment rate has improved to 7.8 percent, but both parties agree that’s still too high.A provision in Obama’s executive order establishing the council says it sunsets on Thursday. A White House official said the president does not plan to extend it.
  • Controversial school bonds create ‘debt for the next generation’ – The Bay Citizen – Controversial school bonds create ‘debt for the next generation’
  • California taxes surge in January, report says – latimes.com – California taxes surge in January, report says
  • Poll: Californians fear shootings, support citizenship | news10.net – PPIC Poll: Californians fear shootings, support citizenship
  • Myths of Weight Loss Are Plentiful, Researcher Says – NYTimes.com – Myths of Weight Loss Are Plentiful, Researcher Says #tcot
  • Science Says, ‘Good Riddance, Sen. Tom Harkin’ – Progressive Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced his retirement recently, foregoing a re-election bid in 2014. Science Insider, the policy news arm of the journal Science, wished him a fond farewell, calling him a “longtime champion” of biomedical research.This is exactly backwards.In reality, Harkin has been one of the leading voices of alternative medicine, up to 95% of which is complete nonsense. His insistence upon funding woo, through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) no less, has served to undermine biomedical research. Called the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), this joke of an organization was created — and packed full of woo-loving cronies — by Senator Tom Harkin.
  • ObamaCare: Some families to be priced out of health overhaul – Some families could get priced out of health insurance due to what’s being called a glitch in President Barack Obama’s overhaul law. IRS regulations issued Wednesday failed to fix the problem as liberal backers of the president’s plan had hoped.As a result, some families that can’t afford the employer coverage that they are offered on the job will not be able to get financial assistance from the government to buy private health insurance on their own. How many people will be affected is unclear.The Obama administration says its hands were tied by the way Congress wrote the law. Officials said the administration tried to mitigate the impact. Families that can’t get coverage because of the glitch will not face a tax penalty for remaining uninsured, the IRS rules said.

    “This is a very significant problem, and we have urged that it be fixed,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, an advocacy group that supported the overhaul from its early days. “It is clear that the only way this can be fixed is through legislation and not the regulatory process.”

    But there’s not much hope for an immediate fix from Congress, since the House is controlled by Republicans who would still like to see the whole law repealed.

  • Jobless Claims Go Higher; Income Surges, Spending Up – The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose sharply last week but remained at a level consistent with moderate hiring, while income surged much higher than expected and spending inched higher as well.The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment benefits leapt 38,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000. The increase comes after applications plummeted in the previous two weeks to five-year lows.Personal income rose 2.6 percent and spending was up 0.2 percent for the month, according to a separate report.
  • Why I Love Twitter | RedState – This —->RT @MelissaTweets: RT @JammieWF: Why I Love Twitter via @benhowe
  • Henninger: Obama’s Thunderdome Strategy – The president’s goal is to make Republican ideas intolerable – Henninger: Obama’s Thunderdome Strategy – The president’s goal is to make Republican ideas intolerable #tcot
  • On Immigration, Obama Acts as if He Has the Upper Hand
  • Why Labor Has Learned to Love Immigration Reform – Why Labor Has Learned to Love Immigration Reform #tcot
  • Surprise decline in GDP fails to shift debate over ending sequestration – Surprise decline in GDP fails to shift debate over ending sequestration #tcot
  • Democratic super PAC targets 10 GOP representatives – Democratic super PAC targets 10 GOP representatives #tcot
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-30 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-30
  • Obama expects immigration reform bill as early as June – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room – Obama expects #immigration reform bill as early as June by @joneasley
  • Rand Paul: GOP must ‘evolve’ on immigration – Kevin Cirilli – POLITICO.com – Rand Paul: GOP needs immigration evolution:
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-30 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-30 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-30 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-30
  • Gingrich: Don’t trust Rubio, McCain on immigration | WashingtonExaminer.com – Gingrich: Don’t trust Rubio, McCain on immigration | #tcot
  • For millionaire athletes, states with highest tax rates may not make the cut | Fox News – For millionaire athletes, states with highest tax rates may not make the cut | Fox News #tcot
  • Gingrich: Don’t trust Rubio, McCain on immigration | WashingtonExaminer.com – Gingrich: Don’t trust Rubio, McCain on immigration | #tcot
  • Rubio’s amnesty: A path to oblivion for the GOP – IT’S NOT AMNESTY! Rubio’s proponents cry. They seem to think they can bully Republicans the way the Democrats do, by controlling the language.Rubio’s bill is nothing but amnesty. It isn’t even “amnesty thinly disguised as border enforcement.” This is a wolf in wolf’s clothing.Despite all the blather about how Rubio demands “Enforcement First!” the very first thing his proposal does is make illegal aliens legal. (Don’t call them “illegal aliens”!)

    The ability to live and work legally in America is the most valuable commodity in the world; it’s the Hope Diamond of the universe. I know young, well-educated Canadians who waited a decade for that privilege.

    Step One of Marco Rubio’s plan is: Grant illegal aliens the right to live and work in America legally. (Rubio’s first move in poker: Fold.)

    People who have broken our laws will thus leap ahead of millions of foreigners dying to immigrate here, but — unwilling to enter illegally — waiting patiently in their own countries.

    The only thing the newly legalized illegal immigrants won’t get immediately is citizenship. Rubio claims that under his plan, they won’t be able to vote or go on welfare. But in practice, they’ll have to wait only until the ACLU finds a judge to say otherwise.

  • A Pointless Amnesty – Illegal immigration is a curious subject: It is one of the few domains in which the authorities entrusted with enforcing the law feel obliged to negotiate the most concessionary terms and conditions with those who are breaking it, as though law enforcement were an embarrassing inconvenience. But the rule of law, national security, and economic dynamism are not mere pro forma matters — they are in fact fundamental, a reality lost on our would-be “comprehensive” immigration reformers.
  • Pushback: Gingrich, Vitter, National Review, Malkin, Coulter, Erickson oppose Rubio’s immigration plan – The key subplot to Rubio’s immigration push, of course, is how much of a headache it’ll be for him with conservatives in the 2016 primaries. The talk-radio charm offensive is mainly designed to get grassroots opinion-shapers like Rush to at least wait and see what the bill looks like before lobbying against it, but more broadly it’s designed to move the Overton window on what positions are acceptable for a good conservative to hold. Rubio can afford to have immigration reform fail; he can’t afford to be RINO-ized over it. Like I said yesterday, whether or not a bill ends up passing, he’s already achieved something significant by getting Rush et al. to acknowledge that “recognizing reality” in terms of a grand bargain on immigration is something “admirable and noteworthy.” No matter what happens now, unless he ends up voting for a watered-down Democratic bill with token enforcement (which he won’t), he’s got that as a soundbite for his primary ads in 2016. James Antle makes a good point too in noting that none of Rubio’s would-be rivals for the nomination have attacked him on this yet. Jindal, Paul, and Christie have all kept quiet and Ryan has actually endorsed Rubio’s plan. The likely candidates don’t want to alienate Latino voters and the pundits with big audiences don’t want to kneecap a guy who might end up being the party’s best chance to regain the presidency.
  • Marco Rubio: Applying Conservative Principles To Immigration – I appreciate the opportunity to respond to Erick’s post last night regarding the principles for immigration reform I have recently developed. Before diving into the details of the plan, I want to take a moment to point out how the debate about immigration reflects positively on the conservative movement in general. Unlike the left, whose default tactic is to attack and destroy the personal character of those who disagree with their views, the conservative movement is capable of accommodating a vibrant internal debate on important issues solely on the merits. RedState has always been a welcoming forum for that sort of debate.
  • Legislation proposed to help California launch healthcare overhaul – Los Angeles Times – Untitled (… #tcot
  • Guest Blog: Dr. Josie Dovidio – Dental Health Considerations & Aspergers Syndrome – Guest Blog: Dr. Josie Dovidio – Dental Health Considerations & Aspergers Syndrome
  • Photo of the Day: Bullet Turns Tooth Upside Down – Photo of the Day: Bullet Turns Tooth Upside Down
  • L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, again, cast as possible transportation secretary – LA Daily News – L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, again, cast as possible transportation secretary
  • State ordered to pay back districts $1 billion for 20-year-old mandate | EdSource Today – State ordered to pay back districts $1 billion for 20-year-old mandate
  • Counties express concerns about Medi-Cal expansion – latimes.com – Counties express concerns about Medi-Cal expansion
  • Phil Mickelson’s net state income tax increase: 83.6%!!!!! | CalWatchDog – Phil Mickelson’s net state income tax increase: 83.6%!!!!!
  • Five reasons Republicans won’t win Latino voters with immigration reform – Here are five reasons why.1. ¡es la economía, estúpido!Latinos didn’t vote for President Obama because Mitt Romney was seen as insensitive on immigration. According to a Fox Latino poll before the election, only 6% of Latinos said that immigration was the most important issue to their vote. A Latino Decisions (LD) election eve poll allowed multiple answers to issues that were important and, still, 65% did not say immigration was important to them.

    Latinos instead cared about the economy. About 50% said the economy was the most important issue to their vote. By a 75% to 19% margin, Latinos are more likely to believe in a bigger government, with more services, to a smaller one. President Obama got 75% of the Latino vote in the LD election eve poll – a perfect match.

    2. Latinos are liberal

    Latinos have said openly they won’t change their vote because of immigration policy. Only 31% of Latinos in the LD survey said they would be more likely to vote GOP, if the Republican party took a leadership role in immigration reform. A full 58% said they didn’t know or it would have no effect, while 11% said it would actually make them less likely to vote Republican.

    The reason is that Latinos are 9pt more likely to say they are liberal than the general population. Most of that has to do with the economy, but even on social issues, Latinos, especially second- and third-generation, are no more conservative than the general population. In fact, second- and third-generation Latinos are more likely to believe abortion should be legal and homosexuality accepted by society than the general population.

  • Unions and Hollywood Donors Bankroll New Advocacy Group – Shocker —>RT @politicalwire: Unions and Hollywood donors are bankrolling Obama’s new advocacy group
  • Clinton: Health won’t ‘factor in at all’ in decision to run for president – The Hill’s Video – Uh Huh! RT @thehill: #Hillary Clinton: Health won’t ‘factor in at all’ in decision to run in #2016 @HillTube
  • Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/30/5150647/dan-walters-gun-control-theory.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters) – RT @RobStutzman Sacbee – Dan Walters: Gun control theory doesn’t match reality
  • TABLE – U.S. Q4 GDP fell 0.1 pct
    | Reuters
    – RT @conncarroll so how are Obama’s tax hikes and defense cuts working out? | U.S. Q4 GDP fell 0.1 pct
  • Immigration reform could boost cost of Obamacare by hundreds of billions | Mobile Washington Examiner – Immigration reform could boost cost of Obamacare by hundreds of billions #tcot
  • Reid declines to endorse Feinstein’s assault-weapons ban – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday declined to voice support for Democratic legislation that would ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.Reid said he would bring gun-violence legislation to the floor and open it to a lengthy amendment process. But he declined to endorse the assault weapons ban introduced last week by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), which has the support of the 2nd- and 3rd-ranking Senate Democratic leaders.
    “She’s talked to me about her assault weapons. The new one. She believes in it fervently and I admire her for that. I’ll take a look at that,” he said in response to a reporter’s question. “We’re going to have votes on all kinds of issues dealing with guns, and I think everyone would be well advised to read the legislation before they determine how they’re going to vote [on] it.”
  • Why Immigration Reform Won’t Cure the GOP’s Struggles with Hispanics – Leading Republicans are jumping on the immigration reform bandwagon, hoping that taking the issue off the table will give them a second chance to make inroads with Hispanic voters. But even with a bipartisan deal looking within reach, the Republican party may not benefit as much as strategists expect.Indeed, there’s evidence that Hispanic resistance to the Republican party is as rooted in the GOP’s skeptical view of government, as it is their disagreement with GOP hardliners on immigration. The Republican Party calls for smaller government, but many Latinos look to government assistance as a necessity. Forty-two percent of Hispanic voters say that a government job offers the best chance of gaining career success, compared to only one-third of white voters, according to a June Allstate/National Journal/Heartland Monitor poll.

The Morning Flap: January 24, 2013

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

Dianne FeinsteinCalifornia Senator Dianne Feinstein

These are my links for January 23rd through January 24th:

The Morning Flap: January 23, 2013

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

Hillary Clinton

These are my links for January 22nd through January 23rd:

  • Clinton set for long-awaited Libya testimony, as senator urges ‘top-to-bottom review’ – More than four months after the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in eastern Libya, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will deliver long-awaited testimony on the historic security failure.The secretary, after missing prior sessions before Congress due to illness, is set to take lawmakers’ questions Wednesday before a House and Senate committee. As Clinton prepares to leave the department after a busy four years, the hearing is a chance to address what is arguably the biggest controversy of her tenure.
  • Rothenberg: The 2016 Presidential Race Begins Today – After recent work on congressional deals, Biden looks like a more serious contender in 2016, if he chooses to run.For many, Clinton, who started as the solid favorite for the Democratic nomination only to have Obama snatch it from her, is the prohibitive favorite for her party’s nomination if she wants it. At this point, we just don’t know if she will want it. Maybe the former first lady doesn’t even know yet.

    Biden, who will turn 71 toward the end of this year, was mocked often during Obama’s first term, but the former Delaware senator’s role in negotiating a deal to avert the fiscal cliff and his lead role in trying to come up with gun legislation that could be both effective and enacted suddenly makes him look like a more serious contender in 2016, if he chooses to run.

    After Clinton and Biden, the list becomes more speculative. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are seen as ambitious and interested. Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer probably should be on the list as well.

  • Health Insurance Brokers Prepare Clients For Obamacare Sticker Shock – A California insurance broker, who sells health plans to individuals and small businesses, told me that she’s prepping her clients for a sticker shock. Her local carriers are hinting to her that premiums may triple this fall, when the plans unveil how they’ll billet the full brunt of Obamacare’s new regulations and mandates.California is hardly alone. Around the country, insurers are fixing to raise rates by double digits. They’re privately briefing politicians in Washington on what’s in store. Those briefings are leaving a lot of folks up and down Pennsylvania Avenue jumpy.

    What’s gives? President Obama, after all, said he’d prevent these sorts of prices. His new health law gave state regulators the power to block premium increases. It even created a federal agency to oversee insurance rates. But these bureaucrats are spectators to the price hikes. They’re mere wallflowers. Even in the bluest of states.

    Their silence is the best evidence of who is culpable for the increases. It’s the policymakers. It’s Obamacare. The President is accepting the premium hikes as an allowable consequence of his healthcare policies.

  • Behind the Curtain: Joe Biden ‘intoxicated’ by 2016 run – Joe Biden summoned more than 200 Democratic insiders to the vice presidential residence Sunday night to chat about the 2012 triumph — but many walked away convinced his rising 2016 ambitions were the real intent of the long, intimate night.“I took a look at who was there,” said longtime New Hampshire state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, “and said to myself, ‘There’s no question he’s thinking about the future.’ ”

    He’s right. Biden, according to a number of advisers and Democrats who have spoken to him in recent months, wants to run, or at least be well positioned to run, if and when he decides to pull the trigger.

    Biden has expressed a clear sense of urgency, convinced the Democratic field will be defined quickly — and that it might very well come down to a private chat with Hillary Clinton about who should finish what Barack Obama started.

  • Clinton to face Congress on Libya assault – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton faces tough questions in her long-awaited congressional testimony concerning the assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.Clinton is the sole witness Wednesday at back-to-back hearings before the Senate and House foreign policy panels on the September raid, an independent panel’s review that harshly criticized the State Department and the steps the Obama administration is taking to beef up security at U.S. facilities worldwide.

    Clinton had been scheduled to testify before Congress last month, but an illness, a concussion and a blood clot near her brain forced her to postpone her appearance.

  • Red-State Democrats’ Re-Election Playbook – President Obama won’t have to face voters again, but a handful of Democratic senators from conservative states will, and the president’s agenda, newly stamped with a liberal imprimatur at the inauguration, could prove tricky for them to navigate.How they go about doing that will require distancing themselves from the national Democratic Party and keeping their political antennae attuned to possible stumbling blocks in the Senate–what Democratic strategist Jim Manley calls a “yin and a yang equation.”

    “The yin is differentiation; the yang is also trying to avoid the minefield that the Republicans are going to lay for you on the floor of the Senate,” he said.

  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-22 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-22 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-22 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-22
  • The Mickelson Vote – Lefty offends the lefties – California golfer Phil “Lefty” Mickelson says he will no longer publicly criticize the government for taking most of his paycheck. That’s a shame. But even if it’s now socially unacceptable for high achievers to suggest they should keep the fruits of their labor, that doesn’t mean they will keep supplying that labor.After a brilliant round Sunday at a tournament in La Quinta, California, Mr. Mickelson hinted that new tax burdens might drive him out of the state, out of professional golf, and perhaps even out of the country. “There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state, and it doesn’t work for me right now,” he said. “So I’m going to have to make some changes.”
  • Harry Reid Threatens GOP with Nuclear Option On Senate Filibuster – Harry Reid Threatens GOP with Nuclear Option On Senate Filibuster Rules #tcot
  • Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign now debt-free – More than four years after Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic nomination for president, Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign is finally debt-free, new reports filed by the campaign show.Clinton’s campaign committee paid off about $25 million in debt and now has a surplus of $204,832. The campaign retired its debt just as Clinton is preparing to step down from her job as secretary of state. Clinton supporters are pushing her to run for the presidency again in 2016.
  • Phil Mickelson, taxes, and the Laffer curve | AEIdeas – RT @JimPethokoukis: ICYMI: Phil Mickelson, taxes, and the Laffer curve
  • Tiger Woods Says High Tax Rates Made Him Leave California – During a press conference Tuesday, golf legend Tiger Woods said he moved to Florida in 1996 because of California’s high tax rates. The comments came after fellow golfer Phil Mickelson hinted Sunday that he might leave the Golden State — or perhaps even move out of the U.S. completely — because of income tax increases.“I moved out of here back in ’96 for that reason,” Woods told reporters at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif.
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Dentist Robert Garelick Charged with Drunk Drilling – Dentist Robert Garelick Charged with Drunk Drilling
  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Big Xylitol Trial Finds Scant Benefits in Adult Caries #tcot
  • Video: Work Out With Your Pet? – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Video: Work Out With Your Pet?
  • Glendale City Council To Consider Gun Show Ban « CBS Los Angeles – Glendale City Council To Consider Gun Show Ban
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Daily Extraction: January 22, 2013 – The Daily Extraction: January 22, 2013
  • Honda v. Khanna: Could Silicon Valley be ground zero for 2014 House Asian-American battle royale? | Politics Blog | an SFGate.com blog – Honda v. Khanna: Could Silicon Valley be ground zero for 2014 House Asian-American battle royale?
  • Sandy Koufax to advise Los Angeles Dodgers, be at spring training – ESPN Los Angeles – Excellent! RT @ESPNlosangeles: Koufax to advise Dodgers, be at spring training
  • Ryan: Obama ‘Shadowboxing a Straw Man’ – Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan knocked President Barack Obama for “shadowbox[ing] a straw man” in his inaugural address. Speaking Tuesday morning on the Laura Ingraham Radio Show to guest host Raymond Arroyo, Ryan responded to Obama’s statement that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security “do not make us a nation of takers, they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”Ryan called Obama’s insinuation that he and other reform-minded Republicans consider recipients of these benefits “takers” a “switcheroo.”

    “It’s kind of a convenient twist of terms to try and shadowbox a straw man to try to win an argument by default,” Ryan said.

    “No one is suggesting that what we call our ‘earned entitlements’, entitlements you pay for, you know, like payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security, are putting you in a ‘taker’ category,” Ryan continued. “The concern that people like me have been raising is we do not want to encourage a dependency culture. This is why we called for welfare reform. This is welfare reform in 1996 was. This was what the new rounds for welfare reform we’re calling for do, which is to increase social mobility, economic opportunity, self-responsibility, those sort of things.”

    “I understand the president will continue to use straw man arguments, affix views to your political adversaries they do not have in order to try and win an argument by default,” Ryan added.

  • Nebraska governor Dave Heineman OKs Keystone XL route through state – Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved a revised route for the Keystone XL pipeline, one that supporters say will avoid the most ecologically sensitive regions of his state.The action is part of a chain of events that will lead to an eventual decision by President Barack Obama, which has emerged as a crucial test of the president’s pledges to tackle climate change versus his embrace of “all of the above” energy. Heineman sent a letter Tuesday to Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noting his approval of the new route.
  • Reid to Senate Republicans: Filibuster deal in 36 hours or face nuclear option – The Hill’s On The Money – RT @thehill: Administration ‘not opposed’ to GOP debt limit bill
  • Day By Day January 22, 2013 – Link This – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day January 22, 2013 – Link This #tcot
  • Republicans aim to suspend debt limit until May – @ThePlumLineGS The first olive branch form the House:
  • Did Beyoncé Lip-Sync the Star-Spangled Banner? | Inauguration 2013 | Washingtonian – RT @MelissaTweets: <eyeroll> RT @DRUDGE_REPORT: Did Beyoncé Lip-Sync the Star-Spangled Banner?
  • Home – ContraCostaTimes.com – California engineers question high-speed rail oversight – #tcot
  • President Obama dodges ‘hard choices’ on entitlements – President Barack Obama insisted four years ago that the nation must make “hard decisions” to preserve entitlement programs.But on Monday, the “hard choices” he spoke of on health care and the deficit came with a major caveat: He’s not willing to give up much.

    “The commitments we make to each other — through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us,” Obama told the cheering crowd as he launched his second term. “They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

    His inaugural address promised an ambitious progressive agenda — and laid bare Obama’s deeply conflicted relationship with entitlement reform.

    He’s done just enough to earn credit for trying harder than any other Democratic president to tackle the issue, but he has yet to throw the full weight of his office or his formidable campaign operation behind it. His best chance will come early in his second term as lawmakers confront a series of budget battles, but Obama appears more ready to spend his political capital on guns, immigration and climate change.

    The president has never precisely defined what hard choices he would be willing to make on Medicare and Social Security. It’s not even clear what he would do if he had the power to remake the programs on his own, without worrying about opposition from Republicans or Democrats.

    And though Obama has talked about shared sacrifice from both parties, he has not gotten to the point in deficit negotiations at which he’s had to pressure rank-and-file Democratic lawmakers to cross their red line on the sacred issues, as House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) did with his own party in raising taxes.

    Unless Obama seizes the opportunity in the next few months, entitlement reform will hang over his second term, lurking like a legacy-killer if he hands off the task to the next president, deficit hawks warn.

  • The California Flap: January 22, 2013 – Flap’s California Blog – The California Flap: January 22, 2013
  • CalPERS nears a record $260 billion in assets – latimes.com – CalPERS nears a record $260 billion in assets
  • California engineers question high-speed rail oversight – ContraCostaTimes.com – California engineers question high-speed rail oversight
  • Tobacco tax hike eyed for 2014 state ballot | news10.net – Tobacco tax hike eyed for 2014 state ballot
  • The Morning Flap: January 22, 2013 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: January 22, 2013 #tcot

The Morning Flap: January 22, 2013

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

Obama inauguration walk

President and Michelle Obama

These are my links for January 18th through January 22nd: