The Afternoon Flap: November 18, 2011

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Afternoon Flap

These are my links for November 17th through November 18th:

  • Poll: Romney, Gingrich in statistical dead heat in N.H. – Two things are true about New Hampshire Republican primary voters. They vote for people they know. And they love an underdog with a comeback story.Four years ago it was the weathered but feisty veteran John McCain who revived his once hanging-by-a-thread campaign to win the nation’s leadoff primary.And so it seems almost fated that after political observers have scratched their heads for months wondering who will emerge as the non-Romney candidate in the Granite State, the voters’ eyes should turn to Newt Gingrich, a man who was Speaker of the House during the previous century and whose own campaign was left for dead last summer.

    The latest NH Journal poll of likely Republican primary voters conducted by Magellan Strategies shows Romney and Gingrich in a statistical dead heat for the January 10th primary. If the election were held today, Romney would earn 29% of the vote and Gingrich would earn 27%. Texas Congressman Ron Paul continues to show resolve by earning 16%. Herman Cain gets 10%. No other candidate is in double digits.

  • Big Labor shells out for GOP friends – For House Republicans, it pays to be a friend of Big Labor.Major unions are giving a heftier slice of campaign donations than usual to pro-labor Republicans this election cycle, even as overall union contributions to members of Congress lags.Labor insiders say there’s extra incentive to support their GOP friends this cycle as unions look to reward lawmakers who rebuff their leadership on key votes, ingratiate themselves to freshman Republicans and ward off primary challengers as many tea party candidates campaign on anti-union platforms.

    Overall this cycle, about 13 percent of labor groups’ political action committee contributions — just over $2 million — have gone toward GOP candidates, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s still dwarfed by the nearly $14 million in union cash that’s gone to Democrats this cycle, but the GOP appears to be gaining ground with union donors after receiving only 6 percent of total contributions in 2010 and 8 percent in the 2008 cycle.

  • Occupy Wall Street: Anne Hathaway joins protesters but surely she’s in the 1%? – She is one of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses and lives a very privileged lifestyle that 99 per cent of people can only dream of.Still, Anne Hathaway acted as an average Joe and accompanied hundreds of protestors as she joined the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Manhattan’s Union Square.The 29-year-old, who is worth a reported $58 million, was pictured marching with protesters and sticking it to the man yesterday in The Big Apple.
  • Sarah Palin: How Congress Occupied Wall Street – Mark Twain famously wrote, “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” Peter Schweizer’s new book, “Throw Them All Out,” reveals this permanent political class in all its arrogant glory. (Full disclosure: Mr. Schweizer is employed by my political action committee as a foreign-policy adviser.)Mr. Schweizer answers the questions so many of us have asked. I addressed this in a speech in Iowa last Labor Day weekend. How do politicians who arrive in Washington, D.C. as men and women of modest means leave as millionaires? How do they miraculously accumulate wealth at a rate faster than the rest of us? How do politicians’ stock portfolios outperform even the best hedge-fund managers’? I answered the question in that speech: Politicians derive power from the authority of their office and their access to our tax dollars, and they use that power to enrich and shield themselves.
  • Ventura County Official Announces Bid in New California District – Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett (D) announced on Wednesday that he will seek California’s new 26th district seat.“I am running for Congress because Ventura County residents deserve common sense leadership that is not locked into rigid ideology at the expense of the common good,” Bennett said in a statement. “I have demonstrated that leadership for Ventura County residents here at the county level for 10 years. We have made major improvements in the fiscal health of Ventura County.”The Ventura-based district race is not expected to feature a current incumbent next year, as Rep. Elton Gallegly (R) was drawn into the neighboring 25th district and has yet to say where or whether he will run.

    No Republicans have announced for the seat yet, but two other Democrats have: Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock and former professional tennis player David Cruz Thayne.

  • 26th District Democratic Town Hall – The first Congressional Candidates Town Hall meeting is being held tonight for the new 26th district.The Ventura City Democratic Club is hosting the event at the E.P. Foster Library at 7pm.The declared candidates include businessman David Cruz Thayne, Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock and Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett.
  • The 10 states that will determine control of the House in 2012 – 2. California: The nation’s biggest state has been an electoral afterthought for some time, going a nearly a decade with only one congressional seat changing hands between 2002 and 2010. That won’t happen again. At least three GOP-held seats are likely to go Democratic in the newly reshuffled map crafted by the state’s new citizen’s redistricting commission. But Democrats think they can run up the score even more, while the GOP strategists believe they can win Democratic-held seats elsewhere to even the score. We could see the results spanning from a total wash to Democrats gaining eight seats. Anything on the top end of that scale would be a major Democratic win.
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-18 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-18 #tcot #catcot
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Los Angeles Chinatown – Heading home after an afternoon at LA auto show (@ Los Angeles Chinatown)
  • California Proposition 8 Sponsors Protect Marriage Legally Entitled to Defend Measure » Flap’s California Blog – California Proposition 8 Sponsors Protect Marriage Legally Entitled to Defend Measure
  • Lockerz.com : Los Angeles Dodgers’s Photo – RT @Dodgers: Congrats to Clayton Kershaw on winning the #CyYoung! Enjoy your celebratory champagne!
  • House Leaders Plan Facebook Hackathon – While House Republican and Democratic leaders are finding it difficult to agree on spending cuts, they are coming together next month for Capitol Hill’s first-ever Facebook Hackathon. The goal is to find new ways to use the social network to make information about the legislative process more transparent and to help members of the public more easily engage with lawmakers.Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the Republican leader, and Representative Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland and his party’s whip, are co-hosting the event, scheduled for Dec. 7 in the U.S. Capitol, which will include Facebook engineers, independent software developers, advocates for the open data movement and members of Congress.Hackathon is a term used to describe an event where programmers come together to build applications in a collaborative process.

    “There is a lot of opportunity to improve the process,” said Matt Lira, digital director for Mr. Cantor. “We are going to sit down in a bipartisan way and look at how we can tackle some of these problems. We are hoping to get as many engineers as possible. They will have a unique opportunity to help make democracy work better.”

  • Untitled (http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/20111115econToplines.pdf) – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Gingrich 23% Vs. Cain 21% Vs. Romney 19% Vs. Paul 7% Vs. Perry 6%
  • In Debates, Newt Gingrich’s Real Target Is Obama – It’s an open question whether Gingrich can defeat Obama in 2012. It’s taken as a truism that he has “too much baggage.” Well, some of the baggage is lighter than it appears. He was cleared by the Clinton-era Internal Revenue Service of wrongdoing in alleged ethics violations stemming from a college course he taught in the 1990s. The charge that he surprised his cancer-stricken first wife with divorce papers has been, at the least, exaggerated.
  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2011/11/17/poll-watch-u-s-unemployment-rate-increases-in-mid-november/ – Poll Watch: U.S. Unemployment Rate Increases in Mid-November #tcot #catcot
  • (500) http://smilesforalifetime.com/index.php/2011/11/poll-watch-smoking-rates-range-from-a-high-of-29-in-kentucky-to-low-of-11-in-utah/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=poll-watch-smoking-rates-range-from-a-high-of-29-in-kentucky-to-low-of-11-i – Poll Watch: Smoking Rates Range From a High of 29% in Kentucky to Low of 11% in Utah
  • Occupy Wall Street | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com – RT @Reuters: Live coverage of Occupy Wall Street #OWS
  • Ruling on Prop 8, Same Sex Marriage to Come From California Supreme Court | TheBlaze.com – RT @theblaze: Calif. Supreme Court to Issue Pivotal Gay Marriage Ruling Today via @theblaze
  • AD-66: Former California Governor George Deukmejian Endorses Nathan Mintz » Flap’s California Blog – AD-66: Former California Governor George Deukmejian Endorses Nathan Mintz
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: November 17, 2011 – The Morning Drill: November 17, 2011
  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2011/11/17/the-morning-flap-november-17-2011/ – The Morning Flap: November 17, 2011 #tcot #catcot

The Morning Flap: November 17, 2011

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Occupy Protests, Occupy Wall Street, Pinboard Links

These are my links for November 15th through November 17th:

  • Berkeley police break up Occupy Cal; tents removed, 2 arrested – Police moved in early Thursday to break up the Occupy Cal protest at UC Berkeley, arresting at least two protesters.

    Scores of officers conducted the raid, removing the tents and clearing the area.

    On Tuesday, more than 1,200 singing, sign-waving students and faculty members rallied for much of the day on Sproul Plaza, a site of the 1960s Free Speech Movement.

    At one point, the demonstrators chanted “Hey, hey, ho, ho, police violence has got to go,” a reference to an incident last week in which baton-wielding police officers stopped an Occupy camp from being set up on the campus. Dozens of protesters were arrested in last week’s confrontation, and several were injured.

  • Protesters prepare to take over downtown L.A. intersection – Organizers of a demonstration planned Thursday morning in downtown Los Angeles say protesters are prepared to be arrested by police for committing acts of civil disobedience — including shutting down an intersection.

    The march, which is timed to coincide with other demonstrations across the country to protest the imbalance of wealth and power in the country, is set to begin at 7 a.m. at Bank of America Plaza on Hope Street. It will then make its way through the Financial District to the corner of Figueroa and 4th streets, where demonstrators plan to shut down traffic by erecting tents in the middle of the street.

    Jacob Hay, a leader of the coalition of labor and community groups that helped organize the march, said the group has secured police permits, but that protesters are prepared to be arrested for blocking traffic.

  • Perry challenges Pelosi to debate part-time Congress plan – Rick Perry has challenged House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to debate him next week about his plan for a part-time Congress.

    In a letter to Pelosi (D-Calif.) obtained by The Hill, the Texas governor wrote: “I am in Washington Monday and would love to engage you in a public debate about my Overhaul Washington plan versus the congressional status quo.

    “I think it would be a tremendous service to the American people to see a public airing of these differences,” he continued. “Let the people decide. If Monday doesn’t work, perhaps we could find a time in Iowa over the course of the next month to discuss these issues in front of the people of America’s heartland.”

  • San Franciso police arrest 100 in Bank of America protest – Protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement seized a Bank of America branch in the city’s financial district Wednesday, a demonstration that forced jittery customers and employees to flee and ended in nearly 100 arrests.

    It took about 40 police officers in riot gear nearly four hours to clear the bank, but no one was injured. Police said many of those arrested were UC Santa Cruz students who were protesting fee increases and budget cuts.

    Police removed the protesters methodically, placing them in plastic handcuffs, citing them for misdemeanor trespassing and sending them off in police wagons for further processing.

  • Wall Street clashes start Occupy’s day of action – Police arrested protesters who sat on the ground and blocked traffic into New York’s financial district on Thursday, part of a day of mass gatherings in response to efforts to break up Occupy Wall Street camps nationwide.

    Police in riot helmets hauled several protesters to their feet and handcuffed them one block from Wall Street.

    “All day, all week, shut down Wall Street!” the crowd chanted.

  • Occupy Wall Street protesters vow to wear suits, blend in and get revenge for the Zuccotti Park raid – Occupy Wall Street hoped to show there was life after Zuccotti Thursday by staging a series of marches and rallies – starting with a sneak attack on the Stock Exchange itself.

    As the city braced for a “sizeable” crowd, observers on both sides said the scale of the protest would show whether the two-month-old movement could regain momentum after Tuesday’s demoralizing defeat.

    OWS hoped anger over the NYPD raid that razed their iconic tent city at Zuccotti Park would breathe new life into a cause that had begun to sputter.

    The “day of action” is to begin early, with protesters converging on Wall Street camouflaged in business suits hoping to blend in with office workers trooping out of the subway.

  • Zuccotti Park protester Nkrumah Tinsley arrested after threatening to burn down city – A protester was arrested in Zuccotti Park Wednesday after he threatened to fire bomb the city — and his rant went viral on YouTube, police said.

    Nkrumah Tinsley, 29, was busted after cops saw a video of him claiming he would torch the city during Thursday’s mass protest posted online, police said.

    “On the 17th (of Nov.), we’re going to burn New York City to the f—ing ground,” an angry Tinsley told a crowd of demonstrators in the video posted on Tuesday.

    “In a few days, you’re going to see what a Molotov cocktail can do to Macy’s.”

    When officers from the NYPD’s intelligence division saw the video, they immediately began working on trying to identify the raging man, police said.

    “We didn’t want him out there [Thursday]. We wanted him in our custody,” said Paul Browne, top spokesman for the NYPD. “He was specific as to date, location and method for the fire bombing …maybe it was just a rant, but we didn’t want to take that chance.”

    Cops later spotted Tinsley at Zuccotti Park Wednesday and collared him about 5 p.m., police said. He was charged with making terroristic threats.

  • Romenesko Leaves Poynter After Conflict Over Quotes – Jim Romenesko, the blogger who developed a large and loyal following by chronicling and summarizing news in the media world, quit his post on Thursday evening after a bizarre spat with the institute that hosts his writing.

    An editor at Poynter, which purchased Mr. Romenesko’s blog 12 years ago, had questioned his failure to use quotation marks when summarizing articles in his daily round-ups of media stories — summaries that Mr. Romenesko never claimed credit for as his original work.

    In an e-mail to the institute on Thursday night, Mr. Romenesko said, “I’ve had a great dozen years at Poynter, and I look forward to my next chapter.”

  • Felix • A couple of points about Romeneskogate, for those who aren’t completely bored of it by now – The original Julie Moos post was highly misleading in one respect — she made it seem as though Romenesko hadn’t blockquoted two full paragraphs in this post, when in fact he had used blockquote. I know Moos was misleading because Jack Shafer said that she “pointed to a recent example from Romenesko’s work in which he ran whole sentences from a Chicago Tribune story in his summary of it without placing the words in quotation marks or block quotation”. I suspect that the problem here is that Poynter’s CSS has problems with blockquotes-within-blockquotes, but in any case Moos should have been much clearer that only a minority of the text in question was outside quote marks or blockquotes.
    Justin Peters managed to commit exactly the same sin that Moos did, when he reminisced about freelancing on Today’s Papers. “I knuckled down and found a way to say things in my own words, because I am a journalist, and that is my job,” he writes, managing to to completely miss the point of what an aggregator does. It’s not the job of a journalist, saying things in his own words: instead, it’s the job of a curator, linking to great content. If Peters thinks that Romenesko’s job was that of a journalist, writing things in his own words, he’s missing the point entirely.
  • Holding aggregators to journalistic standards – Moos is using the standards of original journalism, here, to judge a blogger who was never about original journalism. Copy-and-pasting other people’s stories is what Romenesko did, at high volume, and with astonishing speed and reliability, for many years. And the media community, including Poynter, loved him for it.

    Moos might have “spent weeks in 2004 developing explicit publishing guidelines with the understanding and expectation that they would be adopted”, but guidelines are always reverse-engineered from already-existing best practice. And Romenesko is a shining example of best practice in the aggregation world. If he’s violating the guidelines, then it’s the guidelines which are at fault, not Romenesko.

    Petty bureaucrats like Moos love to codify things, so that they can cite chapter and verse when telling people off. But if you’re running a grown-up media organization, please: follow Paton’s lead, and not Moos’s. Journalists will behave unethically, sometimes. When they do, they should be reprimanded or even fired. But basic common sense is always the best guide to whether a journalist has done something wrong. And when Julie Moos presumes to judge Jim Romenesko by the standards of a Moos-written rulebook, it’s right and proper that the wrath of the Twittersphere come down on her as a result.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Connecticut Mall Teeth-Whitening Entrepreneurs Sue the Connecticut Dental Commission – Connecticut Mall Teeth-Whitening Entrepreneurs Sue the Connecticut Dental Commission
  • Wisconsin’s Governor: Recall Drive Is About Unions Seeking ‘Power’ – Many of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s citizens may be signing petitions for his recall in reaction to the battle he led earlier in the year to weaken his state’s public-employee unions.

    But Walker doesn’t appear to be backing off one inch from his stance that he did what was right for his state.

    Indeed, in a conversation with Tell Me More host Michel Martin, Walker essentially blamed outside agitators in organized labor for the recall effort.

    He accused his political foes of really being after “power” while presumably camouflaging their true intent with platitudes about workers’ rights, among other things.

    Unions are in particular coming after him, Walker said, because the new budget law he and the the Republican-controlled state legislature in Madison enacted, gave workers a choice about whether or not to belong to a union.

  • California Appeals Court Rules: Cell Phones at Red Lights Are Not OK » Flap’s California Blog – California Appeals Court Rules: Cell Phones at Red Lights Are Not OK
  • The Cease and Desist Letter From the Smile Center of San Antonio and Dr. Stephen Simpton | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Cease and Desist Letter From the Smile Center of San Antonio and Dr. Stephen Simpton #tcot #catcot
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Updated: The Cease and Desist Letter From the Smile Center of San Antonio and Dr. Stephen Simpton – The Cease and Desist Letter From the Smile Center of San Antonio and Dr. Stephen Simpton
  • CA-26: Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett to Announce Candidacy for Congress | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-26: Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett to Announce Candidacy for Congress #tcot #catcot
  • Is the Gingrich Bubble Already Popping? – Is the Gingrich Bubble Already Popping?
  • Gingrich Said to Be Paid $1.6M by Freddie Mac- Bloomberg – Gingrich Said to Be Paid at Least $1.6 Million by Freddie Mac
  • Is the Gingrich Bubble Already Popping? – Joe Klein says news of Newt Gingrich’s ties to Freddie Mac threaten to halt his recent recent rise in the polls.

    “You must understand: to Republican stalwarts, a relationship with Freddie Mac is the moral equivalent of satanism. Gingrich was a paid helper — and, believe me, he didn’t get paid $1.6 million to lecture the organization on the failures of government intervention in the market — in a ‘socialist’ effort to make home-buying easier for people who ordinarily wouldn’t be able to afford houses, an effort that famously went off the rails when the government began supporting sub-prime and other highly questionable mortgages.”

    “In other words, Gingrich was supporting — the best guess was that Gingrich was hired to win some Republican support for Freddie — the very sort of program that he routinely excoriates. This sort of hypocrisy is astounding but, sadly, not unknown to Newt. After all, this was the guy who led the Republican Impeachment of Bill Clinton while having an extra-marital affair of his own.”

  • Gingrich Said to Be Paid at Least $1.6 Million by Freddie Mac – Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.

    The total amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac that Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9 sponsored by CNBC, and more than was disclosed in the middle of congressional investigations into the housing industry collapse.

    Gingrich’s business relationship with Freddie Mac spanned a period of eight years. When asked at the debate what he did to earn a $300,000 payment in 2006, the former speaker said he “offered them advice on precisely what they didn’t do,” and warned the company that its lending practices were “insane.” Former Freddie Mac executives who worked with Gingrich dispute that account.

    Gingrich’s first contract with the mortgage lender was in 1999, five months after he resigned from Congress and as House speaker, according to a Freddie Mac press release.

    His primary contact inside the organization was Mitchell Delk, Freddie Mac’s chief lobbyist, and he was paid a self- renewing, monthly retainer of $25,000 to $30,000 between May 1999 until 2002, according to three people familiar with aspects of the business agreement.

  • Poll Watch: Americans Favor Repealing ObamaCare 47% Vs. 42% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: Americans Favor Repealing ObamaCare 47% Vs. 42% #tcot #catcot
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Has the MAGIC Mouthwash to Fight Tooth Decay Arrived? – Has the MAGIC Mouthwash to Fight Tooth Decay Arrived?
  • Dilbert November 16, 2011 – Goals for the Year » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert November 16, 2011 – Goals for the Year
  • U.K Doctors Call for Car Smoking Ban | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – U.K Doctors Call for Car Smoking Ban
  • Day By Day November 15, 2011 – Rule | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day November 15, 2011 – Rule #tcot #catcot
  • Untitled (http://www.businessweek.com/pdf/poll11-16-11.pdf) – RT @ByronYork: Bloomberg NH: Romney 40, Paul 17, Gingrich 11, Cain 8, Huntsman 7, Perry 3, Bachmann 2, Santorum 1.
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-16 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-16 #tcot #catcot
  • AD-66: Huey, Mintz and Muratsuchi Will Face Off In 2012 South Bay Assembly Race » Flap’s California Blog – AD-66: Huey, Mintz and Muratsuchi Will Face Off In 2012 South Bay Assembly Race
  • Amazon.com: Gregory Cole: Flap’s Wish List – I just wished for: ‘Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement’ by Michael… via @amazon
  • Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement – Due Out in March | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement – Due Out in March #tcot #catcot
  • Terror three plead not guilty – 38-year-old Iraqi-Kurd Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, Uzbek David Jakobsen, 33, and alleged Uighur (China) mastermind 40-year-old Mikael Davud, pleaded not guilty to planning an assault using explosives on Danish paper Jyllands-Posten at today’s opening of their trial in Oslo District Court.
    All also denied their guilt relating to charges of trying to obtain bomb ingredients, as well as plotting to assassinate Danish cartoonist and author of the contentious Prophet Mohammed caricatures, Kurt Westergaard.
    Police Security Service (PST) officials arrested now indicted Bujak, Jakobsen, and Davud  in Norway and Germany last year on suspicion of planning to blow up the Chinese Embassy in Oslo.
    The case is also believed to be connected with plans to bomb a New York subway and a shopping mall in Manchester, UK, in 2009.
    According to NRK, Prosecutor Geir Evanger said today that, “There is no doubt that David Jakobsen ordered hydrogen peroxide at a pharmacy on Jernbanetorget [in Oslo] on 02 September 2009. There is [also] no doubt that this can be used to make explosives.”
    “He picked it up on 04 September, and the bottle was handed over to Mikael Davud in his Oslo apartment the same evening. However, police had already replaced the contents of the bottle contents with something harmless,” he continued.
    All three men also have suspected links with al-Qaida. Officials believe Mr Davud had travelled to Pakistan and was trained by the extremist group how to make explosives, as well as agreeing he would commit acts of terror.
    “He made a deal with Bujak and Jakobsen to hit Jyllands-Posten’s offices when he came back to Norway,” alleged Geir Evanger.
  • Gallegly Has Decision To Make – Last November voters elected Elton Gallegly to a 13th term in the US. House of Representatives.

    Today the 24th District Representative told Key News he was humbled by phone calls urging him to run again.

    But redistricting being challenged in Federal court puts his Simi Valley hometown in the 25th district represented by Republican Buck McKeon.

    McKeon has already announced his run for re-election.

    Now Gallegly must decide whether to run against McKeon in the 25th or run again in the 24th, something he can legally do.

    To make an informed decision the Congressman wants to see what happens with the Federal lawsuit challenging redistricting.

    Members of the Camarillo Los Posas Republican Womans Federated group hope he will continue to represent them.

    Many business owners hope so too.

    Although would be challengers are anxious to see Gallegy will do, he has time to decide.

  • 3 plead not guilty as terror trial opens in Norway – Three men accused in Norway of an al-Qaida-linked plot to attack a Danish newspaper that caricatured the Prophet Muhammad pleaded not guilty Tuesday to terror charges as their trial began.

    The trial of Mikael Davud, Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak and David Jakobsen is being seen as a key test of Norway’s anti-terror laws. The men had been under surveillance for more than a year when authorities moved to arrest them in July 2010.

    Norwegian investigators, who worked with their U.S. counterparts, say the defendants were building a bomb in a basement laboratory — a plot linked to the same al-Qaida planners behind 2009 schemes to blow up New York’s subway and a British shopping mall.

    The men deny the terror charges. Prosecutors must prove they worked together in a conspiracy, because a single individual plotting an attack is not covered by Norway’s anti-terror laws.

    Prosecutor Geir Evanger told the Oslo district court that Davud, the alleged ringleader, received explosives training in Pakistan. They said he conspired with al-Qaida operatives to attack the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper, whose 12 cartoons of Muhammad triggered furious protests in Muslim countries in 2006.

  • Herdt: Opportunity knocks; is anyone home? – In the national struggle for control of Congress next year, both Democrats and Republicans acknowledge that Ventura County’s new 26th Congressional District will be an important battlefield.

    It has all the key elements: voter registration that is closely divided, a healthy percentage of independents and a history of split results.

    It has all the elements, that is, except for this: very few warriors.

    There are two announced Democratic candidates, Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock and Westlake Village businessman David Cruz Thayne. Most observers are waiting for another to emerge — Supervisor Steve Bennett, or perhaps Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, or perhaps some other surprise candidate with proven fundraising ability.

    There are no announced Republican candidates because everyone is waiting on Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Simi Valley, to publicly reveal his intentions.

    The growing frustration over that uncertainty last week led Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, to issue what appeared to be a calculated poke at Gallegly to make up his mind. McKeon told his hometown newspaper that “as near as I can pin him down,” Gallegly intends to run in the 25th District against McKeon.

    Gallegly actually lives in the 25th District, but his Simi Valley home is only a couple hundred yards from the boundary, and most of the 26th District is made up of areas he now represents. As long as the 26th District remains an option for Gallegly, other Republicans are frozen out by the political protocol that frowns on challenging an incumbent in a primary.

  • AD-66: Craig Huey Will Run for California State Assembly » Flap’s California Blog – AD-66: Craig Huey Will Run for California State Assembly
  • Grow Elect and Rebuilding the California Republican Pary By Electing Local Latinos » Flap’s California Blog – Grow Elect and Rebuilding the California Republican Pary By Electing Local Latinos
  • Why Do Two-Thirds of Online U.S. Adults Use Social Media? | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Why Do Two-Thirds of Online U.S. Adults Use Social Media?
  • President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: As Cain Crashes – Newt Rises | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: As Cain Crashes – Newt Rises #tcot #catcot
  • President 2012 GOP California Poll Watch: Gingrich 33% Vs. Romney 23% Vs. Cain 22% Vs. Perry 6% Vs. Paul 5% » Flap’s California Blog – President 2012 GOP California Poll Watch: Gingrich 33% Vs. Romney 23% Vs. Cain 22% Vs. Perry 6% Vs. Paul 5%
  • Day By Day November 14, 2011 – School’s Out | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day November 14, 2011 – School’s Out #tcot #catcot
  • Election 2012: Generic Presidential Ballot – Rasmussen Reports™ – RT @RasmussenPoll: Election 2012: Generic Republican 46%, Obama 42%…
  • (404) http://t.co/tTc – RT @AP: AP Video: Sen. John McCain, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spar over decision to pull all U.S. troops from Iraq: …
  • » Sen. Feinstein Loaded up on Biotech Stock Just Before Company Received $24 Million Gov’t Grant – Big Government – RT @AndrewBreitbart: Sen. Feinstein Loaded up on Biotech Stock Just Before Company Received $24 Million Gov’t Grant:
  • President 2012: Rick Perry Proposes Making Congress Part-Time and Ending Lifetime Tenure for Federal Judges | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Rick Perry Proposes Making Congress Part-Time and Ending Lifetime Tenure for Feder… #tcot #catcot
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: November 15, 2011 – The Morning Drill: November 15, 2011
  • The Morning Flap: November 15, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: November 15, 2011 #tcot #catcot

The Morning Flap: November 15, 2011

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for November 14th through November 15th:

  • Dr. Coburn Releases Report Exposing Billions in Giveaways for Millionaires – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released a new report “Subsidies of the Rich and Famous” illustrating how, under the current tax code, the federal government is giving billions of dollars to individuals with an Annual Gross Income (AGI) of at least $1 million, subsidizing their lavish lifestyles with the taxes of the less fortunate.

    “All Americans are facing tough times, with many working two jobs just to make ends meet and more families turning to the government for financial assistance. From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes, and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Multi-millionaires are even receiving government checks for not working.

    “This welfare for the well-off – costing billions of dollars a year – is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate, many who are working two jobs just to make ends meet, and IOUs to be paid off by future generations. We should never demonize those who are successful. Nor should we pamper them with unnecessary welfare to create an appearance everyone is benefiting from federal programs,” Dr. Coburn said.

    These billions of dollars for millionaires include $74 million of unemployment checks, $316 million in farm subsidies, $89 million for preservation of ranches and estates, $9 billion of retirement checks, $75.6 million in residential energy tax credits, and $7.5 million to compensate for damages caused by emergencies to property that should have been insured. All and all, over $9.5 billion in government benefits have been paid to millionaires since 2003. Additionally, millionaires borrowed $16 million in government backed education loans to attend college. On average, each year, this report found that millionaires enjoy benefits from tax giveaways and federal grant programs totaling $30 billion. As a result, almost 1,500 millionaires paid no federal income tax in 2009.

  • ObamaCare and the Limits of Government – The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether ObamaCare is constitutional, granting certiorari in a case brought by 26 states shortly after that law was enacted in March of last year. In so doing, it will be ruling upon the very nature of our federal union.

    The Constitution limits federal power by granting Congress authority in certain defined areas, such as the regulation of interstate and foreign commerce. Those powers not specifically vested in the federal government by the Constitution or, as stated in the 10th Amendment, “prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The court will now determine whether those words still have meaning.

    As we argued two years ago in these pages, the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (aka ObamaCare) is unconstitutional. First and foremost, the law requires virtually every American to have health insurance. Congress purported to impose this unprecedented “individual mandate” pursuant to its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce, but the requirement is not limited to those who engage in any particular commercial or economic activity (or any activity at all). Rather, the mandate applies to everyone lawfully present in the United States who does not fall within one of the law’s narrow exclusions.

  • Dems fear Supreme Court will rule against Obama on healthcare reform – Democrats on Capitol Hill are worried that the Supreme Court will rule against President Obama’s healthcare reform law. 

    Over the last couple weeks, congressional Democrats have told The Hill that the law faces danger in the hands of the Supreme Court, which The New York Times editorial page recently labeled the most conservative high court since the 1950s.

    While the lawmakers are not second-guessing the administration’s legal strategy, some are clearly bracing for defeat.

    “Of course I’m concerned,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). The justices “decide for insurance companies, they decide for oil companies, they decide for the wealthy too often.”

    The pessimism is fueled in part by the John Roberts court’s decision in the 2010 Citizens United case on corporate spending in elections, which Brown has called the “worst” in his memory.

    The comments underscore the gamble the White House took when it opted not to seek to delay the high court’s review until after the 2012 election. That decision leaves the fate of Democrats’ signature domestic achievement in the hands of a right-leaning court that has consistently ruled against liberals on everything from campaign finance to the District of Columbia’s gun ban to Bush v. Gore.

  • Kagan to Tribe on Day Obamacare Passed: ‘I Hear They Have the Votes, Larry!! – On Sunday, March 21, 2010, the day the House of Representatives passed President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan and famed Supreme Court litigator and Harvard Law Prof. Laurence Tribe, who was then serving in the Justice Department, had an email exchange in which they discussed the pending health-care vote, according to documents the Department of Justice released late Wednesday to the Media Research Center, CNSNews.com’s parent organization, and to Judicial Watch.

    “I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing,” Kagan said to Tribe in one of the emails.

    The Justice Department released a new batch of emails on Wednesday evening as its latest response to Freedom of Information Act requests filed by CNSNews.com and Judicial Watch. Both organizations filed federal lawsuits against DOJ after the department did not initially respond to the requests. CNSNews.com originally filed its FOIA request on May 25, 2010–before Elena Kagan’s June 2010 Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

    The March 2010 email exchange between Kagan and Tribe raises new questions about whether Kagan must recuse herself from judging cases involving the health-care law that Obama signed–and which became the target of legal challenges–while Kagan was serving as Obama’s solicitor general and was responsible for defending his administration’s positions in court disputes.

    According to 28 USC 455, a Supreme Court justice must recuse from “any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” The law also says a justice must recuse anytime he has “expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy” while he “served in governmental employment.”

  • Occupy Wall Street – How Long, How Many, Which Cities? – How is Occupy Wall Street faring—not broadly, but at this very moment? Below, we’ve compiled a few indicators that attempt to answer this question, from conditions in Zuccotti Park to the movement’s global spread. The metrics, which update every five minutes, are admittedly imperfect and far from comprehensive, but we hope they give you a sense of how things are going. If you would like to see a particular datapoint included, let us know in the comments.
  • The real Wall Street occupation is online – The Occupy Wall Street movement, now that it has broadened in scope beyond the financial district of Manhattan to attain a truly national — even global — scale has the potential to lay the groundwork for a new generation of start-ups capable of reshaping the financial system in radically new ways. These tech start-ups, while officially unaffiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement, are nonetheless responding to the unmet needs of these protesters, individuals who feel abandoned by the current financial system.

    The breakout company of the Occupy Wall Street movement thus far has been Palo Alto-based WePay, a start-up largely unknown until the protest movement began September 17. Over the past 45 days, WePay has become the de facto official way to send money to the “Occupy” protesters while simultaneously bypassing the largest financial institutions. At a time when many payment alternatives already exist, it’s more than a coincidence that an unknown technology player, free of any associations with the banking establishment, has emerged as the financial intermediary of choice. Just a few months ago, the obvious choice for sending money to an organization like Occupy Wall Street would have been PayPal, but that was before the company decided to cooperate with the financial embargo against WikiLeaks.

  • Immigration from Mexico in fast retreat, data show – North of the U.S.-Mexico border, Republican presidential candidates are talking tough on illegal immigration, with one proposing — perhaps in jest — an electrified fence to deter migrants.

    But data from both sides of the border suggest that illegal immigration from Mexico is already in fast retreat, as U.S. job shortages, tighter border enforcement and the frightening presence of criminal gangs on the Mexican side dissuade many from making the trip.

    Mexican census figures show that fewer Mexicans are setting out and many are returning — leaving net migration at close to zero, Mexican officials say. Arrests by the U.S. Border Patrol along the southwestern frontier, a common gauge of how many people try to cross without papers, tumbled to 304,755 during the 11 months ended in August, extending a nearly steady drop since a peak of 1.6 million in 2000.

    The scale of the fall has prompted some to suggest that a decades-long migration boom may be ending, even as others argue that the decline is only momentary.

    “Our country is not experiencing the population loss due to migration that was seen for nearly 50 years,” Rene Zenteno, a deputy Mexico interior secretary for migration matters, has said.

    Douglas Massey, an immigration scholar at Princeton University, said surveys of residents in Mexican migrant towns he has studied for many years found that the number of people making their first trip north had dwindled to near zero.

  • Some Residents Cheer the Clearing of Zuccotti Park – Some Residents Cheer Clearing of Zuccotti Park
    As residents and office workers woke to a Zuccotti Park cleared of its protest encampment, some cheered the removal while others objected to the tough police action that brought it about, my colleague Cara Buckley reports:

     

    One young father, pushing his toddler son in a stroller, gave police officers guarding Zuccotti Park a thumbs up. Another man, rushing by in a cream suit, flashed them a mega-watt grin. The sight of the park, freshly cleared and washed, stopped a blonde woman walking by in her tracks. “Ooooooh, good,” she cooed.

    The clearing of Zuccotti Park struck a deep blow to the Occupy Wall Street movement, which had used the site as its physical and spiritual heart. But as the newly ousted protesters gathered in Foley Square to decide what to do next, many residents, workers and business owners near the park felt deep relief. ” Super ecstatic,” said a young office worker. “Definitely relieved,” said a young woman working behind the counter at Panini & Co., a cafe overlooking the park.

    Paul Bruno, 54, who lives in the Bronx but has serviced elevators in Lower Manhattan for 30 years, had lunched daily in the park. He agreed with the protesters’ message, he said, but not their means. “The movement is the right movement,” he said, “but the movement got lost.”

    Another man, who worked nearby and said he could not give his name because it was against his company’s rules, said it was time for the park to be cleared.

    “It started out as a cool grassroots movement, he said, ” and then it turned into a big homeless camp.”

    Still residents described a frightening scene last night, with police rushing into the park, bright lights glaring and helicopters whirring above. Mark Scherzer, a lawyer who lives half a block from the park, said he found the clearing deeply upsetting.

    “I think the protesters were doing a valuable service,” he said, “And I think it was lawful for them to be there.”

  • More Republicans say Cain allegations are “serious matter” – Most Republicans now see the allegations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain as a serious matter, according to a new Post-ABC poll, a switch from a poll taken just after the charges were first reported. And while two-thirds continue to say the accusations are not going to determine their vote, there’s also still a deep split between GOP men and women.

    Just after the harassment allegations surfaced publicly, 54 percent of all Republicans were skeptical of their seriousness. Now, by contrast, 64 percent assess the situation as a serious one, with the biggest shift among women.

    Fully 74 percent of Republican women call the charges serious, up from 39 percent in early November. Men are also reflecting the trend, but less dramatically so, rising from 36 to 53 percent.

  • Why Do I Need a Google+ Business Page? – Yesterday Google+ rolled out the much-anticipated Google+ Page feature, and now businesses, brands, products, entertainers, and lots of other entities can have their own accounts.

    I know what you’re thinking: Great, another social media page I have to manage for my company.

    Hey, I’m with you — just when you think you’ve figured out how to make business gains from Twitter and Facebook, along comes Google+, another widespread social tool that’s a big, wide-open question mark.

    But you know what? Reserving your spot for your brand now is probably a good idea, even if you haven’t figured out what you’re doing with it. I did.

    You can register a Google+ business page here, but keep in mind that you have to have a personal Google+ account first. Only one user per account so far, and vanity URLs are not available yet. But why?

  • Court order allows Occupy Wall St. protesters back – Hundreds of police officers in riot gear raided Zuccotti Park early Tuesday, evicting dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters from what has become the epicenter of the worldwide movement protesting corporate greed and economic inequality.

    Hours later, the National Lawyers Guild obtained a court order allowing Occupy Wall Street protesters to return with tents to the park. The guild said the injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules on Occupy Wall Street protesters.

    At a morning news conference at City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city knew about the court order but had not seen it and would go to court to fight it. He said the city wants to protect people’s rights, but if a choice must be made, it will protect public safety.

    About 70 people were arrested overnight, including some who chained themselves together, while officers cleared the park so that sanitation crews could clean it.

    By 9 a.m., the park was power-washed clean. Police in riot gear still ringed the public space, waiting for orders to reopen it.

  • Gingrich: I’m auditioning to be “conservative alternative” to Romney – On Fox News this morning, Newt Gingrich jabbed Mitt Romney while responding to polls showing him vaulting into the top-tier.

    “I think you’ve had a series of people — it started with Tim Pawlenty, and then Michele Bachmann, and then Rick Perry, then Herman Cain — there’ve been a series of people who’ve, sort of, auditioning for being the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.

    And Mitt Romney’s being very stable and very steady, and now, we’re in a situation where — to some extent — people are looking at Newt Gingrich and having to decide: do they like the solutions I’m offering?”

    So far, Gingrich has shown great restraint in hitting Romney, but this might be the beginnings of his case.

    Yesterday, a Public Policy Polling survey showed Newt leading Romney by 10%, while a CNN poll had Romney up by 2%.

    That earned Gingrich the rare distinction of being the lead story on both The Drudge Report and Huffington Post at the same time.

  • Twitter Can Predict Who’s Winning the GOP Presidential Race [Study] – Political candidates do better in the polls when they gain more Twitter followers, new research reveals. National polls happen all the time but it’s possible to predict when certain candidates will climb in the rankings based the rate they are followed.

    Zach Green, CEO of Twitter election researcher 140elect, wrote in a blog post Friday that he anticipated this trend, but now has the stats to prove it.

    “A lot of people were surprised [Newt] Gingrich is now in second place, but we’ve seen that coming since Sep. 7,” Green told Mashable. “Twitter indicates he’ll continue to pick up.”

    Gingrich (visualized below) gained a slew of new followers when he announced his candidacy on May 11 and on Sept. 7 after an impressive GOP debate performance. Both events led to poll gains. The candidate’s Twitter momentum has steadily increased over the last two months, which Green predicts will lead to continued poll gains.

  • Day By Day November 13, 2011 – Zombies | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day November 13, 2011 – Zombies #tcot #catcot
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-15 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-15 #tcot #catcot
  • Dilbert November 13, 2011 – The Invisible Man » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert November 13, 2011 – The Invisible Man
  • The Afternoon Flap: November 14, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Afternoon Flap: November 14, 2011 #tcot #catcot

Flap’s Links and Comments for October 20th through October 22nd

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These are my links for October 20th through October 22nd:

Flap’s Links and Comments for October 17th on 06:09

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for October 17th from 06:09 to 20:39:

Flap’s Links and Comments for October 14th through October 17th

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These are my links for October 14th through October 17th: