The Morning Flap: June 25, 2012

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for June 21st through June 25th:

Flap’s Links and Comments for July 13th on 10:43

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for July 13th from 10:43 to 10:47:

  • Republicans Fail to Pick up Democratic Seat in 200th Consecutive California U.S. House Race – The California GOP has not picked up a Democratic held U.S. House seat in general or special elections since 1998

    Democrat Janice Hahn's special election victory over Craig Huey in California's 36th Congressional District Tuesday evening continues a more than decade long string of futility on the part of California Republicans in their attempt to pick up a Democratic held U.S. House seat.

    A Smart Politics historical review of California election returns finds that Democrats have now successfully held 200 consecutive seats in general and special elections conducted after the Election of 1998.

    Although Hahn was criticized by some for running a traditional campaign in a non-traditional election year and matchup, she was able to notch a 9.1-point victory over the conservative businessman who surprised many by eking out a second place finish in May in the heavily Democratic district.

    The 36th CD has been vacant since late February when nine-term Democrat Jane Harman resigned to head the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

    Democrats have now held their California U.S. House seats in 192 consecutive general election races over the last the last six cycles plus eight seats in special election races they have had to defend since 1999.

    But while the Republicans are currently suffering through a 0-200 stretch in pick up attempts, Democrats have won seven GOP-held seats in the Golden State out of 125 general and special election matchups during this 13-year period, or a 6 percent pick-up rate.

    Democrats won five Republican seats in 2000 (CA-15, 27, 31, 36, and 49), one in 2002 (CA-39) and one in 2006 (CA-11).

    Californians are now making up a larger and larger percentage of the Democratic caucus in Congress – currently resting at 18 percent (34 of 193 members), which marks the largest percentage in the history of the state.

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    California is deeply blue like New York and Massachusetts.

  • President 2012: Tim Pawlenty says there’s no scientific conclusion that being gay is genetic – Pawlenty said "there's no scientific conclusion that (being gay) is genetic." On that specific question, we found broad agreement that Pawlenty was correct. Scientists told us that genetics may play a role in determining sexual orientation, but the current evidence suggests that it’s not the dominant factor and may ultimately be shown to play just a modest role.

    But a modest role is still different from no role. And we also think that viewers of the interview might be led to believe that because homosexuality is not primarily caused by genes, there’s no biological cause. In reality, most scientists do believe that sexual orientation is caused by biology, rather than by choice. On balance, we rate Pawlenty’s statement Mostly True.

Flap’s Links and Comments for July 13th on 10:43

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for July 13th from 10:43 to 10:47:

  • Republicans Fail to Pick up Democratic Seat in 200th Consecutive California U.S. House Race – The California GOP has not picked up a Democratic held U.S. House seat in general or special elections since 1998

    Democrat Janice Hahn's special election victory over Craig Huey in California's 36th Congressional District Tuesday evening continues a more than decade long string of futility on the part of California Republicans in their attempt to pick up a Democratic held U.S. House seat.

    A Smart Politics historical review of California election returns finds that Democrats have now successfully held 200 consecutive seats in general and special elections conducted after the Election of 1998.

    Although Hahn was criticized by some for running a traditional campaign in a non-traditional election year and matchup, she was able to notch a 9.1-point victory over the conservative businessman who surprised many by eking out a second place finish in May in the heavily Democratic district.

    The 36th CD has been vacant since late February when nine-term Democrat Jane Harman resigned to head the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

    Democrats have now held their California U.S. House seats in 192 consecutive general election races over the last the last six cycles plus eight seats in special election races they have had to defend since 1999.

    But while the Republicans are currently suffering through a 0-200 stretch in pick up attempts, Democrats have won seven GOP-held seats in the Golden State out of 125 general and special election matchups during this 13-year period, or a 6 percent pick-up rate.

    Democrats won five Republican seats in 2000 (CA-15, 27, 31, 36, and 49), one in 2002 (CA-39) and one in 2006 (CA-11).

    Californians are now making up a larger and larger percentage of the Democratic caucus in Congress – currently resting at 18 percent (34 of 193 members), which marks the largest percentage in the history of the state.

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    California is deeply blue like New York and Massachusetts.

  • President 2012: Tim Pawlenty says there’s no scientific conclusion that being gay is genetic – Pawlenty said "there's no scientific conclusion that (being gay) is genetic." On that specific question, we found broad agreement that Pawlenty was correct. Scientists told us that genetics may play a role in determining sexual orientation, but the current evidence suggests that it’s not the dominant factor and may ultimately be shown to play just a modest role.

    But a modest role is still different from no role. And we also think that viewers of the interview might be led to believe that because homosexuality is not primarily caused by genes, there’s no biological cause. In reality, most scientists do believe that sexual orientation is caused by biology, rather than by choice. On balance, we rate Pawlenty’s statement Mostly True.

Flap’s Links and Comments for June 28th on 08:24

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These are my links for June 28th from 08:24 to 09:02:

  • Simi, Moorpark formally oppose congressional redistricting plan – The cities of Simi Valley and Moorpark on Monday formally urged the California Citizens Redistricting Commission to rethink its proposal to place them in a congressional district that includes parts of Los Angeles County.

    The Simi Valley City Council adopted a resolution to that effect. Moorpark Mayor Janice Parvin sent a letter to the commission outlining her opposition.

    The Simi council's resolution also urged the commission to modify its proposal to place about 2,000 Simi residents in a different congressional district than the rest of the city.

    "To lop us off makes no sense whatsoever," Mayor Bob Huber said at a special meeting of the council he convened Monday morning because of what he said was the urgency of the matter. "It's just so wrong what they're doing. My strong feeling is we keep the whole county together."

    Noting the city has previously expressed its opposition to the proposals in letters to the commission, Huber said, "I think we need something a little stronger like an actual resolution that they can see and understand how strong we feel."

  • Bachmann is so not ready for presidency, but Pawlenty has the judgment and skills – In early 2012, Iowans in all 99 counties will bundle up, brave the cold night air, and join neighbors and fellow Republicans in casting their vote for the next president of the United States. Being Iowa, many caucus attendees will have personally met some or all of the candidates, will have had a chance to participate in town hall meetings, to ask questions, and to compare backgrounds and experience in this crucial race for the White House.

    I, too, have gotten to know some of the candidates. It is safe to say that I am one of just a handful of people who have worked closely with two of the candidates for president.

    As the former chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party during the tenure of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, as well as the former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, I have watched both candidates from behind the public scene. I've seen how they handle the pressures of the job; I've seen how they lead a staff; and I've seen how they would govern if elected to the most powerful office in the world.

    Having seen the two of them, up close and over a long period of time, it is clear to me that while Tim Pawlenty possesses the judgment, the demeanor, and the readiness to serve as president, Michele Bachmann decidedly does not.

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    The long knives are out for Michele Bachmann. But, will it roll off of her back or will the real beneficiary be Mitt Romney?

  • President 2012: Michele Bachmann accepts Chris Wallace’s apology – In an interview by Sean Hannity’s last night, Rep. Michele Bachmann said she had gotten a call early last evening from Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, who apologized for the way he put the “flake” question during Sunday’s interview. She recounted that she was happy to accept the apology and that “we’re moving on.”

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    Move along….

Flap’s Links and Comments for June 12th on 14:41

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These are my links for June 12th from 14:41 to 14:48:

  • Romney camp responds to Pawlenty’s "ObamneyCare" dig – Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued his sharpest attack against presumed Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney on the eve of the GOP debate in New Hampshire on Monday, tying the former Massachusetts governor to President Obama's health care overhaul.
    In the process, he coined a term likely to dominate his stump speches and the debate: "ObamneyCare."
    "President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare and basically made it ObamneyCare," Pawlenty said on "Fox News Sunday." "What I don’t understand is that they both continue to defend it."

    It didn't take long for Romney's campaign to respond to what will certainly become a common critique among Republican contenders.

    "Republicans should keep the focus on President Obama's failure to create jobs and control spending," Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said in an e-mail to The Washington Examiner. "People are looking for leadership on the economy and the budget. Mitt Romney wants to be that leader."
    The aggressive message is an about-face for Pawlenty, who essentially vowed not to throw elbows, but has failed to gain significant traction in the polls. It could also set the stage for a feisty GOP debate, the first in which Romney has participated, Monday in Manchester.

  • California smash-up: Redistricting winners and losers – The GOP Losers:

    Rep. Jeff Denham

    Denham is positioned to run in a Stanislaus County district that’s far less GOP friendly than the seat he currently holds. Denham can also take one for the team and run against either Democratic Rep. Dennis Cardoza or Democratic Rep. Jim Costa. But that would pit him against a sitting incumbent in a Democratic-leaning district – which doesn’t sound too appealing.

    Rep. Jerry Lewis

    Lewis, a 17-term veteran, has been at the top of retirement watch lists – doing little fundraising and not committing to run for reelection. But the new lines could add some fuel to his tank, with the commission drawing up a new Republican-friendly Inland Empire seat that would seem to fit Lewis perfectly.

    Rep. Elton Gallegly

    There’s no denying that Gallegly is in a tough spot. Under the draft map, Gallegly is drawn into a Los Angeles-area with powerful House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon. Some Republican officials are privately suggesting that Gallegly could alternatively run in a Democratic-oriented Central Valley district, but neither option seems great for the 67-year-old congressman.

    Rep. David Dreier

    Things look bleak for Dreier, the 16-term House Rules Committee chair who’s been placed in a Democratic-leaning, Latino-majority seat that makes him ripe for a challenge. Dreier could alternatively run for a nearby Ontario-based district, but that would put him in firmly Democratic territory. One option some Republicans suggest: Dreier could work out a deal with Lewis and run for the Inland Empire seat. But Dreier has raised little money, and the new lines are bound to increase speculation that he’s looking to throw in the towel.

    Rep. Gary Miller

    Miller faces few good options. He’s been drawn into the same heavily Asian American and Democratic-oriented seat as Democratic Rep. Judy Chu – a no-go for him. Miller could try to run against fellow GOP Rep. John Campbell for an Orange County-based district, but that seems like a stretch because Campbell would have plenty of his own money to spend.

    Rep. Dan Lungren 

    Lungren, who’s already on Democratic target lists, just became that much more vulnerable. The nine-term congressman has been drawn into a slightly GOP-leaning, Sacramento-area seat that offers him less protection against Democratic physician Ami Bera, who’s running against Lungren again after waging a strong challenge last year. This race goes to the top of the watch list.

  • California’s dropout numbers signal big crisis – The bedrock goal of any public elementary and high school system should be awarding high school diplomas to as many youngsters as possible.

    Therefore, one might expect that with the tens of billions of dollars California spends each year to educate 6 million kids, and with the vital role schools play in the state's social, political and economic health, we'd know how we're doing.

    However, we don't know. We use several methodologies to estimate graduation rates and their counterpart, dropout rates. But hard data are lacking, a statewide computerized student tracking system that's supposed to provide concrete numbers is incomplete, and Gov. Jerry Brown wants to eliminate its appropriation.

    So we are left with inexact methodologies that give us approximate numbers. As fuzzy as they may be, they still indicate that California has a big-time dropout problem.

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    Why?

    Illegal immigration and the children do not speak English. There is no reason for them to learn and assimilate in school.

    It will cost $ billions to educate the children of immigrant workers, while productive citizens and companies leave California due to high taxaton and regulatory costs.

Flap’s Links and Comments for May 23rd on 15:58

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for May 23rd from 15:58 to 16:38:

  • Two patients died after waiting in ambulance outside ‘full’ Oldham hospital unit – Two patients died after being left waiting in ambulances outside an over-stretched hospital.

    The patients, believed to have been in their 80s, couldn’t get into the Royal Oldham Hospital for seven and 20 minutes respectively.

    They were assessed by ambulance crews as ‘very sick’ and were both suspected of having suffered heart attacks.

    The A&E department was so busy that all but the most urgent cases were being sent to other hospitals at the time. All five resuscitation beds at Oldham were full.

    The two patients were assessed and treated by a casualty doctor and senior nurse in the ambulances.

    It is understood neither actually had suffered a heart attack by the time they were admitted – although both later died at the hospital. One died in the resuscitation unit the following day and the other three days after being admitted to a ward.

    A probe has been launched after ambulance chiefs reported the incident to regional health authority NHS North West.

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    Read it all.

    Get ready for ObamaCare

  • CA-36: What Went Wrong in the L.A. Special Election? – Hahn is expected to win the July run-off, but we expect turnout to be even lower. Huey can easily self-fund with another $500,000, and labor will have to expend its scarce resources to crank its turnout effort and put Hahn over the top. As blogger Marta Evry pointed out, Hahn will win the special election in July – but re-districting could change the demographics and make the district more Republican in 2012. Her complete analysis is well worth reading in full, but I’ll just quote one line from it: “Janice Hahn’s strategic choices, coupled with Marcy Winograd’s ego, may have created a perfect storm in which a to bring a previously unknown Tea Party candidate to national prominence.”

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    Read it all…..

    From the LEFT perspective…..

  • Janice Hahn Won The Battle In 2011. Could She Lose The War In 2012? – From what I've heard and read, CA-36 is probably going to lose everything north of LAX, and potentially gain back Palos Verdes. Palos Verdes, connected to an Orange County district by a block-wide strip in Long Beach and a narrow strip of San Pedro, is profoundly gerrymandered. Those Republicans have to go somewhere.

    If this happens, it would significantly cut into Democrat's voter registration advantage, and create a district that more closely resembles the one in which Janice Hahn previously ran for congress in 1998.

    Hahn lost that race, to Republican Steve Kuykendall, 47% to 49%.

    Janice Hahn got the opponent she wanted. But by helping to advance Huey into the runoff, Hahn has elevated him from an unknown evangelical advertising consultant to a national figure in the Tea Party movement. The media isn't ignoring Craig Huey anymore. He has two months to build up his name recognition and base of support. And when he loses in July, he can turn right around and start stumping for the June 2012 primary race in a district likely to be far more receptive to his message.

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    Read it all.

    Craig Huey indeed could lose in July and still come out the winner.

  • Jon Huntsman Jr., potential GOP candidate hits California for fundraising swing : – Former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman Jr.is heading to California this week — just in time to pump up his fundraising base as the 2012 GOP presidential race shapes up.

    The former Utah Governor, who's been described as the possible GOP candidate "Democrats fear most," hits San Francisco Tuesday, Los Angeles Wednesday and Orange County on Thursday of this week. The Palo Alto native will be having private meetings with California donors and supporters, sources say.

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    Money will never be Huntsman's problem but his moderate position on the issues will be.

  • President 2012: Not the whole truth in Pawlenty claims – Truth" was Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's buzzword Monday when he announced his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. He said he will tell the truth about hard choices facing the nation while others — President Barack Obama notably among them — do not.
    A parsing of Pawlenty's opening-day statements shows they were not the whole truth.
    Here is a sampling of his claims Monday and how they compare with the facts.
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    PAWLENTY: "The truth is, people getting paid by the taxpayers shouldn't get a better deal than the taxpayers themselves. That means freezing federal salaries, transitioning federal employee benefits, and downsizing the federal work force as it retires." — Campaign announcement.
    THE FACTS: A federal pay freeze is already in effect. Obama proposed and Congress approved a two-year freeze on the pay of federal employees, exempting the armed forces, Congress and federal courts.
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    PAWLENTY: "ObamaCare is unconstitutional." — USA Today column.
    THE FACTS: Obama's health care overhaul might be unconstitutional in Pawlenty's opinion, but it is not in fact unless the Supreme Court says so. Lower court rulings have been split.
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    PAWLENTY: "Barack Obama has consistently stood for higher taxes." — Campaign announcement.
    THE FACTS: Obama's record shows more tax cutting than tax raising. The stimulus plan early in his presidency cut taxes broadly for the middle class and business, and more recently he won a substantial cut in Social Security taxes for a year. He also campaigned in support of extending the Bush-era tax cuts for all except the wealthy, whose taxes he wanted to raise. In office, he accepted a deal from Republicans extending the tax cuts for all. As for tax increases, Obama won congressional approval to raise them on tobacco and tanning salons. The penalty for those who don't buy health insurance, once coverage is mandatory, is a form of taxation.
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    PAWLENTY: "For decades before I was elected, governors tried and failed to get Minnesota out of the top 10 highest-taxed states in the country. I actually did it." — Campaign announcement.
    THE FACTS: Minnesota remains among the 10 worst states in its overall tax climate, according to the Tax Foundation. In its 2011 State Business Tax Climate Index, the anti-tax organization ranks Minnesota 43rd, making it the eighth worst state. The ranking slipped from 41st two years earlier. The index considers corporate, individual, sales, unemployment insurance and property taxes.

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    Read them all.

    Tim Pawlenty will NOT be the GOP nominee.