The Morning Flap: April 3, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

Texas Governor Rick Perry

These are my links for April 2nd through April 3rd:

  • Perry heard singing in bathroom pre-debate – As for Texas Gov Rick Perry, his 2012 musical moment took place in the bathroom, according to this excerpt from POLITICO’s new e-book, Inside the Circus:

    A bad back doomed any chance Perry stood to break through. It became an open secret that he was using painkillers in sufficient dosages to keep him standing through the two-hour debates. The manager of a rival campaign was at a urinal in an empty bathroom in Hanover, New Hampshire, before the Bloomberg News debate on October 11, when he heard someone come through the door loudly singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” Wondering who was making all the noise, the campaign manager turned his head and saw, to his surprise, the governor of Texas. Perry came down the row of about twenty urinals and stood companionably close by. Nonplussed, the campaign manager made a hasty exit; as the bathroom door closed, he could hear Perry still merrily singing away: “I-I-I’ve been working on the ra-a-i-i-l-road, all-l-l the live-long day . . .”

    Asked about the episode, a top campaign official said, “He whistles. I wouldn’t read anything into it.”

  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 3, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 3, 2012 via @flap
  • Day By Day April 3, 2012 – Vibe | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day April 3, 2012 – Vibe
  • Poll Watch: 55 Per Cent of Americans Favor an Anti- Missile Defense System Vs. 16 Per Cent Opposed | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: 55 Per Cent of Americans Favor an Anti- Missile Defense System Vs. 16 Per Cent Opposed
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: April 3, 2012 – The Morning Drill: April 3, 2012
  • Video: Juan Williams Interviews Sen Marco Rubio | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Video: Juan Williams Interviews Sen Marco Rubio
  • William McGurn: Romney’s ‘Women Problem’ – It’s over.

    Mitt Romney has lost the 2012 election, and he’s lost it because women are deserting the GOP over its opposition to ObamaCare’s contraceptive coverage mandate. That’s been the press drumbeat for the last few weeks. Now the argument appears to be backed up by a new USA Today/Gallup poll of swing-state voters. It shows Barack Obama out front for the first time since the poll started last November—largely because of the 2-1 advantage he enjoys over Mr. Romney among women under age 50.

    Leave it to the liberal Salon website to sum up the conventional wisdom: “This is very likely a result of the prominence that contraception and women’s issues have assumed in the public debate since February, when Republicans revolted against the Obama administration’s efforts to make birth control a mandatory component of health insurance coverage.”

    One problem with this explanation: The same USA Today poll reports that 63% of those surveyed say they don’t even know what Mitt Romney’s position on government and birth control is. For that matter, 46% say they don’t know President Obama’s position either

  • Mitt Romney image-makers split on strategy – Members of Mitt Romney’s inner circle acknowledge they still have yet to solve the key challenge they face in trying to help him win the presidency — finding a way to make an emotionally remote and fabulously wealthy candidate connect with average voters
  • California Relaunches High Speed Rail Plan – Supporters of California’s ambitious high-speed rail project began their hard sell with lawmakers and the public Monday after releasing an updated business plan that scales back the scope of the project and speeds up construction to save money, but still relies heavily on speculative funding sources that might never materialize.

    In addition to money from voter-approved bonds and startup funds from the federal government, the plan hinges on receiving billions more from a skeptical Congress, fees from an untested cap-and-trade system that is at the heart of California’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and unnamed private investors to jump aboard and risk their own money once construction begins.

  • Obama Will Shred The Paul Ryan Budget In Today’s Big Speech – In an election-year pitch to middle-class voters, President Barack Obama is denouncing a House Republican budget plan as a “Trojan horse,” warning that it represents “an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country” that would hurt the pocketbooks of working families.

    Obama, in a speech to newspaper executives, is sharply criticizing a $3.5 trillion budget proposal pushed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., which passed on a near-party-line vote last week and has been embraced by GOP presidential hopefuls. The plan has faced fierce resistance from Democrats, who say it would gut Medicare, slash taxes for the wealthy and lead to deep cuts to crucial programs such as aid to college students and highway and rail projects.

    “It’s a Trojan horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country,” Obama said in excerpts of his speech released Tuesday. “It’s nothing but thinly veiled social Darwinism.”

  • (404) http://t.co/D – RT @GOP12: By 74%-17%, likely GOP voters in PA view Romney’s shifts in positions as motivated by politics; not principles. …
  • The Rubio Assumption – The deepening assumption that Florida Senator Marco Rubio will be his party’s vice presidential nominee is beginning to put Mitt Romney candidate in a box, deepening the expectation of a Hispanic running mate and setting a trap for presumptive Republican presidential candidate should he make another choice.

    “I think there could be backlash, in that Rubio is beloved by many, and Romney is not,” said Javier Manjarres, the editor of the conservative Florida blog The Shark Tank. “Romney would have to try to find someone of Rubio’s caliber to suffice the followers who would be disappointed that he did not pick Rubio.

  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-03 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-03
  • Another Obama Solar Company Goes Bankrupt …Taxpayers Lose $2 BILLION? – A California solar energy company that was unable to meet a deadline for an Energy Department loan guarantee last year has sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware.

    Solar Trust of America’s Chapter 11 filing on Monday listed assets between $1 million and $10 million, and liabilities between $10 million and $50 million.

    The filing comes amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Solyndra, a solar firm that received a half-billion dollar federal loan and was touted by the Obama administration before declaring bankruptcy last year.

  • 52% in Wisconsin Support Recall of Governor Walker – A majority of Wisconsin voters now support the effort to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker.

    A new Rasmussen Reports statewide survey shows that, if the recall election was held today, 52% of Likely Voters would vote to recall Governor Walker and remove him from office. Forty-seven percent (47%) would vote against the recall and let him continue to serve as governor.

  • Combative Obama warns Supreme Court on health law – US President Barack Obama on Monday challenged the “unelected” Supreme Court not to take the “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” step of overturning his landmark health reform law.

    Though Obama said he was confident the court would uphold the law, the centerpiece of his political legacy, he appeared to be previewing campaign trail arguments should the nine justices strike the legislation down.

    In a highly combative salvo, Obama also staunchly defended the anchor of the law — a requirement that all Americans buy health insurance — as key to giving millions of people access to treatment for the first time.

    “Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” Obama said.

    Pointed comments from Supreme Court justices last week during three days of compelling hearings have convinced many commentators that the court, expected to rule in June, will declare the law, dubbed ObamaCare, unconstitutional.

  • GSA chief resigns amid reports of excessive spending – The chief of the General Services Administration resigned, two of her top deputies were fired and four managers were placed on leave Monday amid reports of lavish spending at a conference off the Las Vegas Strip that featured a clown, a mind reader and a $31,208 reception.

    Administrator Martha N. Johnson, in her resignation letter, acknowledged a “significant misstep” at the agency that manages real estate for the federal government. “Taxpayer dollars were squandered,” she wrote. At the start of her tenure in February 2010 she called ethics “a big issue for me.”

    Public Buildings Service chief Robert A. Peck, a fixture in the Washington area real estate community on his second stint running the department, was forced out, along with Johnson’s top adviser, Stephen Leeds. Four GSA managers who organized the four-day conference in October 2010 have been placed on adminstrative leave, officials said.

    The leadership collapse came hours before GSA Inspector General Brian D. Miller released a scathing report on the $823,000 training conference, held for 300 West Coast employees at the M Resort and Casino, an opulent hotel in Henderson, Nev., just south of Las Vegas. From $130,000 in travel expenses for six scouting trips to a $2,000 party in Peck’s loft suite, event planners violated federal limits on conference spending.

    The episode is an embarrassment for the Obama administration at a time when the role and size of government have taken center stage in the presidential campaign. How much government should spend, and on what, will be at the heart of the election-year battles between Democrats and Republicans.

  • North Korea Watch: Here We Go Again With Missile Launch | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – North Korea Watch: Here We Go Again With Missile Launch
  • President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama 49% Vs. Romney 45% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama 49% Vs. Romney 45%
  • Capitol Alert: Judge allows Beth Gaines to call herself ‘small business owner’ – Capitol Alert: Judge allows Beth Gaines to call herself ‘small business owner’
  • Court upholds California affirmative action ban – A federal appeals court on Monday upheld California’s ban on using race, ethnicity and gender in admitting students to public colleges and universities.

    The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state’s landmark voter initiative, Proposition 209, does not violate students’ constitutional rights.

    The ruling is the latest to uphold the ban in a long list of legal challenges seeking to overturn since it was passed by voters in 1996.

    The ruling upholds a previous decision by the same court in 1997.

  • Capitol Alert: Judge allows Beth Gaines to call herself ‘small business owner’ – Capitol Alert: Judge allows Beth Gaines to call herself ‘small business owner’
  • Capitol Alert: Judge allows Beth Gaines to call herself ‘small business owner’ – Capitol Alert: Judge allows Beth Gaines to call herself ‘small business owner’
  • Capitol Alert: Judge allows Beth Gaines to call herself ‘small business owner’ – RT @CapitolAlert: Judge allows Beth Gaines to call herself ‘small business owner’
  • (404) http://bit.ly/lS4Z – RT @gallupnews: #Obama Job Approval: Approve 47% (+1) Disapprove 44% (-1). Get the full trend…
  • Happening now: Calderon, Obama, Harper in Rose Garden on Twitpic – RT @jaketapper: Happening now: Calderon, Obama, Harper in Rose Garden
  • CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks and Tony Strickland | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks and Tony Strickland | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog
  • CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks and Tony Strickland | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks and Tony Strickland | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog
  • CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks and Tony Strickland | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks and Tony Strickland | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog
  • CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks and Tony Strickland | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks and Tony Strickland | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog
  • CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks and Tony Strickland | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – RE: @LPUN2KZ4AGZEEIQNC4W3ZSW3HY Linda Parks is not running just in Thousand Oaks any longer and NOT against a termed-…
  • The Morning Flap: April 2, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: April 2, 2012

The Morning Flap: March 12, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

A Newt Ginrich – Rick Perry GOP Ticket?

These are my links for March 9th through March 12th:

The Morning Flap: January 13, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for January 12th through January 13th:

  • New Romney Ad Defends Candidate’s Record at Bain – Mitt Romney’s campaign plans to release its latest television ad in South Carolina on Friday, geared to combat the growing attacks — from both Republicans and Democrats — on Mr. Romney’s career at Bain Capital as a corporate buyout specialist.

    In the 30-second spot, a female narrator says, “This is a business Mitt Romney helped start,” as “Staples,” the office supply store giant, flashes on the screen in red letters. “And this one. And this steel mill,” the narrator continues, as “Sports Authority” and “Steel Dynamics” appear, again in red letters.

    Though Mr. Romney’s advisers said they always expected that President Obama and the Democrats would criticize his private sector record of buying and selling companies in the general election if Mr. Romney were to win the nomination, they were taken by surprise to find the attacks coming so early in the primary — and from members of his own party — and have been huddling in recent days, trying to find an effective way to respond to the assault. This television ad, titled “Bright Future,” represents one of their most potent lines of defense.

  • Correction: Romney’s Former Firm Bain Didn’t Advise Obama  – A previous story incorrectly reported that Mitt Romney’s former firm, Bain & Co., was part of a team of consulting companies that advised President Barack Obama on a decision to shutter car dealerships during the auto bailout.

    Bain & Co. said it has no connection to the “Bain Consulting” firm referenced in government documents.

  • Rick Perry defends ‘vulture capitalist’ attack on Romney – Speaking to about 30 people at a restaurant north of Columbia, Rick Perry left out his “vulture capitalist” attack on Mitt Romney’s work with Bain Capital. But in an interview with Fox News that came afterward and played on the restaurant’s big-screen TVs, he repeatedly defended his criticism.

    Perry insisted that he was not taking on all venture capitalists, but was specifically assailing Bain Capital, the firm that the former Massachusetts governor co-founded.

    “We’re trying to lure more venture capitalists into my home state every day,” the Texas governor said, “but the idea that you get private equity companies to come in and, you know, take companies apart so they can make quick profits and then people lose their jobs, I don’t think that’s what America’s looking for. I hope that’s not what the Republican Party’s about.”

    When the network’s Martha MacCallum asked Perry whether he believed this argument was working in the state that holds the next GOP presidential primary, he said: “If you go to Gaffney, S.C., or Georgetown, S.C., a couple of cities where Bain Capital did come in and destruct those companies and people lost their jobs, I will tell you it’s still a real sensitive issue in those places.”

  • What Really Happened In Gaffney? – The Left is carrying out a coordinated attack on Mitt Romney’s business career. One sees exactly the same allegations, often phrased identically, whether you look at the Daily Kos, the Associated Press, Slate or Think Progress, or listen to Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry. The centerpiece of the Left’s attack has been Bain’s involvement with two companies that merged to become Holson Burnes Group, Inc. Holson made photo albums, and Burnes made picture frames. In the late 1980s, Holson was in deep trouble because of competition from cheap imports. Bain helped to save the company, then encouraged its merger with Burnes:

    Partly because of the import problem, the Holson family sold out to Bain Capital in 1986; however, the Holson Company, which was still managed by family members, continued to have problems under the Bain umbrella. To return the organization’s competitive edge, Bain called in a series of consulting teams, including one from Price Waterhouse. Among the members of the Price Waterhouse team was Hoffmeister. Bain asked Hoffmeister to join Holson as head of the company in 1988 to effect a turnaround.

  • Yes, Romney Could Lose – I just watched the Bain documentary featured below and being broadcast throughout South Carolina by Newt Gingrich’s SuperPac in full. It’s loaded with out-of-context quotes and heavily biased; it focuses on the specific human suffering of the necessary “creative destruction” of capitalism not its general benefits to the economy. It does so through the voices and stories of ordinary Americans. And, as an emotional bludgeon, it’s devastating.

    But what makes it so dangerous to Romney, it seems to me, is that the Bain Brahmin didn’t just fire thousands of working class people in restructuring and in closing companies. He made a fucking unimaginable fortune doing it. That’s the issue. Other Republicans can speak about the need for free markets in a sluggish economy. But with Romney, we have a singular example of someone who made a quarter of a billion dollars by firing the white middle and working class in droves in ways that do not seem designed to promote growth or efficiency, but merely to enrich Bain.

  • Report: 1% of Americans paid 22% of health care costs in 2009 – Just 1% of Americans accounted for 22% of health care costs in 2009, according to a federal report released Wednesday.

    That’s about $90,000 per person, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. U.S. residents spent $1.26 trillion that year on health care.

    Five percent accounted for 50% of health care costs, about $36,000 each, the report said.

    The report’s findings can be used to predict which consumers are most likely to drive up health care costs and determine the best ways to save money, said Steven Cohen, the report’s lead author.

    While the report showed how a tiny segment of the population can drive health care spending, the findings included good news. In 1996, the top 1% of the population accounted for 28% of health care spending.

    “The actual concentration has dropped,” Cohen said. “That’s a big change.”

    About one in five health care consumers remained in the top 1% of spenders for at least two consecutive years, the report showed. They tended to be white, non-Hispanic women in poor health; the elderly; and users of publicly funded health care.

  • President 2012: Mitt Romney Responds to Bain Capital Attacks = Weak Sauce | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Mitt Romney Responds to Bain Capital Attacks = Weak Sauce
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-13 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-13
  • How the Australian Open Is Acing Digital Media – RT @AustralianOpen: Whoop! RT @mashable: How the Australian Open Is Acing Digital Media –
  • National GOP Leader Post-New Hampshire Is Good Bet to Win – In recent Republican presidential nomination campaigns, the results of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary have often made Republicans nationwide re-evaluate their preferences for the nominee, with the most change occurring in 1980 and 2008. Since 1976 — the first year in the modern nominating era in which there was a competitive Republican contest — the leader after New Hampshire has ultimately won the nomination.
  • Gregory Flap Cole – Google+ – A Twinkie defense for bankruptcy probably won’t work… – A Twinkie defense for bankruptcy probably won’t work unfortunately…Hostess Bankruptcy | Gary Varv
  • Poll Watch: Conservatives Continue to Be the Largest Ideological Block of Americans | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: Conservatives Continue to Be the Largest Ideological Block of Americans
  • The Morning Flap: January 12, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: January 12, 2012
  • President 2012: Politico Teams Up With Facebook in New Method of Election Prediction | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Politico Teams Up With Facebook in New Method of Election Prediction

The Morning Flap: January 11, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for January 5th through January 11th:

  • Rush Loves Mitt; Hates Newt – Master-talk-master continues finger on the scale for frontrunner on Wednesday’s show.

    Praises the Bay Stater: “Romney gave what may be his best speech ever last night.”

    And/but: El Rushbo bashes Romney — GM/Obama comparison from CBS “This Morning” Wednesday interview.

    Pans Gingrich: “Newt is so ticked off over the negative ad campaign…that right now, he is solely focused on taking Romney out, making sure Romney doesn’t win this thing.”

  • Gregory Flap Cole – Google+ – Iran: What me worry?

    From Michael Ramirez…… – Iran: What me worry?

    From Michael Ramirez……Michael Ramirez Cartoon

  • Savings from ‘3 strikes’ reform may be smaller than claimed | California Watch – Savings from California ‘3 strikes’ reform may be smaller than claimed
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: January 11, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: January 11, 2012
  • Will Mindful Eating Help Curb Obesity? | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Will Mindful Eating Help Curb Obesity?
  • Journalists’ campaign trail secrets revealed – The Washington Post – Journalists’ campaign-trail secrets revealed
  • The Bain Capital Bonfire – About the best that can be said about the Republican attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital is that President Obama is going to do the same thing eventually, so GOP primary voters might as well know what’s coming. Yet that hardly absolves Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and others for their crude and damaging caricatures of modern business and capitalism.

    Bain’s business model is little more than “rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company,” says Mr. Gingrich, whose previous insights into free enterprise include years of defending the taxpayer-fed business of corn ethanol.

    A super PAC supporting the former House Speaker plans to spend $3.4 million in TV ads in South Carolina portraying Mr. Romney as Gordon Gekko without the social conscience. The financing for these ads will come from a billionaire who made his money in the casino business, which Mr. Gingrich apparently considers morally superior to investing in companies in the hope of making a profit.

    Mr. Perry, who has no problem using taxpayer financing to back his political allies in Texas, chimes in that “I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips, whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out. Because his company Bain Capital, with all the jobs that they killed, I’m sure he was worried he’d run out of pink slips.”

  • President 2012: Conservatives Scrambling to Block Romney | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Conservatives Scrambling to Block Romney
  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2012/01/11/day-by-day-janaury-11-2012-reality-show/ – Day By Day Janaury 11, 2012 – Reality Show
  • Riehl World View: Romney Has Lied, Maligned And Danced Away For Years, It’s Time He Paid For It – GOP will pay | RT @DanRiehl Romney Has Lied, Maligned And Danced Away For Years, It’s Time He Paid For It
  • (404) http://t.co/DqN – RT @jpodhoretz: Romney may win the easiest nomination victory ever–even though he’s as weak a candidate as we’ve seen: …
  • In Florida, Obama Trails Mitt By 3, Leads Rick By 2 – By Jim Geraghty – The Campaign Spot – National Review Online – Closer than you would expect RT @jimgeraghty In Florida, Obama Trails Mitt By 3, Leads Rick By 2 #tcot
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-11 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-11
  • Log In – The New York Times – Log In – The New York Times
  • Log In – The New York Times – Log In – The New York Times
  • Log In – The New York Times – As Romney Advances, Private Equity Becomes Part of the Debate
  • As Romney Advances, Private Equity Becomes Part of the Debate – A working paper released in September shows that private equity-owned companies shed slightly more jobs than similar companies, though the difference was quite small. In total, they shed about 1 percent more jobs.

    The study — by Steven J. Davis of the University of Chicago; John C. Haltiwanger of the University of Maryland; Josh Lerner of Harvard, and Ron S. Jarmin and Javier Miranda of the Census Bureau — looked at about 3,200 buyouts conducted between 1980 and 2005.

    It found that companies bought by private equity firms let go a larger proportion of workers than similar firms, shrinking their work forces about 6 percent more over a five-year window. But companies bought by private equity firms also tend to open more new branches, offices and factories and hire more new staff members, partly offsetting the job losses.

    Some economists also argue that private equity takeovers make good economic sense in the long term, even if they result in more layoffs in the short term, by making companies more efficient.

  • Gingrich’s Own Close Tie to Buyout Industry – Newt Gingrich has ramped up his attacks on Mitt Romney as a heartless leveraged buyout executive for his years at Bain Capital, asking reporters in Manchester on Monday, “Is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of other people and walk off with the money? Or is that, somehow, a little bit of a flawed system?”

    But Mr. Gingrich was himself on an advisory board for a major investment firm that had a similar business model, Forstmann Little, a pioneering private equity firm co-founded in 1978 by Theodore J. Forstmann that was, along with Mr. Romney’s Bain Capital and Henry R. Kravis’s Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, among the leading private equity firms during the 1980s and 1990s.

    Forstmann Little earned billions of dollars in profits from its investments in companies including General Instrument and Gulfstream Aerospace. But the firm shut down most of its operations a decade ago after suffering losses from ill-timed bets on high-flying telecommunications companies at the height of that industry’s bubble.

    Mr. Gingrich’s involvement with the firm could complicate his attacks on Mr. Romney.

    Still, to be fair, Mr. Forstman bristled at some of the more aggressive tactics of his rivals, and once described them as “barbarians at the gate.” That phrase was used as the title of a bestselling book that detailed Mr. Forstmann’s buyout battle with Mr. Kravis for RJR Nabisco, a contest K.K.R. eventually won.

  • President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins New Hampshire But…. | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Mitt Romney Wins New Hampshire But….
  • Film Attacking Romney Leaked Early – Film Attacking Romney Leaked Early – 0n to South Carolina #tcot
  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/?s=Romney+and+Kennedy&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter – Romney And Kennedy | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog:

    Annotations:

  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2012/01/10/president-2012-when-mitt-romney-came-to-town-or-will-come-crashing-down/ – President 2012: When Mitt Romney Came to Town or Will Come Crashing Down?
  • The Wait Is Over: All Time Warner Cable Customers With HBO Can Now Use HBO GO/MAX GO « Time Warner Cable Untangled – RT @jeffTWC: The Wait Is Over: All Time Warner Cable Customers Can Now Use HBO GO/MAX GO – (Please RT)
  • CA-26: Rep Elton Gallegly to Retire – Tony Strickland, Steve Bennett and Linda Parks to Run | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – CA-26: Rep Elton Gallegly to Retire – Tony Strickland, Steve Bennett and Linda Parks to Run
  • Day By Day January 10, 2012 – Horse | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day January 10, 2012 – Horse
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-10 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-10
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-09 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-09
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-08 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-08
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Harrah’s Laughlin – Eating dinner and then football or poker. What debate? (@ Harrah’s Laughlin w/ 2 others)
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Arizona State line – On the way to Nevada! (@ Arizona State line)
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-07 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-07
  • MapMyRUN – Map New Run – MapMyRUN – Map New Run:

    Annotations:

  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Santa fe, NM – Leaving Santa Fe in the morning. Laughlin and poker here I come. (@ Santa fe, NM)
  • Unemployment Rate Drop Is for Real – now 8.5% – The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 8.5% in December, while a broader measure dropped even further to 15.2% from 15.6% the prior month, both at their lowest levels since February 2009.

    While the unemployment rate has been falling in part due to people leaving the labor force, a large portion of this month’s number appears to come from people finding jobs.

    The unemployment rate is calculated based on people who are without jobs, who are available to work and who have actively sought work in the prior four weeks. The “actively looking for work” definition is fairly broad, including people who contacted an employer, employment agency, job center or friends; sent out resumes or filled out applications; or answered or placed ads, among other things. The rate is calculated by dividing that number by the total number of people in the labor force.

    In December, the household survey showed the number of people employed rose by 176,000, as the population increased by 143,000 over the month. So even though the labor force — the number of people working or looking for work — fell by 50,000, job growth is outpacing the increase in the population.

  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-06 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-06
  • Brown Seeks 7% California Spending Boost- Bloomberg – Brown Seeks 7% California Spending Boost
  • Brown Seeks 7% California Spending Boost – Governor Jerry Brown proposed $92.6 billion in spending for the year starting in July, an increase of about 7 percent, which will count on voters approving $7 billion of higher taxes in November.

    The spending plan foresees a deficit of $9.2 billion through the next 18 months. Almost half of that is in the current fiscal year, he said. He called for $4.2 billion in cuts, mostly to welfare and programs for the poor. If the tax increase isn’t passed, Brown’s plan would cut another $4.8 billion in support for public schools and community colleges.

    California is Standard & Poor’s lowest-rated state, at A-, six levels below AAA. Moody’s Investment Service grades it A1, four steps below the top rating, tied with Illinois (STOIL1) for the worst credit rating among states.

  • Small Business: Doctors going broke – Doctors in America are harboring an embarrassing secret: Many of them are going broke.

    This quiet reality, which is spreading nationwide, is claiming a wide range of casualties, including family physicians, cardiologists and oncologists.

    Industry watchers say the trend is worrisome. Half of all doctors in the nation operate a private practice. So if a cash crunch forces the death of an independent practice, it robs a community of a vital health care resource.

    “A lot of independent practices are starting to see serious financial issues,” said Marc Lion, CEO of Lion & Company CPAs, LLC, which advises independent doctor practices about their finances.

    Doctors list shrinking insurance reimbursements, changing regulations, rising business and drug costs among the factors preventing them from keeping their practices afloat. But some experts counter that doctors’ lack of business acumen is also to blame.

  • Employers close door on smokers – More job-seekers are facing an added requirement: no smoking — at work or anytime.

    As bans on smoking sweep the USA, an increasing number of employers — primarily hospitals — are also imposing bans on smokers. They won’t hire applicants whose urine tests positive for nicotine use, whether cigarettes, smokeless tobacco or even patches.

    Such tobacco-free hiring policies, designed to promote health and reduce insurance premiums, took effect this month at the Baylor Health Care System in Texas and will apply at the Hollywood Casino in Toledo, Ohio, when it opens this year.

  • New Pentagon strategy stresses Asia, cyber, drones – President Barack Obama unveiled a defense strategy on Thursday that would expand the U.S. military presence in Asia but shrink the overall size of the force as the Pentagon seeks to reduce spending by nearly half a trillion dollars after a decade of war.

    The strategy, if carried out, would significantly reshape the world’s largest military from the one that executed President George W. Bush’s “war on terrorism” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Cyberwarfare and unmanned drones would continue to grow in priority, as would countering attempts by China and Iran to block U.S. power projection capabilities in areas like the South China Sea and the Strait of Hormuz.

    But the size of the U.S. Army and Marines Corps would shrink. So too might the U.S. nuclear arsenal and the U.S. military footprint in Europe.

  • Obama: the US can no longer fight the world’s battles – The mighty American military machine that has for so long secured the country’s status as the world’s only superpower will have to be drastically reduced, Barack Obama warned yesterday as he set out a radical but more modest new set of priorities for the Pentagon over the next decade.

    After the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that defined the first decade of the 21st century, Mr Obama’s blueprint for the military’s future acknowledged that America will no longer have the resources to conduct two such major operations simultaneously.

    Instead, the US military will lose up to half a million troops and will focus on countering terrorism and meeting the new challenges of an emergent Asia dominated by China. America, the President said, was “turning the page on a decade of war” and now faced “a moment of transition”. The country’s armed forces would in future be leaner but, Mr Obama pointedly warned both friends and foes, sufficient to preserve US military superiority over any rival – “agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats”.

  • Mitt Romney’s the nominee: The Republican primary race is over. – Is there anyone not annoyed by Mitt Romney’s narrow win in the Iowa caucus? Conservatives are disappointed because they recognize that the former Massachusetts governor, who used to be pro-choice and was for Obamacare before it was called that, is only pretending to be one of them. Seventy-five percent of Iowa’s Republican voters wanted someone further to the right. But because their votes were divided among too many weak and weird candidates, the only moderate running in their state came out on top.

    Liberals are bummed because Romney is the strongest potential challenger to President Obama. This shows up clearly in head-to-head polls, which put Romney tied with or slightly ahead of Obama, while other Republican contenders trail by 10 points or more. It was hard for Obama campaign officials to suppress their glee last month when Newt Gingrich, the only even remotely plausible alternative to Romney, briefly ran at the head of the pack. But even they knew this was a momentary aberration. Short of Republicans committing collective suicide by picking someone else, Democrats would like to see Romney win the nomination after a protracted, costly struggle that would deplete his financial resources, sully his image, and drag him further to the right. Today, that scenario looks less likely.

  • Richard Cordray & the Use and Abuse of Executive Power – Some think me a zealous advocate of executive power, and often I am when it comes to national security issues. But I think President Obama has exceeded his powers by making a recess appointment for Richard Cordray (whom I respect and have no problems with as a nominee) to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Any private party can challenge this nomination by refusing to obey any regulation issued by the agency as the act of an unconstitutional officer. As a result, this may be the first time that Richard Epstein and I get to represent someone in court together!
  • Day By Day January 4, 2012 – Bupkis | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day January 4, 2012 – Bupkis
  • Obama Begins 2012 at 46% Job Approval – Obama Begins 2012 at 46% Job Approval
  • Obama Begins 2012 at 46% Job Approval – Obama Begins 2012 at 46% Job Approval
  • Obama Begins 2012 at 46% Job Approval – RT @gallupnews: Obama Begins 2012 at 46% Job Approval… #Obama #Gallup
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Alburquerque, NM – On to Santa Fe (@ Alburquerque, NM)
  • (500) http://flapsblog.com/2012/01/05/flap-twitter-updates-for-2012-01-05/ – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-01-05
  • foursquare :: Gregory Flap @ Grants – Albuquerque here we come (@ Grants)

The Afternoon Flap: December 21, 2011

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links, The Afternoon Flap

These are my links for December 21st from 08:15 to 13:30:

  • Perry Super PAC Smashes Mitt, Newt in New Ad – Texas-topper-backing “Make Us Great Again” buys IA and SC TV time for new 30-second spot dumping the oppo file on the two frontrunners.

    Announcer: “Decades ago Gingrich goes to Washington. Romney runs pro-choice campaign for Senate.”

    Read the script below.

    SCRIPT: Decades ago Gingrich goes to Washington. Romney runs pro-choice campaign for Senate. Gingrich found guilty of ethics violations. Mitt creates Romneycare. Gingrich joins Pelosi in support of global warming. Support TARP bank bailout. Collects big bucks from Freddie Mac. Rick Perry creates a million new jobs, cuts taxes, reduces regulations; the proven conservative.

  • Make a deal on the payroll tax, and come back for more – The Journal editors suggest: “At this stage, Republicans would do best to cut their losses and find a way to extend the payroll holiday quickly. Then go home and return in January with a united House-Senate strategy that forces Democrats to make specific policy choices that highlight the differences between the parties on spending, taxes and regulation. Wisconsin freshman Senator Ron Johnson has been floating a useful agenda for such a strategy. The alternative is more chaotic retreat and the return of all-Democratic rule.”

    Johnson is suggesting implementing seven of the spending-cut ideas from the Simpson-Bowles debt commission, which amount to a cut of $655 billion over 10 years. These are relatively noncontroversial items such as reducing congressional and White House budgets by 15 percent, imposing a three-year freeze on federal workers’ pay, reducing the size of the federal workforce and selling excess government real estate. In other words, Johnson is asking if his colleagues can’t at the very least agree to chop the low-hanging fruit in the budget.

    Well, it would have been nice if the supercommittee could have managed that, or if that kind of package of cuts could have been presented as a full year offset for the payroll tax reduction. But that’s for next year.

    The GOP, if it has not the wherewithal to oppose a payroll tax reduction (When will Congress ever have the nerve to increase it and stem further hemorrhaging of funds available for Social Security? Why not cut the entire tax, according to the Democrats’ logic?), then cut a deal and come back to finish the work in 2012. If the Democrats want another 10 months of payroll tax relief, then Republicans should get something for that (e.g. more cuts, a definitive decision on the pipeline). Just not now. In January.

  • Capitol Stand-off: Republicans Caving? – My prediction: House Republicans will soon – probably within 24 hours – cave in and accept the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut passed last week by the Senate.
    I base this on conversations with House Republicans who know they are losing the public relations battle and losing it badly. They know they are taking the blame for a stand-off that threatens to raise taxes on 160 million Americans. And they cannot let that happen.
    As one top House Republican aide just told me: “I do not expect taxes to go up on January 1st.”
    At this point, there is really only one way for taxes not to go up on January 1st: House Republicans need to fold. Democrats won’t give in because they are completely confident that House Republicans will take the blame for the impasse. And Republicans don’t disagree.
    Republicans are now searching for a face-saving way to give up. The most likely scenario would be for Democrats to agree to negotiations on a full-year extension to begin as soon as next week – but only after the House passes the two-month extension.
  • (404) http://t.co/tVY9GezF%E2%80%9D – I think that is HIGH “@RasmussenPoll: 22% Say U.S. Heading In Right Direction…
  • House GOP hearing it from all sides over payroll tax cut – That sound you hear in Washington is … silence.

    The Senate is gone. The House has left behind a few stragglers to sit on a conference committee that may never meet. The president’s still around but itching to go to Hawaii to be with his family. Christmas is coming. Hanukkah is here.

    The decision by House Republicans to deep-six a bipartisan deal to extend a payroll tax cut has left that party divided and given Democrats an issue with which to hammer them throughout the holidays. House leaders insist theirs is the principled stand because they want a year-long extension, not a two-month one.

    But right now, they are hearing it from all sides, including the influential Wall Street Journal editorial board, no friend to Democrats.

  • Texas Gains the Most in Population Since the Census – Texas gained more people than any other state between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011 (529,000), followed by California (438,000), Florida (256,000), Georgia (128,000) and North Carolina (121,000), according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates for states and Puerto Rico. Combined, these five states accounted for slightly more than half the nation’s total population growth.

        “These are the first set of Census Bureau population estimates to be published since the official 2010 Census state population counts were released a year ago,” said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves. “Our nation is constantly changing and these estimates provide us with our first measure of how much each state has grown or declined in total population since Census Day 2010.”

         The United States as a whole saw its population increase by 2.8 million over the 15-month period, to 311.6 million. Its growth of 0.92 percent between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011, was the lowest since the mid-1940s.

        “The nation’s overall growth rate is now at its lowest point since before the baby boom,” Groves said.

        California remained the most populous state, with a July 1, 2011, population of 37.7 million. Rounding out the top five states were Texas (25.7 million), New York (19.5 million), Florida (19.1 million) and Illinois (12.9 million).

  • Gingrich to House GOP: Give In on Payroll Tax – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who famously lost budget battles to President Bill Clinton amid two government shutdowns, had some advice to House Republicans at loggerheads with another Democratic president: Give in.

    “Incumbent presidents have enormous advantages. And I think what Republicans ought to do is what’s right for America. They ought to do it calmly and pleasantly and happily,” Mr. Gingrich said when asked about the clash between President Barack Obama and House Republicans over extension of the payroll tax cut.

    Mr. Gingrich made it clear he favored a one-year extension of the two-percentage point payroll tax cut, which expires Jan. 1, not the two-month extension that passed the Senate with bipartisan support. He called the Senate bill “an absurd dereliction of duty.”

    “Obama is so inept as a president, and the Congress is so dysfunctional as an institution, that we are lurching from failure to failure to failure,” Mr. Gingrich said.

    He offered sympathy to House Speaker John Boehner for having to negotiate with “a Senate majority leader who is totally disruptive and a president who is basically campaigner-in-chief, who has no interest in solving the problems of the American people.”

    But he said resistance was doomed.

    “It’s very hard for the legislative branch to outperform the president in communications,” he said. “He has all the advantages of being one person. He has all the advantages of the White House as a backdrop, and my experience is presidents routinely win.”

  • Who is a Ron Paul supporter? – Ron Paul supporters are certainly their own breed.

    Despite the candidate’s success in expanding his political brand in recent weeks and months, those who support him remain a very distinct segment of the Republican electorate, as evidenced by a new poll in Iowa.

    The Iowa State University/Gazette/KCRG survey is the latest poll to show Paul leading in the Hawkeye State’s caucuses. His 27.5 percent-to-25.3 percent lead on Newt Gingrich is within the margin of error, but it reflects a race that appears to be headed in the good doctor’s direction.

  • News from The Associated Press – OUCH “@AP: France ponders drastic move: telling 30,000 women to remove risky breast implants: -CC”
  • TechCrunch – Google+ – Scribd protests SOPA by making a billion pages on the web… – Scribd protests SOPA by making a billion pages on the web disappear.TechCrunch | Scribd Protests SOP
  • Scribd Protests SOPA By Making A Billion Pages On The Web Disappear – The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is delayed in Congress, but it is definitely not dead. The media company lobbyists and their Congressmen (hello, Lamar Smith!) are simply regrouping. Some of the more controversial aspects of the bill include transferring liability for copyright infringement to sites that host user-generated content and blocking that content via DNS servers.

    To highlight the chilling effect this legislation could have on free speech on te Internet, today document-sharing site Scribd is protesting SOPA by making every document disappear word-by-word when you vist the site. All in all, there are a billion pages of documents on the Scribd. “With this legislation in place, entire domains like Scribd could simply vanish from the web,” warns Jared Friedman, CTO and co-founder, Scribd.

  • (404) http://t.co/ugw0J0k5%E2%80%9D – Why, of course he does…“@thehill: Obama calls Boehner, urges him to allow vote on Senate payroll bill
  • GOP shuts down House on Dems’ payroll-tax gambit – House Democrats tried Wednesday to force a vote on the Senate’s two-month extension of the payroll-tax cut, but Republicans gaveled the House closed to prevent them from having a chance, as top GOP leaders huddled down the hall to try to figure a way out of the mess.

    The House was set to hold a pro forma session, but two top Democrats, Reps. Steny H. Hoyer and Chris Van Hollen, demanded to be recognized to try to force a vote on the two-month extension. House Republicans have blocked that deal, which is strongly backed by President Obama, and are holding out for an extension that covers all of 2012.

    Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican who was serving as the presiding officer, banged his gavel to close the session Wednesday morning even as the two Democrats were demanding to be recognized.

    “You’re walking out, you’re walking away, just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle-class taxpayers,,” Mr. Hoyer shouted after Mr. Fitzpatrick as he marched off the floor, leaving the two Democrats, both from Maryland, to themselves in the cavernous chamber.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: December 21, 2011 – The Morning Drill: December 21, 2011
  • The Morning Flap: December 21, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: December 21, 2011

The Morning Flap: December 15, 2011

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

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

  • Payroll tax cut and spending bill stall in Senate, raising threat of shutdown – Negotiations over how to extend a payroll tax holiday for 160 million Americans and avoid a government shutdown this weekend ground to a halt Wednesday after a standoff in the Senate over how to proceed.

    Amid the gridlock, Cabinet secretaries for the first time formally alerted affected federal workers Wednesday to the possibility of a shutdown — indicating in an ­e-mail that they would determine later which staffers are “essential” to maintain operations in the event of a funding disruption.

  • Iraq war draws to a quiet close – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta paid solemn tribute on Thursday to an “independent, free and sovereign Iraq” and declared the official end to the Iraq war, formally wrapping up the U.S. military’s mission in the country after almost nine years.

    “After a lot of blood spilled by Iraqis and Americans, the mission of an Iraq that could govern and secure itself has become real,” Panetta said at a ceremony held under tight security at Baghdad’s international airport. “To be sure, the cost was high — in blood and treasure for the United States, and for the Iraqi people. Those lives were not lost in vain.”

  • U.S. Lawmakers Offer Bipartisan Proposal for Medicare With Private Option – A bipartisan proposal to give the elderly a choice between the government’s Medicare program and private insurance plans is intended as a “framework” to overhaul the entitlement, Representative Paul Ryan said today.

    Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who heads the House Budget Committee, proposed replacing Medicare with a private insurance system in the spring. He has now teamed with Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, on a new plan to amend the U.S. health program for the elderly and disabled.

    The proposal, presented today by the lawmakers, may alter the debate in next year’s congressional campaign as both parties hope to sway voters with their arguments on Medicare’s future. The plan gives people turning 65 starting in 2022 the ability to choose between the existing system, where the government pays hospital and doctors’ bills for seniors, and an alternative system of regulated private insurance plans.

  • Paul Ryan-Ron Wyden: Bipartisan Medicare reform – In an extraordinary policy and political breakthrough, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced a bipartisan reform deal. In doing so, they eviscerated the Democrats’ Medicare gambit, undermined President Obama complaints that progress is impossible with Republicans in Congress and gave Mitt Romney a huge political shot in the arm.

    The Post reports: “ Working with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the Wisconsin Republican is developing a framework that would offer traditional, government-run Medicare as an option for future retirees along with a variety of private plans.”

    In a press release, the duo explained the key elements of the bill:

  • Obama nominates 2 for labor board – President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced plans to nominate two Democrats to the National Labor Relations Board, despite a Republican threat to block any appointments to the agency.

    The president intends to nominate Sharon Block, deputy secretary for congressional affairs at the Labor Department, and Richard Griffin, currently the general counsel for the International Union of Operating Engineers, to fill two vacancies on the board.

    The move comes just days after the board’s top lawyer dropped a controversial lawsuit that charged Boeing with illegally retaliating against union members in Washington state by opening a new plant in South Carolina. That case — along with other union-friendly decisions — has made the board a target of Republicans who contend it has acted too favorably toward unions.

    Obama’s nominees would have to be confirmed by the Senate, but Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said last week he would block Obama from making any further appointments to the board. The agency usually has five members but has operated for months with three. It will lose another member by the end of the year, leaving it without enough members to conduct business.

  • The Supremes v. Obamacare: Will the Court Decide the 2012 Presidential Election? – At least four justices recently agreed to review the centerpiece of President Obama’s domestic policy. Presuming for the moment that the court divided into its usual liberal and conservative quartets, what strategies might they have employed in deciding to determine the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPAACA)? U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th and 6th Circuits had upheld the law’s individual mandate, which requires all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty for not doing so. Congress believed it had the authority to impose such a mandate under its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. Liberals assert that health care, constituting nearly one-fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product, is demonstrably within Congress’s economic regulatory purview. On the other hand, the 11th Circuit (in a Florida case brought by officials from 26 states) voided the individual mandate, while upholding the PPAACA’s expansion of Medicaid, employer mandates and insurance exchanges. Although all of these circuit decisions were appealed to the nation’s highest court, the justices accepted only the 11th Circuit decision for review. The Supremes have asked both sides to address the constitutionality of the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion, as well as whether the entire law falls if they void only one part of it. The court will also tackle whether the individual mandate penalty can even be legally challenged prior to its implementation.
  • Romney boosters want a Republican campaign about nothing? – Kudos to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” for a terrific discussion Thursday morning between William Bennett (who seems to support Romney) and Rudy Giulaini (who had harsh words for Romney and kind words for Gingrich).

    When the topic of conversation turns to, whom should win the Republican nomination? — I think we can agree their opinions are more relevant than having Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington weigh in (which happens all too frequently).

    During the discussion, Bill Bennett made a point several times — which I found quite telling — inasmuch as it seems to be a key rationale for nominating Mitt Romney.

    “What do we want the conversation to be about this summer and fall?,” Bennett asked rhetorically. “I’m worried the conversation will be about [Newt] … rather than about Barack Obama and his policies.”

    This is an argument I’ve heard a lot, lately. And it strikes me as silly for a variety of reasons.

    First, it is utterly naive to think Republicans can make this election solely a referendum on Barack Obama. Of course, they should attempt it, but the truth is that neither Obama (who might have a billion dollars to run in negative ads) nor the media will ever let that happen.

    Whomever Republicans nominate will endure bitter attacks. If Newt Gingrich is the nominee, he will be cast as an insane and erratic cad. If Romney is the nominee, he will be cast as a rich flip-flopper who fired people for a living and belongs to a “weird” religion. I’m not sure which attack is better or worse for Republicans. In this economy, one might argue that the rich “Wall Street” attack on Romney would be more harmful in terms of attracting independent voters. But who knows?

  • Giuliani slams Romney, likens Newt to Reagan – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani slammed Mitt Romney as an unelectable flip-flopper, and said Newt Gingrich, who he compared to Ronald Reagan, offers Republicans the best shot at unseating President Obama.

    Speaking Thursday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Giuliani recalled his GOP candidacy in 2008 in which he ran against Romney.

    “I’ve never seen a guy change his positions on so many things, so fast, on a dime, on everything,” Giuliani said. “Pro-choice, pro-life. And pro-choice because somebody, a close friend died, and he became pro-choice because this woman died of an abortion. Then he figures out there are embryos and he changes.”

    “Then he was pro-gun control,” Giuliani continued. “Fine. Then he becomes a lifetime member of the NRA. Then he was pro cap-and-trade. Now he’s against cap-and-trade. He was pro-mandate for the whole country, then he becomes anti-mandate and he takes that page out of his book and republishes the book. I could go on and on.”
    Giuliani said this opens Romney to an attack from President Obama in the general election that “this is a man without a core,” “a man without substance,” and “a man that will say anything to become President of the United States.”

  • Newt Gingrich’s general election prospects look bleak – If former House Speaker Newt Gingrich manages to win the Republican presidential nomination, he could jeopardize his party’s chances of ousting President Obama next November, according to several new national polls released this week.

    Surveys from the NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, AP/GfK and Reuters/Ipsos all show former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney running better than Gingrich in general election matchups against Obama.

    “Electability will come into play for many Republican votes,” said one neutral GOP consultant who preferred to speak anonymously. “It’s going to become problematic. I think you’re starting to signs of it.

  • Playbook 2012: The Right Fights Back (Politico Inside Election 2012) – Two of America’s most perceptive political reporters join forces for an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the race for the White House in POLITICO’s Playbook 2012, a series of four instant digital books on the 2012 presidential election. The first edition, The Right Fights Back, follows the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
  • Is Newt Gingrich taking Iowa seriously enough? – Newt Gingrich’s improbable comeback may fall short if he doesn’t win Iowa — and there are signs he’s not taking the threat seriously enough.

    Gingrich is getting pounded on Iowa TV by both a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC and Ron Paul’s campaign and is doing little to fight back against ads which take direct aim at him. Less than three weeks before the caucuses, the former speaker is airing a single commercial with little money behind it.

  • Mark Levin calls out Krauthammer, Will, Coulter, and Rubin – Mark Levin says that the attacks on Newt Gingrich reminds him of how Sarah Palin has been attacked, and he specifically criticizes Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Ann Coulter, and Jennifer Rubin for basically being over the top in their criticism of Newt and their silence on Romney:
  • Winnowing the Field – National Review Online – RT @EWErickson: So I guess we go for Gingrich then. Or Perry or Huntsman.
  • Washington Examiner backs Romney – Also Pans Newt Gingrich – OP White House hopeful Mitt Romney picked up the endorsement of the Washington Examiner Wednesday, a boost from an editorial page with a long history in conservative politics.

    In an editorial that spends as much space slamming Newt Gingrich as it does praising Romney, the Examiner declares Obama “the only Republican who can beat Obama,” citing recent polls that show the former Massachusetts governor faring better against President Barack Obama than Gingrich.

    “The Washington Examiner believes Romney can defeat Obama, but Gingrich cannot,” the newspaper wrote. “And Romney the businessman is far better suited to the nation’s highest office – by temperament, experience, and cast of mind – than Gingrich the consummate Washington insider. By fits and starts over the years, Romney has become the reliable conservative that America so badly needs at this crucial moment in her history.”

    The editorial goes on to deride Gingrich’s role consulting with Freddie Mac after he left Congress.

    “The fact is, Gingrich is part of the problem, not part of the solution,” the newspaper wrote. “He has tried mightily to shift attention away from his Washington insider status, saying, ‘I have never done lobbying of any kind.’ But that claim simply does not square with the facts, especially concerning Gingrich’s lobbying Republicans in Congress for a new Medicare entitlement in 2003.”

  • Winnowing the Field – National Review Pans Newt Gingrich – We fear that to nominate former Speaker Newt Gingrich, the frontrunner in the polls, would be to blow this opportunity. We say that mindful of his opponents’ imperfections — and of his own virtues, which have been on display during his amazing comeback. Very few people with a personal history like his — two divorces, two marriages to former mistresses — have ever tried running for president. Gingrich himself has never run for a statewide office, let alone a national one, and has not run for anything since 1998. That year he was kicked out by his colleagues, the most conservative ones especially, who had lost confidence in him. During his time as Speaker, he was one of the most unpopular figures in public life. Just a few months ago his campaign seemed dead after a series of gaffes and resignations. That Gingrich now tops the polls is a tribute to his perseverance, and to Republicans’ admiration for his intellectual fecundity.
  • Romney Plays Tiffany’s Card – Romney Plays Tiffany’s Card
  • Romney Plays Tiffany’s Card – In an interview with Sean Hannity ahead of tomorrow’s GOP presidential debate, Mitt Romney sought to neutralize the gaffe he made in last weekend’s debate by taking a shot at Newt Gingrich.

    Said Romney: “As for him trying to reference a $10,000 rhetorical bet, the Speaker, as I recall, probably shouldn’t be talking about that given a $500,000 bill at Tiffany’s.”

  • MSNBC Likens Romney To The KKK With His “Keep America American” – MSNBC daytime anchor Thomas Roberts says Mitt Romney’s “Keep America American” slogan plays homage to the Ku Klux Klan. The patriotic slogan, which is used in this ad, was apparently used by the KKK in the early 1900s.

    Somehow the folks at MSNBC believe Mitt Romney is acknowledging his Klan roots by using the slogan in his 2012 campaign for the presidency.

  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Daily Extraction: December 14, 2011 – The Daily Extraction: December 14, 2011
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: December 14, 2011 – The Morning Drill: December 14, 2011
  • Rick Perry, Mitt Romney internals show Newt Gingrich slippage, sources say – A weeklong blitz of negative ads from Ron Paul and “Restore Our Future,” the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC, have taken a toll on Newt Gingrich’s standing in Iowa, internal numbers from the Rick Perry and Romney camps show, according to multiple sources.

    Sources didn’t provide specific numbers on how far he’s slipped, but it’s perceptible in both camps’ numbers, the sources said.

    Perry has been inching up, the sources said – in part thanks to his faith-based push but largely because of his controversial anti-gay rights ad, and the big question is whether he draws at all from Romney and pushes him down out of the top three finishers in the state.

    The person who is holding strong, according to the internal numbers, is Paul, who has a true shot of winning the caucuses, according to several Iowa Republican insiders surveying ground games and energy.

  • Romney Warns of Nominating ‘Zany’ Gingrich – Updated Mitt Romney is sharpening his warning to Republicans about the consequences of nominating Newt Gingrich, declaring in an interview on Wednesday: “Zany is not what we need in a president.”

    “Zany is great in a campaign. It’s great on talk radio. It’s great in print, it makes for fun reading,” Mr. Romney told The New York Times. “But in terms of a president, we need a leader, and a leader needs to be someone who can bring Americans together.”

    With 20 days before the voting begins at the Iowa caucuses, Mr. Romney is intensifying his forceful attack on the credibility of Mr. Gingrich, who has emerged as his leading rival in the Republican nominating fight. He has shed his year-long reluctance against doing interviews, hoping to change the narrative surrounding his candidacy before the holidays.

  • L.A. International Is Facebook’s Most Social Airport – L.A. International Is Facebook’s Most Social Airport #fb
  • Obama looking good in Virginia – Public Policy Polling – RT @ppppolls: Obama leads Romney by 6 and Gingrich by 7 in Virginia, just as much as he won the state by in 2008:
  • The Study of Orangutans Deliver Insight Into Obesity of Homo Sapiens | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – The Study of Orangutans Deliver Insight Into Obesity of Homo Sapiens
  • » Maharaj named Los Angeles Times editor JIMROMENESKO.COM – Russ Stanton has resigned as Los Angeles Times editor. Davan Maharaj , formerly managing editor = new editor
  • Uh Oh! Obama 49% Vs. Gingrich 39% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Uh Oh! Obama 49% Vs. Gingrich 39% #tcot #catcot
  • At Least for Reid, Gingrich Is the 2012 Republican Pick – NYTimes.com – RT @RalstonFlash: So Harry Reid now says Newt is “the presumptive Republican nominee.” via @jestei. #kissofdeath
  • The Morning Flap: December 14, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: December 14, 2011 #tcot #catcot