U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., listens to a question during a town hall, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in Sun Lakes, Ariz. McCain defended his proposed immigration overhaul to an angry crowd in suburban Arizona in the latest sign that this border state will play a prominent role in the national immigration reform debate AP (Photo/Matt York)
These are my news headlines for February 20th:
- Obama’s sequestration strategy: Shame
- Anti-austerity strike to bring Greece to a standstill
- John Boehner: The President Is Raging Against a Budget Crisis He Created
- New Jersey Poll: Hillary Clinton edges out Chris Christie
- Despite Controversy, Hagel’s Archives Sealed Shut
- Tea partier weighs Mitch McConnell race
- Video: President Obama Speaks Out of Both Sides of Mouth on Sequester – Flap’s Blog – Video: President Obama Speaks Out of Both Sides of Mouth on Sequester #tcot
- McCain defends immigration plan to angry residents – During a heated town hall gathering in the Phoenix suburb of Sun Lakes, McCain said the border near Yuma is largely secure, but he said smugglers are using the border near Tucson to pump drugs into Phoenix. He said immigration reform should be contingent on better border security that must rely largely on technology able to detect border crossings.McCain said a tamper-proof Social Security card would help combat identity fraud, and noted any path to citizenship must require immigrants to learn English, cover back taxes and pay fines for breaking immigration laws.”There are 11 million people living here illegally,” he said. “We are not going to get enough buses to deport them.”
Some audience members shouted out their disapproval.
One man yelled that only guns would discourage illegal immigration. Another man complained that illegal immigrants should never be able to become citizens or vote. A third man said illegal immigrants were illiterate invaders who wanted free government benefits.
- Gingrich-less, super PAC is back – The super PAC that raised nearly $24 million to power Newt Gingrich into the White House is rebranding itself as a booster of the conservative ground game and, possibly, 2014 GOP Senate candidates.Only this time around, Winning Our Future won’t have the key piece of its brand — Gingrich, who isn’t at all involved in the super PAC.
- House Democrats Cash In With Online Fundraising Program – It’s usually easier to bring in big bucks when your party holds the speaker’s gavel. But last cycle, House Democrats crushed their competitors thanks to a dramatic spike in online fundraising.In the 2010 cycle, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $14.6 million online; in 2012 it took in $49.3 million — a total representing one-third of its revenue. In the previous two cycles, online donations accounted for 5 percent to 9 percent of the DCCC’s total haul, according to DCCC fundraising figures provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.The online boom more than leveled the fundraising playing field for the minority party, allowing the campaign arm to raise $28 million more than its GOP counterparts last cycle.
- Marco Rubio: The Electable Conservative? – Some commentators have expressed surprise upon learning about the very conservative voting record of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address last week.Since winning his Senate seat, Mr. Rubio has generally sided with other Republicans as part of a party that has steadily grown more conservative over the last three decades. (Mr. Rubio’s recent support for immigration reform is more of an exception than his usual rule of sticking to the party line.)Being reliably conservative, however, is hardly a liability for someone who might hope to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Indeed, one reason to watch Mr. Rubio carefully is that, among the candidates who will be deemed reliably conservative by Republican voters and insiders, he may stand the best chance of maintaining a reasonably good image with general election voters.
How does Mr. Rubio’s conservatism compare to the other men and women who might seek the Republican nomination in 2016 — and to other candidates, like Mitt Romney, that the G.O.P. has nominated recently?
- Video: Chris Christie Says HE Doesn’t Agree with Cuomo 98 Per Cent of the Time – Flap’s Blog – Video: Chris Christie Says HE Doesn’t Agree with Cuomo 98 Per Cent of the Time #tcot
- The California Flap: February 19, 2013 – Flap’s California Blog – The California Flap: February 19, 2013
- N.J. Gov. Christie in La Jolla, Romney sons join the party | UTSanDiego.com – N.J. Gov. Christie in La Jolla, Romney sons join the party
- California inmates renew demands – latimes.com – California inmates renew demands
- Jerry Buss dies at 80; Lakers owner brought ‘Showtime’ success to L.A. – latimes.com – Jerry Buss dies at 80; Lakers owner brought ‘Showtime’ success to L.A.
- California’s Tobacco Control Program generates huge health care savings, study shows – California’s Tobacco Control Program generates huge health care savings, study shows #tcot
- States worry about rate shock during shift to new health law – Los Angeles Times – States worry about rate shock during shift to new health law #tcot
- When to Retire a Running Shoe – NYTimes.com – When to Retire a Running Shoe #tcot
- The Morning Flap: February 19, 2013 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: February 19, 2013 #tcot
President and Michelle Obama
These are my links for January 18th through January 22nd:
- The Inaugural: Symbols Over Substance – The liberals and the conservatives in my twitter feed seemed to be listening to different speeches. The liberals were electrified with the bold stances the president was taking, gay marriage and climate change chief among them. Conservatives read it as a lot of empty platitudes about togetherness, followed by a bit of eye-poking to make it clear that anything we did together would necessarily be directed by Obama, not his opponents.I thought the speech had some great lines, like “History tells us that while these truths may be self evident, they are not self executing.” But overall, I was neither transported with joy, nor thrown into a rage. The most emotional part was simply the awareness that our nation had re-elected its first black president, a moment that was remarkable for how little his skin color mattered. We have come a long way indeed, and whether or not you supported his re-election, that is some glad knowledge.I side with the liberals on one thing: it was arguably the most liberal speech our president has given. Which is news, of a sort. But I side with the conservatives in thinking that this was largely a big yawn. The president gave a speech which maks his base happy, but entirely on symbolic grounds. He promised nothing of substance, and covered no issue which actually commits him to delivering anything. Obama is against “perpetual war”, but also wants to support democracy and “act on behalf of those who long for freedom.” He wants shorter voting lines and “a better way to welcome” immigrants. He wants children to be safe and cared for. The last is a vague hope shared by all Americans (no really–even the ones who disagree with you about stuff!) The rest are carefully phrased to offer no actual benchmarks.
- The Collective Turn – The best Inaugural Addresses make an argument for something. President Obama’s second one, which surely has to rank among the best of the past half-century, makes an argument for a pragmatic and patriotic progressivism.His critics have sometimes accused him of being an outsider, but Obama wove his vision from deep strands in the nation’s past. He told an American story that began with the Declaration and then touched upon the railroad legislation, the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the highway legislation, the Great Society, Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall. Turning to the present, Obama argued that America has to change its approach if it wants to continue its progress. Modern problems like globalization, technological change, widening inequality and wage stagnation compel us to take new collective measures if we’re to pursue the old goals of equality and opportunity.
- Rubio Finds Support on the Right for Immigration Plan – With leaders from both parties calling on Congress to take up immigration reform this year, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has been meeting with news outlets and conservative opinion-shapers to lay out his vision for a plan that would offer temporary legal status to undocumented immigrants. Those applying would have to pass background checks and other tests designed to eventually lead from permanent residency to citizenship.Though he has not yet introduced legislation, in trumpeting his sweeping proposals Rubio has seized a torch that in recent years burned several similarly ambitious Republican politicians. But in a sign of how quickly the parameters of the debate on this issue have shifted since President Obama’s re-election, prominent conservatives — many of whom were vocal in their opposition to previous similar plans — have been lavishing praise on Rubio’s ideas for reform.
- CNN Poll: Do Americans agree with Obama on climate change and immigration? – By a 53%-43% margin, people questioned in the poll say that main focus of the federal government should be on developing a plan that would allow undocumented immigrants to become legal residents, rather than deporting them.That’s a switch from 2011, when by a 55%-42% margin, Americans said that deporting undocumented residents and stopping more of them from coming into the country should be the main focus of U.S policy on illegal immigration.As expected, the poll indicates a partisan divide on the issue, as well as a generational divide, with younger people saying allowing undocumented immigrants to become legal should be the top priority, and a slight plurality of those 50 and older saying the emphasis should be on deportation and border security.
- Morning Examiner: A status quo speech for a status quo election | WashingtonExaminer.com – RT @conncarroll Morning Examiner: A status quo speech for a status quo election
- Reid to lay out plans for filibuster reform – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will present colleagues with options for reforming the Senate’s filibuster rules in a Democratic caucus meeting Tuesday.Reid and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) are close to reaching a deal to speed the pace of work in the Senate, but some of the details remain unresolve
- Poll: White House backed on immigration – In a turnaround from two years ago, a majority of Americans agree with the White House’s second-term plan to focus on comprehensive immigration reform that allows illegal immigrants to have a pathway to citizenship to stay in the country, according to a poll on Tuesday.Fifty-three percent of Americans want the federal government to focus on developing a plan to allow illegal immigrants to become legal residents, the CNN poll found. Forty-three percent want the federal government to focus on deporting them. That’s a dramatic reversal from two years ago, when 55 percent of Americans wanted the focus on deportation. Then, only 42 percent wanted a way for immigrants to stay here permanently.
- The Loyal Opposition – Congratulations Mr. President on your second inaugural.Saying that makes some of you really enraged. I said the same on twitter shortly after his official swearing in. Several of the replies were embarrassing and atrocious. Some accused the man elected by a majority of Americans of treason. Some accused him of willfully destroying the nation.I believe the President’s policies are destructive and will harm our economy, our nation, and our sense of national self long term. I believe his policies have the effect of turning us into subjects of the government, not citizens in charge of it. Because of his expansion of the social safety net funded through class warfare, Mr. Obama’s policies will cause too many Americans’ fortunes to rise and fall with those of the government, unable to chart a course for themselves apart from government.
But I do not think the President means to do this maliciously. I do not think he is treasonous. I do not hate him. I am not outraged by it. The President has done what he set out to do. I cannot be outraged by him doing what he set out to do. I am far more outraged by the Republicans not doing what they said they would do
- Is the conservative movement a mere outrage machine? – It’s Day Two of President Obama’s second term and the gloom and despondency are palpable among his opponents. There is open talk among his allies of an alleged plan to smash the Republicans and permanently render them powerless. That may be the best thing that could happen for Obama’s loyal opposition because, like the prospect of being hung at dawn, losing elections that couldn’t be lost has a way of concentrating the minds of political leaders and followers on the wrong end of the vote count. Ilusions are smashed while false promises and assumptions are exposed.Such concentration often produces victory the next time around.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-20 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-20
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-21 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-21
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-21 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-21 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-21 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-21
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-21 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-21
- Two lines that sum up Obama’s presidency | WashingtonExaminer.com – Two lines that sum up Obama’s presidency | #tcot
- Two lines that sum up Obama’s presidency – President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address was devoid of memorable lines, but for me, two of them jumped out: “We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.”Throughout his presidency, Obama has rhetorically wanted to establish himself as a transformational leader who was willing to tackle the nation’s tough problems, but when push came to shove, he has dodged them. This has been especially true than when it comes to dealing with the nation’s debt burden.
- Paul Ryan Booed at Inauguration – Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee in the last election, was booed at President Barack Obama’s Second Inauguration today in Washington, D.C.”If things had gone differently in November, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) might have departed the Capitol on Monday as the vice president of the United States. Instead, he faced a chorus of boos as he left the building to attend President Barack Obama’s second inauguration ceremony,” reports the Huffington Post.
- Brown’s budget is a boon to state’s unions | CalWatchDog – Jerry Brown’s budget is a boon to California’s unions
- Untitled (http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-flu-vaccine-20130119,0,7186913.story?track=rss&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) – Getting a flu shot can be sticking point with healthcare workers #tcot
- Snowboarding linked to injury rate rise on slopes: study
| Reuters – Snowboarding linked to injury rate rise on slopes: study #tcot
- A Check on Physicals – NYTimes.com – A Check on Physicals #tcot
- Atari U.S. operation files for bankruptcy – The U.S. operations of iconic but long-troubled video game maker Atari have filed for bankruptcy in an effort to break free from their debt-laden French parent.Atari Inc. and three of its affiliates filed petitions for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York late Sunday.Its leaders hope to break the American business free from French parent Atari S.A. and in the next few months find a buyer to take the company private. They hope to grow a modest business focused on digital and mobile platforms, according to a knowledgeable person not authorized to discuss the matter privately.
- First Term: Obama Increased Debt $50,521 Per Household; More Than First 42 Presidents in 53 Terms Combined – During Barack Obama’s first term as president of the United States, the debt of the federal government increased by $5.8 trillion, which exceeds the combined debt accumulated under all presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton.The new federal debt accumulated in Obama’s first term equaled approximately $50,521 for each of household in the country.On Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama was first inaugurated, the total debt of the federal government was $10,626,877,048,913.08, according to the U.S. Treasury. As of the close of business on Jan. 17, the last day reported by the Treasury before Obama’s second inauguration, the total debt of the federal government was $16,432,631,489,854.70.
Thus, from Obama’s first inauguration to his second, the federal government’s debt grew by $5,805,754,440,941.62.
- Conn Carroll: Why Obama will be remembered as a failed president | WashingtonExaminer.com – Why Obama will be remembered as a failed president #tcot
- Why Obama will be remembered as a failed president – So take a step back and what will Obama have really accomplished? A blah-economy, with unacceptable unemployment, stagnant growth and rising income inequality; a resurgent al-Qaeda, and a signature domestic accomplishment already on life-support.If that is greatness, our country is truly in trouble.
- LA Times – Brown seeks to reshape California’s community colleges
- Plenty of green carpool stickers remain available – Inside Bay Area – Plenty of green carpool stickers remain available in California
- California death penalty: Will state follow Arizona, which has resumed executions after a long hiatus? – ContraCostaTimes.com – California death penalty: Will state follow Arizona, which has resumed executions after a long hiatus?
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-20 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-20 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-20 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-20
- Graphic warnings on cigarettes effective across demographic groups – Graphic warnings on cigarettes effective across demographic groups #tcot
- Flu season fuels debate over paid sick time laws – Yahoo! News – Flu season fuels debate over paid sick time laws #tcot
- Log In – The New York Times – Medicare Pricing Delay is Political Win for Amgen, Drug Maker
- Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/20/5126938/dan-walters-public-debts-cloud.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) – Dan Walters: Public debts cloud future for California cities
- Architecture / Colorful Pipes These pipes send and receive water for cooling Google’s data center in Douglas County, Ga. – A look inside:Pipes send and receive water for cooling Google’s data center in Douglas County, Ga. via @pinterest
- Universities Bludgeon Adjuncts With Obamacare Loophole – When the Affordable Care Act passed in early 2010, many in academia—faculty and students alike—cheered on. But now that its provisions are going into effect, some of these same people are learning firsthand that Obamacare has some nasty side effects.A new piece in the Wall Street Journal reports that many colleges are cutting back on the number of hours worked by adjunct professors, in order to avoid new requirements that they provide healthcare to anyone working over 30 hours per week. This is terrible news for a lot of people; 70 percent of professors work as adjuncts and many will now have to cope with a major pay cut just as requirements that they buy their own health insurance go into effect:
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-19 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-19
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-19 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-19 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-19 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-19
- Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – Only 15.5 miles today in the heat. But, I’ll take it. Now, some protein at Ronnie’s Diner (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-18 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-18
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-17 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-17
- The California Flap: January 18, 2013 – Flap’s California Blog – The California Flap: January 18, 2013
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-18 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-18 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-18 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-18
Maybe President Obama looks better than GOP Speaker John Boehner and the feckless Republicans/Democrats in Congress. But, what about the law itself?
Barack Obama is viewed as the clear political winner in the fiscal cliff negotiations, but the legislation itself gets only a lukewarm reception from the public: As many disapprove as approve of the new tax legislation, and more say it will have a negative than positive impact on the federal budget deficit, the national economy and people like themselves.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 3-6 among 1,003 adults, finds that 57% say that Obama got more of what he wanted from the tax legislation while just 20% say Republican leaders got more of what they wanted. And while 48% approve of the way Obama handled the fiscal cliff negotiations only 19% approve of the way GOP leaders handled the negotiations.
Republicans take a particularly sour view of the outcome: just 16% approve of the final legislation, and by a 74% to 11% margin they think Obama got more of what he wanted. Only 40% of Republicans approve of how their party’s leaders handled the negotiations; by comparison, fully 81% of Democrats approve of how Obama handled the negotiations.
Relatively few Americans expect that the tax legislation that resulted from those talks will help people like themselves, the budget deficit, or the national economy. Just three-in-ten Americans say the tax measure will mostly help people like them; 52% say it will mostly hurt. And even when it comes to the budget deficit, 44% say the deal will mostly hurt, while 33% say it will mostly help.
President Obama does not have to run for President again and the repercussions of the Fiscal Cliff legislation as of yet realized will have no effect on him. But, should the economy fail to rally his Democratic Party will pay the price at the 2014 elections.
Stay tuned as the details of fiscal cliff, sequestration and the debt limit play through the American economy. My bet is that Obama will NOT be viewed as a political winner, when all is said and done.
According to the latest Gallup Poll:
Americans have a decidedly mixed reaction to the “fiscal cliff” agreement reached by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama this week, with 43% saying they approve and 45% saying they disapprove. Two-thirds of Democrats approve of the agreement, while almost as many Republicans disapprove. Independents are slightly more likely to disapprove than approve.
These results are based on a one-day poll of 1,026 national adults conducted Thursday, Jan. 3, two days after the agreement was reached. The strong rank-and-file Republican opposition to the agreement appears to be in line with the opposition among Republican House members. The agreement was initially approved by a strong bipartisan vote of 89 to 8 in the Democratically controlled Senate, but passed by a much slimmer 257-167 margin in the Republican-controlled House, with 151 Republicans voting against it.
Attitudes toward the agreement are split along ideological lines, in a fashion parallel to the partisan differences. Liberals are highly likely to support the agreement, while conservatives oppose it. Moderates tilt toward approval of the agreement.
Just wait until Americans receive their first paychecks for 2013 and discover their payroll taxes have increased 2 per cent.
The Fiscal Cliff compromise was a bum deal and while President Obama succeeded in winning more taxes for the rich and others, nobody really won here. Plus, the national debt continues to rise.