The Morning Flap: November 7, 2011

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my morning flap links for November 7th:

  • Contact Your Senator: This Week We Overturn Obama Administration Net Neutrality Internet Power Grab – From most appearances, the Senate will this week vote on Senate Joint Resolution (S.J.Res) 6 – the Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval of the Obama Administration Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s illegal Internet Net Neutrality power grab.

    Only 51 votes are required for passage – which means only 4 Democrats are needed. There are 23 Democrat Senate seats up for reelection next year. A few of these folks aren’t running. The rest are – many in Center or Center-Right states. Additionally. there are a few other Senators that should also be subject to Constitutional reason, and thusly contacted.

    Behold a list of some of these Senators – and their contact information. Reach out and tell them to vote Yes on S.J.Res 6. And Tweet it all out – with the hashtag #freethenet.

  • Gallegly one of targeted 25 in new DCCC radio ads – One year before Election Day 2012, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched radio ads in the districts of 25 targeted Republicans nationwide, including Rep. Elton Gallegly of Simi Valley.

    The extent of the buy was not divulged, but Republican operatives told the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call that they believed the buy was very minimal — an attempt to gain some news coverage, rather than actually make impressions on voters with repetitive ads on multiple stations.

    Gallegly — who has not yet announced whether he intends to run for re-election — would most likely run in the new 26th Congressional District, which includes all of Ventura County except for most of the city of Simi Valley and small coastal strip in the city of Ventura. The voting makeup and history of that district suggest it is one that Democrats can classify as a “pickup” — one in which most the territory is now represented by Gallegly and could be won by a Democrat in the fall. If Democrats win 25 such districts nationally next year and hold onto the seats they now hold, they will regain majority control of the House of Representatives.

    The inclusion of Gallegly in the 25 selected targets is the latest evidence that the new district will put Ventura County squarely on the map in national congressional campaign politics next fall.

  • Best College Majors for a Career – Choosing the right college major can make a big difference in students’ career prospects, in terms of employment and pay. Here’s a look at how various college majors fare in the job market, based on 2010 Census data. Some popular majors, such as nursing and finance, do particularly well, with unemployment under 5% and high salaries during the course of their careers.
  • New Woman Accusing Herman Cain Of Sexual Harassment Hires Gloria Allred – A new woman alleging sexual harassment by presidential hopeful Herman Cain will break her silence at a news conference with her powerhouse attorney Gloria Allred Monday afternoon in New York City, is exclusively reporting.

    The embattled GOP nominee has admitted that several women who worked at the National Restaurant Association during his tenure as president of the organization received settlements. Politico has reported that the settlements were given because of sexual harassment allegations.

    PHOTOS: Celebrity Cheaters

    The woman, who will be the first to go public on Monday, sought Cain’s help with an employment issue and was allegedly sexually harassed by him. Allred and her client will discuss, in detail, what she alleges occurred with Cain.

    The Tea Party darling had hoped the scandal would die down, but that’s not happening. Once again, he clashed with reporters on Saturday night after a debate with Newt Gingrich. Cain refused to answer questions about the allegations, and said, “You see what I mean? I was gonna do something that my staff told me not to do and try to respond, okay? What I’m saying is this — we are getting back on message, end of story. Back on message. Read all of the other accounts. Read all of the other accounts where everything has been answered in the story. We’re getting back on message, okay?”

  • President 2012 GOP Iowa Poll Watch: Cain Leads in Iowa, Gingrich Surges – A new We Ask America poll in Iowa finds Herman Cain leading the GOP presidential field with 22%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 18%, Mitt Romney at 15%, and Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at 11%.

    No other candidate gets more than 5%.

    Here comes Newt.

  • Romney Will Play in Iowa – The Hotline: “After months of debate inside the Romney camp over whether to compete in Iowa, it seems the decision has been made: Romney will play in Iowa, and he will play to win. The most recent evidence: Romney will hold campaign events Monday in Iowa, his second trip in three weeks after visiting the state only twice in the previous 12 months; His son Josh and wife Ann have quietly canvassed the state in recent weeks, and both have campaigned vigorously there for the Republican candidate in a crucial state Senate race; and Romney just launched aggressive robocalls in Iowa attacking Perry over his immigration policies, throwing the first punch in what could be a heavyweight Hawkeye State bout.”

    “The question is no longer whether Romney competes in Iowa; the question is how much time and money he’ll invest in the state that so wounded his candidacy in 2008.”

  • Byron York: Why Santorum runs – If sheer effort determined the winner of the Iowa caucuses, Rick Santorum would win in a walk. His stop in Fairfield marks the 97th Iowa county Santorum has visited in his run for the Republican presidential nomination. The state has 99 counties in all, and before this day is over, Santorum will reach his goal of visiting them all. None of Santorum’s rivals has even come close.

    The problem is Santorum isn’t close to the lead here in Iowa. According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, he is the choice of 3.5 percent of Iowa Republicans — seventh in a field of eight candidates. No matter who has led the field — Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain — Santorum has stayed near the bottom.

    Yet Santorum is the most powerful voice on behalf of the conservative social positions that many Iowa Republicans hold dear. It’s his bad luck to be running in a year dominated by economic concerns and to face opponents who more or less share his views on social issues but are perceived as stronger candidates on economic matters. Santorum is stuck in a moment that’s just not made for him.

    It’s a problem Santorum has struggled with, and he’s come up with two ways to address it. The first is by talking about the economy in a way that is unique among Republican candidates. And the second is by arguing that economic recovery and economic strength simply aren’t possible without the emphasis on strong families that has been a key part of his campaign.

  • Report: Pentagon Weighing Base Closures, Military Benefits in Face of Budget Cuts – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in an effort to find $450 billion to cut from the Pentagon’s budget, is considering wide-ranging measures that could include base closures, hikes in the cost of military health insurance, and possible cuts in retirement pay, The New York Times reported Sunday.

    Panetta’s comments about budget reductions come nearly three weeks before the so-called congressional super committee reaches a key deadline. The Pentagon stands to see $600 billion in automatic cuts if the committee does not come up with an alternative plan.

    “There will be some huge political challenges,” Panetta told the Times in an interview that took place Friday. “When you reduce defense spending, there’s likely to be base closures, possible reduction in air wings,” he said.

    The days of a counterinsurgency-focused force might be coming to a close.

    The Times reported that Panetta “did not envision maintaining a ground force large enough to conduct a long, bloody war and then stability operations in North Korea or Iran, as the United States did in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

    Among the proposals he was considering, Panetta told the Times that the Pentagon was considering raising fees for the military’s health insurance program. Military retirees and families, who are guaranteed the military benefit for life, pay only $460 a year in fees, the Times said.

  • Romney, seen as most electable, still struggles to break out of pack, poll shows – Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has a significant advantage over his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination in only one area — electability — and will approach the next round of candidate debates with several potential liabilities, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    Often described as the candidate to beat in the GOP race, Romney remains stuck in place in national polls — he is at 24 percent in the Post-ABC survey — despite the fact that one of his main challengers, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, has stumbled and several high-profile potential candidates decided not to enter the race to challenge President Obama.

  • IAEA says foreign expertise has brought Iran to threshold of nuclear capability – Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.

    Documents and other records provide new details on the role played by a former Soviet weapons scientist who allegedly tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction, the officials and experts said. Crucial technology linked to experts in Pakistan and North Korea also helped propel Iran to the threshold of nuclear capability, they added.

  • Census: 49 million in poverty – New estimates released Monday show that the number of Americans living in poverty was higher than previously estimated, and stands at 49.1 million, according to the Census Bureau.

    The nearly-50 million people who live below the poverty line represents 16 percent of all Americans.

    The numbers that were released were adjustments to the official 2010 poverty figures of 46.2 million, or 15.1 percent of Americans, that were released in September. The supplemental figure is higher than the official figure because it considers higher costs of living on expenses that aren’t factored into the official rate.

    Hispanic poverty rose to 28.2 percent, affecting 14.1 million, surpassing that of blacks for the first time. Still, 9.9 million African-Americans suffered from poverty, a rate of 25.4 percent. The Asian poverty rate was 16.7 percent, affecting 2.4 million people.

    Meanwhile, non-Hispanic whites had a lower poverty rate of 11.1 percent, or 21.9 million people.

  • Flap’s Blog.Com Links and Comments for November 6th through November 7th | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Links and Comments for November 6th through November 7th #tcot #catcot

Flap’s Links and Comments for October 1st through October 2nd

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for October 1st through October 2nd:

  • Althouse: "Lots of photos of Perry having nothing whatsoever to do with this story, and not a single one of the rock. Well done, WP!" – Does this have anything to do with Rick Perry (who, asked about the rock, said the word is an "offensive name that has no place in the modern world")? Well, yes, if you're inclined to think that Perry's rural Texas background has bred something nasty into him:

    Perry has spoken often about how his upbringing in this sparsely populated farming community influenced his conservatism. He has rarely, if ever, discussed what it was like growing up amid segregation in an area where blacks were a tiny fraction of the population.

    So what's he hiding, eh?

    Reading on, we see that — according to Perry — Perry's father leased the property in 1983, and the first thing he did was paint over the word on the rock. And every time Perry saw the rock, it was painted over. But WaPo found 7 individuals who say they remember seeing the name on the rock during the time when Perry's father's name was on the lease. And:

    Longtime hunters, cowboys and ranchers said this particular place was known by that name as long as they could remember, and still is.

    “The cowboys, when they were gathering cattle, they’d say they’re going to the Matthews or Niggerhead or the Nail” pastures, said Bill Reed, a distributor for Coors beer in nearby Abilene who used to lease a hunting parcel adjacent to the Perrys’. “Those were all names. Nobody thought anything about it.”…

    “You know, Texas is a little different — you go where it’s comfortable,” Reed said. “. . . It would have been one thing if [the Perrys] had named it, but they didn’t. So, it’s basically a figure of speech as far as most people are concerned. No one thought anything about it.”

    No one thought anything about it. Those who are looking for a racial issue to play know how to jump on a phrase like that. Okay, then, let him who is without sin cast the first rock.

  • Reverend Wright is off limits, but a painted-over rock is page 1 at WaPo – There is no story behind the headline.

    The article itself reveals that the offensive name of the camp, painted on a rock near the entrance, was painted over by Perry’s father soon after they started hunting at the camp in the early 1980s.

    But WaPo made sure to put the offensive word near the top of the article, so that the charge would stick in readers’ memories. It’s not until later in the article that they state the facts. And even then, WaPo cites anonymous sources discounting the precise years in which it was painted over, but never the fact that it was painted over.

    A statement issued by the Perry campaign denies that his family ever owned the property, confirms that the rock was painted over in the early 1980s, and that the name officially was changed by the State of Texas in 1991.

    I have warned people about the upcoming election, and not to take much comfort in the current polling.

  • Economic protesters remain camped out at L.A. City Hall – After a daylong protest against what they view as inequities in economic policies, more than 100 protesters remained on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday night, drumming, singing and discoursing on fiscal policy.

    The Occupy LA protest, which drew hundreds of people in peaceful waves all day Saturday, is modeled after a similar movement in New York that has been staging a sit-in on Wall Street for almost two weeks. Most participants said they hope to change or expose economic polices that benefit the richest 1% of Americans.

    Like their Manhattan counterparts, the Los Angeles protesters said they plan to camp out by City Hall indefinitely or until they draw enough attention to their cause. Other protests have been springing up around the world, including in Cleveland and Australia.

    Andrew Roberts, a 33-year-old father from Long Beach, said he was protesting to try to ensure a better future for his children. "The system that's in place clearly isn't working anymore." Roberts said. "If this carries on my children aren't going to have the same standard of living as I do, and that's sorry."

  • Poverty pervades the suburbs – Sep. 23, 2011 – A record 15.4 million suburban residents lived below the poverty line last year, up 11.5% from the year before, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of Census data released Thursday. That's one-third of the nation's poor.
    And their ranks are swelling fast, as jobs disappear and incomes decline amid the continued weak economy.
    Since 2000, the number of suburban poor has skyrocketed by 53%, battered by the two recessions that wiped out many manufacturing jobs early on, and low-wage construction and retail positions more recently.
    America's cities, meanwhile, had 12.7 million people in poverty last year, up about 5% from the year before and 23% since 2000. The remaining 18 million poor folks in the U.S. are roughly split between smaller metro areas and rural communities.
    "We think of poverty as a really urban or ultra-rural phenomenon, but it's not," said Elizabeth Kneebone, senior research associate at Brookings. "It's increasingly a suburban issue."
    Suburbia's population has boomed among all classes in recent decades as job growth shifted from central cities to their outskirts. Low-wage workers were needed to service this burgeoning number of residents and companies.
    Suburbia became home to the greatest concentration of impoverished residents by 2005, Kneebone said. That stemmed in part from the collapse of the manufacturing industry based outside Midwestern cities. The loss of those jobs contributed to pushing many into poverty.
  • Cities with the worst poverty rates – Reading had the highest percentage of residents living in poverty of any of the 555 U.S. cities with a population of 65,000 or more in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The margin of error means Reading's rank as first is not decisive. Also, these statistics are based on the survey, so populations differ from those given in the 2010 Census results. The survey is an estimate and not an exact count.

    Population belowMargin CityPopulationpoverty levelof error

    1. Reading
    Population: 86,087
    Population below poverty level: 35,517 (41.3%)
    Margin of error: +/- 4.9

    2. Flint, Mich.
    Population: 100,277
    Population below poverty level: 41,265 (41.2%)
    Margin of error: +/- 4.5

    3. Bloomington, Ind.
    Population: 67,122
    Population below poverty level: 26,782 (39.9%)
    Margin of error: +/- 4.0

    4. Albany, Ga.
    Population: 74,913
    Population below poverty level: 29,866 (39.9%)
    Margin of error: +/- 5.2

    5. Kalamazoo, Mich.
    Population: 67,452
    Population below poverty level: 26,201 (38.8%)
    Margin of error: +/- 4.9

    6. Brownsville, Texas
    Population: 173,186
    Population below poverty level: 66,844 (38.6%)
    Margin of error: +/- 3.4

    7. Gary, Ind.
    Population: 80,319
    Population below poverty level: 30,778 (38.3%)
    Margin of error: +/- 5.2

    8. Detroit, Mich.
    Population: 702,010
    Population below poverty level: 263,864 (37.6%)
    Margin of error: +/- 1.8

    9. College Station, Texas
    Population: 83,291
    Population below poverty level: 31,025 (37.2%)
    Margin of error: +/- 4.0

    10. Pharr, Texas
    Population: 70,380
    Population below poverty level: 26,140 (37.1%)
    Margin of error: +/- 6.8

  • One in Five New York City Residents Living in Poverty – Poverty grew nationwide last year, but the increase was even greater in New York City, the Census Bureau will report on Thursday, suggesting that New York was being particularly hard hit by the aftermath of the recession.
  • DEBUNKING OBAMA’S TAX DEMAGOGERY – When President Obama says that the rich don’t pay their share of taxes, he is lying, distorting, and demagoging.

    Here are the facts according to the IRS:

    • Those making more than $1 million pay 24% of income in taxes
    • Those making $200,000 to $300,000 pay 17.5%
    • Those making $100,000 to $125,000 pay 9.9%
    • Those making $50,000 to $60,000 pay 6.3%
    • Those making $20,000 to $30,000 pay 2.5%

    And what of millionaires who pay no taxes?

    There are 1,470 of them. They represent six-tenths of one percent of all those with million dollar incomes in the U.S. If we assume that they make an average income of $2 million a year each, taxing them at the same rate as other millionaires (24.4%) would yield $367 million, which would increase Treasury income tax revenues by 30 one-hundredths of one percent or one-third of one-tenth of one percent!

    Overall, the IRS reports that the revenues from the income tax are sharply skewed toward taxes on the rich:

    • The top 1% pays 39%
    • The top 5% pays 60%
    • The top 10% pays 72%
    • The bottom half pays 3%

    So who does Obama think he is kidding?

Flap’s Links and Comments for September 30th through October 1st

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for September 30th through October 1st:

  • Economic protesters gather at Los Angeles City Hall – Several hundred people marched on Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday to protest the nation's economic climate and encourage political involvement.

    The event was organized by a group called Occupy LA, which models itself after the "leaderless resistance movement" Occupy Wall Street. The New York group has been holding a sit-in near Manhattan's financial district.  

    The Los Angeles protesters met in Pershing Square Saturday morning before walking to City Hall, momentarily causing minor traffic delays along Broadway. The event has drawn honks from passing motorists and no arrests.


    European style austerity protests from the LEFT are just starting…

  • California and Bust – The smart money says the U.S. economy will splinter, with some states thriving, some states not, and all eyes are on California as the nightmare scenario. After a hair-raising visit with former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who explains why the Golden State has cratered, Michael Lewis goes where the buck literally stops—the local level, where the likes of San Jose mayor Chuck Reed and Vallejo ?re chief Paige Meyer are trying to avert even worse catastrophes and rethink what it means to be a society.
  • Poverty rate: Poor choices in Baltimore – Nevertheless, as Charles Murray pointed out in his landmark book "Losing Ground" (1984), even if all transfers were included as income and brought many people above the poverty thresholds, "latent poverty" would remain. That is, if welfare payments were taken away, people would return to poverty. Welfare alone cannot create wealth. Economic growth is the only sure way to reduce dependence and poverty.

    Just look at China. Since 1978, when it began its march toward the market, China has achieved the world's highest sustained rate of economic growth and allowed several hundred million people to lift themselves out of absolute poverty.

    Counting noncash benefits of those living in poverty in Baltimore would reduce "poverty" but not free people from welfare. A huge underclass has captured politicians for their cause of maintaining and increasing transfers rather than limiting the size and scope of government to make people more responsible and foster economic growth.

    No one could say that the poor in Baltimore today are less well-off materially than 50 or 100 years ago. Indeed, if one looks at personal consumption expenditures — a better measure of one's living standard than pre-tax money income — one finds that official figures significantly overstate the extent of poverty.

    Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2009, consumer expenditures for the lowest fifth of income earners were more than twice as high as before-tax income (which includes cash transfers and food stamps). Average annual consumption expenditures were $21,611 for the lowest quintile, while income was $9,846.

    This disparity is due to underreporting of income, outside financial assistance, loans and other factors. If poverty is better measured by one's consumption rather than income, then Baltimore's 25 percent poverty rate is misleading.

    Most "poor" households now have a TV, air conditioning, enough food and medical care. Many have Internet access and a cell phone (subsidized by the federal government). What they don't have is a safe environment, two parents and choice in education.

  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-10-01 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-10-01 #tcot #catcot
  • Michael Lewis: California and Bust | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – An excellent read about Arnold and California's economic and governance problems:
  • / Twitter – RT @FHQ: Final Presidential Primary Calendar Will Not Be Set Until After October 22: Nevada is the new Florida.
    Now that … …
  • CA-30: GOP Join the Clash of the Titans Rep Howard Berman Vs. Rep. Brad Sherman » Flap’s California Blog – California congressional races are already starting to heat up….
  • Poll Watch: Two-thirds of Californians Support the Death Penalty » Flap’s California Blog – No Justice YET for Terri Lynn Winchell. Come on California enforce the law!
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Dental Patient Murders Dentist Over Treatment Dispute – Sometimes MORE customer service is better than less….:
  • President 2012 Poll Watch: Romney 44% Vs. Obama 42% and Obama 44% Vs. Christie 43% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Not a bad first poll for Governor Christie but is the GOP ready for another moderate?
  • Dilbert September 29, 2011 – Talk to the Hand » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert September 29, 2011 – Talk to the Hand
  • Day By Day September 30, 2011 – Brave Sir Robbin’ | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Chris Muir's comment on Obama's "Spreading the Wealth Around"……:
  • Flap’s Links and Comments for September 29th through September 30th | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Links and Comments for September 29th through September 30th #tcot #catcot

Flap’s Links and Comments for September 28th on 11:46

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for September 28th from 11:46 to 12:13:

  • Defiant Team Perry’s plan: Hit Harder – Are You Kidding? – Rick Perry’s widely panned debate performances? Just a hiccup. Any major changes in debate prep? None planned. His unexpected and deflating Florida straw poll loss last weekend? Not a big deal.

    Even as some of his supporters grow anxious, the Texas governor’s top aides insist they have no plans for real or even symbolic changes to their campaign. The only pivot they’ll make, they say, is to become more aggressive with Mitt Romney.


    Probably not a wise move….

  • Hispanic kids the largest group of children living in poverty – More Hispanic children are living in poverty than those of any other race or ethnicity, marking the first time in U.S. history that the largest group of poor children is not white, according to a new research study.

    In a report released Thursday, the Pew Hispanic Center said 6.1 million Hispanic children are poor, compared with 5 million non-Hispanic white children and 4.4 million black children. Pew said Hispanic poverty numbers have soared because of the impact of the recession on the growing number of Latinos in the country.

    Though the number of poor Hispanic children is at a record high, black children have a higher rate of poverty — 39 percent compared with 35 percent for Hispanic children. In contrast, the poverty rate for white children is about 12 percent.

    Nationwide, one in five children of all races and ethnicities is living in poverty, which is set at $22,113 for a family of four.