These are my links for December 29th through January 2nd:
- Can the Republican party survive any more McConnell-brokered deals? – Mitch McConnell has many virtues as a legislator. Unfortunately, brokering deals advantageous to Republicans is not one of them.McConnell’s defenders will say that his most recent deal was the best any Republican could do under the circumstances. Perhaps. But this defense ignores the fact that it was McConnell’s prior deal — the one creating the “fiscal cliff” — that established these adverse circumstances.Let’s step back and consider the impact of McConnell’s deals on the valiant effort of House Republicans in 2011 to use the debt-ceiling to attack the debt. So far, the results are as follows: (1) the debt ceiling was raised, (2) the debt continued to soar, (3) the latest McConnell-brokered deal will increase, rather than decrease, the debt, and (4) taxes are about to go up.
- The McConnell Tax Hike – The McConnell Tax Hike will become law of the land. Mitch McConnell can and should take responsibility for it.The McConnell Tax Hike raises taxes on people making over $400,000.00, but it also raises taxes on the middle class. “More than 80 percent of households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay higher taxes.”Not only does the McConnell Tax Hike stick it to the middle class, it raises taxes $41 for every $1 in spending cuts. Those spending cuts are ephemeral as there is $330 billion in new spending and a $4 trillion price tag over the next ten years.
Both Hollywood and NASCAR get carve outs. So too do wind energy companies.
The Republican Establishment in Washington, DC should be burned to the ground and salt spread on the remains. Republicans who saw Mitch McConnell and John Boehner destroy the last plank of the Republican Party are going to need to look elsewhere for a savior for their party. Boehner and McConnell have declared they will survive. Their party? They don’t really care.
Conservatives must look elsewhere. I do not advocate a third party. I advocate bring fresh blood into the GOP.
- Senate-Passed Deal Means Higher Tax on 77% of Households – The budget deal passed by the U.S. Senate today would raise taxes on 77.1 percent of U.S. households, mostly because of the expiration of a payroll tax cut, according to preliminary estimates from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington.More than 80 percent of households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay higher taxes. Among the households facing higher taxes, the average increase would be $1,635, the policy center said. A 2 percent payroll tax cut, enacted during the economic slowdown, is being allowed to expire as of yesterday.
- McConnell’s World | The Page by Mark Halperin | TIME.com – RT @MarkHalperin Mitch McConnell is the reason we got this deal. What does he do for an encore?
- Timeline of the ‘fiscal-cliff’ showdown
- The fiscal cliff deal that almost wasn’t – House Speaker John Boehner couldn’t hold back when he spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday.It was only a few days before the nation would go over the fiscal cliff, no bipartisan agreement was in sight, and Reid had just publicly accused Boehner of running a “dictatorship” in the House and caring more about holding onto his gavel than striking a deal.“Go f— yourself,” Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present.
Reid, a bit startled, replied: “What are you talking about?”
Boehner repeated: “Go f— yourself.”
The harsh exchange just a few steps from the Oval Office — which Boehner later bragged about to fellow Republicans — was only one episode in nearly two months of high-stakes negotiations laced with distrust, miscommunication, false starts and yelling matches as Washington struggled to ward off $500 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts.
The White House and Congress knew of the self-imposed deadline for more than 17 months and they still blew past it, as a president fresh off a strong reelection victory tested — and ultimately broke — the Republican Party’s fidelity to its tax-cuts-only governing philosophy.
It took a late intervention of two Senate veterans — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Joe Biden — to rescue the negotiations. Their relationship, forged over two decades on Capitol Hill, helped move Congress to a resolution because it wasn’t burdened by the raw political conflicts of the past and the legislative fights still to come.
- How the House Voted on Fiscal Cliff Legislation – Most House Republicans voted against the final fiscal cliff deal late Tuesday night, while just 16 Democrats joined them.A few notes from the votes:* The bill easily passed 257-167, with 217 votes needed for passage. Democrats voted 172-16 in favor while Republicans votes 151-85 against.
* GOP leadership was split. While House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and 2012 vice presidential nominee and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) voted yes, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) voted no.
* Ryan’s vote is noteworthy because another major 2016 presidential contender, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), was one of just eight senators to vote no early Tuesday morning, as did another potential presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
* Other no votes included GOP firebrands Reps. Allen West (Fla.), Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Joe Walsh (Ill.). West and Walsh lost reelection in November, while Bachmann narrowly won.
* GOP Senate candidate Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) voted no. She is a top hope for Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s (D-W.Va.) seat.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-01 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-01-01
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-01 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-01-01 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-01 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2013-01-01
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-31 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-31
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-31 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-31 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-31 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-31
- Gregory Flap @ Chumash Casino Resort – A little poker to start the New Year! (@ Chumash Casino Resort)
- LIVE: Final Day Before The Fiscal Cliff – Business Insider – RT @businessinsider: Fox News reports Reid hasn’t signed on to tax deal
- What’s in the fiscal cliff deal – Ginger Gibson – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: What’s in the fiscal cliff deal? @GingerGibson details:
- White House pre-spins fiscal cliff defeat | WashingtonExaminer.com – RT @conncarroll: White House pre-spins fiscal cliff defeat
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-30 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-30
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-30 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-30 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-30 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-30
- Adventure Travel, Gear, and Fitness | OutsideOnline.com – CrossFit Endurance’s Unconventional 12-Week Marathon Training Plan | Endurance | #tcot
- Silent sub: Russian noiseless Borei class nuclear submarine immersed – Super-modern, powerful and almost noiseless Russian nuclear submarine Vladimir Monomakh has been put in water to become the third ship of the Borei project. The cruiser is about to begin sea trials and mooring to become fully operational in 2013.Vladimir Monomakh was laid down at Russia’s largest shipbuilding complex Sevmash, located on the shores of the White Sea in the town of Severodvinsk in northern Russia on March 19, 2006 – the 100th anniversary of the Russian submarine fleet.Borei-class submarine
Length: 170 m
Beam: 13.5 m
Draught: 10 m
Test depth: 450 m
14,720 tons surfaced
24,000 tons submerged
Speed: 29 knots (54 km/h)
Complement: 107 (55 officers)
Armament: 16-20 × Bulava SLBMs
6 × 533 mm torpedo tubes
It belongs to a class of missile strategic submarine cruisers with a new generation of nuclear reactor, which allows the submarine to dive to a depth of 480 meters. It can spend up to three months in autonomous navigation and, thanks to the latest achievements in the reduction of noise, it is almost silent compared to previous generations of submarines.
The submarine is armed with the new missile system, which has from 16 to 20 solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles Bulava (SS-NX-30 by NATO classification). The rocket is able to overcome any prospective missile defense system.
- NFL playoff matchups and dates are set – latimes.com – RT @latimessports: NFL playoff matchups and dates are set
- CrossFit Endurance’s Unconventional 12-Week Marathon Training Plan | Endurance | OutsideOnline.com – CrossFit Endurance’s Unconventional 12-Week Marathon Training Plan
- Hillary Clinton hospitalized after doctors discover blood clot – NBC Politics – Hillary Clinton hospitalized after doctors discover blood clot – NBC Politics #tcot
- Report: Hillary Clinton hospitalized after doctors find blood clot – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room – RT @thehill: Report: Hillary Clinton hospitalized after doctors find blood clot by @danielstrauss4
- Hillary Clinton hospitalized after doctors discover blood clot – NBC Politics – RT @nbcwashington: Latest on Sec. Clinton’s hospitalization:
- Hillary Clinton ‘in hospital’ with blood clot – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to hospital in New York with a blood clot, officials say.Mrs Clinton suffered a concussion earlier this month after fainting and falling down.At the time, she was reported to have had a stomach virus and to have passed out after becoming dehydrated.
Mrs Clinton is due to stand down as secretary of state before US President Barack Obama officially begins his second term in January.
Doctors discovered the clot during a follow-up examination on Sunday, her spokesman Philippe Reines said.
Mrs Clinton is being treated with anti-coagulants. She was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where she will remain for the next 48 hours so that doctors can monitor her medication.
- Pentagon Readying 800,000 for Rolling Layoffs – The Pentagon is preparing to notify its entire civilian workforce to prepare for furloughs if Congress and President Barack Obama are unable to reach a deal before Jan. 2 to avert automatic spending cuts.A senior defense official said Sunday that the Pentagon would notify 800,000 civilian workers to brace for furloughs in the new year, meaning the workers would be ordered to take mandatory leave without pay for a certain period. The warning is much gloomier than the agency recently offered employees, as it had said there wouldn’t be an immediate impact on personnel or operations if a deal wasn’t reached by January.But the senior official said that notices would go out soon after sequestration took effect. The official didn’t know when the first layoffs would take place, but said they weren’t likely to happen immediately.
The Pentagon must notify Congress of the possible layoffs because of labor laws requiring advance notice, the official said.
In a letter to employees before the December holidays, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta promised that other options for cutting costs would be examined before officials resort to layoffs and that sequestration “would not necessarily require immediate reductions in spending.”
- California Democrats signal they want to reform Proposition 13 – San Jose Mercury News – California Democrats signal they want to reform Proposition 13 #tcot
- Untitled (http://pollingmatters.gallup.com/2012/12/very-conservative-americans-least.html) – RT @gallupnews: Very Conservative Americans Least Likely to Want Fiscal Cliff Compromise #tcot
- GOP Sen. Cornyn will oppose Hagel nomination – Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), the Republican whip, told me in a phone interview this morning he would oppose the nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense: “I can’t support a Hagel nomination if it comes,” he said. He is the first senator to expressly state he would oppose Hagel. He told me he thinks there would be substantial opposition to Hagel on both sides of the aisle. “I’ve heard prominent Democrats concerned about his position on Israel. Many Republican have said they did not want to prejudge. But it would be a bad move and one of the reasons I’ve taken the position [to oppose]. ‘Mr. President don’t do that. It would be a bad nomination.’”
- As ‘fiscal cliff’ looms, Republicans have no political incentive to make deal with Obama – That mentality means that for the vast majority of Republicans in Congress, a deal is more dangerous than no deal. A deal creates the possibility of a primary challenge from their ideological right in districts and even states that, by and large, went heavily against Obama in November. No deal means they might — with the emphasis on “might” — face some blow back from constituents who want them to get something done for the good of the country and put the partisanship and politics aside.And so, if you are wondering why congressional Republicans won’t, in the words of Obama, just “take the deal,” now you know. They have every political reason not to.
- Pat Buchanan – Conservative Columnist and Political Commentator – Why the War Party Fears Hagel #tcot
- Press Releases – News – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell – RT @StewSays: Sen. McConnell’s speech today on the lack of urgency and his call to VP Biden is here: #FiscalCliff
- Untitled (http://gov.mtopgroup.com/ref/art1/house-live.htm) – RT @HouseFloor: 2:15:44pm – The House recessed. The next meeting is subject to the call of the Chair.
- McConnell reaches out to Biden, Reid steps back – RT @ZekeJMiller: RT @edatpost: Mitch McConnell reaches out to @VP Biden as Harry Reid steps back #fiscalcliff
- Why the War Party Fears Hagel – Neocon hostility to Hagel is rooted in a fear that in Obama’s inner councils his voice would be raised in favor of negotiating with Iran and against a preventive war or pre-emptive strike. But if Obama permits these assaults to persuade him not to nominate Hagel, he will only be postponing a defining battle of his presidency, not avoiding it.For Bibi Netanyahu is going to be re-elected this January. And the government he forms looks to be more bellicose than the last. And Bibi’s highest priority, shared by his neocon allies, is a U.S. war on Iran in 2013.If Obama does not want that war, he is going to have to defeat the war party. Throwing an old warrior like Chuck Hagel over the side to appease these wolves is not the way to begin this fight.
Nominate him, Mr. President. Let’s get it on.
- Latest on the fiscal cliff: Major setback – Negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have suffered a “major setback” after Republicans demanded the inclusion of new method for calculating entitlement benefits as part of the fiscal cliff package, according to Democratic sources.The provision, known as “chained CPI,” is opposed by many progressives because it would result in lower payments for Social Security beneficiaries.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-29 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-29
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-29 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-29 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-29 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-29
- The Healthy Flap: December 29, 2012 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – The Healthy Flap: December 29, 2012
- 52 ways to leave your blubber – latimes.com – 52 ways to leave your blubber
- Hope for hearing: Cochlear implants – CNN.com – Hope for hearing: Cochlear implants
- Medicare Cuts Loom Large as ‘Cliff’ Nears – ABC News – Medicare Cuts Loom Large as ‘Cliff’ Nears
- New year means changes for taxes, driving, light bulbs Page 1 of 4 | UTSanDiego.com – New year means changes for California taxes, driving, light bulbs #tcot
- Lawmakers in VIP loan program violated no rules, House panel says – latimes.com – Lawmakers in VIP loan program violated no rules, House panel says #tcot
- New law: Texting on hands-free devices while driving will be legal Jan. 1 – LA Daily News – New California law: Texting on hands-free devices while driving will be legal Jan. 1 #tcot
- The Fiscal Cliff – Something for Nothing? – Flap’s Blog – The Fiscal Cliff – Something for Nothing? #tcot
These are my links for May 23rd through May 24th:
- Walker Looks Likely to Avoid Recall – Up By 5 and 8 points in different polls | Scott Walker Looks Likely to Avoid Recall #tcot
- Michelle Malkin » S.E. Cupp, Hustler, and the four stages of conservative female abuse – S.E. Cupp, Hustler, and the four stages of conservative female abuse #tcot
- Bomber Turned Left Wing Activist, Brett Kimberlin, Tries to Silence Conservative Opposition– Tip of the hat to Michelle Malkin, whose May 23 column does one of the best jobs I’ve seen of laying out the convoluted tale of a low-level Democratic activist named Brett Kimberlin and his attempts to shut down those who criticize him. She applies the “disinfectant of sunshine” to a seamy story that deserves mainstream play.Brett Kimberlin, subject of the book Citizen K, is the Speedway Bomber. If that is not familiar to you, you might remember him as the man who claimed he sold Vice President Dan Quayle drugs. Kimberlin is also, now, decades later, a left of center activist, former Independent Music Awards Industry Judge, involved in organizations getting Tides Foundation and Heinz Family Foundation grants, and is back in the media for harassing and bullying anyone who mentions his past.
- Leftist Blogger’s Criminal Past Raises Questions About His Real Intent– Even before his release from prison 10 years ago, Brett Kimberlin had learned a lesson that has served him well: If you publicly accuse a well-known political figure of crimes or misdeeds — even without proof — publicity and money will follow.Kimberlin, a convicted bomber and drug dealer, learned that lesson in 1988, when he claimed from his prison cell that he had been Dan Quayle’s marijuana dealer in college. The claim got a lot of attention because Quayle was running for vice president of the United States at the time.Now, 22 years later, Kimberlin has taken that lesson and made unfounded accusations a profession of sorts. Using two popular leftist blogs, the 56-year-old from Bethesda, Md., has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from the public and left-leaning foundations by promising to put conservatives he disagrees with in jail, often with offers of large rewards. So far — without success — he has called for the arrest of Karl Rove, Andrew Breitbart, Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donohue, Massey Energy Chairman Don Blankenship and other high-profile public figures.A review of tax filings for Kimberlin’s blogs, “Velvet Revolution” and “Justice Through Music,” raises troubling questions about whether his “nonprofit” operations are dedicated to public activism — or are just a new facade for a longtime con artist.
- Obama Spends $20 Mil In Taxpayer Money To Tell Taxpayers How Great ObamaCare Is– The Obama administration just inked a $20 million deal with PR firm Porter Novelli to help promote ObamaCare. Why do they need to promote a law that was supposed to get more popular once it passed?According to news accounts, the multimedia campaign is mandated by ObamaCare as a way to educate the public about how to stay healthy and prevent illnesses.Right. Like another $20 million will make a difference on top of the avalanche of public health news already out there.A Health and Human Services official let slip the real reason, telling Roll Call that the PR effort is meant “to inform the American people about the many preventive benefits now available … as a result of the Affordable Care Act.”
In other words, this is more about burnishing ObamaCare’s image before the election than meeting some public health imperative.
- Republicans’ Hispanic problem — in 2 charts– New data from an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll that show President Obama leading former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney by 34 points among Hispanics set off a new round of speculation about whether Republicans can win in November if they can’t narrow that margin.And rightfully so. But focusing just on 2012 actually underestimates the depth of the political problem for Republicans when it comes to the Hispanic community.In short: Republicans’ Hispanic problem didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be able to fix it overnight either. That means that regardless of what happens in 2012, Republicans need to find ways to begin growing their support among Hispanics, or they run the risk of struggling to build majority national coalitions in 2016, 2020 and beyond
- Rove: Romney’s Roads to the White House– On Tuesday, Gallup’s seven-day tracking poll had Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tied at 46%. With the incumbent stuck below 50% on the ballot and Mr. Romney’s favorability rising, the Republican challenger has a good shot at winning.To take the White House, Mr. Romney needs 270 votes in the Electoral College. A “3-2-1” strategy will get him there.
- Obama leads big with Latinos– Less than six months before November’s presidential election, President Obama enjoys a sizable lead over Mitt Romney among Latino voters, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll of Latino respondents.The challenge for the Obama campaign, however, will be turning out these voters, who aren’t as interested in the election as all other Americans are.
- Actually, the Obama spending binge really did happen– Until Barack Obama took office in 2009, the United States had never spent more than 23.5% of GDP, with the exception of the World War II years of 1942-1946. Here’s the Obama spending record:– 25.2% of GDP in 2009– 24.1% of GDP in 2010– 24.1% of GDP in 2011
– 24.3% (estimates by the White House ) in 2012
What’s more, if Obama wins another term, spending—according to his own budget—would never drop below 22.3% of GDP. If that forecast is right, spending during Obama’s eight years in office would average 23.6% of GDP. That’s higher than any single previous non-war year.
- Florida (FL) Poll * May 24, 2012 * Mack Has Big Lead In Florida G – Quinnipiac University ? Hamden, Connecticut – RT @FixAaron Poll shock of the day: Quinnipiac shows Mack 42, Nelson 41 in #FLSEN. #tcot
- First Read – NBC polls: Obama edges Romney in three key battleground states – RT @conncarroll so MSNBC has Obama over Romney in VA and FL by an identical 4 points 11 point diff from Q Poll #tcot
- Has recall election made Scott Walker a GOP hero? – Robin Bravender – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: Leading POLITICO: Has the recall election in Wisconsin made Gov. Scott Walker a GOP hero?
- First Read – NBC-Marist polls: Dems have slight edge in three key Senate races – RT @mpoindc NBC/Marist: OH: Brown 51, Mandel 37 — VA: Kaine 49, Allen 43 — FL: Nelson 46, Mack 42 #tcot
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-05-24 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-05-24
- Russia tests new missile, in warning over U.S. shield– Russia tested a new long-range missile on Wednesday that should improve its ability to penetrate missile defense systems, the military said, in Moscow’s latest warning to Washington over deployment of a missile shield in Europe.The Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) was successfully launched from the Plesetsk facility in northwestern Russia and its dummy warhead landed on target on the Kamchatka peninsula on the Pacific coast, the Defense Ministry said.The new missile is expected to improve Russia’s offensive arsenal, “including by increasing the capability to overcome missile defense systems that are being created”, the ministry said in a statement.Russia opposes a missile shield the United States and NATO are deploying in Europe, saying it will be able to intercept Russian warheads by about 2018, weakening Moscow’s nuclear arsenal and upsetting the post-Cold War balance of power.
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Updated: Americans Have Mixed Views of Vice President Joe Biden But Swing State Voters Disapprove – Updated: Americans Have Mixed Views of Vice President Joe Biden But Swing State Voters Disapprove
- HP plans to cut 27,000 jobs, plow savings into R&D | Business Tech – CNET News – HP plans to cut 27,000 jobs | Business Tech – CNET News
- Political Cartoons / Oh Nancy…….. – Oh Nancy……..
- HP plans to cut 27,000 jobs | Business Tech – CNET News – RT @CNETNews: HP now plans to lay off 27,000 employees by 2014 as part of CEO Meg Whitman’s official turnaround plan
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Americans Have Mixed Views of Vice President Joe Biden – Americans Have Mixed Views of Vice President Joe Biden
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: May 23, 2012 – The Morning Flap: May 23, 2012
- Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks Independent Challenge – CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks Independent Challenge
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: May 23, 2012 – The Morning Drill: May 23, 2012
- Romney Narrows Obama Fund-Raising Edge – NYTimes.com – Not surprising as Romney starts to pull away…RT @justin_hart: Yep! Romney edging Obama on fundraising. –
- Flap’s California Morning Collection: May 23, 2012 – Flapsblog.org » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: May 23, 2012 #tcot #catcot
So much for President Obama’s reset of Russian foreign policy.
Russia’s most senior military officer said Thursday that Moscow would preemptively strike and destroy U.S.-led NATO missile defense sites in Eastern Europe if talks with Washington about the developing system continue to stall.
“A decision to use destructive force preemptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.
The threat comes as talks about the missile defense system, which the U.S. and its allies insist is aimed at Iranian missiles, appear to have stalled.
“We have not been able to find mutually-acceptable solutions at this point and the situation is practically at a dead end,” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.
Ellen Tauscher, the U.S. special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense, insisted the talks about NATO plans for a missile defense system using ground-based interceptor missiles stationed in Poland, Romania and Turkey were not stalemated.
But she acknowledged Wednesday that the recent elections in Russia and the upcoming elections in the U.S. make it “pretty clear that this is a year in which we’re probably not going to achieve any sort of a breakthrough.”
She reiterated that the U.S.-built system, still in development, is being designed to shoot down Iranian intermediate-range missiles aimed at Europe, not Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
Yeah, Yeah, Russia is afraid of missile defense as they always have been since Reagan. And, President Obama and the Democrats in the Congress hate the program.
Just watch Obama capitulate and Romney to jump all over the President, especially since Obama made those flexibility remarks..
From the Crystal Ball
These are my links for December 8th through December 9th:
- THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL FIELD MAY NOT BE CLOSED – Conventional wisdom is that the Republican presidential field is set, and that it is much too late for a new candidate to enter the race.
In years past, that would be absolutely correct. Over the last few decades, dozens of primaries and caucuses have been shoe-horned into the opening weeks of the election year, with the tendency on the Republican side for the front-running candidate to score a quick knockout.
But next year, the arrangement of the primary calendar is much different. It is less condensed at the front, much more loaded with events at the back, with the prospect of a viable, late-starting candidate quite real.
This is not to say that it will happen, but simply to note that it could. Such a scenario could not have unfolded in 2008, when the early January events were followed in short order by an early February Super Tuesday vote-fest that involved nearly half the country.
But the elongated layout of the nominating calendar this time provides the opportunity for a late-starting candidate to emerge. Should Mitt Romney stumble badly in the January events in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida, another establishment Republican could enter the race in early February and still compete directly in states with at least 1,200 of the 2,282 or so GOP delegates. Many of them will be up for grabs after April 1 when statewide winner-take-all is possible.
Similarly, should non-Romney alternatives led by Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry fall flat in the January contests, there would be time for the conservative wing of the party to find a new champion to carry its banner through the bulk of the primary season.
- The Real G.O.P. Dark Horse: None of the Above – Two of my favorite analysts, Rhodes Cook and Josh Putnam, have a good debate going about just how plausible it is that a Republican who is not currently running for president could enter the race later and potentially win it (probably necessitating a brokered convention). Those of you who follow my Twitter feed will know that I think Mr. Cook has the stronger side of the argument; I think there is a small but nontrivial chance that the Republican nominee could be someone like Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty or Chris Christie. (In fact, I was speculating about these scenarios as long as a month ago.)
I’m not going to describe the means by which this would occur; Mr. Cook covers that in great detail. Instead, I’m more interested in the motive.
- Twitter Halls of Fame and Shame : JIMROMENESKO.COM – Twitter has a way of making heroes and villains of people — those who earn “15 minutes of fame” because of the medium and others (far more of them at this point) who sully their reputations by tweeting before they think. I’ve created two Tumblr blogs to document this cultural phenomenon for posterity:
Twitter Hall of Fame: http://twitterfame.tumblr.com/
Twitter Hall of Shame: http://twittershame.tumblr.com/
- Amazon starts row with retailers in US – – The row has broken out only days after James Daunt, the managing director of Waterstone’s, criticised Amazon – calling it a “ruthless, money-making devil”.
The new Amazon Price Check app and promotion, which is starting from this Saturday, will allow people to perform a price check on an item in a shop, by scanning in the bar code using the app on their iPhone or Android device. The online retail giant will then offer a $5 discount to shoppers who carry out this market research for it for free, on any item across the site, including the same item they wanted to buy in the first place.
The American Retail Industry Leaders’ Association issued the following statement about Amazon’s attempt to poach shoppers at the point of sale: “Retailers compete on price 365 days a year, and at no time is that competition hotter than during the make-or-break holiday shopping season. However, by continuing to evade collecting state sales taxes, Amazon’s exploitation of a pre-Internet tax loophole is resulting in a 6-10 percent perceived price advantage over their competitors on Main Street.
- Trump might scrub his GOP presidential debate – Business mogul Donald Trump said Friday he might scrub a presidential debate that so far has drawn only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.
Trump, the reality television star who has not ruled out an independent White House bid, had hoped for all of the Republican candidates to join in a debate he would moderate Dec. 27 in Iowa. Most have decided not to, leaving only Gingrich, a former House speaker, and Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator.
“I have to look into it,” Trump told Fox Business Network when asked whether he would host a two-candidate debate.
Trump was most indignant about Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann skipping out.
- Gingrich Is Inspiring—and Disturbing – I had a friend once who amused herself thinking up bumper stickers for states. The one she made up for California was brilliant. “California: It’s All True.” It is so vast and sprawling a place, so rich and various, that whatever you’ve heard about its wildness, weirdness and wonders, it’s true.
That’s the problem with Newt Gingrich: It’s all true. It’s part of the reason so many of those who know him are anxious about the thought of his becoming president. It’s also why people are looking at him, thinking about him, considering him as president.
Ethically dubious? True. Intelligent and accomplished? True. Has he known breathtaking success and contributed to real reforms in government? Yes. Presided over disasters? Absolutely. Can he lead? Yes. Is he erratic and unreliable as a leader? Yes. Egomaniacal? True. Original and focused, harebrained and impulsive—all true.
- NLRB Labor board withdraws Boeing complaint – The National Labor Relations Board has officially dropped its high-profile case challenging Boeing’s decision to open a nonunion plant in South Carolina.
The move Friday came after the Machinists union approved a 4-year contract extension with Boeing earlier this week and agreed to withdraw its charge that the company violated labor laws.
Lafe Solomon, the agency’s acting general counsel, says settlement is the outcome he had always preferred. The agency settles about 90 percent of its cases.
Under the deal, Boeing promised to build the new version of the 737 in Washington state and the Machinists agreed to drop allegations that Boeing opened the South Carolina plant in retaliation for previous strikes.
Despite intense criticism of the case, Solomon says he was following the law and would do it again.
- (500) http://flapsblog.com/2011/12/09/flap-twitter-updates-for-2011-12-09-2/ – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-09 #tcot #catcot
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: December 8, 2011 – The Morning Drill: December 8, 2011
- Putin slams Clinton for encouraging protesters – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin strongly criticized U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday, accusing her of encouraging and funding Russians protesting election fraud, and warned of a wider Russian crackdown on dissent.
By describing Russia’s parliamentary election as rigged, Putin said Clinton “gave a signal” to his opponents.
“They heard this signal and with the support of the U.S. State Department began their active work,” Putin said in televised remarks. He said the United States is spending “hundreds of millions” of dollars to influence Russian politics with the aim of weakening a rival nuclear power.
- Still Not Too Late for Another Candidate – Still Not Too Late for Another Candidate #tcot #catcot #fb
- President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Newt Gingrich Surges in 3 Key Battleground States as President Obama Struggles | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Newt Gingrich Surges in 3 Key Battleground States as President Obam… #tcot #catcot
- California Proposition 8 on Gay Marriage Back in Court Today » Flap’s California Blog – California Proposition 8 on Gay Marriage Back in Court Today
- News from The Associated Press – RT @AP: Romney campaign switches strategy with broadside against Gingrich, as rival rises in the polls #GOP: -ldh
- The Morning Flap: December 8, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: December 8, 2011 #tcot #catcot
Called “Putin’s Army”, it features a video of a blonde student called Diana who struts along Moscow’s streets in high heels and a black suit before scrawling “I will tear my clothes off for Putin” on a white top in red lipstick and starting to undo her clothes
For an old POL and Cold Warrior, former Russian President Vladimir Putin sure knows how to appeal to the youth vote.
But, what happens if you don’t vote for him?