These are my links for December 12th through December 13th:
- The Republican brand problem – One thing comes through loud and clear in the new NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll: Republicans have a major brand problem.Consider the following findings in the NBC/WSJ poll:* Asked an open-ended question as to what single word or short phrase people would use to describe the Republican Party, 65 percent of the responses were negative, while just 17 percent were positive. (For Democrats, 35 percent were positive, while 37 percent were negative.) Among the most oft-mentioned phrases used to describe Republicans: “bad/weak/negative” (8 percent), “uncompromising/need to work together” (6 percent) and “broken/disorganized/lost” (6 percent). So, that happened.* The poll tested the positive and negative ratings for 11 politicians or political institutions. The lowest rated — in terms of the differential between positive and negative ratings — was the Republican Party, with a 30 percent positive score and a 45 percent negative score. Of the five worst positive-to-negative ratios, Republicans claimed four of them. (The lone exception: Susan Rice with a 20 positive/24 percent net-negative score.)
* When asked who they trusted more in “handling the fiscal cliff,” 38 percent named President Obama while just 19 percent named House Speaker John Boehner and Republicans in Congress. (Fourteen percent said they trusted both equally, and another 28 percent said they trusted neither side.)
What those numbers make clear is that the Republican brand is badly damaged. It is regarded by too many people as an uncompromising relic of the past — a party that lacks new ideas and is, therefore, forced to largely serve as a blockade to the other side. (That’s the biggest reason, by the way, why Republicans should be interested in compromising on the fiscal cliff. They gap between how Obama is regarded and how they are seen is enough to make going over the cliff a genuine political loser for them.)
- California prison phychiatrist under investigation for $800,000 pay – After raking in half a million dollars for being “on call,” California’s top paid public employee of 2011 — a prison psychiatrist from Newark — has been suspended with pay for allegedly falsifying time records, officials said Tuesday.Dr. Mohammad Safi, 54, was paid more than $803,000 last year as a supervising senior psychiatrist at a Department of State Hospitals facility within Salinas Valley State Prison in Monterey County, records show.That amount included more than $503,000 for on-call pay — in Safi’s case being available to respond quickly to emergencies.His suspension was first reported Wednesday by Bloomberg News, which published an extensive analysis of state government pay that ranked California tops in the nation. It showed Safi was paid more than twice as much as any state psychiatrist in the 12 states Bloomberg examined.
- California lawmaker Roger Hernandez proposes benefits for undocumented immigrants – A California lawmaker wants to expand government benefits for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who qualify for a new federal work-permit program.Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) introduced legislation this week aimed at illegal immigrants who are part of an Obama administration protocol that allows undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before they were 16, and who are now 30 or younger and meet certain other criteria, to obtain work permits.The bill, AB 35, would enable those immigrants to obtain state identification cards and receive unemployment benefits and state-administered medical services. This year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that will allow that group of young immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
- Fiscal Cliff Creates Problems That Don’t Faze Obama – Is Barack Obama bluffing when he threatens to go over the fiscal cliff if Republicans refuse to agree to higher tax rates on high earners?Some analysts think so. Keith Hennessey, a former top staffer for the Bush White House and Senate Republicans and a veteran of budget negotiations, argues that Obama’s whole second term would be blighted if he allows the fiscal cliff tax increases and sequestration budget cuts to take place next month.
- Blue Shield of California seeks rate hikes up to 20% – Health insurer Blue Shield of California wants to raise rates as much as 20% for some individual policyholders, prompting calls for the nonprofit to use some of its record-high reserve of $3.9 billion to hold down premiums.In filings with state regulators, Blue Shield is seeking an average rate increase of 12% for more than 300,000 customers, effective in March, with a maximum increase of 20%.Some consumer advocates and healthcare economists say Blue Shield shouldn’t be raising rates that high when it has stockpiled so much cash. The company’s surplus is nearly three times as much as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assn. requires its member insurers to hold to cover future claims.”Blue Shield is sitting on a huge surplus that is beyond what is required or necessary,” said Laurie Sobel, a senior attorney for Consumers Union in San Francisco. “It should be used to hold down rate increases when it hits these extraordinary levels.”
California officials can take into account an insurer’s amount of surplus, among many other factors, when determining whether they think a rate increase is reasonable. Both the California insurance commissioner and the state Department of Managed Health Care are reviewing the company’s proposed premiums, but neither agency has the authority to reject changes in rates
- DeMint: Obama wants cliff dive – South Carolina GOP Sen. Jim DeMint accused President Barack Obama on Thursday of trying to take the country over the fiscal cliff.“The president campaigned on raising taxes and getting rid of the Bush-era tax cuts, and he’s gonna get his wish,” DeMint said on CBS’s “This Morning.”
Continue Reading“I believe we’re going to be raising taxes, not just on the top earners. Everyone is going to pay more taxes next year in this country, and I think that’s what the president wants. … If you look at the facts, we don’t need more revenue, we just need to stop spending. The president is not going to stop spending. He’s proposed more spending. So it’s hard to work with someone who I think is intentionally trying to take us over this cliff.”
- GOP tech gap needs millions – Republicans need to make a multimillion-dollar investment to close a digital gap with Democrats and President Obama, according to GOP tech experts.The party faces a growing urgency to catch up with Democrats; frustrated GOP operatives believe the party is lagging in an area widely agreed to have given Obama the edge in the last two presidential election cycles.“Everyone in the party is frustrated. I haven’t talked to one person who thinks that the Republicans were more successful online in 2012 [than in 2008 or 2010],” said Vincent Harris, a GOP strategist who ran digital campaigns for Rick Perry’s and Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaigns.“There is no doubt in my mind that this is the moment that this must be fixed. The good news, though, is that everyone seems to be open to solutions,” he said
- The do’s and don’ts of quitting smoking – Anyone who has ever smoked and tried to quit knows how addictive nicotine can be. But what really works when it comes to quitting? Several former smokers had some hard-earned tips that might help you quit.Carla Berg, a Winship Cancer Institute addiction expert and professor at the Emory School of Public Health, had talked to hundreds of people trying to quit.”One thing I hear from people all the time is, ‘I’m just waiting to feel ready to quit,’ or, ‘I just need to want to quit and then I’ll quit.’ And what we know is that just rarely happens out of nowhere. So I always tell people if you’re waiting for the best time to quit smoking, that time is now,” said Berg.So what works? Through her Facebook Page, FOX 5’s Beth Galvin asked former smokers to share their secrets.
- Election over, administration unleashes new rules – While the “fiscal cliff” of looming tax increases and spending cuts dominates political conversation in Washington, some Republicans and business groups see signs of a “regulatory cliff” that they say could be just as damaging to the economy.For months, federal agencies and the White House have sidetracked dozens of major regulations that cover everything from power plant pollution to workplace safety to a crackdown on Wall Street.The rules had been largely put on hold during the presidential campaign as the White House sought to quiet Republican charges that President Barack Obama was an overzealous regulator who is killing U.S. jobs.But since the election, the Obama administration has quietly reopened the regulations pipeline.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-12 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-12
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-12 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-12 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-12 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-12
- Poll: Obama won 71% of Asian Vote – But Not Wedded to Either Party – Asian American voters came out in droves for President Barack Obama over GOP challenger Mitt Romney, but the country’s fastest growing ethnic group is not wedded to either party, according to a new poll out Wednesday.Obama won an estimated 2.3 million of their votes to Romney’s estimated 900,000 votes, or 71 percent to 28 percent, according to the survey by the Asian American Justice Center, Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote and the National Asian American Survey
- Mark Levin explains how a big part of Obamacare could be gutted during Obama’s second term » The Right Scoop – – RT @JedediahBila: Mark Levin explains how a big part of Obamacare could be gutted during Obama’s second term:
- 5 ways the GOP can do better with Latinos – A coalition of conservative groups is releasing a major study of Latino voters in four key states this morning, and Republicans would be wise to heed its lessons.Resurgent Republic and the Hispanic Leadership Network are presenting the findings of their study at 9 a.m. Eastern. The polls of Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada show Republicans remain in contention for as many as half of Latino voters in those four states in 2016, but fewer than one-quarter of Latinos in each state say they are likely to vote Republican four years from now.
- Election Integrity Activist Calls for Prop 37 Recount – Another Bay Area citizen has called for a recount on a statewide ballot measure, this time on Prop 37, and she’s being helped by the man responsible for the Prop 29 recount last summer.Lori Grace, an election integrity activist based in Tiburon, Calif., filed a formal request with the Secretary of State’s office on Monday for a recount in the contest over Prop 37, a voter initiative that would require special labels on foods containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. (There won’t be any other ballot measure recounts from the general election, since Monday was the last day to file).Having two such recounts in one year is highly unusual, if not unprecedented. The earlier effort came after the June primary, when Bay Area surgeon John Maa requested a recount for Prop 29, the cigarette tax initiative that would have helped to fund cancer research.Now Maa is imparting some of his own hard-earned (and expensive — recounts in California must be bankrolled by the requester) knowledge to Grace. Both acknowledged that Maa has given her strategical advice on how to proceed.
- California Governor Jerry Brown has early-stage prostate cancer – Gov. Jerry Brown is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, his office announced this afternoon.The governor’s office described the condition as a “localized prostate cancer” and said Brown is continuing to work a full schedule while being treated with a short course of radiation.It released a statement from Eric Small, Brown’s oncologist at University of California San Francisco.”Fortunately, this is early stage localized prostate cancer, which is being treated with a short course of conventional radiotherapy,” Small said in the statement. “The prognosis is excellent, and there are not expected to be any significant side effects.”
- As ‘fiscal cliff’ nears, Obama schedule loaded with photo-ops, holiday parties, golf – Since returning from a trip to southeast Asia on Nov. 21, President Obama has managed to play three rounds of golf but has met face-to-face only once with Speaker John A. Boehner, the man with whom he is trying to strike a deal on taxes and spending that could prevent another recession.With the deadline for going over the “fiscal cliff” less than three weeks away, the president’s schedule this week is exceptionally light. It does not include any time on the links with Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, who is also an avid golfer.On Monday, Mr. Obama’s only public event was a trip to Detroit, where he held a campaign-style rally with union auto workers that was ostensibly a push for middle-class tax cuts but mainly showcased Mr. Obama’s criticism of Michigan’s new “right-to-work” labor law.“It seems to me, that time would have been better spent here in Washington, D.C., working on the fiscal cliff, but he was in Michigan,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican.
On Tuesday, Mr. Obama had lunch with Vice President Joseph R. Biden and spoke to Mr. Boehner by phone late in the day. The president spent much of his evening with first lady Michelle Obama posing for photographs with members of the White House press corps and their guests at a holiday party. (Mr. Obama actually has performed this function twice in the past week; there was another media holiday party at the White House on Dec. 5).
- California prison health care receiver issues layoff notices – California Correctional Health Care Services has issued layoff warnings to 2,200 of its employees with a goal of axing 829 positions early next year.The cuts will touch nearly 60 job classifications around the state, from doctors to custodians and impact 38 jobs in Sacramento County. The statewide cuts take effect Mar. 31, 2013.The state normally issues three lay off warning notices for every position it cuts, and workers in danger of losing their jobs can displace less-senior counterparts in state government, so it’s not clear how many staff will actually lose work. Officials don’t have an estimate of savings from the reductions.
- Day By Day December 12, 2012 – Figures – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day December 12, 2012 – Figures #tcot
- Rep. Moran: Son’s Attack on Girlfriend “An Accident” – Virginia Rep. Jim Moran’s office has another statement about his son’s arrest for assaulting his girlfriend in Columbia Heights earlier this month. And it turns out it was all an accident, according to Moran, despite his son’s guilty plea to assault.”The situation was an accident,” Moran spokeswoman Anne Hughes writes in an email, adding that both Moran and his girlfriend testified to that in court. “Patrick didn’t hit or shove her.”Hughes claims that only Patrick Moran and his girlfriend were around to see the alleged attack. “They were the only two people who witnessed the scene,” writes Hughes. “In that sense, their statements are the only ones that matter.”That would contradict the police report, which describes both a Metropolitan Police Department sergeant and an Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration investigator seeing Moran slam his girlfriend’s head into a trash can cage outside the Getaway, a 14th Street NW bar.
- Democratic senator Menendez employed illegal immigrant who was registered sex offender – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez employed as an unpaid intern in his Senate office an illegal immigrant who was a registered sex offender, now under arrest by immigration authorities, The Associated Press has learned. The Homeland Security Department instructed federal agents not to arrest him until after Election Day, a U.S. official involved in the case told the AP.Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, an 18-year-old immigrant from Peru, was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in front of his home in New Jersey on Dec. 6, two federal officials said. Sanchez, who entered the country on a now-expired visitor visa from Peru, is facing deportation and remains in custody. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of Sanchez’s immigration case.
- Sandoval opts to expand Medicaid coverage for Nevada’s neediest – Sandoval opts to expand Medicaid coverage for Nevada’s neediest #tcot
- Fiscal Cliff: Hundreds of Billions Apart – The bellowing on Capitol Hill about which side has offered more “specifics” to resolve the fiscal cliff showdown masks a larger problem for Washington: The two sides are still hundreds of billions of dollars apart on revenue and entitlement cuts.Not to mention, Republicans and Democrats are also light-years apart on policy details that back up those budget targets.That’s why there’s increasing skepticism in Washington that a deal actually can be reached before Jan. 1, and the country will go over the fiscal cliff.
- Fiscal Cliff: 180 economists oppose tax hike – A letter signed by 180 economists opposed to tax increases as part of a fiscal cliff deal will be delivered to Congress on Wednesday, according to a national anti-tax group.The letter argues that hiking tax rates would have a “significant, negative impact on the economy” and is slated to be sent to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, said Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, the low-taxes advocacy group that coordinated the effort.
- California Psychiatrists Paid $400,000 Shows Bidding War- Bloomberg – RT @BloombergNews: Why do California psychiatrists make more than $400,00? Examining a payroll system run amok |
- War-making for Losers By Mark Steyn – The new US Army manual for troops heading east apparently blames the tendency of Afghanistan’s US-trained soldiers and policemen to shoot their western “allies” on “American cultural ignorance”. Fortunately, the manual offers a solution:The draft leaked to the newspaper offers a list of “taboo conversation topics” that soldiers should avoid, including “making derogatory comments about the Taliban”…I mean, it’s not like they’re the enemy or anything.…“advocating women’s rights,” “any criticism of pedophilia,” “directing any criticism towards Afghans,” “mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct” or “anything related to Islam.”
- Inside the Boehner-Ryan Alliance – Robert Costa – National Review Online – Inside the Boehner-Ryan Alliance – The speaker and the former GOP veep contender are quiet partners #tcot
- Democrats continue to find out what was in ObamaCare–and try to dismantle it | Mobile Washington Examiner – Democrats continue to find out what was in ObamaCare–and try to dismantle it | Mobile Washington Examiner #tcot
- Inside the Boehner-Ryan Alliance – The speaker and the former GOP veep contender are quiet partners – Paul Ryan spent the summer and fall in the national spotlight, but this winter he’s a subdued presence. He’s rarely granting interviews, and his public appearances have been scattered, with the most high profile a speech at the Kemp Foundation dinner. His closest friends say that he wants to return to his work quietly, and that he’s uninterested in playing a prominent role in the fiscal-cliff debate, even though he’s the GOP’s reigning budget expert.
- The Morning Flap: December 12, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: December 12, 2012 #tcot
- Democrats continue to find out what was in ObamaCare–and try to dismantle it | Mobile Washington Examiner – Democrats continue to find out what was in ObamaCare–and try to dismantle it #tcot
These are my links for November 16th through November 19th:
- OBAMA ORGANIZATION TO REMAIN ACTIVE NATIONWIDE – DEMS GETTING DATA JUMP ON 2016– The Obama campaign continues to refine, update and expand its vast database, working the muscle to increase its value for 2014 and 2016. The organization wants to avoid a post-2008 lull, when Obama’s high command was so focused on building a government and staving off a depression that some in the grassroots network felt neglected. This time, supporters are already being asked if they are interested in running for office, and “how many hours per week” they would be willing “to volunteer in your community as part of an Obama organization.”Campaign manager Jim Messina blasted a 24-question email to the campaign’s tens of millions of supporters and eavesdroppers last evening, with the subject line, “Your feedback needed: Take this quick survey.” Participants must enter email address, first and last name, ZIP code, birthdate and gender. This question makes it clear that Obama’s brain trust will keep the machine oiled and cranking: “What would you choose as the top priority for this organizations [sic] in the weeks and years to come?” Choices are: 1) “Passing the President’s legislative agenda”… 2) “Supporting candidates in upcoming elections” … 3) “Training a new generation of leaders and organizers” … 4) “Working on local issues that affect our communities.”
- Requiem for the Twinkie? – Hostess Brands goes Ding Dong dead, leaps into the Dumpster– Friday’s news that the company making Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread is preparing to liquidate touched off a blame game among Americans shocked that these iconic products are in danger of going away forever.The move follows a strike that began Nov. 9 by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. It refused to swallow additional wage and benefit concessions to keep the bankrupt Hostess Brands afloat. Its 5,000 members were nearly unanimous in rejecting the company’s final contract offer.As a result, the company said, most of the 18,500 Hostess employees will lose their jobs. That includes members of the largest union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which did agree to the company’s concession demands.The bakery union’s self-defeating refusal to accept financial reality is only part of the story however. For Hostess, the strike was the final blow of many. High commodity costs hurt the company. Not only did it pay a fortune for food ingredients, but also for the energy to run its facilities and fuel its delivery trucks.
The recession hurt too. Hostess was unprepared to meet difficult business conditions that prevailed in 2009, when it emerged from a previous bankruptcy reorganization in which it obtained big concessions from its workforce. It had been, in fact, a poorly managed company for a long time. A string of short-sighted executives were quick to take money out of the business and slow to make the capital investments it needed to stay competitive.
Perhaps most damaging, the company failed to innovate in response to changing consumer tastes. Hostess didn’t have to make Ho Ho’s out of tofu to stay relevant. Food companies such as Kraft, Sara Lee and Nabisco have long understood their success depends on sophisticated market research, product development and creative marketing. It doesn’t come cheap.
- The GOP’s Latino Opportunity– In winning re-election, President Obama carried nearly all the same demographic groups as in 2008, but by smaller margins. The major exception: Hispanics, America’s fastest-growing bloc. Having given Mr. Obama 67% of their votes in 2008, they gave him 71% this time.This has alarmed Republicans. Mr. Obama had offered Hispanics little more than a broken promise to reform immigration in his first term, yet he scored the largest victory among them since Gerald Ford visited Texas in 1976 and tried to eat a tamale without removing its husk.Mitt Romney’s margin of defeat among Hispanics in Nevada (47 points) and Colorado (52 points) made those states unwinnable. In Florida, where Republican winners routinely carry the Hispanic vote, he lost it by 21 points. Mr. Romney carried Arizona but lost Hispanic voters there by an astonishing 55 points. In 2004, George W. Bush lost Arizona Hispanics by only 13 points.Republicans—even outspoken ones like talk-radio and Fox News host Sean Hannity—are now claiming to have changed their views on immigration. Columnist Charles Krauthammer was frank with his prescription: “Yes, amnesty. Use the word. . . . The other party thinks it owns the demographic future—counter that in one stroke by fixing the Latino problem.”
Such open-mindedness is laudable and probably necessary, but the immigration issue is no silver bullet. And Mr. Krauthammer’s phrase—”the Latino problem”—helps illustrate the real problem. For too long, Republicans have been content to cram Hispanics into gerrymandered Democratic districts and forget about them. Some GOP candidates consciously avoid targeting Hispanics too aggressively, lest they actually turn out to vote.
In 1983, Republican pollster Lance Tarrance wrote a private memo urging the Republican National Committee to “redouble our efforts to attract the Mexican-American populations. We need to ‘double our budget’ in this area if we stand any chance for the future.” This warning went unheeded.
In 1999, when I worked in the RNC press shop, Chairman Jim Nicholson told me the GOP deserved an “F” for its outreach efforts to date. Republican presidential contender Bob Dole had won just 21% of Hispanics in 1996. A Univision survey from 1998 had shown that Hispanics overwhelmingly believed the Republican Party either “ignores me” (41%) or “takes me for granted” (22%). This left plenty of low-hanging fruit.
- Why ObamaCare Is Still No Sure Thing– Champions of ObamaCare want Americans to believe that the president’s re-election ended the battle over the law. It did no such thing. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act won’t be fully repealed while Barack Obama is in office, but the administration is heavily dependent on the states for its implementation.Republicans will hold 30 governorships starting in January, and at last week’s meeting of the Republican Governors Association they made it clear that they remain highly critical of the health law. Some Republican governors—including incoming RGA Chairman Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Ohio’s John Kasich, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Maine’s Paul LePage—have already said they won’t do the federal government’s bidding. Several Democratic governors, including Missouri’s Jay Nixon and West Virginia’s Earl Ray Tomblin, have also expressed serious concerns.Talk of the law’s inevitability is intended to pressure these governors into implementing it on the administration’s behalf. But states still have two key choices to make that together will put them in the driver’s seat: whether to create state health-insurance exchanges, and whether to expand Medicaid. They should say “no” to both.
- Can conservatives prevent the U.S. from becoming California?– As bad as last Tuesday night was for the national Republican Party, it was far, far worse for the California Republican Party. Not only did Golden State Democrats maintain control of every statewide elected office; not only did Gov. Jerry Brown’s $6 billion Proposition 30 tax hike pass by solid margins; but Democrats also secured supermajorities in both state legislative chambers. Now, Brown and the Democrats can raise taxes by as much as they want.The California Republican Party is functionally dead. And how is California doing, now that liberals have successfully terminated the state’s remaining conservatives?For starters, it’s still in debt. Despite Brown’s historic tax hike, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office announced this week that the state still faces a $2 billion budget deficit just for the next fiscal year. California’s liberal electorate has already racked up an additional $370 billion in state and local debt over that last decade. That is more than 20 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.According to the California State Budget Crisis Task Force, that comes to more than $10,000 in debt for every Californian. And because the state’s credit rating is so low, California taxpayers must fork over about $2 for every new dollar borrowed. In 2012 alone, the state budget included more than $7.5 billion in debt service — more than most states’ budgets.
Don’t think for a second that California’s chronic deficits are caused by low taxes. Even before last Tuesday’s tax hikes, California had the most progressive income tax system in the nation, with seven brackets, and the second-highest top marginal rate. Now it has the nation’s highest top marginal rate and the nation’s highest sales tax. And the budget still isn’t balanced.
The real cause for California’s fiscal crisis is simple: They spend too much money. Between 1996 and 2012, the state’s population grew by just 15 percent, but spending more than doubled, from $45.4 billion to $92.5 billion (in 2005 constant dollars).
- Gallup Blew Its Presidential Polls, but Why?– Last week’s presidential election has widely been seen as a victory for pollsters who, on balance, saw President Obama as the favorite before Election Day. But that wasn’t the case for the esteemed Gallup Organization. Its polling showed Republican Mitt Romney with a significant lead among likely voters 10 days before Nov. 6 and marginally ahead of Obama on the eve of an election that Obama won by about 3 percentage points.At an event on Thursday at Gallup’s downtown Washington offices, Gallup Editor in Chief Frank Newport told a gathering of fellow pollsters that the organization was reviewing its methodology in light of these inaccuracies. But its fairly consistent Republican bias in 2012 and its overestimation of the white portion of the electorate raise important questions about sampling and the way Gallup determines which respondents are registered and likely to vote.”We don’t have a definitive answer,” Newport said.The day before Election Day, Gallup released data culled from the four previous days, showing Romney with a 1-point lead among likely voters, 49 percent to 48 percent. Before that final survey, Gallup had suspended polling for three days in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, when nearly 10 million Americans were without electricity.
Immediately before the storm hit, Gallup showed Romney ahead by 5 points, 51 percent to 46 percent, and Romney led by as many as 7 points in mid-October. All the while, most other national polls showed a neck-and-neck race.
- Are the DREAMers a Special Case? – DREAMERS vs. COMPREHENSIVISTS– Now that the GOP leadership has signaled its eagerness to again support the Democrat drive for amnesty and open borders, a fight has broken out on the other side. This is a revival of the public spitting match between the “comprehensive” amnesty crowd in D.C., who want amnesty for all illegal aliens or nothing, and the DREAMers, illegal aliens who came here as children, who are willing to cut a separate deal for themselves.The fight has resurfaced on NBC Latino’s website (why is there such a thing?), where a professor Stephen Nuno has written that “Immigration reform should not focus on Dreamers” because “I think Dreamers can be detrimental to the goal of immigration reform.”
- Republicans at a crossroads – Stay the Course?– Republican governors are torn between essentially staying the course in the wake of Mitt Romney’s loss and a more proactive strategy aimed at radically shaking up their party in an effort to reach out to young and minority voters.Some governors believe that Romney’s loss two weeks ago to President Barack Obama was just that — a loss by a single candidate who ran a defensive campaign pummeled by negative ads and lacking in vision. They advocate sticking to a tried-and-true formula of running their own races and hewing to local instead of national dynamics.
- Tribal America – Mark Steyn on our suddenly race-obsessed politics– To an immigrant such as myself (not the undocumented kind, but documented up to the hilt, alas), one of the most striking features of election-night analysis was the lightly worn racial obsession. On Fox News, Democrat Kirsten Powers argued that Republicans needed to deal with the reality that America is becoming what she called a “brown country.” Her fellow Democrat Bob Beckel observed on several occasions that if the share of the “white vote” was held down below 73 percent Romney would lose. In the end, it was 72 percent and he did. Beckel’s assertion — that if you knew the ethnic composition of the electorate you also knew the result — turned out to be correct.This is what less enlightened societies call tribalism: For example, in the 1980 election leading to Zimbabwe’s independence, Joshua Nkomo’s ZAPU-PF got the votes of the Ndebele people while Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF secured those of the Shona — and, as there were more Shona than Ndebele, Mugabe won. That same year America held an election, and Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory. Nobody talked about tribal-vote shares back then, but had the percentage of what Beckel calls the “white vote” been the same in 2012 as it was in 1980 (88 percent), Mitt Romney would have won in an even bigger landslide than Reagan. The “white vote” will be even lower in 2016, and so, on the Beckel model, Republicans are set to lose all over again.
- White House denies editing talking points on Benghazi attack, contradicting Petraeus– The White House yesterday denied it edited talking points about the terrorist attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya — contradicting remarks made a day earlier by disgraced ex-CIA chief David Petraeus.“The only edit that was made by the White House and also by the State Department was to change the word ‘consulate’ to the word ‘diplomatic facility,’ since the facility in Benghazi was not formally a consulate,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters aboard Air Force One.“Other than that, we were guided by the points that were provided by the intelligence community. So I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made.”
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-17 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-17
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-17 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-17 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-17 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-17
- Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – Half Marathon training run with L A Roadrunners is finished. Now, some food and USC Trojan football (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-16 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-11-16
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-16 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-11-16 #tcot
- My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-16 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-11-16
- Newt Gingrich on Romney’s “Gifts”– The former Speaker in colloquy with the Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith:EVAN SMITH: So Governor Romney said yesterday now somewhat famously, that “the reason that the president won is because he gave gifts to minorities in the form of healthcare or to young people in the form of preferable college loan…”NEWT GINGRICH: I am very disappointed…EVAN SMITH: With Governor Romney saying that?
NEWT GINGRICH: With Governor Romney’s analysis, which I believe is insulting and profoundly wrong.
EVAN SMITH: Can you talk about that? Why is that?
NEWT GINGRICH: Well first of all, we didn’t lose Asian-Americans, because they got any gifts. He did worse with Asian-Americans than he did with Latinos.
EVAN SMITH: Right, seventy-three percent of Asian-Americans, seventy-one percent of Latinos.
NEWT GINGRICH: This is the hardest working and most successful ethnic group in America, okay. They ain’t into gifts. Second, it’s an insult to all Americans. It reduces us to economic entities who have no passion, no idealism, no dreams, no philosophy, and if it had been that simple, my question would have been “Why didn’t you out bid him?”
- Politics with LisaV: California GOP vs. Dem. party registration trends – RT @lvorderbrueggen: California GOP vs. Dem. party registration trends in a cool Google Fusion table. @lvorderbrueggen
- The Yeshiva World BRINK OF WAR: Israel Taking Steps To Mobilize Up To 75,000 Reservists [PHOTOS] « » Frum Jewish News – The Yeshiva World BRINK OF WAR: Israel Taking Steps To Mobilize Up To 75,000 Reservists [PHOTOS] « » Frum… #tcot
- The Yeshiva World BRINK OF WAR: Israel Taking Steps To Mobilize Up To 75,000 Reservists [PHOTOS] « » Frum Jewish News – RT @JedediahBila: Israel Taking Steps To Mobilize Up To 75,000 Reservists:
- An Awakened Giant: The Hispanic Electorate is Likely to Double by 2030– The record number1 of Latinos who cast ballots for president this year are the leading edge of an ascendant ethnic voting bloc that is likely to double in size within a generation, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis based on U.S. Census Bureau data, Election Day exit polls and a new nationwide survey of Hispanic immigrants.The nation’s 53 million Hispanics comprise 17% of the total U.S. population but just 10% of all voters this year, according to the national exit poll. To borrow a boxing metaphor, they still “punch below their weight.”
- California Unemployment Rate Dips To 10.1 Percent « CBS San Francisco – RT @KNX1070: California #Unemployment Rate Dips To 10.1 Percent « CBS San Francisco @knx1070
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: November 16, 2012 – The Morning Drill: November 16, 2012
Chief Strategist Stuart Stevens and Mitt Romney
These are my links for September 13th through September 17th:
- Mitt Romney abruptly shifts strategy– Mitt Romney, sensing an opening in the Middle East mess and catching flak from conservatives for giving too little detail about his policy plans, is rolling out a new and broader strategy to make the election a referendum on “status quo versus change,” chief strategist Stuart Stevens told POLITICO.The shift, which is to include much more emphasis on Romney’s policy prescriptions, means he is scrapping the most basic precept of his campaign. From the time he began contemplating running again after his loss in the 2008 primaries, Romney’s theory of the case has been a relentless and nearly exclusive focus on the listless economy.
- Daily Number: 79% of Egyptians Have an Unfavorable View of the U.S.– 79% – Most Egyptians Have an Unfavorable View of the U.S.Egyptians express highly negative opinions of the United States and President Barack Obama’s performance in the Pew Global Attitudes Project survey done this spring.Fully 79% say they have an unfavorable view of the U.S., while just 19% offer a favorable one. That is one of the highest unfavorable ratings among the 20 nations in the survey; 86% say this in Jordan and 80% in Pakistan.Most Egyptians also say that the U.S. gives little consideration to their country’s interests when making international policy decisions. Eight-in-ten (80%) say the U.S. considers their interests “not too much” or “not at all.” Again, that is one of the highest among the countries surveyed.About seven-in-ten in Egypt (69%) say they do not have confidence in Obama to do the right thing in world affairs, while 29% express confidence in the U.S. president. That also ranks among the most negative ratings for Obama; 73% say this in Jordan and 68% in Greece
- Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled– Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s top strategist, knew his candidate’s convention speech needed a memorable mix of loft and grace if he was going to bound out of Tampa with an authentic chance to win the presidency. So Stevens, bypassing the speechwriting staff at the campaign’s Boston headquarters, assigned the sensitive task of drafting it to Peter Wehner, a veteran of the last three Republican White Houses and one of the party’s smarter wordsmiths.Not a word Wehner wrote was ever spoken.
- Swings states remain focus for White House– With just over seven weeks until Election Day, the campaign for the White House has boiled down to just a handful of states and neither campaign is spending time in other places – unless it is to raise money.That was the script followed last week by Mitt Romney, who stopped Thursday and Friday in Virginia and Ohio, sandwiching those events with some fund raising in New York.And that’s exactly what President Obama will do this week – he campaigns on Monday in Ohio, raises money on Tuesday in New York, and makes stops later in the week in Florida and Virginia.When you look at the ten states seen as toss ups right now, the poll averages (as tabulated by Real Clear Politics) are almost all trending in favor of the President (Electoral votes in parentheses):Florida (29) – Obama +1.3%
Ohio (18) – Obama +4.2%
Michigan (16) – Obama +6.3%
North Carolina (15) – Romney +4.8%
Virginia (13) – Obama +0.3%
Wisconsin (10) – Obama +1.4%
Colorado (9) – Obama +3.0%
Nevada (6) – Obama +3.3%
Iowa (6) – Obama +0.2%
New Hampshire (4) – Obama +4.0%
- With voting under way, Romney camp faces test from Obama’s ground game– The first votes of the presidential election have already been cast — and in a battleground state.As of Sunday, 602 ballots had been returned by mail to election officials in North Carolina. President Obama won the state narrowly in 2008, becoming the first Democrat to carry it in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter in 1976. It sits near the top of Mitt Romney’s target list this year.By Saturday, almost half the states in the union will be issuing absentee ballots by mail, according to the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College. Among them will be the battleground of Virginia. Yet another key state, Iowa, will allow in-person voting from Sept. 27.
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-17 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-17 #tcot
- Untitled (http://getglue.com/tv_shows/boardwalk_empire?s=tch&ref=Fullosseousflap) – Season premier…. Love Boardwalk Empire #GetGlue @hbo
- Untitled (http://getglue.com/tv_shows/nbc_sunday_night_football?s=tch&ref=Fullosseousflap) – Love that Faith Hill… #GetGlue #snf
- NC Poll Watch: Romney 51% Vs. Obama 45%– Mitt Romney has cleared the 50% mark again in the battleground state of North Carolina despite the presence of the Democratic National Convention there little over a week ago.The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely North Carolina Voters shows Romney with 51% support to President Obama’s 45%. One percent (1%) likes some other candidate in the race, and three percent (3%) are undecided.
- Twitter / Wilk2012: Scott Blough has begun the … – RT @Wilk2012: Scott Blough has begun the sign campaign in Simi Valley. got wilk?
- Obama Is Too drunk On His Celebrity To Understand The Gravity Of The Attacks On America– So, on a highly symbolic date, mobs storm American diplomatic facilities and drag the corpse of a U.S. ambassador through the streets. Then the president flies to Vegas for a fundraiser.No, no, a novelist would say; that’s too pat, too neat in its symbolic contrast. Make it Cleveland, or Des Moines.The president is surrounded by delirious fanbois and fangurls screaming “We love you,” too drunk on his celebrity to understand this is the first photo-op in the aftermath of a national humiliation.
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-16 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-16
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-16 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-16 #tcot
- Untitled (http://getglue.com/topics/p/usc_trojans?s=tch&ref=Fullosseousflap) – USC vs Stanford on Fox. Fight on! #GetGlue #USCTrojans
- Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – foursquare – Only got 9.5 miles in today due to the heat. Wow! Hit 92 in Santa Monica. Now at Ronnie’s Diner (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-15 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-15
- AD-38: Anti-Scott Wilk Website Makes Its Appearance – Flapsblog.org – AD-38: Anti-Scott Wilk Website Makes Its Appearance
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-15 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-15 #tcot
- The State Worker: Conservative organization gives $4 million to Proposition 32 – Conservative organization gives $4 million to California Proposition 32 Paycheck Protection Initiative campaign #tcot
- Ethics czar angers bloggers with proposal to shine light on campaign pay – latimes.com – Angers? No, it is just unconstitutional |Ethics czar angers bloggers with proposal to shine light on campaign pay #tcot
- Ace of Spades HQ – Ace has the burning skull out: US GOVERNMENT NOW ACTING AS CENSORSHIP ARM OF ISLAMISTS #tcot
- Parents Photo Faves – Please vote for my grandson James in this baby photo contest. You can vote every day until the 17th! Thanks. #tcot
- ElectionTrack – Those Teachers, Nurses, FF’s & Police unions are sure giving the cash to defeat Cal Prop 32 Paycheck Protection #tcot
- California Proposition 32 “Paycheck Protection” Passing 53% Vs. 37% – California Proposition 32 “Paycheck Protection” Passing 53% Vs. 37% in latest CBRT Pepperdine Poll
- Amazon buyers can use 3rd-party sellers to avoid tax– Here’s some good news for California bargain hunters annoyed that they’ll have to pay sales tax on Amazon.com starting Saturday: Many of their purchases won’t be affected.Amazon doesn’t plan to collect tax on anything sold by its vast array of third-party sellers – the thousands of retailers, large and small, that use Amazon’s Internet platform to market their goods.It’s no small change. Third-party sellers accounted for about 40 percent of the goods ordered by Amazon buyers worldwide in the second quarter of this year, said Anne Zybowski, an e-commerce analyst with Kantar Retail consulting in Boston.That’s millions of dollars a year in sales in California alone.The percentage has “really started to creep up,” she said. “It’s pretty big.”
Amazon says its stance is perfectly legal – and consistent with how the company handles third-party sales in the seven other states where it collects sales tax.
- Worst of West Nile virus season to come in California– California and parts of the Bay Area are expecting the current West Nile virus season to be the worst in at least five years, with almost twice as many cases of the viral infection in humans so far compared with last year.Contra Costa County officials announced the first Bay Area case on Wednesday, in a woman who was infected in mid-August and is recovering now. With the peak reporting weeks still ahead, five people in the state have died from the virus, including a 74-year-old Placer County man whose death was reported Thursday.Beyond California, the United States is in the grip of what may turn out to be the worst outbreak of West Nile since the virus arrived in the country 13 years ago. Although the national outbreak may have reached its peak, public health authorities say they won’t have full reports on the extent of the epidemic for another few weeks.
- Nearly one in four California children in poverty, Census Bureau says– California’s poverty rate was 16.9 percent in 2011, the highest it has been in 15 years, according to numbers released by the US Census Bureau Wednesday.Nearly one in four California children lives in poverty, the report said. More than a third of Californians living below the poverty level are age 18 or younger.The increase in the poverty rate between 2010 and 2011 was not statistically significant, but since 2006, the rate has increased by 4.7 percentage points from 12.2 percent. The last time it was as high as it was in 2011 was 1996, when the state was still recovering from an early 1990s recession and just prior to the high-tech boom that improved economic conditions across the board in California.To be classified as poor in 2011, a family of two adults and two children would have had to make less than $22,811. That is a national figure, and many advocates believe it understates the poverty level in California because of the state’s high cost of living.
- Ventura County Star Says No On California Proposition 37 – Flap’s Blog – Ventura County Star Says No On California Proposition 37 #tcot
- CA-26: “Out of Townley” Julia Brownley Files Specious Complaint – CA-26: “Out of Townley” Julia Brownley Files Specious Complaint with FEC #tcot
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-14 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-14
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-14 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-09-14 #tcot
- Parents Photo Faves – OK, friends! You can vote everyday for my grandson’s photo in this baby photo contest. Please vote! #tcot #teaparty
- AD-38: Scott Wilk Hosting Republican Assembly Leader Connie Conway – AD-38: Scott Wilk Hosting Republican Assembly Leader Connie Conway at Fundraising Event
- Berman and Sherman play ‘Dueling Republicans’ – LA Observed – What a JOKE! Both LIBERAL Dems Berman and Sherman play ‘Dueling Republicans’ #tcot
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Another Case of an Illegal Dentist Harming Patients – Another Case of an Illegal Dentist Harming Patients
- (404) http://www.flapsblog.net/2012/09/another-case-of-illegal-dentist-harming.html – Another Case of an Illegal Dentist Harming Patients
- U.S. Jobless Claims Rise to Highest in Two Months: Economy- Bloomberg – Jobless Claims in U.S. Rose More Than Forecast Last Week #tcot
- The Morning Flap: September 13, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: September 13, 2012 #tcot
These are my links for February 14th through February 15th:
- How Likely Is a Brokered Convention? – Last week, I wrote that a path to a brokered convention was beginning to emerge in the Republican electorate. I was purposely vague as to how likely such an occurrence is. I called the path “very narrow” and said it is “beginning to emerge,” outlining the various contingencies required. But the truth is, at this point, the entire endeavor is pretty speculative; we won’t really know how viable the path is until after Super Tuesday.
But with polls now showing Rick Santorum running well in Michigan — a key state if he really is going to dominate in the Midwest — the topic is worth revisiting. Because if Santorum can win Michigan and Mitt Romney can take Arizona without knocking Newt Gingrich into irrelevance, then a brokered convention becomes much more likely.
- Department of Home-Lunch Security – By Mark Steyn – The home-made lunch having been ruled illegal by officials*, the preschooler was given a federally-approved lunch, for which her mother has been sent a bill. The girl didn’t care for the substitute lunch, ate only the three chicken nuggets, and left everything else on her tray untouched. It may not have worked out all that nutritious for her, but at least it’s compliant with DCDEE/DHHS/USDA paperwork, and that’s what matters.
- The GOP’s emerging Bob Dole problem – A flood of new data points to one clear conclusion: At least for now, President Obama and his Republican opponents are heading in opposite directions.
A CBS News/New York Times poll released last night puts Obama’s approval rating at 50 percent — his best performance in that survey since the spring of 2010 (not counting last May’s brief bin Laden bounce). The poll also shows Obama enjoying his best score since the summer of ’10 on his handling of the economy and his best score since at least late 2009 (when the question was first asked) on job creation, and finds voters voters more optimistic than they’ve been in nearly two years on the overall direction of the economy.
- Why Republicans Don’t Trust Romney – Why can’t Mitt Romney make the sale to conservatives? And why is Rick Santorum, the ultimate long shot at the start of this race, now in a position to be a viable alternative?
Mitt Romney used the word conservative and conservatism more than two dozen times, according to the Washington Post’s Dan Balz , in his speech last week at the CPAC convention. That rhetoric is quite different from ten years ago when he was running for Governor of Massachusetts.
He stated during that campaign that he was “not a partisan Republican” but rather a “moderate” with “progressive” views.”
- Michael Boskin: Washington’s Knack for Picking Losers – WSJ.com –
- Rivkin and Whelan: Birth-Control Mandate—Unconstitutional and Illegal – WSJ.com –
- Romney Surrogate Attacks Santorum for Voting the Same Way He Did – Mitt Romney’s campaign is now targeting GOP rival Rick Santorum as a big-spending Washington insider. On a conference call Tuesday afternoon, former Missouri senator and Romney surrogate Jim Talent criticized Santorum’s support for expanding government spending, including his vote for the Medicare Part D in 2003—a program for which Talent himself voted.
“Senator Santorum is running in Missouri as a trusted and comprehensive conservative,” Talent said. “He certainly has been outspoken on social issues, and we honor his record in that regard, but when you get outside those issues into fiscal, spending, regulatory issues, his record shows that he’s been in the liberal wing of the Republican party.”
Talent continued, pointing to a few votes that show Santorum’s “liberal” spending record. “I want to note that Senator Santorum voted for No Child Left Behind, which was a big expansion of federal power over local education,” he said. “He voted for Medicare Part D, a big expansion of a federal entitlement.”
- President 2012 Video: Romney Super PAC Hits Rick Santorum in Michigan, Arizona and Ohio | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 Video: Romney Super PAC Hits Rick Santorum in Michigan, Arizona and Ohio
- Energy Conversion Devices files for bankruptcy as solar energy lags – In the latest setback for the solar energy industry, Auburn Hills-based Energy Conversion Devices said today that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and intends to sell its assets, including its main subsidiary United Solar Ovonic.
“We firmly believe there is a strong and sustainable commercial market for Uni-Solar products,” Julian Hawkins, ECD’s CEO and president, said in a statement. “However our current capital structure and legacy costs are preventing USO from making the investments necessary for the future of the business without restructuring through the bankruptcy process.”
The maker of solar roofing materials, which will continue to operate, employs 750 workers, 60% of them in Michigan. They will remain active employees during the sales process though some have been furloughed, said company spokesman Michael Schostak.
ECD also said it has sold its Ovonic Battery Co. to BASF Corp. for $58 million in cash before transaction fees and other factors. The battery subsidiary’s 35 employees have been hired by BASF.
- Cold Hands During Runs | Ask the Sports Doc – RT @runnersworld: What to do about cold hands during a run: #runningtips
- Nuking our Nukes – Obama and Cutting America’s Nuclear Forces – President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to consider cutting U.S. strategic nuclear forces to as low as 300 deployed warheads—below the number believed to be in China’s arsenal and far fewer than current Russian strategic warhead stocks.
Pentagon and military planners were asked to develop three force levels for the U.S. arsenal of deployed strategic nuclear warheads: a force of 1,100 to 1,000 warheads; a second scenario of between 700 and 800 warheads; and the lowest level of between 300 and 400 warheads.
A congressional official said no president in the past ever told the Pentagon to conduct a review based on specific numbers of warheads.
“In the past, the way it worked was, ‘tell me what the world is like and then tell me what the force should be,’” the official said. “That is not happening in this review.”
The plan for a radical cut in warheads is contained in a review of nuclear weapons ordered by the president in an August directive. The review called the Nuclear Posture Review Implementation Study is nearing completion and could be presented to the president as early as next month.
- US weighing steep nuclear arms cuts – The Obama administration is weighing options for sharp new cuts to the U.S. nuclear force, including a reduction of up to 80 percent in the number of deployed weapons, The Associated Press has learned.
Even the most modest option now under consideration would be an historic and politically bold disarmament step in a presidential election year, although the plan is in line with President Barack Obama’s 2009 pledge to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons.
- Politico reporter Ben Smith withheld information about liberal Media Matters For America – About a year ago, the organization Media Matters For America gave Politico reporter Ben Smith a 2010 planning memo for a profile he was writing on the liberal advocacy group.
But Smith curiously withheld key parts of the 89-page document when he published his story, “Media Matters’ war against Fox,” in March 2011.
The Daily Caller became aware of this after obtaining the same document while reporting the series “Inside Media Matters,” which debuted here late Sunday night.
Smith made no mention of Media Matters targeting organizations other than Fox News, such as the libertarian Cato Institute and the conservative Heritage Foundation. Nor does he reveal that, according to the memo, Media Matters was intent on researching Republican political figures like Republican former U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina and Republican Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, and the prominent libertarian political donor Peter Thiel.
“An opposition research team will serve to hold Thiel and others like him accountable,” the memo states. Smith made no mention of such efforts in his story.
He also failed to disclose Media Matters’ interest in marginalizing political news websites including Newsmax and Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government, saying only that the organization had narrowed its focus to “Fox and a handful of conservative websites.”
- Peggy Noonan Schools Mika Brzezinski on Obama Contraception Mandate During ‘Morning Joe’ Panel Discussion | Video | TheBlaze.com – Peggy Noonan Schools Mika Brzezinski on Obama ‘Mischievously’ Misinforming Public About Contraceptives
- Fox News ‘course correction’ rankles some – Keach Hagey – POLITICO.com – Fox News ‘course correction’ rankles some
- President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Is Mitt Romney Electable? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Is Mitt Romney Electable?
- Poll Watch: 46 Per Cent of Catholics Approve of President Obama | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: 46 Per Cent of Catholics Approve of President Obama
- Poll Watch: 59 Per Cent of Catholics Disapprove of President Obama | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Poll Watch: 59 Per Cent of Catholics Disapprove of President Obama
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: California Legislature Pushes Dentistry For All Socialism – California Legislature Pushes Dentistry For All Socialism
- (404) http://t.co/x9C – RT @ppppolls: Gingrich would be the biggest GOP general election disaster trailing Obama 52-40, incl. 19 pts with indys: …
- AD-38: Rep Buck McKeon’s Staff Says Memo Leak Was a Computer HACK » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Rep Buck McKeon’s Staff Says Memo Leak Was a Computer HACK
- Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 14, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 14, 2012
- The Morning Flap: February 14, 2012 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: February 14, 2012
These are my links and comments for Sunday, October 30th:
- Adult Babies by Mark Steyn– Last Thursday was officially “Diaper Need Awareness Day” in the State of Connecticut. Were you aware of it? There are so many awareness-raising days, it’s hard to keep track. Maybe we could have an Awareness-Raising Day Awareness Day. At any rate, the first annual Diaper Need Awareness Day was proclaimed by Dan Malloy, governor of the Nutmeg State, and they had a big old awareness-raising get-together in New Haven. It’s not clear yet whether they’ve got an official ribbon. We’re running a bit low on ribbon colors these days: It’s not just pink ribbons for breast cancer, but also teal for agoraphobia, periwinkle for acid reflux, pink-and-blue ribbons for amniotic fluid embolisms, and pinstripe ribbons for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We could use a Ribbon-Hue Awareness Day to raise awareness about how we’re falling behind in the race for more ribbon colors.If you’re wondering what sentient being isn’t aware of diapers, you’re missing the point: Connecticut representative Rosa DeLauro is raising awareness of the need for diapers in order to, as Politico reported, “push the Federal Government to provide free diapers to poor families.” Congresswoman DeLauro has introduced the DIAPER Act — that’s to say, the Diaper Investment and Aid to Promote Economic Recovery Act. So don’t worry, it’s not welfare, it’s “stimulus.” As Fox News put it, “A U.S. congresswoman in Connecticut wants to boost the economy by offering free diapers to low-income families.” And, given that sinking bazillions of dollars into green-jobs schemes to build eco-cars in Finland and a federal program to buy guns for Mexican drug cartels and all the other fascinating innovations of the Obama administration haven’t worked, who’s to say borrowing money from the Chinese politburo and sticking it in your kid’s diaper isn’t the kind of outside-the-box thinking that will do the trick?
In fact, the federal government already provides free diapers for at least one lucky American. Stanley Thornton Jr. of California receives Supplementary Security Income disability checks from the Social Security Administration in order to sit around the house all day wearing a giant diaper and a giant onesie, sucking on a giant pacifier and playing with a giant baby rattle. Stanley Jr. runs a website for fellow “adult babies” called BedWettingABDL.com. I believe I first heard of the “adult baby” phenomenon some years ago in London. If memory serves, there was a club, and the members lay around in giant cribs being read bedtime stories by a bosomy nanny. Minor celebrities and possibly backbench Tory members of Parliament may have been involved. In those days, it was what we called a “fetish” and you had to do it on your own dime. Now it’s a “disability” and the United States government picks up the tab. And, if that’s not progress, what is?Sen. Tom Coburn happened to catch Stan with his babysitter and fellow disability-check recipient on a reality show, and wondered how a chap capable of running a popular website and doing such complicated carpentry jobs as his own giant highchair could be legitimately classified as “disabled.” But the Social Security Administration said Junior qualifies, and Senator Coburn was condemned as heartless: Why, if those mean Republicans got their way, the streets would be crawling with giant babies bawling, “I want my mommy!” Conversely, if Congresswoman DeLauro gets her way and the stampede for government Huggies gets going, Stanley Thornton Jr. will still be entitled to park his giant pedal car in the disabled space while the penniless single mom from Hartford has to leave the Toyota at the back of the lot and hike in.
Read all of this excellent post.
- Where Rick Perry’s Campaign Went Wrong– Rick Perry’s campaign is in a bunker. On the first floor of 804 Congress St. in Austin, a 1970s building with a redbrick front, 45 people are trying to figure out how to get Perry elected President. There are no Perry for President signs – only maps (Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, Florida – New Hampshire is curiously absent) – as during Perry’s third and last campaign for Texas governor he proudly didn’t waste money on such frivolities. The office is in an old bank space just off the lobby. At the back is a vault, its massive three-foot-thick metal door hanging open. Inside the concrete box sit campaign manager Rob Johnson and Perry’s longtime political guru Dave Carney. On Carney’s desk there is a small stack of books, including one by Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski entitled, Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America. As both men know well, Perry is in desperate need of a resurgence.When he announced his candidacy 10 weeks ago, the three-term Texas governor entered the GOP field in first place, blowing ahead of Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain. But his numbers have plummeted since; at 6% in some national polls he can’t go much lower. So it came as not too much of a surprise when Perry announced this week that he’d be shaking things up. He brought in four national campaign veterans, including Joe Allbaugh, who ran George W. Bush’s 2000 bid. As a former head of FEMA, Allbaugh is no stranger to disasters.Read it all
Delusions of grandeur if you think Rick Perry can right his campaign.
- Rick Perry: Turnaround or end of the road?– Implicit in this is that Perry had developed an outsize ego and national reputation that didn’t comport with his actual abilities. After all, how hard is it for a Republican who inherited the governorship to win re-election in Texas and deal with a GOP-controlled legislature that meets every other year? Yes, he suffered from lack of preparation, because he had never developed the critical ear, policy chops and rhetoric that traveled well outside Texas. You can run a quick campaign, if you are prepared to be president. But you can’t create someone of presidential stature in a few weeks or months.Many in the media and the GOP are desperate to keep the race competitive. So you’ll hear “comeback” stories. That story line, however, is more properly applied to Newt Gingrich, who was at least smart enough to figure out that he’d do better without the staff that went from his campaign to Perry’s. As for Perry, no staff in the world can make up for the defects that he’s revealed, nor make him a genuinely likeable figure. Only he can correct those flaws.Read it all.
It is the end of the road for Perry.
- Rick Perry flip-flops on debates– That was quick.Three days after suggesting Rick Perry might skip some of the upcoming GOP presidential debates, his campaign confirmed he’ll attend at least five more, a sign that the campaign may have recognized Perry had as much to lose as gain from a debate-dodging strategy.Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan told the Associated Press on Saturday that the Texas governor will attend the four events currently scheduled in November as well as a December debate.
Just by floating the idea that he might avoid debates, the Perry campaign raised hackles among activists in the states slated to host the upcoming events. But even setting aside the question of ruffled feathers, there was always a strategic reason to show up: In no other way can a candidate — especially one like Perry who is trailing front-runners Mitt Romney and Herman Cain in national and early-state polls — reframe the campaign discussion as Perry did last week in Las Vegas.
Perry spokesman Mark Miner touched off the debate debate Wednesday when he told POLITICO the campaign wouldn’t commit to participating in any forums after the one Nov. 9 in Michigan. Officially, that’s also the position of Mitt Romney’s campaign despite his string of strong performances.
It doesn’t make any difference, Rick Perry is not in this race. He is done.
- New Iowa poll: Elimination threatens several not-Romneys– The Des Moines Register is out with a new poll of likely caucus-goers. Herman Cain (23 percent) and Mitt Romney (22 percent) are in a statistical dead heat. Far back is Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) at 12 percent. Then come Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) at 8 percent, Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 7 percent and Rick Santorum at 5 percent. There is plenty to chew on.We should begin with a word of caution. The poll has a margin or error of plus or minus 4.9 percent. That means Romney might be ahead or Santorum could have passed Bachmann. Moreover, there are a ton of debates and plenty of retail politicking an TV ads between now and the Iowa caucuses Jan. 3. This is at best then, a blurry snapshot in time.The GOP needs to draft another candidate or go with Newt Gingrich.
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-10-30 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-10-30 #tcot #catcot
- President 2012: George Will, Michael Dukakis and Mitt Romney – The Pretzel Candidate | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: George Will, Michael Dukakis and Mitt Romney – The Pretzel Candidate #tcot #catcot
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-10-29 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-10-29 #tcot #catcot
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-10-28 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-10-28 #tcot #catcot
- foursquare:: Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner- After LA Roadrunners and 10 easy miles. With Alice, Tara, Maria Elena, Nancy (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
- Untitled (https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AIC0UjpgEJo/TqvobVeS99I/AAAAAAAAAX4/4Ja04jyecJ8/CIMG0216.jpg) – Off soon to Venice Beach for LA Marathon Roadrunner training. 10 miles today. Temps in the 60’s. Ronnie’s after!
- SD-27: Former California Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg to Challenge Senator Tony Strickland? » Flap’s California Blog – SD-27: Former California Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg to Challenge Senator Tony Strickland?
- Dilbert October 26, 2011 – The Underling » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert October 26, 2011 – The Underling
- President 2012: George Will, Michael Dukakis and Mitt Romney – Oh My! | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Republicans really should seek better choices for the Presidential nomination….:
- Dental Practice Management – > Shocker – Not RT @drbicuspid Australian dental therapists may expand scope of practice. #dental
- What is your PROskore? Find out if you are a top ranking Professional in your Community at PROskore.com – #PROskore – I just joined – what is your PROskore? via @proskore
- Gregory Cole just got top ranking on PROskore with a professional score of 55. – #PROskore – I just joined – what is your PROskore? via @proskore
- Medscape: Medscape Access – Big Medicare Pay Cut Would Shut Physician Doors to Patients
- Capitol Alert: Obama administration approves California Medi-Cal cuts – Obama administration approves California Medi-Cal cuts #catcot
- President 2012 Nevada Poll Watch: Romney 46% Vs. Obama 46% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Obama and Romney locked in a close race in Nevada….
- The Divider vs. the Thinker – WSJ.com – The Divider vs. the Thinker:While Obama readies an ugly campaign,Paul Ryan gives a serious account of what ails US
- Boehner: ‘Great concerns’ Obama is exceeding Constitution – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room – Boehner: ‘Great concerns’ Obama is exceeding Constitution #tcot #teaparty
- Save America’s Food and Economy Conference Call with Rep. Dan Lungren | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @SaveUSAFood Here is my take on the conference call this afternoon:
- Save America’s Food – Was on a conference call with SAFE and Rep. Dan Lungren – more information on legislation here:
- Poll: Clinton favored over 2012 GOP candidates – Hillary Clinton leads GOP presidential candidates, poll says
- Jerry Brown Outlines His Pension Overhaul Plans » Flap’s California Blog – Jerry Brown’s Public Employee Pension Reform Plan will never make it to the ballot in 2012…
- Occupy Oakland’s Amazon.com Wishlist | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Occupy Oakland needs some love for their November 2nd general strike – their Amazon wishlist….:
- (503) http://Amazon.com – Occupy Oakland’s Wishlist #tcot #catcot
- Rep. Steve King may stay on sidelines in Iowa race – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – Benefits Mitt Romney >Rep. Steve King may stay on sidelines in Iowa race #tcot
- Election 2012: New Hampshire Republican Primary – Rasmussen Reports™ – President 2012 GOP New Hampshire Poll Watch: Romney 41% Cain 17% Paul 11% #tcot
- President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama Showing Some Modest Improvement – 43% Approval | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President Obama remains in the danger zone for re-election….:
- President 2012: How’s That Mitch Daniels Candidacy Looking? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Will Mitt Romney choose Mitch Daniels as Vice President?
- Poll Watch: Half of German Adults are Obese and Overweight | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Poll Watch: Half of German Adults are Obese and Overweight
- 3 arrests in probe of Calif. street gang – 3 arrests in probe of Ventura County California street gang
- Judge rejects Edwards’s attempt to have charges of illegal payoff dismissed – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room – Jail time > Judge rejects John Edwards attempt to have charges of illegal pay-off dismissed
- What if Perry Skips the Debates? – NYTimes.com – Probably not much of an effect on the race > What if Perry Skips the Debates?
- Occupy Oakland: Mayor Quan Issues Contrite Statement after Police Crackdown | City Brights: Aimee Allison | an SFGate.com blog – Occupy Oakland: Mayor Quan Issues Contrite Statement after Police Crackdown #catcot #tcot
- Capitol Alert: Labor balks at Jerry Brown’s pension plan – Labor balks at Jerry Brown’s pension plan #tcot #catcot
- Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. – Home – RT @KQED_CapNotes: Gov. Brown’s #capension event at 11am will be live streamed on his website:
- Occupy Wall Street Launching First Nationwide General Strike In America Since 1946 – Nov. 2 >Occupy Wall Street Launching First Nationwide General Strike In America Since 1946 #tcot
- After Finishing Dieting, Hormonal Changes May Lead to Weight Gain? | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – After Finishing Dieting, Hormonal Changes May Lead to Weight Gain?
- Obama Remakes the Student-Loan Industry – By Annie Hsiao – The Corner – National Review Online – Obama Remakes the Student-Loan Industry #tcot
- Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Says She Will Minimize Police Presence And That She Supports The Movement | ThinkProgress – Right! >Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Says She Will Minimize Police Presence And That She Supports The Movement
- The Morning Flap: October 27, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Today’s national political headlines on …..:
- Occupy Oakland retakes plaza, plans General Strike | Campaign 2012 – > Certainty RT @conncarroll: SF Mayor Ed Lee up for election Nov 8. Don’t expect any action against #occupysf b4 then
- Justice Scalia speaks for himself on death penalty, not the Catholic Church – The Washington Post – RT @postpolitics: Justice Scalia speaks for himself on death penalty, not the Catholic Church
- Occupy Wall Street kitchen slowdown targets squatters – NYPOST.com – Occupy Wall Street kitchen staff protesting fixing food for freeloaders #tcot
- Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball » History of presidential coattails points to Republicans keeping the House – History of Presidential Coattails Points to Republicans Keeping the House #tcot
- Twitpic – Share photos and videos on Twitter – Gallup Finds Significant Drop in Unemployment During October Link:
- Gallup Finds Significant Drop in Unemployment During October – Gallup Finds Significant Drop in Unemployment During October Link:
These are my links for August 22nd from 14:42 to 14:45:
- The Imperial Presidency By Mark Steyn – Rick Perry, governor of Texas, has only been in the presidential race for 20 minutes, but he’s already delivered one of the best lines in the campaign:
“I’ll work every day to try to make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as I can.”
This will be grand news to Schylar Capo, eleven years old, of Virginia, who made the mistake of rescuing a woodpecker from the jaws of a cat and nursing him back to health for a couple of days, and for her pains, was visited by a federal Fish & Wildlife gauleiter (with accompanying state troopers) who charged her with illegal transportation of a protected species and issued her a $535 fine. If the federal child-abuser has that much time on his hands, he should have charged the cat, who was illegally transporting the protected species from his gullet to his intestine.
Read it all
- President 2012: Paul Ryan Won’t Run – After a week of rumors that he was consulting with advisers and family members on a possible presidential run, we have learned from the Ryan camp that the House Budget Committee chair has decided not to throw his hat into the ring.
More details soon from Bob Costa.
UPDATE: Here’s the Ryan statement:
“I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation. While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for President. I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation. I remain grateful to those I serve in Southern Wisconsin for the unique opportunity to advance this effort in Congress.”
And, Palin will?
- President 2012 Sarah Palin: ‘She Will Run’ – Political organizer Peter Singleton tells National Review Online that Sarah Palin will likely launch a presidential campaign by the end of September. “I believe that she will run,” he says. “I can’t see her sitting this election out.”
Palin, a former Alaska governor, is scheduled to address a tea-party rally on September 3 in south-central Iowa. Singleton is one of the forces behind the event, working with grassroots groups. “Labor Day will kick off the Republican campaign for the nomination,” he hints. “She is going to make a major, major speech.”
Since late last year, Singleton has crisscrossed the Hawkeye State, connecting a network of supporters at rubber-chicken dinners and Republican picnics. He has huddled with county GOP chairmen, spoken with a number of conservative state lawmakers, and assembled a close-knit team of pro-Palin activists.
All of Singleton’s efforts have been self-directed, with no official involvement from Palin’s political apparatus. Still, he says, “We have not been on a lark. But we are happy, delighted even, to have people think that.”
GOP presidential contenders, from Rick Perry to Mitt Romney, will be in for a shock when Palin makes her entry, he predicts. “When she gets in the race, I would not want to be the other candidates, who have shamelessly whispered to Iowa Republicans for months that she is not running,” he says. “There will probably be some defections.”
Who really knows?