The Morning Flap: December 17, 2012

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for December 14th through December 17th:

  • With Supermajority, California Democrats Strategize – The Democratic Party has controlled the California Legislature for a nearly unbroken stretch of 42 years. Yet control goes only so far: it takes two-thirds of the Legislature to enact a host of important legislation in this state, meaning that even the diminished Republican Party has been able to easily frustrate Democratic ambitions.
  • The Doctor Won’t See You Now – As I wrote a couple weeks ago, Obamacare governmentalizes one-sixth of the U.S. economy — or the equivalent of the entire French economy. No one has ever attempted that before, not even the French. In parts of rural America it will quickly achieve a Platonic perfection: There will be untold legions of regulators, administrators, and IRS collection agents, but not a doctor or nurse in sight.
  • The Facts about Mass Shootings – A few things you won’t hear about from the saturation coverage of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre:Mass shootings are no more common than they have been in past decades, despite the impression given by the media.In fact, the high point for mass killings in the U.S. was 1929, according to criminologist Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.Incidents of mass murder in the U.S. declined from 42 in the 1990s to 26 in the first decade of this century.

    The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning.

    Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.

    Almost all of the public-policy discussion about Newtown has focused on a debate over the need for more gun control. In reality, gun control in a country that already has 200 million privately owned firearms is likely to do little to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. We would be better off debating two taboo subjects — the laws that make it difficult to control people with mental illness and the growing body of evidence that “gun-free” zones, which ban the carrying of firearms by law-abiding individuals, don’t work.

  • White House won’t accept new tax offer from Republican leader – President Barack Obama is not ready to accept a new offer from the Republican leader of the U.S. the House of Representatives to raise taxes on top earners in exchange for major cuts in entitlement programs, a source said late Saturday.The shape and details of Boehner’s offer were uncertain Saturday night, as was the exact reason the president was prepared to reject it.The source said Obama sees the offer made on Friday by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner as a sign of progress, but simply believes it is not enough and there is much more to be worked out before Obama can reciprocate.Tax rates and entitlements are the two most difficult issues in the so-far unproductive negotiations to avert the “fiscal cliff” of steep tax hikes and spending cuts set for the new year unless Congress and the president reach a deal to avoid them.

    The Boehner offer is the first significant sign of a shift in the Republican insistence that low tax rates set to expire on December 31 be extended for all taxpayers, and comes at some risk to the speaker.

  • Republican leaders balance politics and principle on immigration reform – Senior Republicans say the party is struggling to thread the needle on immigration reform, an issue emerging as the next big item on the political agenda once the ongoing deficit talks reach their conclusion.On the one hand, GOP leaders recognize the party needs a new approach. Mitt Romney performed dismally with Latino voters in November’s general election.On the other hand, internal skeptics fear that a GOP rush to embrace a more liberal approach to immigration would risk sundering the conservative movement without paying any electoral dividends.These dilemmas are not entirely new. President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) pushed immigration reform in the middle of the last decade.

    They had no success, were subjected to considerable criticism from other conservatives and the issue almost capsized the latter’s run for the 2008 presidential nomination.

  • What If Nothing or Nobody is to Blame for Adam Lanza? Guns, Video Games, Autism or Authorities – What if there is nobody or nothing to blame for Adam Lanza’s heinous acts? Other than Lanza, of course.What if school security and the school psychiatrist kept an eye on Lanza since his freshman year? The Wall Street Journal has a compelling narrative about the red flags addressed.What if he had a form of autism that has little or no link to violent behavior? Lanza may have had Asperger’s syndrome but, even so, that is not a cause.What if it’s too simple to lay the massacre at the feet of the gun lobby? Reader Larry Kelly tweets that shaming Aspies “makes about as much sense at stigmatizing the NRA. Pick an enemy … any enemy. Let outrage and fear rule.”

    What if Lanza wasn’t provoked by video games? David Axelrod, a close friend an adviser of President Obama, tweeted last night: “In NFL post-game: an ad for shoot ’em up video game. All for curbing weapons of war. But shouldn’t we also quit marketing murder as a game.”

    When I asked whether he was laying groundwork for a White House initiative, Axelrod said no: “Just one man’s observation.” A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said today that Axelrod was not a stalking horse for Obama on this issue.

    What if Lanza’s mother did everything she could, short of keeping her guns out her adult son’s reach? What if he wasn’t bullied?

  • Dukakis seen as possible Senate replacement if Kerry tapped for State – Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, may be headed back to the political spotlight as he’s considered a likely interim replacement for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).President Obama is set to tap Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of State, according to media reports.
  • Hill Poll: Gloomy voters say US on wrong track, kids will be poorer – A mood of economic gloom hangs over the nation as President Obama and Republican leaders scramble to strike a deficit deal that avoids automatic tax hikes and spending cuts, according to a new poll for The Hill.The poll, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, found nearly 6-in-10 people (59 percent) feel the country is on the wrong track. It also showed people are deeply pessimistic about their chances for future prosperity, with 54 percent saying they believe their children will be worse off as adults than their parents.
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-16 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-16
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-16 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-16 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-16 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-16
  • GetGlue – Your app for TV, Movies, and Sports – I unlocked the Hollywood Intern sticker on #GetGlue! @intel
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-15 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-15
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-15 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-15 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-15 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-15
  • Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – 16 miles in the LA Marathon bank. Now, time for some pancakes. (@ Ronnie’s Diner w/ 3 others) [pic]:
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-14 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-14
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-14 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-14 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-14 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-14
  • Obama: Enforcement of Marijuana Laws Not a HIGH Priority – Flap’s Blog – Obama: Enforcement of Marijuana Laws Not a HIGH Priority #tcot
  • California: Smoking Climbs Among Young Adults – Smoking among young adults in California is climbing even as the tobacco habit has leveled off or is declining among younger and older residents of the state, according to a new report from the state Department of Public Health.The smoking rate among adults aged 18 to 24 rose from 12.3 percent in 2010 to 14.6 percent in 2011, the report said. The increase came after the rate had declined in four of the previous five years.That group had the highest smoking rate of any age group in the California. The rate was 13.2 percent among 25 to 44 year olds, 12.1 percent among 45 to 64 year olds and 6.9 percent among those 65 and older. Among all adults the smoking rate was 12 percent in 2011, virtually unchanged from the 11.9 percent rate the year before.The increase among young adults might be a delayed effect of the state’s success in tamping down smoking by high school students, said Colleen Stevens, branch chief for the tobacco control program.
    With high school students smoking less, many of those people might be simply putting off trying tobacco until they are 18, and then becoming addicted. The smoking rate among high school students has declined from 21.6 percent in 2000 to 13.8 percent in 2010, although the number of students who reported trying tobacco increased slightly between 2008 and 2010.
  • Sales of smokeless tobacco products jump in California, report says – Sales of chewing tobacco and other such smokeless products rose sharply in California over the last decade, and officials are especially concerned about the increase in use among youths, state public health officials said Thursday.Smokeless tobacco use among high school students grew to 3.9% of students in 2010, up from 3.1% in 2004. Nearly $211 million in non-cigarette tobacco and nicotine products were sold in California in 2011, up from $77 million in 2001, according to a report released Thursday by the state Department of Public Health.
    The main types of smokeless tobacco seen in California are snuff and chewing tobacco, which have similar health risks to cigarettes. But there was also an increase in sales of snus, small packets of tobacco that are placed under the lip. Other dissolvable products like orbs and strips are becoming more popular in other states, and officials predict they will soon come here.
  • Political ethics panel accuses GOP Berryhill brothers of money laundering – State authorities have accused two brothers who served together as Republican legislators of illegally laundering $40,000 in political donations.State Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) and former Assemblyman Bill Berryhill (R-Ceres), grape farmers who represented adjacent legislative districts, allegedly funneled the money through two county Republican central committees to skirt contribution limits.An administrative law judge will decide whether the men are guilty of charges drafted by the state Fair Political Practices Commission.
  • California Initiative backers must come forward, FPPC says – The people who pay for petition drives in support of statewide ballot measures can no longer hide their identity, thanks to a regulation adopted by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission on Thursday.Meeting in San Diego, the watchdog panel decided to require groups spending more than $100,000 for a signature drive to state on their organization papers what they’re backing.The change comes after people trying to track ballot measures complained there was insufficient information to determine what groups were behind the efforts.“Getting information out about who is circulating petitions is imperative,” said Commissioner Elizabeth Garrett before the requirement won unanimous approval.

    In an Internet-related item, the commission will now require candidates and committees sending out mass emails to identify themselves in the missives. Current regulation only requires identification when 200 or more pieces are sent through Postal Service mail.

  • Obama’s Electronic Medical Records Scam – You know who is benefiting from the initiative? Put on your shocked faces: Obama donors and cronies.
    Billionaire Judith Faulkner, Obama’s medical information czar and a major Democratic contributor, just happens to be the founder and CEO of Epic Systems — a medical software company that stores nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population’s health data. Another billion-dollar patient-record database grant program has doled out money to the University of Chicago Medical Center (where first lady Michelle Obama and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett both served in high-paid positions). As I’ve previously reported, these administration grants circumvent any and all congressional deliberation as part of Team Obama’s election-year “We Can’t Wait” initiatives.
  • The Morning Flap: December 14, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: December 14, 2012 #tcot
  • Bobby Jindal backs over-the-counter birth control – Re: Gov. Bobby Jindal and birth control = Pander Bear. #tcot
  • Patriot missiles a warning to Syria’s al-Assad – CNN.com – U.S. to send troops, Patriot missiles to Turkey #tcot

The Morning Flap: April 24, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

A US Border vehicle drives along the US and Mexico border fence in Naco, Arizona, Photo: Reuters

These are my links for April 23rd through April 24th:

  • For first time since Depression, more Mexicans leave U.S. than enter – A four-decade tidal wave of Mexican immigration to the United States has receded, causing a historic shift in migration patterns as more Mexicans appear to be leaving the United States for Mexico than the other way around, according to a report from the Pew Hispanic Center.

    It looks to be the first reversal in the trend since the Depression, and experts say that a declining Mexican birthrate and other factors may make it permanent.

  • Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less | – The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants—more than half of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped—and may have reversed, according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries.

    The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico.

    The report is based on the Center’s analysis of data from five different Mexican government sources and four U.S. government sources. The Mexican data come from the Mexican Decennial Censuses (Censos de Población y Vivienda), the Mexican Population Counts (Conteos de Población y Vivienda), the National Survey of Demographic Dynamics (Encuesta Nacional de la Dinámica Demográfica or ENADID), the National Survey of Occupation and Employment (Encuesta Nacional de Ocupación y Empleo or ENOE), and the Survey on Migration at the Northern Border of Mexico (Encuesta sobre Migración en la Frontera Norte de México or EMIF-Norte). The U.S. data come from the 2010 Census, the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

  • California’s Demographic Revolution by Heather Mac Donald – California is in the middle of a far-reaching demographic shift: Hispanics, who already constitute a majority of the state’s schoolchildren, will be a majority of its workforce and of its population in a few decades. This is an even more momentous development than it seems. Unless Hispanics’ upward mobility improves, the state risks becoming more polarized economically and more reliant on a large government safety net. And as California goes, so goes the nation, whose own Hispanic population shift is just a generation or two behind.

    The scale and speed of the Golden State’s ethnic transformation are unprecedented. In the 1960s, Los Angeles was the most Anglo-Saxon of the nation’s ten largest cities; today, Latinos make up nearly half of the county’s residents and one-third of its voting-age population. A full 55 percent of Los Angeles County’s child population has immigrant parents. California’s schools have the nation’s largest concentration of “English learners,” students from homes where a language other than English is regularly spoken. From 2000 to 2010, the state’s Hispanic population grew 28 percent, to reach 37.6 percent of all residents, almost equal to the shrinking white population’s 40 percent. Nearly half of all California births today are Hispanic. The signs of the change are everywhere—from the commercial strips throughout the state catering to Spanish-speaking customers, to the flea markets and illegal vendors in such areas as MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, to the growing reach of the Spanish-language media.

  • Are Hispanics moving up or down the social scale? – Arguably, Hispanics received the most benefit and the most harm from subprime lending during the Housing Bubble.

    A 2005 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of 75,744 minority subprime loan borrowers found the largest percentage was Hispanic (15,647 loans or 20.7 percent). This study found no evidence of adverse pricing of subprime loans by race or ethnicity and minority borrowers paid lower rates.

    A 2008 study by the U.S. Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C. found Southern California was the hot spot for the most subprime loans in all of the United States in 2005. And out of the top 10 cities with the most subprime loans, six were in California (percent of Hispanic population in parentheses): Riverside (45 percent), Bakersfield (45.5 percent), Stockton (37.6 percent), Modesto (35.5 percent), Fresno (50.3 percent) and Visalia (46.0 percent). Where Hispanics got into trouble had more to do with home equity loans than primary home purchase loans.

    Hispanics were hit hardest with foreclosures after the Housing Bubble popped.

    If the Housing Bubble demonstrated anything, it is that Hispanics suffered not from too little, but too much, upward mobility by government-induced home ownership policies.

  • Boston Qualifying Rate Drops by a Third – Some interesting data-crunching from Ray Charbonneau, who blogs at Y42K?: If you compare the 2011 and 2012 fields of some major marathons, you’ll find the Boston qualifying rate on average has dropped by about a third. Charbonneau excludes the results from this year’s Houston Marathon—where qualifying rates actually went up—assuming that the Olympic Marathon Trials helped attract some higher-caliber athletes than the 2011 race. He also excludes results from this year’s exceptionally warm Boston Marathon and National Marathon in Washington, D.C., where qualifying rates dropped even more than a third. The stricter qualifying standards the B.A.A. put into place for the 2013 Boston Marathon (which went into effect last September) lowered qualifying times across all age groups by five minutes and 59 seconds. Based on Charbonneau’s results, this drop should eliminate about a third of all previous qualifiers.
  • Rethinking the Hispanic Vote – For Republicans, the illegal immigration litmus test, forcing conservative candidates to toe a hardline on the issue, could very well recede in the near future. A January Pew poll showed the number of Republicans considering illegal immigration as a top issue has plummeted, dropping from 69 percent in 2007 to 48 percent at the beginning of this year. The future Republican positioning on immigration could very well be closer to the policy views of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio than that of hardliners like Iowa Rep. Steve King.

    The long-term political implications are equally significant. Democrats have counted Hispanics as a pivotal part of their coalition, but there’s no guarantee that as first-generation immigrants assimilate, they will remain reliable partisan voters. Indeed, a complementary Pew Hispanic Center study, released last month, showed immigrants becoming more Republican the longer they’ve been in this country — a similar narrative to other first-generation ethnic groups.

  • Protest by Catholic activists may hamper Obama reelection bid – President Obama has seen his standing among Catholic voters, a crucial segment of the electorate, slip in recent weeks, and a looming confrontation with Catholic activists could make it worse.

    Democrats want voters this year to focus on what they have branded a war on women, but the flip side of the debate — the so-called war on religion — is not going away anytime soon.

    Earlier this month, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called for two weeks of public protest in June and July against what it sees as growing government encroachment on religious freedom.

    The protests are expected to include priests and nuns and thousands of Catholic parishioners. Some activists expect civil disobedience, which could lead to powerful images of priests and nuns being led away in hand restraints.

  • Capitol Alert: Measure to repeal death penalty in California qualifies for ballot – Capitol Alert: Measure to repeal death penalty in California qualifies for ballot
  • Pew: immigration from Mexico drops to net zero – Immigration from Mexico has reached a net zero, with as many Mexicans moving back to Mexico as are entering the United States, according to the Pew Research Center’s Jeffrey Passel, a highly regarded demographer who used data from both countries.

    The report released Wednesday cited several possible reasons, including, “the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico.”

  • California prisons detail plan to downsize, cut costs – The California prison system on Monday unveiled an extensive plan to cut spending by billions of dollars, close a prison and return inmates being housed out of state — all while meeting court-ordered benchmarks on medical care and overcrowding.

    In three years, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is expected to be 7.5% of the state’s total budget, down from an estimated 9.4% in the upcoming fiscal year. This is largely because of realignment, the process of sending low-level offenders to local jails instead of state prisons to comply with a court order to reduce chronic overcrowding.

    “California is finally getting its prison costs under control and taking the necessary steps to meet federal court mandates,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement.

    Some parts of the state’s plan will require consent from the Legislature, and its success also hinges in part on court approval. Although the court ordered California to reduce its inmate population to 137.5% of prison capacity, the state expects to fall slightly short, at 141% — a difference of up to 6,000 inmates — by the June 2013 deadline.

    Corrections Secretary Matt Cate said the state will ask the court to raise its benchmark next year.

  • Measure to repeal death penalty in California qualifies for ballot – Californians voters going to the polls in November will again decide the fate of the death penalty.

    A measure to abolish the death penalty and replace it with a maximum sentence of life behind bars without parole has qualified for the Nov. 6 ballot, the Secretary of State confirmed today. The measure, backed by a coalition that includes the American Civil Liberties Union and some law enforcement and victims rights groups, would apply to inmates currently on death row.

    Supporters say capital punishment, which voters added to the state’s books in 1978, costs California more than $100 million a year while leading to very few executions because of the time it takes to go through the appeals process.

  • The politics of death penalty heads to November ballot – Almost 34 years to the day California voters decided that the state’s worst crimes should be punished by execution, the repeal of that same punishment will be back on the statewide ballot.

    State elections officials confirmed late Monday that an initiative to abolish capital punishment in California has qualified for the November ballot, with supporters having gathered more than enough voter signatures to call the question.

    The initiative would not only repeal the death penalty but would also convert the sentences of all 724 inmates currently on Death Row to life without the possibility of parole. It would further commit $30 million a year for three years to local law enforcement efforts on unsolved murder and rape crimes.

  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Medscape: Medscape Access
  • Poll: Obama ahead in battleground New Hampshire – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @PoliticalTicker: Poll: Obama ahead in battleground New Hampshire –
  • Doctors say teens go to hospitals after drinking hand sanitizer – Doctors are warning parents about a dangerous new trend after six teenagers drank hand sanitizer and ended up in San Fernando Valley emergency rooms with alcohol poisoning.

    Teenagers are using salt to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer, doctors said.

    “It’s essentially a shot of hard liquor,” said Cyrus Rangan, director of the toxicology bureau for the Los Angeles County public health department and a medical toxicology consultant for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “All it takes is just a few swallows and you have a drunk teenager.”

    Although there have been only a few cases, Rangan said the practice could easily become a larger problem. Bottles of hand sanitizers are inexpensive and accessible and teens can find instructions on distillation on the Internet.

  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Unexplained Infant Deaths Often Linked to Bed Sharing
  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Big Tobacco Groups Fear Spread of Plain Packaging
  • Humor / Not the ol’ bag over the head trick…. – Not the ol’ bag over the head trick….
  • Unexplained Infant Deaths Often Linked to Bed Sharing – Among infants who have died suddenly and unexpectedly, most were sharing a sleep surface with another child or adult, and only one fourth were sleeping in a crib or on their back when found, according to a new report.

    Results were published in the American Journal of Public Health online April 19. The study was conducted by Patricia G. Schnitzer, PhD, from the Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri, Columbia, and colleagues.

    According to the researchers, more than 4000 infants without prior known illness or injury die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the United States.

    The researchers found that only about one fourth of infants were sleeping in a crib or on their back when found, but 70% were on a surface not intended for infant sleep, such as an adult bed. Of note, 64% of infants were sharing a sleep surface, and of those, nearly half were sleeping with an adult.

    One study limitation, among others, is the possible lack of generalizability because the data were as drawn from only 9 states.

    “Infants whose deaths were classified as suffocation or undetermined cause were significantly more likely than were infants whose deaths were classified as SIDS to be found on a surface not intended for infant sleep and to be sharing that sleep surface,” Dr. Schnitzer and colleagues note.

  • Big Tobacco Groups Fear Spread of Plain Packaging – The world’s top tobacco groups fear if new rules on plain packaging take hold in Australia and Britain they may spread to higher-growth and potentially more lucrative emerging markets and put a curb on their future profits growth.

    Health campaigners are pushing for tobacco companies to package their cigarettes in plain packs displaying the product name in a standard typeface and with graphic health warnings as a way of discouraging youngsters from taking up smoking.

    Australia aims to become the first nation in the world to force tobacco groups to sell cigarettes in these plain, brand-free packets by December this year, while Britain this week launched a three-month consultation over the issue.

  • Smoking Cessation Worth It Despite Dim Outcomes – Drugs and counseling to help patients stop smoking typically double the odds of success relative to solo cold-turkey attempts, but success rates still seldom exceed 20%, a researcher said here.

    The bottom-line message: “Keep trying,” said Michael K. Ong, MD, PhD, of the University of California Los Angeles, in a presentation at the American College of Physicians’ annual meeting.

    Existing approaches to smoking cessation will remain the best available for the foreseeable future, Ong suggested, and even though their effectiveness is modest at best, they are better than letting patients fend for themselves.

    He noted that clinicians are often reluctant to assist patients with these problems. A recent CDC survey found that only about half of smokers who saw a health professional in the previous year reported being advised to quit.

    An earlier survey identified a series of reasons that physicians had for not offering to help with smoking cessation, such as they’re too busy; the services are not billable; it’s a futile effort; and patients may be scared away.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » Video: Rudy Giuliani Finally Endorses Mitt Romney on Eve of New York Primary Election – Video: Rudy Giuliani Finally Endorses Mitt Romney on Eve of New York Primary Election
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012 Poll Watch: Arizona in Play? – President 2012 Poll Watch: Arizona in Play?
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ramirez for U.S. Senate – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ra…
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ramirez for U.S. Senate – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ra…
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ramirez for U.S. Senate – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ra…
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ramirez for U.S. Senate – RE:  No, I don’t see much support out there for Dr. Orly.

    But, does it matter much who the candidate is, when runnin…

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-26: Linda Parks Fights Back Against Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – CA-26: Linda Parks Fights Back Against Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 23, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 23, 2012
  • AT&T wields enormous power in Sacramento – As the sun set behind Monterey Bay on a cool night last year, dozens of the state’s top lawmakers and lobbyists ambled onto the 17th fairway at Pebble Beach for a round of glow-in-the-dark golf.

    With luminescent balls soaring into the sky, the annual fundraiser known as the Speaker’s Cup was in full swing.

    Lawmakers, labor-union champions and lobbyists gather each year at the storied course to schmooze, show their skill on the links and rejuvenate at a 22,000-square-foot spa. The affair, which typically raises more than $1 million for California Democrats, has been sponsored for more than a decade by telecommunications giant AT&T.

    At the 2010 event, AT&T’s president and the state Assembly speaker toured Pebble Beach together in a golf cart, shaking hands with every lawmaker, lobbyist and other VIP in attendance.

    The Speaker’s Cup is the centerpiece of a corporate lobbying strategy so comprehensive and successful that it has rewritten the special-interest playbook in Sacramento. When it comes to state government, AT&T spends more money, in more places, than any other company.

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ramirez for U.S. Senate – CA-Sen: Conservative California Republican Assembly Endorses Al Ramirez for U.S. Senate
  • Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 23, 2012 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 23, 2012 via @flap

The Morning Flap: April 19, 2012

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

The Obamas and Bo, their dog – A Chilling Photo?

These are my links for April 18th through April 19th:

  • Bam Bites Dog – The political perils of personal attacks – One time Barack Obama went to an Indian restaurant and ordered the lassi. Was he ever disappointed when the waiter brought him a yogurt drink!

    We’ll be here all week. But seriously, folks, we have a man-bites-dog story for you today.

    First, some background. Last week Byron York of the Washington Examiner reported that “some Obama staffers are reportedly obsessing over a nearly 30-year-old story about [Mitt] Romney’s dog”:

    In 1983, Romney took his family on vacation and, faced with a packed station wagon, put his Irish setter Seamus in a travel kennel strapped to the roof of the car. Romney constructed a special windshield in an effort to make the dog more comfortable, but Seamus ended up relieving himself on the roof, which reportedly caused much consternation among the Romney boys. Ever since the story got out–it was reported by the Boston Globe in 2007, during Romney’s first run for president–Romney opponents have used it in semiserious and sometimes fully serious ways to portray him as insensitive.
    “I have heard, in focus groups, the dog story totally tanks Mitt Romney’s approval rating,” Chris Hayes said on his MSNBC show. The Washington Post reported last month that the Seamus story “is ballooning into a narrative of epic proportions”:

    Late-night host David Letterman has been giving the dog near-nightly shout-outs. There are parody Web videos, “Dogs Aren’t Luggage” T-shirts and Facebook groups. (“Dogs Against Romney,” which protested outside last month’s Westminster dog show, has more than 38,000 Facebook fans.) The New Yorker featured a cartoon, with Rick Santorum riding in Romney’s rooftop dog carrier, on its cover last week. In the five years since the story was revealed, New York Times columnist Gail Collins has mentioned Seamus in at least 50 columns.

  • The Dog Days of the Presidential Campaign Begin – I would note that in 2008, John McCain’s presidential campaign wouldn’t have touched this anecdote with a ten-foot pole. Between this and the Romney camp’s rapid response to the Rosen comments, we are seeing a Republican presidential campaign that is exponentially faster on its feet and way more nimble than the previous general-election campaign against Obama.
  • IN-Sen: Don’t Believe the Anti-Incumbent Narrative – A few weeks after that primary, on May 8, Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar will either lose to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock or squeeze by him in the GOP primary.

    Lugar’s problems, however, have nothing to do with the “anti-incumbent” mood or Congress’ poor reputation. Instead, they have everything to do with his record and his horrible campaign.

    Lugar’s record and style don’t fit comfortably with where his party now is, yet he made little or no effort to sooth conservatives or to prepare for a battle. If he had, he might, for example, have purchased a house or condo in the state so that he wouldn’t need to stay in a hotel when he returns to the state to campaign.

    More than a year ago, I wrote in this space about Lugar’s vulnerability in a possible one-on-one primary. Almost immediately, I received a call from a Lugar staffer telling me how wrong I was and pointing out that the Senator was hugely popular and had a large campaign war chest.

    In other words, Lugar’s team didn’t understand what could happen if voters were presented with a credible opponent who either had money or would be supported by outside groups willing to spend heavily to defeat the Senator. And later, the campaign didn’t understand why anyone would care that Lugar didn’t own a residence in the state.

  • Weiner a jerk before crotchgate, craved media attention: book – Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner was behaving like a jerk long before the world got a glimpse of his crotch.

    A new book offering an inside look at the US House of Representatives depicts Weiner as a desperately ambitious loudmouth who berated his staff and would do or say anything for TV airtime.

    Weiner “would enter his office in the Rayburn Building screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Why the f–k am I not on MSNBC?!’” journalist Robert Draper wrote in “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives.”

    He finally got his wish, Draper wrote, when Weiner pushed to become the liberal spokesman for ObamaCare.

    “He was now on MSNBC every week, sometimes every day — to the point where he was carrying his own makeup kit. (Or rather, his press guy was.)” Draper wrote.

    Excerpts of the book, due out Tuesday, surfaced yesterday on the Web site Politico.

  • Daily exercise can reduce risk of developing Alzheimer¿s, study finds – latimes.com – RT @latimesmost: You’re never too old to reduce Alzheimer’s risk with exercise
  • Hydration for Runners – Run to Your Best – RT @Racerunningtips: Hydration for Runners: Hydrating for Optimal Performance
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-19 – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-04-19
  • The Top 10 Most Expensive Obamacare Taxes and Fees – Yesterday was tax day, serving as a special reminder of how big the federal government has become. As Heritage has warned before, Obamacare is on track to makes things a lot worse.

    The President’s health law will be partially paid for by tax increases and the creation of new taxes. When Obamacare first passed, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that its tax hikes would total $502 billion over the next 10 years. But most of the new, higher taxes don’t kick in until later in the decade, which means that once all of the law is fully implemented, the taxpayers’ tab will be much bigger than originally estimated.

    A new study by the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) revealed today that Obamacare will impose higher taxes totaling $4 trillion between now and 2035, with substantial hits on working Americans. That works out to more than $1.7 trillion over a decade—more than triple the original 10-year score.

    Below is a list of 10 of Obamacare’s most costly taxes and fees, drawn from research by Heritage tax policy expert Curtis Dubay:

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » R.I.P. Dick Clark 1929-2012 – R.I.P. Dick Clark 1929-2012
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Study: No Independent Association of Periodontal and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease? – Study: No Independent Association of Periodontal and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease?
  • In-Sen: Mourdock Leads Lugar in Internal Poll – Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock leads Senator Dick Lugar by one point according to a poll commissioned by the Mourdock campaign. Conducted between April 16 and 17 by the firm McLaughlin and Associates, the poll surveyed 400 likely Republican primary voters and found Mourdock in the lead, 42–41, against Lugar. The poll had a 4.9 percent margin of error.

    Since January, Lugar’s favorability rating has fallen ten points, from 57 to 47 percent, while Mourdock’s has risen by eleven, from 35 to 46 percent. “These results clearly demonstrate that Richard Mourdock has the momentum to win,” a memo from pollsters John McLaughlin and Stuart Polk notes.

  • Is stagnation good enough for Obama’s reelection? « The Enterprise Blog – RT @JimPethokoukis: I plugged in Citi’s new econ forecast into 2 election models. Obama losses under both
  • Untitled (http://www.laobserved.com/biz/2012/04/la_churches_being_fo.php) – RT @LAObserved: L.A. churches being foreclosed on in record numbers. @LABizObserved
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge » Flap’s California Blog – AD-38: Scott Wilk Signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge » Flap’s California Blog
  • Gallup Presidential Election Trial Heat Results: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney – RT @gallupnews: Presidential Election: Romney 48% (+1), Obama 44% (+1). Get the full trend… #Gallup
  • Gavin Newsom Gets Current TV Show — What About the Equal Time Rule? | TheWrap TV – California’s Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom gets a TV show on Current TV – whether you like it or not #catcot #tcot
  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » President 2012: Romney Up With Web Ad About Unemployment in Key Battleground State of North Carolina – President 2012: Romney Up With Web Ad About Unemployment in Key Battleground State of North Carolina
  • AD-38: Scott Wilk Signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge » Flap’s California Blog – RE:  Yes, last August seems a long time ago for Senator Tony Strickland…
  • Medscape: Medscape Access – Menthol Cigarettes Double Stroke Risk
  • Menthol Cigarettes Double Stroke Risk – Menthol cigarettes more than double the risk for stroke compared with regular cigarettes, a new study shows. In women and nonblack smokers, the risk for stroke was more than tripled.

    No significant associations were observed between the tobacco additive and other forms of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

    The mechanism by which menthol may increase stroke risk remains unclear.

    One potential mechanism is that menthol stimulates upper-airway cold receptors, which can increase breath-holding time, which may in turn facilitate the entrance of cigarette particulate matter into the lungs, notes Nicholas Vozoris, MD, from St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    Another possibility is that menthol cigarettes exert some selective effects on the cerebrovascular system.

  • Potential VP pick Mitch Daniels endorses Mitt Romney – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, frequently mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate, is the latest Republican leader to formally endorse Mitt Romney.

    “It must be a slow news day if this has made the air,” Daniels told Fox News on Wednesday. “But for what it’s worth, I did send a congratulatory note to Gov. Romney the other day offering to anything I could to help him, and here I am.”

    It didn’t come across as a particularly strong endorsement, and the Fox News anchor noted that Daniels has a dry, self-deprecating manner.

    “He’s already won our nomination,” Daniels continued. “He’s earned it, he’s proven himself the best nominee we could put forward, and I’m just happy to sign on and help him.”

  • Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » The Morning Flap: April 18, 2012 – The Morning Flap: April 18, 2012

The Morning Flap: March 15, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

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

The Morning Flap: March 1, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

These are my links for February 29th through March 1st:

The Morning Flap: January 11, 2012

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links, The Morning Flap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    From Michael Ramirez……Michael Ramirez Cartoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Annotations:

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

    Annotations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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