Saturday, March 08, 2014
Friday, March 07, 2014
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Dumb - Two Bottles
Dumb is from Birmingham, England. They create some incredibly catchy power pop. You can follow them on Twitter and Facebook. As an added bonus.
Paul Ryan's Brown Bag Story at CPAC
Rep. Paul Ryan spoke at CPAC and made this bizarre statement.
He then told an anecdote he said was relayed to him by Eloise Anderson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) Department of Children and Families secretary. "She once met a young boy from a very poor family, and every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program," Ryan said. "He told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch, one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids," he continued. "He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him. This is what the left does not understand."I previously wrote before about a 60 Minutes piece on homeless children in Florida suffering with hunger. These children need a free lunch. Ryan offers these children no solutions. The Wire reports Ryan's story may not have happened. Ryan's story is very similar to a scene in author Laura Schroff's book An Invisible Thread." Here is the excerpt. This reminds me of when Ryan showed up to a soup kitchen unannounced and washed already clean dishes for a photo-op. I agree with Cenk Uygur in the second video. Ryan is a fraud.
Pussy Riot Attacked in a McDonalds
This is a brutal attack of members of Pussy Riot by organized Vladimir Putin supporters.
Is Alex Sink Trying to Lose?
I wrote before that Alex Sink is making false promises by guaranteeing she can make Congress bipartisan as a freshman member of Congress. If Sink wins the general election she would be a back bencher in Congress. Short answer: Sink would have little power. John Boehner and Eric Cantor aren't going to listen to a first term Democrat. Never the less: Sink continues to campaign on bipartisanship. Sink did this campaign ad with her father Kester. Transcript of the ad.
Kester Sink: You’ve probably heard all the nasty things Washington is saying about my daughter Alex Sink: That’s my dad, Kester Sink. Kester: I know Alex is a big girl, she can defend herself. Alex: All that fighting and lying is why Washington doesn’t get anything done. Kester: So what are we going to do about it? Alex: Democrats and Republicans have to work together to cap flood insurance and protect Social Security and Medicare. Kester: She always did know how to solve problems. Got that from her mom. Alex: Thanks dad. I’m Alex Sink and I approve this message. Kester: And so do I.Does Sink seriously believe that Republicans are going to help her "protect Social Security and Medicare"? The Center of Budget and Policy Priorities did a study of Rep. Paul Ryan's budget. Social Security would be cut under the the Ryan Plan.
The first element is price indexing. Under current law, Social Security benefits for new retirees are designed to keep pace with the growth of average wages. Under Rep. Ryan’s plan, initial benefits for 70 percent of earners would instead be related to the growth in prices, which in the long run grow less rapidly than wages. Rep. Ryan’s indexing proposal imposes the greatest reductions on those with the highest earnings, and it exempts those with the very lowest earnings, so it is sometimes called “progressive” price indexing. Nonetheless, it would affect fully 70 percent of all Social Security beneficiaries — everyone with earnings above $22,000 in today’s terms. Over time, price indexing would turn Social Security into a program that provides only a small retirement benefit — and one that is largely unrelated to prior earnings.The problem is Sink is terrified to state her policy positions so she retreats to empty rhetoric. Sink's "On The Issues" pages is filled with talking points but lacks policy proposals. Here is an example.
Improving the Affordable Care Act: Keep the Good, Fix the Bad The rollout of the website and problems that have arisen with the implementation are unacceptable: The Obama Administration needs to be held accountable to get the website running, and making any necessary changes to fix any problems with the law. If these changes cannot be made in a timely way, then components of the law should be delayed until these issues are addressed. But we cannot go back to a time when individuals with pre-existing conditions were denied care, seniors were forced to pay more for medicine, or insurance companies could do whatever they wanted – including kicking families off their plans because they got sick. What is not helpful in Congress’ conversation about America’s healthcare was the government shutdown, or the gridlock in Washington that is holding Republicans and Democrats back from working together to get results and solutions – and it’s exactly this culture of dysfunction that I’m running to change.If we delay the law there are Americans with pre-existing conditions would be denied health care coverage. Employees would not be able to get coverage through their employees by buying from exchanges. Alex Sink doesn't have a proposal for how Americans will get coverage if the law is delayed a year. The Obama administration has already delayed the penalties against employers that don't provide health care coverage. Does Sink support delaying penalties against employers for two years? Sink is more concerned with throwing talking points about the shutdown than outlining health care proposals. Proof that Sink is scared of stating her policy positions is her avoidance of the media. Curtis Krueger reports that Sink hasn't held a press conference since Feb. 26. Sink did not stay to speak to the media after a recent candidate forum. Sink's opponents Republican David Jolly and Libertarian Lucas Overby stayed to talk to the media. Candidates speak to the media because they view it as free publicity. It is obvious that Sink has become spooked after her misconstrued statement on immigration. Sink has denied this.
In an interview Wednesday, Sink denied taking a cautious approach in the last week of the race and stressed she wasn't avoiding the media. "I have been all over the place" urging supporters to vote, she said, and also to "find every undecided voter that we possibly can." As examples, she said she went to the Saturday Morning Market in St. Petersburg, a festival in Pass-a-Grille and spent a few hours knocking on doors.Sink's campaign has been scant on details to the media on where she will campaign. That is definitely a sign Sink is avoiding the media.
Bonus Quote of the Day
Is that a flip or a flop we hear from Dubious Rubio?
I actually think Marco Rubio turning against his signature legislative accomplishment makes him a GOP frontrunner in the Romney/McCain mold.— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) March 6, 2014
Quote of the Day
"I mean this president has continued the policies of supporting Nazis in Ukraine…That's what he's doing right now." Kesha Rogers, fringe Democratic candidate running for John Cornyn's Senate seat. Rogers has been running on a platform of impeaching President Barack Obama. The Democratic establishment has been working to make sure she doesn't become the nominee. Rogers will be in a Democratic runoff election against David Alameel. The winner will have the honor of being crushed by John Cornyn in the general election. I am so glad I do not live in Texas.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Video Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman
Filmmaker Caleb Slain created this loving tribute to the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. What the lips from Hoffman's movies show is the magnificent range he had as an actor. The video also has audio of Hoffman's 2010 KNOW interview.
Sharkmuffin - First Date
Liz Wahl Quits Russia Today On-Air
Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl quit Russia Today on-air.
"And that is why, personally, I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin," Wahl said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.Wahl told Anderson Cooper that staffers at Russia Today were forced to whitewash the coverage of the international crisis in the Ukraine.
"RT is not about the truth; it's about promoting a Putinist agenda," Wahl told CNN. "And I can tell you firsthand, it's about bashing America."Russia Today is funded by the Russian government. Wahl is an American journalist. She was formerly employed in the RT Washington bureau.
Boca Raton Racist Flies KKK Flag
Only in Florida. A Boca Raton resident going by the name "Mr. Hayes" is flying the Klu Klux Klan flag, a noose and the Confederate flag in his front yard. This guy is proud of being a racist.
"As many people know, the white families are producing less children because the father and mother work and you have interracial marriages and gay marriages, so there are less and less white children being born every day," the man, who would only identify himself as Mr. Hayes, told Local 10's Roger Lohse. "So we're against that.""Mr. Hayes" says he does not practice violence. However, the noose is a symbol of the lynching of black people during the ugly Jim Crow era of American history. Mr. Hayes is from New York yet hangs a Conferate flag. He isn't hanging that flag to celebrate his Southern heritage. That is for damn sure.
Will Weatherford's Won't Move on Medicaid
Like Paul Ryan, Will Weatherford is a Ayn Rand devotee. Weatherford has been against Medicaid expansion in Florida. Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago pointed out the hypocrisy in Weatherford's stance. Weatherford's father said that the family took Medicaid money for a family medical crisis.
According to his father, the family accepted more than $100,000 in Medicaid dollars to pay the bills of Weatherford’s cancer-stricken 13-month-old brother, who died in 1995. Weatherford has said he was too young to remember how the finances were handled, yet he remembers enough to cast doubt on his father’s recollection, and avoid judgment on his position. But he’s catering to the point of view of wealthy supporters and the powerful father-in-law who put him in office, Tallahassee royalty.Weatherford has refused to consider having Florida accept $51.3 billion in Medicaid funds. Weatherford has vowed that no bill for increased Medicaid dollars will pass through the Florida House of Representatives. There are currently 3.3 million uninsured in Florida. Rene Garcia, R-Miami, and Rep. Amanda Murphy, D-New Port Richey have filed bills in the House and the Senate for Medicaid expansion. Murphy will need to convince Rep. Richard Corcoran, the chair of two health committees.
"I'll have a conversation with anyone, anytime, any place about public policy," Corcoran, R-Trinity, said today. But he would not commit to allowing Murphy's proposal to be heard in his committees.Republicans have campaigned against Obamacare. They fear getting ripped by the tea party if they vote for Medicaid expansion. Far right conservative polotics is getting in the way of good policy. Floridians are still getting taxed for Medicaid. Regardless of whether or not they receive the benefits.
Guacapocalypse Now: Chipotle Warns Investors of Climate Change
Chipotle Inc. has warned investors that climate change may change the ingredients of items on its menu.
“Increasing weather volatility or other long-term changes in global weather patterns, including any changes associated with global climate change, could have a significant impact on the price or availability of some of our ingredients,” the popular chain, whose Sofritas vegan tofu dish recently went national, said in its annual report released last month. “In the event of cost increases with respect to one or more of our raw ingredients we may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients.”Chipotle fans can take heart. There is no looming guacamole crisis. Side note: I never thought I would type that last sentence.
But there's no reason for Chipotle fans to panic, says company spokesman Chris Arnold. He tells us that the warning included in the SEC filing is just a routine disclosure of risk factors that could impact business. "There is no looming 'guacapocalypse' and I wouldn't read too much into this," Arnold tells The Salt in an email.Chipotle Inc. has been committed to green business policies. The Chipotle restaurants in your area buy produce from local organic farmers. In Tampa, Chipotle has teamed up with Truck Farm Tampa to educate people on organic food. You can learn more about Truck Farm Tampa by contacting visiting www.truckfarmtampa.com.
Darrell Issa Cuts Off Mic
During the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) took exception with how Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) was handling the hearing on the IRS targeting of political groups. Issa responded by shutting off Cummings' microphone and calling the hearing to an end. It was rather childish on Issa's part. The hearing started off strangely with former Former IRS official Lois Lerner pleading the fifth.
In response to a series of pointed questions from Issa on Wednesday, Lerner repeatedly said, "On the advice of my counsel, I respectfully exercise my Fifth Amendment right and decline to answer that question." Over the weekend, Lerner's attorney had apparently been negotiating with the committee over a possible deal that would have allowed her to testify, which had raised the possibility that she would speak Wednesday.Cummings chimed in afterwards and Issa eventually shut off his microphone. What a disaster.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Lawrence Summers Blast From the Past
This is the letter Lawrence Summers wrote about the financial benefits of more pollution. Summers penned this disaster when he was the chief economist of the World Bank. Clink the image to enlarge.
Revisiting the Financial Crisis: Meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on September 16, 2008 Part 2
This is part 2 of the my thoughts on the Federal Open Market Committee on September 16, 2008. You can read part 1 here. This meeting of the FOMC took place after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. William C. Dudley had a laughably bad read of how the financial industry would react to the Federal Reserve not lowing the interest federal funds rates. This is the interest rate set by the Federal Reserve for banks lending to each other. Banks were desperate for credit after the Lehman Brothers announcement. Dudley thought banks would support the Fed not lowering the federal funds rates.
MR. DUDLEY. Well, I think the market participants would gain some comfort to the extent that the Federal Reserve as an institution indicates concern about what’s going on in the financial markets. But in some ways the Desk has already signaled that concern by its intervention, so I’m not sure that additional indications are needed. But in the language you might want to indicate to market participants that, if things were to materially worsen in the financial markets, the Committee might revisit the issue of where the federal funds rate should be.Dennis P. Lockhart, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, believed that the economy would start to recover in 2009.
With that as prologue, let me make just a couple of comments on regional soundings from the last couple of weeks. Anecdotal reports from the Sixth District support the view that the economy is quite weak but not deteriorating markedly. The CFO of a large retailer of housing-related goods said that they think they see a bottom forming. I am also starting to hear some reports that housing markets feel as though they are beginning to stabilize; but, really, it is a little too early to say that a bottom has formed in any of our housing markets. My overall sense from District contacts and our surveys is of an economy that is quite weak, with no clear trend evident. Turning to the national outlook, like most forecasts, my view on the likely path for the economy has not changed materially since our August meeting. I see nothing in the data and hear nothing from District reports that alters my views that the second half will be very weak. I expect this weak period to be followed by a slow recovery gathering in 2009, but the foundation of a recovery starting around year-end or early 2009 may be far from solid. The contraction of credit availability that is confirmed by both surveys and anecdotal evidence could deepen as financial institutions face tight liquidity and difficulty recapitalizing. A protracted credit crunch would likely operate as a substantial drag on the economy.The economic stimulus package, signed into law by President Barack Obama, helped keep a recession from turning into a depression. We can see that the unemployment rate ticked up after the September meeting of the FOMC. Lockhart was also wrong in his prediction of the federal funds rate.
My view of the appropriate policy path is consistent with the Greenbook—that the fed funds rate target will remain stable at or close to the current level for several months going into 2009. My preference is to hold the fed funds rate at the current level of 2 percent. Among the reasons is that a ¼ percentage point drop, as suggested by alternative A, is really not clearly called for by a changed outlook for the real economy. Inflation risks are still in play, and I think we should give credit markets more time to digest events and sort out rate relationships.The Federal Reserve changed course and have kept federal fund rates near zero percent. From the Federal Reserve website.
To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Federal Open Market Committee expects that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens. In its December 2013 statement, the Committee reaffirmed its expectation that the current exceptionally low target range for the federal funds rate of 0 to 1/4 percent will be appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6-1/2 percent, inflation between one and two years ahead is projected to be no more than half a percentage point above the Committee's 2 percent longer-run goal, and longer-term inflation expectations continue to be well anchored. In addition, at its December 2013 meeting, the Committee indicated that, based on its assessment of measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial developments, it will likely be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate well past the time that the unemployment rate declines below 6-1/2 percent, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run goal.The Federal Reserve has kept fund rates near zero percent to keep credit moving between the banks. The fourth quarter of the 2008 was projected to have low GDP. Unemployment has showed signs of increasing. The housing bubble had popped. Banks were starting to go into panic mode after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. What was Lockhart thinking that the 2 percent federal fund rate could be maintained? Future Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen was correct in her projection unemployment and housing construction numbers would dip.
Recent data also suggest that labor markets are weakening across the board—a development that will cast a pall on household income and spending. The interaction of higher unemployment with the housing and financial markets raises the potential for even worse news—namely, an intensification of the adverse feedback loop we have long worried about and are now experiencing. Indeed, delinquencies have risen substantially across the spectrum of consumer loans, and credit availability continues to decline. One ray of hope is that the changes at Fannie and Freddie have caused a notable drop in mortgage rates. Another is that the decline in home prices has become somewhat less steep, and we have seen an outright improvement in home inventories relative to sales. But my contacts are very pessimistic about the prospects for nonresidential construction. They note that construction is continuing on projects in the pipeline with committed funding, but new projects are all but impossible to finance.Unfortunately, Yellen mistakenly back keeping the federal fund rates at 2 percent. What is fascinating is the FOMC was obsessed with inflation during the meeting. Inflation turned out to be the least of the America's economic problems in 2009. Inflation actually dropped to 1.1 percent in November of 2008 In December the rate was 0.1 percent. Inflation stayed below 3 percent in 2009.
Monday, March 03, 2014
Ted Leo And The Pharmacists - Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Ted Leo does a great cover of a song I always hated. I could never stand Tears For Fears. This video was recorded as part of the A.V. Club cover series.
Rick Kriseman Endorses Alex Sink
You really didn't think St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman was going to endorse Republican David Jolly? The Alex Sink campaign sent out this email.
“I am proud to support Alex Sink because I know she will bring the bipartisan, results oriented values she’s practiced all her life to Washington and finally get Congress focused on solving problems that matter,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. “At City Hall, we know firsthand that the challenges facing our community are not partisan issues – that’s why we need a leader like Alex Sink who will bring Republicans, Democrats and Independents together to tackle our most pressing problems, and I know we can trust Alex to take the voices of every Pinellas resident to Washington.” “Every day Mayors and local leaders across Pinellas put problem solving over politics to serve residents – and I’m running to bring this same brand of bipartisan leadership back to Washington,” said Alex Sink. “From protecting Social Security and Medicare, to cutting wasteful spending, to helping businesses create jobs, the challenges facing are community are too important to let partisan finger-pointing stand in the way of getting results. I am honored to receive the support of Mayor Rick Kriseman, and I look forward to serving as an effective partner for Pinellas residents in Congress.”Sink is running for the Florida congressional District 13 seat. The seat is currently empty after the passing of Bill Young.
Rick Scott's Contempt of the Press Increases
This should leave no doubt Gov. Rick Scott is doing everything he can to avoid Florida's "Sunshine Law." Tia Mitchell reports both she and photographer Scott Keeler were asked to leave the Florida House Press Gallery. Mitchell and Keller were covering Scott practicing his State of the State speech. The House Sergeant-at-Arms staff told Mitchell and Keller that Scott requested that they be removed. Mitchell reports that Keller covered Scott's 2012 and 2013 State of the State rehearsal with no incident. The only explanation that was given on why Keller and Mitchell couldn't cover Scott's State of the State rehearsal was that the event is private. Scott came into the Governor's mansion intent on limiting access by the media. Scott has only gotten worse. The Miami Herald reports Scott uses his own private plane to avoid logging where he travels to the media. Scott may use his own plane but taxpayers are paying for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents that provide security for the Governor. Scott released details of his flight travel last year to the media. Scott has now cited the need for security as the reason not to release his flight travel to the media. Governors Charlie Crist, Jeb Bush and Lawton Chiles all shared their flight travel destinations with the media. Scott is now waging full war against media access. Pissing off the media is not the best way to get positive coverage. Maybe Scott doesn't even care anymore.
Stockman Threatening Legal Action Against Cornyn Campaign
This is something you don't see everyday. Rep. Steve Stockman is running in the Texas Senate Republican primary against incumbent John Cornyn. Stockman is threatening to press charges against anyone associated with the Cornyn campaign that publishes his mugshot.
According to Michigan Compiled Laws 28.214, "(3) A person shall not access, use, or disclose nonpublic information governed under this act for personal use or gain. ... (5) A person shall not disclose information governed under this act in a manner that is not authorized by law or rule. (6) A person who intentionally violates subsection (3) or (5) is guilty of a crime as follows: (a) For a first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment ... (b) For a second or subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years ...." Austin attorney Randy Cubriel, a Cornyn associate and head of TCM, may also face repercussions. Texas law (e.g., Art. 55.03 provides: "(1) the release, maintenance, dissemination, or use of the expunged records and files for any purpose is prohibited; (2) except as provided in Subdivision (3) of this article, the person arrested may deny the occurrence of the arrest and the existence of the expunction order; and (3) the person arrested or any other person, when questioned under oath in a criminal proceeding about an arrest for which the records have been expunged, may state only that the matter in question has been expunged.").Stockman spokesperson Donny Ferguson wrote the press release for the Stockman campaign website. According to Ferguson, an unnamed Michigan official stated that Stockman could press charges against anyone publishing Stockman's 1977 arrest for possession of Valium. Talking Points Memo asked Ferguson for more details. Ferguson did not respond to follow-up questions. What this illustrates is the war on drugs can destroy careers. Worse case scerario for Stockman is he loses the election and becomes a lobbyist. For other Americans a drug arrest or conviction could mean having a hard time finding a minimum wage job.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
Politics Is Not A Sporting Event
Adam Smith of The Tampa Bay Times announced his political winners and losers of the week. This is a weekly column by Smith. I have nothing against Smith. However, I think this column reduces politics to a spectator sport when more attention should be paid attention to policy. Did Floridians win this week because Sen. Marco Rubio fired off some bluster against the Nicolás Maduro government of Venezuela on Twitter. taken out of context by a political tracker. Instead, Smith evaluates politicians as if they were a potential NFL draft pick at a scouting combine. The Tampa Bay Times shouldn't treat politicians as if they were making odds for Vegas bookies. Media is too obsessed with the horse race. Media thinks people will be bored if policy wonkery was explained. Ezra Klein wrote a successful economic policy blog at the Washington Post. The blog was so successful that Klein has decided to branch out and start the Vox Media project. There is a place for policy driven journalism. The Tampa Bay Times should produce more policy posts to expand their internet reach. Let's face it. No one is going to remember who were Adam Smith's political winner and loser of March 2, 2014 were.
Profile In Courage: Dubious Rubio
Sen. Marco Rubio is too scared to come out for or against the Arizona bill SB 1062. Rubio goes to great lengths to split hairs and try not to offend anyone. Short version: Rubio doesn't believe that gays should be discriminated against and Christian fundamentalists should be able to discriminate against gays. What a crystal clear position.
“Well, I don't believe that gay Americans should be denied services at a restaurant or hotel or anything of that nature. I also don't believe however that a caterer or photographer should be punished by the state for refusing to provide services for a gay wedding because of their religious held believes. We've got to figure out a way to the protect that, as well.”Rubio doesn't have to worry about being challenged for babbling nonsense. Meet The Press anchor David Gregory is more likely to bust a move than ask a follow-up question.
Wingnut of the Day: Judson Phillips
Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation has penned another comedy masterpiece. Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062. Brewer came under immense pressure from the business community. The NFL moved the 1993 Super Bowl because of Arizona refusing to recogize Martin Luther King Day as a national holiday. The NFL was prepared to move the 2015 from Arizona if Brewer didn't veto SB 1062. An NFL source was quoted by Deadspin.
No one wants to do this, but if the league's hand is forced, it would have to begin preparing for that process,'' the source close to the situation said. "If this doesn't get vetoed, it has to know, what has to be done next? That discussion has begun. "Two weeks ago no one would have been discussing who finished second in the 2014 Super Bowl bid process. So that's what changed. The NFL has to know the possibility, however remote, that it would have to move the game and begin preparations to do that. It would be imprudent not to begin that process.''Brewer realized the NFL and many other businesses would stay clear from Arizona. Money is more important to the Republican establishment than social conservatives. That doesn't make Judson Phillips happy. He went off on Tea Party Nation. Mediaite has posted Phillips' post.
Should a devout baker be required to create a cake for a homosexual wedding that has a giant phallic symbol on it or should a baker be required to create pastries for a homosexual wedding in the shape of genitallia? (sp) Or should a photographer be required to photograph a homosexual wedding where the participants decide they want to be nude or engage in sexual behavior? Would they force a Jewish photographer to work a Klan or Nazi event? How about forcing a Muslim caterer to work a pork barbeque dinner?Phillips apparently spends way too much time thinking about penises. How many gay couples are rushing to their local baker and asking, "Can you make me a cock cake?" What Nazi or member of the Klu Klux Klan would ask for a Jewish photographer? The problem is nonexistent. Judson is just mad because Arizona cannot legally discriminate against gays. Don't believe Phillips is homophobic? Phillips accused President Barack Obama of being a gay crack addict.
A man named Larry Sinclair claims that in 1999 he and Barack Obama had sex and then smoked crack cocaine. This is 1999, nine years before Obama would run for President. Crack cocaine is very addictive. It is very destructive. Addiction specialist will tell you that a crack addiction is very tough to break. Is Obama an addict? Was he an addict in the past? These are all legitimate questions to ask about a man who has his hands on the nuclear trigger.Pjillips didn't bother to fact-check Sinclair because that wouldn't help his agenda. Politico reports Sinclair has a lengthy criminal record. Sinclair has forgery charges in two states. He has 13 aliases on his Colorado criminal record. Sinclair served a year of jail in Florida for theft and forging a bad check. It goes on and on. Phillips is willing to cite someone as discredited as Sinclair to falsely gay bash President Obama. Phillips is a bigot. Plain and simple.